Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good Story 026: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Episode #26 is the first of the year, and Julie and Scott talk about J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Julie marvels at the end of the series, and Scott can't believe he didn't mention Luna Lovegood.

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  1. I was introduced to the series via the first couple of movies and finally ending up reading all the books back to back except the last one which was not out yet. When Deathly Hallows was released I cleared my weekend to read the whole thing in two marathon sessions. So I definately am a fan of the books and quite enjoyed them and Deathly Hallows was a great ending.

    The whole can Christians read HP thing was one that did not much affect me. The underlying morality is really quite solid with much to recommend it. Though not perfect and I certainly had some quibbles. I also really enjoyed SQPN's podcast on the HP books in drawing out all the Christian symbolism. As for Michael O'Brien's book "A Landscape with Dragons" I totally object to his basic premise as I understand it. The Sci-Fi Catholic blog had a very good critque of the book especially in regards to the use of Dragons in SF & Fantasy.

    What I did have quibbles about was how often Harry lied or hid things and there were almost always zero consequences for this. It always turned out allright. Dumbeldore was secretive, but Harry would outright lie - especially to Dumbledore. I would liked to have seen some consequences for these actions.

    The other major plot point that annoyed me was what I call "Wizard Assisted Suicide' because really Dumbeldore having Snape kill him was a form of assisted suicide. Consequentialism really annoys me and while I can certainly see how this plot point was used to advance the plot and add tension, I would have liked to have seen this done another way. Though I realize it was just a plot point to advance the story.

    I also find it interesting the experience of the books and the movies since rarely do you have a series of movies start before the last book in the series is written. Though of the number of movies in this series is rare indeed. Seeing the actors in the movie grow up I think enhances the book in how iconic they are to it. There is more of an overlap between the book in the movies than is usual and part of it is of course the authors involvment with the movies. The movies themselves ranged in quality, but the worst of them was still fairly good. I rate the 3rd and then the last two movies as being the best in the series. I recently watched the whole movie series again and Part 1 and 2 back to back on the same night.

    Oh and Scott you really need to watch Pushing Daisies. What a great series and since it was so imaginative, quirky, and well writtet it was cancelled after two seasons.

  2. I second (or third, actually) the recommendation of Pushing Daisies to Scott. What a great show! Last time I checked, you could watch it via streaming on Netflix.

    We've been debating going to the Holy Land while we are living in England for the next couple of years. We have a two-year old and a four-year old. Going on our own is outside our comfort zone but if we find a kid-friendly (and faith-friendly) tour and the nerve, we may go just since we are so close. The associate pastor at our church here in England is leading a trip, we should check with him. We definitely plan on going to Rome.

    Also, since Julie mentioned it and I just watched it, I would recommend you all tackle In Bruges. There's a lot of good stuff to sink your Catholic teeth into with this film and it is quite hilarious. Though you probably won't be able to quote much from the film. The movie would definitely spark interesting discussions.

    Thanks for your great podcast!

    p.s. I received Eifelheim for Christmas, so hopefully I'll read it soon and listen to your first episode.

  3. I will definitely watch Pushing Daisies! Why do the best shows get cancelled?

    Jeff: Do you think that wizard-assisted suicide has anything to do with why Dumbledore was unable to move on in the afterlife scene?

    Joseph: Yes, we've been talking about In Bruges for a while. We've both seen it (I on Julie's recommendation) and both love it. We ought to just get it on the schedule.

  4. This is the first time I've listened. Great job! Just one quibble: Voldemort did actually go to Godric's Hollow intending to kill baby Harry. Remember that there was the prophecy that a baby boy born in July would have the ability to kill Voldemort: "Neither can live while the other survives." It could have been either Neville or Harry. Voldemort goes to kill Harry first. The parents only got in the way. Remember, Voldemort says to Harry's mon, "Stand aside." So her sacrifice is a true one because she could have been spared. That's why the protective charm is so powerful.

  5. I also love your comment about Neville's being similar to John. John and Jesus had some similarity in their birth stories; Neville and Harry were linked by the prophecy, their birthdays, and the fact that their parents were Aurors.

  6. I have to ask ... is this Julie Siegel from Dallas? My long-lost pal?

    Either way, your comments are right on target. In the case of Voldemort's actions toward Harry because of the prophecy, Rowling says that she was directly influenced by MacBeth because she always thought about how actions were influenced by the prophecy so that they became self perpetuating. In other words, would Voldemort have done what he did if he hadn't heard the prophecy? Probably not ... and his blind adherence to worrying about it sealed his doom.

  7. Yes, it's me! (Or, in a more literary tone: 'Tis I!) I've been reading your blog for a while ever since we ran into each other at Central Market and you told me about it. This is the first time I've listened to your pod cast. How fun! I, too, have been re-reading The Deathly Hallows, which is why the quotes are at my very geeky fingertips. I loved the Neville character, and this weekend I enjoyed mulling over the idea of him as a John-like figure. Thanks for that.


    I have been looking for your email in vain. And have been stalking the dairy section of CM on Fridays hoping to run into you again! I now have more time for coffee and suchlike so I try to schedule one per week ... I'd LOVE to catch up! Email me!

    I'm so excited!

    Oh, and thank you again for your geeky comments. All true and I hadn't thought about that further connection with John/Neville and Jesus/Harry ... if I may be so bold as to link them that freely in text.