Harry Potter and The Sexy Hallows (Updated)

Haven’t seen Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows yet, but have read all the books. But I had this short dialogue on Facebook with writer Alex Wells in which I shared some thoughts I’d had when I read Hallows:

Tim Byrd

Tim Byrd I hope the movie has that part where they’re in a tent for several years waiting for the plot to happen.

Friday at 9:42pm 

    •  

      Alex Wells Come on – don’t they get in some arguments and give each other dirty looks and stuff? 

      Yesterday at 8:31am ·
    •  

      Tim Byrd I’ve always suspected that Rowling meant for Harry and Hermione to sleep together while Ron has abandoned them, making for some uncomfortable subtext once he returns. But she chickened out and left the tent sequence essentially dramatically inert. 

      Yesterday at 8:40am ·
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      Tim Byrd See also: Dumbledore’s homosexuality, which she didn’t have the courage to depict on the page, when it mattered most. Though kudos to her for outing him after the fact. 

      Yesterday at 8:43am ·
    •  

      Alex Wells I would have loved it if she ventured into these realms – it would have made conversations with my kids more interesting and relevant (ok they’re only 9 – not too relevant). The HP books are also the most blatant display of the changes the publishing industry has gone through – no money to pay for a kick-ass, hardcore editor, but all the money in the world for advertising the top ten popular books. 

      23 hours ago ·
    •  

      Tim Byrd 

      It’s been a while since I read them, but I remember puberty seething in the penultimate books, as the characters grew up. Then she builds this situation with them as they enter adulthood, and all that passion is pretty much gone (though I understand Emma Watson taps into it in one unreal scene in the flick). I think she was going there, and I think she had a failure of nerve.And you’re right on the editing. I love Rowling’s work, but the last two books particularly needed a strong second opinion before going to press. 

      UPDATE: More commentary added


      • Sean Melican 

        Agreed, though it is a difficult balance. She chickened out, but how much pressure was she under — internally or externally — to maintain the innocence of the previous books? Interesting symtom of our nation’s obsession with protecting our kids from the depiction of sex while allowing unmitigated balance. And yes, the movie has a racy scene between Harry and Hermione that plays on Ron’s legimitate fears. I do wonder if Rowling and the movie might not be able to reconcile Ron’s return to the group if Harry and Hermione had fucked. That would have completely and irrevocably changed the trio’s dynamic. Did she want to destroy that? Would it have moved the book in a direction she simply didn’t want? The book was already so long and meandering that a betrayal of that magnitude could easily have overwhelmed the central conflict.
        40 minutes ago ·
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        Tim Byrd I figure they’d have done it out of loneliness and terror and despair, and wouldn’t ever speak of it afterwards. It would create good drama in the tension between the lines and in guilty glances and in the over-saccharine and utterly anti-climactic “we’re grown-up and suburban and really friggin’ boring now” scene at the end. 

        13 minutes ago ·
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        Tim Byrd 

        Oh, and I’d have much preferred an incident like this and its attendant character issue to a LOT of the meandering…and I think without it the camping time is the worst sort of place-holding. 

        We’re scared in a tent…and we still are…and we still are…oh noes, Ron’s turned pissy and gone away…and now the two of us are scared in a tent….and we still are…and we still are…YAY! Ron’s back! It’s like we’re right back to how we were when we first started camping!!!

        9 minutes ago ·
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2 comments on “Harry Potter and The Sexy Hallows (Updated)

  1. Sean Melican says:

    You know, I’d love to argue but I just can’t. She should’ve. But there are so many mistakes in that book that sex in teh woods is minor. That Harry didn’t die permanently, even though every other Horcrux HAD to be destroyed, was really a violation of all the rules and even the subtext throughout the series. And yeah, the ending was ridiculous, but it was so tacked on that I suspect her editor insisted on a happily-ever-after; and if the editor would ruin a book that way, I have no doubt he or she would not hesitate to say, “Take that sex out!”

    • Tim Byrd says:

      It’s my understanding that the end scene was the first scene Rowling wrote, years back, and was her planned ending all along. So that’s on her. And I doubt any editor’s got the sort of clout to make her do anything she doesn’t want to do…which I suspect is part of why the latter two books are so messy.

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