Open Harry Potter Speculation Thread:

In just one week, the long-awaited final book of the Harry Potter series will be out. So this week is your last chance to indulge in speculation about the plot. To facilitate that important purpose, I am creating this open Harry Potter thread, so that VC readers who are also Harry Potter fans can ponder such burning questions as the following:

1. Is Snape good or evil?

2. Is Dumbledore really dead?

3. Which characters will live and which will die?

4. What are the remaining horcruxes?

5. What, if anything, is the most important theme of the series?

A few speculations of my own, that I'm not going to try to support with any analysis:

Snape: good.

Dumbledore: dead.

Characters I think will die: Voldemort, Snape, at least one Weasley (not Ron or Ginny), Hagrid, most of the Death Eaters.

Horcruxes: I don't have any really good guesses on this one.

Moral of the story: No one clear moral, but several different themes. One that is certainly present is a very skeptical view of government. Another is that universal values such as love, freedom, friendship, opposition to evil, etc., cut across racial, ethnic, and cultural divisions. As Dumbledore says in The Goblet of Fire (pg. 723): "differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."

This is not to suggest that J.K. Rowling is a libertarian or conservative. She isn't; as far as I can tell, her politics are conventionally left-liberal. Nonetheless, the books do take a dim view of both government and moral and cultural relativism. At the same time, it would be a big mistake to assume that these political and philosophical themes exhaust the series, or are even its most important aspect.

And for the killjoys who may claim that this post is inappropriate for a "legal blog," I would point out that 1) we are not just a legal blog, and 2) there are many legal themes in Harry Potter. See here and here, for analyses by legal scholars. The second link is an entire symposium on "Harry Potter and the Law."

Speculate away!

UPDATE: I initially forgot to note my expectation that Snape will die. I have amended the post to add him to the list of the (soon to be) dead.

Related Posts (on one page):

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  2. Open Harry Potter Speculation Thread:
Kieran (mail) (www):
Harry is a Horcrux. Ron dies.
7.13.2007 11:28pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
Harry's lightning-bolt thingy is a horcrux.
7.13.2007 11:37pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
Harry loses his magical powers.
7.13.2007 11:42pm
cirby (mail):
I'm pretty sure we're going to lose either Fred or George, but Percy as an outside chance. And at least one Hogwarts teacher.

(Side note: "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes" joke shop will end up being the "secret weapons" establishment - a nod to the "Wheezers and Dodgers" of the WWII researchers at the Royal Navy Department of Miscellaneous Weapons Development.)

Snape's evil, but he's honorable, so he's probably been doing the right thing (as much as possible).

I think Dumbledore's alive - or that someone even more powerful is waiting in the wings.
7.13.2007 11:51pm
Daniel San:
Voldemort does not die. Dumbledore has told him that there are worse things than death.

Harry enters the world of the dead, but finds his way back.
7.13.2007 11:53pm
Kieran (mail) (www):
Harry refuses to help the stupid Muggles and retreats to a mountain stronghold in the Rockies, followed by many of Hogwarts best wizards. Oh no wait.
7.13.2007 11:58pm
In the last 20 pages, Nancy Reagan shows up to deliver a powerful anti-drug message to Hogwarts. Voldemort, moved by her sincerity, realizes the crippling effects of magic addiction and the destructive force magic-related crime has had on our inner cities. He gives up his wayward path and devotes his time to convincing municipalities to build more youth centers. Harry and his classmates graduate, most happy to take entry-level positions in sales or marketing; later on, some will become active in their PTAs.
7.14.2007 12:08am
Eryk Boston (mail):
1. He is evil but will do at least one significant good deed that will affect the outcome.
2. Yes
3. Belatrix has to go, preferably by Neville. One of the twins and Lupin.
4. Nagini, Huffepuff's cup, the sword would be a interesting plot twist.
5. After almost 4000 pages, I'd expect more than one theme.

I might as well include a link to my own essay on the topic:

Potter Essay
7.14.2007 12:17am
Dan28 (mail):
Well, skeptical of the government, sure, but JKR is clearly liberal. Entrepreneurship is valued (Fred &George), but the pursuit of great wealth is not looked upon favorably either nor are the wealthy generally (Vernon Dursley, Lucius Malfoy, Black family) and public service (Weasleys) is valued above everything else. Hard to say that a book that makes a middle manager bureaucrat a minor hero (Arthur Weasley) is libertarian.

But anyway, the big themes aren't political, they are touchy-feely spiritual. Be true to yourself, believe and trust in your goodness, you can ultimately choose your path for yourself, so choose to be great. I think JKR will drill that point home in the resolution of Malfoy's character (who I think gets redeemed by the end, and perhaps saves Harry's life).
7.14.2007 12:17am
Ilya Somin:
public service (Weasleys) is valued above everything else. Hard to say that a book that makes a middle manager bureaucrat a minor hero (Arthur Weasley) is libertarian.

Ben Barton deals with this in the article I link in the post. Public service is surely not valued above everything else in the book, at least in so far as public service=government service. Mr. Weasley is a less important positive charater than many others such as Ron, Hermione, Harry, Dumbledore, Neville, etc. Moreover, he is in fact stymied by the bureaucratic system which rewards his efforts by putting him in a dead end job where he has no influence. From a libertarian point of view, Arthur Weasley is an example of how well-intentioned individuals are not enough to overcome the systematic flaws of government (though I'm not at all sure that this was part of Rowling's intent in creating the character).
7.14.2007 12:23am
crane (mail):
It would make a lot of sense for Harry himself to be a horcrux; if he has part of Voldemort's soul, that would explain why he shares so many of Voldemort's talents.

That logically implies, though, that he would have to commit suicide to finally kill Voldemort.

Maybe he gets to come back to life afterwards, as a sort of Christ figure? The Christian fundamentalists already think the books are full of witchcraft anyway, so there's not much market share to be lost from them.
7.14.2007 12:23am
Snape: good, but consumed by grudges
Dumbledore: more powerful than you could possibly imagine
Deaths: I'll take 1:2 odds that Harry buys it, along with Voldemort of course. Also the new Black brother. But not Draco Malfoy.
7.14.2007 12:39am
Michael Barclay (mail):
Plot spoiler for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Here are my predicted chapter headings and plot summary of the key, penultimate chapter of book 7. Read further at your own peril.

As to the chapter headings, we have been warned by no less an authority than J.K. Rowling herself that book 7 will be a dark book. Very dark. So dark, in fact, that all but two of the chapter headings have the word "die" (or a variant) in them -- the exceptions being chapter 1, which is the usual mushy Rowling introduction, and the last chapter, which is the even mushier Rowling conclusion, talking about what Harry (if he lives) and his friends will do in the future. The predicted chapter headings are thus as follows:

1. The Beginning of the End
2. Dudley Dies
3. Dobby Dies
4. Mr. Filch Dies
5. Professor Trelawney Dies
6. Nearly Headless Nick Dies. . . Again
7. Percy Dies
8. Crabbe and Goyle Die
9. Cho Dies
10. Buckbeak Dies
11. Cornelius Fudge Dies
12. Dumbledore, Sirius, James and Lily Are Still Dead
13. Hedwig Dies
14. Lupin Dies
15. All the Remaining Horcruxes Die
16. Hagrid Dies
17. Wormtail Dies
18. Lucius and Draco Malfoy Die (Applause!)
19. Either Voldemort or Harry Die (and you will have to read the chapter to find out what happens to Snape)
20. The End of the Beginning

So the key chapter is 19, "Either Voldemort or Harry Die." Keep reading for the real spoiler.

At the end of Chapter 18, Harry and his friends have succeeded in killing Lucius and Draco Malfoy. Unfortunately, in doing so, Harry is not only separated from his friends, but he has lost his wand, and worse yet, is in one of those distant Hogwarts towers surrounded by Voldemort and Snape.

Snape: Can I kill him, my lord? Please, please, can I kill him?
Voldemort: No, Snape, the pleasure is mine. But first, I must deliver a lengthy sermon on how, in the end, evil must always triumph over good.
Voldemort: Blah, blah, blah.
Harry: You won't get away with this, Voldemort. But first, let me give my angst-filled speech on why good triumphs over evil, or at least I sometimes think it should.
Harry: Still more blah, blah, blah.
Voldemort: Enough of this! Harry, you must now die.
Snape: Pleeeease?
Voldemort: No.
Voldemort: For you, Harry, the Avada Kedavra curse I have been saving for a long time.
[Voldemort aims his wand at Harry and hurls the curse. Just then, Snape throws his body in front of Harry, absorbing the full blow of Voldemort's curse, but at the same time, Snape launches his own Avada Kedavra curse at the unsuspecting Voldemort, killing him instantly. Harry rushes to the side of the dying Snape.]

Harry: Professor Snape, are you OK?
Snape: Harry -- I am your father. Whoops, wrong fantasy, let me try again.
Snape: Harry -- Dumbledore told you that you could trust me. Cough, cough. [Snape dies.]
Harry: Noooooo!


Enjoy the book when it comes out on July 21. And don't say that I didn't tell you so.

--Michael Barclay
7.14.2007 12:46am
theobromophile (www):
Silly question: how can Harry (or, more importantly, his scar) be a Horcrux?

"'A Horcrux is a word used for an object in which a peson has concealed part of their [sic] soul.'
'I don't quite understand how it works, though, sir,' said Riddle.
His voice was carefully controlled, but Harry could sense his excitement.
'Well, you split your soul, you see,' said Slughorn, 'and hide part of it an an object outside the body....'"
(pg. 497)

Harry's scar was created when he was attacked with the AK curse, right? Could you really create a Horcrux by accident? Voldemort meant to kill Harry; why put your Horcrux in the object you are trying to destroy?


Snape: ultimately good. Harry isn't capable of killing Voldemort (lacks enough evil to perform a curse like that - although he could if he saw Ron or Ginny die), but Snape is.

The other option is that someone could sacrifice himself (or herself) to avoid the curse, and it could rebound on Voldemort.

Who dies? Well, there are nine Weasleys. If one of them doesn't die, there will be a Volokh thread on the probability of such and whether or not it's statistically significant. ;)

Ron or Ginny would be the obvious ones, as those are the ones Harry loves best. Then again, Mr. &Mrs. Weasley have been like parents to Harry, and JK is definitely into killing all of Harry's parental figures.
7.14.2007 1:02am
Adam K:
Snape is "good" in the sense that he is aligned against Voldemort. Left to his own designs, he might well be evil, but it's possible that it's out of his hands at this point. I don't think that there is any doubt that he killed Dumbledore in accordance with Dumbledore's own wishes. My theory is that Snape made an unbreakable vow to protect Harry, or something similar, after Voldemort killed Lily Potter, which is why Dumbledore trusted him so implicitly.

I am holding onto the thinnest of hopes that Sirius returned from the realm of the dead. His "death" still chaps my tukhis.
7.14.2007 1:04am
theobromophile (www):

The other option is that someone could sacrifice himself (or herself) to avoid the curse, and it could rebound on Voldemort.

Meant to say, "...someone could sacrifice himself or herself to prevent Harry (or another) from dying...."
7.14.2007 1:06am
Dave Wangen (mail):
I am of the firm opinion that Snape has already been proven evil, regardless of anything that could possibly happen in the last book.

I'll be getting it from the Library someday. Frankly, I was a fan until Book 6 confirmed a negative opinion of Book 5, so I really don't care much no more.

Although if she turns Snape and/or Draco into a great hero, ESPECIALLY if they survive, I plan on throwing a festive bonfire...
7.14.2007 1:07am
plunge (mail):
There's no point in asking if Dumbledore is really dead: Rowling has said straight out that yes he's dead and he's not coming back to life. That's that.

Snape is good. There isn't any other way around it: there is too much we don't know about Snape's past, why Dumbledore trusts him and so forth. We already have the strongest case that can be made for Snape being evil already presented: all any of this additional information can do is exonerate and or excuse him. Note things like the fact that we only saw one of the several different memories that Snape took out of his mind when teaching Harry occlumency. There is also far too much we don't know about the affect of the potion Dumbledore drank and the apparent curse put upon him in destroying the Horcrux ring: odds are very very good that Dumbledore was already dying, and knew it. Dumbledore as a character would NEVER beg for his life: he was begging Snape to do what they both knew Snape couldn't avoid: kill Dumbledore in order to save the lives of both Harry and Malfoy.

The last and final Horcrux is Harry himself. As others have noted, the connection between Voldemort and Harry is simple: Harry possesses part of Voldemort's soul. That's why they share moods, have windows into each others minds and are connected: what else could possibly explain it other than that? Voldemort is explicitly said to be intending to create his last and final Horcrux with the death of Harry: when the spell goes wrong, Harry lives, but Voldy's soul is already split, and Harry ends up with a portion of it. Hints of this (aside from merely the obvious mental and emotional connections) are given throughout the series: Dumbledore's little spell in his office with the two smoky snakes, his note of triumph that Voldy has bound himself to Harry, the realization that Harry has the ability to love (which protects him from ultimate corruption), and through their connection, to infect Voldemort with this love.

Some of the real mysteries are what the heck was going on with RAB (Regulus Black?), and why exactly it was so important to the story that Sirius had to die (as well as how that two-way mirror thing, which is still in pieces in Harry's trunk as far as we know).

The most recent movie was a failure on nearly every level, imho. It hit virtually none of the emotional notes that made book 5 so great, and replaced most of the good ideas and dialogue with Hollywood cliches. I can understand needing to cut back and reshape the story in order to get the running time down to two hours. But at least replace it with something other than the cookiecutter maudlin bullshit lines that are in a million other movies. Why pay for a property like Harry Potter if you are just going to rescript the same drek that's in every other lazy script?
7.14.2007 1:12am

"'A Horcrux is a word used for an object in which a peson has concealed part of their [sic] soul.'

If that is true, why couldn't the scar be a horcrux in which Voldemort concealed part of his soul, so that Harry is Voldemort?

My question is thusly: will Hermione lose her virginity, and her powers?
7.14.2007 1:14am
plunge (mail):
"Harry's scar was created when he was attacked with the AK curse, right? Could you really create a Horcrux by accident? Voldemort meant to kill Harry; why put your Horcrux in the object you are trying to destroy?"

Note some things here.

-Dumbledore speculates that the last Horcrux is Nagini, but is notably DOUBTFUL about this speculation. When super-wise characters do that, its usually a signal that the doubt is ultimately justified. The real point for Rowling having him engage in that speculation at all is to show that it's perfectly plausible that a living thing can be a Horcrux: it doesn't have to be an object.
-it's said explicitly that Voldemort intends Harry to be the death that creates the final Horcrux. It is the act of murder itself that is the core element of this spell (splitting the soul), and so whatever other enchantments are required were almost certainly already in play when Voldemort tried to kill Harry. Obviously, things went totally wrong for Voldy: there's no reason he would have had to INTEND to make Harry the final Horcrux: all his plans and spells were just plain hella screwed up when the curse rebounded.
7.14.2007 1:20am
Stephen Humphrey (mail) (www):
1. Snape good, acting faithfully on Dumbledore's behalf, even in his killing.

2. Dumbledore dead, but still influential in death.

3. Harry dies, of course. Ideally after saving Draco when Lucius forsakes his son on orders from Voldemort. Ron and Hermione must live in order to carry Harry's legacy forward with a child of their own (with the explicit promise of same at the end of 7). Harry dies at the identical moment as Voldemort. Other probable deaths: Neville (heroically), Snape (redeemed), Lucius (sniveling, at V's hand), both twins (saving their family), many Muggles (but not including the Dursleys, thanks directly to Harry).

Besides Harry, the most important "death" will be Rowling's, as she will never write anything important again (which is okay; the original, seven-part series will live rightly as a true classic, and will be sullied neither by uncountable but inevitably mediocre attempts at fan-fic nor by unwise [and therefore, unlikely] sequels by J. K. herself).

4. Horcruxes include Harry's scar. Something else at Hogwarts, where the culminating battle (but not most of 7's story) takes place. Rowling will do her best to keep Dumbledore from being an obvious Obi-wan clone, but the parallels will be unmistakable, and Albus will be somehow "present" at the final battle.

5. Primary theme is the Hero's Journey, including the classic Hero's Death in the service of Man.
7.14.2007 1:22am
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
1. Snape is good - Dumbledore had him appear to kill him to save Malfoy from having to go to the dark side and kill him as he'd been ordered to do.

2. Dumbledore was already gravely injured by the 'faux poison' he was compelled to drink. (remember that Horcrux had been tampered with by Sirius Black's brother - the fluid within it was a replacement for the real poison). By blasting Dumbledore's body over the edge he appeared to die giving him time to plan, save Malfoy and remove any doubts the other Death Eaters had about Snape.

3. Harry will die but someone (probably Dumbledore) will somehow make a switch - his life for Harry's.

4. We know the snake is one and we know Harry is one - I mean really the attack fractured an already fractured soul and embedded part in Harry. Explains all the similarities, explains the prophecy.

5. Its a children's book, the themes are pretty simple and revolve around the one we use to socialize humanity everywhere - empathy for others is better than selfishness for oneself. Whether its actually true or not is something else again.
7.14.2007 1:47am
1. Good. The chase scene at the end of HBP and Snape's rage at the term "coward" suggest to me that he is risking his life by sticking with the Death Eaters. What I'm curious about is what made Dumbledore so sure all this time that he was reformed.

2. Yes, definitely. I wonder, though, whether his portrait might have some minor role to play.

3. Harry and Ron will live. Hermione will die. Snape will sacrifice his life to defeat Voldemort (either to destroy a Horcrux or during the final battle). Probably some supporting characters will be killed off too--Hagrid's a good guess.

4. I think Godric Gryffindor's sword might be one, just as a twist--and if I'm right, possibly it in some way contributed to Dumbledore's failure to anticipate the Death Eater invasion at the end of HBP. Most of the others have been pinned down as I remember it.

5. Individualism and bravery in the face of all sorts of obstacles (especially social ones) are two qualities that Harry has exemplified throughout the series. Neither is particularly profound by itself, but it's clear that these are traits that Rowling admires.
7.14.2007 1:48am
Blue (mail):
1. Is Snape good or evil?
Evil as the day is long.

2. Is Dumbledore really dead?
Dead as a doorknob.

3. Which characters will live and which will die?
Harry and Neville will die.

4. What are the remaining horcruxes?
No idea.

5. What, if anything, is the most important theme of the series?
To those whom much has been given, much will be required. In Harry's case, the ultimate price of his talents will be to either sacrifice his life or turn into a new Voldemort. Voldemort failed his test. Harry will not.
7.14.2007 1:58am
sdf (mail):
Scrolling through all this crap briefly has made me *ever so glad* that I never got into the Harry Potter phenomenon.
7.14.2007 1:58am
Syd Henderson (mail):

My question is thusly: will Hermione lose her virginity, and her powers?

Hermione will be taking the Senior level course in tantric magic.
7.14.2007 2:04am
theobromophile (www):
If that is true, why couldn't the scar be a horcrux in which Voldemort concealed part of his soul, so that Harry is Voldemort?

But Voldemort didn't know Harry's scar existed (since it did not exist) before he tried to kill Harry.

The Death Eaters are morbid enough to put a Horcrux in a dead person. I wonder, though, if "destroying" a horcrux that is in a live person involves killing the person, at which point it doesn't make sense to put your soul into something you're going to kill.

I think the horcrux could be in Harry's wand or the phoenix that gave a feather to each wand. After all, phoenixes are bloodly hard to kill.... :)
7.14.2007 2:06am
Harry purchases an iPhone, is surprised to find that his wand will only work on the AT&T network, and then is unable to cast a customer service spell until the end of the 2nd contract year.

Oh, and the boat hits an iceburg, then Leo Dicaprio drowns.
7.14.2007 2:42am
I think Snape killed Dumbledore so Draco wouldn't, ad a major plot point of book 7 will be Draco refusing to do some great evil, or chickening out, but overall declining to follow Lucius from obnoxiousness into true evil.

Snape killing Dumbledore is more of a Shane moment with Draco than a Darth Vader moment with Harry.
7.14.2007 3:21am
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
Snape theory: he was in love with Harry's mom Lily (which explains one of his worst memories--the reason it was one of his worse memories wasn't that he got humiliated by James and Sirius but that he pushed Lily away) and joined Voldemort when Lily married James. He was also the one who overheard the prophesy that led to Voldemort going after the Harry. However, after he realized that his actions led to Lily's death he switched sides, making an Unbreakable Vow with Dumbledore that he'd protect Harry. That explains why he would work so hard to protect Harry even when he hates him so much (because he's James's son), and why Dumbledore trusts Snape. He dies saving Harry's life.

Dumbledore is dead. Rowling pretty much said so herself.

Rowling has also said that two characters will die in this book. By that I think she means two major good guys, since in previous books she's said that one character will die and obviously more than one character on both sides have snuffed it in each book since Goblet of Fire. So the people who fear a bloodbath can rest easy.

My guesses are Snape and Lupin, or maybe Neville. Harry lives. Obviously plenty of Death Eaters will die too, but a surprisingly high number will live--it's not as if Harry or anyone else is going to hunt them down one by one, and Rowling isn't into the cliche of a big battle where all the bad guys die and the good guys somehow all live except one even though they're evenly matched. Peter Pettigew will die to repay his bebt to Harry.

Draco will live but is still unredeemable. Has he shown any sign ever that he wasn't completely evil? Granted, he didn't seem to want to kill Dumbledore, but wasn't it out of more cowardice and a fear of failure than anything else?

Harry is not a horcrux. Why would Voldemort keep trying to kill him if he is? Also, if Harry or his scar were a horcrux, Dumbledore probably would have figured that out. And isn't there a good chance that we already know what all the horcruxes are? Two of them are destroyed (the diary and the ring), we know two others are 99% certain to be horcruxes (the locket, which is in Sirius's house, and the cup), and there are maybe two left, which could be a combination of something from Gryffindor, something from Ravencaw, or Nagini.
7.14.2007 4:20am
Dan28 (mail):
From a libertarian point of view, Arthur Weasley is an example of how well-intentioned individuals are not enough to overcome the systematic flaws of government (though I'm not at all sure that this was part of Rowling's intent in creating the character).

I see where you are coming from. But I don't think it's what JKR was going for. Yes, the choice of public service is one that leads to difficulty, disrespect and futility. But that just adds to the typically English humble heroism of Arthur Weasley - I don't think the lesson that JKR wants us to learn from his character is that he just made a bad choice and therefore his life sucks. I think Arthur is someone who has characteristics that we're meant to emulate; he's a hero because he accepts the indignity of public service as part of his larger heroic ambition to use the government to make things work better. Lucius and Draco look down on the Weasleys because they have to wear second hand robes, suggesting that makes them inferior; we're meant to think that the second hand robes are a sign of the Weasley's superiority, because they are willing to make personal sacrifices to pursue the public good (how robes could possibly be a scarce good in a world where people can apparently create stuff like that at will is an open question). The fact that Arthur's character is heroic means that at the very least, JKR has a positive vision about the potential of government, even if in practice it is a disaster.

I mean, I can definately see how you can put a libertarian interpretation on all of this; I just don't think that's the view of the author (which of course doesn't make it wrong).
7.14.2007 5:07am
Snape is good, because otherwise Dumbledore would have been wrong about him, and JKR wouldn't allow that to happen.
7.14.2007 5:16am

I seem to be the only person in the cosmos who can't get into these books. (And I've practically memorized the inacurately-named 'Hitchhiker's Trilogy.' So it's not as if I'm a snob.)

Can someone tell me what I'm missing that everyone else sees in these books?

I hate it when I can't conform, after all.
7.14.2007 7:06am
Dave Wangen (mail):

I seem to be the only person in the cosmos who can't get into these books. (And I've practically memorized the inacurately-named 'Hitchhiker's Trilogy.' So it's not as if I'm a snob.)

Can someone tell me what I'm missing that everyone else sees in these books?

This same question came up recently elsewhere, as it happens, and a couple people came up with better answers than I could write. So I'm just going to quote them:

"Simple, straightforward old-fashioned adventure stories for kids, with old-fashioned values like courage, friendship and loyalty, faced with evil, treachery and malice, all couched with enough magic to make it all appealing."

"In addition, the Harry Potter stories take place in a world that all children easily recognize, i.e., this one (as opposed to the well-constructed, if derivative, fantasy-medieval world of Ray Feist's "Midkemia" stories). OTOH, Feist's "Kelewan" stories with Janny Wurts *kick ass*.

The Potter stories also cater to (nearly) every child's dreams and prejudices: the fantasy of secret specialness; the paradoxical desire for kindred spirits who share that secret specialness; the deep suspicion that most adults are dull, if not downright stupid; the attraction to dark things; the desire to challenge authority, test their own limits, etc., etc.

Though I sometimes wince at what she does to Latin, I find Rowling's writing colorful and accessible. (I guess that's another way to say "not challenging". To each his own.) She much of her target audience are children but she doesn't condescend to the reader."
7.14.2007 8:02am
adolphus (mail):
1. I think Snape is neither good or evil. Or at least not solely one or the other at any particular time in the books. His loyalty has vacillated. But think he will do good at the end when it counts.

2. Dumbledore is dead, but it doesn't matter. His portrait is there which is him for all plot purposes.

3. Harry will live, but his magic will be severely attenuated. Ron and Hermione will live because J.K has all but promised those two will hook up and spawn. I think it possible Chang will die. Neville could die. Tonks and Lupin could die doing something heroic hand in hand. Tonks may die in a death bed scene that has her professing love for Lupin which makes him stop wallowing in werewolf self-pity and he does something transcendent, possibly killing Grayback. Ot Tonks could kill Grayback freeing Lupin from the curse and they spawn. Harry could die, the prophecy easily leaves open the possibility for both Harry and Voldemort to die.

4. Horcruxes never interested me much. I agree that one probably isn't Harry unless Voldemort is unaware of it.

I disagree with the reader that Harry will die and come back. To messianic and besides, Lyra already went into the land of the dead in "His Dark Materials" and came back, so to have Harry do so when be too derivative.
7.14.2007 9:51am
Harry can't possibly be a horcrux, unless you somehow believe that Voldemort intentionally almost killed himself just to make a horcrux.

Snape kills Voldemort. Notice that nothing in the prophecy says that Harry or Voldemort have to kill each other, just that one can't live while the other does.

I really hope Snape doesn't turn out fully evil. I would be highly disappointed with Rowling if the one character that Harry &Co. always hated and was cast as the potential bad guy at every turn actually turns out to be the bad guy. There's an important theme/moral/lesson in realizing that even the people you dislike/detest/hate can actually be good. I've always been pissed that Harry doesn't ever try to reconcile with Snape. He's supposed to have matured incredibly in his years at Hogwarts but he still holds onto his childish hatred of Snape despite Snape having visibly worked to protect &save Harry at numerous opportunities.

I do have a less-than-likely theory about Snape tho... In OotP, during Occlumency lessons, Harry actually wound up weakening Snape's mental defenses against Voldemort. Remember when Snape said that people who let their emotions control them are weak and susceptible to the Dark Lord? Well, right after that, Snape lost control of his emotions. So Snape could have actually worked for the Order honestly, but have lost the battle to keep Voldemort out and turned to the dark side, knowingly or not.

Even with that, I think in the end he could turn out good again. Harry could finally come to terms with his history with Snape and actually save Snape, and then Snape kills Voldemort.
7.14.2007 10:06am
Hoosier, I liked the jokes. They wore thin after a couple of books, so I stopped there. But it's hard to resist Let Sleeping Dragons Lie.
7.14.2007 10:19am
Luke G.:

Dumbeldore's pet was a phoenix: the ultimate rebirth metaphor. So I have a feeling that he'll re-appear.

As to the rest of the predictions, I think Ilya's guesses are as good as any.
7.14.2007 10:25am
Mark Bahner (www):
Hermione dies. And it won't be a big deal, either. She won't be mentioned anywhere in the first 385 pages. Then on page 386, someone will say, "They killed Hermione." And Harry will shake his fist and say, "You bastards!"

That will teach Emma Watson, for wanting a life outside of Harry Potter.
7.14.2007 11:07am
Amber (www):
The Snape-loves-Lily theory is undermined by the newest film, which only shows James tormenting a young Snape in the flashback.
7.14.2007 11:39am
Peter Young:
Tears will be shed by those who love Harry and his pals. Hermione does indeed die and it is indeed a big deal. The other well-liked person to die is Hagrid. Ron ends up crippled for life, Ginny becomes blind, the Weasley twins lose many limbs in a magical experiment gone wrong, and the Weasley parents end up on the dole. Harry loses all his magical powers and all attraction to his followers, and JK Rowland cackles as she creeps away into the night with a billion pounds.
7.14.2007 11:41am
MDJD2B (mail):
Snape will kill Voldemort and then get a job teaching the 1L course in Contracts at Wizard Law School.
7.14.2007 11:47am
Eryk Boston (mail):
There's no way Snape would teach contracts as the subject is too rational and linear. Constitutional law or property would be his subject. "I want two yards of parchment on the rule against perpetuities and an essay on the modern importance of Plessy v. Fergesson." Oh yes, that would be Snape.

Bonus question: which of these subjects did I ace?
7.14.2007 12:45pm
skyywise (mail):
1) Snape is good, but was forced into "killing Dumbledore if Draco can't / won't" by that promise made to Draco's mother.

2) Dumbeldore is dead because Harry has to be an independent protagonist. There is no more safety net, no one else who can deus ex magica and save the day. At most he gets to be a portrait, but who knows how long it takes to paint one of those things?

3) Ron and Hermione will live, there has to be some resolution to their relationship and they are the best characters to walk off into the sunset at the end. My only guess for deaths are either Ginny or Hagrid and then Harry. One or both of Ginny and Hagrid have to die to push Harry over the edge and give him the final rage / resolve to fight Voldemort to their mutual deaths. Why must Harry die though?

4) Because, yes, Harry is the last horcrux, the something of Gryffindor needed for the splitting of soul, and as a result must die for Voldemort to be vanquished. It was an unintentional transfer of power that we have to assume will be explained; maybe Lily cast a love based trap counterspell of some sort on Harry while James bought her time during the attack? You know, some hand-waving (or rather, wand-waving) jargon explanation.

5) The lesson I found in the series is to learn to communicate better. Harry is written to be courageous, but that results in stubborn endurance when thinking things through would help. For example, if he had bothered to look at the book Sirius had given him, perhaps he would not have fallen into the trap and Sirius wouldn't have died? Or if he had gone to one of the good teachers when serving the detention with the cursed feather quill, some of the pain and evil might have been curtailed. I would like to think by this last book, he will have figured this out and not just act like a child.

And MDJD2B, are Magical Contracts significantly different than Muggle Contracts? Is there some authenticity spell to make the Statute of Frauds unnecessary? What happens in a situation where personal specific performance is needed, but the wizard can't perform the spell? Is an illusion used as consideration illusory?
7.14.2007 12:46pm
Ilya Somin:
There's no way Snape would teach contracts as the subject is too rational and linear. Constitutional law or property would be his subject.

Hey, those are my 2 subjects!
7.14.2007 1:54pm
Adam B. (www):
1. Snape is good -- had an unbreakable vow with Dumbledore (to protect Harry) before the one with Narcissa and Bellatrix.

2. I attended the Rowling/King/Irving event at Radio City Music Hall last year at which Rowling was absolutely clear that Dumbledore was dead, dead.

3. Dead: Voldemort, Snape, various members of the Order (Kingsley? Tonks?) No Weasleys die.

5. That our choices define us more than our lineage.
7.14.2007 2:12pm
Eryk Boston (mail):
Ilya Somin....glad to hear that you agree with me.
7.14.2007 2:19pm
Random thoughts:

Snape is, like all of us, conflicted and ambivalent. But ultimately he is "good" if defined as "anti-Voldemort." Theories about his love for Lily and her death above help explain the ambiguity. (One far-fetched theory is that Harry is Snape's son, and all references to how much Harry resembles James are clues that some sort of spell was cast to be sure that was so. But yeah, I admit it's far-fetched.)

Dumbledore is dead. He communicates with Harry through the portrait, but also likely through concocted "memories" left for Harry to explore in the pensieve. Albus knew he was going to die, so why not help Harry along from the grave? In any event, as Yoda might say, "There is... another... Dumble... dore."

Adam B. and Ilya score on the themes, likely as a result of their outstanding undergrad educations. We are defined by our choices.

Harry is a descendant of Godric G.

I don't really know about the Horcruxes. I suspect the scar is one, but don't know for sure. If it is, then the presence of part of Voldy's soul helps explain the sorting hat's confusion over Harry's proper placement, the link between the wands, etc. (Ollivander, btw, has been abducted in order to prepare a new wand for Voldemort.)

I don't know whether Godric's sword is a horcrux, but I have every reason to believe that it will play a role.

I have long believed that Harry will die, but lately I've wondered whether it comes down to either (1) both Harry and Voldy dyng or (2) both Harry and Voldy being depowered, and to save Harry, the forces of good opt for (2). In some sense, that would reflect another real-life theme, which is that evil is never truly and finally vanquished.
7.14.2007 2:45pm
Neither Harry nor his scar is a horcrux because, despite Voldemort's intentions, Harry didn't die and neither did Voldemort. No murder, no horcrux.
7.14.2007 2:58pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
Dumbledore is dead-but-not-gone (or not dead) at the beginning of the book, but dead-and-gone by the end. Snape is good, and survives. At least one Hogwarts teacher (I'm thinking a named non-Order member who we've gotten to know and have some reason to think is either stupid or in danger or both -- i.e. Slughorn and Trelawney,) will bite it, as will any remaining Death Eaters who are more crazy than they are intelligent (Bellatrix,) and also Pettigrew. Draco will survive, as will at least one -- probably both -- of his parents. If any the children of Death Eaters in Harry's year become orphans, it's because there was another stupid big fight meant to take a bunch of Death Eaters at once.

Bill, Fleur, Percy, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Tonks, Hagrid, McGonagall, Flitwick, Luna, Neville, and all of Harry and Ginny's year-mates will probably survive, as will all children younger than 17 at the point the book ends (owing to the fact that they'll be forced to stay out of the fray.) If other named Hogwarts students do die (hello, Draco,) it will be because they intentionally got in the way of something. Lesser/cutesy characters will survive in droves, allowing us to have a great big party attended by Stan Shunpike, Amos Diggory, Madame Hooch, and Florian Fortescue. No one under 17 will get killed by any "good" adult, including Snape. Who is on the side of Light, killed Dumbledore (or seemed to) only because he had to and with Dumbledore's consent, and will spend most of the book trying to protect Harry. Aberforth Dumbledore or Reggie Black will show up and survive at least long enough to tell us something we need to know, but if both are alive at the beginning, one probably won't be by the end (Aberforth has knowledge of what really happened when Snape heard the Prophecy, and Reggie would have knowledge of what really happened to the Horcrux.)

Horcruxes are the Cup, Voldemort's wand (maybe,) Harry or his scar (if not, there has to have been some Artifact that Voldemort brought to the Halloween party in 1981, which is why I include the wand as a default container,) the maybe-the-locket that Reggie Black switched out, maybe something of Ravenclaw's. One thing will be "totally" unexpected from the point of view of the characters (I think that'll be Harry's scar) and Dumbledore will have been wrong or misleading about one of them (I'm 95% certain Nagini isn't one.)

The overriding theme? Something along the lines of "it's not how completely screwed up your childhood was, or even whether you're a nice guy -- it's which side you've decided to fight for." HBP totally squished the previous "the Power of Love(TM)" theme that we thought we might get, and Tom Riddle's background makes it unlikely that the real theme is "each choice you make leads to your ultimate end" or something like it on the "Choices Matter" thematic spectrum. Though there is a really great maybe-theme I've read about here, in which the whole point is that people need to Forgive One Another, which lets us reclaim the Christian theme that Rowling used to imply she was going for.

If I didn't give odds, most of my speculations above are at a 75-95% certainty level (for myself.) Though I think the chances of Harry, Snape, and Hagrid all surviving are really quite good, and I can't see an end in which none of the three survive -- sort of like how if either Ron or Hermione bites it, the other two probably join him/her. Ron and Hermione might survive in a "Harry sacrifices himself for the good of mankind" scenario, but I don't think him sacrificing himself will solve all the problems he's been stuck with, which is why I think he'll survive.

BTW, if you're into theorizing and you've got time this week, the Red Hen site I just linked will keep you occupied for many many many hours. Though I think she's too hard on Molly Weasley, Hermione, and Fred/George. She's the one who convinced me I probably won't be reading about an intense 800-page scavenger hunt in a week, in her "Raiders of the Lost Horcrux" essay (summary: they'll spend their time looking for one of them, and will inadvertently run into answers, questions, Horcruxes they weren't looking for yet, and adventure along the way.) She was also the one who made me feel better about being spoiled for the Deluxe (US) cover of the book; even if it turns out not to be the kids coming back to the UK at the very beginning of the book, it's enough of a relief to have a reasonable explanation that I've stopped wondering.
7.14.2007 3:00pm
A non y mous:
Perhaps Prof. Somin's questions should appear "after the jump," as some give away part of the plot for those who watch the films but don't read the books (or haven't gotten to Half Blood Prince). Another possibility would be to clearly state that there are "spoilers below." Specifically, just reading question #2 gives quite a bit away.
7.14.2007 3:00pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
Incidentally, and lieu of an analysis of how unlikely it would be for no Weasleys to die (compared to the likelihood of any other 2 of the supposedly 3000 wizards that live in Britain, of whom about 85% are of adult age and only 1% are Death Eaters,) I'd love to see an analysis of people's speculations.

Reading through this thread, I'm struck that the people with whom I disagree on issues such as "does Harry live" are often the very same people I disagree with on "Is Snape good" and "just how dead is Dumbledore." Though, of course, many of our disagreements come down to the interpretation of very specific events (Harry being a Horcrux, or not, depends mostly on how you think Horcruxes are made -- if you have to cast a specific non-AK spell to do the entire Horcrux process, the odds of it being Harry go through the roof, but if you have to kill someone somehow and then turn around and do a second spell to create the Horcrux, then it's highly unlikely. The subject was banned at Hogwarts, and Slughorn and Dumbledore weren't exactly clear on the issue.) But there's no good established-in-canon reason that so many Snape-is-evil people are also Harry-will-die people, while so many Snape-is-good people are also Harry-will-live people.

(note also that if you insist on sticking to the Prophecy, it's strongly implied that when the "survival" of either Harry or Tom is terminated, the other will be allowed to "live." Certainly at the moment, neither of them is "living," Tom by his own choices and Harry because of all this Destiny garbage.)
7.14.2007 3:19pm
tarylcabot (mail):
Snape is a good guy as has been noted. he killed Dumbledore to save Draco from committing an evil act - Dumbledore knew he was dying.

Dead - Snape &Voldemort.

Horcrux - somewhere in book 5 an object was mentioned in the Black household. that was the horcrux that was already taken in book 6.

Themes? growing up is tough. good ultimately does triumph over evil.
7.14.2007 3:27pm
tarylcabot (mail):
Addendum - harry &Ginny become an item again.
7.14.2007 3:30pm
Syd (mail):
1. Is Snape good or evil?
Yes. Snape turned against Voldemort because of Lily Potter's death and took an Unbreakable Vow which makes it impossible to side with Voldemort.

2. Is Dumbledore really dead? Yes, but his portrait will be giving guidance and eventually explain the truth about Snape and about the Dursleys.

3. Which characters will live and which will die? Voldemort, Bellatrix, Ron Weasley, Lucius Malfoy, Wormtail, Lupin, Snape. Draco will die, but will defy Voldemort and his father and play a crucial role in Voldemort's defeat. Harry is not the Horcrux, but someone he knows will be and Harry will have to decide whether to kill that person. The prophecy will turn out to be misleading and Harry is not the focus of it.

4. What are the remaining horcruxes? The Mirror, the sword, and the Quidditch trophy.

5. What, if anything, is the most important theme of the series?

That it is necessary to choose what is right over what is easy. Also see #3.
7.14.2007 3:46pm
Syd (mail):
Sorry, "Also see #3." was supposed to be under #4, nor #5.
7.14.2007 3:50pm
Realist Liberal:
To follow up on the Snape will die line, I think that he will die and what is more he will die trying to protect Harry. He is in fact good only to the extent that he is not aligned with Voldemort.

Dumbledore is dead but he will still play an important role because of his portrait.

In terms of the Horcruxes. It has been a little while since I read #6 so I don't remember how many are left. I'm really not sure what they are. I don't think Harry is one but I do think he will die in order to kill Voldemort.
The main reason that I think Harry will die is more of a practical reason. JKR has said several times that she doesn't want anyone else to be able to write more books from her stories (like people have done with Mario Puzo's Godfather). If she kills him then it will be that much harder for anyone else to write a Harry Potter Book.

I also think that Hagrid will die and that will give Harry the fire that is needed.
7.14.2007 5:31pm
Realist Liberal:
P.S. to the people that would be saying "This isn't a legal topic." I just say if you don't like it that much then simply scroll down. Clearly lots of readers enjoy the topic. And if you want a purely legal blog, go make your own.
7.14.2007 5:32pm
Roger (mail) (www):
I have the perfect ending to this series that allows Harry to live and yet allows there to be and end. See my thoughts at
Running with Scissors
7.14.2007 6:47pm
plunge (mail):
"FantasiaWHT: Harry can't possibly be a horcrux, unless you somehow believe that Voldemort intentionally almost killed himself just to make a horcrux."

On the contrary: Book 6 tells us explicitly that he set out to create his final Horcrux the night he set out to kill Harry. He had no idea that his spell would backfire or how: he believed that he would kill Harry, and in doing so split his soul so that his final Horcrux could be created. Instead, due to Lily, his spell backfired, nearly killed him, and left Harry with a part of his soul. Simple enough I think, at least for a magical explanation. :)
7.14.2007 7:15pm
Paul Zrimsek (mail):
Doesn't anyone here know the charm for turning an OT post into a legal one?

(Waves wand) Stare decisis!
7.14.2007 9:54pm
Eryk Boston wrote:

There's no way Snape would teach contracts as the subject is too rational and linear. Constitutional law or property would be his subject. "I want two yards of parchment on the rule against perpetuities and an essay on the modern importance of Plessy v. Fergesson." Oh yes, that would be Snape.

Bonus question: which of these subjects did I ace?

Considering that you can't spell Ferguson, I'm guessing property.
7.15.2007 6:35pm
Luke G. wrote:

Dumbeldore's pet was a phoenix: the ultimate rebirth metaphor. So I have a feeling that he'll re-appear.

As to the rest of the predictions, I think Ilya's guesses are as good as any.

As we all know, the tears of a phoenix can cure anything -- perhaps even some form of faux death caused by Snape as a result of some pre-arrangement.
7.15.2007 6:39pm
Eryk Boston (mail):
Porkchop, you should know that the quality of your analysis is more important than getting the right answer. You went for a cheap shot rather than to address the blatant sour grapes presented in the fact pattern. Nevertheless, you get a B based on the curve despite your lack of analysis and wrong answer.

And the big question regarding Fawkes is how he'll live up to a name which, in British lore, has a powerful history.
7.15.2007 7:45pm
MLS (mail):
Harry, Ron and Hermione are at the 3 Broomsticks. Harry orders 3 butterbeers and a plate of onion rings for the table. Outside, Ginny arrives on her broomstick but cant find a place to land.

At a table in a far corner is a couple that look suspiciously like Snape and Delores Umbrage. A suspicious looking character with a hood is sitting at the bar.

The front door bursts open and Ginny strides in. At that same moment, the hooded man jumps from his barstool and throws off his hood.

To everyone's surprise, its Phil Collins! He begins to sing. . .
7.15.2007 9:36pm
MLS: <i>To everyone's surprise, its Phil Collins! He begins to sing. . .</i>

Shouldn't Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford be in this scene too? They are just starting their reunion tour, after all. ;)
7.15.2007 11:55pm
Phutatorius (www):

Slate beat you to it!

(Great idea, though.)
7.16.2007 12:19am
1. Dumbledore is an animagous and can turn into a phoenix (thus the scene with his casket bursting into flame and a phoenix flying away). He will reappear as a baby, Snape will give him aging potion, and he will be about 40 years old in Book 7.

2. Fawkes is Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth, who is also an animagous.

3. There are actually 5 remaining horcruxes, because Voldemort did not realize that he created one when he tried to kill Harry.

4. Harry will destroy the 4 remaining horcruxes and then realize that he/his scar is the last one. Ron and Hermoine will have to chop off Harry's head to destroy the horcrux, at which point Harry returns to Hogwarts as a ghost to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. Nearly Headless Nick is envious of Harry's decapitated state.

5. No idea of what's really going to happen.
7.16.2007 12:44am
sash (mail):
harry kills voldemort

dumbeldore isn't dead

harry gathers an army to fight voldemort and the death eaters

after killing voldemort harry goes back to his relationship with ginny
7.16.2007 1:16am
sash (mail):
harry kills voldemort

dumbeldore isn't dead

harry gathers an army to fight voldemort and the death eaters

after killing voldemort harry goes back to his relationship with ginny
7.16.2007 1:16am
Just re-read book six last night.

Dumbledore is alive [or in some sort of not dead coming back status]. The entire situation, from the Snape trusting, to freezing an invisible Harry so he could confirm Snape doing the deed, to the way the funeral was handled on school grounds, and the body was only handled by the least magically educated of the profs, and the body was gone in a flash with the meerpeople in close quarters---it is a set up.

We already know Dumbledore will send Potter into ten years in an abusive home, knowing full well what is going on there, as a side plan just in case a situation arises. What is inflicting horror and wrongful guilt on top of that?

As an aside--If the author is going to kill off Harry...she should consider the difficult time Doyle had bring Holmes back when the public forced the issue.
7.16.2007 10:03am
Snape is not "good", but he is on Harry's side in the end. The best part about Snape's character throughout the books is that he shows someone can be a nasty, hateful git without being "evil". (Umbridge was a great example of someone who can be as horrible as possible without being on Voldie's side!) I definitely think that killed Dumbledore was part of a plan that they'd had for a long time. I think DD knew after destroying the ring Horcrux that his time was limited and that he was somehow going to die in the coming year. Why else would he have finally put Snape in the DADA post, when he knew the post was cursed and Snape would only be in it for a year? The plan is shown when DD and Snape argued in the woods (as overheard by Hagrid) -- Snape "didn't want to go through with it", namely killing DD in the end. DD specifically asked to see Snape when they returned from finding the locket, even when they found out Death Eaters were attacking Hogwarts. That's because he knew he was dying already and Snape had to finish him off to carry out their plan and fully establish himself as on Voldie's side in order to put himself in the best position in the end.

I think that Snape will definitely die in Book 7. The truth will come out somehow (DD's portrait or a Pensieve memory?), Harry won't believe it, and Snape will end up sacrificing himself so Harry can kill Voldie.

As for the other major death, I'm 99% sure it's going to be a Weasley, and horribly afraid it's Ron. I see a lot of echoes in the overall series to the path to the philosopher's stone in Book 1. (Another reason I think Snape is on Our Side -- Harry went into the final challenge absolutely convinced Snape was the bad guy, only to find out Snape was protecting him all along.) Ron had to sacrifice himself to let Harry reach the final confrontation. (Also in Book 3, Ron was the one who stood between Sirius and Harry and announced, "You'll have to kill me to get to him.") I definitely think that will happen here, although possibly it will be something where he knowingly faces death for Harry's sake but manages to survive after all.

I think that there's going to be some kind of showdown between Wormtail and Lupin, as the last surviving Marauders. I do think Wormtail will ultimately end up doing something very important, possibly at the cost of his own life, to help Harry and fulfill his debt.
7.16.2007 12:01pm
And I always forget to include something! I don't think Gryffindor's sword is a Horcrux, although I think it will play some important part in the resolution of the series. Perhaps Harry will end up facing Voldie with the sword, since their wands don't work against each other? But I doubt the sword is a Horcrux simply because it was locked away in the Sorting Hat until Book 2.

Also, I think the Sorting Hat will play a role, possibly by giving Harry some very important information about the Founders and where he might find the object Voldie uses as a Horcrux. JKR confirmed one of my pet theories in an interview -- the "brains" put inside the Hat are bits of the Founders themselves. So I think Harry will be able to speak to the Founders via the Hat and gain something important through it.
7.16.2007 12:04pm
Stevethepatentguy (mail) (www):
1. Is Snape good or evil?
Snape is good. Dumbledore isn't wrong about him. Snape will die in book 7 to atone for his sin of complicity in the death of James and Lily Potter.

2. Is Dumbledore really dead?
He is dead and gone. There may be flashes of him in the Book 7 in memories from the Pensieve. The portrait that so many are putting stock in will not have a major role. Portraits serve as messengers and gatekeepers not as major characters.

3. Which characters will live and which will die?
Voldemort- Dead
Snape- Dead as a sacrifice to save Harry
Bill or Charlie Weasley- One, probably Charlie, dead
Regulus Black- Dead, if he isn't already
Aberforth Dumbledore- dead
Neville Longbottom- Dead, after it is revealed that the prophesy was about him rather than Harry.
Luna Lovegood- Dead, her father may die in her place or maybe a Nargle will save her.
Belatrix LeStrange- Dead, Longbottom kills her.

Harry- Alive, but leaving town after saving, a la High Noon.
Ginny Weasley- Alive and riding off into the sunset with Harry
Draco Malfoy- Alive and not quite redeemed.
Ron Weasley- Alive
Hermione- Alive, not necessarily with Ron
Olivander- Alive and in hiding protecting Ravenclaw's wand which will be used to kill Voldemort.
Other Weasleys- All alive. Maybe Percy gets killed for doing something to save his family.

4. What are the remaining horcruxes?
1. Diary - Proved V was an Heir of Slytherin
2. Peverell Ring - Evidence of V's magical heritage
3. Slytherin Locket - Founder artifact
4. Hufflepuff Cup - Founder artifact
5. Ravenclaw Wand - Founder artifact - shown in Ollivander's window
6. Nagini- created after Harry survived. The death of Bertha Jorkins in Albania was the catalyst for the creation of the horcrux. Voldemort intended to use Harry's death for forming the final horcux but was unsuccessful.
7. Voldemort -- the horcrux that will be destroyed with his death.

5. What, if anything, is the most important theme of the series?
Freewill guided by Courage, Love and Loyalty determine your destiny.
7.16.2007 1:40pm
Jeff R.:
1. Snape is 'Good', at least on the right side of the matter. Although, honestly, why he's so cruel to Hermione is still undermotivated.

2. Dumbledore is as dead as dead gets.

3. Neville and Hagrid die, along with countless bad guys. Probably Percy as well. Snape probably survives. Draco ends up overdosing on Veritas and is rendered incapable of lying for the rest of his life. Harry assumes a new identity and allow the world to think that he died, also.
7.16.2007 3:37pm
MLS (mail):

Thanks, they did beat me to it. I guess low concept minds think alike.
7.16.2007 6:20pm
Eryk Boston wrote:

Porkchop, you should know that the quality of your analysis is more important than getting the right answer.

1. The difference between law school and law practice is that no one cares about your analysis as long as you get to the right result. (Right meaning, usually, what your client wants to hear.)

You went for a cheap shot rather than to address the blatant sour grapes presented in the fact pattern.

2. I'm a prosecutor -- it's what I do.
7.16.2007 6:24pm
Neville, the Christ Figure:
I agree that the prophecy is about Neville Longbottom -- he's been hidden away at his grandmother's and behind his clumsiness -- but he will be the one standing at the final scene after Snape kills Voldemort. The moral being, of course, that Harry Potter's strength comes from within, not based on special powers, but because he believed in himself and his friends. Good moral. I can't imagine.

Harry lives, Neville lives, Hermione lives.

Ron's dead, Voldemort dies, Hagrid dies.
7.17.2007 1:02pm