These last two Scholastic questions are a little ridiculous, so I'll be brief. Or as brief as I ever am. Then I have to reply to Ebert's review of the fifth movie (and give my token guide to watching the movie lecture).
Question six: Will Voldemort be defeated?
Seriously? Ok. Fine.
Know what that number is? That is (according to my calculator and the numbers The Lexicon gave me) the number of words contained in the first six books of the series. This isn't including the number of words in the school books, the interviews, or (presumably) the correct number of words for the books when published in other languages (or even the Brit/American versions). I'm assuming that the word count is probably from the US versions and since those are the versions most of us read on this side of the pond, that's the number we'll use. The next book will (judging by the length of four and six) be somewhere around 170,000 more words-easily putting the number of words in the series past a million.
And they are telling me that after all of this reading and re reading and agony over waiting (for five especially) that the point of the books would fail? Good grief.
Yes. Voldemort will be defeated. Otherwise we've all wasted so much of our time. Seriously-if, theoretically, Harry dies and Voldemort lives than what is JKR saying? This whole time she's been saying that good will conquer evil in the end, and that our choices determine our fate, and etc. etc. etc. and if all that is reversed...what a lame question. Boo on Scholastic. I should have expected it though-I've never been really impressed with Scholastic's take on the books. Mostly because they gear their questions and trivia contests towards the 9-12 year old range of readers (which they shouldn't at this point-but that's another soap box for a little later on). Scholastic drives me nuts with the lack of research they do. But then-I research to absurd degrees because I'm strange like that. This is why I wrote so many trivia questions myself for the last Potter Party I worked at Barns and Noble.
I've left my point. The question, I guess, isn't so much whether or not Voldemort will die, or just be sent to wallow. Dumbledore talks about how there are fates worse than death and that he fails to recognize this, but because he is so afraid of it, and because he has already done the "undead" thing before, it's time for him to die. Shockingly, (or maybe not), this is the one question that people seem to agree on with intelligence in the poll-80% or so say that he'll die. Bravo. Now to deal with the randomness in the other half of the 'who will live/die' poll where the same 80% say that he'll live. (eh?)
Question Seven is "What are the Deathly Hallows". I'm pretty sure I went into manic detail on this earlier on when the title was released...the difference between 'hallows' and 'hollows' and all. This question is another kind of lame one because it's something that is almost unguessable. It's the whole point of book seven, really-discovering what they are. If we knew much about them already then the point of seven would be half lost. I would bet that "Deathly Hallows" probably has a double meaning from what we know now-hallows can be places, nights/events (Halloween, for example), or things. My favorite description is one from the Lexicon-they point out that 'deathly' is sometimes used synonymous with 'deadly' but that more often it is used in reference to something that is subject to death as opposed to something that inflicts or causes death. The ancient use of 'hallows' was in reference to relics of saints. They believed that the saints themselves were housed in the relics-a fairly decent connection between Voldemort and the Horcruxes. But it's all speculation at this point, because finding out about the Horcruxes and where they are is the point of the next book.
So Ebert gave a rather ridiculous review of the movie-mostly because he's shocked about how dark it is...sigh. Fortunately for anyone who has read the book, the review should be a screaming endorsement of the movie, because between the lines he more or less confirms that the movie has been true to the tone of the book, which is very dark. JKR said in an interview once that the book had to be dark, and that ”...A psychologically plausible child would have been institutionalized by now, having gone through all this. He’s suffered and tolerated so much.’ “ (The Leaky Cauldron, 10 July 2007)
So in other words, the movie should be great. It has the highest rating a Potter film has ever had on Rotten Tomatoes. I was reading through comments on one of the posts at Rotten Tomatoes forum on the movie and heard probably the best piece of advise on watching the movie ever-don't spend all your time looking for what isn't there. Enjoy what is there, don't even try the 'it ruined the book' line (the book will still be there), and if you're anything like me, bring a hankie. I'm such a wimp.
Now that I'm done with the Scholastic questions, I think I'll move on to just random book commentary...I'm in the middle of re-reading five and I'll read six next week-I want to do a post on education theories after reading some of Umbridge again (quotes on how the ministry system of education doesn't allow for people to voice opinions on things they don't know about...etc).
But that's going to have to wait. Because I have a ticket at the IMAX with my name on it. And I'll sit in the back row so the kid behind me doesn't vomit all over again. That was nasty. Nothing will get in the way of my enjoying Harry Potter mania while I still can.
Oh boy. I'm such a nerd...it's a good thing I learned to accept the fact...