The Christian Content of Deathly Hallows (A)

PDay Minus Two: Prediction #6 — The House-Elves

Here we are, the “night before the night before.” I confess that I’m very tired and very excited about the day to come.

Before I begin this next-to-last of my seven predictions, which is largely taken from a previous post, I want to note a difference between what I am doing here and what everyone else is doing on their predictions lists on the Internet and in public spaces.

I’m just like everyone else in being overly attached to pet theories I’ve made up myself or just adopted. And you would have a hard time distinguishing my not-so-private hope of being acknowledged as brilliant or at least insightful if I hit a plot-point spot-on from every other Potter Pundit and faux-expert. Like Janet Batchler said about one of her excellent predictions, “If this one hits, I want a parade.”

The difference is that my predictions are all correct. None of them are wrong. Really. [Read more…]

Tale of Two Cities: Why We Should Expect a Beheading in Deathly Hallows

A week or so ago, my computer mailbox filled up with e-owls from friends everywhere about an article that had appeared on the MSN network. Called “Death of Harry Potter Makes Mythological Sense,” it argued that Harry’s death was not only possible, it was likely because of mythic and classic precedent. [Read more…]

The Traditional Meaning of the Veil

In my essay on Harry Passing through the Veil, I neglected to make a link with an important website called “The Veil: Contemplating Christian Mysteries.” For understanding why Harry’s passage through the Veil has important Christian reference points and profound meaning, this site is a must visit.

Here is a small selection of what can be found there, on an introductory page entitled, “Why the Veil?

The veil, or more specifically its rending, as recorded in all three Synoptic Gospels (note 1) marks a moment in human history, and a turning point in the destiny of mankind. In his essay on Christian initiation, Marco Pallis noted its rending “marks the end of Christ’s human ministry … since all that follows … is of a miraculous order” (note 2). As such, it is most certainly a sign, in that it points to an event, even if its occurrence is instantaneous with that which it signifies. It signals the importance of the event, of that moment, in human history, in light of the purpose which the veil serves (note 3), because mention is made of it specifically, and nothing other. [Read more…]

Snape as Symbol of Christ? Three Reasons Why

Oriflamme wrote:

John, I must thank you. The first time I read one of your articles about Christian Symbolism and heard about your book ‘Looking for God in Harry Potter,’ I was wandering across the net(surfing) for some issue about Snape. I was in a sad mood and this surfing seemed to me an obvious waste of time. Finding Christ in Harry Potter appeared to me like a ‘Sign’ and I do believe in ‘Signs’ in our life. This is a bit ‘pompous’ maybe, but your brilliant analysis helps me to stand the strain.

What about Snape and Christian Symbolism? I like the theory developed by Dave Kopel about Snape as St. Christopher(Reprobus)and I agree that he figures sometimes as a Christ symbol himself (maybe also as a symbol of the Church).

I have a theory about Snape’s childhood. I tried to explain it on the ‘narrative misdirection’ thread (reply 48). My thought is that the young Snape is a victim himself of what could be called a rape of his mind by the Imperius Curse. He walked a long way from wishes of vengeance to the wait of justice with DD(Christ)’s help. But Snape himself, he must help Harry to go further, to forgiveness and mercy(love).

You’re very kind, Oriflamme, and your thoughts and question about Snape are interesting.

I explain in Unlocking Harry Potter that Snape is one of the three Christ figures in the melodramatic scene on the Astronomy Tower and the chase afterwards — and that Snape is a lot more difficult for folks to understand in this role than either Dumbledore or Buckbeak. How is Snape Christ-like?

First, he *is* the Half-Blood Prince. Like it or not, the signature is a pointer to the “Double-Natured King.”

Second, he *saves* Harry’s life from the enormous Death Eater determined to destroy him via the Cruciatus Curse. Only Snape’s invoking the Dark Lord’s instructions causes the near-giant to let Harry loose.

Third, he is much more, perhaps, than those without “eyes to see” can see. Every exchange he has with Harry before being chased off the grounds by the razor claws of Buckbeak/Witherwing are superficially mean-spirited and goading, especially to the child-man who believes Snape has just murdered his mentor. Each exchange, though, on examination is helpful even critical or salutary instruction about what Harry must master in himself and technically in his magic before facing the Dark Lord.

And the whip-like curse that hits Harry in the forehead? Well, if you read Unlocking Harry Potter, you’ll learn why I think Severus is just hitting the switch on Harry’s Horcrux and neutralizing it as a means for Voldemort to monitor Harry’s emotions/perceptions or to survive another destruction of his body. Severus, the master of self-control, doesn’t lose his cool when called a “coward;” he is putting up a show for cover when the Dark Lord explodes about the destroyed Horcrux…

Even if this is way off (as almost all speculation of this sort is bound to be), Severus’ position as the Good Guy surrounded by bad guys who cannot understand who he is until the Evil One is removed — this is a sacrificial part. Snape, taken from afar, is a convincing Christ figure, I think.

I look forward to reading your comments and correction.