Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Harry Potter 6 & 7
Why Are You Worrying About You-Know-Who?
You SHOULD Be Worrying About
the Constipation Sensation That's Gripping the Nation!
A few weeks ago, I reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, ahead of the movie being released in mid-July. I mostly read it because the movie trailers were seriously confusing me. They featured all sorts of special effects depicting screaming girls and apparent terrorist attacks in the Muggle world, along with a host of other things I did not remember being in the book. I figured either a) the director took a lot more liberties with this movie than other directors had with the previous five or b) I was seriously forgetting some major plot points.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince follows Harry through his sixth year at Hogwarts, a year in which the Wizarding world is fighting Voldemort, the evil wizard who has been "back" from the dead for over a year but who is finally out in the open, causing harm and trying to lure followers to his fold. Harry et. al. return to Hogwarts where Professor Snape is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and is suspected by Harry of helping Draco with a plan for Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Also, Ron gets an irritating girlfriend in the character of Lavender Brown (a pitiable girl that I imagine is one of those terribly vacuous high school twats with poor self-image that can't...quiiite...make it into the In-Crowd). Why he chooses to spend the better part of the year making out with her and not Hermione is beyond me, but it does provide an interesting dynamic since Ron and Hermione aren't speaking all year. In the end, Harry discovers that Voldemort has spliced his soul into 7 pieces, hiding each one in an artifact. After returning from a mission to find one, Harry and Dumbledore are confronted by Death Eaters in the school and, spoiler alert, Dumbledore dies at the hands of Severus Snape. Oh and Harry dates Ginny Weasley (yay!) but then breaks up with her for some "terribly noble reason" (her words) - that he has to save the world from Voldemort and can't have any attachments until that's through.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows picks up during the summer following, and focuses on the journey of Harry, Hermione and the now-single-and-ready-to-mingle (too many dashes?) Ron as they search first for Horcruxes and later for the Deathly Hallows, three symbols of Death's conquerability. I'm skipping a l0t, but a huge battle at the book's end finishes Voldemort, but not without many Wizarding lives lost - including Fred Weasley. Sad face :(
Both books were excellent the first time around, though I was probably a bit hurried reading them (book 6 came out right after I returned from abroad and I remember reading it aloud to my friend Caitlin on a road trip - she only agreed to drive the day after its midnight release if I read aloud in the car while she drove; book 7 I read between calls at my brand-new post-college job, which was kind of the suck.)
It was nice to get to take some time now and really savor the books. I'm really glad I did so ahead of the movie's release too - I had forgotten a ton, like Katie Bell's being cursed and flying into the air screaming, and the Muggle attacks that begin during Voldemort's rise to power. J.K. Rowling is one of the greats, and I really hope she gives fiction-writing another go, maybe with a new series to savor. Though, if I were her, I'd be paralyzed by the possibility of inadequacy and just stop.