Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #13

Thirteen Harry Potter Theories I Don't Like

1. Harry is a Horcrux
Harry cannot possibly be a horcrux. Creating a horcrux is heinous, so it can't be simple magic or created by accident. Yes, I think it's logical and even probable that Voldemort intended to create one using Harry's murder. But the creation of a horcrux can only be done after the soul is torn in two, which can only be done after the murder is committed, or at least while the murder is committed, and Harry wasn't murdered. So he can't be a horcrux. Ditto on his scar. I mean, come on.

2. Harry Will Die
Okay, I get it. Jo "understands" why certain authors killed their elderly sleuth protagonists when they finished their series. I don't blame her for not wanting anyone else to ever be "able" to use her characters and her world. You know, 75 years after her death (or whatever the British copyright laws are). But the truth is, it doesn't matter if she kills Harry, once the copyright expires there is nothing to stop someone from doing a "what if" (what if Harry didn't die and a new villain came along fifteen years later, when he is a paunchy father of 12 with his wife, Ginny?) or a "reset" (read the final battle the way it could have been!). Anything can happen.

And I truly believe that if Harry dies, the story is not served. I don't see Jo's message as "life's a bitch and then, just when you think maybe it's not, it gets worse, and then you die so you never get to to be happy because what's important is the greater good and not one person's life." If her theme was the greater good, she would not have focused so tightly on Harry for six books.

Also, 99% of every story is in Harry's point of view. If he dies, it's OVER. Nothing left. Bam, book's done. She could completely change her format, but I don't think that would make for a very good finale.

3. Harry Will Travel Back in Time to the Day His Parents Died
So many things wrong with this theory, which is probably borne of the intense need of some fans to know exactly what happened that night 16 years ago. I empathize with that, but I don't think all those details are necessarily so important. First, no one ever said, I don't think, that there was someone else there (there could have been, but we don't know). Second, how could he go back that far? If three turns of the time turner takes them back two hours, how many thousands of turns would be required for 16 years? Plus, she's done the time travel thing, quite well. It would be a cheap way to address that night.

4. Harry Will Go Behind the Veil
Of all the theories I don't like, I think this is the one that's most likely to happen. I can't say for sure why I don't like it. Jo said that death is final, but in book 7 we'll come closer to the dead than ever before (or something like that). Going behind the veil is a distinct possibility. But it seems too far of a departure from the world she has created. As fantastic as things are in the magical world, they are still grounded in our reality. The characters are still human. Traveling the path of the dead a la Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is too much for me.

5. Dudley Will Be the One to Discover He Has Magic
Apparently, Jo has said at some point that someone who has not displayed a talent for magic before will do so in book 7. As much as it would do for dramatic irony, I don't want it to be Dudley. He doesn't deserve it, and he could wreak slapstick-level havoc if he got it. There are much more important things to deal with in this book, IMO.

6. The Deathly Hallows Refers to Something Holy
Alternate translations for books in non-English countries (i.e. Harry Potter and the Relics of Death) have shown this to be pretty solidly untrue. The hallows are objects, not religion. Not that I have anything against religion, but I don't think it has a place in these books, especially given that it never had one before. It wouldn't make sense.

7. Snape is the One "Approaching" in the Prophecy
The beginning of the prophecy says "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches" and someone on Mugglecast suggested it referred to Snape, who was approaching the room where the prophecy was being spoken. Clever, but wrong. The end of the prophecy says "...the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies." So there goes that--it refers, without a doubt, to Harry Potter.

8. Voldemort Accidentally Made a Horcrux
This is not a repeat of the first one, because some other theories mention the possibility that at some point Voldemort said "whoops! I split my soul, didn't mean to do that." I say again, it is very deliberate and complex magic. It has to be, to do something so unnatural.

9. Ollivander Willingly Went With Voldemort
This is a minor theory. But I like him, and hate the idea that he joined the dark side.

10. Harry Having His Mother's Eyes is Important
People say this is mentioned so often, it has to refer to some latent magical ability or something else of that nature. I think it's just Jo, poking fun at people's propensity for pointing that stuff out. Every single time there's a baby born, every person who sees it tries to identify the features that are like Mom's and the features that are like Dad's. It's annoying, I hate it, and I do it anyway. So that's all I think it is.

11. James Used a Switching Spell with Remus and is Really Alive
This is an old theory, expressed in the book Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by "Galadriel Waters" assisted by "Prof. Astre Mithrandir." Jo debunked it for the same reason I hated it--James would never sacrifice his friend. Ever. Not solely for the purpose of saving his own life, after which he did nothing noble to make up for it. He also would not have abandoned his son, and since Lupin wasn't around for 12 years, that's what it would have amounted to.

So if Jo already debunked it, why did I put it here? Um...I needed a number 11.

12. Any Other Character Has Created a Horcrux (especially a good guy)
People just do not seem to grasp the magnitude of the task. Creating a horcrux is not just something a clever witch or wizard can do. Murder is difficult and unredeemable, and someone like Dumbledore would never have done it. Even if he had acceptable enough reason (like killing Voldemort would be, or in self defense, or accidentally) splitting your soul is an even more difficult thing to do. Dumbledore has never feared death, or feared leaving those whom he mentors. Certainly not enough to do something so horrible. Theories list plenty of other possible horcrux-makers, but again, it is very hard to do. I don't think Voldemort would share the secret, I don't think your average witch or wizard has the ability or the fortitude, and I don't think they would be nearly the important things they are if anyone else had made one.

13. Ginny Will Die. Or Ron. Or Hermione. Or Fred and George. Or Any Other Weasley.
Death is a part of this book. She has said so, and I believe it. But in saying "one person got a reprieve and two died who weren't originally going to," Jo opened up a world of speculation that led down a road to "everyone will die!!!!" Or a belief that only important people will die. I will be really, really unhappy if any of the above kick it.

I do think Hagrid might, though it might be too simplistic. As soon as she said in her interview with Melissa and Emerson that the mentor, aka Dumbledore, had to die, I thought of Hagrid. He is the last direct parental figure to Harry, even if that only lasted so long as partway through the first book.

I am pretty sure Snape will die, and one theory I agree with is that he will do so working for the side of good (though I would never call him a good man).

Others are up in the air, and I think (as Joss Whedon displayed in Serenity by killing Wash) that the tension of believing anyone can die is worth the reality that anyone can die.

That said, the above-listed people are the ones I say can't because they are simply too important. To me.

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Suzanne said...

Wow! You know so many more details than I ever could. I can't even remember the last book that well. You think I could manage to re-read it between today and the next book? Ha! I love your T-13. I don't think Harry could possibly die, either. It's not possible. I think somehow Dumbledore will come back into the picture and Snape will somehow be exonerated. Somehow. Cheers!

Natalie Damschroder said...

That's because, Suzanne, I am totally OBSESSED...I mean PASSIONATE about Harry Potter. :)

I have all the books on tape, read by Jim Dale, and have listened to them each at least six times (except the last one, I only read that three). I have also listened to every one of nearly 100 Pottercast podcasts, which is a free diversion when I'm exercising. :) That's where all the details come from.

I agree with you about Dumbledore and Snape, and am glad you don't think Harry will die, either. :)

Thanks for reading!

Joy T. said...

Can you believe I haven't seen one Harry Potter movie or read one Harry Potter book. My kids have but I haven't. I didn't think it sounded interesting enough....til now. Great list. Happy 100th TT Celebration!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Oh, Joy, you're missing out! These books are interesting to such a huge variety of people. I know more adults that read them than kids!

If you like audiobooks, I heartily recommend these. Great way to pass the time either commuting, exercising, or doing chores. The narration is a true performance, not just reading.

Thanks for coming by!

Jennifer Dunne said...

Hey, Natalie! I agree with *almost* all your list, except #13. I'd be quite happy if percy Weasley snuffed it...preferably after realizing what a git he'd been, seeing that Fudge is a ninny, and rushing to save his family from the results of one of Fudge's ill-conceived dictates.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Oh, Jennifer, good point! I don't consider Percy part of the family anymore, so I wasn't even thinking about him.

Okay, no Weasley's except Percy. I don't WANT him to die--it would be better for Molly if he didn't, and if he, as you said, realized what a git he is--but I don't care if he does.

Fudge is pretty much powerless, now, remember. Scrimgeour (however it's spelled, I only hear the names, I never seee them, and it's pronounced Scrimjaw) is Minister of Magic now.

Mercy's Maid said...

I cannot wait to get my hands on the new book. I just wish I had as good of a memory as you. :) There's so much time between books that I've forgotten a lot of the details.

Trish Milburn said...

Great post, Natalie. You are a wealth of HP knowledge. I'm getting ready to re-read Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of Deathly Hallows.

Natalie Damschroder said...

That's true, Mercy, and why I've listened to them so many times. :)

Thanks, Trish. It's all that podcast listening while I work out. :)

Lady Jane said...

Very, very, very interesting list! I don't think Harry will die either. Can you believe the last book will be here in a couple of weeks??!!!

Natalie Damschroder said...

I can't, Lady Jane! It seemed like forever, even once we had a definite release date. And in just days, it will be here and gone!