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?


  1. That is an interesting thought. But true, the fates of the heroes / characters we read and see are in the hands of their writers.

    I for one wish Harry will live through it and snook up with Hermoine. ;-)

  2. Yes, but in the case of Harry Potter, it seems that even the author has become such a key player now.

    Hermione will most likely end with Ron, though.

  3. Harry does not have to die so he'll end up with Ginny Weasley. I'm one sucker for happy endings.

    How about Voldemort atoning for all his sins in the end? Can this be possible under the circumstances?:)

  4. Harry Potter will die, and Hermione will prevail as the predominant force against evil.

    HP doesn't really have positive female role models. Sucky Hermione repeatedly saves the day across the series with no real credit accorded her. A mere side-kick... to the end.

    My daughter (and moi!) prefers (by a mile) the Artemis Fowl series with its serious *ss-kicking females - across the different species.

    Its sort a Beatles vs the Stones dichotomy.