Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Black, White, Red

The commenters at Aetiology [Hmmm; I really blinked on this one; not only did I not put in a link, I attributed it to the wrong weblog. The right one is Living the Scientific Life.] are speculating on who will die in the last Harry Potter book. I find it interesting that several commenters think that Snape will die to save Harry, because (while I'd like that) I think it would be more interesting the other way around, i.e., if Harry dies to save Snape, finally reaching a genuine maturity by overcoming his hatred for him through sacrifice. Love restores balance by learning forgiveness even for the apparently unforgivable. It's noteworthy that while Snape has given reason for Harry to hate him, Harry's hate for Snape throughout the series has had relatively little connection to that (as can be seen by how easily Harry leaps to suspecting Snape for everything, and how different Harry's hatred of Snape is from that of others). In the greater series Dumbledore's death has to mean something (contrary to what some fans would like, I don't think Rowlings is bringing him back). I also think Hagrid will die, because I think John Granger is probably onto something in thinking that the basic frame of the plot is alchemical transformation, and that Rubeus Hagrid is the red stage of the work that follows the black (Sirius Black) and the white (Albus Dumbledore). I worry that Neville Longbottom might also die. Rowlings hasn't said how many people will die in the book (at least offstage), only that one character she originally intended to die won't, and two other characters that she didn't intend to die will.

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