The prophecy Harry hears in Dumbledore's office suggests to me that both he and Voldemort will have to die, is that true?
Both Madam Trelawney and I worded the prophecy extremely carefully and that is all I have to say on the subject!
~ From the FAQ
section of JK Rowling’s website
My best friend wasn’t sure she wanted to read the rest of OotP last summer. Her mother had finished it first and had been crying inconsolably. When Tanya finally did get the courage to finish the book (and really, who could resist?), she was able to discuss with her mother what had upset her so much. After reading the chapter where Dumbledore reveals the content of Trelawney’s first prophecy, Tanya’s mother was sure the prophecy meant that Harry had to die. Naturally, she was somewhat relieved when Tanya looked back over the prophecy with her, and assured her that it does not, in fact, guarantee Harry’s death.
When she told me this story, Tanya seemed pretty amused by her mother’s misreading of the prophecy, but I think it is quite an understandable mistake. Shortly after reading OotP for the first time, I made a post
at the Sugarquill discussing how there is more than one way to interpret the prophecy. (This is the same post that I linked to in my recent entry about “Fandom anniversaries.”) At the time, I left it at that, but some of the recent discussion about the upcoming book, and especially JKR’s answer to the FAQ about the prophecy, has brought the issue to my mind again. In particular, JKR’s insistence that the prophecy was worded “extremely carefully” suggests to me that she did not employ some rather unusual diction in the prophecy merely to make it sound a bit more mystical. I have come to believe that the wording of the prophecy is, in fact, intentionally confusing—and that it is not only readers who are supposed to be confused. ( Collapse )
*whew* Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave it here at “Harry must face certain death so that we can have an exciting ending.” But I’m tired and I need a dinner break. So, I’m going to go ahead and post Part I, and either later this evening or some time tomorrow, I will try to get Part II up, which will be a brief (I hope) discussion of death in the HP books. There’s a lot of material on this, of course, since death is clearly one of the major themes, but I’m going to stick mostly to death as it relates specifically to Harry’s journey into adulthood. Oh yeah, I’ll also talk about why I don’t really
think Harry’s going to die at the end. Ha ha! You have to wait for that part. :P *is evil*Edit:
Part II is here