And here are five things I didn’t love about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Again, seriously, if you haven’t read it and are planning to, DON’T PROCEED TO THE JUMP. There are big honking SPOILERS. I MEAN it.):
1. Forgetfulness: This one’s probably caused by two factors. One is that Rowling’s books are generally so fluid and tightly plotted that I’ve never really noted any continuity errors. The second is a lifetime of nitpicking through Marvel and DC comics and developing highly defined but ultimately useless continuity muscles. Anyway, in an early chapter, Hermione explains what she’s done to her parents to get them to safety, which included significantly modifying their memories. Later, she says she’s never performed a forgetfulness charm before, even though she’s made her parents forget they had a 17-year-old daughter. I finally wrote it off as a difference between memory modification and simple forgetfulness, but I did spend a fair amount of time assuming that Hermione was under the Imperius curse or something.
2. One locket to irk them all: I know the books are packed with homage and that they’re basically a patchwork of children’s fantasy literature, but this Lord of the Rings stuff was such a direct lift that I half expected one of the characters to reference it. Hermione reads everything; surely she’s gone through some muggle literature? She seems like the type to have read the complete works of Austen by the time she was nine.
3. Career women are bad: This might be an overreaction, but all of the women characters who favor work over marriage and family are really, really evil (unless they’re nurses or teachers, who are basically acting in loco parentis). Rita Skeeter, Umbridge, Bellatrix – all of them suck without mitigating factor, and it strikes me as too coincidental that they’re all focused on their work. (Yes, being a Death Eater is a job.)
4. Moms are great: This is essentially just the flip side of that, but fortune favors the fertile in Rowling’s novels. I strongly suspect that Mrs. Weasley (the best mom ever) got to take down Bellatrix (the worst of the career gals) just as an object lesson that, even the most enthusiastically sadistic of Death Eaters is no match for a mama lion in a rage.
5. That epilogue: I really wanted to learn what the kids were doing with their lives, beyond being married and having kids. Aside from Neville, there was no suggestion that any of them had jobs or interests or things to occupy their time other than being married and having kids. I suppose it’s unlikely that we’d have found out Hermione was running the Department of Mysteries and Ginny was an internationally famous quidditch player while Ron and Harry were happy, stay-at-home dads, but come on. Throw me a bone.