It is finished.
Can you believe it? After 6 long months, we’ve finally finished all 7 books of the Harry Potter series! We literally listened to a chapter per night, and as soon as one book ended, we embarked on the next and after 180+ nights of this, it is finished!!!!
And has it left a Harry Potter shaped gaping hole in our lives? According to my wife, “I feel all empty inside.” Was her response to me after coming home from work the first evening after we’d finished Deafly Hallows. But for me? I was left reeling from the ending. As the first time when I had listened to the Deafly Hallows, I had actually unknowingly skipped the second last chapter! Yes, I only came to this realisation 2 nights ago, so for the past 12 -13 years? However long it has been, I had always thought that the ending of the Harry Potter series was one big, massive disappointment! If you do recall the third last chapter, this was where Harry Potter was in that dream like after life scene, speaking to dumbledore where Dumbledore explains a whole bunch of things which fills in the gaps for both Harry and the listener, before he informs Harry that he had an option to stay or to go back and fight.
And for me, the next scene was 19 years later when Harry has his own kids and their about to start school at Hogwarts. So, you can imagine my shock when this time round Harry leaves the dream state and he awakens in the forest, surrounded by Death Eaters, and there’s actually a final showdown between HP and Voldemort and the tying up of some loose ends. Mind blown! Throughout that chapter I kept muttering under my breath, ‘is this a re-imagining?’ As to me it felt like a fanfiction, a re-writing of the ending, to end in a more satisfying way according to diehard fans!? But no, it was just silly me from 12 -13 years ago, I probably fell asleep during the first listening and had entirely skipped this chapter (and I hadn’t seen the movie ither). So now that we’ve finally finished the Harry Potter saga after 6 long months leaving my wife in a funk, but for me it has entirely changed my perception of the series and it has left me in a greater appreciation of the artistry of J. K. Rowling!
And a big special mention to Stephen Fry, I think he really made the audiobook version of Harry Potter amazing! I think he brought each character to life and in my wife’s opinion the Audiobooks have been better than the books and better than the movies. As the movies were too brief, and the novels relied upon the reader to do all the hard work. But the audiobook was the perfect coming together of the two medias, to create a 100+ hour long feature length film for your ears and your imagination!
So again, if you haven’t listened to the books before, and you’re a massive Harry Potter fan! Check-out the audiobook version, it’s pretty special!