The Burrow: No Comment!

by Erin Riley

The recent World Book Day online chat with J.K. Rowling could not have surprised me more. I doubt if our beloved J.K. has ever given so many spoilers, so early – not a year after the publishing of her latest book – in one sitting. The majority of the tidbits and clues that are the product of the online chat that took place on the 4th of March were given very openly or disguised without the usual skill that we have come to expect from this fabulous author.

Although I appreciate a glimpse into Harry’s future as much as the next avid fan, this chat did not seem for the most part to be entirely the best move for J.K. There were some questions that she could not get out of without making it obvious that the questioned aspects were important in future books. On the other hand, I have been very concerned for the future of the sixth book – it does have potential to be an awkward book: the stumbling block before the finale – and this chat has reassured me that it could very well be as successful as its predecessors.

To clear things up, let me take an example:

Sussie: Does Harry’s eye colour become important in the future books, like we’ve heard?
JK Rowling replies -> No comment!

The previous quote is an example of an obvious mistake made by J.K. It was mentioned before the fifth book was released that Harry’s eye colour would play a very large part in the fifth book. It didn’t, of course. Obviously, it will play an important part in book 6 or 7 – perhaps both. I may be wrong, but I suspect that J.K. intended to include the importance of Harry’s green eyes in at least one of the last 3 books in the Harry Potter series. She mentioned it in an interview and it wasn’t given very much attention for the most part. Perhaps since then J.K. has realized just how important his eye colour is to the plot, and has been very secretive about the matter. To quote her: “No comment!” Said quote has proved to do nothing but spark more curiousity around the subject.

The importance of Harry’s green eyes – this is a very ambiguous clue. It is difficult to fathom what importance this could have to the final tomes of Harry Potter. Is it the actual colour – bright green – that is important? Or is it the connection between Lily and Harry’s eyes? I think the latter is far more likely – perhaps in addition to Lily’s eyes, Harry has inherited something else in her character. Her strength in Charms, or maybe something deeper and more powerful that we’ve never heard of before. I think that Harry might have inherited the loyal love that saved him the night his parents died from his mother, and this may prove very useful in the future.

At the moment, we can hardly begin to wonder what sort of role that clue will play in future books. One that has been pondered tirelessly since the release of the fifth book is what I really want to talk about today: Sirius’s death. Now, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter – not to mention Harry’s godfather – but I did not cry when Sirius Black died. Nope. I tried, because it seemed the right thing to do – but I couldn’t. I had to read that particular passage where Sirius meets his end several times before I completely understood it, to be honest. And even after that, I was perpetually confused: why did Sirius die?

As much as I love the character of Sirius Black, I have never understood his overall existence. What purpose has he served to Harry? Harry’s father had other friends, so the reason for his existence cannot just be a glimpse into his parent’s past. Harry also has other father figures – Dumbledore, Hagrid, Arthur, etc. – so that cannot be his reason for existence either.

For I believe that every single detail of the Harry Potter books has a place in the simplified, basic plot. By the size of the books J.K is producing, it’s obvious that she cannot afford to add useless characters.
I was dreadfully baffled – one of the main characters had just died without fulfilling his existence! It went against everything I thought I’d learned about the Harry Potter books.

The World Book Day interview cleared it all up – Sirius was to become useful in death, as so many deceased characters are. For example, Lily saved Harry with her love for him; Voldemort’s father contributed to resurrecting his son; without the death of Harry’s parents, he would have never have become the person he is today; and when Cedric died he let Harry get to know Cho better, and finally get over her (you can see I’m not much of a Cho/Harry shipper!).

One possibility is that the grief Harry will experience will give him a good dose of reality, and he will become less angry and more helpful toward the cause of destroying Voldemort.
Another possibility is that the things Sirius left behind – his elf, his house, his mirror, his knife, his hippogriff – will be passed on to Harry, and they will prove very useful. Especially the mirror; whether he will actually use it to communicate with Sirius and other members of the deceased population of Harry’s world or whether he will use it to communicate with the living population is anyone’s guess.

The death of his godfather may also lead Harry to explore more about death. He may examine the room behind the veil more closely (perhaps with the help of Mad-Eye Moody – can his eye see beyond the veil?), or discover the exact circumstances about how either Harry or Voldemort could die.

I for one am glad that Sirius will prove useful, after all the uselessness he was feeling before he kicked the bucket.