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June 30, 2006

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Carol Herman

In all likelihood Harry "goes." Voldemort by definition hasn't got a soul to come home to; and since he's carried as "dead weight" anyway; why count him? Hagrid, on the other hand, can go the way of Dumbledore.

As to the snakes, and Snapes, it's hard to tell. Since part of the story that unfolds has to do with Snapes' KNOWING that Harry is carrying around a "piece" of Voldemort's "crux."

Harry's not supposed to be returning to Hogwart's, either. Not for his last year. So "if" he survives, he could go back as Dumbledore's replacement; which gives the boot to snapes.

Rowling's left enough red herrings, so that you just don't know the McGuffens, until the book comes out.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel is "lost" on the last page of Book 3 in Bartemeaus. Didn't make sense, until Rowling pointed out how evil Disney could be if you didn't kill off your heroes.

Albert Schwartz

Remember it's a magical world. Harry could die and still be alive on the last page.

I'll go out on a limb and predict that Harry's parents are alive by the final page too - restored to life by Harry's final victory over Voldemort.

JJ

My guess that Snape gets a reprieve is based narrowly on the confusing ending of the last book.

Confusing to me.

For the first time, Rowling's narrative control got lost in those final chapters, I thought. In my fast reading.

Dumbledore, Harry, and the lake? Then Dumbledore caught flatfooted by Snape? Come on! What was the overall point of that to the narrative?

Rowling had a pretty seamless line of stories going, but those two chapters are mysteries to the style.

Unless! They were a build-up to several connected plot twists, like the Saturday TV serial cliff-hangers. Dumbledore wasn't caught flat-footed; Snape wasn't either...

I never looked back to ponder. I expected Potter-ologists to expound.

But I have never seen any criticism of those two chapters.

At any rate, I want to read the next great book of magic: Joe Wilson's book.

maryrose

JJ:
I concur with your opinion of the last 2 chapters. I still think Dumbledore is coming back and couldn't believe Snape went permanently to the darkside. I think all will be clarified in the last book.
Albert Scwartz:
I also want Harry's parents to be resurrected in the final book. Voldemort is definitely vanquished as the supreme evil-doer. Malfoy too unless he has a change of heart. Harry triumphs over all!

Tom Maguire

Voldemort is definitely vanquished as the supreme evil-doer. Malfoy too unless he has a change of heart.

Voldy's ticket is pre-punched. But to which Malfoy do you refer? Lucious may have a mortality challenge, but Draco either dies nobly or lives as a semi-good guy (Dumbledore is not wrong about him as well...)

goddessoftheclassroom

JJ:

Back in Book 1, Snapes says he can stopper death. In book 6, Dumbledore's hand is balck and withered. I think Snape was keeping Dumbledore alive, and could make the Unbreakable vow with Narcissa regarding Draco because he had ALREADY made the same vow (to protect Malfoy) with Dumbledore. When Dumbledore says "Please" in that climatic scene, he's asking Snape to honor the vow and let him go.

As I wrote on the Anchoress's page:

I think that mirror Sirius gave Harry back in book 6 is going to play an important part in this. If you hold a hand mirror, such as that is, facing a larger mirror, such as Erised, you can see infinity…

BTW, I read the conversation between Harry and Luna from the end of Book 5 (where they discuss death and the voices just beyond the torn veil) at my dad's funeral. He loved the HP books, and the 5th one was the last one he got to read.

skinnydog

Dumbledore had to die so that Harry could confront Voldemort on his own.

Snape and Dumbledore had an argument in the forrest in Book 6 as recounted by Hagrid. Snape didn't want to do something. The "something" was to kill Dumbledore when the time came.

maryrose

TM:
Draco is the one I was referring to in the hopes of a possible redemption. I see Hermoine possibly saving him so that he has to rescind his view of mudbloods and her muggle parents. Snape has shown a better side in the past; I see him helping Harry in the end even if it costs him his life.Alas I am a hopeless romantic at heart and hope for a happy ending. I was in denial for 3 days after the death of Dumbledore. I still hope the phoenix rises again.

Wen

I'd like to think Dumbledore might be pulling the big fake as well, but I believe he is actually dead (although we will see him in Book 7). The mortal danger to Draco in Bk 6 was utterly real and I lean to Dumbledore's death as the real deal as his only means of salvation. After such a sacrifice, Malfoy better redeem himself.
And Harry, folks, is "the boy who lived!"

Wickedpinto

Snape was told to do whatever it was that he was asked by Val. Snape was told to kill Dumble, and dumble demanded that snape kill him, but first they made preperations, even though at the end of a period of time, duble would be dead no matter snapes efforts.

Snape came forward with hate and anger, because he had to do the one thing he didn't want to do, he had to kill his patron, to kill the only father figure in his life, because snape, unlike harry, is infinately obedient to the wishes of dumbledoor. Snapes hatred was built on the fact that snape must do a thing that he hated (kill his own father figure) for the service of the individual who represented his greatest enemy (For POTTER! I must kill my father, at my fathers request) that kind of thing.

Also, Harry is too lazy, and arrogant, his dedication isn't remote significant, Also.

He will be an elderly 17, not 18, 17 in the next book. "We in the wizarding community come of age at 17" Harry will be 17 in august, and the book will end before july.

I still say Neville will be the hero of the book. And harry will die. She said she is protecting her "artistic" legacy by preventing sequels, and that can only be done by killing harry, since noone else is interesting. OR the most ridiculous and outrageous opinion that maybe in harry and val's final confrontation all magic is destoroyed, or all muggles find magic, destroying a "one or the other" (which has happened in other books) might occur, but i don't believe her that arrogant.

JK MUST protect the legacy of Harry, cuz SHE is harry.

Bruce Hayden

One thing I find interesting is how shallowly I read the HP books. I vaguely remember these ccnversations, but sure couldn't remember enough specifics to be making the points that you all are making. So, thanks.

I think that maybe WPinto has it with Snape. We know that he is tortured, but also trusted by Dumledore - yet he "kills" Dumledore. I just have had the strong feeling all along that he will turn out not to be evil after all.

I also think that Draco has to be redeemed. After all, he we the callow youth with no redeeming personal traits, up until he ran away at the end of the last book. And, I like the idea of him being redeemed by Hermione. But that doesn't mean that he can't die after all. If he is going to be redeemed, then what is more logical than having him see the light, change sides, and ultimately die a hero?

But I don't see thig logic applying to Snape. If he was good, after all, and not just redeemed, as Draco may be, then the series would be sending a wrong message, someone suffers all through the series, doing the right thing, no matter how hard, only to die at the end, while everyone else lives.

I also don't believe Harry dies, despite the well reasoned Anchoress article. I have read a lot of fantasy over the last 40 years, and almost invariably, the one person who survives is the main hero. If, at the end of a book, the bad guys are still around, just (usually thwarted, at least for now), then there will usually be more books. And if they aren't, then the series can end. But the whole point is that the good guy wins and survives. (Sometimes, who is the main good guy (or gal) shifts through a series, allowing a previous main good guy to die in a later book). But it is not uncommon for the good guys to vanquish the apparent evil, only to discover a new evil in a subsequent book or series.

What has to be remembered is that the series is written for juveniles. And those books just don't work if the hero dies in the end. Yes, she has made a lot of money on the series already, but if she doesn't stay within the rules in the end, the series is likely to die a quick death, instead of joining Tokien, C.S. Lewis, et al. as a classic.

Tom Maguire

I still hope the phoenix rises again.

That phoenix is SO on the come-back trail.

Aslan made it back, Gandalf made it back (Obi-Wan Kenobi, not so much) - I think Dumbledore surprises us by returning but it will take Harry vanquishing Voldy to do it.

Obvious points - while Dumbledore lived, he was the ultimate Deus ex machina. There was no juice in the Harry-Voldy showdown becuase you knew Dumbledore could bail him out anyway. Now, suspense!

Plot problem - as a former headmaster, shouldn't Dumbledore be appearing in the Hogwarts portrait in the headmaster's office? How "dead" is that, if he is available for consultations and can dump his store of knowledge onto Harry and the world?

I assume she finesses that - e.g., Harry won't even be at Hogwarts - but it is a problem.

cboldt

Major thread "hijack," although not intended to strike up debate or discussion here in Potter-land, so perhaps not a hijack at all.


Is this case the same "Sealed v. Sealed" that Leopold and company were speculating was related to Rove or Cheney and the "Plame disclosure"?

Robin

Yes, but you're missing the point about Tolkien - Frodo saves Middle Earth and the Shire, but not for himself. I don't think Rowling feels as much responsibility to her readers (saving Harry) as she does to the story. She wrote the ending as she wrote the first book remember. Over time, these characters have surely become like family to her, but to overturn the integrity of her plotting to salvage a beloved character is not going to happen. Dumbledore's death was a killer to read. When I read aloud the funeral scene, I was so choked up my then 9 year old had to step in and take over.

I think that Harry's acceptance of the task to confront Valdemort is a critical clue to the ending. Remember much of the series has been about "destiny" vs. "free will." Dumbledore told Harry at the end of Book 5 that while the prophecy foretells of the possibility of Voldemort's death at the hands of the child born in the 7th month to parents who have 3 times eluded him (and two children fit this description), it is Voldemort's decision that determines which child is the actor in the prophecy. Yet, he tells Harry that he does not have to accept this destiny, he can walk away from it.

Harry's choice to accept his role in the future, whatever it may be, echoes the journey of both Frodo and Aslan in the Narnia series. Both understand that personal sacrifice is necessary for the greater good, indeed for the preservation of an entire world, and that they may no longer have a place in that world. I think that Rowling's professed deep admiration for the Inklings storytelling is pretty indicative of Harry's necessary demise.

Those who survive the final confrontation with Voldemort will live to tell of Harry's personal sacrifice from first-hand knowledge. They will bear the legacy of storytellers, which is what the Inklings were all about after all. Remember the conversation between Frodo and Sam in their journey when Frodo talks about the courage of Sam Wise to assist Frodo in his mission and how he will live to tell the story? Frodo already knew that the outcome would not be favorable for him, but that the others on the journey would have to share the story and make it a legend. This is the genius of good storytelling and why the Harry Potter books will live on. CS Lewis's books were not written incredibly well - the narration is bumpy at times, but the imagination behind it and the love of the idea of storytelling was so ingenius that it overshadows the flaws.

Robin

Oh yes, that bit about the portraits? Dumbledore is dead, no doubt about it. But is there another portrait of him elsewhere (like Sirius's uncle at both Grimmauld Place and Hogwarts) that he can used to counsel Harry? Someplace a little more convenient, like at the Ministry of Magic, where I believe the final showdown will occur?

Robin

My predictions:

Harry dies.

Ron and Hermione marry and take over Hogwarts.

Ginny writes the legend of Harry.

Neville becomes Minister of Magic and carries out the hopes of his grandmother in becoming a great figure in the magical world, having won acclaim by fighting at Harry's side until the end. Neville is Harry's Sam Wise, who become mayor of the Shire.

richard mcenroe

Tom Maguire — Obi-Wan Kenobi was a lying sack of **** in a dirty brown bathrobe ("My SISTER? Jaysus, I could go to jail just for what I was THINKING!". He belongs dead.

maryrose

Thank you TM for a wonderful thread. I believe in Book 6 the statement was made that most likely Harry and company would not be returning to Hogwarts. It will be interesting to see how Rowling begins this final book. I so want Hagrid to survive but I fear it is not to be. I always saw Hagrid as a father figure to Harry and he will need him now that Dumbledore is gone. What about Professor McGonegal? Any theories about her? Also it would be interesting to learn more about Hermoine's parents. I like the idea of Ron and Hermoine marrying and running Hogwarts.

PaulV

I am afraid that Harry's death would be an economic diaster to the films and future sales of the book. The Fugitive never did well in syndication after the one armed man was caught. But she is richer than the Queen of England, she needs no money. Let the magick die so that Harry can see his family. Otherwise Harry would have to come back from the grave like Sherlock Holmes had to

Robin

I disagree, nor do I think that matters to Rowlings. This is an entire world and a storyline that has been long in gestation. She wouldn't sacrifice the integrity of the story to sell books.

Harry will die - after all, he was "the Boy Who Lived" not the "Man."

Prof. McGonegal will head up Hogwarts and mentor the natural educator Herminone to take over. She will survive as she is too much of a secondary character to die. I hadn't thought of Hagrid's demise, but it makes sense. Hagrid was Harry's first introduction to the magical world outside of his infancy. His dying would complete a natural circle to one of the storylines.

richard mcenroe

Word is the studio is planning to continue the movies with Harry played as an adult by Scott Baio. Sources quote Baio as talking about basing the character on his work in Zapped!...

PaulV

Scott Baio? Please, please no, Richard

PaulV

Kill Harry first

maryrose

Richard:
Scott Baio Ugh!
That would be a Joanie loves Chachi Redux- No all original characters from the movies must remain.Dumbledore had to be replaced but all other casting is perfect as is.

sd

W.. da man.

MGM

I was reading HP and the Half Blood Prince this morning. I found it strange that McGonegal would walk directly to the Head Master's office without a second thought. I also think it is strange that she would try to get the information out of Harry. Why would Dumbledore tell Harry not to tell anyone but Ron and Hermione? While Dumbledore admits to making mistakes, I don't think he does. I think we are in for one amazing book. Don't let McGonegal take you by suprise.

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Wilson/Plame