Thursday, December 01, 2005

Harry Potter spoiler alert...


This week I finished reading the latest in the Harry Potter series of books - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

I was fortunate to be able to get this in over the Thanksgiving holiday - now that I'm in school I very rarely have much time for reading for pleasure. I borrowed Half-Blood Prince from a friend and was about 100 pages into it, a week or so ago, but I was totally lost. There were characters and story lines being referenced which I had absolutely no recognition of. So, then I decided that I needed to go back and read
Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix again, because I literally did not remember a thing about that book. That is kind of a scary proposition - the fact that you have read a book before and could not remember a single event, character or plot twist only a year or two later. I console myself thinking about how the thousands of pages of legal cases I've read since then has simply pushed these stories from my mind...but I'm really just worried I'm getting old.

Well, if you've read Half-Blood Prince, you know there are some - shall we say - twists and turns, or surprises in store. Well, I want to talk about some of those surprises a little bit in this post...


If you have not read Half-Blood Prince, but intend on doing so, please stop reading this now - because I am going to write about somethings that happen that you will not want to know before you read. If you do not want to spoil the plot of Half-Blood Prince stop reading now.


The purpose of this post is I have some ideas kicking around in my head about something that may happen in the seventh and final installment of the Harry Potter books - and if I'm right, it may well not surprise you as much when you read that book. So, if you do not want to face the possibility of a surprise of Book 7 potentially being revealed here, stop reading now.


Okay, as I mentioned, after reading Half-Blood Prince, I got to thinking about the ending, and something came to me that might be an important part of the final book - and I want to record that here so that, in two years when the final book comes out, I can verify if I was correct or not. I do want to add here - I do not read Harry Potter websites - so if this is a very common theory of what is happening in the books, then I apologize for not citing those sources, but this comes simply from my thoughts about the books, not anything external I've read.


As you know if you have read Half-Blood Prince, Professor Dumbeldore (Hogwarts Headmaster, and mentor/protector of Harry Potter) dies toward the end of the book. That was a bit of a surprise - not completely, but to some extent. What was much more surprising to me was the source of his death - he was killed by the killing curse by none other than Hogwarts Professor Severus Snape. Snape is a former Death Eater, who had turned spy for the Order of the Pheonix (those whom fight the antagonist in the books - Lord Voldemort). But many in the Order - if not all other than Dumbledore - still did not trust Snape. They felt he was still too entwined in the Dark Arts, and was really still a follower of Voldemort. But Dumbledore steadfastly trusted Snape, and refused to listen to anyone's doubts of Snape's pure loyalty.

And yet it was Snape who administered the curse which killed Dumbledore.

What to make of this. Well, clearly, the idea from the book is that Harry and the other members of the Order were correct all along about Snape - that he was still evil, still following Voldemort, and that Dumbledore was wrong to trust him.

I do not think this is the case. I think Snape is still loyal to the Order, and that even now - having killed Dumbledore and on the run back to Voldemort - he will be acting as spy.

How can that be?

My conjecture is that Dumbledore had a reason to put his trust in Snape fully. What kind of a reason - an Unbreakable Vow. We learn in Half-Blood Prince about these Unbreakable Vows that bind the two oath takers together to the point that death will result if the Vow is broken. What if - and it is a big what if - Dumbledore had convinced Snape to take an Unbreakable Vow of loyalty to him, to the Order, and against Voldemort, but always as spy, never revealing his true loyalties - even if that meant he had to kill Dumbledore in front of other Death Eaters to remain with his access to Voldemort.

This is how I support such a conjecture:

1. Dumbledore never waivered in his support of Snape. In the books, has Dumbledore ever been proven wrong about such a massive point? No.

2. When Harry was chasing Snape and Malfoy from the Hogwarts grounds, Snape fought back only with defensive spells. If he was truly working for Voldemort, there is no reason not to kill Harry at that point - after all he had just killed Dumbledore.

3. My idea is that Dumbledore knew that in order to defeat Voldemort, Harry would need someone on the inside to do something, which will provide Harry the access to kill him. My gut feeling is that at this point, Dumbledore felt his life was less important than Snape's in defeating Voldemort - Snape has to be there in order to accomplish the Feat, the Something which will enable Harry to end the War. Harry doesn't know this. The Order doesn't know this. But Snape does, and he will accompolish the Feat just before he himself perishes - and is redeemed - in the final book.

Who knows. Maybe Snape is just evil. But I think that Dumbledore had a master plan, and he saw his sacrifice as simply a piece of that plan.

We shall see.

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