PDay Minus Six: Prediction #2 “The Master Plan Will Be Revealed”

One of my sure-thing predictions has already come in, alas. Judy over at Sword of Gryffindor reports that:

It appears DH has finally leaked; someone has a stolen library book copy (I knew giving the librarians permission to open them early was a bad idea!) and has taken pictures of the first four hundred pages. I’ve spent hours trying to find fault with them, but unfortunately, they are flawless. The book dedication itself is what got me; it was uniquely and supremely Jo, no hoaxer could have come up with it.

She goes on to write that Fandom internet sites are already flooded with postings about the characters who have died, etc.

“Say it ain’t so, Jo!”

I guess there is little point in posting predictions this week, is there? If I hit something spot on, then it’s not genius or the Five Keys, it’s because the prediction is about something that is now common knowledge. If I post something that is clearly wrong, of course, someone will write to enlighten us with what they have read and spoil the surprise for me. No, I won’t post anything here from these “spoiler-sports.”

Looks like a lose-lose situation. That’s not even mentioning that thousands if not millions of readers are getting a head start on Deathly Hallows, effectively popping the critical mass of readers with anticipation who might be following the fun discussions “that might have been” during Potter Week.

As my Drill Instructors like to say at Parris Island, “Oh, well!”

On the off-chance that Judy just woke from an Alice in Wonderland dream (with a live journal url and links to the 400 copied pages? right!), I’ll persevere for a few days. MuggleNet and Leaky, as you’d expect, have not posted anything about this, but CNN and MSN are quiet as well. There is reason to hope! FYI, all the predictions made here are from my Enlightening 2007 talk given last Friday in Philadelphia and filmed by the “We Are Wizards” documentary crew.

Prediction #2: The Master Plan is Revealed

The Rubedo or ‘red’ and last stage of the alchemical drama is about the revelation of the work already accomplished in the white stage. Deathly Hallows, consequently, as the crimson crucible of Harry Potter, will largely be about what we missed in Half-Blood Prince. More specifically, I think we will learn how everything in Half-Blood Prince, from Harry’s tutorials up to the melodrama on the Astronomy Tower, was staged to deceive the Dark Lord via his Horcrux/mind-link with Harry. [Read more…]

PDay Minus Seven (Bastille Day, 2007)– Prediction #1: Deathly Hallows Will Be Very Much Like the First Six Harry Potter Novels

Before I get into the sublimely risible business of making predictions about what we will learn in Ms. Rowling’s finale to her Harry Potter magnus opus, let me make a few guesses that I would bet my daughter’s flute on [I would have said “the family cars” but the flute cost more than our cars….]

(1) The Steve Vander Ark Prediction: Harry Potter “Big Name Fandomers” come in three main tiers. The third tier are the many writers and bloggers who have created followings on the internet via their fan-fiction and better-than-the-average-bear speculations. The second tier is the gaggle, ever growing, of book writers and featured speakers at conferences. The first layer of the hierarchy, those just below Ms. Rowling herself and the players in the films made from her books, are those who lead the fan sites that get hundreds of thousands of hits a day — and whom the publicity folks at Warner Brothers and Bloomsbury and Scholastic court.

The Triumvirate of this upper crust are Lexicon Steve, MuggleNet Emerson, and Leaky Melissa. [Read more…]

Lev Grossman, atheist, on record again that Ms. Rowling is a Secular Artist

If you missed the latest brou-ha-ha in Time magazine about Harry Potter this week, take a minute to read Lev Grossman’s celebration there of Ms. Rowling’s putting more nails in God’s coffin. In an article titled, “Who Dies in Harry Potter? God,” Grossman confirms both that he doesn’t see anything except what he wants in the series and that he has an atheistic agenda. Travis Prinzi, as usual, has stepped to the plate over at Sword of Gryffindor to reveal the nonsense Mr. Grossman has served up for what it is. Mr. Prinzi’s analysis deserves your attention.

Mr. Grossman affirmed the bias he brings to the books in an interview that Reyhan found on NerdWorld.com and posted in the comment boxes at Sword of Gryffindor: [Read more…]

PDay Minus Eight: Friday 13 July, Enlightening 2007

Potter Week, the Eight Days before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight 21 July 2007 (“PDay”), will be celebrated at Hogwarts Professor with a daily dose of final thoughts from the HogPro All-Pros and my Seven Predictions from the Five Keys explained in Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader.

Let me start, though, with my notes from last Friday, PDay minus Eight, and the first Harry Potter Camp for Families, Enlightening 2007. If you couldn’t care less about my adventures there, hold your horses; in a few hours, I’ll have finished my Saturday predictions for posting! [Read more…]

French Literature Source for Severus Character? Polyeucte!

Another great letter! This one for Mary Norman, a French Literature major in school, who suggests that Ms. Rowling almost certainly has read a play, Polyeucte, in her French studies, in which play one hero’s name is Severus. This may be the source and it’s one, of course, that your favorite classicist could never have found. Thank you, Mary Norman!

Folks, keep those cards and letters coming!

Dear John,

I’m a Catholic homeschooling mother of five who absolutely loves Harry Potter, and thoroughly enjoyed your book, “Unlocking Harry Potter.” As a former graduate student in French Literature, I’m painfully familiar with Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault, but you actually managed to make these guys interesting! (Not that I agree with their philosophical conclusions — I told a professor once that if I actually believed what these men espoused, i.e., that there is no transcendent meaning to literature or life, I would go throw myself off the nearest bridge.) Thanks for producing a work of serious, yet entertaining literary criticism of Harry Potter. I’ll be anxious to hear what you have to say after Book 7 comes out.

I was dismayed when I read the article on Machiavelli’s Half-Blood Prince, because the arguments there were very compelling, and I really want Snape to be a good guy in the end, even if he doesn’t make his final decision for good until the end of Book 7. Just thinking back to my French Lit. days, I came up with another Severus connection that would kind of fit in with the Snape-loved-Lily theory, and the “bad-or-indifferent-Snape turns good” angle. There’s a seventeenth century play by Corneille called “Polyeucte” (in English, Polyeuctus.) The play is about a Christian martyr, Polyeuctus, who died during the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius.

There is an important character in the play named Severus (Severe, in French.) Severus, a Roman soldier, pagan, and favorite of the Emperor, is hopelessly in love with a married woman, Pauline, the wife of Polyeuctus. Severus is offered the opportunity to marry Pauline upon the death of Polyeuctus. In an act of unselfish heroism, Severus instead tries (unsuccessfully) to save Polyeuctus for the sake of Pauline. If memory serves me correctly, I think Pauline winds up being martyred also, and Severus comes over to the good side, accepting the truth of Christianity and vowing to defend Christians from the Emperor. Incidentally, there is a character named Albin in this play; he is the wise, but unheeded confidante of the weak and fearful Governor Felix.

The story of “Polyeucte,” of course, would be obscure to anyone but a French Lit. major, such as JKR! But there are so many possible sources for a name like Severus, and JKR undoubtedly had multiple reasons for choosing that name. I’ll just try not to be too upset if our Potions Master does in fact come down on the dark side. . .

Thanks for all your wonderful insights!

Mary Norman