Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Resurrected Review and My Alternative Ending
I am killing two of the Daily Post’s birds with one stone tonight. A book review and an alternative ending. Admittedly I have plundered my own archives – so I sound a bit “fresh” – I had just read the book as soon as it was published. (For the Daily Post record – the last great book I read was “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett – fabulous. )But, for now, cast your mind back to the Harry Potter era…
Hurray. I managed to finish it before finding out what happened in it. And I am going to refer to what happened in it in this review, so if you don’t want to know stop reading now and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So saying I think I was pretty slow off the mark to get it read, but considering all my holiday shenanigans that was just the way it was. Luckily Rowling can be read while multi-tasking: supervising children, watching TV, cooking, being on the phone… dunno what that says about its literary merit. Something I am sure… So – main thoughts. I was disappointed with the ending. I was all set to be really impressed – when Harry went off to die – and I think the readership could have taken it. It was what I was waiting for since many books ago it became clear that Harry and Voldemort were linked in a kind of indelible way. So, admittedly I kind of skimmed the wizarding mumbo jumbo that justified and explained Harry’s ability to resurrect himself out of his Matrixesque King’s Cross – but I was disappointed that he came back to life. I also feel that my thoughts on the last book were pretty much right. I figured out that there was a Dumbledore/Snape deal – but I concluded that Dumbledore wasn’t dead, but that Snape had done some fake death curse and would revive him later. But it was close. And had the same effect. Snape had to come good really or it all wouldn’t have made sense. Rowling said on Blue Peter (Ok Ok I know) that he REALLY was dead cos it was important to the story. And yes, he was dead – but can I just say only dead in a kind of way that meant he could still, ultimately, be touched, converse with Harry, and influence the outcome of the novel. So to what extent is that dead? I was let down throughout by my memory. It took me quite a while for me to remember all the horcrux business from the previous book. I liked the deathly hallows legend and it was good towards the end – when the anxiety began to set in that the end was in sight and there will be no more Harry Potter to find out about ever again– when that bonus storyline was going to have to resolve. What a genius Rowling is though. Churning out action packed compelling stuff for a decade. Using every classic narrative structure technique going. Just like ET, Star Wars or any Messiah type story – the parentless, vulnerable, moral and magical hero – that we rally for. Self sacrifice and “the deeper magic from before the dawn of time”. None of it original, but all of it as well loved as the idealistic 1950s jolly-hockysticks vibe of the cheery Hogwarts from the epilogue. Smashing.
Harry closed his eyes, his scar tremulous with Voldemort’s anticipation. This moment he had waited for for so many years. Harry blocked it out. He knew that in a moment, the scar would be destroyed along with him and he would be entirely himself and at peace. Muffled sobs and gasps from the onlookers faded away until Harry stood in perfect silence. A flash of green light – and all was cool, clear and free. Voldemort raised his hands in victory, the snake writhing in ecstacsy. “ You see! I have killed him. No one will ever thwart me again!” With a loud crack, Neville Longbottom, who had remembered Harry’s last words, cursed the snake. Voldemort turned in horror to see the snake jerk awkwardly. He screamed an inhuman cry as he finally felt the last shards of his soul splintering away. The snake died, taking Voldemort with him. Harry’s body lay limp on the floor. The grieving friends saw only a peaceful smile when they looked at his lifeless face. The scar was gone. It would never bother him again.