Yesterday I started a post mortem of my Deathly Hallows predictions by noting that it wasn’t as much of a post mortem as some fans had feared: none of the Harry Potter series' three main characters died. Now for my more detailed predictions, stated on 14 July 2006. Once again, this posting contains ***SPOILERS***.
To start with, I didn’t hit what I'd called the "grand slam, run-the-board perfecta." That prediction would have had to be completely correct to pay off. Of course, if I'd been right, the reward would have been enormous: the castle in Scotland, a slice of the movie grosses, several hundred action figures, etc.
But I did fairly well on individual predictions, if I do say so myself.
1. One of Harry's dead father figures (his father, Sirius Black, Dumbledore) will be resurrected in a form that lets Harry have a meaningful conversation with him, if only to say goodbye.The only flaw here was understatement. Four of Harry's dead father figures come back and have meaningful conversations with him (chap. 34-35). That's even more dead father figures than he had going into this book. Plus, there's a final conversation with Dumbledore's portrait.
2. Harry will have the chance to kill one of his worst enemies (Voldemort, Snape, a Malfoy, a Death-eater he learns was directly responsible for his parents' deaths), but will refrain from doing so because, he realizes, he's better than that.In his fight to escape from Malfoy Manor (chap. 23) and even in his duel to the death with Voldemort (chap. 36), Harry uses stupefaction and disarming spells instead of fatal ones.
In the earlier chapter, Harry even tries to save the life of one of his enemies (see prediction #3). In Chapter 32, Ron rightly tells Draco, "that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two-faced bastard!"
3. Another of those worst enemies (not including Voldemort) will refuse to kill at a crucial time, also showing that he's better than that. His refusal will most likely cost him his own life (that's where Voldemort comes in), but by saving a good person's life he will redeem himself.Peter Pettigrew in Chapter 23. (Narcissa Malfoy also redeems herself by sparing Harry's life in Chapter 36, but doesn't lose her own life because of it.)
4. A major enemy will die as a consequence of his own or another enemy's actions, giving Harry (and us) all the satisfaction of seeing him die but none of the guilt. Because we want to see the bad guys die, but have to believe that we're better than that.Vincent Crabbe in Chapter 31. Even more so, Voldemort in Chapter 36.
5. Harry will believe that one of his closest friends has been killed, but either that will turn out to be a mistake or the friend will be magically resurrected in a process that proves crucial to the outcome of the overall conflict.I made this prediction under the influence of Lloyd Alexander's The Arkadians and T. H. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin. In both of them, the hero's comic companion appears to die near the end of the book, only to be happily resurrected in better form a chapter or two later. I guessed that might happen in Deathly Hallows as well, with Dobby, Hagrid, and Ron as the most likely near-death experiencers. Which, of course, left me waiting for 200 pages for Dobby to pop back up out of the grave.
That didn't happen.
Instead, J. K. Rowling faked me out by using this motif with Harry himself. Instead of Harry believing Hagrid has died, Hagrid believes Harry has. And instead of Harry being so angry at seeing a friend's corpse that he attacks his enemies with new vigor, that role goes to Neville Longbottom. Clever.