WARNING: Read no further if you haven’t yet read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Only two weeks to go. (And no, although I can’t wait, I’m not counting down the days like bookstores and libraries are—I had to look that up to be sure. Really.) It’s time to talk about Harry Potter.
I just re-read all six books in order so that they’re fresh in my mind. There are a lot of random things I didn’t notice when I read them initially. One good example: in Book 5, after Ginny tells him that she’s broken up with Michael but before she tells him she’s now seeing Dean, Ron casts Harry “an oddly furtive look” as he tells Ginny to choose someone better next time. So all of Harry’s worrying throughout Book 6 was unnecessary, because it looks like Ron actually did want Harry and Ginny together!
But enough with the romantic stuff. Here are some other thoughts I have upon re-reading all the books, and some speculation I have for the final one:
After re-reading Book 6, I’m really not sure what to think about him. If he is a double agent, I’m not sure what side he’s on. But maybe he’s on neither side and was just in it for himself the whole time.
One thing did jump out at me, though. I’d forgotten that the Unbreakable Vow he made with Narcissa Malfoy wasn’t just that he would protect Draco—it was also that he’d fulfill Draco’s mission (to kill Dumbledore) if Draco couldn’t. So if Snape didn’t kill Dumbledore, he would have died.
And that’s interesting. Maybe it wasn’t as much a matter of killing Dumbledore as it was staying alive himself. I’m also torn on whether or not Dumbledore knew that Snape would kill him, or if Snape killing him was part of a plan. Dumbledore did ask to see Snape, after all, and when he was talking to Draco before Snape showed up, he was definitely stalling. His last words, “Severus…please…” could be him asking Snape to kill him. But the book does say that Snape, before he kills Dumbledore, has “revulsion and hatred etched in the lines of his face.”
So I really don’t know. I do think, though, that Snape was probably in love with Lily, even if he did call her a Mudblood in that flashback. It would explain why he hated James so much, and since Lily stuck up for him, it would make sense. But if Snape is capable of love, that means he can’t be completely evil, right?
My head hurts thinking about it. Congratulations, J.K. Rowling, you got me thinking.
Look of Triumph
One of the weirdest moments in the whole series. It’s in Book 4, when Harry is explaining to Dumbledore what happened when Voldemort return. After Harry explains that Voldemort now has Harry’s blood and the protection his mother left him, he thinks he sees a “look of triumph” in Dumbledore’s face, then thinks he must have imagined it.
At first I wondered if Dumbledore was evil, but now, after reading books 5 and 6, I don’t think that would make any sense. I mean, it wouldn’t even be a cool twist—it just wouldn’t make sense. So my best guess is that Voldemort having Harry’s blood will somehow aid in his downfall. Dumbledore probably knew something that he never told Harry.
This is one plotline I never quite got. Logically, it seems like the house elves should all be freed, or at least paid for their work, but I feel like at this point, wrapping that storyline up would take half the book. There are so many issues complicating the matter—house elves like Kreacher who are loyal to Death Eaters, house elves like Winky who don’t want to be free. Also, while Hermione is all righteously indignant about elf rights, most other people are ambivalent on the issue at best. Harry even used Kreacher and Winky to tail Draco in Book 6. So I’m really not sure where this plotline is going.
Behind the veil
I took a class in college on young adult and adolescent literature that discussed the books we read, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, as they pertained to the hero archetype, and one part of that is the hero visiting the land of the dead. So I definitely think we’ll get a glimpse behind the veil, and that Lily, James, Sirius, and Dumbledore will all appear in some form.
Then, of course, there’s the matter of who dies. I had to read what J.K. Rowling has said about the matter. What she said, I think (I’m too lazy to look for the actual quote) was that the last chapter will reveal the fates of the surviving characters, that one character got a reprieve, and that two characters died whom she didn’t intend to die.
That probably means that more characters die that she did intend to die—I’m pretty sure she didn’t decide to kill Voldemort randomly. So who survives?
The Death Pool
–Ginny. I think Ginny is more likely to live than anyone else. I just think it would be too cruel if Harry broke off the relationship to protect her and then she died anyway.
–Ron or Hermione. I don’t know. I just don’t see it happening. Just a gut feeling. If one of them is going to die, though, I’d say Ron is more vulnerable.
–Harry. There’s so much speculation about whether Harry is going to die, but I don’t think he will. I just…don’t think it would fit with the tone of the books. It is true that the books keep getting darker, but they still maintain this hopeful quality. One word I’ve never used to describe HP is depressing. And Harry dying, even if he died heroically, would be depressing. Unless it’s just in the epilogue and he dies of old age or something.
–Draco. I think he’s a very real possibility. Now we know that he’s not completely evil, so of course that’s just asking to be killed by Voldemort or a Death Eater. However, I can also see him being the character who gets the reprieve—maybe his not being evil is what enables him to live.
–Snape. Another very real possibility. Whether his death will be a good or a bad thing is yet to be determined.
–Neville. I can completely see Neville dying. In Book 5 he got to be part of the showdown at the Ministry, and I want him to have an even greater heroic moment in the last book. And I think the fact that the prophesy could also have meant him implies that he has the potential for greatness. On the other hand, it would be pretty tragic if he died just as he was reaching his potential.
–One of the Weasleys. I hope the Weasley parents survive, but if one of them dies, I think Arthur is more vulnerable, just because Molly is really the only maternal figure in the books.
–McGonagall. Why McGonagall? Why not McGonagall? Actually, I think she might have a bigger role in Book 7 since Dumbledore’s dead now, but I can also see her dying heroically.
–Hagrid. Hagrid might die, but I kind of don’t think so. He was the first wizard Harry met, so I think he needs to be there at the end, to have the story come full circle.
–Trelawney. I keep thinking of Friends, when Phoebe’s psychic tells her she’s going to die, but then the psychic dies. So maybe it’s the same thing—maybe all this time when Trelawney’s been predicting Harry’s death, she’s been messing up and actually seeing her own death!
Just kidding about that last one.
But know this: I do not exist on July 21st. Don’t call me or ask me to do anything until I’m done with the book. I think I’ve made myself pretty clear.