Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Reading Harry Potter after a long gap helped a bit. Kind of having a break from the overdose of curses, invisibility cloacks and failed attempts to destroy horcruxes increased the longing. Having ridiculed the Potter-mania before, I’ve unashamedly turned into a fully baptised fan in less than two years and like every other fan, been eagerly awaiting the final installment. Once I laid my hands on it, nothing was a priority compared to the urgency to find out what became of You Know Who.

The final and ultimate book did not disappoint at all. It was not expected to, considering the story-telling prowess of Rowling. I always knew that the seventh book would be just as gripping and satisfying because if she had managed six outings so successfully without losing much of followers in between, it simply means that she knows what she is doing.

One thing is certain though. The Deathly Hallows is not a children’s story. Rather, the series ceased to be children’s tale from Goblet of Fire onwards when it began crossing 400 pages with Potter having psychological confusions of transitioning into adulthood. Order of the Phoenix simply took it to higher levels of complexity. However, there was still the element of innocence and impetuous tendencies among the now-famous trio, Harry, Ron and Hermione. And not just the trio but the entire lot of Hogwarts students faced problems of growing up and confused about where they belonged, whether child or adult. I knew the book is about Harry’s attempt to destroy Lord Voldemort, err, You know Who, the ultimate Evil Lord ever to threaten this planet, and all these were simply props and background information to create a three-dimensional personalities. But often these character props were more beautiful and important and made Voldemort mere addendum.

The Deathly Hallows hits you straight in the head. Lord Voldemort, I’m sorry, the name is tabooed, He Who Must Not Be Named is the all important plot and issue in this edition. Harry, Ron and Herminoe set out to find Horcruxes, the objects where You Know Who has split his soul and stored, and destroy them. It is not easy because first off, apart from one, they don’t know where the others are and even how to destroy them. And it is not getting easy with the Dark Lord becoming more powerful by the day and Harry being accused with Dumbledore’s murder and with a price on his head and he being on the run.

Well, help comes freely throughout this project. First off, with stupendous support from Ron with his quick witted and sharp thinking and Herminoe, who must have by now finished reading almost every book in the wizarding world. And well, Dumbledore has left him some clues and some inheritance. There is also another mysterious help that comes his way. You don’t know who it is till the very end of the book. And the nail biting, blood pressure whooshing question of whether Harry dies in the end. He actually does. Or does he?

The story, unlike the previous books, meanders at times in the parts where Harry is on the run and he is hiding in the woods. I became very impatient but I figured it is not because the story is sagging but because I don’t like Harry being in so much of trouble. And well, suddenly the story picks up pace when he is out of the forests. Did I wonder why?

There are no love plots, Hogwarts does not appear till the end and Ron is often quite stiff, perhaps because of the task at hand. None of these aspects bother you at all and as the book progresses and You Know Who’s powers gain astronomical proportions as the enormity of the trio’s task getting larger, you simply don’t care about anything at all but what would become of the Dark Lord and how will Harry achieve what is seeming to be insurmountable.

Rowling must have written the last chapters driving on an F1 track because that’s how I felt towards the end. The battle getting bloodier and wands shooting out green jet curses and the Dark Lord getting angrier and Harry’s fate hanging loose seemed absolutely unbearable on that evening when I reached the last page. What a tale.

Images sourced from Bloomsbury website and resized.