Phew, Harry Potter is done with

I just spent all day (and part of the night) reading the final Harry Potter book in one go. I don’t have time to say too much right now (though I would like to say everything in the world about the book), as I’m starting the first day at my first real post-college-degree job in the morning. I guess I do only have one thing to say, and that is to all of the naysayers who make fun of people like me for reading Harry Potter, saying that it’s a children’s book. This last one really wasn’t.

I started reading the series when I was in middle school, so that was about the right age. As I’ve grown older, the books have matured along with me. This final one was really quite dark, and dealt with an overarching theme of death. I caught many instances of sexual overtones, and not just in the overt actions between the characters. There were little bits of wordplay scattered here and there in the expository text. If you read the book, you’ll find it. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that if the movie for this seventh one is a faithful reproduction of the book, it will have to be rated R, because there are so many explicit descriptions of blood and gore, including gushing blood from an arterial wound caused by the bite of a giant snake. And there’s torture, lots of torture. There’s even a curse word towards the end (something never before seen in the series).

So, it’s really not a children’s book. The series started off as a children’s series, but J.K. Rowling played it smart and let it evolve over time to keep pace with the readers as they grew older. I can’t imagine how shocked parents will be if they try to read this book aloud to their young kids at bedtime — they won’t get very far at all before they realize they’re dealing with a whole different beast.

And the following is a huge spoiler alert, so please, don’t read it unless you’ve already finished the book, or never intend to read it.

I’m serious, this is your last chance to turn back.

I’m just kind of disappointed that J.K. Rowling didn’t have the balls to kill off Harry Potter at the end. That was the proper, fitting end, and although it would be very tragic indeed, that is where I would’ve liked to have seen it end. She didn’t have the guts to do it. Despite the whole series being an eulogy for Harry Potter, she ducks out of the inevitable conclusion at the end with a rather contrived plot twist.

2 Responses to “Phew, Harry Potter is done with”

  1. John D. Boyden Says:

    I totally disagree with you on the ending. Jk’s point was never futility, failure, or loss. I believe that hope, love, growth, and choice were the main themes throughout… You can read my own review -without a spolier alert needed – on the web page I posted here. Since then I have re-read volumes 5, 6, and 7. It is a wonderful journey.

    The easy out, you claim she used, was integral to the plot. The explanation of the link shared by Riddle and Potter. Yes, She could have killed him off and left it to others to finish off the soul-split riddler, but that would have been unsatisfying and truly a defiance of the entire structure of quests.


  2. Cyde Weys Says:

    I felt like having everyone survive (with only a few minor deaths; who cares about Hedwig, Mad-Eye Moody, and one of the twins?) was too much of a cop-out. Yeah, the fans would have been terribly mad if one of their much-beloved characters was killed off, but I really think that would have been the fitting end. Everything was so dark and headed down the tubes for a miraculous recovery to set everything right in the end. I don’t think the series should have had the happy ending it had. It needed a bittersweet ending. If not the death of Harry, then how about Ron? Having Ron die would be especially sad, because then we’d see the loss through Hermione.