Despite being in the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, Ben and I managed to find a B&N that had a midnight celebration, only to find ourselves at the end of an hour-long line! Well, 24 hours later, I had consumed the last installment of Harry Potter. A full-fledged review comes later; below is my initial take and prediction results.
First, I thought it was a fantastically action-packed book. Unlike the folks at Slate, I thought the middle of the book was much more captivating than the cores of Books 4 or 6. I was a bit dissapointed with the flood of information that came so easily (YKW’s thoughts, the pensieve, DD’s dead self) toward the end — I would have like to see more Hermionesque cleverness. But, in the end, everything seemed to fit, and I was satisfied. I just hope JK helps us fill in the minutiae in later interviews.
To my predictions:
- Who is R.A.B.? Regulus Black, of course. Like I said, easy. 1/1.
- Hogwarts will re-open. Harry needs it for a base of operations. Half right, as Hogwarts indeed re-opened. 1.5/2.
- “Deathly Hallows” refers to the Horcruxes. Whoops, JK is definitely more creative than me. 1.5/3.
Horcruxes (beside the Diary and the Ring — leaving 4)
- The locket; well I guess we know that already. My real prediction is that it’s still in Grimauld place and that Mundungus Fletcher was (like the cleaning crew) unable to remove it. Oh, and also we find out the Kreacher helped Regulus get the locket in the first place. Right about Kreacher, wrong about Grimauld Pl. 2/4.
- Hufflepuff’s goblet. Too easy. 3/5.
- Harry. I can’t believe some people didn’t see this one coming. 4/6.
- And the last Horcrux omething of Ravenclaw’s? … I’m going with “wand.” Whoops! The other Internet rumor was the tiara, but I went with the wand. 4/7.
- One more note: the invisibility cloak was passed down to Harry from James who got it from his father. … I’ll stick with the cloak-as-wannabe-horcrux prediction though. I get points for picking out the cloak as an important artifact in this book. 5/8.
The Big Questions
- Snape is good. As I told Chicklet, “I trust Dumbledore and Dumbledore trusts Snape.” 6/9.
- Harry defeats Voldemort. Well, duh. 7/10.
- Sirius’s mirror. Going waaaaay out on a limb, I think Regulus may have embedded instructions for finding/destroying the horcux in the mirror. And that limb I went out on just crashed. 7/11.
- Sirius’s motorcycle. We’ll find out that its engine somehow became a part of Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia. Wrong again! 7/12.
- James & Lilly Potter. JK promised to tell us what they did for a living! We’ll have to wait and see about this one. 7/12.
- Petunia. I think the biggest revelation with her is that her family is not completely Muggle. Those green eyes of GG were one big red hearing, and I fell for it. 7/13.
- Mrs. Figg. With Petunia out of the way, that leaves Mrs. Figg as the most likely elderly character to “do magic late in life” (as JK said would happen). JK misled us, as no character ended up performing magic late in life under dire circumstances. So this is a wash. 7/13.
- Dudley. We’ll learn what he “saw” when he faced the Dementors. Whoops, this wasn’t an actual prediction, as JK had promised this but again didn’t deliver. 7/13 still.
- Fawkes. Either Dumbledore left him to Harry, or Harry’s loyalty and bravery will call Fawkes back to him. Back to .500: 7/14.
- McGonagall. Will live and get to be Headmistriss for more than one year. Living, but not headmaster. 7.5/15.
- Percy. Still a git, but a living git. Hrmm…was Percy still a git? Hard to say, I’ll give Perce the befit of the doubt. 8/16.
- Luna. Will live and become editor of the Quibbler. Ah, if only we actually knew! 9/17 for the “will live prediction”.
- Fred and George. Live and successfully continue their joke shop (including branches in Hogsmead and France). Sadly, only half correct: 9.5/18.
- Tonks and Lupin. Enjoy a few months of bliss together before they both die fighting Death Eaters. Sadly, completely correct. 10.5/19.
- Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Both live (because I want them to?). They’ll have gone through enough (see below…). I went against the odds on this one and came through, 11.5/20.
- Wormtail. About as dead as you can possibly get! But first he repays the life debt he owes Harry. Nailed it, 12.5/21.
- Neville and Bellatrix. Neville finally comes into his own! He doesn’t kill Bella, as there are “fates worse than death.” This fight will be “to the pain” and (I really hope) Neville leaves Ms. Lestrange “wallowing in freakish missery forever.” Oh, and then goes on to become a magical gardener :) Well, this was pretty much wrong, but I’m very happy for Neville, as he definitely comes into his own. 12.5/22.
- Hagrid. I think this Hagrid will be the “fake big death”. It’s really hard to kill Hagrid, and I think it’ll appear he’s dead before he resurges back to life. Yep, pretty much. 13.5/23.
- Draco. Either he or his father dies at the hands of YNH. Maybe Voldemort lets ‘Cissa pick. Draco is a bit more accessible at the moment, so I’m guessing he bites the dust. Wow, all the Malfoys lived! How was that possible?! 13.5/24.
- Snape. Turns out to be good, and actually saves the day by protecting the trio/quartet from Voldemort’s worst. Snape then weakens Voldemort so Harry can finish the Dark Lord off, sacrificing himself in the process. Half right. 14/25.
- Voldemort. Vanquished by a power he knows not….love. Just don’t ask me exactly how that one’s going to work. Yep, Lily’s love. 15/26.
- Ginny. Does not start accompanying Harry on his adventures until after Christmas. She then goes off to join a quidditch team and lives happily ever after with Harry. Mostly right, some of this we don’t know. 16/27.
- Hermione. Lives and becomes Headmistress of Hogwarts. Serves the school well for many decades.. Maybe, who knows! She does live: 17/28.
- Ron. Dead. It sucks, but I think it’s going to happen. Wow, no major characters killed: 17/29.
- Harry. I don’t think he actually kills Voldemort — I think he might trick Voldemort so that YKW kills himself or really fouls up and ends up dying “by accident”. Anyway, Harry lives and becomes Head Auror, rounding up bad folk left and right. Couldn’t be much more right! 18/30.
- I also made a Head Boy/Girl prediction in the comments that was totally wrong.18/31.
So, 18 right, 31 wrong: 58% on what were pretty specific predictions!
Update: JK provides more details here. I lose half a point on Luna (naturalist not Quibbler), half a point for Hermione (who replaces Alberto as Attorney General — if only!), nailed the Ginny prediction (Quidditch), and was also dead right on Harry (Head Auror). So 17/31 — still above .500 :)