Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter 7 Predictions (and Hopes)

The film incarnation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix released this past Wednesday and is apparently doing well at the box office. That’s all good and well- I’ll probably see it sometime before the summer is up-, but let’s face it: all eyes are on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yeah, we all know what will happen in the fifth movie. Harry will get some lip action. Umbridge will take over Hogwarts and be expelled eventually. Harry and the DA will race to the Ministry of Magic for a funhouse showdown with the Death Eaters. And then we will finally see Dumbledore unleash some serious magic on Voldemort. Yes, as excited as I am to see these familiar scenes brought to life, my attention is focused like a laser beam on that seventh and final chapter in which all questions (hopefully) will be answered. HP5 will just have to wait.

So, not to deter from HP5, I would like to present my predictions (and some desperate hopes) for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After riding with the boy wizard for six large novels and about a decade, we all have set in our minds where we would like Harry, Voldemort, Hermione, Ron, the host of other supporting characters, and the wizarding world at large to end up once we turn that final page. Here are my predictions:

Harry triumphant! – The Order of the Phoenix prophecy regarding Harry and Voldemort’s fated fight to the death has thrown a lot of fans into predicting that Voldemort will kill Harry, since Harry killing Voldemort just seems too predictable and Rowling has been known to deliver some twists. However, let’s look at this from a practical perspective. The prophecy says only one can kill the other; if Voldemort kills Harry, that means no one else can kill Voldemort.

Of course, if we throw the possibility of Neville being the One into the mix, we’re looking at a scenario where Voldemort kills or doesn’t kill Harry, and then, by some stroke of luck, Neville kills the Dark Lord. But how anticlimactic would that be?

No, the only outcome that will reward the fans will be one in which Voldemort and Harry, these two characters that have been so inextricably linked the entire series, have the mother of all wizarding duels and Harry finally puts him down. To have Neville suddenly step in and be the one would be a betrayal of destiny. It would be tantamount to Princess Leia stepping in for Luke for the final battle with Darth Vader- totally non-cathartic, not to mention unlikely.

Plus, if Harry gets killed, that’s just plain depressing. The Potter line would be finished, all of the sacrifices made by his parents, friends, and guardians to protect him would be in vain. We have witnessed Harry slog through a pretty crappy childhood; he deserves some good times now and a peaceful, normal life. So, my first prediction: Harry survives and defeats Voldemort!

Either Ron or Hermione or both bite the dust – Not only will one or both of these characters bite the dust, but they will die at the Dark Lord’s hand trying to save Harry. My rationale for this prediction is thus: the two friends have finally embraced their feelings for each other. The good old hand of fate just can’t help destroying happy couples. On top of that, Harry will need something that just completely pushes him over the edge to go after Voldemort with all of the fury and courage he will undoubtedly need to succeed. True, he’s seen Cedric murdered (a mere acquaintance), Sirius killed (a surrogate father figure), and Dumbledore betrayed (another father figure), and, with each death, he has gotten more and more furious toward the Dark Lord. But you take out one of his close friends, one of his homies, and watch out! It will be Harry like we’ve never seen him before, like Luke hacking off Darth’s hand, like Rocky pulling logs through snow up a frozen Russian mountain. Yes, Ron or Hermione or both will be to Harry what Apollo Creed was to Rocky Balboa, the breaking point, the straw that broke his inhibitions.

Hagrid bites the dust - I know, this would be really sad, but, the way I see it, the big loveable lug, with the way he's always in the thick of danger and his sub-par magic skills, never really stood a chance of lasting the series. Plus, he's the perfect character to knock off. Everyone loves him, which would really pull at the heartstrings. Ultimately, though, he is not vital to the plot or to victory, which makes him dispensable. Loveable and dispensable? Sounds like the perfect casualty to me.

Harry and Ginny live happily ever after – What good is a hero who doesn’t get to hook up with his lady love after the dust settles. Plus, their romantic relationship is still so unexplored, so new; it would just seem pointless and even sadistic for Rowling to put an end to it now. Plus, this opens the door for other series: The Adventures of the Young Potters!

Snape double-crosses Voldemort – It should be obvious to everyone by now that Snape is on his own side in this conflict, with his ultimate goal being usurping all power, including Voldemort’s. Snape is, in effect, a Columbine-like outsider. He’s been picked on. He’s a mudblood, which makes him inferior in the eyes of his fellow Death Eaters. He took on the alias of the Half-Blood Prince, which, in my mind, indicates that he is proud of his half-blood status and considers himself noble, perhaps even the rightful ruler of the wizarding world. He has been amassing powerful spells on the sly. Like so many persecuted high school nerds, Snape wants the world that has teased and tortured him at his feet. And he will burn anyone to do it.

Harry goes international – More a hope than an expectation, I want to see Harry leave the British Isles for once. We have seen and heard of witches in the U.S., Egypt, Africa, France, and elsewhere, but we are yet to travel beyond England. Surely, if this is to be our last outing into the wizarding world, I want to see how this conflict is affecting wizards in other countries. I want to learn about them. The hunt for the horcruxes is a good reason to do this. My fingers are crossed.

Battle royale ensues between the forces of good and the forces of evil – Really, I think this is inevitable. The only real question is, how will Rowling stage it? Will we get more wizards sneaking around castle passages or chases through funhouse sets? Or will we be treated to a real field battle with Harry, the DA, the Order of the Phoenix, and the Ministry on one side and Voldemort, the Death Eaters, the Dementors, the werewolves, and the Inferi on the other, the two sides clashing in open combat in a display of magic and brawn worthy of Middle Earth? Here’s hoping for the latter. I think Rowling owes us this much.

Dumbledore returns – Much has been made of Dumbledore’s similarities to Gandalf. Gandalf seemed to meet a premature demise, only to rise again in the Fellowship’s hour of need. I am hoping that Dumbledore does the same, that we will find in all of Dumbledore’s past lectures to Harry on death and the phoenix itself a clue on Dumbledore’s own rebirth. I think this is unlikely, but here’s hoping. The Order and the Ministry are severely outgunned; they could sure use Dumbledore’s help.

Harry becomes new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – Come on, we can all see this one coming from a mile away, especially with his chances as an auror being nil and all of the hoo-hah made of his teaching skills and qualifications in Book Five. Plus, this would be the best way to bring the series full circle, from student to teacher, passing on the torch, as it were.

Harry gets a permanent father figure – Whoever destroyed the horcrux and left the note in Book Six will join Harry and eventually become his permanent mentor and surrogate. One of Harry’s key drivers has been his desire to belong to a family and to enjoy parental bonds. The series would not be complete if Harry did not finally get to enjoy this type of relationship. I also predict that this person will be a relative of Sirius Black, but that’s just because B is his last initial and a relative of Sirius would have some kind of motivation to take on the Dark Lord.

Well, those are my predictions. If they are not met, I sure hope Rowling exceeds them and surprises us. We’ll see in a matter of days. What do you think? How will the final volume play out? Who will live? Who will die? Will we be satisfied or left to wallow in what could have been? Chime in!

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the Weasley twins might die so that the other will grow up. I also think Lupin may be the next minister of magic.


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