Upon first reading the Sorceror's Stone, for some reason it clicked into my head that when we meet with the end of the series, we will also meet with the end of Harry. This started off as some strange feeling of sorts, but more recently I've started to give more creed to the idea. Particularly as it is rumored that Daniel Radcliffe himself shares the same inkling.
First of all I must say that this is not how I would want the series to end. Like the rest of you, I've grown very fond of the character of Harry, and the last thing that I want is for him to die. I would like for the epilogue to state that he continued and lived a very happy and fulfilling life. Alas, I just don't see that happening.
For those of you who've read my Harry as a Horcrux editorial, yes I do believe in the possibility that Harry is a Horcrux. However, that belief is only a small part of this whole grandiose picture.
It has been stated by some that it makes sense that J.K. would kill off Harry at the end of the series so that no copycats would attempt to continue with her work. I honestly think that if J.K. does kill Harry off, it'll be because it is an essential part of the story, not as a way of safeguarding her series from foreigners. Remember that she adores Harry too, and she would only destroy him if it was an absolute necessity, as she has done with a few of her other beloved characters.
One thing that we do know about the final book is that in order for Harry to be the one to kill Lord Voldemort, he will have to change some how. Up until now, even when he's had ample reason and opportunity to kill someone, he hasn't been able to do it. Something in his character will have to darken and alter in order to change him so that he will be capable of murder. I offer you two possibilities:
1) His hatred for Severus Snape finally consumes him and drives him to committing the extreme act of violence.
2) Voldemort murders someone very close to him right in front of his eyes. This really could be almost anyone. And the horror of it will burn into him and drive him to kill.
Either way, our sweet innocent little Harry will be no more. And after that, he may not want to go on anymore. Not to say that he would kill himself. But he may not be apt to fighting for his life as he once did. The darkness will begin to consume him. It may be difficult for him to remember the good that he used to know.
But this is not to say that Harry will just lay down to die. He will continue to fight courageously even if there is little hope to cling to. I believe that he will manage to bring down Lord Voldemort himself, but in the process he will become mortally wounded. So he will die then shortly after Lord Voldemort's passing. And hopefully someone will be there who will comfort him and tell his story. Someone that he loves. I really don't think that J.K. would let Harry die totally alone. She's not that cruel.
Harry has already prepared himself on several occasions in the series to risk all to bring down Lord Voldemort. Even in the Sorceror's Stone, he went into that final room knowing full well that he may not make it out. And, in fact, he almost didn't. He has always known what was at stake. He has always been our very tragic hero.
I get the impression that in Book 7 Harry's thoughts will be totally focused on finding the Horcruxes, evading Death Eaters, loathing Snape, and bringing down the Dark Lord. I don't see him planning for the future. He may joke about things that Ron and Hermione and him might do once this Voldemort business is all over with. But I don't see him making any serious plans. He will look at everything just up to the point that Voldemort is brought down. Beyond that, he won't even want to speculate. He won't want to get his hopes up. Remember that he has been given the near impossible task to complete. A task that many great wizards failed at. He'll do what he has to and try his damndest to bring Voldemort down, but he's not going to go off and plan his future career while he has this hanging over his head. It just won't make sense to him. This makes for both a depressing and an unusual state of being. But these are also very extreme circumstances. He is after all a marked man.
He has never been able to live a normal life, not even by wizarding standards. The Prophecy was made about him before he was even born. He and his family were in hiding before Voldemort came. After that, he was thrust into a home of rude strangers who forbade him from doing or mentioning anything unusual. His whole life he has been, in a sense, on the run from Voldemort. It was after all due to Voldemort's strange history that Harry was brought to live with the Dursleys in the first place. Had his parents been murdered by anyone else, he would have probably been adopted by a loving wizarding family.
As much as Harry may despize it, it is impossible to separate his life from Voldemort's. If Voldemort finally died, that would make for a totally different Harry. One that would be difficult for him to recognize. He has always been marked in the series as the man who must bring down He Who Must Not Be Named , even before any of us ever knew about the Prophecy. The whole series Harry has been trying to define himself as "just Harry," and time and time again he has failed. He hasn't been able to shake the fact that he is really very different from everyone else.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is that Harry's story has always been linked with Voldemort's. Not to say that he's not his own person, that's just how things happen to have played out. And I feel that this trend will unfortunately continue through the end of Book 7.
But we must not let ourselves get too depressed. After all, there is no nobler cause that Harry could die for. And I have of course been wrong before.
It seems clear from the little that we know about the final book that it'll have a great deal to do with The Veil and ghosts. I have been toying with the theory of late that Harry will trick Voldemort through the Veil on All Hallow's Eve, and the spirits within will go after him and confine his "body" there. I see the Veil as a place that can only be safely traversed upon on All Hallow's Eve; that is that's the only time that mortals can go through the Veil, and spirits can come out of it, without suffering dire consequences. If you stay in or out of the Veil longer than that one night, you will become a part of that world and not ever be able to come back.
This answers the question of the end of Voldemort but not to the end of Harry. I do see Harry making it back outside of the Veil and passed the many spirits who will try to confine him there. But that once he makes it back into the Death Chamber, to see his friends, or whoever he has left, he will be sporting a fatal wound that will take over quickly, and they'll be no opportunity for recovery. I also see that anytime anyone enters the Veil, the place and the souls within it drain your life force. So it's always difficult for anyone to ever come back.
This Quest will become all-consuming for Harry. He will have to literally go to the ends of the earth and back in order to complete it. He will have no focus in his life other than this. It will consume him totally.
And, to end the series with Harry dying will be upsetting certainly, but I don't believe that it'll repaint the series as this horrific tragedy. Harry will meet his end with his eyes wide open, knowing full-well what is at stake. He will do what he has to do for the benefit of man and wizard-kind. It will still be a fantastic story about good triumphing over evil even when all hope seems lost. The Harry Potter series will never be solely defined by Harry's death. It will always be so much more than that.
I also am a little saddened in writing this editorial as it will be my final one before Book 7 comes out. After that, all speculation over what J.K. will do with her final edition will be brought to a violent screeching halt. I will certainly still be able to find my strange things to speculate about, but it just won't be the same, as with that book comes the answers to most of our pressing questions. Also, with that book will come the end of many fans' fascination with the Harry Potter fan sites. Us die hard fans will remain of course, but most of you will sputter back into the wind that you came from. Not that many of you read my editorials to begin with, but my small reader-base will be even less after this milestone.
But things must change, and I suppose that I'm just being nostalgic and selfish. I will say that it has been a brilliant run. And also that I'm still hopping with joy that the final book is so very close to coming out.
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