Creepy. Plus: he’s bad!
Please, Rowling, you aren’t going to do something that cliched are you? The eye had better not be what I think it is.
Hey, he’s kind of nice for once. Sort of sweet.
Wow, big action scene. Exciting. NO! Geezus, didn’t see that coming.
Nail-biting. Is everyone ok? Ouch! No body found on that guy, I invoke superhero rules.
What are those things for, I wonder. “I open at the close”. Hrm.
Here comes the bride!
Could Rita Skeeter have a point?
Good thinking, Hermione. Hey, how’d those guys do that?
Ah, now I see why Kreacher had to be in the story.
Wow, it’s like an episode of Mission: Impossible. Exciting stuff!
Now what? Oh, they’re all thinking the same thing.
It’s like the One Ring, only with 75% less calories. But where’s Mount Doom?
Interesting conversation. Kind of convenient that those guys are just hanging out here fishing or whatever.
YOU BASTARD! COME BACK HERE! Shit.
Don’t trust her. SNAKE! AGH! One hundred thousand nine-year olds just got nightmares.
Yeah, whose patronus is that, anyway? One more bad sign that Rowling’s pulling the cliche. Oo, Harry joins the Polar Bear Club. And he’s back! Thank god. Cool, One Ring down without any fingers lost.
Oh fuck. Now what!! How are they gonna get out of this one? Looks bad. Wait, he’s back? I was wondering when he’d show up to save the day. Good timing. Excellent save! OH NO! [sniffles]
Ok, Harry’s done with his Hamlet phase, getting decisive now. Good job. More Mission Impossible stuff, or is this To Catch a Thief? How are they going to fit all these action bits into the film when they make it? Yow! Ouch! Go go go go go!
[checks book] How is she going to wrap this all up? Getting close to the end. Ah, of COURSE one of those thingies is there. I knew it. (So did Harry.) Oh NO Voldemort is on to them. The Amazing Race commences.
Hey! I forgot all about that guy after reading the Skeeter thing. Nice gun-on-mantelpiece, Rowling. And you really weren’t doing the cliche thing at all! Mad props to you. Ah, so THAT’s the real story about Dumbledore. Wow, totally makes sense.
BIG FUCKING CLIMAX. FUCK YEAH. EVERYTHING. BOOM! WOW! Oh no! GO PROFESSOR MCGONNEGAL. AGGGGH! OUCH! OOOO!
Here it comes! He’s gonna get his. Wow, that was kind of an anti-climax. I want to know all the secrets.
Oh, here come the secrets via ghostly wizard-vision flashback. Ok, kind of what a lot of people said. Yes, it was love.
OH DAMN! EVERYONE WAS RIGHT! [tearing up] Just what a lot of people said. But it’s a bit early, looking at the pages that are left.
Hey. Oh, interesting. Oh, is that it? Ok. Interesting.
Now for the real finale.
Awwwwww. Awwwwwwwwwww. AWWWWWWW. Sniffle.
I think we sniffled in all the same places. Plus a couple more for me.
I left some sniffles out.
And not “everyone” was right. Just me. And a few others. About some things. About one guy in particular.
A little thing that strikes me:
Harry got the first one; Dumbledore the second one; R. A. B. the third one; Ron the fourth one; Hermione the fifth one; Crabbe (!) the sixth one; Neville the seventh one; and Voldemort himself the last one.
(Actually, in chronological rather than narrative order that would have been R. A. B. the first one, Harry the second one, Dumbledore the third one, and so on.)
Actually doesn’t Voldemort get the penultimate, and Neville the last, the way things work out?
You and a few others got that thing right, but in the last two months, I’ve seen a lot of other commenters picking up on what you and a few others RAF said.
Yeah, I was just acting all superior and prideful. It was an act, I swear.
As for your question . . . I’m not sure. Trying not to do *total* spoliage here . . . I was thinking that Voldemort’s action is not complete until the Final Encounter, as opposed to the Encounter That Seems To Be Final But In Fact Is But Penultimate. But I may be confused there.
See, I thought the penultimate act was The Act. Which leaves Neville with the crowning glory of the whole thing, very cool. Then there’s the actual final thing, which is kind of a you-knew-this-had-to-happen-thing.
But in the Penultimate Act nobody dies, which is what inclines me to rule it out . . . though you could argue that someone does die — or two people. Maybe “dead” is a little harder to define in this world than is usually the case.
To give Neville the “crowning glory” would be cool, I agree — but I’m not sure that’s what happens.
And on one of your other points — to continue turning your blog into a public chat session — my heart absolutely sank when Harry saw that eye at the beginning; like you I feared the worst (or what would have been to me the worst, a kind of I-am-still-your-Master-padwan thing). But JKR redeemed that one very nicely indeed.
Can’t go into the act any further without massive explicit spoilers. I’ll be curious to see how others see it.
So when are the details fair game, do you think?
Couple of days, I think, at least around here.
Sounds good. AH”LL BE BAHCK.
Man, some of the comments at Amazon are psycho-hostile. Like the people complaining about sexual content?? Huh?
I think you’re already into spoiler territory with these comments. I was going to forward this to my wife, who’s reading it now, but maybe I’ll just do a dramatic reading of the post itself. (I don’t care so much: I’m curious how she resolves things, but I can’t exactly say I’m a fan….)
My wife insists it all hasn’t been wrapped up. More in a week or so…
Interesting exchange there, Alan and Tim. I’ve got a lot to say…but my computer is being buggy on me, and I’m unable to post. Hopefully later tonight.
“OH DAMN! EVERYONE WAS RIGHT!”
I have to say, this was one of my most common reactions, all through the night as I read the book yesterday.
I think Sherman’s wife is right, by the way. Will say more soon on that. Let’s just say this is like JMS saying “B5 is NOT a franchise”.
Are you guys serious? I mean, Rowling’s never truly said she has no interest in coming back to the series, ever; she’s always allowed that there might be another story to tell, ten years down the road or who knows win. But are you seeing an actual opening, a continuing and begging-to-be-resolved storyline, just waiting in the last chapter and the epilogue? I mean, besides all the “gosh, I wonder what X did in the meantime” stuff? If so, I’m all ears.
Um, sure. Can we talk about this yet? Not an unfinished story, just another one.
e.g., what do the, uh, older people in the epilogue do next?
What do the younger people do next?
All you need is some new threat. The world’s been created, it’s been populated, no reason why she can’t tell more stories in it. It just won’t be the next chapter of the particular story of HP vs. Voldemort.
(I messed up some of my earlier description of events, by the way — will clarify when Tim gives the all-clear.)
I think “the older people in the story” have had their story, their life-defining conflict — anything after that would seem anticlimactic. You just can’t go back to that particular well again.
But the world, the fictional environment — it would be a real shame to do as much as she has done to create it and then leave it explored no further. Two options occur to me, two books (or series of books) that I would love to see JKR write:
(1) A historical novel from the wizarding world, on something like the Goblin Rebellion that we hear about in the History of Magic class. This would be JKR’s version of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and I think she would handle that brilliantly.
(2) More Hogwarts stories, not necessarily as serious and Welthistorisch as the one just concluded. JKR’s comedy is absolutely masterful, I think — why not some lighter-hearted school stories, something closer to Encyclopedia Brown than to Aeschylus?
I’m not talking about other books to write but, well, let’s see… who’s on the platform in the epilogue, and who’s NOT? What about relationships with house-elves and goblins (think about a certain arrangement)? Werewolf status?
I’m intrigued, Sdorn, but Tim’s still got this damned Shield Charm up, so I guess we can’t pursue it any farther at the moment. . . .
Well, no Shield Charm at my place; I’ve got my thoughts laid out at length here. I touch on a lot in the book, but leave much more untouched, as I was mostly thinking about my own reaction to a book that, I must admit, I got badly wrong, and loved nonetheless. Perhaps people in the comments can point out all the crucial matters I missed.