Harry Potter In Duplicate

July 20th, 2008
Harry Potter stripped to waist

'The Deathly Hallows' promises more nudity than previous instalments

Everywhere you look, there’s another Harry Potter. Posters on the street. TV commercials in every break. Pop-up ads on the internet. Articles in newspapers commenting on the fact that there’s a Harry Potter blitz on, and there’s no escaping. Not since George W Bush decided to invade Iraq over Weapons of Mass Destruction has the world been so engrossed with a fantasy story.

The reason for this publicity overload is obvious. Due either to excellent or appalling co-ordination between publisher and studio, July 2007 sees the release of two Harry Potters: the next filmic instalment and then the long-awaited final book.

Thankfully, the movie has been released and we can get our first fix. All that awaits is the last novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Writing the last novel must have been a huge test of author J K Rowling’s ability as an author. Expectations are so high. Fans want satisfactory closure. Booksellers want a classic they can rely on to sell for years to come. The studio bosses want the story structured so that the characters who don’t die can be spun-off into their own TV series.

The big burning issue for the novel seems to be whether the last word is “scar”.  Rowling has denied it, but your never know. Like it matters what the last word is, anyway. Books aren’t dependant on the very last word to make them good or not. It’s all the words leading up to the last one, and the story they convey, that matter. So the real issue should be: “Is the last word of the book really the very last we’ll hear of Harry?”

Fictional child-diarist Adrian Mole had a 10-year hiatus in his wilderness years as Sue Townsend sought inspiration. Then he made a comeback. It’s not impossible to think that in 10 years or so, Rowling’s accountant will convince her to add a ‘Where Are They Now’ sequel.

Hopefully that doesn’t happen. It’s good that Rowling is ending the series as the kids leave school. It would be too sad to find out that despite her excellent grades, the only job Hermione can secure is kitchen-hand at McDonald’s, and that Ron, while taking a year off to travel, falls in with the wrong crowd and ends up serving a 20-year sentence for smuggling heroin in a Malaysian prison.

Completing the series is not without its downsides though.

Harry Potter is a huge industry, and timing and co-ordination between the books and films is paramount. Some people involved may well be destroyed as the Potter Machine rolls along.

At the current rate of movie making, The Deathly Hallows will be released at the same time that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint try to make the difficult transition from ‘child actor’ to ‘actor’. By not providing them with the cushion of another movie or two, Rowling is actually abandoning them at the most crucial point of their careers.

We are extremely likely to see these fine thespians on ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ rather than on anything resembling entertainment. We hope that through planning, management and a little bit of magic, they can avoid the ‘Macauley Culkin Curse’.

Which wouldn’t be a bad title for the eighth instalment, would it.

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Harry Potter In Duplicate