Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007
Deathly Hallows

I've already started commenting, by means of the Snape picture and comments below (Aug. 4), but here I'll just throw out some odds and ends.

1. Happy ending: loved it. And in case anyone is fussed over whether it's good or bad or right or wrong, may I suggest that it's not so much any of these things as it is a genre-fixative. Because the Harry Potter cycle ends happily, it belongs to the ____ genre, and not to the ____, ____, or ____ genres. Fill in the blanks.

2. Ending in marriage and family. How common is that in current kids' fiction? Do you realize we have here a saga about teenagers in the 1990s -- and it turns out all their less-serious relationships are confined to "snogging,"* and their serious ones lead to marriage and childrearing?

3. Snape loved Lily. Some said this would be a lame plot line. JK looked those people in the face, placed the tips of her fingers squarely under her chin, and flicked them forward. Well maybe being Scottish, not Italian, she did something else, but the point is, she knew the story she wanted to tell and she didn't care who thought it was cornball. Good on her. Snape emerges, finally, as a sort of Phantom of the Opera character; more on that in future posts.

4. I knew she'd find a way to take the mickey out of Daniel over Equus! See Harry's thoughts on his own privacy when six other "Harrys" -- i.e. friends who have polyjuiced into duplicates of Harry -- are blithely changing their clothes in front of each other, in the chapter "The Seven Potters" (see p. 52, American edition).

5. Grindelwald. I was wrong in many of my predictions, but was I right that we'd hear more about this guy? Eh? In fact, as I think back on my first reading of DH, the scene that keeps emerging as the most powerful is Voldemort's last confrontation with Grindelwald in the tower-cell at Nurmengard: the former Dark Lord, now penitent and paying the price, locked in the prison he built for others, bidding defiance to the new Dark Lord...! "There's no much you don't understand, Voldemort!" Just what Dumbledore would have told Voldy; did tell him, in fact, in their confrontation in OotP.

OK, now here are a few things that didn't happen, but should have:

* The archway of death from OotP, with the blowing veils, should have reappeared and been clarified, perhaps by being linked to "King's Cross."

* Viktor should have taken part in the battle, perhaps vying amicably with Harry -- as one Seeker to another -- to catch an important object. It was good to see him again, though, even if only briefly.

* More of a predicate should have been laid in the earlier books re the Deathly Hallows objects.

* Luna should have imported from Sweden the first breeding pair of crumple-horned snorkaks ever seen in England, and called the first foal "Hermione."

*"'I knew Ginny was lying about that tatoo,' said Ron, looking down at his bare chest" while he's morphed into a perfect duplicate of Harry (DH, p. 52, American edition). Romilda Vane, back in HBP, was just being catty in asking Ginny that question, and Ginny was, characteristically, having a go at Romilda with her reply; that's all.