This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I should have slaughtered people weeks ago!"
11944 members | you are not logged in | 28 July 2014












June 29 2007

Is Harry the New Dead Buffy? A panel of überfans moderated by MTV's Kurt Loder debate Harry Potter's fate in The Deathly Hallows. One panelmember suggests he could choose to die to save the world, just like Buffy.

The suggestion is towards the end of this short piece, but there are two other vids by the same panel which are pretty interesting, even for non-überfans like me. At least I finally know what the heck the horcrux is about! Thanks to Mud for the link -- I think she's turtle here. :)

I'm sorry, but nobody dies for the world better than Buffy. She's an old pro at this. I have a sneaking suspicion she'll try it again at the end of Season 8.
I assume that Buffy is actually mentioned in the clip? Can't watch it from where I am at the moment :)
If I wanted possible Harry Potter spoilers I would have.... Actually, I don't.
There wouldn't be spoilers would there? It doesn't come out for another fortnight, at which time I will be hiding from the world to avoid them!
Can't watch it but i'd be absolutely astonished if any fans actually knew what happened (to say it's been closely guarded doesn't even begin to cover it) so I doubt there's spoilers in the true sense.

Haven't read the books or seen the most recent film so i'm totally unqualified to comment but, to me, Harry dying (permanently) would seem pretty downbeat for a series of rites of passage books which are mainly aimed at kids. Wouldn't be surprised if someone bites the big one though (maybe even one of the main three though it would really have to be heroic. Ron maybe ?).
Agreed, quantumac. As much as I love the Harry Potter series, he's not a professional apocalypse-averter.

He's not going to die, anyway. *covers ears and hums*

zeitgeist, Buffy is specifically mentioned toward the end and there's a brief clip from "The Gift."
Kurt Loder is still on MTV? The man must be approaching 50 by now. This just in from Wikipeda - Kurt Loder is 62?!!

Though I have to say, Kurt Loder is pretty much the only journalistic anchor MTV has ever had.

[ edited by HelloSpooky on 2007-06-29 17:33 ]
There's also a transcript of the panel here: http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1563596/20070628/story.jhtml

Harry may not be a "professional apocalypse averter" but it is his life's mission to defeat the Dark Lord, and that's just as good. Harry's a very traditional hero, and heroes usually die/have a death-like experience and then return. Harry's gonna walk through the Veil in the Department of Mysteries, thereby "dying" and then return. Mark my words. Ron and Hermione are safe.

Anyhoo, to bring the topic back to Buffy... I like how it's used as an example of a Hero story comparable to Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. A lot of fans think of Buffy as subverting traditional hero stories (and in many ways it does) but at it's core it follows the same pattern, and that's one of the things I like about it.
You should read the books, Saje. They're good. Joss likes them.

My personal theory is that Snape will be the dead world-saving hero, which is not a traditional hero story. But there's something about it that really appeals to me. Someone overcoming their background and past failures and even a deeply unpleasant personality to destroy what effectively destroyed them. Maybe it would be a modern hero story. The ancient myths leave a hellavalot out.
"Someone overcoming their background and past failures and even a deeply unpleasant personality to destroy what effectively destroyed them"

Something sounds familiar in this...so Harry's not the new dead Buffy...Snape is the new Spike?
No spoilers, just speculation. And I agree with one of the panelists, it would be a letdown if Harry decides to die to save the world then at the last moment Snape steals his glory -- typical jerky Snape, however. (Although I am determined to be on the side of "Snape is good, gorramit!")

Perhaps she'll hew even closer to the Buffy story by killing him off in Deathly Hallows as a rite of passage and then having Hermione bring him back in the next 7-volume series, all dark and angsty but with some really hot sex. :D
Huh, so maybe I didn't actually think of this idea myself. Typical.

But the thing with Snape seems deeper than the thing with Spike. He wasn't turned. He was on the dark path by his nature all along until something - this is the real suspense in the story to me, something unknown - made him take a different path. I want to believe in that something.
If Harry dies, I’m going to be very disappointed. I don’t have a problem with dark endings, but after everything he’s gone through all his life, for him to die so young wouldn’t just be dark and tragic; it would be unfulfilling to me as a reader.

I'm sure Snape is good. Otherwise, he would be such a one-dimensional character, and Rowling is a better writer than that. I am about 100% sure Harry will think Snape is evil up until the moment that Snape dies to save him (oh, you all know that's what will happen). I bet Snape’s sacrifice will be what allows Harry to face Voldi without dying. Now that’s dark drama I can get on board with!
Perhaps she'll hew even closer to the Buffy story by killing him off in Deathly Hallows as a rite of passage and then having Hermione bring him back in the next 7-volume series, all dark and angsty but with some really hot sex. :D


Yeah, I doubt that :) Snape is Spike? Is this going to turn into a) an all out flamewar b) the new 'Ben is Glory' or c) really bad slashfic?
c) really bad slashfic

Oh, cabri and zeitgeist, that was one bad idea I really hadn't thought of. Bolt from the blue. Now my last speck of innocence is gone.
O.O Snape cannot be Spike!!! I mean, ewwwwwwww! Not to mention the robbing-the-cradle thing!

I was thinking there'd maybe be some not-so-nice Malfoy daughter for Harry to lust after in a future series. I'm a traditionalist.
Melissa Anelli, TLC's webmaster and one of the hosts of their podcast thingie, Pottercast, happens to be an avid Buffy fan (and also a Rent-head, but that doesn't have anything to do with this topic). Is not the first time that Buffy comparisons come out from her.

Don't worry about spoilers, at this point they're mostly working sorely on speculations (a lot like we're doing here with S8 possible direction). Those largest Potter fan sites have lifted quite an interesting policy against unwanted spoilers, that happens to be supported by Rowling herself, after an editorial written by Ms. Anelli.

Snape and Spike comparisons? Weirdly, I find Severus more reminiscent to a certain Lindsay McDonald, rather than William, the Bloody.
Speculation IS a spoiler if it turns out to be correct.
Sort of like the quantum physics of fandom, huh? Well, they brought up cases for him dying, trying to die but thwarted at the last second, trying to die but lacking courage at the last second, manipulating someone else into dying, refusing to die, etc. I don't think we need spoiler tags for any one of those cases since none of them are based on fact or even implication by Rowling.

If someone had said "Well, I was talking to JK just the other day and she laughed when I said Harry dies so he's definitely not dying", I might put a spoiler tag onto that even though it's not definite, because it's at least based on Rowling's frame of mind at this moment and that's as definite as we've got. But if 6 different Potter experts come up with 4 different theories, I don't consider their theories to be spoilers.

Anyone who wants to read The Deathly Hallows with a completely virgin frame of mind should probably avoid any and all forum discussion threads about Harry at this late date because the speculation is only going to expand exponentially until the book is released. And then it'll be near impossible to avoid spoilers because at midnight someone somewhere is going to turn directly to the last chapter and post what he/she finds all over the interweb within 5 minutes.
Yeah, if the very idea of a possible plot direction can be a spoiler then surely you can't engage with the novels even as you're reading them (doesn't everyone wonder about what may happen next as they read) ?

Just in case though, I speculate that ;-).

You should read the books, Saje. They're good. Joss likes them.

I probably will eventually dreamlogic. Must confess I don't often read a book after i've seen the film, I just don't get the full "book" experience with the actors stuck in my head (meant to read "Philosopher's Stone" before I watched it but didn't get round to it). And Joss also likes 'The Core' so that's not the cast-iron guarantee of quality it used to be ;-).

(personally I don't think Snape's a baddie and certainly hope not, partly because Alan Rickman's so great in the role and partly because he reminds me of an old physics teacher of mine who had the same attitude towards the "soft" sciences - i.e. everything that wasn't physics - which, with a casual wave, he would cheerfully dismiss as "bology" [sic] said in such a way to sound as close to "bollocks" as a teacher could get away with ;)
The Core was supposed to be stupid but fun. It admitted it was stupid scientifically with the "unobtanium" thing, and was just an adventure story. I liked the city-sized geode. That was pretty.

The Harry Potter stories are more serious, in that they're more about the real circumstances of life, rather than the "supernatural" events that cause them.

I think that the casting of Alan Rickman as Snape was partly unfortunate. The Snape of the books has no sex appeal whatever, while Rickman is Rickman and even straight men pick up on his appeal. But this is the movies.

Saje, I don't want to be rude or presumptuous, but it sounds like your teacher was a little prejudiced, which is something a scientist shouldn't be.
Well, my own feeling is, if you're gonna be that stupid, you'd better be one helluva lot of fun and, for me, 'The Core' wasn't but some of the effects were lovely, no argument on that score and Joss is still boss, he just showed off his clay feet that's all ;).

And yeah, my teacher kinda was prejudiced but in a pretty lighthearted way (not at all as sneeringly superior as Snape) and in general I think it's fairly common in the sciences to favour your own subject and even to think it more worthwhile - or else, presumably, you'd have done one of the others instead (for instance, my brother's a paleontologist so obviously has what you might call a "geological perspective" and anything more recent than about 1 MYA he - with a smile but perhaps only half kidding - writes off as "fucking archaeology" ;).
Must confess I don't often read a book after i've seen the film, I just don't get the full "book" experience with the actors stuck in my head (meant to read "Philosopher's Stone" before I watched it but didn't get round to it).

Funny, I will often watch the movie first because I am rarely disappointed with a good book when I have seen the movie first and enjoyed it, but often disappointed with a movie if I have read the book first and enjoyed it. Interestingly enough, in the case of HP, I do not know if I felt the actors were pretty well cast in the first movie because I saw it before I read the book, or the were actually just cast well for the first movie. I read all the rest of the books before the movies and have disliked the movies and some of the casting more and more. The direction they have chosen for the movies makes me think of what BtVS would probably be like if Joss had totally gone away and someone else had taken over after season 1.

The books really are worth reading.
dreamlogic:
"The Snape of the books has no sex appeal whatever, while Rickman is Rickman and even straight men pick up on his appeal."


Not to quibble (Ah, who am I kidding? "Quibble" is my middle name.) but I be a straight male and I seriously can't see Rickman's Snape appealing to... well, much of anybody, actually, regardless of persuasion. Maybe another snake - er, Snape. There's a serious "ewww" factor involved... :-)
I want Snape to turn out heroically. And congrats on the newjob, newcj!
No comment on the Harry is Buffy thing. Everything Rickman does is appealing to me. Who am I kidding? I find book Snape kinda appealing.
newcj, you didn't like the 3rd one, the Cauron one, the Prisoner of Azkaban? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I would have loved that one without reading anything.
JKR's writing style has improved over time. I think it really picks up with Chamber of Secrets.

Harry's a hero, and while it's possible he'll die heroically, I don't think he will. He'd be willing to die to stop Voledemort, no question, which does make him like Buffy in Season 5.

I don't think Snape's on Volemort's side, but he's still pretty immoral in a lot of ways. I hope he'll do something heroic (I think he already did), but I also don't expect him to start being a nice guy. He is very morally complex (not to mention morally ambiguous), and he polarizes readers in a way that reminds me of Spike. Some people find the bad alluring, and some find it very repulsive. Alan Rickman does bring a certain cool to the movie role. If we'd been reading Spike rather than seeing him exude cool charisma on tv, I wonder if people would like him as much.
I do not find Snape attractive in the book or movies, but enjoy him as a character and think Rickman was a great choice. I have always thought that Dumbledore was going to have been right about Snape and that he will end up a hero in the end but I agree with the ewwww factor as well.

I don't see Harry dying in the end, but one never can tell. He can certainly be heroic without being dead.

newcj, you didn't like the 3rd one, the Cauron one, the Prisoner of Azkaban? 'Cause I'm pretty sure I would have loved that one without reading anything.

I've liked each movie less than the one before it. I did not hate Prisoner of Azkaban but I found the discontinuity from previous films in sets, tone and some characterizations jarring. I truly disliked Emma Thompson's Trelawney, something I did not expect to happen, and was not crazy about Gambon's Dumbledore.

In each movie I find it strange that they let things be muddy or jarring when a single line could make things clear for the audience, especially the audience who has not read the book. Lots of little things pulled me out of the story in PoA. For instance, not identifying Dumbledore when he first appeared did not help the audience much. Here is a different actor playing the role and even though the man is stepping up to a podium in front of students, some of whom will be new, no one simply says "Your Headmaster Professor Dumbledore" or something to that effect. It really pulled me out of the movie when I found myself wondering who the guy at the podium was, realizing it must be Dumbledore, and then starting to think about how he should have been introduced, why I did not recognize him as Dumbledore, etc. instead of being in the scene. That also happened with the set. Hogwarts just did not look like Hogwarts so much and it kept pulling me out of the movie and starting me comparing the sets in my mind rather than paying attention to what was going on.

Hmmm. That is probably more of an answer than you wanted, but you asked. ;-)

Thanks, pointy.
newcj:
I do not find Snape attractive in the book or movies, but enjoy him as a character and think Rickman was a great choice.

Agree completely that he does a very good job with Snape; it's a character that needs that ewww factor.
We're really seeing these differently, newcj. I actually fell asleep during my first watching of the first one in the theater, which I don't think I've done since I was a child watching awful 1970s documentaries in a very bad theater, and haven't since. I had started reading the books by Azkaban, and my reaction was "woohoo, a director finally!" Of course I missed Richard Harris, but I knew it was because he had died, and I like Gambon's Dumbledore, too. But you may well be right about the effect of the changes on casual viewers. And on you who are what, a detached audience surrogate as well as a viewer all the time? I don't envy you being that professional. Where's the fun?
I'd agree with that. As mentioned, i've not read 'em but the third film was the first one that felt like a film and not just a film-of-a-book to me. It was really clear in the first two that there were 'checkpoints' i.e. objects, characters and events that were in the film just because they were in the books (and fans would miss them otherwise). The hardest thing about adapting IMO is knowing what to leave out, even when it's hugely popular.

(and though I missed Harris - brilliant actor - I knew straightaway Michael Gambon must be Dumbledore, he just looked like him. And he's no slouch in the acting stakes either so I didn't have a problem with it)
"And on you who are what, a detached audience surrogate as well as a viewer all the time? I don't envy you being that professional. Where's the fun?"

Interesting that you should think that. I actually try not to do that the first time I watch anything. I made a conscious decision to that effect years ago. I want to go with whatever it is and purposely try to suspend disbelief in order to just let it take me wherever it wants to go. That is why it bugs me when I get pulled out of the story whether it is because of the kind of thing above or because my mother suddenly whispers to me that the song being sung would be perfect for my voice. (The latter is purely hypothetical of course, and has never actually happened. ;-) ) I am admittedly very analytical, however, and after the movie is over or when I view something a second time, all bets are off.

Other people also said they fell asleep at the first movie. I knew absolutely nothing about Harry Potter, so I just found the whole world that had been created very entertaining in itself. PoA may very well be a better movie. I don't think I have seen it since the first time and as I said, I did not dislike it. Perhaps it wold be most accurate to say I enjoyed each one less than the one before it. With there being a huge drop from PoA to Goblet of Fire. That one I actually really did not like..a lot... and it made me very distrustful of what the next one will be like, even with a new writer and director.

Order of the Phoenix was a book whose events were metaphorically very similar to what was going on at my work at the time I was reading it, and had happened at other places I had worked. It really hit me hard. If they make it all about the action, and/or keep Hermione on whatever the hell path she was on GoF, it could be really disappointing.

[ edited by newcj on 2007-07-02 23:59 ]

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home