Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

SPOILER! The Real Wizardry in Deathly Hallows.
New books dissected over email.
July 25 2007 4:23 PM

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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Illustration by Charlie Powell. Click image to expand.

Dear Will, Brad, and Dan,

What's wrong with a little happiness? What's wrong with giving a fairy tale a fairy-tale ending? I'm with Brad and Dan on this, though not for the same reasons. I'm glad Harry survived, not for the sake of the children—watching Beth die in Little Women helped millions of us grow up—but because I was never persuaded by the dark stuff. Harry's essentially a sunny Everyboy. It seems fitting to give him a sunny send-off.

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But if you're so passionate about wanting Harry to die, Will, you can always kill him yourself. After all, he's a character, not a person; he lives only in people's imaginations, so there's no reason he can't die in yours. Just ask Brad.

If you can't kill him convincingly, then Rowling has done her job well for you, making a world that feels too real for you to change it. That seems like real wizardry to me.

Yours,
Polly

Polly Shulman is the author of Enthusiasm, a novel for young adults.