HISHE is a pretty funny site. With the recent multimedia end of Harry Potter, I got to thinking about how the increased prominence of the myth-arc has improved modern television and other media. When I was a kid, television and movies were, in large measure, deeply episodic - to the point where anything significant that happened was confined to season finales and season premieres. There were some exceptions. Shows like The Prisoner and The Fugitive had ongoing arcs of a sort, but were short-lived. Soap operas had long story arcs, but were not moving toward any particular end goal. A few anime series that made it to the U.S., like Voltron, also had myth-arcs in cartoons, which was pretty impressive to me as a kid. Sadly, they were all strangely translated, re-cut, and aired in whatever order, so not a lot of it made a ton of sense. Myth-arcs get people invested in media, and specifically in how these long stories end. Sometimes the ending is really satisfying, and other times it's not. Sometimes you think a different ending would have been preferable. For example, I would have ended the Harry Potter series differently: Spoiler I always saw the entire series being about growth - specifically the growth of the main characters to take their place in the adult world of wizarding. Rowling took the last book in a different direction, making the whole thing a rumination on death. There had been plenty of dealing with death early in the series, and I just thought it didn't fit. She even goes to the trouble of killing Harry. While emotional, he doesn't actually die. Unlike every other dead character in the series, he gets a magical (and effectively unexplained) reprieve. Why? In the whole last two books, they're making these huge sacrifices and taking these big risks to destroy 6/7ths of Voldemort's soul. But having 1/7th of a soul, in the Harry Potterverse, is apparently just as good as having a whole one. I would have ended it such that destroying the horcruxes successively weakened Voldemort. At the final battle, Voldemort would have found himself reduced, bit by bit, to what he hated most in the world - a powerless muggle. Since he was so obsessed with purebloods and all, it would be the worst fate for him. Harry, Hermione, and Ron would be powerful adult wizards, while Voldemort would have less magical ability than a first-year. I'm not sure how everything would be resolved - I would have actually been OK with Voldemort surviving the final confrontation in muggle-form. I doubt the fans would have considered that 'closure,' though - maybe Bellatrix could have killed him in a bid for power and then been zapped by Ron's Mom, trying to stop her. I'm not sure what I would have done with the remaining death eaters - although apparently Rowling didn't know either. Maybe I would have had them all assassinated by house elves or at least put in Azkaban forever. Either that or have a big scene where they somehow bind their powers to Voldemort's, so when Voldemort loses all of his powers they do also. FOCUS: What series would you have ended differently, and howso? What series ended well, in your opinion, and which ended poorly? RULE: Spoiler-tag anything that gives away the ending of a series that ended after the year 2000. 10-year statute of limitations on spoilers.