Who Will Die?

Since Jo has said that two characters will die in Book 7, the big question is who. There's a pretty nicely written article on msn that discusses the odds for each character.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't make a bet--if I had last time I would've made money. I wonder what odds I could get on Voldemort and any-Weasley-but-Ron, or maybe Voldemort and Hagrid? Anyway, here are some of my thoughts . . . .

Voldemort

Because if he wins it'll be a pretty crappy story, and for him to lose he pretty much has to die (or perhaps meet some fate worse than death--see Dumbledore's comments in the battle at the ministry at the end of OP.

Hagrid

As dear Jo said, bad guys “don’t target the extras, do they? They go for the main characters, or I do." Which leads me to think that Hagrid might not make it.

Jo's statement that she's going to kill a main character leads me to believe that a spare Weasley isn't really going to do. It's going to be someone who will make us cry; someone we're all really invested in.

Who can forget, it was Hagrid who first brought Harry his letter, Hagrid who saved him from the Dursley's, Hagrid who first took him to Diagon Alley, Hagrid who bought him his first birthday present, Hagrid who sees something of himself in Harry--an orphaned misfit whose life was ruined by the same person....

And in case you haven't noticed (and if you haven't you're a tad out of the loop), there's a bit of a pattern in the people who have died. Excepting Cedric, who just was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the people who have died have been Harry's mentor's and protectors. His parents, Sirius, Dumbledore. Hagrid fits that role so nicely.

A Weasley Lad, But Not Ron

I think Ron and Hermione have to live--we're too invested in them. (Although I was pretty invested in a certain late-headmaster too.) After this is all over they're going to get married and have fat babies with red hair and amazing intellect. If Harry doesn't die, there's a possibility that one of these two might, but I think that given the theme of the books (friendship and bravery win out) the trio needs to come through.

Further, I read a comment (here) that it would be unlikely that Arthur or Molly would die because "[i]t’s depressing enough that Harry’s an orphan. Ron’s not going to become one too." I agree. Harry as an orphan was necessary for the plot; Ron as an orphan would just be repetitive.

As to Ginny, well I certainly think she'll be a target, but personally I'll be really angry if she dies. I realize that another theme of the books is that life's not always fair, but Harry's gone through so much. There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel for him when it's all over. He needs something to keep going for.

That leaves the rest of the Weasley boys. As Molly said in OP, it'll be a miracle if the whole family makes it through. They're practically Harry's family, if Voldemort doesn't take out at least one of them he's just not doing his job as the bad guy. And if I had to bet I think I'd pick one of the twins by process of elimination. No one would really be all that upset if Percy died, Charlie's still off in Romania, and Bill has already had his near miss. Plus, just on the off chance that you missed it--"U-NO-POO!" Truly, Fred and George are (dark) marked men.

OK, But If I Have To Pick One Of the Trio

It would NOT be Hermione. I think (as detailed above) that if Harry needs to, he will die to save his friends. Since I'm not writing this from Jo's brain, I can't tell you if that situation will arise or not, so there's not much more I can say about that. Except that (and this is pretty obvious from Jo's statements, but I think would still be defensible without it) if Harry dies, both Ron and Hermione have to live.

As to between Ron and Hermione, I think that if Harry lives it's possible that one of them could die. And I think it will be Ron.

First, Ron is a Weasley, and, as noted above, they have it coming.

Second, looking at what's likely to happen beyond the end of Book 7, if both live Ron and Hermione are likely to end up together. So now that we have them together, lets kill each one in turn and see what effect it has on the other.

Hermione has plans, talents, interests. Although we don't really know what her chosen career path is, I could really see her being some kind of lobbyist or doing something brilliant within the ministy. Even without Ron, there are plenty of directions that Rowling could take her character in the epiloge, so to speak.

Ron, on the other hand, doesn't really have any plans. He's kind of thinking of being an auror, but really a lot of the time he ends up just being the comic relief. Without Hermione, what direction will Ron go? What's next for his character? He doesn't have any outstanding talents really. How will Jo finish off his story if not, "And Ron and Hermione lived happily ever after". Plus Ron seems less capable of defending himself, which doesn't always matter (e.g. Cedric Diggory) but in the right situation it could be the difference.

So if it's between Ron and Hermione, I think Ron's a goner.