Silver Chips Online

Broomsticks, horcruxes and a whole lot of unanswered questions

Thoughts on the final installment of "Harry Potter"

By Kate Harter, Online Weekend Editor and Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
July 7, 2007
*SPOILER ALERT*
For the past 735 days, diehard Harry Potter fans have been left in the dark, wondering who will die, who will prevail and who will come together to fight in the final Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which comes out July 21. Since the sixth book was released, numerous websites, books and articles have been created to predict how this popular series will end. So, two Muggles have put their heads together to speculate on seven of the questions left unanswered by the first six books.

Is Albus Dumbledore really dead?

Both say: Yes. Not only has author JK Rowling specifically said that Dumbledore is indeed out of the picture, the famed ex-headmaster needs to be dead for the final showdown to occur. Dumbledore was the only wizard that Voldemort ever feared, so with him gone the Dark Lord will be less cautious with his actions and more vulnerable to Harry. And, good old Albus has already spent so much time teaching Harry all he needs to know in order to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named that Harry will be able to hold his own. And we can't forget Dumbledore's portrait, which now hangs in the headmaster's office with paintings of other former headmasters. If he weren't completely dead, Lucky for Harry and the gang, Dumbledore will not be completely out of touch as his portrait now hangs in the headmaster's office along with other former headmasters. Rowling would not have included this detail in the "Half-Blood Prince" if Dumbledore were not fully dead.

Is Snape evil?

Miriam says: No, and neither is Draco Malfoy. Snape killed Dumbledore on the Headmaster's orders, because the two of them knew that Voldemort's demise would require Dumbledore's death. The act also erased any shreds of doubt in the Death Eaters' minds and they will believe wholeheartedly that Snape is on their side. The Death Eaters' trust will allow Snape to be a more valuable spy to the Order of the Pheonix. In "The Half-Blood Prince," Malfoy was under immense pressure which compromised his decision making, but as much as he hates Harry, the Death Eater's son will unite with his enemy in the final battle.

Kate says: Yes. After all these years of torturing Harry, how could Snape not be evil? If he really was part of the Order, he would have never mocked Sirius Black like he did in "Order of the Phoenix," causing Sirius to go out in public and put himself in danger. Snape also agrees to the Unbreakable Vow which Draco Malfoy's mother asks him to perform, promising to aid Draco in his attempts to help the Dark Lord. He would never take such a vow if he were not still a Death Eater, since doing so would put his own life at stake.

What will happen to Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix?

Both say: Dumbledore's Army (DA) and the Order will come together and play an important role in fighting the Death Eaters. The DA will be key in leading the young resistance effort at Hogwarts, and it will probably be headed by Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley, as Harry, Ron and Hermione probably won't return to finish their final year. Neville will get past his bumbling adolescence and avenge his parents by killing Bellatrix Lestrange, who tortured them senseless soon after the boy was born. Fred and George Weasley will bridge the gap between the two organizations by using their magical products to defeat the dark side, and Molly and Arthur Weasley will continue to offer Harry guidance and support in trying times. Lupin, Tonks, Moody and other members of the Order will again show up to help Harry in his time of need.

What will happen to the Harry-Ron-Hermione trio?

Both say: As they promised in the final pages of "The Half-Blood Prince," the trio will not return to Hogwarts, but instead will head to Godric's Hollow, as Harry needs time to discover the final horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort. Hermione and Ron's relationship will develop into a romantic one, but Harry will not be left out because Ginny will come back into his life as his significant other. The impending pressure of the final battle against Voldemort will try the friendship of the trio, forcing them to reevaluate themselves and their surroundings.

What will happen in the final Harry Potter versus Voldemort showdown?

Both say:We remain optimistic. Good will once again prevail when Harry and Voldemort face off in the final book. What started off as a children's book series couldn't possibly end with the death of the world-renowned and loved protagonist!

What are the final horcruxes?

Miriam says: Voldemort would have wanted to divide his soul into seven parts, a powerful number to wizards, but was not able to do so. He saved horcruxes for important murders and the demise of Harry Potter would have definitely been that. Without the horcrux from Harry and the part of the soul still in his body, there are only five horocruxes that need to be destroyed before the Dark Lord can fall. The first, Tom Riddle's diary, was shattered by Harry in the Chamber of Secrets. Dumbledore eliminated a ring belonging to Salazar Slytherin. In "The Half-Blood Prince," Dumbledore and Harry search for a locket but instead find a note saying the R.A.B. has already taken the horcrux. The initials probably stand for Sirius Black's younger brother Regulus Black, who was a Death Eater that was killed when he turned away from the dark side. The final two horcruxes have yet to be discovered but are most likely a cup of Hufflepuff's that Voldemort stole and the Dark Lord's pet snake. As soon as Harry uncovers the final two horcruxes the demise of Lord Voldemort will be inevitable.

Kate says: It has already been established that Marvolo Gaunt's ring and Tom Marvolo Riddle's diary have been destroyed. That means that there are still four horcruxes out there for Harry to get rid of in the final book before he can kill off Voldemort. The possible third horcrux is the locket that Dumbledore and Harry retrieved on the night of Dumbledore's death. Inside the locket was a note from R.A.B., telling Voldemort that he planned on destroying said locket. This brings up questions over R.A.B.'s identity. The most probable answer would be that it is Regulus Black, Sirius's brother, who was killed by Voldemort. There are still three other unknown horcruxes out there. The fourth could be Helga Hufflepuff's cup, which Tom Riddle may have stolen from Hepzibah Smith. A fifth horcrux could be Voldemort's beloved snake, Nagini, because Voldemort is closer to his snake than he is to any human, and the snake brings back the connection to Salazar Slytherin. The last horcrux is most likely something that belonged to Godric Gryffindor or Rowena Ravenclaw. These are the final two Hogwarts founders and Hogwarts was the one place that Voldemort ever thought of as his home.

Who will die?

Both say: Voldemort will die, which is obvious enough because Rowling could not possibly let evil prevail over good. Rowling has also confirmed, though, that two main characters will die . It is very possible that the second character killed off will be Ron. Someone close to Harry must be the other person to die in order for the triumph over Voldemort to balance out and not be a completely win-win situation, though it probably won't be Hermoine, since killing her off would mean killing off one of the main female protagonists, which doesn't seem to be likely. Lupin is another possibility, but Harry has already lost his father and his next father-figure, Sirius, so Rowling has no reason to kill off yet another adult male figure in Harry's life. Ron will be the one off-ed because he is so close to Harry and will therefore make Harry's victory over the Death Eaters a bitter one.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7646