Deathly Hallows chapters 1-4 discussion
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1. The Dark Lord Ascending
2. In Memoriam
3. The Dursleys Departing
4. The Seven Potters
For those of you who haven't participated in one of our group discussions before, welcome! We're all very excited about this reread. Here's how it works: We discuss the book in-depth, reading four chapters a week. Every week on Monday one of us will start a new thread (like this one) where everyone can post their thoughts on the chapters. Be warned: this is a re-read for most of us, so there will be spoilers -- if this is your first time reading, you may want to finish the book before you read the discussion!
Here we go . . .
Anyway, like I said in mine, the William Penn quote at the beginning really had me thinking that DD was coming back. Of course, now I know that's not what it was referring to at all.
I'll be back with Chapter one notes in a bit.
I have two pre-chapter-one notes, as well.
1) Hey! This book is dedicated to us! Seriously, the dedication sent chills down my spine.
2) I really love the William Penn quote. The fact that both quotes deal with death is certainly a hint ("Guess what, a lot of people are going to die in this book"), but the Penn quote, dealing with friendship, is very touching. (On the other hand, it did make me worry a little bit that Hermione or Ron might die.)
1. I still don’t get where the US cover is. Must be the great hall at Hogwarts?
2. Love the inside cover: We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Harry Potter.
3. The title page has a drawing of Hedwig!
4. She dedicated the book to me! I stuck with Harry until the very end :)
5. I don’t really get the Aeschylus quote, but I like the end of the one from William Penn:
This is the confort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
#1: I really liked that she dedicated this book to us.
and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.......
but it kind of made me fear that Harry was going to die.
#2: I also liked the quote by William Penn.but like compskibook,i really didnt understand the Aeschylus quote..
4.1 Yes, it's the great hall, everyone standing in a circle watching the battle. Remember the ceiling is enchanted, which is why everyone thought it was outside.
1. For the first time I begin to feel sorry for Lucius Malfoy.
2. What an interesting way for us to find out about the wedding! It gives the reader an instant of happiness in a dreary chapter.
3. JKR made an intereting choice in having the first death be someone we knew existed, but knew nothing about until this chapter. How doest this effect us? It's reminiscent of GoF except we know even less about Burbage than we do of Frank at the time of their deaths.
Chapter 1: The Dark Lord Ascending
1. When I first read this chapter, I pictured the figure above the table as parallel to it, not perpendicular. Having her upside down like that reminds me of the muggle family at the World Cup.
2. I almost feel sorry for the Malfoys here, especially Draco.
3. I was very worried at first that the woman above the table was McGonagall!
4. What an awful ending to the chapter, setting the snake on the body!
#2 -- Isn't it interesting that we made such different assumptions from that quote?
#4.1 -- Yes, I think it's supposed to be the Great Hall, but that's not how I pictured it, either. Then again, Grandpre's illustrations have that lovely stylized quality, so I can buy it. It did provoke a lot of speculation, didn't it?
#4.5 (and others) -- I think that part of the problem with the Aeschylus quote is that it's (a) part of a larger work most of us -- including me -- are unfamiliar with, (b) in translation from its original language, and (c) really, really old. I'm still not sure I "get it." Something about death and victory. I figure that's good enough -- on with the book! ;-)
#8.1 -- Yes, the Malfoys are in over their heads, and everybody knows it.
#9.3 -- I had the same fear! I expected it to be someone we knew.
1) The white peacock: One of my predictions for this book was that a white phoenix would come to help Harry. I thought maybe the white peacock wasn't really a peacock, but was some sort of spy for the "good guys." Unfortunately for my predictions, sometimes a white peacock is just a white peacock.
2) I'm interested to hear who you guys thought the body hanging over the table was. Like Compski, I was afraid it was McGonagall.
3) Voldy surprised me here: he admits that he has made errors in regards to Harry. That seemed out of character for him, admitting weakness.
4) I knew things looked bad for Lupin and Tonks when their marriage was announced so early in the book. I also felt a little bit cheated to have missed it!
I can't help but cry and even skip over the part where hedwig dies and I can't help thinking, why oh why didn't harry send her ahead! I think she would have made it if she'd been flying to the Burrow a day ahead of time!
Also when harry wakes up alone and fears that Hagrid is dead also! my heart just bursts with sadness.(Of course now its not quite so bad since we know Hagrid survives)
Feel sorry for the malfoys? never!
11:4 Me, too. Maybe two weddings in one book would have been a bit much, though.
12 I was wondering why he didn't just send Hedwig ahead, but I think it was because Voldemort could have gotten her and used her to get to Harry.
I mentioned in the last book that JKR really likes to scare us with Hagrid's death. It is seeming more and more that being half giant isn't that bad. Hagrid is hard to kill (thank goodness).
9.4/11.2 *Takes mind journey, back in time to just under a year ago...* Yep, I think I thought it was McG too.
12 Did he know for sure where he was going? I don't know if that was clear from what I read.
14:12 I guess I would have just sent her to the Burrow. Once Harry had moved, she could find him if it wasn't there.
Chapter 2: In Memorandum
1. I guess Harry had shoes on, otherwise he would have cut his foot as well as his hand.
2. Dudley left the tea trying to be nice! To bad we don’t find out how he feels about Harry until he leaves.
3. Odd that the locket would be so far down in the trunk.
4. Do we ever find out what Dumbledore’s father did to the muggles? Maybe the “Don’t hurt them, hurt me” quote from the last book was in reference to this incident.
5. Rita Skeeter is vindictive, but it turns out a lot of her stuff is true!
Aschylus: I think it's referring to those departed who help Harry in the forest, which ties in well with the Penn quote.
I remember listening to JKR read the first chapter to all those kids in the British Museum before I read it. It gave me chills then and still does now. Very, very creepy.
I felt sorry for the Malfoys, too. And Snape, for all the deaths he cannot prevent.
Ugh, the mirror again! I hate the big giant red herring that is the stupid mirror. Although, it does turn out to be cool whose eye is peeking out.
I have to run an errand. I'll be back.
16.4 I think we do. Possibly later on in the Hog's Head?
16.5 She got some basic facts correct but embellishes them to the point of being unrecognizable. She's just a terrible person, almost as despisable as Umbridge!
1) Harry's trunk reminds me of the footlocker I used to take to camp. No, actually, it reminds me of Espy's camp footlocker!
2) Yanno, I never guessed that DD was gay, but my first thought about the Elphias Doge article was that Doge had a crush on DD.
3) The article about Skeeter's book goes on way too long.
1. The cuppa! I'd forgotten all about it! My eyes started tearing right then!
2. We've so often discussed the similariteis in Harry, Voldy, and Snape but there are some Harry and DD similarites, the noteriety, questions about whether he would be a "Dark Wizard", and of course overshadowing (however unintentionally) their friends.
3. "He died as he lived: working always for the greater good..." (emphasis added). The first use of the term that becomes such a big part of this story, innocuous as could be!
4. 900-pages in 4 weeks! I wonder if this was JKR's way of showing why her books took so long? Quality takes time!
5. I'm curious about how everone, Espy in particular, feels about the portrayal of the media in HP.
6. Oh how I wanted that eye to be Dumbledore...
19.2 Good point.
19.3 I agree! Rowling could have made it half the size.
1. On first reading, I wondered whether Snape or Voldemort had cast the Killing Curse. It's written so it could be either, but I still had faith in Snape so I hoped it was Voldemort, and now of course I'm sure it was.
2. I wasn't excited to hear that Lupin and Tonks got married. Their whole relationship seemed to result in Rowling wanting everyone matched up with somebody in book 6. I love Lupin and Tonks, I just thought their relationship unnecessary and unjustified.
3. How could you not feel sorry for the Malfoys? They are in over their heads with no way out except death. And they are not so brave as Regulus as to choose death. Plus Draco only thought it was cool because he was 16. And Voldemort is just rubbing it in now.
#11.2 I thought the person was just a Muggle or something.
#11.3 Voldemort admits his mistakes in the graveyard in book 4 too. But he always follows it with "I'll win this time" to sort of cover up the mistakes.
20.3 That greater good applies to Snape, too. He had to let V. kill the muggle studies teacher so he could keep helping others. I think it was important that he stay in good standing and become headmaster. Although the students suffered, it could have been a lot worse.
20.4 I think JKR wishes she had a Quick-Note Quill!
1. "Harry was sure in that instant they were both wondering the same thing..." Me too! Do you think Harry would go back to try to rescue the Dursleys?
2. "We're leving soon, really soon, and then you'll be able to fly again." You'd think I'd cry less having read it and knowing everything that happens, but no, I'm crying more.
3. "I don't think you're a waste of space." Oh Diddykins!
4. So disappointed in Petunia, but Dudders kinda makes up for it!
28.2 *pats bib on the back* This reread is going to be hard, but we are all here for each other.
Chapter 3: The Dursleys Departing
1. I love the picture in the US version, but it kind of gave away the chapter.
2. Vernon thinks Harry is after the house! Harry’s response is great: Why would I want this house, all the happy memories?
3. “Uncle Vernon’s and Harry’s eyes met. Harry was sure in that instant they were both wondering the same thing.” Harry had just been talking about V. holding them hostage so Harry would come save them. Where they both wondering if Harry would really do it?
4. “If we’d even seen CVs…” Vernon says this. What are CVs?
5. Dudley, the voice of reason!
6. I can see why Vernon wants Kingsley. Dedalus Dingle doesn’t really inspire confidence.
7. “But coming from Dudley that’s like ‘I love you.’” Priceless!
8. I can’t believe that is the last we hear of the Dursleys. I hope there is something more in the encyclopedia. I would like to think Harry and Dudley talk occasionally as adults.
29.3 So what do you think? Would he? I'm not sure. Would Dudley's realization have made a difference?
29.4 CV's are similar to resumes. They're a Brit thing. Basically he wants to see their qualifications.
29.6 True. I love Dedalus though!
29.8 I agree. It seems like there's potential for some reconciliation. Dudley says "see you around" (or sim.) when he leaves and Harry says "yeah, maybe". I hope they do.
In the end it's kind of satisfying that Dudley is the bigger man.
Also, perhaps another parallel between Harry & Dumbledore? DD seems to have had little respect for his own family of origin, at least if you ask Aberforth.
edited because i means italic.
a. He thought "If someone treated me the way I've treated Harry, I certainly wouldn't go back to try to save them..." Which I think might give Vernon too much credit for intraspection.
b. He thought, "That ungrateful boy would leave us to die in an instant. He probably wants us to stay so we'll die and he'll get the house outright. Well, I'm not playing into that, we'll go!" This sounds much more like him!
That being said, it never even crosses his mind that Petunia and Dudley are actually people who may have reasons for their issues. Vernon is another story, I'll grant you that. He's a waste of space!
I see what you mean now. Though I didn't think it at the time of reading, I suppose Harry is just as disappointing as Petunia, for though she doesn't say what's on her mind, he doesn't even do her the justice of thinking she might have been teetering on the edge of saying something nice. Personally I feel as though she bit back a "Be careful." or "Goodbye."
idn't? What is wrong with me today?!
I can't type today, either bib!
I wonder if Vernon ever really accepts the fact that magic exists/
chapter two, Doge's article " On the very eve of our trip, Albus's mother, Kendra, died, leaving Albus the head, and sole breadwinner, of the family."
well, I somehow put a full stop after the word "head"....
anyway, I'll be back with my thoughts in a couple of chapters time!
ok, so here are my thoughts on the first three chapters, as that seems to be where we're up to thus far on the discussion.
Chapter one -
I add my name to the list of those who at first thought the suspended body was McGonnagall. However, her extreme fear made my think "hmmm, maybe not, I don't see Prof M responding like that, even if she was terrified on the inside."
I'm in agreement with Voldemort (shock horror!!!!) - I do think it's more his error than Harry's triumphs that have kept Harry alive. Surely being the most powerful dark wizard ever known, he'd have come up with some more complex trickery before now to get further than he has. Just a niggle I have ;-)
About the Malfoys... (Please correct me if I'm wrong, as I know I've not done the whole re-read with you guys.)
I don't get the sudden change of heart in Ma and Pa Malfoy. I totally agree about Draco - he was always just full of bragging and boasting and bullying (OH MY!), and now faced with the reality of Voldemort, he's turned a whiter shade of pale.
However, Ma and Pa have surely always known what they were into, having been deatheaters from the get-go... Or is it the spell in Azkaban that's changed at least Lucius?
Chapter 2 -
Harry realises that he's never thought about DD being a young man before. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but by this time hasn't he been in the Penseive to witness 70s Dumbledore in his fetching purple suit? I know that's not DD as very young, but it was considerably different version. Just being picky :-)
I love the bit about the "advance publicity for Skeeter's biography has certainly suggested there will be shocks in store..." I can imagine JKR having a chuckle to herself, knowing that all the advance publicity/speculation about DH doing exactly the same thing!
I can't help thinking that the last line of Chapter 2 "If anything was certain, it was that the bright blue eyes of Albus Dumbledore would never pierce him again" is a message for the reader. "He really is dead. Really. He's not coming back to help. He's dead."
Chapter 3 -
I have nothing to add to that which has already been said. Well done everyone.
50.2 The purple suit! I hope they leave it in the movie!
Chapter 4: The Seven Potters
1. I just feel awful that Hedwig spent these last minutes sulking and mad at Harry.
2. I like that she brought Sirius’s motorcycle back for the last book. Of course, it was pretty clever to even have it be his bike in the first book.
3. Fred and George really are great comic relief, the “specky, scrawny gits forever” comment, the comments about not being able to get his hair, “We’re identical.”
4. Harry’s modesty cracks me up when the others are changing clothes.
5. When I started this chapter I only thought there would be the getting ready to leave part, not the going. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the battle and escape!
1) Harry's "All the happy memories?" zinger is a good one. And yet, in the next chapter, we do see him reminiscing just a little bit.
2) Dedalus reminded me of Dobby just a bit as he entered -- short, squeaky voiced, and honored to be of help to Harry Potter. It made me wonder if there was a bit of house-elf in his ancestry . . . but somehow, the concept of a house-elf/human cross is more disturbing than a giant/human cross (Hagrid) or a goblin/human cross (Flitwick).
3) Where did the Dursleys go? I'm curious as to how and where the Order will hide them -- just in a muggle neighborhood in a different town? Does Harry know where they are going?
53.3 Good question! I bet Harry could have known if he wanted to, but probably wasn't fussed.
1. I LOVE that it's Hagrid on the motorcycle that brings Harry to Privet Drive, and Hagrid on the motorcycle that takes him away again.
2. So is removing the Disillusionment Charm not doing magic?
3. Harry's reaction to the plan is so endearing.
4. Harry and Ron have been in the same dorm room for 6 years, are we seriously supposed to believe that Ron has never before seen Harry's chest?
5. Hedwig. :`(
6. I quite liked the expelliarmus charm being what gives Harry away. It is his "signature move".
7. Poor jjwilson! If you're reading along, this was a horrible stopping place for someone who hasn't read it before! I think I probably would have had to keep going if I hadn't already read it!
Someone should really go through all 7 books and catalogue all the times that the reader is lead to believe Hagrid is dead. There's at least half a dozen in DH alone.
1) Harry's thoughts on his childhood self: "Like remembering a younger brother whom he had lost" -- I think this is a wonderful, bittersweet way to think of childhood memories. I sometimes feel the same way.
2) "The Trace" -- now they give us a name for it. It seems like we should have gotten a better explanation of this before now. In fact, I wouldn't mind a better explanation of it now.
3) Thicknesse -- how on earth do you pronounce that? I think when I was reading aloud, I went with "thick NEES" but I can think of at least three other ways it could go.
4) So, the information Snape gave Voldy was actually the correct information? I have to admit, I'm a bit confused -- why did he have to pass that along? (I'm pretty sure this gets cleared up later in the book, but it's gone all fuzzy in my head.)
5) I was also forgetting why they had to bring Mundungus along, but then as I typed this, I remembered. Still, I'm not sure he had to come, in any event. Weren't there any willing Order members who could have come along on such a sensitive operation?
6) "We're identical!" -- they must have been waiting all day to have the chance to use that line.
7) I love Harry's reaction to Fleur's soppy look. It must be weird, to see other people's emotions flitting across your own face.
8) Hedwig. Like so many of the deaths in the series, a total shock. A pointless, total shock.
55.1 I was kind of trying to say that, but you put it much more eloquently.
55.2 Good point! I guess JKR's Trace is only at her convenience :)
55.4 Maybe he was just waiting for an audience for this quip. He is the younger brother of Fred and George.
58.3 I just pronounced it thickness as in the thickness of Goyle's neck (or is it Crabbe's?)
6. I still can’t believe what she did to Hedwig. It was unnecessary. Yes, she may have given Harry away while he was in hiding, but it wasn’t like Crookshanks and Pig had to be killed off.
7. The brick wall coming out of the back of the motorbike is kind of cartoony.
8. It is kind of odd that they decide he is the real Harry because he uses the Expelliarmus spell. It is a sanctioned spell that everyone knows. It was the first thing the DA practiced. Also, Harry used lots of other spells before that.
9. I still can’t believe that Stan Shunpike became a deatheater. Maybe he is under the imperious curse.
10. Pretty cool (and lucky) that Harry’s wand worked on its own to zap Voldemort.
11. “Accio Hagrid!” I think you would have to be an extremely powerful wizard for that to work. If accio worked on people, Voldemort could have just called Harry and then killed him.
12. Harry sees Hagrid spread eagle on the ground, crashes, and the chapter ends. It is just plain cruelty for Rowling to name the next chapter “Fallen Warrior!”
60.12 it was horribly cruel to end the chapter with Hagrid crashed and the next page's chapter heading huge "Fallen Warrior." I do hope no one was able to put the book down at that point!
59.55.4 I agree. Ron wanted an audience for this line.
60.10 Does this wand thing get explained later? I forget. I can just be patient.
2. I also love "We're identical!" It's just priceless. And Harry's reaction to the 7 Harrys plan is so definitely Harry. I love that he reacted this way. And his reaction to everyone else's immodesty in his body is great too -- very Harry.
3. I like that Fleur's expression towards Bill makes her look not-Harry just like later Luna can tell "Barny" is Harry because of his expression. It says a lot about individuals and the ability of some to be observant.
60.11 That would have made for an unsatisfying book 7, aye?
sorry nothing is in order. I thought about reorganizing, but then I decided to catch up on a different thread instead.
I was gutted, but I think she had to die.
If she'd been around there would have been too many opportunities to use her, and had she not been used we'd all have been saying "but he could have sent Hedwig...!". For this book, Harry needs to be as isolated as he can be from all that has previously been of comfort to him. Sad but true I think.
58.3: I always said Thickness.
58.4: It does indeed get cleared up later. Though I don't remember the exact reason.
58.5: I'm trying to think of another Order member who could do it, because I don't see JKR introducing someone new for this...well, I'm sure Ginny would have done it in a heartbeat if anyone would have let her and Charlies not around....I really can't think of anyone!
59.55.1: Thanks, I feel like I'm usually the one saying that to other people!
59.55.2: That &$@# Trace seriously bugs me. I've complained about it before. I think there's a slightly more detailed explanation coming up and I'm looking forward to it!
59.55.4: But the only people who heard the tattoo comment were Harry and Hermione. I just think it's dumb and not funny. Just me though!
60.6: I agree with lefty, it was about leaving childhood behind. Somewhere around here there's a thread with a link to an interview she did about it. After I post this I'll scrounge up my resurrection stone and see if I can find it!
60.8: See, I think it's genius! It gets explained in the next chapter, but it is Harry's signature move really. Just think back to OotP when he was about to teach it to the D.A. (the first spell he taught btw). Zacharias Smith sneers and says something about expelliarmus being no good against Voldemort and Harry says he'd used it against him and it had saved his life. I doubt Voldy is likely to have forgotten that either.
60.9: To me it's pretty clear Stan was imperioused. His eyes are described as blank. I thought that was pretty much how you could tell.
62.60.10: Yes, it very definitely does get explained later, although I think we have to wait until Harry's conversation with DD.
Twinkletoes: Why did you feel that hedwigs death was necessary
J.K. Rowling: The loss of Hedwig represented a loss of innocence and security. She has been almost like a cuddly toy to Harry at times. Voldemort killing her marked the end of childhood. I'm sorry... I know that death upset a LOT of people!
And here's the link for anyone who wants to see it in context, it's pretty far down!
Oh and while I was googling to see if I could find JKR saying anything else, I found this. It's sad but I think you'll all like it.
ETA: For some reason the first link took me to a bad page, all I had to do though was delete the stuff after .html and hit go and it was fine.
I didn't have the book this weekend and when I got home I just couldn't put Twilight down...
I love "we're identical" I LOLed to that...good times!!
ETA: I also love how even as Harry they pretend to be the other one "I'm not Fred, I'm George", classic
I have never cried at Hedwigs death, I yelled my first time reading when Harry blew up the sidecar "Harry James Potter!! what if she was faking!!!" but I think it was something he needed to do as closure for himself and to assure us that she was infact dead and therefore so is his childhood.
I forget why the other wand wouldn't work too, but I remember that it gets explained later on.
184.108.40.206 I was thinking the same thing when I was reading.
65.60.8 I got it more this time reading through that it would be a dead give away. I think because even if other people were using it that night, it is the timing of his using it.
Now my problem is that I want to be reading both books right now, but seeing as how I'm at work I have to suffer :(
It's not easy being me ;)
#68: That's why I like that we only do four chapters at a time. I made myself put it down, all the while reminding myself that I had other books I was enjoying just as much and that I would get to read more DH in a week. :)
About Stan and Expelliarmus, I also think it was the timing that made it obvious it was Harry. He was using stunning spells on the Death Eaters, but not Stan. And I thought it was explained that Stan was imperiused too. Stan a Death Eater? I can't see Voldy accepting him!
She ate my DH book!!!
She ripped off the cover and the first couple pages. It looks like the book itself is still intact so I can still read with you all. But now my book is ruined :(
(I guess you'll have to go shopping now.)
Our dog has thus far eaten a Bible, Beowolf and my dad's clerical collar. Oh, and a panama hat.
edited to correct Beowolf.
(Ummm....Mandy? Please keep her away from Twilight!)
Also my bookmark for that book is a picture of my (ok fine our) nephew so she is not going near that.
So now I'll re-re-read each set of 4 chapters as we go. It's just as well; I had forgotten loads.
Poor Mandy! I had a dog eat my Sea Star book (part of the Misty of Chincoteague series) when I was about 8. I was devastated. I think I'm still a little traumatized by the experience.
No really, as much as I would have loved to have read it all in one sitting (again) this way will be better, I might actually retain some! Also, I had too many other books that I was itching to get back to!
hint:the # of punctuation marks multiplied by a hundred is how excited i am by this information
...my TBR pile is bigger than it has ever been in my life, I'm so excited!!
Also in regards to my stupid dog eating DH, my coworker said that I could have her copy because she got all the leather bond ones! so I don't even have to buy a new copy, YAY!
I read the whole thing while I was sick, but I'm going to read it slowly again with the group.
On a Deathly Hallows note, I have decided that I like Harry's reaction to the 7 Potters plan even more now, after thinking on it. It is great to remind us all of Harry's selflessness, the way he puts others' safety above his own, etc. in order to lead us up to the later chapters. Harry is a good character, really, even more so now that he's gotten a little older.
I agree, I was really looking forward to rereading that chapter. Of course, I'd forgotten that was also the Chapter where Hedwig dies but up to that point, it's great!
1. The Dark Lord Ascending
Do we ever find out who the "source we discussed" is who revealed the timing of Harry leaving the Dursley's? I would have thought DD but he's dead and no one else in the order trusts him anymore.
How can Harry believe anything that Skeeter writes after reading all the false things she says about how she and Harry are close friends among many other things that Harry knows to be false.
2. In Memoriam
I love the watch yelling "Hurry up!", although it does seem a little Alice in Wonderland.
This is the last we hear anything of the Dursleys. I don't suppose that their stay with Hestia and Dedalus was very pleasant for either group.
3. The Dursleys Departing
I can buy that dropping a spell is different than initiating a spell and might not trigger the Trace.
"Ooh, you look so much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle, Harry", Hermione.
4. The Seven Potters
So is Stan still imperiused from before he was captured and put in Azkaban? Sure the Ministry didn't want to admit that he was under the curse but they knew anyway, right? If they knew he was cursed would they put him in Azkaban without lifting the curse first? It just seems odd to me.
104.4: I don't know that Stan was imperioused before. Harry & c. seemed to think it more likely he was bragging about things he didn't know and the Ministry took the opportunity to imprison him, this seems to gel with what we know of Stan. I don't think he was imperioused until the mass break out, at which time L.V. probably thought it was quite handy having all those additional prisoners to imperius!
I agree, Harry shouldn't believe anything Skeeter writes. But he always does -- I guess she always includes a grain of truth in her writing.
1. This is my first time rereading Deathly Hallows and it's a little exciting because it's the first time that I'm reading my deluxe edition. One of the differences inside the book so far is that the cover opens to reveal the regular edition's book jacket front cover. I remember all the theories we had discussed about it pre 07/21/07. It no longer holds the fear it did before since I know what happens now. However, it's a nice familiar face of our much loved Harry conquering evil and in the process of kicking Voldie's you-know-what, so it's kind of exciting and you feel like cheering him on.
2. The other difference is the colored illustration two pages before the dedication page. Since this is a reread I know the characters in it are Snape and Yaxley outside Lucius Malfoy's home. The white peacock sitting on the fence (mentioned on page 2) seems out of place at the home of a dark wizard. "...The source of the noise proved to be nothing more than a pure-white peacock, strutting majestically along the top of the hedge." Already having read this book we know the Malfoys aren't in the best of positions in this book. Voldemort is rather angry at Lucius still and is taking advantage of their family by taking over their home. He doesn't treat anyone kindly, but he treats them much worse and with lower regards that before. Knowing full well that the Malfoy family begin to turn sides in this book, I feel the peacock on their fence being white is signifying something. Though their family feels they are honorable by being a pure family without half-bloods and because they honor the dark lord, and as a family who struts even, the better outcome is hinted at that they will turn for the better. Without putting any research into it, white is a color of innocence, purity, and goodness. Featured on the peacock of all animals is the perfect way to symbolize the Malfoy family in this book.
3. Regarding the dedication, I was touched Rowling included her readers in her dedication which was very appropriately split seven ways. Reading it the first time had made me sad that it would be "the very end" for Harry as are the words used in her dedication. Regarding the quotes now, I likewise agree with most of you about being stumped by one quote but also afraid for Hermione and Ron.
Whenever I spent a lot of time typing up a post I have bad luck with them accidentally getting deleted. I hope no one minds but I think I will post some of my notes in separate posts. It probably won't be that overwhelming compared to the 113 posts I am slowly reading on this thread. ;)
Chapter One Notes
1. I was expecting during my first reading of DH that Rowling wouldn't have us begin chapter one with Harry but another character. The fact that the book brings us into the world of someone else before Harry's didn't come to much surprise.
2. My first feeling about the figure revolving in the air above everyone's heads at the Malfoy's was fear that it was a character we knew well and who was a member of the Order. When it came to thinking of who that person was specifically, McGonagall was the one who was in my mind most. Logic tells me now that Rowling may not have skipped a capture like that had it been the case, though. Because of Rowling's choice of words to describe them as a "human figure" part of me had wondered if this human figure was a muggle. We know how much everyone gathered there hates muggles. Despite these thoughts it was surprising for me to learn it was the Muggle Studies professor, as much as it makes sense.
3. My thoughts during my first read was that the person who kept looking up at the revolving figure was Wormtail. He seemed to be a character I could think of who would be there and might still be nervous enough to do that. Another thought was that it was someone who didn't quite belong there with the mass of dark wizards but who was there perhaps after being captured.
4. Yaxley is trying so hard to impress Voldemort! Everyone present who is seated in that scene wants to please him, but Yaxley should have shushed. Instead he pushed to be more rewarding to Voldemort than Snape was with the information Snape had for him. Perhaps he's not the only one jealous of Snape's seat on Voldemert's right, a sign of his being Voldie's right-hand man. Snape may have proved himself by killing Dumbledore which provided trust by other Death Eaters, but he still isn't liked.
5. I love the names Rowling invents! Thicknesse! It makes me laugh. Also, I can't think of why I picture an ox every time I read the name Yaxley. It's very strange.
6. I wasn't happy learning about Lupin and Tonks getting married the way we did. It's kind of strange in the next chapter how Harry finds out after we do.
7. Rowling named the Muggle Studies professor well by giving her the first name Charity. I think the moment Snape sees her he knows that he can do nothing for her even if he wanted to. This is a new thought from my initial reading since I had hated Snape then, despite my questioning at the time of what conditions he had killed Dumbledore under at the time and all the possible reasons why he did it.
Chapter Two Notes
1. Yey! Harry's p.o.v. at last. What a dreadful way to begin it, though. ("Harry was bleeding," (Rowling 13).) I strongly feel that Rowling did that on purpose. She wanted to keep us on edge, perhaps trying to scare those of us she could into thinking it was something worse. It also may have been a hint about the danger ahead later on in the book.
2. Why didn't Harry learn how to mend and repair wounds? I can see it's not something Hogwarts would teach in their classes, but surely he could have picked up a few easy spells from his visits to see Madame Pomfrey, or from a friend with a witch and/or wizard for (a) parent(s).
3. I like how the process of Harry cleaning his trunk is a way of looking back through the years and events that happened with different small objects to represent each.
4. Those evil book burners. I wonder if the Dursley's ever do burn Harry's textbooks or not.
5. Some of the newspaper articles go on too long. Having a past provided for Dumbledore previous to Harry meeting him was nice to read about, though.
6. "'What do you see when you look in the mirror?' 'I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.'" (Rowling 21). I wonder if Dumbledore's mother and/or sister was/were in the Mirror of Erised. Rowling gave socks the meaning of freedom most strongly in CoS when Dobby becomes free from receiving a sock. Socks are mentioned fairly frequently throughout the series. Given the responsibility of his siblings in his youth and then free of them after Ariana's death, Dumbledore is free of that responsibility, but not happily, and so woolen socks are a possible way of describing what he has. What he wants most, though? I think we're now proved that it was a cover story for what Dumbledore really saw.
7. Does Harry ever read Rita Skeeter's book on Dumbledore?
8. Oh, how that mirror teased me when Harry saw the flash of bright blue inside it! I was still very much hoping Dumbledore's death had been fake despite even seeing his funeral. I was more shocked and upset by his death than Sirius's.
Chapter Three Notes
1. I love how Harry doesn't fly out his bedroom door and down the stairs when his uncle calls for him. I know what it's like to be expected to jump and run to someone who treats you poorly and was quite happy about Harry going to see his uncle after deciding when he was ready to.
2. Poor Petunia doesn't get to finish her sentences much, does she? ("Don't you dare--!" (Rowling 32).)
3. I was a little surprised Vernon Dursley forgot Harry already has a house, but I guess it makes sense because he wouldn't want to spend much time thinking about Harry. Forgetting things about him would be something that would seem to be Vernon and Petunia Dursley's preference.
4. Dear Dudley! It was such a shock reading this chapter and his change of character. It was a great and unsuspecting way of the Durlseys and Harry parting.
5. I can't express how disappointed I was that so little conversation was exchanged between Harry and his Aunt Petunia. I had been hoping to learn something more from her. I can't remember exactly what I was hoping to hear, but something. Maybe even simply a more caring woman. I would love to know what thoughts were in her mind as she paused at the door looking as though she might say something more to Harry before she leaves.
I'd like to believe so, too. I agree Dudley was quite admirable. :)
Chapter Four Notes
1. Harry doesn't necessarily have happy memories at the Dursley's aside from the day one year previous that Dumbledore had arrived there for him, but I like that as readers we can also look back on Harry's life from things such as visiting the space under the stairs.
2. Did anyone think of how angry Harry was in OotP about being left out of things as he discovers in this book that Lupin and Tonks are married yet instead of being angry he wasn't there, sounds happy as he congratulates them?
3. Harry has just met up with everyone when Moody is already shouting, "All right, we'll have time for a cozy catch-up later!" (Rowling 46) and I sadly thought, No, you won't. Poor Moody! There doesn't seem to be doubt that he's leading everyone as he has full control of everything, also being the one bringing the rest of the supplies as well.
4. It's perfect how of all the people that are there, Moody was the one to remove a flask of polyjuice potion from his cloak.
5. I thought of PS/SS as Moody told the Fred-as-Harry who he was paired with as Fred said he wasn't really Fred, but then said he was only kidding. (Does anyone remember which of the twins said this to their mother before entering Platform 9 3/4 during book one?) I was sad because this is their last chance at fooling everyone.
6. I think Harry may have given himself away as the true Harry when he shouted as Hedwig fell from the motorbike. I hate how just as we think she's safe...Hedwig spent all of her presence in DH unhappy, miserable for being caged up. I couldn't get past her dying in my first read. I cried a lot reading this book then. This time I'm able to think something new, maybe because of loosing Loofy: Harry and Hedwig didn't get to have a goodbye at all. That's something that I find absolutely horrible. My goodbye was the most horrible and cut-short thing in the world, but Harry couldn't even have that with Hedwig. I didn't cry reading her death this time around but I'm getting weepy over it now so moving on...
7. I kind of wondered if Hagrid was warned that Harry might want to turn back to protect the others as they all flew their separate directions. I read a reassuring voice as Hagrid keeps saying his task, not to worry, and that they are almost to their destination. Hagrid's such a sweet and caring character! Hary feels humiliated on the sidecar of the motorbike perhaps like the baby he was when he was on it last but it's good to see Harry on the motorbike one more time with Hagrid. It's like the curtains on books one and seven, or those "You're with me" and "I'm with you" quotes from HBP: It began that way and so it should end.
8. Of all the spells to use when Harry sees Stanley Shunpike, it had to be expelliarmus! Stan didn't know Harry for his use of that spell being a common defense for him, at least. I had been so surprised when reading that Stan, who I always defended in my mind previous the same as Harry did toward characters in the series, was with the Death Eaters. I did read another HEer's (bib's?) notes that he may have been controled versus joining them on his own and wonder the same, though I hadn't thought of it on my own.
9. I don't know why I had to be so scared Voldemort would get Harry in this chapter when obviously there is still much of the book to come. All those pages still!
10. "Accio Hagrid!" (Rowling 61) made me laugh this time around. Not because Hagrid's a half-giant but because I could see us fooling around and saying that of other HEers here as we goof off and have fun.
11. I was so sure in my first reading that that was it for Hagrid and that he was dead. I came to think that anytime the phrase "spread-eagled" (Rowling 62) was used.
I also began to feel sorry for Lucius for the first time.
I think I had thought that of the white peacock, too! I blame the vision of a phoenix leaving Dumbledore's grave at his funeral.
I agree. Sending Hedwig ahead of time seems like a nice alternative but one with little hope of survival still.
We didn't know during our initial reading that Dumbledore was gay but I wondered the same thing as you when reading that part of the book this time around.
Excellent thought! That sounds like it's exactly what Rowling meant for readers to think. I never thought of that. Good thinking!
I wish Rowling had shown us a little more of their relationship before jumping the gun and having them Lupin and Tonks married. It does seem to be too short of an amount of time to us as we've mainly seen the series from Harry's point of view, versus a character who saw more of their relationship as it developed. I do agree with #26 (bib) re 23.2 about wanting to see Lupin happy again, though.
I hope they talk later on, too.
Good point! I agree with you. To me the Dursley's have already proved they would treat Harry poorly had he not been a wizard. They could have known Harry was one before Harry knew because of the 'funny business' but I'm sure it took a while for any odd things to happen. Some people will just keep treating others poorly because of who their parents are.
That was hilarious and a very appropriate thing for the twins to say.
Dedalus made me think of Dobby, too. I had to reread that scene to make sure he wasn't too happy because happiness, well....The dementors are breeding very quickly, aren't they?
I was contemplating whether it was his signature move or Stan being able to recognize Harry from a sign of shock and recognition that gave him away.
59 RE 55.4 (compski)
I agree with 62 (lefty) that Ron probably just wanted an audience to say that. He obviously would have known if Harry had a tattoo on his chest.
That is a horrible way to end one chapter and begin another! Rowling taunts again.
I agree it would have been much nice if Harry could have lefty Hedwig behind after the wedding. Added on to childhood innocence and leaving his childhood behind, I think I read somewhere Rowling stating that it was some way of showing us how many deaths would come later on in the book. That doesn't make me any less happy, though. Hedwig's death is very angering.
#80 & 92 Mandy
Oh, no! Pepper! I would be so upset if one of my cats did that. They only hurt paperbacks, or Tumbledore the paper eater does, I should say. I'm glad you got a new copy of DH! That was very nice of your co-worker.
I agree. Harry is very selfless.
#122 RE #23.2
but basically, speaking of Lupin and Tonks' hasty wedding -- Kerian, you bring up a good point. We see so much from Harry's point of view, and that limits how much of that relationship's development we get to witness. There are clues that others who are close to them (most notably Arthur and Molly Weasley) are seeing and hearing a bit more -- but we readers get a very limited picture.
1. Moody says "your mother's charm does that(keeps Harry safe from Voldemort)" How did Moody know about this? I though only Harry, Dumbledore and the Dursleys knew about the protection on Privet Drive. Did Dumbledore tell Moody before he died?
2. I'm guessing that Hagrid brought the thestrals from the Hogwarts grounds, but he was riding the motorcycle.