Friday, July 06, 2007

Stephen King on Harry Potter

Stephen King has written a beautiful, poignant article about the ending of the Harry Potter series. He captures my feelings eloquently, and I'm quite certain that millions of other readers worldwide feel much the same way. We can't wait and yet we are dreading it, because it will finally be over. King writes:

No ending can be right, because it shouldn't be over at all. The magic is not supposed to go away.

So very true. Oh, my heart is already breaking a little. What are we going to do with ourselves after it's over? I suppose we'll survive. . . somehow.


You know what? I love that there are great things in the 'verse that I get to experience contemporaneously, since I missed some important things like the moon landing and the light bulb and The Beatles.

There is greatness in these stories and I have loved every single minute of it. It's an exciting time to be alive!


Rachel said...

I have not yet made it to the Harry Potter series, though it is on my list, of course.

I hope you won't consider me irreverent for saying so, but I'm frankly glad that they end. I've always felt a sour taste from serials that just go on and on.

I'll admit that I felt for Buffy like you've described your feelings for Harry. But when I reflected on it, I realized that a goal directed action, like a plot, and like a life, must ultimately reach its goal. And then it ends.

Of course, I'd love it if Buffy could find even grander, even nobler heights to reach after the spectacular way she ended the Hell Mouth, and I imagine I'll feel similarly about Harry and his quest.

But for me to celebrate being a contemporary of these great achievements (truly the achievements of their authors are great!) requires that I see their completions, which means their endings.

Alas, poignancy.

Rational Jenn said...

Oh yes, I'm in complete agreement. In wallowing in my sadness that there is to be an ending, I perhaps didn't make it clear that I believe there should be an ending.

Like Buffy, the Harry Potter plot and characters were conceived as a series and each book has played a crucial role in the overarching story with complementary themes and characterizations. It was inevitable from the first book--actually, the first chapter of the first book--that Harry and Voldemort would come to a final confrontation (I'm not really giving much away here). It's exciting to finally learn how Rowling wraps things up. I've had no end of fun in pondering the question marks from the other books, trying to fill in blanks and anticipate her direction, discussing my theories with my friends and family. That's been part of the magic (if you will) for me about the Harry Potter books.

The lack of closure is what got so many people up in arms about the premature cancellation of Firefly, especially because Buffy and Angel fans could see from the first episode glimpses of threads that were to lead to an inexorable, exciting conclusion that was never fulfilled. (The movie Serenity was well done for what it was, but no real substitute for years and years of storylines and character development.)

Knowing HP would end someday made it more meaningful, too. Just like the ultimate value, life, HP fans savor and cherish this moment while it's here, knowing that the thrill of opening the book for the first time can only happen, well, once. If it dragged on and on, it would lose much of its meaning, people would get bored.

It's a necessary ending, but sad all the same. Still, I hope I am conveying that seeing the process and participating (just by reading) has been what's been the most exciting part for me. Even as I mourn, I am celebrating its wonderfulness. And of course, I plan to re-read them a million more times!