Harry as Horcrux 101 (A): What They are, Why He is One

My new book, Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for The Serious Reader, because it is published in the last days of the Interlibrum, has an unfortunate amount of speculation in it. I say “unfortunate” not because I am an Ivory Tower wonk that despises Fandom and the excitement of waiting on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; as you know, I love a good theory as much as the next Tweenie. The number of pages in Unlocking Harry Potter devoted to speculation, however, are all pages I will have to throw out in August. This book, unlike Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, is about what Harry Potter is about, which is to say, why we love the books, why they are so good, the artistry and genius of the author, etc. The post Deathly Hallows version, sans speculation, will be the finished product — and a book that should stay in print as long as folks are reading and thinking about Harry and the attendant Potter Mania.

Having said all that, I think you can understand why my editor at Zossima Press made the painful decision to cut a speculative chapter out of Unlocking. It’s fun but it didn’t advance the purpose of the book significantly. My frenetic guesswork from 2005 about what happened in Godric’s Hollow doesn’t tell us anything essential about the Five Keys a Serious Reader wants and needs.

So I’ll post this speculative chapter here for your pleasure and reflection before Deathly Hallows appears. It comes in three parts: part 1 is just a review of Horcrux thinking, part 2 explains how Harry became a Horcrux, and part 3 answers the first reactions I got to this theory in 2005 and 2006 on my private boards. The theory is a lot simpler than the Red Hen’s brilliant explanation of the Horcrux creation/killing curse with Voldemort’s skill at possession. The advantage it has, if any, beyond simplicity, is that it makes Lord Voldemort’s wand a Horcrux, too (which would explain why he doesn’t seem to understand right away that Harry’s scar is a Horcrux). While I dread the inevitable destruction of a pet theory, I put it up here for you all to reflect on, support, or tear apart as the spirit moves you. Please pardon the references to the book of which this chapter was the last word or end cap.


Animampono Baculum: How Harry Became a Horcrux (Part 1)

“I wanted him to be physically marked by what he has been through. It was an outward expression of what he has been through inside. I gave him a scar and in a prominent place so other people would recognize him. It is almost like being the chosen one, or the cursed one, in a sense. Someone tried to kill him; that’s how he got it. I chose the lightning bolt because it was the most plausible shape for a distinctive scar. As you know, the scar has certain powers, and it gives Harry warnings. I can’t say more than that, but there is more to say.” http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2001/0301-houston-thomas.html [Read more…]

Harry as Horcrux 101 (B): How Harry became a Horcrux

continued from Harry as Horcrux 101 (A) above:

“But, John, HOW could this Horcrux have been made?”

Okay. I hear you. No need to shout. Let’s review quickly and get to the “how.”

There are seven quick reasons why Harry’s scar being a Horcrux seems logical. A scar Horcrux answers questions that are otherwise mysteries that readers have just come to live with. There is one major objection to this possibility, however.

How could Voldemort have mistakenly made a Horcrux on, of all people, the child prophesied to kill him and not realized his mistake? Good question.

It certainly wasn’t made intentionally. As Dumbledore told Harry in the passage above, Lord Voldemort came to the Potters’ home that Halloween night to kill James and Harry, not create a “Potter Horcrux” on Harry’s forehead. How then could the scar Horcux have been made accidentally and in such a way that Voldemort wouldn’t have known what happened until, like Harry, he realized he had a mind-link with the boy?

Let‚Äôs recreate the events leading up to Harry‚Äôs parents‚Äô murder. [Read more…]

Harry as Horcrux 101 (C): Answers to Objections

continued from Harry as Horcrux 101 (B) above:

Objections and Answers to objections

As most of you know, I do not surf the internet Potterverse. I do post my reflections for feedback on this weBlog where I hope you will all join the conversation. From friends on this weBlog and my provate boards I received five principal objections last year. I’ll try to spell out these objections as fairly as possible (in the words of the original post-er) and answer each one as best I can.

1. The first objection is that Animampono diminishes Lily‚Äôs sacrifice. Beth Krause wrote me to say that ‚Äúwhat has bothered me from the start‚Äù about this theory ‚Äúis that it ignores or trivializes the importance of Lily‚Äôs sacrifice.‚Äù Travis Prinzi echoed this criticism by saying that it seemed I was trying to make Lily‚Äôs love something quantitative that would evoke an almost mechanical response rather than remain mysterious. Several other readers said that they, too, preferred the undefined ‚Äúsaving quality‚Äù of Lily‚Äôs love to the resonance-reaction from Voldemort‚Äôs wand-and-near-Horcrux. [Read more…]

House-elves as Saviors? Dumbledore’s Trump Card

This week seems to be my time to tip my hat and introduce the work of Fandom friends whose grasp of Harry Potter is magisterial. Just below, you can read the Red Hen’s exposition of the critical back-story of what really happened at Godric’s Hollow. By reflection on Voldemort’s special ability to possess others and suggesting a possible two step spell process for Horcrux creation, Joyce offers a more than plausible theory of how Harry became a Horcrux, how Lily’s love saved him, and why Voldemort was vaporized in the back-blast. A big part of the past or foundation of these stories seems to have been filled in.

But what will happen in the future? How will Harry and friends overcome the combined forces of the Dark Lord, his Death eaters, the Giants, the Goblins, and the rapidly-reproducing dementors?

Travis Prinzi, maven at the Sword of Gryffindor weBlog and, yes, like Joyce, one of my friends (full disclosure!), has a theory that I think satisfies one of the Postmodern requirements of the story, namely, that the periphery become the center, that the “other” becomes what is good and decisive in the central conflict. Travis’ theory is that the house-elves in Hogwarts are Dumbledore’s real Army; Ollivander has “disappeared” to arm them with wands and Dobby will lead them in combat against the Dark Lord they all despise to save their hero, Harry Potter. Travis’ original post, “What Happened to Ollivander,” is worth reading in its entirety, but here is the part about the house-elves I find so striking: [Read more…]

The Red Hen’s Latest: What Happened at Godric’s Hollow

The Red Hen, aka Joyce Odell, designed and made the most significant contribution to Who Killed Albus Dumbledore? (Zossima Press, 2007). We keep in touch, if I think she talks and writes more often to the other writers in WKAD? than with me. Pout.

Tonight, though, Joyce wrote to say she had been trying to post something below in response to my question about “What Dumbledore knew and when?” and the Word Press blog wasn’t letting her put it up. It certainly deserves its own thread; The Red Hen, once again, has, with the help of Swythyv from WKAD? she reports, figured out something that seemed hopelessly mysterious. As she predicted the Astronomy Tower scene from Half-Blood Prince in remarkable detail in 2003 on Harry Potter for Grown-ups, this shouldn’t be that surprising.

The Red Hen suggests, in brief, that what killed Lily Potter was not an Avadra Kedavra curse but the second part of the Horcrux-creation spell. It makes remarkable reading and I urge you to grab a cuppa before sitting to enjoy it. I expect it will turn your thinking upside-down as it has mine, if pet theories I know are attached to us all with Permanent Sticking Charms. This is yoga-like stretching for everyone’s speculative tissue and the workout is engaging and challenging.

Thank you, Joyce, for your permission to post this here at HogPro.

John, Red Hen fan forever [Read more…]