Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Book Trout Predicts Harry Potter VII

The Book Trout and her two fingerlings eagerly await the arrival of the seventh and concluding book in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series which will arrive at the stroke of midnight this Friday. We will be going to a Potter Party at Red Fox Books in Glens Falls, New York to eagerly await its distribution and can't wait to dive in. After rereading Books 6 and 7 in the series and watching the new film based on "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", Book 5, I, like Hogwarts Divination Professor Sibyl Trelawney (seen above played loopily by the divine Emma Thompson) have some predictions about what might happen in the final installment.

1) Aberforth Dumbledore, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore's brother, who is only briefly referred to in the books, will have a major role in the final chapters. He is the bartender at The Hog's Head, the seedier of the two taverns in the nearby village of Hogsmeade and is mentioned by Albus as having had some shady dealings in the past with a goat (?!?). In the Order of the Phoenix movie, in the scene where Harry has his first meeting with other students to see if there is interest in having him teach them some of the defense against the dark arts tactics, they meet at the Hog's Head and there is a brief shot of a rotund bartender with a long beard chasing a goat out of the bar. A minor detail in the book, but significantly included in a film that cut a lot of other more important subplots and details. I believe Dumbledore is truly dead, despite his having a special affiliation with his pet phoenix, but that Aberforth may have promised Albus to look after Harry in the event of his death.

2) I think that Neville will be killed in this book, although he will not go out without having defended Harry or jumped in the way of a fatal curse or something equally deadly from Voldemort. He will be shown to be another kind of hero, one with bravery and loyalty, but without the natural coordination and flash that Harry has. I think his mastery of Herbology will serve him well in Book Seven, and he may cure one of his buddies with some kind of herbal potion.

3) Rowling has also stated that a second major character will meet his/her demise in this "bloodbath" novel, and I think it may be Lucius Malfoy. There is a lot of sympathetic treatment of his son, Draco in Book Six, when he procrastinates and agonizes over the task which Voldemort has given him, the assassination of Albus Dumbledore. Equally, Lucius' wife, Narcissa, is also seen sympathetically in the opening scenes of Book Six, with her grave concern for Draco and his dangerous assignment. I think there could be a dramatic scene with Draco gaining redemption for himself and his mother, with some intervention in a battle between Harry and Lucius.

4) I think ultimately, Harry will end up killing Voldemort or diminishing him back to his wormlike state by destroying all or six out of the seven horcruxes, and that he will not become an Auror, but the Defense against Dark Arts instructor at Hogwarts.

5) Snape will ultimately be proven to be a hero in this book as well. I think Rowling sets up the reasons for his initial attraction to dark magic very sympathetically, i.e. parental abuse, bullying at school, and though I haven't reasoned out why Albus Dumbledore believes him to be completely trustworthy, I think he is truly a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix. Perhaps my faith in Snape lies in my crush on actor Alan Rickman, who purrs as he delivers his cutting Snape lines in the Potter films, but that simply can't be helped.

I can't wait for the delicious pleasure on Friday night. Maybe one of my predictions will be accurate, or maybe I'm like Trelawney and just off the mark entirely. In either event, I can't wait for Rowling's magic to unfold.

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