I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks reading online and talking with my sister and hubby about Harry Potter book 7. Generally, I'm all worked up in a foam about the book. I know that everyone has theories and questions. Here are some of the big things I want sorted out in the next book...
Snape: This is the obvious one. Friend or Foe? I am most interested in the "ironclad" reason that Dumbeldore had for trusting him.
Horcruxes: another obvious one. I'm not sure that, as stated in book six, the snake could be a horcrux. There are also a number of theories out there on the web about weird things ( in my opinion ) being made into horcruxes...like Ginny Weasly (because she found the diary). I don't know...it would have to have been something very very important to Voldemort. Many theories abound about Harry, I guess that's plausible. This is one area of the story I'm content to let unfold as I read.
The Locket: Kind of goes along with the above. Who is RAB? I am among the camp that thinks he's Sirius' brother Regulus, a known Death Eater. Rowling hints in book five that he lost his nerve along the line and tried to back out...could he have been the one to take the locket? Will Kreacher know more about this? I believe that the locket found in the Black house while cleaning is the real horcrux.
Dumbledore: Yes, I think he's really dead. I think he will not come back. I'm really sad about this, but I think it's true.
Some things that are also on my mind, but don't seem to be taking up a lot chatter on the sites I've seen:
Sirius/Lilly/James: What are the "rules" for being dead in the Harry Potter Landscape? Why are some people ghosts? I know that this is a common question...but I have another. What makes some pictures talk, and others not talk? As far as we know, none of the pictures Harry has seen of his parents talk to him, yet many/most of the pictures throughout the books (past headmasters, portraits in Hogwarts castle, Sirius' mother) DO talk. As far as we can tell, they can talk to anyone, and are not bewitched to speak to one person only. What makes the pictures talk? Is it a choice of the person who died? Is it a difference between a painting and a picture? Will Harry receive advice from those closest to him who have died, now that he may have pictures of them? Will he visit Dumbledore's portrait for advice? (I think this last one is unlikely). Will this be significant in his search in the last book?
Another thing bothers me about Lilly and James. Why where they being hidden by the Order? The obvious answer is that Dumbledore had them hidden because he knew about the prophecy, and he knew that Voldemort knew as well. Book Three only states that the Potters "knew Voldemort was after them". But there have been many many opportunities for Dumbledore to state simply to Harry (most notably when they were discussing the prophecy) "This is why I had your parents hidden" (referring to the prophecy)..and he never did. The reason they were concealed was never specifically stated. Is there something more to what they knew? This bothers me because it is unlike Rowling to leave something this important hanging, without a clear and clean explanation. It's almost as if we are meant to believe one thing, but it may change later. Maybe I'm reading too much into this.
Magic: We know that there are things Harry does not know how to do yet...and that he is not returning to Hogwarts. Will he need additional skills for his travels in this next book? I considered this today as I finished rereading book six. Dumbledore speaks often of "magic leaving traces"...seems like this is a handy skill...so will Harry acquire it? How will he get these skills?
There are a fair number of things I'm excited to find out about in the last book, but I'm more interested to see how things end and how she ends the whole series. I am always curious to see how characters become significant as the series goes on, and how they change. I think there are still some interesting things to find out about Luna and Neville, for instance, but I'm willing to let them play out. The hardest thing about this book to reading it slowly, savoring it, because I know it's the last one. Somehow I think that this is not a likely course of action for me. I'm not a patient reader like that. :) All in all, it's going to be an exciting couple of weeks to come, and I'm terribly excited to see the movie and read the book.
so come on, the two or three of you who read, what do you think?