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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Harry Potter discussion

I did enjoy the book. It was a quicker read than the last, which makes sense, because it's a lot shorter.

First of all, Harry Potter is no longer the angry, angst-filled git he was at the start of Book 5. That alone made this book more enjoyable.

Chapter 1 features a first, a chapter told from the perspective of the Muggle world, with the Prime Minister seeing the impact of the war in the wizard world.

Chapter 2 features another first, but not one I like. It shows Snape in the company of Peter Pettigrew and two Death Eaters (kin of Draco Malfoy), all doing the bidding of the Dark Lord. In other words, instead of leading us to believe Snape is the bad guy, as in past books, we're shown it directly. I kept waiting for him to be shown to be a double agent, but as of the end of the book, Snape is clearly on the side of Voldemort. He's the one who kills Dumbledore. Now, either it's a two-book lead-on, or Snape has gone bad, and we knew it from the beginning.

Draco Malfoy is also revealed to be a Death Eater, replacing his father. Again, we're led to believe this early on, yet it's not a ruse. Draco is shown to have been given the task of killing Dumbledore, but is unable to do so, so there's a good chance he's being set up to turn back to the side of good in Book 7.

Relationships: There are many, but by the end, Ron and Hermione recognize they're made for each other, as do Harry and Ginny. These relationships are, I believe, the ones most desired by fans. Poor Cho Chien has basically no screen time.

The Weasley family is portrayed as terribly poor, but I can't see that lasting. The twins have a thriving business, and the other kids who are out of school seem successful enough. How, then, did the parents' generation go wrong?

The revelation in this book is that Voldemort's soul is split into 7 parts, one in himself, and six others in horcruxes. While one survives, Voldemort can't be killed. Two of the horcruxes have been destroyed (a ring, and the diary seen in Chamber of Secrets). Dumbledore spends much of the novel off-camera searching for these, and when he finds the location of one, we find only that a servant of Voldemort, "R. A. B." took it. There's a clear indication that these must be found, so it's unlikely the next book could even be set in Hogwarts. (There is uncertainty over the fate of the school as of the end of the book.)

Unfortunately, we're now left for a couple of years before we find out how it all ends.

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