So, what about the Harry Potter series?  After seven long books, the hero and his friends finally triumphed.  It was a moment to reflect on the sorrow of lost characters and to savor the victory of the core crew.  Now the last page could be turned.

But then, nineteen years later, the dreaded epilogue.

I resented being shoved into HP the next generation.  Instead of adding to the meal, it drained away that last satisfying taste, like garlic squash after a chocolate truffle.

Okay, in retrospect I have to admit it served a purpose.  Some readers, who are not me, found comfort in seeing Harry, Hermione and Ron living normal lives, despite experiencing trauma that should have turn them postal.

More significantly, it impacted the fans and fanatics who wanted to inject their own wild speculations into the characters’ futures, even (maybe especially) when they contradicted what was established in the books.  No, Hermione did not become prime minister and dump Ron for Harry or Luna anyone else.  Harry did not set up a branch of Hogwarts in the US.  Ron did not turn away from magic and live as a muggle.  This epilogue shut down a lot of fanfic, which is probably a good thing.

When I get to it, which I hope will be soon:  Life is Hard and Then You Die

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