Deathly Hallows Discussion Point #30: Best Links

This is the last Deathly Hallows HogPro Discussion Point I’ll be posting before Prophecy 2007, so, lest HogPro All-Pros go spare looking for the latest and greatest commentary on these books, please send in links to sites not on my BlogRoll that HogPro readers may have missed. I know I am not alone in wanting to read A. S. Byatt’s, Lev Grossman’s, Harold Bloom’s, and Michael O’Brien’s take on the series finale; after Mr. Abanes’ fitting retirement from the field (I’m not reading the book — couldn’t be less interested…) and Ms. Mallory’s departure from litigation, can Brjit Kjos be far behind?

More seriously, I am eager to read the Red Hen’s thoughts and Professor Mum’s and Linda McCabe’s and Janet Batchler’s. Did I mention Travis Prinzi? So even though these Potter mavens are on my BlogRoll, I hope folks will send in anything they add to their sites. HogPro can act as something like the Floo Network, then, for better reading and discussion of Deathly Hallows this way, at least for a little while.

Thank you again for all your wonderful contributions to the site! I have a hard time believing how many other sites reference this one (and I only know of the ones that actually link to HogPro) as the source of their material and thinking about Deathly Hallows.


  1. Hi John,

    I’ve been a silent reader of HogPro for the last several months. Here’s a link to my rather humble reflection on DH. I’d be delighted to get some insightful readers in on the discussion.

  2. John,

    I started writing my thoughts on the book and the series as a whole yesterday. As I saw it approaching the end of 4 pages in Word, I decided to post that and continue my thoughts in future posts.

    There is so much ground to cover after all.

    As it turns out, I was wrong about Harry’s death by decapitation, but I was right about Harry having to sacrifice himself and that Jo would find a way to resurrect him back to life.

    Linda McCabe


    Ms. Barber links to the first MSM article that has penetrated this Hobbit Hole about the awkward position of the Harry Haters, post Deathly Hallows.

  4. From Presbyterian Outlook, an article by Ken Cuthbertson:

  5. Berit Kjos checks in on Deathly Hallows. Surprise! She doesn’t like it!

    The good news is that Rick Warren, the subject of Mr. A-banes’ hagiography, has published a newsletter with this “incitement to Potter” by James Emery White:

    “Though the seventh and final installment is yet to be released (July 21, to be exact), when it does, it will be well-worth reading. Though some would disagree, I am one to put Rowling’s work in the camp of fantasy literature, along with Lewis and Tolkien, with her use of magic more mechanical than occultic. I found her earlier six volumes instant classics of the genre, and the final book will undoubtedly cement this series as among the best written.”

    I, of course, am called out by the inimitable Ms. Kjos in her review of Deathly Hallows as a leader of the movement to destroy the faithful:

    “As in Old Testament days, today’s world sees God’s guidelines concerning occult influences as a hindrance to their quest for mystical thrills. In contrast, blending good and evil makes sense to postmodern churches. And as Harry and his friend Hermione point out, such compromise serves the pluralistic vision for “common good.”

    “John Granger, author of Looking for God in Harry Potter, may be the most effective promoter of this dialectical heresy. He puts the entire series into an occult context.”

    Who knew?

    Update: Mr. A-banes’ book, Home land Insecur ity: A Novel, listed in today at the sales board at #566,976. It was not listed on the New Fiction Bestseller list of 170 titles. It is #33 on the “New Releases” list if you narrow down that field to “Mystery;” You should know that there are only 47 titles on this “Mystery” sub-list, that #1 on this sub-list is #14,397 at Amazon’s overall list, and those below #32 aren’t in the top 500,000 books at

  6. As a fantasy author myself… I hardly wish for folks like Berit Kjos to get ahold of my book when it’s finished when I read articles like that one, it only reinforces that thought.

    Harry’s meeting with Dumbledore = Necromancy? Honestly. A. It’s a fantasy story. Anything is possible. B. Harry was pretty much dead himself. Now if the use of the resurrection stone was brought up in this context, then perhaps I can see how definitions could be stretched to mean Necromancy. But really, we are told that it’s for the best that the stone is lost and we learn right from the books it’s more of a curse then a blessing for the user.

    I suppose there would be a problem with the all the portraits talking… Most if not all of the subjects having died.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike “Harry Haters” some of the nicest people I’ve met happen to fall in that camp. I just don’t particularly like it when I see people who are so adamantly against it that it doesn’t matter how many toes they step on. The same has always been true of Narnia and Lord of the Rings. So it doesn’t surprise me that Harry isn’t well liked either by some.

  7. NYCindividualblog says

    I have written several things on my blog about Harry Potter and Christianity. Some of the posts are articles I’ve written, others are friendly arguments I’ve had over the Christian elements to the stories. I’ve also posted some links to other Christian views on HP there, including one to this site. To see all of my posts on HP at once, go here:

  8. Arabella Figg says

    Oh, John, I knew you were a dialectical heretic ages ago. That’s why I continue to participate here.

    Off on my evil broom with my little familiar, Curious Black…

  9. Arabella Figg says

    Here’s a good one from Christianity Today, bastion of evangelicalism:

    I’ve never tried to copy a link, so don’t know if it worked. But you can look it up on their website.

    Got to lube the kitties with hairball unguent…

  10. Rose Zeller says

    Stephen McGinty mocks Prophecy 2007 as:

    Harry Potter and the Weird Academic Theories

    IT could be called Harry Potter and the Order of the Egg Head Academics. The books and films that have delighted and enchanted millions of children are being scrutinised for secret codes and hidden meanings by academics and fans at the world’s largest symposium dedicated to the boy wizard.

    More than 1,500 muggles (non-magical folk) will arrive at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto today for the beginning of a four-day convention at which Harry Potter will be compared to Jesus Christ, Hermione Granger will be revealed as a feminist and Lord Voldemort will be diagnosed as a “malignant narcissist”. (Lets hope he doesn’t hear.)

    The topics of discussion at From Hero to Legend, as the convention is called, would soar, like a golden snitch, clear over the heads of many young Harry Potter readers.

    Now the series is complete after book seven, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, there is clearly much more to say about the boy wizard.

    However, children, as well as less devoted adults, would surely grow restless when presented with a 50-minute lecture by Gwendolyn Limback (who sounds like a Potter character herself) entitled: ‘Conjuring Her Self: Hermione’s Self Determination in Harry Potter’. Or Sharon Power’s lecture, ‘Freud and the Fetishistic Phantasy: Magic, Desire, and Loss in Harry Potter’, a 20-minute romp through the characters’ relationships with magic objects.

    No? Then how about Angela Beth Fulk’s analysis of ‘Boarding School Homoeroticism’ or ‘Genetics: Muggle or Magic’, in which Kathleen Hohman uses the latest genetic research to determine what would be the indicators, on a genetic level, of who gets to cast spells and ride on a broomstick.

    The idea of hundreds of adults thoughtfully chewing on the legs of their round Harry Potter specs as they are lectured on Master Potter’s adventures in the context of international relations – another genuine lecture – may strike those few readers immune to JK Rowling’s spell as rather strange.

    William Shakespeare, James Joyce, William Blake – surely these are the authors who deserve such obsessive study?

    [Clink link above for more — be sure to read the comments at the end of the article! Ouch!]

  12. RenaBlack says

    John (and all), the Stephen McGinty piece actually made me physically nauseous. Could there possibly be so many people wasting their time ARGUING against literary criticism? It’s ridiculous.

    How do they think Shakespeare got to be “the Master”? Curious people started looking at his work critically, comparing and contrasting it to what they already deemed worthy. They took it beyond the level of feeling, stylistic opinion and entertainment value to try and actually textually support their claims. Oh, and they didn’t seem to mind that magic permeated Will’s world; his portrayal of human personhood still resonated as true to life, from many angles. And let’s not even start with Joyce or Blake…

    I do, however, find it weakly funny that so many of the comments are full of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. It seems, sadly, that English class was just an all-around waste for these individuals. That’s one of the most disappointing things I’ve discovered this week; my English major half is deeply saddened.

  13. Mr. McGinty, one of the better reporters on the Rowling beat, sent me three questions before he wrote “Harry Potter and the Weird Academic Theories.” He chose not to use any of my answers. I should be glad, I guess, that he left me off his list of Weird Theories!

    Dear Mr Granger

    I’m writing an article for The Scotsman newspaper about Prophecy and
    would appreciate it if you could email me a reply to the following

    1) How would you rebut the criticism of the books, particularly from the
    Pope, that they are almost satanic?

    2) How would you respond to outsiders that you are taking “children’s
    books” too seriously?

    3) Would you consider JK Rowling a contemporary CS Lewis?

    I do hope you will be able to reply, unfortunately my deadline is rather
    tight and if you can I would need to hear back from you by tomorrow

    If this isn’t possible – have a great convention.


    Stephen McGinty

    My response:

    Dear Mr. McGinty,

    I just linked to your 2006 article on Ms. Rowling in my discussion at about Ms. Rowling’s latest comments about her “struggling to believe.” Thank you for that excellent article and for writing me today.

    Right to your questions:

    1) How would you rebut the criticism of the books, particularly from the Pope, that they are almost satanic?

    I am not Catholic but the Pope never said anything like “the Harry Potter books are Satanic.” You can read the whole story of how a group of crazy Catholic traditionalists launched that scam in 2005 at Ms. Rowling said in 2000 that all questions about her beliefs would be evident in the seventh book. As you know, Deathly Hallows was certainly testimony to Christian faith. Anyone with a culture warrior’s agenda could possibly continue to criticize her books but no thinking reader can miss their significant and edifying message and morals.

    2) How would you respond to outsiders that you are taking “children’s books” too seriously?

    First I’d say that since Prisoner of Azkaban more adults have been reading these books than children or adults reading to children. The themes, symbols, and compost of great literature (Ms. Rowling’s description of her inspiration) evident in these books make them substantive reading.

    Second, and more important, the Harry Potter books are a cultural phenomenon of the first order. No book not inspired by God or penned by Chairman Mao has ever achieved the global popularity and holding power that Ms. Rowling’s novels have. Anyone not interested in exploring why these books are as popular as they are, frankly, is not a thinking person. My approach has been to “take Harry seriously” as literature rather than as a cultural artifact; my answer to the question of “whence Potter-mania?” is (a) the artistry of her work, (b) the postmodern themes themes that resonate with the beliefs and concerns of our age, and (c) the transcendent meaning she reaches at and hit in her use of traditional symbols and story points.

    3) Would you consider JK Rowling a contemporary CS Lewis?

    Yes and No! Lewis, as Andrew Lazo has written, was a distinctly modern writer writing to and for an audience that had seen Victorian ideas crash and die in the trenches of WWI and in the war with the Nazis. Ms. Rowling is not a Christian apologist or evangelical and she is not writing a novel for moderns.

    She has written a series of novels, however, with tremendous “religious undertones” (her words) and undertones suited to the spiritual capabilities and needs of the people she is writing for, a decidedly different audience than Lewis had. As I explain at length in Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader, she is a postmodern Christian, more liberal, uncomfortable with church authority and institutions of any kind, and suspicious of those without doubts and second thoughts Hence her 2006 comments to you about faith and Graham Greene). She is a Christian artist and a profound one but not like Tolkien, Sayers, or Lewis.

    A curious point of contact between Lewis and Rowling that is usually overlooked in the haste to equate or distinguish them as Christian writers is that they both were literary alchemists. Lewis’ Space Trilogy is the modern classic that revived the use of alchemical structures and images in the novel; Rowling’s Harry Potter books are the postmodern equivalent (she said in 1998 that alchemy set the magical parameters and logic of the books and there are three chapters in Unlocking explaining the depth of her use of literary alchemy).

    Anyway, I hope this helps! Thank you again for your January 2006 article in The Scotsman, one of the best in the Interlibrum, and for writing me this morning with your questions.


  14. John, those are great answers. How would you compare/contrast Rowling with Madeleine L’engle? A closer comparison than Lewis, perhaps?

  15. Arabella Figg says

    According to a response to McGinty’s article, John, you’re a “brain washed unstable maniac.” Good for you! I’ve always considered this, as Dumbledore might say, “one of your most endearing qualities.”

    While some of these talks wouldn’t interest me (enough with the Freud, already), some would be fascinating. The maturity level demonstrated in the responses shows these poor people in dire need of remedial English and a course on critical thinking.

    Perhaps they’re more up to studying something like this–The Five Single Gags Comprising the Garfield Comic Strip For Over 26 Years and and What This Reveals About Artistic Ingenuity. Nah. Too difficult.

    Goodness! Luscious BadBoy is at it again, eating a dead fly…

  16. Arabella Figg says

    Check out this week’s Entertainment Weekly on newstands now. They have a huge HP section, with excellent summations of each book, an entertaining letter to Snape and a Hogwarts yearbook page. That’s as far as I’ve gotten and it’s fun; nothing deep.

    Yuck! Luscious just snagged a huge spider and is teaching little Flako how to eat it…

  17. If religious leaders are not calling us heretics then surely we are in trouble. When have the religious ever liked those who took Christ’s call to an authentic faith and radical life seriously?

    As to the poor English, I have a valid excuse, it is my second language. German is my first. What excuse do the critics have? Maybe the terrible decline of the American educational system as a whole? If so, thank God (and Harry Potter) for children reading books again these days…

    My American husband read his first book at the age of 25 after he read the bible for the first time and decided he wanted to emulate Jesus. The thought never occured to him in church and neither did anyone ever encourage him to read a whole book. He found The Message at church and read the entire thing through in slow motion, seeing that he could barely read at all.

    What are they teaching the kids in school these days?

  18. The article “What Civilization Does Harry Potter Create?” by author Orson Scott Card is well worth reading:

Speak Your Mind