author_by_night: (cool_large)
[personal profile] author_by_night

dimity_blue  [personal profile] rogueslayer452 asked me what I thought of the Deathly Hallows epilogue. A contentious topic if there ever were one.

 

(ETA:  I apologize for naming the wrong person.)


My initial reaction was something along the lines of:

- James II? Lily II? Every fanfic cliche in the book.

- Aww, Teddy and some girl. (For some reason, I totally missed that they said "Victoire Weasley." In my defense, I read DH almost straight through for twelve hours, I was a little hazy and had a pounding headache.).

- So Harry's cool with his kid getting into Slytherin. Possibly. Okay.

I did really like the King's Cross tie-in, and I liked seeing that Harry was okay, despite everything he'd been through. And the trio plus Ginny all together.

Then I came online and it seemed I was very, very much in the minority!

Ten years later, I'm more mixed on the epilogue. Let's look at the issues some people have with it, and that I have with it.

Albus Severus Potter: I could do without the "Severus." I DO like that James's middle name is Sirius, because it's a way of honoring them both at the same time, so I don't wish it were Albus Sirius Potter. (Although that actually rolls off the tongue better.) I just don't love Harry honoring a guy who, you know, verbally abused him for seven years.

On the other hand, part of me feels Harry didn't actually name Albus Severus after Snape, but after Severus. The strange boy who befriended his Mum and taught her all about magic and Hogwarts. The boy who could have been. I'd even go as far as to say it was that Severus who saved Harry on multiple occasions, not the Snape we mostly know. So that's how I've managed to rationalize it. I think simply "Albus" would have gotten the point across, though.

The Dead Person Junior factor: The thing is, that was actually a very common practice until relatively recently, and the wizarding world is a little old fashioned. So it makes sense to me that Harry would name his kids after his parents, because that would be expected even without a horrible tragedy. And even in modern times, people give kids middle names after loved ones. I think the bigger issue there was that it had become such a fanfic cliche - and, in all honesty, it's a pretty common trope. But, as they say on TV Tropes, Tropes Are Not Bad.

(In my head, James tends to go by "Jimmy" or "Jamie", and Albus "Al", which alleviates the Dead Person Junior factor a little. Headcanons aren't actual canon, of course, but that's what I decided. Lily is just stuck with Lily, although she sometimes goes by her first AND middle name.)

Nineteen years later with no in between: Honestly... I have mixed feelings. Looking at the greater scale of wars, usually the recovery process is long and depressing. I don't think there would've been much joy, and JK Rowling wanted joy. So I can understand why she left off with Harry craving a sandwich and fast forwarded nineteen years. 

Having said that, I do think the book would have benefited from one more chapter. Even the other books tended to have a "Harry goes home" chapter. DH arguably ends more like if CoS had ended with Hermione rushing into the Great Hall after be de-Petrified, or them saving Sirius in PoA without even seeing Sirius send Harry one final letter and Ron Pig. I think the book needed something like that, just some brief tying of loose ends, a final touch... 

As far as the happy ending goes overall, JKR wasn't going to make it a sad ending. I think some fans anticipated that, or at least something bittersweet, and... that's not the sort of story JK Rowling was going to tell. After all, the whole point of Voldie going evil was that he never knew love. So the happy ending made perfect sense to me, but I can see why it fell a little flat for some fans, and do think there was certainly room for improvement.


Date: 2017-05-27 09:03 pm (UTC)
angelofthenorth: (Default)
From: [personal profile] angelofthenorth
I liked the epilogue. And I loved cursed child.

Date: 2017-05-27 10:18 pm (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
I didn't mind any of the pairings or the occupations or the child names in the epilogue. What I minded is that the books seemed to be leading up to a true revolution in the wizarding world with regards to magical creatures and with regards to sorting into Houses at Hogwarts (otherwise, why make us read those interminable songs by the sorting hat OMG), and the epilogue shows none of that. I'd have loved a house elf with a wand in the crowd or a mention that the original house distinctions had been scrapped.

Like the other commenter, I adored Cursed Child from top to bottom.

Date: 2017-05-27 10:19 pm (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
Also, here's a link for how to do people's names who are on lj:

https://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse?faqid=87

Date: 2017-05-28 04:06 pm (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
*nods nods*

I just don't get the sense that anything has really changed other than Voldemort being dead, and if that's true, it's really sad and IMHO a failure on the part of the side of Light.

Date: 2017-05-28 12:11 pm (UTC)
makamu: (the power of words by)
From: [personal profile] makamu
I have to concur with [personal profile] lunabee34: that was my main issue with the epilogue as well (and, as I have already mentioned, the Battle of Hogwarts): I would have been all right with there not being a perfectly changed WW all of a sudden, since change takes time, but, as it was, the Trio seemed all of a sudden strangely complacent with the status quo, and that is not something I could believe of any of them.

Re Albus Potter's middle name: as you may have gathered from our last exchange so far, I am rather fond of (or better, rather interested in), Severus Snape, so I was initially rather pleased by this factoid. Looking back on it, I heartily agree with the criticism you make in your post. May I adopt your solution as my headcanon as well?
Edited Date: 2017-05-28 12:12 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-05-28 01:19 pm (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] makamu
I didn't see the epilogue as them accepting status quo initially, especially as Harry's actually fairly defensive of Slytherin in a way he wouldn't have been before, but there was the joke about Ron tricking a Muggle driving instructor into passing him (I love Ron, but could've done without that*)

I really have to re-read DH - you see, I have only ever read it once and just like you, that was an all-nighter on a Friday, so it must have been about three in the morning by the time I reached the epilogue. Anyway, you are right - the Harry we see talking to Al is a lot more accepting of Slytherin than his younger self ever was. As for Ron: yes, it must be that awkward mixing of styles we keep stumbling across in our discussions. And I have just realised something else: this difference in style actually gave fanfic writers in fandom an advantage over canon while it went on: you see, JKR always had to keep in mind that kids younger than her protagonists might read the latter books and so had elements in it meant for older children. Now, as I remember fandom then (and I think this is true of fanfic-writing fandom still (tumblr notwithstanding), the number of *children* (as opposed to younger teenagers - and no, the two are not synonymous, tumblr) we have in fandom is pretty small. So fan writers could pick one of the two style strands and stick to it, without having to worry about a very heterogeneous audience.

Still, that passage seemed oddly regressive for Ron and I really don't like the idea of thirty-seven year-old Ron being just the same as seventeen-year-old Ron. In my ideal headcanon, I would have liked the books to do more with Ron the strategist and use that to build his self-confidence over the course of the books (an arc similar to Neville's, in short). As it was, Ron so often seemed to be nothing but Harry's loyal friend (which is important, especially for people with backgrounds like Harry's) and not much else - something the films apparently picked up on and made worse.

Date: 2017-05-28 02:34 pm (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] makamu
What's interesting is that in re-reading the earlier books as I have been, Ron's really not like that. He's a little snarky and dim at times, but no more so than the others can be. (Hermione's academically smart, but quite clueless and insensitive at times when it comes to interacting with other people.) In fact, he's even the voice of reason a lot of the time, very much the strategist, and even his seemingly insensitive moments are occasionally this if looked at a certain way.

I agree very much - up until GOF, I don't remember Ron being doofy that much. And I would have liked for his unique talents to be used more. For one thing, I imagine Ron must be a lot better at understanding people and social dynamics than either of the other two are. I think that this not being seen has a lot to do with how fandom responded to Hermione - comparing fanon!Hermione to canon!Hermione yields a huge difference in the kind of intelligence you see described. As you say, in the books Hermione is very much research smart, but I don't see her as all that innovative in the way she used that knowledge - even the DA galleons are not on-par with what other smart people of earlier generations did at her age (I think Snape is a better comparison than the Marauders are). And Ron could have been the person who knows how the institutions in the WW work (rather than how they should work) because he knows the office gossip and is good at assessing people...

Date: 2017-05-28 01:44 pm (UTC)
chocolatepot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chocolatepot
As far as the happy ending goes overall, JKR wasn't going to make it a sad ending. I think some fans anticipated that, or at least something bittersweet, and... that's not the sort of story JK Rowling was going to tell.

Imma be honest, a lot of people who complained that it was sappy and saccharine would have been perfectly happy with a sappy, saccharine ending that featured their pet pairings and/or headcanons.

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