Thursday, December 5, 2019

#YearOfHarryPotter: Deathly Hallows, Chapters 17-20

Last week, I read Chapter 17 ("Bathilda's Secret"), Chapter 18 ("The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore"), Chapter 19 ("The Silver Doe"), and Chapter 20 "Xenophilius Lovegood").

Last week's chapters included some of my favorite scenes from this book, and really, from the entire series. The scenes with Bathilda are so wonderfully creepy and suspenseful. I especially love that Bathilda refuses to speak in front of Hermione because she would realize she was speaking Parseltongue.  I'd also forgotten the added complication of Harry's wand being broken.

The other scene I love is Ron's return, which occurs amidst another mysterious happening, the appearance of the silver doe. Ron is often a comic character in this series, and it was nice to see him come into his own and show that there is more to him than humor and banter with Hermione. I also love that the deluminator turns out to be his means of finding his way back to Harry. Dumbledore understood these characters better than they realized.

Since it has been ten years or more since I last read this book, I'm fuzzy on the details about what turns out to be true about Dumbledore's past, but I do like the way this book casts doubt on his character in the same way book 6 made us suspicious of Snape. It really contributes to the feeling that Harry is finally isolated and alone, in many ways, in his final confrontation with Voldemort.

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