Monday, October 1, 2007

More thoughts on the end. . .or perhaps it should be, "the close"

I re-read Deathly Hallows again this month, even going so far as to take it with me in my carry-on when we flew down to Disneyland in the middle of the month for a long weekend with friends. No wonder my bag was so heavy. But it was nice to have it on the plane and in the evenings.

I've come to realize that with the ending of the last book, there are other things to which I'm saying good-bye. One of them is a forum where I've been chatting for a long time, through many iterations, as the original one crashed so many times that we finally gave up and started our own. So, I'm sad to find that the people I found on line back in 2001 are the ones who are most unhappy with Deathly Hallows, which puts me so much at odds with them, that I just can't join in the discussions any longer.

I think most of their problem stems from their convictions that the books should have ended differently, partly due to the second fan fic written by one of the women. I thoroughly enjoyed her first one, but the second one ended up feeling very contrived at the end as she managed to actually make Harry and Snape reconcile and work together in the post-Voldermort era. They all really liked it, but for me, that was the point where she strayed too far from the characters that Rowling created, and I couldn't go there. And then once I read Deathly Hallows, the idea that Snape would have survived and actually change that much was just way too out of character. Frankly, I find it a bit arrogant when said author speaks with such authority on what is wrong with Rowling's writing of the last book. This person's credentials as a writer are extemely limited, in my opinion. She wrote fan fiction, after all--jumping off into a story with established characters and story arc, basing her story on what was created by Rowling. While she did a very good job of keeping the characters "in character" (in the first book and part of the second one), and did some creative things with the plot, it still wasn't her original ideas. And then to criticize Rowling for writing the story the way she wanted is just the height of silliness. I hope that she will get out of fan fiction and actually write her own stories some day, and then her opinion might carry more weight. But I think at this point she is focused on just writing more fan fiction, continuing to hang on to JKR's coattails. But---I don't dare say that to her or to anyone from that forum.

I've tried telling them that I found Rowling's story with Snape compelling and so true to the character she had created, as well as why I really like all the Christian imagery--which they don't. That's surprising as well; some of them are Christians, including the author, some are nothing in particular and some are avowed atheists (which was the reason I left that forum for a while after Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, come to think of it). So, I'm saying good-bye, without really saying it. I've decided to just disappear rather than post some angsty sort of thing that people often post when they say farewell. Whether or not I stay in contact with any of them remains to be seen. The one who created the site with the help of her husband is the only one I've met when they have come to the Puget Sound area to visit her parents. So we'll see. It's always been up to her to give me a call when she's in town. But since I haven't posted there since my birthday, and then only to explain (once again) why I liked DH so much, I think any meeting we have might be a bit awkward and stained.

I've made notes throughout my Deathly Hallows book, with some at the end in the blank pages. I think later I'll go through and just post those comments here. There are still some things I'm sorting through, but one of the things I found most interesting is how much of Deathly Hallows ties back to all the other books, with a little comment here or there. Brilliant. One of the things that I liked best was that none of the characters were perfect. So often in a hero tale, the hero and some of his closest friends are without fault by the end of the story. It makes them much less human, much less real; as a reader, it's very difficult to relate to characters who are perfect and unlike anyone we've ever met or like ourselves.

Well, now that I've got that off my chest, it's time for some tea--blackberry sage, I think.