Friday, May 25, 2018

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The final main entry of author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter pantheon opens with the resurrected magical Hitler Lord Voldemort conversing with his servants, among them being Snape. News arises of Nymphadora Tonks marrying Remus Lupin, although the sisters Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy are indifferent to their disowned sibling Andromeda Tonks’ daughter's wedding. When the action goes to Harry, he reads an article dedicated to the memory of murdered Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, as well as a scathing report by quintessential yellow journalist Rita Skeeter delving into the wizard’s troubled past.

Harry is in his final summer with the Dursleys, who are still somewhat apprehensive about his magical talents, although Dudley is somewhat redeemed, going so far as to not consider his maternal cousin a waste of space. Members of the Order of the Phoenix come to spirit away Harry, with a few of them using Polyjuice Potion to disguise themselves as the Boy Who Lived, after which they take to the skies, almost immediately encountering Death Eaters, suffering casualties on their part, and landing in the garden of the Tonks household, fortunately allies.

Harry can’t do anything about the Horcruxes, objects sporting divisions of the Dark Lord’s soul for his want of immortality, until he officially turns seventeen, soon getting Dumbledore’s will promising among other things Godric Gryffindor’s sword, although the goblins that helped forge it have a claim to the blade, which is otherwise missing. When Harry does come of age, he sets off to finding the Horcruxes, during which the identity of R.A.B. mentioned in the previous installment is revealed. The journey of Harry and his companions Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger takes them to the Ministry of Magic, under siege by the Death Eaters and espousing an ideal pure-blooded wizarding society.

Harry goes to Godric’s Hollow, his parents’ former hometown when they lived, visiting his mother and father’s grave and historian Bathilda Bagshot, although she has a secret. When the action fo the Death Eaters stagnates, the gang goes to the home of Xenophilius Lovegood, father of Luna, who talks about the titular Deathly Hallows, which might be critical in the Dark Lord’s downfall. Harry and companions ultimately get captured and brought to the pure-blooded Malfoy household, after which is an attempted infiltration of the Lestrange family vault for want of another Horcrux.

The trio returns to Hogwarts, which has fallen under hard times due to a new Headmaster not to mention the discipline and teaching of sibling Death Eaters, the Carrows, another Horcrux allegedly hidden on the campus. The action culminates in a final confrontation with Lord Voldemort, and an epilogue occurring one year short of a score later. Overall, the final main entry of the Harry Potter series is definitely a satisfying conclusion, breaking the trend of its precursors with Harry shunning his education, and is a good end to the eponymous protagonist’s bildungsroman.

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