The giant Deathly Hallows response list

This whole entry is a Deathly Hallows spoiler, so don’t read if you’re not done with the book!

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Right. This is going to be a very long entry.

Prompted by mycenae‘s Deathly Hallows response entry, which I found through jedifreac, I am producing my own list. I’ve been feeling dazed and lost since I finished the book, so maybe this will help me get it all out of my system.

My previous list of predictions seems like a good place to start.

0. The Veil…?: Dead people remain dead, though we will see them again in some other form.
There was massive speculation over whether Harry and Voldemort’s final battle would actually be behind the veil. I had hoped it wouldn’t, but was still almost disappointed to see so little of it. Do you suppose that whole King’s Cross chapter takes place behind the veil? I read someone’s theory saying the voices Harry and Luna hear behind the veil are those of people who have died but haven’t yet moved on, and that Dumbledore was one of those people who stayed behind because he still needed to meet up with Harry. It makes sense to me. And I was right about us getting to see dead people again; in fact, for being dead, we saw an awful lot of Dumbledore.

1. Harry: He will live but be hurt in some way OR he will die taking Voldemort with him. Either way, Voldemort dies.
Did not see the resurrection coming, but I’m so glad it happened. I found the chapter where Harry goes to his death tremendously moving — also his friends’ reactions afterward, when they think he’s died. Voldemort’s death was almost anticlimactic, which is great; he didn’t deserve to go out in heroic fashion.

So… does this make Harry the only person alive who has survived the Killing Curse four times?? (When his parents died; Priori Incantatem; the resurrection; the final rebound) That’s just insane.

2. Snape: He’s not a true Death Eater, nor a good person. For some reason he is loyal to Dumbledore (possibly to Dumbledore alone, not the whole Order). Also, for some reason, he feels compelled to preserve Harry’s life (and not just so Voldemort can kill him, as he suggested in his final flight in Book 6).
I was right about the logistics, though I’m still on the fence about whether Snape qualifies as a good person. The chapter where Harry reads Snape’s memories is my favorite in the whole series, because it was just so long in coming, and it was so gratifying to see the most accomplished Occlumens’s true feelings at last. I almost loved Snape after finding out about his unrequited love, but his memories cast him in such a prejudicially good light; I have to keep reminding myself that Snape was never truly a nice person, except to Lily and sometimes Dumbledore. I do like the almost-friendship he seems to have with Dumbledore. It’s nice to know Dumbledore was right to trust him, and that they were able to share secrets with each other.

I am glad Snape died the way he did, when he did.

3. Ron and Hermione: Will both live.
Well, they did, and I’m glad of that, but I never thought they’d play such a role in this book as they did. So is Hermione the most skilled witch EVER or what?! They would have died a hundred times over if not for her. I was tickled to death at how after the wedding the boys were all clueless, while Hermione not only had everything figured out, she’d packed their clothes. SO REALISTIC. The girls know this who have ever been on trips with boys!! They’d better show Hermione’s amazingness in the final movies, or I will be very angry. Hermione is so much more than just a token girl-power figure. In some ways I think she’s even braver than Harry.

As for Ron running out on them, I guess it had to happen, and maybe now he’ll finally be over himself. Watching his worst fantasies come to life was insane.

4. Ginny: Will live, and will do some serious ass-kicking. Far-out possibility that I would love to see happen: Ginny saves Harry.
Where was the ass-kicking?!?! We were promised some serious Ginny ass-kicking, and we never got to see it! RAAAA!!

5. Neville: I hope he will live, but I’m not sure. He will have some further face-off with Bellatrix Lestrange but I’m not sure he can manage to kill her single-handedly. If he lives, he may someday become a Hogwarts teacher.
I’ve always liked Neville, but I never imagined he could be as awesome as he was in this book. Neville, you are THE MAN. When he chopped off Nagini’s head I pumped my fist into the air, even though I was totally nervous and crying and sleep-deprived. How cool is that, that the recent movie actually hinted at his Room of Requirement prowess in this book? I was so pleased at that scene in the movie, and I am DELIGHTED at all his scenes in the book. When Harry is walking off to his death and includes Neville in the secret (sort of), and then Neville tells him, surely suspecting what Harry is going to do, “We’re all going to keep fighting, you know” — oooh, I was so proud.

Also: How cool is Neville’s gran??

6. Hagrid: I’m afraid he will die in an outrageously heroic blaze of protection and self-sacrifice. If he doesn’t, his sadness after all the deaths will be gut-wrenching, just like in the end of Book 6.
I am totally relieved Hagrid didn’t die. He had so many near misses. I was especially freaked out at Harry’s surrender scene, because it’s been clear since the very beginning that Hagrid will do anything to protect Harry, and I was afraid he was going to die at that moment trying to do just that thing. He certainly did try.

I was kind of right, too, about Hagrid’s gut-wrenching sadness, because after Harry “died” it was Hagrid’s grief we saw first. I loved when Harry put on the cloak in the last fight and Hagrid started bellowing, “WHERE’S HARRY?” because it just goes to show where Hagrid’s heart is. Here is all this massive fighting recommencing around him and his concern is what has happened to Harry, who is supposed to be already dead!

7. McGonagall: I think she will live, because she’s mostly stayed out of the line of danger until now. But if she gets drawn more deeply into the war, then I don’t know.
SO glad she lives, and SO glad we got to see her fight!! I loved watching her rally the suits of armor to defend the castle. I’ve always known there was a crazy super warrior behind that stern teacherish façade.

Also: Flitwick fighting (and his “‘You will do no more murder in this castle!”) was awesome too. He always gets short shrift so it was wonderful to get to see him do his best, albeit only for a little while.

8. Lupin and Tonks: Tonks, I think, will live (though possibly badly injured), and I think Lupin will live because of Tonks.
I knew these two would be together, but I didn’t think it would be in death. I was sad, but on the other hand they couldn’t have borne being parted, so at least they went together. And Lupin was so WEIRD at the beginning, it was hard to feel sorry for him. I knew he’d had a dreadful past, but he’d always been the voice of reason, so it was difficult to accept his rage and shortsightedness.

9. Moody: I think he’s had it.
Yop. That was always the way it was going to be, and I’m not sad, because he knew what he was getting into and he would have wanted to go out that way. I’m really glad Harry saved his eye from Umbridge, though. Hasn’t he been through enough, without having that last indignity thrust upon him?!

10. The rest of the Weasley family: Mr Weasley may die. Mrs Weasley, like McGonagall, has mostly stayed out of direct danger, but you never know. I think Bill and Charlie will be okay. Charlie may play a larger role in this book. If Percy dies, he will have had some sort of face-off with his family first, either a reconciliation or a final break. Fred and George will live (because if they die, so does Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, and we really can’t have that).
I AM SO GLAD MR WEASLEY GOT THE REPRIEVE. And that Mrs Weasley got to kick some Bellatrix ass. She’s always been the super-mom, so it’s not surprising she came out as the raging mother-beast after she witnessed her most vulnerable (in her mind) child being attacked. But… Fred!!!!! And even more so… GEORGE!!!!! What’s going to happen to him? And Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes?

Everyone thought we’d see Charlie because of the dragon, but he was barely there. Oh well. There was definitely no lack of Weasley presence here, except maybe Ginny.

Yay for Percy, though!!! And yay for the way Fred welcomed him back to the family… oh Fred. 😦 😦 I don’t think we can ever get over losing Fred.

Someone wrote that they think Percy is going to join George in the shop, and they’ll hang up a giant portrait of Fred that will never shut up. It’s a lovely idea, though it seems from the Epilogue that Percy is as nerdy as ever. Lee Jordan has more than proved his mettle in this book (“Potterwatch” was wonderful), but he and George definitely wouldn’t be the same without Fred.

11. Dobby and Kreacher: Kreacher is going to play a larger role in this book. Dobby will find yet another way to help Harry, which may possibly include getting killed trying to protect Harry.
I cried really hard at Dobby’s death. Some people don’t like him, but I always have. Of course he’s loony, but what can you expect from someone who’s served the Malfoys all his life?! His brave devotion to Harry has always been tremendous, and while it’s fitting he went out saving Harry and his friends’ lives, it was a shock that he died right when they seemed to have escaped danger. The gravedigging and eulogies made me weep. Thank God for Luna, no?

I enjoyed seeing Kreacher’s expanded role (and the vindication of all Hermione’s SPEW efforts), but I wasn’t entirely convinced that he could have made such a turnaround. I mean, it was fun seeing him urge on Harry’s appetite à la Mrs Weasley, but… really?? I understand he’s been lonely and deprived for a long time, and now he’s feeling grateful and rewarded, but… treacle tart, really???

12. The Malfoys: Draco will live and still be a prat, but no longer so unambiguously bad. His parents will not both survive.
I want to know what happened to the Malfoys after this. I didn’t think they would all live, but having gone through what they did, I’m sort of glad they did. By the end Draco was just reduced to a terrified person, which was not all that interesting (or surprising), but I was glad to see his parents finally realize what siding with Voldemort means for a family, and have the opportunity to remedy that.

I was a little disappointed to see in the Epilogue that Malfoy still seems as unpleasant as ever (though more subdued than his dad), though I guess that’s just life — he’s not going to do a Kreacher and suddenly become sweet just because the Trio saved his life twice.

13. Bellatrix: Evil witch must die! But she’ll wreak a lot more mischief before she goes, either in the form of killings or by doing something else huge for Voldemort.
She didn’t wreak nearly as much mischief as I thought she would, though she was still pretty damn crazy, especially when she almost killed Hermione. I’m glad Hermione was unconscious for that part. What I learned from her death, though: never take the time to taunt your enemies while you’re fighting them! She and Sirius both died that way, did you notice? Best just keep your mouth shut and duel.

More responses
Dumbledore’s backstory: Wow, crazy stuff. Does this mean Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore (sort of broody and not so sagacious-wizard-on-high) is actually somewhat appropriate (not that he’s been doing it on purpose)?

Aberforth: Awesome. Awesome. “It’s a goat, you idiot!”

Hedwig: I cried really hard. She was so grumpy at Harry! And it wasn’t her fault and she was vulnerable! And she was his pet!

Although… as a plot point, I see why she had to go — they could never have brought her Horcrux-hunting with them.

I’m glad the Harry and the Potters shirt I bought is the one with Hedwig on it.

The Deathly Hallows: SO confusing. And how could Dumbledore have predicted that the Trio would find out everything they did, with those ridiculously obscure hints he left them? Bah. Although I rather liked having the Elder Wand bit be important at the end… still… there was a hell of a lot of new stuff to introduce in this story, and I don’t know how they will manage the movie when it only barely made sense in the book.

Umbridge: Why couldn’t they have tortured her some more?!

The Dursleys: How cute was Dudley trying to thank Harry? I really want to see what happened when the Dursleys got let out of hiding, especially now that we know Petunia’s meanness toward Harry all these years came partly from jealousy.

Luna: She’s amazing, isn’t she? I am so pleased they have Evanna Lynch in the movies because this means we get her to look forward to again in the seventh one. I love her encouraging Harry to make a Patronus, and I really, really loved her making Ollivander feel better in the Malfoys’ basement. Their bond is really sweet.

Xenophilius Lovegood: How creepy is this man? How can his love for his daughter be so nice and yet so completely horrifying?

The Ministry: Okay this was so disturbing. In a way this book was kind of like… Jesus saves everyone from the Nazis. That statue in the Ministry, with all the Muggle bodies carved into it… creepy, just creepy and horrible. And hard to imagine, but I guess these regimes do spring up in this way.

Kingsley’s lynx bursting into the wedding: Jackie says this is the scariest scene in the whole book, and I agree that it was chilling beyond belief when it happened.

Also: Kingsley’s patronus is a lynx? AWESOME.

Long-dead Bathilda being the snake: Most skin-crawling moment in the book, EWWWWW.

Dawlish: Poor Dawlish is like a running joke now. It’s like… we need someone to bear the brunt of our schemes; let’s hex Dawlish. I hope poor Dawlish got a nice long vacation afterward, maybe even early retirement?

Dean: Good to see him standing up for Harry the way he did. I’ll be looking for his bio in the encyclopedia.

The Deluminator: Can we please find out sometime how this actually works and what it does?? I know it moves you around to the people you’re thinking of, but I’d like a better explanation than that.

Goblins: I do not like them.

The secret history of the Bloody Baron and (Helena!) Ravenclaw: Woah, never thought we’d see that.

The Ravenclaw door knocker: Hilarious. So nerdy. “Otherwise, how will you learn?” I wonder if this means I wouldn’t be in Ravenclaw after all (I’d like to think I’d be in Gryffindor, but I have yet to prove myself). I’d hate that door knocker SO MUCH.

The house-elves joining the fray: Seemed included only for the purposes of inducing cheering when it happens in the movie. How did Kreacher know what was going on, and why would he have joined in, besides that now he likes Harry?

Fiendfyre: So. SCARY. And… Crabbe???

Epilogue: I’m glad it’s there, but it was a bit silly and all jumbled together, like: “Just so you know, these people married these people and they had kids and their kids got together and it’s all happily ever after.” I am really really glad it’s there, but wish it could have been better written and not just a virtual confirmation list that the couples did stay together and Neville became the Herbology professor.

Overall, though, you know I loved the book. And making this long list helped me feel better, but I still don’t think it’s out of my system yet, so: COMMENT!!

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com. This post was originally restricted to my LiveJournal friends.]

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