When this new Harry Potter book comes out, and 24 hours later, when I've read it (pretty much), that's it. No more adventures with Harry, and Ron, and Hermione. Already no more with Dumbledore (unless he comes back all in white with...oh, wait sorry, that's Gandalf). In the Simpsons Homer was reading Lisa an adventure of a Harry Potter type and Homer reads ahead and finds out that the Professor character dies. He asks Lisa what would happen if something happened to the Professor and she says, "That would be the death of my childhood."
I remember when I finished Narnia. I was about 8. I just sat and stared into space. I was devastated. Not only was everyone (but Susan) dead and Narnia itself destroyed in Armageddon, it was the end. Never again would I read new adventures in Lewis's own hand. I then went back to the beginning and read them again. I remember a similar loss at the end of Watership Down (although Richard Adams is not dead--I doubt he's going to write a sequel), and Lord of the Rings. These were my friends, and even though they would live in my head and I could try and have adventures with them there, I knew it wouldn't be the same.
I am also afraid of the hype. I had no expectations about the end of Narnia (except that it was telling Bible stories so that there was a certain limit to where it was going to go). I was also 8. I think LOTR ends pretty much as it must. I really respect Rowling as a writer, but is she going to be able to pull this off?
The reason I am also worried is that the end of Stephen King's The Dark Tower set left me pretty flat--at the same time that I admired King's skill in doing what he did. The third new season of Doctor Who just ended last Saturday. After torrenting, my husband and I watched it on Monday. It did not end well. For us. Some people liked it, but pretty much all reviews have been, well, annoyed. Don't worry, this isn't going to be a post about Doctor Who. Much.
For those who don't know, Doctor Who began in 1963. I've been watching it since I was about 10 except for the 18 YEARS it was off the air when I read the books. My husband is also a long-time fan, and when you are a fan, you feel a partial ownership of characters. And you know what? You don't own them. The author owns them. And authors (being human) do not always do what we think they should do. And it's hard not to feel deeply disappointed. The problem too is that the season finale of Dr. Who was set up with one really good episode, and one ok episode (think Back to the Future II--set up for BTTF III) and then...the author couldn't pull it together. It's not even that there are things I didn't like about the last episode, it's the fact that it was bad writing. It did not stay true to the logic of the show. Hell, it didn't even stay true to the logic of a science fiction universe.
I am worried that Rowling has set up problems where there is no solution, and while that is true to life, it is not what we frequently go to fiction for.