Sunday, July 1, 2007

Near the dead in Deathly Hallows

I love it that people are picking through all the interviews that Rowling has given over the last ten years. It seems to me that she gave some very telling answers in the beginning. They didn't seem so at the time, but as we've read more books, going back to those old interviews sometimes gives us clues that we missed first time round--or at least we all think so. In 19 days we'll know.

So the quote is from an interview, posted at Accio Quote! , that Rowling gave on July 8, 2000, with Anne Johnstone, The Herald (Glasgow):

"For me one of the big challenges was to make sure I knew the laws, both physical laws and the legal system within the wizarding world because until you know the boundaries, there's no tension."

One of her fundamentals is that you can't reverse death: "That's a given. Without it the plot would fall apart, though in Book Seven you'll see just how close you can get to the dead. You can be brought back from being petrified and from injuries that in the real world are mortal, depending on the degree of skill that a particular wizard possesses. You can't go to any wizard and say 'Will you cure my terminally ill relative?' It's a mirror image of the real world in that sense."

We saw petrified people brought back, and Harry has suffered enough injuries, if not to kill him, to certainly leave him permanently disabled; because of the rules she has set for magic in the books, Harry has come through some harrowing experiences. Dumbledore alludes to having sustained a life-threatening injury when he destroyed the ring Horcrux, and Harry foolishly used a curse he didn't understand, which resulted in serious injury to Draco--possibly it could have caused his death, but we weren't ever told that. Had it not been for Severus Snape's high "degree of skill", who seems to be the "particular wizard" to which she refers, Dumbledore, Draco and Katie Bell would likely have died.

But that is all different than "how close you can get to the dead". There are some great discussions going on at HogwartsProfessor (John Granger) and Sword of Gryffindor (Travis Prinzi), so I won't repeat all of that here. Much of the talk has turned to the Veil, and I certainly think that's a possibility. One other thing that keeps lurking at the back of my mind is that when they were filming POA, Cuaron wanted to throw in a graveyard, and Rowling told him, no, you can't put it there, because the graveyard is in some other location. So far, we still haven't seen a graveyard at Hogwarts, unless it's where Dumbledore's tomb is now. So coming near the dead could be in some graveyard as well.

Anyway, just go there and enjoy the discussions. We only have 19 more days for all the speculation; after that we'll be discussing canon and not our wild theories, which always seem to be the wildest just before we get the book in our hands.



Beth said...

Great post, Pat! It's been so much fun to follow all the speculation, and to engage in it a bit from time to time too. You're 19 days we'll know. It gives me a bit of a funny feeling, actually, to know that the next time I read through the 6 books I've just read through, I will do so with completely different eyes, because my reading will be informed by my knowledge of the ending!

I've missed you and the others on the HogPro forums. I wonder if they will ever come back? We can hope...

Eeyore said...

Thanks, Beth. I've missed it too. I enjoy the new blog that John has, but I miss the private forum. There was a place for some of that Off Topic conversation that comes naturally after people talk so long about things like death, the soul, betrayal, redemption,even just friendship. And on a blog, there's often not an appropriate place for those conversations to happen.

I was looking at your blog, and I'd love to read the ending that you wrote after Phoenix. That's when a friend of mine, from another forum, started her first fan fiction--it's a book, and now she's finishing the sequel.

As happened with yours, there are differences in who died and when and how, but mainly hers is an exploration that came from all the discussions on what was going on in Phoenix, what Occlumency and Legilimency involve, and the Prophecy implications, as you mentioned.

She did a brilliant job of keeping the characters true to canon--Harry and Snape, though they work through many of their problems, are still snarky with one another, and Snape still is Snape--not at all nice to anyone, except possibly Dumbledore, who did survive her book 6 and most of 7. With one chapter to go, I doubt that he'll make it through to the end, but we'll see.

Anyway, I'm not much for fan fiction, except in rare cases from people that I've talked to for a while--I think that's a matter of trust.

When I sat down this evening, I intended to write some more about OP, but it's late and I do want to get some sleep. So maybe I can get it done sometime tomorrow--erm, no, that would be sometime today, as it's now almost 4 am.


Beth said...

Hi Pat...
You're more than welcome to see my "ending" -- though be warned, it's not that long, and certainly not as well-thought-out as your friend's lengthy fan fiction! Among other things I realized as I re-read it the other day is that I had Harry and Voldemort facing each other conventionally with wands. Oops! I should have known better, after the graveyard scene in Goblet!

At any rate, it was a great deal of fun to write, in a kind of adrenaline rush of worry over poor Harry. I'd be happy to send you a copy...I'm not sure I have your email address though.

I really have missed the HogPro forums. I check fairly regularly at various blogs -- John, Janet, Travis and ZoeRose in particular -- but I still miss the forums. Even when I didn't have time to write much, I enjoyed knowing I could go there and find good reading and discussion going on. I was amazed at the way community was built out of discussion around HBP and am trying not to hope too hard for a return to such wonderful cyber-community surrounding this one, in case it doesn't pan out!