Divination Made Easier

A Few Guidelines to Making Predictions for Book 7

By Emily Bytheway

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Guiding Principle 4: Keep an Open Mind

So. You’ve decided to stick to generalities. You’re focusing on the books. You’ve taken genre into consideration. You’re ready to make a prediction. Go ahead, make it! But be prepared to be wrong. Even when taking all of the above into consideration, there’s very little chance that your predictions will be 100% correct. If there’s anything that can be gleaned from fans’ prediction-making history, it’s that even the most well-supported, logical predictions can turn out to be completely incorrect, especially if the evidence to support them within the series is ambiguous. Some things, like, say, Harry defeating Voldemort, are pretty safe bets. But if you get your heart set on Snape being good and he turns out to be evil (a reversal that’s already happened several times over the course of the series)—you’re simply not going to be as satisfied with the ending as you would have had you been prepared for either possibility. There have even been rare cases of people being so disappointed that their pet theory didn’t come true that they’ve given up on the series altogether. It’s cases like those where speculation becomes dangerous, and threatens to ruin the wonderful experience we’ve had with these novels. This is a separate issue from the death of beloved characters, which are always possible (although improbable in Harry’s case), which may cause temporary sadness but (hopefully) won’t lead readers to sell all their books in disgust. But please don’t blame J.K. Rowling if your wonderful theory concerning Aberforth Dumbledore’s goat doesn’t end up in the book. Rowling’s imagination is rich and capable of producing many surprises.

Keeping an open mind, even if it’s just a little bit of humility, an admission of the slight possibility that you could be wrong, will put you in a much better position to enjoy the last volume of this remarkable series. If you give Rowling a chance, she has a way of making even the things you thought you’d never accept seem like the greatest idea ever. However, if you make up your mind in advance that you won’t like something, ever—well, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

Conclusion

So. What you’ll see in the rest of this book is predictions. Lots of them. Some of them, you will agree with. Some you won’t. Don’t just take our word for it. While we hope that our predictions will give you some new things to think about, we’re not trying to brainwash you. If there were a Guiding Principle 5 (which there isn’t), it would be to make up your own mind. As you continue to read, weigh the evidence, compare it against the guidelines (not rules), and decide for yourself—even if it means deciding not to decide.

Happy speculating!

Notes

1. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 502.

2. Grossman, “J.K. Rowling,” para. 5.

Bibliography

Grossman, Lev. “J.K. Rowling, Hogwarts and All.” Interview with J.K. Rowling. Time, July 25, 2005. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1083935,00.html. (Accessed November 24, 2006.)

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.

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