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Extract of New Work by J.K. Rowling on the Forest Scene of "Deathly Hallows" for Prince Charles Birthday Book

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: sue
November 13, 2008, 03:36 PM

Several months ago, we told you that author J.K Rowling would be contributing to a new book honoring the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles for his 60th birthday. This book will benefit the Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts charity. Today, the Guardian has an extract of the piece written by Jo, where she writes about the dramatic forest scene near the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the article, which also contains a new illustration of the scene by artist Quentin Blake, J.K. Rowling writes:

I admit that, at first glance, the extract I've chosen for The Birthday Book might not seem particularly celebratory, given that it has for its subject my hero walking to what he believes will be certain death. But when Harry takes his last, long walk into the heart of the Dark Forest, he is choosing to accept a burden that fell on him when still a tiny child, in spite of the fact that he never sought the role for which he has been cast, never wanted the scar with which he has been marked. As his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, has tried to make clear to Harry, he could have refused to follow the path marked out for him. In spite of the weight of opinion and expectation that singles him out as the "Chosen One", it is Harry's own will that takes him into the Forest to meet Voldemort, prepared to suffer the fate that he escaped sixteen years before.

The destinies of wizards and princes might seem more certain than those carved out for the rest of us, yet we all have to choose the manner in which we meet life: whether to live up (or down) to the expectations placed upon us; whether to act selfishly, or for the common good; whether to steer the course of our lives ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be buffeted around by chance and circumstance. Birthdays are often moments for reflection, moments when we pause, look around, and take stock of where we are; children gleefully contemplate how far they have come, whereas adults look forwards into the trees, wondering how much further they have to go. This extract from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is my favourite part of the seventh book; it might even be my favourite part of the entire series, and in it, Harry demonstrates his truly heroic nature, because he overcomes his own terror to protect the people he loves from death, and the whole of his society from tyranny.

Also, the Prince of Wales Foundation is holding a contest to win a copy of this book signed by the artist Quentin Blake; more details here.

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i loved this piece by her, she is such a powerful writer. 1st comment? yay!

Posted by 1st on November 13, 2008, 03:44 PM report to moderator

Fantastic! JKR’s star rises higher and higher in my eyes…

Posted by aughra on November 13, 2008, 03:52 PM report to moderator

Beautiful. This was my 1st favorite scene in DH. I hope they do it justice in the movies.

Posted by Brianna on November 13, 2008, 03:55 PM report to moderator
Professor Potter

That was quite a deeply passionat Happy Birthday to You song! So often Jo’s eloquent writing makes me swell up inside. Wonderful piece. Charles should treasure that. Its an interesting parallel to a Prince’s life. Though not quite the “Chosen one”, lol, but a high rank royal pretty much have their destinies set out before them from the moment they are born and we should remember that when at times they attempt to go against the grain as Charles has often tried to do in the old days with his political outbursts (royals are not supposed to express favourable political views, generally).

Posted by Professor Potter on November 13, 2008, 03:55 PM report to moderator
Jessie Rose

This is my favorite part of Deathly Hallows. It is a great pick because it shows how a person can either accept their responsibilities, or fail.

Posted by Jessie Rose on November 13, 2008, 03:57 PM report to moderator
Kiwi Mc I

Ah its been quite a little while since I heard something newly inspiring from Jo. She can certainly still do it. Love this woman!

Posted by Kiwi Mc I on November 13, 2008, 04:06 PM report to moderator

If only she could have conveyed such things in the book itself….just my opinion.

Posted by Corey on November 13, 2008, 05:11 PM report to moderator

I love hearing JKR talk about her books. :) She makes me love them more and more every time.

And that picture is great! I wish we could buy a print.

Posted by j on November 13, 2008, 05:15 PM report to moderator
Ninny Treetops

Huge squee.

the Illustration by Quentin Blake is fantastic! That man is a genius, I love all of his work. He is one of my illustration heroes. So his work being put to use in HP is probably the best Dork-dom thing to happen to me this year.

Must get my hands on a larger version of the Illustration.

Posted by Ninny Treetops on November 13, 2008, 05:15 PM report to moderator
Moody One

I just love JKR. Harry’s walk into the forest is my favorite part of all the books. It’s just such so emotional. I’ll be so upset if they screw this one up.

Posted by Moody One on November 13, 2008, 05:26 PM report to moderator

Leave it to Jo Rowling to really say something so beautifully appropriate and profound! It’s no wonder we all admire her so much! Such noble words for a Prince from a royal writer!

Posted by SproutMdme on November 13, 2008, 05:48 PM report to moderator

I have to be honest, if the book only contains this kind of explanation, I won’t buy it: I get what she explains here from reading DH myself…

Posted by emmy on November 13, 2008, 05:50 PM report to moderator

Ah, Quenty! What a fab little illustration, you will always be my favourite and why I’m in the business! Harry looks like such a mess! You’re the best!!

Posted by Amy. on November 13, 2008, 06:23 PM report to moderator

Wow. Jo really has a way with words.

Posted by Shefali on November 13, 2008, 06:35 PM report to moderator

Really ni ce gesture, but you have to be a member of The Prince’s Charity to participate in the contest to win the book. Well that was it for me then! I’ll wish for a copy as a gift then. “Problem” solved if that’s what it’s supposed to be.

Posted by The-T-Dane on November 13, 2008, 06:44 PM report to moderator
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