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.