Jul 26, 2007

Harry Potter's Grand Finale ... And Other Great Series

by Heather Horrocks

Wow. I just finished the 759 pages of the seventh book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

As a writer, I’m in awe of how J.K. Rowling crafted a story through the seven books and tied them up in this final book. Now how can I get a story idea like that to come to me?

And I will definitely not ruin any of the secrets for you! Unlike the coworker who, after seeing the 2nd Star Wars (original #2, not Episode #2), informed me that Darth Vadar was Luke’s father. AAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH! If I’d had a light saber on me, I’d have gone over to the Dark Side that very instant. The force would’ve been all over that guy.

What are some of the other great series, in movies and in books?

For me, Star Wars (the first three, anyway–I could have used a light saber on George Lucas, too, for Episodes 1-3). Back to the Future. Lord of the Rings. (I owned a video store for five years, back in the ‘80s, so I always have great movie examples.) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But of these, only Star Wars was plotted out through several episodes like the Harry Potter books.

All those story threads, woven in and out and around and up and down.

What is it about magic and fantasy that are so intriguing to us humans? Sometimes it’s nice to leave, not only our own troubles for someone else’s, but to lose ourselves in a while other world. And it’s been great walking the halls of Hogwarts with Harry.

Remember the quote ... life is not the destination but the journey? The best books prove that. I have a few favorite cozy mystery authors who make the journey so fun that I don’t mind that they don’t tie things up as neatly as I normally require.

So, tonight, as I put aside the last, big Harry Potter book and wonder what I’ll read tonight, I’m thankful for creative writers who can imagine wonderful things, can pluck them out of thin air, and weave a tale we want to get lost in, new worlds we want to visit, new characters who feel like old friends.


  1. Envy you. I haven't even gotten the book yet. To tell the truth, I had a falling out with her when she killed off Cedric and it kinda took the glow off of it for me. I read all the spoilers so I know what happens. Now, I can read it leisurely instead of racing through it to find out who dies.

  2. I'm not a Harry Potter reader, but I've read all 11 of the Hornblower books. George Will (I think) said that that's how he learned to write, by reading C. S. Forester--particularly the Hornblower series. I'm with you, grateful for the vacations I've taken through good books when I didn't have the money to travel any other way.

  3. I enjoyed reading the first Harry Potter, but haven't read any of the others. Not that I didn't want to, but there just didn't seem to be time to get started. Right now I'm still trying to finish "The Far Pavilions" by M. M. Kaye. I'm enthralled by what I'm learning about India, and her characters seem so real. I love how she crats her words, but sometimes I think I'd like a Reader's Digest version--in the interest of time.

    I never get bothered when I'm told the end before it comes. It gives me the thrill of interpreting all the little clues that are used to confuse me while they lead me. Does that make sense?

    It's like I aways know how the Book of Mormon or any of the other scriptures are going to turn out, but still I find something new and exciting every time. As I've said before, I have read Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" at least fifty times, once a year, and still am engrossed by the way she handles it. It's about as new to me each time as the sacred books. But then, perhaps I'm just an odd ball.

  4. Thanks, Heather! I am also very grateful for creative writers who help me escape from the challenges of the day!


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