Lucky Seven
Harry Potter revisited

It was just over two years ago when I came up with this great idea. (Well… ok… maybe it wasn’t so incredibly amazing at the time, but it sure turned out differently than I expected.) I had always wanted to make interviews part of this web site. Then I went and kicked it off with one, and… and… and somehow managed to go a year without working on a second.

I had become friends with a few people around the world about that time. And so, one thing led to another, and the next Harry Potter book came out (book six… Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince… in case you’re wondering). I read a couple of comments here and there on the web, put a few thoughts together, and decided to ask three wonderful ladies if they would do a group interview about Harry and the latest book.

And they said yes.

Keris joined us from England. Since our first project with her, she has waded quite deeply into the amazingly exciting… often confusing and frustrating… and always filled with hope for tomorrow world of professional writing. I for one am expecting big… big things from her in the very near future. But take a few seconds to check out her work and you’ll find that she is already incredibly busy, hard working (stop laughing at that description Keris… trust me… it sure looks like you’re hard working), and already has some fantastic accomplishments to her credit.

The site Denise had up and running when we produced that first group project is still around, but no longer updated. She’s moved over to photopaperscissors. Every post seems to offer a great new idea or some unique story to make you feel good. Recent examples of this include a maze of ribbons in her basement, the rescue of a “perfect” piece of furniture, and some great shots of horse riding lessons.

By the way… I’ve never personally met Keris or Denise… just several e-mails and comments on blogs. But I have managed to watch their kids over the years, even sharing some laughs with my wife at pictures or videos of them. (The world gets a bit smaller and friendlier every day.)

And speaking of my beautiful bride… the final member of our party is indeed Terry. Still no true web site to speak of… but one should be up soon.

That first interview has been around for more than two years. In that time, it has emerged as the unchallenged top page of my web site. I mean… it’s not even close. It has been visited more times than any other page on the site. To this day, it still continues to rank in the top five to ten pages viewed in any month.

It didn’t take long to figure out that touching base with these three ladies and attempting a column about the final book… the seventh book… Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… was definitely worth investigating. (It just took us a while to get it done.)

Thank you Keris, Denise and Terry. I’m grateful for your help and patience.

Here’s our second visit with them and Harry…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let’s take a trip back to the last time we did this. I’m going to take a look at some predictions you ladies got right the last time we did this, give you two from Terry, two from Keris, and then one from Denise. Why just one from Denise? Because while you each came up with some good stuff, she nailed the biggest one, and the one this question will be based on…


  • “…I still believe Snape is one of the good guys…”
  • “Ron – I think he may go into business with his brothers and their joke shops and/or marry Hermione.”


  • “Snape HAS to turn out to be good, so it’s really the only explanation!”
  • “Malfoy has to get his comeuppance, the little snot.”


  • “My only prediction for Book VII is that Harry will not die.  That would be ridiculous, and stupid.  Good must overcome evil… period.”

Now… I was reading an interview of some sort. It was several days or a few weeks after the release of the final book. And one of Rowling’s observations was essentially that she couldn’t believe how many people believed Harry could actually die. Now that we have essentially tied all the strings on this story… how do you feel about the ending?

Terry: I liked it. It had to end somehow. I never believed Harry would die, but I did see moments where it seemed like Rowling was trying to get us to think it was possible.

Keris: I was happy with the ending. For a time there I was worried that he would die – even though I really couldn’t imagine that he could – so I was relieved and all the strands were tied up. I felt totally satisfied.

Denise: I’m glad I read it a second time… there were, as you noted, sooo many ends to tie up. Glad, too, I read Book 6 again beforehand. I’m still confused about the squalling baby in “heaven”… was it Voldemort? He was still alive when Harry came back though, so if he didn’t die… was that whatever was left of his pieced-together soul? (I think I just answered my own question...)

I absolutely hated the Epilogue. In fact… “hated” isn’t a strong enough word. I think the Harry Potter legacy is weaker for it being there. My basic feeling is that it gives us absolutely nothing new. If the book had ended fifteen pages earlier, and you had asked people that read the books what happened next, just about every one of them would have included the basics… Harry with Ginny… Ron with Hermione… their children going to Hogwarts… blah… blah… blah. Heck, most would have some uncomfortable moments for Harry and Draco! Maybe Rowling was trying to block off someone else coming along and trying to take over the tale (now she’s told us that everything was fine for years after Voldemort was killed, so no one should be plotting a work of their own about his return). Perhaps she was giving in to some emotional feeling (if she didn’t write that Harry and Ginny had children, then they didn’t… must be written to be true, so she did). Maybe it was just to offer a rapid-fire finish to where everyone went. Whatever. I have read that she had a more detailed version of the chapter written, but she felt like it contained way too much. I can understand that too. But… trying to bring this around to a question… my point is that I felt let down by it. I wish I had skipped it. After navigating the waters very impressively to bring this behemoth of a story around to a satisfying conclusion, for me she let go of her focus. How do you feel about the Epilogue?

Keris: I agree that it wasn’t necessary, but I kind of liked it. I wasn’t ready to leave Harry so even that little extra bit of info was satisfying to me. I do think partly it was Rowling’s way of marking her territory, which is fine too.

Denise: It definitely felt a little *too* neat, but I was expecting something like this, so that Rowling could move on, allowing fanfic writers some room, but letting everyone know Voldemort does NOT return, and the wizarding world remains alongside us. It didn’t bother me so much as just seeming like a great big SIGH at the end of the series.

Terry: It was ok. It didn’t bother me the way it obviously bothered you.  It’s like the ending of The Sopranos. You can’t please everyone because everyone has their own opinion of how they would end it.

My joke is that book seven should be subtitled “Harry and Hermione go to summer camp” or something of that nature. The thing is… looking back on the book a few months removed… it’s the major events that stand out to me and not as much of the camping (which I still do recall seeming to just drag on and on). How did you feel about book seven overall?

Denise: I feel like I raced through it the first time (just to be able to talk about it with friends, without spoilers!) and enjoyed it more the second time. Some things became more clear the second time (Harry’s frustration with Dumbledore’s task for him… the extended “camp out” really brought this home, making it a very effective, if draining, part of the whole). I was able to keep better track of the horcruxes by reading Books 6 & 7 back-to-back.

Terry: It was ok, but I completely agree with the summer camp thing. I’m not saying it didn’t have it’s place, but it seemed more like filler compared to the rest of the book. Early on, portions like the camping were moving so slowly that putting the book down for a little while wasn’t a problem. Then, in what had to be less space than the camping took up, we get Dobby and a return to Gringott’s and the final battle.

Keris: I’d read something about the camping part before so I was expecting it to go on for a lot longer than it did.  I thought the beginning was incredibly slow.  I’d say it took me a couple of hundred pages to get into it, which is ridiculous, particularly for a children’s book, but then I was hooked.  I did find the ending slightly disappointing in that (and I’m saying this from a faulty memory) it was set up that Harry couldn’t possibly defeat Voldemort and then he did, relatively easily.  I remember thinking “is that it?”  I kind of expected him to keep coming back like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

And I ask that with the camp joke inserted in part to ask this… we’ve mentioned the movies before. There is a rumor going around that Warner Bros. intends to divide the final movie into two parts. Most of these rumors seem to be found in international sources (not as much from American or “Hollywood” locations). There’s no official confirmations that I know of… just confirmations that the cast should remain intact throughout. The final book isn’t the longest of the seven books. All of the others were condensed successfully. (Well… five so far.) And while there are some great moments, I know I’m not alone in thinking that a few moments of the final book dragged a bit. How do you feel about eight movies?  Is it a money grab move? Does your view depend on how they are released (in other words… would you feel differently if the two parts are released say six months from each other than you would if they are separated by a year or more)?  (Bob’s note: Ok… that’s not true any more. This project took us a while and there is now confirmation that there will be two films for the final book.)

Terry: It’s always about money. I’m sure they will be separated by a year or more.  That being said… I feel like the movies are turning into television by doing a “to be continued” approach lately. It’s like everything is being set up for a sequel or a spin off. X-Men is becoming Wolverine. Don’t kill Jason Bourne… just in case. At least here, if they are doing it for content, I could see two films instead of one marathon. But still… money.

Keris: I haven’t seen any of the movies, so it wouldn’t bother me either way!

Denise: It does seem a bit money-grabbing to me, considering how much they’ve skipped already (the whole S.P.E.W. subplot, and more) in past movies (most notably #3)… these kids are going to get quite old before they are through! As long as they keep up the quality and the films don’t turn TV mini-series on us, I guess I’m okay with it. There is a lot in the last book. Although it is not the longest book, it is the meatiest. I like the idea of the last two films being released closer together.

Ok… back to the books. What were your favorite parts of the final book? Did anything trouble you? Is there something you wish had been addressed or approached differently?

Keris: Gah.  Can’t remember enough. I loved the Hermione and Ron business. I loved that Harry had to fight Voldemort alone (as we knew he would). I was kind of annoyed that there was all the “someone will die” hype and then it wasn’t actually anyone I particularly cared about (in fact, I can’t even remember who it was!).

Denise: Out of all of Harry’s losses, I cried hardest (second time around, too) at Dobby’s death. Even more than Dumbledore’s (the part that got to me with his death was when Harry put his glasses back on). Sirius’s death never affected me, nor even Lupin & Tonks… don’t know why. Perhaps it was the sacrifice that he made just before his death (getting them out of Malfoy’s). It just seemed especially poignant, and that is odd. I don’t know if it reflects more on Rowling as a writer or on me as a reader!

Terry: I didn’t like that she left the baby werewolf an orphan.

How do you feel about some of the characters now? Specifically… Snape… Dumbledore… Harry… but anyone you care to comment on.

Denise: Snape. I still think his attitude toward Harry was abominable, despite being in love all those years with his mother. I don’t really feel that it redeemed him, except in Dumbledore’s unwavering trust of him.

Terry: I knew Snape was a good guy. Lot’s of action for Harry. Dobey the house elf was a surprise, and in the end, maybe the biggest surprise of all.

Keris: I know it sounds terrible, but I can’t remember enough to comment!  (I read a lot of books and I hardly retain any!)

And finally… how do you feel about the entire series now? Any special thoughts on how it redefined certain experiences? (Hey… personally, I have never waited in line for another book release before.) (As a side note, Rowling has said recently that she might be inclined to revisit the world in ten years or so. Likely not involving Harry or these characters at all… but likely more to work with some of the other histories she has developed in sketching out her background materials for this story, or, more simply, maybe we could say she just wants to check in on some old friends. How do you think you’d react in 2012 to news she is working on a new Potter-less but Potter-world book?)

Terry: Looking forward to them.  I will definitely read them.

Keris: I’ll happily read anything JK Rowling wants to write.  I didn’t wait in line, but I don’t think I’ve ever opened another book with such a sense of anticipation. As a series, I think it’s an incredible achievement, both in terms of the world she created (which feels utterly real to me) and the sales, anticipation, success, etc. It’s mind-boggling really. Plus so many memorable characters. She really is quite brilliant.

Denise: I loved Rowling’s mastery of humor with melodrama, and would be happy to read more about the wizarding world, even if it were Potterless. Several points to make about the entire series. Sorry if they seem jumbled, it’s just some notes I wrote down… 1. Looking back a hundred years from now, much of our modern technology would seem incredibly “magical” to our ancestors… making a parallel wizarding world completely plausible, don’t you think? 2. I had a (rather hip) pastor once (I was raised as a pretty liberal Lutheran) who preached about E.T. when it came out. He said that most creative geniuses, even Spielberg, managed to deal with the resurrection story in some way, and usually did so in fantastic and amazing ways. I feel Rowling did the same. I’d love to hear Pastor J preach about Harry Potter… :D… I’m sure he has... LOL. 3. Anyone else with young ones at home watching Disney Channel? Any comments on the EXTREMELY derivative Wizards of Waverly Place series? I’m taking it as a complete parody, otherwise, how would Disney get away with it?! Especially as paranoid as they are with anyone “borrowing” Disney characters or images… trust me… they’ve sued others. It’s amazing that nobody from Rowling’s camp has complained.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at