Okay, I first want to put this whole thing in perspective. J.K. Rowling is a genius who has richly earned her billion dollar payoff for the books themselves (325 million copies, Holy Toledo) and the movie tie ins. There is much hype associated with the whole phenomenon, but at the root of it there is a wonderful artistic achievement and a marvelous feat of imagining. An added plus are the profound moral lessons Rowling weaves into her tales for young adults. We are uniquely situated here, both adolescents and adults, to both savor and mourn the end of a shining period of young adult literature. Future generations will share our enjoyment, but the suspense of having no clue about the final page will be largely missing. Word gets around, right?
Having said that, the time is getting tight for those like myself who want to issue a prediction on the ending of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". I do not want to yammer about every last detail but I think it is fascinating to speculate on the BIG categories. As I see it, they are:
- the eventual fate of Harry himself. I simply cannot accept the idea that Harry will die. My reading of Rowling is that she would not wish to end a titanic battle of good and evil with a loss or a tie for the good side.
-the enigma of Snape. I read Snape as a classic example of a double agent. Like all double agents, he talks a good line about being evil (by constantly giving Harry a hard time) yet saves Harry's life at every turn. Bottom line: Snape is on the good side, and this will become crystal clear at the perfect moment. As to Snape's fate, the crystal ball is murky. He could die in the final confrontation, sacrificing himself for the Order of the Phoenix to whom he always gave his hidden allegiance. Or he could survive to take Dumbledore's place as Hogwarts headmaster.
-love interest for Harry. It is noteworthy that Ginny Weasley has loved him from before the time that he saved her life back in Chamber of Secrets. Why not the sister of his best friend, who knows him better than most people and loves him for who is is rather than just acting out a thirst for fame?
-Hermione and Ron get together? Yup. And both survive too. Another couple who survive are Lupin and Tonks.
-Bellatrix leStrange is toast. Neville will play a role there, avenging the torture and madness of his parents. Neville however may die in this confrontation. A couple of our favorite characters are going to be sacrificed, as the battle of good and evil does involve casualties from the good side.
-Malfoy dies? Depends on which one you are referring to. Draco has yet to really do anything evil, thanks to Snape. He does not deserve death, but rather to make peace with Harry. His Dad, Lucius, has many crimes on his soul and is going down.
-Voldemort? Well, as I said, good conquers evil seems a likely theme to me. Voldemort also is goin' down.
-is Dumbledore dead? It depends on what you mean by "dead". Are any of us dead so long as we live on in the memory of others? Harry Potter never even lived, but he will live forever in the minds of readers everywhere.
Okay, Potterphiles everywhere. Go on the record today, the sand is running out of the hourglass. I cannot offer a cash prize, but the most accurate prognostication obviously will deserve bragging rights.