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I adore Snape and I certainly hope he survives. He and Harry are inextricably linked - I don't for a minute believe Snape was doing anything but acting on orders at the end of the most recent episode.
He's an excellent character - hampered by the pain of his own adolescence, small in many ways, but so far - given that my belief is true - acting for good.

The essence of Snape for me is the scene in the first book (second?) where he is working to save Harry during the Quiddich match despite his loathing for him.

They have a lot to teach each other, I think - Harry's dad *was* a bit of a bully where Snape was concerned (those scenes of stolen memory I found quite harrowing) and Harry can't grow up until he sees his parents outside the prism of hero worship and grief, but neither is Harry what Snape has seen him as. And Snape has a thing or two to get past if he would become great as well.

And agreed - L. Malfoy is far more interesting as a villain. He acts from motive, not essence and that makes him infinitely more despicable.


This is one of those posts where most commeneters will be just awed and will remain silent. Such erudition. No angle left uninvestigated. Nothing to add.


Editor's note: If you haven't read The Half Blood Prince yet, be warned: This comment contains some plot spoilers.

[Yes, two major characters die. But what constitutes major? I wouldn't say that any of the Malfoys do, nor even Neville. Nor Percy]

I'm sorry, I don't agree with you about Draco Malfoy. I think the way he hesistated to kill Dumbledore and the fact that he expressed true fear about the peril to his family suggests that he is redeemable. And he's too young to take on the Darth Vader sacrificing himself for the greater good aspect. I'm personally hoping that will be Percy's fate. He'll end up finally defending his family and saving them but dying himself. I mean really, the best he could hope for if he survived would be eternal torment from Fred & George, and just generally being a prat. He can be a tragic hero if he saves someone while dying.

Lucius Malfoy will end up in prison. That's all.

And I don't think that Neville will die. I know it's possible, and I did consider it, although he's been improving so much lately - really finding himself, that I don't think that it makes sense to sacrifice him (in fact, I'm still putting a bit of weight into the idea that he's the 'real' Chosen One and he'll be the one that kills Voldemort). Luna, maybe, since she's looking forward to seeing her mom again.

It never occurred to me that Crookshanks might get Pettigrew. Thank you for that. I'm very pleased with that as a conclusion. However, we know that Pettigrew must also pull some sort of a Darth Vader based on the comment about how having someone owe you their life is never useless. Harry spared him. Somehow, something will happen that will make Pettigrew help Harry.

I am a bit more with you on the reprieve & Snape. He was the only one I could think of at first. Again, the ol' Darth Vader - good yet bad guy redeeming himself on his deathbed. However, I have to revise that somewhat given the fact that it was so clear in the 6th book that Snape was acting on Dumbledore's orders to kill him (to Snape's displeasure) - Snape isn't a triple agent, he's just a double agent and he hasn't been on the wrong side since Dumbledore accepted him back into the fold.

My suspicion of the 'reprieve' is Hagrid. Not only have most of the people I've read or talked to about this thought that Hagrid was a goner as the tragic 'interrupted' hero, but the fact that he has a potential future romantic life with the Half-Giantess as well as the new family in Grawp means that he can be fully redeemed. I don't think he needs to be the death. I think he's who she expected to kill off, but.. partly due to the brilliance of Robbie Coltrane (I don't accept that watching her stories made 'flesh' couldn't have an effect on how they turn out) as well as the fact that people seem less horrified by the Giants in later books (I think he was fated to die originally because he was a misfit as well as an orphan) means that he's just too popular. Whether she intended to or not, she's now writing for film as well, and that makes a difference.

So. My feelings (and why on earth isn't there a betting site on this yet??) are:

- Luna
- Percy
- Pettigrew
- Snape
(not counting Voldemort of course)

Reprieved (potentially)
- Hagrid (first choice)
- Snape (second choice)

Wedded (or equivalent)
- Harry/Ginny
- Ron/Hermione
- Hagrid/Olympe
- Neville/Luna (if they're not both dead)

AND.. why have I not seen anything about who it was who took the locket Horcrux?
Was it just too obvious? R.A.B.? C'mon.. no one has mentioned Regulus Black yet... Harry's new surrogate godfather - ex-death-eater.. the one who'll explain to Harry that yes, Snape really *was* on the right side?

(man, apparently I really need a hobby or something. Sorry for the rant...)

Likeable Friend

I agree, Lance, Rowling IS a first rate story teller. I have a friend who has amused, amazed and entertained me over the years with his story telling talent.

It's a gift.


Outstanding, Lance. And I say this having never touched the Rowling books in my "To Read" Pile. The one that fills my "To Read" Garage and will soon grow into a "To Read" Empty ICBM Silo.

Anyway, always enjoy the posts on storytelling.

Violet Mannion

I agree with what you said about Hogwarts being Harry's sort of apprenticeship. Mugglenet, which is one of, if not the most popular Harry fansite, had a vote on who's going to get a reprive (i forget how it turned out) and both Mugglenet and the Leaky Couldron talked to people who gave them percentages on who would die or who wouldn't. If only two people are going to die, one will be Voldemort. I think that Voldie is almost definately going to get a cut. Although, again, I do like Lucius better as a vilian.
As for the horcruxes, this could indicate that Voldemort might not be killed after all, but may just be reduced to the smallest bit of a soul once more. Perhaps this time, however, it'll be smaller yet. But really, I don't think Voldemort will ever be gone for good, even if he is killed. Also- about the R.A.B. and the locket. I personally hope that is is Regulus, even though everyone thinks that is so obvious. If it is Sirius Black's younger brother, then Sirius will come back as well- at least in passing mention. He was my favorite character and i was sad to see him go. But as for the initials R.A.B- everyone, upon reading it, speculated almsot immidately that it was Regulus A. Black. However, this sudden and obvious speculation made them re-think it as it did seem so obvious. ('They' being various fans.) Many of my friends wondered why Harry didn't think of it, but, in my opinion, it would have been unrealistic if he did. Who would, in real life, recall someone named Regulus Black, who had a family member whose name started with A and so therefore could be named for him as well and was in league with Voldemort etc. etc. etc...?? Some other people i know speculate that Remus Lupin could be set for death.....Although, this was mostly because two of the marauders are dead. Which isn't much of a reason to kill off all of them. Hm.. I don't know, i haven't thought a lot into HP theories and death theories lately, actualy. lol. Anyway. And the way the 7th book appears to the readers to be planned out at this point, to me, seems dull. She's a good writer, however, and might be able to pull it off. I just don't see much in a plot in which Harry spends all his time going to get a Horcrux, finding it, destroying it, getting another one, going thru the various obstacles guarding it, and destroy it, and continuing for all the remaining horcruxes. It'd seem a tad repetetive, and rather like the obstacles guarding the stone in the first book. That might tie together the first and last book, but they're fine when they're all in a chapter or two. When they and only they make up an entire book.... eh. I predict and hope, however, that the book will be more interesting than that.


Snape would make a nice, dark, untrustworthy Obi-wan to Harry's angrier, more conflicted Luke, don't you think?

I totatlly agree with you (and Juno, but she and I have briefly discussed this before).

In the past two weeks I've re-watched the 3rd and 4th movies and I'm itching to dig out the books and re-read them. My memory is always fuzzy to back plot when I start one of the new volumes. I want to be prepared for this one.

Great post.


She is not the kind of sentimentalist hack who kills off characters just to make readers cry or give her hero a reason to seek vengeance.

On the other hand, since I agree that Snape was acting on orders, it has occurred to me to wonder if the character who died at the end of the latest didn't kill himself off to give her hero a reason to seek vengeance.

After all, he made an awfully strong point of Voldemort's actions creating a vengeful opponent in Harry.

Not that I think he's going to stay dead.

Bit of a manipulator, that character.

Phoenician in a time of Romans

Personally, I wanted Harry to die at the end of the sixth book.

Ron and Hermoine pulling out the stops and beating Voldemort despite the despair that would ensue would have made for a truly spectacular finish, if one which violated the whole "Hero" myth cycle.


Coturnix: This is one of those posts where most commeneters will be just awed and will remain silent. Such erudition. No angle left uninvestigated. Nothing to add.

Thanks, guy, but it looks like you're wrong, and a good thing too. Lots of good comments here.

Phoenician, it's not just the Hero myth Rowland would have to violate; she'd have to deviate too far from the narrarational style of all the other books---all along she's stuck pretty much to a third person limited point of view. We've seen the whole story through Harry's eyes.

I suppose in a magic world Harry can watch and describe his own death, but Rowland has also been pretty faithful to the idea that dead is dead. Harry's parents aren't ghosts; they are avatars of his own imagination or visitors from the past. To suddenly shift points of view from Harry's to Ron's and Hermione's would make the last book so out of keeping with the first six that I think it wouldn't feel like part of the same series. It would be like the first Star Trek movie or one of those "Jane Austen" novels written about her characters by contemporary writers.

Julia: it has occurred to me to wonder if the character who died at the end of the latest didn't kill himself off to give her hero a reason to seek vengeance.

I thought it was an attempt to trick the Death Eaters that went horribly wrong.

Kara: apparently I really need a hobby or something. Sorry for the rant...

You and me both, Kara. But never apologize for a long comment. We love them here at Mannionville. I'm afraid, though, that everything you've said about Hagrid and Neville has convinced me even more that they're not going to get their happy endings, they just have more to lose---they're doomed.

Stephen Uitti

Regulus Black was reported dead. That makes him much less likely to be Harry's new mentor. To be sure, 'reported dead' isn't the same as 'saw the body'.

I don't think the Half Blood Prince will die, either. It is believable that he'd sacrifice himself, though.

I still haven't given up the idea that Neville kills Voldemort. He wants to be involved.

I'm hoping for some real character development for Draco. He just might see that a future with Voldemort is death, for Voldemort's followers and enemies alike. He might even help Harry. The reason that i'd like to see some character for Draco is that he has so little. He seems incompetent, lazy, bossy, prejudiced, arrogant and with little vision.

He's been set up at Harry's rival, but not very well. About the only thing Draco is, is a little clever, here and there.

What about the Chocolate frog cards? There are lots of pictures of Dumbledore out there. They should still be important.

Who's going to die? I'd guess someone from the Order. Maybe Minerva.

What happens after book seven? I'd read about Hermione's charge to free the house elves. I'd read a short adventure about Charlie seeking gold at a shipwreck. I'd read where Dumbledore, works to discover 12 uses of Dragon's blood. A 12 book series?


I disagree about the potential of Lucius as an adversary. Some of the richest villains are failed (not in the sense of not studying for the SATs hard enough) heroes: think of the original, Lucifer. Darth Vader. Mordred. Lex Luthor. Sasaki Kojiro. Voldemort is a failed hero -- an orphan, containing secret powers, discovered by a wise old man, summoned to larger world. Lucius is a collaborator of the aristocratic sort, but one might as well make an epic villain of Vidkun Quisling.


Rasselas, I hadn't thought of that. I was thinking more about how they've come across in the books (and movies) than about their actual roles in the stories and their mythic shadows. Good points. But it's Tom Riddle who's interesting as the failed-hero, not Voldemort. Here's a question for more knowledgeable Potterists than I am: Has Rowling every suggested that Riddle had any rivals back when he was being drawn to the Dark Arts? Dumbledore, even all that time ago, was still too old to be an Obi-wan to Riddle's Anakin.

Ken Houghton

Pre-emptive Note: If you haven't read The Half Blood Prince yet, be warned: This comment contains plot spoilers.

I don't count Voldemort as a character, so his death shouldn't be one of the two. That is, we have heard a lot about Tom Riddle, but Lord Voldemort has never been anything other than a macguffin. We're not invested in him.

You've severely understated the value of Neville Longbottom (double-check OoP), even though I suspect you're correct that the other 31 July baby will die tying to save Harry and or Others--though that role could be filled well by Draco, op cit. the ending of The Black Cauldron (the book not the Disney abomination).

I'm with Juno on Snape, but I wouldn't be surprised if he just got the reprieve for which I sacrificed Neville above.

[HBP Plot Point in next 'graf]

If we believe Ron and Hermione are MFEO, and if you concede that killing Ginny--in what world is Cho Harry's girl friend?; that attempt failed miserably early in OoP, iirc--would be pointless except as lagniappe (op cit. the end of Young Sherlock Holmes), then there really isn't a Weasley to kill. (Percy isn't a major character--he's a tic who has clearly been a member of the Dark Side from his LONG relationship with Peter effing Pettigrew.

The actor playing Lucius Malfoy is more interesting than Lucius in the books, unfortunately.

If we're assuming the guy who died in HBP is really dead--I'm not, because (1) I'm paranoid and (2) the entire book can be read as being about Spells that are not Said Aloud--then, yes, s/he's likely to cost Hagrid his life.

Were I betting with house money, I would be short Hagrid, short Longbottom but owning a call option, and own a put option on Draco--possibly at the hands of his father. I'd probably buy an option to buy a put on Snape, but that's as far as that goes unless my wife's claim since the second book--that the person who died in HBP is going to turn out to be a Voldemort supporter--turns out to be accurate, in which case Snape gets the Longbottom role.

[WARNING: HBP spoilers to end of comment]

But that all assumes that something happens at Bill & Fleur's wedding to make Harry go back for his seventh year at Hogwarts.

And, finally, if Regulus Black is dead then how did he sign the note at the end of HBP?

Ken Houghton

By the way, there has never been any indication in the books--actually, rather the opposite--that Voldemort had any true rival other than Albus Dumbledore. He worked with those who thought they were his equal, but he destroyed or co-opted all of them. (Think Don Corleone--or, more aptly, Pacino at the end of G II.)


Personally, I will be slightly annoyed if Draco has a miraculous redemption. He would have to do something really brave and loyal- and what do people think about all of JK's confusing quotes? i.e. 'Whetever he looks like, Draco is not a nice man' contrasted with 'I felt sorry for Draco.' What the hell? I'm sorry. I have strong opinions and beliefs, and my fear is that all of them are going to be shattered in book seven.

However, I have been a fan of H.P. for nearly five years, and so I will really try hard to accept things. I am preparing myself for the worst regarding Draco. I so want him to be just as nasty as he was before, and maybe go out of his way to try and kill Harry, but I know that won't happen!! (Although, I did read an interesting essay about him, regarding that Draco was not afraid of killing the headmaster, but only scared of death itself.) Intriguing, eh?? Nah, honestly? I don't mind what happens. They're only books, after all!! lol. :)

No, I have gone on to long.

I must stop.

I'm actually at college, and should be doing some work!! Lol!

Anyway, aside from my feelings about Draco- I honestly don't mind what happens! I really really hope Harry doesn't die, or Ron, or poor Neville. He's had enough grief in his life.

As for Lucius. There is no doubt in my mind that he is completely unredeemable. I think. lol.

Whatever my silly beliefs, rest assured, 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows' will be a interesting, engaging read- and I will hopefully continue with my fanfics. Anyone interested? Visit My pen-name is Snitchsista!!
Rachel xx

Josh Herman

Blonde Guy...Voldemort! It's a stretch, but why did voldemort not play a big role in the end of the sixth book. Dumbledore will not come back to life, but will speak to them from beyond, and will still be a mentor for Harry. Harry may not die, cause everyone expects it and when has she ever not surprised us. RESPECT!!!

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