Using the same awesome powers of deduction that led me to conclude that Howard Dean had wrapped up the Democratic Party nomination last year, I make the following prediction about who is the major character that dies in the latest book (skip reading further if you don't want to speculate, or don't want spoilers from earlier books):
It's Ron. My reasoning is that Rowling said it's not Harry, and reviews said her decision was gutsy and children might need grief counseling. She's killed off other characters before like Sirius Black and that kid competing with Harry for the Goblet of Fire, so a "major character" has to be more important than those. I don't think Dumbledore is that much more major than Sirius, so that really leaves Ron and Hermione. And despite how much less sexist society may be, I don't think J.K. Rowling or her publishers are ready to kill off "the girl" in a story where children are the target audience. Ergo, Ron gets it.
This posting doesn't make much sense, in a way. If I'm wrong, I show my foolishness to the world, and if I'm right, people won't know if I cheated and found out the ending. Too bad though, I'll feel somewhat redeemed about my Dean prediction if it turns out I'm right, whenever I finally get a chance to read the book.