Joined: 12 October 2005
Joined: 12 October 2005
Joined: 12 October 2005
Joined: 12 October 2005
For Harry Potter [Images] fans, this one's as tantalising a teaser as Albus Dumbledore smiling when he learns that Lord Voldemort has used Harry's blood to regain his body.
Author J K Rowling has said 'never say never' in response to a global campaign launched by fans to 'Save Harry.'
'It's not saying that she definitely is [going to write another book] and it's not saying that she definitely isn't. I cannot comment further,' a spokesman for the author was quoted as saying in newspaper reports, including in London's [Images] Telegraph.
All over blogs, discussion groups and fan sites, debate has been raging on whether Harry Potter will die in the seventh -- and what was mentioned by Rowling as the final -- Harry Potter book, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, which will be published on July 21.
Popular theories trying to second-guess Rowling include Harry being a Horcrux (magical pieces of an evil wizard's soul) himself, and the two characters who will die being Hagrid and Hermione. But then, Rowling has been rather good at second-guessing second-guessers so far.
J K Rowling
Previously, Rowling has said that the Harry Potter story will end with book 7 (Deathly Hallows) and that she might write a spin-off book like explaining magical spells and creatures mentioned in the Potter books.
But to BBC in a recent interview, she also said, 'Never say never.'
Joined: 12 October 2005
Joined: 12 October 2005
Joined: 12 October 2005
LONDON (Reuters) - Best-selling author J.K. Rowling revealed how she broke down in tears during the completion of her final book in the Harry Potter series.
She also tells interviewer Jonathan Ross how she changed the last word in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at the eleventh hour.
"When I finished one chapter near the end I absolutely howled," she told the BBC television presenter.
She finished the book alone in a hotel room.
"I was sobbing my heart out -- I downed half a bottle of champagne from the mini bar in one and went home with mascara all over my face. That was really tough."
The Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final book about the schoolboy wizard Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends.
The plots have taken a darker turn and Rowling has in the past revealed that she would kill off at least two of the main characters.
When asked by the chat show host whether the word "scar" was still the last word in the book, as had been reported, she said: "Scar? It was for ages, and now it's not.
"Scar is quite near the end, but it's not the last word."
Harry Potter has a lightning bolt scar on his forehead as a result of a failed curse by the wicked wizard Lord Voldemort.
Rowling also revealed that the character Harry Potter was "totally imaginary" and not based on anyone.
His red-haired pal Ron Weasley was a lot like her oldest friend Sean though, she confessed.
More than 325 million copies of the first six books have been sold worldwide, helping to turn Rowling into the first dollar-billionaire author.
An all-British cast seemed to be a point of pride for her as she admitted it had been a "hell of an achievement."
Stars who have appeared in the five films, including the latest "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," include Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters, Richard Harris, Imelda Staunton, Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes.
The film had its premiere in London this week.
The Deathly Hallows appears on the bookshelves on July 21, but 1.6 million copies have been pre-ordered online.
this pic. is of jk rowling at the london premiere of the new movie harry potter and the order of the phoenix
Joined: 12 October 2005
A Harry Potter theme park wouldn't be nearly as much fun without Harry. Sophie Gee examines the signs and prophecies relating to the teen wizard's final adventure.
HARRY POTTER FANS around the globe are preparing at once to celebrate and to mourn. In the space of less than a month, we will have a new Harry Potter film, The Order of the Phoenix, and a new Harry Potter book. But on July 22, the adventure will be over. Book seven, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is the last Potter volume Rowling will write.
Last month, somebody tried to spoil the fun. A hacker calling himself Gabriel claimed to have broken into a computer at Bloomsbury publishing in London and read The Deathly Hallows, the purported ending of which he posted on the web. Gabriel's prose style and spelling are such that it's hard to believe him capable of reading the book he claims to be spoiling, but here's what he says:
"At the end of the story Hagrid was killed by Snape in the attempt of ambush Hermione and Ron. Ron and Hermione flees in privet drive but Voldermort, surprising them, engaged a magical duel with Ron and Hermione."
If that really is the ending, no wonder Bloomsbury declined to comment. It doesn't come much lamer than a magical duel with Ron in Privet Drive.
People can think up hilarious joke endings to Harry Potter. But nobody will ever, ever come up with an ending more incredible, more outlandish, than the one that's really happened.
J. K. Rowling has sold 320 million books, the films have brought in $3.5 billion in global ticket sales, and a Harry Potter theme park is under way.
The books have spawned a cottage industry, itself the size of the Potter theme park, devoted to debate and discussion of the stories so far. The pre-eminent resource here is http://www.mugglenet.com, a website that tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the Rowling world, earning its own creator a six-figure income in advertising revenue.
It long ago became tedious and recherche to ask: why so much fuss about Harry Potter? The question brands you as the kind of person who claims not to get what's great about the internet, or who declares piously that they don't have a mobile phone. Harry Potter is the Bill Gates of contemporary literature. He used to be beyond the pale, and now he's cool.
So. Let's not pretend it doesn't matter. What will happen in Rowling's final book?
Many loose ends and ambiguities need to get squared away. Will Severus Snape turn out a goodie or a baddie? Who is R. A. B., the mysterious new figure who turned up in book six? Is Harry a horcrux for Lord Voldemort? Why did Harry's mum go from hating his father to falling in love with him?
Important questions, to be sure. But the key question is this: will Harry survive?
Rowling has told us at least two main characters will be killed, and there is widespread speculation that Harry will be one of them.
Readers know that Harry and Voldemort are the subjects of a prophecy, recovered in book five, which states: "Either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives."
Dumbledore, Harry's mentor and the former headmaster of Hogwarts School, has explained what it means: either Harry must die by Voldemort's hand, or Voldemort by Harry's.
Harry's prognosis is not good, mythologically speaking. Rowling has established him as a heroic deliverer - one who feels the pains and pleasures of ordinary mortals, but who exists slightly outside, or beyond, their world. Such figures are born to save, not to live like ordinary people, and they do not traditionally outlast their own epic narratives.
Take Christ, for example. Or if he seems a little rich for the blood, take Aeneas, King Arthur, Frodo, or the Pevensie children from the Narnia chronicles. For each of these, death is not a cessation but a passing - a saviour's passing into another, better world. Is this what Rowling has in mind for Harry?
The death of the hero is a heavy mythological inheritance for a children's book to bear. Particularly one that has been absorbed into mainstream popular culture, giving so much hope and pleasure to children throughout the world.
If Harry dies in Deathly Hallows, won't Rowling's readers rise up in rebellion? How fun can a theme park be if Harry is dead?
More importantly, according to the prophesy, if Harry dies, then Voldemort lives - a possibility nobody wants to countenance. But suppose Dumbledore's prophecy means something other than what Harry thinks.
What if it means neither Harry nor Voldemort can remain alive once the other has died? Harry will defeat Voldemort, but it will cost his life.
Rowling has said repeatedly that the deep theme of the Harry Potter books is death. Certainly, it is a central motif, and some people think the body count makes the books too dark for most children. So far, Harry has lost his parents, his godfather, Sirius, and his beloved mentor, Dumbledore, as well as witnessing several violent deaths. How can Harry bear to go on living if he loses anyone else?
But Rowling's interest in death goes deeper than the plot alone, explaining the sadness and sense of loss that runs through all the books.
The contest between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort - and between Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort's Death Eaters - is not merely a fight to the death. It is a struggle over the meaning of death itself.
In many ways, Harry and Voldemort are similar. They are both orphans, both "half-bloods", meaning that they each have one wizard-born and one Muggle (non-magical) parent. Each is brave, with what we might call good leadership potential. Each has known great suffering, and suffering has made each strive for greatness.
Voldemort's experience of suffering has made him aspire to immortality. He and the Death Eaters are waging war against death itself, hoping to vanquish the Order of the Phoenix so that they can co-opt magic to their own dark purposes - granting Voldemort everlasting life.
The Death Eaters' power comes from the fear they feel, and consequently inflict, and Voldemort's signature trait is his fear of dying. His name means something like "flight from death". Harry is different because affliction does not frighten him. On the contrary, great loss teaches Harry love and loyalty, and the enduring strength such emotions have when they are born out of suffering.
This is not to say heroism comes easily or naturally to Harry. Through the books we watch him struggle with anger, resentment, even hatred, as he attempts to understand the deaths of those he loves. But in the end, Harry is heroic because his suffering has made him unafraid of life, and - I'm taking a gamble here - it will make him unafraid of death.
THERE IS A VERY important scene in The Order of the Phoenix when Harry finds a mysterious archway in the basement of the Ministry of Magic. He and his friends stumble upon it accidentally, and are puzzled. It stands unsupported in the middle of a room, a veil hanging across it.
Harry is fascinated by the veil, sensing a figure behind it, but when he looks, nothing is there. He believes he hears voices coming from within, and longs to walk through the arch. But Hermione calls Harry back - she can hear nothing.
The arch turns out to be a gateway out of life. To pass beyond the veil is to enter into the world of the dead, as Sirius will do a few pages later.
And yet Harry is oddly drawn to it. He can hear voices beyond the veil; he hears them because they are the voices of people he loves. At the climax of each book, when death is closest to Harry, he feels the dead around him, and they bring comfort. If Harry does step through the arch at the end of The Deathly Hallows, he will do so willingly. He has waited a long time to meet those who are beyond it.
The battle between Harry and Voldemort pits the power of love against the fear of death. Which will prove the stronger? But if, as we hope, Harry is the victor, and the fear of death is vanquished, what will be left to keep Harry alive?
Nobody wants Harry to die. We want to see him slay Voldemort, and live happily ever after with Ginny Weasley. For this to happen, however, Harry must destroy all of Voldemort's horcruxes - relics that contain fragments of Voldemort's soul, created to secure his immortality. Once there were seven of them; we know two have been destroyed, so there are five to go.
Which brings us to a crucial question: is Harry himself a horcrux? Those in favour would make some or all of the following claims: Harry's scar is the relic of Voldemort, which explains why it is able to register the Dark Lord's pain and pleasure.
Therefore, if he is to vanquish Voldemort, Harry must lose a part of himself, his scar - the very thing that marks him as special. This would be a mythologically satisfying outcome - heroes and anti-heroes are almost always inextricably linked, so that the vanquishing of evil must exact a sacrifice from the hero. The price Harry will pay for victory will be the loss of his special power.
Opponents of the horcrux theory argue that it's logistically impossible for Harry to be one (see mugglenet.com for details), and that Voldemort wouldn't be so foolish as to plant a bit of himself in the very person he most wants to destroy. Either way, the Harry-Voldemort interdependence is psychoanalytically fascinating, and we wait with bated breath for Rowling to explain the precise nature of their connection.
Fingers crossed, then, that Harry survives his final battle with Voldemort. But even if he does, it's still crucial that the worlds of the living and the dead are bound tightly together. Important because it explains Rowling's perverse insistence that her books are about Death, when we know that they are really about magical japes, wizard wheezes, boarding school and who-loves-who. The vision of a magical world, and Rowling's interest in death are two sides of the coin.
THE WIZARDING WORLD exists right beside the world of the Muggles, but Muggles just don't know it's there. Magic is all around, though Muggles give it other names - bad luck, good luck, coincidence - because they can't see things the way that Harry and his friends do.
What interests Rowling about the worlds of magic and Muggledom is not that they are far apart but uncannily close - which is a very frightening discovery if you're a Muggle, but consoling if you're a wizard.
It is the very same discovery that Harry is destined to make about death. The dead are all around, Harry can hear them whispering from the other side of the veil. Periodically they come to visit, and Harry glimpses them, knowing that one day he will join them. Signs that the dead are close by bring Harry comfort, though they frighten Hermione and Ron, who do not yet understand their meaning.
The worlds of the magical and the familiar, the worlds of the living and the dead. Rowling wants us to remember that the distance between them is short, and that it can be easily travelled.
Divining the future for Harry Potter
And what about the fun stuff? Which of Rowling's characters will hook-up in the last instalment? Ron and Hermione, of course. My bet is that both of these characters survive the ordeals of the final volume and come together at long last. Ron and Hermione will be the happy couple of the Potter books and they deserve to be.
Which leaves Harry and Ginny. Harry broke up with Ginny at the end of The Half-Blood Prince, knowing that he would put her in danger by being with her. But will Ginny take that lying down?
I couldn't help but notice that she cast a longing look at the arch of death in Order of the Phoenix, (along with Neville), so perhaps, like other heroines before her, Ginny is willing to go all the way to stay at Harry's side.
But Harry doesn't seem to feel desire like ordinary people, and as long as he is marked as Rowling's messiah, I think Ginny will be sitting out an awful lot of dances.
Poor old Ginny will either be following Harry under that arch, or hoping that he loses his status as the chosen one.
Surely Neville won't be left high and dry - I bet heroics are in store for him, whether romantic or martial. Hagrid will stomp off into the sunset with Maxine.
On the subject of that arch of death, my guess is that we'll be seeing it again in the last book. I'm pretty sure some wizards know how to step through it and come back again.
I wonder if Snape went through at some point and whatever he saw on the other side made him join Dumbledore's team for good? Yes, I do think Snape's a goodie.
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