Project Potter: The Final Chapter

Now that I’ve read The Deathly Hallows—which really isn’t bad—I can finally lay this series to rest and sum up my views on books once and for all. Feeling I’d need to see how they ultimately played out, I’d been reserving judgement on a few things.

The first is the “friendship” between Harry, Ron and Hermione. I put friendship in quotes because throughout the seven books I never got the sense they actually like each other. Not truly and, to be honest, they’re all insufferable bores. Ron most of all who is a wiener through and through. His perpetual emo whining is bad enough but when coupled with his lingering jealousy of Harry’s fame and talent he becomes the biggest douchebag of all the characters. That’s including Malfoy and Snape. Suck it up, princess and grow some. What a twat. Hermione and Harry don’t rate much better. Between Harry’s stubborn moodiness and Hermione’s tight-assed know-it-all-ness, there’s not much to recommend any of the three. And in a book series where the theme of friendship and loyalty is a key ingredient it’s a problem when your trio of friends only hang-out together because no one else can stand them. The movies do much to fix this problem, but on the page it’s a flaw.

The other main flaw in this seven book series is it’s really a three book series. Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets could have been condensed down to one book. Goblet of Fire is fairly decent as it stands but could have incorporated the essential bits of the lesser quality Prisoner of Azkaban. The dismal Order of the Phoenix could almost be abandoned wholesale with any important information from it shoehorned into a combined Half-Blood Prince / Deathly Hallows. Though I can appreciate the seven books for seven horcruxes/years gimmick, I can’t see any evidence the story was enhanced by stretching it out over seven books. Clearly what was enhanced was the bank accounts of Rowling and her publishers. I can understand that as well. Potter became an industry and if they thought they could have stretched the series out to thirteen books, I could appreciate that from the standpoint of appreciating sheer marketing cajones. But as far as being a work of art (or entertainment), it’s a flawed concept in that it spread the story too thin.

Speaking of bank accounts. I suspect if Rowling’s ever gets too low we’ll see a new series of books where Voldemort’s crumb of a soul left in the King’s Cross purgatory to die will be brought back to life by a Death Eater who escaped arrest after the final battle. Just sayin’

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