500 + 63 Words or Less Reviews: The Deathly Hallows
- 500WoL Reviews: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, or Don’t Be A Dursley, or a Review for Literary Snobs
- 500 Words or Less Reviews: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- 500 Words or Less Reviews: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- 500 Words or Less Reviews: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
- 500WoL: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- 500 Words or Less Reviews: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- 500 + 63 Words or Less Reviews: The Deathly Hallows
It took me almost a year, but I have finally finished my first reading of the 7-book Harry Potter series and it has been quite the ride, one of the best literary adventures of my life. Over the course of my journey I have met wizards, witches, goblins, ghouls, werewolves, house elves, talking portraits, merpeople, centaurs, giants, dragons, and dementors. And this is only a portion of the beings Harry Potter has introduced me to.
While I still consider The Half Blood Prince the best book in the series for a variety of reasons, the Deathly Hallows is not far behind. It came across to me as the most realistic of the entire lot with its depiction of what a storybook “adventure” would probably be like. There would likely be a lot of wandering about and being unsure as to what to do. People would get irritated with each other, they would get bored with all the wandering around looking for something, and everyone involved would get disillusioned with the whole shebang in varying degrees and forms. Much like the adventure of life itself.
It was also a much different animal in that most of it did not take place in Hogwarts but on the aforementioned climactic adventure. In my opinion, the personal drama that goes on between the three adventurists while the adventure slowly got going is not remotely detracting. In fact, this personal drama made up some of the best parts of the book. There was a heaping helping of meaty characterization to be had there by all three of them.
And there is the other big character of the book who wasn’t even around for the vast majority of it. Although he died in The Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore’s presence is huge in the Deathly Hollows. In much of the book it is as though he were symbolic of the God of Scripture with Harry constantly questioning him and why he didn’t explain this or that while he was alive. Whether or not Rowling really meant for this to be the case when she wrote it, I don’t know, but the likeness is strong.
We also learn a lot about Dumbledore’s personal backstory and that he wasn’t perfect after all. Like everyone else, he had baggage, baggage that for him directed the course of the rest of his life. It is brilliant characterization of a character that had already left the world of our story.
The Deathly Hallows is a fitting culmination of all the preceding acts. And we take many a sad farewell (for the present) of Hermione, Ron, the other Weasleys, Lupin, Tonks, Mad Dog Moody, Luna, Neville, Hagrid, Mcgonagall, and many other unforgettable characters that have left on us a lasting impact. Oddly, though, the departure the most emotional to me, was the farewell of the Dursleys. Those Muggliest of all Muggles who treated Harry like so much trash for so long somehow managed to worm their way into my heart. I’ll miss them.
That is the end of my 500WoL. Here is my personal ranking of the seven books:
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
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6 thoughts on “500 + 63 Words or Less Reviews: The Deathly Hallows”
It is a great ending to a wonderful series. I’m glad you enjoyed your first trip to the world of Hogwarts, Harry Potter, and all the rest.
Since I’m such a slow reader these days, I’m not sure I will ever attempt reading all seven books in one year again.
The last three chapters are my favorite in all of fiction. The detail is so rich and the conclusion is so satisfying and mind-blowing.
I’d rank them:
1. Deathly Hallows (just bumped this one into the top spot the last reading for me; the darkness of the journey + the light of the ending is out of this world)
2. Goblet of Fire (have had this one first until recently; I love Harry’s exploits in the Triwizard Tournament and the way “Madeye” brings so much drama to the book – and outrageously good ending)
3. Prisoner of Azkaban (time travel and plot twists – Yes)
4. Half-Blood Prince (Incredible ending and the introduction of horcruxes)
5. Order of the Phoenix (the more I read the series, the more I like this one)
6. Chamber of Secrets
7. Philosopher’s Stone
I love them all though. The first two rank at the bottom because they are shorter and lighter reading and HP gets really good when it gets more adult and dark. But they are all exceptional fantasy to me.
Truth be told the very last chapter which takes place several years later is by far my least favorite part of the book.
I love it. It offers the full redemption and reconciliation of Snape and Harry.. That alone makes it worth it to me.
Not that I think you think differently but of course I mean Snape’s pensieve memories, King’s Cross and the Final Battle (though I have mistakenly said many times those are the last three chapters….the death march chapter is in there too and it’s great but doesn’t get to me the way the other three do). As far as the epiologue…it’s not super well written to me but as Phill I do appreciate the nod to Harry coming around on Snape. That was a beautiful touch. I sense it is widely panned for being hokey.