A Score Before: Potter Predictions
"...twenty [times] twenty four hours to go,
I wanna' be sedated!"
- The Ramones, "I Wanna' Be Sedated" [slightly amended*]
(*well, I got away with it once...)
Yes, there are now just one score days to go until the release of the hugely anticipated seventh and final installment in the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". With that in mind, and having recently completed my re-read of the previous six books, here are my half-score (that's ten for you math and Old English challenged), long-promised predictions for book seven. Though I have avoided the numerous HP discussion sites so as not to taint my own idiosyncratic views, I'm sure at least some of these ideas can be seen elsewhere, while others are, frankly, out on a whomping-willow limb.
Before I start, a brief disclaimer: This post contains absolutely no spoilers for book seven, of which I don't believe any genuine examples exist anyway. However, there are certainly spoilers below for the first six books, so if you somehow haven't read all of them, and still plan to, be warned.With that, here goes:
1) Neither Harry, Ron, Hermione, nor Ginny will die in book 7. I am certain of this for a number of reasons, but chiefly because Rowling has been building up to the eventual Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione romantic pairings since the very start of the series. She has invested far too much care and focus into this story arc for her to allow it to be rendered pointless at the end. In addition, granted that there has been steadily increasing thematic and stylistic sophistication with each new installment. But "Harry Potter" is still fundamentally a children's series, and I can't see Rowling going as far as to let any of the "big three" die, or Ginny either, based on her increasing importance to Harry.
2) Voldemort will die, but not at Harry's hand. No matter how evil Voldemort is, when it comes down to it I don't see Harry becoming a killer.
But what about the prophesy that apparently constrains one of them to kill the other? Dumbledore was quite emphatic in book six that Harry should not take it too literally, or view it as inescapable. So neither should we. For more, see item 4 below.
3) Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail will have a positive role to play before the end. However, I don't see him directly killing Voldemort (too derivative of Tolkien), nor do I see him directly saving Harry (too obvious). Rather, I think Pettigrew will sacrifice himself saving Ron's life. After all, he should owe as much or more loyalty to Ron, who kept him as a beloved pet for several years, as to Harry for saving his life on one occasion. And rescuing Harry's best mate from death would surely repay Pettigrew's debt to Harry as well.
4) Given 2 and 3, how will Voldemort die? Though of course I cannot guess the details, I think he will end up destroying himself in some fashion, via his own greed, cruelty, overreaching, and carelessness.
5) Hagrid and his half-brother, full-Giant Grawp will be pivotal to the downfall of Voldemort's forces, if not the wizard himself. I see both of them being lost in battle, but their struggles and deaths triggering great loss to Voldemort's side as well. Possibly their murder will open the eyes of the other Giants - whom we saw Voldemort recruiting to his side in book 5 - to just how little Voldemort really cares about them, and incite them to revolt.
6) On a related note: a consistent theme of the series has been that prejudice against non-human, sentient magical beings is evil and despicable; e.g. Lucius / Dobby, Draco / Buckbeak, Umbridge / centaurs, etc. Therefore, I believe that such creatures, held in contempt and scorn by Voldemort's allies, will be key to the victory against them.
7) The primary question of the book six-seven interregnum was "Is Snape Good Or Evil?". I believe this will not have a simple, binary answer. I am definitely sure that Snape's killing of Dumbledore was intended by the latter, and that Snape was not working for Voldemort. However, I don't think all of his behaviors can be explained altruistically, or as part of a master plan of Dumbledore. Snape is a deeply troubled and flawed individual, and a complex balance of the noble and the self-serving in his motivations and actions will be revealed before the end. Which will not be his end - I expect him to survive the climax of book 7, and he and Harry will, at least on some level, make their peace with one another.
8) When I first read book 5, I was 100% sure that Sirius Black was not dead - as we never saw him actually killed, but just fall through a veil to some unknown plane. I fully expected his return in book 6. Since that didn't happen, I'm no longer convinced that he will ever come back to full life, but I do think he will make some kind of appearance in book 7 and provide support to Harry.
9) Dumbledore's drinking of the potion in book six caused him horrific suffering and weakened him drastically, making him vulnerable to Snape's final curse. Yet all this seemed to be in vain, since the locket underneath the potion was apparently not the real Horcrux. But if the Horcrux was previously removed by the mysterious "RAB", why would Voldemort's potion have still been there? I think the potion Dumbledore drank will turn out to be something planted by "RAB", and his suffering will end up being of value after all. This may relate to the previous item, if "RAB" is in fact, as widely believed, Sirius' brother Regulus Black.
10) Longtime enemies Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley will battle, with the former murdering the latter. Draco Malfoy will rebel against his father and Voldemort, and prevent additional Weasley deaths from occurring. He may or may not lose his life in return for this ultimate bravery.
BONUS: To summarize the "dead pool", AKA "Mi yichyeh, mi yamus...". Most of my predictions have been included above, but I'll review below for completeness. Just to note, the oft-misquoted Rowling statement that "two characters will die" was actually "two more characters will die than originally planned". So there is no magical (pun intended) limit of two deaths. That said:
Five major characters who will definitely die:
- Voldemort (see #2, 4)
- Pettigrew/Wormtail (see #3)
- Hagrid (see #5)
- Mr. Weasley (see #9)
- Dobby or Neville Longbottom: I think to increase the pathos, one of these beloved, semi-comical characters will be sacrificed. My guess is that Neville may well be the character that Rowling claimed to have "given a reprieve", and that Dobby will be lost instead (see also #6).
Five major characters who will definitely not die:
- Harry (see #1)
- Ron (")
- Hermione (")
- Ginny (")
- Snape (see #7)
Well, now I'm on record! Your turn, fair readers... Or you can just wait another 20 days, and find out for sure!