Columnist Jeff Guinn from the Star-Telegram in Texas thinks he's got Potter pinned down.
Citing key plot devices used in the story of King Arthur, and more recently, the Lord of the Rings series, he pontificates that Harry Potter author JK Rowling might lead her hero down the same harrowing paths.
With just two books left in her series, history could easily repeat itself:
In the first five Harry installments, former schoolteacher Rowling has blended fine storytelling skills with reliance on traditional "epic adventure" elements ... Either by accident or intent, Rowling is taking Harry down story paths that, among others, King Arthur and Frodo have already trod.
Arthur Pendragon and Frodo Baggins were raised by uncles, too, though Sir Ector and Bilbo, respectively, were considerably more congenial than Vernon Dursley. "A-great-wizard-as-mentor" plot line provided Arthur with Merlin and Frodo with Gandalf. Harry has Dumbledore. In each instance, the young protagonist is aided by a motley crew of associates, and someone evil (Morgan le Fay, Sauron, Voldemort) has considerable dark magic to wield against them.
Guinn says that all signs suggest Harry will not live happily ever after: "More likely Harry, broken at least in body and perhaps in spirit, will sail off to parts unknown."
Be sure to read the whole column.