Father Jonathan Tobias knows exactly what he will do when J.K. Rowling releases the final volume of the Harry Potter series.
The family tradition is that he reads the entire book out loud to his wife and two daughters. Then, when the final page has been turned, they start debating what will happen next.
Things will be different this time. However, the Eastern Orthodox priest knows how he hopes the last act plays out. Unlike many other ministers, Tobias doesn’t want Potter to renounce magic or to lose his adolescent flaws. It would be awkward, he said, for the young wizard to “fall to his knees and make the sign of the cross.” His suggestion is simpler than that.
Rowling should let Potter die, because that is what tragic heroes do.
Frodo was also a tragic hero, and he did not die. He arrived back at the home he nearly perished to save, and realized he, sadly and ironically, had no place there any longer. Despite the fact that he’s going to the land of the immortals, the sadness at the end of LOTR is that he cannot go home.
I think Harry having a hollywood happy ending would be very forced at this point, but there are other prices the tragic hero can pay besides death.
Since when is Harry Potter a tragic hero? I admit I only read the first book but he seems more like a regular book hero, following the traditional path of mythical heroes. 1. Face a challenge, 2. enter a mystical realm or have a strange experience, 3. receive guidance and help , 4. save the day and then 5. *return to regular life *changed and providing gifts and boons to those who remained. Consider: Jason and the Golden Fleece, Frodo, all the Lion Witch and Wardrobe children, even Luke Skywalker. Something tells me there is a “Happily Ever After” in store!
You would have to follow the development of the character. Even if we exclude the death of his parents and his almost toal-sundering from the type of childhood most of his peers get to live, he still is definitely a tragic figure.
No, I disagree. I think that LoTR very much followed the structure of a tragedy. The sadness at the end is because he is leaving Middle Earth- to the other characters that is tantamount to death. There is no reason to be sad for him, because he is leaving pain, sadness and death behind- rather, we feel sad for the other characters and for Middle Earth itself because Frodo has left and will never return.
We see the same idea in more typical tragedies. Take the Greek myth of Hercules for example. When Hercules dies, after finally completing his many years of labour and exile, he is to be reunited with his wife Deianira- until she sends him a cloak soaked in the blood of the centaur Nessus (which she believes is a love potion, but is actualy poison- the revenge of Nessus). The cloak burns Hercules, he is pained and tears at his own skin in an attempt to remove it. Finally, the great hero builds a pyre, and commands his servants to light him on fire. He dies and is taken to Olympus to live among the gods in bliss. We do not grieve his death because he is free from suffering and in bliss- we grieve his death because he is gone from our world and cannot return.
In both LoTR and the tragedy of Hercules, we see a common pattern- the hero undergoes terrible hardships to reach his goal, but in victory he suffers and goes voluntarily to death- and his final reward. Although in LoTR, Frodo’s suffering is certainly more psycological.
We don’t know that Frodo or Bilbo DIDN’T die. Yes, he traveled to the “uttermost West,” to the land of the Valar, but if you read the Sillmarillion, only for the descendants Earendil was there a seperate doom pronounced and by no less than Manwe Sulimo. Since hobbits were mortals, if we must assume anything, it must be that they, too, eventually went to the Halls of Mandos to await the world’s remaking.
Gosh, I love Tolkien. You can talk total geek, but it doesn’t really SOUND geekish!
I’m pretty sure I read somewhere (possibly in some of Tolkien’s letters) that Bolbo and Frodo went to the land of the Valar to live out the rest of their days. Which gave me the impression that they remained mortal, but didn’t have the pain once they left middle earth. Sorry I can’t remember where I read it . . .
I have thought for some time that Harry will die or walk the paths of the dead (ala Orpheus ala Aragorn) Since book 6 I’m thinking Ginny might die and Harry will go through the curtain to get her. I think Harry is a Christ figure and the power he has that the DL knows not is love, “no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” I think it would be more tragic for Harry to fail his mission than to die.
There is also the possibility that Harry or his scar contains a part of Voldemort’s soul. The dementors in book three seem to be drawn to Harry more than anyone else (hundreds of excited people at the quidditch match and where do they end up?), maybe they sense LV’s soul? If Harry’s scar is a horcrux then maybe a dementor will “kiss” Harry, taking LV’s soul and leaving Harry for dead, but he’s not because he has his own soul.
One of the reasons I like HP is that its fun to come up with all these scenarios, which may be all wrong anyway .
To be honest, in all my years of reading the series I’ve never thought Jo would kill Harry. As if he hasn’t been through the ringer enough already! The only thing I have ever read that has made me think his death was a slight possibility was this (from the article the original poster linked to):
“Every time I’ve been asked if I believe in God, I’ve said, ‘yes,’ because I do. But no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that and, I have to say that does suit me. … If I talk too freely about that, I think the intelligent reader – whether 10 or 60 – will be able to guess what is coming in the books.”
I believe someone else has mentioned this in this thread, but just from reading that I can imagine that Harry may sacrifice himself to get rid of Voldemort (just from knowing that Jo is a Christian, and from what she said in the article).