amanuensis1: (Default)
I think my overall reactions are not particularly spoilery, for a film adapted from a well-known book, so, outside the cut:

In my opinion DH makes a better film than a book. I'm surprised how much of the book they kept, and perhaps that was a function of how convoluted the storyline is, that they didn't feel they could make major cuts and jumps and still keep even the concept alive. Part One felt a good deal like a chessboard being set up at midgame, piece here, piece there, so that come next film we can actually sit down and play with the board that's been set. They convinced me that one decent film could never have been made from that book without changing it radically (more so than even significant hack-and-slash). But they did show that they could make two decent films from it. Even without seeing the second film I'm going to assume that.

But, man, watching DH is to remind oneself of how interminable that book gets. I can't tell you how many times, despite the enjoyment of familiar characters, good acting, and a well-done book-to-script translation, I fell into the litany of I miss Hogwarts, I miss Hogwarts, I miss Hogwarts. Hogwarts and the Harry Potter series aren't like jam and bread, they're like wheat and bread, with one part so integral the concept falls apart when it's gone. And camping is still camping no matter how many times you change the desktop picture.

Spoilery specifics behind the cut. )
amanuensis1: (Default)
I said that the line about Draco Malfoy having been the Elder Wand's master was the "aha" moment for me; in looking through the text a little more (I told you I was tired) I'm recalling it was an "aha" moment--I'd forgotten, as we're supposed to, about Draco disarming Dumbledore--but the "aha" moment which preceded that was when Voldemort made his explanation to Snape. Voldemort says, "The Elder Wand belongs to the wizard who killed its last owner," and I took that to be the revelation that the wand transfers its power to that wizard's wand. Later the text says of Voldemort:
"It was time to leave this shack and take charge, with a wand that would now do his full bidding."
I never thought that meant anything other than that Voldemort took Snape's wand, thinking Snape's wand was now the Elder Wand. And, yes, that that meant the wand Voldemort was using from that point on was Snape's wand. Since I was wrong in that, do we know what happened to Snape's wand?

I still like the idea that Draco Malfoy was wandering around with this powerful wand all that time and didn't know it, because he's, y'know, Draco Malfoy. And that Harry took the wand from him and therefore took possession of the Elder Wand but didn't know what he had for a while either--that's what I had got from the line "who had come to take full possession of it at last"--acknowledgement, true acceptance of what he held. It feels more satisfying than the idea that the Elder Wand's sitting in Voldemort's hand but realizes that somewhere far off Harry has simply nicked a non-significant wand out of Draco's grasp and that makes the Elder Wand shift allegiance. Not quite sure I'm buying it yet, though technically I can see how it works.

It does make more sense now that I'm told "elder" can be a kind of wood, which is a better argument that the wand is fixed. I assumed "Elder" as a title, in the sense of "elder brother"--first-come, first-ruling, oldest and most senior. The first time we hear the word is within The Tale of the Three Brothers: "So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river..." From the high-toned prose of the story I assumed that was poetic-speak for "ancient tree." But elder is short, it seems, for elderberry?
amanuensis1: (Default)
Fascinating. When I read the words, "The master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy," in DH, everything became plain as day to me: how the Elder Wand is not a fixed wand, but transfers its abilities to the wand which wins the duel. Which is why Voldemort's attempt to take the wand from Dumbledore's corpse was useless, because Dumbledore's wand was no longer the Elder Wand--the power had transferred to Draco's wand, and since Harry defeated Draco without a wand (Harry's was broken at the time, and he just physically overpowered and took the wand from Draco) the power of the Elder Wand simply stayed in that wand, and then acknowledged Harry as its master. I thought it was clever and satisfying.

Except it wasn't right. It works--it's a potential interpretation of the events, except for one bit in the text that counters it: the text identifies the wand that flies into the air in the very last Voldemort-Harry duel as "the Elder Wand" and from context that wand is the one which was in Voldemort's hand. If not for that it could have been valid, I think. Evidently JKR's interpretation of "The master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy" was that Draco was the wand's master but he never actually took possession of it, and when Harry defeated Draco Harry became the wand's master but he didn't lay hands on it either until that final moment in the duel with Voldemort.

*yawns* I'm too tired to think of anything else except that I like my first version better.
amanuensis1: (Default)
Since DH I have seen a number of fanfiction stories that deal with Harry returning Draco's wand to him, as if it were just a kindness or a gesture, which has left me puzzled and wondering if these writers have missed something in DH. Draco's wand is the Elder Wand, which Harry says he will put away and not use, anticipating that if he dies a natural death the wand's power will be broken. Harry can't return Draco's wand to him without addressing that that wand is the Elder Wand. Am I the one who's confused?
amanuensis1: (Default)
Five hours after the book's release. Done. And I came to it unspoiled--I consider that alone one of life's triumphs.

I've spent those hours in a hotel room with [ profile] dementordelta and [ profile] snapetoy and [ profile] treewishes, all of us reading our copies, knowing we wouldn't spoil each other, and there couldn't have been a better way to do it; it was terrific to have that experience.

What did I think? Be aware that these are first impression thoughts--I haven't slept since yesterday. The just-after thoughts; SPOILERS for Deathly Hallows )

April 2017



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