A Short Post for Potterity

Well, it’s a mere one day till the fifth Harry Potter movie comes out and a mere 10 days till the final book lands in bookstores. As a lifelong fan of all things literary, epic and archetypal, it’s a safe bet that I will be catching both the celluloid and pulp items ASAP once they’re available.

In fact, Chris has suggested a date night to go see it at the Great Escape.

Unlike the season finale of LOST, I’ve done rather admirably at not seeking out spoilers for either. Not that there is spoilage to be found, at least in regards to Deathly Hallows. Lindelof and Cuse need to take some notes from Scholastic in how to prevent major plot details from escaping into the wild a tad early. But I digress.

Although it’s not a spoiler, I read a columnists’ theory regarding the ending of Hallows. And loathe as I am to admit it, it’s a solid theory that reminded me of another favorite epic story of mine, the Dark Phoenix Saga from X-Men comics. Actually, it doesn’t remind me of how the Dark Phoenix saga played out, but rather, one of the ways it almost played out. Comic ubergeek that I am, I have a copy of “Phoenix: The Untold Story” that features the original, canned-by-the-editors version of the saga, wherein Jean/Phoenix didn’t die on the moon. It also featured the transcription of an interview with the creative and editorial teams where they discussed, among other things, where the story would have gone had they gone with the original, non-fatal ending. Don’t read on if you’re avoiding even speculation on book 7.

Basically, the columnist thinks that to kill Voldemort, Harry won’t have to die. He’ll have to sacrifice his magical ability.

There’s something quite lovely and full-circle about that idea. In the beginning, Harry was completely ordinary, until he found out he was a wizard. How cool would it be for Harry to realize that what really makes him uncommon is his human capacity to sacrifice the life that has meant everything to him all these years. To voluntarily be reduced to a mere ordinary Muggle again.

How ironic would it be if the greatest power Harry has over Voldemort is his ability to give up his powers? And before you think that’s not a huge sacrifice, think about the first chapters of all the books. What is Harry’s all-encompassing desire? To get back to Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Which do you think would be harder to do? Be a valiant, sacrificial martyr in the heat of battle, or humbly give up your place as a magical hero to be an ordinary Joe?

It’s probably not a likely ending, but it’s definitely an interesting theory.

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