Reader Review of ‘Looking for God:’ Granger Gives Decent ‘Deathly Hallows’ Predictions…

How was your Turkey Day? I spent mine giving thanks for a wonderful wife and family and for all the guests who joined us for a remarkable dinner (and long walk afterwards around the West Allentown neighborhood where we live). My brother Steve from Philadelphia, my good friend Bob Trexler, my niece Victoria Work from Colby College, and my sister-in-law Gretchen Jahr from Portland, OR, not to mention daughter/cadet Hannah, home from the Post in Lexington, made our family feast especially joyful.

The morning after this celebration (in which “stuffing” was a substantive participle for what was cooked in the birds and what all my children seemed to be doing with the bird, the potatoes, and the squash pie), I turned on my computer to moderate your posts. This usually means just cutting out the wall of spam that comes in with your brilliant notes. I also try to check out the sites that have linked to HogPro in the night. Today, there was a review of Looking for God in Harry Potter by ‘Pete The Elder‘ with special emphasis on the Deathly Hallows predictions I made in it way back in October, 2005.

May I admit to dreading this review? My predictions before Deathly Hallows on this site in the summer of 2007 have been left up here as a reminder of how little I guessed correctly in July, so the thought of what I wrote in 2005 a few months after Half-Blood Prince was published made me begin writing mentally all the excuses I had for being way, way off.

But, if Pete the Elder is to be trusted, I didn’t do that badly at all. It seems I may have been nearer the mark in 2005 than I was in 2007:

[Granger’s Looking for God in Harry Potter] is a good commentary on the first six books that brings up original points and will inform my next reading of the series, which I have reread over the last few months. There is more after the jump about his predictions on the seventh book in case you have not read it yet.


His predictions were wrong for the most part, but not that wrong. For instance he predicted that Fred and George would die heroic deaths, but only one did. He also thought that the wedding between the white Fleur and the red Bill will result in a very fast birth of a child that will be an orphan and that the wedding itself could turn violent. He was right that there would be an orphan produced and that the wedding would turn violent, but wrong about where the orphan would come from. He was right that Harry would once again suffer a symbolic death and be rescued by love. He was also right that Hagrid would be involved in a final crucible scene, but would likely not die. Fire actually plays a large role in the book, with it destroying one horcrux and with Neville finally coming through a literal fire to become his own man. If anything the Deathly Hallows had the most obvious Christian overtones of any book in the series with its focus on “the last enemy to be defeated is death” and Harry’s voluntarily taking the cup put before him.

So, nothing spectacular but better-than-passing marks. Much better than I expected! Whew.

Having read this encouraging review, I picked up a copy of Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? to check out my guesses there. This book has a handy chart of the “Live or Die” predictions of Daniela Teo, Wendy B. Harte, and myself. The bad news is that my final grade was a ‘T’ because, assuming that at least one of the red-haired Weasleys was a goner in the rubedo but having no idea which one, I predicted that each one would die. Only fRED came through for me, so both of the other Potter mavens out-scored me in the 25 character-fate list (Daniela had 18 correct, Wendy 17, and John 12 — with 7 Weasley errors). I was alone in guessing incorrectly that Pettigrew would survive and that Lucius Malfoy would die; I was alone in thinking correctly that Nymphadora and Severus were not going to make it. We all thought Rufus Scrimgeour was a dead-man-awaiting-publication and that Rubeus would live to see Voldy moldy.

With a final score of 12 out of 25, though, there will be no bragging. Odds are I could have done better by throwing darts at coins I was flipping.

The good news is that the revised editions of my books will not have gross speculative errors about the next Harry Potter novel based on the Five Keys serious readers use to unlock the books. A sincere “thank you” to all of you on this Black Friday after a day of Thanksgiving for not teasing me about my failings as a prognosticator in 2007 and years prior!


  1. Well, you know, you would have done better at your predictions if Ms.Rowling had been slavishly allegorical. You got the themes, if not the details; take your wrong guesses as a tribute to her artistry. 🙂

  2. Arabella Figg says

    I’ve been unable to be here much lately; I hope to respond to previous enticing threads soon.

    John, you may have been wrong in predicting some plot points (as Hermione says, divination is a rather woolly discipline), but your overall thematic, structural and symbolic predictions were uncanny and fantastic, due to your knowledge of alchemy and classical literature. I agree with Helen, Rowling had curveballs no one could have predicted. Thankfully.

    The kitties give you two dewclaws up!

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