Harry Potter #7
Harry Potter is a wizard who has made a very serious and difficult decision: dropping out of school to bring the most vile wizard of the age down – Lord Voldemort needs to be stopped, and Sybil Trelawney’s prediction tells that one of them will have to cease to exist. Harry begins to make preparations for that which he needs to do. His best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger insist that they will accompany Harry on his mission that their deceased headmaster Albus Dumbledore set him on – find the Horcuxes that Voldemort stored sections of his soul in and destroy them. Ex-Auror Mad-Eye Moody perishes in Harry’s escape plan from his aunt and uncle’s home, and many more people are injured. The Horcrux journey is hastened phenomenally after the new Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, brings Harry, Ron and Hermione the things that Dumbledore bequeathed them in his will, but is murdered by Voldemort’s Death Eaters soon after and launch an attack on Ron’s family home, The Burrow. Professor Severus Snape, Dumbledore’s vanquisher, has now taken up post of headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and there are now Death Eaters on staff. Rumours about the type of man that Dumbledore was run rampant, and Harry realizes that he didn’t really know anything about his hero, and is afraid the vile rumours may be true.
Harry, Ron and Hermione make it out of the Death Eater attack by the skin of their teeth and Hermione has been packed and ready to go for days. They go back to Harry’s deceased godfather’s house, which now belongs to him. Within Grimmauld Place, they make their plans to get into the Ministry of Magic to gain access to a locket, the real Horcrux that Regulus Black stole from Voldemort’s hiding place and sent home with the house elf Kreacher, who is now serving Harry. Mundungus Fletcher stole the locket and the horrifyingly terrible Dolores Umbridge got her hands onto it. Harry needs it to weaken Voldemort, but their break in at the Ministry of Magic hardly goes smoothly, and the three make a run for it the moment they have the Horcrux, but lose Grimmauld Place as their hideout, and so they end up trekking cross country, hunting for more Horcruxes. They soon become dispirited when it seems the gifts that Dumbledore left Harry, Ron and Hermione are useless, and they are not getting anywhere in terms of discovering new Horcruxes or how to even get rid of the one that they have, seeing as they have nothing to destroy it with.
Ron eventually deserts Harry and Hermione, and Hermione is particularly crushed by this. The two make way to Godric’s Hollow, where Harry’s family was murdered when he was a child, and where Albus Dumbledore, too, suffered atrocities. However, in Godric’s Hollow they are attacked by Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, and barely make it out, seconds before Voldemort himself arrived to kill Harry. Before arriving at Godric’s Hollow, Hermione finds a symbol written into the book that Dumbledore left to her, and in the town they find the same symbol on a tombstone, and Harry recalls seeing it on Xenophelius Lovegood’s necklace earlier in the year. Setting up camp, Ron returns, led by a Patronus doe, and Harry discovers the sword of Godric Gryffindor, which they immediately use to destroy the locket.
Set on ending it all, they visit Xeno Lovegood, who sells them out to Death Eaters, and they make a narrow escape, though they have learned of the Deathly Hallows now – they are there to master death. Hermione’s logical brain will not accept anything of the sort, though Harry wonders if that is what Voldemort is hunting, and why he has kidnapped two wandmakers, to learn more of the Elder Wand. Irrespective as to what is happening, Harry needs to start working faster to protect the wizarding community that is supporting him, and to stop the death toll rising anymore. Everything that can go wrong seems to start going wrong the moment that Harry has discovered what he needs to do and how he will go about doing it, and the trio’s plans constantly need to be readjusted. The Horcruxes need to be extinguished so that Harry can meet Voldemort on the battlefield as an equal.
Will Harry be able to recover and destroy all the Horcruxes before he faces Voldemort? Will Harry be adequately prepared when he faces Voldemort, or will he be captured by other means, and die without fulfilling his destiny? Will Snape continue to torture the students of Hogwarts? Will Harry ever see Ginny, the love of his life, again? Can Harry end the pain, suffering and terror that has wrought the wizarding community, bring it all to an end?
It all ends here, and what a damn spectacular ending it was, too. This book is three distinct different parts for me: the decision, the travel, the war. The first third and last third are great, but that whole section in the middle got a bit long at times, but never really boring. It helped a lot in the sense of bringing everyone in to the desolate feeling that Harry, Ron and Hermione must have been feeling. Everything about this book had that feeling of finality to it, a distinctly defiant hope, but at the same time a massive amount of certainty. Voldemort finally taking the Ministry was long awaited and well received, and Dolores Umbridge still remains one of the most evil literary characters of all time – such a foul woman. The death toll was high in The Deathly Hallows, and though I understand the concept of there being casualties of war, this had so many places where I wondered if I could bear another person dying. I really enjoyed how J.K. Rowling wrote about a romance with Harry and Ginny, spilling over from the previous book, but never making the romance an obsession or the central point. Neville Longbottom made me so damn proud in this book, I loved it. Discovering things about the mysterious Dumbledore’s past was very rewarding yet very shocking at the same time. Kreacher provided me unknowable amounts of laughter in this book what with his drastic attitude change. The danger that was imminent was ever present in the book, and I enjoyed the way this book was written. Rowling was writing again, not the confused start she gave The Half-Blood Prince. This story was filled with joy, pain, suffering, heartache, hope and love it was just incredible. Rowling finds a way to reel you in, no matter what. This was the best way to have wrapped up a series, and is well worth going through the entire collection to get to. It was a fantastic journey to make again, and something that I most certainly will embark upon time and time again in the future.
Snape’s death was a horrible thing to experience, and his memories in the pensieve were heart-wrenching and painful. I thought the significance was brushed over a little bit, but at the same time the emotional charge behind Snape is just beautiful. He really grew to be one of my most favourite characters, who also had a death that made me pine. Fred’s death, too, was a damn shame, and was not on. The final war that raged by the end was amazing, and while it had moments that made you smile, it was overall a very dramatic affair, something we had been waiting years to finally encounter.