Reviews Comments: Harry Potter and the Half-Arsed Conclusion
Harry Potter and the Half-Arsed Conclusion
I used to love this series, the first three anyway. Having read the sixth book seven years ago, I decided to finish Harry Potter so I could praise and criticise the series fairly. Having finished the book, I can only criticise. SPOILERS: STRUCTURE: This story takes place outside Hogwarts but the time-frame is the same. Since the trio can't resolve the plot until Summer, there is a lot of stagnating and vegetating. It only serves to show the trio as incompetent, hopeless and way over their heads if all do is go camping for nine months. REPETITION: Harry's scar hurts. Polyjuice. The trio dick around and do nothing. Harry's scar hurts. The trio camp and do nothing. Harry' scar hurts. Voldemort time!. Harry's scar hurts. Polyjuice. A gripping second-hand account of some tangential shit that happened a century ago. Harry's scar hurts. 400 pages of nothing. NARM: There's the part where Harry goes to his parents graves. So far, pretty sad. Then he starts thinking about how their remains are moulding underground. What? This book really goes overboard with the Death metaphor. It doesn't make the story profound, only silly. THEME: This book deals with such themes as fascism, Christianity, and tyranny. It just doesn't deal with these themes very well. I had to groan whenever they brought up the Nazi parallels. The Death Eaters are not Nazis. Actual Nazis would have caught the inept trio. The conflict is not grey as Voldemort has no depth. He is not clever, no matter how often we're told. The explanation for Harry's resurrection comes as forced and brain-meltingly convoluted. PRESENCE (OR LACK THEREOF): There's what's supposed to be a heart-rending scene where Dobby dies in Harry's arms. The problem is Dobby only showed up out-of-nowhere six pages ago. He's in the book a total of six pages before getting a knife in the chest, and then Harry angst about it forever after. The problem with many characters in this book is that we seldom see them, giving their situations very little weight. Wormtail shows up simply to get killed off in a puzzling manner. Harry worries constantly about Ginny but we're never shown any reason to care. Dumbledore, however, is given loads of back-story in an attempt to flesh him out but he's dead!. Surely it would have been better to have given such room to the not-dead, still-breathing supporting cast?
Though I liked the book, I agree with most of this except the "Harry survives solely out of Deus Ex Machina". The reasons for he did survived were pretty well detailed out, and set up well before the seventh book.
comment #13282 Tuckerscreator 15th Mar 12
You needlessly went on and on about some points with only led to little space for others that needed to be fleshed out. Example, you could had greatly shorten out the repetition part, we know what repetition is, it's not an obscure concept, you don't have to say harry's scar hurts over and over to explain the point. Now this left you with less space due to the 400 word limit, so now the theme section looks just like empty bitching since you're not explaining anything. Why don't they deal with the themes of christianity and fascism very well? Actual nazis would had caught up the inept team is not really a reason or explanation.
comment #13286 marcellX 16th Mar 12
I would say that surely "It only serves to show the trio as incompetent, hopeless and way over their heads if all do is go camping for nine months." was the entire point. It grounds the book, compared to the series 'kids solve everything' days and by suggesting it's hopeless and way over their heads builds up the threat and tension leading to the confusion. And then Harry's resurrection comes as a result of said christian themes, as a reflection of the very beginning of Harry's story and the idea of defeating death is discussed continually throughout the 7th book (and in a larger way, throughout the series) makes me feel that 'forced' isn't a good descriptor. Convoluted is fine. I'm impressed you managed to fit a heck of a lot of well grounded analysis into 400 words and pretty much all of it is factually correct. It's just a quirk of humanity that means we can still have entirely different views of the quality of the book
comment #13290 Tomwithnonumbers 16th Mar 12
"There's what's supposed to be a heart-rending scene where Dobby dies in Harry's arms. The problem is Dobby only showed up out-of-nowhere six pages ago. He's in the book a total of six pages before getting a knife in the chest" This goes double for the movie. Especially if, like me, you hadn't read the books or seen all of the previous movies. I had no idea who or what the heck it was, and its noble sacrifice (I guess) was the only thing to happen more dramatic than wand fighting.
comment #13378 tublecane 22nd Mar 12
Dobby at least had been a regular in the series by now, and had worked for Harry several times, at least in the books. In the movies he did indeed come out of nowhere.
comment #13382 Tuckerscreator 22nd Mar 12
The films were a mess in terms of stuff like that. To be fair to them, they were trying to condense long books into films before they even knew what things could be left out and what couldn't (and it turns out the answer was :nothing. It's not for no reason that the categories of Chekovs Armoury are Anime, Mythology, Literature, Harry Potter, Theatre ... :D) They cut too much of Dobby from some places and not enough from others. I guess it's even harder that the books can establish a feeling where everyone gets called upon and remembered all the time, where it's natural to spend a couple of moments thinking about Dobby in every book somewhere, but a film requires you to give them a lot of screen time before that comes across.
comment #13392 Tomwithnonumbers 22nd Mar 12
"To be fair to them, they were trying to condense long books into films before they even knew what things could be left out and what couldn't" That I can easily forgive. But there's not enough lattitude on the globe to account for making a forgotten character the hinge of the climax of a movie filmed after all the books had been published. The problem here, if I may venture a guess, was in splitting the final two films. There simply wasn't enough to justify it.
comment #13396 tublecane 22nd Mar 12
Actually the flesh out of Dumbledore and Snape were very much necessary,mos things would've made no sense at all without it. And you left out Lupin getting called out,which I found to be very well written,along with the that Now Or Never Kiss between Ron and Hermione. The rest however was much better written for film rather than book,and indeed the long camping wasn't so boring in film I do agree that unlike every other post Azkaban book, (egregiously the case in The Goblet Of Fire) this one didn't need splitting at all. At least it isn't almost entirely chick-flick like the 6th book And then Suzanne Collins seemed to take on the same kind of unfolding of events in Mockingjay,subsequently murdering a great franchise
comment #13403 terlwyth 22nd Mar 12 (edited by: terlwyth)
'Tis a children's series. It's good enough for what it is, but you probably shouldn't expect to open it and find Nabokov.
comment #17610 TheMalignancy 8th Jan 13
I can't really dispute the factual objections with this book, yet I still like it. For instance, I wouldn't consider the "mouldering remains" part to be Narm. It struck me as a little bit weird, but I always took that as the exact purpose of the line. Amidst all the disillusionment/confusion surrounding Dumbledore's past, everything he taught Harry about the value of love and sacrifice is thrown into question, and Harry is left with the realization that there may be nothing more to his parents' death, no more glory, than their buried rotting corpses. Still, the Dobby scene didn't really do it for me...nor did any deaths, to be honest. I always felt that Rowling wrote in character deaths for those characters just important enough to have "emotional impact" yet remain barely outside the "main characters" circle. Compare the deaths in this book to the shocking death of Dumbledore, and there's virtually no presence whatsoever. And the sense of danger for the rebellious students still at Howarts, especially Ginny and Neville, was never properly elaborated while Harry and co. wandered through the woods. Since the series is told from Harry's perspective, there's not much that could be done in that regard, but the full breadth of Voldemort's threat never really came through. The strict school-year-timeline, on the other hand, did not need to be followed to the point that it was. Events happened far too slowly, which is jarringly noticeable in the film adaptation when Harry mentions disarmy Malfoy "days ago" rather than "weeks ago" as he does in the book. The movie was much better paced than the book in many regards.
comment #17621 JobanGrayskull 9th Jan 13
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