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Harry Potter and the Challenge of Titles

With so much expectation, it's hard to title the books - but having just run across the title of the next Harry Potter book via Amazon, I find it downright funny. I'm not sure why this title strikes me as so ridiculous. Perhaps because of course the next book deals with greater risk of death than any others? Because "hallows" has such a saintly ring to it? Perhaps because it's so Gothic?

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 21st, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
Well, it certainly makes no earthly sense -- HP is definitely about good and evil and the grey in between, but 'hallows' has such (only?) Christian overtones. And one would think that, by definition, that which is hallowed should not be deadly (well, except, I suppose if you're a Nazi drinking from the ... no wait, he drank from the wrong Grail, didn't he? Never mind.)


I suppose it could be things consecrated to Voldemort ... garhhg. It's like those damned horcruXes.
owlfish
Dec. 21st, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
A "deathly pallor" means the person looks as if they're dead. I don't see why "deathly hallows" can't be hallowed things which look like they're dead.
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:09 am (UTC)
Aren't most hallowed things dead? or inanimate?
owlfish
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Point - but being dead has rarely stopped ex-living saints from accomlishing things. I wonder - do dead saints who appear in visions usually look dead or alive?

It's harder with the inanimate, I'll grant.
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)
I think it rather depends on the saint. Well, rather, it requires a different way of looking at things. Frex, I think that St. Denis would likely appear alive, but headless (I think headless). Barnabas (is it Barnabas?) would likely be messy (if he's the one who was flayed), but again, alive. I think that Ste. Foi definitely appears alive and in her childish form, when she asks the monks to steal her relics. But then, Jesus appears alive and is clearly corporeal in order for Thomas to stick his hand in that gaping wound in his side...

Which makes one wonder -- would St. Laurence also smell like roasting meat?

Perhaps there's a line between animate and alive that should be explored?
moon_custafer
Dec. 22nd, 2006 02:46 am (UTC)
Most of the legends I've heard about St Lawrence suggest he had a somewaht zany sense of humour, so - you never know.


"Well-done, thou good and faithful servant."
littleowl
Dec. 22nd, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
Yeah, the thing that occurred to me almost right away and has been discussed elsewhere is that this probably refers to the horcruxes being the death of Voldemort.

Since Harry's been set up to chase horcruxes throughout this book by the last book I think it makes a lot of sense.
hairyears
Dec. 22nd, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
Gothic harry Potter, oh my... That's crying out for someone with a warped sense of humour and a talent for pastiche.

The only problem is, it's been done: the Sarf London Goths started writing HP slashfic, using each other as bit-part characters. Some of it was lurid and disturbing.
curtana
Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
I interpreted it as being a reference to the horcruxes, playing off the Grail Hallows (cup, sword, spear, and dish or stone) in Arthurian legend. Godric's sword, Helga's cup, and two other items as yet unnamed. Also, as someone on my FL pointed out, the Potters were killed on All Hallow's Eve, at Godric's Hollow... Anyway, I don't find it entirely silly as a title, with those thoughts in mind.
purpletigron
Dec. 22nd, 2006 07:48 am (UTC)
Good points. Is it going to be renamed, like Philosopher's Stone was (and License Revoked</em>, for that matter)?
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 22nd, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
But you're smarter than the average bear when it comes to things Arthurian (no pun intended!)
jennybeast
Dec. 22nd, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Ummm....I am afraid that I must side with the ludicrous title senitment. I'm extrememly impressed with the grail hallows theory, and I think you're probably right...but it really doesn't have ring to it. Goofy. It certainly repels me as a title I would desire to pick up out of context. Perhaps even in context?
darktouch
Dec. 22nd, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
I get 'Hallow' and 'Barrow' mixed up in my head.
a_d_medievalist
Dec. 23rd, 2006 03:28 am (UTC)
I believe barrows can be hallowed
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )