I think the bit about harry "finally being free" is that towards the end of OTRA and MITAM promo, Harry just looked tired. Of course there are moments he's smiling with his boys, but mostly he just looked tired. He's was ok to let them lead in interviews and sit back. I think also because people expected him to go solo. A lot sooner than he did even, but the solo expectations were there. Niall didn't even know he wanted to go solo, neither did Louis, so it's just a different (not bad) vibe (cont
Cont) not only that but Niall played several instruments on stage and genuinely seemed to love what he was doing at all times. Louis and Liam wrote most of the songs and they made it to the albums and set lists. Especially knowing he’s the one who wanted the break and told them he was going solo 18 months before the hiatus even began you see even more that he was really wanting this and how hard he’s been working for it. Niall too and we’re going to see that too when his album is released!
First of all, regarding Harry being the one to want the hiatus: Yes, he’s the one that brought it up 18 months before it began – but it’s not like they were purposely forcing him not? They all signed a contract for 5 albums with 1D. His bringing up going on a hiatus was probably less to do with him just wanting an immediate out, which is how some people seem to be taking it, and him just saying like ‘Hey, instead of signing another contract for more albums, why don’t we all take a break?’ Something like that would have had to have been discussed well in advance of the end of their 5-album contract regardless of ‘who really wanted it’ first.
Anyway- They were all tired. They all needed a break. That much was clear even within the fandom. But, for some people, that’s not why they’re saying that Harry “is finally free”. Finally free implies a) that those people had been wanting that for a long time themselves, aka: people who didn’t really give a shit at all about 1D, and b) that he’d been forced to stay in the band when he didn’t want to, despite always talking fondly and positively about how much he loved and appreciated being in 1D.
So, regardless, I still think that it’s an unfair statement.