Meanwhile, padawansguide is telling me that commenters are spoiler-bombing YouTube, and lauramcvey says spoiler entries are also up on Wikipedia, and since apparently even the New York Times can't restrain themselves (Rowling angered as NYT reviews last Potter; that link about the review may not have spoilers, but I don't know), I'm going into internet lockdown. I stayed off the computer most of yesterday anyway, but even when I'm on, today and yesterday it's been nothing but Snarkfest (where we actually closed registration for the week to prevent random trolls) and my email to check on what our plans for tonight are going to be, and I'm a little nervous about my email at that. All my RSS feeds are piling up at Google Reader, but--it's just not worth it, you know? CONSTANT VIGILANCE, etc.
(God! I can't believe I'll be reading the very last book in less than 18 hours.)
I don't really have any predictions to make; I just want Harry to live. Despite everyone going on and on about how the hero is supposed to die in these things, I can think of plenty of epic stories in which the hero doesn't, and I've believed all this time that Rowling wouldn't kill Harry because the book's mostly written in limited 3rd person from his POV. (I mean, besides the fact that she loves him.) Occasionally we're given opening chapters from outside Harry's perspective (the Frank Bryce chapter in GOF, or Narcissa's Unbreakable Vow and "The Other Minister" in HBP), but what's interesting about the rest of the series is that anything involving Harry himself is always from his own point of view; the only reason Rowling breaks this perspective is to give us scenes that Harry isn't privy to. If Harry's there, we're seeing all the interactions and characters from his point of view, even if it's still in third person--we never see "Hermione walked down the hall, thinking that Harry was a shouty great capslock dink," for example.
How do you write a character's death from his own perspective?
The simple answer is that you don't--if Rowling were to kill Harry, she'd probably ease over to some horrified onlooker's POV (Ron's and/or Hermione's?). But the thing is--and this is more on a gut level than anything--you've had all these kids grow up reading these stories about Harry with Harry, as Harry, and killing him off would be fairly traumatic. On the other hand, Rowling isn't afraid to turn the screws, as with Dumbledore's death when Harry opens the locket and realizes "it was all for nothing," so... I'm prepared to bawl my eyes out, is what I'm saying. I can defend the choice not to kill Harry, but I'm in no way certain that she'll take that path.
Okay, so. Comments on this entry should be SPOILER-FREE. But tonight, before I leave, I will post a free-for-all where you can start discussing as you finish the book. And I will not have those comments emailed back to me, so it's going to be an unmoderated Wild West in there, caveat lector. As of this evening, I will be completely unreachable until I finish the book myself, which could be as early as the wee hours of Saturday or as late as... later that day, I guess. Depends on how tired I am when I get home; I clocked myself at about 100 pages of HP hardback an hour when I was reading the last two books this week. I'm still on GOF because I didn't have as much reading time as I thought I would, but considering that the concept of Death Eaters is introduced in that book, I think I've fulfilled my original plan of catching up on all the major loose ends.