July 17, 2007


Harry Potter and the Mysterious Ending (ERICA GRIEDER, July 17, 2007, NY Sun)

The following predictions will be unintelligible to those who are not familiar with Harry's adventures these past 10 years. But just in case, please be advised that they contain spoilers about the books that are already published. [...]

4. Lily Potter Was a Death eater.

Ms. Rowling has said that we will discover something "incredibly important" about Harry's mother, Lily, in "The Deathly Hallows." We may now discover she was a Death Eater, spying on the Order of the Phoenix and even on her own husband. We know suspiciously little about Lily Potter. Voldemort, who seldom hesitates to kill, gave her a chance to step aside before he killed her. Her non-magical sister, Petunia, is frightened of wizardry. In her youth, Lily was a defender of Snape. The most important thing we know about her is that she died in an effort to protect the infant Harry. But that does not prove whose side she was on. Even a villain may love her children.

The evidence against her is entirely circumstantial and the idea is admittedly farfetched, but it is morally appealing. Harry Potter has never questioned his allegiance to the good side. He was born into it. Yet Ms. Rowling repeatedly makes the point in the books that choices make the wizard, not accidents of birth. A painful truth about his mother would force Harry to examine his own soul and act according to its directives.

Can't you just hear the Ramones playing: Lily was a Death Eater?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2007 7:27 AM

Voldemort is his father and Hermione his sister. Lily is hardly mentioned because the studio wasn't able to sign up Natalie Portman.

Posted by: Gideon at July 17, 2007 8:18 AM

Draco will defect and join the good guys if he isn't already working undercover for the Order of the Phoenix. It was set up at the end of the last book: Draco had the drop on Dumbledore, but he couldn't pull the trigger--which suggests Snape may have popped Dumbledore to keep Draco from blowing his cover. (Remember the sequence in North by Northwest where Eva Marie Saint "shoots" Cary Grant with blanks to prove her bona fides to James Mason? Could be the same thing here.)

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 17, 2007 8:18 AM

Snape and Dumbledore had definitely cooked something up beforehand. They even argued about Snape not wanting to go through with it(overheard by Hagrid).

Snape is good. That said, he better die saving Harry or someone in the order.

Voldemort dies. Hagrid dies.

Posted by: Bartman at July 17, 2007 8:47 AM

he better die ... Voldemort dies. Hagrid dies.

So it has the same ending as the second Planet of the Apes movie, eh?

(Not that despite such an ending, that they still weren't able to kill off the series...)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 17, 2007 10:12 AM

Snape was in love with Lily. Which explains why Snape hates Harry, because if Harry hadn't been born, Lily would not have died saving him. Especially given that both Harry and Snape have been mistreated (which Snape witnessed while tutoring Harry)but Snape still can't muster any empathy for Harry. Also it would explain why Snape quit being a Deatheater, since Voldemort killed Lily.

Somebody, either Malfoy, Snape or Pettigrew, have to be good or end up doing good because Dumbledore has been telling Harry for the last 4 books that goodness can be found in unlikely places and it would not make sense if this theme did not play out.

However, there are many times you have to look over plot inconsistencies (why are there poor wizards, anyway? Couldn't they just conjure up whatever they need? Why are muggles looked down on so much when they accomplish the same things wizards do without the benefit of magic? Racism?) to enjoy the series, so there is no garuntee that anything will be resolved in a satisfying (at least in terms of upholding the themes concerning the nature of good and evil) manner.

Posted by: Buttercup at July 17, 2007 10:20 AM

Snape is evil but rational. (Remember the logic puzzle with deadly potions in the first book.) Reason keeps inducing him to do good against his badder judgment. It plays the role that temptation plays with good people.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at July 17, 2007 11:57 AM

No predictions here. But another interesting wrinkle would be Neville Longbottom. He was born the same day as Harry and might actually be the prophecied one. He comes on in book 5 and is less ridiculous a figure.

Also see the potential for Harry to have a Frodo moment - turning to the dark side right at the end and dying by a friend's hands or turning back good again.

Posted by: AWW at July 17, 2007 12:23 PM

Neville has always been one of my favorite characters, since he won 10 points in the first book for standing up to his friends. I hope he survives in the last book.

I am in the midst of rereading all the books, so I can be fresh for Deathly Hallows.

Posted by: Stormy70 at July 17, 2007 12:49 PM

Anyone else notice the villainess was made up to look like Laura Bush complete with the bright smile and matronly clothing? Ya gotta give libs credit, they can never be faulted for being too subtle.

Posted by: erp at July 17, 2007 4:06 PM


You are being so political. How many of the movie's viewers do you think can even remember what Laura Bush looks like (if they ever knew)?

Posted by: Brandon at July 17, 2007 4:28 PM

The adults we happened to walk out of the theater with all noticed the intended insult. If they thought nobody would notice, why bother doing it?

By the way, Imelda Staunton, stole the picture. I hope she gets an academy award.

Posted by: erp at July 17, 2007 5:07 PM

I never associated Laura Bush with Dolores Umbridge in the movie. 99.9% of the audience won't either. I think it's absurd to say the character was meant to be Laura Bush.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at July 17, 2007 6:44 PM

We have it on pretty good authority that Lily Potter was not a Death Eater.

Imelda Staunton was outstanding in that role. Also, the Ministry fight at the end was unbelievably cool. It's hard to imagine how they could have improved on it.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 17, 2007 9:16 PM

Chris, I also think it's absurd to say Umbrage character was patterned after Laura Bush since the book was written some years ago and it's doubtful the author had Mrs. Bush in mind.

What I said was the actress playing the role of the villainess was made up to look like Laura Bush and even if you're right that 99% of the film-goers don't see the resemblance, it doesn't make my observations any less valid. I see something you don't see ergo ...

The more interesting question is why you took umbrage to my comments.

Posted by: erp at July 18, 2007 12:20 PM

Why he took Umbridge?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 18, 2007 6:14 PM

Lower case 'u' Matt.

Posted by: erp at July 19, 2007 5:43 AM