July 17, 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Spoilers! (Finally!)

Now that Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is finally out in theaters, I can finally come clean about something that has been going on for years: I deliberately stopped reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" halfway through because I thought the ending of this series would be more EPIC in the Theatrical Release.

Since then, I have painstakingly avoided HP Discussion groups, ran the other way when the topic of conversation turned to HP, even programmed filters for LiveJournal and Facebook that would hide HP-related posts. I might have even ruined a couple of friendships because people misinterpreted some of these actions. (If you are one of these, I hope this explanation might start a healing process for us.) But I knew it would be worth it in the end, all the build-up and hard work and self-imposed media isolation would pay off in a fully-visualized, surround-sounded, Industrial-Light-And-Magick'd finale to the biggest book-and-movie phenomenon of my era.

And I was right, it was truly Capital-E Epic! All the plot twists and resolutions and the finale were so incredible, my tear-stained cheeks were hurting from smiling so much by the time the credits rolled. NOW I CAN FINALLY TALK WITH ALL OF YOU ABOUT THE ENDING!!! Wow, I am SO relieved. So I'll start the discussion with some of the biggest surprises in the ending of Deathly Hallows:

(1) Voldemort's revelation that HE was Harry's father! Gah! All the Semi-Oedipal Complexities that this introduced brought the story to a COMPLETELY different level!

(2) After all that searching, "Rosebud" was the name of Dumbledore's Wand! Who would have guessed that the last word to escape his lips as he fell from the tower was an expression of love for something so simple.

(3) The scene at the end when Hagrid is walking away at the train station, and the Polyjuice Potion wears off! OMG, what?!?! Who would have thought that all this time, HAGRID was the real Keyser Soze!

(4) I should have known from that first scene on the train in "Sorcerer's Stone" that Harry's "Single Serving Friend" sitting next to him was a figment of his imagination!

Harry was a boy all alone in the new Wizarding World, with a vault at Gringott's full of coins, but he had no friends and no purpose. So Harry's subconscious invented Ron Weasley, a churchmouse-poor dullard who would always need rescuing--someone who would always need HIM. Someone with a large, loving family with both parents very much alive and doting upon him, and many siblings that actually cared for him and each other. All the breadcrumbs were there in the books, if you looked hard enough.

"The first rule about Dumbledore's Army is... you don't talk about Dumbledore's Army." How awesome that Harry/Ron took a simple Dueling Club and turned all it's participants into revolutionaries willing to sacrifice themselves at his whim!

(5) Butterbeer is made of Wizards! I suppose they DID have to do something with all the bodies piling up around Hogwarts. I mean, imagine all the deaths that they swept under the rug, in a place where they arm untrained children with an obscene amount of power, and a slip of the tongue can change a simple incantation to float a feather into a spell that removes all your bones? Is there no Wizard version of OSHA that would regulate such a dangerous environment, when Magical Creatures and Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers are crippled, driven mad or gone Evil every couple of years?

WOW. It's such an amazing feeling to finally be able to talk openly to all of you again!! Please feel free to ping me on messenger or invite me to HP Discussions or viewing parties again. I'll definitely want to be together with like-minded people to celebrate when Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out on DVD!

July 11, 2011

Dinner Conversation with Matthew (Age 9)

Matthew (Out of nowhere): Dad, is Cancer what makes people's hair fall out?
Me: It's the cancer TREATMENT that does that. Doctors use small doses of Radiation to kill the cancer cells, and losing your hair is one of the side effects.
Matthew: (Pause) can cancer sometimes be good?
Me: Nnnnnno. Cancer is not good, it can make you very sick and even kill you.
Matthew: But what if... do people get fleas too?
Me: Um, yes, they can get fleas.
Matthew: Then it would be GOOD to have cancer, because if you had fleas, you would know where they were, without all your hair in the way.
Me: Sure, I hadn't though of that. But while there are a few good points to not having HAIR, Cancer is always a bad thing.
Matthew: Like not having to wash it?
Me: Or comb it. Like my friend Justin, that we saw today?
Matthew: Was he the one with all the PROBLEMS?
Me: What?
Matthew: You know, when we were playing that zombie game today, he kept having problems getting the zombies. Not like me, I got most of mine.
Me: Ah, that sort of problems. Sure, I think we all had our share of those kind of problems. The dead were walking, it WAS the apocalypse, after all...