Harry Potter

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Anonymous

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Order of the Phoenix

*contains some spoilers relating to books already in print*

Only tenously Fortean I suppose, but I was wondering if anyone else is keenly waiting for the new Harry Potter book?

They've gone to great lengths to keep the thing secret, although why is anyone's guess. Posting the first chapter or summat on a website or in the paper could only heighten anticipation.

Anyway, my chief concern, having read the first four books, is that Rowling has been reduced to employing "surprise" twists that are nothing of the sort, and merely serve to compromise the integrity of her characters and the world she has brought to life.

Readers are certain to rebel if, for example, a character from the existing stories is revealed to have had some hidden agenda all along, and not to be the person we believed them to be.

The events at the conclusion of "Prisoner" and "Goblet" show that nothing is scared.

Based on what we know of the first four installments, there is no reason at all why we shouldn't expect Hedwig to turn out be an animagus traitor who's been delivering notes to Voldemort, Hermione to be a robot or Dumbledore to be Harry's great grandad or something similarly daft.

What really grates about this is that you just know she's come up with these developments after the fact. There's no way, for example, that when she wrote The Philosoper's Stone, she had in mind that Ron's pet rat was going to turn out to be a supporter of Voldemort hiding from the law.....she's just made the bloody thing up when writing the third book two years later, all the while checking to see if her latest "revelation" contradicts whatever has gone before.

Perhaps Rowling will get away with it one more time, but after that readers will lose patience.........
 

McAvennie

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Yawn @ the whole Harry Potter thing.

If I was still a kid Im sure I would have loved HP, but Im not.
Thats some good points you've made. To begin with they were great stories I assume (never read them). Now though it is just a money spinning cash-cow and as you rightly say the stories are gonna end up being soaped-up.
Fair play to her for getting the cash, but the innocence and sparkle of the original must surely be tainted by such blatant commercialism.
 

Spookyangel

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If you haven't read any of the books, you can't really pass judgement on them.
I for one am really looking forward to Order of the Phoenix. :) The kids in my class were enthusing about the books so much and I did resist reading them for a while thinking they were kids books, but when my sister in law, brother, and friends had read them, I read the first book, and was hooked. :)
My sis in law bought me the rest for my birthday and I read the whole lot one after the other (most unusual for me).

In the interviews on the DVD, it becomes obvious that J K Rowling actually has all the stories and characters settled in her head, and is merely writing a small part of the big picture in each book.

Personally, I'd love to be able to come up with a whole world of ideas like this and write kids books. :D
 

McAvennie

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Then go for it! Writing is the one thing anyone and everyone can do.
 
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Inverurie Jones said:


indeed..........







as and aside.. our friend Jo is going to be in the next film... speciely requested for her hair!, which aparently they want to spike up so she can be one of the wiches on the top table for one scene....
 

Spookyangel

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McAvennie said:
Then go for it! Writing is the one thing anyone and everyone can do.

I don't really have the time to write, and besides you have to have a good illustrator to write the age kids books I'd write.
Still think I could do it though, I've had plenty favourable comments on my fanfic, including a friend who is a burgeoning writer. :)

Maybe when I retire from teaching, I'll start writing. :)
 

SmirnoffMule

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McAvennie, if only it were true! Either you've never really tried to write anything complex like a whole book, or you're such an amazing natural talent that you put us mutliple-drafters to shame. ;)

Madame Rowling certainly had her grand plan in place for the seven books before she started, but exactly how detailed that plan was, or how much she is sticking to it now is anyone's guess. I do believe Scabber's betrayal was intended from the start though, I recall reading that in an interview. Personally, I'm loving it - and I'm glad it's a good long book coming up. I enjoyed Goblet of Fire best so far, I think it has a connection to a wider world which the early books lack, and I hope that's a trend she's going to continue with.

And I don't think it's fair to dismiss the books just because the films are a big raging Warner Bros cash cow. I think each book so far has been better than the last, so the publicity can't be doing her that badly. We'll see ^_^. IMHO the films are god-awful and about the directing is about as inspiring as aspirin. I can't remember who's doing the next one, but I have a feeling it's someone a bit twisted, so hopefully it'll be less bland and manage to capture more of the atmosphere of the books.

Originally posted by Captain Chunk
Readers are certain to rebel if, for example, a character from the existing stories is revealed to have had some hidden agenda all along, and not to be the person we believed them to be.

The events at the conclusion of "Prisoner" and "Goblet" show that nothing is scared



And nor should it be ^_^ Unpredictable = more exciting read. As for readers rebeling, it depends on how it's handled, and what their motivation is. And who it is, I suppose. But I think hidden agendas abound - I mean, we see all that goes on from Harry's POV and everything is going on above his head. All the secrecy about the truth behind the death eaters etc must be concealing some sort of plot twist. I won't be rebeling till I find out what it is. Unless Snape turns out to be the bad guy all along, which will really piss me off because I use him as an example of why the books aren't totally black-white and have shades of grey and everything. But I don't think that will happen, coz it's a bit too obvious. Harry has been blaming him for years, and it's kind of the rule that whatever Harry thinks first can't possibly be right. Coz, y'know he's not very bright ;)



Ha, Spooky, I was just gonna ask what kind of fanfiction you write, but I think I just managed to guess ;):)
 
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I agree with Slytherin. The secret of Scabbers identity was set up first, as have been many other things, (none of which I can think of at the moment) which seem to leapfrog every other book if you follow.
And while I did enjoy the movies, I agree with you again, Slytherin. The next director (Alfonso Cuaron, I think?) is known for experimenting a bit more and going a bit darker. Prisoner is my favorite book and I can't wait to see it on the screen.
 
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Slytherin said:
Personally, I'm loving it - and I'm glad it's a good long book coming up.

"Good long book" is right: Goblet was a stonking 185,000 words, but Phoenix is ever hee-yowger at 225,000!


Slytherin said:
All the secrecy about the truth behind the death eaters etc must be concealing some sort of plot twist. I won't be rebeling till I find out what it is. Unless Snape turns out to be the bad guy all along, which will really piss me off because I use him as an example of why the books aren't totally black-white and have shades of grey and everything.

I agree that by this stage she has a fully fleshed out plan for the final two books, but at what point did she settle on that? It just seems that if you "backwards engineer" the books, you can see a big difference between the first two, where she seemed to writing a solid, conventional story with not a great deal going on behind the mask, and the third and fourth, which seem so contrived and overblown. It's as though Rowling cottoned on to the fact she had created a cultural icon, and decided to take things to another level.

I think the Columbus films are a cheap and nasty attempt to cash in at the height of the books' fame. The production was rushed and there are so many little errors and mistakes in them that, if the stories are still popular in 20 years time, they'll have to remake the films because kids won't have any time for these Warner Bros movies-by-numbers. It'll be like the Peter Jackson versions of Lord of the Rings versus the cartoon from the 70s.

I wish Alfonso Cuarón well with Prisoner, but no matter what he does, he's going to struggle to avoid looking ridiculous come the climax:

First Person: "Well, that's because I'm an animagus!"

Second Person: "No shit - I'm an animagus too"

Third Person: "Well, I wasn't going to mention it, but....."

First Person: "Excellent! Well, now that's clear let's just undermine everything that's happened up to now by going back in time to solve our little problem. But then, afterwards, let's conveniently forget that we can solve every problem we'll ever come across by going back in time........."
 
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What I can't figure out is this: according to the 2nd film (haven't seen the first one) Hogwarts School is on the west shore of Loch Shiel, about a mile or 2 south of Glenfinnan. But after the scene on Glenfinnan Viaduct the Hogwarts Express is shown speeding along at the far end of Loch Eilt - heading away from Loch Shiel! That just doesn't make sense!

I've missed the point, haven't I....
 

SmirnoffMule

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Yeah, anymore secret animaguses (animagi?) is going to be pushing out the boat a bit, but I wouldn't say it was entirely contrived. We first see an animagus way back in the first chapter of book one, so it's not like they appear as a bolt from the blue, and Sirius Black is first mentioned in the same chapter, despite not appearing till book 3. I call that foreshadowing, not back-engineering :D And with that name she must have been intending for him to be a dog animagus all along. And I've heard her say in interviews she always looked foward to writing book 3 from the start because Lupin is one of her favourite characters, and again with a name like Remus Lupin, she must have always intended him to be a werewolf. So I think her plan is grander than you're giving her credit for ^_^

If she has a problem, I think it's that the mystery of what's going on is all happening ten odd years in the past - Why Voldemort wanted Harry dead, why Harry wasn't killed, why Voldemort wasn't killed, why Pettigrew betrayed them, what's with Black anyway, why Snape betrayed Voldemort, what Snape did to convince Dumbledore to trust him, the significance of the Longbottoms, of Arabella Figg, of the Death Eaters, generally what the hell is going on etc is all already done and done, so JKR has to somehow make these past events relevant to Harry in the present, which is why she has to keep dumping these things in his lap.

I also think the earlier books being more simple is quite skilled; she's building layers with each book giving us a wider feel for the world she's created, and each getting more complex as Harry himself gets older and more aware. I don't think that she's the most fantastic writer in the world, but I do think she has created an interesting world that is more complex than it first appears and can tell a good story within it.

I guess you can tell I'm a fan :D I could wrangle about this all day, too - I do confess they're far from perfect, but I think a lot of criticism people make of them is unfounded, and simply taking a cheap pop at it because it's popular. It seems to be the prevailing idea that popular = no good, but I would argue they are popular because they are good. I hope she keeps it up. Maybe after OOP I'll be demanding my money back and you'll be saying I told you so ^_^
 

river_styx

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Altogether now "PUBLICITY STUNT, HURRAH!"
 
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Slytherin said:
Yeah, anymore secret animaguses (animagi?) is going to be pushing out the boat a bit, but I wouldn't say it was entirely contrived. We first see an animagus way back in the first chapter of book one, so it's not like they appear as a bolt from the blue, and Sirius Black is first mentioned in the same chapter, despite not appearing till book 3. I call that foreshadowing, not back-engineering :D And with that name she must have been intending for him to be a dog animagus all along. And I've heard her say in interviews she always looked foward to writing book 3 from the start because Lupin is one of her favourite characters, and again with a name like Remus Lupin, she must have always intended him to be a werewolf. So I think her plan is grander than you're giving her credit for ^_^

yeah, I'd accept those points. The Lupin thing occurred to me but I must say, until you mentioned it I hadn't realised the significance of Sirius' name (dog star, right?).

I wonder if her publishing deal was based on the notion of seven books from the outset? If not it seems rather bold of her to submit a manuscript that contained elements which would make no sense for another million words or so. But if so, she did rather well for an unpublished writer.
 

SmirnoffMule

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Samorobrin said:
I wonder if her publishing deal was based on the notion of seven books from the outset? If not it seems rather bold of her to submit a manuscript that contained elements which would make no sense for another million words or so. But if so, she did rather well for an unpublished writer.

I was wondering that too. Maybe that's why the first 2 books work better as self-contained stories, cuz she didn't know if the others would ever be written?

I wish this thread was a publicity stunt. Madame Rowling must owe me some of her millions for all this promotion ^_^
 
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Samorobrin said:
yeah, I'd accept those points. The Lupin thing occurred to me but I must say, until you mentioned it I hadn't realised the significance of Sirius' name (dog star, right?).

I wonder if her publishing deal was based on the notion of seven books from the outset? If not it seems rather bold of her to submit a manuscript that contained elements which would make no sense for another million words or so. But if so, she did rather well for an unpublished writer.

Yes, the dog star.
I don't know if her publishing deal included all 7 from the start, but her own plan did. I would imagine they signed her for the first and maybe the second and when it took off like it did some hasty negotiation was done to secure the rest. More power to her, she got my kids to shut off the TV and read. :eek:
 

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I've loved all the books so far, and I'm looking forward to the new one this summer. I think she's getting unfair critisism now simply becuase she's been so successful. I think the films (the 2nd one particularly) are unwatchable crap, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the books. Her success is deserved!

Regarding the changing level of depth and complexity of each book. I don't think that this is contrived. My view has always been that the books were written for the age group that Harry is at the time, so book one was written for an 11 year old audience, book 2 for a 12 year old audience etc.

The changing complexity and themes of the books reflect the age and character of the main character's in the book. Love interests are creeping in as the character's grow up - but would have been a bit out of place in book one when they were all just 11.

Ultimately the perfect way for kids of the future to read the books would be to read one a year when they first start going to high school.
 

river_styx

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Samorobrin said:
what do you mean, Styx? That the thread is a publicity stunt?

The book is what, one month away from being released?
Now I only know this because of said book being found in a field near the factory where it's being printed. I assume that the only people who were really aware that it was being released next month were the Harry Potter anoraks. Now what better way to whip them up into even more of a frenzy whilst also seeding the minds of those who didn't know or didn't care?
A serendipitous event or well crafted live action advert?
 

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Styx, it would have been pretty difficult to steal them before they'd been printed...

Anyway, I'm not too excited, I'll get it when it comes out in paperback. After reading His Dark Materials, HP doesn't really compare.

Incidentally, Hagrid will die in the next book. I'm pretty sure of it.
 

river_styx

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taras said:
Styx, it would have been pretty difficult to steal them before they'd been printed...

Anyway, I'm not too excited, I'll get it when it comes out in paperback. After reading His Dark Materials, HP doesn't really compare.

Incidentally, Hagrid will die in the next book. I'm pretty sure of it.

Hence the part where I said "Well crafted live action advert" I did. I have proof. Look. Up there, just above you.
 
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River_Styx said:
The book is what, one month away from being released?
Now I only know this because of said book being found in a field near the factory where it's being printed. I assume that the only people who were really aware that it was being released next month were the Harry Potter anoraks. Now what better way to whip them up into even more of a frenzy whilst also seeding the minds of those who didn't know or didn't care?
A serendipitous event or well crafted live action advert?

Hi Styx,

I see what you're saying, but on the other hand, the fact of the book's imminent release is just as likely to stir up spontaneous curiosity and discussion amongst Potter geeks as is all the advertising and promotion that's happening anyway. You could call it a chicken and egg thing.

Blimey, that paragraph was a bit wordy.......to clarify that a bit: you could say that it's a bit of suspicious coincidence that someone starts a thread about the Harry Potter book that's about to be released. But surely, if a reader was innocently going to start such a thread, they would more likely to do so around the time the book is coming out?

It could be that Bloomsbury, who have sold tens of millions of these books worldwide, have decided that one of their marketing staff should invest a few working hours creating and monitoring a thread that will be read by a thousand or so people at best (211 views so far, many of which will be the same people popping back)......but I don't think it's very likely.

Morevover, I haven't been able to go into a bookshop since before X-mas without there being a flyer on the counter suggesting I preorder the book. So I don't believe that only Potter geeks are aware that "Phoenix" is coming out.

Before I was even remotely interested in Harry Potter, I could name all four volumes, simply because they are so prominently positioned in bookshops!
 
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Actually, this is all getting a bit postmodern....should we start a thread in the "Conspiracy" section, debating whether this thread in the "Culture" section is a publicity stunt?

:D
 

taras

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River_Styx said:
Hence the part where I said "Well crafted live action advert" I did. I have proof. Look. Up there, just above you.
Apparently all the people who live in the town know that Clays prints the Harry Potter books, and they all knew when they were being printed, "anorak" or not.

Incidentally, while I don't think this particular thread was a publicity stunt, I'm pretty sure the one about Hula Hoops was. Especially since other posts by the same person were all ad-related.

In fact, the more I look into it, the more obvious it becomes. Mods, you ought to maybe delete that user?
 

river_styx

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I didn't mean that I thought this thread was the publicity stunt I was referring to the manuscripts that were found in the field.
 

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I'm going to join the queues of people waiting for bookstores to open at midnight, go in, and buy a different (non-harrysoddingpotter) book:D
 
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Spoiler Alert!

"Harry!" Before Ron could ejaculate further the exploding hell of bullets lifted him off his feet and slammed him against a massive and ancient, ivy clad, wall of Hogwarts. He seemed to slide, greasily, to the ground, leaving a bloody trail, smashed into the ancient, sarcen stone of the school.

There was a roar of highly tuned engine as Malfoy's new Testorona, blasted off into the night.

Ron, slack jawed and eyes glazed, a crumpled heap, clutching the wet, bloody, mess that, a few seconds before, had been the front of his black, Hogwarts, Sabbat best robe. Harry sent a last futile 'incenduarium!' curse at Malfoy's fast vanishing flying, aluminium, sports job (in metal fleck finish crimson), and knelt disbelievingly by his pallid and fast fading chum.

"Harry... It's getting dark, where are you? Where's Hermoine?"

Harry cradled his friend in his arms. "Hermoine's taken out Goyle and Crabbe, with a magical hand grenade spell, but she was hit by shrapnel, Crabbe's left leg, actually. I think she'll be alright, when she comes to."

"Harry! It was Malfoy, the Bastard! He cheated, he had a Koch, MP5, machine pistol, a muggle weapon! Harry! Get the Bas... uhhh..."

Harry felt Ron's weight slump in his arms, "Ron!" But, Ron was gone. :(
 

oll_lewis

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A few months back, before all the secrecy thing started, JK or her publishers reveiled that dumbledor will reveil all to harry (in a talky way), therfore it follows that it could well be dumbledor that gets deaded. makes sense if he's served his purpus... and he is quite old...

oh and in the last book snape will reveil himself to infact be harry having traveled though time when he was older and save the day or something heroicly dieing in the process of doing so in order to save his younger self.

Now if that really dose happen you'll all be sooo impessed ;)
 

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I hope Dumbeldore doesn't get dead, he's my second fave character (Fave being Snape, of course) (as should yours be :mad: That was an evil Slytherin glare, btw. Yes, that's right, be afraid!)

My money's on Hagrid. OR! Lupin. Because Lupin is apparantly in this book... ok, here's my prediction - Pettigrew, equipped with his new silver hand that Voldie gave him at the end of GoF, kills Lupin, because of the whole werewolves vulnerable to silver thing. If I'm right I want a cookie.

I'm so excited it's actually sad, but you'll notice Harry Potter and the OOP has been available to buy for 12 minutes now, and I am at home, not in a bookshop. But only because I ordered mine from Amazon back in January.
 

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Emperor Zombie said:
Philip Pulman is top! New Line are making the first book into a film:)
hey! i went to a poorly publicised reading of his yesterday, and met him again
 
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