Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Book 7

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 72
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Things I find very, very interesting about the US cover:

1) Harry and Voldemort are both unarmed - neither has a wand.

2) Harry appears unconcerned with Voldemort's presence.

3) There are arches in the surrounding structure.

4) There are curtains drawn to the sides of the image.

5) Harry is wearing a (the?) locket.

6) The color scheme is brighter and more uplifting than the previous two covers.

7) The sky appears to show a sunrise.

I expect a happy ending.

-Q

Link to post
Share on other sites

The page lengths confuse me. I disagree with mugglenet's analysis. I think it is more likely that the UK edition is using a smaller font size for DH than that used in the UK edition of GOF. All the US books used 12-point Garamond at 28/29 lines per page except OOP, which used 11.5-point Garamond at 31 lines per page. HBP returned to 12-point. I see no reason for the US edition to use a larger font size than 12-point, given the clearly demonstrated desire for uniformity of typographical style across the series. The most the font size of the US edition has ever changed was by half a point in OOP. I can't speak with any authority about the typeface history of the UK editions.

I just noticed that both arches and curtains appear on the cover art for SS. No curtains played a significant plot role in SS, so they may be a bookending icon. The only book in which a curtain played a significant role was OOP, and no curtain appears on that cover.

Harry is shown without a wand on the covers of SS, COS and POA, and with a wand on the covers of GOF, OOP and HBP.

-Q

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Harry Potter Prediction For Book 7

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

*** THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BOOK 6 ***

I predict that Harry Potter will die in the final book, but he will then be resurrected from the dead. I subscribe to the theory that Harry Potter is a horcrux, and that he must therefore die in order to destroy the portion of Voldemort that lives inside him. Also, because of something J.K. Rowling said in an interview implying a connection between her Christian religion and the plot of Harry Potter, and on account of similarities I have previously noted between Harry and Jesus, I think that it is very possible that Harry will suffer a similar sacrificial fate as Jesus, i.e., he will die and be resurrected in order to save people from evil.

To give my theory some context, I think that Dumbledore realized that Harry is a horcrux in the sixth book, but he told nobody except Snape. He also revealed to Snape his plan for ultimately saving Harry's life. His scheme was that Harry must actually die (to destroy the horcrux), but then Harry could be resurrected by the healing tears of Dumbledore's pet phoenix. Snape was not very keen on this plan, but with some coaxing from Dumbledore, he must have agreed that it was their best chance of killing Voldemort for good and simultaneously saving Harry's life.

Dumbledore, however, was unwilling to perform the initial test of this theory on Harry, for fear of it not working and permanently killing the boy. So Dumbledore decided to test the plan out on himself first. This interpretation of book six would explain why Snape killed Dumbledore: he did it as part of Dumbledore's master strategy to save Harry's life. Also explained is the emphasis placed on the weeping phoenix bird in the chapter called "The Phoenix Lament," which follows immediately after Dumbledore's death. You see, the phoenix is crying so much, and a whole chapter is named after this event, I think, because the bird is trying desperately to revive Dumbledore with its tears.

Whether the phoenix succeeded at reviving Dumbledore is not crucial to my theory. Dumbledore's plan could have failed. He could be dead for good. And Snape, or someone else, could still come up with a better plan for resurrecting Harry in the end of book 7. However, if Harry ends up not being a horcrux, and Snape is actually evil, then my theory falls apart.

For now, I believe that Snape is good, and perhaps Dumbledore trusts him so much because Snape helped Lily Potter save her baby from Voldemort. I suspect that in book 7 we will discover that baby Harry survived Voldemort's curse primarily because of Snape, and only secondarily because of Lily. My best guess is that Snape invented a potion for them to use against Voldemort, because he loved Lily. But the full truth about how Harry survived Voldemort's curse has never been known by anyone other than Snape and Dumbledore, not even Harry, because telling others would greatly risk Snape's value as a spy. If the Death Eaters or Voldemort find out that Snape helped Lily and Harry, and was in some way responsible for the death of Voldemort, then Snape could not infiltrate the Death Eaters. He would be useless as a spy for the good guys.

Edited by MisterSwig
Link to post
Share on other sites
I also don't see how his pursuit of Voldemort is selfless. What's selfless with hunting down and killing someone who is obsessed with killing you?

It's selfless because I think the purpose of Harry's life was determined by fate, not by him. He is acting in accordance with the prophecy. His personal interest is irrelevant. And to the extent that Harry consciously embraces his "destiny", he is acting selflessly. He is acting without regard for himself, but regard for the prophecy.

If you think the prophecy is bunk, that's fine. Maybe you're right. Hopefully Rowling will clear that issue up before the end of book 7.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Voldemort was not bound by the prophecy until he acted on it. In a sense, he was never bound by it, but instead acted to bind himself to its arbitrary words. Dumbledore tries to impress this fact on Harry in OOP. I think Harry will figure out how to use it to his advantage in DH. That men (and wizards) are not bound by fate is a common thread in the books, and I don't think it's something JKR will renege on in the end. I think Harry is learning this over the course of HBP - that he (along with Dumbledore, Snape, Voldemort and, at the funeral scene, Ginny, Ron and Hermione) create their own lives through the choices they make. While Harry has, particularly in HBP, contemplated his 'destiny' under the prophecy, I think this is part of the learning process, and that in the end he will learn the right lesson and triumph.

If the prophecy is fulfilled to the letter, it will be due to Voldemort's actions, not Harry's.

I remain unconvinced that Harry is a horcrux. However, if he is, then I believe he will find a way to destroy that part of Voldemort's soul without dying. I don't think Harry will die in the normal sense of the word. I think it unlikely he will die at all, but when the cover art was released, I was reminded immediately (by virtue of curtains, arches and shadows) of the arch in the room at the Dept. of Mysteries where Sirius died. If Harry 'dies' in DH, it will be only because he ventures 'beyond the veil' deliberately, and finds a way to return when he has done whatever he goes there to do. Though this would be sort of like Jesus, I think the analogy is strained, and the self-sacrificial elements implicated by the Jesus mythology would be heavily tainted by Harry's previous actions and attitudes. Nonetheless, I still hold out hope that the curtains are merely bookending features, meant to evoke the curtains on the SS cover, and that he will do no such venturing beyond.

As for Dumbledore's death, I still think he was dead-man-walking since his nasty encounter with the trap on the Gaunt family ring. As in, he knew the injury he sustained would surely kill him, and his death in the chosen manner gave some heretofore inestimable benefit to Harry. But whatever the motive for his suicide (and I think we can agree that's what it was), it will be made clear (and I believe rationally so) by the end of DH.

-Q

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not an expert on the books, merely read each once! It appears that Rowling is ambivalent on the issue of prophecy. We see a disdain for Madam Trelawney's Divination class; but, we also see some respect for her ancestor and for the centaur who teaches Divination. It's as though there's the idea that prophecy is codswaddle, but also the idea that some people are better at it than others. I think Rowling might even have a second level of ambivalence that does not see prophecy as contradicting volition.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, the Centaurs' form of prophecy differs from Trelawney's like climatology differs from meteorology. The Centaurs seem to read broad trends that don't have a binding effect on individuals. They (rightly) deride Trelawney's form as a parlor trick.

I didn't write the books, so I don't claim to know how prophecy works. But I think it's possible that prophecy is a particular type of magic, for which certain wizards have a talent, that influences others. Particularly others who either put undue stock in prophecy, or who lack mental fortitude. More like a 'Jedi mind trick' than a prognostication device. In this sense, it could still be seen as a valuable talent, even by those (like Dumbledore?) who fully understood it's function.

Perhaps I'm just reluctant to conclude ambivalence until all contrary potentials have been exhausted. I do so want the Potter books to be philosophically sound. Mostly so, anyway.

-Q

Link to post
Share on other sites
If the prophecy is fulfilled to the letter, it will be due to Voldemort's actions, not Harry's.

Voldemort doesn't even know the second half of the prophecy. So how is he responsible for fulfilling what Trelawney foretold? Besides, there is plenty of evidence for the validity of prophecy in the HP series. Trelawney goes into a strange trance whenever she makes a real prophecy, which she has done at least twice now. If real prophecy exists, then that means (at least some) future events are determined.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Voldy has already acted to bring about the prophecy - he chose Harry. If he had done nothing, he'd probably be close to celebrating 20 years of despotic, tyrannical rule over Britain by now. If he doesn't already know the second half of the prophecy, he'll probably learn about it before the end of DH.

I don't mean to suggest that there is no magic in prophecy, but that the magic works to influence rather than to foretell. Trelawney's trance isn't inconsistent with such a view. And remember that Trelawney's second prophecy only came true because Harry acted on it, even if he didn't realize what he was doing. My hypothesis is that Harry will figure out what he's doing this time.

Though as I said above, I readily admit that my theories may be based more on optimism than the text. <grin>

-Q

Link to post
Share on other sites
If real prophecy exists, then that means (at least some) future events are determined.

It does exist in the HP universe. However, as Dumbledore said in HBP, not all "real" prophecies are fullfilled. In Harry's case, he could hide from Voldemort for the rest of his life if he wanted to, but since Voldemort believes in prophecy, Voldemort would most likely keep searching for him. This is why it will be Voldemort's fault if the prophecy is fullfilled. Harry's involvement is reactionary; Voldemort made the first move when Harry was only a year old.

Here's a relevant quote:

Some of you, who have been convinced that the prophecy marked Neville, in some mystical fashion, for a fate intertwined with Harry's, may find this answer rather dull. Yet I was making what I felt was a significant point about Harry and Voldemort, and about prophecies themselves, in showing Neville as the also-ran. If neither boy was 'pre-ordained' before Voldemort's attack to become his possible vanquisher, then the prophecy (like the one the witches make to Macbeth, if anyone has read the play of the same name) becomes the catalyst for a situation that would never have occurred if it had not been made. Harry is propelled into a terrifying position he might never have sought, while Neville remains the tantalising 'might-have-been'. Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.

source: http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/faq_view.cfm?id=84

Personally, I didn't find the prophecy very shocking. It gives Voldemort's reasons for attacking Harry, but Harry was "playing the hero" long before he even knew it existed. It's not like, sans prophecy, Harry would just sit back and watch Voldemort massacre people.

Here's another quote:

JKR: It's the "Macbeth" idea. I absolutely adore "Macbeth." It is possibly my favorite Shakespeare play. And that's the question isn't it? If Macbeth hadn't met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it have happened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen.

As for Trelawney's second prophecy, I don't think it's very relevant as anything other than foreshadowing. Harry forgot about it until after the events were over, so it wasn't like he was acting for it or against it. That it predicted events in accordance with Harry's choices, well, who cares? If they're the decisions he would have made anyway, what difference does it make?

I could go on all day about this, but personally I think it's all rather beside the point. Who cares if the prophecies turn out to be true or not, as long as Harry doesn't go around reading the tea leaves to decide what to do next?

Link to post
Share on other sites
It does exist in the HP universe. However, as Dumbledore said in HBP, not all "real" prophecies are fulfilled.
Interesting, in what context does he say that? I thought that a "real" prophecy was a foretelling; but I also thought that, in Rowling's mind, a prophecy did not contradict volition. It would come to pass, in some sense, but individuals retained their choice to act (perhaps as a result of the vagueness of the prophecy, which gave the actors a lot of leeway). Of course, we cannot explain this fully in "real life" terms, but then it's a book about magicians, so this would be an out-of-context quibble.

The comparison with Macbeth is interesting. Even in Macbeth, we see the prophecies come to pass in some sense; still, the actors own actions decide their fate. For instance, Macbeth could have accepted the prophecy that he'd be crowned king and been happy at it, and done nothing (except perhaps prepare himself by getting to know other nobles better, etc.. Instead, he decided to make the prophecy come true. In that same sense, the prophecy is not what pushes Potter to do what he does. He acts from character.

The other aspect of Macbeth is that the main character never questions his own motivation. His character is what it is and drives him toward his actions. Whether Harry is like Macbeth in this sense goes beyond my knowledge of the Potter books. If Potter's motivation clear, or is he "driven" by some force beyond himself?

There's also a literary aspect to prophecy, which "Macbeth" employs: it gives the audience some information about how the plot will unfold, but also raises questions that the audience wants answered. So, it can be used to make things interesting -- as long as magic fits into the book.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting, in what context does he say that? I thought that a "real" prophecy was a foretelling; but I also thought that, in Rowling's mind, a prophecy did not contradict volition. It would come to pass, in some sense, but individuals retained their choice to act (perhaps as a result of the vagueness of the prophecy, which gave the actors a lot of leeway). Of course, we cannot explain this fully in "real life" terms, but then it's a book about magicians, so this would be an out-of-context quibble.

Here's the relevant passage from pg. 512 of HBP

secondary source (I don't have my book on me): http://gfp.typepad.com/the_garden_of_forki..._potter_on.html

“But Harry, never forget that what the prophecy says is only significant because Voldemort made it so. I told you this at the end of last year. Voldemort singled you out as the person who would be most dangerous to him –and in doing so, he made you the person who would be most dangerous to him!”

“But it comes to the same— ”

“No, it doesn’t!” said Dumbledore, sounding impatient now. […] “If Voldemort had never heard of the prophecy, would it have been fulfilled? Would it have meant anything? Of course not! Do you think every prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy has been fulfilled?”

“But,” said Harry, bewildered, “but last year, you said one of us would have to kill the other –”

“Harry, Harry, only because Voldemort made a grave error, and acted on Professor Trelawney’s words! If Voldemort had never murdered your father, would he have imparted in you a furious desire for revenge? Of course not! […] Voldemort himself created his worst enemy… […] He heard the prophecy and he leapt into action, with the result that he […] handpicked the man most likely to finish him…” [...]

“But, sir,” said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argumentative, “it all comes to the same thing, doesn’t it? I’ve got to try and kill him, or—”

“Got to?” said Dumbledore. “Of course you’ve got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you’ve tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!” […]

“I’d want him finished,” said Harry quietly. “And I’d want to do it.”

“Of course you would!” cried Dumbledore. “You see, the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! […] In other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you… which makes it certain, really, that –”

“That one of us is going to end up killing the other,” said Harry. “Yes.”

But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew –and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents –that there was all the difference in the world.

[...] indicate that words have been left out by the secondary source

That's one of my favorite passages in the whole series. (Though it's better without the [...])

Edited by non-contradictor
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for that, Tea. I had absolutely no memory of that -- shows how "well" I know the books.

It sounds like Rowling thinks even less of prophecy than I'd assumed. It pretty much sounds like she's saying it's a load of bull. If one chooses to believe it one may "follow" it, else not. So, essentially, prophecy has zero predictive value. It would be closer to someone saying to Macbeth, "you will be king hereafter", and he thinks it's true and murders the king, taking the crown for himself. Such a prophecy is more of a motivational/de-motivation speech (a "catalyst" as someone quoted in a previous post) than a prophecy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
However, as Dumbledore said in HBP, not all "real" prophecies are fullfilled.

I don't think that what you quoted in your subsequent post validates the above statement. Dumbledore speaks of "prophecies" that haven't come true, but it can be argued that those are false prophecies. Dumbledore doesn't distinguish between real and false prophecies in the quote you cited.

Also, note that Dumbledore does not reject the validity of prophecy. His position is that the prophecy has merit now because of Voldemort's actions. But that means prophecy has validity, only it takes human action for the prophecy to gain validity. Well, that's pretty lame, in my opinion. Of course it takes human action, otherwise how would you know that the prophecy was real? The fact remains that Trelawney predicted complex human events. Voldemort did not know the second half of the prophecy, yet he still marked Harry as his equal. Harry still had some power unknown to Voldemort. Etc.

I'm not denying that Rowling talks a lot about choice. I'm simply arguing that choice, in the HP world, is not a product of free will, as we understand it. It is a product of fate, whether one is aware of their fate (through real prophecy), or not.

Putting aside the issue of fate and prophecy, I still believe that Harry's motivation is heavily selfless. In the end of HBP, Hermione asks what Harry will do now, and he says that he is going back to the Dursley's, "because Dumbledore wanted [him] to." Then he is asked by Ron what he will do after that, and he says that he "might" return to Godric's Hollow: "I've just got a feeling I need to go there." Then, after that, he will hunt down the other Horcruxes, because "that's what [Dumbledore] wanted [him] to do."

So, within two pages (pp. 650-651, hardcover) Harry has given three basic reasons for what he is going to do with his life. Two of them are clearly appeals to authority, and one is an appeal to emotion. Not very selfish in my book. The closest he gets to something selfish is that he "might" go to Godric's Hollow also to visit his parents' grave. But, c'mon, that takes all of an afternoon to do, and it was clearly an afterthought, after he mentioned his feelings first.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think that what you quoted in your subsequent post validates the above statement. Dumbledore speaks of "prophecies" that haven't come true, but it can be argued that those are false prophecies. Dumbledore doesn't distinguish between real and false prophecies in the quote you cited.

Ooo, good call. I forgot to note one assumption on my part: That crackpot prophecies (anything Trelawney says while not in a trance) are false prophecies, and are therefore not recorded in the hall of prophecy. I base this on Dumbldore's assertation in PoA that Trelawney has only made two "real" predictions, but this is not very concrete evidence, I admit. However, it does suggest that Dumbledore does distinguish between real and false prophecies, and I think that is what he is doing in HBP, even though he does not state it. He and Harry have a close relationship. He probably knows that Harry doesn't believe in divination much more than he does, and so didn't feel the need to address Trelawney's predictions that Harry will die/ have twelve children/ become minister of magic/ etc. This doesn't mean he considers such predictions valid. Though, as I said, it's not concrete evidence, but based upon my reading of the characters I find this to be the most in-character explanation.

Also, note that Dumbledore does not reject the validity of prophecy. His position is that the prophecy has merit now because of Voldemort's actions. But that means prophecy has validity, only it takes human action for the prophecy to gain validity. Well, that's pretty lame, in my opinion. Of course it takes human action, otherwise how would you know that the prophecy was real? The fact remains that Trelawney predicted complex human events.

What I don't get is why it matters whether she predicted them or not, as long as the individuals involved still retained their ability to choose. If she could just as easily have been wrong, what difference does it make?

Voldemort did not know the second half of the prophecy, yet he still marked Harry as his equal. Harry still had some power unknown to Voldemort. Etc.

Harry has some power unknown to Voldemort. Not had. If Voldemort hadn't killed his parents, if he hadn't grown up with people who hated him, if he'd chosen Slytherin instead of Gryffindor, and on and on and on, things could have turned out differently.

Putting aside the issue of fate and prophecy, I still believe that Harry's motivation is heavily selfless. In the end of HBP, Hermione asks what Harry will do now, and he says that he is going back to the Dursley's, "because Dumbledore wanted [him] to." Then he is asked by Ron what he will do after that, and he says that he "might" return to Godric's Hollow: "I've just got a feeling I need to go there." Then, after that, he will hunt down the other Horcruxes, because "that's what [Dumbledore] wanted [him] to do."

I admit to having some serious reservations about Harry's attitude at the end of HBP. He seems to have forgotten a lot of what Dumbledore taught him about choice, and has regressed into some fatalism. However, I maintain that he will most likely snap out of it. Give the guy a chance. He's 17; he's just lost his greatest mentor and the person he relied on for help and he's scared that more people he loves are going to die (and knows that some of them probably will). I think it's perfectly understandable that he's forgotten why he, himself, wants to kill Voldemort. He's doubting himself. Enough 17 year olds do that without a fraction of the crap he has to deal with. In his periods of self-doubt, there were two people who could snap him out of it: Dumbledore and Ginny. Ginny is still alive, and despite the "spider-man ending" of HBP, I don't think she's going to let Harry forget what he's fighting for.

The appeals to Dumbledore are, IMO, more a by product of the fact that he's just watched Dumbledore die than anything else. He knows that he should go back to the Dursley's. Dumbledore explained to him why it was important. And as for the horcruxes, I would hold that Harry would have tried to hunt them down anyway regardless of whether Dumbledore inteded him to carry on the task alone or not. He certainly managed the Sorcerer's Stone well enough, and that was without Dumbledore's permission (at least according to what he knew at the time).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks a lot for that, Tea. I had absolutely no memory of that -- shows how "well" I know the books.
You're welcome. :)

It sounds like Rowling thinks even less of prophecy than I'd assumed. It pretty much sounds like she's saying it's a load of bull.
Oh, I don't know. I see HP prophecy as a sort-of magical guesswork. It may be right more often (or a lot more often) than normal guesswork, but it's still guesswork and not 100% accurate. Though I do agree that as such, it's pretty much useless, because all it'd do is give you a major headache trying to figure out which bits to ignore/follow etc. Harry'd have been much better off if he'd never heard the darn thing, in my opinion, and things would have turned out pretty much the same. But it does make things more interesting.
Link to post
Share on other sites
What I don't get is why it matters whether [Trelawney] predicted [complex human events] or not, as long as the individuals involved still retained their ability to choose. If she could just as easily have been wrong, what difference does it make?

I think that there is an important difference between "predicting" and prophesying. A prophet claims to have some mystical knowledge or insight about future events. A prediction is simply an attempt to guess the future, but not necessarily with a claim of mystical knowledge. A prophet, a seer, a diviner, these people are frauds in real life, but in a fictional story, they can be agents of fate, revealing the mysteries of a determined future to those who do not have the "gift" of prophecy. If Trelawney actually made two real prophecies, then that means there is some sort of fate at work in the HP books. If not, then what is she "seeing" when she "looks" into the future? I submit that she is seeing a predetermined future, which means that Harry probably has a predetermined purpose and ultimate end. It doesn't matter how many false prophecies she has made. All it takes is one real "trance" and one real "prophecy" in order to prove the existence of fate. And in the fictional HP universe, I think there is sufficient evidence for these real prophecies occurring.

I'll leave it at that for now. I think you made some good points with the rest of your post. You could be right. I especially hope you are right about Harry's attitude at the end of HBP, and that he "snaps out of it" in the next book.

Edited by MisterSwig
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll leave it at that for now. I think you made some good points with the rest of your post. You could be right. I especially hope you are right about Harry's attitude at the end of HBP, and that he "snaps out of it" in the next book.

Probably best. We won't really know until the book comes out anyway, and maybe not even then.

Thank you, though, and I hope he snaps out of it as well. I've read some fan stories where he doesn't, and he always ends up either killed by Voldemort or suicidal. Not a happy prospect, and if JKR tried to make him fatalistic and happy it would be even worse for being unbelivable.

Edited by non-contradictor
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...