I’m going to poke my eye out with a pen…

Multiple frustrating things have occurred as a result of J.K. Rowling’s (boring) statements from the interview that has everyone in a tizzy about Harry’s death. Check out this article, for example. The opening line:

Author J.K. Rowling recently announced that Harry Potter will die as an act of self-sacrifice in one last terrible battle with the evil Voldemort.

Um…no she didn’t. She didn’t. She never said that. They even include the quote afterwards in which she did not say what the opening line says she said.

Then, they find us a brilliant representative of Christianity – someone named Peter Stokes, founder of “Salt Shakers” ministry. Commenting on the supposed impending death of Harry (Hat Tip to Glenn Lucke):

And not too soon for my liking, for the sake of our kids….We’re concerned with any promotion of witchcraft or paganism, especially to our children. There’s no doubt this book has done wonders for getting children interested in spells … and these things aren’t harmless. We’ve had many stories of people being adversely affected by reading Harry Potter … nightmares, severe spiritual attacks.

Uh…yeah. I had nightmares about Scooby-Doo when I was a kid. Clearly the evils of that show have been exposed! I’m still waiting for someone to kill off Scooby so we don’t have to live with all these demons he puts in our children.

Thankfully, a few more reasonable comments about sacrificial love follow this absurd paragraph.

What is frustrating to me, I think, is all the absolute drama over the idea of Harry dying and what an evil, cruel person Rowling would be to allow that to happen. Has no one who has read the books come away with a single lesson from Dumbledore, or even Harry himself? Isn’t the clear message of the books that there are worse things than death?

In honor of all this death discussion, I’m putting together an essay-length post on the various theories on Dumbledore’s death. Expect it in the next couple of days.

3 thoughts on “I’m going to poke my eye out with a pen…

  1. Travis,
    Please, please…no poking. I understand the frustration, but from the other side. I WANT Harry to live. Obviously, Rowling’s comments are achieving the effect they were meant to have, because here we all are, up in arms about something we have no control over. Yes, there are many things worse than death. One only needs to look as far as Voldemort, himself, or the half existance of the Hogwarts ghosts. Remember Nick’s conversation with Harry about death? And, look at the Longbottoms. Their fate is far worse than death. The clues have been there all along, and I choose to interpret them as lessons. Voldemort fears death, and look at what his fear has cost him.
    I want Harry to live because I want him to have the one thing that he’s longed for and most of us take for granted…a family. I would like him to be able to experience life first, before he takes “the next great adventure.” ( maybe it’s because I’m a mother only…I think he’s suffered some sort of death in every adventure, and think the poor boy should remain the one who lived) That doesn’t mean it will happen that way.
    Some feel that way is a cop out, but I don’t think so. I was reading a post about Harry over at The Anchoress, and one person said (in speaking of Christian principle) that Jesus did not achieve victory over evil because of His death, but rather because of His resurrection.
    And, once LV is vanquished (hey, I think that is one point that most of us can agree on), that doesn’t mean that evil has been eliminated, because there will always be those drawn to the dark arts. So yes, I can see Harry being an auror. There’s plenty of danger in that. Look at Mad Eye and the Longbottoms.
    I think we need to blow off the wackos who talk about nightmares and spiritual attacks. Parents should be responsible and read the books themselves before determining if their child is able to handle the material, because it does get darker with each book. The later books should, in my opinion, be read at older ages. But that’s just me. As for the spiritual attacks, reading Harry Potter is not going to cause a spiritual attack. The last spiritual attack I received was at a Bible study 25 years ago, when some Old Testament fundamentalist tried to tell me that the nature of God is vengeful. ( behave or you’re going to get it ) I don’t see Him that way. Voldemort is vengeful. I see God as a father, who guides our paths lovingly, and sent His son to bring us the truth about His nature.
    I think the clear message of the books is that love is the greatest power of all. It overcomes the most powerful magic…it overcomes everything… how could that be bad for ANYONE of any faith? Or, even for those with no faith…but that’s just me.
    Chin up, Travis! We count on you for a forum to exchange ideas in a mutually supportive way.

  2. Dawn, entirely agreed. I normally do blow off the fundamentalist point of view…I wrote this post in a moment of frustration in a quick break at work. Then I decided, you know, I wish I hadn’t written in that way, but by the time I got back to it, it’d been up for a couple hours, so I let it go.

    So, back to reasonable discussion…

    I think I’d want to argue that it was both Jesus’ death and resurrection that defeated evil. In N.T. Wright’s way of thinking (I’ve just read Simply Christian, so Wright is on the brain), it was His death that finally exhausted the power of evil.

    “There are things worse than death.” There are things worse than what happened to the Longbottoms, too. I think JKR’s point here is to choose what is right over what is easy – that’s better than death, even if it hurts. And you’re correct – the power of love over everything is the central theme.

    I suppose it would make sense to admit at this point that Dumbledore, not Harry, has been my favorite character. Perhaps that colors (or colours, for my British readers) the way I view the question of Harry’s death.

    Alright, well there are your random thoughts for the morning. End stream of consciousness 🙂

  3. Seems like the spirit of Rita Skeeter is alive and well in the “real world”. Much more dangerous that any spells our kids are learning from Harry Potter. 8)

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