Commentary on Harry Potter: Book Seven

Book One and Introduction; Book Two; Book Three; Book Four; Book Five; Book Six; Book Seven

 

Sucking it up and listening to Harry Potter 7. I’ve really been dreading it. I just know it’s going to be terrible.

The scene with Voldemort was a breath of fresh air. Then we switch to more mourning over Professor X. Frankly I don’t care about this character. They could have killed him with cancer in between books and explained it with a passing reference, and I wouldn’t have noticed.

Then more obnoxious Dursley drama, which just feels out of place the more serious the books have gotten. Yeah, yeah, white nationalists are stupid and incapable of human emotions. We know already. Maybe the Dursleys just wanted decency from their relatives. There’s no easy way to explain how the boy you raised turned into a transexual or a sodomite.

I’m told that there’s a lot of backstory on Professor X in this book. And the owl and (I’m assuming, but we’ll see) Hagrid just died. Again, Rowling misunderstands her own books. The reader only mourns a beloved character because he knows he won’t see the character for the rest of the series. Killing everyone off in the last book doesn’t have the same emotional pull as killing off a character in the middle.

And I can’t care about the owl, because she was never anything more than a prop. At no point did we see Harry play with her or use her for any magical purposes beyond delivering mail.

In the same way, having a bunch of backstory on Professor X post mortem hinders the reader from feeling the heaviness of the loss.

Four chapters so far, and it’s just dripping with smug nostalgia over the last six books. (I have a certain hatred of nostalgia.) This might actually be worse than the fourth book.

*****

Scenes in Harry Potter 7 at the Borough. Now that Rowling has the reader committed, she can inject more bits of catty feminism. Ginny has a poster of an all-female soccer team that plays in the same league as the men. She also initiates the kiss with Harry, though we could chalk that up to the social nervousness of the average reader. (Most teenage boys only approach girls if they know the girl is already interested.) And she upsets her bigoted conservative aunt by wearing a low-cut dress.

Charlie says you know a dragon is female because they are much more vicious. I guess the male dragon is just a breeder drone, like the Muslim women Rowling adores so much.

Do you find it odd that there’s such an emphasis on souls in an otherwise secularized book? Rowling almost makes a kind of theology out of it. But then the wedding is officiated by a wizard who seems to be neither priest nor judge (since neither exist in this world). So what is he? If there is no religion, then who declares this a marriage? Why have a wedding at all? To whom are said vows made, and why must they be done in a public forum? Often in non-Christian societies, the girl just goes home with you and you call yourself married.

If there is no religion, then what is a soul? It seems to be something more than just chemicals from evolution.

Then Harry overhears all this dirt about Gandalf and is shocked to learn he was never told. Uh, yeah. Teachers usually aren’t best friends and close confidants with their students. It would be inappropriate for Gandalf to tell him all this history. But Harry is narcissistic enough to feel betrayed.

Then the antifa show up at the wedding and Luke, Han, and Leia have to disapperate into the heterosexual world. The straight men yell sexual come-ons at Hermoine, because they have no respect for lesbian exclusivism.

It makes no sense that Harry didn’t slit the throats of the three antifa he captured. If they are leaving the cafe, then it doesn’t make a difference that they are leaving a trace. This is just pandering to the reader’s soft emotionality.

*****

Some 8 hours into Harry Potter 7. I’m just trying to get it out of the way. Luke, Han, and Leia are wandering around the death star disguised as storm troopers trying to find the locket that two people died in vain for solely because Harry and friends were too careless. Harry seems to get a lot of people killed, and his remorse never lasts very long.

This book has all the cliches. Impossible love between two people destined to be together (Harry and Ginny). Nazi youth camps (Hogwarts). Learning about your mentor’s secret past.

Does the polyjuice potion seem horribly unethical to you? Even if you use it for noble reasons, you could seriously ruin someone’s life. Much how Ron is about to have a woman killed because he took the form of a desperate man whom Hermoine made sick.

I looked up the name Hermoine. It comes from Greek mythology. So it’s like Ariel. A beautiful name forever ruined by a stupid children’s movie.

*****

So Harry and Friends retrieve The One Ring from the Ministry and intend to destroy it. Why not just feed it to a dementor? Or call a priest? Meanwhile they feel it tugging on them, desperate to return to its master. Or something like that.

Then they steal some food and rationalize it by leaving money behind.

There seems to be a lot of “necessary evil” in these books. However, it is almost never addressed. A Series Of Unfortunate Events, in contrast, made it the central theme of the last half. If you grant that it may be necessary to bend morality slightly for the greater good, where do you draw that line? Because usually you fall into that pit very quickly.

I can’t figure out if “You Know Who” is bad grammar. I want to say it should be “You Know Whom”, but the relative pronoun takes the position of the subordinate clause.

Off topic, but I need to give credit where due. Rowling’s description of elves is unique and seems to hearken back to their Nordic mythological origins. Most fantasy writers just make the mythical creatures into a slight adaptation of Tolkien’s use. And Rowling’s invention of the elves’ morality is really interesting (a kind of radical Gilligan’s “ethics of care”). So kudos to Rowling for doing something original.

*****

Harry Potter 7, still. Ron finally does us all a favor and disappears. Hermoine is weepy about it, but deep down she’s glad that the two adults in the group can finally get to work without Ron constantly whining and doing nothing. And for like three chapters it was perfect.

But then Ron comes back at the perfect wrong time and almost ruins everything. I really wish Rowling had killed him off in the first book. The series would have been far more tolerable. Harry is overly aggressive and Hermoine is overly cautious, so they balance really well. What does Ron contribute? I suppose his equivalent in A Series Of Unfortunate Events would be Mr Poe. But this is Harry Potter, and all that matters is your heart and not what you actually do.

When has Ron ever done anything right? Harry should trade him for that Neville kid. And really, this book would be far more interesting if Ginny ran away from Hogwarts and joined them.

One definite plus of this book is that Draco isn’t around to do annoying inconsequential things in a snarky tone.

Also, I saw a picture of Luna Lovegood from the movies. Not at all how I pictured her. I agree with the internet; Harry should have hooked up with her instead of the Asian girl.

And finally we find out that the invisibility cloak is more than a cheap plot device his dad bought. It’s more than magical. It’s divine and supernatural. So of course Gandalf entrusted it to an 11 year old.

Didn’t Harry have any grandparents or cousins hanging around who can explain this? It’s pretty rare for a family to entirely die out, as keeps happening in this book. Maybe that’s Rowling’s refugee-friendly death wish for Britain.

You’re telling me the deathly hallows is a collection of trinkets and not a gladiatorial arena in an abandoned field? Lame.

*****

Harry Potter 7. Ron gets the radio working, and there’s a show called Potter Watch. The series’s moral universe has gone full narcissist. They even say that Harry’s instincts are usually correct.

The radio says “Keep faith.” Faith in what? Do you mean hope that things will get better? Or faith that Harry really is the Messiah?

Rowling needs to progress the plot, so she has Harry summon the storm troopers for no reason at all. Yeah, plunge the world into a thousand years of eternal darkness just so that you can have a teenage hissy fit. Realistically, I’m sure the three main characters won’t come to any harm.

For some reason the Malfoy Manor scene was really annoying and I had to keep running it back. Like almost physically painful. Maybe it’s just part of being at work after a very long weekend. Maybe it’s just the stupidity of the scene. Obviously we won’t have the big wizard duel until Harry collects all the trinkets. The scene just feels like an interruption, like all Draco scenes.

Didn’t I say in book two that Dobby would save Harry in a stupid deus ex machina twist? Anyway, so he dies in an act of forced emotions on Rowling’s part. And we have to cry over him for a chapter even though his character was defined by being annoying and stupid.

*****

Rowling’s description of (((goblins))) sounds like an alt right meme. They’ve even got beady little eyes.

A wholly different race who has a history of being opposed to white people even though they lived in the same country. Griphook has a perverse, cruel sense of humor. The whites freely admit that sometimes in the past they didn’t treat the goblins right, but they still don’t trust them. Goblins are obsessed with treasure, run the banks, and have dubious merchant practices.

Yeah, nothing anti-Semitic about that. At least it’s less offensive than her description of elves as happy, loyal house niggers.

*****

Scene in Harry Potter and The Meandering Plot where they break into the bank. The moral issues with all of that aren’t worth commenting on beyond just that they happened. If someone got killed because of the way he deceived people (or let a dragon go free), then the books might have a little more integrity. However, you’re going to break a few eggs when you’re punching Nazis.

As always, the plot is super disjointed. Wasn’t there a whole thing where they were living in the Black Mansion and learned to appreciate the house elf? I felt like Creature’s character was really becoming interesting. Sympathetic, even. He’s like Snape; every time Rowling starts to show a little depth in her writing, she immediately nips it in the bud because her fans like easy, first-grade level stories about Captain America and Red Skull.

Then we get the Hogwarts scene. More untimely villains. More ally nostalgia. Even Percy shows up. I suppose if my parents named me Percy, I’d think they were idiots too.

Apparently the ministry is openly pro-Voldemort now instead of just covertly. How the mechanics of the British wizarding government works, Rowling never explains. This series is a good explanation of why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

It’s odd how they’ve never used transfiguration spells outside class. I guess that’s the Algebra of wizard school. A worthless subject taught by a frumpy old woman who could never find a man.

On this snarky comment, it’s worth commenting on the weird anti-family theme throughout. Almost nobody in this story breeds. Families die out. Significant lines are usually traced through the mother’s side. People feel an ancestral connection to the founder of their Hogwarts house. The only family that meets the replacement rate is the Weasleys, who are dirt broke. They need to import some Muslims. A genie would be a cool magical creature.

And finally the Hogwarts battle. In other words, a school shooting. Who wants to bet Rowling supports gun control? Or should I say, fun control?

Ron speaking a word of parcel tongue is the absolute dumbest plot hack in the series so far (I’m sure the ending will be worse). Even dumber than in #3 when Harry sneaks to the village and no one recognizes him because it’s so crowded.

Anyway, somehow I knew it wouldn’t matter if they lost the sword. Consequences don’t matter in this world. It was still crappy of Harry to give it away so casually, but he’s gotten everything for free so far, so of course he doesn’t know the value of things.

*****

The scene where Harry looks into Snape’s memory was all kinds of retarded.

The weird outcast geek gets friendzoned by the hot popular girl who later marries the vapid athlete. Nothing Rowling’s fans can’t relate to. And of course Snape is so painfully beta that he devotes his life to protecting the kid she had with his bully. I’ve lost all sympathy for this character. I absolutely HATE males like this far more than I hate any woman.

Then it’s revealed that — Surprise! — Dumbledore asked Snape to euthanize him. Another stupid twist, but at this point I’m more angry at Rowling’s fans than I am at her. I’m also angry at all my friends who told me I can’t judge these books until I sit through 119 hours of it.

Here’s what wrong with this (and the other) twists. It’s not clues along the way that make you realize it was true all along, like a mystery novel. It’s just a step short of going back and changing what actually happened, George Lucas style. It feels like the writer is lying to us. Or that she wrote herself into a corner. Or that it could have turned out several ways.

Overall, it feels like a soap opera. A big reveal out of left field that we didn’t need. It’s a cheap way to get the reader emotionally connected. And you lot fell for it and bought all her stupid jelly beans and movies and Halloween costumes. You made her into this generation’s Shakespeare. She should have faded into obscurity after the third book, but you kept buying them because you were so dissatisfied with your lives that you need to escape into the fantasy world. You never learned to be satisfied with what you got in this world here and now, and you taught your kids to do the same.

I’ve got another two hours or so. Harry has just started walking to his death. Another soap opera emotional hack that shouldn’t have been written. And you can just feel the Jesus overtones. It’ll probably relate to the “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also” quoted earlier so out of context it was blasphemous. Anglicans…

bad storytelling

*****

Finally finished with Harry Potter. Well, that was garbage. I suppose I need to write something about the ending before giving my concluding thoughts.

Having an anti-climactic ending where the hero nobly walks to his death can work in the right story, but we’ve had seven books of build-up about the final battle, culminating in the dark wizard getting an unbeatable wand. While sacrifice is a constant theme in the books, this is a reversal of character. Like Quirrell melting in the first book, Rowling has written her character in the corner and needed a way to get him out. Harry is supposed to be a gifted wizard, yet he uses none of those skills in defeating Voldemort. Dumbledore’s and Harry’s explanations at the end is confusing as always, but I’m sure there’s a logical consistency if I were to take long enough to think about it. I ended out going on Wikipedia. Did Voldemort know Harry was a horcrux? It also undercuts all the previous times Harry was in mortal danger.

Did at any point Harry do a super powerful spell? Did Harry ever use his ability to talk to snakes or fly on a broom in meaningful way? No, he just stumbled into several happy accidents and overly convoluted traps. In some sense, this story is more about Voldemort than it is about Harry, at least in the last few books. Harry more and more just seems like an innocent bystander.

As I said before, this is not a story about magic or high school. It’s a story about a boy coming to terms with the loss of a childhood, and defeating the dark wizard is the setting. Well, he didn’t defeat the dark wizard. He just walked in like Aslan twice in a kind of weird double ending.

This story could have ended an hour earlier when Dumbledore meets Harry in the afterlife (when I wrote most of this post), and very little would have changed. Perhaps if Harry would have stayed dead, it would have reinforced that doing the right thing always has a cost. Instead, Harry comes back to life through good luck and several carefully placed impossible contingencies.

But also, this doesn’t bring him to accept the loss of his family and a wish to create a new one. Instead, it solidifies that for the rest of ever he will be defined by that childhood loss. Going to his death is a stoic action for the unnamed masses, not something done for those whom he loves. As he’s walking there, he doesn’t think, “I’m doing this so that the Weasleys can have a peaceful life.” Even in sacrifice, he’s thinking about himself. Noble, yes, but still self-focused.

As for the effect on the reader, it teaches kids that you can be impulsive and stubborn and everything will work out fine anyway. It teaches that virtue is something inherent and not something that has to be worked hard for. It teaches that morality is simple and that you should follow your intuition. Good and Bad are teams and not actions or attitudes. The most powerful force in the world isn’t faith or patience or kindness, but a generic animalistic love, which seems to be defined as loyalty to your friends. It is a worldly definition of love. Harry doesn’t seem to have any love or patience for his uncle’s family or Draco or Snape, and the reader isn’t expected to either. Bellatrix loves Voldemort though and even died for him.

Above all, it teaches that the reward for virtue is the applause and adoration of the masses, instead of virtue being the reward itself.

The world of Harry Potter is a Christ-less Christianity. There is an afterlife, and there is love and sacrifice and virtue. But the end of it all is friendship, not glorifying your Creator and becoming that which you were created to be. A heaven without God is hell. Rowling neglected to write in an Aslan.

 

Book One and Introduction; Book Two; Book Three; Book Four; Book Five; Book Six; Book Seven

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3 thoughts on “Commentary on Harry Potter: Book Seven

  1. Why Liberial’s should not read Harry Potter, It is a pro guns, anti semitic, racist, anti government, pro terrorism and pro extremist.

    By the way did you notice the plot moves too slow at the start, she writes the characters in an almost impossible position, all is lost and then Deus ex machina they suddenly know how to solve all their issues. The plot then moves way too fast everything gets solved and then the final fight which should of been a blood bath is quick. We also get a stupid years later chapter at the end that it did not need but only put there so that Rowing does not have to write another Harry Potter book.

    I must also say it is both funny and sad how easily the government can be over thrown with little blood. New regime comes in and everything continues functioning.

    the Wizarding World is really like of Rome in 260AD to 276AD where they had a new emperor every 1 to 2 years often killed by assassination but yet the state continue (by the by this a sign that the civilization is on the decline).
    The government in this universe must be full of unelected bureaucrats that continue the functions even when a new leader or party comes in by a bloody revolutions or assassinations.

    When you think about the books very few people both sides actually fought for in this so call civil war for the who rule the government of the Wizarding world.

    Most people did not care, willing to serve or too scary to fight when Voldemort takes over. The same thing after he was killed (by a School Student) and the regime comes to an end by the insurgents (defenders of Hogwarts) the wizarding world continues as nothing has happen. I bet Rowing knows little of history, the losing side often gets hunted down and put on trial and the new regime will take power and enforce rule.

    I can see after the defeat of Voldemort, the defenders of Hogwarts end up putting in a king, lining up and sentencing to death all those that supported Voldemort. But Harry Potter and friends needs to be the good guy so this is left out of the book and every pretends like all is fine.

    The Who- Won’t Get Fooled Again
    “Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss”

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    1. You’re preaching to the choir, buddy. The books are very short sighted. Rowling doesn’t understand humanity at all.

      Supposedly Rowling has a degree in Classics (like I do). The books are filled with Latin (and imitation Latin). Though to my understanding, everyone in Britain takes German, French, Greek, and Latin (all of which I used to be able to read decently, though today I’m pretty rusty except for church Greek).

      Why doesn’t Hogwarts teach foreign language? Especially since the spells aren’t in English. I made that point when Harry experiments with the nose cutting spell on Draco in book 6.

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    2. “Why Liberial’s should not read Harry Potter, It is a pro guns, anti semitic, racist, anti government, pro terrorism and pro extremist.”

      Yeah but that’s your typical liberal. These John Lennon loving pacifists would gladly murder Trump given the chance. Socialisim always turns violent. I got rid of all my liberal friends.

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