Deathly Hallows, Chapter Eleven

I love the way this chapter ends – with Mundungus Fletcher telling Harry, Ron, and Hermione that the locket was stolen from him by Dolores Umbridge. And one of the reasons I love it is that Umbridge’s name is never once spoken – and in fact, has yet to be mentioned anywhere in the book to this point. It’s a far cry from the days of books two, three, and four, each of which opened with most of a chapter detailing Harry’s life story for anybody who hadn’t read (or who had forgotten) the previous books. But in many ways leaving the background information out, and assuming that readers will remember it, puts us that much more in Harry’s shoes: after all, he doesn’t need a reminder of who Umbridge is.

Of course this also makes me wonder: is there anybody who actually did read the books out of order? Who decided to pick up the fifth one, or the seventh one, before reading the prequels? I’m sure they’re out there, somewhere. But I can’t imagine the books would have quite the same effect on them that they did on all of us….

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter eleven: ‘The Bribe’

~ by Josie on January 20, 2011.

6 Responses to “Deathly Hallows, Chapter Eleven”

  1. Actually , I kinda read the book out of order.. I read the 3rd book first…and started reading the books from order.. I already knew the entire story of the first two books.. My sis and I had a deal.. If I do her a favour she will tell the “HP story”.. That was when I started to get hooked on to the books..To this date I’ve read the books a billion times..although sometimes very rarely I wish I had read the books in order…..

  2. I read them a bit out of order. I saw the first movie and then naturally wanted to get the second book, but there were none left in the library, so I read the third, then fourth, then went back and read 1 and 2. But back in those days each book could more or less stand on its own, so it wasn’t that bad. Past GoF, however, I can’t imagine reading them out of order.

  3. I first saw HP1 on ABC-TV, but the movie was broken up by promos for HP4 or 5, disturbing the flow of the story. Eventually I saw HP1 and 2 on TV with a better flow of presentation. Then I got HP3 on VHS and I was impressed! Then I saw HP5 in the movie theater and eventually saw HP4 on DVD.

    I started reading books by John Granger and others about the Christian influences on HP. In 2009 I decided to read the whole series, so I read HP6 before I saw the movie. All the copies of HP1 were out of the library, so I read HP2 before HP1, and then read the rest of the series in sequence. I then read Tales of Beadle the Bard. I’ve since bought my own used copy of HP1, and have more recently borrowed and reread HP7, and haven’t returned it to the library yet!

  4. BTW, I also liked that, for the familiar reader, you didn’t have to mention Umbridge’s name to know exactly whom Fletcher was talking about. I’ve dressed as Dolores Umbridge for the last two Halloweens, so you might say I’ve developed some attachment to the character.

  5. I’m too much of a perfectionist to read books (or seeing movies) out of order. I hate doing that. But I had a friend who read the fourth one first. I can’t imagine how weird that would be…

  6. My dad read GoF first, almost all of it. We were on vacation and that was the only HP book we had brought (it was the latest one at that time). When we realized he was reading it, we made him wait ’till we got home and read them in order.

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