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
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.
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.