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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - SPOILERS

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It doesn't really matter to the story though, does it? From what I understand it says nothing of homosexuality and tolerance as an issue. If she really wanted to make a point she should have made it explicit in the books rather than make the remark after publication.

 

You are absolutely right Stewart on both points. But she didn't put it out there, she was asked the question and replied as she saw fit. I like that she has now said that he is her creation and she can make of him what she wants.

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Guest Colyngbourne

I disagree. He is definitely her creation, but she can't make of him what she wants unless she writes about him in another book. She can make of him what she want - to herself - but as a character "set free" in a piece of literature, it is up to the imagination and thoughts of the readers to make of Dumbledore what they will. By continuing to "fill in the details" she is retaining unnatural control over her creations, predetermining what readers can make of him (from stuff that is not in the books) and it is tedious in the extreme.

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Isn't it funny what we each find "tedious in the extreme"? I much prefer the fact that when JK was asked what she thought about Dumbledore's sexuality, she gave her own answer and didn't roll out some tired cliche of what the reader thinks, or it's up to the reader to make what they will. Plus, providing a positive role model of homosexuality in children's lit is a bonus. On a personal note, I endlessly enjoy the moralistic rants of the Evangelical minority on these books too - so more fuel to that fire is always appreciated by me.

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Guest Colyngbourne

But she hasn't provided a positive role model of homosexuality in the books: no child (or even adult) reading the books is going to know Dumbledore is gay. It's a completely hidden thing and not even a fact, but an opinion. I would prefer if she didn't set these things in stone: in the books themselves she leaves so little to the imagination that one of the few freedoms about the series is that kids can imagine outside the boundaries of the canon if they want to. Now they will be tethered by her encyclopaedia-yet-to-come.

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no child (or even adult) reading the books is going to know Dumbledore is gay. It's a completely hidden thing and not even a fact, but an opinion.

 

Hardly - she was asked the question about his sexuality because readers had been discussing the possibility on the forums. There was copious rumours and discussions debating it.

 

 

I would prefer if she didn't set these things in stone:

 

Again, she hasn't really done that. She said she always thought of him as being gay and certainly you can see that possibility looking back. She hasn't said he is gay, unless you are a tabloid journalist.

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Guest Colyngbourne
Hardly - she was asked the question about his sexuality because readers had been discussing the possibility on the forums. There was copious rumours and discussions debating it.

Yes, but readers on forums debate the sexuality of every living being in the series (including the Giant Squid no doubt :rolleyes: ). I imagine that common wonderings about sexuality might include Sirius and Remus, Tonks and her bright purple hair, the two girls who are into Divination, Justin Finch-Fletchley, amongst others, as well as the inclinations of Dumbledore, but in the main these are readers who are a) adults, and therefore not the targeted readership of the books, and B) mostly actively looking for indications of character's sexuality for fan theorising or fan-fiction. Children (and young teenagers) reading the books are not necessarily going to be even thinking about the possibilities of sexuality of characters, where JKR hasn't given us the details.

 

 

Again, she hasn't really done that. She said she always thought of him as being gay and certainly you can see that possibility looking back. She hasn't said he is gay, unless you are a tabloid journalist.

 

You're right that she hasn't determined it as a fact, but only "she thought", as an opinion. However, as the author, anything "she thinks" has the weight of authority really, that countermands what the rest of us readers might think. Even if it's just her 'opinion', it sets the seal on what anyone else might think. She knows this when she gives these details, and she uses all this background stuff as extra publicity, not that she needs it. It's like fitting the books in an iron maiden.

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Children (and young teenagers) reading the books are not necessarily going to be even thinking about the possibilities of sexuality of characters, where JKR hasn't given us the details.

 

Well, that has not been my experience. The kids that I have talked to about Harry Potter have mentioned the sexuality of a select few of the characters - and have discussed it at school.

 

You're right that she hasn't determined it as a fact, but only "she thought", as an opinion. However, as the author, anything "she thinks" has the weight of authority really, that countermands what the rest of us readers might think.

 

That is true, but that being true shouldn't deter JK from giving her honest opinion. As I have previously said, I am glad that she didn't trot out some tired cliche. Readers will always demand the right to interpret books as they see fit despite what the author may or may not lay down in the writing or thereafter. After all, as you said, once published the book and characters therein are free. JK can say what she thought and we as readers can say what we think. We don't have to agree, thankfully.

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An interesting debate.

 

Personally, I think we have to be careful approaching books primarily aimed at kids with adult notions. Literary theory positing the book as an independent entity once it enters the public realm is fine for adult readers, but kids approach things differently. For them, the author has created this world and has the 'answers' they want. They're actually going to feel very frustrated by an answer that says 'whatever it means for you is true'. Kids don't have the sophistication to deal with that.

 

Besides, even from the level of adult views, the primacy of the intentional fallacy was soon challenged in the twentieth century and the more balanced approach now is to consider texts from many angles. Should we just throw out preparatory notes and first drafts of the classics and not study them at all? Should biographical details be deemed completely irrelevant to the process of gaining a deeper understanding of texts? Input from the author is valuable.

 

Extra-textual details are always of interest except to those pursuing the purest incarnations of New Criticism and its offspring. Even Eliot ended up making comments about his poems' meanings in the end, so no one sticks to it too rigidly! ;)

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Guest Colyngbourne

Then I think rather that children should not have opinions imposed upon them by the authors. Regardless of whether children have sophistication, it's a closing down of possibilities rather than an opening up, which is happening in this case (and with the future HP encyclopaedia idea), and I think allowing children to explore the characters freely is more important that letting out tantalising details of background, that then becomes "canon" for some reason.

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I agree that the encyclopedia idea is a bad one, but children will lap it up for all the reasons David outlines. They will like to have everything Harry documented and laid down for them because they can't get enough of it because they are children. What shouldn't be imposed on them is adult reading sensibilities.

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I got fed up waiting for the paperback so I bought a second-hand hardback. (I asked Bloomsbury when the pbk would be out but they couldn't tell me, so they and JK lost out).

Before reading "The Deathly Hallows" I decided the re-read the series from "The Order of the Phoenix". However once I had finished "The Deathly Hallows" I decided to re-read the whole series from the start.

I have read the comments on this thread a few times and don't really have a lot more to add to what has been said, except...

 

I really disliked the Kings Cross chapter the first time that I read it as I felt it didn't work that well. However, on my second reading I found that I didn't mind it as much.

 

I felt, and still feel, that "19 Years Later" was unnecessary. I think it is just an expansion on the "and they all lived happily ever after" that is usual in children's books.

 

I wanted more of Harry and Ginny's relationship in this book and I think she should have had a major part in the story. Because that would have fitted with Harry's development and she could have been (is) a strong character who could support him and he could have discussed his feelings with her..

 

This was a brilliant series. My ratings for the books that I have read over the last couple, of months are:

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ****

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ***

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ****

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ****

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ***

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ****

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ****

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ****

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince *****

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows *****

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According to the (yeuch) Daily Mail this morning, the last film will be issued in 2 parts -

 

Harry Potter fans are set to get a double treat in the film of the final story – and movie makers are set to double their money.

 

Crew working on the sixth Potter film, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, have been told J.K. Rowling's seventh novel, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, will be released in two halves.

 

For film-makers Warner Bros, whose first five Potter films have made £2.5billion in box office receipts – more than any other movie series – it could mean a £500million bonus in ticket sales.

 

But sources insist the reason behind the two-movie plan is artistic rather than financial.

 

The books got progressively longer – the first, the Philosopher's Stone, had 223 pages while Deathly Hallows has 776 – and fans have complained chunks of later novels have been left out of films.

 

A film source said: "There's so much to fit that the view is the last movie should be in two halves. There is a huge battle when Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, takes on Voldemort that needs to be done really well."

 

And Ms Rowling points out on her website: "It is simply impossible to incorporate every storyline into a film under four hours long."

 

At Warner Bros, who are rumoured to be thinking of Oscars and a big-name director such as Steven Spielberg for the final film, a spokesman said:

 

"People are discussing all possibilities."

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I wanted more of Harry and Ginny's relationship in this book and I think she should have had a major part in the story. Because that would have fitted with Harry's development and she could have been (is) a strong character who could support him and he could have discussed his feelings with her..

In a purely objective sense I would agree with that, tagesmann - she seemed very sidelined by the end. On the other hand, I don't think the portrayal of romantic relationships was a strong suit in JK's hand so perhaps it was as well!

 

As for the final film in two halves, I'm sorry but ker-ching! This sort of film is never subject to artistic reasoning by Hollywood studios.

 

The Mail mentions Spielberg but I'd also read in SFX that Guillermo del Toro had expressed an interest and I think he would make a far more interesting job of it!

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Sorry to come to this so late…

 

I started book 7 when it came out but found that I just could not remember anything from the previous books at all (eg all the stuff about horcruxes), so I ended up going back and re-reading the second half of book 5 and the whole of book 6 again. I really enjoyed rereading those other books - especially The Half Blood Prince with all the fascinating delving into people’s old memories esp all that stuff about Voldemort’s parents and grandparents. It certainly paints a pitiful picture - the demented old man and his son and daughter, living in their hovel and clinging to their only possession - their pride in their ancestry.

 

The Deathly Hallows, was a brilliant read. However looking back on it now, I think it was one of the less good of the series (my favourites are 1-3 and 6). Other people have noted the interminable nature of the “camping trip” - the only time in all 7 books that I started to get bored. Paradoxically, once the action started I felt it was all a bit rushed and there are still some gaps in my understanding of what happened. Eg I thought the goblin ran off with Gryffindor’s sword during the raid on Gringotts, yet later on it turns up in the sorting hat. I thought that Hermione & Ron found it remarkably easy to open the chamber of secrets again - that surely deserved a couple of chapters. There are also numerous cases of magical devices conveniently helping the plot along (a frequent criticism of this genre) eg the way that Ron’s lighter just happened to bring him to the right place to save harry from drowning, the way that the baddies constantly forget to create protective spells that include the house elves (I know that's to make the point that the dark wizards underestimate "lesser creatures" like the elves but we are talking here about Voldemort, the greatest wizard ever). I thought the whole idea of the horcruxes was very clever, especially one being inside Harry himself, and the whole scene where Snape dies and then Harry finds out the truth was very moving. I must admit that I didn’t have other people's faith in Snape; after book 6 I had accepted that he was a baddy but deep down I was hoping that somehow he would still turn out to be good. It is interesting reading the ending of The Half Blood Prince knowing what we know now i.e. when Dumbledore says to Snape, “Please, Severus”, he is actually begging Snape to go ahead and do the deed. [i have to say that I’m not that convinced by the plotting here. I suppose Snape killing Dumbledore helped Snape’s cover as a Death Eater but on the other hand surely it would have been more useful for the cause for Dumbledore to have been around for a bit longer. Dumbledore’s reasons for wanting to be killed by Snape don’t seem that convincing really]. Snape is of course the star character in the whole book - not wholly good or wholly bad, overall on the right side but maybe not for the correct motives, heavily affected by his past but still able to overcome his personal demons to be used for good.

 

One of the things I've loved about the books is the element of humour - fantasy novels are often very serious. The HP books are great because they are so funny in places. However it has to be said that book 7 (perhaps inevitably given the subject matter) is almost completely devoid of humour.

 

I don’t fully understand the whole Kings Cross scene. What was the baby-like creature? Why did Harry not die properly? It seems to me that too much gets explained away with “it’s because your mother sacrificed her life for you”. At the time with You Know Who’s people on the rampage, there must have been other cases of people giving their lives for their children, yet the series seems to imply that this was a unique event.

 

Having said all that, the whole series has been amazing - I am sure we will not see the like of it again. Just the fact that whole websites can spend hours debating the finer points of what was supposed to be a series of books for children , just shows what JK has achieved. Also, the Christian symbolism of the ending is amazing. I am sure that JK knew what she was doing here. She knows that people will inevitably draw parallels between Harry humbly and submissively going to his death to save the world and Christ meekly going to the cross - and the resurrection is definitely the icing on the cake! And as for King's Cross - the name is surely significant.

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Comment from Flingo - apologies Woofwoof, I have inadvertently edited your post and lost what you had typed. I was meaning to Quote you. Many apologies.

 

The gist of woofwoof's message was about Dumbledore living on in the painting and advising Snape. Woofwoof questioned why Harry, Ron and Hermione hadn't just "stolen" the portrait to keep Dumbledore with them.

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My attempted reply, to the post that I messed up, was: No, the person doesn't reside in the picture - there is a discussion (in, I think, Order of the Phoenix) about how something special is done to Hogwart's Headteachers "official" portraits, so that some element of them can live on to provide advice to future school headteachers.

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I saw that in the paper yesterday. Clearly, a huge effort to cash in considering this will be the last film opportunity. Sad - have they forgotten that this is for kids?

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That is disappointing to hear and strikes me as a total money-spinning ploy too-why not just make one v long film, à la Lord of The Rings?

I've been re-reading the books & am shocked at just how much the plots get massed around with & how much gets chopped from the books. OK, it's not stuff that's that important to the main story, but I liked those bits.

I too wonder how the film-makers are going to do the epilogue, as they do have to, especially if people haven't read the books.

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That is disappointing to hear and strikes me as a total money-spinning ploy too-why not just make one v long film, à la Lord of The Rings?
Perhaps because
have they forgotten that this is for kids?
A very long film would stretch concentration capabilities of a lot of the target audince, especially in the cinema. So perhaps two films makes sense for a younger audience. I am ignoring the certificate because clearly the films are aimed at a wider audience than the over 12s.

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Perhaps because A very long film would stretch concentration capabilities of a lot of the target audince
Very true, though my boys managed to watch Blue Harvest for nigh on 3 hours yesterday!

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I've been re-reading the books & am shocked at just how much the plots get massed around with & how much gets chopped from the books. OK, it's not stuff that's that important to the main story, but I liked those bits.

Although it seems to me that Rowling included everything for a reason - I've said on the Deathly Hallows thread that it's going to be interesting to see how the film(s) cope with their chopped bits as many become crucial to explaining the ending.

 

Maybe that's why they need 2 films for the last book - they are going to need to find a way to bring in all those bits they cut out...

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Very true, though my boys managed to watch Blue Harvest for nigh on 3 hours yesterday!

As in Family Guy? You are raising boys of taste, my good woman!

 

;)

 

I'm still unconvinced by the story justifications for DH being split and I think my main objection would be the fact that all the impetus will be lost. You'll get half-way through the story and then it stops. For a kids' film in particular I think this is poor.

 

Still, maybe this is going to be an increasing trend since The Hobbit is going to be made as two films as well, which is totally unnecessary. It seems that it's yet another manifestation of lack of imagination or adventure in Hollywood: we're already used to multi-sequals and re-hashes of old films or TV shows. Now they can fill the shooting schedules with the same book over several films.

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As in Family Guy? You are raising boys of taste, my good woman!

Well, you recommended it my dear Dave! Best line? "What? Are we charging by the laser now?"

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Best line? "What? Are we charging by the laser now?"

In fact that line was an extra they stuck in late on.

 

Oh my. How geeky is that?!

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