Alright, Potter fans: The time has finally arrived. We’ve spent the last year or so speculating the various outcomes for book seven, the last. We’ve analyzed both the UK and the US dust jackets for Deathly Hallows, searching for elusive clues that might give us some indication of just who might not be standing when that final page is turned. We’ve even overturned various websites in search of the most probable theories that we feel most comfortable defending.
Time to log off. Hang up. Disconnect.
Time to return to our Potter pods and do what we do best: read.
I’ve read and reread books 1-3 the most, with the last 200 pages of Goblet close behind. But it is in books five and six that hold the greatest of clues, and so I have begun the process of rereading these all-important prequels to the unprecedented finale, a book’s release that will not be rivaled in our lifetimes.
And so, here we are.
I find that many people don’t grasp the significance of these remaining six weeks. We are a part of literary history, a 16-year relationship that we know will end–but not how–on July 21. With the exception of novels that were published serially in papers and magazines by Arthur Conan Doyle over a century ago, attempted again late in the 20th century by greats John Saul and Stephen King (not in magazines but in the trade paperback market), nothing has approached this moment in this literary century.
And the great news? There’s still time to be a part of it–even if you haven’t read a single Potter book.
We’ve got about 40 days before the release of the final book. Here’s my recipe to jump in and join the fun in this historical release.
1. In the next 7 days: Rent (if you don’t already own them!) and view the movies for books 1 through 4. Although much is left out of the movies simply because of time constraints, they still do a good job of carrying the story’s main conflict, even considering the fact that each has been directed by a different director.
2. In the 4 days following: Read the last 200 pages of Goblet of Fire. Trust me. It’s that important that you read what they didn’t put into the movie.
3. In the 15 days following: Read Order of the Phoenix. Take notes of the characters that are mentioned early on, as they become integral parts of the story later in the Phoenix and then in Half-Blood Prince.
4. In the final 15 days before the release of Deathly Hallows: Read Half-Blood Prince with Goblet and Phoenix right by your side for quick reference. These three books hold most of the clues that you need to enter the world of Book Seven, let alone have the confidence to stand in line at midnight to pick up your preorder.
But be forewarned! Bring your iPod loaded with your favorite loud music, because unless you are first in line at your local bookstore, some idiot will find great pleasure in shouting to the hundreds in line who lives and who dies in Deathly Hallows. And that, my friends, would be the greatest of crimes to steal from you the complete and unparalleled joy of being with Harry and the others in this, their final journey in this fantastic series.