Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

SPOILER! Meeting Harry & Co. at the Outback Steakhouse
New books dissected over email.
July 25 2007 4:03 PM

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Illustration by Charlie Powell. Click image to expand.

Dear Everybody:

I've noticed that the common thread weaving through most conversations about the book—ours included—seems to be: This is a book for kids, and therefore we're just a bunch of cranky adults nitpicking at something that's not meant for us. This is a depressing argument that doesn't give the books the respect they deserve. To explain away flaws with, "But it's for kids!" suggests that Rowling's work was meant for the feeble- and young-minded. I've never believed that's the case. I love these books and take them as seriously as you can take anything in which uncontrollable projectile vomiting is a major plot point.

Advertisement

That is to say: I'm probably never gonna be convinced Harry shouldn't have died. And I'm not sure I buy the argument that it's somehow a better moral for kids if he lives. What's more noble that sacrificing yourself for the powers of good so that others may live? The lesson of the ending, to my eyes, is that everything turns out just fine in the end, all the time, no matter how improbable it may seem. How is that a better lesson? I understand ending the first few books, when the characters were in their preteens and worried primarily about zits, with cheering Quidditch victories. But this series has grown darker and more adult … just like its characters.

I know I've been a spoilsport Grumpy Gus this week, but it's only because I've loved these books so much, become so entranced by the world Rowling created for us, that I feel disappointed that in the final hour she pulled back and didn't trust the reader. Whether that reader is 31, 12, or 98. (Well, OK: Maybe the 98-year-olds couldn't have handled Harry dying, but, you know, they're 98. Best not to mention death to them at all.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm heading off to the Outback Steakhouse, where hopefully I'll see a grown-up Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione discussing their mortgages. Magical!

Thanks for letting me play.

They call me the snitch,
Will

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.