The book is on sale for pre-orders. It comes out in July of this year. And rumors about the possibility of spoilers are already starting to circulate. So now is the time to begin Greta Christina's Harry Potter Book Seven Prediction Contest.
I'm not quite sure why I do these. When I did my Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Seven Prediction Pool, I got exactly zero out of five predictions right. But I had a gas doing the pool anyway, and was entertained and impressed by how well other people did on it. (Rebecca and Jack both got four out of five, and the game wound up coming down to the tie-breaker.)
So here are the official rules to Greta Christina's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Prediction Contest. If you don't like 'em, hold your own damn contest.
1. Predictions must be posted as comments in this blog. No private emails.
2. Each player should submit a list of five predictions. If you want to make more, you can submit a second list of five -- but correct predictions from the two lists will not be added together. Each list of five stands on its own. (No more than two lists per player.)
3. Predictions must not be totally obvious. For instance, "The book will be longer than 300 pages" or "Harry will use magic during the course of the book" will not count.
3a. On that topic: "Harry will defeat Voldemort," "Harry will kill Voldemort," and "Voldemort will die" will not, by themselves, be accepted as predictions. You can, however, predict how Harry will kill/defeat Voldemort, how exactly Voldemort will die, or whether Harry will die himself in defeating Voldemort.
4. Predictions must not be totally vague, either. I have to be able to reasonably determine whether what you predicted did or did not happen in the book.
5. Your predictions may duplicate other people's predictions. You're on the honor system to not cherry-pick the best predictions from other people's lists. However, each new player must make at least one prediction that's not on a previously posted list -- so it's in your interest to post your predictions early.
6. Predictions may not be changed once they've been posted.
7. Predictions must be submitted no later than 12:01 am Pacific time on July 20 (that's the day BEFORE the book comes out). If serious, credible spoilers about the book leak out in the media before then, I'll stop accepting predictions. (So again, get your predictions in early!)
8. In the case of judgement calls, I will be the final arbiter. If you don't like it, tough. This isn't global warming, people -- this is a Harry Potter prediction contest, and in the cosmic scheme of things, or indeed any scheme of things, it is utterly trivial.
9. Tie-breaker: Originally, I was going to have my tie-breaker be the same one I used in the Buffy Season Seven Prediction Pool: how many major characters will die in the last episode? But J.K. Rowling has already announced that two major characters will die in the last book, thus completely screwing up my tie-breaker.
Therefore, the tie-breaker question instead will be: Which two major characters will die in Book Seven?
(If there's a tie, and both/all winners get the tie-breaker right, then all will win, and all will have prizes.)
Prize: I'm not actually going to do this as a pool this time -- it was too much hassle with the Buffy pool. This is just a straight-out contest. The winner, if they live in the Bay Area and are someone I personally know, will receive one (1) homemade chocolate pie, personally delivered to your door. With whipped cream, if I can find my hand-held electric mixer. If the winner doesn't live in the Bay Area or is someone I don't know, they will receive, in the mail, 1 (one) batch of my homemade chocolate crinkle cookies.
And now, to get you started, here is my list. Again, I don't know why I'm subjecting myself to this public humiliation, as my track record on these pop-culture predictions has consistently sucked. But I've always promised myself to be fearless in my writing, and that includes being unafraid to make a fool of myself in public over pointless pop-culture trivia.
So here goes.
1. Snape will turn out to be a good guy after all, and it will turn out that he murdered Dumbledore on Dumbledore's own orders.
2. In his search for Horcruxes, Harry will encounter Snape also trying to find and destroy Horcruxes, and the two of them will have to cooperate to destroy them (or at least one of them).
3. Snape will die heroically attempting to defeat Voldemort. (Unofficial prediction: One of the Horcruxes will be in Snape himself, and he'll kill himself to destroy it. That one doesn't count, though -- if it turns out to be right, I get nothing but glory.)
4. Dumbledore's portrait will begin to speak, and will give Harry advice.
5. Harry will NOT die -- or if he does, it'll be some weird temporary "visiting the land of the dead" thing. He won't be dead at the end of the book.
Tie-breaker: Snape and Voldemort will die in the last book.
Okay, fine. So three out of my five predictions involve Snape. Plus my tie-breaker. So what's your point? At least one of them wasn't "Snape will have a torrid affair with a 45-year-old atheist sex writer from America." I have SOME pride.
So those are my predictions. What are yours?