“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
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Summer 2007’s biggest mysteries

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”
By Patrick Day and Deborah Netburn, Times Staff Writers

The Mystery: Will Harry Potter die at the end of the series?

The Sleuths: Harrypotter.wizards.pro, the-leaky-cauldron.com and most media outlets.

The Facts: J.K. Rowling let slip that two characters would die at the end of the final book. Daniel Radcliffe speculated as far back as 2004 that his character would end up dying in the end.

The Theories: Vegas oddsmakers and fan polls said the smart money was on both Harry and Voldemort. But others speculated that the tragic Professor Snape could bite the dust.

Chance of Being Solved: Already solved. But we’d never dream of spoiling the fun. (AFP / Getty Images)
The Sopranos
The Mystery: What happened to Tony Soprano?

The Sleuths: Televisionwithoutpity, BobHarris.com, anybody who thought their television broke.

The Facts: Tony meets his family at a diner. A man in a Members Only jacket goes to the restroom. The front door opens, Tony looks up and “The Sopranos” ends its six-year run.

The Theories: He died, he didn’t die, the family was in witness protection, the onion rings were surrogate communion wafers, everybody in that restaurant had some reason for wanting to kill Tony (that last one was definitively proved to be untrue). Bob Harris’s 5,000-word opus offered up the most theories in one place.

Chance of Being Solved: David Chase has vowed never to explain, so we’ll never know for sure. (Will Hart / AP)
Indiana Jones
The Mystery: What is Indiana Jones looking for in “Indiana Jones IV”?

The Sleuths: Ain’tItCoolNews.com, EmpireOnline.com

The Facts: Shia LeBeouf is playing Indiana Jones’ son, Harrison Ford is back, and filming is taking place at Yale University and other locations around the world.

The Theories: George Lucas has announced that the trailer for the film will be released this Thanksgiving. Fans recently found out the title when Shia announced it during the MTV Video Music Awards. Though some said it would be called “Indiana Jones and the City of Gods,” officially it’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Possible quest/artifact MacGuffins being floated include the City of Atlantis, the Fountain of Youth, the Spear of Destiny and even the Ark of the Covenent once again.

Chance of Being Solved: We have the title, but we won’t know exactly what he’s going after until November. It could have something to do with a crystal skull, though. Hmmm ... (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
iPhone
The Mystery: Is there anything the iPhone can’t do?

The Sleuths: ThinkSecret.com, maclife.com, appleinsider.com

The Facts: Hyped as the ultimate phone, or the “Jesus Phone,” Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone combines a cellphone, video iPod, Web browser, camera and more in an easy-to-use interface.

The Theories: Since its release, reams have been written about the phone’s capabilities. One site even took the thing apart piece by piece and posted pictures. So far the only thing it fails at is providing service for poor people -- although many speculate that the budget-priced iPhone nano is coming soon.

Chance of Being Solved: Geeks have already hacked the OS, so it’s unlikely the well of iPhone discoveries will dry up anytime soon. (Jason DeCrow / AP)
JJ Abrams
The Mystery: What’s with that trailer running before “Transformers”?

The Sleuths: The movie geeks of Aint It Cool News and 1-18-08.com.

The Facts: A shaky home movie shows a going-away party, then a mysterious creature decapitates the Statue of Liberty and makes New York explode. Its working title is “Cloverfield” and it comes out Jan. 18. Oh, and it’s produced by “Lost” co-creator J.J. Abrams.

The Theories: It’s either a new Godzilla movie, an adaptation of the works of H.P. Lovecraft or a new “Voltron” movie. Two websites -- ethanhaaswasright.com and ethanhaaswaswrong.blogspot.com -- were initially thought to be associated with the film, but Abrams has since disproved that, while also hinting at other websites still undiscovered.

Chance of Being Solved: Abrams has promised to reveal the movie’s title very soon. Other than that, we’ll have to wait until January. (Lawrence K. Ho / LAT)
Star Trek
The Mystery: What does J.J. Abrams have planned for the new “Star Trek” movie?

The Sleuths: TrekToday.com, Trekmovie.com, moviehole.net, every Trek fan on the planet

The Facts: Paramount will release a new “Star Trek” movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, in December 2008.

The Theories: Rumors abound that the film will portray Spock and Kirk at Starfleet Academy. Industrial Light and Magic just announced it is doing a new Enterprise in CGI for the film, so it seems one plot element isn’t in doubt.

Chance of Being Solved: Abrams’ announcement that Leonard Nimoy would reprise his role as Spock for part of the film brought down the house at Comic-Con. (Christie’s Images Ltd.)
On the Lot
The Mystery: What happened to “On the Lot?”

The Sleuths: Karmacritic.com

The Facts: The reality show from “Survivor” whiz Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg debuted with host Chelsea Handler and judges Carrie Fisher, Garry Marshall and Brett Ratner. The next week Handler was replaced by Adrianna Costa, six contestants were suddenly missing, Ratner was replaced by rotating guest judges and the format cloned “American Idol.”

The Theories: Poor ratings no doubt caused some midseason retooling. New host Costa was considered easier on the eyes than Handler, and the rotating guest judges allowed big-name directors to promote summer blockbusters such as “Hostel 2" and “Transformers.”

Chance of Being Solved: Definite answers would require a thorough postmortem on the show, assuming anyone’s still watching this ratings bottom-dweller by summer’s end. (Mike Yarish / Fox)
Avril Lavigne
The Mystery: Is Avril Lavigne a thief?

The Sleuths: PerezHilton.com, Idolator.com, TMZ.com, YouTubers who have helpfully made side-by-side comparison videos.

The Facts: Avril Lavigne has been accused of stealing from two artists on her third and most recent album, “The Best Damn Thing.”

The Theories: First, two songwriters for the 1970s group the Rubinoos accused her of plagiarizing their song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” on the track “Girlfriend,” and then a Perez reader said her track “I Don’t Have to Try” sounded like Peaches’ 2003 song “I’m the Kinda….”

Chance of Being Solved: Low. Accusations like this are easy to make and hard to prove. Lavigne may settle out of court to avoid the negative publicity. (Samuel Golay / EPA)
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