Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On who will kill Harry Potter

On the BBC web site today: UK is accused of failing children, in which it goes on to say:

"We are turning out a generation of young people who are unhappy, unhealthy, engaging in risky behaviour, who have poor relationships with their family and their peers, who have low expectations and don't feel safe."

And, of course, my first thoughts turned to the young orphan living in the broom closet in that nasty little house in Privet Drive. Seriously.

Harry Potter fits the picture -- my picture, at any rate -- of the miserable, maltreated, and unloved UK youth. His parents were murdered when he was a baby, he was turned in to unsympathetic relatives, and is finally drummed up to school against his wishes. "Dog-eat-dog society," the BBC calls it. Well, everyone knows the story.

Train of thought shifting tracks again. The rumors are pretty strong that Harry Potter will die in the final installment of the book, The Deathly Hallows, due out on July 21 this year. We all know Harry Potter will face Voldemort in the obligatory final battle, but it just occurred to me, it won't be Voldemort who will kill Harry Potter.

It will be: J.K. Rowling.

Harry Potter has effectively breached the fourth wall (or is it the other way around?), if not in the past two books, then certainly in the events leading up to the final installment.

When you have fans and even Stephen King begging J.K. Rowling not to kill Harry Potter.... ah, there! You see? "...Begging J.K. Rowling not to kill Harry Potter..."

So if Harry Potter dies, will it be because the story demands it? Or will it be because J.K. Rowling's whim? In the vein of Cervantes killing off Quixote, to add that note of finality: from here on there will be no more Harry Potter stories?

In the case of Harry Potter, the persona of the author is too tied in to the hero of the story. If Harry Potter dies, it will have been J.K. Rowling who will have pulled the trigger (or zapped the wand.) Not Voldemort.

Anyway, back to the BBC report:

The authors say they used the most up-to-date information available to assess "whether children feel loved, cherished, special and supported, within the family and community, and whether the family and community are being supported in this task by public policy and resources".

Where does that put Filipino kids?