Monday, July 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

How many horcruxes and how many hallows? Where were they all to be found? How did Harry, Ron, and Hermione beat the Dark Lord? I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling twice back in 2007, but there was so much I had forgotten. When I saw the final Harry Potter movie a week ago, I felt almost like an HP newbie. I knew what the outcome would be, but many plot details had been deleted from my memory. Wondering afterwards how closely the script writers had followed the book (and wondering how porous is my brain), I chose to reread the 759 page book.

Now I can report that the script writers (1) stayed relatively close to the book in intent and (2) strayed a little farther in detail, and (3) my brain has some pretty big holes.

(1) The action of every chapter after the death of Dobby is reflected in the movie. The beginning of the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 can be found around page 480 in the book. The sequence of scenes after that point is pretty much the same. The same people live and die. Those who survive rebuild the wizarding world.

(2) Some details were changed. In the movie, Hermione decides the brave trio of young wizards should ride out of Gringotts' vaults on a dragon; in the book, it is Harry's idea. In the movie, Luna recommends that Harry ask the ghost Helena Ravenclaw about the location of her mother's lost diadem; in the book, Harry himself realizes that only a ghost would know but does not know which to seek until told by Peeves. The scene that takes place in a boat house in the movie is set in the Shrieking Shack in the book. In the movie, Ron has to coax Hermione to destroy one of the horcruxes, while in the book she does it readily.

(3) I did not remember the part about Ariana Dumbledore being in the picture in her brother's tavern at all. I forgot the sequence of events involving the diadem. I was surprised to see Mrs. Weasley in the battle. I had forgotten how Harry learned Snape's secrets. I did not remember all the stone statues defending the bridge. My memory loss since 2007 was major.

Now that I have that all straight (though I still have to think hard to count off the horcruxes), I can hardly wait for the movie to get to the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove, our favorite place for a second viewing.

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. 2007. ISBN 9780545010221.

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