Mills students anticipated The Deathly Hallows, the last book of the popular Harry Potter series. The book left Mills readers with mixed opinions, especially about the deaths and epilogue, the concluding chapter of a novel.
MonstersandCritics.com reports that some Harry Potter fans dislike the epilogue.
Conversely, Harry Potter Lexicon, a popular Harry Potter Web site with information on the books and characters, shows that many Harry Potter fans liked the epilogue.
“The epilogue is about Harry’s growth as a person. No more needed to be said,” user Muggle Doctor wrote.
Mills students, fans of the Harry Potter series, reflect this division of opiniond.
Sophomore Christine Roberts said that she enjoyed the epilogue, despite some of the complaints.
MonstersandCritics.com reports that readers feel that Deathly Hallows was written like fan fiction, which are stories written by fans of an original work using the work’s characters or settings.
“It was a bit reminiscent of fan fic, but the story wouldn’t have been complete without it,” Roberts agreed.
Freshwoman Lauren Monser enjoyed the epilogue. “The epilogue gives readers a bit of information that lets their imaginations decide what the next chapter is for Harry and the wizarding world,” she said.
Senior Monkia Lewis agreed. “I appreciated the epilogue for letting the readers know that Harry’s life would continue,” Lewis said.
Senior Laura McKinney loved the book, but disliked the epilogue. “The writing style of [it] did not seem to fit with the writing style of the rest of the book,” McKinney said.
Kristen Snyder, the president of Dumbledore’s Army, also felt as though the epilogue did not include enough information to satisfy her. “What happened six months later? One year later? Two years later? Just jumping to nineteen years later was probably a mistake,” Snyder said.
Still, Snyder recommended that others read it rather than not, so long as they don’t expect anything amazing.
Others have mixed feelings on the epilogue.
Sophomore Vanessa Rivera was initially disappointed that the epilogue mostly covered the lead characters. “[It] was short and lacked information of the other characters. I would really like to know what happened to the other characters,” she said.
Re-reading the epilogue, however, Rivera found it the perfect ending.
“Rowling did a wonderful job and didn’t bore us with facts after facts. She went straight to the point,” Rivera said.
For students such as Monser, The Deathly Hallows was J.K. Rowling’s best Harry Potter book. “She tied up almost all of her story lines, and every scenario was believable,” she said.
Some students found the release more enjoyable than the work itself.
“One of the most awesome bits of the book wasn’t even in the actual reading – it was the anticipation of getting it and the speculation, theories, and discussions prior to the release,” Synder said.
Before the release of Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling warned fans, via several publications, that death loomed over her characters in the then upcoming release.
In 2006, Rowling told British publication Tatler Magazine that both good and bad characters would die.
“My books are largely about death,” Rowling said.
Now that the last book has been published, students have mixed feelings about the character deaths.
Though she liked the book, Laura McKinny felt sad that so many of her favorite characters died.
“I think that it is to Rowling’s credit that I did feel truly sad at her character’s passing because it shows how great a writer she is whenever she is able to get this kind of response from a reader,” she said. Likewise, Rivera mourned the deaths. “I cried when important characters died but I can see why she did it, she needed to really illustrate Voldemort’s evil,” Rivera said.
Lewis also felt saddened by the deaths, but thought they were necessary for the story.
“I thought they were essential to the story in conveying how Voldemort and his followers needed to be defeated to make the wizarding world more peaceful in the future,” Lewis said.
Students like Snyder felt that the deaths were poorly written. “In the earlier books, Cedric’s death was sad. Sirius’ death was sad. Dumbledore’s death was sad. Except for maybe [one], none of the deaths in this book were especially sad,” Snyder said.
Mills College resident Harry Potter club, Dumbledore’s Army, is unsure of their plans regarding The Deathly Hallows. However, club president Snyder said that the club would most likely discuss the seventh book at the first or second club meeting.
“By this point, I would be surprised if any of our members have not read the seventh book,” Snyder said.
Mills students will have the opportunity to further express their opinions, diverging or not, at Dumbledore’s Army.