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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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July 22 2007

If Joss Whedon wrote the end of Harry Potter. Absolutely no spoilers for the Deathly Hallows.

That was funny especially the George Lucas ending.lol
For some reason I don't think the Whedon version on that page is very funny. It just seems like too thin of a connection between characters-- Luna as the Slayer? I do think the Godfather and Star Wars versions are funny though.

My sense of humor just seems to be a stick in the mud lately. Carry on, don't mind curmudgeonly me.
Hmm...I agree with Sunfire. I have the hunch that if Joss Whedon wrote the end of Harry Potter, and didn't change anything that was written up until the end, the ending would probably be something more dystopian, like how he proposed he would have ended season 5 in his original plans (i.e. everyone dying).

I think that this article jumps a little too fast on this vision of Joss as a feminist (which he is) who would turn every single outlet for creation into a feminist message. It shouldn't be overlooked that above anything else, it's probably more important that Joss is a good writer. If anything, Harry Potter is a little more like Firefly than Buffy: a series where the protagonists, both male and female, are strong characters, and where even though the "lead" character may be male, all characters are equally important.
The bit about Joss' ending seemed to be much more Firefly than Buffy.
I don't agree with Sunfire and mchan and thought the ending they thought up for Joss was quite clever and spot on. Who else than Hermione would turn out to kick ass, take names and save the day in a Joss-penned version of HP?
Joss has a thing for strong women. It's not just a 'Buffy' thing; all the female characters in his verse tend to have the biggest 'muscles.' Writers write how they see the world, so it's just one of those recurring things that comes up in his work.

Anyway, when I saw the article title I rolled my eyes instantly because I knew they'd put ;AND JOSS WHEDON KILLZ SUMONE!,' which they did. I just find it funny considering all the verses did it well, and back when it was THE shocking and unheard of thing to do, in a medium in which such a thing was rarely spoke of. Every Rowling character death has been predictable and has seemed like nothing more than a cheap dramatic play.

Going nuts with killing characters has become so cliche these days, and Rowling feels like nothing more than the latest on the bandwagon. Though, as Serenity proved, it can still be done shockingly and well. Just takes a good writer.
Killing characters isn't a new fad in fiction. Hamlet is a bloodbath. Joss has a reputation for it because it's less common for ongoing television series to kill main characters, especially popular ones.

I've always loved Tom Stoppard's take on it:

"We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see."

Actually I wish someone would write a Tom Stoppard version of the Harry Potter ending. Any takers?
Simon, Simon, Simon ... I'm still laughing.

Thank you.
No, Sunfire, it's not. But mainstream, popular fiction? Especially in regards to television? It's very new. As is the raw storytelling becoming a higher priority in a market that is almost 100% about - well - the market.

[ edited by Ryan-RB on 2007-07-22 01:29 ]
I think the more surprising thing with Joss's deaths was that (to my recollection) the promos were never, "NOT A HOAX! NOT A DREAM! ... SOMEONE DIES!" [ETA: Sorry, I didn't really clarify what I meant by this, which is that none of the deaths were just gimmicks.] And I can't think of a death in any of his series (well, a main character death) that wasn't a determining factor in the course the plot took afterwards... something, as Ryan-RB said, Rowling doesn't seem to have grasped.

But hey, she keeps writing them and I keep reading them, so who am I to complain?

[ edited by Jobo on 2007-07-22 04:13 ]
And I can't think of a death in any of his series (well, a main character death) that wasn't a determining factor in the course the plot took afterwards...

How about a certain Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins.
unless your being ironic storyteller, the show ended
anyhoo, whats with the J.K. Rowling bashing? the buffyverse and harry potters world are unbelievably similar, especially with regards to structure and their ability to span several genres.

one of the most oft-repeated praise for buffy was it's ability to successfully combine horror, comedy, family drama, etc into a cohesive whole. Harry Potter does this just as effortlessly.

And Specifically related to some of these comments, the character deaths in Harry Potter are amazing. She doesn't just throw them in as a tension builder. they mean something. they provoke changes in other characters,for good or ill.

it shares this trait with buffy, and all good stories.

i reckon joss gets the same feeling out of reading Harry Potter that we have all got from watching his shows. Rowling and Whedon's work is very alike, not just thematically, but also in it's execution and style.

I think this is why Joss mentioned that he would love to direct the last film, because he knows he can do it justice.

sorry for the rant but i juts love rowling and whedon so much. they should get married and have kids. bookwormy, red-headed, pale, pale kids.
Vocah - please use correct capitalization and organize things into paragraphs. Separating it out and leaving it mostly lowercase makes it more difficult to read. Cheers!

sorry for the rant but i juts love rowling and whedon so much. they should get married and have kids. bookwormy, red-headed, pale, pale kids.


Methinks Kai would have something to say about this ;) As would Neil, I suspect!
If Joss Whedon wrote the end of Harry Potter everbody dies.
No- Joss + JK would never gel, Joss would want to have his lay-dies up kicking butt and changing the world, whereas Jo would be determined to stereotype them into 'brainy', 'crazy' and 'the girlfriend' types. Disillusioned? Moi??!

(Though, I just think I described Fred. Whoops.)
I thought it was nicely done except that the men in Joss's work always play an important part in saving the day. I find it interesting that because the women are also saving the day, in many people's minds that negates the men's contribution. We still have so far to go.

I also think Rowling does a great job. I have not read the last book yet, but the deaths definitely have impact on the characters and the story in the first 6 books. I also don't really see the stereotyping in the books, especially since we are dealing with life mainly through the eyes of an adolescent boy...who one would expect to see girls in fairly stereotypical ways.

The boys may stereotype the girls, but I don't see Rowling doing it. Hermione for instance, is brainy but has had various boys interested in her. I have always been glad she and Harry were never interested in each other and Rowling did not play the unrequited love thing with Hermione making doe eyes at Harry. Luna always seemed to have more going for her than just the crazy. Harry has never picked the most interesting girlfriends IMO and Ginny seemed to come out of nowhere, but that is teenaged boy stuff. Nope, I just don't see the stereotyping.
Rowling and Whedon definitely have a lot in common when it comes to their storytelling. Besides the obvious fantasy elements, there is the willingness to kill off major popular characters, the focus on internal struggles, and the attention to long-term continuity.

However, I'd say Rowling falls a bit short on characterization sometimes. None of her characters are completely one-note sterotypes, but she does rely very heavily on common archetypes a lot of the time (Luna, Trelawney, Dumbledore, Draco). Whedon did this all the time as well, but he pretty much always broke them out of those stereotypes pretty quickly, and made the characters change drastically over time through their experiences. I just don't see that kind of character development in the Harry Potter books. We often find out new things about characters' pasts and true motivations, but none of the characters really seem to change much over time.
The theorized Joss ending of HP was amusingish. What it provoked in me, more than chuckles, is a strong desire to know what Joss thinks of "Deathly Hallows." He's been on record here, there, and everywhere as an enormous Harry Potter fan, and it wouldn't surprise me if he's already read it. I enjoyed "Deathly Hallows" immensely, but as this isn't the place for spoilers, I will say nothing else.
Having read it, I think Joss would be a brilliant choice to direct "the Deathly Hallows" movie. Rowling is hugely imaginative, but I don't think she so good with the emotional resonance of some of the events she imagines. Joss, who is so good at blending humor, horror and emotional pain, could do them justice.
I can think of a certain scene near the middle-second half of the book that Joss could just do an amazing job with. I'd love to see him direct the movie too.
I second the motion to have Joss direct Movie 7... is there some sort of website or petition going for this yet?
Joss is great for the screen. JK is great for print. Putting them together for the 7th movie would be amazing. I would be all for that as well.
Joss said once - in a 2005 Empire online interview - that he would consider directing a Potter movie once the books were all out, and then, "When shes done, Ill go back and watch them and wait for the call to direct number seven."

So he has yet to watch 'em all, which I imagine he can now or shortly do.

Joss is perfect to direct the last movie, 'cause he can In the Potter stuff, that's important, 'cause with all them Orphlings and such, there's already lots of opportunity for soppy.
Would love to see Joss direct HP7.

But I don't think he'd be able to get along with a Steven Kloves screenplay.

I felt the HP5 movie was fun, with some good performances, but overall it felt like a mechanical exercise to get from one end of the book to the other, via set-pieces.

Characters and relationships are getting more and more lost in Steven's adaptations. And i don't mean Harry and Cho.

Even basic stuff, like "the themes of the book".

So. "Joss to write and direct HP7!"
I enjoyed 'Deathly Hallows' but I'm glad the Potter juggernaut is over, as I think JKR has major problems with her plotting and characterization. She seems to write one or two characters in each book really well, but makes only sketchy outlines of the rest. Characters that I connected strongly with in the past- I couldn't give a hoot about them in 'Deathly Hallows'.
I find her dialogue a little clunky and some of her scenes seem to be specifically geared to movies/gaming more than to advancing the story.
Of course- her wonderfully descriptive language goes a long way towards making things better!

I mentioned stereotypes and am specifically not impressed with a few things in Chapter 7 of the new book. Can't say much more without spoiling, and I'd really hate to ruin anyone's surprise!

But I would love to see Joss directing HP7 and taking a serious editing pen through some of the the...er... slower parts of the book. Hey, and we've already seen that
Joss + certain magical creatures = Yummy goodness!
I hadn't realized all the movies had the same screenwriter. Is that true of all of them? They've mostly been awful except for movie 3, which actually showed cleverness and imagination (I loved the Knight Bus ride).

(Major spoiler ahead) As I was rereading some of the earlier books to prepare for the 7th, one of the things that struck me was
Actually I wish someone would write a Tom Stoppard version of the Harry Potter ending. Any takers?

90 year old Harry Potter wakes up from his afternoon doze during which he has been babbling about his adventures, and is reminded by his wife Ginny that although they were both at Hogwarts during the Voldemort war years, Harry took no part in them, had no relationship with any of the famous characters who played important roles, such as Albus Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, or Neville Longbottom, and that furthermore she never had a brother named Ron.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Travesty"
Nice barboo.
I hadn't realized all the movies had the same screenwriter. Is that true of all of them?


Film 5 was wriiten by Michael Goldenberg. This was apparently because Steven Kloves wanted to adapt The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime. Yet IMDB names Kloves as the writer for Half Blood Prince (though, this being IMDB, I'm not sure how true that actually is).
Thanks Sunfire.
Harry Movie 7: The Musical!

;-)

Since we're having a Harry discussion, I'll confess to all of you.

When I first realized the WHOLE thing was going to be about Voldemort (I'm slow, so I'm not going to say how long this took me), I was deeply disappointed.

I actually didn't care for all the Harry as Big Deal Wizard; I would have been happy to go to Hogwarts for seven years of more ordinary adventures and misadventures with a more ordinary wizard.

Not that I'm not a fan, and I eagerly await the chance to read the last book, but that's the weakest part to me.

That and the pure villany of the villans; none of the shadings of really good bad guys.

And the Dursleys are a bit over the top, too. I could have done with a little less "most pathetic life ever" stuff, when Harry isn't in school.

As with nearly everything in life, the humor is what I love most. (Thus, must be an utter mystery why I'm such a Whedon fan, right?)

Also the richness of the world: candy, spells, homework and tests, all those wonderful departments and job titles at the Ministry, books such a Men Who Love Dragons too Much.

And nifflers; they sound hecka cute (and handy, too).

Thanks for redacting all the potential spoilage.

And if anyone has an extra copy lying around they could send me....
I think the main point is that Harry doesn't want to be a Big Deal Wizard, and he has to learn to be anyway.

I think the morality is somewhat ambiguous. Hermione and Ron have done some petty things, and I was feeling sorry for Draco and Narcissa during parts of Half-Blood Prince.

Both those things are things I liked about Buffy. Buffy didn't choose to be the Slayer, but she chooses to fight. She falters, she almost gives up, she finds her way again. Sometimes she does bad things, sometimes her friends do, sometimes her enemies are very human and sympathetic. She accepts the leadership she didn't seek, and she always questions what's good and bad. There are some lines she will not cross. Harry's very similar in those respects.

I also really enjoy the detail and texture of Harry Potter's world. I'm going to miss it.

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