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HBP: a guaranteed success?

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Post  Elanor Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:50 am

HBP: a guaranteed success?

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

essie125 - Jul 9, 2005 5:18 am
Edited by Kip Carter Oct 11, 2006 10:42 pm
Hi all,

Who can't remember the time they finished GoF. I couldn't wait for the fifth book to come out. Voldemort had his body back.

Finally the OoP was there. I bought the book went home and the first two days I did nothing but read. finally I had finished it and it was time to reflect on the book and the anticipation the preceded it.

I was sad to find that it had not lived up to my expectations. I had made a big error. I had forgotten about the two books following it. I thought we would get a lot of answers, but what we got were even more questions. Offcourse we had the Petunia revelation, Sirius dying (which did not really shock me as much as most people), and offcourse the prophecy. Still OoP was such an emotional rollercoaster ride, that I actually felt very tired after reading it, something which had never happened to me with the other HP books.

Don't get me wrong. I have read the book about five times now and it has definitely grown on me, but it will never be my favourite HP book.

So now we are all desperately anticipating HBP. I find myself in the same state as I was before OoP came out, but I'm also a bit sceptical. I do not expect to much from this book, having the same kind of atmosphere as the first four books wise.

And just because a lot of people buy a book does not make it a succes. There are offcourse a lot of HP fans out there who will want to know the truth and who will buy the sixth and seventh book no matter what.

Still I can't forgot how I felt about OoP after I read that book and seeing as what happened in Oop I doubt the sixth book will be a very cheerfull book. I expect that this will be another emotional rollercoaster. So I'm a bit sceptical.

But what do you think? Are you expecting a darker and more emotional book or are you anticipating a book with the same postive atmosphere as the first four books, because let's face it that was what we were anticipating with OoP, but was that what we got?

Corrected a typo in the title (Detail Seeker)
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Post  Elanor Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:51 am

haymoni - Jul 9, 2005 4:41 am (#1 of 70)
No - this one will be dark - things are going to get worse before they get better. I don't think this will be a happy book at all.

Harry is 16 - older, but I don't think he will be much wiser. With JKR's comments about this being his shortest stay at Privet Drive, I'm guessing he won't be left in the dark like he was in Book 5, so maybe some of that anger will be gone.

I am hoping that he will be more focused - he knows that he has to face Voldy at some point, so I think he will try to learn everything he can. Same thing with Neville, except his focus will be the DE's.

Ron can be counted on for humor, thank goodness. And if there really IS a little romance, be it Ron & Hermione or Harry and somebody, that could make for some "fish out of water" situations - I doubt Harry learned much more about girls after Cho, except maybe to keep a hanky handy.

As for the book being a success, sales-wise, it already is. Obviously from the articles on merchandising we've read, it probably won't be a success in the trinket market. The books have moved on from cutesy kid merchandise. They should probably focus more on T-shirts.

I think we'll get background questions answered in Book 6 - somethings from Petunia, somethings from Lupin, somethings from Snape and somethings from Dumbledore. The Weasleys could be a good source of info, also. Not necessarily about Harry's family, but about what is going on.

If you've bought books 1-5, you are going to buy Book 6. Book 5 could have been like "Back to the Future II" - it isn't that great standing alone, but it gets you ready for Books 6 & 7.

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essie125 - Jul 9, 2005 7:11 am (#2 of 70)

Jo, of course I think about Alan when I think about Snape, Who wouldn't think about Alan all day every day eh.
I was actually saying that a book is not just a succes, because a lot of people buy it. Yeah the book will be sold a lot and for JKR and her publishers it has been a big succes. But that doesn't mean that us buying it will be a succes.

You can't call a book succesfull just because it is sold a lot. There is another aspect, and in my opinion a much more important aspect, of a book that makes it a succes, and that is how it is received by the audience. This is what I was referring to.

Like I said I feel OoP was not such a big succes for me personally, because it was so different from the other 4 books. JKR has said that GOF was a turning point in the series. the first 3 books had a very pleasant atmosphere. It made you want to be part of that world just like Harry. The 4th book was already a bit darker, but still a great book, just like the first three. After you finished it you really wanted to read the next part to find out how it proceeded and to feel that whole atmosphere again.

But in 5th book you can really notice the change. A lot of things that Harry really liked in the first 4 books, he isn't made able to enjoy in the 5th. He loves quidditch, as do we all, but he is banned from the team. He loves going to Diagon alley, but he doesn't do that either, because I feel he has been kept away from there deliberately. Hogwarts is no fun anymore. Even his dreams aren't entirely his own anymore, because they are influenced by LV. (remember what DD says in movie PoA. DD: "But for now let him sleep. For in dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own." 'of topic' maybe that's what gave JKR goosebumps.) And then in the end his new (god)parent dies.

After finishing OoP I was like do I really want to know how it ends, because it will not be a very nice end. For me personally one of the reasons is also that I do not believe Harry will survive the seventh book.

Luckily Umbridge is gone and DD is back, but still I don't believe Harry's mood will have improved much after Sirius's death.

Haymoni I agree with you that this book will be about Harry and him becoming an even more powerfull wizard. And Ron can always be relied on to add humor to the stories, but how much do you think Ron and Harmione will change after hearing the prophecy.

This book will be very serious and dark. I think JKR is working towards a point of no return for Harry. He will start liking his life less and less so that in the end he will have no problems facing LV, because he has nothing to loose and things can't get any worse then that.

The headaches and the strange dreams probably won't be a thing of the past and I feel they will increase, making his life more imbarable.

Quidditch and all the other things that he enjoys will look so trivial next to the propect of Harry having to kill LV or be killed. So I feel he will start to enjoy those things less and less. Because they don't seem important to him anymore.

Well this is what I feel will happen in the next two books and these are some of the reasons why I may not look as forward to HBP as I was looking forward to OoP. I still want to find out what exactly happened to Lily and James and get answers to all the questions so I will buy the other books, but i doubt the books will be very pleasant to read. So in that case they will not be very succesfull.

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Ydnam96 - Jul 9, 2005 9:41 am (#3 of 70)

I understand what you mean. I think that we all are in for a little dissapointment because no matter what we are looking for some closure at this point and we aren't going to get it. In fact. I think that this book will probably open up more questions than answer them and we will really be in a flurry for book seven to come out.

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Good Evans - Jul 9, 2005 10:17 am (#4 of 70)

Practically perfect in every way
The only thing that I am hanging on to is that Jo said she was happy with the book, and hadn't been as happy with a finished book since POA. So I am hoping we have a stand alone story which takes us further and towards the final battle in book 7. That will make the book a great success and not just another chapter.

I understand Essie's concern. I am holding tight to Jo's comment and hope I will not be dissapointed by the book.... I want my socks blown off!!!

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 9, 2005 10:19 am (#5 of 70)

I really enjoyed JKRs writing in OoP. I felt it had matured. Maybe because the characters are maturing. I expected a little different plot, more Voldemort out in the open. I felt a let down after reading it but not disappointment. I think all the books will be a success for several reasons: JKR is writing for herself. She has complex plot lines and themes. The books are being created on her own terms so she can get them "just right." They are not massed produced sequels that leave the reader wishing s/he had never read the following books. She has created a very vivid, humorous, parallell world. It will stand the test of time. LPO

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Herm-own-ninny Weezly - Jul 9, 2005 10:32 am (#6 of 70)

I understand your concern essie; I too found myself a little disappointed when I first read OoP. But upon re-reading (many, many times), it has now become my favorite. I like that Harry is growing up and recognizing that the world isn't always the happy place he saw as a child. I think that's something that most people have to face at some point during their adolescence, and everyone handles it in different ways.

Fortunately, most people learn to cope with a world where pain and sorrow and anger exist. People recognize that there's not much to be done to change that fact, so perhaps a change of attitude is the only way to fix it. Although I know that the wizarding world will still be facing dark times in HBP (it's at war, after all), I'm hoping that Harry will have passed his angry/unhappy phase of life and start recognizing good when it comes about.

Overall, I'm pretty confident that HBP will live up to everything I'm expecting.

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So Sirius - Jul 9, 2005 10:41 am (#7 of 70)

Like most of you, I was expecting more from OOTP. More war, more excitement, so I based my feelings on then book on those terms. What I did get from OOTP was a lot of what I feel will be important set up information towards the future books. She needed to write OOTP to give us that. I'm sure we'll come to find relevant information from that book and we'll look back and realize it. Like most things, when your hopes are too high, you're generally setting yourself up for a let down. I'm going into HBP with the hope of not only enjoying the book thoroughly, but a real hope of learning some answers to those questions that need answering.

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Madame Pomfrey - Jul 9, 2005 10:49 am (#8 of 70)

I agree with LPO that the characters and Jo's writing are maturing. OoP was my most enjoyable read.To me,each book has been better than the previous one and I dont see HBP letting me down at all because of this.

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GryffEndora - Jul 9, 2005 10:56 am (#9 of 70)

Our heads could do with filling with some interesting stuff, for now they're bare and full of air, dead flies and bits of fluff
I don't read these books so I can have a nice "feel good" moment. I read them because I love the world Jo has created; most of the characters have become cherished friends. I want to know what is going on in their lives, good or bad. I want to be there for them. Even though I am not in the story, I feel as if, by reading the story I am sharing in their lives.

OotP was much darker than the 1st four books, but that is not really surprising. The end of GoF was pretty dark even though it ended with an upbeat thought. The fact is that LV was back in his body and had his Death Eaters around him, Cedric Diggory was dead, he would never get to tell his grandchildren that he "beat Harry Potter", The Minister of Magic was in firm denial about the return of LV, so much so that he and DD had come to a parting of the ways, Barty Crouch was murdered by his son who went on to have his own soul sucked out of him by a Dementor on Fudge's orders, The Crouch's house elf, Winky, was devastated by what had happened to her family to a point where she may never fully recover, and Harry had to return to #4 to be surrounded by people who hate him and who are unable to comfort him in his guilt and grief.

But, we, the readers, will be there for him every step of the way. I think every book has been a success for me because I still want to be there for Harry. I don't expect him to entertain me, I just want to share in his life and his world, and in return I will support him with everything I can. If he, like Tinkerbell, asked me to "clap my hands if I believe in fairys" (or wizards, or Harry Potter), I'd clap my hands off.

Jo has said that she doesn't write these books for anyone but herself. That is why, to me, the books' success is not about whether or not I came away feeling good. It's about the fact that I came away wanting to go back.

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Ms Amanda - Jul 9, 2005 11:11 am (#10 of 70)

I feel that when finishing the first four books, I was satisfied that Harry was safe and happy.

As I started reading OotP, a big warning sign flashed inside my head, "Something is wrong with Harry." I only got through a few chapters before I called a friend and fellow Potter fan and said, "I'm worried about Harry." She didn't have the book, so I kept the signs to myself, and merely told her that Harry was "very upset." To all who have read the book, you know exactly what kind of understatement that is.

When I finished the book and called her back, she assumed that I would now be fine and she said, "Is everything ok with Harry now?" She was so shocked when I said No that she didn't read the book for several months.

As I read the original post, I see my own experience there. I wasn't disappointed in the writing; I was shocked that JKR would leave me with any doubts that Harry could withstand the pressure he was under. I felt that Harry was put into the circumstances he had to endure, including living with the Dursley's, in order to give him what I call 'grace under pressure,' a quality of Dumbledore's that I greatly respect (and secretly would be what I'd see in myself in the Mirror of Erised).

Wanting to see it in myself, I was concerned by Harry's gracelessness and by what Hermione notices when she calls Harry "tactless." Looking back, I see that it was my mistake in looking for above average grace, not in JKR's writing a realistic troubled teen. It is simply the way some teens react to pressure. After all, don't we see Ron behaving that way through GoF? And frankly, it wasn't just Harry who had been tested to the limits and come off badly in OotP: Hagrid attacked people, Minerva was sent to the hospital, Dumbledore admitted to keeping information from Harry that he should not have, the Weasley family is not whole, a teacher not possessed by Voldemort actually injures students, and the government is corrupt. To cap it all off, Harry leaves Hogwarts and is still very badly upset and then the Dursley's are threatened.

None of the good guys came off better for being in this book. Now I don't trust any of the characters, and I don't trust any of their lifelines, either.

That doesn't mean that I don't believe that OotP was a successful book. I believe it accomplished some very important aims. It created an emotional experience for Harry that was clearly written so that I could experience it with him. It gave each of the human characters a distinctly human trait: weakness. It makes a moral point: thinking about yourself above the needs of others will put people in danger.

So, while I feel that I will enjoy the book if it will restore my faith in the characters, I know I will enjoy the writing style and storytelling of JKR no matter what. And just in case any major characters are planning on acting like jerks, I'm practicing my Patronus charm.

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Ginerva Potter - Jul 9, 2005 12:05 pm (#11 of 70)

I wasn't disappointed with OOTP either. I think that JKR did an excellent job in OOTP of age progression. Being a teenager is difficult. You're trying to figure out who you are, you think you know more than you actually do, you screw up a lot and you learn from it.

Harry was angry and resentful for things that were happening to him, but there were good reasons for not telling him. I think he learned a couple of huge lessons because of Sirius' death and from his relationship with Cho.

I think that I won't be disappointed with HBP. I think he will be more grown up, I don't think he will be as angry and he will finally understand why Dumbledore couldn't be totally honest with him.

It's possible I could be let down, but I think it's unlikely. I'm way too excited to get my hands on the book! The wait is almost over and I think it will be worth it!!!!


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Betelgeuse Black - Jul 9, 2005 12:19 pm (#12 of 70)

I saw OotP as a test year for Harry. Everything he loved was gradually taken from him until Sirius died. Dumbledore had been trying to protect him from hurt and finally saw that he was not helping, but hurting by withholding information. Harry had to go through this to grow up and be ready for his destiny.

I also think that Harry had to see all the things he loved taken from him so he realised just how many good things there are to fight for. If he didn't realise how precious these things were then he might take an easy way out when the ultimate climax comes.

I see HBP as a hopeful book even when bad things start happening. I know the book will sell but I think it's tone and theme will be less dark and angry. I think the tone will be determined and resolved. I expect it to be better received than OotP because of the less dark feeling.


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bella - Jul 9, 2005 4:35 pm (#13 of 70)

I've always said there was an @ssh*le born every minute, but I think I need to revise that estimate upwards.
Ootp was alot of things but, dissapointing was not one of them (Unlike the third movie in a line of certain prequils that I know). I think that although there were far more questions raised than answers given it was a crucial part of the series. JKR has a unique ability to take something as wild as a wizarding school and make the characters within it seem completely real. I can't think of any other series of books where the age of the characters has been more accurately portrayed.

The reason that the number of unanswered questions left didn't bother me is this: The answers are coming! As for the dark tone and ending, there is hope for a happy ending still. However for me the enjoyment is far more within the journey of the story itself and not whether the book had a good ending.

The key to not being dissapointed with book six is trying to go into it with a completely open mind. This is a story that is being shared for our benefit and it goes in the direction that the author takes it.

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Finn BV - Jul 9, 2005 5:50 pm (#14 of 70)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
OoP was exactly as I expected (well, except for the plot of course). Answers-wise, I got enough (and even some more cough! cough! Sirius cough! cough!) and am expecting the same and even some more in HBP. This is kind of realted to the What will Disappoint you about HBP? poll, and the only thing I said was your favorite character dying. I think that HBP can only give enough answers as it can (does that make sense?) and I will be satisfied with anything I get. Unless, of course, I get no answers.

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Astragynia Winifred Posy Miranda Yseult Cawdor - Jul 9, 2005 10:06 pm (#15 of 70)

What's wrong with dark? As far as I'm concerned, bring on the layers of conspiracies, the plotting, the corruption, the uncertainty, the politics. I thought the "parting of the ways" was the most exciting scene in the series so far; I'm actually a bit disappointed that the entire wizarding world now knows Voldemort is back and who the leading DEs are. The politics of denial, with the layers and layers of shades of (moral) gray, was fascinating (though I'm not naive enough to think that everybody will be in perfect unity against Voldemort in book 6!). Assuming the lighter moments and jokes along the way, of course. I'll actually be disappointed if JKR suddenly goes back to the lightness of the first book - of course, that's impossible anyway. Harry simply can't go back to thinking of winning the House Cup as a great victory.

I am definitely expecting that when I finish HBP, I'll be very upset at all the questions left unanswered, so the first reaction probably WILL be disappointment - a qualified disappointment, though, which isn't the book's fault.

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Miss Malaprop - Jul 10, 2005 12:20 am (#16 of 70)

I am expecting a darker book, certainly, and I think most fans are. I think it's completely natural and necessary.

Do you think that there might be a bit of a backlash after it is released? I can imagine that some parents and community groups might react strongly to potentially worse scenarios (than in OotP) in what they still see as a nice, magical children's series.

I remember reading the comments of children who were annoyed, disappointed and confused by Harry's angsty teenage behaviour in OotP. Could this dampen enthusiasm for HBP? (Although judging by hype and pre-order numbers, I don't really think so!)

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essie125 - Jul 10, 2005 12:44 am (#17 of 70)

Jo, of course I think about Alan when I think about Snape, Who wouldn't think about Alan all day every day eh.
Keeping an open mind is definitely the way to go with the HBP. I do believe that this one will not be as dark and violent as the OoP. Everything is out in the open now. People will be scared.

I know I may sound like I'm not looking forward to HBP, but I am. I so want to hear Ron and Hermione's reactions to the prophecy. I want to find out how Harry did on his OWL's, whether he is allowed to play quidditch again ( on this subject, I do not doubt that he will), how things are with the Weasley family, who the new DADA teacher is and off course the main question of this book. Who is the Half Blood Prince? Besides these reasons there are a million other reasons why I do want to read the book.

After writing this I feel a lot less sceptical about this book actually, because I don't believe it wil be as dark and gloomy as OoP, but it will still be dark.

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Diana Dolohova - Jul 10, 2005 4:49 am (#18 of 70)

essie (Jul 10, 2005) Do you really think that HBP would be less dark than OOTP? I mean, JKRowling said in a lot of interviews that the series would be getting darker and darker, didn´t she? On the other hand, I can´t quite imagine a darker book for children than OOTP. Can you?

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haymoni - Jul 10, 2005 4:54 am (#19 of 70)

Diana - the children in the books are now 16. It could be pretty dark.

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Diana Dolohova - Jul 10, 2005 4:56 am (#20 of 70)

oh and I forgot... what do you expect from book seven?? Diana

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Diana Dolohova - Jul 10, 2005 4:57 am (#21 of 70)

haymoni - you are scaring me... I pretty much liked the harmony in the first four books... but you´re right - we have to be prepared for everything:)) Di

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Madame Pomfrey - Jul 10, 2005 5:47 am (#22 of 70)

I agree with Astragynia. I love the darkness.I expect we wont see a light in the tunnel until Voldemort is dead.I dont expect HBP to answer all our questions because if it did there would be no need for a 7th book.Jo leaves us hanging and craving more.There is nothing I could think of that would disappoint me.I know there will be death to some of our beloved characters and I'm bracing myself for that but that wouldn't ruin it for me.Well..Maybe Harry's death but I'm sure it will be written in such a way that it wont disappoint.

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Chard11 - Jul 10, 2005 6:29 am (#23 of 70)

I think that with the Wizarding World knowing and accepting that Voldemort has returned, he and his Death Eaters will be openly active.

Also when I consider all of the different cover arts depicting Harry with Dumbledore it appears they spend alot of time together in HBP (not to mention the possibility of him teaching Harry Occlumency) so I think we will get alot of questions answered. The reason for this is that it seems everytime Harry is with Dumbledore he gives him some sort of information. Ofcourse, with the information more questions seem to arise but as the overall storyline is drawing to a close I hope it won't be too many!

For these reasons I think it will be a success.

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Netherlandic - Jul 10, 2005 8:56 am (#24 of 70)

I have always considered book V to be a book in between, a pre war book. It has some battles but is merely about Harry growing up fast and also to give the rest of the WW (and to us) some time to get used to the idea that the big battle is coming. It didn't really disappoint me but I felt quite sad at the end. It is not a happy book. There are few happy moments in it. But perhaps this is nessessary for the whole saga. I think so.

So, anyway, just and the end of the holidays or in the beginning of the school year in HBP I already expect huge fights going on between the Order and the DE's, some very tough and dark times, though in general I believe it will be a book with a mory happy tone than the last.

On a personal note: I have reserved the whole weekend to read and told everyone that I do not want to be disturbed.

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Joanne R. Reid - Jul 10, 2005 10:17 am (#25 of 70)


OotP reminded me of the days prior to WWII. People were scurrying about, denying that dark forces were abroad and that all hell was about to break loose. Neville Chamberlain returned from his meeting with "Her Hitler", waving a piece of paper and proclaiming "Peace in our time!"

Fortunately, there were those who knew better. The storm was upon us. Lightning stroked the skies. Thunder reverberated. But, since it wasn't raining, most people lived in denial.

Then, on September 1, 1939, Stukas rained bombs and panzers thundered into Poland. The storm had broken. Those who had denied the obvious were swept aside. Winnie, that old stormcrow who had tried to forwarn the people, returned to power. The stirring words, "We shall fight them on the beaches ..." resounded throughout the world.

We took heart. People rose to the new challenge. In their might, they threw down their enemy and vanquished them.

But, the people returned to their old ways. In time, new enemies arose. As before, leaders blindly declare that there is no enemy, only misunderstandings that can be ironed out in time. Fortunately, the old alliances are still strong.

Harry is living through the equivalent of those traumatic and tragic years. Worse, though, he is within the eye of that great storm. We, who have come to know and love him, fear for his safety and of those who are close to him.

The Blitz is coming. Fortunately, Harry is prepared. He has allies. He has a powerful mentor, who will protect and guide him. But, war is death. And, in the end, either he must kill or he will surely be killed.

Accio! Half-Blood Prince!


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Diana Dolohova - Jul 10, 2005 12:25 pm (#26 of 70)

Joanne, that was really brilliant. If you compare the Second World War and Harry Potter books, than the first five describe the times before the war and the last two should be describing the years of war. Therefore I think that precisely as in the II WW the Jews had died, now Muggles and Muggle-borns will. What do you think???

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rarr - Jul 10, 2005 1:27 pm (#27 of 70)

I'm expecting a book that is darker than OotP, but I also expect that once Harry gets over Sirius's death, we will see it through a lighter lens than OotP. In it, we saw events through the eye of a Harry that was essentially screaming for attention from the people who knew what he thought was important, and it made him dark and very unhappy. Everything seemed worse than it would have if he had had information.

HBP will involve Harry knowing much more and not having all of the Order secrets locked up away from his eyes, most likely.

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Elise O'Bryan - Jul 10, 2005 4:06 pm (#28 of 70)

I'm prepared for whatever J.K. decides to throw at us. Nothing could affect me more than the death of my favorite character in book 5, who I saw as Harry's last ray of hope. I know life isn't going to be any easier for him now that Voldemort is waging full-on war on the WW, but maybe his relationships with his friends can at least become less stressful. I think the fact that HRH kept arguing and fighting all the way through book 5 put my nerves on end more than the impending war! The atmosphere will be considerably lighter in my opinion if the trio can only get along more harmoniously. They need each other now more than ever!


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MickeyCee3948 - Jul 10, 2005 8:45 pm (#29 of 70)

Avatar courtesy of Gwen
I think JK is being very mean to all of us adult readers of her books. The last week has been horrible. I can now remember what it was like to sit at home with the Christmas tree up and wait for the day when we would be able to open the presents. This is horrible. It was bad enough when I was a kid but now having to wait and work and wait and work. OHH it is killing me!!!!!!


P.S. Sorry JK I'm not really mad at you just really, really really anxious to see if any of my theories prove out. The marketing of this book has made it an instant success from that angle. If the book lives up to its hype from the story angle then it will be a major success.

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SHEla WOLFsbane - Jul 10, 2005 9:51 pm (#30 of 70)

essie- I didn't get into Harry Potter until after OotP was released, so I didn't have the wait like I do now. That was a definite plus to not getting into HP sooner. Anyway, OotP still ended up disappointing me. Not because it was dark, but because of Harry. Like Elise O'Bryan, I think it was the continual inner fighting amongst the trio that had me most worried.

I'm hoping that a few of my original theorys will play out, but really I think the only way I will be disappointed is if Harry continues to act like a brat (ducks any flying objects. I do understand the reasoning). Or if there isn't at least one "OH, I didn't see that coming!" moment. I'm hoping that I didn't shoot myself in the foot with that last one, by reading all the different theorys out there... Not to give anyone the wrong idea here- I have a copy reserved, and the weekend set aside just for reading it. I've never done that before...

I've thought this for just about two years now, but have been just slightly afraid to say it. Here goes: If HBP disappoints me like OotP did, I will not be reading book 7. So, to answer your original question I think HBP has more of a chance to be a guaranteed success than book 7. We'll see, because OotP grew on me with each reading. Like I said, I'll have to see. And only 5 days to wait! Yay! With each day that gets counted down, I have to remind myself to breath a little more. This is so Cool!

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frogface - Jul 11, 2005 5:48 am (#31 of 70)

I'm not going to expect anything from HBP, I'm just going to read it and then draw my conclusions on what happened, not what I expected to happen. Even if the whole Ron and Hermoine ship turned out to be a red-herring and Harry and Hermoine end up together I won't be bothered, it would be immature to be upset to react that way simply because I turned out to be wrong. I quite liked OotP, it was darker than I expected but I did think that it would deffinatly be darker than the previous books from looking at the ending of GoF. As far as answers are concerned I for one think we will actually get quite a lot in HBP, mostly because JKR said on her site that she feels that now is the time for answers rather than more questions, she also said there would of course be a few more questions left for book 7. I will probably read the book at least twice before I start to discuss it with others, but no matter what happens in the book I will deffinatly buy book 7 when it comes out because I can't stand to leave things unfinished!

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Ludicrous Patents Office - Jul 11, 2005 6:45 am (#32 of 70)

From the beginning JKR has planned a 7 book series. Each book has its own plot but it all fits in together. I don't think we will be able to fully gauge each book until they are all written and we can see the whole picture. I know I'm committed to reading all of them. The trio may argue but when things get difficult they stick together. LPO

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Stringer - Jul 11, 2005 9:00 am (#33 of 70)

Reading HP for me is like riding a roller coaster. Right now I am waiting in line at the gate, remembering all the twists and turns I have experienced on other coasters. Realizing there will be parts that scare me, parts I laugh out loud, and parts I regret getting on the ride. Overall the ride will be thrilling, and chances are I will do it again.

For the most part I hope none of my theories are correct in HBP, I count on Jo's imagination being far more vast and exciting than mine.

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Joanne R. Reid - Jul 11, 2005 9:12 am (#34 of 70)


Can you tell that I am as excited as a kid on her birthday? I wasn't the least unhappy with OotP. The battle at the DoM was the culmination of the growing friendship and trust between Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The evolution of DA was brilliant. The emnity of DJU was horrific. I found myself thinking of awful things to do to her.

And, now I know. I know Harry's doom. He is faced with the hero's dilemma. To kill is wrong; to die, leaving Evil behind to rule to world, is worse.

Long before midnight, I shall be in line, a grandmother amongst children. I will receive my copy and race home. I will prop myself in bed and begin to read. I will try to keep the world at bay, but it will not be so. I have a Sunday morning meeting. But, it's only a few hours. Then, Home and Harry. By Monday morning, I will have completed it. Exhausted, I will go to work, but beg off as quickly as I can. I will go home, to bed and to sleep ... perhaps to dream ... of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I will then begin longing for the final book in the series. I will correspond on the Harry Potter Lexicon with friends I've never met, but who share with me the passion for HRH, Hogwarts, Hagrid, Dumbledore and so many other characters.. Together, we will wait impatiently. We will leap and race to obtain the last book. We will read it with enthusiasm. We will discuss it at length.

But, then what? When all seven are done, and we are sated, what will become of us and the Harry Potter Lexicon? Will we continue to talk ... to share ... to explore? Or will we just fade away? If that is the case, I would delay the last book, until Jo realizes how much we care for the heros she has created, and how we long for just one more story before we go to bed.

Accio! Half-Blood Prince!


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Betelgeuse Black - Jul 11, 2005 10:25 am (#35 of 70)

I have a hard time reading the OotP at the end. I'm rereading it at present and I'm on track to finish it by Thursday. :-) It's very frustrating for me when I read the portions where Harry makes his mistakes and gets lured to the MOM. It's kind of like watching a scary movie and wanting to yell at the characters "Don't go in there you idiot!! Can't you hear the scary music?!?!"

Anyway, I hope I don't get frustrated too much with HBP. I hope Harry will be a bit more careful this time.


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Mrs Brisbee - Jul 11, 2005 10:56 am (#36 of 70)

One of the reasons I loved OotP so much was because it wasn't what I had been expecting. Rowling didn't forget where she had left off in GoF, and I was actually pleasantly surprised to find the Wizarding World all messed up and Harry with a bad attitude. I loved the politics, the emotional drama, and the chance for the supporting cast to really shine even as Harry fumbled.

If there was a point where I would have lost interest in the story, it would have been if PoA followed the same plot course as SS/PS and CoS. CoS is sort of structured like SS/PS, but with Voldy Lite. She proved she was capable of doing something different with PoA.

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colbow - Jul 11, 2005 11:15 am (#37 of 70)

All I can say is that I have loved every book. We can't expect OotP to be the same as PS/SS, because Harry is growing up and finding out more and more how You-Know-Who has affected the Wizarding World and his own direct, personal connection to him. I can't wait to get my hands on HBP. I'll be waiting with my daughter at midnight. To be truthful I hope JKR let us know about good ole'Aunt Patunia and how she knows what she knows and some of the more pressing questions I have- Such as who was at Godric Hollow that nite? More about about Lily Evens/Potter, more of the back story mostly Or I could be afraid to find out who will not make it to book seven. I think all the books are truely wonderful as they have fans from ages 87 to 7. It takes real talent as author to reach that range of readers.

Side Note- JKR first printing of HBP will be 10 million books, I read that very famous author only gets about 2.5 million first printing.

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Madam Pince - Jul 11, 2005 6:56 pm (#38 of 70)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Betelguese, you have me laughing. I spent a good part of OoP yelling at Harry ("What do you mean there's nobody from the Order left to help you???? Go to SNAPE, you idiot!!!") And colbow, it sounds like you and I are looking forward to the same things -- more backstory. I am afraid that HBP will only give us a taste of backstory, and that we won't get it all until Book 7, however.

I remember reading the comments of children who were annoyed, disappointed and confused by Harry's angsty teenage behaviour in OotP. - Ms. Malaprop

Hey, I'm an adult and I was annoyed, disappointed, and confused by Harry's angsty teenage behavior. Actually, I know what essie means because I too was pretty disappointed in OoP. I have gotten to like it better upon subsequent readings, but the first read was pretty bad. I actually threw the book down when I finished. GoF remains my favorite so far -- it was like three little mini-books within one (with each of the three tasks) and the ending left me practically dancing around crying "WHAT is going to HAPPEN???" The whole Cedric-dying thing put the books into an entirely new, more serious light....Fudge and the obviously impending split between Dumbledore and the Ministry....Voldemort now in a body. Wow! I was all a-twitter! Couldn't wait for OoP. And then I was somewhat disappointed.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm rather like essie -- I don't mean to say that I'm not looking forward to HBP, because I certainly am, but I can say that I do not have the same anticipation that I had for OoP. And that is purely because I felt that GoF left us at a great cliffhanger, while I do not have that same feeling from OoP. I think HBP will be a "success" (using essie's definition) because I think all of JKR's books will be successes. Some will just necessarily be a bit better than others (and of course we'll all have our own preferences as to which one was the better one! ) But as someone else noted -- it is a seven-book series, and the best way to judge it will be to judge it as a whole once we know the entire story. (SHEla, you are a braver woman than me to declare that you won't read Book 7 if you don't like HBP! I could no more keep from reading the finish than Hagrid could keep from taking in an orphaned baby dragon.)

Actually, now that I think of it, I may (secretly and quietly) be holding more expectations now for HBP than I did for OoP, simply because I don't have the same expectations. (Does that make sense?) I think I got myself so worked up with high expectations for OoP, that I may have jinxed myself. This time I'm not quite so hyped, so maybe with lowered expectations I'll enjoy it more.

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SHEla WOLFsbane - Jul 11, 2005 11:40 pm (#39 of 70)

Madam Pince, it's not bravery, it's more of a foot in mouth sort of thing. That's what I say now... and actually, I say it now with a lot less feeling than I originally did. Who knows, even if I don't originally like HBP like I didn't like OotP (not, that I think I'm not going to like it. I actually think it will be one of my favorites-just a feeling), I may still end up wanting to reserving my copy of book seven even before there is a release date (or title for that matter), because it grew on me like OotP did. You actually said a lot of what I was thinking, just in a much more eloquent manner in regards to Harry's attitude, and the whole Snape thing.

Someone a few post back said something along the lines of not actually wanting their theorys to be right. I'm the same way. Isn't that a funny thing to do? Glad to read that I'm not the only one.

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colbow - Jul 12, 2005 10:42 am (#40 of 70)

Madam Pince wrote- And colbow, it sounds like you and I are looking forward to the same things -- more backstory. I am afraid that HBP will only give us a taste of backstory, and that we won't get it all until Book 7, however.

I know it, I am hoping that we do get a answer or two. But I am at the point now where I have read all the books over and over again and ANY new INFO will be great to read. As i have heard this book is going to be like a two part book, we probably are really going to be left hanging at the end of the HBP. So book seven should knock our socks off.....

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karebear811 - Jul 12, 2005 5:51 pm (#41 of 70)

I have been looking forward to this book since the day I finished OotP. When I finished that book however, I did feel slightly overwhelmed. I loved the book, and I knew that, but I felt like so much had happened I did not know what ot make of all of it. The book was jam packed with so much information on so many different things going on. I am obviously excited for HBP, but I can't help but feel apprehensive that I have built this book up so high that it won't meet my expectations, or that I will again feel so overwhelmed at all the information. I love learning so many new things, but I do get annoyed that I know I will have to wait a long time before I can read the last book to have all my questions answered.

OotP deffinately ranks as one of my favorites, along with PoA, and I cant wait to finish this book to see where it fits in.

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Aqualu Nifey - Jul 12, 2005 5:52 pm (#42 of 70)

"So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause." - Padme Amidala-Skywalker
I'm so STOKED about Book VI! I mean, have you seen the date?! Only three days and six hours left! And I've been waiting since the moment I first put Book V down for the first time! Book V is currently one of my favorites. I love that it's so dark and I died over the swamp scene, "Peeves, it unscrews the other way.", and the Career Advice scene between Umbridge and McGonagall. Partially because of Episode III (Star Wars), I'm into downbeat endings and so am thoroughly looking forward to the next dark book. The Wizarding World will officially be in a state of war, in which the best and worst in different people will be brought out. We will KNOW who's who in this book. What will our beloved characters do under such intense pressure? JKR told us that in this book, we will finally get answers. Yes! This book will most definitely be a success in every sense of the word. JKR said she was happy with it, so there should be no reason to think that we won't be, too.

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The Wandless Wizard - Jul 12, 2005 9:56 pm (#43 of 70)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
But what do you think? Are you expecting a darker and more emotional book or are you anticipating a book with the same positive atmosphere as the first four books, because let's face it that was what we were anticipating with OotP, but was that what we got?

I wasn't expecting a positive book with OotP. Look how GoF left off. A Hogwart's student was killed, Harry lost his blood protection and Voldemort regained his physical form. Things were looking very bleak. Remember the saying, "It is always darkest before the dawn". In stories, things have to get worse before they can get better. that is why I expect Book 6 to be the darkest yet. However, let me note that I think it will be a different type of darkness. OotP is an internal Darkness. Voldemort isn't really doing much. Harry is full of inner turmoil which Voldemort preys upon. Book 6 will be external Turmoil as Voldemort will be in the open and causing chaos through the Wizarding World.

As for whether HP6 is a guaranteed success, do you mean commercial critical or in hard core fan's eyes? I don't think it matters. It will definitely be a success in all those areas. JKR could write a 10 page short-story about Harry eating breakfast, nothing more or less than describing his breakfast and how it tasted, and it would sell millions of copies at $20 a pop. 90% of the people on this board would read it several times over, pouring over it for clues. So any full HP book is going to be a success in every aspect. A select few may not like it and plenty may not think it is the best in the series. But almost everyone who has read the first 5 books will read it and appreciate it somewhat. That means it will be a huge success.


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Sconie Girl - Jul 13, 2005 10:21 am (#44 of 70)

I have to agree that I felt really disappointed when I finished OotP. I think it was because I read it SO fast to find out what happened. (Most likely because it wasn't until the 2nd read that I connect Moody's disillusionment charm to the entire them of the book...slow on the uptake! ) After re-reading and listening to OotP about 4 times each I really like it.

But I have worried that I will feel the same after HBP. My goal is to read slower this time and enjoy the book.

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Aqualu Nifey - Jul 13, 2005 10:48 am (#45 of 70)

"So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause." - Padme Amidala-Skywalker
The only thing I was disappointed with the OotP was that I didn't have Book VI in my hands already. I had a long wait... which is almost over! Two more days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D

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Madam Pince - Jul 13, 2005 3:00 pm (#46 of 70)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
Sconie Girl, that's funny -- I did almost the same thing. I was reading so fast through the battle at the DOM, that I totally missed what happened to Neville's nose. Eventually I started to wonder "Why ib Nebbil tawgging lig dis?" but I decided I was in too much of a hurry to go back and find out, so I just kept reading. So I guess that in those terms, OoP was a success -- it kept people reading breathlessly until the end.

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colbow - Jul 13, 2005 9:46 pm (#47 of 70)

I know I had to re-read as well, because I blazed through the first time, maybe because of the long wait. But I am going to go at it slower this time. I hope!

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Amilia Smith - Jul 13, 2005 10:30 pm (#48 of 70)

But what do you think? Are you expecting a darker and more emotional book or are you anticipating a book with the same positive atmosphere as the first four books, because let's face it that was what we were anticipating with OotP, but was that what we got?

OotP is an internal Darkness. Voldemort isn't really doing much. Harry is full of inner turmoil which Voldemort preys upon. Book 6 will be external Turmoil as Voldemort will be in the open and causing chaos through the Wizarding World.

I am going to say that I am expecting HBP not to be nearly as dark as OotP. As TWW says, it is not so much what happens in OotP that makes it dark, as it is Harry's depression. By HBP, I am expecting Harry to have started to shake his little black cloud that was following him all through OotP. Therefore, although I fully expect the events of HBP to be much darker than those of OotP, I am expecting the atmosphere to have more in common with the first four books.

Well, we'll see in a few days, any rate.


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Denise P. - Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm (#49 of 70)

Ravenclaw Pony
I am expecting a lot more darkness in this book. I think we are going to see loads of angst and I can't wait! I love dark, angsty books and I think we are going to see it in HBP.

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Daioma Dumbledore - Jul 14, 2005 7:28 pm (#50 of 70)

I'm with you Denise.P. I think HBP will certainly be as dark if not darker than OoTP. How could Harry's mood have lifted so incredibly when by the end of the book, he's lost the closest thing he had to father, and found out the either he must kill or be killed. Not exactly a happy happy joy moment in ones life I'm guessing. But that's just part of what I'm looking forward to reading,I've completely enjoyed watching Harry grow and learn to deal with all the challenges thrown at him, but as would anyone, he often has difficulties dealing with this, just like the rest of us would, teenage angst or not. Thus one of the many reason I love JKR's writing, she has made her characters so very real.
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HBP: a guaranteed success? Empty HBP: a guaranteed success? (Post 51 to 70)

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:52 am

Amilia Smith - Jul 14, 2005 8:18 pm (#51 of 70)
Edited Jul 14, 2005 9:30 pm
Just to clarify, I am not expecting happy, happy, joy, joy either.

But, having struggled with mild depression on and off for years, this is how it works for me. I know to keep myself busy. My brother teases me and calls me a workaholic, but I know myself well enough to know that if I don't have something specifically planned to do, with other people counting on me (ie. going to work) I will do nothing. Doing nothing allows me time to brood and to slowly spiral downward.

At the beginning of OotP, Harry has nothing to do. At one point, he is lying on his bed watching the room slowly darken around him, and he can't find it in himself to work up the energy to turn the light on. When the Advance Guard comes to fetch him, he hasn't bothered to comb his hair for three days.

And things don't get a whole lot better as the book goes on. Between Umbridge outlawing Quidditch, visits to Hagrid, etc; Dumbledore keeping Harry in twilight; the Ministry not acknowledging Voldemort; and Voldemort himself keeping a low profile: Harry has little more than homework to keep himself occupied with. Granted, the homework is plenty enough, but sitting stationary at a desk for hours at a time is not really the best pick-me-up.

Added to this, Harry is not getting any sleep. Trust me, getting enough sleep makes a big difference in keeping the little black clouds at bay.

So . . . I am working under the assumption that things are going to start happening in HBP. Harry will have something to do, be able to keep himself busy. He will have less time to brood. He will be leaving Privet Drive earlier than usual, so the vortex there will have less time to suck him under. I am not saying that I think Harry is through mourning Sirius, but I think if he has less time available to dwell on it, he will be able to shake his depression.

I am also hoping Harry will start getting some sleep. I have nothing to base this on, but I am hoping that the homework situation eases up a little in sixth year. Or that Harry will start planning in time to do his homework before it is time to sleep. I am hoping that Harry's dreams ease up a bit as well. Fat chance, I know, as they make such a good literary device.

Long story short: I believe that if Harry has enough action to keep him busy during the day, and is able to get enough sleep at night; then his mood will lift, and the atmosphere of the book will lighten, no matter what course the action takes.


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Denise P. - Jul 15, 2005 2:46 pm (#52 of 70)

Ravenclaw Pony
This really doesn't fit in any other thread or on the chat thread so I put it here since it does deal with HBP.

As I was signing off to go cook dinner, of course on my home page, a pic of HBP caught my eye so I had to click it. It was titled "Dark Magic" and went to an article about the upcoming book and how some parents are concerned about how dark they books are getting. One quote really stood out for me.

"It's scary for younger kids, when you have animals turning into people and people into birds and things like that," said Geneseo, Ill., parent Marian Shannon. "It's maybe not for kids who are less than 8." Gee...ya think??? I know there are 8 year olds who read Harry Potter but I screen books for my 8 year old before she reads them (if I have not already read them) The same article took a jab at the movies being too dark for younger children (6-Cool and I agree. You have to know your child and what they are capable of handling/dealing with. They did have some positive things to say but honestly, I think it is up to the parents to screen what their child reads, not up to the author to tailor their works to vocal parents.

Harry Potter Turns to the Dark Side

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Finn BV - Jul 15, 2005 3:43 pm (#53 of 70)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
Denise, I saw that article too! These latest reports have really bugged me. Seriously, it sounds like JKR once said, "I have written these books for all ages especially those under 10." Then we'd have a different story. But she's never really aimed the books for a specific age group. :wishes journalists would learn:

Another article that really upset me was that one in the Sydney Morning Herald TLC had a couple of days ago. Anybody know a contact email I can flame them with? All of those points (like no humor in GoF and OoP – DD and/or McGonagall in the presence of Umbridge make the best duos in Potter history) were terribly thought out. One was the fact that the books are a "political correctness battleground" (bold mine); that a girl named Angelina in Book 1 is called a "tall black girl" in Book 5. The author says that that is one of a very small number of nationality references. Hmm… Dean Thomas? The Patil twins? Ireland vs. Bulgaria? Hmm… maybe they just "missed" those.

I do hope somebody has a contact email.

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Saralinda Again - Jul 15, 2005 3:51 pm (#54 of 70)

My Patronus is a Crumple-Horn Snorkack
Yes, it's that time of year. They say that those who cannot do, teach. (Anyone who has ever tried to teach knows that's malarkey, of course.} Fact is, those jealous of JKR's success, wealth, fame, whatever, slither out of the woodwork to do their pathetic best to rain on her parade in the weeks around every new Harry Potter book or film. It's not just Rowling, of course. The Great Nay-Sayers take pot-shots at anyone who has a little bit more adulation or attention than these people can handle.

Yes, the HP books are dark and getting darker. Only time will tell whether JKR will make all that darkness worthwhile in the end. On the basis of the first five books, I would have to say, oh, yes. How can you recognize the qualities of light if you have never seen the darkness?

/Rant mode


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The Wandless Wizard - Jul 15, 2005 4:15 pm (#55 of 70)

When wands are outlawed, only outlaws will have wands.
Is Harry Potter for young children? Well that is a difficult question to answer. The problem is that the original audience for Harry has grown-up. I believe JKR has been keeping the lower end of the age group for whom the books are appropriate consistent, not in a static number, but with that static group of kids. So while Philosopher's Stone was appropriate for an 8 year old, OotP is not. However, the kid who was 8 when PS/SS first came out, was 14 when OotP came out and will be 16 for HBP. JKR had a tough decision. Do you grow up with your audience, or do you keep the books appropriate for the same minimum age group? If you do the latter, you run the risk of losing the interest of your main audience. If you do the former, you risk the ire of the parents of an 8-year old who started the series after several books were out. With no wait between books, the 8 year old can read them over a year, rather than the 8 years the original audience waited. JKR chose to grow up with the audience, which was really the best choice from a literary and business stand-point. The books, the audience, and Harry are growing up together. There will be some disgruntled parents along the way, but it is not JKR's job to raise their children. They need to decide for themselves what is appropriate for their own kids.

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Madam Pince - Jul 15, 2005 5:17 pm (#56 of 70)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
...it is not JKR's job to raise their children. -- Wandless

Exactly! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If people don't want to read something grim, then don't read it. If you don't want your child reading it, then it is your job as a parent to monitor what they read. Period. You simply may not tell an author what they can or cannot write, just because you don't want to read it. This whole "book-burning" mentality really needs to cease.

Also/rant. Whew! I feel better.

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Kip Carter - Aug 2, 2005 11:36 am (#57 of 70)

co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
This thread was closed down during the sixteen day period surrounding the release of Book Six. It is now opened for posts.

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essie125 - Aug 3, 2005 2:01 am (#58 of 70)

Jo, of course I think about Alan when I think about Snape, Who wouldn't think about Alan all day every day eh.
Well what can I say. HBP. Was just brilliant. I loved it. It wasn't an emotional rollercoaster. I loved Harry. His depression was gone after the death of Sirius. He was sad yes, but not depressed. And although the deaths and disapperances in this book were horrible, the overal feeling of the book was very uplifting indeed.

I was so not dissappointed and it gave me a lot to think about. Which is always great. I could not go to sleep for over two hours after I had finished it.

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Kevin Corbett - Aug 8, 2005 5:30 pm (#59 of 70)

I've recently told my little eight year-old sister that she is probably still too young to even start SS, and that she should stick to the Magic Treehouse books for awhile. My little brother, 11, just finished GoF, and he didn't seem to disturbed by poor Cedric's death as much as I thought he would. I think he should be okay with Sirius's death if he ever find the patience to read OotP---in a lot of ways, I think Cedric's death is more disturbing than Sirius's because of the callousness of the killing, as well as Cedric's youth. In a way, Sirius and Dumbledore both knew they were facing death, but Cedric was blindsided entirely.

I'm also wondering, does the topic of this thread mean critical/literary success or financial success? I could have told you many moons ago, since I was working in a bookstore all this summer, that HPB was going to sell loads of copies---but everyone knew that. As for the critical/literary part---I believe the only derisive review I've read was from some San Francisco paper who called all the books "bricks" and faulted JK for phrases like "the jet of red light just missing him as he ran by", which is apparently just as mindless as if it were a bullet just missing someone in a hackneyed action novel. But I'm pretty sure we all knew even serious critics would dig it, and that they were secretely just as excited to find out what happens next. I know one of the books (was it GoF or OotP? I can't remember) won the Hugo award, which is, I think, a pretty prestigious affair---more so, at least, than the Smarties Award for Juvenille Literature (or whatever its called) that every book so far has one. I know that British authors have something like the Pulitzer (the National Book Award?...or is that American...or is it the Booker...), and I think HBP should certainly be in the running, though I doubt it will win with the huge prejudice against "fantasy" literature, not to mention the fact its "supposed" to be a children's book.

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Die Zimtzicke - Feb 7, 2006 2:52 pm (#60 of 70)

This was my least favorite book. When I say that a lot of people tell me that it's just the set up for book seven, so I should be patient.

That's why I don't like it, though. I thought it would start to tie up some loose ends, and it didn't tie up any of the ones I personally was hoping to see. Maybe that's selfish of me. I don't know.

It was not like the other books, in the sense tht you could love those books for themselves, as stand alone novels. This one seemed disjointed to me.

The fact that is sold phenomenally doesn't make it a really great novel, or prove that it was perfect. If having tons of people behind you made you perfect, Britney Spears would be the greatest singer in history or George Bush the greatest president, or Danielle Steele the greatest novelist. (No offense to anyone who likes those things; I'm just using them as examples!) Something can make tons of money and not be perfect, or not be what the people who bought it expected it to be.

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Choices - Feb 7, 2006 8:21 pm (#61 of 70)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Boy, sometimes I think we are being to harsh on JKR. I couldn't write even one smashingly successful book and here she has written a whole series. It must be tremendously difficult to write 6 books (so far) and have them follow each other in a logical manner. How she keeps all the characters, events, symbolism, hints, revelations, foreshadowing, etc. straight is beyond me. And with each book that comes out, it gets harder and harder to keep it all straight. I honestly don't know how she does it. She has books to write, a family to care for, movies to think about, interviews, public appearences....maybe a little personal time. Yikes!!! HBP answered a lot of questions and it brought up more questions, it acted as a transition from OotP and prepared us for book 7. It was a chance to go to Hogwarts, be with my favorite characters and it whet my appetite for the next book - all in all, I loved it.

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colbow - Feb 7, 2006 9:22 pm (#62 of 70)

Choices~ I agree with you 150 percent! JKR has done amazing work, and will do so in book 7. She just blows me away with her work and her skills. I could never keep it all right.

HBP did bring up a whole new set of questions but that is just what it is suppose to do... to lead us up to Book 7. HBP has been my favorite so far, and I am currently re-reading in again. I think what would be more of a disappointment is that if Book 7 didn't tie up the loose ends....but I know that JKR will once again produce another wonderful, page-turning, can't sleep till I am finished book.

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Mrs. Sirius - Feb 7, 2006 9:33 pm (#63 of 70)

Mom of 4 in serious lurker mode.
What is most fascinating about JKR and the HP series, is all the balls in the air for each book. Each book has at least one major subplot, and several smaller subplots.

There are so many threads crisscrossing each book and then being pulled and joining the plots of the other books. Some plots that are just mentioned as one sentence in one book, dropped and then picked up 2 or 3 books later. It isn't until the book is read again for the second or third *cough or more* time that the reader can appreciate the particular idea.

Of all the books I have read, I can not recall one other series that has that many interconnecting subplots. Examples of series that I can think of include Narnia Chronicles, Earthsea Trilogy, King Arthur trilogy, Star Trek books. Some Russian novels do have many characters, with multiple names and multilevel connections but I don't recall any as complex as the HP series.

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Mrs Brisbee - Feb 8, 2006 4:50 am (#64 of 70)

Die Zimtzicke, you are not alone in your feelings about HBP. In the Opinions On All Things Harry Potter folder there is a thread called Was Anyone Disappointed in Book Six, where we have been able to vent our feelings.

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Vulture - Oct 10, 2006 10:22 am (#65 of 70)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
This was my least favorite book. When I say that a lot of people tell me that it's just the set up for book seven, so I should be patient. (Die Zimtzicke - Feb 7, 2006 2:52 pm (#60))

I'm with you, Die Zimtzicke _ why should you be patient ? The book should be able to stand on its own feet as a good read. For £16.99 (the UK hardback price), I expect a lot more than "be patient".

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Die Zimtzicke - Oct 11, 2006 7:06 am (#66 of 70)

What do we mean by success, really? Is it going to make a boat load of money? Probably, but I do know fans who were disappointed with HBP (they called it Half Baked Plot) and are not going to buy the last book unless they know it's worth it to them.

But success is not just money, although Scholastic wouldn't know that. (Ars Gratia Pecuniae must be their motto!)If Jo has a weak finish, that is disappointing tomany fan factions when everyone has been building it up to be the pinnacle, then the series will not have as lasting an impact, as I see it.

We'll have to wait to find out, really. Many years, actually, to see if the book truly becomes alasting classic.

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wynnleaf - Oct 11, 2006 7:54 am (#67 of 70)

Personally, I really like HBP and perhaps because of that, I expect to enjoy Book 7 as well. I find that the more I read the books, my favorites change.

For a long time POA was my favorite. But now it's more difficult to read it without noticing what are either huge inconsistencies or author contrivances -- or big mysteries to be solved by JKR later. But years down the road from POA, and those mysteries or contrivances aren't explained, so I wonder if they ever will be.

GOF was always, to me, the weakest. It seems so episodic to me. I tend to want to skip the World Cup part altogether and have to force my way through it for the plot points. And the 3 Tasks are other parts I want to skip. It's all the rest of the book that I like. Then the film went and focused on the Cup and the Tasks, so I really didn't like the film much at all.

I actually disliked OOTP at first -- Harry being so angry throughout put me off. But the more I read OOTP, it has become one of my two favorites of the 6. There is so much character development in it!

Then HBP. I loved HBP. It was the first one that I really loved immediately upon reading it since POA. I liked getting lots of backstory on LV, more insight into DD, more insight into Snape, and so on. Harry wasn't so angry, and several readings of OOTP had made me ready to really look at all of the characters in depth. The only part I didn't care for was the shipping.

But in terms of "success" I think we'll have to look long-term. Once the entire series is published, it will be interesting to see if the books retain their power over the readers. Is the appeal primarily based on we readers wanting to find out what happens? Or will the appeal remain even when anyone can easily read through all of the books and have their questions quickly answered?

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juliebug - Oct 11, 2006 8:54 am (#68 of 70)

I agree with a lot of what you said, Wynnleaf.

I really liked HBP and before it came out, PoA was my hands down favorite. I love the back stories. I especially loved finding out about Harry's parents.

I was also initially put off put Harry's crankiness in OotP. Looking back, however, I've come to think that all of the moodiness was justified. Harry was in a dark and lonely place for most of the book, who wouldn't act out (certainly a 15 year old boy probably would.)

Then came book 6. Dumbledore was back in Harry's life and his presence was stronger than ever. It lightened the whole dark mood that was cast by book 5. It makes me curious to see what the tone for book 7 will be.

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legolas returns - Oct 11, 2006 1:17 pm (#69 of 70)

I really liked HBP as well. I thought all the back story about Voldemort was really interesting.

I can understand the complaints people have had but wanted to give another point of view-different things to think about. Much of it is observational rather than a strong opinion on the rights/wrongs of the actions.

Dumbledores attitude-In my opinion Dumbledore gives some moral authority -its just not so clear cut as the other books. I think that we have had the lessons in previous books and this book is concerned with case studies. Dumbledore expresses his displeasure etc at the Dursleys treatment of Harry-lack of love and how this affects different people in different ways. Other stuff is wrapped up in the memories and Harrys questions/answers Dumbledore gives to the pensive questions. Its not straight from Dumbledores mouth in sermon style-its spread through the year in little bits rather than at the end of year. Merope made a number of choices and we see the effect that these choices had on people round her. Later we see her son before he goes to school. Tom Riddle chose to use his magic to control people-he started out on the wrong path. This becomes more exagerated as he gets older. He murders and gets other people blamed. He chose to be different/evil. Slughorn chose to discuss a band subject with a pupil. He was ashamed but chose to give Dumbledore a memory that had been tampered with. Dumbledore discusses the fact that Harry can love and the prophecy. Voldemort chose to act upon the words and his worst enemy resulted. Dumbledore says in book 4 its not who you are (i.e Pure, 1/2, Muggleborn) but the choices you make. This book is concerned with choices.

Dumbledores asking for Slughorn memory/Harry getting the memory-It seems to me that Dumbledore is asking Harry to use his more "Slytherin like" qualities to obtain the memory. "..excercised all your considerable ingenuity? That you have left no depth of cunning unplumbed...." Yes Dumbledore guilt trips Harry big style but at the same time he had told him how important it was. He had indicated that Harry was the only person who might get past Slughorns defences because of his mother. Harry uses emotional blackmail/gets somebody so drunk that they cant remember what is said. I think Dumbledore would have had to be devious to get the other memories in the first place because people were so scared to give them. I am sure that he might have had to do some practices that you would not generally associate with such a moral character.

Lack of character development-Up to this book characters had been fleshed out. Most of characters were pushed to background. I agree that JKR had many plot lines that she carried through the book that she had to flesh out. Its true that the only thing of importance that his friends do is fight the death eaters. It would have been nice but at the same time it is "Harry Potter and the ....."

Dumbledores thoughts on love are carried through after his death-McGonagall says to Lupin/Tonks that nothing would have made Dumbledore happier than there being more love.

Most characters spend there time telling Harry he is wrong about Snape/Malfoy. Including Dumbledore. I wonder if he allowed Harry to question him more than anyone else?

After Dumbledores death-You could cut from the end of the pheonix lament to people leaving the funeral without loosing any of the story.

Book 6 does not stand on its own-True but at the same time is this such an issue? The series is nearly finished. People generally start at the begining of the series and work through. If you liked the first book you would read the second. You get hooked and by book six you want to know what happens regardless. This is one definition of success. Fans have differing opinions of the plot of this book. That is to be expected. I would like the last book to be a fantastic epic that rounds everything off nicely and leaves us dissapointed that there will not be future books. That would be my definition of success.

I did not like OOP/COS on first read-Umbridge/Lockhart put me off. Once I got past these characters I enjoyed the books. My favourite is POA.

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Thom Matheson - Oct 11, 2006 3:15 pm (#70 of 70)

Success is truly in the eyes of the beholder. Publishers are calling her the Tiger Woods of kiddy lit. Warner Brothers has never had such a sure fire gagillion dollar series. Even the James Bond series has never generated so much success.

From my perspective I measure the success or failure of a series by my readership and that author's ability to get me to keep coming back. I started my kinship with JKR after running out of things to read while visiting my daughter and picked up PoA. By the end of the weekend I had read all three and have not looked back since. After the much anticipated release of Goblet I too sort of fell asleep. By then the Lexicon was born and for the most part has kept me going since 2002.

Then came OoP. That I have to say got me back on track. By far that is the most successful presentation for me. Great back story. A truer explanation of the Voldy wars and of course a much deeper understanding of Rowlings entire story, not just 5 books and 5 stories.

I have the mindset that she is writing really only 6 books and that book 7 will just be a continuation. If book 7 becomes just one of seven I will consider her failing in my eyes. Though lots of stuff came out in HBP, they are all fragments without any conclusion. Rowling has a great deal to wrap up on about 15 different plot lines. If she pulls it off as I expect her to, she will have officially wowed me. That said, I'll be at Borders at the midnight release party planning to stay up all night next summer.

But, what do I know? I also love the Janet Evanovich series, and consider those to be huge successes. I am also a lifelong Tiger fan.
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