Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Some more reflections

I am still waiting for my friends to finish the new Harry Potter book, so for now, the only place I can share my reflections on the story without spoiling the fun for those who don't want to know is here on my blog. If you don't won't spoilers, stop reading here.

OK, so here's something else that's come to mind since I read the book. I found another thread that I thought was left a little too loosely tied. It is related to the whole reunification of the magical world. Not only were the Slytherins left a little out of the loop, but I thought there was not sufficient integration of the various magical races. I mean, yes, we see the giants and gobblins and house elves and centaurs all participating in the final battle. But then, what happens thereafter? We get the "19 years later" chapter, but without mention of any better/closer relations between the races.

Particularly in the case of the house elves, I felt this left a major thread hanging. Remember the attention given to the whole issue in Goblet of Fire? Doesn't that seem excessive, in light of the eventual resolution? Dobby, to the end (even to the point of his death), is a double for Harry in his neglected-but-heroic status. But, while we see Kreacher in a leadership role during the battle, what happens thereafter? I would have, for instance, preferred to see Harry free him before he took the role he did. Wouldn't that have ultimately been more effective? Harry was Dobby's "saviour," but how about his own house elf?

I think the whole thing was so nicely done, so this is something of a minor criticism, I know. But I do feel that one of the themes that kept coming up in all of the books since the 4th was left dangling -- that being the unity of the magical world. Without a better integration of the races, and of Slytherin house, I felt this wasn't brought to a satisfactory conclusion. It's one of the things I felt detracts from the overall effect of the series.

That said, I know I couldn't do half as well as Rowling has. Perhaps that should lead me to keep my mouth shut.
But when have I ever been that smart?

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Sun Singer said...

According to several interviews, Rowling has said that initially she had a much longer epilogue. I guess she cut it because she thought it too heavy. This left a lot of fans wondering what, exactly, Harry, Hermione, Ron and others were actually doing (job wise). She has answered this question in the interviews, but intends to follow up the series with an enyclopedia of some kind.

Like you, I would have preferred for the to address the integration of the magical world (and also the jobs the characters ended up with) in the book itself; that, to me, is the true canon of the work.


hifidel said...

Again, I fully agree with all you say, Malcolm. I wonder about what the kids grew up to be, and not just how all the romantic entanglements ended up. I was disappointed to not see Malfoy play a bigger role in defeating Voldemort, and to see his family take no stand with the rest at the end. I felt like this would wrap the series up a little more nicely. So, when he stands on the platform in the epilogue and we STILL see this sort of stiff, less-than-friendly behavior between the two houses, it just gets old. I thought that was the whole point of it all, to defeat the division that Voldemort was causing in the magical world. In the 4th book, much was made of this. I wish it had come to more of a resolution in the final installment.