Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Harry in My Own Way

Last month I posted a quick "Denial. Thank You." post for the final installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt. 2.  It took me awhile to figure out why I was so opposite to the crowd; why I ignored it all and refused to even think about heading to that final film.  Well, it finally felt right to go see it, and I finally understood why I reacted the way I did.

For just about every book and film, I've either stood in line or pre-ordered the newest installment.  When other people wanted to talk about it or cram themselves into a crowded place to have access to the newest release, I was right there with them.  That's what it was like for a decade, right?  This time, I wanted nothing to do with any of it.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

If I'd remembered back to when book seven was released, I responded pretty similarly.  Although I got the book on the day it came out, I didn't rush through it.  I took a week to read it, cherishing a couple of chapters at a time, in the hopes that I could extend that final book as long as possible.

So, this last week I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows again and finally crept into the theater, with only about ten other people there, and settled in to say goodbye my way.  What can I say that others have not, except to say that I thought it was amazing.  Sure there were things that I wondered about or knew were missing (ie. Harry offering Voldemort a chance to change and repairing his wand), but it really was a great finish. 

Like many fans, I shed a tear or two.  The first was when McGonagall stepped in to protect Harry against Snape.  In fact, that scene brought more to the story for me than it did in the book.  Played by Maggie Smith, she really brought so much to that character, and I loved her for being the force for good that she was! 

On the flip side, Mrs. Weasley's famous showdown with Bellatrix was way more serious than I read it.  In the book, I laughed and cheered when she called Bellatrix a "Bitch" because she really was!  It was so out of character for her that I read it as the ultimate "step off" moment.  In the movie, it was just way more serious than I expected.

Of course, I got choked up when we finally got to see Snape's back story.  Who didn't fall in love with this character, for his complex set of traits and strength of character?  What kind of person can stay dedicated to their love for another in such a way that they become so self-sacrificing?  It kind of made all those Potter-torturing days endearing.

Finally, Harry's showdown with Voldemort was the obvious moment we'd all been waiting to see.  It was everything about magic that I loved.  The obvious message of good over evil, love over hate, is all over these films and this final scene.  Harry's own faith in this truth is what carried him to this moment and allowed him the courage to face Voldemort.  What more can be said?

Okay, so why couldn't I get all that with a crowd full of people, with friends or family by my side?  After I left the theater it dawned on me that it was my way of saying goodbye.  As an only child, books were my companion when no one else was around. I had read the books by myself, and experienced everything with Harry by myself, so I had to end it by myself.  It was perfect.  I let go of the denial, closed the book, and knew that I'd return to it again.

For those who find connecting to books and characters is weird, I suppose you'll think my stubborn streak was also weird.  For the rest of you who have ever loved a book or character so much that you were angry or sad when the story came to an end, I know you'll understand and have a story all your own.  This is just my story and my final tribute to a much loved series that I know I'll read again.


  1. I love the scene where McGonagall steps in to defend Harry from Snape, too, mainly because you can tell Snape doesn't want to hurt her. That's the big hint that he's sooo not evil.

    As for Mrs. Weaseley killing Bellatrix, I don't even remember that scene in the book, and I just reread a few months ago! The scene in the movie was oddly bloodthirsty, though.

  2. I'm so glad you finally went to see this and that you liked it. I actually enjoyed seeing it with a crowd full of other Potter fans. I went by myself, but it was comfort to hear other people ugly-crying during the Snape story. I thought this was the best adaptation of the 8 :)

    Hopefully some smart soul will eventually show all of these in theaters again...I would go :)

  3. I too felt sad that it was over... and yes I read all the books (own them) and I own all the movies.. well I will when this last one comes out..

    as for Alan Rickman... oh I loved him as Snape but when I really want to "love him" I watch Sense and Sensibility!

    But I am glad I got to wait for each book to come out and then for each movie to come out... but I will miss that whole cast of characters.... the worst part is they are mostly in England and not making movies here in America so we don't get to see them as much as we would like.