Harry Potter 7, Part 1

Of all the things to write about, I chose this for some reason.  What can you do, eh.  This isn’t a review, really.  Just random thoughts like a conversation you’d have with a friend over chips and salsa after you leave the theater.

Pros:

The mood was well captured.  Dark days.

It was visually stunning, of course.  Living off the grid in the UK appeals to me.  Except for the snatchers.

Those kids have really grown up.  Is Draco, like, 30?  Their acting is a lot more polished as well.

What’s up with Snape?

Even though I read the books (years ago) I really want to see what happens next.  Excellent cliff hanging.  When does part 2 come out?

The animation was beautifully moody.

Cons:

When you’re being hunted by insanely homicidal wizards and witches, why would you wander off by yourself?  A few characters do this at various points.  It keeps the plot moving and lets individual characters have a moment or challenge to overcome but really?

A ridiculously magical creature can’t heal himself from a knife wound?  Or three wizards around him?

Teenage romantic tension threaded throughout.  Yawn.  The teenage love triangle seems to be a “new” literary meme.  I blame Stephanie Meyer.  Even her book, “The Host”, is a love triangle.  I know it’s not really directed at me.  I’m not in the target population but … yeh.

I was disappointed by the 7th book in general.  You can tell when books, series of books, are written during war time. They have a brutality to them that catches up to the characters.  Like, how can you not lose loved ones.  That’s the world we live in.

I don’t like Harry.  Well, he’s alright.  I feel for him.  But I’ve been confused by his character and character development for about three books now.  He’s supposedly the “chosen one” (boo), but there’s nothing special about him in a way.  He’s always being saved by someone or given gifts or hints that enable his success.  People are dying for him. He’s not an especially adept fighter, but does have more experience surviving trials than a normal teenage wizard.  He’s a little thick; not the most clever wizard.  He doesn’t think strategically.  There was a while when he was constantly lying (even though that seemed like a literary device to keep adults out of the storyline or climactic showdowns).  He’s very emotional — anger and frustration seem to be his … okay, that’s not fair.  He is very brave even though it is sometimes more defiant than courageous.

In the early books of the series it was implied that Harry had abilities that would make him a great wizard.  He caught the snitch, orally no less.  He speaks Parseltongue.

He survived Voldemort’s original attack because of his mother’s love(??).  He survived a battle with Voldemort because their wands are twins.  Oh, the parseltongue.  That was because of some kickback from Voldemort’s attack.  Et al.  There were even hints in the books that Neville Longbottom might be the chosen one.
So what’s the deal with Harry?  Other than being a vessel of hope for the wizarding world.

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4 comments

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  1. Eric Brown

    I’m not a huge fan of the character either, but what makes him great is that he is relatively ordinary. It is a rather profound message that we can all be a hero of some sort. What is required to “save the world” is that relatively ordinary people must do extraordinary things. If we suffer and hurt and lose and grieve and love and persevere, we can do those extraordinary things.

    • garyarthuryoung

      Right, right.

      That makes sense. I mean, it’s better in that way than Percy Jackson, the ordinary, dyslexic, ADHD teenager whose father is Poseidon and is therefore a demigod with superpowers over the elements and whose god father speaks to him telepathically when he’s in danger.

      Then again that’s not too, too far from, say, Luke Skywalker.

      And the reason that Harry is the one who has to defeat Voldemort is because … Voldemort’s backfired curse somehow linked them?

      Hm. Meh. Perseverance. That is one of Harry’s greatest qualities. He doesn’t get better at anything. I mean, as his character is written. He’s not practicing skills or learning new ones or specializing in anything in particular. He just keeps going from moment to moment.

      I like Ron more than Harry, if I had to take a survey. Ron’s pretty ordinary, too. Well, his loyalty is exceptional. And his big family. And Hermione is brilliant, of course, and wicked smaht.

      Another thought: Why in the world isn’t everyone from the Order of the Phoenix looking for horcruxes? Why just three lost teenagers who don’t have a clue? Well, they did find some clues along the way. Good for them.

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