I didn't think so, either.
From the NY Times:
Would you like to establish a major new religion? Then learn how to attract adherents by keeping people on the edge of their seats — or rocks, or sand dunes — their legs dangling over eternity. Tell a suspenseful story that builds to bigger and more mysterious questions. The deeper the questions the sharper the suspense — and the more tenacious the faith in waiting for the answer. Will your soul rise to heaven or fall to hell after death? When will the Messiah come?
Of course, a lot of us settle for a TV series or a sport — or, in exceptional cases, a transcendent episodic saga that poses its own big questions. (Will good vanquish evil?) A good story, no matter how modest, is a form of prayer.
One ultra-exceptional case of a transcendent episodic saga is the ongoing tale of Harry Potter; and a new unauthorized tie-in, “What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7,” both tackles and heightens the suspense that has been building through the six Potter books so far. The book’s audience is the 300 million readers who have been left hanging by J. K. Rowling since 2005, when “Harry and the Half-Blood Prince” came out. They yearn for answers to the countless riddles and perplexities that have proliferated up to now, but they do not pine for closure. Definitely not for closure.
Will Dumbledore, shockingly killed by Severus Snape at the end of Book 6, come back to life? Was the murder hatched with the complicity of Dumbledore, who had something up his embroidered sleeve? And what about Wormtail? He betrayed Harry’s parents as their friend Peter Pettigrew long ago, which led to their murder by Lord Voldemort. (And to Peter’s transformation into a literal rat.) Yet will he end up saving Harry from almost certain death at Voldemort’s hands simply by wanting to save his own sniveling skin? Wait a minute! Who said Harry was fated to be killed by Voldemort, anyway? His mother’s love protected him from the Dark Lord when he was a baby. Surely love will rescue him again. Won’t it?
The authors of “What Will Happen” run MuggleNet.com, a delightfully thorough and fanciful Web site devoted to all aspects of the world of Harry Potter. Though they self-deprecatingly call themselves Muggles — a Muggle is a person without the powers of a wizard — the authors of this rapt little volume appear to have magically transported every bit of information in the Potter epic into their own lively, teeming brains. They are as adept at parsing plot details as they are at anatomizing the characters’ motives and predicting their next steps. The founder of MuggleNet.com — established when he was 12 — even has a name right out of Hogwarts: Emerson Spartz. Spartz and his colleagues apply themselves to every question and conundrum that Rowling (or J.K.R., as they affectionately refer to her) has created and thus far left unresolved.
You realize something as you follow these fans through questions of loyalty (just how binding is the “life debt” that one wizard owes to another who saves his life?); of love (is it a lack of sexual tension that makes Harry and Hermione friends?); of self-esteem (“Neville’s early lack of skill may be nothing more than the result of meager self-confidence”). If Rowling’s genius lies in the replete, self-contained world she has created for young people, then to the extent that her readers have entered into this world, they partake of her imaginative genius.
To put it another way, Spartz and company aren’t jumping up and down on YouTube or sending out minute-by-minute dispatches about their state of mind on MySpace. They are traveling out of their own selves into someone else’s imagined universe, where they seem happy, even grateful, to find pieces of their lives without encountering the slightest reference to themselves.
There is something vulnerable about this self-forgetfulness, just as there is something touching about the book’s earnestness and occasional naïveté. For the authors, his half-Muggle parentage “proves that Snape wouldn’t dislike Lily just for being Muggle-born.” Addressing the eventuality that Rowling will, as she has claimed, make Book 7 the last in the Harry Potter series, the authors write: “As long as we have our imaginations, Harry Potter — and the Harry Potter community — will never die.” People like this often end up getting hurt by windmills.
Perhaps Rowling has multiplied all the betrayals and incidences of torture and murders for a reason. Perhaps she has made Hogwarts less and less a place of refuge, and more and more a site of factional strife, because she means to impart a lesson to her adherents by making her self-contained universe fall apart naturally, before she abandons it peremptorily. This is how the world really is, she could be saying.
Or maybe she is not saying anything precise at all. Either way, this wonderfully enthralled, believing, open book makes me hope that Rowling ends Harry’s story, when she does, with Yeats’s tender lines in mind: “I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
You might ask yourself now... "did she just post the whole article?" Yes, she did. Here's the link to the actual NY Times website, though.