Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Harry Potter Countdown

The last installment of the insanely popular Harry Potter movie franchise comes out later this summer and book bloggers from all over are chomping at the bit waiting for it. Kayleigh from Nylon Admiral is spending the next few weeks counting down to the movie in her own way: she's posting about it. Every week she'll post about a different topic on her blog. She's inviting anyone and everyone to join in.

This Week's Topic: The Most Shocking/Unexpected Deaths

Obviously, this post gets a big ol' SPOILER WARNING.

One of my favorite authors is Victor Hugo, despite the fact that by the end of his novels, most of the characters are dead. For example, by the end of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (SPOILER ALERT) Quasimodo, Esmerelda, Frollo, Clopin, and about 8 million other characters have snuffed it. Les Mis is the same way. So, in some respects, is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. While many more characters have survived by the end of Deathly Hallows than have ever survived a Hugo tome, I half expected her to literally nuke everyone in book seven. To me, it would have been a much kinder way to end the novel than that gods-awful epilogue, but I digress. Here, in no particular order, are my picks for the most shocking and/or unexpected deaths in Harry Potter.

1) Dumbledore:

I'm going to be honest and say that I wasn't a huge fan of Dumbledore by the end of book six. I felt that he used pretty much everyone around him for his own ends--Harry, Snape, Sirius, the Order of the Phoenix, etc.--and that, in some cases, the ends didn't really justify the means. I'm not saying that he was evil or anything, just that he had a bad habit. Regardless, I wasn't expecting his death at all. Or, at least, I wasn't until someone blabbed about it on the internet before I had a chance to even read the book. The scandal of the leaked page hit home when I stumbled across it before the release of the book. Personally, I wasn't angry about his death but I was angry that someone had ruined the book for me in advance...and on purpose. The most shocking thing about it for me wasn't that he had died or that it was Snape who had killed him. Instead, what shocked me was that I could find so few people who believed as I did--that Snape had done it out of pity and at Dumbledore's request. The "please" that he says to Snape right before the Avada Kedavra curse is administered was all the proof I needed to solidify my case that Snape was, in fact, a good guy. Others said that it was Dumbledore pleading for his life. Well, we all know who was right now, don't we?

2) Dobby:

I think I'm one of the only people in the universe who actually came to really like Dobby. I know that there are others out there, but for the most part, people I talk to found him to be obnoxious. Even those people, however, were shocked and saddened by his death in Deathly Hallows. He died being a hero, which is great and all, but, like many of the deaths in the seventh book, it just seemed so unnecessary. It was as if she was trying to pack in as much death as possible. I mean, Hedwig died, for frack's sake! I won't be using any more deaths from the last book in this list because I think that Dobby sort of personifies them all. Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Hedwig, etc., etc., etc.: every single one of these deaths was pointless and none of them really served to move the story along. The only death I actually expected in Deathly Hallows was Snape, surprisingly enough. I hadn't expected his death to be so lame, but I knew going into it that Snape wasn't long for this world. I only wish she had given him a more fitting, dignified death. Anyway, back to Dobby--I didn't see his death coming and I will admit to crying like a baby at it.

3) Sirius Black:

After Snape, Sirius is my favorite character in the whole series. I found his death to be both anti-climactic and unfitting for his character. He falls through a fracking veil into gods knows what and we never really find out exactly what happened to him. Yes, he died in battle but he didn't die because of the battle. If he had been clumsy, he could have met the same end without Bellatrix's help--"Oops, look at that, I've tripped!" Somehow, we were supposed to all just accept that he's gone somewhere else and that he can't come back as a ghost and yet he can be with the Marauders at the end of book seven. Yeah, okay. What peeved me off the most about his death, though, is that there were other ways of making sure that Harry didn't go live with him. I know that the point was to make it so that Harry eventually loses all of his father figures and is, therefore, completely alone in the world (you know, except for his friends) but I'm still not completely convinced that this was the way to go about it. Part of me even thinks that she just killed him off because she couldn't think of anything else to do with him. He'd served his purpose and now she was ready to discard him like a used tissue. Okay, so maybe I'm a little bitter.



  1. I liked Dobbby too, I thought he was a sweetheart and never really got the Dobby hate at all.

    I was sad that Snape didn't get a more appropriate death scene, although apparently the movie is going to have him die in a crystal house or something?! I don't know if that'll be better or worse but I guess we'll find out soon!

  2. I'm not holding my breath that it'll be amazing, but I wouldn't mind if they spruced his death up a bit. Really looking forward to the last film.

  3. I am with you on the Dobby train - he was easily one of my favorite characters! I sobbed like a baby when I first read his death scene in the book.

  4. I cried in the movie theater, too. Quietly though, so that no one would judge me. :)

  5. I saw the latest movie three times in the cinema and cried everytime Dobby died. I did a pretty good job of those furtive little dabs at my eyes but it was a waste of time since the death is so close to the end I had red eyes when I came out!

    I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to handle the next movie though, I'm going to be a mess!