I got (gently) accused yesterday of being OCD in my re-reading of the Harry Potter books pre Deathly Hallows. Now I am the first to admit that I can put the A in anal, but I didn't think this particular accusation was quite fair. It came from my friend Stacey, in her melodic Baltimore brogue, as she said that she herself was re-reading the last two only in DH prep. (On a completely unrelated note, why is it that so many of my dearest friends are East Coast types? Must investigate further. Stay tuned for upcoming blog analysis).
Sunday, July 1, 2007
My indignant answer to Stacey is that I am clue searching. Like the rest of the universe I'm formulating theories about what will happen to these characters that have become so real to me. And I think there are tons of clues buried all the way back from the first book on because this whole series was planned so well from the start. I've got a slew of ideas, and I'm sure I'll be sharing them soon enough. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The more I read the more in awe I am at J.K. Rowling and her forethought. To have plotted out seven books in such detail before even writing one absolutely floors me. I can't write a paragraph without changing course four times. The problem with so many book series is that the main characters change so much because they have to in order to become series material. For example, I love the Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta series. (Or at least I did until the last three, which were just bizarre). The first book, Post Mortem, won every single British and American mystery award imaginable and is absolutely brilliant. (If you haven't read it and feel the urge take my advice and don't read it alone in the house. Seriously. I lent it to a friend when her husband was out of town and she didn't speak to me for a month). But the problem is that the main character, Scarpetta, was totally different in this book than she was in later books. She did so many things in the first book that were completely out of character in the later books. In order to make her able to carry a series, Cornwell had to change her drastically. I got over it eventually, but it was really jarring for a while.
The beauty of Harry Potter is that the characters have remained so consistent over six books. People may not behave the way you expect them to, but you believe that there's a reason for it other than sloppiness. And I trust - completely - that this series will end the way Rowling wants it to and not just as a way to write herself out of a corner she's backed herself into.
I can't wait.