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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter Spoilers

First, let's take a moment to point fingers at this article here which points out how they'll catch the people who put the Harry Potter manuscript online a week early. I'm all for the revolution, but have to say, I thought it sucked someone leaked it (though kudos for taking 700-plus photographs).

Now, onto the book. Loved the book -- loved seeing the world, loved when Ron left (and came back), love patronuses, love the elfs coming in, loved how outrageously clever J.K. Rowling is, love Neville even more (still my favorite character after Harry), loved that last scene with Harry and Dumbledore (who still is Rowling's best voice), and even loved the Lord of the Rings locket making them all Smigel.

Oddly, didn't love the set piece of the final battle, or Harry faking unconsciousness for so many pages, but that's the hardest part of trying to beat expectations: those damn expectations keep getting in the way. But I'm not complaining. I'm thrilled with the book. Do I have a few quibbles? Of course. Was the epilogue sorta sappy? Sure. Was the Snape origin sorta rushed? Yes. And did I want more comeuppance for Malfoy? Damn I am. But, bitching about those details is like bitching that they replaced the old Anakin with the new one at the end of Jedi: Fair point, but if that ruins it all for you, you've got bigger problems.

Most important, on my wish for Harry to die. I admit I wanted it -- still do becasue it's something I didn't think she'd do (and we all want what we can't have). But looking back (and ignoring my righteous bloodthirstiness, and even my love of dear Frodo): wanting Harry dead is cool. But it's unfair. And it comes from us wanting her to write OUR book. The book for us. And at the end of the day, as epic and beautiful and realized as the Potter world is, it's still a book for young people first. And as much as I love lessons of loss and sacrifice, I'm starting to backpedal and come to grips/rationalize that when I teach it to my children, the lesson still needs to be that Harry LIVES for being good, not that Harry dies. As I type these words, I'm already in my own internal debate, but y'know what? I don't care. Because the trip was that thrilling for me.

And so...I've decided to be thankful. Like the walk-to-death chapter says: That's what the world needs more of. So thank you, Ms. Rowling for handing us your world. We'll take good care of it.


Lexie said...

i agreed with u Brad. I love the story. The first few chapters was incredibly written. The part the fought while flying, that's cool. I felt really bad for Dobby and Fred. All n all it's been a great ride.

Jesse Jackson said...

I was moved to tears, when Harry was walking to his fate and he uses the stone to bring back his family. All of them walking with him to meet his death was such a great scene. All in all it was a great ending to a great series.

Anonymous said...

I recently saw the 5th film and yes I loved it, but I hate how much they had to cut out of it.

Fast forward a few years to the 7th film and this is my hope. Make it as long as you have to to keep as much as possible in. Do an intermission if you have to, but for the last movie, I really really hope they do it right.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I got your message and decided to check out your page, I agree, we all want things, and sometimes they don't work out, but honestly in the end I think I also knew she wouldn't kill Harry. The death ocunt was definitely higher than I thought though with some dying that I never thought would. I loved how you compared the locket to LOTR, and how right you are, I never thought of it that way, but it was a total power trip when they had it on, especially when Ron had it. I agree with the other commenter that the movie, especially the last one should be longer to really effectively end it right. There are so many fascinating and pertinent scenes, with the flashbacks and origins and to leave them out would be wrong. I have a question, when Harry was talking to Dumbledore in the end, and those creatures or things were moaning in pain, I couldn't understand what they were. Dumbledore kept saying "you can't help them now." I assumed they were wrongdoers or parts of Voldemort's soul that had been destroyed?~Heather (Elle)

Richard Evans said...

Hey Brad, I read your new blog on Ludlum and I wonder about a theory I heard from my local comic shop owner.

Is it possible the Potter books, after the Chamber of Secrets, were written by a group of writers as opposed to J.K herself?