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Harry Potter--Deathly Hallows discussion: SPOILERS!

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Themes I loved:
miracles and magic
second chances
gifts, and yet the importance of our choices--such a very big theme
hope
love

Cheers to Harry Potter--the Boy Who Lived!

It's been tough staying away from this thread. I'm in a Harry Haze right now, having just finished. This sums up how I feel, right now. I'm still not myself--the journey was immense and fulfilling.
#121 - July 28, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Got it! I guess my eyes were blurring near that end and I missed that the baby was Voldemort's soul. Thanks for the explanation.

I'm not certain I still understand that Voldemort could still be human and alive and standing (before the duel). It seems that he fractured his soul, then was nearly killed when he tried killing HP all those years earlier, and then spent 10 years regaining strength... But then the soul is destroyed, and there he is, still standing and ready to fight HP.

I'll let it go, though, because it's a great book and I enjoyed it (but felt that the first 1/2 was draggy... I mean, how long would it take three bright young wizards to come up with these plans? Three days, maybe... but months? They're smarter than that. Oh well...)

Kim

I think Voldemort had a tiny bit of his soul left, keeping him alive, and that portion couldn't be killed until all the hidden portions had been killed off. Also, I thought the thing in King's Cross was Voldemort himself. That was Voldemort's future, the only bit of him left should he die. That is why Harry encouraged him to feel remorse and heal his soul before the end of the duel. The thing in King's Cross startion was incapable of boarding a train and going on, meaning that Voldemort would be stuck in Limbo forever. ( Just my interpretation.)
#122 - July 28, 2007, 05:19 PM

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Well said Michelle, that is how I interpreted it as well.  Interesting your thoughts about its inability to get on a train and go 'on', makes total sense, I hadn't thought that much about it.  Though I also realized the 'baby' on the floor was the part of Voldemort that was left inside of him, since it was clear when Harry 'came to' that Voldemort had also been knocked out for the same period of time. 

I read that someone didn't like that Voldemort wasn't killed by Harry in the end, but by his own curse- conversely, I thought that was perfect and how it always should have been.  JK made it clear throughout the story that killing made your spirit unwhole.  Harry didn't kill Wormtail when he could have, which turned out to save him and kill Wormtail in the end.  The same thing happened with Voldemort.  Harry's willingness to sacrifice himself to Voldemort without a fight is what gave him the ultimate certain triumph over him in their final battle- and Voldemort, like Wormtail, ended up killing himself.  Perfect poetic justice, beautifully written.
#123 - July 28, 2007, 05:47 PM

I liked the way it ended too, Mandy, for the same reasons. I was a little disturbed by Harry, Ron, and Hermione using unforgivable curses, but I am glad that they didn't actually use the killing curse. It was nice to see Harry make it through with his soul intact, and I liked the fact that Riddle killed himself, especially considering that is what he had been doing all along--literally tearining himself apart in his quest for immortality.

I have enjoyed reading the different views on Snape. I must admit that I am in awe of the brilliance of that one character. He is so complex! The beauty of Snape is that he is not a good person. He is mean, resentful, unforgiving, and slightly sadistic (think of his treatment of Neville). However, he has two redeeming passions--his love of Lily, and his devotion to Hogwarts. I don't think that it matters whether or not Lily deserved his devotion; it was only important that it became Snape's saving grace. It made Snape a better person than he was--not wonderful, but better. Also while I agree that his obsession seemed creepy at first, I think it needed to be that powerful to drive Snape to the lengths that it did. Snape used himself up protecting Harry and Hogwarts (and he didn't even like Harry). He tore his own soul apart by killing Dumbledore at his request. Granted Dumbledore was already dying, but you could tell that it still cost Snape to do it. The courage of the man was incredible. His dying act was to give Harry the information he needed to defeat Voldemort. Despite all that, he remained a flawed, unpleasant person. I know people were upset that Snape didn't die a hero's death, but Snape didn't need a hero's death. He only needed to accomplish his task.

I didn't have any problem with Harry giving his second son the middle name of Severus. He obviously appreciated Snape's bravery, and I think he didn't want Snape to be lost and forgotten. I don't think it meant that he liked Snape, but he understood him and honored him for what he had done. Remember he saw himself and Snape as somewhat the same--the abandoned boys of Hogwarts. I also think it is a telling thing that Albus was the only one who inherited Lily's eyes.

I am happy that Harry did not remain at Hogwarts as a teacher or headmaster. I think it shows that he is whole enough and strong enough the move on from the school into the world. Hogwarts was home for Harry; it's important that he could leave it.

Overall, I liked the book, and I admire JKR for being able to write it. As a parent, I wish that she hadn't crossed over from MG to YA in the course of the series. My nine-year-old is reading the first book and I devoutly hope she gains a few more years before she reaches the final book. As a writer, I admire the supreme accomplishment of having written so compelling a story full of complex characters and a world that draws the reader in. Wonderful job, JKR.
#124 - July 29, 2007, 08:37 AM
« Last Edit: July 29, 2007, 08:41 AM by Michelle DP »

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As a parent, I wish that she hadn't crossed over from MG to YA in the course of the series. My nine-year-old is reading the first book and I devoutly hope she gains a few more years before she reaches the final book. As a writer, I admire the supreme accomplishment of having written so compelling a story full of complex characters and a world that draws the reader in. Wonderful job, JKR.

This is just in my experience as a nanny for many different children, not to say this is always true, but I think children are more aware of their reading levels than we think sometimes.  When I was a nanny for 4 girls, all 2 years apart, it was interesting to see how the oldest (9.5 at the time) devoured the first 3 books and lost interest in finishing Goblet of Fire somewhere in the first third.  She finished it and the other books this year (she is 12 now).  Her younger sister read the first two before stopping for awhile, and the next youngest sister enjoyed being read aloud to from the first, but got a little freaked out and realized she wasn't ready for the next just yet.  Other kids I have cared for have followed different patterns, depending on where they are coming from.  I care for 8 year old twins in a very wealthy family right now, and they are exposed to a lot of (maybe too much) culture as well as educated in private schools.  They have devoured all 7 books already.  I personally think this may be too early but... it's consistent with how they are being raised.  Interesting.
#125 - July 29, 2007, 11:14 AM

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Regarding the names of the children... Hugo, Rose and Victorie.... I couldn't help but make the Victor Hugo connection immediately... and I wonder if this poem has anything to do with it....        If not - it still seems appropriate, to me.  (and there is that JKR/Victor Hugo/Nicholas Flamel connection...)

THE GRAVE AND THE ROSE

        by: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

            THE Grave said to the Rose,
            "What of the dews of dawn,
            Love's flower, what end is theirs?"
            "And what of spirits flown,
            The souls whereon doth close
            The tomb's mouth unawares?"
            The Rose said to the Grave.
             
            The Rose said, "In the shade
            From the dawn's tears is made
            A perfume faint and strange,
            Amber and honey sweet."
            "And all the spirits fleet
            Do suffer a sky-change,
            More strangely than the dew,
            To God's own angels new,"
            The Grave said to the Rose.



I love that.  And think you may be on to something there.  Although it occurred to me that at the end of LOTR, Sam and his wife (now safe and content), named their daughter Rosie, so I wondered if there was a bit of an homage there.  And Dr. Who and LOST fans seem to think that Rose might come from the shows.

If it'd been Harry & Ginny, I'd suspect a family name (Lily and Petunia, after all, are in there somewhere). 
#126 - July 29, 2007, 01:14 PM

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Could it be possible that Rose and Hugo were Hermione's parents' names? They seemed familiar to me, but I wouldn't even have a clue which book they might be mentioned in. Or I could be totally wrong.
#127 - July 29, 2007, 02:04 PM

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Is anyone else confused about the (American) cover of the book?  What scene was that supposed to be??  Is that coliseum thing supposed to be Hogwarts?
#128 - July 29, 2007, 02:48 PM

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I love that.  And think you may be on to something there.  Although it occurred to me that at the end of LOTR, Sam and his wife (now safe and content), named their daughter Rosie, so I wondered if there was a bit of an homage there.  And Dr. Who and LOST fans seem to think that Rose might come from the shows.

If it'd been Harry & Ginny, I'd suspect a family name (Lily and Petunia, after all, are in there somewhere). 

Someone on my livejournal suggested that there's a hybrid rose called "Father Hugo's Rose" - and since Hugo and Rose are "hybrids" (wizard/muggle) there could be something to that, too... but then where's the Victorie?  Until JKR tells us different, I'm sticking with the Victor Hugo poem (tee hee!)  It wouldn't seem to plausible to me, except for the Nicholas Flamel connection... so, who knows?  Only JKR right now!
#129 - July 29, 2007, 04:32 PM
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Someone on my livejournal suggested that there's a hybrid rose called "Father Hugo's Rose" - and since Hugo and Rose are "hybrids" (wizard/muggle) there could be something to that, too... but then where's the Victorie?  Until JKR tells us different, I'm sticking with the Victor Hugo poem (tee hee!)  It wouldn't seem to plausible to me, except for the Nicholas Flamel connection... so, who knows?  Only JKR right now!

I just took Victoire to be named for Victory. If she's in her last year at Hogwarts, then it's possible that Fleur found out that she was pregnant shortly after all of the death eaters were mopped up and everything returned to normal. She could have resolved to name the baby after their victory over Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
#130 - July 29, 2007, 05:26 PM

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I just took Victoire to be named for Victory. If she's in her last year at Hogwarts, then it's possible that Fleur found out that she was pregnant shortly after all of the death eaters were mopped up and everything returned to normal. She could have resolved to name the baby after their victory over Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

I agree with the victory idea...and I personally thought that's why the poem "The Grave & The Rose"  worked so well... it's really about victory over death - and that's pretty much what Harry discovered - his own personal victory over the fear of death for sure. After all - he was willing to go back and finish the fight...even though he didn't have to...and he still could have been killed.   :)
#131 - July 29, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Rowling confirmed in a recent interview that Victoire was the oldest daughter of Bill & Fleur. 
#132 - July 29, 2007, 07:39 PM

How did the sword end up in the sorting hat in the end?  I thought the goblin still had it!

I think Dumbledore said it best when he told Harry that only a TRUE griffindor could pull that out of the hat.

I mean Nevil has had his doubts about belonging in Griffindor, just as Harry has, but not THIS puts it hands down that Nevil is in the right house.
Courage, honesty, and bravery.

#133 - July 29, 2007, 10:11 PM

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Is anyone else confused about the (American) cover of the book?  What scene was that supposed to be??  Is that coliseum thing supposed to be Hogwarts?

I took it to be the final battle scene between Harry and Voldemort in the Great Hall, although I think it was purposely vague to keep people from knowing the location/circumstances.
#134 - July 30, 2007, 07:43 AM

I've got a favorite line to post and I can't post it on the other thread because it contains a plot point so I thought I would share it here.

"He felt like asking them to show a little more respect for his privacy as they all began stripping off with impunity, clearly much more at ease with displaying his body than they would have been with their own."  :dr
#135 - July 30, 2007, 08:28 AM

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OK, just got back from vacation and finishing the book at 2 a.m.. So many different thoughts. Yes, I loved it, but (and I was afraid this would be the case) overall, I’m not as satisfied as I wanted to be.  (Please don’t throw any killing curses at me.)

ANTICIPATION:
Most of the surprising twists had already been guessed:
- Dumbledore ordered Snape to kill him
- Snape “loved” Lily
- HP was a horacrux

Other tantalizing hints fizzled. Harry’s muggle family were no more than muggles. Petunia had no deep dark secrets. Her knowledge of dementors came from eavesdropping. No ‘Wow’ moment there.

I’m happy that Neville took down the snake. That puts him right up there with HP, Ron, and Herm. But also in the same company as Crabbe, or Goyle or whichever one it was that accidentally burnt the tiara. So I guess destroying a horacrux isn’t that special after all. Based on what had been hinted at, I expected a specific special role for Neville, not just as one of the leaders of the DA.

And then of course there’s my biggest letdown…

SNAPE:
After book 6, I was very pro-Snape. But that was based on the promise that there was more to him, more to the story.  But in the end, Snape didn’t love Lily by any definition of mine. Love means wanting to see the other person happy, even if it’s not with you. That Snape was willing to let Harry and James die, as long as Lily was saved is useless. He would have preferred Lily alive and devastated than dead and happy that she had saved her son. Obession? Yes. Love? No. Fine, he was a fascinating complex character. But don’t go naming your kids after him, and go thinking he’s brave and made sacrifices. What sacrifices? He’d already lost the only person he ever cared about (in his own twisted way) In his role of double agent, he stuck with Volde when the Deatheaters were in charge and stuck with the good guys when they were in charge. What’s so dangerous about that? He didn’t sacrifice friends by pretending to side with Volde because he no longer had any friends to lose. I don’t even think it was that difficult for him to kill Dumbledore. If JK wanted to show this as the ultimate hard choice that Snape had to make, he should have shown Dumbledore taking little Snapey under his wing and showing him the love he had never gotten from his parents.


DEATHS:
I am impressed that with all the speculation, every death was still unexpected. Whoa!
- Never even considered Hedwig or Dobby. So sad! Hedwig was so early, it was an extra shock. Everyone giving Dobby articles of clothing…waaaa!
- Snape was a given but the way he died was a shock. Maybe that’s why JK did it that way. When that scene started, I thought that Volde suspected Snape but instead he killed his loyal servant.
- Mad-Eye: No one has mentioned him, but I found it disturbing that his body was never found. I guess the desecration that Umbridge did to his body by taking the eyeball was supposed to make things definite for us. But the more I think about it, the more think that this was deliberate on JK’s part. Real life doesn’t always have closure. Children disappear. Bodies aren’t identified in wartime. It’s disturbing, but it’s real.
- After George’s ear, I thought the twins were safe. Their connection of identicalness (is that a word?) was broken and that was to be their symbolic loss for the series. Yeah, she fooled me on that one.
- guess we should have anticipated Lupin and Tonks right after Harry was made godfather

RANDOM THNGS I LOVED:
-   Kreacher – the turnaround was absolutely brilliant and that Hermione was able to enlighten Harry
-   Radio broadcast
-   The kiss, and especially, Harry’s reaction
-   Although I wasn’t crazy about the epilogue, I’m relieved that this is how she ensured that the series couldn’t be continued. Give me a cheesy epilogue over a dead Harry any day.
-   Bank heist: very cool
-   Irony that Hermione is the one forced to attend the mudblood hearings
-   The fact that Harry is a better man than all those before him (including Dumbledore) who have tried to possess the deathly hallows
-   The complexities added to Dumbledore’s character and the fact that JK makes an attempt to justify Dumbledore not giving Harry more information in all seven books (necessary for plot but seemingly unrealistic for character) with Aberforth’s explanation that he was raised with secrets and lies.

RANDOM INCONSISTENCY:
What’s with Draco trying to grab Harry at the end? He refused to ID Ron and Hermione earlier – a dangerous lie that would quickly have been discovered – but then without being forced to by Volde he acts of his own accord to take down Harry. Huh?

DREAMS:
Oh yeah, except last night it morphed into what happened to Buffy once her series ended. Weird mind I have.
#136 - July 30, 2007, 11:03 AM

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Did anyone watch JK Rowling on Dateline last night? I enjoyed the interview. I just wish I could have heard more of it. I know they probably edited out some great stuff that would be of interest to us but might not be as interesting to the casual viewer.

I loved how Rowling's sister told her if she killed Hagrid she would never forgive her. Apparently Hagrid was at some point considered for death but Rowling wanted that scene at the end with Hagrid carrying Harry's body back to the castle. She chose Fred over George because he was always the leader in their escapades.

I went back last night and read the end of book six. Dumbledore's death scene takes on so much more meaning now that I know some of the details. I found it even more moving that I did the first time I read it.

LindaB
#137 - July 30, 2007, 12:41 PM

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She had a live chat on bloomsbury.com today, too. My son and I signed on, but our questions were not among the 120,000! questions receive that she answered. That was okay, as the questions she did answer were pretty cool. I think it's already archived if you want a look.

And yes, Michelle, that was a fabulous line!
#138 - July 30, 2007, 01:03 PM

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If you go to MSNBC, and click on the Harry Potter front page link on the left (I kid you not), then scroll to the bottom of that page, there are links for all the interviews she did -- Meredith Viera, Dateline, etc.
#139 - July 30, 2007, 01:22 PM

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According to CNN story about the chat with Rowling, Ron doesn't work with Harry, instead he works with George in the joke shop and Ginny played on an all female Quidditch team until she had kids.


http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/07/30/potters.afterlife.ap/index.html

Linda
#140 - July 30, 2007, 02:07 PM

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Mad-Eye: No one has mentioned him, but I found it disturbing that his body was never found.

Yeah, I thought that, too.  Usually in a book/movie, when you can't find the dead body, it's not really dead.

After George’s ear, I thought the twins were safe. Their connection of identicalness (is that a word?) was broken and that was to be their symbolic loss for the series. Yeah, she fooled me on that one.

I thought the exact same thing!


ETA: That article conflicts with another article I read that said how Harry and Ron both turned into Aurors and revolutionized the corrupt Ministry.  It didn't say anything about George.  Did she change her mind or what?
#141 - July 30, 2007, 02:40 PM
« Last Edit: July 30, 2007, 02:43 PM by laurenem6 »

According to an article that appeared on Yahoo News today, JKR said that George and Ron teamed up to run the joke store, and that Harry and Kingsley worked as aurors.
Luna apparently, became a famous naturalist, and married someone named Newt, who was a famous wizard who traveled the world to discover new creatures.

buglady
#142 - July 30, 2007, 06:15 PM

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According to MSNBC and the Meredith Vieria interview -
excerpt from MSNBC website... "Harry, Ron and Hermione
We know that Harry marries Ginny and has three kids, essentially, as Rowling explains, creating the family and the peace and calm he never had as a child.

As for his occupation, Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic. After all these years, Harry is now the department head.

“Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department,” Rowling said. “They are now the experts. It doesn’t matter how old they are or what else they’ve done.”

Meanwhile, Hermione, Ron’s wife, is “pretty high up” in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite laughing at the idea of becoming a lawyer in “Deathly Hallows.”

“I would imagine that her brainpower and her knowledge of how the Dark Arts operate would really give her a sound grounding,” Rowling said.

Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t join the same Ministry of Magic they had been at odds with for years; they revolutionize it and the ministry evolves into a “really good place to be.”

“They made a new world,” Rowling said."

She goes on to talk about Luna and Neville, too - If you good JK Rowling and click on the msnbc link, there are several articles, including the complete text of the Meredith Vieria interview.
#143 - July 30, 2007, 06:39 PM
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One of my favorite lines, too, Michelle! I loved that part. IT's be hilarious in the movie. (grin)
AMY
#144 - July 30, 2007, 07:01 PM

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Is anyone else confused about the (American) cover of the book?  What scene was that supposed to be??  Is that coliseum thing supposed to be Hogwarts?

I've thought about this too and have no answers!  I don't think it looks or reflects the great hall in any way.  I'd be interested to find out from the illustrator what it is actually supposed to be.
#145 - July 30, 2007, 11:13 PM

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part of transcript of JKR interview July 29th in Edinburg on Dateline (source: msnbc)

"Jo Rowling fills in some of the blanks in the epilogue for her fans.

Chelsea: In the end … you tell us that Neville is a professor at Hogwarts. What do-- Harry, Hermione, and Ron do?

J.K. Rowling: Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department in-- at the Ministry of Magic.  So they-- I mean, they are now the consummate-- they are experts.  It doesn't matter how old they are or what else they've done.

So Harry and Ron lead the way in recreating the new Auror Department.  And by the time-- 19 years later -- I would imagine that Harry is heading up that department, which is not corrupt in any way.  It's-- it's a really good place to be.  And Hermione …  I think she's now pretty high up in the Department for Magical Law Enforcement.

Where I would imagine that her brainpower and-- and her knowledge of how the dark arts operate would really give her a, you know, a sound grounding.  So they're all at the ministry but it's a very new ministry.  They made a new world."

Not sure where yahoo source came up with Ron working with George - but here JKR definitely says that Harry & Ron "lead the way in recreating the new Auror Department..."  and she says, "So they're all at the ministry but it's a very new ministry..."



#146 - July 31, 2007, 07:58 AM
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I just finished HP. Like some others, I wanted to savour the last book, so I resisted the urge to devour it too quickly ... as much as I could anyway.  :reading2:

I haven't read reviews of any HP books recently or in the past. I haven't lurked or discussed theories about the series or characters. I haven't been thinking about or getting terribly excited about the release of book seven. I approached The Deathly Hallows as someone who had read all the previous books once and could remember the main characters, basic plot lines and some sundry details.

For me, even though book seven was persistently dark, I was fully satisfied. A good old fashioned irreverent chuckle here and there would have been an improvement, IMO. Thank god the Weasley twins were in a couple scenes. I don't want to repeat what so many others have already said. I agree with much of what's been said here.

In an nutshell, Rowling did a fine job of fulfilling my expectations for both the book and the series.


Is anyone else confused about the (American) cover of the book?  What scene was that supposed to be??  Is that coliseum thing supposed to be Hogwarts?

I don't know if the American cover is the same as the Canadian cover. The front cover on mine is definitely the scene from the Lestranges vault at Gringotts. The cursed treasure is multiplying around Harry, Ron and Hermione, and a barely visible Griphook is clinging to Harry's back wielding the Sword of Gryffindor. 
#147 - August 01, 2007, 10:13 AM
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 03:57 PM by TinaMack »

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Basically I loved it. So, so good.

I'm glad that some of the themes hinted at in Half Blood Prince were developed so well: the racism/WW II thing, the horcruxes (which I didn't much like before; *now* it all makes sense), the use and misuse of power. Lots of depth there.

Some of the scenes were very cinematic (the breakout from Gringrotts--WOW!). I'll look forward to the movie, but I'll have to ask dh to warn me about certain other scenes where I'll have to close my eyes because they'll be too scary. (Like Chamber of Secrets).  ::)

A few of my predictions turned out to be true or true-in-a-way (hehe, Dumbledore made an appearance!) but there were still lots of surprises. Dobby! Kreacher! Hermione's activism and how Ron finally takes it seriously.

Here's something I'm too dense to figure out:  What is the strange object Harry sees when he visits with Dumbledore? That Dumbledore tells him not to look at too closely ?***

And an observation (courtesy of dh, who hasn't read the books but has seen the movies, and who heard my description of the horcruxes): The concept of the horcrux is similar to something in Star Trek. Not as a way to escape death or avoid your enemies, but the "a piece of your soul" thing, especially when done involuntarily. In Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, Spock dies without any Vulcans nearby to pass on his Katra to. When a Vulcan dies, his Katra has to be handed to another Vulcan. Lacking any Vulcans, Spock passes his Katra to Dr. McCoy, who doesn't realize it at the time.

And still more...I found lots of Christian allusion in this book. (I'm not Christian, by the way). How ironic that some Christians want Harry Potter banned, when it could be seen as another Narnia. Although, to be fair, this isn't obvious until Book 7.

I'll be rereading this one, for pleasure and to study it for writing techniques.

*** (Edited to add: I just read the thread above, and I've found the answer. Glad I wasn't the only confused reader.)
#148 - August 01, 2007, 01:41 PM
« Last Edit: August 01, 2007, 02:35 PM by Owl »
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I don't know if the American cover is the same as the Canadian cover. The front cover on mine is definitely the scene from the Lestranges vault at Gringotts. The cursed treasure is multiplying around Harry, Ron and Hermione, and a barely visible Griphook is clinging to Harry's back wielding the Sword of Gryffindor. 


Our cover looks nothing like that!  Yours sounds super cool, I want to see it!!  :reading2:  For an idea of what ours looks like check out sites like check the mugglenet or pottercast websites.
#149 - August 02, 2007, 12:06 AM

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The 'Canadian' cover is the UK cover ... it's the same one that we got her in Australia.  Actually from what I've seen everywhere in the world seems to have the UK cover except for America.
#150 - August 02, 2007, 02:15 AM

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