And so here we are at the final installment of the Harry Potter series. You might be wondering why I am writing about a book that had been published more than a decade ago. Well to give you a refresher, I recently did a reread of the first six HP books, of which along the way I discovered the Binge Mode: Harry Potter podcast. I have already finished rereading Deathly Hallows months ago, but uh it just took me just now to really sit down and write my review on it.
HP7 Hype Was Real.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book was officially released on July 21, 2007. I cannot imagine that it’s already been 12 years since it happened. I could still recall the feeling of huge anticipation of reading the book, finally knowing what Harry Potter’s fate would be and (very reluctantly) arriving at the end of the story.
Obviously all of the Potterheads had their eyes for this book because this is the finale. With the end of Half-blood Prince, there were still several open subplots, and I was very curious on how Rowling would make all ends meet and put a closure to each of them.
Below are some of the impending questions I had pre-Deathly Hallows:
Will our trio go back to Hogwarts for the seventh year?
Who will be the next DADA teacher?
Who will be the next Hogwarts headmaster?
Will there even be classes that year?
Where is Snape? On which side is he really is?
How will Harry find the rest of the horcruxes?
Will Harry have to die to kill Voldemort?
I can still remember, I was second year college when the book was released. There was no way I would be able to get a copy of the book (I have very limited budget back then), but at the same time I didn’t want to get spoiled again (just like what happened with book six). Illegal that it was, I downloaded an ebook of it and saved it in my mp3 player. Remember those very cheap players back in the days that can hold ~100 songs? It came with a very small screen display. I read the whole of Deathly Hallows using it. For more convenience, I just copied each chapter in separate text files and saved it to my player (pag gusto, may paraan 😉).
College life was hectic back then, but I still made time to read the books at night. I read each sentence of the chapter on my mp3 player. Even though my eyes were already so tired, I made sure I would finish one chapter, also because my player had no bookmarking functionality, so it would really be difficult for me to navigate back to where I left off 😅. After so many years (I was already working), I was able to get my hands on a physical copy of the seventh book. I requested it as a gift from my officemate one Christmas. I wasn’t able to read through it, not until my Binge Mode reread. It felt like I was reading the story for the first time. It was a refreshing experience — seeing the illustrations for the first time and reading the chapters now on book format.
Finally, Harry’s adventure ends…
Did the book satisfy my expectations? HELL YES!!! The adrenaline rush that each chapter of the book gave me was comparable to that of the climax part of the previous books. This is the only book in the series that did not follow the template in terms of the flow of the story — although well it did still start at Privet Drive. The familiar Hogwarts setting was gone. Our trio were not anymore worrying about homework or exams, but instead dreading for their own mortality. The bond that these trio have built through the years was thoroughly tested. Friendships fell apart, old enemies resurfaced, and their worst fears were confronted. They’re not kids anymore — Harry, Ron, and Hermione were young adults fighting the wizards war. They experienced loss, doubt, betrayal and also redemption, trust, and love.
Speaking of redemption, the greatest character redemption of all time for me in all of fiction is that of Severus Snape. Who dare not cry when reading these lines from the book?
“After all this time?”
And from that, every action and decision that Snape made throughout the series now made sense. His character received so much love and affection after this revelation in the series.
The bigger theme of love and sacrifice of the Harry Potter series was more emphasized to me listening to Binge Mode: Harry Potter. I super enjoyed hearing Mallory’s and Jason’s commentaries about the story (hey if you’re a Potterhead, I highly recommend you to listen to their podcast!).
I was happy I was able to revisit the Harry Potter series this way, but I felt sad at the same time because I had reached the end. It felt like I was parting ways with an old friend again. But oh well, there are still new material in store for us HP fans (Fantastic Beasts arc wohoo!) so we are technically still in touch with the wizarding world, just in another timeline.
I’ll miss reading about your story, Harry. All is well. ⚡