A Deathly Hallows Year in ReviewBooks
Ten Years, Seven Books, One Story. 2007 saw the last chapter in the Harry Potter series brought to life with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 21. It was quite the journey to reach that remarkable day; please join us as we take a look back at the year in books.
As we began the year already knowing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the title of book seven, retailers faced issues of pricing over the sales of the book. Continuing her fight from last year, Laura Mallory kept up her efforts to have the Potter books banned from school shelves, as we later heard in an op ed piece where she spelled out what she viewed as “truths” and “myths” about the series. Actors from the HP films admitted to being anxious about reading book seven, as Jason Isaacs appeared on a talk show where he spoke of his hopes for a possible reprieve for his character Lucius Malfoy. Meanwhile a flat of Harry Potter books were stolen from a recycling center, and translators began preparations for their work ahead on the last Harry Potter book.
February 1 brought exciting news that J.K. Rowling had completed writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on January 11 of 2007 and would be published on July 21. The reaction to this announcement was swift, as pre-orders began quickly for Deathly Hallows, setting all new records. Editing on the book was underway, with reports confirmed that Jo marked the moment of completion for her novel by inscribing a statue in the Balmoral hotel of Edinburgh, Scotland. On Feb 6, a moving piece from JKR appeared on her website, as she gave her thoughts about completing the final installment in the series. A week later, US Potter publishers Scholastic updated with the first B &W release date poster for DH, followed by a slew of marketing in stores around the world. As fans wondered what this book had in store, publications such as “Entertainment Weekly” wrote on possible endings for the series, and lawyers attempt to stop pirated books from selling on eBay.
Retailers were already feeling the pain over early price wars for book seven. Time magazine featured a new piece on Harry Potter calling it a “movement,” and also revealed a lovely new sketch of JKR and Hogwarts. March 14 saw a major announcement from Scholastic about their plans for the release of Deathly Hallows, unveiling “There will Soon be Seven” campaign featuring an extensive Knight Bus tour across the US, as well as the news they would be printing 12 million copies of the book, all on recycled paper. Canadian publishers Raincoast revealed their plans a few days later, then word came the US Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would contain 784 Pages, making it the second longest in the Harry Potter series behind OotP and just over GoF. A few days later, Listening Library confirmed the July 21 release date of the audio books. The end of the month brought the cover art to both the US and UK editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and TLC received confirmation about the page count for the UK editions of the book.
April began with a new poster for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Bloomsbury, with author Alexander McCall Smith provided a new introduction to the UK editions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New details about libraries and restrictions for DH were revealed. TLC launched the “Ultimate Deathly Hallows Prediction Test” on April 12, and a few days later the first of the official “There will Soon be Seven” ads from Scholastic began to appear. On April 17, the US publishers formally began their countdown campaign, asking fans to ponder ” Who Will Live, Who Will Die?” The New York Times posted a new interview with Scholastic CEO on life after Harry, and JKR won the Wired “Rave” award. Time Magazine later featured the author on their Most Influential People Poll, and we learned that publishers were planning tight security before the release of book seven. Bloomsbury revamped their Harry Potter website, and revealed the cover to the UK special edition of Deathly Hallows. On April 28, TLC reminded readers to “Spoil Us Not, Sneaks.” In the meantime, the Smithsonian hosted a portrait of JKR, and Scholastic updated with news that the Deluxe Edition of “Deathly Hallows” would have 816 pages, and gave additional information about the artwork from Mary Grandpre.
May kicked off with Jo revealing more about the four founders of Hogwarts with Helga Hufflepuff the new Wizard of the Month on JKRowling.com. Scholastic asked whether Snape was “Good or Evil?” Deathly Hallows became the largest pre-ordered book in history, hitting the one million mark as J.K. Rowling updated website with more on Draco Malfoy and Voldemort’s birth. Scholastic said Jim Dale would host a midnight release party in New York on July 21, and the publishers released an image of a new HP box set, containing all seven books. Jo Rowling was moved by the plight of a missing young child from the UK, and updated her diary with more on spoilers. UK bookseller Waterstones named Philosopher’s Stone as their Top Book of the Past 25 Years, and we learned the UK would also see new Harry Potter stamps. On May 23, JKR announced her “Moonlight Signing” Deathly Hallows release event, with a new contest for 1700 lucky Harry Potter fans to win a chance to hear the author read and get an autographed book at the event at the Museum of Natural History in London, England on July 21. Bloomsbury released new DH screen savers the next day,as a slew of international release dates for DH were announced. The first of wild rumors about book seven surfaced with claims the book was being printed in the dark; this is later debunked by Bloomsbury. Scholastic talks romance as the latest question was “Who winds up with Whom?” A judge in Georgia upheld a decision to keep Harry Potter books on the shelves, and JKR revealed the Swedish title for Deathly Hallows, with the translation holding some new clues to the book. Another contest was launched as fans could win a chance to attend a taping of the UK “Blue Peter” program with JKR as guest. Fans were overjoyed as Universal Studios announced a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park attraction set for late 2009 in Orlando, Florida, and the book industry reflected on life post Potter.
BEEP BEEP. June took off with the opening of the Knight Bus tour. Founder Salazar Slytherin is the new Wizard of the Month as JKR attended the glamorous Raisa Gorbachev charity ball gala in the UK. BaddaBing! It’s Tony and Harry and the Final Curtain Call as Newsweek published a reflective article on the close of two culturally significant series. June 9 TLC announces our release party plans, and the next day we heard from Mary Grandpre about her artwork for the DH covers. Scholastic asked “Where are the Horcruxes?” and JKR gave fans plenty to ponder on as she launched her third WOMBAT tests via her website. We learn that JKR will tour the US in the fall, and will also appear on the “Jonathan Ross” and “Today” show programs for rare television interviews. Slate magazine has a reflective piece on the end of Harry Potter, and Borders published video of the Harry Potter book club with fans discussing the beloved series. Notification began for winners of the Bloomsbury/Scholastic “Moonlight Signing” contest, and TLC launched part 3 and 4 of our Deathly Hallows prediction quiz. MTV posts new article where the identity of OotP Character too Important to Book Series to be cut out of film is revealed, and Scholastic provided more detail on their “Harry Potter Place Street Celebration” for the release of DH. With the book not yet released we learn the Deathly Hallows paperback is due July, 2008 and a special 7 book box set will be out October 1, 2007. Time Magazine featured Scholastic’s efforts to keep DH secret and special for fans, and MTV asked a Harry Potter panel how they think the series will end. Bloomsbury released a preview from Deathly Hallows audio book narrator Stephen Fry, who gave a curious hint about the Hogwarts motto on sleeping dragons. June 30 the first video of printed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows books is shown
A new Amazon record for pre-orders of book seven starts off the month, as Scholastic asked “What are the Deathly Hallows?” Hogwarts founder Godric Gryffindor is featured as the WoM on JKRowling.com leaving fans to speculate why Ravenclaw might be revealed after the book release. July 5 we learned that scar is no longer the last word of the Deathly Hallows, and Jo was “devasted” and “euphoric” upon completion of the last Harry Potter book. Author Stephen King said goodbye to Harry Potter and we learn of a new documentary on JKR to be broadcast later in the fall on ITV. The New York Times has five ways to end Harry Potter from noted authors, and Scholastic editor Arthur Levine said “I’m just the stand-in for the reader.” Nearing release day, UK booksellers were not willing to break the embargo with early sales of Deathly Hallows, and Bloomsbury announced plans to live stream the JKR Midnight reading, and a later live web chat with Jo due July 30. New book details emerged from a preview clip of the upcoming JKR documentary.Falls Church, Virginia is the “Harry-est” Town Says Amazon, and Scholastic ’s Cheryl Klein talks the continuity of the Harry Potter books. July 18 we learned the worst sort of Muggles have leaked Deathly Hallows online, and JKR updated her site, asking fans to ignore the spoilers. Scholastic issued a statement on the early Deathly Hallows release, as a new listen and play the Harry Potter audio book way feature went online. Outrage ensued as the New York Times published an early review containing spoilers from the book; TLC issued a call for letters in response. JKR and Bloomsbury speak out strongly against these early reviews, as Jo also addressed future writing plans stating “Lightning does not strike in the same place twice.” July 20 the door opened on JKRowling.com, where the author gave some heartfelt thank yous and acknowledgments. The “Blue Peter” program is broadcast in the UK where the Jo provided answers about the series and the first author signed copy of Deathly Hallows arrived in New York.
July 21 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, shattering all time sales records set by previous Harry Potter boks. TLC posted reports from the Moonlight Signing in London, and we took your reactions and questions about Deathly Hallows. On July 24 there was big news from JKR as the name of the character given a reprieve is stated, and Jo said she will also write the Hogwarts Encyclopedia. New interviews with USA Today and the “Today Show” spotlight that Jo revealed the names of two characters she intended to let in live in Deathly Hallows, and said that she is “sort of writing two things at the moment”. Jo gave new epilogue type details during “Today Show” interview and read the original sentence containing the last word “scar.” On July 27 Entertainment Weekly has a new feature on Harry Potter, and actor Dan Radcliffe talked Deathly Hallows and the fate of Harry Potter. JKR holds live web chat on July 30 with TLC given honor of first question, as our favorite author shared many new post DH details on characters, and later talked the deaths in Deathly Hallows in more from the “Today Show.”
Emma Watson updated her website with thoughts about Hermione and Deathly Hallows. A French teen was arrested over an illegal translation he made of Deathly Hallows, but later learned he would not face criminal charges. Novelist Ian Rankin caused a stir with a casual joke about JKR writing a mystery novel, and we learned JKR would be honored by the city of Edinburgh. Lawyers continued to fight piracy of the Harry Potter novels in China, and a new rumor surfaced regarding Harry Potter, the Musical. Jo is confirmed to be appearing in New York City in October as one of the Open Book tour stops here in the US, where she would sign books and answer questions about the series.
September saw 40 NYC public schools represented at one of two “Open Book Tour” stops in the big apple, with the names of schools in LA and New Orleans later revealed. Dutch,French, Ukraine and German cover art for Deathly Hallows are displayed, and a new feature went online detailing the complex delivery process used to ensure prompt arrival of Deathly Hallows. New interview footage of Dan Radcliffe spotlighted the actor and his thoughts on the final Harry Potter book, and actor David Thewlis said he told JKR to put more Lupin in the final books.
The month began as we saw the names of lucky winners of the Open Book Tour in NYC. Jo adopted a new dog and was also presented with a special “Pride of Britain” award from actress Emma Watson. New Swedish and Finnish cover art is revealed and a court battle ensued over the use of Hogwarts replica in conjunction with a religious festival in India, and JKR began her tour here in the US in Los Angeles October 15 where Jo said Dumbledore is “Machiavellian” and Snape “Vindictive” . New articles revealed a serious conversation with JKR on spiritual themes in the Deathly Hallows, and Emma Watson is revealed to have known the most about her character before the publication of book seven. JKR gives more spoiler and post DH information at the New Orleans open book stop, then talks marriage and more at a morning appearance in New York City on October 19. The big news was delivered at the evening stop in New York, where JKR said that she always thought of Dumbledore as gay. The author later stated Dumbledore is her character as contentious press conference took place in Canada focusing on this subject, and Jo made her final stop on the Open Book Tour. TLC interviewed GLADD about the stigma against being gay, and Deathly Hallows is released in Germany and France, where the book sells1.8 Million in the first 48 hours of release. Halloween sees new Wizard of the Month and door opening Archives on JKRowling.com, as well as news on companion books and more. J.K.Rowling and WB filed suit over an unauthorized Harry Potter Encyclopedia produced by RDR books on October 31 as well.
The month began as JKR announced that she created seven handwritten copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard as mentioned in Deathly Hallows, with one copy to be auctioned off for the Children’s Voice charity in December. Much news on the legal front continued as JK Rowling updated her site with more on unauthorized companion books, and RDR books, who are attempting to publish one such book, responded. Later we heard from WB and the Harry Potter Lexicon in regard to this matter. After a few updates on this matter, Nov 9 a NY judge issued a restraining order to prevent publication of the Lexicon book. Harry Potteris the most re-read book in the UK, where a school had dramatic positive results when using a Harry Potter curriculum. More translations of Deathly Hallows continued to be published in Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and Greece, plus 1.8 Million copies published in China. J.K. Rowling updated with new Rubbish Bin Entries on the India religious festival controversy,and we learned Sotheby’s would auction a new sketch from JKR along with the Beedle Bard book in December. Jo gave a detailed new interview for the release of the Dutch translation of Deathly Hallows, and Sotheby’s added a note from Jo containing more information about the underlying themes found in “Beedle”. TLC shed some light on a fanfic titled James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing. TLC had an exclusive preview of Beedle the Bard, as we launched a special charity drive involving the preview auction catalog. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year,with JKR winning a Writer’s Guild award in the UK, and is named “Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year. The last day of the month saw a lovely new Deathly Hallows poster from Scholastic featuring new colored versions of artwork by Mary Grandpre.
The last month of 2007 saw Deathly Hallows published in Romania, Bulgaria, IIsrael and Norway, with the cover art of the Italian edition also revealed. Actor Jim Dale received a Grammy nomination for his voice work on the Deathly Hallows audio book. JKR attended the British Comedy awards and TV personality Barbara Walters named JKR as the “Most Fascinating Person of 2007.” Jo received a “Woman in Film and Television” Award and updated her website with revealing detail on some events in Deathly Hallows. Dec 10 there was an in-depth preview of the documentary, and learned that the UK paperback editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will arrive July 5, 2008. JK Rowling hosted a party before the auction of “Beedle the Bard” attended by several members of the Harry Potter films. On December 13 Amazon.com buys “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” for $3.98 million, and later posted the first photos and reviews of all five of the tales: here, two, three, four, and five. Newsweek selected Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as Best Book of the Year, as does the USA Today. Time magazine named Jo Rowling as a runner-up for their prestigious Person of the Year.
In big news, J.K. Rowling was a very special guest on PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, giving her first fan interview in two years where the Harry Potter author revealed new canon, spoke for the first time at length on the new theme park and the long awaited encyclopedia now forever known as “The Scottish book.” Finally, as the last days of the month neared, we saw new previews of the JKR ITV documentary by James Runcie, with a moving clip as Jo returns to the flat where she first wrote Harry Potter, and in this last piece where she details the second Hogwarts generation in the post Potter world.The documentary then aired on December 30 as we cap off a remarkable year where Jo wrote the final installment in the Harry Potter series and brought this chapter in our lives to a close.