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Peter T Chattaway

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Link to thread on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

From a post made Christmas Day on J.K. Rowling's website: "For 2006 will be the year when I write the final book in the Harry Potter series. I contemplate the task with mingled feelings of excitement and dread, because I can't wait to get started, to tell the final part of the story and, at last, to answer all the questions (will I ever answer all of the questions? Let's aim for most of the questions); and yet it will all be over at last and I can't quite imagine life without Harry."

Of course, even if she finishes WRITING the book in 2006, it might not be PUBLISHED until 2007.

Still, if the book came out next year, it would fill a gap of sorts. As I've probably said elsewhere on this board, there has been one new Harry Potter book or film every year since 1997, and 2005 was unusual in that we got a new book AND a new film; in similar manner, 2006 might also be unusual in that we will get NEITHER a new book (since they've been coming out every 2 or 3 years lately) or film (since they've been coming out every year-and-a-half lately).

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BethR   

Good grief--no posts here since 2005?

Might as well revive it with :spoilers: :spoilers: :spoilers:

J.K. Rowling recently answered a couple of interesting questions from Salman Rushdie at Lumos 2006, a Harry Potter fan-con.

:spoilers: :spoilers:

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J.K. Rowling Challenges Airport Security

British author J.K. Rowling says she won an argument with airport security officials in New York to carry the manuscript of the final "Harry Potter" book as carryon baggage.

Had security agents not relented, she said on her Web site, she might not have flown, she said in a posting dated Wednesday. . . .

"The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

"A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S."

Eventually, she added, "They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands." . . .

Associated Press, September 14

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J.K. Rowling Challenges Airport Security

British author J.K. Rowling says she won an argument with airport security officials in New York to carry the manuscript of the final "Harry Potter" book as carryon baggage.

Had security agents not relented, she said on her Web site, she might not have flown, she said in a posting dated Wednesday. . . .

"The heightened security restrictions on the airlines made the journey back from New York interesting, as I refused to be parted from the manuscript of book seven.

"A large part of it is handwritten and there was no copy of anything I had done while in the U.S."

Eventually, she added, "They let me take it on, thankfully, bound up in elastic bands." . . .

Associated Press, September 14

With all the security measures pre-publication I can't believe she wanders round with her ongoing work held together by elastic bands! Do you think she sits on it on the plane? Takes it with her when she goes to the bathroom? Or just hopes that nobody will suspect that she has the MS for the final installment tucked into a flight bag in the overhead locker? ::w00t::

Edited by Tony Watkins

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Well those security measures were taken by her publisher. I suspect that, like most authors, she probably uses her manuscript as a coffee coaster in the early morning.

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Well those security measures were taken by her publisher. I suspect that, like most authors, she probably uses her manuscript as a coffee coaster in the early morning.

If she's anything like me, she should make a back-up copy of the manuscript.

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Jason Panella wrote:

: If she's anything like me, she should make a back-up copy of the manuscript.

You mean, by Xeroxing it? By writing it out again? By using one of those devices with the multiple pens? :)

One of the things that leapt out at me when I read this was that her manuscript really IS a MANUscript, i.e. a script written by HAND, at least in parts. I know old farts like Woody Allen and George Lucas write their screenplays this way, but I would have thought that J.K. Rowling would at least use a typewriter, or bring a laptop with her on her vacation, or something.

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Jason Panella wrote:

: If she's anything like me, she should make a back-up copy of the manuscript.

You mean, by Xeroxing it? By writing it out again? By using one of those devices with the multiple pens? :)

Heh.

"Rowling told anxious fans that the 7th book was going to take another year and a half to finish because she's busy hand-writing a backup copy."

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Jason Panella wrote:

: If she's anything like me, she should make a back-up copy of the manuscript.

You mean, by Xeroxing it? By writing it out again? By using one of those devices with the multiple pens? :)

Heh.

"Rowling told anxious fans that the 7th book was going to take another year and a half to finish because she's busy hand-writing a backup copy."

Maybe she should hire the services of a team (an array!) of monks who have taken vows of silence and who could create backups each day.

This has put me in mind of Geraldine McCaughrean who also writes out by hand (as does Pullman - 1000 words a day, every day). She once left a manuscript she had been working on for some time in the back of her car. When it started raining, she didn't think about the fact that her car was a convertible with the top down... :o

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Please let Harry Potter die

Rowling should let Potter die, because that is what tragic heroes do.

Terry Mattingly, September 13

If I was Jo Rowling I would be sorely tempted to. It would put a serious obstacle in the path of deciding to follow Harry's career as an auror, which otherwise might get tempting. On the other hand, the howls of anguish, the backlash...

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And the title is (cue drum roll):

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In the spoiler tags because you can play hangman to figure out the name at jkrowling.com after a massive (fun) search to get to the right spot. You can either play the game or read the spoiler above.

If you need hints to find your way through the website search, see here. (Note the title is at the bottom of the page, so don't go all the way down if you're doing it the hard way)

Edited by Darrel Manson

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Huh. I just Googled those two words, and absolutely no websites came up. Nothing. I expect that will change very, very soon, but still, it seems there isn't any real-world reference point that might give us a clue as to what the title means (the way that, e.g., there has always been a "Philosopher's Stone").

(Hmmm, let's see ... "Chamber of Secrets" was pretty generic ... "Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Order of the Phoenix" were obvious references to story elements revealed in earlier books ... and "Goblet of Fire" and "Half-Blood Prince" sounded pretty specifically Potterian, even if we didn't know what they referred to exactly. Sounds like that might be the case with this new title too, then.)

John Granger had a theory that each title referred to the book's central metaphor for Christ, or something like that, but he proposed this theory after Book 4, and I don't know if Book 6, in particular, sustained that theory. I'll be curious to see whether Book 7 fits his thesis.

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What makes this even weirder is that one of the words appears to be treated like a noun, yet the two online dictionaries I checked both have it listed as a verb, only. Of course, I am familiar with the expression '

All Hallows Eve

', which is now known as '

Halloween

' and is related to '

the Feast of All Saints

' -- so are there "

saints

" in the Harry Potter world? Or is this referring to some utterly, completely new invention of Rowling's?

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opus   
If I was Jo Rowling I would be sorely tempted to. It would put a serious obstacle in the path of deciding to follow Harry's career as an auror, which otherwise might get tempting. On the other hand, the howls of anguish, the backlash...

Alan Moore touched on some of this in his proposal for "Twilight Of The Superheroes", a series that he pitched to DC back in the 1980s, but never got around to doing. The proposal has been floating around the Web for years now, on various fansites and whatnot (like this one). The entire thing makes for fascinating reading, but here's the specific part I was thinking of:

As I mentioned in my introduction to Frank's Dark Knight, one of the things that prevents superhero stories from ever attaining the status of true modern myths or legends is that they are open ended. An essential quality of a legend is that the events in it are clearly defined in time; Robin Hood is driven to become an outlaw by the injustices of King John and his minions. That is his origin. He meets Little John, Friar Tuck and all the rest and forms the merry men. He wins the tournament in disguise, he falls in love with Maid Marian and thwarts the Sheriff of Nottingham. That is his career, including love interest, Major Villains and the formation of a superhero group that he is part of. He lives to see the return of Good King Richard and is finally killed by a woman, firing a last arrow to mark the place where he shall be buried. That is his resolution--you can apply the same paradigm to King Arthur, Davy Crockett or Sherlock Holmes with equal success. You cannot apply it to most comic book characters because, in order to meet the commercial demands of a continuing series, they can never have a resolution. Indeed, they find it difficult to embrace any of the changes in life that the passage of time brings about for these very same reasons, making them finally less than fully human as well as falling far short of true myth.

Replace "superhero" and "comic book characters" with "Harry Potter".

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opus wrote:

: Replace "superhero" and "comic book characters" with "Harry Potter".

Eh? Rowling has always said that the Potter series is a finite, seven-book storyline, and she said years ago that she had already written the last chapter of the last book, just to keep in mind where the story is going.

Plus, each book has taken place over the course of a different school year, and as Harry gets older, he HAS been going through some of those teenaged "rites of passage".

The Potter saga is not a "continuing series" in the sense that the typical comic book is.

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Personally, my first thought when reading the title was of the

Veil in the Department of Mysteries

. I always expected that Rowling would return there eventually. At any rate, I like the title. It seems spooky and evocative and the natural culmination of where the last couple of books have seemed to be heading.

Peter said: John Granger had a theory that each title referred to the book's central metaphor for Christ, or something like that, but he proposed this theory after Book 4, and I don't know if Book 6, in particular, sustained that theory. I'll be curious to see whether Book 7 fits his thesis.

Okay, I can actually sort of buy

Snape

as a Christ figure (assuming

he turns out to be a good guy

, which I do)--at any rate, it's no more farfetched than Sirius Black as Christ figure. But I really don't understand how Granger gets a metaphor for Christ out of the Chamber of Secrets--it's basically just the bad guy's Fortress of Doom, no?

At any rate, this sort of reminds me of a game we used to play in my small Evangelical elementary school: the goal was to pick an object around the classroom--any object--that our Principal could not use as the basis for a sermon. We never won, and it was only later that I realized that was because, if you squint hard enough, you can find a sermon--or a Christ metaphor--in anything.

Going back a bit,

Peter quoted: Please let Harry Potter die

Rowling should let Potter die, because that is what tragic heroes do.

Terry Mattingly, September 13

I find it curious that Mattingly and the good Father think Harry Potter is a tragedy, or that Rowling is drawing specifically on tragic epics any more than she's drawing on, say, bildungsromans or Victorian melodrama. Besides, the way this series has been structured, it would make a spectacularly lousy tragedy about the battle between Good and Evil. The focus is all on Harry growing into a man and coming--slowly-- to a better understanding of the events and people surrounding him (the increasingly central mystery of

what kind of man Snape really is

is a good example of this.) The natural emotional climax that has been established (especially in the last book, when Dumbledore practically spells it out) is Harry learning to judge and act with discernment and love. The point isn't the defeat of Voldemort--his evil is too distant and emotionally removed from the core of the novel. The point is Harry growing up and finally getting the story straight. Instant Death just undercuts all of that and makes it really kind of pointless.

Sigh. Clearly, I've been thinking about this too much.

(Edited because my principal is my pal, not my ple. )

Edited by ThePersistanceOfWaffles

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BethR   
What makes this even weirder is that one of the words appears to be treated like a noun, yet the two online dictionaries I checked both have it listed as a verb, only. Of course, I am familiar with the expression '

All Hallows Eve

', which is now known as '

Halloween

' and is related to '

the Feast of All Saints

' -- so are there "

saints

" in the Harry Potter world? Or is this referring to some utterly, completely new invention of Rowling's?

I'm at home & can't get to my compact OED, but I'm pretty sure that one definition of the word as a noun refers to

hallows as "holy or hallowed

places"

, so that would work. Not an "utterly, completely new invention of Rowling's," but rather an archaic usage that the modern, online dictionaries don't include. Even my hardback Webster's Collegiate doesn't include this usage, but I know I've seen it.

Edited by BethR

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I'm at home & can't get to my compact OED, but I'm pretty sure that one definition of the word as a noun refers to

hallows as "holy or hallowed

places"

, so that would work.

Ooh! That's interesting. Very interesting. And perhaps the

Hallows

are

what's beyond the Veil

? I think I have a new pet theory.

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As PoW was going through various possible Christ figures, perhaps we should consider also that the community can be Christ figure. The church is body of Christ. When our gifts are shared and we act in the will of God, we are Christ present in the world.

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BethR wrote:

: I'm at home & can't get to my compact OED, but I'm pretty sure that one definition of the

: word as a noun refers to

hallows as "holy or hallowed

places"

. . .

Interesting. But however we interpret the term -- whether referring to

holy people

or

holy places

-- it still raises the concet of

the holy

, which is not a concept that I would have necessarily associated with anything in the Harry Potter world before. A number of commentators have observed, for good or ill, that these books treat the supernatural in fairly mechanistic terms (for some, this is "good" because it means the witches and wizards aren't dealing with demons; for others, this is "bad" because there is no sense of transcendent Mystery) -- so it will be interesting to see how this new concept fits into the Potterverse.

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BethR   
John Granger posts lots and lots (and lots and lots...) of thoughts on the possible meaning(s) of the title.

Although very lengthy, very worthwhile! Having just finished listening (an aural re-"read") to HP&tHBP (#6), I think Granger is very much on the right track here with his alchemical symbolisms.

Edited by BethR

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We have a tentative date of July 7 for the release. We started taking pre-orders this week at my store (Barnes & Noble).

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