There have been plenty of characters in my reading life that I would have been happy to see go, not because they’re abusive, violent, or just downright sucky, but because life isn’t fair. I think it’s been long enough past the last book in the Harry Potter series for me to post this, for everyone who’s still waiting to read that one – you’re painfully slow, and for everyone who isn’t over what happened – what was there to get over, every single main character (pretty much) lived.
Why didn’t Voldemort kill off Harry Potter? While I’m a little bias, because I’ve been Team Voldemort since book 4, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I quit reading Harry Potter around Book 4 originally because he stopped growing with me, I still think in a world of fairness and compromise, Harry and Voldemort should have both died. What was that two page afterword where Harry Potter is a middle aged man with 2.5 kids, a yard rounded with white picket fence posts and the lingering redness of a lightening scar a little closer to the left side of his head than the right. I’m also quite partial to Beatrix LeStrange since one of my favorite actresses plays her in the movie, my mother is the kinder and more beautiful of the Bea’s and thus her alter ego, Beatrice, and she’s just plain awesome.
Let me cover the growing with me part first. I was the same age as Harry when this book series came out. We were moving along quite nicely, him and I, he with his lost parents and mine blazing in full glory with their tonsils rattling up the stairs when I wouldn’t clean my room, or I blasted my music too loud, or that year I spent trying to sleep on a back-breaking futon because I thought having a couch was “cooler” than having an actual bed. This was around the time electric yellow was my main color pallet, a true child of the 80s. He was being sorted, I was being kicked out of the middle school lunch table. He had public enemy number one, Draco Malfoy, I had an evil cat that liked no one. Things were comparable between the two of us. All of a sudden, Goblet of Fire, and BAM, Harry stays the same age. I know he’s magical and all, and somehow his rock hard head protected him from untimely death, but there was nothing strange about aging in Harry Potter.
Reason # 2. Unlike a five paragraph essay, I will be outlining more than three reasons and I will choose the comments section as a form of rebuttal. Afterwards are stupid. In general, if I wanted to read an afterward, I would expect you to publish another book. Do not give me four pages on how the characters lived happily ever after. Very rare is the afterward section horrifying. They usually glorify some theme of the book after the reader has already reached some plausible ending for themselves, which deems them overall pointless. A synonym for “afterword” is epilogue. In similar fashion, both of these are never long enough to be a story on their own, thus, they are a form of writing that hasn’t yet been discovered and should stay buried deep in their time capsule for another generation of anxious youth to dig up.
Reason # 3. Dobby had to die, why didn’t Harry. I think most of us can agree that Dobby is one of the best characters in the Harry Potter series. Regardless if my best friend named her dog Dobby, I would still love Dobby with more passion than any other character other than Luna (or Moaning Myrtle). Someone has to stick up for the ghost that is stuck in the toilets. If you are going to come at me and say your favorite character is Hermoine than you need to reevaluate your own depths). However, Dobby, the house elf form of Harry. Dobby is a Malfoy elf who was treated cruelly because that family practiced dark magic and box-dyed hair. He also unfortunately abuses himself by ironing his hands and ramming his head into a lamp. Like Harry, he had a rough upbringing and relatively no shame. While all the other house elves are buried in grief due to their lack of work, Dobby is just a happy go lucky elf. If he sold cookies, I would most definitely be buying them. If this character that was mostly good, outspoken (and quiet), sneaky, and the closest character to Harry if it weren’t for Ron, has to die after all of his turmoil, why does Harry get to live. OFF WITH HIS HEAD.
Okay, okay, that was a little harsh.
Reason # 4. If JK Rowling can’t write a truly, and openly homosexual headmaster into Dumbledore, why does she get to write a boy who can beat all odds. The most pointless thing this woman ever said in an interview, and believe me, I think she’s more than awesome, was that Dumbledore is gay. If you have to explain what you’re doing in a children’s book, then you’re not actually doing it. (See Reason #2. – Afterwards as long explanations of what you just did in a book with an already solid ending).
Reason # 5. Harry had this ridiculous notion of justice. Everything was just, everything must be nice, people must act politely to one another, and sneaking around is not a form of lying, but a form of truth-seeking. He wasn’t even smart, he was lucky and had a girl friend (who we now find out he should have ended up with – if this woman changes anymore plot details, we’re all going to take her to the gallows). If this justice was an actual justice than the two of them, Voldemort and Harry Potter would have died together. You can’t take the truly evil villain out of the world without knocking out the truly good character too and making the world fight out what it’s going to be. If you want to have a balance for six books, you have to continue that balance through book seven. And let’s be really honest here, wizarding school didn’t really teach them anything other than the things they were learning by discovering the secret twists of Hogwarts. How many of these people actually listened in class other than Hermoine. Even then, she was that hated student who reminded the teacher that they have homework to turn in.
Reason # 6. The “children’s book” argument. How many children actually read this book. Hands? At what age did you pick up the Harry Potter book? Other than the deeply and fanatical religious that didn’t allow their children to even touch that dreadful witchcraft, how many people read these as children. And even if they did, by the end of the series, were they still children? Doubtful. Kill him off.
Reason # 7. Emotional Quality. On a scale of 1 to 10, this book would have been 17 times more emotional if Harry had died. Fans everywhere would have a good cry in their beds, write angry fan mail to JK Rowling and wait in their invisibility cloaks and non-matching scarves for the movie to come out. We all still would have gone to the theme park. All of those people on tumblr would have written their own, MUCH BETTER, fake epilogues and Ron and Hermoine would have become the new Potter power couple. Undoubtedly, they would go on to remember Harry and name their first born child HP Jr.
Reason # 8. This reason I’m not quite sure I believe in, but…. Neville could have risen beyond his hopelessness and killed Voldemort at the end. He and Harry did have some strange connections throughout the series.
Buzz Feed has other ideas of what happened after the end of Harry Potter as well, if anyone, you know, wants a look see.
Do you agree that Harry Potter should have died? Which other changes would you make to the book? Feel free to make as many as you want because JK Rowling just keeps saying things in interviews that totally throw every fan out there off their handle. You can have opinions too, even if everyone hates you for them.
If I haven’t convinced you enough, Lord Voldemort can on Twitter: