Revisiting Harry Potter: Can someone remind me who gets Fenrir Greyback in the end?

Here is a thing I would pay money for: A DVD adaptation of the entire Tales of Beedle the Bard in the style of The Tale of the Three Brothers from the movie. Because that bit of the movie was creepy, stylized, and cool, which is right in my wheelhouse. Can this be a thing that happens? Can I have your support on this? I reiterate that I would pay money for it. I would show it to any children over whom I had authority in the future, and by the time they got old enough to read the seventh Harry Potter book they’d be like, “Um, those stories are real? Why doesn’t Harry know about them?”

I mean look how cool that is.

The downside to the Tale of the Three Brothers is that it gives Harry such a being-right buzz that he forgets not to say Voldemort’s name and gets them all captured by villains.

Hey, man, nobody understands more than I do how exciting and awesome it is to be right. Especially if your rightness has just been proved in front of somebody who is right much often than you are right, in the grand scheme of things. That is like my favorite feeling ever. It is better than gin. It’s better than queso from the queso place near me, which like, that queso is ridiculous. BUT you gotta be sensible about it. You cannot just be running around saying Voldemort’s name out loud. For the time being, that’s a great name to think about angrily in your head while keeping your lips buttoned.

And what is the consequence? Just about the creepiest damn sequence ever! By which I refer to Greyback being all

at Hermione.

Okay, yeah, he doesn’t say “clever”. Or “witch”. But you know when Frollo says “such a clever witch” he means “I want to bite pieces off you to completion” and that’s the gist of Fenrir’s creepiness at Hermione in this sequence. Poor little Hermione! That must have been super scary for her. Harry doesn’t register it as much because he’s off in Voldemort hallucination la la land, but I feel awful for poor Hermione (and to a lesser degree Ron, since Ron loses all of his shit when the Death Eaters harass and then torture poor little Hermione).

Speaking of Voldemort hallucination la la land, this is nice:

“So you have come. I thought you would…one day. But your journey was pointless. I never had it.”

To be honest, I’m not sure why Voldemort bothered going all the way out to see Grindelwald when he didn’t believe what Grindelwald told him anyway. But never mind. The main point is: Aw. That is a good way to finish out a life as a terrible person. I like that JK Rowling put that bit in. Like maybe she thinks even the worst person in the world (Wizard Hitler), if he sits around and thinks about stuff for a long enough time, can stop being the worst person in the world and figure out that he wants to do something good.

Then some other stuff happens. I forget. I’ve blocked it out.

What with one thing and another, our stalwart trio end up at Bill and Fleur’s cottage, all feeling really sad, and then Lupin comes visit and makes them feel happier. I am still in a fight with that dude, but I love this scene. Rowling’s said she wanted the parallel between Harry and baby Teddy Lupin, because it says a lot about the wizarding world Harry and Ron and Hermione helped build, versus the one Harry was born into; and that made me think about James being equally happy and equally in hiding when Harry was born, and running all around telling his favorite people what was going on. That must have been touching too.

The Gringotts theft scene is another of the set pieces in this book that happens, I get why JK Rowling set it up that way, I like a lot of the elements that go into it, but it’s not quite my thing. They did completely deserve to have the sword stolen, however. That was a shitty thing for Harry to try to pull when he knows perfectly well about all the centuries of wizards oppressing goblins. When they made the deal with Griphook, couldn’t they have taken a beat to discuss amongst themselves other things that would destroy a Horcrux and where to get those things? Like, what are the options with the scary monster fire? Could Hermione possibly set that up in a controlled environment? Like could they head to the beach and Hermione could toss a Horcrux into her magic purse, throw some monster fire after it, and levitate the whole thing over the ocean for a bit before letting it fall in? Some fish would die, but so would Voldemort!

This discussion never takes place. Should? But doesn’t.

All in all, this bit is not my favorite section of Deathly Hallows. Except that it ends with Neville showing up, and me screaming NEVILLE NEVILLE NEVILLE (out loud), and now I am super duper ready for the final segment of this readalong.

This is me right now. Because Neville.

The Adulting of Harry Potter

I always like it when Harry gets his shit together and quits being so impulsive. That is difficult for an impulsive person to do, especially when he is seventeen. I like it how he gets up from what happened at Malfoy Manor with new thoughts about what he observed there and what needs to happen next.

He’s got a plan and he’s executing the plan. That is the story of the rest of this book.

Another small moment that really, really pleases me is this exchange:

“Maybe he’s lying,” Harry said, opening his eyes again. “Griphook. Maybe Gryffindor didn’t take the sword. How do we know the goblin version of history’s right?”

“Does it make a difference?” asked Hermione.

“Changes how I feel about it,” said Harry.

Me too, dude.

Thanks as ever to Alice for hosting, and I will see y’all next Friday for the blood-and-tears-fest that is the concluding section of this book.

27 thoughts on “Revisiting Harry Potter: Can someone remind me who gets Fenrir Greyback in the end?

  1. Completely irrelevant to the post itself, but your title reminds me of the kid in The Princess Bride — “Who kills Humperdinck? At the end, somebody’s gotta get him! Is it Fezzik? Inigo? Who?!”

  2. I love how badass Harry is after burying Dobby and he’s all BAM, I’ve got to talk to Olivander and Griphook, I’ve got plans and I’m going to get shit done. When he wants to, Harry is fantastic at compartmentalising.

    I always have such a soft spot for Grindelwald. I think it’s because we only see him through the lens of Dumbledore and in that final scene with V, but I’d love a book that delves into his story because I think it’d be fascinating. He seems like the sort that started out with the best intentions and then slowly stumbled off the right path and got a little lost before finally finding the path again. I also want young Dumbledore stuff (always) so that’s another reason that book should exist.

    • There are all the reasons that book should exist. I agree, it would be really fascinating to see Grindelwald go down the dark path — but then I think once he got there it would be hard to read. I didn’t even like it when Ron got mad and left Harry and Hermione. I don’t think I could handle seeing a character I wanted to like become Wizard Hitler.

  3. HOW did I manage to forget mentioning Lupin’s adorableness in running around telling people that his son has been born? Awwwww.

    I also love that Harry finally gets his thoughts in order and starts taking action. No dithering about, wondering what to do and how to do it and waiting for things to happen.

  4. YES to the animation of The Beedles of the Bard. That would be great. I think, though, that Harry may have said Voldemort’s name on purpose, out of defiance rather than distracted excitement. He’s tired of all the limits on him and just wants to do his own thing. Impulsive in a terrible way. And YES to considering options. In a few chapters, Hermione’s going to be all, oh yeah, monster fire, that works too. WHY was this never discussed before??

  5. THis is an amazing post. I was also pondering the whole Grindelwald thing: that he chose to lie to Voldemort. I am not sure I paid attention to that in previous readings of the book.

    Harry putting aside his childish things: that’s what these last few chapters have been about. I feel that Dumbledore’s death was the first thing propelling him down that route and that Dobby’s death bookended it–after those two things happened, he was ready, he had a plan, and was prepared to follow through with it.

  6. Oh man, the moment when Neville appears? Love it. I completely lost it when I read Deathly Hallows the first time. I hadn’t even realized how WORRIED I was about the guy until he showed up in one piece! So amazing.

    • I know! I hadn’t been giving him enough thought until he showed up — I didn’t know if he was going to be in this book at all, honestly, and I’m so glad he was.

  7. I always thought Grindelwald had goodness left, because Dumbledore once truly loved him. And Dumbledore is not a fool in love. But Voldemort never had any goodness visible, did he? I wonder if JK thought he was salvageable.

    • Voldemort never did. It sounds like Grindelwald wasn’t a sociopath though, right, in the way that Voldemort was? I don’t know. I don’t know if Voldemort would have been salvageable. I don’t think he necessarily had to become The Ultimate Evil, for sure, but that doesn’t mean he’d have become a nice person if his life had been different.

  8. “The downside to the Tale of the Three Brothers is that it gives Harry such a being-right buzz that he forgets not to say Voldemort’s name and gets them all captured by villains.” I yelled at Harry so much right then. Dammit, you had to go and ruined everything

    Oh man Greyback threatening Hermione is the worst and that Frollo gif is an EXCELLENT choice to illustrate that. And your Fox & Hound gif is also a good choice. Way to win at the gif picking

    • Aw, thanks! What a flattering compliment! I don’t feel as good about my GIF choices for next week, but in fairness to me, I was choosing them while WEEPING THOUSANDS OF TEARS.

  9. I love love love that Harry’s stopped being so impulsive- one of my favourite bits of this section, that I forgot to include was where Harry was all worried and anxious because he couldn’t remember choosing NOT to act before, and it’s just like, sometimes that’s what’s needed and he’s grown up enough to do that and it’s awesome.

  10. That Grindlewald scene, man. I wonder if he and Dumbledore ever talked again after the trials and whatnot.

    I would buy the crap out of that DVD. We need to contact the folks who animated The Three Brothers and then Kickstart this thing.

    Love love your “Adulting Harry Potter” notes!

  11. I would love it if The Tale of the Three Brothers was turned into a movie. Can you imagine it? The story was so creepy that I wonder how it couldn’t be a story from our world! Reading your post makes me want to reread this series again. Maybe soon.

  12. I love that Grindelwald tries to redeem himself at the end, but it does bother me that JKR does the whole “Vmort can save his soul if he shows remorse” bit even though she’s spent seven books proving that he’s a sociopath who is incapable of empathy/remorse. And I kind of hate that Vmort is so pure evil that he’s not even all that interesting by the end. Other villians are wayyy more interesting, because they have depth. See: Lucius Malfoy, Snape, etc.

  13. Pingback: Here and Now, a harry potter fanfic | FanFiction | The Blog That Made No Sense

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