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Let Harry Potter Die

Terry Mattingly

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Father Jonathan Tobias knows exactly what he will do when J.K. Rowling releases the final volume of the Harry Potter series.

The family tradition is that he reads the entire book out loud to his wife and two daughters. Then, when the final page has been turned, they start debating what will happen next.

Things will be different this time. However, the Eastern Orthodox priest knows how he hopes the last act plays out. Unlike many other ministers, Tobias doesn't want Potter to renounce magic or to lose his adolescent flaws. It would be awkward, he said, for the young wizard to "fall to his knees and make the sign of the cross." His suggestion is simpler than that.

Rowling should let Potter die, because that is what tragic heroes do.

"There is little decent tragedy around" in modern culture, said Tobias, at his "Second Terrace" weblog. "There is a lot of irony, where a non-heroic central character is pitched into the abyss of ambiguity. There is a lot of farce, where burlesque mummers traipse around in varying degrees of moral undress.

Visit Terry Mattingly's media commentary blog GetReligion.org.

Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingly website (new window will open).

Posted: 20-Sep-06



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