Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sparky Harry Potter theories

31 hours until the Deathly Hallows are unleashed upon the Eastern time zone, so here's my last chance to divulge my newest theories before all such theories are useless. I haven't heard anything like this from anybody else, so if I'm right, I want mass love. If I'm wrong, well, I still want mass love, but ya know.

Why does Dumbledore trust Snape?

What experience do Dumbledore and Snape share that no others do? That's right, kids. Only they heard Trelawney's prophesy. Nobody else. Not Harry, not He-Who-Has-No-Nose-On-Screen, and not even Trelawney herself. So how do we know the contents of the prophesy? Dumbledore tells Harry what it said in book five. In book six he tells Harry that the only reason the prophecy applies to reality is because Voldy is obsessed with its contents. Voldy marked Harry by trying to kill him. If Snape never told Voldy its contents (or partial contents, as I propose), said prophecy would be just another blob in the bottom of a tea cup.

So, if Snape and Dumbledore are the only two to ever actually hear the prophecy, if the prophecy was broken in the final battle of OoTP, then who's to say that Dumbledore and Snape heard a version of the prophecy decidedly different than the one presented to Harry? Or, more complete than the one heard by Harry, at least.

When Malfoy attempts to fulfill Voldy's commands, he fails, and Dumbledore offers the Malfoys protection. Did Dumbledore make a similar offer to Snape, allowing Snape to maintain his cover with Voldemort while gaining a valuable mole into the Death Eater camp? Harry tries to explain to the others after Dumbledore's death in H-BP that Dumbly trusted Snape because Snape was sorry that James and Lily were the ones killed after he revealed the prophecy to Voldemort. Could it be that this is a regret that Dumbledore's plan to disseminate false information resulted in collateral deaths? Dumbledore and Snape would have shared this particular regret. So, Did Dumbledore kill James and Lily, in much the same way that Kreacher's self-serving deceptions resulted in Sirius' death? Odd justice, but the sort of twist Rowling does not seem incapable of.

For Vonnegut fans, Snape is the ultimate Howard W. Campbell, Jr. You either get the reference, or you don't. If you don't, Mother Night is a great place to start.

Is Dumbledore dead?

Why we're not obsessing about Dumbledore's relationship to his phoenix, Fawkes, I can't understand. Someone who shares an office with a loyal phoenix isn't gone for good. He's not even out of control. Much of the series has focused on Voldemort's attempts at immortality, while Dumbledore has smiled knowingly that 'love' his so much a greater power than Voldy's dark magic. Maybe 'love' isn't just 'love.' Maybe 'love' connects Dumbledore to Fawkes and to the magic of immortality that doesn't require murder and splitting your soul into destroyable objects. Book five contained two armies: the Order of the Phoenix, and Dumbledore's Army. But it wasn't the Order of Fawkes, it was the Order of Dumbledore, obviously. Dumbledore has achieved immortality, but a phoenix has to die ever so often in order to renew itself.

Snape didn't kill Dumbledore. Snape facilitated the rebirth of a phoenix. Think more Obi-Wan Kenobi than Gandalf, but a rebirth nonetheless. Snape's murder of Dumbledore seems intimately linked to some sort of over-arching plan developed between Snape and Dumbledore right about the same time that Harry's parents were killed. Conquering Voldemort may just require a 17-year plan, and a plan that depends so much on the willing participation of an unwitting kid. No wonder Dumbledore puts so much emphasis on supposed free will.

That's J.K. Rowling's form of destiny. Rowling is a pitcher that sticks a single finger into the air to signify to the batter that a fastball is coming, and you better hit it if you dare. If you don't, you'll strike out. You might need a little bit of luck, and the pitch may come in high and tight, but the swing is still yours to take. And that's why Dumbledore's Army will be lining up outside bookstores Friday night.

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