Deathly Hallows Discussion Point #12: The Horcruxes and the Deathly Hallows

No surprises here — every one of the Horcruxes was either mentioned by Dumbledore in Prince (the locket, the cup, and Nagini) or listed by many in Fandom as “very likely” Horcrux possibilities (the Ravenclaw tiara and Harry himself). I guess the biggest surprise was there were seven Horcruxes and the soul fragment in Lord Voldemort for a total of eight. Of course, we don’t destroy our first Horcrux until page 377 (Scholastic) so I wondered if we were going to find a Horcrux dump and blow a bunch up simultaneously…. Did anyone find the “Deathly Hallows” mystery inside the Horcrux hunt a little distracting or disappointing? Ron’s destruction of the Locket was a high point of the books and the Cup capture in Gringotts and diadem find at Hogwarts were both exciting. Did the discovery in The Prince’s Tale that Harry was a Horcrux and his trip into the Forbidden Forest in the next chapter for his destruction surprise you? Was Harry’s response credible and well-developed or hurried and hard to believe? Did the Horcrux Hunt parts of Deathly Hallows meet your expectations?


  1. Yes, yes and YES! I don’t think the Horcrux hunt was ruched. I loved it, though I thought they’d be doing it for most of the book. But the first half of the book was establishing Harry and his becoming a hero.

  2. I did not find the Hallows hunt distracting – rather the opposite. I thought this was a ‘reliving’ of AD’s choice – fight evil or gain power. Harry had to choose “Hallows” or “Horcruxes” and he came to realize this. He could not do both, so he made his choice (which made all the difference to the Wizarding World). That he was also able to solve the Hallows mystery was a bonus for him, but was secondary (see that he chose Griphook first – a Horcrux choice).

  3. Often if we are set out on a journey, we will start with the goal in mind and then be distracted to a different goal – and one more self serving. This happens in leadership consistently. Living in Washington DC for as long as I have, I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again – really wonderful men and women elected to serve office with lofty and admirable goals, only to be distracted by “new hunts” for their own deathly hallows.

    We see that Harry does meet a crossroads in the “wilderness” when he is “tempted” to forsake the quest for the horcruxes and instead go after the Deathly Hallows. We see him make a major change toward adulthood and leadership when he finally makes the decision to interview the goblin first about the Horcrux and then Olivander afterwards – he returns to his priority of destroying the horcruxes, not increase his power. He successfully passes one of the greatest tests of all in heroic journeys – whether in fiction or in life – to sacrifice personal power for the good.

    It is heroic because it is so rare – and we see from Dumbledore’s own story that he also was faced with such conflicts, and while not always successful in mastering those temptations, learned enough to know that he could not trust himself with absolute power.

    The conflict in Harry is made more real because Voldemort’s horcrux is in him and so the conflict is even more intense since he is having to deal with Voldemort’s desires for the Deathly Hallows, or at least for the wand. The Deathly Hallows do have the symbols of royal kingship – the cloak as the king’s robes, the jewel in the crown, and the wand as the scepter. But those things do not make one a king – it is the king who holds them that gives them their power.

    We see this in the Church as well. A Bishop is not made a bishop by wearing a Mitre (like a crown) or carrying a Staff (like a wand) or wearing a cope (like a cloak). Christian leaders are not made by the stuff they carry, but by the heart that is turned to Christ. Harry is a Christian leader.

    I want to write more about that because, if you do visit BabyBlueOnline,org you will learn that I am very involved in the current international crisis in the Anglican Communion. This lesson of leadership is crucial in this crisis – I can see that because, until I wrote that paragraph above, it never occurred to me that the Deathly Hallows are the symbols of church power, but do not actually contain the power. The power is in the Word made flesh – and Harry exemplifies understanding that it is the heart that God looks at. We may look at the hallows, but He looks at the heart.


  4. The Hallows hunt also served as a mirror to the “distraction” of Christ from him true goal through temptation in the desert, etc.

  5. sibelius says

    Hmmm. I though the Hallows were a nice temptation to immortality, that Harry almost followed and Dumbeldore tried to – a juxtaposition with his chosen mission: to destroy the immortality of Tom Riddle. Death, and its meaning, is a grand theme of the series, and here Harry was faced with a choice – pursue his own immortality via the Hallows, or accept death and make Voldemort mortal. While digging Dobby’s grave, Harry makes the choice to pursue death, rather than try to evade it. Very evocative.

  6. I loved the deathly hallows part. Since we guessed and were told all of the horcruxes, it made it better. Especially since Harry already had the cloak. I had predicted to myself, that it would have to come back, full circle, from the first book. I missed the part where he destroyed the cup though, during all of the mayhem at Gringotts. Did anyone catch that?

  7. Floo Powder says

    when Ravenclaw’s was destroyed, I started laughing….

    diadem-Crabbe (of all people)
    Snake- Nev

    Harry is sent on a quest to destroy ‘cruxes, and the only one he got to do was in the 2nd book…..

    “Did anyone find the “Deathly Hallows” mystery inside the Horcrux hunt a little distracting or disappointing?”

    “Was Harry’s response credible and well-developed or hurried and hard to believe?” What, you mean that after sticking his head in to a pensieve for 30min and then marching out to is death, because all of his questions had been answered….a little

  8. Harry destroyed 2 Horcruxes: diary and HarryMort. Harry was an unintended horcrux and knew he had to die to destroy the Horcrux within (a point I have made since the BNU and private board discussions began after HBP). It was this laying down his life voluntarily for the good of the world (the greater good that Dumbledore glimpsed like Moses looking into the Promised Land but which Harry as Joshua had to conquer) that enabled the return of the Resurrected King, Vanquisher of Death by Death, and robbed Death and Voldemort of their power.

    The deathly hallows themselves are the temptations in the wilderness to turn from the required task and seek redemption by another route. Very similar to Jesus’ temptations, actually. And those were recurrent and on-going for Harry as for Jesus, even if symbolized and rejected in one synthesized event. That was nicely echoed in the temptations of Harry for the hallows, and, startlingly, in Dumbledore’s telling Harry he did not have to go back!

    Harry’s response was entirely credible and timed just so. I heard echoes of the Incarnation from baptism to “save yourself”.

    Trinitarian imagery for God and man expressly contained and expressed in the actual symbol for the deathly hallows will have to be discussed later and in depth, I think. But I found the imagery exquisitely done and subtle.

  9. Here’s what impressed me about the Hallows quest. First, it represented a real temptation for Harry. Once again we saw Harry become obsessed with something that his friends were trying to talk him out of–same ol’ Harry. But Dobby’s death is a real turning point in the book because Harry conquers that obsession without feeling the consequences first (a problem of his.) In prior books this kind of single-mindedness has been something of a fatal flaw for Harry; this time it’s conquered before it can harm him.

    Another handy thing about the Hallows (which I keep thinking of as the “rock-paper-scissors” of the wizarding world for some reason) is how their unseen presence set our expectations for Horcrux destruction. We think Dumbledore has hurt/killed himself just by the action of destroying a Horcrux, so how are these things going to be demolished? Yet once the truth is out about the Resurrection Stone, it becomes clearer that Horcrux destruction is difficult and dangerous but not deadly.

    We also learned the answer to the great question: who killed Dumbledore? The answer is: Dumbledore. It’s not Voldemort’s Horcrux or Snape’s spell; it’s Dumbledore’s pride that is his downfall. Quite well done.

  10. John Madill says

    What I found interesting about horcruxes was how we never found out how they were made, how when casting the killing curse the horcrux was produced. Redhen wrote a brilliant essay about there being another killing curse used instead of the Avada Kedavra but as it turns out that wasn’t the case.

    And then in HBP were lead to believe that it must have took some prodigious magical skill to destroy a horcrux as Dumbledore has ended up with his blackened hand. ( This is another example of narrative misdirection ). And whats the answer: steal a book from Dumbledore, Basilisk venom required, easy,Sword of Gryffindor covered with venom, stab Horcrux and voila Horcrux caput and Dumbledore has conveniently left it to Harry in his will. Brilliant

  11. I’m really rather surprised (or maybe I just missed it) that no one has mentioned the fascinating angle of the search for the deathly hallows as a Potter-equivalent of the quest for the Holy Grail. There are all sorts of things pointing to this: it is referred to simply as The Quest, the people associated with it (Peverell) sounds like the name “Percival,” whoever completes the quest will be “master of death” (hints of immortality), the objects themselves are reminiscent of items associated with Grail lore (wand = lance, stone = dish or grail itself sometimes said to be a stone rather than a cup, cloak = . . . okay, I’m a little stumped there), etc. I’ve seen Dumbledore likened to the Fisher King, and indeed he has possession of all of the items at one time or another, as well as having a terrible wound.

    I thought that adding in a Grail quest in the midst of all of this was a fantastic move and contributed a great deal to the depth and richness of the final book.

  12. Manning67 says

    Was the Hallows hunt distracting?

    My answer changed over the course of reading the book. At first, I was VERY irritated. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Now is not the time to be introducing new magical quests…wrap it up, Rowling!’ I was really irritated they weren’t doing more to search out horcruxes. Get on it, people!

    As the story evolved, I thought it made more sense. Wouldn’t Harry be tempted to go after the ONE THING that Voldemort felt he needed?

    I was reminded of just about every scene in their Potions classes for the past seven years: if your potion wasn’t going well, you looked around the room to see what everyone else was doing. How was Hermione’s potion turning out? Did those Hufflepuffs seem to have the right brew? Try what they’re doing!

    It made me laugh to think of it…Harry was distracted from his mission by seeing Voldermort on his *own* mission.

    And thematically, I began to really appreciate the Hallows towards the end: Rowling needed to show how easy it is to get ‘distracted’ from one’s Big Mission in life. Others here have pointed it out, so I won’t belabor the point, but for Harry to be able to muster *any* sympathy for Dumbledore’s distraction from caring for his damaged sister, he’d have to really *get* how a person could get distracted, even while they thought they were doing it for the greater good.

    And so it came down to Power (Hallows) vs. Mission (horcruxes). Choose, Harry, choose.

    And he did.

    > Did the discovery in The Prince’s Tale that Harry was a Horcrux and his trip into the Forbidden Forest in the next chapter for his destruction surprise you? Was Harry’s response credible and well-developed or hurried and hard to believe?

    No, I did not. By the time he was looking into the Pensieve, Harry was utterly committed to destroying the horcruxes. He made his path. As he eloquently said in HBP to the then-minister, “I’m a Dumbledore man.”

    So when he finds out that he’s a Horcrux…really, what other options are there but to see it destroyed?

    I read that chapter, saw his end and sighed to myself, ‘Of course. It had to be.’

    Prior to this book, I have NEVER been on a Harry Potter discussion board or area, so I’ve never seen any spoilers about Harry dying or Harry being a horcrux. So it was an utter surprise for me and I bought it instantly with a certain fatality: “Oh. Of course he’s a horcrux. Of course.” I was surprised…and not surprised.

    Projection on my part, I know, but I imagine that Harry felt the exact same way.

    > Did the Horcrux Hunt parts of Deathly Hallows meet your expectations?

    I was a little disappointed that they were destroyed so fast and furiously at the end – Ooops, another one is gone and Ooops – another one is gone, and Ooops, another one…that could have gone differently. But it’s hard to find too much fault. I read 400 pages in one sitting, so how bad could it have been?

    I LOVED that ever since Dumbledore assigned him to the mission of destroying Horcruxes, Harry didn’t destroy a single one! Everyone around him did…but none by Harry. (Not since the diary in CoS.) How hilarious is that!

    I also LOVED LOVED LOVED that Neville whacked off the snake’s head. That just made me yell aloud. I reread that paragraph about eight times, cheering for Neville.


    The mousy boy from the first book: ran Dumbledore’s Army, stepped out first to Voldemort and defied him, and whacked off his snake’s head.

    Harry wasn’t the only one who grew up well.

  13. Jayne1955 says

    I liked the Hallows hunt because it was more focused. I’d had more than enough of that wandering around in the woods/scavenger hunt aspect of the horcrux quest. I always thought Harry was a horcrux and got reamed for it on more than one board, so I liked that aspect of it. I knew he would have to lay down his life for his friends. I just didn’t know if it would be a permanent death, but the Hallows quest was much more interesting to me than the horcruxes.

  14. Arabella Figg says

    Something LV truly underestimated about Harry–he couldn’t conceive others thinking differently. So, naturally, he believed Harry would want the Hallows for himself (which for a time Harry did) to use for his own power (which Harry forsook). Bad move, Tommy.

    In an off-point related mistake, LV also underestimated the wizarding world. He taunted Harry that people were fighting for Harry and dying for him. While Harry was a rallying point, I believe the wizarding world had finally woken to courage and was fighting for its own life. Even if Harry had died, they were going to courageously fight to the death.

    Dobby’s death (see my second comment about Dobby on the Christian Ending post) was the pivotal point for Harry in his decision over the Hallows vs. Horcruxes. In Dobby, Harry really saw what service and focus were.

    Harry received the Hallows anyway when he stopped seeking them. I thought his realization that his part was to know, not seek, fascinating. Our single-minded pursuits, even good ones, can keep us tied in place. I loved the Hallows aspect, their meaning and significance to the plot.

    Oops, Screacher just hawked a hairball…

  15. RenaBlack says

    This seems as good a place as any to talk about this…

    I was shocked at the amount of metafiction in DH, which seemed amped up from previous books. The fable of the Deathly Hallows is another pointer to JKR theme that I think goes sorely unnoticed: FICTION, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN’S FICTION, HOLDS FAR MORE MEANING AND POWER THAN PEOPLE GIVE IT CREDIT FOR. (Remember Tom’s diary?!–Another deceptively powerful book…) Not only were the Deathly Hallows themselves real, but the personalities of the three brothers are actually deceptively central to the plot.

    The brother of the Elder Wand is, essentially, power-hungry. He reflects the basic disposition of Voldemort, and funnily enough, it’s Voldie who ends up obsessing over the Elder Wand in the end.

    The brother of the Resurrection Stone desires it because of a lost love–as Snape and Dumbledore are both drawn to the resolution of their respectively tortured loves of Lily and Ariana. They may not die, literally, by their own hand, but must at least suffer the figurative death of bearing the “unresurrectable” image of their beloved friend or sister, both women dead at an untimely age. I wonder, though, how this all ties in with the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone?

    The third, “righteous” brother (as I have an irresitable tendency to call him) posesses, like Harry, the Invisiblity Cloak. He, at the close, decloaks and greets Death as an old friend. Harry does the same; in greeting Voldemort, he decloaks. There’s a lot there–in the “Christian Ending” thread, I talk about the Cloak as a device for elements of the Passion story. But the Hallows are definitely more important than they seem at first glance…

  16. Floo Powder and Manning67 both point out that Harry only destroyed a fraction of the Horcruxes. I disagree with inked, who said that Harry destroyed the Horcrux in himself. No, like Jesus, he submitted to the death, but he didn’t kill himself.

    But anyway, whereas Floo Powder and Manning67 both laughed at the fact that so many others were involved in Horcrux destruction, I wept with joy. This was one of the most beautifully narrated pictures of the fellowship of the faithful that I have ever seen. Harry is set a task, but instead of having to pursue that task alone, like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, he does it in the communion of others. Of course Harry should not have destroyed the Horcruxes by himself!

  17. Clio,
    I didn’t say Harry killed himself to destroy the Horcrux within him. I said,
    “It was this laying down his life voluntarily for the good of the world” that allowed the destruction of the Horcrux within him. Not suicide at all, but
    “greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends” and “perhaps for a good man one would venture to die, but God loved us while we were yet sinners and laid down his life for us” so that the whole world (kosmos) might be saved”.

    Hope that clears up any confusion as to Harry’s reason for death.

  18. narnianmum says

    As much as I liked the imagery of Neville as the true Gryffindor and the baptism of fire and all that, I think using the sword again to kill Nagini was a little bit of over kill. I was really hoping for a beheading using Sectumsempra. After all we were told in Ch5 “the fallen warrior” that George’s ear could not be reattached because it was removed by this spell. And then in the next chapter Hermione tells us that the container of a Horcrux must be completely destroyed in a way that it couldn’t be fixed by magic.
    Also remembering the end of HBP when Harry tried to use Sectumsempra against Snape and Snape said, “You would use my own spells against me?” I thought it would be great justice to use the spell to destroy the creature that killed Snape.
    I think I would have rather seen Neville help to destroy the Hufflepuff Horcrux since he was one of Prof Sprout’s favorite students.

  19. ________________________________
    narnianmum Says:

    July 29th, 2007 at 11:34 am
    …I was really hoping for a beheading using Sectumsempra. After all we were told in Ch5 “the fallen warrior” that George’s ear could not be reattached because it was removed by this spell. And then in the next chapter Hermione tells us that the container of a Horcrux must be completely destroyed in a way that it couldn’t be fixed by magic.
    Also remembering the end of HBP when Harry tried to use Sectumsempra against Snape and Snape said, “You would use my own spells against me?” I thought it would be great justice to use the spell to destroy the creature that killed Snape.

    Sectumsempra was one of the things that underlined the sheer waste of Snape’s death– even though it happened at a moment that allowed him to get his vital message to Harry. Nobody could heal George’s ear… but Snape healed Draco when Harry used Sectumsempra on him. Just another hint that with Snape, some powerful healing magic may also have been lost to the wizarding world.

  20. thisoldhobbit says

    Several people have commented on the irony that Harry did not destroy any Horcrux except the diary, which happened several years earlier.

    But Harry’s mission was not just to destroy Horcruxes. It was to FIND and destroy Horcuxes. And there, Harry was indispensible. It was he who realized that something precious to Voldemort must be locked up in that Gringotts vault. It was he who figured out what the Ravenclaw Horcrux was, and found it. It was he, listening in on LV’s thoughts, who learned that Nagini was a Horcrux.

    And, of course, it was Harry who bravely marched into Voldemort’s camp so that the Horcrux in himself could be destroyed.

  21. ddcfamily says

    The Deathly Hallows provided the “last temptation of HP”.

    – A temptation that everyone else had failed, but HP passed

    I am amazed no one else sees this. – The devil offers Jesus the world – the three brothers make a deal with death. Harry turns down the temptation, just like Jesus


  22. The hallows have another sybolical meaning, or I’m much mistaken. Doesn’t it strike anyone that they can also be seen as symbols for the Holy Trinity, i.e. the three weapons that can truly conquer death (as opposed to the false and evil device of the horcruxes)?

    Thus, the Elder Wand confers absolute power (the Father Almighty); the Resurrection Stone the power to raise the dead (Christ); the invisibility cloak hides or shields one from death (Holy Spirit). In the end, it is the Elder Wand (i.e. the power over life and death or “God Almighty”), rather his desire for it, that ultimately defeats Voldemort – fittingly, since the Elder-tree is also associated in Germanic Mythology with the goddess Holla who protects the life of humans and animals, but was also given human sacrifices.

    However, it is not human sacrifice that ensures power over life and death, as Voldemorts failed attempt to gain control by murdering Snape shows, but the ability to conquer (“expelliarmus”!). Only by conquering (yourself, your desire for power, you name it) Everyman can ultimately gain the grail and conquer death. That’s the same motif we find in the philosopher’s stone which will only come to who wants to have it but not use it.

    Thus, if the Horcruxes symbolize, as I think, the capacity fallen man has for choosing evil (and the resulting consequence of having to face death), the Hallows and the grail-like hunt for them symbolize fallen man’s desire to conquer death as well – to taste of the fruit of the tree of life and death (and aren’t wands made from trees?), and become truly godlike. On the other hand, they also symbolize God’s power over death, the reward that comes with obedience and the willingness to love and die the sacrificial death of love. Make sense?

  23. I have trouble with the idea of the Hallows symbolizing the persons of the Trinity because the Hallows are not really, well, hallowed, and it’s made quite clear that none of them can actually conquer death. The Elder Wand doesn’t conquer death, it deals death… both Dumbledore and Harry are described as using it fittingly (in contradistinction, we may suppose, to all the wand’s previous owners in its bloody history) because they do not use it to kill or conquer. Harry only uses it for “Expelliarmus” to defeat Voldemort, and to repair his own wand. The Resurrection Stone doesn’t bring the dead back all the way… they still don’t belong in this world. It’s actually more like the Mirror of Erised than a true resurrection. That is how Dumbledore uses it, in a moment of thoughtless longing, and he’s dealt a mortal wound. Harry’s victory is that he uses it, not to keep the beloved dead with him in this world, but to have the comfort of their presence very briefly, while he himself is approaching his departure (as he believes) from the world. There’s no hint that the Cloak of Invisibility can actually hide a person from death. It is by far the least powerful of the Hallows (not something I’d want to say about the Holy Spirit) and perhaps because it is least powerful, it’s the only one of the Hallows that can be used safely on a regular basis.

    While I don’t have a problem with the way Harry used the stone, I kind of wish he hadn’t left it lying in the Forest. Much too risky. I think he should have accio’d the thing, then taken it down to the Department of Mysteries and tossed it through the Veil.

  24. I see your point – but symbols aren’t allegory, they may have multiple meanings, which in this case are related to the multiple levels of story that come with the device of a text within a text. Let me specify (actually, if I knew how, I’d transfer this discussion to the “Symbolism”-thread… ):

    As to the Hallows being “not hallowed”, as I understand the fable, it is not the objects in themselves that are evil, but the way they are used, which is something Harry realizes but Voldemort doesn’t:

    In the fable, the hallows are magical objects used by the brothers to try and cheat death, i.e. to usurp God’s power over Life and Death, which is evil. Death functions both as a personified obstacle and a tempter.

    In HP7, Rowlings novel, the hallows are magical objects (literally the same as in the fable?) used by Voldemort and Harry, among others. Voldemort obviously doesn’t know about the fable or he disregards it; at any rate he hasn’t learned the moral lesson inherent in it, but Harry does and has. Therefore Harry uses the magical object differently. He does not covet God’s power over Life and Death, he doesn’t want to be immortal, or in other words, be like God, which incidentally is the original sin.

    In real life, finally – or rather, the level of symbolism – the hallows are equivalent to mythological objects such as the Holy Grail, objects which symbolize the power of God, and Voldemort and Harry become the antagonists Death and Everyman. On this level, the elder wand symbolizes God power over life and death which may not be usurped; the stone, which Harry uses, like you say, “to have the comfort (of his beloved dead) very briefly, while he himself is approaching his departure” becomes a symbol of the resurrection associated with Christ; and the cloak, indeed “the only one of the Hallows that can be used safely on a regular basis”, becomes the Holy Spirit which helps Everyman find his way in the word. With his final sacrifice and his renunciation of the power conferred by the Elder wand and the stone (i.e. the usurped power of God), Harry proves himself to be capable of Love, and therefore reconciled to God and able to return to Paradise (i.e. the family on the level of the novel).

  25. Post of the Week!

  26. I thought the hunt for the Hallows reinforces and expands the theme of conquering death that runs through the whole saga. The Horcruxes were Voldemort’s solution to conquering death. The destruction of the Horcruxes and Voldemort’s subsequent demise demonstrated the futility of the idea. Thus, I think it’s easiest to interpret the Hallows as also symbolic of ways that men have sought to conquer death.

    The Elder Wand avoids death through power to resist death. However, the wand’s power does not truly conquer death, only postpones it and only so long as the owner maintains his vigilance. When used to avoid death by taking the lives of others, the wand corrupts the one using it. We can also see in the Elder Wand the solution that is most common in men’s minds. They watch carefully over their health, avoid danger, and minimize risks, but eventually death catches up with them anyway. When used wisely, the power to resist death can lead to a long, full life with no regrets when death comes. But when a person ends up consuming his life trying to avoid death, never truly enjoying life as a result, he has not conquered death but become trapped by it.

    The Resurrection Stone avoids death by bringing the dead back to life. However, the mere image of the dead leads to despair and eventually to the death of the holder of the stone. Those who dwell on the dead, endlessly longing for their return, can become trapped in depression and eventually despair. Despair leads to death, since the person no longer feels joy at living and ultimately has no life at all.

    However, used wisely the stone does have an important power. For those who do not fear their own death, the comfort of others who have already gone beyond death can be a blessing rather than a curse. If they walked this earth, lived a full life, and embraced death when it came, then we have hope that we can do the same. This use of the Resurrection Stone is what allows Harry to pass by the Dementors on his way to confront Voldemort. From the example of those who have already passed from life to death, Harry gains the peace he needs to avoid despair.

    The Cloak of Invisibility is the most unusual of the Hallows. It has the power to hide the person wearing it, and thus the person can avoid death in many situations. Most interesting is that the cloak is the one worn by Death. Because the wearer is not visible to the living he has, in effect, taken on the form of death. One interpretation is that when we no longer fear death, having already embraced it, we can truly live. This is a paradox, to be sure, but a key element in understanding Harry Potter. As Dumbledore said to Harry:

    “You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.”

    In the end, avoiding death doesn’t work as a means of conquering death. Paradoxically, embracing death is the only way to conquer death. Harry’s march into the forest to die at the hand (wand?) of Voldemort is the inevitable solution to both the Horcruxes and Hallows. The Gospel of John 12:25-27 sums it up nicely.

    In terms of the Trinity, there is some similarity. Dying with Christ (Romans 6) could be considered similar to putting on the Cloak of Invisibility.

  27. I love this interpretation of the three Hallows. I felt myself that the limited way in which Harry finally used the Resurrection Stone, was a parallell to the «cloud of witnesses» mentioned in Hebrews 12:1 (as opposed to the forbidden calling upon the dead by king Saul in 1 Sam 28:7ff).

    Press releases tell that several European title translations of HP7 will translate «hallows» with «talismans» (for instance the Norwegian translation due to be published om Dec 1st). I don’t think «talisman» is a good way of translating the word «hallow». It would have been better to choose «relics», to conserve the sence of sanctity in the english word. But this is probably not a very big question. The same object may in the Bible be both a means of salvation and (later on) a means of paganism (cfr the brass snake of Moses).

    Odd Sverre Hove
    Bergen, Norway

  28. I think relics is probably the more accurate of the two.

  29. My thoughts on the 3 hallows as a means of conquering death were:

    The Elder wand … a killing stick with it’s power removed … made me think of the cross.

    The Cloak … covered over with the ‘robe of righteousness’ … we put on Jesus righteousness and so are not condemned to die for our own lack of righeousness.

    The resurrection stone (that you turn over 3 times to use) .. simply that resurrection is ours through the sacrifice of Christ … or the tombstone that Jesus spent 3 days behind – truly dead but perfect and unable to be held by death. Hmm.. yeah I like the tombstone angle.

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