Everything's gone 19
April 4, 2010 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Is the fact that the Harry Potter epilogue is set nineteen years later a Dark Tower reference? Or is this just confirmation bias?

Since the Dark Tower series references HP a number of times, I wondered if the epilogue was a nod back to King by Rowling. A friend suggests that it was set then because Harry would be as old as his parents were when they died (not sure if that's true). I've Googled around but haven't found anything.
posted by emilyd22222 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if it is a ka-tet thing - I would assume not, though. I know that it isn't what your friend suggests, because James Potter died at age 21, whereas in 19 years, Harry would be, what, 37? Or there abouts.
posted by firei at 3:24 PM on April 4, 2010

I just thought it would be so they would all have kids old enough to be going to Hogwarts. Maybe it's been too long since I took a Lit class, I've stopped reading into things.
posted by purpletangerine at 3:38 PM on April 4, 2010 [6 favorites]

Well, if I remember correctly, Rowling has said that she had the epilogue written years and years ago, soon after she finished the first book. So she probably had a set idea in mind for it and only tweaked very minor things to make sure it lined up acceptably with what happened in the books. I doubt that the choice of nineteen years has anything to do with the Dark Tower series, in that case.
posted by Mizu at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2010

The Potter series has a strong Alchemical metaphor as subtext, and my bet would be its a reference to ten, a complete cycle, as the series closes. If you're interested in following this line of inquiry, The Harry Potter Lexicon has a really sophisticated but enjoyable discussion of the symbols lead by a French woman with her PhD in History.
posted by effluvia at 3:55 PM on April 4, 2010

If Harry and Ginny had their kids at the same age as Harry's parents, Harry would be about 32 or 33 when his eldest went to Hogwarts, not 37. If 19 years later, Harry and Ginny's son James is in his second year at Hogwarts, he's 12 years old which means Harry was 25 when James was born. That leaves a 7 year gap between the death of Voldemort and the birth of James Potter. Seven years. Ring a bell? Coincidence? I don't think so. There are 7 books in the HP series. Rowling might be giving herself another 7 year sequence of HP adventures.

Do we really think Rowling is never going to write again?
posted by birdwatcher at 4:44 PM on April 4, 2010 [4 favorites]

While I'm not sure if 19 has any significance, as others ponder the question, keep in mind that the epilogue is meant to touch on as many aspects of the series as reasonably and as delicately possible.

Rowling touches upon the futures of Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley in this sequence, too, who are older than James, Albus and Lily Potter (note one child each named after Harry's three parental figures), and 19 gives enough time for all of these characters to exist in a normal, natural they-had-a-kid-every-two-years progression. The presence of Lily gives a younger sibling to contrast with Albus, too, just as Ginny started out younger than Ron. Lily complains that she wants to go to Hogwarts, too, just like Ginny complained in the first book. It gives a nice contrast to Albus' fears about leaving home for the first time.

It wouldn't be as interesting of a scene if, say, it was the train platform scene for James, Harry's oldest son. It would be rather cliche, actually, and stretch disbelief if both Harry and Draco showed up with sons the same age. So we see Harry and Draco acknowledge each other from a different perspective.

Moreover, if we do go back to Hogwarts, Part II, we have a "pantheon" of older and younger characters set up to follow.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:28 PM on April 4, 2010

The one thing she didn't do in that epilogue that I was really hoping for was to have Dudley sending a son or daughter of his off to Hogwarts.
posted by jamjam at 10:13 PM on April 4, 2010 [5 favorites]

I remember reading that JKR wanted Ginny to have success at a profession before she had kids; which she did by playing for the Harpies.

I'll be happy with the encyclopedia JKR's planning......the backstory I want to know is how Hagrid's father died.
posted by brujita at 10:57 PM on April 4, 2010

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