You Bet Their Lives: Putting the Odds on Future Deaths

by Bill Hammon

It’’s been speculated over and over again. Who will die? How, and when will it happen? How will it affect Harry? What purpose does it serve to the story?

Some scenarios seem very likely, and are theorized over and over again. Even Las Vegas has joined in the fun, running bets on who would die in Half-Blood Prince. The thing is, no explanations are given for the odds they report.

So, I offer to you, a bit of a more user-friendly system. Given empirical evidence from Books I-V, I’ve compiled the true odds on all of our friends (and enemies) in the magical world. I offer odds, and the likely book in which their death will take place. The odds are on a scale of 1-100, 1 being absolute, and 100 being very unlikely.

Death Eaters

Voldemort 1:1 (VII)

It’’s a mathematical certainty. It’s even been quite easily explained on the theories page. If the wording of the prophecy is true, if Harry doesn’t kill Voldemort, and Voldemort kills Harry, then no one will ever have a shot at him again, and it just falls to logic that the bad guy can’’t win. After seven books, where we’’ve been told about good versus evil, there’s no way he can win.

Lucius Malfoy 4:1 (VI)

Vengeance has become a bit of a theme in recent books. Neville and the Lestranges, particularly Bellatrix, Barty Crouch Jr. to his late father, Sirius to Pettigrew, and now Harry to Bellatrix because of Sirius. The Death Eaters swear a life allegiance to Voldemort. A battle will likely ensue towards the end of HBP in which Lucius will fall. This will drive Draco to take his father’’s place in Voldemort’’s inner circle.

Draco Malfoy 25:1 (VII)

There is a distinct difference between death and defeat. As much as Draco hates Harry, he hates Hermione even more, because of her lineage. He may make her a target, and he will be stopped, but in the end, he will be left to live with his own personal demons.

Bellatrix Lestrange 10:1 (VI)

She is an annoyance, without a doubt, and she certainly deserves to die, but whether or not she will is a different matter entirely. If she does, it’’ll be in HBP, and Neville would be the likely harbinger. Now, Neville won’’t do Avada Kedavra on her. It requires a “powerful bit of magic” as we all know, and Neville is relatively pathetic, despite his DA lessons. Also, Neville has hatred of the woman who destroyed his parents’ minds, but his heart is too soft to kill. More than likely, they will battle, and Neville will show some prowess, but at the moment of truth, he will falter, and show mercy.

Peter Pettigrew 3:1 (VII)

It is my firm belief, one shared by others, that all the Marauders must die by the end. Peter will go last. We have seen the doubt he has about hurting Harry, and we know he owes a life debt. He will most likely meet his end, towards THE end. He’’ll have to choose between good and evil, and Voldemort will kill him. “”May your loyalty never waiver again.”” That’’s what Voldemort told him when he gave him the silver hand. Voldemort is ruthless, and unforgiving. He will see Wormtail’’s loyalty falter, and won’’t hesitate to kill him.

Karkaroff 1:1 (VI)

It’’s only a matter of time. Voldemort will catch, and kill him.

The Order

Dumbledore 2:1 (VII)

This one’’s been speculated to no end. Dumbledore is Harry’’s mentor, his protector. And yes, he’’ll all but certainly have his Obi-Wan moment. He will sacrifice himself to save Harry. This will also lull Voldemort into a false sense of security. Dumbledore’’s the only one he fears. To kill Dumbledore, Voldemort would figure himself invincible. But just like Obi-Wan, he will help Harry from beyond the grave. It is even conceivable that a similar protection to Lily’’s will take hold on Harry.

Snape 15:1 (VII)

I list his potential death for Book VII for one main reason. I believe he’’ll be the final DADA teacher, but that’’s another editorial. Snape’’s a difficult character to comprehend, and even harder to decipher, a much more accomplished Occlumens than we give him credit, even we can’’t figure out what he’s thinking. The reason Dumbledore trusts him will be revealed, but there are only two ways I see him dying: He proves his loyalty by sacrificing himself, or Voldemort kills him, after his treachery is revealed. Otherwise, there’’s no apparent reason for him to go.

McGonagall 50:1 (VII)

I think she’’s come as close to death as she’’s going to come, with her injuries during the O.W.L. exams in OotP. Oddly enough, aside from being the head of Gryffindor House, and therefore an automatic mentor to Harry, she seems to have served very little purpose. She’’s brilliant, and she’’s loyal to Dumbledore, and one of the few known Animagi out there. But Transfiguration has yet to have any real purpose to Harry’’s life, and McGonagall has yet to play a pivotal role. I’’m not saying she won’’t, but as of right now, there’’s no reason to kill her.

Hagrid 10:1 (VI)

Hagrid is, literally, more thick-skinned than the rest of the characters. If he dies, it will not come by protecting Harry from Voldemort, or in service to Dumbledore. Despite his good nature, his obsession with monstrous creatures (which JKR says he has because he has to conquer his fear of things that can kill him) may be his eventual undoing, either accidentally from Grawp, or at the hands of the rebellious centaurs. If he dies, his death will be basically senseless, and without purpose, but I have to believe there’’s a chance, especially with the ever-looming presence of Grubbly-Plank.

Lupin 2:1 (VI)

Like I said, all the Marauders will die by the end. Lupin will be the sacrificial lamb in HBP, and I’’ll go further, and give 3:1 odds that his death will, literally, come at Wormtail’’s hand. Silver kills the werewolf.

Moody 12:1 (VII)

He’’s too good an Auror, too prepared, but as we saw at the end of GoF and OotP, he can be taken out. If he dies, it’’ll be in battle, with honor and valor that even Voldemort couldn’’t deny.

Tonks 100:1 (VI)

She can only die in battle. Her character’’s not developed enough to off her just yet, but there’’s an outside chance that she could be a casualty of the full-fledged war that has begun.

Kingsley 25:1 (VII)

There has to be a reason for him to be in the Order. He was useful as the head of the Sirius hunt, but now that Sirius is gone, he needs new purpose to the Order. If he dies, he’ll need to be given that cause to die for, and JKR likes to develop characters over the course of at least one book before they get the axe. Even Cedric had some significance before GoF.

Mundungus 75:1 (VII)

He’’s still got a part left to play, too soon to tell.

Arabella Figg 60:1 (VII)

We’’ve only just realized her significance, and it would make no sense to kill her, unless she’’s the Secret-Keeper to the Dursley residence.

The D.A.

Hermione 45:1 (VII)

She won’’t even be touched until Book VII. The trio will see no disturbance until the very end, if at all. She is in danger because she is Muggle-born, and Draco has a particular loathing for her. Like I suggested with Draco, I think she’’ll be challenged, and she may even come within inches of death, but she will defeat Draco the only way she knows how: cool, clear logic.

Cho Chang 75:1 (VI)

Her role seems, for the most part, to be over. She’’s moved on from Cedric and Harry, and she’’ll be leaving Hogwarts at the end of HBP. Unless JKR wants her role completely finished, leaving no chance for an Oliver Wood-style cameo, she’’s fairly safe.

Seamus 50:1 (VII)

He and Dean have basically been in the background for most of the series. They’’re relatively safe. Seamus is a little more at risk than Dean, having not joined the DA until later on.

Dean 55:1 (VII)

See above.

Neville 8:1 (VI)

I mentioned his vengeance factor with Bella Lestrange. I believe they will fight, and that he will spare her. That could be his end. If no one is there with him, like Harry or Dumbledore, she will take advantage of his pity, and kill him.

The Creevey Brothers 30:1 (VII)

If Voldemort somehow takes over the school, they will be made examples of, being Muggle-born, and that they would most certainly resist him to help Harry. But then again, they may just go unnoticed for the remainder of the series.

Zacharias Smith 50:1 (VII)

It’’ll be interesting to see how his character develops. He’’s definitely one that JK wanted us to know, but for some reason held back until OotP. Can’’t give a true prediction at this stage, but it’’ll be cool to see him over the next two books.

Ernie MacMillan and Hannah Abbott 100:1 (VII)

It’’s a safe bet that the Hufflepuff Prefects are perfectly safe.

Justin Finch-Fletchley 75:1 (VII)

Same deal as the Prefects.

Susan Bones 100:1 (VII)

I think she was only even brought in because of Chris Columbus’’s daughter being in the first two films, and her relation to the Bones family that Voldemort killed.

Luna 9:1 (VII)

In the “Sympathetic Character” pecking order, she’’s third behind Harry and Neville. Her death would be sad, not necessarily tragic, but sad. Some think her a bimbo. I see her as someone who is constantly searching for something. She may find her answers behind the Veil, and suffer the same fate as Sirius.

The Weasleys

Arthur 10:1 (VII)

I think he’’s already had his brush with death. We know he won’’t be the new Minister of Magic, but his significance has not yet run its course. His Muggle obsession may put him in danger again, but he’’s safe, for now.

Molly 5:1 (VI)

I think this is very likely. Her brothers, Gideon and Fabian Prewett, were killed by Voldemort, and the Death Eaters have this whole thing with killing entire families. Two, she does consider Harry as good as a son, and could very easily sacrifice herself for him. Third, and this is what leads me to believe that she’’ll go in HBP, is her motherly instinct. At the end of GoF, she hugged Harry “like a mother.” Harry has no parents, and has already lost the closest thing to a third parent in Sirius. But also consider Chapter 9 of OotP, “The Woes of Mrs. Weasley.” Some small events happen, like the Prefect badges, but the focal point of the chapter is that Molly’’s greatest fear, as illustrated by the Boggart, is the death of her family, the twins, Harry, Arthur, Ron, Percy, etc. Not once did she see herself lying on the floor. That’’s the significance of this chapter. Molly will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, having already lost two relatives, and seems to fear their deaths above her own. She will sacrifice herself to save one or more of her young.

Bill 25:1 (VII)

Bill is the most “adult” of the Weasley children, and therefore has the most responsibility, but we don’’t know how he’’d stand up in battle. As far as we know, he’’s untested, but he had to have been made Head Boy for a reason…

Charlie 100:1 (VII)

We’’ve only seen Charlie twice, both times in GoF. We’’ve also learned that he won’’t be in the GoF movie. In fact, we may never see him again. He seems to be a non-entity.

Percy 20:1 (VI)

In order to reconcile their differences, I believe Percy will be the one saved by Molly’’s potential sacrifice. However, it may not be enough. He will finally understand the love his family has for him, and take pride in being a Weasley, but he may still be killed just after his mother.

Fred and George 15:1 (VII)

It’’s common practice, especially in a tragic story, which Harry’’s certainly is, whether he survives it or not, that the comic relief dies. It happened to Mercutio in “Romeo and Juliet,” and to Polonius in “Hamlet.” The thing is, the comic relief usually dies towards the middle of the story, so they might survive. But if they meet their end, it will be the most spectacular end, just ’cause they’’ll want to be showmen to the last.

Ron 30:1 (VII)

He’’s more likely to snuff it than Hermione, but I still think he’’s safe. One of the things I remember from PS/SS is Ron’’s image in the Mirror of Erised. He saw himself as Quidditch Captain, Head Boy, and holding the Quidditch Cup. One of these has already come true, the other two can as well. Dumbledore described him as “standing alone, the best of them all (his brothers).” There’’s one sure-fire way to best his siblings, to die for his best friend, Harry. I don’’t think he will, but it’’s a fair point. The only other person to be a Weasley friend is Lee Jordan, whose sole role was calling Quidditch matches. Ron may be forced to show his family the true meaning of loyalty.

Ginny 10:1 (VII)

Ginny’’s an odd case. She’’s already had a brush with death, two actually. But she’’s the only character we’’ve known throughout the series who won’’t leave Hogwarts at the end of Book VII. I find this quite significant. It’s also been noted on JK’’s site, that Ginny was the first girl born in the Weasley family for several generations. She may have a divine purpose.


Trelawney 11:1 (VI)

She has information, information that Voldemort wants, the prophecy. She may not even remember saying it, because she certainly had no memory of giving the Pettigrew prophecy at the end of PoA but that won’t stop the Dark Lord. We know, from Bertha Jorkins, that he can extract information from a mind with little difficulty, and no remorse. Once his “informant” serves her purpose, she’’s disposed of.

Firenze 3:1 (VII)

Will likely be killed by the other centaurs eventually.

Fudge 5:1 (VI)

He needs redemption, and he may very well get it. It may be against his will, but I can easily see him being killed by either Lucius, or Voldemort himself.

Umbridge 20:1 (VI)

No one will deny that she certainly deserves a good beating, but I think she already got hers from the centaurs.

The Dursleys 15:1 (VII)

The only one in any real danger is Petunia, due to her involvement, if unwilling, with Dumbledore. What’’ll be more interesting is to find out what Dudley saw with the aid of Dementors, and how he’ll cope with that.

Fleur 100:1 (VII)

I seriously doubt we’’ll even see her again. By “private lessons,” I believe JK means, “we’’re done with her.”

Krum 50:1 (VI)

He’’s still a wild card. He’’s somewhat involved with Hermione, even if he’’s just a pen pal, so he could come back. Also, we don’’t know what’s become of Karkaroff. Krum could be used to get to him, and, like Bertha, disposed of.

Grawp 4:1 (VI)

The giants are justifiably not trusted, and are dying out. The centaurs are smart enough to fight him, and can, with great effort, kill him.

Lockhart 100:1 (VII)

I think we’’re finally done with him. His OotP cameo was pure comic relief, nothing more.

Rita Skeeter 50:1 (VI)

Rita will do almost anything for a story, and that’’s a big ALMOST. However, I can see her being controlled by the Imperius Curse to write misinformative stories about Voldemort’’s whereabouts.

Dobby 4:1 (VI)

I’’d give him 2:1 odds, because he would certainly want to defend and protect Harry, but we don’’t know what that special breed of House-Elf magic is yet, that might give him protection from certain forms of death.

Winky 25:1 (VI)

I’’m pretty sure we’re done with her. She’’s drunk, disgraced, and (in her mind) without any purpose in life, with her masters gone. If she dies, it may be the only suicide of the series.

Kreacher 7:2 (VII)

If nothing else, Buckbeak will eat him.

Buckbeak 7:2 (VII)

May choke on Kreacher.

And Finally…

Harry ?-? (VII)

If he dies, then obviously, it’’ll be at the end of the seventh book. But I won’’t even begin to speculate. I don’’t even want to think about it. Everyone has their own idea, and even more will have one by the time HBP is released. I leave that one to all of you to figure out for yourselves. Do I want Harry to die? Certainly not. Can I see scenarios where it can happen? Definitely. But I won’’t even begin to theorize.

Well, that’’s it, folks, the VERY VERY UNOFFICIAL ODDS. Remember kids, gambling is wrong.

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