It all has to end somewhere. For Harry Potter fans around the world, the literary tale of The Boy Who Lived ended on July 21st, 2007. Almost four years to the day later, the final installment of the Harry Potter film series is hitting the world. It seems amazing to see what the tale of a young boy that becomes a wizard only to find that he is destined to do great things can do to us. We see ourselves in Harry, and we see his struggle as analogous to the struggles that we face in our everyday lives. Rowling’s final work is arguably her greatest, finally bringing all of the years of struggle that Harry has faced, both internally and externally, to a head. He faces a battle of epic proportions, and it is one that he knows will either make him or break him. It is a battle for the salvation of the entire wizarding world.
We begin this novel as we do most of Harry’s adventures: at number four, Privet Drive. After an awkward goodbye (which I though included a very interesting sequence where Aunt Petunia, realizing what they have done to Harry over the years, almost tries to talk to him and apologize), the Dursleys leave Little Winging to be safely secured away from the Death Eaters. Fearing that transporting Harry will attract Death Eater attention, and knowledgable that Harry is still under the trace as he is underage, the Order decides to move him with other members acting as body doubles. Six other Harrys, along with the real one riding in the sidecar of Hagrid’s bike, race towards different locations. After being surprised by waiting Death Eaters, the group is attacked, leading to a battle in the skies with Harry just barely escaping Voldemort as he attempted to kill him personally. Unfortunately, the Order takes some heavy damage, with George losing an ear and Mad Eye Moody falling at the hands of Voldemort. After finally making it back to the Burrow, everyone recuperates long enough to enjoy the marriage of Fleur Delacaur and Bill Weasley. Unfortunately, the party is broken up by the arrival of Death Eaters, who have now taken over the Ministry of Magic and effectively control the wizarding world. Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape in the nick of time, and hide out in the old headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix while they plan their next move. They realize that they must destroy all of Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes in order to finally make him mortal and therefore defeatable. However, this is no small task, as the group has little information to go on besides the fake Horcrux locket that Harry and Dumbledore retrieved in the last book. Will they be able to find and destroy all the remaining Horcruxes? Will Harry finally face Voldemort and fulfill the prophecy written about the two of them? Will Hogwarts survive Voldemort’s Death Eaters?
Although a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on which Harry Potter book is their favorite. There is no denying that this one ranks among the top of most people’s lists. Epic in its scope and implications in the wizarding world, this novel incorporates all the major themes of the novels and provides a final showdown that is unmatched. I’ve always been a fan of the Lord of the Rings-esque battle scene, and this book definitely does not disappoint. It definitely makes sense that it was split into two movies, as the natural progression of the story enables two halves. The first being the initial battle and search for Horcruxes, and the second being the battle for Hogwarts. Rowling expertly combines the maturation of her characters with the climax of the entire plot, making the characters work seamlessly together to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Of course, this battle has a lot of different implications and parallels to all the epic dualities in life (good vs. evil, light vs. dark, etc), but besides that it’s just an amazing end to something that has been building for six novels. The way in which Rowling brings all of her storylines to a close (or close enough so that we have some questions left to ponder) is amazingly well done, with all the pieces falling into place that had been scattered throughout the other novels. Character development is unparalleled, with some characters showing their true colors and others coming into full bloom during the battle at the end. It is almost as fun to watch all the characters interact and give it their all as it is to see the entire battle. All in all, this is definitely not one to miss!
5 out of 5 Stars