The Underground Lake #29: Grown-Up Harry: Is He Ready Yet?

Ahoy to all my readers out there in editorial land! I trust you are all still recovering from the brilliance of Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, just as I am. I’ll get to my critique of the film another time. Right now, you know the drill: old business.

I am glad that my five-parter had the effect on you all that it did. Boy, did I stir up the controversy on my whole “Harry is a Horcrux” theory. I would like to make a few addendums. Many of you brought this up, and I agree that it is plausible that Kreacher could have aided Regulus in his theft of Merope’s locket (this sounds like the title of a Lifetime movie: MEROPE’S LOCKET – THE STORY OF A WOMAN IN TROUBLE). In fact, with his own brand of magic, it may have even been possible for Kreacher to retrieve the locket without disturbing Voldemort’s enigmatic potion. I am not, at this time, prepared to commit fully to the notion that Regulus and Kreacher acted alone and of their own volition, but I do concede that it is the best theory we have at this point.

The Lupin/Greyback/Wormtail issue. I think mine is more interesting but stupid JK Rowling said that stupid Wormtail wasn’t gonna kill stupid Lupin… so I guess I’m the stupid one. I still like mine better though. **sulksnifflesniffle** And no, I don’t think JKR is stupid.

Humor. It’s one of my benchmarks. No matter the topic, I always intend to throw in at least a bit of humor in my editorials. Regular readers of my columns know that no topic or thing is safe from my scathing wit. It appears that a segment of my readership was unintentionally offended by my rather offhanded jab at the Republican Party. Folks, I care as much about politics as Harry cares about TFPWWNBN, which is to say not at all. Am I a democrat? Yes, in the sense that I think Bill Clinton was the most entertaining president in my lifetime. My friends and those close to me know that I never apologize… and I don’t intend to start now. Suffice it to say, if anyone took offense to my remark, know that it was not my intent to cause offense; the jab was merely a place-filler. In fact when I received the first email regarding it, I had to go back and look it up having no recollection of writing it. To make things fair, I shall reprint that sentence so that everything is equal and I will not be accused of bias:

“He had an army of the most vile death eaters. We can now add Inferi to the list as well. Giants. Warmongers. Republicans (as well as Democrats, Independents, Green Party members, Whigs, and any other political party I may have left out… I am an equal opportunity offender).”
Folks, I would hope that anyone cool enough to read Harry Potter would have enough sense not to care what some 20-year-old Potterphile says about a political party. Remember: I SUBMIT FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT. Okay, that’s outta the way. On to New Business…

Last season, I wrote that I didn’t think Harry was ready to take on Voldemort where he was at the end of Book Five. Now we only have one book left, and the conflict is now inevitable. The time has come. Harry grew a lot in Book Six, but is he ready? I submit for you ENTERTAINMENT and consideration: GROWN-UP HARRY!

IN THIS CORNER: HARRY POTTER!

Thanks in no small part to TFPWWNBN, Harry is armed with a whole new barrage of spells and enchantments courtesy of the Half-Blood Prince that will add to his slightly average arsenal of Expelliarmus and Stupefy. I think Harry should shy away from all Unforgivables because his heart is definitely not in those and it isn’t the noble thing to do. Harry is, above all else, noble. The question is: what does Harry really bring to the table?

  • – Harry can hide in a corner like nobody’s business. I don’t mean that as a criticism, I mean it as a compliment. Harry, in every novel, has the uncanny ability to be able to duck, dodge, and hide from the most foul of creatures, least of all Voldemort himself, spells, and objects being hurled at him. It is a skill that never seems to fail him and has managed to keep him alive for the past six years. In the immortal words of Barty Crouch, Jr., “PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS!”
  • – REFLEXES! He ain’t a Quidditch star for nuthin! (Gosh, my AP English teachers would be so proud of that last sentence.) Harry possesses uncanny reflexes. That really goes into his duck, dodge and hide ability (or his DDHA, for short), but in the larger arena, Harry’s reflexes are so attuned. He seems to be able to detect when someone is going to attack and be ready. The skill has served him well against Malfoy time and time again. And those lightning reflexes sure saved his butt in the graveyard against Voldemort.
  • – Determination. Harry now knows his mission. He won’t give up. He’ll see it through to the end. Not to mention as the good guy, by law, he can’t lose or else everybody in the world who is not on Voldemort’s side is going to die. Harry has the weight of the world on his shoulders in this fight.
  • – “Stop! in the name of LOVE.” Harry has something to fight for. You see, in any great story, the hero has to have the whole world personified on one character. JKR did it in Six when she said it seemed to Harry that the outcome of the Quidditch final was really Harry’s inner battle over whether to go with Ginny. I have been cooking up a new theory… a much happier theory that I will get into a little later. Suffice it to say, if Harry has to fight to save Ginny (and also Ron and Hermione), then look out Voldemort.

IN THIS CORNER: LORD V

Let’s face it, there is no amount of preparation Harry can do in the next year to out-magic Voldemort. There’s a reason he was the most feared dark wizard in history. The man knows spells and has powers that Harry at 17 could not possibly fathom. He’s got his very experienced and equally evil Death Eaters in tow. And he’s got Bellatrix and Nagini and Inferi and giants and lions and tigers and bears… oh my! Point is, Voldemort has the numbers. Voldemort has the talent. Voldemort really shouldn’t be worried…

AND THAT SHALL BE HIS UNDOING

Voldemort has an ego from here to Jupiter (and to all my readers on Jupiter, it’s a REALLY big ego). With Dumbledore dead, Voldemort is really gonna be strutting around like the ‘big man on campus.’ That’s when Harry is going to remind him that, “oh yeah Voldemort, you are so powerful yet in the end, a little boy was responsible for Dumbledore’s death. Malfoy put that plan together, not you. And who killed him? Was his name Voldemort? I DON’T THINK SO!” Ooh, won’t that just tick him off!

Voldemort is a man who likes to think he has everything under control. At some point however, he’s going to have to start thinking logically. When he hits that point, he’ll come to the Horcruxes. I think as a precaution, he should send some DEs to cover his Horcruxes just in case. I feel that the discovery and destruction of the Horcruxes is going to be eerily reminiscent of the tasks of a Tri-Wizard Tournament: hard as H-E-double hockey sticks. He’s going to have to get through not only whatever defenses Big V put up, but also have to dispatch a few DEs along the way.

As I said above though, Voldemort’s ego will be his undoing. Recall that Dumbledore told us that Voldemort discounts all things he considers human weakness, i.e. love, compassion, friendship, sacrifice. In other words, THE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT!!! Have we seen the end of this power? It came into play in One and Five. Will it rear its glorious head once again in Seven?

THE NEW THEORY

As I said above, I’ve been thinking a new theory about THE END. And maybe this is just to cover my butt, but I’m starting to think maybe Harry won’t die. I used to be 100% certain that Harry would die. But now, it’s like 75%/25% Harry will die/Harry won’t die. The reason for this is Ginny – the more I think about Seven and Ginny’s role in it. Ginny is a very strong-willed girl. I can’t see her and Harry getting back together after the wedding (because when Ginny comes in that bridesmaid dress – ’cause she will SO be a bridesmaid – and Harry sees her, it’s on like Donkey Kong) and her just LETTING Harry go off to fight with Ron and Hermione. Speaking of Ron, I don’t know that Mrs. Weasley is just going to let Ron go off to fight. Fred and George left to start a joke shop. Ron is leaving to potentially die. On that note, Hermione’s parents have been almost non-existent; they’ll have to have something to say about this.

It is for this reason that I’m thinking they HAVE to go back to Hogwarts. I think school is not going to be a prime issue for them while there and I think they’ll be leaving a lot. But Ginny and Harry aren’t done yet. The more I think about Six, the Harry/Ginny relationship just seems so darn perfect. I hate to beat a dead horse, but my favorite image is still this one: Harry and Ginny in the common room, with Harry in the chair and Ginny on the floor, leaning with her head up against Harry’s leg. It’s just so sweet, so NORMAL. You know, it’s like everything in this world is so fantastical, but the most fantastic of fantastical things, love, is so normal. It’s so right. (I’m a hopeless romantic, sue me.) The point is, I think Ginny’s going to the final confrontation. If that’s the case, Harry’s not dying because he has something to live for.

In summation: is Harry there yet? Does he have what it takes? In magical powers? No. But in raw nerve and outstanding courage? Heck yeah. To me, the final confrontation isn’t about power. Just like any final confrontation, any confrontation period, it’s a battle of wills. Who wants it more?

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