Podcast Question of the Week: Episode 187

The battle is over, Tom Riddle is dead, and the sun is rising on a new day. Our hero deserves some rest – but are we feeling satisfied?

Harry thinks at the end of this chapter that he has had “enough trouble for a lifetime.” But were there any troubles that haven’t been resolved by this point? Were there any questions you felt went unanswered by the final confrontation? How do you think they should have been resolved?

Let us know what you think below or by sending us an Audioboom!

 

 

  • daveybjones999 .

    I was actually pretty satisfied by the ending. There really weren’t any lingering questions I had and it’s good enough that there didn’t really need to be an epilogue. I mean, I like the epilogue, but I would have been perfectly fine with Harry’s “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime” being the final sentence of the series. The only things I’d do differently would maybe be to have a few more moments with the side characters after the battle. The only other two things I’d change were in the movies. I wish Neville’s speech from the movie had been in the book. It’s one of my favorite things in the movie and I keep forgetting it wasn’t in the book. The other thing that the movie did that I wish had been in the book was an actual final battle between Harry and Voldemort. I was a bit disappointed when I first read the book and their final confrontation was just them circling each other and talking. I know that Harry isn’t really skilled enough to fight Voldemort, but I would have at least liked them to cast some spells at each other than the one spell each of them casts in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Harry trying to save Voldemort’s soul, but their conversation is mostly just repeating information that we already know and the only information we’re given that we didn’t, was that Draco was the master of the Elder Wand and that easily could have just been relayed to Ron and Hermione after the battle. I have since grown to like their final confrontation, but I still wish that there was an actual fight. However, those are really just minor nitpicks in the grand scheme of things, , so in the end I’m 99% satisfied with the ending.

    • MartinMiggs

      Interesting because I though the Neville speech was incredibly awkward. Neville wakes up looking hungover, Voldemort saying oh we’d be happy to hear what you have to say Neville and then cliche line after cliche line from Neville about fighting back and not giving up.

      • daveybjones999 .

        The reason why I like it even though it’s a bit cliché is the execution of the scene. Matthew Lewis’s acting in this scene is very well done and I think he happens to be able to read clichéd lines well. Another reasons is that the way that the speech matches up with the music swelling in the background which really elevates the scene. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot about that scene before Neville starts his speech that really doesn’t work at all, but I’d rather not talk about those until the movie watch. Also I personally don’t mind if something is cliché if it also happens to be well executed and I think it was executed really well. That and I’ve never agreed with the sentiment that if something is cliché that it means that it’s necessarily bad, because I think that some things are cliché for a reason and just because something is cliché doesn’t mean that it can’t also be emotionally poignant and true.

  • The end of Harry’s quest to defeat Voldemort was very satisfying for me at least. Voldemort died having been informed about some of the biggest mistakes that he made in trying to conquer – such as believing Snape was the Master of the Elder Wand when it actually was Draco, and we also gain conclusion on what happens to the hallows. Even though I appreciate having an epilogue, for Rowling to have closed the book on this chapter would have left me equally content. However I do question whether we would have all wanted more and more details on what happened next. By having the epilogue, even if in many respects, it creates more questions than it answers, at least we are provided with a little further conclusion on the next part of Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s lives.

  • FailedAurorNowRunsAQuznos

    I was overall satisfied with the ending and didn’t mind the epilogue. However, I always felt there was more to the story that could’ve been told as a follow up tale. I wanted to actually see Harry and Ginny together because they really had no interactions after Voldemort died. Did Ginny resent Harry at all for leaving her for a year or for always confiding in Ron and Hermione but not her? I wanted to read about Harry going through training, maybe even taking on a case to round up the Death Eaters on the run. While I would have loved another book about this in true narrative form, I would’ve even been happy if Rowling released one long timeline. Tolkien did this very effectively. He included a timeline in an appendix and it at least answered many questions. I find it interesting that Rowling is adding on to the series but doing it 19 years later. I don’t quite see how that is better than one that takes place right after as Harry goes about reforming the Ministry. It’s almost like she is saying that people’s lives end at 18 and nothing noteworthy happens. Then when their kids are the right age, there can be a new exciting tale. I always thought 18-25 was one of the most exciting time for a person, regardless of whether they are fighting a Dark Lord. Would’ve been nice to see more of that.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I would have liked to see the epilogue take place earlier on as well. Frankly, I don’t really care about all their kids. I just can’t really invest much into characters thrown in at the end. I would have liked to see a bit more on their lives in the immediate aftermath, as they begin their careers and whatnot, too.

      • ISeeThestrals

        That would’ve been interesting. We could’ve all guessed they were going to be fine and have families without the epilogue. That wasn’t a surprise to me when I read it.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I’ve read that Rowling put in the epilogue because she felt it was important to show that the best revenge against what Voldemort tried to do to them was to go on and live happy, normal lives. I always thought she needed enough time to pass to show them after they had learned to live with the traumas they had experienced and to show that Voldemort hadn’t been able to ruin their lives despite all they’d been through.

  • Wokanshutaiduo

    So Voldemort himself is dead – what about the rest of the cleanup?
    What about all his other Death Eaters? The magical creatures fighting on his side?
    What about the ongoing issues with prejudice towards Muggleborns embedded within their government?
    What about all the war dead and their families?
    What about those Muggleborn children that never got to come to school?
    What about all the Muggleborns that have fled the country, leaving wizarding Britain a shell of it’s former self?
    What about the Statute of Secrecy and how this war has impacted the Muggle world thus far?
    What about the Dursleys?

    Obviously I don’t expect Jo to tie up all the loose ends in her book. I would have liked some acknowledgement that it’s not really over yet!

  • Witherwings

    What has become of the Flying Ford Anglia??

    • Slyvenpuffdor

      In my head cannon it becomes king/queen/head car of the Dark Forest

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I’m pretty sure I came across a fan-fic that involved Harry and Ron’s kids finding it and getting into some sort of trouble at Hogwarts because of it. I didn’t actually read it, but it is a fun thought. Harry and Ron having to scold their own children for antics with the car is amusing to me.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    So, until it was confirmed on Pottermore, I wondered if Harry became an Auror or not, and if doing so wasn’t a bit foolhardy, considering he planned on dying a natural death to break the Elder Wand’s power. It seems to me that becoming an Auror is rather risky, given that it puts him in place to fight dark wizards, which not only lowers his chances of dying naturally, but also would risk losing the Elder Wands allegiance to the exact type of person who shouldn’t have it.

    • expecto-pootronum

      I agree. Personally I really think Harry would’ve been better suited to becoming a teacher. He proved he’s good at it in the DA, and it seems like it was a positive experience for him too. I think even if he didn’t have an Umbridge to rebel against, he would make a very good teacher for future Hogwarts students.
      Also, hasn’t he had enough trouble to last a lifetime? It’s probable this entire ordeal leaves him with PTSD. Wouldn’t willingly putting himself in similar situations potentially be traumatic for him?

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        That’s an interesting point about PTSD being a factor as well. I think that’s something that just comes down to the individual. From my experience having several family members in the military, peope deal with that kind of trauma differently. Some don’t reenlist, and try to live as normal of lives as they can while for others there is no return to normalcy- the life of a soldier is what they know and they return to fight again and again. Some come home, but find they can’t bare not being being there fighting alongside their brothers in arms.

        • expecto-pootronum

          Thank you for that! I don’t have any experience with PTSD myself, nor am I close to anyone who does, so I would never presume to know how to deal with it best.
          We see Harry lead an apparently normal life in the epilogue, and the fact that he seems happy and healthy hints that he’s not in any acute distress. As far as I know, Cursed Child looks it’s going to go into these issues a little more. I’m looking forward to seeing Harry’s hero role deconstructed a bit, and I’m hoping we get to see some of the aftermath of the war and how everyone deals with it.
          I always thought the epilogue kind of cheapened the traumatic experiences everyone went through by showing them as Happy Nuclear Families that were Totally Okay With Everything and Had No Problems. Not that I want any of the characters to suffer even more, but the notion of nobody carrying lasting damage felt, dare I say it, unrealistic.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, I’m totally with you in thinking that they all seem a little too perfect and happy. Granted, people can be surprisingly resilient and do go on with seemingly normal lives after traumatic events, often keeping their scars within, but I agree that it would have been nice to recognize that all the terrible things Harry and Co. went through had lasting effect. I think the only suggestion of this we get is Harry touching his scar, even though it no longer actually causes him physical pain. I’m really interested to see where Cursed Child goes with this as well. Just as comparison, I think Hunger Games did this really well. We got the “happy” ending, but it definitely made it clear that they still weren’t free from psychological damage.

          • expecto-pootronum

            Hunger Games is what I thought of here too! We see so clearly the immense amount of psychological damage Katniss (and others) receive. On a side note related to that, I was annoyed that while in the books she describes how she gets more and more physical scars and blemishes and is nearly unrecognizable by the end, the movies decided to ignore that…

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, that was one of my biggest WTF? moments with that film too. Though, the third fell totally flat for me in general, I think they choose the wrong things to leave out and ended up sacrificing story for action.

  • DisKid

    Oh of course we’re not satisfied! That’s why we needed a website like pottermore! I remember JK Rowling saying, before she had finished the final chapter, that she wouldn’t need to write any books because the 7th book would answer everybody’s questions. Well….it didn’t answer this one! What exactly did they do with Voldemort’s body afterwards? Sure they put it in a chamber away from the other folks, but surely they didn’t keep it there did they? I would imagine that would make future students terribly uncomfortable for the body of the most dangerous dark wizard of all time to be on the grounds somewhere!

    I doubt he got any kind of service cause….well who would want to? I also doubt he has a marker anywhere, that’s just asking for trouble. But they have to put his remains somewhere. Did they bury him on a land far away? Did they cremate him and throw the ashes into the sea or the air maybe?

    This is a dark thought, but do you think anybody may have maimed it as a final insult?

    I’m just really curious as to what was finally done about Voldemort’s body. If leaving it in that chamber really was it’s final resting place….well Hogwarts headmasters I think that was highly inappropriate!

    • Slyvenpuffdor

      I would have just incinerated it…

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Yes, KILL IT WITH FIRE!

        I think, given the dude’s proclivity for not *actually* dying, it would be prudent to destroy the body completely, ya know, just for good measure.

    • badonkaTonks

      I have often thought about what they did with his body also. I don’t think you could hold a service for him because that would be treating him with some level of reverance and he does not deserve that. But is it odd that I also feel like just chucking his body in hole or a lake would be too callous? I feel like that would almost be like stepping down to Voldermort’s level. I don’t know if there is answer that would satisfy me.

      • DisKid

        You’re definitely not alone in that. There’s several people who, after a famous felon dies, do not wish for people to be too callous when taking care of their remains. It’s not odd at all. I do believe we have people at Hogwarts like that or I don’t think they would have bothered to take him inside to a chamber.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Deciding what to do with Tom Riddle’s body is important, and because of that I guess it would be up to Kingsley to say what is safe, decent and gives most people the feeling that the matter is resolved. A choice that I feel would be possible and just: Bury him in his father’s grave the way nonmagical persons with no family or other funeral attendants are buried, and don’t anonounce that place publicly. Maybe cremate the body, that would be safer in a world where inferi exist.

        • badonkaTonks

          I agree, I use this word in the loosest sense of the term but he deserves a final resting place, and perhaps doing it in the most muggle way is fitting, and not making it a spectacle to the wizarding world.

  • Slyvenpuffdor

    How did the ministry deal with the hall of prophecies being destroyed? and the time turners?

  • badonkaTonks

    I’ve always wondered what happened to all the death eaters after the battle and how the were accepted back into “normal” society. I suppose many who were at the top ranks were put in prison, not for just being a death eater but for the crimes they committed while under Voldermorts rule. But for the ones who were not put in away how were they accepted as they went back to their jobs or neighborhood. How did some like Mr. Weasley go back to work alongside some who he very well knows was on the side of people who tried to kill him and successful killed one of children. How did the wizarding world learn to trust and forgive each other after all of this. Maybe it’s just something that came with time, but I could see it being a very difficult road until it happened.

  • skgai

    No.

    • skgai

      JK JKR! I must know…did the Acramantulas of the Forbidden Forest all die off or do they still linger deep in the Forest? Are the Giants extinct except for Grawp? What did the Americans think of these events and why the hell didn’t we help? Did anyone come to Voldemort’s funeral? Instead of a Phoenix’s song like Dumbledore, did a Banshee just wail for him? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a lollipop?!?!?

      Although I’m kidding, I would genuinlly like real answers about those questions from JKR. I think she really wrapped things up nicely. So nicely, in fact, I think she could just chop off that Epilogue.

  • SlothPatronus

    Were the remaining Death Eaters imprisoned? It is not explained what happened to all those who remained after his death. I feel like not all could have been caught but the ones who were, did the dementors go back to being under ministry control? Could they have roamed free or do they have a magical law binding them to the service of wizards parallel to that of house elves?

  • ISeeThestrals

    I feel like if it were me, when I had my talk with Dumbledore, I wouldn’t be able to hold back from asking more about death and the afterlife. Whether it was happening in my head or not, I would be curious enough to ask more on this topic. Other than that, I think the final confrontation was handled well enough. Though at times re-reading the scene between Harry and Voldemort’s fight feels a little long due to the conversation between them before they strike one another. However, it was all the things Voldemort needed to hear. If anything, I might have liked to hear Voldemort give one final cry of “NNNyyaaaahhh!” in defeat, or perhaps that’s just a movie-ism interest I suddenly want to see in the book 🙂

  • Lord_Trolldemort

    I am extremely unsatisfied with Voldemort’s death.

    Let me repeat that just to assure everyone that they heard correctly. I AM EXTREMELY UNSATISFIED WITH VOLDEMORT’S DEATH.

    Harry asking Voldemort to feel some sort of remorse, to ‘man up’ and try, is pretty much like Voldemort asking Harry to suddenly start speaking Chinese (and for all the good it’s going to do Tom Riddle, Harry might as well be speaking another language). Tom does not understand human empathy. He’s devoid of it and has been all of his life. He never had the chance of developing a sense of remorse, so it’s no wonder that he’s perplexed by Harry’s emotions, which are almost entirely made up of love and empathy. It’s impossible for him to feel this way. While I think that Harry is just trying to do what is best and extend some sort of benefit of the doubt to his counterpart, I think that his sentiment is almost useless and pretentious. He may not have meant it this way, but he’s taunting Tom Riddle with what he can never have.

    Voldemort’s lack of empathy never comes full circle. He never sees exactly how the evil of his actions has destroyed those around him. For all he knows, in the afterlife, trapped under that chair, he’s blaming Harry and Dumbledore for his current state. I know that he earned it, and the entire audience knows that he earned it, but he will never know.

    I think that the curiosity and intrigue that he feels towards Harry are signs that he knows that something exists outside his realm of knowledge, a power that he can’t understand being the raging sociopath that he is, but he’s never given the chance in a literary sense to grow and develop as a character (which I think is a terrible shame).

    I have a personal headcanon that the only satisfying ending here would be for Voldemort to have developed a sense of remorse, but be trapped within the world of the living for all eternity by his horcruxes. He would be feeling the devastating loss which he has caused all around him. In this sense, he has achieved his objective of being immortal, but the immortality which he so fervently fought for is corrupted by his ability to empathize which means that he will forever be in a state of pain and anguish. This conclusion though, also allows him to develop as a person. I feel like that would have been much more interesting of an ending than what we ultimately got.

  • the head girl

    I really, really wish we had seen the aftermath – just the day after, what happens next. How do Ginny and Harry re-introduce themselves to the other after Ginny saw Harry die, and then save the wizarding world? What does Flitwick think when he goes into his classroom and finds his books all burnt, his desk cracked in half, and blood spattered on the walls? Does George sleep at all that first night, or does he wait by the window until the sun comes up and no one else comes home? How does McGonagall feel when the headmaster’s office opens for her without hesitation, and she looks at the rolls for the students enrolled for the next year, but so many names are struck out? When Kingsley takes over as Minister, does he have any time to grieve for the friends he’s lost or does he go straight into clean-up mode?

    I also wish we could have seen the next September 1. How many students can see the thestrals now? Can you get any learning done in a classroom where you know someone died? We know that Slytherin isn’t dissolved, but how well do the kids integrate back in with the other three Houses, or are they just ostracized?

    I love happy endings, and Harry more than deserved his two-point-five kids and white picket fence. But to go from a warzone to an idyllic storybook conclusion is jarring, leaving me wanting to know more about the interim. Luckily, that’s why we have fanfic.

    • Matthew

      Ms. Head Girl,

      You raise some great points. I don’t particularly wish Rowling would have answered questions from your first two paragraphs, but they are still brilliant questions nonetheless. Your third paragraph, however, I do agree needed answering.

      I feel the final chapter of DH is much too brief. There is simply too much that needs sorting to fit into one chapter and it shows because it concludes so quickly for such an epic series. I vividly remember finishing the chapter for the first time and saying, “what? That’s it? It’s over just like that? Wow.” You could tell Rowling was ready to be done with it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the chapter immensely, but it reads much too hastily and just feels rushed. All of the emotion and adrenaline from the final confrontation does not have an appropriate amount of time to subside and it leaves the reader feeling jilted.

      Adding one more chapter that picks up right after Riddle collapses would have likely solved this for me. Chapter 36 should have focused on the flaw in the plan and the final confrontation between Harry and Riddle. Adding an additional chapter would have allowed Rowling to change gears and come down from the emotional high, address the aftermath, celebration and the look ahead to a new beginning. That simple separation of the confrontation and its aftermath would have read so much better for me.

      Take care.