Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Harry Potter and the Caught-Up Reader

A few thoughts today:

  • I’m finally finished! Now, I can read something else.
  • (sinking feeling of emptiness) I’m finished…I guess I’ll have to read something else…

Those are my contradictory thoughts on finishing Harry Potter books 1-6. In April, I decided to catch up with a large percentage of the world and get ready for Book 7 this summer. I have read nothing but Harry Potter since 22 April. I did the math last night: 6 books (of 3300+ pages) in 6 weeks. That was 550 pages a week, 78 pages a day. I have not read that much so fast since, perhaps elementary school when I blazed through Hardy Boys and Three Investigators books. As I mentioned in a prior post, the audiobook-in-the-day/real-book-at-night thing was great. I was never without Harry Potter and his friends. And the ending of the sixth book (I’m talking the last pages of the last chapter) really foreshadowed the feeling we all will get later this summer when we’ve all bought and read Book 7: life without Harry Potter will be upon us.

A few thoughts. I expected Ron and Hermoine to be together by now. The movies hinted at it quicker than the books. That surprised me. Harry and Ginny getting together. That was nice although I did not see it coming until Rowling wrote about Harry’s feelings. Makes sense, though. Draco’s hesitancy at killing Dumbledore was good to see. It showed his façade as a ruthless person. Like the actor who plays Lucious said in the extras for the Chamber of Secrets movie, he wanted the audience to have some sympathy for Draco. Now, just like Harry, we actually do. It would be cool to have Harry save Draco in the sixth book.

So, like a lot of people, I’d like to write my Top-10 predictions. Why? Because that’s what I do. For those who still want to experience the joy of these books, stop reading now. SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.

  1. Snape is not purely evil nor is he purely on Voldemort’s side. Dumbledore has proof of Snape’s decision to be on Dumbledore’s side. I still trust Dumbledore. But, also, Draco said Snape is a double agent. Snape has his own agenda. And I think that somehow, somewhen, he made an unbreakable vow to James and/or Lily to look after and protect Harry. How else can you explain his actions against Harry at the end of Book 6. Snape could have easily just killed Harry but even in his flight, Snape kept teaching Harry, all but saying “The only way you can get me (and Voldemort) is to learn to cast spells without using your voice.”
  2. Ever since Book 2, I have had the sneaking suspicion that Harry, who was endowed with the power of love (no song, please) by his mother, would sacrifice himself. And, since Rowling has stated this is the end of the Harry Potter series, the best way for her to ensure no other books are written is to kill off her hero. Granted, that’s a bit of a market-driven reasoning but the Love Thing was emphasized in Book 6. So, somehow, I do think Harry is gone. It will all matter how Rowling sees her hero. For Frodo, he lived to destroy the ring. After that, he had nothing much to live for. For Luke Skywalker, he lived to become a Jedi and had something to live for. Which way will Harry go? A large part of me finds it hard to believe that Harry, after killing Voldemort, goes to work for the Ministry or becomes and Auror and lives happily ever after with Ginny.
  3. And speaking of Ginny, I think that she will not just allow Harry to go off and fight. Her steely resolve is part of the reason Harry is drawn to her. She will be there, in the end.
  4. But I also think that Snape will also sacrifice himself. It will bring him full-circle and rid himself of his irritating vows. He sneers at Harry partly because he sees James in Harry and, because of the vow, has to not take overt revenge on the son of his tormentor.
  5. Lily Potter. One thing that struck me at the end of Book 5: Dumbledore commented that Harry was a half-blood and that’s why Voldemort chose Harry over Neville. How is Harry a half-blood? James and Lily both went to Hogwarts. My only guess (and this goes to the flashback to the night Lily and James died) is that, somehow, Lily lost her powers. If I remember correctly, in the flashbacks, Voldemort asked Lily to leave and get out of the way. Perhaps that is because she did not have powers at that point. But that her sacrifice enabled her latent powers to be transferred to Harry.
  6. Draco. I’m thinking that his hesitation in killing Dumbledore will not be his undoing. Snape made the unbreakable vow to Draco’s mother and I predict he did it to James/Lily too. As such, I could certainly see Snape dying to save Draco or Harry.
  7. Harry and Draco. I don’t know if we’ll see a scene of the two of them teaming up to thwart the enemy but it is possible. At the very least, we’ll get a scene, I think, where Harry could easily choose to destroy/hurt Draco and choose not too. Now, depending on Draco’s reaction to this, he’ll either do something stupid and get in the way or ‘throw himself on his sword’. I don’t think the second is likely but it is possible.
  8. James’s death at the hands of Voldemort. IIRC, that has not yet been explained in detail. Snape figures in this, too.
  9. Sirius Black. I’m not sure he’s really dead but he’s certainly not walking on the earth. Since there were whispers from behind that curtain, he is certainly not alone. Might this be just one way to become a ghost.
  10. Neville. I’ve loved the progression of Neville’s character since book 1. And only he and Ginny responded to the alarm at the end of Book 6 so you know he’s ready for anything. There is still an outside shot the Neville can factor in Voldemort’s death.
  11. Ron and Hermoine. I do think they will end up together and will live happily ever after.

Oh, and I can’t wait until 21 July to see if I’m correct and to take one last long ride with Harry Potter.

8 comments:

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