The finale. Harry vs Voldemort. Good vs Evil.
There is sacrifice. Many died that deserve life. Many lived that deserved death.
But we all know the highlight of the whole series comes in this book – Molly Weasley calls Bellatrix Lestrange a ‘bitch’!
Seriously, though. The themes and storylines in this last segment of the series are all very serious and deep and confront our own visions and fears regarding the last mystery of life…death.
I’d never really thought too deeply about ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’ before, but on this reading I saw a whole other level of cleverness in JK Rowling’s writing. The books story of the Three Brothers is essentially what the whole story is about…how do you face death?
There are some epically deep quotes in this book about the mystery of death and the different ways in which people view and think of it.
“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.”
Throughout these books, death has always been ticking along in the background, but it’s prominence in this book is apt, after all that’s how the whole story started. With the death of his parents.
But what made that death worthwhile? Love. And therein lies JK’s whole message.
Love makes death a bearable certainty.
It is without doubt the weakness of Voldemort and JK expertly battles love and death throughout the series. In the end it’s Voldemort’s fear of death and inability to love that is his undoing and Harry’s advantage.
“We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
“Death’s got an Invisibility Cloak?” Harry interrupted again.
“So he can sneak up on people,” said Ron. “Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking…”
“You’ll stay with me?’
Until the very end,’ said James.”
“I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”
“Does it hurt?” The childish question had escaped Harry’s lips before he could stop it.
“Dying? Not at all,” said Sirius. “Quicker and easier than falling asleep.”
Again JK taps into the question that every person has ever asked and the answer that no-one alive knows.
What happens when you die?
In her world, she gives Harry the chance to thoroughly explore this, through his families ghosts and the famous Kings Cross scene.
“Here lies Dobby, a free elf.”
Oh man…who didn’t cry when he died? Possibly the saddest death in the entire series…seriously! Don’t talk to me right now, it’s still too painful.
And of course, how could I talk about this book and about love and death without mentioning this epic quote. It’s the most appropriate way to leave my series, with perhaps the most memorable words of the entire Harry Potter story.
Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.