A deathly wait for ‘Hallows’
Who lives? Who dies? Is Snape good or bad? Will Ron and Hermione ever get together? Can Harry finally triumph over Voldemort? These questions and others hang heavy over the heads of countless children, teenagers and adults as they wait breathlessly for this Friday’s midnight release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final book in the landmark fantasy series by J.K. Rowling.”I’ll be here at midnight,” says Haile Hogfeldt, 13, of Edwards. She pre-ordered her copy at the Bookworm along with 192 others and counting. “I’m excited for the end, but I’m sad that it’s over and you don’t get to read it anymore.”Cole Sorota, 16, who is vacationing here with his family from Dallas, made sure to pre-order a copy in town at the Bookworm so as not to miss out on the big event. “It’s probably among the best book series out there – we’re leaving on Saturday, and I’ll probably read all of it on the drive home,” he says. “The sixth one was the first one I got at midnight. I’m pretty sad it’s over because I really like it.”Harry Potter has transformed the generally hype-shy business of bookselling into a genuine event, much like the release of a summer blockbuster – but the Harry Potter book releases might be even more intense since they only come out every two years or so. Scholastic (who publishes “Harry” in the U.S.) has been notoriously protective of the manuscript, and they’ve applied draconian security measures just short of casting spells (as far as we know).”We don’t even have the books right now – it’s all very secret,” says Bookworm co-owner Nicole Magistro. “We all had to sign affidavits to be allowed to get the book; it’s pretty intense.”
The sorcery of speculationPotential leaks of “Deathly Hallows” only spread across the Internet in the days just before the book’s release, and Scholastic was quick to issue cease-and-desist orders to shut down potential spoilers. An Internet retailer allegedly shipped out copies of the book early, and Scholastic says they plan to pursue legal action, but they urged those who received a copy early to wait to read until the release date. But that doesn’t keep Harry Potter’s legion of fans from speculating on their favorite mysteries.”Voldemort kills the people who are most like his parents,” says Hogfeldt. “That’s why Arthur and Molly Weasely (might die). I think Snape will be good.”As terrifying as it may sound, questions about Harry’s death run wild; while J.K. Rowling ostensibly wrote her series for young adults, it often takes on more gravitas by tackling weighty issues of tradegy, sadness and death.”Harry might die, because he could be one of the horcruxes,” says Sorota, references one of the sacred items that house pieces of the evil lord Voldemort’s soul. “(Rowling) will probably kill Ron or Hermione, because that would make him unhappy. I like Dumbledore, but he died. I don’t think he’ll come back – he’s not supposed to.”Athena Janssen, 14, of Edwards, thinks exactly the opposite.”Dumbledore comes back – how I don’t know, but he comes back,” she says. “There are rumors that Ron and Hermione get together, but Voldemort pretty much has to die.”Jan Hiland of Gypsum is the envy of her daughter – Hiland will get to purchase and read “Deathly Hallows” while her daughter is en route to San Francisco.
“I think Snape is a good guy, and he’ll die saving Harry Potter, and Malfoy will be redeemed,” Hiland says. “The top three will live. I think if Harry dies, (Rowling) would have a hit on her.”Saying goodbye to HarryLike many fans, Janssen began reading the Harry Potter series early – the second grade, to be exact. She estimates she’s read books one to three seven times, the fourth book four times, and the fifth and sixth books two to three times. The sixth remains her favorite so far.”I just like the aspect of it better and the mystery of it,” Janssen says. “But I’m really glad the last one is coming out. I’m surprised she could get to seven.”Each Harry Potter fan has their favorite books, moments and of course characters – but they could all be trumped by this latest release.”I like the fourth (book), because Voldemort came back, and I like the TriWizard tournament,” says Hogfeldt. “(I like ) Hermione because she’s really smart. Harry’s the main character, but she always helps him with everything when he really needs it.”Distilling exactly what makes Rowling’s world so magical can be tough to fit into one sentence, or even one paragraph. When the Potter works eventually ascend into the pantheon of literary classics next to the likes of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, papers and dissertations will be written about how these books transcended the children’s and fantasy-book ghetto to speak to an entire generation about the human experience. That she did it with Muggles, wands, giants and Dementors makes her work that much more impressive.
“She’s a brilliant writer – I’ve only found one hole in her writing,” says Hiland. “It’s its own world, brilliantly caaptured and populated with good and evil. It’s full of meaning, deep friendships and possibilities.”Hiland, like most fans, plans to begin reading at midnight, when she gets her book, straight until she’s finished. Though she’ll finally know how the series ends, saying goodbye to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the crew might be tough.”I think she could’ve done maybe one or two more books,” Hiland says. “‘Lord of the Rings’ is finished, ‘Star Wars’ is over – there’s nothing left to wait around for.”Arts & Entertainment writer Ted Alvarez can be reached at 748-2939 or email@example.com.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado