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.

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