December 16, 2010


Several days ago, I went with a friend to see the latest Harry Potter movie, Part 1 of “The Deathly Hollows.” I enjoyed myselfas I am a Harry Potter fan, but I always view these experiences with two minds. The books are long and detailed, so a movie is hard pressed to recreate the scenes fully. Character development is often sacrificed to tell the story. The latest film gives us only the slightest hint of Tonk’s impending pregnancy and nothing of her werewolf husband’s ambivalence.  Mrs. Weasley’s torment at being estranged from her son, Percy, is not mentioned nor do we see evidence of the friction that develops when a foreign bride joins the Weasley family.       

Despite these shortcomings, I shall be sad to see the film series come to an end, just as I was sad when I closed the final pages of the book. The affection for the Potter series runs deep among many. I’ve tried to discover what chord Rowling has struck with readers across so many cultures and ages. No explanation satisfies. As I wrote elsewhere (Blog: 8/8/2010) she is not the finest writer of fantasy, though very good indeed. Nonetheless, she has woven a story that will live as literature.  College courses will emerge and tomes will be written that examine the saga from varying view points.     

Those of us who have been fans since the beginning of the author’s rise to success will find it hard to let go now that the story is ended. Already there are rumors of another Potter story. Rawlings hasn’t said no. But as to a sequel, I am again of two minds. A part of me would love another story… and another… and another. But the artist has given us a near perfect saga and brought it to a successful conclusion. Harry Potter has faced his nemesis and won. A sequel is likely to disappoint as did the one for “Gone with the Wind.” When a journey is over, it’s over. We can read the books again. We can rerun the films endless times. But we must allow J.K. to move on. She may have other stories to tell that are equally enthralling. Or maybe not. Either way, Harry Potter’s creator has won her place among the tellers of wondrous tales. That should be enough.