Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Potter, Potter Everywhere

This entry WILL HAVE SPOILERS so you'd better skip the spoiler part if you haven't read the final installation of Harry Potter and you plan to do it sometime in the near future.

Have no fear..You need to highlight the blank part in order to read them!

I woke up on Saturday, the 21st knowing that some people already had a copy of the Deathly Hallows in their hands and probably some have finished it already. Although I promised myself not to get too excited about the book, I could not help the anxiety of not knowing 'who died' and how it all ends so I announced to Mr S that I'm going out for a while to go and get my very own copy.

I took the bus - and I never willingly take the bus to go anywhere!

I went to the nearest Asda and found that the book had sold out. So, I had to take the tube to Stratford (the next nearest station) to get my book at the mall there, where there's a Sainsbury's and I got my copy for £8.87 as opposed to the RRP of £17.99.


But I did not read the book straight away. I was reading another book at the time and I just had to read a few more chapters of that book before I skip over to that long awaited thick black book at the top of my 'To-Be-Read' pile. We had guests anyway during that weekend - an auntie and our cousin stayed over for 2 nights, so had to SABAR...I knew that once I start with that HP, it would be terribly hard for me to put it down and what would that reflect on my emm..'skills' as a hostess??

Plus, have you ever had that feeling - when you want to read a book so badly but you feel a little afraid to do it because you know that once you start to read it - it had to of course... end? And there will be nothing else to look forward to? And thus, you are content just to look at the book and stroke the book cover and read the blurb again and again?

You think that's sad? may be right.

But I have been waiting for this book with a mixture of anxiety and dread and if you are a real fan and a little crazy like me - you might understand.

Unfortunately, I could not stop myself after all and started the book anyway, the day after I purchased it, while my guests were out sight-seeing in London...


I knew it!!!

I knew that Snape has always been a good guy! And believe it or not, I also predicted that he will be one of those to die in the final book - it was pretty obvious to me, as I believed him to be innocent from the start and I ABSOLUTELY believed in Dumbledore who always, always trusted him (to me, there was also 1 clear indication of a 'plan' in the prior book) and thus, to me, it was beyond doubt that the author would kill Snape off and tell his story only at his 'deathbed' and make everyone feel remorse for thinking that he was Dumbledor's murderer. To me, only upon his death that the author can make Harry and all else understand the kind of sacrifice he had made.

But that surprise story about him loving Lily Evans/Potter all these years, ever since they were small just takes the cake, for me. I was touched to the core and I could imagine the young and wide eyed Snape lacking in confidence and wanting to blend in with all the Slytherins, as he was supposed to and yet only had eyes for that girl in Griffyndor. And that horrid James Potter who bullied him! Snape was a better man than James Potter ever was!

I was so very sad and my eyes watered when I found out that his Patronus was the same as Lily's and when Dumbledore asked him, his eyes full of tears:

"After all this time?"
"Always," said Snape.

I nearly bawled at this point!

It just shows the genius of the author, to make the readers sympathise with a character such as Snape's. Of course, since I had loved Snape from the beginning, all this was just a twist of the knife for me who was already feeling so very sad because Snape had just died!

I did wonder though, how come his Patronus was the same as Lily's - shouldn't they all have different animals conjured at this spell? But then, I remembered Umbridge's Patronus - and her strong attachment to cats. It seems that if one has strong feelings for something (or someone), it could affect one's Patronus, and thus, this is how I self-explain Snape's.

And how can I not mention the moment when he died..

"" he whispered.

Even at his last breath, he remembered Lily for again and again it has been mentioned that Harry looks exactly like his father, except for his eyes...which is exactly like his mother's.


Over all, I thought the book was great. Although I really wanted more info on wandlore - it appears that suddenly Harry was 'a master' at this at the end and I just find that difficult to believe - that he thought of everything suddenly. I had forgotten that Draco was the one who disarmed Dumbledore of his wand, even though Snape was the one who said Avada Kedavra, and thus, I was a little confused at the time...

And don't you think Ron's flight in anger (due to the chain's powers) is reminiscent of LOTR...?

I have so much more to discuss and I can't discuss with Mr S just yet as he is still too tired after the exams to actually open a book, even a storybook! He is also a fan of Harry Potter, mind, and he will not stop reading, even on the Tube once he starts but as to when that will be, I am still waiting with baited breath..


Order Of The Phoenix, the movie.

And then, during the weekend, we went to watch the latest Harry Potter movie. Had to leave our children for a few hours with a good friend and went to the nearest cinema which was the Odeon in South Woodford. JK Rowling said in an interview with Jonathan Ross that it is the best HP movie so far but I am inclined to disagree - I still do think that Prisoner of Azkaban is still the best one!

But the fighting scenes were brilliant.

Finally we see on film Dumbledore's great powers in that duel with Voldermort and the latter appears scarier and even better than the previous film. Never did like Michael Gambon's acting in the earlier films although I have to say that he is a great actor, really, and was brilliant in most of his other non Potter films. In this movie installation though, he somehow wore Dumbledore's shoes perfectly and Mr S agreed with me too, saying that perhaps the actor has finally read the HP books and has begun to understand the character...he he.

The thing about Dumbledore is that he is much, much more intelligent than Voldermort, and this, I feel, we can see from their duelling and how he parried all of Voldermort's attacks until finally, infuriated, the latter decided to 'attack' the young wizard instead.

My eyes watered when Sirius was killed with the killing curse by Bellatrix - indeed, Helena Bonham Carter did justice to that evil witch character - her acting was brilliant and you know what, even when I first heard she was part of the cast in that movie, I knew that she would be Bellatrix as she is just perfect for that role.

As for Sirius who was described as 'handsome' in the books, I wouldn't really categorize Gary Oldman as handsome by any stretch of the imagination but I have to admit that the long hair made him look 'dashing' enough. In fact, Sirius looked really cool with his wand moves during the showdown with Lucius Malfoy near the arch.

There were lots of short scenes though, which I found a little annoying but I understand the points that the film had to make to compliment and align itself as much as possible with the book - as opposed to filming the whole book verbatim, which is unfortunately, impossible.

Needless to say, there were lots and lots of other details that were left out from the movie so if you liked the movie, you should pick up the book because you're really losing out on a lot of interesting information that makes up the book and will probably be important to know to enjoy the next HP movie.


Dad of Four said...

Bonham-Carter is one of may fav actresses...! I'm inclined to agree with Rowling that Phoenix is the best of the five (my non -Potter-reader friends seem to think otherwise!). So you watched this at South Woodford? I miss the walk from the tube station and pop by at sainsbury's to buy Haagen Dazs brittle mac/strawberry cream and walk all the way home digging in the tub (LOL!) and picking pears (public prop) along the way (next to the motorway)! Pu rented hse was about 10 mins walk from the station (Walpole Road).

halwafy said...

DOF: Actually, I used to really like her too..but she seldom appears nowadays..or maybe I haven't been watching enough films..LOL

We were late (or so we thought) in arriving - first time there, didn't know where to park...but noticed a lot of posh shops there and a lot of expensive cars. The main supermarket is Waitrose (high end supermarket) so that in itself is an indication of how well to do the people there are...has this area always been like this - since you were there??

We went through Chelmsford Road (took the car) to arrive at the main road..didn't notice Walpole Road...maybe next time I'll look for it :)

Nora said...

Hi,I'm Nora from KL,living in London.Terjumpa blog ni,dan dah beberapa kali baca,terrible me never leave a comment!Anyway,do you know that there'll be a get together with Msian,Sporean rantauan members this Essex.Hope you and your family can come and all of us can get to know each other there.Pls e-mail me for details at

Along said...

Loved the book!! Cried at the end (oklah, bergenang tapi tak menitis).

Haven't seen the movie yet. Still waiting for (free) tickets.

halwafy said...

Nora: Thanks for the invite! Will ask Mr S about it :) and will email later insh.

Along: I loved the book too...but ada some dissatisfaction jugak lah....dunno how to put it..need to mull over it some more but perhaps it is also because I just didn't want it to end...*sigh*

Go and watch the movie! The fighting scenes are great.But awal2 tu to me was a little slow...NOT unlike the book..

Yan said...

hahha...lawaks ah K.Ibah..penuh perasaan tul..makes me, a non-Harry Potter fan, cam curious nak try tgk/baca..:p

halwafy said...

Yan: Hehe..what to do - am passionate and emotional about the things I love..:D

Go on..try the'll enjoy them!

Afif said...

You know what? Snape and me do have something in common..

halwafy said...

afif: What's that? Not greasy hair, I hope...:)

mynn said...

Mama sarah asked me to read your review of the Potter book & movie.

Re: the book, I could so relate to when you said you almost didn't want to start reading the book as once you finish - it's the last one ever of the series.

although I got the book extremely early (at 3am from Tesco, the book was out at 12am) i postponed reading until 3-4 days after; berebut with Mama Sarah to read the book, LOL. I tried to make reading the book as long as possible - (it took me two weeks), but starting the 1/3 part towards the end I couldnt put the book down!

ps - thanks to your review Puan Mama Sarah & I now HAVE to watch the movie :(

pps - I hated ALL the previous HP movies. Azkaban I hated least.

halwafy said...

Mynn: hehe..glad to know that someone is just as bad as me when it comes to their fav books!! :)

As for the movies, yeah..actually, I myself started to read the books after watching Azkaban - the previous movies didn't entice me at all to pick up HP books! From the Azkaban movie, I realised that the HP series is more 'young adult' really, rather than strictly for children - that's why I started on the books. By the way...have you read His Dark Materials Trilogy? Just wondering...;)

Heard the family is going back today...tak sempat nak jumpa..:(

mynn said...

i am a BIG fan of His Dark Materials Trilogy. Have you read it? the first two books are absolutely wonderful and it's not a surprise they are making a movie; starring Nicole Kidman at that. i can't wait to see the movie.

As for the third book, i thought the creatures on wheels are a bit silly, and by then the author became overboard in his anti-religious story telling. But the ending is just so sad, isn't it? i read the books back-to-back and did nothing else at the time (that was when I started slightly neglecting my blog)

ps - this post is brought to you live from dubai :) met blogger friends here in Dubai - they are wonderful!

we're off to malaysia very early tomorrow morning

halwafy said...

mynn: Have read it a few years back and my thoughts and Mr S's are exactly the same as yours...loved and really enjoyed the first 2 and the final one was a little bit of a disappointment..yeah..maybe because I still wanted to give religion a chance at that point in the books...hehehe...and of course, I'm a sucker for happy endings and the author JUST HAD TO end it that way, huh?? And I thought they had a chance at first...!

Good to know the family is alright and are meeting up with friends in a foreign land...Safe journey on the morrow and salam to Mamasarah and the kids!...:)

mynn said...

i think the movie was crap, but I'm also waiting for the 3rd Eragon book. apparently the writer was only 15 years old when he started - quite an achievement. the Eragon books are abit derivatory of Star Wars, but what is captivating is the detail in which the writer imagined everything (great detail in e.g. the Magick system, ecology etc2222) - and he was only 15 when he started!

now I'm writing live from shah alam :) alhamdulillah, although slightly jet lagged, the children (and parents) are okay :D