For those of you on another planet JK Rowling released the title for the seventh Harry Potter book on Friday the 22nd of December. The title is:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I’ve given myself a few days to mull this one over and see what the Potter fandom are making of it before committing my thoughts to electrons. I have no doubt I’ll look like a fool when the book comes out and I’m shown to be totally wrong but on the off chance that I actually have it right I’d like to have it on record so I can gloat properly :)

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Before looking at the title I just want to set the scene as I see it. At this stage we know that Harry has to try kill Voldemort and vicaversa. We’ve know this for an entire book now since we heard the prophecy at the end of the fifth book. We also know that Voldemort split his soul into seven pieces, that six of them are concealed in objects (the Horcruxes) and that Voldemort cannot die as long as he has even a single Horcrux. At the end of the sixth book two Horcruses have been destroyed and four remain to be destroyed before Harry can face Voldemort for the big finale. Hence, the seventh book was always going to be about death and Horcruxes.

Now look at the new title and it fits perfectly. In Arthurian legend there are four sacred objects referred to as the four Hallows. I think it’s pretty clear that the term Deathly Hallow is a wonderful description of a Horcrux. Hence, the title of the seventh book is exactly what I felt it would have to be, effectively Harry Potter and the Horcruxes.

Finally, while I’m at the whole prediction making thing my guess would be that the seventh book will be released in time for Christmas 2007, i.e. it’s about a year away. Considering there is a movie out in the summer it would not make sense to release book 7 at the same time and summer 2008 just seems to far away considering we now have a title.