Do you really want to save Harry?

Yes, it’s all about Harry Potter this month. That annoyingly efficient, and extremely marketable, boy wizard is causing all kinds of stirs. The latest movie is just about to open here and the latest, and supposedly last, book is due out on the 21st.

But is it the end? J K Rowling has already said that she wants to produce an encyclopedia listing all the characters, places, spells and so on as the ultimate Harry Potter source book. No doubt she’ll have fun working on vignettes of history for that. There’s also a Harry Potter theme park opening up (in America, naturally) and there are still a couple more movies required to catch up with the books. Not to mention all the associated merchandising. It’s not like Rowling’s cash flow is going to look critical any time soon. Or ever, really, but that’s beside the point.

In an interview with the BBC recently, Rowling said, “Never say never.” Her spokeman added enormous clarity with, “As she said on Friday night in her BBC interview, ‘never say never’. It’s not saying that she definitely is [going to write another title] and it’s not saying that she definitely isn’t. I cannot comment further.” Beauty. Thanks for clearing that up.

But do we want any more? Rowling has maintained all along that the seventh book will be the last. The best stories are those that do end and leave us wanting more, rather than giving us so much that we become bored and wander off to look out the window. Just about everything really good has subsequently been spoiled by its sequels. The number of sequels that are better than the originals could be counted on one hand. The original series of seven books, matching Harry’s seven years of High School, was the plan all along. Cranking out a few more now would be bad, in my opinion.

Rowling said of the series ending, “I always knew that Harry’s story would end with the seventh book, but saying goodbye has been just as hard as I always knew it would be.

“I can hardly believe that I’ve finally written the ending I’ve been planning for so many years. I’ve never felt such a mixture of extreme emotions in my life, never dreamed I could feel simultaneously heartbroken and euphoric.”

And that would be a good place to leave it. If she really wants a challenge, she should write a non-Harry Potter book and see if she can pull that off. Would there be a fan backlash? Has Rowling forever tethered herself to Potter? Can she only write other stories if she keeps writing Potter stories too? There is some speculation that Harry will die at the end of the seventh book. Will she then write further Potter-related books without Harry himself? The Adventures of Hermione & Ron?

It will be interesting to find out.

Meanwhile, if you are really keen to save Harry, you can join in with a petition set up by Waterstones Bookshop in the UK. It’s asking for more Harry Potter books no matter what happens at the end of The Deathly Hallows. Of course, if speculation that Harry dies at the end of book seven is true, then any future books will be rather boring:

A worm burrowed into Harry’s eye socket. He did nothing about it, as he was dead.

Not really the high tension adventure we’ve come to expect from Rowling. Anyway, if you want to sign the petition, click here – waterstones.com/saveharry

Maybe we should start a petition to NOT save Harry and let the series end without flogging it into literary porridge over the next few years.

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4 thoughts on “Do you really want to save Harry?

  1. Two movies where the sequels are better than the originals: Aliens & Terminator 2.

    Granted that the originals in both case appeal to a different aesthetic but the sequels do a marvelous job of, firstly, maintaining the canon of the franchise and, secondly, expanding it in a direction that fans can both enjoy and respect.

    Then again, let it not be said that sci-fi fans are unpredictable.

    Anyway. I think the most likely scenario for future Harry Potter books are prequels. It’s a very obvious open realm for Rowling to fill in her story – the Hogwarts adventures of James and Lilly Potter and the first ‘war’ with the dark Lord Voldemort.

    Give it time, mark my words.

  2. While Aliens and Terminator 2 are both great movies, I don’t agree that they’re better than the originals. The originals were classics, while the sequels simply expand on the original concept. Sure, the sequels are good movies (when most sequels are pretty poor) but not better than the originals.

  3. The originals are classics because they hit a chord that was unique at the time. The sequels take that and make a fully developed movie out of them. Mind you, the originals were made before the sci-fi genre was so well established. Both Alien and Terminator were first classified as horror, and THEN sci-fi whilst the sequels are both just sci-fi. Thank you James Cameron for that one.

  4. Whilst I don’t want Harry to die in Book 7, I do want Book 7 to be the last book in the series. I certainly don’t want any prequels or spin offs (what happens to Hermione & Ron) to be published in the future.

    You said it well:

    The best stories are those that do end and leave us wanting more, rather than giving us so much that we become bored and wander off to look out the window.

    That’s exactly how the Harry Potter should end…leaving us wanting more, but not getting them. Sometimes, getting what we want is a disappointment.

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