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December 6, 2005
Is Harry Doomed?

The Daily Mirror dishes out some Harry Potter gossip that will likely have fans buzzing for the next year or so while they wait for the final installment of the Potter series to apparate at their local bookstores. Jim Dale, who provides the voice of Harry Potter for American audio books, claimed that author JK Rowling has tired of the Potter phenomenon and wants to kill off the character in the final installment (h/t: Hugh Hewitt):

HARRY Potter may die in the next book in the series because author JK Rowling wants to kill him off, it was claimed last night.

Actor Jim Dale - the voice of the teenage wizard in the US audio books - believes the seventh and final instalment will spell the end for Harry.

He made the astonishing claim after meeting with the writer to discuss his characterisation of the parts.

The revelation will shock millions of die-hard Potter fans.

He said: "She's lived with Harry Potter so long she really wants to kill him off." Predictions about the fate of Harry in the seventh book have enthralled millions worldwide.

I suspect that she may really consider this a possibility, but I'd still be surprised if she did it. Supposedly the death of a minor character in book 4 and a more central one in book 5 brought Rowling to tears -- and it would be hard to imagine her being detached enough at this point to put her teen and pre-teen readers through the emotional wringer that his death would bring. Still, it could go somewhat like Frodo's passing from Middle Earth -- the bittersweet realization that one had saved a world that one could no longer rejoin has resonated as a theme since Moses. That would give the series a literary touch that its popularity has not quite yet bestowed on the tales from Hogwarts.

On the other hand, we could also explore what others might do to justify Harry's death. Suppose, for example, that Rowling let Howard Dean write the last volume. We could then get treated to Voldemort as a misunderstood victim, or perhaps a bad guy but no worse than the arrogant and arbitrary Albus Dumbledore, who tried to control the wizarding world just as surely as Tom Riddle. Why, Dumbledore taught Voldemort almost everything he knew! And the Ministry of Magic spent years denying Voldemort's danger, so obviously they are to blame for all that has happened, not the evil wizard (as if there is any such thing as evil). Harry, therefore, is little more than a fool that chose the wrong horse and got himself killed for it. Good thing, too, because if he survived, he would get blamed for all the deaths that occurred just because he found it necessary to oppose Voldemort.

Now that would make one creepy ending for a delightful series.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 6, 2005 7:21 AM

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