Thursday, December 21, 2006

HP 7: Wait, I Don't Have to Call it That Anymore!

Yes, it's true! The long-awaited title of Harry Potter 7 has been released. Hat tip to faithful-blog-reader Erin for letting me know the big news. I scurried over to some HP sites to check out the official word.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

What does it mean? And will the acronym used in discussion boards simply be DH? (which will always make me think of "designated hitter...")

I'd about given up thinking we might get a book title this Christmas. I remembered that JKR gave that as a "present" with Half-Blood Prince a couple of years ago, but the last we'd heard, she was still debating between three potential titles on this one. Plus I thought the tid-bit about her writing process (on her blog the other evening) might turn out to be the only nugget she tossed to fans this season. Glad I was wrong!

I find the use of "hallows" as a noun quite interesting. The most usual uses that come to my mind are "hallowed" or "hallows'" (posessive). My first thought was the "saints who have gone before" who showed up at the end of GOF in the graveyard scene to help Harry. But I could be way off.

And why are they deathly? And are we supposed to make a connection with the word "Hollow" -- as in Godric's hollow?

Maybe it's a place! The Deathly Hallows! Like a dude ranch for ghosts....

Um. Okay. Now I'm getting silly. I'm curious though. Mighty curious.

Does it worry me that deathly is in the title? A wee bit, yes.

Questions, questions....

Edited to add: this may be a weird coincidence, but when I went looking online for etymology (and other information) on the word "hallows" (as I'm sure many people are tonight) I found a reference to Tolkien. Apparently there is a place called the "Hallows" in Minas Tirith, a burial place. I need to go straight to Tolkien to confirm this (and who know when I'll have time) but it's interesting, isn't it?

All earlier joking aside, perhaps Hallows are not primarily referring to people here, but to a place. Specifically a graveyard or a burial ground. "The Deathly Hallows." Makes sense, doesn't it? And "Hallows" gives it a sense of being a holy place.

We've seen the death and resurrection motif in Harry Potter so many times. It's part of the enduring power of the books. Methinks we shall be seeing it again (and that bodes well).


Erin said...

The first image that popped into my head with the title was a sort of fog-covered moor, whether significant in and of itself or because of something that happens in book 7, I don't know... For some reason I keep thinking of the Hound of the Baskervilles. :-P Maybe Fang gets a shining moment!

Beth said...

Ah Fang! Let's hope so. I'm counting on it. :-) And on one more shining Fawkes moment, of course.

The more I think about it, the more I'm sure this is a place. I like the fog-covered moors image.

I can't help think "hallows" is very significant with its linguistic link to holiness.

Sheesh -- I've gotta go to bed. I've been up grading papers and trying to rough out one last epinions review so I can post my final sweepstakes entries from my mother-in-law's. One thing for sure, my income share in January will be up even if I don't win a thing in December! ;-)