Extract of New Work by J.K. Rowling on the Forest Scene of “Deathly Hallows” for Prince Charles Birthday Book


Nov 13, 2008

Posted by SueTLC

Several months ago, we told you that author J.K Rowling would be contributing to a new book honoring the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles for his 60th birthday. This book will benefit the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts charity. Today, the Guardian has an extract of the piece written by Jo, where she writes about the dramatic forest scene near the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the article, which also contains a new illustration of the scene by artist Quentin Blake, J.K. Rowling writes:

I admit that, at first glance, the extract I’ve chosen for The Birthday
Book might not seem particularly celebratory, given that it has for its
subject my hero walking to what he believes will be certain death. But
when Harry takes his last, long walk into the heart of the Dark Forest,
he is choosing to accept a burden that fell on him when still a tiny
child, in spite of the fact that he never sought the role for which he
has been cast, never wanted the scar with which he has been marked. As
his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, has tried to make clear to Harry, he
could have refused to follow the path marked out for him. In spite of
the weight of opinion and expectation that singles him out as the
“Chosen One”, it is Harry’s own will that takes him into the Forest to
meet Voldemort, prepared to suffer the fate that he escaped sixteen
years before.

The destinies of wizards and princes might seem more certain than those
carved out for the rest of us, yet we all have to choose the manner in
which we meet life: whether to live up (or down) to the expectations
placed upon us; whether to act selfishly, or for the common good;
whether to steer the course of our lives ourselves, or to allow
ourselves to be buffeted around by chance and circumstance. Birthdays
are often moments for reflection, moments when we pause, look around,
and take stock of where we are; children gleefully contemplate how far
they have come, whereas adults look forwards into the trees, wondering
how much further they have to go. This extract from Harry Potter and
the Deathly Hallows is my favourite part of the seventh book; it might
even be my favourite part of the entire series, and in it, Harry
demonstrates his truly heroic nature, because he overcomes his own
terror to protect the people he loves from death, and the whole of his
society from tyranny.

Also, the Prince of Wales Foundation is holding a contest to win a copy of this book signed by the artist Quentin Blake; more details here.

47 Responses to Extract of New Work by J.K. Rowling on the Forest Scene of “Deathly Hallows” for Prince Charles Birthday Book

Avatar Image says: i loved this piece by her, she is such a powerful writer. 1st comment? yay!Avatar Image says: Fantastic! JKR's star rises higher and higher in my eyes...Avatar Image says: Beautiful. This was my 1st favorite scene in DH. I hope they do it justice in the movies. Avatar Image says: That was quite a deeply passionat Happy Birthday to You song! So often Jo's eloquent writing makes me swell up inside. Wonderful piece. Charles should treasure that. Its an interesting parallel to a Prince's life. Though not quite the "Chosen one", lol, but a high rank royal pretty much have their destinies set out before them from the moment they are born and we should remember that when at times they attempt to go against the grain as Charles has often tried to do in the old days with his political outbursts (royals are not supposed to express favourable political views, generally). Avatar Image says: This is my favorite part of Deathly Hallows. It is a great pick because it shows how a person can either accept their responsibilities, or fail.Avatar Image says: Ah its been quite a little while since I heard something newly inspiring from Jo. She can certainly still do it. Love this woman!Avatar Image says: If only she could have conveyed such things in the book itself....just my opinion.Avatar Image says: I love hearing JKR talk about her books. :) She makes me love them more and more every time. And that picture is great! I wish we could buy a print. Avatar Image says: Huge squee. the Illustration by Quentin Blake is fantastic! That man is a genius, I love all of his work. He is one of my illustration heroes. So his work being put to use in HP is probably the best Dork-dom thing to happen to me this year. Must get my hands on a larger version of the Illustration.Avatar Image says: I just love JKR. Harry's walk into the forest is my favorite part of all the books. It's just such so emotional. I'll be so upset if they screw this one up.Avatar Image says: Leave it to Jo Rowling to really say something so beautifully appropriate and profound! It's no wonder we all admire her so much! Such noble words for a Prince from a royal writer!Avatar Image says: I have to be honest, if the book only contains this kind of explanation, I won't buy it: I get what she explains here from reading DH myself...Avatar Image says: Ah, Quenty! What a fab little illustration, you will always be my favourite and why I'm in the business! Harry looks like such a mess! You're the best!!Avatar Image says: Wow. Jo really has a way with words. Avatar Image says: Really ni ce gesture, but you have to be a member of The Prince's Charity to participate in the contest to win the book. Well that was it for me then! I'll wish for a copy as a gift then. "Problem" solved if that's what it's supposed to be.Avatar Image says: ahhh... so eloquent!! that really is one of my favorite excerpts as well... i would go into everything i like, but it would get wayy to long. :D i agree with what others said... if they mess this up in the movie i will be extreeemely unhappy. >:(Avatar Image says: & i must concur, the illustration is fabulous... i think i might've liked it a little darker, as to better convey the mood of the scene, but it is wonderful nonetheless. :)Avatar Image says: In the illustration, Harry looks like a homeless guy who's about to flash somebody...Avatar Image says: I like the illustration. It's quite dark compared with Quentin Blake's usual comical or light drawings in Roald Dahl, etc. @ 'Sorry, but he does' - your comment made me chuckle. I can sort of see your point.Avatar Image says: LOL, I wish you didn't say that now because now that's all I see too. Come to think of, its not a very well thought out illustration bearing in mind that is supposed to be an invisibility cloak. If the artist was bold enough, he could have also drawn the 4 people brought back to life in a slightly transparent view. Avatar Image says: Jo Rowling is a genius. This passage is amazing: "The destinies of wizards and princes might seem more certain than those carved out for the rest of us, yet we all have to choose the manner in which we meet life: whether to live up (or down) to the expectations placed upon us; whether to act selfishly, or for the common good; whether to steer the course of our lives ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be buffeted around by chance and circumstance."Avatar Image says: I loved that part too!!! It made me cry more than anything else in DH.Avatar Image says: Very cool! But I must admit when I saw "New Work by J.K. Rowling" I thought of something a little different. My heart skipped a beat for a minute until I read a little further.Avatar Image says: oh my gosh- almost brings me to tears! she is so eloquent and poignant in what she says. it is so simple and yet so true that it brings you, like i said, to the verge of tears!Avatar Image says: The Forest Again is my favorite chapter in the entire series. (It's also the only one I truly sobbed through.) When I read it, thanks to the quality of the writing, I could practically feel Harry's heart pounding and his limbs shaking. I could feel his desire to cling to each second, and his childlike wish for his mother to stay close to him, and his sense of a weird disconnect between his mind and body. I could also feel the sublime transcendence at the heart of his decision to embrace death rather than running from it. ("He pressed the golden metal to his lips and said, "I am about to die.") The whole chapter puts the reader into Harry's mind and heart and gut as he walks willfully to his own death. It's the culmination of everything that came before, and it's amazing.Avatar Image says: While I didn't think Deathly Hallows was the best of the books overall, I do agree that the passage with Harry walking through the forest is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, moments in the whole series.Avatar Image says: Wow, that was great. All I really can say.Avatar Image says: "The Forest Again" is by far my favorite chapter from the entire series. The emotion that griped me surpassed anything I have felt from literature. The metatations on the scene that JKR has written are so heartfelt, poignant, and reflective of my own, I am again overcome. I'm SO glad she chose this passage to reflect upon so I/we can get a sense of her own reaction on and emotional response to this scene. Avatar Image says: wow.. JKRs like my old geography teacher.. he was so passionate about geography he actually made me love it too! just the way he talked about things made them sound so amazing like how things were formed etc.. (shame he left.. now i hate it again :@ ).. JKR had a headstart though.. i already love HP.. this passage is just.. wow.Avatar Image says: "In the illustration, Harry looks like a homeless guy who’s about to flash somebody" I have to agree, lol! Avatar Image says: my favourite part of the series too, i was sobbing my heart outAvatar Image says: About the drawing - I really love it, it looks great, but I must agree with some of the others: doesn't really look like Harry, but an older guy with a smoke or something... But Q, I still love ya!Avatar Image says: @emmy: I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I believe that this is meant to be a "parallel" to HRH life. If so, it is [in inimitable JKR style] wonderfully written, and easily understood. As for "I won't buy it"....I am assuming [not usually a good thing to do] that you mean this particular book. To each, his/her own. I wish I could get a copy, myself, just for the read. I too, by the way, LOVE DH, and got the same chills, reading this excerpt, as I did from the book. Well done, Jo, as usual! {Hi, Professor Potter!]Avatar Image says: rowling is very smart.she is number one the rising generation author for me. im reading article other days.they say "as for bella and edward ,I feel a bit like the people who were left cold by harry potter" im sorry becase of they say true.im saw this site and other sites.some people say meyers than better rowling and twilight than better hp.i think its disloyalty.Avatar Image says: @ Confederate Lady I mean that the text, written by Jo, up here in the article, is an explanation of that specific chapter in the book. I would love her explaining things that I didn't get from reading the book, but what she writes up here, are things that (even though she phrases her explanation beautifully) I already understood when I was reading the said chapter myself. So that's what I mean. If I were to be able to get the book in which she wrote explanations like the above, I probably wouldn't really want it, because it wouldn't be a new fictional story, or a revelation about something I didn't get - it would only be an explanation of something I already know the explanation of. Anyways, never ever get me wrong: I love the woman and everything she writes! ;-)Avatar Image says: I just joined The Prince's Charity so I could sign up to win the book. There's no cost or anything to do it. Hope I win!Avatar Image says: Hmm ... JKR must intend her words to praise Prince Charles ... or does she? How has he met the challenges of his life? But then I'm a Yank, far be it from me to understand the understated.Avatar Image says: Emmy, too cool! Thanks for clearing that up, for me. It is an interesting writing, and I would imagine it is for the "benefit" of those who [OMG] don't read HP.... I think it's cool. NOW I can understand your reasoning! :DAvatar Image says: quentin blake?! squeeee!!!!Avatar Image says: Harry is not suppose to die, in the book he lives and Harry and Ginny are married and have three children, Harry a history has to do with Harry's and Ginny"s son Albus if he dies in the movie they are not going by the book.Avatar Image says: That's a good related part of her story --perfect!! I love the picture too. BTW....Dan Radcliffe will be on The Early Show...CBS..Tuesday...November 18 th ...7am..9am...taking EMail questionsAvatar Image says: Please tell me we'll see more illustrations by Quentin Blake. I've been a fan of his for a long time and not just because I grew up on Roald Dahl books.Avatar Image says: @angela leighton: don't worry, angela! Harry's not going to die, LOL. Where ever did you get that idea???? LOL! All will be well, kiddo. This book is in honour of HRH Prince Charles' birthday. JKR has penned a bit, to explain her choice of story for the book....it has nothing to do with "Harry Dieing"!Avatar Image says: Interesting that she calls the Black Forest the "Dark Forest". They say Dark Forest in the movies but in the books the forest is called the Black Forest... interesting...Avatar Image says: She is so eloquent. It really does tie in so nicely with the subject of Prince Charles' birthday. She's pretty amazing.Avatar Image says: Mrs Rowling should Harry build a "church".Avatar Image says: So eloquently put. She writes in such a way that you fell you can read into the heart and soul of it, you know? The honesty of it makes me misty-eyed. The scene she describes was a hard one to read through the tears that were flowing by that point in the story, but it really summed up the whole point of the series for me, and she explains that so well here. What an awesome gift for a prince. I loved this illustration, too. Way to go Quentin Blake!

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