Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Most Fabulous Object In The World:
An Essay In Movie Clips

(((...wherein our hero presses the Fair Use Doctrine of the Copyright Act to its outer limits.)))

There stands before all of us, a choice.

A choice to pursue a Quest.

That quest is not, for most of us, the final resting place of the most Holy Grail....

....nor is it at the bidding of the most wise and all knowing among us.

It is, instead, a quest for resources... which is to say, The Big Bucks.

And the more of the Big Bucks the Big Bucks are worth, the more we want them.

Ultimately this search is symbolized by what some call The Most Fabulous Object In The World.

Some warn us against it.

....but we pursue it anyway, and one day it is offered to us, sometimes, with by the most charming of people, perhaps with our own parents' most hearty approval.....

....but we always, always find out who is behind it.

Which of course brings us to the most recent Harry Potter movie.

As you know, Harry finds himself growing up a rather unlucky fellow, having a rather unpleasant taskmaster seeking his doom, destruction, obliteration, and oh, by the way, his early demise.

Harry (to make a long story short) kicks his butt....

(I don't exactly think this is a spoiler.) (In other news, the Titanic sinks at the end of Titanic.)

...and Harry himself winds up owning Voldemort's wand, the Deathstick, the Elder Wand, the Most Powerful Wand Ever Created.

In the words of his best friend, Ron Weasley: "It's the Deathstick! The most powerful wand ever made! With it you'd be INVINCIBLE!"

And what is Harry's reaction?

First, let's study what he didn't do.

Isuldur, in Lord of the Rings, faces a similar choice. He, too, had just defeated the Big Bad and obtained The Most Fabulous Object In The World.

He has a chance to drop it into the Fire.....

...but against wiser advice decides to keep it anyway.

This decision Does Not End Well.

Actually this is probably a good thing, as the manufacturers of the Ring declined to include a list of possible side effects on the outside of the package.

Anyway. So Harry has the Deathstick.

What does he do?



And down the shards of the wand go into the green valley below.*

And Harry then goes home, gets married, raises his kids, and lives happily ever after.

Harry, in short, decides he doesn't feel like being a big guy in a bar who is going to spend the rest of his life fighting aggressive little weenies who want to prove their masculinity--or in his case fighting minor dark wizards who want to take away the Deathstick. So he decides, "Screw it." Breaks it in half and drops it off a bridge into the valley, very Frodo-like. Or, morelike, very much like Isuldur should have when he had the chance, but didn't.

The quest to pursue The Most Fabulous Object In The World lies before all of us.

It may not, however, be what is good for us.

Takes a lot to know the difference.

And this is why I like Harry Potter.

*In so doing Jo Rowling, with a throwaway joke, closes off an entire series of painfully obvious sequels. After all, the only possible outcome would be what he does here, throwing the Rin... I mean the Deathstick into the Fires of Mount Do... I mean disposing of the shards irretrievably.

I'm reminded of a line from Casablanca, Louis to Rick.  How extravagant you are, J.K., throwing away plot lines like that. One day they may be scarce.


Clips borrowed from the following flix:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

2. Excalibur: Merlin.

3-6: Time Bandits.

7-9: Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows

10-15: LOTR: film 1 & 3.

16: Harry Potter, which movie I don't know.

17: Some u/i fan art I found on the web of Harry Potter and his kids.

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