Sunday, July 29, 2007

All was well.

*** Spoiler alert!! *** Beware of, spoilers!! ***

Finished HPDH, a week after the release. It is an interesting read, no doubt. It has lots to offer and a whole bunch of outstanding questions are beautifully answered. There are answers and some are satisfying too, while making everything else seem liquefied. In the vision to cram so much information into the story, the author compromise its usual glamour, leading to drags in the flow. The usual magical appeal is missing and there are a few glitches which definetly would not go unnoticed.

One of the main let down of this book, I would say, is the epilogue – both cheesy and clich├ęd. A great and a highly addictive, new world epic should have a memorable and soul touching last words, shouldn’t it?

The book is dripping with blood as so many characters are prematurely finished off. Surprisingly none of these deaths evoke any kind of sympathy or sadness. Maybe because there are many such episodes or maybe the story did not dwell longer than few cursory expressions before moving on to something else, I don’t know. It appears as if, just to increase the body count and make the War at Hogwarts gory that Lupin and Tonks die. No account whatsoever on how they are killed or who kills them, is provided. They make me go like, "Okay, one more falls down", even for Fred, who happens to be one of my favorite people. Hedwig, Moody and Colin never even get a second mention. And what is equally mediocre is Harry’s reactions to that – other than the customary stomach drops, air in lungs froze and each step felt heavy etcs, there is nothing more to it. But it is interesting to note that all Marauders and DADA teachers up until the point are dead (Lockhart fate unknown). I wonder if there is anything more to this than I can perceive.

Surprisingly Snape's death is heart wrenching, deep and mysterious. Portrayed as an exceptional potions maker, an Occlumency extraordinaire and a master spy shouldn’t he at least have put up a fight without meekly submitting himself to die? Though shrouded in doubts, his death comes out as powerful as Sirius’s. Much more interesting is Snape’s unrequited love for Lilly. I did not see that coming, I swear! His last look at Harry’s eye says about his love than any other memory of his. But there is absolutely no details on how Snape migrates from being Lilly's best friend to a nobody (just because he called her a mudblood? Unacceptable) or how a toe-rag ends up as husband. Read this somewhere about Snape - "He gave his heart to a woman who could never be his, his soul to a man who betrayed his trust, and his life to a cause that wanted him dead." Absolutely true! Snape is truly the hero in the story, as he exhibits all channels of emotions and does it appealingly well too. His arrogance, his love, his stubborn and strictness are all , well, Snape-y, who made Dumbledore promise that his secret will not be made public, thereby taking his goodness to grave.

All the wars and Horcurxes has left some story points unattended. There are many plot flaws and contradictions, back and forth. We hear Dumbleldore himself saying at the end of HP-OOTP that no one, not even wizards can bring back the dead. Then from where comes the concept of Resurrection Stone? How many Horcruxes are there, actually? 7.5? Is it the diary, ring, chain, cup, diadem, snake, Harry and then Voldermort? Anyways, we never get to see what happened to Fawkes? How did Aberfoth get the other piece of Sirius's mirror? We hear from Dumbledore that Parseltongue, is a rare gift at birth, then how did it become easy enough to imitate? It is slightly too much to take how Harry gets people to do his bidding, take Griphook for instance; Also just pleading and shouting at Helena, Harry gets all the information but it is where Dumbledore himself has said to have failed. So whatever feeble reasoning the author gives for these people just opening up to Harry doesn’t seem to hold, does it? Why did no one from the OOTP, other than Snape contact the portrait of Dumbledore? When it is planned that Snape would convey Harry's true departure time to Voldermont which somehow leads to Moody's death, what is that sacrifice for? Greater good!? And what’s with the new flying thing of Voldermont, just some masala?These doubts makes the book seem shallow.And what's with Lilly's blood/protection - it went inside Harry when she dies, and now it went inside Voldermont when he rebirthed?(God~ and I was wishing she would come up with something more imaginative). But finally the answer to the Gleam of Triumph!

Ah! I almost forgot the major disturbing factor - it is about Dumbledore and Ron's wavering character depiction. Dumbledore, who takes modest-pride in making brilliant plans, (which he sure does, his plans runs for 7 books) is shown to exhibit streaks of insecurity. He is presented in this book as someone who looks up for words of consolations and as someone who wishes other’s to reinforce the fact that his moves are in fact correct. More than his dark past, this one character change affected me personally. I mean I can understand how sometimes power and long life can be such a pull. It makes him seem human, than being just a know-all-seen-all-blemishless mentor. But to me it is unacceptable that Dumbledore who is all along revered a true hero, at climax starts doubting his intentions. Or could it be this exact nature that made him steer clear of power? It's all murky. Next come Ron, who of many other things is very loyal. Yes, he was jealous and he is insecure and jumpy, but he always shows grit, and never would abandon his friends just on impulse. (Now if I think of it, somehow the story flow makes this abandonment acceptable. Good writing?) That being said about the author, I couldn’t help but notice the LOTR stain, more prominently than ever.

I disagree how Voldermont is shown, especially in this. Voldermont is said be one of the greatest sorcerers of all time. But some time, his actions makes me think, ‘Is he really that dumb for not understanding even simple things?’ For instance he must have known about the RoR/ RoHT - when he was safe-keeping the stuff he must have noticed that the room is full of hidden things by other students or must have been aware that Draco used that exact room the previous year. The argument that he is arrogant, he does not believe anyone and operates alone, dosent mean he can relax, be laid back and expect his Death Eaters to do all the protecting without telling them to even protect in the first place. It’s a part of his soul FCOL. If he can have Inferi, a small wizard-count-detecting boat and all such protection for the Slytherin chain, why is the Diadem throw unceremoniously with centuries of junk?

All things aside, the story/book did have great ideas and turning points. The Taboo concept was neat! Another great revelation is about Harry and Voldrmont being somehow related - Harry is a living descendant of Peveralls and that's who Gaunt claims himself to be too! And it is about time Bellatrix died(Now I can rest in peace), for killing Sirius and its a suprise coming from sweet Molly! Sad that Greyback is left unfinished. Although no Quidditch and Hogwarts classes, it is brilliantly compensated with the landing in RoR and the Diadem search respectively. Wormtail hesitates in doing the bad act and Harry does Crucios - interesting situations. Also it is nice how Harry does Expelliarmus even at the last moment of the war. Signature touch!! So is the Dumbledore's appearance, in the Dead world/ King's cross to deliver the "Moral of the Story". Kreacher - a nice character development, by the way. Luna and Neville are excellently portrayed. I always like Neville and I'm glad he is given a chance to destroy a Horcrux.

It is very heartening to note certain applaudable qualities like friendship, loyalty and such virtues strewn all around in the book. One such instance is Dumbledore's dark experiments (not dark, gray, I would say) and his vow to stay away from power in the future. Harry, on whose shoulder the whole burden of protecting wizarding world and to some extent the whole world lie, is shown to succumbs to love-grief, jealousy and temptations, just like any other person. This goes to show that he, Ron and Hermione, though they are famous, are just 3 normal people (or 1.5 normal family..hehehe).

To sum up, I would say, this is magic, alright. But not the usual Harry magic! That being said, it’s sad that there will be no more HP to expect. (Silver lining is this. Can’t wait)! The feeling is very deep, like a void, when someone close to your heart leaves town. Yeah true we can visit each other, phone, and mail etc, but it’s not like sharing each other’s experiences first hand. It’s like when FRIENDS ended. And I find that weird, but as Dumbledore says, "Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" Don’t know for which book in future I will be sacrificing my meals and sleeps, just so I can complete before the lot. Oh! I’m off to reading it one more time, now.

BTW, here is a link from where Voldermont can pick up some help. All in good humor!


Rajesh Narayanan said...

Wow, neatly written. But hey, could have posted some spoiler warning!!

No name said...

~ Rajesh
Yeah, could have, and I'm sorry if I have spoiled some fun.