Welcome to the second installment of Book vs. Movie. Today I’m thrilled to introduce my first guest blogger, Samantha Warren.
Samantha is a fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. With her pet dragon, Anethesis, she ventured to the ends of the universe, but the cost of space travel cut into her sock fetish fund, so she sold her ship and returned home. When she isn’t writing, she’s milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts. She spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay, or posting random things on her blog (http://www.samantha-warren.com).
Ladies and gentlemen, faithful readers and followers please welcome Samantha to Static in the Airwaves!
Harry Potter. There’s not a soul on this planet that hasn’t heard the name. Ok, so I’m sure there are a LOT of people who have no idea who Harry Potter is. But I doubt anyone reading this blog is unfamiliar with him. He is an international icon, loved by millions around the globe. Did JK Rowling know when she released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997 that she would have the entire human race in the palm of her hands by 2007? Did she know that the world would cry as one united front when Deathly Hallows was finally published? The woman is a marvel and has given us some of the best books written to date, in my very skewed opinion, of course. I’m sure some of you disagree with me, but we’ll leave that debate for another day.
The novel: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
If you’re anything like me, you were craving this book by the time you finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You spent hours pondering how on Earth Ms. Rowling was going to finish up one of the most iconic series of all time. You stalked the UPS Tracking page as you waited impatiently for your book to arrive on its release date and practically tore it from the delivery person’s grasp. The flimsy cardboard was nothing for your eager hands and you carefully tossed aside the dust jacket so that you could enjoy the story unencumbered.
I think it took me two days to read the book and that was simply because work interfered. If I’d been smart, I would’ve taken the day off, but I planned poorly. I began crying almost immediately and I’m pretty sure I went through a full box of tissues by the time everything was said and done. It was that day that I grew to hate JK Rowling. My hate for her is the kind of hate you develop for someone who has made you love something so deeply, and then they take it from you in one fell swoop, heedless of your feelings. I lost some of my most cherished heroes that day. I shall not spoil it for those who have not read it. I will simply say Why are sitting here and not reading the book????
Unlike some, I feel that Deathly Hallows is an excellent end to the series. It is emotionally captivating and impossible to put down. I long for the day it is on Kindle so that it’s easier to read. I’m convinced that those who said it was a crappy ending either didn’t read the previous books or skipped over chapters to get to the “good stuff.” The very end, the epilogue where Rowling ties up all the loose ends, does feel a bit rushed and weak compared to the rest of the book, but I can’t fault the author for that. How does one finish such a powerful story and bring it to a satisfactory close when you know fans are going to be asking for more, more than you might be willing or able to give? As attached as I became to some of the characters, I can’t imagine what Ms. Rowling was going through. If I were her, I’d need therapy for years after finishing that novel.
The Movies: Parts I & II
Now let’s discuss the movie(s). The book was so ginormous, it had to be split into two. I think, given the limitations of film, they did an excellent job. The first movie was a little boring, especially for those who hadn’t read the books. There was not a ton of action and a lot of necessary information was missing. To be fair, if they wanted to include all the important stuff, I think they’d need four or five movies to do it.
The first part of Deathly Hallows ended with the death of a character who was extremely important in the books and who everyone who’s read them knows and loves. But in the movies, his role is downplayed quite a bit. Few who watched only the movies and never touched a book really grasped his importance and were left wanting at the end of part one.
Part two was packed full of action and was an excellent movie in and of itself. I went opening night, of course, and though I tend to mock those who cry openly in theaters, I was trying desperately to hide my own sobs. The girls behind me weren’t so lucky. Like the first part, there was so much missing, though, and some pieces didn’t make a ton of sense taken out of context as they were. I ended up explaining parts to non-reading friends who were just plain confused.
I absolutely love both the books and the movies. I learned early on, probably around the time of Goblet of Fire, that the movies must be treated as separate entities. To compare them to the books is folly. They will never match up, and that’s just because of the limitations of film. There is only so much you can share in such a short time, and who honestly wants to sit through a 10-hour movie?
There are a few things about the movies that really bug me, though.
- Colin Creevey was replaced by some kid named Nigel. So not cool. Colin was Harry’s biggest fan and put himself on the line numerous times to deter the bad guys. That kid had some guts. A huge disservice was done to such a heroic little boy.
- There is a distinct lack of enlightenment on the deaths that occur during the big battle at Hogwarts. Some important characters are taken down during that fight and most of them are only given a brief glimpse. Again, I won’t ruin it for you, but if you read the books and watch the movies, you’ll understand who I’m talking about.
- And I don’t think Snape was given the proper treatment near the end. He was shafted and a particular scene involving his most important moment wasn’t done as well as I had hoped. I could care less about the switching location, but the whole scene seemed lacking. But then again, I’m Team Snape all the way.
All in all, the movies are well done and enjoyable. But really, what movie can ever top the book? Now that you know my take on both the movies and the books, I want to hear yours! Do you think the movies hold their own? Are they missing too much? What missing piece (or pieces) was the most noticeable from a reader standpoint?