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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Harry Potter and the Unnamed Expendables

The news has recently been released that in the seventh and final installment of the wildly successful Harry Potter series, two of the main characters will perish.
Now, if you're like me, then you absolutely love the Harry Potter series. So much so, that I even bought an "unauthorized parody" called Barry Trotter last year -- it was decent, for what it was. If you're not like me, then you probably aren't reading this far, and you may even be going so far as to throw your computer monitor onto a raging bonfire.
But back to those of us who enjoy the books. I have been a fan since the very first book came out. JK Rowling's stories are fun, exciting, and full of wonderful imagination and colorful characters. I could do an in-depth discussion of all six of the already-published stories, but that's really not what this blog is all about. Suffice it to say, that the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, stands out as my favorite in the series so far. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed each one of them immeasurably. But Prisoner is my favorite. (And though hardly more than a bit player, I still laugh every time I read about Sir Cadogan -- "Stand fast, you dirty curs!")
So on to the dire news of book the seventh. Rowling is quoted as saying, "A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don't target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do."
Of course, it should be remembered that Rowling gave a similar spoiler about a year before book 4, The Goblet of Fire, was released. She revealed that someone near and dear to Harry would not make it through the story alive. If you have read this book, and then you know it was hardly someone "near and dear to Harry." In fact, it's kind of ironic that in telling his henchmen to kill this character, Lord Voldemort actually said, "Kill the spare."
Similar revelations were made before the release of books 5 and 6, and these proved to be much more accurate. Someone that was truly near and dear to Harry was eliminated in book 5, and a HUGE character died in book 6. (Or DID he??)
So when Rowling says that two "main" characters are going to die in this final book, I think we have to assume that at least one truly is going to be a major character. In other words, she's not just letting us know that Crabbe and Goyle are going to meet untimely ends, or that the assistant to the Minister of Magic and his brother-in-law will kick the bucket.
Personally, I've felt all along that Ron Weasley is a marked man. I hate to say that, because he's one of my favorite characters, and I would love to see him and Hermione live happily ever after, but he has always given off those "doomed to die the heroic death of a sidekick" vibes. Also, it would not surprise me at all if Professor Snape bought the farm. I think that he too might die a heroic death, to the surprise of everyone around him, who no doubt view him as a traitor (though I still think he's good).
So there's my two cents. If you haven't read any of these books, now is as good a time as any to get started. For the rest of us, we're still waiting (impatiently) for the last book to be published. Just so long as it is not titled Harry Potter and the Chocolate Schwetty Balls...


Mrs. T said...

I am a Die Hard Harry Potter fan- in fact, I sometimes treat myself to re-reading the series from Book 1 to 6. Usually I do this when the newest book comes out. I am anxious to see if the major character in #6 is really dead. I think he isn't.
Am curious to know why you think Snape is still good. I go back and forth with this one.

Phineus said...

Bid D is dead, no doubt, as dead as a doornail, but what's Obi-wantastic is that he will live on, in sorts, through his framed portrait in his office, and the pensieve and the shared toilet with Moaning Myrtle.
As for Snape. He's our tragic hero. Undercover is never easy.

HappyChyck said...

Mister Teach--I have also felt that Ron is doomed, and I am not so sure that Snape is that bad. We shall see.

Funny story: Last fall on a library visit I was having a nice HP #6 convo with some students. My practicum teacher came over, so I included her in the convo. She admitted that she'd never read them, and then she said maybe she'd watch the movies. You should have seen the expression on my students' faces. Priceless.

Mister Teacher said...

I think that Snape took one of those Unbreakable Vows with "Big D," which said that he was obligated to do what he did. I think that's why Hagrid reported seeing Dumbledore yelling at Snape (he didn't want to do it), and I think that's why Snape refrained from killing Harry at the end, when he clearly had every opportunity in the world. Instead, he chose to just deflect all of Harry's wild spells.
And that Moaning Myrtle just freaks me out...

Anonymous said...

Phineus.. don't forget about the chocolate frog cards!

And ITA with the whole Big D is really dead, Snape is really a secret double agent good guy thing.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Every time a new book comes out, I stay up after buying it at midnight and read it straight through. With three kids, three dogs, and a husband, this is no mean feat. But nobody better bug Momma 'till that last page is turned and savored. It's just one day every three years, so get over it.

Loads of my students read them, even though they're 16-17. Loads of my adult friends read them-- and no we're not all pallid, D&D playing, Klingon-speaking recluses. I once discussed the first four books with my father's cardiac surgeon. For forty-five minutes.

I think Snape is pulling the ultimate fast one on Voldemort, who is so blinded by evil that he can't see it. I love Ron, but as another of my favorite sci-fi goofballs once said, "I got a bad feeling about this."

I think Dumbledore had to leave the picture so that Harry would become more self-reliant before the ultimate show-down.

I wonder if Hagrid won't die so that he can be restored to good standing in the wizarding world.

I kept hoping in the first two books that they'd find a portrait of Harry's parents, cause I'm a sympathetic sap.

See? I'm like this-- completely obsessive with characters from books. It's pathetic. But I don't care.

Mister Teacher said...

What's not to love, Ms. C? For the past three books, I have gone to the bookstore at midnight, gotten not only the book but also one of the packaging crates stamped with that book's title (who knows, they might be worth something someday), and stayed up for several hours reading as much as I can. I finished book 6 within 24 hours. Afterwards, I had quite the horcrux in my neck!

Mike in Texas said...

Ahhh, the unnamed expendables.

Reminds me of two comedians I saw years ago who called themselves "The Frantics". Their bit was they'd do every Star Trek episode there ever was in 3 minutes. At one point in the skit they all get beamed down to the surface of a planet where Kirk turns and says, "Who are you?" and the other team member replies, "I'm the expendable crew member, sir"