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Forums > Social Discussion > Killing Lead Characters in Literature

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:There is alot of talk of Rowling killing Harry Potter in the 7th book, thus closing the door for other authors to write further books on him in the future. However, with series it usually doesn't work.
Look at poor Doyle, forced to make Sherlock live from his fall because of the outrage.

Two American authors (King and Irving) have also made pleas for her not to kill him.

Even before I started reading the reports on Rowling it is something I was thinking about. Recently I have been reading Hamiltons Anita Blake series (well, the last couple of books I missed) and I found myself thinking that it was time that she killed of the lead character and focussed on her other series, or even shifted the characters in the series (there are enough of them) to follow them instead.

Do you think there is a point where authors just take it too far and need to let go, or do you think they shouldn't kill the leads and just leave it for someone else to run with?

Or it could be like Lestat who fades in and out at leisure.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Sambo_Flux
GOLD Member since Jun 2006

Sambo_Flux

Introverted
Location: Norf London, United Kingdom

Total posts: 833
Posted: Written by: K__


The Deptford Mice! I loved those books biggrin

I'd forgotten Piccadilly died... clearly I wasn't so traumatized it put me off reading wink



I'd totally forgotten about the Deptford Mice trilogy. Now there was a bunch of books that sucker you into thinking you're reading a nice childrens fantasy when in actual fact you're reading an extremely nasty and dark adult series. I loved them! smile


My Mind is a Ship
Emotions become the Waves
Soul is the Ocean

If a quizz is quizzical, what is a test?

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by: K__



One of my work colleagues reckons it will be a crime against literature and will put children off reading if Harry is killed off. She maintains that having invested so much time and effort in reading the series, they'll be so devasted when Harry dies that they'll become disillusioned with reading and not want to bother with it in future.







Hmmm. Is that why the Bible included a resurrection? To ensure future literacy in children?


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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wonderloey


wonderloey

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne - home of pirates

Total posts: 255
Posted:Harry Potter needs to die. The books have been drawing towards that point since day one. We (think we) know its coming, and unless JK can come up with some way of giving him a reprieve without betraying the tension she's built in that direction, she's best to kill him..

Not because someone will steal him, but because the story demands it.


"You've gone from Loey the Wonder Lesbian to everyone wondering if you are a lesbian." - Shadowman

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow.

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Firetramp


Firetramp

old hand
Location: Binstead, Isle of Wight

Total posts: 896
Posted:What if Potter dies and Voldermort survives. Then she can write a whole series about him!

Ask a question and be a fool for a minute...don't ask and be a fool your whole life.

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Chelly
SILVER Member since Mar 2006

Chelly

Niraffe
Location: Up north, Scotland (UK)

Total posts: 884
Posted: Written by: Dunc


Kill him! devil

I suppose he's the literary fictional version of legends like Jimi Hendrix and James Dean. Imagine if they'd grown old...they'd probably dwindle into really boring wastes of space but instead they went out on a huge high and were legends for ever more.

Kill him!! spank


ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol ubblol


"Lots of beeping. And shaking and tinfoil." Chelly

"Are you sure it's a genuine test and not a robot heroin addict?" Cantus

---set free by the rather lovely FireTom---
--(right arm owned by Fyre)--

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted: Written by: Firetramp


What if Potter dies and Voldermort survives. Then she can write a whole series about him!


It's an entire world JK created, and one that's extremely popular. Harry might have reaached the end of his career, but there is plenty of other opertunity for other character or series. How about one set chronicaling the rise to power of you-know-who? Or the life of Snape? I have to admit I'm not particularily fond of Harry as a character, a new lead might make things much more interesting.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Carrot_Girl


Carrot_Girl

Close your eyes and make a wish
Location: Preston UK

Total posts: 194
Posted: Written by: Firetramp


What if Potter dies and Voldermort survives. Then she can write a whole series about him!



OOh I like the idea of finding out more about voldemort... i'd like for him to be gay... and maybe to be a computer nerd or something.... or something else unlikely.. (any suggestions?)

And as for HP he could become one of the ghosts like nearly headless nick.... Or like Terry Pratchet's Mort.. travel between worlds... (i love mort...). Death isn't always the end...


Life is a journey ... not a guided tour.

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Clairebe
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

Clairebe

Destroyer of kitchen appliances
Location: Liverpool, UK

Total posts: 180
Posted:I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. My personal feelings are that J.K Rowling should do whatever she feels necessary for the sake of the story. If that means killing off Harry, then so be it. She's already stated that one of them has to die in order for the other to live - so it's got to be Harry or Voldermort; or both.

However, there have been some interesting points raised. J.K Rowling has been credited with encouraging children back into reading, but who says that killing Harry off will discourage them? I read so much during my childhood and it's the stories that made me feel sad or shocked that have stayed with me, rather than the ones with a typical happy ending.

Also, is it really fair to make J.K Rowling feel responsible for making a decision that possibly MAY put children off reading? No, not really. Harry is her character, to do with what she likes.


My brain is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, but unfortunately not as tasty.

Squueee!

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Huh.
There are so many good perspectives I'd not yet entertained here. I like it! smile

So, putting children off reading. It's valid. I can see it. I nearly stopped reading after "Where the Red Fern Grows" and "Bridge to Terebithia". They were horrifying to my young mind...and not series books.

However, this brings in an issue of idolotry. It's an age old debate in so many art/sport forms. Are "celebrities" (real or fictional) to be held accountable for the real life actions of fans? Would J.K. be regarded as horrible for killing H.P. in the eyes of the world? Is Lindsey Lohan and her anorexic-drunken behaviour proper for a teen idol? Should "Steve" from Blues Clues have been fired for appearing as a nasty guy in a donut commercial? Should Tony Hawk stop hanging with the JackAss guys because of the message it sends to young kids who own his video games? Should Marilyn Manson stop his creating because kids who listen to him do bad things?
Where is that line of responsibility drawn?

We don't see it alot in literature but it is most certainly a valid point. Hell, Dumbledore was actually one of my favorite characters, so the thought of not reading the final one has already crossed my mind.

And Dunc's equation to Hendrix and Dean, and I would even add in Joplin and Morrison, is pretty spot on I think...Right down to the tortured, at times crazed, soul.
Huh.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Tabt


Tabt

I Doubt, Therefore I Might Be
Location: Horsham

Total posts: 1007
Posted:i think there is plenty of room for 'spin-offs' from harry potter. series like discworld and pern allow for each character to have their own plot and their own story.

i think that could work really well for harry's world

i dont know if she will kill harry. its what everyone expects to happen. but the divinatory glass thingy said that only one of them would die...or something. so it cant really have closure.

if harry lives then everyone will want more stories about him and his future 'adventures'

if voldemort lives then everyone will want to know how it really ends and how the people can save themselves from the evil overlords.

no... ive re read it, only one of them can live, and they can only kill each other.

there is nothing for it then, she has to kill them both or be forever haunted by the potter biggrin

although, voldemort is effectively already dead, drinking unicorns blood and all...i dunno my head is too busy now.


Owner of Dragosani's right side.

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:Having just finished reading books 1 - 6 for the third time (I really do have a life, honest), I thought I'd chime in.
Personally, I'd be really surprised if Harry was killed off. True, the tension and conflict between Harry and Voldemort & his followers have been building, but the series has, thus far, been about Harry triumphing over evil. There's never been any doubt in my mind that he would win; how he would win has always been the question.

I suppose it's possible in the final confrontation that Harry and Voldemort kill each other...but I really believe Harry will triumph in the end. Ms. Rowling has said that another major character will die -- I think it's more likely that it will be Ron or Hermione. That would actually be sadder than if Harry himself died.

Whatever ends up happening, I really really hope the decision was/is made by the story and keeping true to the tale, and not by business considerations such as copyright issues and what have you. I don't know why exactly, but somehow I think Ms. Rowling has more integrity than that.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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