The North Tower #6: The End of Days – What the Prophecies Tell Us (1)

by Maline

I thought I’d round off my series on prophecies with this article and that next week’s will be a question – answer session about what I’ve written so far. So, if there’s anything in the previous five columns that you have questions on, want to comment, contradict or that you do not understand, send those questions and comments to me, and I’ll answer them next week. Okay, let’s get going. [Editor’s note: Let’s try to get those to her by 11:30 PM EDT on Friday, October 10th. That’ll give Maline time to think about and answer the questions.]

I’ll go through each of the prophecies today and see what I can make of them. Let’s start with the two fragmented ones that were smashed in the DoM:

OotP, p. 692: “…at the solstice will come a new…”
OotP, p. 692: “…and none will come after…”

This could mean absolutely anything. I cannot find any textual support that suggests what it could be about. I’ve heard one interesting theory though (thanks, Randi):

The Summer Solstice is on June 21st (the release date of OotP, so could the Winter Solstice, December 22nd be the release date of the 7th book? A new book will come out on the 21st of June – more will come after that, but on the Winter Solstice, none will come after it…

This theory is as good as any but has only circumstantial support. It’s nothing more than an intriguing guess, but I like it.

Next, the complete prophecies, the parts that have yet to be fulfilled.

Trelawny in PoA: The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever before.
Firenze in OotP: In the past decade, the indications have been that wizardkind is living through nothing more than a brief calm between two wars.

There’ll be a war between the Death Eaters and the other side (probably the Order of the Phoenix and the MoM now that the latter has finally realized that Voldemort’s back). This will be a terrible war, worse than the last one (greater and more terrible than ever before). This means VERY bad. Remember in OotP when Moody showed Harry the photograph of the original Order? Many of them had died in the first war. We have many descriptions of how things used to be: nobody knew who to trust (Hagrid, PS/SS), people disappeared all the time, people were tortured, controlled by the Imperious Curse, Muggles were dying, the MoM was in disarray (GoF), the members of the Order were outnumbered twenty to one and kept being killed off (OotP), etc. Voldemort killed, tortured, maimed, controlled, manipulated, divided and scared people out of their wits. (The fact that people, fourteen years after his fall, are still too scared to pronounce his name should indicate how absolutely horrible things were.) How could it possibly get any worse than this?

I have a theory (It could be bunnies! Sorry, Buffy the Vampire Slayer joke…):

The only thing Voldemort didn’t dare do in the first war was to attack Hogwarts.

We’re reminded of this several times, just like we are reminded of the fact that Dumbledore’s the only wizard Voldemort’s ever feared. So what’s going to happen in WWII (Wizard War II)?

Well, we can be pretty sure that there’s going to be a lot of Imperious Curses used (making people we thought we could trust change sides abruptly and making the skill of withstanding the curse very important). Same for the Cruciatus Curse and Avada Kadavra. A lot of people are going to die; let’s just face it. And it’s not going to be just random, unimportant characters (like Lavender Brown; for example); it’s going to be those that are really precious to Harry as well as to the readers. I’d be very surprised if the entire Weasly family came through alive, for example. Other high risk people are those who were up on the “potential Book 5 killings” list before OotP came out, like McGonagall, Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Lupin, Moody and Dumbledore. After Book 5, we can now add Luna, Tonks, Firenze and Kingsley to the list.

Then, there’s the possible (I’d even say probable) attack on Hogwarts, the one thing that would top the level of terrible-ness that Voldemort showed in WWI. Now, if Voldemort didn’t do it last time out of fear of Dumbledore, why would he this time? I can only see one reason: if Dumbledore wasn’t there anymore…

I’ve read many theories on why Dumbledore would not make it to the end of Book 7: Harry has to shoulder the ultimate responsibility, Harry must be left alone to find his true strength, Dumbledore’s really old, it’s tradition for the mentor to die (Star Wars, LotR, different myths), etc., etc. I’ve always been able to find arguments to contradict these theories before (Harry’s not ready yet, age is no problem for wizards, HP is not the same thing as Star Wars/LotR/different myths, etc.). Now I’m not so sure.

My main argument for Dumbledore’s survival remains, though, JKR needs Dumbledore for an important structural purpose. He’s the storyteller, the wise one who knows (almost) all the secrets. He’s JKR’s tool for telling us readers how everything works together, to make us understand how brilliantly complex her story really is. During the first five books, Dumbledore’s been an important Revealer of Important Plot Stuff and I have a hard time seeing who JKR could find to fill that function if she kills him.

On the other hand, I think an attack on Hogwarts is very probable and that the outcome will depend on one main thing: the ability to work together. Remember the Sorting Hat’s song in OotP, and combine it with Dumbledore’s speech at the end of GoF (about how only by showing friendship and trust can they fight Voldemort’s skill of dividing people). We also have the formation of the DA. Its purpose is defence against Voldemort, and I believe it will have to prove itself. Another reason to why Hogwarts would be attacked is that it would be such a neat place for a battle; also, I think that JKR will have a hard time resisting it. Just imagine, all those moving staircases, all the secret rooms, all the cool stuff. I think the Marauders’ Map will have a big role in this battle.

As for Dumbledore, he might “do a Gandalf” and disappear for a while (grave injury, secret mission, whatever) and come back after the fight. I really can’t sufficiently support either theory. (If you think you can, please go ahead.)

I’ll stop here for. To be continued next week. 🙂