I wrote a research paper. On the morning that I finished it, I was an absolute trainwreck, so this thing probably sucks. You should still read it though, because I'm totally right.
Nineteen Years Later
The Harry Potter series would have ended in a way that better satisfied the fans had it not included the epilogue. Harry Potter had all the traits of a successful series. The characters grew throughout the series, and the plot gets more and more complex as the series goes on. The epilogue, for most fans of the books, was entirely unnecessary. Everyone who cares had already decided how things ended for themselves. J.K. Rowling has said that “It would have been humanly impossible to answer every single question that fans have. Because I am dealing with a level of obsession in some of my fans that will not rest un till they know the middle names of Harry's great great grandparents.” (Rowling) yet she tries to answer all the questions that fans have in a matter of pages. Instead of achieving the desired goal of tying up loose ends, the epilogue only serves to cement in cannon a single version of the story, crushing all other possible endings. Fans of the books wanted to know what happens next, but they didn't want that in the form of an epilogue. What they wanted was another book, and then another one after that, but that can't happen. J.K. Rowling can't write Harry Potter books forever. This is acceptable and fans of the books realize this, but they want books, and the epilogue was exactly what they didn't want. They wanted story, not a happily ever after cop out ending.
Most readers decided upon their own ideas of what happens to the characters after the books ended, and whatever J.K. Rowling says about it isn't going to change what they believe. J.K. Rowling repeatedly stated that Harry and Hermione were not going to be in a relationship and that Ron and Hermione were endgame, that is, would be together at the end of the series. However, there are over 13,485 stories categorized as romance with Harry and Hermione on Fanfiction.net. There are 15,844 stories categorized as romance with Ron and Hermione on the same website. Ron and Hermione end up together in the books, which explains the reasons that there are more stories for their pairing, but the fact that there are less than 3,000 stories difference between these pairings shows that fans will write whatever they want, not what J.K. Rowling writes in the books. There are nearly 26,000 stories for the Draco and Hermione pairing, which was never hinted at in the books, and had essentially no chance of happening. (Fanfiction.net) This further proves that fans have different endings for the characters in these books, and do not need to have J.K. Rowling's future forced upon them.
Harry Potter was wildly popular, a worldwide phenomenon that changed a generation of kids. A major part of the Harry Potter phenomenon is the films. Regardless of how they feel about the films as a whole, most fans wholeheartedly agree that the epilogue did not work on film (Mapes). The makeup used to age the actors by nineteen years looked fake and awkward, and the lack of action did not translate well to time on screen. If anything, the epilogue only came off worse when it was on screen. The movie, just like the book, was a fantastic story, but it was less than great when it came to the very end.
The final book had a death toll unmatched by all the previous books combined. The other main issue that people took with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the pacing towards the beginning, particularly in the fact that J.K. Rowling allowed Harry, Ron, and Hermione to spend nearly a third of the book on a fruitless camping trip. There was a huge conflict in the character's minds and in the reader's minds between hallows and horcruxes, the characters never knew which one they needed more. It's hard to maintain reader attention between two factors like this. Combined, these leave the reader bored and heartbroken. Bored and devastated is a bad situation in itself, but when you add a greatly unsatisfactory epilogue, readers will rise up in revolt. This dissatisfaction is what motivated one dedicated fan to write the song “Book Eight.” Some lyrics of this song include “I want J.K. Rowling to say/ That the epilogue was crap,/ 'Cause we all know it was crap!” and “I know I'm not the the only one/Who wants to know more about Harry's sons.” (Green) the latter of which refers to the bits of information that the readers are given in the epilogue and wanting more of the story behind what we see at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Rather than giving her readers a vague hint of what happened after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling should have saved them the pain of seeing the characters who they loved for years have endings that were different from what they had planned. It is always better to have less story, but please more people with the story that you give them, and this is a message that J.K. Rowling seems to have missed out on. All authors share the ownership of their characters and their stories with their readers and fans. The more a reader loves a book and the characters in a book, the more they feel as though they are a part of the series, and that they should have input on the way the books happen. Of course, they have no actual input, but going directly against what the fans want is not a good way to treat the people who have built an author's career. I'm not advocating playing into only what the fans want, but listening to fan input and opinions would be a good idea for many authors.
The epilogue deviated from the rest of the series in its overall feel. The other books never let the reader believe that the characters lived happily ever after, which left most readers hungry for more story. The goal in the end of the final book was not to leave readers wanting more story, but to tie up loose ends. J.K. Rowling said that Harry tries to create for his family the peace and calm he never had as a child (Brown), the happily ever after that never happened in seven books and should not have been tacked onto the end. If J.K. Rowling wanted to show an ending, this goal could have been achieved in other ways. For instance, if there had been some discussion of the future in the final book, J.K. Rowling’s concepts of how the characters fared after the books were over could have been incorporated naturally.
With the epilogue, the readers are given bits of information that isn't useful without the context to support it. In interviews that she gave after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, she elaborated on the backstory, and with the announcement of Pottermore in June 2011, it was determined that J.K. Rowling would be releasing more information about the world that she created. If she had plans for all of this, which she probably did, she should have not included the epilogue in the book. With Pottermore and the rest of the fan community on the internet, readers can learn and theorize about what happened to their favorite characters to their heart's content, regardless of the existence of the epilogue. For readers who care to learn more, the epilogue is irrelevant. For readers who don't care to find more out on their own, the epilogue is unnecessary.
The epilogue was greatly unsatisfactory and made Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a less stellar than it could have been. Harry Potter will be continued, carried on by fans of the books, but it will not be following the trend of “Nineteen Years Later” in letting everyone live happily ever after. The series thrived on conflict throughout, and it will not be changing now.
Brown, Jen. "Finished 'Potter'? Rowling Tells What Happens Next." Today. MSNBC, 26 July 2007. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.
FanFiction.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.
Green, Hank, narr. Book Eight. 2008. Vlogbrothers. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.
Mapes, Marty. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2." Movie Habit. Gawker Artists, 15 July 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.
Rowling, Joanne K. Interview by Meredith Vieira. "JK Rowling One-On-One: Part One." Today Show. NBC. 26 July 2007. Web. 22 Nov. 2011.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I wrote a research paper. On the morning that I finished it, I was an absolute trainwreck, so this thing probably sucks. You should still read it though, because I'm totally right.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Today was pretty eventful.
I don't think that I'm going to be writing my NaNoWriMo for the rest of this month. Yes, this is the first year when I've just said that I was done. Yes, I do have a good reason for doing this. Yes, I have thought this out. No, I have not discussed this with anyone else yet. Yes, I do plan on continuing to write the novel. Yes, I still like my novel. Yes, I still want to write. My wordcount is 13,702 right now. This is not impossible to recover from. I am confident in my ability to recover from this kind of a deficit. I'm choosing not to.
I sound like a robot.
I don't feel bad about this. I don't feel like I'm losing. I don't feel like I'm quitting. I think that this specific novel and this specific month were a match made in hell.
So, in other news, today was my carrer day at school. For the furniture department. The first person who came in was this guy who talked about finishing. For his job, he invents new ways to finish furniture. ALL DAY LONG. For one of them, he painted a piece, then threw rice on the wet paint, then waited a while, then scraped the rice off, sanded it a little, then put gold leaf on, then silkscreened a design on top of the gold leaf. WOAH SUPER EPIC AWESOME.
I took a lot of notes.
I learned a lot of things. I learned that back in the day, Kendall basically funneled designers into Baker. That's not so true anymore, which is probably a good thing. I learned what you want to have in a portfolio, and that one of the guys in the furniture department is a totally amazing incredible woodworker. Like, woah.
And here's a picture from the tour of Grand Rapids Chair Company that I took.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I really just said that to facilitate the linkage up in hurr.
I'm awkward*. Everyone knew that, right?
Watch this video.
Faber Castell from eric yeo on Vimeo.
Mmmhmm. VERMEEEEEER. Vermeer. Vermeer.
I'm thinking about things that I love right now. I love Manhattan Nest so freeking much. I want to move in with him and Max and so that we can hang out with Door Sixteen and party hard. When I say "Party hard" I mean "Let's go to CB2 and then to MOMA and talk about pretty things." That would be a fantastic day. And Brick House** can hang out with us too.
Guess who has a lot of homework? Guess who isn't doing their homework right now! Guess who's not writing their novel right now either! Guess who's going to be really freeking screwed!
It's, um, me.
Watch Marcel. Marcel. Marshell...
Also, follow this kid if you're a tumblrer. Or even if you're not a tumblrer. Tumblrite. He's pretty legit. I know him irl.
Do you have enough links? Are you linked up? Are you sufficiently distracted from that, um, novel thing?
Welcome to my life. I have no idea what I'm doing here. I am thinking of stories and storytelling and people and the way they relate to each other. I love this novel, still. I love writing, I really love it. I hope that I'll never be in a situation where I have to choose between writing and design, because whenever I ask myself, I constantly go back and forth. As for NaNo, I'm deeply worried that it's not going to happen in November. I feel like I can't give this the attention it deserves while I still try to do well in school, and I have to do well in school. If I don't do well in school, I'm going to have to drop out of college and move in with my parents and flip burgers for the rest of my life and die sad and alone. Okay, well, maybe not all of that would happen, but if I didn't do well in school this year, I would probably have to go back to that town and go to community college.
I had kind of thought "Retard" as an insult had gone the way of "Gay" as an insult, but I guess people still say that? I'm kind of confused by this. I don't say it, and I have my reasons, but other people do?
*I'm thinking about people and the way we consider our physical appearances and how we talk about that. I don't look awesome, and I'm totally fine with that. I just...It's weird. I feel like I said something that made me seem like a pompous douchebag, but I'm not, and...yeah. Awkward.
**If your first reaction to this tumblr isn't "HOLY MOLY I NEED ALL OF THIS STUFF IN MY LIFE" then I'm pretty sure we can't be friends. Go home. To The Brick House.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."
Friday, November 11, 2011
I went to the IIDA furniture factory tour today. It was interesting and informative. Yay for interesting and informative! I expected to see a lot of Kendall students, but it was just two of us, and the chair of the furniture department, and one of the interior design professors. The guy who gave our tour was the owner of Grand Rapids Chair Company*, and the whole thing was just...really cool. POWDER COATING. I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO IT. ALSO, I WILL LEARN TO WELD. Yep. Those were really interesting. I need to get my build on and try to make some stuff. It can't be that hard, can it?
I know it was an IIDA thing, but I can't help but be surprised by the number of girls who were very obviously interior design students who were there. Despite my best efforts, I will never, ever pass for one of them.
I'm thinking a lot about sustainability in design. I like modern things, and I like Ikea, and I like the fast paced consumption of the newer greater thing. Is that bad? I like things that are sleek and shiny a lot of the time.
I watched Objectified the night before last (It was good. You should watch it. Kendall's library has a copy.) and one of the designers was talking about his father's briefcase, which he inherited, saying that it's gorgeous and gets better with time, like wine. Basically, you want to design wine, not pop.** That's possible with shoes, right? And jeans, sometimes. And cast iron anything. Other than that though, what do you own that has gotten better with age? Tell me, please. In the comments.
I'm just feeling conflicted. I like new and shiny and RTA and everything, but I'm in love with the idea of having products that you can just love and rely upon. I want to own beautiful things. I need to have a great purge of products and only allow things that are perfect and deserving of love into my life.
*It was great, but it would have been better if there wasn't Comic Sans involved. Like, a lot of Comic Sans.
**The other thing I learned from this movie: Karim Rashid looks a little bit like what would happen if Tim Burton and an alien had a child together. In the best way possible.
You didn't know this was going to come in parts, did you? Well, I'm happy that you were so surprised.
Did I tell all y'all that I'm writing a novel? It's lovely! It's amazing! It's far shorter than it should be! So yep, my plans for this weekend involve writing, doing an art history project with a friend, writing some more, maybe hanging out with some friends, doing my horrible 2D project of death and despair and pain, and doing my design drawing homework. And writing. For design drawing, we're illustrating. We have to take text (the first few paragraphs of The Hobbit) and draw a picture. Draw a picture about the text. Like, take the things described in the text, and draw them. We have to draw them in COLOUR too. This concept is deeply stressful. I came to school so that I could draw furniture! I don't know how to think this way!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I'm really far behind on my NaNo! Yay! Love my life. Woohoo.
It's way too early to be this far behind.
And I have to spend two hours driving home today. That's two hours that I can't spend writing. Crap.
But hey, it's Gustavus Adolphus day, and also my half-birthday. So you know, that's a nice non-event.
Posted by Samantha at 10:57 AM
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Hi! It's November, also known as NaNoWriMo, or TheMonthWhereISeemLikeIHaveADHD, or HolyCrapWhenDidCollegeGetDifficult or EwwwGrossMyHairIsFallingOutFromTheStress or ThisIsTheTimeOfYearWhenIGetTheMostHitsIDecayWhy. It's a fun time. I slept for about two hours this morning, and I feel wide awake. My cousin came over because he has an AAA plus membership and I need to get my car towed a hundred miles away from here, but once he got here and we called, he realized that he didn't have that kind of membership. So...that was kinda bad. But it was good to see him.
I was kind of planning to stay up all night because I have ten hundred thousand million drawings for Design Drawing that I need to redo so that I don't fail the class and die sad and alone*, but then I curled up in my bed around five. And got a call saying that my cousin was outside my house at 7:10, dealt with the situation, cousin leaves, I register for classes, and then I blog. That's how the story always ends. I think I'm going to try to finish the drawing I'm working on right now, then go to school and draw some more and go to class. Today, I may be crossing the line into consuming energy drinks. I'm surprised it's taken this long. Energy drinks are kind of like meat: I'm capable of consuming it, I see other people consume it, but I just...don't.
My wordcount is shit.** I am not worried about this in the least. I have all weekend and no functioning car and nothing to do, so I can see myself camping out on the couch for hours, days, weeks on end and writing my heart out. Although, as I was writing this, my mom called and asked if I wanted to come home for the weekend. So that might be happening.
Sometimes I wonder if I want to write more than I want to design furniture. Then I flip out a little bit. I'm worried, constantly, that I'm not doing the right thing, but then again, would studying English really help me? Writers don't have to be English majors. Furniture Designers don't have to be furniture majors either. So really, college doesn't matter at all. It's like expensive high school where everyone smokes.
If I don't do well here, I'll have to go back home and go to Schoolcraft or OCC, which are even more like high school where everyone smokes. That's some motivation, I guess.
Did I tell all y'all how I talked to one of my roommates for four hours straight and totally revamped my novel in the process? It was great. YAY. It feels much more solid now.
*NaNoWriMo has the side-effect of making you dramatic as fuck.
**I typed "ship" first, which reminds me that I am not the only person who has pondered the idea of writing slash fanfics about political figures. Joey thinks about it too! And Derek, obviously. MWWHAHHAHAHAAH. Mangoes.