Ann Emmess (emmessann) wrote,
Ann Emmess

She flinched, is all...

Um, hi.  (waves sheepishly to f-list who are mostly not Potter-people.)  I haven't been able to get past one aspect of Deathly Hallows, and now that JKR has spoken publicly on it I just had to put this out there...

So JKR has confirmed, as most everyone guessed, that Remus (and presumably Tonks) were the unplanned deaths of DH.  What I've seen no-one guess correctly is who lived unexpectedly and, as it turns out, in their place.  I was so SURE it was Hagrid, myself.  But no.  Turns out, Arthur Weasley was supposed to die in book 5, but JKR couldn't stand to kill him.  So she felt she needed another father to die, and turned Remus away from his original path to that purpose.

From the reactions that have gone out so far, I imagine there will be much outrage about this, and I can understand that.  Remus' death, the way it happened and leaving a baby behind, has been the one thing I couldn't get past, the one thing that kept me from feeling as immediately gratified by DH as the other Potter books, even though I loved pretty much everything else.  All the other DH deaths made me sad, but none of them left me feeling as gutted.  I was more attached to that character than I'd realized, and I'd been so sure he'd be okay.  (And my whole life, stories of parents dying and leaving children behind has been my absolute rawest nerve.  Well may you ask what I'm doing in HP fandom in the first place.)

For me, the biggest delight of the HP books has always been the *rightness* of the things that happen -- the way things are predicted, and you know they'll be important, and they do turn out to be important but in unexpected ways.  I couldn't fit Remus and Tonks' story into that, though.  And now I know why:  it felt rushed and pasted in because it WAS rushed and pasted in.  Remus, presumably, was meant to have his story involving Greyback and, possibly, Wormtail's silver hand; Tonks may have had some other role -- or she may have been created just for Remus.

I, personally, would have loved to read Remus' "real" story (still hope to do so, in many a fanfic.)  I imagine it would have been another expected plotline that had unexpectedly cool elements.  Arthur's death would have been horrifically sad, but I would have preferred it.  (I guess -- just how damn dark did she plan OotP to be, anyway?)

But I find I can't be too upset about the switch, and in fact it's given me a sense of peace I couldn't find within the text.  Because: she flinched, is all.  She had her grand plan that she mostly followed through, but there was this one thing that she couldn't stand to do.  She couldn't stand to kill a character and deal with the aftermath, so she held back and put someone else in his place.  I'm heartbroken by her particular choice, but I can understand, I think.

It just seems like such a human thing to do, such a rejoinder to all of this "she didn't LOVE her characters the way we do!"  Of course she loved these characters.  We wouldn't love Snape half so well if she hadn't loved him first.  Did she love Arthur more than Remus?  Yeah, maybe.  But I also think of the way that procrastination has played a role throughout the series, with Harry putting off important tasks, Dumbledore feeling that the weight of the world could hardly be better borne at twelve than eleven.  I think in the middle of OotP it was easier to contemplate killing Remus in a few years (and maybe even fun to hash out a nifty love interest for him) than to face killing Arthur right then.  I even think this may explain why Remus' and Tonks' deaths pass so quickly (which had a tremendous impact on me.)  It wasn't any easier to kill them than Arthur; maybe she flinched again.

I feel so much better knowing this, somehow.  I wasn't sure if I could accept Remus fic anymore, since I generally prefer for things to be true to canon.  But far as I'm concerned, Remus' death is the AU version, one possibility among many -- and, speaking as a Buffyverse fan who loves Wesley and Anya, deaths right at the end of canon are pretty easy to fix anyway.  I feel open to all the possibilities.  Remus in heaven.  Remus on earth.  Raising Teddy; living single & FABulous.  It's all ahead. 
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