So much speculation on the web about how Harry Potter will end…no reason why I shouldn’t join in the fun.
Any avid children’s literature fan has already picked up on the series use of familiar literary themes popularized in books by Tolkien, CS Lewis, and the like…good vs. evil (Harry and Voldemort), the protagonist’s evolution from a unfathomable naive simpleton to grim realist, the humorous sidekick (Ron), the wise sage (Dumbledore). Given all this, I can only imagine one real ending for the book…the only one that will satisfy and which won’t feel anti-climatic. Harry kicks it.
Yes, I think Harry dies at the end. Voldemort is killed as well, mind you. I don’t think J.K. Rowling is so mean spirited as to allow evil to triumph over good. In quick summary this is what I think happens.
- Dumbledore is not really dead, neither is Sirius. They both come back and play a role in defeating Voldemort.
- Neville’s parents, currently institutionalizes, somehow are snapped out of their trance and also play a role in the end battle.
- Ron and Hermione both die somewhere in the middle to last third of the book. This drives Harry nearly to the point of submitting to his dark side – a la Luke Skywalker. Like young Skywalker, he ultimately defeats his dark temptations and fights for love, freedom, and all that good stuff.
- Snape is good and evil. He wants to see Harry dead but he doesn't want Voldemort to live. He betrays both.
And here are a couple of theories that I’ve mulled over but haven’t made up my final mind on:
- Harry is the ultimate Horcrux. Voldemort, with no other choice, installed part of his soul in Harry when he realized his imminent death. In so doing, he destroyed part of Harry’s soul. The prophecy states that neither can live while the other survives. If Harry is nothing more than a vessel for Voldemort’s soul – should Voldemort retrieve his soul from Harry, Harry would die. However, to stop Voldemort, Harry must sacrifice himself before Voldemort retrieves his soul.
- It is revealed that Harry and Voldemort are distant relatives – remember that Voldemort is a half-blood, his father was a muggle. Harry’s mother came from a muggle family. There’s a connection there. Remember also that it is Harry’s mother’s love that saved him – again a sign that their genetic relationship has somehow made this all possible. Harry is Voldemort's heir apparant and has the potential to be even more powerful and evil than Voldemort. Dumbledore realized this long ago and therefore did everything he could to prevent this from happening.
- And for my most controversial theory – Neville is actually the true “one”. At the end of book six, Dumbeldore stated that it could have been either Neville or Harry who was the one mentioned in the prophecy but Voldemort chose Harry because of his muggle blood. No one ever mentions whether Voldemort made the right choice with Harry. There may be a reason why Neville was raised to be a bumbling fool. No one would ever believe such an incompetent twit would be the one to eventual kill Voldemort. But maybe this was Dumbeldore’s plan all along. Shield Neville and protect him by implicating another child. Neville is the one who ultimately kills Voldemort.
Oh well, we'll know in just a few more days....Happy reading!