The Meaning of “Deathly Hallows”

Merry Christmas to those of you on the Gregorian Calendar! I start this weBlog with the question I have heard the most this last week: “What does the title of the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, mean?” It caused nearly six pages of speculation on my private boards and I don’t think anyone there feels they have a good grip on it yet. Fair warning: I don’t have any sure answers to the question and I am skeptical of anyone who thinks we will know what it means before the book is in our hands.

Having said that, I have not heard or read anyone saying what I have thought about the title so it shouldn’t hurt if I share my reflections. I’ll start with a friend’s collection of Fandom speculation, continue with my first thoughts, which were about Ms. Rowling’s other six titles, and then move into literary alchemy, one of the five keys I think every serious reader of the books needs to get at their meaning. [Read more…]