Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Harry Potter 7: Why did I like the epilogue?

The epilogue has gotten a fairly mixed reaction. I'd love to hear what you think about it... see the new poll in the sidebar and Discussion Question #2.

Here's my thoughts about why I liked it. Scroll down past the spoiler space.


Why did I like the epilogue?
  • Everything came full circle. We saw Harry catching his first train to Hogwarts, we saw Harry’s parents doing it, and now we see Harry’s children having the same experience. Another wonderful full circle was the fact that Ginny’s daughter Lily couldn’t wait until it was her own turn to go to Hogwarts.
  • That Harry has a family now, and children and in-laws… everything that was missing from his life when he was growing up. And that he’s providing that sense of family to Teddy Tonks who is growing up without his parents.
  • Albus Severus Potter. Okay, it’s a rough name for any kid to have (although I’d argue that Scorpius Malfoy is even worse.) But it really showed me that Harry had forgiven Snape and finally understood him. After very memorably calling Snape a coward at the end of Book 6, Harry is now referring to him as “the bravest man I ever knew.” I think that shows a lot of maturity on Harry’s part.
  • The nod that Draco gave Harry. It showed me that they weren’t best friends forever, but that Draco acknowledged that Harry had saved his life in the Room of Requirement and the outright hatred had vanished. I thought this moment was one of the most important things about the epilogue.
  • That Ron was able to make a joke about Harry’s fame. Ron was finally able to accept it, and was no longer jealous of Harry.
  • That Percy was talking about broomstick regulations. Even though Percy had that wonderful reconciliation moment earlier in the book, this comment showed me that Percy was still the same person- and had reverted to his roots. Does Percy’s presence on the platform mean that he has children going to Hogwarts too?
  • The way Harry missed his son when the train left, and that he felt like it was a “little bereavement.” I loved seeing Harry as an adult… although this last chapter was like a little bereavement for me too. Because it was the end of the series.
Cheryl Klein (one of the Scholastic editors of the book) posted some great comments about the epilogue (and the rest of Book 7) on her blog Brooklyn Arden here and here.


  1. Brought a little tear to my eye just reading your thoughts about the epilogue. I loved it, too. I hadn't really thought about the parallel between Ginny and Lily being impatient to go to school.

  2. Hi Jen,
    Great to find someone else who loved the epilogue!
    The Ginny/Lily parallel is great... Ginny's line in Book One is virtually identical to Lily's line in Book 7. Isn't that cool?

  3. I still maintain that I don't think it worked as a good epilogue, but I do think it was a great scene - for all the reasons you listed. It was brilliantly put together. It's just that it didn't cap the series for me the way I felt the series deserved. A big objection I had was that the girls, who were incredibly vital to the story all the way along (most especially Hermione) were all but absent. They were there as "wives" and nothing more. They barely even said anything. As a scene focused on Harry, as much of each book was, this works, but as a cap to a series where they mattered to us as much as Harry did, it does not.

    That said, I totally get why you liked it and can respect that. You just haven't quite convinced me yet!

  4. Katie,
    I think you make great points. I agree, I wish we had seen more from Ginny and Hermione. They were such strong characters throughout the series and they had virtually no voice in the epilogue.

  5. I did not like th epilogue since it left too many questions about Harry, Ron & Hermione unanswered. While it great to know that their family lives worked out wonderfully -- all charaters int he book apparently MUST marry a high school sweatheart (lot's of pressure by 17), but it gave no information about them professionally. What did Harry do with all the fame and respect? Minister of Magic, become and Auror, etc? Herminone, who was suc an academic superstar, did she become somethingn other than a house wife? Other than Neville (who cares) no one had a career. These are the questions that I felt could have been addresses in a few sentences.