Anticipation at Boiling Point as Release Date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Nears
Final Harry Potter novel has many questions to answer
by Mark Zurlo
July 16, 2005, was the day the wait finally ended for millions of Harry Potter fans, as J.K. Rowling's sixth novel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, finally hit shelves and readers worldwide held marathon reading sessions. Once each of the book's 652 pages had been eagerly devoured, the wait began again. Since that time, fans have learned that the seventh installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be the final Harry Potter book, and that two characters will die. Other than these two facts, further details on the book have been few and far between, only adding to the anticipation as the release date nears.
Important Questions Begging to be Answered
Unlike past novels, fans prepare for The Deathly Hallows knowing that a number of essential questions must be answered. The most pressing one, of course, is "who will live and who will die?" It was discovered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that, according to a prophecy, neither Harry nor Lord Voldemort can live while the other continues to survive. Will Harry be able to defeat the world's most powerful dark wizard, or will he share the same fate as his mother and father? Will the answer to this question be so straightforward?
The Snape Dilemma
Another pressing question surrounding the release of The Deathly Hallows is "Professor Snape: good or evil?" Throughout the first six books, Harry and Ron have fervently accused the potions professor of being in line with Voldemort, while Professor Dumbledore has never wavered in his support of the reformed Death Eater. That is, until Snape used an unforgivable curse to kill Dumbledore at the end of The Half-Blood Prince. While seemingly resolving any questions surrounding Snape's allegiance, some feel Snape is not evil and was simply doing what was required to not blow his cover as an Order of the Phoenix spy.
Ron and Hermoine: just friends?
A third question that fans hope will be answered is "who will end up with whom?" While Harry and Ginny were briefly together during The Half-Blood Prince, fear of Voldemort and the Dark Lord's determination to defeat Harry has caused the two to separate in an attempt to remain safe. If Harry is able to dispose of Voldemort, will he and Ginny complete the storybook ending by resuming their relationship? And of course, what about Ron and Hermoine? Both have shown a great deal of jealousy when the other has received any type of attention from other students, such as Victor Krum or Lavender Brown. Will either character finally make a move?
Famous Figures Sound Off On Ending
Fans young and old have been quick to to hypothesize on the series' ending. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the movie series, believes that Harry will meet his demise in the book. While no one involved in the production of the movies has any inside knowledge of the outcome of the book, director David Yates agrees with Radcliffe, while Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasely, believes both Harry and Voldemort will perish in the final book. Other famous authors have also weighed in on the issue, with noted horror novelist Stephan King and John Irving, author of the 1978 classic The World According to Garp, publicly urging Rowling not to kill off Harry.
Live or die, fans will undoubtedly be saddened by the reality that the decade-long Harry Potter series has come to an end once they turn the last page. The series has sold over 325 million copies worldwide and the characters have become ingrained in the consciousness of fans everywhere. J.K. Rowling has encouraged kids and adults alike to read in a way that no teacher, classic author, or summer reading assignment ever could. Even if Harry does meet his match in The Deathly Hallows, he will surely live on in the minds of die-hard fans across the globe.
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