Harry Potter Book 7 Predictions (Spoilers, Obviously)
Well. JKR has just given a lovely interview to The Tatler. Even though it starts off, as Connie Lane has noted like a Rita Skeeter piece, it's still pretty interesting. It makes me like her more and also increases my envy of her. The part that's got everyone riled is this little nugget:
"In the seventh book there will be deaths of both, goodies and
baddies. She was talking to her husband, Neil, the other day, after
she has just writing the death of one particular character. He
shuddered. "Oh don't do that", he said to me, but of course, I did."
So who's gonna die? Well, you can read what the Alchemests are saying at John Granger's place or at Harry Potter for Seekers. But that requires you wading through long and increasingly arcane descriptions of The Alchemical Wedding of Kristian Reusenkrantz. Yeah. I didn't think so. You can join in the lengthy discussion at Harry Potter for Grownups, but I'm already 4000 messages behind. And that's just the last two weeks. So, I've looked at the whole thing solely from a writer's persepctive. In short, how would I write it? And how do I presume she will write it, given how she has written before? So here goes nothing.
Her pattern in creating conflict seems to be:
1 major shocking death. For this I vote Hagrid; book 6 was DD. Hagrid is still a major character but one who has lost his narrative neccessity. Why is he still hanging around? So she can drop some Glaswegian dialect from time to time? No, because she knew she needed him to die in Seven.
1 Personally-affecting Harry loss. For this I vote Hedwig; we haven't had such a thing since the Nimbus was decimated. Instead we've had major fights with either Ron or Hermione. Now that the fighting with Ron and/or Hermione is done to death, we're back to Hedwig. She can't structurally give him another broomstick loss without looking tired. So bye-bye Hedwig.
1 Total screwup at Hogwarts. We've had DADA teachers who were crazy, Divination teachers who were useless or obscure, Hagrid's many absences and the death of DD. So now we've got to muck about with the school a bit. Flitwick is the charms teacher. I predict Harry's growing closer to Flitwick as he learns more about his mother's prowess in Charms--only to have Flitwick bite it in the end.
1 Rocking of the Weasley boat. The Weasleys are Harry's surrogate family. There needs to be some conflict there. First it was "they're broke." Then it was "Percy is an Ass." Then it was "Percy is An Ass on the Wrong Side." Then it was "Bill's been bitten by Greyback." This time someone's gonna die. Could be anyone--how sadistic is Rowling? If she were smart she'd axe Charlie--he's outlived his purpose, since I doubt we'll need any more dragons disposed of or dealt with. If she were middling cruel she'd send one (or both) twins to their mortal end. But that kills her biggest tool for comic relief, so I can't see her doing that. Besides, the joke shop is a dead-useful source of material. It'll also give the gang a place to serve as their Diagon Alley Safe Haven now that the Leaky Cauldron is compromised. If she wants to be really mean as a snake (ha!) she'll kill Arthur. Harry already has one Patron--James. Arthur is secondary in his psychological needs. But, I'm betting she'll get her big bang from Hagrid, so Charlie is her Weasley Sacrifice.
You'll note that much of this is me whistling in the dark about the much-rumoured Death of Ron. I don't think I could handle that.