First off, allow me to apologise for being gone a week with nary a word. I was not in a place mentally that makes for good company. And as I explained to my husband on the very long drive home from the movies Saturday night, I always feel like if someone is going to give me the precious gift of their time, I owe it to them to respect that and not make them miserable. So I kept to myself, and that was certainly best.
It was a big week for my Geek Life. George R.R. Martin finally turned loose of Book 4B on Tuesday. I dove into that feet-first and loved every minute of it. Apparently, though, most people hate it. I’ve gotten more slings and arrows flung at my positive review on Amazon, and it makes me realise how hard it can be for a writer to have a successful book. Because this book is, more than any other of Martin’s, a writer’s book. A Maester’s book. It spends its time on lore, mythos, atmosphere. All the folks who wanted another Blackwater or Martin’s take on Pellenor Fields are disappointed, greatly. But I never go to Martin for the battles. I never go to anyone who didn’t fight in an actual war for written battles, truth be told. It seems, though, that most people did. So my already dim frame of mind was compounded by the countless “you’re an idiot” emails I received in wake of the good review. Oh well.
On to the bigger event, which, paradoxically, seemed like a side-note. The last Potter movie came out, and with it comes all of the talk about how this is The End Of Harry Potter. Opening wordpress this morning I see a front page article that says “The Final Harry Potter=The death of my childhood.” I am quizzical. Scratch that. I am sad. I know that the fandom is out there. By that I mean the subculture of people who found each other on LiveJournal, Leaky Cauldron, HPANA, and all the other little byways on the web. I’ve never been part of that, despite my deep love for the books. Oh, I’ve made friends from discussion fora on the subject, and friends from Real Life who are avid about the books. But those friendships haven’t centered around Potter, around the fandom around Potter, around who the coolest Big Name Fans are. (Yes, there are people famous for being fans. Society. The less said, the better.) So for me the last movie simply means that now all the boxed sets will be complete.
That’s the glory of being a reader. Good books don’t end when they stop. They stay in your head, and they are always there to go back to. Harry Potter has no more “ended” than have Heidi, Narnia or Lord of the Rings.
There’s a Bible verse about “Do not sorrow as those who have no hope” and I think the grief, the end feeling, is that these poor folks built so much of their world NOT around the stories themselves but around the HOPE, the anticipation of the next book, next movie. So what has ended is not _Harry_, but the long PR strain of new things to hope for. Clever Jo, putting Pottermore out there now.
And since this has gone over my 500 words, but I want to talk about the movie itself, those thoughts are being put after the jump.
Ah, Deathly Hallows Part II.
Nashville has a new sort-of IMAX theatre, this one out in the sparkly new Streets of Indian Lake in Hendersonville. I discovered this quite by accident, but it was a good thing, as it meant I got to see the film in 3D IMAX in spite of the Nashville Flood.
And speaking of the Nashville Flood, this spoiler-filled review will be a collection of the places where I cried.
I began to weep openly when Luna stood by the windchimes (I collect windchimes) and said “Muggles think these keep evil away. But they’re wrong.” Oddly, I didn’t weep at the sight of Dobby’s grave marker. Maybe because I was steeling myself against crying. That clearly lasted all of 24 seconds.
Many tears were rolling down my face at the sight of the pale, wounded dragon in Gringotts’ caverns. Those tears grew steadily more as we watched the poor thing limp across the roof before flying to freedom.
Openly bawled as soon as Arianna came back into the painting with a shadowy figure behind her. A shadowy figure I KNEW was dear Neville. When he actually stepped through the portait hole I could hardly see through the scrim of tears.
The surprise tears came when McGonagal brought the suits of armor to life as Hogwarts prepared for battle.
Then as the Order are casting the Protego Maximo spell around the school, my mind flashed on the piece from Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers that opens the book, and which always makes me cry when I read it or think about it.
Answer the call. Send Help. Bless the children, give them triumph now. The thought of the war being up to those children…it always ALWAYS breaks me.
Thank you, movie makers, for knowing that of all the things I couldn’t take, Fred’s death was the top of the list. An involuntary moan of “Oh NO!” escaped my lips when they showed the twins standing together laughing on the ramparts. Thank heaven I didn’t have to see him struck down.
Accio, Fred indeed.
I was, in the end, gratified by how many of my favourite things made it to the screen. I had a mental list, and most of them actually made it. Although I thought “Not My Daughter, You Bitch” could have had a more triumphant emphasis.
In the end I’d say it’s the best of the films, and the best adaptation save for the first movie. I plan to see it again in the theatre, something I haven’t done in a long while.