Harry’s Farewell

Bridget Nordquist

Bridget Nordquist

For me, this summer was terrific considering not one, but two major Harry Potter events occurred. I refer of course to the release of the fifth film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the much anticipated seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Because these were such huge happenings to Potter fans and basically the world in general, I believe they deserve another look and a final farewell.

Warning: Plot details revealed

The movie Order of the Phoenix was released about ten days before the book, successfully building up anticipation for fans. Honestly, after I saw the movie the first time, I wasn’t sure I liked it very well. It is dark and often depressing and shows Harry at his most angst-ridden. The movie is the shortest out of all the films despite being the longest book. There is no Quidditch to speak of, very little Ron Weasley and not much of Harry’s first crush.

However, when I went to Order of the Phoenix a second and, yes, third time, the strong areas of the movie became more obvious. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry, is becoming an amazing actor. There are some incredibly moving scenes, such as those with Harry and his doomed godfather Sirius and those featuring the quirky Luna Lovegood. The actresses who play Luna and evil Ministry of Magic employee Delores Umbridge are fantastic. Also, the final climactic scene in the Ministry is visually and emotionally stunning.

Even though the two were not consecutive in the series, the film bridged nicely to the final book The Deathly Hallows. Regardless if you camped out in a book store overnight or bought a copy a few days later, you were only one of millions. After the final page was turned, some readers loved the tale, while others were disappointed. I personally enjoyed the book even though it was not my favorite in the series. I liked how Rowling put so much power in the hands of Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They deserved the chance to fight unhindered by the adults around them. The new information on Dumbledore made a godlike man seem more human and understandable. The subtle romances were a nice side story. I sobbed as Harry was led to the forest by his dead loved ones to face a martyr’s death.

While I overall enjoyed The Deathly Hallows, a few aspects were bothersome. The action was rather start/stop and became sluggish at times. The Deathly Hallows plot involving so many wands and people at times confused me. Harry and Voldemort’s final battle seemed a little anticlimactic after years of build-up, while the epilogue, though endearing, was possibly too tidy and whimsical.

Regardless of slight flaws I saw in the movie or book, I still believe that the Harry Potter franchise is remarkable not just for the enchanting world it brought us, but also for what is has done for society. Over the years, J.K. Rowling single-handedly inspired millions to pick up books in an era where reading for pleasure is often unheard of. For that feat alone she deserves praise and respect.