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.

This will also mean our learning at last what Dumbledore and Snape have been up to all these years in their efforts to defeat Voldemort. The stories are all told in the 3rd person limited omniscient view, the house-elf with mini-cam filming over Harry’s shoulder with occasional shots of his thoughts and feelings, so “what we know” has been restricted to “what Harry knows” (and “what Hermione tells him”). We sometimes get information from the Headmaster about what has happened in the book just finished concerning what really happened but, of course, Dumbledore’s dive at the end of Prince kept him from his annual denouement dessert with Harry.

Sometime in the finale, then, for the narrative misdirection “big twist” hammer to fall, we have to be shown just how mistaken we were to believe what Harry believed he saw. This will mean learning “what Dumbledore knew,” “what Snape knew,” and “what Voldemort knew.”

These revelations can be filed under the Five Key headings of “Narrative misdirection,” “Literary Alchemy,” and “Postmodern Themes.” The postmodernism of these revelations? The punch of narrative misdirection is the knock-you-off-your-feet lesson that your view, jaundiced as it is by the metanarrative, restricted as it is by your preconceptions, and limited to your private understanding, is not about “reality.” It’s just your view. Ms. Rowling differs from postmodern ideologues in not asserting that there is no reality, just degrees of prejudice (she is more like her anti-empiricist and pre-modernity heroine Jane Austen in this regard), but the skepticism about “objective perception” and “seeing what really is” pervades the series.

Look for Scar-O-Scope or another major misdirection twist from Prince and within Deathly Hallows as Ms. Rowling shoots off her signature surprise-ending as a fireworks display finale. If there’s no forehead-slapping in Fandom at this ending (and about what we missed in Prince), that in itself would be an even bigger surprise, not to mention a major disappointment.

Tomorrow: Prediction #3 — Mistaken Identities


  1. Travis Prinzi says

    This is so unfortunate, though not unexpected. In trying to verify the leak, I ran across a site that didn’t warn of spoilers, and my eyes fell quickly on the names of a few people who “die,” according to this “leak.”

  2. John, I’ve dreaded this pretty much from the day after the release of HBP. I assumed it was inevitable, and had planned on “going dark” sometime on Thursday. Looks like I need to go semi-dark right away. (No radio, no television, no British Open, and just a few web sites that are probably safe.)

    I’m wondering if we can protect the “comments” sections here at HogPro. Maybe set everything to “moderated”, and only approve notes from those who are known? I certainly want to spend this week sharing thoughts and speculations with fellow HogProers, but it may not be worth it if I read through a discussion only to come to a posting from a yahoo spilling the beans that one of Uncle Vernon’s ancestors really is a structomagus who has been masquerading for the last thousand years as the Hogwarts castle.

    Travis, my condolences – don’t trust anyplace!

  3. Argh. Is there any way that those of us who don’t want to be spoiled (the fast majority, I’d wager) can keep each other warned about sites to stay away from? It’s good to know, and not unexpected, that Mugglenet and Leaky will stay true and not give anything away. But I’m afraid to go anywhere else. So sorry that Travis already ran into information he didn’t want to see.

    I’m actually thinking of giving myself a moratorium on looking at HP-related anything over the next few days, though that feels disappointing too, since half the fun of the days leading up to the release is the communal build-up and anticipation.

    I actually DREAMED about Deathly Hallows last night. Dreamed it had been released already, and when I woke up, was very disappointed to realize it was just a dream and the book wasn’t on my nightstand where I expected it to be!

  4. FYI: All posts and comments at HogPro are always run by me before going up. I will post no spoilers or links to spoilers and I will not be going to any Potter sites other than Travis’ until next Monday, when I begin work at my BNU post.

  5. Travis Prinzi says

    All comments are being moderated at SoG as well.

    The dreadful silence seems to me to indicate the spoilers are real. Last time we had a “spoiler” claim (the hacker called “Gabriel”), the whole world knew about it – probably because it was so ludicrous. In this case, the MSM hasn’t reported it, and not many blogs are running with it, it seems. I wonder if the army of spoiler watchers hired by Scholastic has kicked into high gear and is doing everything in its power to squelch this.

    On the other hand, one SoG commenter emailed me and said that there is a page discrepancy between the stated number of pages for DH and the last page page # for the “leaked” version. If that’s the case, then we’ve got the most elaborate fake in history, done by someone who needs to get a job, but who, at this point, would probably never be hired.

  6. Thanks for letting us know that all posts here are run by you, John. That makes me feel better. And it’s good to know of other sites that are safe and trustworthy too.

    When you mention your “BNU post” — does that mean you will be moderating a discussion group/class again? If that’s the case, and if enrollment is still open and available, will you be posting some information about that?

    By the way, I had a typo in my last post. That “fast majority” should have been “vast majority.” 🙂 I guess the only things too fast were my fingers on the keyboard!

  7. John, it sounds as if you’re “taking one for the team” – possibly playing the Harry role? – by exposing yourself to possible spoilers that the mischief makers might try to post here on the site, to protect the rest of us. On one hand, that’s really honorable of you, on the other hand, I feel bad for you. I tend to be really spoiler-phobic, maybe you’re less so.

    By the way – HBP was released two years ago today!

    I agree with Beth – I’d enjoy participating in another BNU group, though it looks like they’re now calling them “book clubs”.

  8. Arabella Figg says

    A permanent Marietta-type jinx on the despicable people who are leaking! SNEAKS!!

    Thankfully we aren’t into TV/radio media, etc. I’m going full blackout except here. I’m just hoping when we pick up the book Saturday morning we don’t hear anything.

    I sincerely hope, John, you don’t recieve any spoilers. That would be such a shame. I’d also like to know about the BNU discussions. Missed them last time.

    I also hope we get to discuss the OotP movie soon. We just saw it yesterday and there’s much that’s ripe for discussion.

    May we all have stoppered ears for the next week.

    Gaaahh! The kitties are fighting in the bookcase; there goes The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire again….

  9. pritchettHogProfan says

    Well, even if it’s true, this fan won’t peak! I have to confess, though, I always have a hard time not peaking at the ending of the books I read. I’ll resist this time! We have actually ordered 3 copies. Can you believe it? My husband wanted his own, my eldest son wanted his own, and my youngest son wanted his own. He’s only 9 and hasn’t finished reading the others, so I “get” to read his copy before he does. I’m, by far, the fastest reader in the family, so I’ll “know” before the others know how it all ends. BUT, they always go and read the chapter headings and look at the artwork. Don’t know if they will this time or not.

    But, on the subject of prediction #2–I fully expect lots of twists and turns. And I look forward to Harry finally knowing the last pieces of the puzzle of his life and not just knowing but really understanding what Dumbledore (and Ms. Rowling) have been trying to teach him (us) all these years. My husband and I disagree on Harry’s fate. He thinks Harry dies. I think if Harry physically dies, he doesn’t stay dead. And I’m pretty sold on the idea that he has to follow the pattern he’s followed in each book of metaphorically dying (going to Hell and returning as John says–hope I’ve said that sorta accurately.)

    I do believe it will be a sad book but also a triumphant book. I expect I’ll need my own box of tissues. I expect Wormtail to repay his life debt, and either he or Snape or both will play a role in saving Harry’s life from Voldemort.

    Looking forward to Prediction #3.

  10. I don’t mind spoilers, but I think it’s a mean-spirited thing to do. Some people just like to stir up trouble, I guess.

  11. Well, it looks like even if I did have a last-minute epiphany I would be well advised not to post it. Even if it turnede out to be wrong, the timing would make me look sillier than I need to. ANd if it was right I would just look like a sneak. THe Red Hen collection is hereby officially in stasis until Halloween.

  12. I find it so very irritating that someone doesn’t have enough respect for the readers and for Jo that they would do something like this. And why did the librarians need advance copies anyway? Hmpf!

    I’ve tried to set my blog to no comments, and I think I have. I’ve changed the email notification to one that I rarely use, and I won’t be checking it till I’ve finished the book.

    My blog isn’t such a problem anyway as far as attracting people looking for DH discussions–I’m still trying to get my thoughts down on OP and HBP before Friday, but that may not happen.

    And I won’t be checking my live journal at all this week. Too bad, I did want to post something about the movie–but it can wait.


  13. Pat, librarians need advance copies so that they can process them and have them on the shelf, ready to go out to their patrons, on Saturday morning. Otherwise the books would probably not be processed until the middle of the week. But this was an awful, unprofessional way for a librarian to act, and the really sad thing is that it might have serious repercussions for innocent librarians and their patrons – meaning that we might not get advance copies any more, which will handicap us in doing our jobs. BTW, we had to sign contracts stating that we would *not* leak anything nor do anything to the books other than process them, so, if a librarian really did this, he/she is in violation of a legal documemt, as well as of professional ethics and simple common courtesy. Believe me, most librarians – even if we are lucky enough to get a ‘sneak peek’ while we are cataloging and processing the books- don’t actually read the book before our patrons do, and would never dream of doing anything so nasty and underhanded.

    When I first heard of the leak, I thought it was a bad joke. As I said above, if the story is true, the repercussions for the librarian involved are likely to be very serious.

  14. I believe the correct response to such people would be “get a !@(&@#$^ life” … what’s the point? I guess some of the point is indeed this thing we call “fandom” … the shot in the dark fame that feels like it provides some “meaning” in the abyss of the wonderful lives of the great “us” in modern culture I guess. Can anyone say, “Barty Jr”

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