Deathly Hallows...My Reactions

1:29 PM, Sunday, July 29, 2007 / Posted by Christy / comments (3)

Well, I've finished the book. The last book. I feel both excitement and regret. Excitement that I finally know all there is to know. That Jo Rowling can now freely answer any question asked of her. That a new era of Harry discussion has begun. That I have finally reached, along with Harry, the end of this incredible journey. But regret...regret that I have to, literally and figuratively, close the book on this nearly ten year chapter of my life. Regret that there will be no more wild but often very interesting theories about how it will all end. Regret that I will never again have to pre-order a book, and then wait in a long line at midnight to experience that amazing moment when a store worker hands over the coveted volume, full of all the answers to secrets I've been longing to find out!

And now, if you haven't finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, STOP READING NOW! The rest of this post is about my reactions to the book. Don't spoil it for yourself! Come back and read the rest of this post once you've finished the book...and now...

MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


MERLIN'S PANTS


Ok, I hope if you're reading now, you've finished Deathly Hallows...or you never plan on reading it anyway, so you don't care about finding out how it ends!

It's still sinking in...but I really believe this is the best book of the series. Here's a few reasons why:

  • The Deathly Hallows. I loved the idea of this children's story, The Tale of the Three Brothers, being so important for Harry. I really like legends and especially when a legend is so old, no one even knows how the story started or by who. And it's especially cool when the legend turns out to be true. And I was strongly reminded of CS Lewis when Harry had to decide: should he continue on the task set before him by Dumbledore, to destroy the Horcruxes, or should he pursue the Deathly Hallows, which were such a strong temptation to him. It was so like the Silver Chair, when the children are tempted to stray from their task, set for them by Aslan. But Harry showed his strength of character when he chose the Horcruxes. A decision which turned out to be exactly right.
  • Dobby's death. If you had told me before I read this book that Dobby would die, I probably would have felt a little sad for the poor elf, but I wouldn't have been too torn up. After all, I didn't cry when Sirius died. I teared up only slightly for Dumbledore. I wouldn't have thought the death of a house elf would affect me too strongly. I would have been wrong. Dobby died a hero's death. He was frightened at the prospect of saving Harry and his friends from Malfoy Manor, where he was once a slave. But he did it. And the following chapter, when Harry picks up a shovel and digs Dobby's grave without using magic is, in my opinion, the most beautifully written passage in the entire series. And I cried throughout the entire thing. As Oprah says, it was an 'ugly cry'. The kind when your eyes get red and puffy and your nose starts to run and you can't catch your breath. But what can I say? It got to me!
  • Harry's Sacrifice. After all these years of hearing "Harry Potter is evil" "It's witchcraft" "It teaches our children to be ill-behaved and turns them into little warlocks" it turns out, Harry Potter is a Christian allegory. Back in 2000, JK Rowling said, "Every time I've been asked if I believe in God, I've said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books." And now that I've read the end of the book, this quote makes perfect sense. Harry finds out that he must die to kill Voldemort. He must die so that others can live. And he walks to his death fearful and sad. But although he does not want to die, he knows that there is no other way. Sound familiar? But what Harry doesn't know is that he will be resurrected. He willingly sacrificed himself. Just like Aslan. Just like Christ.
And there were just a few other aspects of this book that made me smile:
  • Luna Lovegood. Always the optomist, even when she's being held captive in a dark chamber by Voldemort's followers. And I just loved when she took Harry to the Ravenclaw common room:

    [Luna] knocked once, and in the silence it sounded to Harry like a cannon blast. At once the beak of the eagle opened, but instead of a bird’s call, a soft, musical voice said, “Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?”
    Hmm … What do you think, Harry?” said Luna, looking thoughtful.
    “What? Isn’t there a password?”
    “Oh no, you’ve got to answer a question,” said Luna.
    “What if you get it wrong?”
    “Well, you have to wait for somebody who gets it right,” said Luna. “That way you learn, you see?”
    “Yeah … Trouble is, we can’t really afford to wait for anyone else, Luna.”
    “No, I see what you mean,” said Luna seriously. “Well then, I think the answer is that a circle has no beginning.”
    “Well reasoned,” said the voice, and the door swung open.
  • Professor McGonagall rising to the occasion. She's always been a favorite of mine and in this book, she didn't disappoint. In particular, I loved her confrontation with Slughorn.
  • Ron and his new attitude towards women. He was cracking me up with all his good manners and his compliments. He finally got a clue! It's about time, Ron!
  • The battle at Hogwarts. Yes, there were some scary and sad moments, but I loved it. Neville and Sprout running down the hall with mandrakes, the suits of armour springing to life, the D.A. back together again, the old Quidditch team including Oliver Wood! It was great.
Yes, I think I'll be reading this book again very soon. Right now, I'm just letting in sink in, but I'm excited to go back and work out some of the more confusing points. So, yes, the book is closed. I know everything there is to know. But I'm sure I'll be reading it again and again for many years to come.

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Harry Potter Induced Cardiac Arrest

12:48 PM, Friday, July 20, 2007 / Posted by Christy / comments (1)

It's here...after nearly ten years of reading, discussing, guessing, and waiting, the day has finally arrived. Tonight at midnight, I will have in my hand, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I don't even think I can verbalize how I feel today! Euphoric, devastated, excited, nervous. But one thing is for sure. Tonight is going to be the most Harry Potter related fun I've ever had! Christine and I are going to be swinging by the Scholastic street fair before going to Barnes and Noble in Union Square where I'll get my book!

We had to go to the store this morning at 10:00 to get a numbered wristband, which will tell me where my place in line is tonight. The line was allllllllllllll the way around the block, and people were dressed in full wizard attire. Here's a little video I shot of the line:


And here I am getting my wristband!

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Yesterday I turned the big 25. Christine and I had a fun day starting with an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet for only $6! Yum. And then we hung around the Rockefeller Plaza area and visited the Nintendo Store where I got to play the Harry Potter Wii game! We met up with Bo at the fondue restaurant Kashkaval where I was surprised with a cake and a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday." Finally, we went to a bar and met up with some more friends, and got to watch the Mets beat the Dodgers. All in all, a great day.

I've added lots of new photos over the past couple days, so click on my flickr badge to the right to see them!

Hot Town, Summer in the City

4:14 PM, Monday, July 9, 2007 / Posted by Christy / comments (2)

Having lived in New York for quite a while now, there are many things about the city and its quirks that I've come to enjoy. Some of them are obvious, and others are things you would probably never notice if you didn't live here...

Free straws! Whenever you get a can or bottle of soda from some deli or convenience store, you are always given a straw.

Three words. Wash and Fold. These laundry stores are located all over the city, where lovely women will wash, dry, and neatly fold all your laundry just like mom used to. They'll even pick it up and deliver it to your door. It always comes back smelling downy-fresh.

Swimming in the fountains. Back in Ohio, it is a popular summer pastime among high school and college students to visit fountains in the wee morning hours, so that they will hopefully not get caught splashing through them. In New York, it is common on a hot day (like today...97!) to see kids and adults alike swimming in the many public fountains...and it's totally legal.

Improv Everywhere Mission


People who say "on line" instead of "in line." Repeten. (A) I stood on line for 36 hours to get the new iPhone, and was very disappointed when it did not work properly. (B) You need to get on line very early in the morning to get tickets to the Spice Girls Reunion Tour. Muy Bien.

Crocs. The rest of the US may think these shoes are strange looking at best, and extremely dorky at worst. Nay! say New Yorkers. They are the most comfortable shoes on the planet and every man, woman, and child here owns a pair.
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No need for a designated driver. Have you been out with your friends? Have you had a few too many? Not to worry! You can catch a ride home with your friendly Metropolitan Transit Authority. Or if you have money growing out your ears, take a cab!

Italian Ice. It's yummy. It's cheap. It's cold. It comes in hundreds of fruity flavors. And you can only get it on the east coast.


Speaking of cold and yummy things, has anyone else tried a Frosty Float at Wendy's? They are SO good. Good thing I have to go out of my way to go to Wendy's, or I'd get one every day.

A Very Harry July

11:25 AM, Monday, July 2, 2007 / Posted by Christy / comments (3)

It's officially July and that means it's the best month ever! Only 18 days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!!!!! I can't believe it's so close. I can't believe it's going to be the last time I ever get to read a Harry Potter book not knowing how it will end. I can't believe I'm finally going to turn to that last page and read the word that JK Rowling has always said would be the last, "scar."

And before the book comes out, I want to go on record with just a couple of my theories. They may be wrong, but at least I'll have them in print.

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There are theories abounding over this image, the cover of the US edition. Where are they? What are they doing? Well I have one idea. You may remember from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that Sirius Black dies when he is pushed through a mysterious veiled archway. Harry can hear whispers beyond this veil, which seem to be the voices of the dead. Well, I believe that in this picture, Harry and Voldemort are on the other side of the veil. All the archways behind them represent veiled archways that are in many locations all over the world that all lead to this one place. The shadowy figures in the background are people who have crossed through the veil, never to return, including Sirius. But I believe Harry and Voldemort have figured out some way to cross through the veil, but are able to return to the land of the living.

I also have an idea as to why neither of them have wands. At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry and Voldemort attempt to duel, but they can't because they have brother wands...their wands each have a Phoenix feather core, given from the the same Phoenix. JK Rowling has said that wandless magic will play an important role in the final book, and believe that's why, and that's why we see Harry and Voldemort without wands on the cover.

Ok, so now I have my theories in print and later I'll either look back and be impressed with my prediction skills, or laugh at how very wrong I was.

I'm excited about my plans for the eve of the big July 21st release. Scholastic, which has it's headquarters in SoHo, is holding a Harry Potter street fair starting at 5pm. I plan on stopping by there for a little while. Then, I'm going to be heading to the Union Square Barnes and Noble where Jim Dale, the reader of the audio books, will be reading excepts from the first six books starting at 10:30pm and counting down to midnight, when I will FINALLY have the book in hand.

There are other reasons to be happy it's July besides the final Harry Potter book. Bo gets home from Montana on July 5th. The Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie comes out July 11th, which I already have my tickets to see in IMAX! My friend Christine is coming to visit in the midst of all the Harry Potter hype. And my friend Sarah might be coming too. My birthday is July 19th! Whoa, too much excitement. My system might go into shock after a very boring June.

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