Thursday, July 05, 2007

To be or not to be

Ok folks, it's that time of year again.... we're sixteen days away from the release of the last Harry Potter book (HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, for those that live under a rock), and I'm slowly getting caught up in the fever again...

While I have lofty plans of rereading all six prior books, I don't think that's going to happen. But I'm going to read the sixth one again, and trust me, on July 21st, I'm reading the seventh book the entire day. Do not call; do not disturb; I will snarl, if interrupted. =)

So, not pulling any punches because if you haven't read the rest of the series yet, it's going to get spoiled for you anyway, I ask the great question that must be debated...

Does Harry Potter live or does he die?

Debate!

31 comments:

brian_ohio said...

I would have to say 'live'.

And if he dies... big deal. Hold on... hold on, I mean 'big deal' in the sense that no one really seems to die in the Hogwart's world. They always come back. Voldemort, Harry's Parents... even the young guy who was killed in the Goblet of Fire, Cedric. And how about Nearly Headless Nick? Or the chick in the bathroom?

So, death really isn't death in JK's world. I can only hope it's that way with ours.

Jude said...

He dies as part of the final battle with Voldemort and is then reunited with his parents. :)

Patrick McNamara said...

Considering Harry Potter's death would probably kill the mechandising, I think he will live. It's still going to be a couple years before the last movie is out, and his death now would hurt interest in the movie later.

John B said...

Of the series, I've only read the first two...paragraphs, so I'm no expert, but I predict he will die, but then comeback to life phoenix- from-the-flame-style and totally kick what's-his-name's butt.

Lee Ann Ward said...

I say Harry lives.

Hagrid and Snape are the two characters who will die; Hagrid because he is the "parental" figure, and Snape because one can only sit on both sides of the fence for so long.

Cheryl DuCoin said...

I like Jude's post of Harry Potter dies fighting Voldemort and being reunited with his parents.

It's kinda like Star Wars at the end where during the celebration, Obi-Wan and Yoda (and someone else?) appears in spirit.

Cheryl DuCoin

Jenny Rappaport said...

I totally hadn't thought of Hagrid dying, but I think you might be right lee ann.

On the other hand, I have an irrational fear that McGonagoll (the animagus teacher, sp?) is going to get it... or that Ginny will.

I want my damn HEA for Harry and her!

I'm totally with you on Snape though.

Cheryl DuCoin said...

Come to think of it, isn't Professor Lupin coming back? He didn't exactly die, just go to a new dimension (?) He's my favorite character. What a beautiful voice he has.

He was also in the movie version of Black Beauty.

Perhaps, if Harry lives, Lupin will have a hand in it.


Cheryl DuCoin

Lee Ann Ward said...

I thought of Ginny as well, Jenny, so we both might be onto something...

D. Robert Pease said...

I think he dies, and the reason is he didn't get romantically involved with anyone we care about. To me if he got involved with Ginny, then it would be much harder for JKR to kill him off. It feels almost like she is protecting Ginny (and Ron cause he get's Ginny) for when Harry is killed.

My biggest question for some reason is "Is Snape bad, or is he good? -- Did he really kill Dumbledor?"

Scott said...

>He dies as part of the final battle
>with Voldemort and is then reunited
>with his parents. :)

I hope not. I've been dreading THAT possibility for a long time. It's the worst possible ending I've imagined so far (the reuniting part). It could be done, I suppose, but it would be really hard to do it well.

Jeff Lyman said...

I'm going to guess that Malfoy dies saving Harry's life, thus redeaming himself.

We need someone on the good side to die too, but I don't know if Rowling has the guts to kill one of the top three. Maybe Neville or Cho gets it.

Kelly Swails said...

Ah, Jenny, my kindred spirit. Usually I re-read all the books but this year I think I'm only re-reading the sixth book, as well. I figure with the movies I'm pretty well-versed in the storyline.

As far as theories go, I've felt ever since finishing the sixth book (yeah, on the day it came out) that Harry is the last Horcrux and that he has to die in order for Voldemort to be killed. I've got back-up for this. 1. In Prisoner of Azkaban (book and movie), when Peter Pettigrew is confessing his guilt, he asks something along the lines of, "What would you have done, Sirius? I had to betray the Potters. Voldemort would have killed me," to which Sirius replied, "You should have died, Peter, you should have died to save your friends." I call that foreshadowing. 2. Voldemort is obsessed with immortality. After hearing the Prophecy that a half-blood born at the end of July is going to bring him down, what does he do? He goes to the baby, not to kill him, but to make him a Horcrux. Why? Because Voldemort can't fathom the idea that a person would be willing to sacrifice his life for any reason. If Harry lives, Voldemort lives. I think the only two deaths in Deathly Hallows is Harry and Voldemort.

I also think that Neville will be the one to actually kill Voldemort. I think that Snape is a good guy, though obviously a deeply flawed and conflicted one. And I think Draco will not become a full Death-Eater.

Shoot holes in my theories! I love the debate.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Kelly, but I don't want Harry to die! I don't know how he's going to live, but I don't want him dead! And you make some convincing arguments too...

Adrienne said...

I cannot debate this question, it upsets me too much to think about it. My biggest fear actually is that someone on the news or internet or something will reveal the ending, so I am not going to turn on either until I finish the book.

Which is strange for me because I love my tv and internet. But we live in hard times, and it simple must be done!

Michele Lee said...

Death would anger a lot of readers, but guarantee that Rowling never feels the pressure to write another Potter book...

Seth said...

You gotta figure that Harry's gonna live this one out. Rowling is so good at making the reader think one way, while going in a totally different direction. She's spent so much time making the reader think Harry's going down - it's too obvious.

Also, if I have to see another Jesus figure (Neo, Gandalf, Aslan, etc.) I'll go crazy. Along those lines, Dumbledore better not come back from the dead...

150 said...

He lives. His death would undermine his mother's sacrifice and betray the arc of the series--Harry's not careening toward his destiny, he's fighting for a normal life. Not to mention that he has to return to Hogwarts to take the DADA position and break that curse.

And, as my sister and I pointed out, he's The Boy Who Lived. What would you call him if he died? The Boy Who Almost Made It?

eric said...

Both.

Harry and Voldemoort both die but the magic of the hairy-crust (sorry, I can't spell the actual thing to save my life) erases Voldemoort from existence and time itself, allowing all of his evil to be undone, Harry's parents live, he goes to Hogwarts and becomes best friends with Ron and Hermione, and they all live happily ever after.

Sadly, this started out being sarcastic, and now I'm wondering if that's what she'll actually do.

Oddly enough, I'm far more interested in how long it takes the publisher and Rowling to realize the potential gold mine of "Author's cuts" of the first six books. "Now presented in it's full 800,000 word glory, as the J.K. Rowling originally intended!"

Anonymous said...

Lives! I haven't finished the Mugglenet.com's book on the subject of HP7, but I agree with them. And Snape's somehow on the side of the Order. I do not know how or why, but there is no way that he's a straight-up, evil, black character without any kind of complexity. JKR is too much of a lit genius.

I mean, name five children's books that can cause such debate! she's amazing.

-Gabrielle

Josephine Damian said...

I'm one of the two people on the planet who've never read any "Harry" books, and don't intend to. But I'm happy for all of Ms. Rowling's success.

But I predict there'd be such an outrage if she killed Harry. I do tend to believe the rumors that Hermione gets killed - JK said she saw herself in that character, so maybe killing the character marks the final chapter for the writer's role in these books lest people start to beg for the series to go on, kinda like with Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes.

Christine said...

Okay, as someone who HAS spent the last month re-reading the first five books, and am steadily working through book 6, I have to say...

Harry will not die.

In Book Five, the prophecy clearly states that "either will die at the other's hand, because neither can live while the other survives." Dubmbledore explains in plain language, and Harry realizes, that one will kill the other, it can be no other way.

The prophecy was partly fulfilled the night Voldy gave Harry his scar (marked him as his equal) and so in order for it to be completely fulfilled, one has to die and the other live.

Who wants Voldemort to live? That would be ridiculous, for the the Darkest Wizard ever to survive, left to kill at will the rest of the Wizarding community.

JKR has always, ALWAYS, played fair. She's left clues, given distractions and red herrings, but she played it straight. No deux ex machinas, nothing out of left field.

She's got to follow the map she's laid out, and I can't see how she can leave Voldemort alive.

And Harry is NOT a Horcux - it's been said several times in the books that V. was ONLY trying to kill Harry that night, and even he was surprised by what happened. If you're trying to put a piece of your soul in someone, you don't use a killing curse.

Who will die? I think one Weasley parent is history, and I'm also betting on Snape.


If only I put this much thought into my own books, right?

Kelly Swails said...

Christine: you make good points. I just finished "Half-Blood Prince" and I have to admit I can see that Harry is not the last Horcrux. Or, rather, that he was at one point a Horcrux, and when Voldemort had Wormtail use a bit of Harry's blood to bring him back to a corporeal form, this actually extracted Voldemort's little bit of soul from Harry. This would explain why Dumbledore, upon hearing that Voldemort used Harry's blood, looked momentarily excited. (This is at the end of Goblet of Fire). I'm not as whole-heartedly convinced that Harry dies as I once was. I do agree with you, Christine, that Rowling is sneaky but always fair; she wouldn't allow Voldemort to live. I'm not going to be shocked, though, if Harry dies.

Now the sticky part. Everyone says that Voldemort used the killing curse on Harry. Dumbledore, the entire wizarding community, everyone. Even Voldemort says this. The question is: who saw it happen? And is the person that saw it happen trustworthy? And, if Voldemort made Harry a Horcrux, would he admit it even to his followers?

We, as readers, trust everything Dumbledore says because he's the greatest wizard ever; we've been told this repeatedly. Who says he can't be wrong? What makes him so infallible? Just because the characters make assumptions and believe things doesn't mean we readers have to, as well.

I still vote Voldemort as one of the deaths, definitely. As for the other ... well. Ron? Hermione? Ginny? Neville? It'll be someone close to Harry, I think, not an ancillary character like Cedric. I still haven't ruled out Harry.

We'll all know in a week! And then we can get our heads back into our own work ... :)

renaissancegrrl said...

Of course he lives. I would love to see Harry come back later on as an adult, with his own little prodigy.

After all JK Rowling never said she was done writing period, just done with the "Harry Potter" books.

Chumplet said...

Rocks fall. Everyone dies.

bt_mitchell78 said...

I'm sure he will live. Harry will lose some close friends, but will defeat Voldemort. After that he'll have to worry about Snape. This will lead to another book, possibly many more.

I can't wait to see though. I'm in Iraq and will have to wait for a while for my fiance to send it to me.

Anonymous said...

Harry will die - technically - so he can pass the veil for something crucial, but he'll find a way to return and live in the end.

Keith Y said...

An aside: My kids just finished reading Chamber of Secrets - Well, my middle boy (7) said something unrepeatable to my wife this morning. As punishment, I told him he was to be her slave for the day - her 'house elf' Without missing a beat his older sister (8) came out of her room, gave him a sock, and said, "you're free!" She gets an 'A' for reading comprehension :)

Cheryl DuCoin said...

I've just thought of something else. Remember the Weasley twins? They've been becoming experts at advanced magic, although doing a lot of silly trickery at their shop.

Harry could unite his schoolmates (including poor Neville) using their specialized powers again to defeat Voldemort.

Literally, it could be the old school (classmates) against the new school.

Cheryl DuCoin

Anonymous said...

He lives. Scholastic won't let Joanne kill a cash cow.

Sarah said...

I just reread the 6th book after reading the Harry horcrux theory - Voldemort needed to take a life for each Horcrux. It's very possible he killed Harry's father with every intention of making Harry the last horcrux. As we know, Lily's love apparantly saved Harry's life but it may just have affected the curse and physically destroyed Voldemort instead. Someone said earlier that Voldemort doesn't believe that someone could sacrifice their own life. I think it's very very possible that Harry is the Horcrux. I think Harry dies. All of the characters have been affected and grown to be better and stronger people thanks to him. His death will leave behind a powerful legacy.