HP book 5 and I have an interesting relationship. There are a lot of great characters and events. But then you have Harry in his teenage angst phase as well, which just isn’t that much fun. We get to know more characters because of the D. A. though and it’s interesting to see how Sirius acts in this book too (very similar Harry actually). So here are my favorite aspects of this book:
– Umbridge is an amazing character – she’s so much fun to hate!
– The D. A. obviously, mainly because it lets us get to know Luna (so lovable), Neville, and Ginny better (and can I take a moment to point out how awesome Ginny is here – she’s such a bad ass.)
– And though Harry is all angsty, I really enjoy that he starts to take some responsibility about his actions (though it’s still usually a little too late.) and he does have some good moments when he’s not being all “I saw Cedric die, I saw Voldemort rise, you don’t know how hard it is to be me.”
– Sirius’ death: though it is super sad. I don’t think Sirius was a great influence for Harry (I think Lupin is the best), he is rash, impulsive, moody, and holds a grudge like no other. I mean he obviously has the right to feel many of these things, but I think his restlessness encourages Harry to do a lot of careless things that get him and his friends into trouble. After Sirius is gone we see Harry become a little more thoughtful and careful about things because he is tired of seeing people he loves killed because of his actions (so it was a hard lesson, but one that Harry needed).
– One of my favorite things though is when we meet Neville’s parents. Finally he has a group of friends who know what he’s dealing with, and because they don’t put him down about it (like his Grandmother) he is able to channel that hurt from having his parents taken from him into his training and becomes pretty good at all the defensive spells! Even Harry admits at one point that it would be worse to have parents alive, who don’t know you, than loose them completely. Oh, Neville.
I think book 6 has become my favorite of the series, tied with book 4! I had forgotten a lot about what happened in this book, and it’s so cool to see J.K Rowling’s intricacies at work. All of the memories about Voldemort explain so much and really set us up for book 7 well. What made this one reach the top of my HP book list:
– Harry is finally completely right about his obsessive accusations, he has good instincts and his hunches usually prove to be true, but I appreciate that his target is not just Snape in this book. Yes, Draco is a Death Eater; you got it right for once!
– Harry and Ginny! Finally! I mentioned in book 5 that Ginny is a bad ass, well we see it even more here. She’s a great balance to Harry. She’s smart, but not as overpowering as Hermione (who can really get on my nerves sometimes); she has that Weasley sense of humor that Harry often needs to find reprieve; and she’s such a strong person. I don’t think you can be involved with Harry if you aren’t strong and independent (stupid Cho). The only downside is that they are only together for about a month before Harry has to go save the world, but like I said, Ginny is awesome, so instead of moping she does what she can to fight back too. The romance in general is done really well by Rowling, it’s there, and it’s a big part of Harry’s thoughts as he moves forward, but we never forget that there are bigger things than teen love going on.
– Snape. We all know I don’t love the guy, and never will, but having Harry use his old potions book I think is a really awesome way to introduce another side of Snape that we don’t see through Harry’s perspective (we saw a little with his Occlumeny lessons in book 5). Someone extremely smart, curious, but also balancing on the edge of falling in with a dangerous group, which of course he does.
This is such an awesome finale. Everything is wrapped up in a nice little package and I am not left feeling slightly empty – like with Mockingjay. My favorite element though is how much Harry has grown from the end of book 6 – and the series in general, he’s so much more confident in himself, and even in his moments of weakness he is able to recognize them. I think this is a common trend in this book for everyone though, everyone is grown up. Here are the moments that really stick with me:
– Last visit to the Burrow. First I like the balance of the wedding with their departure to hunt the horcruxes. We see that there are still people trying to fight Voldemort though simple acts of love like getting married and starting families, show a resilience and refusal to let their worlds crumble. Harry and Ginny get a better goodbye, and I think knowing that Ginny still has feelings for him is something that helps keep his spirits up while hunting, which he certainly needs at times. And the preparations that Ron and Hermione have gone to protect their families shows how dire the situation is, how much they believe in Harry, and how strong each of them are.
– All of their adventures are fun, but what I like most about their traveling around to find them is what we learn about the outside world. I think this is also one of the great skills of Rowling, being able to integrate the two worlds in a cohesive way – running into Dean and Ted Tonks, the connection to Aberforth, learning about Dumbledore’s past through the book, sanctuary at Shell Cottage . . . the list can go on and on.
– Neville! I think it’s so great that he has finally come into his own in this book. I also think that we see a glimpse of what kind of leader he would have he have had been as “the chosen one,” and I think he would have defeated Voldemort too.
– Epilogue, I have to admit, I did cry again when I finished this, in probably about the last 3 chapters actually. I really like how it sums up their lives though, and how the characters are still the same. Harry still shirks away from fame (the fact that his kids don’t know why people stare at him), Hermione is ridiculous but in the best way, Ron is all laughs, and Ginny is a force. I have to say though, I hate that harry named his kid Albus Severus. I am one of those who is still not a huge fan of Snape though. I mean he admits in the Pensive that he has never cared for Harry, he was more than willing for Voldemort to kill James and Harry and just wanted Lily – I’m sorry but if you truly love someone I would think you would want them to be happy, and having her husband and son murdered while she survived certainly would not have made Lily happy – I refuse to budge on this topic, and I would never have named a kid after him. I will give Snape credit for sticking around and helping though, he was brave yes, but worthy of Harry naming his son after – I don’t think so.
I am sad to set Harry down, and I will certainly have a Harry Potter hangover. I will probably make this a more usual re-read, every four years or so maybe. Until then, I am sure I will be able to find other books to help fill my need for fiction, though Harry will always have a special place just for himself – and Rowling will always dazzle me with her incredibly nuanced, yet simple writing.