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

I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow about a week ago. So I thought it was time to give it my review.

I want to start out by saying that I thought it was a fantastic final chapter to a very entertaining series. It kept my attention and I enjoyed the story very much. There were many “loose ends” that were addressed at the end. I was just thinking yesterday that I would have liked to have known what happened to the house elf Kreatcher and maybe the plight of house elfs in general. But other than that most of my questions were answered. It definitely was an appropriate ending to the series.

So I liked the book and liked the series. But I am still hung up on the whole allegory thing. I still think it just might be JK Rowling’s intent for the series to be a complete Christian allegory. But it isn’t a perfect allegory by any stretch of the imagination.

There is a scene from CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the Son of Adam and the Daughters of Eve are walking into Aslan’s camp. For me it was one of the first times that the allegory was staring me in the face. The younger brother, the other Son of Adam, had betrayed his family and was being held captive by the White Witch. The other 3 traveled to go see Aslan who might be able to help fight against the White Witch. And here they are entering the camp, walking through it to seek Aslan. And there are all of these other creatures, centaurs and such that they are walking by. It was very cool on the big screen. And then all of these creatures recognize that these three are human…and they do the most incredible thing-they bow, they offer respect! It was at that point that I lost it, I just started to cry, and not subtly, but in convulsions. I just kept thinking, “No, you don’t understand, stop! We don’t deserve that kind of honor and respect! You don’t know what kind of evil we are capable of.” And I thought of how heaven welcomes us in, these dirty, filthy, rotten sinners, they rejoice when we are gracously accepted by Christ.

And then there is the scene where Aslan lays slain. Suddenly his body disappears. The altar where he had laid is broken in two. Again the allegory smacks you upside the head. The curtain between the Holy of Holies and the priests ripped in two.

I have to say, there are no scenes in any of the Harry Potter books that scream out the allegory. There are things that happen and things that are said that can be taken in an alegorical manner, but nothing that is blatant. And for me that is most disappointing. I thought there may be something at the very end of the final chapter. But the death is nothing too special. There is no parallel of what happens to a Harry while he is dead. The “ressurection” is nothing special. And finally the victory is nothing special. Instead of the story representing the Gospel there are themes that are present: Harry conquers death, is a savior of humanity, overcomes evil with good, and is an example of a good person. In the end though I thought Harry was a pretty lame representation of Christ. I also thought that the author had a pretty good opportunty to create some pretty amazing final scenes that may be Gospel representations, just his reappearance alone could have defeated Voldermort. Maybe others could have been brought back to life. And as mentioned in the allegory editorial on mugglenet it would have been cool if the Veil of Death room had been destroyed or torn apart or whatever. And finally although there are “things worse than death” that was mentioned, nothing seemed to have come of it too much.

I want to state again that the book and the series are awesome stories! Just not that great of an alegory.



4 responses to “Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

  1. It is foolishness to criticize it for not being a perfect allegory when it wasn’t the intent of the author!

    Do you think that if her intent was a “perfect allegory” that she couldn’t have pulled it off?

    Do you criticize a basketball because it isn’t very good for leveling trailer?

    Do you criticize a gallon of milk because you drank the whole thing, but didn’t even get a buzz?

  2. Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick)

    Although the argument is extremely compelling, my good friend Bill is correct, the intent of the author is unknown at this point. I think it is pretty obvious that there are examples of alegoricalness (I made that word up) throughout the series. Pefect or complete? Well I don’t know. Thinking not perfect and who knows for sure if the intentions is to be complete?

    I have no idea what “leveling trailor” is.

    I get buzzed off of milk all the time!

    I think Rowlings has alluded to her intentions, but analyzing and criticizing those allusions are difficult and ultimately speculation. I do hope that JK will come right out and explain the alegorical intentions at some point. But she’d be foolish to do that before the last movie is made.

    At any rate I completely enjoyed the series. And hope to talk to my good friend Bill about it lots more!


    PS. As long as we are talking about unanswered questions…I STILL do not understand the whole baby/monter thingy that was making the noise and such during the scene where Harry was “dead”. A Horcrux? And I don’t think that we ever saw what Dumbledore refered to as something “worse than death”.


  3. The little tortured monster-baby thing was that piece of Voldemort that resided within Harry.

    That is what Harry referred to when he said he knew what would be come of Voldemort and that he’d best try for some remorse to repair his damaged soul.

  4. Derin Beechner (Durk Niblick)

    I understnd that (now) and I understand how I missed that. OK…

    What about the “fate worse than death” thing?


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