This is the last thing I’ll write before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Since it’s been a picture day, which has been my way of keeping sane today amidst all the spoiler nonsense, I’ll give you two more in this post – again, click on them to see a larger image.)
It’s been fun, these past two years. Sword of Gryffindor has grown and expanded, the Hog’s Head PubCast has been a blast to do, and you, the readers and commenters, are to thank for that. Here’s an idea of where we’ve come: In November 2005, the first full month of SoG, this site had 3,993 “unique visitors” (Statcounter considers a unique visitor any new visitor or any return visitor who comes back to the site after a certain period of time). This week, we’ve gotten twice that many per day. So far this month, we’ve had 58,593 unique visitors. This month, of course, is obviously going to have more hits due to Book 7’s release, but even prior to that, we had 43,000+ in June and 35,000+ the two previous months. So, thank you all for coming!
A few final words about Deathly Hallows:
- Disappear after reading this post: Seriously, protect yourself from spoilers. Decide to stay away for the last day. You’ll never forgive yourself!
- Protect yourself from spoilers in line: If you’re planning to stand in line somewhere at midnight, like I am, do whatever it takes to protect yourself. There will be people who want to show up and ruin it for everyone, shouting out plot points and ruining the ending. I’ll have my iPod blaring in my ears. I’m not going to any release parties; just standing in line and getting back home as quickly as possible.
- Let Rowling delight you: Sit back and enjoy the book, as much as possible, on your own terms and in your own time. Whether that’s over a long period of time, or with your children, or alone overnight, have fun with the book.
- Hold loosely to your theories: This will be challenging for all of us! We’ve formed so many ideas about this final book based on what’s happened so far, that I fear some of us will be clinging so tightly to our notions about Book 7 that we’ll be disappointed. Determine now to hold very loosely to your ideas and let Rowling surprise you.
- Come back here when you’re done: Of course. And please. I’ll be blogging and podcasting about Deathly Hallows by the end of the weekend. Take your time and finish before coming back, but come back! We’ll be discussing the series for quite some time, I’m sure, and you’ll also find great conversation and analysis at the many blogs I’ve linked from here over the past two years, which I’ll continue to note in “Around the Common Room” posts.
I want to say a special word of thanks to my wonderful wife, Tricia (the picture was taken on vacation two years ago at the French River in Canada). Like me, she was a former Harry Hater as well, and she broke much later than I did. In fact, I need to thank Sophia as well – it was all the time Tricia had at home with a newborn that finally drove her to the Harry Potter series, looking for something to maintain her sanity (new parents know this feeling well). In short, this project has been incredibly fun work because of Tricia’s support and insight into the series (“I’m going to go podcast now, honey.” “Ok, I’ll be asleep.”). Thanks, love. You’re the best.
Tricia, by the way, has an interesting theory on horcruxes that I should get on record before Deathly Hallows is out.Â According to the HP Lexicon timeline, Voldemort graduated Hogwarts the same year Grindelwald was defeated by Dumbledore.Â This would mean that Grindelwald would have been alive and active during the 7 years of Tom’s schooling.Â One big question left unanswered from Half-Blood Prince is, “Where did Tom learn about horcruxes?”Â Well, there’s another important question: “Where did Tom go during the summers?”Â Put the two together: Perhaps he went off to meet Grindelwald one summer, maybe even the summer after talking with Slughorn.Â So there’s the theory: Voldemort learned to make horcruxes from Grindelwald before Dumbledore took him down.Â This doesn’t mean Grindelwald had necessarily made his own; just that he pointed young Riddle in the right direction and maybe taught him the spell Slughorn “didn’t know.”
Some have asked what I’ll do with this site when all the discussion about Book 7 has finally died down. I’m playing it by ear. One thing is certain – I’ve no intention of closing it down. I may end up expanding it to discuss a wide variety of literature, and I’ll always be looking for the way the Christ story is woven into the fabric of the universe, particularly in the tales we tell. And I’m certain all the commenters here, many of whom are far more intelligent than I, will be able to help me along in that process.
Comments are still open on all posts, but I will not even be looking at them to moderate them until I’m finished with Deathly Hallows. Once again, thank you all, and I’ll see you again after this weekend.