Monday, December 07, 2009

Harry Potter: The End of a Favorite Story

Verily, I just watched The Deathly Hallows sneak peak.  It brought up all those warm, wonderful fuzzy feelings that only Harry Potter can do.  I grew up with Harry, fell in love with his story, and reveled in every novel.  The magic was too captivating to not enjoy.  The story was too charming, too alluring, too mesmerizing.  I went to the midnight release party of Deathly Hallows.  Heck, we wound up buying two books, one for me and one for Keisha, just so we wouldn’t have to wait while the other one read.  I finished the last book either the day I got it or the next day.  I literally could not stop reading.

The truth is, the Harry Potter stories are some of the best stories I’ve ever read.  I often omit them from my “favorites” category, but I’m not sure why.  Human error, perhaps?  Rowling’s humor was fantastic, her mystery intriguing, and her characters absolutely loveable.  The books had everything you could ask for in a story: a villain you couldn’t help but hate and pity, a hero with a terrible burden of destiny, friends thicker and closer than brothers, and a world filled with magic.  Just thinking about them puts me in a nostalgic mood of the magic of the story and makes me want to reread them immediately.

I wonder if Rowling will be able to stay away from the Harry Potter world.  Will she write other novels with the familiar and beloved characters, or is she truly done?  When things end, especially things that have held me captivated from the get-go, things like Lost and Harry Potter, I feel mixed emotions.  I want the story to end, to have a resolution.  The d√©nouement is, after all, a very important part of the overall story, and without a conclusion then the story is pointless.  While the story ends, the bittersweet reality of “no more” sets in, which sometimes leads to despair, and other times to a “hallelujahamenandthankyouJesus.”

It’s just too complex.  Using the anthropomorphic metaphor of a story being likened to a human life, in the end it must ultimately die.  It’s a pitiful story when the end putters out and ends with a whimper.  When a writer grabs a deus ex machina and throws words out, the story suffers.  Or when a story goes on long enough that it grows stagnant, it ruins the beauty that once existed.  Harry Potter did not do this, and the ending was perfect, albeit tragic.

Overall, I really love the Harry Potter books.  I can see me and Keisha reading them to our kids, or bequeathing them to them to read.  The story will never get old, methinks.  I’m excited to watch the final installments of the Harry Potter films over the next two years, and I look forward to cherishing the story for years to come.

In an unrelated not, if you haven’t read the interview between Pat Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie (available here), you really need to do it now.  I died laughing a few times.  In fact, using the Many Worlds Theory, I’m still dying and laughing, if you buy that stuff.  Of course, also using the Many Worlds Theory I never even read the interview…  Anyway, the general conversation was interesting, seeing how these two dudes think.


David Wagner said...

That Rothfuss/Abercrombie interview was awesome! Thanks for the link.

Never read a Harry Potter book or saw any of the films, sorry. I'm lame, I know...

logankstewart said...

Holy Cow, David. You've never read HP? What are you, like the only one on the planet? If you've not read them, then I'm sure my two cents won't cause you to, but I can't stress enough just how awesome those stories are. While they may seem childish (since you're an older dude, I gotta assume this is one reason why you've not read them, though I don't see you being opposed to childishness), they really aren't. The writing is solid. The plots are magnificent. If I really thought hard about it, I'd be willing to wager that the HP series is possibly some of the best literature out there. It offered mystery, adventure, action, love, magic, fear, doubt, and a whole slew of other emotions. Truly, you do yourself a disservice by not reading them. Nay, you are robbing yourself of a type of joy I cannot describe. Comparing the first novel to the rest of the series, it doesn't look like much. The second one isn't the best, but every book after is AMAZING. Mind-blowing amazing. If I had to pick any characters I felt the most attached to in all books I've ever read, it'd be the Harry Potter folks. I'm strongly urging you to read these books. You will not regret it. Forget the movies. They are pretty good, and some even awesome worthy, but the books are all so much better. Trust me, David, you're missing out on one of the best adventures I've ever been on.

logankstewart said...

Should I blush from my fanboyishness? Is it obvious that I love these stories?

Krista said...

I still haven't read the Harry Potter books either. I did however see the movies and LOVEd them, and your Hype makes me wanna get to them sooner. lol! There's just so much to read and so little time... :)

And I totally get how you feel. The ending of tales and characters I love is always a bittersweet goodbye.

Cool Interview! Thanks.

logankstewart said...

Krista! You haven't read the HP books either? Man oh man oh man. Just read my comment to Dave and ingest that. They are awesome. They truly deserve the hype and acclaim they have.