Friday, May 17, 2013

HP Readalong ~ Deathly Hallows 1-10

So I've spent most of the day thus far listening to Deathly Hallows on audiobook to catch up because I was so distracted by the wonder of being DONE with graduate school and being able to read whatever I wanted whenever I wanted that I got totally distracted by Kindred and completely forgot about Harry Potter until yesterday.  And then I got distracted again and listened straight through Chapter 11.  Oops.  Anyway, we're up to the seventh book, which means that we're almost done and that is sad.  Though I'm not going to lie, I'm a little excited to not have my blog totally dominated by Harry Potter for much longer because I do read other stuff, like books by Juhmpa Lahiri that I just so happen to be giving away AND I've extended the giveaway to tomorrow because, well, I just didn't get around to it today (how'd you like that transition?).  So go enter!  Happy Harry Potter Day!

So before I get into all the sads and Dudley being a real human being and whatnot, I need to say it - the plan to get Harry out of Privet Drive is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read.  Why make seven Harrys when they could just turn the real Harry into someone else and totally confuse the Death Eaters into not killing anyone?  OR, why not turn the protectors into Harry Potter so that they can protect themselves and their charges better?  OR, why not transform the whole lot into Muggles and have them stroll out of Privet Drive?  OR, why not just shove Harry into the Dursleys' trunk and than apparate him away from a different, non-protected point?  OR...we could do this all day.  Suffice it to say that I think this giveaway plan is strong on drama and danger and weak on strategy and logic.  Just wait until we find out whose idea it was and we'll all really be confused.

AND, to make it even worse, Hedwig DIES.  WTF, JKR?  That is clearly a moment designed to make us cry confusedly because, like Cedric's death, it happens so suddenly that it takes a minute for the brain to catch up, and also to make us to feel HORRIBLE about ourselves because when real human being Charity Burbage was summarily executed and EATEN BY A SNAKE a few pages earlier we were all, how sad, that Voldy is quite the jerk and now, when a freaking BIRD is abruptly murdered, we are all
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And then, a few pages later, when we find out Moody was killed, we are all Ho hum, I'd cry about this except I HAVE NO TEARS LEFT.  Fresh out, I tell you.

Totally random aside, but every time I listen to this audiobook (which has happened more times than I'm ready to admit), I get really confused by the epigraphs at the beginning and have to check to make sure I'm listening to the right book.  Because, yes, I would have LOVED epigraphs to every book, but starting epigraphs with the seventh and final book is just a little silly and inconsistent and really?  Aeschylus?  It's a little jarring.

So Harry has his moment with the Dursleys when it is confirmed that they are indeed giant assholes, until Dudley proves to have a real, human, non-hairy heart and we're all like aww.  Then he gets to the Burrow and Ron is being an asshole to his mom, as ever, and she is dealing with her fear and anxiety by being crazy and controlling and we all totally get it.  Meanwhile, Hermione has put a spell on her parents so that they will forget her very existence and move halfway across the world where maybe, one day, she may be able to find them again if, you know, she SURVIVES and we're all what a clever girl you are Hermione!  And that is totally effed up.  I'm so glad the director of the movie realized that and showed this to be a horrifyingly sad thing.
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On a lighter note, Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches - "and it's not all about wandwork either" (133)!  I feel like this is the most awkward book ever to give your emotionally reticent best friend who just broke up with your sister, but it is also hilarious and I love Ron's pointed efforts to, you know, NOT be an asshole, and his approval of Harry's apparent use of the techniques outlined on his own mother (by which I mean being a decent person and complimenting her).  Speaking of Mrs. Weasley, and back to the tears, Mrs. Weasley gives Harry the traditional wizard coming-of-age gift, a watch.  SO SWEET.  Especially since Harry probably wouldn't even have known he was missing out if she hadn't given it to him, but she just cares so much about him that she wanted him to have it anyway.  Speaking of Harry's birthday gifts, is it weird that EVERY Weasley AND the Delacours give Harry a gift?  It's weird, right?  As far as we know, Harry never gives ANY of these people gifts, and how did the Delacours even know to bring him something?  Were they cordially invited to the wedding of their daughter, but more importantly the birthday of some teenager they never met before who is the questionable hero of a different country?  Weird.

Did anyone else find the bit during the wedding, when the ceremony turns into the reception, to be really unnerving?  I mean, Auntie Muriel can barely stand up and most of the ladies are probably wearing heels and here there are chairs flying about and floors changing substance and all sorts of extremely shaky things going on.  Also, are sandwiches wedding food in England?  For a casual wedding sure, but this seems to be a rather fancy affair.
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Last point and then I think I'll leave it here for this week as I've done all the sobbing I can for one day: where the hell would Harry and Ron be without Hermione??  Never was this so clear as when they had to flee the wedding and Harry's all man, I wish I'd brought my invisibility cloak and I really wish I wasn't so awkwardly dressed and Hermione's all, no worries, I'VE GOT EVERYTHING WE COULD EVER POSSIBLY NEED.  What was Harry's plan?  No, seriously, what did he think he was going to do when he didn't even have basics like eating and sleeping covered.  It's like - I don't know what it's like.  I have literally never been that unprepared for anything in my whole life.  Maybe like going to the grocery store while intentionally leaving your list and money at home, time a million?
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Here's to next week's chunk being less emotionally draining and also slightly more logical.  In the meantime, don't forget to enter my giveaway!


  1. Yay to being done with grad school!!!

    I also listened to this on audiobook and was all kinds of confused when Dale starting quoted Aeschylus. Then I tried to remember if the other books started this way or if I blocked it all out.

    It was weird that Fleur's family gave Harry birthday gifts. I mean, nice of them and all, but very strange.

    Harry and Ron would have died nine times over if it wasn't for Hermione. She's the best.

    1. :]

      She IS the best! Seriously, they wouldn't even have made it to Tottenham Court Road without her.

  2. I don't remember the ceremony/reception transition in the movie, but when I was reading it...ALL I could think was how incredible that would be. Ceremony and reception in the SAME location with no setup/breakdown time? I can't even.

    And you are absolutely right about the Burbage (meh), Hedwig (WHYYYYY), Mad-Eye (huh) emotional journey. I'm just really glad we all shared this unreasonable reaction.

    1. I think they might have skipped the ceremony in the movie... Incredible, yes, but please let those of us who hate to have things flying at their faces step outside first.

  3. 'strong on drama and danger and weak on strategy and logic' - sorrrrt of this whole series.

    Also, next week's chunk is the Interminable Camping and Bitching At Each Other chunk, which I find exhausting to read.

    1. Yeah, pretty much. So much illogic. I don't mind the interminable bitching. Annoying, sure, but it seems about right.

  4. Congrats on grad school!

    I read your note on Dudley as "non-human dairy heart" and I was like wait, what does she even MEAN. And then I re-read it and realised I'm an idiot who can't read apparently.

    I cried SO MUCH at the scene with Hermione's parents at the film. It was such a great idea to do that with the photos. Although do you think the next time they walked past they were like "why do we have so many empty frames on our mantel?"

    1. Thank you! Lol, I misread things ridiculously like that too. It's all good!

      I agree, that would be weird. Maybe she hid those ones away? But yeah, that was definitely one of the saddest parts of the series for me and it wasn't even in the book!

  5. Yay, Jennifer! Take that, grad school.

    Aw, Dudley! I really want to know what happens to that kid.

    Hermione, good crap. I can't believe Harry didn't even have his cloak with him. C'mon, dude.

    1. Thanks! :]

      I know, I'm so mad that we don't find out what happens to the Dursleys. Or even Dedalus Diggle (best name EVER) - how he fares would be a good clue!

    2. Is Diggle the one whose house gets burned down in this next section? I think it does...but he's fine, apparently.

  6. I'm guessing the Delacours brought presents because Mrs. Weasley mentioned it was going to be Harry's birthday, because the Delacours are lovely people, and because Fleur and Gabrielle have talked all about Harry and that time he saved Gabrielle from the terrifying mermaids. That seems fine.

    OH THE WATCH. I was so heartrent when Mrs. Weasley gave him her brother's watch. Cause I am pretty sure the brother is dead. She gave her dead brother's watch to Harry. That was really, really, really sweet and good of her.

  7. COngrats on grad school. Yay!

    They were probably fancy finger sandwiches. LIke cucumber and watercress with cream cheese, with the crusts cut off. Totes appropriate for a wedding.

    Hermione pretty much redefines awesomeness and being prepared when she gets the boys to Tottenham Court.

    but man, the ministry falls, and within 30 minutes, saying Voldemort's name is already illegal. And trackable. Those are some fast-acting, Death-Eating minstry policies!