Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter: Final Predictions

So Snape is really good, and Harry may or may not be a horcrux. But what else is going to happen in Deathly Hallows?

Basically, Harry has to go and hunt down the horcruxes, destroy them, and then kill Voldemort. There are supposed to be 6 horcruxes. Harry destroyed the first one, Riddle's diary, and Dumbledore took care of Gaunt's ring. That leaves four which Dumbledore has theorized include the following:
Horcrux #3: Slytherin's Locket
Horcrux #4: Hufflepuff's cup
Horcrux #5: Something of Ravenclaw's or Gryffindor's
Horcrux #6: Nagini the snake

Of course this list may not be quite correct. For example, the first one, Slytherin's locket, may have already been destroyed. The mysterious RAB may have already done some of Harry's work for him, as indicated in the note he left in the fake horcrux:
"To the Dark Lord:
I know I will be dead long before you read this
but I want you to know that it was I who discovered your secret.
I have stolen the real Horcrux and intend to destroy it as soon as I can.
I face death in the hope that when you meet your match, you will be mortal once more.
RAB" (HBP 569)
The identity of RAB is almost certainly Regulus Black, Sirius' younger brother who was a Death Eater. According to Sirius, Regulus "got in so far, then panicked about what he was being asked to do and tried to back out. Well, you don't just hand in your resignation to Voldemort. It's a lifetime of service or death" (OOTP 104). Lupin remembers that "Sirius's brother Regulus only managed a few days" (HBP 103) before he was killed. So were those few days enough to steal the horcrux and destroy it? Assuming, of course, that RAB is actually dead. No one ever says whether they saw Regulus' body, or if he just disappeared. In any case, I suspect that Harry will find the locket at 12 Grimmauld Place. One of the objects found in the cabinet they were cleaning out there was "a heavy locket none of them could open" (OOTP 108) and Slytherin's locket is described as "a heavy gold locket" (HBP 196).

I have also wondered about the last horcrux, supposedly Nagini the snake. Dumbledore thinks that this may be where Voldemort has recently chosen to hide the last seventh of his soul since he failed to create the last horcrux on the night of Harry's death... or did he? If you buy into the Harry-is-a-horcrux theory, then does that mean Nagini is actually the seventh horcrux, and Voldemort's soul has been divided into eight? Or was Dumbledore mistaken and is Nagini not a horcrux at all? Another thing to consider is that Voldemort knows that one of his horcruxes has been destroyed. Dumbledore tells Harry that "When Voldemort discovered that the diary had been mutilated and robbed of all its powers, I am told that his anger was terrible to behold" (HBP 474). For Voldemort, the idea of having his soul divided into the magical number seven was very important. So, if he knew that now there were only six pieces of his soul left, would he then try to create another horcrux? Or would that still be considered dividing it into pieces of eight, even if one piece was destroyed, and therefore less magical? There may yet be some changes to the list of horcruxes.

As for where Harry will go, I mentioned that the locket will most likely be found in 12 Grimmauld Place, the house which Harry now owns. Harry has also mentioned that he will be going to Godric's Hollow, the place where his parents last home was. I have often wondered about the name, Godric's Hollow, Godric Gryffindor. And we don't know much about Harry's father's family, other than that they were pure-bloods. Could Harry be the heir of Gryffindor? It would kind of make sense, that the heir of Slytherin and the heir of Gryffindor have a final showdown, so many centuries after the first rift between their houses occurred.

And of course Harry will go back to Hogwarts. He has said that he won't, and maybe he won't go back for classes, but I think at least one of the horcruxes will be hidden there. Dumbledore has remarked that "Voldemort was, I believe, more attached to this school than he has ever been to a person. Hogwarts was where he had been happiest; the first and only place he had felt at home....the castle is a stronghold of ancient magic. Undoubtedly Voldemort had penetrated many more of its secrets than most of the students who pass through the place, but he may have felt that there were still mysteries to unravel, stores of magic to tap" (HBP 403).

There is another possible hiding place that I thought of, though I got it from looking off of one of the cover illustrations for the new book, so it's kind of cheating. In the picture, Ron, Hermione and Harry are tumbling through a circular opening into what looks like a mound of treasure. Could Voldemort have hidden one of his horcruxes in a vault in Gringott's? It sounds horribly obvious, but there it is.

So we know Ron and Hermione will be accompanying Harry, but who else will make an appearance in the book? Obviously, Luna will be back. And Ginny as well. I think Harry made a mistake in breaking up with her at the end of Book 6, because they love each other, and that is Harry's strength. He shouldn't be trying to distance himself from his friends, even if his intention is to protect them. And of course, Neville, who will have a huge role to play. He is, of course, the other boy to whom the prophecy may have referred to at one point, causing some people to speculate that he really is the chosen one and it will be him that has to kill Voldemort in the end. I don't know about that, but I do think that a confrontation between Neville and Bellatrix Lestrange is inevitable. He will avenge the torture of his parents, or die trying. Another character who may possibly return is Victor Krum. If he does, I foresee a potential love triangle between Ron, Hermione and Victor, which may finally force some feelings out into the open.

And what of Sirius? He's supposed to be dead, and Dumbledore has told Harry several times that there is no spell that can bring back the dead... but the purpose of the mysterious archway into which Sirius fell has never been explained. I think there's a possibility that we will see Sirius again. And Dumbledore? Once again, I have to say that I do think Snape really did kill him. But I also note that Dumbledore has been strongly associated with the phoenix throughout. When the phoenix dies, it bursts into flames, and is then reborn again from the ashes. At Dumbledore's funeral, his casket is engulfed in flames. I'm not saying that there'll be a baby Dumbledore wandering around in Book 7, but I think maybe, in some form, we will hear from him again. [and I must put in a little note here to thank my Dad who pointed out to me the association between Dumbledore and the phoenix]. And even if Dumbledore doesn't come back, there's always his brother. Moody points him out in a picture of the Order of the Phoenix: "That's Dumbledore's brother Aberforth, only time I ever met him, strange bloke" (OOTP 158). If Aberforth is still alive, and strange bloke or not, if he's even half as talented as his brother, he may be able to help Harry out in some way.

And the bad guys? Cuz they'll be there as well. Harry's old nemesis Draco Malfoy will be back again. I think that he will redeem himself and end up saving Harry's life or something. And I think Draco will also survive. He'll be one of the ones to carry on after the final battle's done. Severus Snape will also have an important role to play. Harry's going to try and kill him, but I think Severus may end up saving Harry as well. I also think Snape is going probably going to be one of the ones to kick it. Harry will finally hear his story and find out that Snape is on his side, and then Snape's going to die. And then there's also Peter Pettigrew. He's going to have an important role to play, possibly in the final battle. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry decides to spare Pettigrew's life. Dumbledore says, "Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them... and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter. This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me... the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life" (POA 311). So I think that Pettigrew may also end up dying for Harry, to make up for the fact that he betrayed Harry's father.

So, what about the final battle? How will it all end? Will Harry die?

Right from the beginning, before we even know about the prophecy, Harry's fate is already looking grim. In the first book, when Harry encounters Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, Firenze the centaur intervenes and saves Harry's life. Firenze is then rebuked by the other centaurs: "Remember Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" (PS 187). Then when Firenze leaves Harry, he says to him "Good luck, Harry Potter...The planets have been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times." (189). It's possible the centaurs have merely read what the prophecy says, that Harry will one day have to face Voldemort. But they're not sounding very hopeful, are they? Harry himself says later on, "Bane thinks Firenze should have let Voldemort kill me...I suppose that's written in the stars as well" (190). So what do the centaurs see? Can they see Harry's death? If so, is it possible, as Firenze says, that they may be wrong?

The prophecy isn't much help either. It says "either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives". Now that doesn't necessarily mean that Harry will die, but it doesn't mean he'll live either. Either must die, so one of them's got to. But it doesn't say anything about one of them surviving for sure.

If you believe that Harry's a horcrux, then his chances of survival go down even further. One thing that we know for sure is that all the horcruxes must be destroyed before someone kills Voldemort. If he is killed and even one horcrux still exists, then it will be the same thing all over again as the night he tried to kill Harry. So, let's look at the possible scenarios:
Scenario #1: Harry realizes he's a horcrux and decides to kill himself, or has someone else kill him. Then someone else will have to finish off Voldemort for him. The most popular contender for this position is Neville Longbottom, as he is the other boy who could have been the chosen one. I personally don't think this will work. First of all, Neville could have been the chosen one, but he wasn't "marked" as Harry was. Harry is the chosen one, and it's GOT to be him and Voldemort in the end. Nothing else makes sense.
Scenario #2: Harry and Voldemort kill each other at exactly the same time, so Voldemort and his final horcrux are both destroyed. It's possible, but I think it's pretty unlikely.
Scenario #3: Harry realizes he's a horcrux, but someone figures out a way to destroy the bit of Voldemort's soul without killing Harry. This one I like pretty well. Though when you look at what's happened to the other horcruxes, I'm thinking it's going to be difficult to destroy the soul without also destroying the vessel. Riddles diary got pierced with the fang of a basilisk. And I don't know what Dumbledore did to Gaunt's ring, but it ended up with a huge crack down the middle. Still, it's possible, and this way Harry still gets to face Voldemort in the end.

And how will Harry get rid of Voldemort? Voldemort is the most powerful wizard on earth now that Dumbledore's gone. Dumbledore himself says that "Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul. Never forget, though, that while his soul may be damaged beyond repair, his brain and his magical power remain intact. It will take uncommon skill and power to kill a wizard like Voldemort, even without his Horcruxes" (HBP 475). Harry is fairly talented, especially in Defence Against the Dark Arts, but he can't hope to defeat Voldemort in a regular wizard's duel. Dumbledore has said to Harry again and again that it will be his ability to love, his ability to feel emotion that will help him the most. Dumbledore tells Harry that "the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength" (OOTP 726). At one point, Dumbledore mentions something about a special room in the Department of Mysteries: "There is a room in the Department of Mysteries that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from posession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you." (OOTP 743). When Harry and the others were in the Department of Mysteries and they were in the room with the revolving doors, there was one door that none of them could open. Could this be the mysterious locked room, the one that holds the power of love? And if so, will Harry be able to somehow use this force against Voldemort? Something else which may come to play an important role is the fact that Harry's blood now runs through Voldemort's veins. When Harry tells Dumbledore that Voldemort said "my blood would make him stronger than if he'd used someone else's...He said the protection my - my mother left in me - he'd have it, too. And he was right - he could touch me without hurting himself, he touched my face. For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore's eyes."(GOF 604) What the significance of this is, I cannot say.

And I also cannot say if Harry will survive. Even if he's not a horcrux, there's no guarantee. And if he doesn't, I won't necessarily mind, as long as she does it right. I've read children's books before where one of the main characters dies, most recently Ptolemy's Gate. And in that one it was excruciatingly sad, but at the same time, it was inevitable and felt, somehow, right. In any case, I'm sure I will cry, even if Harry doesn't die, cuz it will all be over.

So, those are my last predictions. Anyone else?

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