Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Harry Potter Must Die



If you hate speculation, don't read this. There aren't any spoilers, just some ideas I've been kicking around.

I've been speaking with a fellow here at work about Harry Potter lately. He's really into it and tends to get a little upset at the notion that good ole J.K. might off her wizardly hero in her seventh and final installment of the great HP line.

He strode by yesterday and engaged me in conversation, as he is wont to do, about the idea that there's no way Rowling could kill the boy wizard off since she'd be forever hated and her fan base would feel betrayed.

My response didn't comfort him much. In fact, I think it upset him a little.

J.K. Rowling is following a line of thinking and writing akin to that of such great Fantasy writers as Lewis and Tolkein. If you have ever read The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, you know that at their respective ends, the main characters all essentially die and go to Heaven.

Of course, in those series, the only satisfying end to the books is for these characters to not reap the "expected" reward for their travails, but instead be rewarded in ways both unexpected and far exceeding the rewards the reader surmises.

How then shall Rowling create a satisfying ending to her voluminous tome? Harry has already lost many people he loves. His parents were killed when he was a toddler. His only remaining family either disdains him or has been recently killed-off. Even his respected mentors have either died or abandoned him.

So, I ask again, how can Harry be happy except to go where his loved ones now reside in a blaze of victory that will rid the world of wizards of the evil Voldemort forever?

I don't think she can present a satisfying end without the ultimate sacrifice, my friends. This is, of course, only my speculation. But, it follows a tried and true method. Either Harry's happiness must come to him or he must go to it.

29 comments:

kellieja said...

I am in a bad mood cause I just finished book six and it upset me. One because a main character dies and two because my favorite character did it and three because Ron makes out with Lavender.
I think the only way to end it is also that "Harry Potter Must Die"

bigsip said...

Atta girl!

I know there are literally millions of people who are very emotionally invested in these books and characters. But, sometimes there's only one way to end something grand, satisfactorily.

Jamison said...

Ive read the whole series 2.5 times...

Now sipper, listen to me.. i refuse to take anything you say seriously about the harry potter line of books until you read them yourself.

Waiting till the 7th movie is out and then reading them doesnt count and reading spoilers when the 7th book comes out doesnt count either.

You like to read, my wife doesnt, and she read them in no time flat. Ill let you barrow mine, youll LIKE them! I swear. I WANT to engage you in book talk, but cant... DO IT FOR ME, READ THE F-ING BOOKS!!!!

I guess it would be like me engaging you in a discussion of "Runaway Swimmer" when, in fact, I only know what I know from reading some summary of the book online... the harry potter movies do, in fact, suck, and get away from the book more times than you can count. So discussing the story with someone who has only seen the movies is a mute point (Or is it moot point?)

Now, on to my comment...
yes, Harry will die... she doesnt want to write anymore, and she doesnt want people doing spin off crap like they did with the star wars books, I read an interview with her...

And Kellie... Snape IS innocent... trust me... when you want to know why, email me... However, if Sip wants to read all the books in the next few days, ill post why here...

:)

bigsip said...

I'm not reading any of them until I hear the release date for number 7...

OK, I'll make you this deal, my friend. If the release date hasn't been set by Thanksgiving, I'll read all 6.

Then, you can talk about HP all you want.

Jamison said...

THERE IS A GOD! HE IS ALIVE! IN HIM WE LIVE! AND WE SURVIVE!

PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW! PRAISE HIM ALL YE CREATURES HERE BELOW!

Thanks, it is sad when I look forward to seeing you mother so I can chat with her about harry potter... well, i look forward to seeing her for other reasons too, but thats one of them... talking about My Name Is Earl is another reason

bigsip said...

I stifle laughter now....

Indeed, there is a God. :)

Brewster said...

Doesn't anyone care that I haven't read them? I just now got around to watching the first film - twas ok, i like the concept, but they didn't pull it off all that well, and the whole stone thing was kind of dumb.

One day I might read the series, maybe.

I am in the middle of Elmore Leonards Be Cool which is a joy to read. Also James M Cain's Mildred Pierce which makes me want to be a writer for real, except that there is no way I could write that brilliantly.

bigsip said...

It's all devices, Brew.

You just have to figure out how to work them.

kellieja said...

In my heart, I know there must be something up Snapes sleeve but I dont really read too many message boards on Harry Potter Theories cause I have done that with LOST and it ate away part of my brain.

kellieja said...

I hate to read and Crystal Bishop told me I was missing out not reading these books. Mat, you should read them. I am about to read them all again.
Like all movies pulled from books there are a bunch of goodies missing from the product that makes it to the big screen.

bigsip said...

I have enjoyed the movies and I am a fan of other series in the Fantasy genre. So, I'm going to read them.

I just didn't want to read them all then have to wait and wait and wait on the last one. I've been saving up, so to speak.

I love to read, but I hate to wait. I'm a fast reader and will easily have them all read by summer 07. So, hopefully 7 will be out then.

Diana said...

I tried to read them like I try to read any other book. I can never find the time to read. I like what I read, though, and I like all of the movies.

mullinz8 said...

Sipper, how could you engage with a co-worker not having read the books? Yeah, that Jesus is a cool guy but I don’t want to read about him. I’m glad that you’re going to read the books, they’re really good.

Brew I’m surprised you’ve not read the series, I mean you read books in a matter of seconds and it could be a good set of notches on the proverbial head board. Read them you bastard.

The books have so much more to them than the movies.

When Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes the king of England asked for him to bring him back. People sent Doyle hate mail and flowers for the passing. Holmes was England and the nation wept when he, a factional character, died. Doyle, did bring him back after a few years.

Fast forward to today, I think poor Harry is going to have to pass on. I hate saying that but combining Josh and Jamison’s thoughts, JK is a traditionalist and a realistic. She doesn’t want to continue the Potter series even seeing the stacks of cash she could get from writing 100’s of books about the boy wizard and a heroic battle where those we love the most are lost is what’s to be expected.

It makes sense that HP is killed off, after he dispatches LV there will be no one (Death Eaters) to really stand up to him. Lucius Malfoy is smart enough to watch his step around HP if LV is killed. I think LM and LV will get wiped out with several others but HP will in the end, reveal a good Severus Snape perhaps as he’s about to go out. SS realizes how powerful HP really is and the books could have ended at 6 unless there was something more, some of you know what I’m talking about. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore assured HP too many times that SS is someone to be trusted no matter what it might seem like.

RW and HG will hook up and GW will become very powerful maybe an Auror, having trained under HP in D’s Army. I would like to live in a world where I can imagine HP and GW living happily ever after but JK is a very real writer and it only makes sense to make sure the stories end with a respectfully placed enchanted painting of HP (perhaps playing an eternal game of Quidditch near a bowl of candies, just behind the doors of a giant revolving Phoenix.

As a footnote, I just finished JG Ballard’s Empire of the Sun and it too was awesome.

bigsip said...

Once I finish The Life of Pi and March, I think I might finally delve into the HP books.

Should be fun. I'm loking fwd to it!

mullinz8 said...

How is the Life of Pi? I’m supposed to be reading it now for a sort of book club at work. I read the sleeve and nothing about it struck me. A kid in a boat with a tiger and some other animals, odd…

The HP books rule.

Brewster said...

I was excited about reading HP after I watched the first movie, but I was in the middle of some fairly heavy stuff at the time and decided to wait. When I finnished we had just bought some sixty odd books at a fair and suddenly HP didn't seem so important.

I'll get to him eventually.

Life of Pi was one of the books we picked up, if you dig it sip I may go to that next.

You get rid of books, Mulls? I can't even begin to imagine what thats like.

mullinz8 said...

Sometimes it’s a space issue, the way that Jules reads we could add an addition to the house. I’ve reconnected to the library here, they’ve got a great selection and it’s all free! If I do purchase a book I like to give it away so someone else can enjoy it, I just ask that the person I give a book to to make sure they pass it along too.

Plus a stack of books sitting around in random places can amount to a pizza for dinner or a dozen more stacks of books from trade credit at our local used book shop.

mullinz8 said...

Sometimes it’s a space issue, the way that Jules reads we could add an addition to the house. I’ve reconnected to the library here, they’ve got a great selection and it’s all free! If I do purchase a book I like to give it away so someone else can enjoy it, I just ask that the person I give a book to to make sure they pass it along too.

Plus a stack of books sitting around in random places can amount to a pizza for dinner or a dozen more stacks of books from trade credit at our local used book shop.

bigsip said...

The Life of Pi is very good.

It's more about faith and survival than anything. It's also written without the use of cursing, which is the ultimate statement of skill in writing today.

I would recommend the book to literally anyone.

Brewster said...

Whenever I think about writing the fiction that I'm bound to write one day I always ponder the cursing angle.

The types of stories I'm apt to write will involve characters who most assuredly would curse. So there is this struggle in my mind in how to write it realistically without being offensive.

I understand the space issue, mulls. I've got half a dozen bookshelves all filled to the brim, and boxes of books piled up in my in-laws attic.

I rarely read a book twice so it would seem I could get rid of some. But they are like family and I can't seem to manage it. Even crappy paperback books by hack writers like Grisham whom I doubt I'll even read once, I can't get rid of

bigsip said...

I have used some euphamisms like "crap" and "dang" in some of my writing.

But, I have standards to uphold as a writer and a Christian. So, I won't use foul language in my writing. Plenty of people rationalize it as "It's not me it's my characters" or "Only the bad guys talk that way" but, if you have the skill, you can write around that.

Most people, though (like Stephen King) write the bad language in copious amonts because it sells books. That's a poor way to lokk at it if you ask me.

As far as books go, we do regular purges. There are those books we'll always have. But, most of the books we get, we'll everntually purge and either donate, gain store credit, or give away. We can't stand clutter and books are hell to move.

Brewster said...

I don't want to get into the whole cusssing debate we've had a million times, but sometimes characters, like real people do cuss a lot.

I like detective novels and crime fiction and have an idea for one that I'd like to write someday. If I have my bad guy characters saying "darn" and "crap" it will seem totally fake and ruin the book.

The solutions I'm toying with is to either have them talk in a very non realistic way similar to what the coens brothers do. Where my characters speak on an intelligence level that is way above them.

Or do something more like Hemmingway where I censor the bad words with dashes or something similar.

Jamison said...

I am a fan of "The office" on nbc, but I also have "the office" UK version on DVD. BBC has more slack rules on cursing than the USA does on tv...

Both shows are done as a documentary. However, the one that is the most convincing as to be real is the UK version becasue of the language.

However, in real life, we in american probably do speak more professionally just due to us being a bit of a "prude" nation.

But, on the level of realism, the UK version seems more real to me because people DO talk like that in the work place... some work places, maybe not so much in the south.

As for Harry Potter, Brew, you are best skipping the first book... she reintroduces ALL the characters for the first 3 books anyway, and re-explains so much crap in the first 3 books it is actually quite exhausting. I skip alot of paragraphs when I re read them. Save yourself some time and skip the first book. the first movie is a fine replacement for the first book.

"And the second is like unto it..." kind of...

bigsip said...

Sorry, I don't want to debate cursing, either.

I actually curse now and then if I'm frustrated or whatever. But, I don't like to write it because then it's down forever.

I like your ideas for writing around it. The only places I've used euphamisms is when young characters are talking. That's mostly in my second book.

In the first book, I might use lines like, "He dragged himself from the water, spitting and cursing."

It's a way to get the point across without using the words.

But, it takes a lot of thought and skill to write through those things smoothly.

Realistic or not, I won't do it. It's not worth it.

Brewster said...

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but here we go again. I saw an episode of 21 Jumpstreet once with Johnny Depp infultrating a street gang. The gang used lots of "dangs" "Craps" and "hecks" and maybe slipped a damn/hell in there too once or twice. It totally ruined the show. It was so unrealistic.

Now Sip is right in that you can be creative and make a scene realistic without having to pepper it with filthy language, but it is a fine line, and takes some mad skilz.

It is funny b/c I could write a book filled with murders and piled up with dead bodies, even throw a few bits of pre-marital sex and as long as it wasn't too graphic I'd get high praise from my mom, in-laws and everyone I know. But if I added an F-bomb I'd get all kinds of finger pointing.

Brewster said...

I can't start a series in the middle. I'll have to start with the first one. Besides it is nice a small where the others get super fat.

And I hate it when authors sum up events that happened in previous books.

Jamison said...

I know, she is actually (In my opinion) encouraging people to skip books or just buy her "latest" one. I have talked to people who bought the half blood prince and NEVER read a word of the other books...

Idiots! Fortunately, she stops the re-explaining by the 4th book...

mullinz8 said...

I’ve always the allusion to the cussing than reading a string of cuss words. If it’s well written I can imagine what the character would say without knowing every detail.

I think there is something to be said for creating and feeling of realism in a book. I’ve always hated Sci-Fi stories that constantly say “God” in any capacity, if you want me to believe in this fake world quite making real world comments and connections.

My most hated part of the Harry Potter series is when JK says that a character was playing the latest Playstation or Xbox, what ever. For me it totally ruined the separation of the worlds. I liked the world of generics she created, it suspended the belief that the world of Hogworts and Muggles coexisted.

For the HP series, start at one, it's worth the read if for no other reason than to anchor everything else.

Jamison said...

I think she was vauge when she refered to a video game system... was i think refered to as a computer game, and only dursley owned it... a muggle.

...in her defense...