Hi guys. The long wait is almost over, and I thought Id devote these last few days before we all shut ourselves away from the world with giddy laughs and big bags of candy by our side, new book reverently in hand, to recap the stuff Ive written so far, including the predictions Ive already made and to predict what I think will happen in Book 6. In other words, this is a great article to save and use to make fun of me later on :-).
Like most people, I tend to be influenced by stuff that other people come up with and my favourite theories for the last two books of the series are, at present:
- Red Hens theory that the giants may attack Hogwarts as a diversion as Voldemort tries to do something really evil somewhere else.
- John Grangers theory that Alchemy is a central theme in the books and that the last three will symbolise each of the alchemical states black (OotP), white (HBP) and red (Book 7).
- Red Hens theory that the final battle between Harry and Voldemort will take place at the Department of Mysteries and end in a spirit quest, where both somehow fall through the veil and are guided by Sirius (which was why he really had to die).
Now, the spirit quest theory is definitely for Book 7, but I think the other two could be possible in HBP. I know that if I were JKR, I would definitely want to write a Battle of Hogwarts, because the castle and grounds, with all their hidden paths and moving staircases and such, would just be a lot of fun to write. Then again, it wouldnt be very believable for Voldemort to attack Hogwarts with the Death Eaters in some sort of traditional battle. Firstly, why would they even want to? Voldemort doesnt have an army, only somewhere between twenty and forty DEs, the castle is enormous and full of people and theres no real power in it. In OotP, its painfully obvious how little power Hogwarts and its headmaster actually have the Ministry of Magic can make up any laws they want at a minutes notice. Now that would be a good place to take over a classic terrorist-inspired coup détat and say hello to power! A sneak attack on the MoM makes a lot more sense than an epic battle to seize Hogwarts, in my opinion. On the other hand, sending a bunch of giants to attack the castle as a diversion could be most effective. JKR showed us in OotP how giants (even half-giants such as Hagrid) are extremely resistant to magic. Further, they are big and strong (Grawp is a small giant and he pulls up trees like they were little flowers). An attack of, say, fifty giants would require many, many wizards to stop and some of them would very probably be MoM employees, such as Aurors. And seeing how extremely not-so difficult it was for Voldemort to get a dozen DEs and half a dozen children into the DoM the first time, having most of the best fighters gone shouldnt make the job any harder.
So yes, giant attack on Hogwarts to create a diversion; I stand by that prediction. (Might not be in Book 6 though, she could save that one.)
My main hunch about Book 6, however, is that this is going to be Dumbledores book. I really like the Alchemy theory (which is developed in Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger) and following its logic, HBP should symbolise the white or purifying stage of the alchemical process. According to what Ive found on the Internet (not always a completely reliable source, I know) the white stage is one where the materia which has been broken down during the black stage is concentrated and purified. On a spiritual level, the ego takes a step back and the person get a broader view on things. Important symbols are the moon (which also represents the metaphysical, non-logical, creative way of thinking), the lily, and the swan. So Im guessing Luna and Lily will be important and that Cho hasnt entirely played out her part. Though the last thing Im not too sure about, I dont really see what function she could have in Book 6. The main thing, however, will be Harrys and Dumbledores relationship, I think. Especially since I believe Dumbledore will disappear at the end of Book 6. Not necessarily die, but he wont be there for Harry. Dumbledore just has too many centuries of literary tradition against him. The wise old chancellor has to be removed for the hero to be forced to step up and embrace his full potential. Its way too symbolical for JKR to forego, in my opinion.
So, Dumbledore: central character (probably in closer relationship with Harry, some kind of classic teacher-apprentice situation perhaps) who somehow disappears towards the end of the book. I dont think hell die (his pet is a phoenix after all, strong symbolism there), but hell be in no position to help.
As for Harry, I think hell mature, become more focused at the task at hand (vanquishing Voldemort) after hes passed through the anger and grief. Hell become more open-minded and less self-centred. Im seeing a developed friendship with Luna which will help him along the way. She might even be a romantic interest (I think Cho is more or less out of the picture), but that Im a lot less sure about. Seeing as Im a no-shipper when it comes to the books, I dont particularly care either. However, the pattern seems to be that Ravenclaws and Gryffindors fancy one another, so I think Harrys next romantic interest will follow that pattern. I also wouldnt be surprised if Ginny started dating one, Terry Boot possibly.
Contrasted with Harrys inner development and purification, I think well have a very dark social situation. The Wizarding world at war, but a war without open battles. The DEs arent many, and the only way they can effectively fight is through guerrilla warfare and terrorism, through spreading fear and suspicion, and dividing people. A situation similar to the one Hagrid described in PS/SS, in other words. I wouldnt be surprised if a lot of people see HBP as a response to current events either. OotP could definitely be read on a political level and seen as rather satirical of e.g. US methods of surveying and controlling the public through control of information. Many might not agree with that reading, but I know that was one of the first things that popped into my mind, especially with the education decrees and the Daily Prophet propaganda. I wouldnt be surprised to see more of this, though the MoM will most certainly have changed their approach. Im foreseeing a great deal of fear, anger, hate, and suspicion all through society and especially at Hogwarts. If the Slytherins have had problems getting along with the other houses before, they will be even worse off now. Weve had Muggle racism ever since Book 1. This will most likely get worse, but I think a form of pureblood racism might develop as well, seeing as the half-bloods are by far the most numerous. And then theres the title: half-blood prince. I think Book 6 will also be the book where the half-bloods are in the spotlight with Harry and Voldemort as the most prominent figures. And it will probably be the book that shows how all different types of people, regardless of their blood-status can be both really good and really nasty. Compare and contrast on a grey scale, thats what I think HBP will be about the famous choice theme again, which will tie back to CoS.
To me, one of the most central things in CoS is the importance of Harrys choice and how it makes him different from Tom Riddle. This is probably where JKR had pieces of HBP and removed them, things that have to do with Harry and Voldemort, their differences and similarities on a deeper level. Both half-bloods, both very powerful, tied to one another physically (Harry feels pain when Voldemort is close and/or evil), mentally (Harry has a window into Voldemorts mind), and spiritedly (or metaphysically, seeing as one is destined to kill the other and must do so in order to live in one way or the other, I dont necessarily think both Voldemort and Tom Riddle have to die, or Harry and the One, the death might very well be symbolical, I think).
Little things which Im guessing will happen, but which Ill probably be totally wrong about:
- Narcissa Malfoy will inherit Grimmauld Place, or, if Sirius has left it to Harry, contest the will and claim it belongs to her family.
- Kreacher will become a problem for Harry, especially if the elf goes with the house and Harry
(or the Order) does get it.
- Ron and Hermione will start dating, or at least it will be clear to Harry and the reader that they like each other.
- Neville will become a lot more powerful and more confident.
- More important people die, along with some canon fodder. Dumbledore might, though I doubt it. Hagrid wont (Im betting hell get the axe in Book 7), and a Weasley or two might (Percy is pretty high on my list). Some Order members probably. Lupin probably, after hes told Harry some more things about his parents and their schooldays. I think Pettigrew will die as well, somehow in connection with the life-debt he owes Harry (might be in Book 7, it would be nice and symmetrical to pick the Marauders off one by one Sirius, Lupin, Pettigrew).
- The Dementors will join Voldemort and help him spread fear and create chaos. We will have tie-backs to Lupins comment: That shows that the thing you fear worst is... fear, very wise Harry. Im guessing fear and how to handle it will be one of the main themes of Book 6.
- Harry will take Potions. Hermione as well. I dont think Ron will and that will bug him.
- Harry or Katie Bell will be the new Quidditch captain for Gryffindor.
- The new DADA teacher will be either Dumbledore or a new character (Im leaning more towards a new character).
- Snapes role as a double-spy will be made clear, but his true sympathies will remain hidden, as will his motivations. We will get to know more about what happened between their DADA owl and the night Snape almost got eaten by Lupin and was saved by James.
- Well get to know Pettigrew a lot better and he will turn out to be much more powerful than anybody had thought. It will also be clear where he was during OotP, and my guess is that he was spying somewhere in his animagus form.
- Amelia Bones or a new character (or someone weve only heard the name of) will be the next MoM. Fudge will join Voldemort or die.
- Karkaroff will come back in one way or another, either looking for help or having been caught by Voldemort or the Order.
- The identities of the missing DEs will be revealed: Bagman, Karkaroff and Crouch jr. We will be told that Snape was in the circle at the graveyard.
- Harrys OWLS = History of Magic (P), Potions (E-O), Astronomy (P-A), Care of Magical Creatures (E-O), Divination (D-P), DADA (O), Transfiguration (E), Charms (E), Herbology (A-E).
- Hermione will get an O at everything, except perhaps the unfinished Astronomy exam. Ron will have more or less the same grades as Harry, except I think hell miss the Potions cut with an A (if Snape is forced to accept E students, thereby Harry) or E (if Harry actually gets an O)
- Neville will also take Potions, which will annoy Snape to no end.
- Grawp will have a crush on Hermione.
- There you go, my two cents. As I said, keep this for good fun after the 16th. :-)
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