Category Archives: Matt

Final Thoughts

New Harry Potter

Note from Ashley: My post about the Epilogue is still to come next week, which is why I’ve abstained from writing final notes, myself. I get an entire post to wax poetic about the end of this series and the end of this project, so it’s only fair everyone else gets a space, too.

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I’ve had so much fun with this, not only writing my own posts, but getting to read what everyone else thinks about Harry Potter (SPOILER ALERT: you all love it). I’ve enjoyed all the insights everyone has had that I’ve never, ever had in all of my rereads, and the discussions that followed, but my very most favorite thing was getting to see new GIFs I’d never seen before. You guys are good at GIFs, is what I’m saying.

Also, I can’t believe it’s over. Again. Sads. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be over here in the corner, rereading all the books and pretending Harry Potter is never going to end ever ever. Continue reading


The Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32: That Which Lies At The End of the Path

Goodness. This is my last post. That’s sad. And exciting. Because it means the archive is coming and the archive will persist. It’s not the end, though (it’s never the end!) because we still have that wrapup post coming OOPS SPOILERS.

Today, again, I only get to discuss one chapter, though. So let’s see if we can pull it all together and make something that’s truly magical. I shall miss everyone’s many and varied thoughts that are many and varied. It’s been a real wonder to go back and look at this series again and see how well it holds up, because it does hold up and hold up well. And stuff like that. Also critical brain being critical still loves this series. Possibly more.

To start this, I should mention, I suppose, how I read this book, because it was most peculiar.

I started around two in the morning because Borders was a total madhouse. Got home, started reading. Read for maybe three hours and passed out around five (as I am wont to do). It was only going to be a nap. I had plans to wake up at seven in the morning so I could finish in time for a work/errand thing I had to do at 5:30 later that day. The plan was to be done by the work/errand so I could worry about work.

Surprise surprise, I overslept (probably woke up around nine), realized that I wouldn’t have had time to finish before the work/errand, and spent the rest of the day not speeding through it, but taking my time. I didn’t STOP reading, of course. But I took my time. I even got a text message at seven thirty in the morning from my best friend saying she’d finished and she didn’t cry (fascist).

I read all day. And when I had to stop to go to work, I looked at how long the next chapter was (it was pretty long) and closed the book. Went to the work/errand (thinking about where I had stopped) and hurried back soon as I was done with the work/errand so I could finish. Which, for the record, was me alone in my childhood home, crying, sobbing, and screaming at the events that unfolded in the very next chapter. It was, to my recollection, the hardest I have ever cried at anything and is still the hardest I have ever cried at anything.

And the chapter that I ended on? When I closed the book for the first time that day and went off to go do my work/errand? The hour or so long break I had between chapters?

Guess what that chapter was. Continue reading

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The Deathly Hallows, Chapters 14-15: Chillin in the Woods with Mah Homies

I remember there was a time that March 2014 seemed like a long damn way off. That’ll never get here, I said. We’ll never cover that book. Not for an eternity.

Yet here we are and I’ve (gasp spoilers) finished re-reading Harry Potter, and, while I have long since said that Order is my favourite, I think that this might take the cake for me. It’s got all the literature and poetry and intensity of Order while still being a terrifically engaging yarn (a la Half Blood Prince). Rowling outdoes herself here.

And she doesn’t have to. She could easily coast her way to an ending (it’s been done before, and to horrendous, series-ruining effect), and she pushes herself harder than she ever has, and reaps the rewards of that hard effort. This book, I feel, is universally liked.

Except for one thing.

And how lucky for me. I get to talk about that very one thing. Continue reading

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The Half Blood Prince, Chapter 9: Because “Harry Potter and Snape” Was a Bad Title

Half Blood Prince is the book that quietly sneaks up on you. It’s a book that I enjoyed the first time I read it (over a whirlwind 24 hour period in Spain), but didn’t think it held a candle to Order of the Phoenix (which I still agree with, however much that gap has decreased) or Goblet of Fire (which I was totally wrong about). It’s the one where Dumbledore dies, we learn all about Voldemort’s past, and everyone falls in love (with the right people, this time).

And all of that is stuff I enjoyed at the time (it was always an experience reading HP after Azkaban), but it’s something that’s grown on me more and more and more as time has gone on. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a spectacular novel. Not, perhaps, as thematically rich as Order of the Phoenix, nor as masterfully crafted as Deathly Hallows (a masterpiece), but it’s a novel in which our beloved Mrs. Rowling is rolling on all of the cylinders. She’s at her most deft and confident here, and when you’re reading this series the first time it’s easy to not recognize it.

I could go on about the generalities of that, but I have a podcast where I can expound as such. Instead, let’s talk about Snape. Continue reading

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The Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32-33: Divide the House

Hello again, dearest everyones! I have missed you quite a bit. And I’m going to try and make this one very quick because, well, these are two very short chapters, and I’m behind on my reading of Half-Blood Prince and I gotta get to it and other things.

So. Let’s escape from Hogwarts.

Continue reading

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