MY HARRY POTTER RE-READ IS OVER AND I FEEL SO SAD. Since this is the last book and I’m an emotional wreck when I’m reading it, be prepared for A LOT OF CAPITAL LETTERS.
And obviously spoilers.
(It’s been almost ten years since this installment came out, how do you not know how it ends?!)
P.S. I’m treating the last two movies as one to make formatting easier for myself.
Best Character: All the characters shine this time around, but you gotta give props to our boy Neville for really stepping up. Oh, and Harry too, I guess, since he pretty much DIED. OH, BUT ALSO MRS. WEASLEY FOR THAT EPIC FIGHT SCENE.
Worst Character: Fenrir Greyback is a monster!!!! And the Death Eater(s) that killed Fred and Lupin and Tonks!!!
Best Moment: Molly Weasley vs Bellatrix Lestrange
Funniest Moment: There are several random funny lines: that time Ron asks Hermione to "Tell [Harry] he's a git from me" (when they're in Grimmauld Place), Fred and George saying "We're identical!" after turning into Harry...probably other things that I can remember right now...but the scene that makes me laugh (and then cry) the most is after George is wounded.
"How do you feel, Georgie?" whispered Mrs. Weasley.
George's fingers groped for the side of his head.
"Saintlike," he murmured.
"What's wrong with him?" croaked Fred, looking terrified. "Is his mind affected?"
"Saintlike," repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. "You see... I'm holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?
Mrs. Weasley sobbed harder than ever. Color flooded Fred's pale face.
"Pathetic," he told George. "Pathetic! With the whole wide world of ear-related humor before you, you go for holey?"
"Ah well," said George, grinning at his tear-soaked mother. "You'll be able to tell us apart now, anyway, Mum."
Most Heartbreaking Moment: ALL THE DEATHS. I cried the first time Fred died, and I sobbed again this time. And then Snape dies, and THEN, just as you’re drying your tears...BAM, BOTH LUPIN AND TONKS IN ONE SHOT (I’m tearing up as I write this).
And whether or not you like Snape, you have to admit his memories are one emotional rollercoaster ride.
Most Romantic Moment: HERMIONE AND RON FINALLY KISS! (it’s about flippin’ time). I also adore Harry’s reaction: “Is this it then?...OI! THERE'S A WAR GOING ON HERE!” #SassyHarry
Closely followed by
Most Shocking Plot Twist: Harry’s “death” (even though most of us, I think, had guessed that he was a Horcrux); also, Snape’s “always” (did NOT see that coming).
Pay Attention To This Bit, It Will Come Back Later: Um, I guess the Nineteen Years Later prologue since – GASP – it’s been nineteen years since the Battle of Hogwarts and we’re getting a play about the next generation!!!
THE BOOKS, OVERALL
Still just as good as they were the first time I read them. And this time, since I was actually paying attention to the little details, it's fascinating to see how much she had planned from the beginning. As my sister said, nothing was superfluous: nearly every scene, every moment, every event somehow affected the way the story lines wrapped up. A throwaway line in Prisoner of Azkaban could easily end up being a major plot point in Deathly Hallows, and it's super impressive to see the way everything ties together. I also the amount of character development: these characters are flawed. Harry isn't some amazing saviour right away (most of the time, he's a bit of an idiot, to be honest), he needs time to grow into his role as The Boy Who Lived. And Ron, though "secondary", is such a complicated character and it's amazing to see the way he came into his own, especially by the end of the series. Hermione, of course, has been badass since the beginning, and she just gets more badass as time goes on, while still showing a softer emotional side (i.e. breaking down when Ron abandons them in the forest). All in all, it's little wonder why J.K. Rowling is our Queen.
Best Casting Decision: Domnhall Gleeson as Bill because he’s adorable.
On a less superficial note, I can’t read the name “Rufus Scrimgeour” without picturing Bill Nighy, so that was pretty on point.
Best Moment: I remember my heart skipping a beat when Voldemort broke open Dumbledore’s tomb at the end of Part 1 becuase I knew the movie was over and I wasn’t emotionally prepared to wait for the second half.
Funniest Moment: The Seven Potters scene is always good for a LOL: Fleur hiding herself from Bill, the twins saying "We're identical!". Actually, any time they take Polyjuice Potion is amusing: dressing up as Ministry workers, and Hermione-as-Bellatrix.
Saddest Moment: The deaths are just as hard in the movie as they are in the book (the twins break my heart every time), and now that Alan Rickman is really gone, his last moments are even more emotional than before.
Best Movie-Only Moment: Showing how difficult it was for Hermione to leave her parents behind. I also love this Dumbledore quotation:
Worst Movie-Only Moment: I always snort a little at the “let’s finish this the way we started...together” line because it’s super melodramatic. OH, AND Harry and Hermione dancing because it’s soooooooooooooooooo awkward.
Biggest Upset: Despite being broken down into two parts, I feel like they didn't do the story justice. You really only get the basics and none of the details that made the last book so memorable. And I'm still mad Charlie Weasley was never introduced.
THE MOVIES, OVERALL
Obviously the books are better because you get so much more depth, but the movies are decent. I often wonder what they're like for people who never read the books: if everything makes sense to them when they don't have that additional layer of detail. I've mentioned multiple times that I hate how movie-Ginny has such a diminished role, and I feel like Ron is treated as comic relief/a secondary character when, in the books, he's so much more complicated. One thing the movies did right, in my opinion, was give Neville a little more screen-time: there are a couple of instances where he takes on a role that was assigned to Dobby in the books (I don't really like Dobby...) which I thought was sweet, because it gets him involved (even though they then ignored the whole "the prophecy could have been about Neville" thing). I truly believe you have to read the books to get the most out of the movies...but if you're pressed for time, you can just watch this video: