The Troubling Timing of Book 7

The official release date of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was announced yesterday. The book will be available at midnight in English speaking countries all over the world on July 21, 2007.

book7july21

This date is troubling to me for several reasons. We were hoping that Book 7 could be released on July 7, which would have been 7/7/07. That’s only two weeks earlier than the release date announced yesterday. Could two weeks mean that much in the span of the five months left to go before the book has to be on shelves? Couldn’t someone have worked overtime a few days to make the 7/7/07 date?

But the disappointment that we have apparently missed getting Book 7 on 7/7/07 is not the main reason I am troubled by the announcement of the book’s release date.

The fly in the potion is the fifth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The movie is scheduled to open in movie theaters on Friday, July 13. A movie premiere cannot be rescheduled, all the theaters have been booked. Someone, presumably the movie company, did not want the movie opening and the book release to be on the same weekend. So, this means the book could have been scheduled to come out the week before, or the week after. Why did they pass up the once in a lifetime opportunity to release the book on 7/7/07 to allow the movie to come out first, pushing the book’s date to the following weekend instead?

I can only think of one reason, and it doesn’t make me happy.

From the standpoint of the movie company, the release of the last book on the week previous to the release of the movie could have been great publicity for the movie, and a great lead-in of excitement for the movie the following week. The only reason I can think of that the movie company would not want the book to come out first is if they felt the book would NOT offer it a positive pre-publicity buzz. What has me worried today is, the movie company could only think that would be the case if Book 7 has a very unhappy ending, which would turn off people from wanting to see any Harry Potter movie afterward.

Dumbledore's Army
Dumbledore’s Army in the new Order of the Phoenix movie

Does the movie company know something we don’t know? Would they make this decision on a guess, a guess that, if wrong, means they squandered inestimatable free pre-publicity for the movie?

Or is the timing of the final Harry Potter book in relation to the release date of the fifth Harry Potter movie a major clue which tells us that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will have a very unhappy ending? And for the movie company to think fans would be upset enough by the book not to want to see a movie, does that unhappy ending include the death of Harry Potter?

It looks to me as if it does. For a long time now, I have been hoping that Harry does not die in the final book. But as we get closer and closer to July 21, especially because of things J.K. has said, and the way she reacted to our reaction to Dumbledore’s death, I’m starting to think less and less that Harry gets to live happily ever after. And now the timing of the last book in relation to the movie seems to be just one more final nail in Harry’s coffin.

Do you think the timing of the book coming out the week after the movie, and not before, means that Harry Potter dies at the end of Book 7?

And, what does this mean for the future of the Harry Potter movies? After Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out, there are two more movies remaining to be made. If Harry does die at the end of the books, would you be so unhappy that you’d never want to see another Harry Potter movie again? Do you think they’d stop making the movies now if fans are unhappy about the ending of the story?

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David Haber
David Haber

D.S. Haber (known to his friends as Dave) is a professional muggle computer programmer and web designer and lives in Los Angeles. He is proud of the fact that he is a new-blood wizard with no (apparent) previous magical blood in his family. His favorite Quidditch team is the Falmouth Falcons, who's motto is "Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads." He is also a West Ham United (Hammers) fan.

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david
david
17 years ago

i do not know what i will do if harry dies in the seventh book. i might not see another movie

Michael Brinkley
Michael Brinkley
17 years ago

I don’t think it has anything to do with the plot of the book. First off, I don’t think anyone besides Jo and her publisher has any clue what happens in book 7. No one will know until the book is released, not even the film distributers.

There are a LOT of factors that go into the decision to release a book on a specific day. Way too many to go into in this post. Besides, I don’t even know them all.

I still maintain that I do not think Harry will die in book 7. I realize that in many classic myths the hero dies in the process of completing his goal. But in many other classic myths he doesn’t. However, innocent lesser heroes almost always die. I suspect that two of the people that will die in Deathly Hollows are Neville and Luna.

I believe that the reason Jo meantioned that she understands why a writer would kill off a main character is her way of letting us know that it isn’t Harry, since she also said that there was a character that was originally going to die but she gave a reprieve. I think that character was Harry. I think she was originally going to kill him off and then decided not to.

Brad Jere
Brad Jere
17 years ago

I am not sure about how the release dates got decided but there could be many factors that don’t involve the plot or relate to the way the book ends.

I do think that there is a good possibility that JK is going to kill Harry AND bring him back to life. She has only said that a major character will die. It’s what she is not telling us that is really important. If Harry dies to fulfill the prophecy he could possibly be brought back to life with the elixir of life produced by the Sorcerer’s (Philosophers) Stone. It was destroyed at the end of book one and Nicholas Flamel was the only known maker of it. He is now dead because his stone no longer exists. Harry has Snape’s potions book from the Half-Blood Prince and has proved to be quite good at making potions when he has these powerful instructions. I think Snape counted on Harry having that book. He is not known for carelessly leaving important and powerful items laying around. So, we might assume that armed with that book he may be capable of producing his own sorcerer’s stone and then the elixir of life. He finds and attacks Voldemort but is killed in the attempt. Voldemort becomes mortal once again and has no more horcruxes to fall back on. (If Harry is able to find and destroy them all before) Ron, Hermiony and Ginny use the elixir to bring Harry back to life where Harry is able to finally kill mortal Voldemort.

I know that there are a bunch of holes in this theory but I don’t think JK would permanently kill Harry. Like David has said, who would want to continue watching the movies or reading the books if we knew Harry was going to die in the end? Or if any of Harry’s close friends died?

Linda
Linda
17 years ago

The rumor/reason I heard that the 21st was the anniversary of the first book’s publication. I always thought the last book should have been released on July 31 (Harry’s birthday).

Claudia
Claudia
17 years ago

Well i think it is nonsense that if harry died i don’t want to see the movie anymore. Maybe the ending is unhappy but it would all make sense. I think he’s going to die, but I don’t know why? I mean can’t she make it a happy ending, like lotr. Well I’m still going to see the movie. You know in holland they have special telephone help lines, because two main caracters are going to die in harry potter and tdh

vanessa
vanessa
17 years ago

i m so depressed at the thought of the possibility of death of harry….it is really pointless to watch any more harry potter movies if he were to die in the 7th book…

Patty
Patty
17 years ago

If you add all the numbers in the date 7/21/07, then you get 8, if you add the numbers in 7/21/2007, you get a 1.
Does Arithmancy help here?
8 is the most unpredictable number and can indicate the pinnacle of success or the depths of failure, according to the Arithmancy chart.
1 indicates an individual who is intense and determined, seeing something through to the end.
8 doesn’t help us much, but there is hope with 1.

Tonks
Tonks
17 years ago

its really strange, that hp7 isn’t released on july 7 and you could have a point that this is because harry is supposed to die. i don’t want harry to die, too. but on the other hand do we really need a happy end like: voldy is dead, harry alive and everything is fine? way to simple ending for an author like jk, isn’t it.

Dave Haber
Dave Haber
17 years ago

Linda: 7/21 is not, as far as I can tell, exactly the anniversary of the first Harry Potter book in the UK, although it is sort of close. According to Amazon.co.uk, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released on June 26, 1997.

Katrien
Katrien
17 years ago

Even if it has a sad ending, I would still want to see the movies. But maybe not directly after reading this sad ending.
Maybe You’re right. 7/7/2007 is a lucky number, and if the book doesn’t end well, it might ruin your lucky day…
I don’t like the date, actually. It’s a national holiday here in Belgium, so we would have to wait untill the 23th.
That’s just soooo unfair. I think I’ll just plan a trip abroad.

Dave Haber
Dave Haber
17 years ago

Talk about lucky dates, the movie is being released on July 13. That’s Friday the 13th! This movie is bad luck for us, I can feel it…

hamlet
hamlet
17 years ago

JKRowling is certainly a daring author, and a daring move would certainly be to kill off Harry (or even Ron or Hermione). I don’t think that the central three will be killed off however. In an interview, JKR was asked which characters she would invite to a dinner party. She listed harry, hermione and ron before pausing and saying that she was not sure if she could invite dead people. now this may have just been referring to dumbledore, but since she had just been explaining that at least two key figures would be killed off in the final book, perhaps she was referring to others and harry, ron and hermione will be fine.

sabri
sabri
17 years ago

you guys can’t complain because you’ll be a couple hours late reading DH: think of us, poor inhabitants of no speaking english countries, if we’re lucky we can manage to order it and have it some weeks after the DATE, if not, (worst case) we’re to wait for the translation…can you believe that?

Monica
Monica
17 years ago

Oh Sabri, I do feel for you!

I’m simply going to say that I DO NOT think JK Rowling will kill Harry in the end. Because while Harry Potter is HER baby, the story has become the World’s. I know that I would personally feel a great loss. I’ve spent 7 years completely infatuated with everything Harry Potter. Regardless of the ending, I respect Rowling for her creative abilities, and either way I’ll read (and re-read) the 7th book many times.

peter
peter
17 years ago

The Harry Potter books always come out on a Saturday and it would just be too much conflict that weekend.(Not like you can have too much Harry Potter.) None of that is pointing to an unhappy ending.

Scott
Scott
17 years ago

I can’t say for certain that Harry won’t die, as I haven’t had a sneak peek at the manuscript. But I am beginning to think that he will survive but will be injured in some lasting way, perhaps even lose the ability to do magic.

I think that J.K Rowling isn’t going to give us a cleanly happy ending in any event. As much as the series is fantasy, she takes some pains to make sure that it also reflects some of life’s realities as well.

eddy
eddy
17 years ago

No i don’t think it has anything to do with the movie and its ending…
I think it has something realted to the plott that might be of real importance.
there has been other books were its due date has to do with the star of the plott or something… so the finishing part of the series, the last book, i really think it has to do something with its due date,
maybe the plot just finishes that day or one of the main battles…
i just don’t think it has something to do with the ending of the book and how people wil react.

And about Harry dieing hmmm…
when had we seen the fact that Harry will survive,
Harry has always been in a “counter” circumstances since he was born, and he’s still alive.

I just really hope Jo will end it as it started… MARVELLOUS!

JamieLynn
JamieLynn
17 years ago

i think that your thinking to much into it….cant it just be a coincidence that the publisher puts it out that day? none of the other release dates have any signifigance, why should this one? i dont think harry will die but i’ll still reread the book because…the 6th book dumbledore dies, but after i reread it, the writing seems so much better. we do have to give credit to the writing, not just the plot we are all so addicted to.

…the movies i’m not so sure about. plus, they might change it to make a happy ending because it seems its all we watch in movies nowadays.

Lauren Hindley
Lauren Hindley
17 years ago

I just think it has to be pointed out, Daniel Rdacliffe said in an interview that he hopes the book comes out after the film because he’d hate to be torn away from it to have to go to premiers and such like, and then be asked
“So what do you think for the Deathly Hallows?”
And have to be like, “Well, actually, I haven’t finished it yet.”

I expect there are lots of people who would feel like this (well not the premiers part, but having to be dragged away from your book to go and see the film). I know I would.

So perhaps Warner Bros. want their potential viewers to be nice and with all the time in the world on their hands when they released the film?

Tony Miller
Tony Miller
17 years ago

Ok, honestly, Harry is just a character in a book. Don’t get me wrong, i enjoy them, but i can also see that he’s not real. If he dies in the 7th book, which i don’t think he will, im not going to get depressed and cry. Take it as is, JK’s way of ending the series the way she wants to, on her terms. Personaly, i’ve always seen Hermione and Ron as more important characters to the overall story, sure everything happens because of Harry but who is always there advising, and more often than not, giving him the information he needs to survive the challage? Who’s more powerfull, the king or the advisors he listens to?

Jocelyn
Jocelyn
17 years ago

I think if the book had been released the week before, people would be too busy reading to see the movie on opening night. Therefore causing the movie company to make less money!

sylesh
sylesh
17 years ago

Ivor from Edinburgh — I think Harry will live and teach ‘defence against dark arts’ at Hogwarts.

Ruth
Ruth
17 years ago

I don’t think that the delayed release of the means Harry will die. He may die regardless, but that’s probably not why they delayed it. Just as other people have said, since the readers would probably be engrossed in the book, they wouldn’t see the movie opening weekend, hurting Warner Bros. numbers. Also, are Warner Bros., Bloomsbury, and Schoolastic connected? If not, the date change could be because of time, not the movie.

Aimee
Aimee
17 years ago

I don’t think the release date has anything to do with the plot of the book; simply because people will still go to a movie weeks after it’s been released, so at this point they will still have read book 7 anyway.

I have no opinion on Harry’s survival. There are too many theories floating around. Nevertheless, can’t wait for the book:)

Gagsy
Gagsy
17 years ago

I believe the only reason the film is out before the book is because, more, MUCH MORE people will be awaiting the new book, and to ease a little bit of that waiting why not go see the 5th film! It’ll end smashing the box office probably simply because 2 weeks after it will be the end of the series.

Of course if the book was out first, fans would be on a downer, the end of the books, and some would probably refuse to see it in Potter depression.

I still beleive J.K cannot kill Harry. It’s still a kid’s book, although many of the loyal fans are adults now. And killing the hero has never been something seen in a kid’s book, they have usually the same message; ‘Light preveils over darkness’ and I’m sure J.K. is no different in giving this final message to his fans.

Teresa
Teresa
17 years ago

If Harry dies, then there is no point in seeing any movies at all cause we all expect him to be another “happily ever after” character.

Ed
Ed
17 years ago

How could she write an ending that killed Harry?
All of the books are written from Harry’s perspective. She’d have to end it with something like as Harry lay dying he thought to himself… Killing Harry would totally stop Rowling from telling us anything about what happened to the wizard world after the killing of voldemort (Assuming he voldemort is killed).
Killing Harry just seems too odd to me

Monkeeshrines
Monkeeshrines
17 years ago

Ed – While I do hope Harry survives, it is not impossible to imagine Jo killing him at the end just because of the point of view. While the books are mostly from Harry’s perspective, not all have been completely. Philosopher�s Stone, Goblet of Fire, and Half-Blood Prince all start from someone else’s, and both the Quidditch matches in Philosopher�s Stone are told from Ron’s/Hermione’s. It is not so far fetched to think that the last chapter in Deathly Hallows will not be from Harry’s perspective either.

Ashley
Ashley
17 years ago

Ed–
The books are told in an omnicient form, not first person or third person. Omnicient means “all knowing”, and so the author knows what is happening at every location at that point in time. Third person means that the author focuses only on the main character’s point of view, as if JKR were following Harry around and writing down everything he saw, heard, and did. First person would mean that Harry was writing down everything he saw, heard, and did.
The Harry Potter books are told in an omnicient view, which is why we are able to see the perspectives of Frank Bryce, Narcissa Malfoy, Uncle Vernon, Ron, Hermione, and many others.
JKR mostly concentrates on Harry’s view, given that Harry is the main character, but sometimes vital information comes out of other people’s conversations.
Or else hearing Ron and Hermione’s conversations is more interesting to read than “Harry flew up. Harry flew down. Harry looked for the Snitch.”
So if Harry was going to die, it could easily be from someone else’s perspective.
If the book was written in first person, it would be completely impossible for Harry to die, but since it isn’t, I still think he will.

kaela noble
kaela noble
17 years ago

i would be very very upset if harry died… maybe they just wanted to get the movie out because they figured more people would want to see it than read a book… but then again there is a possiblity that jk did tell some people that harry would die.

Eilis
Eilis
17 years ago

I would still go see the movie, no matter what. Maybe even the movie would soften the blow if Harry’s death if it were to happen.

Emma
Emma
17 years ago

JKR said on her website that she did not want to release it on 7/7/07 because it would mean they would have to rush things and she didn’t want to have to do that.
Although its what I was hoping for – would’ve made it so much more special!

Cate taylor
Cate taylor
17 years ago

The 7/7/7 release date would have been really good if it wasn’t the 2nd anniversary of the London bombings. The Harry Potter books roughly follow the academic year in UK although schools don’t finish for summer until mid-end July. Harry’s 7th year is set in 1997-1998. I like the linking of events in the books to real events which could be interesting for the 7th book. I think J K Rowling is telling the truth when she says that editing would have had to be rushed if she had gone with 7/7/7 which would have been insensitive. I don’t think there is anything significant in the release date other than it does make sense for the book to be released after the film for all the reasons which others have said. Even if the book was released before the film and had an unhappy eneding, I’d still go and see the film.

kelly
kelly
17 years ago

I would see all the movies following the last Book, regardless of the ending. It has been interesting to see Daniel Radcliffe portray Harry through his teens. And I would like to see the movie’s version of the ending, even if Harry dies. But, I am going to be soooooooo disappointed if Harry dies. If Harry lives, JKR might consider a sequel. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Monkeeshrines
Monkeeshrines
17 years ago

Unfortunately, Kelly, temptation of a sequel may be the reason why she might kill off Harry.

Emily
Emily
17 years ago

Perhaps it’s just a greedy impulse on the movie company’s part. Once the book comes out, half the world is going to spend that weekend reading, not going to the movies. In order to have a high-grossing opening weekend, the movie would HAVE to come out before the book. Two weeks before is plenty of time for them to try to set their silly little records.

Maureen
Maureen
17 years ago

I have absolutely no clue why the release has been set to this date and I actually feel there is no relevance either way. I may be a bit naive there…
Ever since I read the second book, I’ve been of the opinion that Harry has to die. I believe he will overcome Voldemort (the prophecy does state that to survive one has to die) but I think he he will die in the attempt and AFTER Voldemort. There has to be balance. Voldemort is absolute evil and Harry is absolute good and while they both live there is balance so I don’t see how one can live while the other dies. I suspect we haven’t been given the prophecy in it’s entirety. All of the characters have their flaws but Harry (despite internal conflicts) has none and is willing to sacrifice everything, including love, to overcome Voldemort. Voldemort has that same single-mindedness in his actions. I believe there will be balance and harmony in the wizarding community but only if Harry overcomes Voldemort and is immortalized. I think JK Rowling thinks too much of Harry’s followers (us) to pander to the ‘happy ending’ mentality. We all want it but as she has proven in the past, she credits her readers with intelligence. Harry’s readers have grown up along side Harry and I feel she thinks we would be able to accept a real ending as opposed to the fairytale ending. Having said that, my own private wish is that Harry and Ginny will get married, have fat babies together and die very, very old and happy.

Meredith
Meredith
17 years ago

I don’t really mind the choices of dates for the movie and seventh book, but I do think that it will be a crazy Harry Potter summer! For me, seeing the fifth movie will only feed the excitement for the seventh book.

Kalaiselvi
Kalaiselvi
17 years ago

I heard rumours that one of the horcruxes of Voldemort is in Harry Potter, maybe the scar. But i am not sure about that. The thing is, JKR wont kill Harry in seventh book. According to the prophecy one will survive the death of the other. So surely Voldemort must die as he is a killer. Then the movie has to come first, as like me many other fans will imagine the characters in the book as in the movie, like Harry as Daniel, etc. I think the two main characters who are going to die in seventh book are Voldemort and snape (maybe).

Catherine
Catherine
17 years ago

Well i dont know if anyone has said this already, but JKR has said that the release date is later because she didnt want to rush the writing or editing. After all, we do want the last Harry Potter to be nothing short of perfect?which im sure it will be

i am convinced harry will not die. he just cant

nikki
nikki
17 years ago

the whole thing about harry dying and affecting the movie; well i have 2 things to say ’bout it. First off, i think that those who are truly devoted to harry and JK would go and see the movies regardless of the ending of DH. Secondly, I personally do not think harry will die for 2 reasons. First, if JK kills harry, she eliminates the option to add a 8th book. (though she has no plans to do so, she said she will never say never, but said she will never write a side series). Secondly, in a quote made by her, she was asked if she could pick 5 of her character to invite to dinner who would they be? she responded by saying something to the extent of “Harry, ron and hermione” but then hesitated for the final two because she didn’t know wheter she was permitted to invite dead people. Do you pick up on the clue there?

Mark
Mark
17 years ago

I am very pleased with the release dates because the movie is released on my sisters birthday and the book on my birthday!

Monkeeshrines
Monkeeshrines
17 years ago

nikki – Yes, she hesitated to include dead people, but keep in mind she said that right after the release of Half-Blood Prince, and was “still deciding” whether or not to kill Harry. Her hesitation may have simply been she wanted to include characters that died before or up to that book (Sirius or Albus, for instance.) I want Harry to live; I hope he lives. But I�m prepared for him to die.

Devlin
Devlin
17 years ago

personaly, I think the book coming out first is a good thing. Think about it; they will both be ready around that time, and both will want to be as soon as posible, so the releases will be near each other, but if the book was first, the number of ‘Potter fans’ seeing the movies will be, even slightly, decreased, because how many of you ‘Potter fans’ out there will put down the the last book to go to the movies for a few hours? I know I wouldn’t. but if the movie comes out first, the ‘Potter fans’, me included, will all be ‘Potter-ed up’ because of the immenate final book of the series release, ( I’m all ready begining to ‘Potter up’), and I think that would make us even more likely to see the movie (prehaps multiple times). Also, I, for one will make sure that I finish all my reading before the book comes out, so I will have lots of free time.

Ashley R.
Ashley R.
17 years ago

Devlin–
Very nicely put. I could not agree more; but I would like to point out that the movie comes out on Friday the 13th: all fair-weather Sirius Black fans (fans who only watch the movies and don’t read the books) are in for a rude awakening once they see their favorite character get killed.
Nikki–
I don’t think this is sufficient enough information to base a theory off of. Personally, I agree with Monkeeshrines: she could easily have been talking about a number of people… and she said “am i allowed to invite dead people?” Well, Harry isn’t dead yet. He doesn’t count, because the book hasn’t come out yet. And to add to the list, there is also James, Lily, Amelia Bones, Emmeline Vance, Igor Karkaroff, and any of the Hogwarts ghosts. Do you make any connections throughout those names? I’ll give you a hint: they were all dead by the end of HBP. All the fans knew they were dead. JKR knew they were dead. Harry might not have been killed yet.
Personally, I’m leaning towards Harry’s death. It is the only way she will end any ripped off spin off series-es of Harry Potter: no Harry, no rip offs.

I’m going to be having major mood swings throughout the movie when I go to see it. I’m going to be so excited, because OotP is my favorite book so far (tied with HBP of course), but then I’ll be in floods, because Sirius Black is my favorite character. Then I’ll be excited, then I’ll be in floods, then I’ll be excited…

Lauren
Lauren
17 years ago

I know! I really wanted it to come out on 7/7/07. I think Harry is going to die, but like you said, I really hope he doesn’t.

taryn
taryn
17 years ago

I have to say that i will be very upset if Harry dies… But it WILL NOT affect whether or not i watch the rest of the movies. I like to read books then watch the movies based on the books just to see if it’s anything like i imagined while reading.

damien darkness
damien darkness
16 years ago

even if harry dies people will want to see the cute-ish Daniel radcliff. but the last 2 books (if harry dies) will have really sad events, with the death of dumbledore, people may not want to see it, as seeing it in your head isnt as bad, because you can control the image more.

Kaylie
Kaylie
16 years ago

I will also be very disappointed if Harry dies. I have read all of the Harry Potter books over 10 times, and if Harry dies, that will completely ruin it for me. It’s hard enough rereading the part when Dumbledore died, but if Harry does, I’m never touching a Harry Potter book as long as I live. That will also be horrible watching that in the movies. I am absolutely obsessed with Daniel Radcliffe and I would be horrified if I watched him get “killed”!

Ashley R.
Ashley R.
16 years ago

Damien Darkness from Gateshead–
I don’t know where on Earth you got THAT philosophy, but I still erupt into a waterfall of tears every time I read HBP. Dumbledore was my fictional hero and even though I’ve developed about a million theories to save Dumbledore his death still shakes me.