Now that the series is finished, I can post something I’ve been thinking since back when we first started the book.  All the predictions about what was going to happen seemed to revolve around Harry kill Voldemort, or the Order otherwise “kicking some ass.”  But I said before we even started Book 7 that I didn’t think Rowling would have Harry commit murder, though I couldn’t figure out how she would get around that.  

The whole philosophy she seems to be working under is that commiting murder tears a person’s soul. So even if Harry had to murder Voldemort in self-defense (or Molly Weasley murdering Bellatrix) or anyone else murdering anyone, regardless of what “side” they’re on, this leaves the person’s soul damaged.  And Rowling was very protective of her characters’ souls, especially any of the younger wizards, and very cleverly managed the keep them from having to murder. 

I think she is a little naive, ultimately.  In Lord of the Rings, Frodo is never the same again because of what the ring had done to him.  It seems unlikely that Harry could really return to a happy, suburban wizard life undamaged by what he went through. 

Nevertheless, it was a good series.  And I like her premise.  I’m just not sure I buy it. 

Also, I miss Dobby. His death was the hardest for me. I was sobbing.


~ by realsupergirl on July 26, 2007.

11 Responses to “Finished!”

  1. I actually really buy the return to domesticity. An entire generation seemed able to do it after seeing (and sometimes doing) some horrible things in WWII. I could very much see, when you believe family and children was the reason you were willing to fight so hard in the first place, how you could almost be more drawn to that afterwards. Spoils of war, and all.

  2. This is true…good point. Maybe I’m just too cynical.

  3. This is actually the same problem that I had with a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was a great show, except that they kept insisting that if you had a soul that meant you couldn’t kill someone else with a soul, or that killing someone would inevitably leave you totally messed up and unable to cope. Um, sorry, but sad to say, plenty of people prove every day that isn’t true.

    Personally, I don’t see how killing Voldemort during a battle would count as murder, and obviously plenty of dark wizards were falling during that last battle, so even if Harry got out of it without “damage” lots of his friends and mentors shouldn’t have, realistically speaking.

    I guess maybe this makes me a bad person in JK Rowling’s eyes, but to me there’s a time and place where killing others can be ok, and justified, and not a bad thing. Those times are massively limted, but defending yourself or others in the face of deadly force from another is definitely one of them.

    I agree that if you set up something like that as an author, then you should deal with the ramifications, but it would have broken the flow of the narrative to have had a scene with people getting counseling to deal with the aftermath. Maybe the idea is that since they were all good people, they would have felt remorse over having to kill, even if they felt justified in doing so, and therefore their souls would have been ok?

  4. It’s quite simple, actually: “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

  5. I’m not sure what you’re saying here…

    Rowling seemed to be taking the power=bad philosophy – hence the backstory about Dumbledore’s struggle to resist the desire for power, hence Harry’s decision to not seek out the resurrection stone or to keep the elder wand…

  6. Well, Rowling never really showed us any of the Death Eaters except the Malfoys and Bellatrix. The Malfoys ultimately showed they had some humanity (Draco didn’t id Harry at their house, and Narcissa lied and said Harry was dead), so as a writer Rowling can get away with not killing them and still have us believe evil has been defeated. She did have to Bellatrix be murdered, because she would go on killing even if Voldemort was killed. And Rowling very intentionally had an adult wizard take over that battle and finish her off.

    I agree that it is a little naive, although some might say it’s just a more hopeful perspective on humanity.

    Harry did kill Voldemort, in a way. He just didn’t have to use the killing curse – but he caused his death nevertheless. And yeah, that seems to be an important fine line for Rowling, but I’m not sure why, since killing in self-defense seems to me to be acceptable, whereas killing in other contexts does not.

  7. I thought the whole point was that murdering was cool, cuz then you get to divide up your soul and live forever with awesome powers..

    But seriously, I thought the epilogue was kinda overdone- did everyone really have to get married to their high-school sweethearts? couldnt ron and hermione have had a bitter divorce? couldnt harry have gotten strung out on heroin? or at least be in therapy for post traumatic stress? something… geez…

  8. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That would have been awesome. And funny.

    Yeah, I thought the epilogue was a little overdone, too.

  9. I think you’re taking me far too seriously. I even used my “I’m being absurd” icon!

  10. Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Dense girl. Sorry.

  11. Well, the epilogue was almost 20 years later; we have no idea what happened in the ten-ish years before anybody had their first kids…

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