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NEWS: Don't kill Harry Potter, authors urge Rowling

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Don't kill Harry Potter, authors urge Rowling

By Claudia Parsons

Tue Aug 1, 1:14 PM ET

Two of America's top authors, John Irving and Stephen King, made a plea to J.K. Rowling on Tuesday not to kill the fictional boy wizard Harry Potter in the final book of the series, but Rowling made no promises.

"My fingers are crossed for Harry," Irving said at a joint news conference before a charity reading by the three writers at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

The author of "The World According to Garp" and a string of other bestsellers said he and King felt like "warm-up bands" for Rowling, who is working on the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series, and who has said two characters will die.

King, who shot to fame in 1974 with "Carrie," said he had confidence that Rowling would be "fair" to her hero.

"I don't want him to go over the Reichenbach Falls," King said in a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle's effort to kill off the character of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Pressure from fans eventually led Conan Doyle to resurrect Holmes, who was found in a later story to have survived.

Rowling, a Briton whose books have sold 300 million copies worldwide according to her publishers, said she was well into the process of writing the final book.

"I feel quite liberated," she said.

"I can resolve the story now and it's fun in a way it wasn't before because finally I've reached my resolution, and I think some people will loathe it and some people will love it, but that's how it should be."

"We're working toward the end I always planned but a couple of characters I expected to survive have died and one character got a reprieve," she said, declining to elaborate.

Asked about the wisdom of killing off fictional characters, Rowling said she didn't enjoy killing the major character who died in book six -- for the sake of those who haven't read it yet she avoided naming the victim -- but she said the conventions of the genre demanded the hero go on alone.

"I understand why an author would kill a character from the point of view of not allowing others to continue writing after the original author is dead," she added, leaving the door open to the worst fears of some fans -- that Harry could die.

King recalled that when he had a character kick a dog to death in his novel "Dead Zone" he received more letters of complaint than ever, to his surprise.

"You want to be nice and say 'I'm sorry you didn't like that,' but I'm thinking to myself number one, he was a dog not a person, and number two, the dog wasn't even real," he said.

"I made that dog up, it was a fake dog, it was a fictional dog, but people get very, very involved," King said.

Rowling noted that Irving had killed off many more characters than she had.

"When fans accuse me of sadism, which doesn't happen that often, I feel I'm toughening them up to go on and read John and Stephen's books," she said. "I think they've got to be toughened up somehow. It's a cruel literary world out there."

Copyright ? 2006 Reuters Limited


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Steven King, giving advise about how to end a book? His last book didn't even have an ending! And, come on - this is the guy who put a page-long "You shouldn't read the end of this book, because it'll disappoint you" disclaimer before the last chapter of The Dark Tower.

Heheh...don't mind me. I love Steven King books, but can't stand the way he ends them.

Back on topic, though, I hope she doesn't kill off Harry.

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She can't kill him off. Imagine what it'd do to the movie franchise.

I don't see that it would do anything to the 'movie franchise'. Almost no one who says they are fans of the movies even read the books, the vast majority do not and have no interest in reading them.

Not that it should or would matter to her, the book author.

Can you honestly say people would stop buying tickets to new HP films and collecting the merchandise bc Harry dies in Book 7? They'd not even be required to have Harry die in movie 7, just bc he does in the books.

She'd be smart to kill him off, if she's serious about not writing any more HP books. As it is, HP fanfic (a.k.a. bad HP writing by fans who pay no copyright fees) is pretty well out of control...

At this pt, if it were me, I'd be more inclined to kill him off just because of the supposed fan reaction.

Things like this article seem more publicity stunts than real news, don't you think? I mean, come on. Irving and King have to contact Rowling via API? They don't have email?

Irving's Garp dies at the end of The World According to Garp. Did that make the movie less popular? No. King's Carrie dies at the end of Carrie. Did that make people not buy tickets, did it cause moviegoers to not enjoy the film or not be in suspense or scared? No.

It's not like most moviegoers read books.



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Guest rusticmonk86

She can kill every single one of them for all I care. It's her book.

I get frustrated with people who email me about endings. That get upset when I kill off charecters. And those who (pretty much) believe everything I write is true. The latter, of course, frustrate me to no end.

But *shrugs* if someone kills themselves because the great Harry Potter died, I wouldn't be surprised. (It happens.)

I just hope the ending's good.

Who wants to help me find Spongebob?

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Things like this article seem more publicity stunts than real news, don't you think? I mean, come on. Irving and King have to contact Rowling via API? They don't have email?

They were together at a charity event. Check Google news :)

Or go here: http://tinyurl.com/krzjp

No.  King's Carrie dies at the end of Carrie.  Did that make people not buy tickets, did it cause moviegoers to not enjoy the film or not be in suspense or scared? No.  

That's a bad example. If one of King's characters LIVES people get upset. :)

It's not like most moviegoers read books.

I do.

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Would you believe I haven't read any of the books, NOR watched the movies? I think I saw a snippet of a HP movie once, where they were chasing some kind of ball in the air, on broomsticks, I believe. How exciting. Ho Hum.

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Good books, okay movies.

Very good books, and they get significantly better after the first two. They also have an obvious appeal to queer readers. One of the first things I thought of was how like the GLBT community the magical community was: hidden in plain site, riddled with in-references and jargon, and subject to outsider harassment and prejudice.

The entire Weasley family is adorable...esp the twins.



PS. The movies are okay.

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