Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

Harry Potter Wagering and Loose Ends

Posted by Patrick on 26 Dec 2006

J.K. Rowling

I read over at MuggleNet this morning that some British bookmakers are taking bets on which 2 characters (as Jo Rowling said in an interview that 2 major characters would become wormfodder) are going to die in the story. If I had some money to wager in foreign markets, which I don’t consider to be a personal hobby, I’d take Snape and Voldemort for the win!

Honestly, I think it’s Snape because Voldemort will somehow find out that he’s been a double agent this whole time. I’m of the opinion that Snape is still one of the “good” guys, despite killing Dumbledore. I think it was clear when Dumbledore says “Severus…please” that he was asking him to save Harry from Malfoy and a host of Death Eaters rather than, in some way, defy everyone he was leading on and saving Dumbledore. Recall that even Malfoy realized there were 2 brooms atop this tower during this chapter of book 6, and though Dumbledore explained it away for Malfoy, a real set of wizards and witches would certainly be able to discern that someone else was truly there.

Throughout book 6 you get the impression that Snape is slowly shifting back to his ways as a Death Eater and moving his alignment back to the “evil” side. I believe that he is the key character in book 6 overall, as it’s this shift in focus which reinforces that he is working for Dumbledore. Even swearing the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa Malfoy was right into his hand, as it better enabled him to keep tabs on what Draco was actually doing in the school. If he was truly shifted to the “evil” side, he would have killed a lot of people that he didn’t as he was ushered into the big fight at the end of book 6 (Hermione, especially, should have gone down).

The only outstanding question I have here is how Voldemort doesn’t or didn’t know that Snape is working for Dumbledore. Perhaps he did know and has been using his services to keep tabs on Harry. In book 7, Snape’s misstep as a double agent could result in his death, so I believe that he is one of the main characters who bites it.

One thing I do like over at MuggleNet’s website is their collection of loose ends that book 7, now titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows should tie together. I agree with some of them being unanswered, but some of the items listed I believe have been addressed already. And with what appears to be 100 or more loose ends listed, I highly doubt that all of them will be answered in a single book, unless that book is completely dedicated to resolving loose ends. Doesn’t it look like the loose ends of the stories leave room for additional work to be done in the series? I think these are answered (I will be adding to this as I have time):

  • Did Voldemort go to Godric’s Hollow alone the night he tried to kill Harry? If so, how do people know the events of that night?
    No, he didn’t. But the events of the night were clearly spelled out in book 1.
  • Will the two-way mirror that Sirius gave to Harry come up again?
    JKR said in an interview that this mirror is important in book 7.
  • Why did Dumbledore trust Snape so much?
    If I had to guess at this, I would say that he and Dumbledore swore an Unbreakable Vow under which Snape had to protect Harry from death.
  • Do we know the full reason that Voldemort decided to try to kill Harry instead of Neville?
    Prior to book 7, we do not. We have the suspicion that Voldemort perceived James and Lily as bigger threats to him, as it was actually Barty Crouch, Jr. who tortured Neville’s parents (he could have likely killed them if he chose)
  • Will the terms of the Prophecy be fulfilled?
    The prophecy was very carefully written and is played upon as a subplot in HBP by exposing Neville and his parents’ condition, so you can rest assured that the Prophecy will be fulfilled in book 7.
  • In Chamber of Secrets, Lockhart says that he transformed a werewolf back into a man using the “immensely complex Homorphus Charm.” Now we know that Lockhart didn’t actually do this, but he did steal the story from another wizard. So, is there a way to cure Lupin?
    Lockhart wouldn’t lie about an idea he “stole”, but this string in CoS doesn’t say he “cured” a werewolf, merely that he transformed one back to a human. And since he has no memory any longer, we may never know what he has to say about it.
  • When Dumbledore is explaining to the Dursley’s that the magic protecting Harry will cease to operate on his 17th birthday, each of the Dursley’s reactions are given, and it says that Aunt Petunia “was oddly flushed.” What is the significance of that? Does she know something more?
    Petunia is just holding the party line of being embarrassed to have had a witch for a sister, and being exposed to the world of magic if you ask me. While I could be completely wrong, JKR has already said that Petunia will never be able to do magic. This rules her out as the one who “manages magic late in life”, but it does not mean she isn’t a squib in hiding, though I have read somewhere that it’s said she isn’t a squib, either (for those not in the know, if she is a squib, then Harry’s maternal grandparents were magical (at least one of them) and she was born without magical ability. If she is not a squib, then she is a plain ol’ muggle and Lily was a “mudblood” much like Hermione).
  • How did Dumbledore know the details of Lord Voldemort’s murder of Lily – how LV offered to spare her life and how the charm that protects Harry was formed – if no one else was there to witness it? Was Dumbledore actually there to witness it?
    I guess in my mind, this is already clear. When the question of “How did Dumbledore get James’ invisibility cloak?” gets asked, I always look at this as the answer. If this is not the case, then you have to conclude that Dumbledore was using Occlumency against Voldemort to learn his whereabouts (since Dumbledore taught him, as he reminds us again in the cave of HBP).

4 Responses to “Harry Potter Wagering and Loose Ends”

  1. Mariel said

    As much as I love the series, I was never good at any predictions whatsoever… I wish I was, nevertheless.

  2. Patrick said

    I don’t guess you have to be good at it, as in, correct when the book comes out. You just have to enjoy suggesting what might happen and have something which justifies it

  3. toshspice said

    * JKR says that Petunia is not a Squib. So I am thinking some other magical creature. She is known for throwing curb balls.
    * JKR also says that some things that happened in the 3rd movie that was not in the third book mimics what happens in book 7.

  4. Patrick said

    oi! Excellent point about Petunia. I’m a little confused here, though, about what could be really going on. We’ve heard from JKR that Petunia is not a squib, but we have also heard from JKR that Petunia will never be able to do magic, so that leaves her as a Muggle if you ask me. But what are the other possibilities? This is a great point to dwell on.

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