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just finished the first 6

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The Wrath
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I read the first 5 books in the 2 weeks before I left Ohio, and have spent the time since reading the 6th. Overall, I'd rank them as follows (favorite being first): Order of the Phoenix, Goblet of Fire, Half-Blood Prince, Prisoner of Azkaban, Chamber of Secrets, Sorcerer's Stone.

I read a little of the thread on Book 6, and would like to point out that Rowling has specifically stated that Dumbledore is "not going to pull a Gandalf," meaning that he is dead. I do think, however, that it is likely that his painting will figure into the plot somehow.

Now, about Snape...odd though it seems, I always liked Snape. The reason is that I took him to be the misunderstood good guy who would wind up being a hero by the end. I still think Snape will wind up being a hero. When he killed Dumbledore, it was because Dumbledore could not have survived the night, and refusing to kill him would only have revealed him as a spy against Voldemort. Then again, it describes the hatred etched on his face as he did it. Who knows...that's one of the things I look forward to most about Book 7.

I also don't think Hogwarts will close, and I suspect that Harry will, in fact, return. I think that Malfoy will end up turning to the good side, and that Harry will probably end up saving his life. I have my doubts as to whether or not Harry will actually finish off Voldemort for good. I've seen too much of modern entertainment than to think that the bad guy will actually be completely defeated. He'll kill Voldemort's body, but I think there might be a single Horcrux left that could not be found.

Rowling has said that at least 2 characters will die. I hope that Harry is not one of them but, if it is not him, I have a feeling it will be either Ron or Hermione.

Anyway...I know all these conversations have already been had and I'm joining in a tad late, but I just wanted to throw my opinions out there in case anyone wanted to comment on them.

Edited by Moose
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I'll add that I was also surprised by Snape, since my evaluation of him was the same. I also thought it would be too obvious for Rowling to make him a villain, not to mention that Dumbledore insisted that he was trustworthy. I really want to know what gave him that indication.

My order of favorites: Goblet of Fire, Half-Blood Prince, Order of the Phoenix, Prisoner of Azkaban, Chamber of Secrets, Sorcerer's Stone. I have only read each book once, and I thought book 5 had elements which should have been edited out, such as Hagrid's (half?) brother.

I am looking forward to this 7th book to be the best. In fact, I can't wait for it!

Moose, I also first read the books straight through, until book 5, which had just been released at the time. When I finished the last sentence, I kind of felt at a loss, as though I didn't know what to do with myself without this world. I was pretty enveloped in the series. Did you have a similar experience?

Edited by JASKN
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Yeah, I am having a similar withdrawl. I was living at my fiancee's apartment. She was always busy, and I was sort of living as a vagrant on her couch, waiting until I could resume my usual job back in Texas. While she was gone, I would just sit there and read, doing little else. I got used to being able to go the campus book store to buy the next one and, now that I can't do that, I'm really wishing I hadn't read them so fast.

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[...] I'm really wishing I hadn't read them so fast.

I read the first one when I was 11, and I've sort of grown up with the series. My sister's only two, and I sometimes think it's sad that she'll probably read all the books in one go. I don't think it would be as much fun that way. I appreciate different things in them now than I did when I was 11.

As for Snape, I think he's probably not a true Death Eater. He's a jerk, certainly, and probably not very "good" in Harry's sense of the term, but he spent his life being bullied by (apparently) his father and (definitely) the Marauders. I doubt he's a big fan of Voldemort's bullying, or even Dumbledore's more subtle version, for that matter. He's on his own side. Dumbledore said that he trusted Snape, and I could be wrong, but I don't think he ever said what he trusted Snape to do. It's implied that he trusted Severus to "be on the right side" or however you want to put it, but I don't think that's necessarily the case. He could have just trusted Snape to do whatever possible to defeat Voldemort. Even kill Dumbledore. Whether this makes him "evil" or not... I've never liked him. But I don't want Dumbledore to have been so ridiculously wrong.

Then there's Harry the (maybe) horcrux. I think we can eliminate the christ parallel. (Dumbledore took that part). But even still, I'm not eliminating the possibility that Harry will die. He was a mess at the end of book 6, and if he doesn't show some signs of improvement soon... Dumbledore tried to tell him in book 6 that he has to go into the fight knowing that he wants to be there. Otherwise, he'll get dragged in and it won't much matter whether he comes out alive or not. At the end of book 6, it seemed like he'd reverted back to the "the prophecy is making me" attitude, which can't end well. Hopefully his friends can snap him out of it, or I don't think he'll survive the series. What would be more depressing? A Harry that fought and died, or a Harry with PTSD?

For characters I think will die, Lupin and Hagrid top my list. Lupin, because he's lived through so much already and JK does seem to be going the way of wiping out that whole generation. Hagrid, because there's an alchemy-based theory that goes like this: The steps of alchemy are black, white, red, gold. So... black for Sirius, white for Dumbledore (Albus). Then we have red, Rubeus Hagrid. If you buy into this theory, things don't look so great for Harry-the-Golden-Boy either, though who knows? Gold is supposed to be the elixir of life. I think Ron and Hermione are safe-ish, unless they BOTH die, which I don't think will happen either. How much can Jo dump on poor Harry before his ability to survive becomes too unbelievable? I think I'd draw the line before Ron, Hermione and Ginny. Though I don't really know until I have it, do I? *sigh*

That turned out longer than I intended. See what happens when I start talking about HP? :)

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