December 21, 2006

deathly hallows

The title of the final installment in the Harry Potter series has been revealed.

(AP) If you go to, click on the eraser and you will be taken to a room -- you'll see a window, a door and a mirror.

In the mirror, you'll see a hallway. Click on the farthest doorknob and look for the Christmas tree. They click on the center of the door next to the mirror and a wreath appears. Then click on the top of the mirror and you'll see a garland.

Look for a cobweb next to the door. Click on it, and it will disappear. Now, look at the chimes in the window. Click on the second chime to the right, and hold it down. The chime will turn into the key, which opens the door. Click on the wrapped gift behind the door, then click on it again and figure out the title yourself by playing a game of hangman.

Or you can just take Scholastic's word for it:
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
So, what can we expect from just the title? The OED lists the following meanings of hallow:

  • 1. A holy personage, a SAINT. Little used after 1500, and now preserved only in ALL-HALLOWS and its combinations.
  • 2. In pl. applied to the shrines or relics of saints; the gods of the heathen or their shrines.
  • 3. A loud shout or cry, to incite dogs in the chase, to help combined effort, or to attract attention.
  • 4. (obs.) The parts of the hare given to hounds as a reward or encouragement after a successful chase.

I doubt very much that the book will be about hares and hounds. So, what kind of saints occur in the Harry Potter universe? Let the speculation begin.

ETA: The following is a message from a posting on Table Talk, dated Dec. 22, 2006, 11:18 a.m.

Yesterday right after I solved the hangman puzzle to guess the name, I fed the phrase "Deathly Hallows" into Google just for the hell of it.

Zero hits. Not one.

Today? 228,000.

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