How can I possibly write about a story that has changed me as a person? A story that rejoiced with me in in my moments of glory, a story that has been a safe haven in my deepest despair, a story I'm passing on to my child with all my heart.
So how can I possibly have something new to say about the story that has enticed an entire world?
To be quite honest, I don't think I have something new to say. All the praise and all the bad stuff is out there, and if you by now don't know what I'm talking about, then you've been living in the deepest of forests, or simply don't care for fantasy, and reading this would not swing you either way. The only thing I can bring, that is new, is to tell you how this has affected me, how life altering the reading experience has truly been.
We are obviously talking about Harry Potter by Joanne Kathleen Rowling. Her story about the boy who lived has enchanted an entire world. Seven books, eight films, a lot of franchise, and a Harry Potter world in Disney lands and worlds all over the place. I even hear that the Chinese wrote their own ending when J.K took her time, and I bet everything I own that she has inspired more people than me to write. But what on earth was it with her story that made it reach the far corners of the world?
Harry is a very classic hero. I know this because I'm currently enrolled at a literary study on a university, and the classic protagonist is Harry. He has a hard life, and yet he chose the higher path. The antagonist is the hero's exact opposite in reference to choices. They were both orphans, but Harry's mother died protecting him, Voldemort's mother died in spite of her son, she simply gave up. And this is a major point, I think.
Other than Harry, who obviously is a brilliant character, one of my favorites has been Professor Snape. I liked him from the first book, and even more when his role was interpreted by Alan Rickman, who I think is brilliant and I have been completely in love with him since he was the Sherif of Nottingham. "...I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!"And I never believed he was evil, Snape that is...it turned out I was right, and I love being right.
Just a little sidetrack here, if you now get mad at me for revealing the big, big point in the story (that Snape is a good man throughout the story, throughout his entire life, really), well I simply don't care. As you've had plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the brilliant universe of Harry Potter. And if you now are like my mother, you'll be glad I told you, she reads the ending first (kind of like Harry from "When Harry met Sally", he reads the endings first.
Harry's all over the place here), in case you don't survive before the end is revealed. I don't think my mother reads the ending first for that reason, come to think of it, I think it's just comforting knowing that it will be ok, or not, in the end. I love the surprise, but I get impatient, and read books I like rather fast, and when I get to the end I have missed quite a lot, and often have to read them again, and again, and if it's a book I really really like I'll read it again! All the books in the Harry Potter series has been read at least five times, some of the books more. The last book I've read twenty times, and the ending (the last hundred pages or so) still brings me to tears and make me feel as if I'm part of a world that's wonderful and just after all!
But to get back to the characters, I must say that my favorite character in the story is Sirius Black. And to be honest, he could not be interpreted by anybody else than Gary Oldman, another fabulous actor.
The one time I was completely livid with Rowling was when she killed Sirius.
How could she?
I was seriously mad at her for that, but I see now that I've read the rest, that in order for Harry to go through what he had to go through, he had to be alone (obviously apart form his friends).
I really liked Richard Harris as Dumbledore, mostly because I knew him as Marcus Aurelius from The Gladiator. But when he died and Michael Gambon took his place, I finally felt Dumbledore shone as he does in the books.
Harris' portrait of the vizard is that of a weak old man, and as I think Dumbledore is old, but he's far from weak. I think it's all in the voice. Gambon has a stronger voice. Nothing ill of the dead, I adored Richard Harris, and his son has played bad guy in Fringe... But I think the movies became better when Gambon ascended the stage.
Remember, I do not present facts here, these are my observations, and if I'm offending anyone, I do beg your pardon!
Ralph Fiennes... I always wonder how a man like that would be to live with. Not because I'm that into Ralph Fiennes, but I find it very interesting that actors of his caliber are able to dive so deeply into their own evil sides. How are these men and women in real life?
Do they get it all out of their systems on set, and are sweet as lambs when home to spend time with their loved ones? I guess, before I start dating James McAvoy, I won't be able to provide you with an answer...And as McAvoy is happily married, and I'm living in Norway, maybe that's an answer I'll never be able to give...maybe!
But these are questions I have.
Take The Joker, Heath Ledger... Did he perhaps dive too far into his psyche? He was one of those natural born actors, and I lament his passing. But did he do too much in the name of art? Or is it only when your sacrifices are big enough that true art can occur?
Most of the writers we learn about at university had some sort of mental disability, and many of them ended up taking their own life.
But then again, J.K. Rowling seems like a well adjusted woman with a healthy mental state... Maybe you can be a genius without having to crash land at the bottom of an abyss first. I hope so, because that means there is room for me as well. I don't claim to have what normal people refer to as a normal mental health...as I imagine stories all the time. To a few of my friends this is weird...and I'm ok with weird. And I'm not considering drastic measures to reach my goal of artistic deliberation. I think I have too many stories to tell :-)
How can I possibly write about a story that has changed me as a person?
I feel I've let my mind wander a bit in this entry, and I'm not sure if I've said anything at all. Should I have given an analysis of the books? That I think there is a strong link to what happened with the Jews in WW2? Should I claim that Harry becomes this Christ-figure, giving his life so that others can live, and in doing so obtaining the ultimate weapon to killing Voldemort?
Should we fear death? And in tricking death could anyone accomplish anything good? It's a natural part of life, death...so why is it so frightening?
"But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose no born traveller returns puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than to fly to others that we know not of. Thus conscious does make cowards of us all..." William Shakespeare (Hamlet).