Friday, July 20, 2007

Personal (Harry) Potter Predictions and Possibilities

WARNING: This paper does include plot spoilers and theoretical mischief, and it is not suitable for anyone who has not thoroughly indulged in the intricacies of the Harry Potter series, specifically Books 1 through 6.

DISCLAIMER: This paper was written at 3:00 AM, immediately after I had done much preparatory reading (i.e. Books 5 and 6) for the arrival of Book 7. Please criticize appropriately.

With the imminent arrival within the next few hours of perhaps the most intriguing and fated book of this century, I emerge into the world of “guesswork and speculation,” as Dumbledore poignantly names it, to venture into the depths of Rowling’s world and to make my predictions as to various foreshadowed events encountered in previous books. These thoughts are randomly scattered and unfortunately hardly have an order, but enjoy them nonetheless.

1. The hunting of Horcruxes is perhaps the biggest quest in which we will find ourselves literarily immersed in Book 7. We assume that there are seven Horcruxes, and we assume that they are (i.e. we assume that Voldemort has sealed a portion of his soul within…)
1) Riddle’s diary
2) Voldemort himself
3) Morfin’s/Marvolo’s ring
4) the goblet of Hufflepuff
5) the locket of Slytherin
6) an item of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor
7) Nagini.

However, I have an objection to the above list. Dumbledore tells Harry that the only Gryffindor relic presently around is Godric’s sword, which we know to not be enchanted as a Horcrux. Thus, I believe that Horcrux 6 is an item belonging to Ravenclaw. I also believe that Dumbledore is incorrect about his calculations of Nagini being the final Horcrux. I believe Harry himself to be said Horcrux, and I implore you to read Number 2 for more information and proof.

2. Dumbledore states that “Voldemort was still at least one Hrocrux short of his goal of six when he entered your parents’ house with the intention of killing you. He seems to have reserved the process of making Horcruxes for particularly significant deaths…” He goes on to make a somewhat feeble attempt to explain how he probably split his soul with the murder of Frank Bryce and then implanted his last soul piece in Nagini, a fallible line of logic. That statement, as well, is a contradiction in itself; would Voldemort consider Frank Bryce a significant death? Absolutely not; he was merely a housekeeper of no worth. Would James Potter be a worthy death? Certainly; he was a staunch fighter who had previously defied Voldemort. Many other signs point to the fact that Voldemort never intended for Harry to die, including…
1) Dumbledore’s previous mention in Book 6 that Voldemort never intended to kill Lily Potter; he only needed one death, and that was James. In fact, he told Lily that she should flee, but she refused to, and thus forfeited her life. In my opinion, Voldemort killed James to split his (Voldemort’s) soul, and he ingeniously implanted a portion of his soul into the being that was to be “marked his equal” by his own hand and destined to destroy him. I don’t think he ever intended to destroy Harry. To support this Harry-is-a-Horcurx theory, also consider…
2) …the similarities between Harry and Voldemort (and their inexplicable nature) including the same phoenix feather in the wand, both Parselmouths, etc.
3) The specifics of how Voldemort infiltrated Harry’s mind in Book 5, all of which are shrouded in a lack of understanding.

I believe that when Voldemort implanted a part of his soul into Harry, Lily’s previous protection of love had a magical effect upon Harry and his blood, thus somehow negatively rebounding Voldemort’s soul, hurting and weakening him. The soul was implanted, but something unforeseen, related to love, weakened Voldemort. Nonetheless, Voldemort had succeeded (he believed) in changing his fate; he had made the very man destined to kill him a part of him, thus eliminating (although ironically creating, as Dumbledore mentions) his problems.

3. The ability to love is obviously central to Harry’s life and the mission of the series’ protagonists. I believe that Harry, in some act of love, will ultimately win the battle against Voldemort. I believe Harry will have to love either Malfoy, Snape, or Voldemort in a very real, tangible way, and this will be critical to the evil side’s ultimate undoing.

4. I believe that Malfoy, who has been ostracizing himself in his attempt to emerge as evil, will ultimately seek sympathy and reform. The evidence to support this is found in Book 6 when Malfoy repeatedly cries about the onus of his murderous covenant with the Dark Lord, and when Dumbledore consistently shows Malfoy the ways in which he is not, in fact, a murderer and the ways in which he can change sides, so to speak. And I strongly believe that he will. (See Number 3)

5. I believe that Harry will ultimately die (although might be reborn). My support for this strong statement is twofold; first of all, I believe Harry to be a Horcrux, and thus he will either have to exorcise himself or sacrifice himself in a self martyrdom. This fits in with the general archetypes of the book that seem to reflect some Christian tendencies, such as extremes of good and evil (Voldemort being Satan, Dumbledore being god), the magical world being the Church, magic being the Spirit/Gospel/forces beyond our understanding, the unending ideas of trust and forgiveness (of Snape, Draco, etc.), and the idea of an atonement or sacrifice (Harry having to perform the ultimate sacrifice to end all evil), among many other things. However, just as Jesus rose from the grave, Harry may be regenerated after his sacrifice by his blood’s odd qualities, Dumbledore’s phoenix (who has a knack for being the most salvation-bringing animal known to the wizarding world), or another person or power (Snape, Malfoy, some unknown magical power, etc.).

Secondly, I think that Rowling gives us a foreshadow to his death when she verifies, although extremely subtly, that Sybil Trelawney has much merit to her seemingly bunk prophecies. In Book 6, (pg. 543), Trelawney prophesies about “the lightning-struck tower…calamity…disaster…” all of which do occur in the thereafter. Since she has previously, consistently, and adamantly prophesied about Harry’s doom, I believe it will happen.

6. Snape is ultimately good. Dumbledore is the archetype of god in these books, and thus if Dumbledore trusted Snape, we as readers can inherently trust him, as well. Not to mention, many of the situations involving Snape are very ambiguous, such as his detention-giving to Crabbe and Goyle in Book 6, thus disabling them helping Malfoy; Snape’s prevention of Harry’s torture in the end of Book 6, done in the name of allowing the Dark Lord the pleasure; among other earlier things, such as Snape’s couterjixes in Book 1 that saved Harry from Quirrell’s wrath. Snape will be, somehow, a key role in the success of the good. He is also symbolic of a repented, changed man, and will thus live up to his role.

7. Blood is a motif that is becoming more prominent, and I finally feel like I am getting a grasp of its importance, only to find more in Book 7 (I hope). We hear mentions of blood as it refers to “purebloods,” “half-bloods,” and “mudbloods,” which are big differentiators in who is good and who is evil (regarding opinions of mentioned bloods, that is). However, we are also starting to see blood become important in two other realms. First of all, Harry’s blood is said to carry some remnant of his mother’s love for him, so his very blood is stronger than Voldemort’s, despite inheritance “flaws.” Dumbledore mentions twice (I believe) to Harry that Harry’s blood is extremely valuable. Also, we see physical blood manifesting itself more frequently, e.g. when Dumbledore and Harry must place their blood upon the rock to gain entrance to the cave. Blood will play a significant role.

8. Lastly, I am almost certain that R.A.B. is Regulus Black, a man mentioned somewhat frequently in Books 5 and 6. He was the brother of Sirius, thus his importance would tie in the house of Black, another significant theme throughout the books. Also, we learned that Regulus was a Death Eater who then renounced his old ways and was killed as a result. I believe that as a Death Eater (and a brilliant one, no doubt), Regulus figured out the Horcrux secret. Good re-emerged within his life, and he began hunting down the locations of the Horcruxes and some of the Horcruxes themselves. I think he will have already done much of the work that Harry believes he has to do. Regulus will have already destroyed the locket, and somehow Harry will gain access to his (Regulus’s) knowledge of the locations of the other Horcruxes or a centralized spot where Regulus has already gathered them.

These are my opinions as to what this incredible novel will hold for the world. Please illuminate my mind with your own, and happy reading.