I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. Just in time to pick up my copy of The Deathly Hallows. Jenny and I have a date to get together and discuss on Sunday.
In rereading the series, I was struck over and over by the sheer enormity of it. That Rowling knew when she started that she wanted to do seven books. That she dropped hints about things happening in books five and six back in books one and two. And usually with what seems like a throw-away line. That she's allowed her characters to grow and change, not just because they're growing up but because of the things they've been through.
D.B. and I were talking about the inherent joys and constrictions of starting a series. She has two in the works. The common opinion is that your characters can't really change in the course of a series. The readers don't want these people they love to change. But Rowling belies that 'wisdom'. Maybe D.B. doesn't have to worry so much about allowing events, and the years, change 'the guys' in HM or DnD in DnD.
Fair warning: this won't be my last post about Harry Potter or Jo Rowling. I doubt the one I'll write after reading book seven will be the last. Don't worry, I won't post any spoilers. But my admiration and respect for this particular writer won't go away just because the series is over.