Typically, I post a book review today. However, I re-read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of this weekend's events. Instead of reviewing the books, I want to share my thoughts on the series finale.
At the end of Book 5, Sirius Black dies. I believe his death serves two purposes, both from a writer's point of view. One, it raises the stakes for Harry. When writing, an author constantly needs to think, "How can I make this worse? What other tragedy can I inflict on my characters?" Taking away a support system like Sirius is monumental to Harry. While the Weasleys are wonderful and love Harry to pieces, they aren't quite family. Sirius is both father and brother to Harry.
Two, it establishes that dead is dead. At the ending of Book 6, when Dumbledore is killed, no one wants to believe it: characters or readers. David Haber went as far as creating a website to document why he believed that Dumbledore lives. However, I believe that Sirius had to die in order for JK Rowling to establish that dead is dead. As a reader, I'm really hoping that Dumbledore finds a way to be in the book.
While the end of Book 6 established that Harry, Ron and Hermione won't be going back to Hogwarts, I predict that Ginny will try to find a way to join them. She's not the sort of girl to sit on the sidelines. If she does stay (or more likely is forced to stay) at Hogwarts, Harry will end up in some sort of adventure there at her request.
I also predict that the two characters that are going to die will be Ron and Hermione. Again, this is a raise the stakes, darkest hour before the dawn, etc. sort of thing. Those are the two most important people to Harry and have been throughout the series. I won't like it if it happens, but I predict it nonetheless.
Finally, I predict that Harry's defeat of Lord Voldemort will be the result of skill, not luck. In both Books Five and Six, much is made of Harry's luck by other characters. By Book Six, however, Harry's actions are deliberate, requiring advanced magic. I'm sure that this will be part of the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort's fatal error as they will underestimate Harry's skills.
I have some thoughts on other minor characters, like Neville Longbottom, Kreatcher, Luna Lovegood, but won't go into them here. Already, this post is longer than my typical offering.
What are your thoughts on the finale?