Friday, July 29, 2011

I Love Harry Potter

Yeah, I know they’re kids’ books.  I don’t take them too seriously.  How can you take a book seriously where a doctor uses chocolate as a medical treatment?

Yeah, the Christ imagery is heavy handed.  The part with Harry dying and coming back to life to save the world is to subtlety what a brick is to a window.  More like a window made of Jell-O.  Thin Jell-O.

Yeah, the way the magical society works doesn’t make a lot of sense.  How can you have an economy when people can conjure almost everything they want from thin air?  Shouldn’t all wizards be disgustingly rich?  Why would wizards want to live amongst muggles whom they despise and fear?

Yeah, I know all that, but the books are fun.  JK Rowling writes well (with the exception of her need to describe how each character says each sentence, he said snarkily).  They’re a joy to read. 

Really, I just have the one problem with the books: Hedwig.

Harry buys a snowy owl in the first book and she becomes a regular character, with her own personality.  She also delivers the mail, which is damn cool.  Then, of course, she dies.

Oh, yes, it’s time once again for another installment of the DBIM.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Severity: 1 (one death, sad death, mitigating factors)
Genre: Novel
Date: 2007
Description: Hedwig is in her cage while Harry is running from an attack.  A stray curse hits and kills her.
Mitigating Factors: Killing Hedwig increased the sense of isolation and despair necessary for the novel.  There’s a pretty high death toll in the book.
Aggravating Factors: None.
See, not so bad, right?  Then, however, we get into the movies.  I’ve been holding off on writing this entry until I saw the last movie, just in case the director threw in a few more bird deaths.  Luckily, he did not.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Severity: 4 (two deaths, played for laughs, feather explosion/feather burp)
Date: 2004
Description: The whomping willow, a moving tree, swats a bird flying towards it, probably killing it.  Later, a bird is shown flying into the tree; there is a scream and a shower of feathers.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: Played for laughs.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Severity: 3 (several deaths, played for laughs, one mitigating factor)
Date: 2009
Description: Mad at Ron, Hermione summons birds and shoots them at him.  They explode on impact right above his head.
Mitigating Factors: Might not have been real birds.
Aggravating Factors: Played for Laughs.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Severity: 1 (one death, sad death, mitigating factors)
Date: 2010
Description: Hedwig, seeing Harry under attack, flies at his pursuers, and is killed.\
Mitigating Factors: She died heroically.  Harry is pretty upset.
Aggravating Factors: None.

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