SEVERE SPOILERS FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Before I start my obligatory lists of things that I liked and things that I didn't like (with a new installment of things that amused the fuck out of me), I would just like to say that Rowling fails at having an original ending. This, surprisingly enough, does not have anything to do with the fact that I do not like her one bit. This has to do, in fact, with fanfiction.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest whore for fanfiction. I will read anything and everything, as long as it's good. And sometimes it doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be interesting. And, as we all know, when I find a fandom, I find the fic to go with it.
I first read the Harry Potter series when the Prisoner of Azkaban was still new, back in the sixth grade. Sixth grade was also the fateful year in which I discovered the magical world of fanfiction. Having discovered FF.net (after finding a link to it on a Star Wars site), I found myself with a reservoir of fic for just about anything I would want to read about. I started reading Harry Potter fanfic in the seventh grade.
I started with the normal fics. Harry and Hermione, Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny... straight fics. I still read straight fics back then. I have since really only read slash fics, but if there's a good plot and it's worth reading, I will read it. And let me tell you, I have read far too many ways for Harry Potter to kill Voldemort, to live out his life after Hogwarts, to die at the hands of the Dark Lord... I have read the deaths of every major character (some of which were quite gruesome) and I have read just about every perversion you could possibly imagine (and then some).
Rowling's book held no surprises for me, in terms of plot. You could look at only a few fanfics and see her ending splintered into several bits. So I was not surprised that Harry died and came back. I was not surprised that Fred died. I was not surprised that Percy came back, or that Dobby died, or that Neville took charge of the DA, or that Narcissa wasn't a bit of decoration for the Malfoy family, or that they needed objects from each of the Hogwarts founders, or any of that. The fanfic writers have all thought of these and more. Many of them thought of these before the big hype books (4, 5, 6, and 7) were even written.
Even Gabbers, who barely reads fanfic, said that it felt like Rowling had just taken a look on the internet to write this book.
In that respect, it was a little bit disappointing. She's managed to throw huge twists at us in the past couple of books; twists that I have seldom found competition for in the world of fic. I was expecting something not expected, but nothing surprised me.
On the other hand, even though I hate Rowling and I've been dreading what she's going to mess up this time, I felt comfortable reading it. I didn't feel rushed to find out what happens and... I don't know. It just kind of felt like I was just chilling with my fics. I kind of liked it.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way. My lists!
-Things that I Did Not Like-
The Ted and Terry Approach
It felt like Rowling had taken Ted and Terry's (script-writers for Pirates of the Caribbean) approach in dealing with characters that were just kind of hanging there. She killed a lot of people off, but didn't really do much with their deaths. Tonks and Remus were used a little bit at the end with the Hallow stuffs, but other than that, not really. And George should have gone mad trying to avenge his twin. Seriously. They're practically one person and he's just lost his other half. He should have killed some of those fuckers.
Severus' death, of course, left me quite sad. I feel like there were ways for him to live and the book could have continued on almost unaltered except for that.
Hedwig's death, completely unnecessary and I still don't see the point.
And then there's also the matter of not using the living plot-driving people and objects. Like Draco. He just kind of hovers into the story every once in a while, and then he turns out to be a little bit important at the end, but she could have done so much more with him, especially because of the doubt and fear of Voldemort that he felt in the last book. And he was only really portrayed as a spoiled, scared little boy in this book, but I think his character has real bravery and courage and cunning that Rowling didn't bother to persue in the slightest.
Also, the end of Voldemort would have been so much cooler with the sword of Gryffindor. Like, if Voldie stabbed Harry, he died, came back, and killed Voldie with the sword still wet with his blood. That would have been fucking cool. And there's been a steady stream of HEY THIS SWORD IS IMPORTANT since it was pulled from the Sorting Hat, and it was just kind of stolen. Bleh.
Personally, I think she's a waste of space. There was really no point in her being brought into these later books. She's not really a help to anyone.
Did anyone else think it was silly that the Death Eaters completely took over the government in so short a time? I did.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's.... Voldemort?
What a stupid ability to have when there are plenty of other things that can make you fly. And everyone was so freaked out about it.
The Unrequited Loving Side of Sears
Or Severus, rather. Way to make the best character a lovesick and heartbroken fool. There was none of the snarky sarcastic Snape that we have all grown to know and love in his memories. It was awful. Seriously. I mean, begging Voldie to save Lily? Fuck no. Screw that shit. Why did she feel that was necessary? He could have been himself and still been friends with Lily. He still have still been in love with Lily without changing his entire persona. *pukes all over Rowling hardcore*
Most Pointless Epilogue Ever
This book would have had a fantastic ending if she had left off the god damn epilogue. Fuck that shit. The last line of the last real chapter had a nice Lord of the Rings ending feel to it. It was good. I would have given props to Rowling for it.
BUT FUCKING NO. YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME HATE YOU MORE, DON'T YOU?
I've always hated it when Harry has a million children. ALWAYS. If that boy is going to have kids, it shouldn't be more than two, and if there are, they should be adopted because he knows what it's like to be a damn orphan. Fuckers.
And I've never liked Harry/Ginny or Ron/Hermione much. Ron/Herm I used to like, but it gets old. There was no need to rub it in our faces.
And Draco's their friend (-ish like aquaintance?) now? Where was anything to suggest that? I mean, I'm all for Draco and the Golden Trio being in proximity to each other because there's more opportunity for my brain to go RON/DRACO YAY, but.... what? Yeeeah. Screw that.
Also, Albus Severus Potter is the worst combination of names ever. Harry Potter, you should kill yourself for that. If you're going to name your children after dead war heroes, use one name at a time. James and Albus are expected names, but don't add Severus' to either of them. Severus is one of those names that is difficult to pair with other names and it should not be attempted with ordinary-ish sounding names. Never.
-Things That I Did Like-
Snape Is Innocent
Fuck yeah. So incredibly happy about that. I was afraid that she would fuck everything up by having him be actually a Voldie supporter, especially in that first chapter when he tells Voldie about the PLAN. Yeah. But he is innocent, and that is a happy thing for Sev fans everywheres.
Also, hand in hand with that, Draco is also innocent. And not an evil bastard.
I TOLD YOU.
Take that, anyone who thought that all Slytherins are evil. Take that hard in the ass.
Return to Hogwarts
Even though they didn't go to school, they went to Hogwarts which was good. I wasn't sure if they were going to go there at all. It really wouldn't have been Harry Potter without Hogwarts.
I've been missing him a lot since the movies were released and I was just very happy to see him in this book. 8D
Student Fortress of Death
All the teachers and students and creatures uniting to defending a giant fucking magical castle against an army of villains? Fuck yeah. I'm always up for some of that. :D
DRAGON. HAPPY HAPPY TIMES FOR ME.
And the return of Grawp was good times. And goblin involvement was great.
HOUSE ELVES WIELDING KNIVES FOR THE WINS.
It was interesting, all that stuff about wand ownership and how wands function and stuffs. I was happy with it.
She's always been a mysterious character, simply because there wasn't really much of her before. I was very happy that she ended up just as powerful and cunning as her husband, and she wasn't just a pretty trophy wife. I very much liked that she genuinely loved her family and that she tried to keep them from harm as much as possible. It's not often that Narcissa is portrayed as a nurturing person, and I think it was good that it turns out that she is.
-Things That Amused Me Greatly-
"Vot," he said, draining his goblet and getting to his feet again, "is the point of being an international Quidditch player if all the good-looking girls are taken?"
I must have laughed for a good ten minutes.
"There," said Hermione, "how does he look, Harry?"
It was just possible to discern Ron under his disguise, but only, Harry thought, because he knew him so well. Ron's hair was now long and wavy; he had a thick brown beard and mustache, no freckles, a short, broad nose, and heavy eyebrows.
"Well, he's not my type, but he'll do," said Harry.
A crack at the slashers, perhaps? 8D It was stupid o'clock. I was very VERY amused.
"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
FUCKING YES. THE TRUE WRATH OF MOLLY WEASLEY.
Also, McGonagall's army of school desks equals a super win.
So, OVERALL, I approve. I hate the epilogue and I don't like that a bunch of the characters died, but, generally, I enjoyed it.
I'm so happy that I liked it. Even though it was ridiculous. 8DDDDDDDDDD