Friday, October 26, 2007

Harry Potter: The Future

In Discussion Question Five I asked what you envision as the future of the Harry Potter cast of characters. I got asked what my opinion is (which I'm always happy to give =). I gave it some thought.... see below.





I want to start with what J.K. Rowling said about the future of the major characters. (My source here is the MSNBC interview that was recorded the weekend the book was released.) Harry gets a job as an Auror, roots out the corruption in the Ministry and eventually becomes head of the Auror office. Ron assists Harry in the Auror office, although in the July 30th Bloomsbury webchat J.K. Rowling says that Ron helps run Weasley Wizards Wheezes. And Hermione is a lawyer working in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

What do I think?
I have a hard time believing that Harry works his way up to the head of the Auror office. Yes, I know that it's what he always wanted to do. And yes, the Ministry is now run by Kingsley Shacklebolt, so it's a different place than it was in Book 7. But still- I can't imagine Harry starting at the bottom on the career ladder. Here's why:

In that powerful moment when he stood with two wands in his hand and Voldemort lay defeated at his feet... Harry became a superstar. True, he had always been famous, but that was for something he didn't remember and had no active role in. Harry was very involved and very aware of finishing off Voldemort. And almost the entire wizarding world witnessed that crucial moment. I think that's the stuff legends are made of... and I just don't see Harry taking an entry level job after that. To me, it would be more realistic if he was immediately appointed to a more prominent role... or found a different career entirely separate from the Ministry. But I don't see him working his way up the ladder- because I think he's already at the top. This would be like J.K. Rowling submitting manuscripts and query letters to publishers for her next book- instead of being besieged with offers to publish anything she wants.

Also, I think there's an odd dichotomy about Harry actually becoming an Auror. He says in the fith book that it's what he really wants to do... but in the sixth book he's very dismissive about the profession. When he talks to Rufus Scrimgeour, Harry implies that having a guard of Aurors wouldn't be very helpful. I don't think he respects the position very much... he just doesn't have any other career plans.

And Ron... well, I just don't see him working in the Auror office. I see him being much more comfortable in a joke shop. Also, I think if Ron and George were business partners, George would finally respect Ron as an equal. For Ron to help run the family business after the devastating loss of Fred would be a very noble thing to do. Plus it would be a lot of fun... and I think Ron is more into fun than into battling dark wizards.

Hermione... yes, I could see her as a lawyer. She's a genius, and I think she would use the law to help people as much as possible. I could also see her as a professor... or possibly the Hogwarts headmistress when McGonagall retires.

I'm still thinking about the other characters.


  1. I like your ideas. If I'm reading Rowling right, though, at least in that particular interview, she doesn't say Harry necessarily started at the very bottom of the Aurors department. I agree with you, that would be silly, and Rowling says herself that Harry and Ron are "the consummate." I was thinking, though, that being the head of the department of *anything* generally involves a whole lot of desk-sitting and phone calls and paperwork, and I can't see Harry going into that straight off. Maybe he'd be some sort of mid-level deputy, out in the field, to start?

  2. It was J.K. Rowling's comment that after all these years Harry was head of the Auror department... that made me think that he worked his way up the ladder. But you're right, she doesn't say it specifically.
    Good point that being the head of a department involves a lot of desk work... and I don't see Harry being the desk work type.

  3. I don't think Harry started at the bottom either. He's currently the Wizard of the Month over at and she says there that he entered the department at 17, so, at the very least, he skipped all the post-Hogwarts training you're supposed to do. (And, I guess that means he never actually did his 7th year or did his NEWTS). Also, that he because head of the department in 2007, which would make him 27--pretty young for such a position!

    I'm torn on Ron. I like him in the joke shop, but I also think that he'll never fully get over the guilt of walking out on Harry and Hermione and that becoming an auror might be his way of dealing with that.

  4. Jennie-
    That's a good question... did Harry ever take his NEWTS? In one of the post-release interviews (I can't remember which one) Rowling says that Harry returned to school and finished his last year.

    You make a good point about Ron becoming an Auror to get over his guilt about walking out on Harry and Hermione. I hadn't thought about it that way... very intriguing.

  5. I know she said that he did return, but now the website says that he started at the department at 17, and given that book 7 ends (pre-epilogue) with him just a few months away from his 18th birthday... who knows? Maybe he was an auror while finishing up school? It's not like he doesn't have a proven track record of juggling academics with kicking evil's butt.

  6. Jennie- glad to see I'm not the only one who is confused! I'm positive that I read in one of the post-release interviews that Harry returns to Hogwarts- but now I can't find the reference anywhere. Thanks for letting me know that I didn't imagine the quote. Harry's bio on J.K. Rowling's website confused me too- because it seemed like a contradiction of her earlier statement.