Harry Potter's final dilemma (speculation/spoiler)

I have no inside info for this, have never met J.K. Rowling, and don’t peruse any of the Harry Potter websites, but… I have a feeling, a suspicion even, for how the last book might end.

It has been established that, for all the many things that magic can do, it cannot bring back the dead. Dumbledore emphatically tells Harry this at the end of Goblet of Fire, for instance. But so many hard-and-fast rules of the Potterverse have been shown to have exceptions, why not this one?

I’ll bet that Voldemort is going to present Harry with an awful choice:

  1. Join Voldemort’s forces and the dark lord will resurrect Harry’s parents, granting his fondest wish to be reunited with them, or

  2. Refuse to join Voldemort, and the secret of resurrection will die with Voldemort. (Harry’s gonna have to kill him, after all).

What say you?

It sounds a little to Star Wars-ish to me. “Join me and we can rule the wizarding world, or die!”

Seriously, I don’t see it happening that way as there have been numerous instances in previous books where Voldemort has tried to kill Harry. Why would he decide to change his mind now and have Harry join him?

If I remember correctly, Harry was pretty much given this option in HP & the Sorcerers Stone and.

He didn’t join up with Voldemort

Besides that, it’s pretty well established (or at least heavily implied) that this resurrection was a one of a kind. Voldemort took very specific, very extreme steps prior to death to ensure his return. Harry is aware of this and would know for sure that this sort of bargain would be a load of BS.

This might not stop Voldy from trying something like this, but I don’t believe Harry would fall for it.

I’ve heard this theory before, although not always with the Potters being the enticement. Suggestions have been that perhaps Voldemort would threaten to kill Ron, Hermione, Ginny etc.

I personally don’t really think theories like this are all that promising, mainly because they all assume Harry can defeat Voldemort. I don’t think he can, at least in a straight magic duel - Harry’s good for his age, but he’s totally outclassed by Voldemort. I think with other’s help he could destroy the Horcruxes, but there has to be something else we don’t yet know, that Harry can use.

My own personal theory is that Lily Potter created the potion in the centre of the lake at the end of HBP, and that it is Boggart essence.

Interesting. I never thought too much about the “who created” or “what it was exactly” aspects of that potion. Would you mind expanding on that a bit? What specifically makes you think it was Lily besides the several mentions of her being gifted in potions? And, I’d really be interested in how you arrived at Boggart Essence.

According to J.K. we’re going to learn “something big” about Lily in the next book. Most rumours to do with this are that her and Snape once had a relationship, or that he wanted to, but I don’t really see that as being in character for him (though possibly her). Like you say, we know she’s good at potions - better than Snape, and we know how good he was. And I just don’t see Snape making that potion; if he did, then he (if he truly turned to the good side) would have warned Dumbledore, and he in turn would have been better prepared when he came across it. The only other great potion makers we know of are Lily and the Slug-guy (can’t remember his name, odd) and Slug would have admitted it to Harry when he was drunk and being guilted into confessing. Lily’s really the only candidate. Of course, Snape could be bad.

As to the Boggart Essence, it’s just something that came to me when I was reading Dumbledore’s reaction to it. Clearly he’s seeing something that horrifies him, and it’s something he thinks is his fault. Something Dementor-based might work, since in extreme cases they can make you remember tragedies, but if nothing terrible has happened to you it’s not going to be as effective as a Boggart-based potion, which would be tailored to each person that drinks from it as to their worst fear. I can see Dumbledore’s worst fear being the deaths of his students, meaning he has failed to protect them; and that would certainly fit with what he says while drinking the potion.

I have a feeling that the final confontation will revolve around the fact that the souls of Harry and Voldemort are (possibly inextricably) linked. JKR has given lots of hints about the connection in earlier books – we just don’t know the extent of that connection or how it came into being. I’m guessing it has something to do with a failed horcrux transfer, or possibly the Avada Kedavra spell that backfired on Voldemort when Harry’s mother sacrificed herself.

I’m guessing that Harry and Voldemort will discover that neither can kill the other without both dying (the ambiguous wording of Trelawney’s prophesy certainly doesn’t rule it out). So Voldemort will try to tempt Harry to join forces with him, while Harry will face a similar dilemma his mother did 17 years earlier – can he chose to give his own life to destroy Voldemort and protect the people he loves?

The real mystery is how Harry will be brought back to life. You can’t have a Christ metephor without the resurrection. :wink:

I have always thought it was pretty obvious that Harry is the last horcrux, and to destry Voldemort he must sacrifice himself in a long, drawn-out and torturously-written sequence using one or more of the following as a metaphor: doves, rose, fire, light.

IMHO, for something to be “pretty obvious,” it has to be more than an unsupported WAG.

There’ll be more support for my theory after the 7th book is published :slight_smile:

Maybe the shocking revelation about Lilly is that she was Voldemort’s baby mama. “Harry, I’m your father,” etc.

I’ve seen the “Harry as final Horcrux” idea floated on this board before, and it has some merit. But I don’t think Harry himself will have to die. First of all, it’s too cliched, and it makes the final battle too “easy”: It’s a lot easier to have the Hero use a doomsday device that destroys everything (including himself and the villain) in range than it is to come up with a good fight scene that uses Harry’s abilities and the help of his friends, and I can’t see Rowling taking the easy way out.

Secondly, a Horcrux does not need to be destroyed. Certainly, that’ll do it, as illustrated by Harry fanging the diary. But Dumbledore wore the ring, even after it had been de-Horcruxified, and it only ever got cracked, not obliterated.

A much better dramatic option, and one which would even make some thematic sense, is that Harry must give up his magical abilities in order to defeat Voldemort. If he’s got some portion of Voldemort’s soul inside of him, that soul-fragment could be part of why he’s such a powerful wizard, so expelling the soul-fragment would naturally lead to a loss of at least some power. And dramatically, it allows Harry to eventually have the happily-ever-after that fans want for him (even without his magic, he can still marry Ginny, associate with wizards, and get out from under the thumb of the Dursleys), but at the same time, it’s a big enough sacrifice to not be a hollowly-happy ending.

My only prediction is that it will be significant that Dumbledore remains on the chocolate frogs cards. That was the only thing he cared about when he was banished from the Wizengamot.

I bet it will be used to communicate something important amongst the Order of the Phoenix.


Knowing JKR, it wouldn’t surprise me. She has a knack for disguising important clues in seemingly minor details.

I’m confident the ending will be clever. JKR has always maintained that she Has a Plan and she’s not just writing these books by ear. I trust her enough by now to assume it’s a reasonably interesting solution, and not just “Harry vs. Voldemort: the Duel”.

Chronos: Interesting. Wouldn’t it be something if Harry is really just a squib, and all of his real power comes from Voldemort?

My theory about the potion is that it was something akin to a love potion. The person who drank it would be compelled to seek out Voldemort and do his bidding. This way, Voldemort would be alerted to the fact that his horcrux had been discovered, and he would have a chance to interrogate whoever it was who managed to breach his defenses.

Dumbledore became ill because he was fighting the effects of the potion. He asked Snape to kill him because he knew that he coudn’t resist the effects of the “love potion” forever, and once he succumbed all of the Order of the Pheonix’s secrets would be available the Death Eaters. Snope knew this too, which is why he killed Dumbledore.

For Harry, I like the idea that Harry might be forced to give up his magical powers to defeat Voldemort. But then, Rowling is pretty good about coming up with surprises, so I wouldn’t bet money on any theories.

So far, Neville’s been comic relief, but I expect we’ll see his true colours in Book 7, for good or ill - he could easily be a Peter Pettigrew.

Neville was much more than comic relief in book 5.

Given what Dumbledore said at the end of book 3, I’m certain that Wormtail’s life-debt to Harry will be very important in the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

It also wouldn’t surprise me if Gryffindor’s sword is used to kill Voldemort in the end.

While this has nothing to do with the story itself, I predict that the shiny lettering on the cover of the final book (American edition, I don’t know if the British edition looks different) will be red.

I think the final dilemma is going to involve Harry being placed in a situation where Snape / Draco / Pettigrew offers him help, and he’s going to have to decide whether to trust this person despite their track record. Apart from that, I’m not placing any bets on anything, because if there’s one thing I learned from HBP it’s that I’m the world’s worst guesser.

I have a friend who is also convinced of Harry being the last horcrux, but she was also convinced that Snape is bad, and I’m not. I haven’t read the book a 2nd time yet to see how the horcrux theory reads to me. It certainly seems possible. But if that’s the case then Harry probably has to die (which he might anyway) to defeat Voldemort, and that seems such a bummer way to end the series.

My theory (and I’m sure I’m not alone in it) is that Snape was, in fact, in love with Lily. He helped Voldemort find the Potter residence hoping that he would kill James. When Voldemort also killed Lily though, probably breaking a promise to Snape, that turned Snape irrevocably against him. Dumbledore knew that, which is why he had unshakeable confidence in Snape, but could never explain why. Snape isn’t bad. He was practically begging Harry to work harder on his silent incantations in order for Harry to have a chance against Voldemort.

That’s as far as my theorizing goes though. I have no idea how Harry is going to be able to find and destroy all those horcruxes still remaining. I hope it involves uniting the four houses … maybe even enlisting Malfoy as an ally.