No knitting this weekend, at least not until I finish plowing through all 784 pages of this tome, and I may have to read it twice for everything to sink in. In preparation, I want to see "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" twice, once on opening day and again on Sunday. And last Saturday I re-read, almost in 1 sitting, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." If you saw the movie, or follow the books, then you know that Mrs. Weasley is an inveterate knitter who knits up Christmas gifts for everyone year after year. And because Hogwarts is in the far north of the British Isles (I'm willing to bet somewhere near Inverness), everyone wears woolies out of necessity. OK, obligatory knitting content done with, back to the theories about Book 7. Here are mine.
1) JK Rowling said in an interview that a formerly non-magical person will do magic in Book 7. She also said that Aunt Petunia is not a squib (a magical person who can't learn to do it properly). My theory - Dudley Dursley is the hidden wizard. Why wasn't he invited to go to Hogwarts? Bonnie Marie on her ChicKnits blog thinks it was a deal between Dumbledore and Aunt Petunia; I think that such persons are rare and not recognized by the Ministry of Magic. Perhaps there is adult education for them, or correspondence courses by the floo network.
2) The 'Net is abuzz with supposed leaks about who dies. JKR says on her website that 2 main characters die in this book aside from either Harry or Voldemort. Ron and Hermione? Wouldn't that make the series so bitter as to end its popularity right now? Just think about it - if Frodo had died along with Gollum, how many of us would have slammed "The Return of the King" shut then and there? I know I would have. Even though I knew Frodo had to die from the wound he suffered on Weathertop. But Tolkien makes Frodo's death a literal voyage to the Western Isles, to dwell with the elves, sad and yet not. Offing Ron and Hermione would be too much, no? How many parents would let their children start reading the series, knowing that this is what lies at its end?
3) So who dies? Hagrid is a possibility. He's one of my favorite characters, the first being who shows Harry kindness after life with the Dursleys. It'll be sad, but it makes sense - Hagrid would do something foolhardy to save Harry, or Hagrid fights Voldemort in a attempt to prevent the army of giants Voldemort tries to raise from fighting. Who else? I can't help but feel a premonition that Luna Lovegood will die. I like her character a lot, I'll be sad, but it won't be the devastation that losing Ron and Hermione would be. Oh yes, Percy Weasley. I think he is marked too, I thought that from when it was announced that another character dies in Book 5.
4) Bad guys who buy the farm and how, aside from the obvious: I think it'll be neat and fitting for Neville to kill Bellatrix Lestrange. If you need to know why, please read or re-read "OotP." I think the senior Malfoys go too, but I don't rank Narcissa as a total bad guy or gal; rather as a proud woman who wants to protect her only son. Think of her scene with Snape at the beginning of "HBP" and you'll see what I mean.
5) Which brings us to Snape. Snape, Snape, Snape. Are you good or evil? Did you really kill Dumbledore? Was Dumbledore begging you at the end of "HBP" to spare him or to carry out part of a pre-conceived plan? I would vote for good Snape (sort of the Gollum-Smeagol dichotomy, no?) EXCEPT that why the heck couldn't a guy old enough to be Harry's father get over the stupid high school pranks from 20 years earlier? Either Snape is the world's best occlumens (hence Voldemort's inability to read Snape's true mind) or Snape isn't as good as he pretends to be in the occlumency-legilimency fields. Isn't Snape who reminds Harry to control his emotions during occlumency lessons? Thought so. Which brings up an aside - how could Dumbledore not figure out how much animus Snape had for Harry? Maybe Snape really is the world's best occlumens.
So folks, only about 36 hours to go until the UPS truck pulls up with the books. Amazon e-mailed me this morning that my books were packed and ready to ship. I'll start tracking tomorrow. Oh for a trusty owl like Hedwig to go and fetch it!