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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.


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