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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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47 Comments

anne

my favourite part of the series too, i was sobbing my heart out

Posted by anne on November 14, 2008, 05:17 AM report to moderator
emmy

About the drawing – I really love it, it looks great, but I must agree with some of the others: doesn’t really look like Harry, but an older guy with a smoke or something… But Q, I still love ya!

Posted by emmy on November 14, 2008, 06:02 AM report to moderator
Confederate Lady

@emmy: I’m not quite sure what you mean, but I believe that this is meant to be a “parallel” to HRH life. If so, it is [in inimitable JKR style] wonderfully written, and easily understood. As for “I won’t buy it”….I am assuming [not usually a good thing to do] that you mean this particular book. To each, his/her own. I wish I could get a copy, myself, just for the read. I too, by the way, LOVE DH, and got the same chills, reading this excerpt, as I did from the book. Well done, Jo, as usual! {Hi, Professor Potter!]

Posted by Confederate Lady on November 14, 2008, 07:23 AM report to moderator
gingin

rowling is very smart.she is number one the rising generation author for me.
im reading article other days.they say “as for bella and edward ,I feel a bit like the people who were left cold by harry potter”
im sorry becase of they say true.im saw this site and other sites.some people say meyers than better rowling and twilight than better hp.i think its disloyalty.

Posted by gingin on November 14, 2008, 07:34 AM report to moderator
emmy

@ Confederate Lady

I mean that the text, written by Jo, up here in the article, is an explanation of that specific chapter in the book. I would love her explaining things that I didn’t get from reading the book, but what she writes up here, are things that (even though she phrases her explanation beautifully) I already understood when I was reading the said chapter myself.
So that’s what I mean. If I were to be able to get the book in which she wrote explanations like the above, I probably wouldn’t really want it, because it wouldn’t be a new fictional story, or a revelation about something I didn’t get – it would only be an explanation of something I already know the explanation of.

Anyways, never ever get me wrong: I love the woman and everything she writes! ;-)

Posted by emmy on November 14, 2008, 08:46 AM report to moderator
Lisa

I just joined The Prince’s Charity so I could sign up to win the book. There’s no cost or anything to do it. Hope I win!

Posted by Lisa on November 14, 2008, 08:59 AM report to moderator
linden swallow

Hmm … JKR must intend her words to praise Prince Charles … or does she? How has he met the challenges of his life? But then I’m a Yank, far be it from me to understand the understated.

Posted by linden swallow on November 14, 2008, 09:00 AM report to moderator
Confederate Lady

Emmy, too cool! Thanks for clearing that up, for me. It is an interesting writing, and I would imagine it is for the “benefit” of those who [OMG] don’t read HP…. I think it’s cool. NOW I can understand your reasoning! :D

Posted by Confederate Lady on November 14, 2008, 09:27 AM report to moderator
Jessie

quentin blake?! squeeee!!!!

Posted by Jessie on November 14, 2008, 09:38 AM report to moderator
angela leighton

Harry is not suppose to die, in the book he lives and Harry and Ginny are married and have three children, Harry a history has to do with Harry’s and Ginny"s son Albus if he dies in the movie they are not going by the book.

Posted by angela leighton on November 14, 2008, 10:03 AM report to moderator
Jeannine

That’s a good related part of her story —perfect!!
I love the picture too.

BTW….Dan Radcliffe will be on The Early Show…CBS..Tuesday…November
18 th …7am..9am…taking EMail questions

Posted by Jeannine on November 14, 2008, 10:09 AM report to moderator
Leif Longbottom

Please tell me we’ll see more illustrations by Quentin Blake.
I’ve been a fan of his for a long time and not just because I grew up on Roald Dahl books.

Posted by Leif Longbottom on November 14, 2008, 11:00 AM report to moderator
Confederate Lady

@angela leighton: don’t worry, angela! Harry’s not going to die, LOL. Where ever did you get that idea???? LOL! All will be well, kiddo. This book is in honour of HRH Prince Charles’ birthday. JKR has penned a bit, to explain her choice of story for the book….it has nothing to do with “Harry Dieing”!

Posted by Confederate Lady on November 14, 2008, 11:05 AM report to moderator
Peter

Interesting that she calls the Black Forest the “Dark Forest”. They say Dark Forest in the movies but in the books the forest is called the Black Forest… interesting…

Posted by Peter on November 14, 2008, 04:06 PM report to moderator
Jordan

She is so eloquent. It really does tie in so nicely with the subject of Prince Charles’ birthday. She’s pretty amazing.

Posted by Jordan on November 15, 2008, 04:28 AM report to moderator
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