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September 20, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Harry Potter and the …

Shut up J.K. Rowling, just shut up!

Ten years ago, making any attempt to disrespect the House of J.K. Rowling and her fantastical world of wizards, Quidditch, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was a move towards a public flagellation. Sure, there were children who disliked the books, but I remember that at the time, most would rather shrivel up and be swallowed by the earth than read any book. Talks of a movie flitted about the place soon after the publication of the first novel, adding to the excitement of kids across the globe. But as the final film approaches release, is anyone else getting bored?

Like most children, it was my teacher who introduced my class to the intriguing realm of Harry Potter. Dedicating an entire afternoon to reading the first chapter to a squabble of grotty nine-year-olds, my teacher only had to read one page before we were hooked on diabetus Uncle Vernon, paunchy Dudley, and Aunt Petunia, who I imagined looked like a Skeksis in human form. But then there was Harry—scrawny, scruffy, the weediest of kids. You just know he was picked last for everything but his scar. J.K. Rowling was good, you have to admit. From the beginning, you wanted to know more about the Boy who Lived.

The first novel ended with the spectacular introduction to Lord Voldemort and a hint that perhaps in future, these novels could be darker. This was the case with the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Major characters already well-established, Rowling had more of a free range with how they interacted and what horrid situations Harry Potter got his poor pal Ron Weasley into. Hermione Granger appeared to loosen up by the third novel, even punching greasy Draco Malfoy in the face. Introduced to such things as Dementors, Bertie Botts, and even Dobby the House Elf, there was so much promise, so much we still had to learn about Tom Riddle, Slytherin, and oh-so-awesome Professor Snape.

Then she had to write the fourth novel and ruin my life.

I was sitting at my desk one afternoon when She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named spied my copy of the Goblet of Fire. I was several chapters from the end. Suddenly she blurted, “Cedric Diggory dies!” It was in this brief moment that Harry Potter became a little less magical. Life over, I dragged myself through the fifth and sixth novels (you know, the one where Harry became an emo kid because he defeated Voldemort, still wasn’t a prefect, and Won-won was getting it on with Lavender Brown?), I reluctantly read the seventh novel over the summer of 2008, and promptly felt like writing a polite letter to Rowling asking for my decade back.

Over the years, parents have been subjected to countless Harry Potter-themed parties, consoled children after the traumatic death of Dumbledore, and dealt with the fact it took seven novels, eight films, and seven Horcruxes for Rowling to explain that Voldemort simply became an unholy shit storm of dark magic because he wasn’t loved as a child. I’ll see the final film (probably) but only in tribute to the first three instalments, where the magic of Harry Potter really came into its own.

It could be worse, I suppose, Stephanie Meyer has way more to answer for.


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