I agree with a lot of what has already been said. I'm OK with Harry/Ginny, but not with Ron/Hermione. It seems that JKR worked this out in the beginning and then ignored everything that these characters became in the meantime. It's saccharine and fairy-tale happy-ever-after, after 7 books which are so much more.
I started to become disappointed in the entire series, in retrospect, at the point where Harry thinks of himself, Snape & Riddle as the 3 boys with either no parents or (in Snape's case) anti-parents. At that point I thought "oh so it all comes down to parenting - ugh!" because it seems to me there's so much else in the series. In fact, it isn't just blood parents - Riddle seems inherently evil; Harry gets substitute parents in the Weasleys and Dumbledore; but Snape never even gets substitute parents. Then, the epilogue is really just about families, and in the end I think that's what Rowling thinks is supremely
important and worth fighting for.
It's not that I don't think families are important, but there are so many other rich themes in the series, and in the end I thought she threw that all away. She does have a pretty male-oriented view of the world: despite Hermione, Minerva, Tonks, Lily, Bellatrix and Molly, the action is all caused by men: Dumbledore and Riddle; the dynamics among the Marauders and Snape in the previous generation, with Lily really just an object, not an actor. The houses headed by the male founders are in contention - the houses founded by women are pretty much onlookers. Harry's mentors are men: Dumbledore, Sirius, and Remus; so is his secret protector, Snape.
So the epilogue confirmed for me another theme that I was already uncomfortable with: despite the noble themes of equality and justice, despite the nuanced view we ultimately get of Dumbledore and his willingness to sacrifice individuals for the greater good, in
the end the war was all to save a wizarding society that looks gender-equal on the surface (after all, Hermione is still the smartest and most powerful of the young wizards, and she and Ginny both have fulfilling careers)but where in reality men are still the real movers and shakers. Marry young; have kids; don't ever get divorced: live happily ever after indeed.
And of course, it's hard to forgive her for killing Snape off. Vive fanfiction! - so much wiser in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, the fact that high school sweethearts don't always make it as marriage partners, that very young people aren't always ready to be parents (in fact not everyone even wants to be a parent!), that reconciliation will take a lot of work, not just everyone going off to have kids and send them off to Hogwarts (where a lot of these problems festered in the first place).
At the very end, the complex became unrealistically simple. Yes, it wrapped
up the story, but it's a rough transition that a lot of readers can't accept.
Apologies for going quite far afield. I hope it makes sense.
--- In thepetulantpoetess@ yahoogroups. com
, "Maria E. Francisco" <mariaefrancisco@ ...> wrote:
> Greetings, all.
> As some of you know, I am one of the panel members in the podcast "Secrets
> of Harry Potter". We're going to (hopefully!) record the conclusion of our
> chapter-by-chapter analysis of "Deathly Hallows" this coming Wednesday.
> The host, Fr. Roderick, already knows that both Maria Johnson and I *cannot*
> stand the Epilogue. He already said he loved the Epilogue. (This comes from
> the same person who claimed to dislike the
King's Cross chapter.) We're
> expecting to have a very interesting debate about the Epilogue.
> I'd like your opinions regarding the Epilogue. Do you love it? Hate it? Why
> or why not?