Saturday, June 9, 2007

Harry's Final Fight

Harry never fights alone.

Stoppered Death

"Even put a stopper in death" = "Just shove a bezoar down his throat"

Kidneys look a lot like cork, by the way. When someone is dying from poison, you just stick a stopper in him: a stoppered bottle, a stoppered death.

The Deathly Hallows

Deathly Hallows are murdered wizards. Voldemort thought that they were eliminated, but they are not, because they live in an unknown but real manner beyond this world. We have seen them enter into the wizard world in many ways, such as Harry's Patronus, the castle ghosts, and the portraits of past Hogwarts headmasters. But most importantly, we saw them enter the graveyard through the effect of priori incantatem.

Voldemort must raise his army out of beings who are presently alive in this world, such as giants and dementors, or out of dead bodies that are animated in a crude way, the inferi. But the cosmic-scale battle of HP7 will be fought and won by all of Lord Voldemort's enemies, living and dead.

The Locket and the Mysterious RAB

RAB is the name of one of the founders of Borgin and Burkes, Mr. Burke. He snuck onto the Hogwarts grounds following the murder of Dumbledore, and using either the general confusion or an invisibility cloak (as the owner of a shop he would have invisibility cloaks available to him) as a shield against being seen. He went through the corridor created by the closets--which was never closed--and escaped in the same way.

He went to Dumbledore's body and took the Horcrux, replacing it with the fake locket.

Plausability factor is high. It is more likely that one wizard was able to come through the closets than to steal the locket from the cave. Also, the cave did not bear the signs of having been broken into before Harry and Dumbledore went there. Most importantly, the potion was still there, and it was not self-filling.

RAB said in his note that he would be dead before the note was read. This is because destroying a horcrux is very damaging to the person who destroys it. Remember that Dumbledore was nearly killed, and permanently damaged, by destroying a horcrux at the beginning.

Dumbledore and Draco

  • Harry and Draco have been opposed since Book I, when Draco insulted the Weasleys.
  • Harry has been opposed to Draco in one-to-one competition very consistently throughout the series, almost in parallel to Harry's opposition to Voldemort.
  • Ron and Hermione underestimated Draco in Book VI, so much that Harry could not even speak to them candidly about Draco, whom he knew to be plotting something evil.

All of this leads to a false impression that Draco is nothing but an evil boy who in the end will be counted among the Death Eaters.

But several factors point against this. It is helpful to take a look at Draco from Dumbledore's point of view.

First, Dumbledore is an educator. He is not just the Headmaster of Harry, although that is how we see him most clearly. He is the Headmaster of Hogwarts. He has been responsible for the formation of many students over the years, including Draco's family and, of course, Tom Riddle. He has had some successes and some failures.

When he looks at Draco, Dumbledore sees a kid who could go either way. Draco is not yet confirmed in evil. This is clear from the fact that he cannot bring himself to murder Dumbledore, even though he is incapacitated and right in front of him. Yes, Dumbledore is messing with Draco in that conversation, playing with his insecurities. But he is also holding a mirror up so that Draco can see himself: No, look Draco, you are not a cold-blooded murderer.

Dumbledore intends to shield Draco from evil in the most significant way, through love, especially love expressed through giving one's life for another. Dumbledore's death will have many beneficial consequences. But most immediately, he will die to place "the mark of love" on Draco's life, so that evil will not be able to touch him.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Harry is wrong to think that the locket was switched out in the cave.

It was switched out at Hogwarts!

Remember, the cupboards were still working after Dumbledore died. Someone entered the grounds and changed the locket, leaving a note. Not Regulus. Someone else, with a last name starting with B!!

Snape Is Good--and Snape Is Bad

Snape killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore asked him to. Dumbledore was pleading with Snape: "Severus. Please." He meant, "Severus. Do what I have asked you to do"--that is, to kill Dumbledore.

That is what they fought about before. Snape did not want to kill Dumbledore, and Dumbledore was insisting on it.

The reason Dumbledore died is because that is redemptive for Draco. Dumbledore intends to be putting himself into the same position as Lily Potter put herself into for Harry's sake: a human shield, who makes the mark of love that keeps a person safe. Snape is helping with that process.

However, there is a difference. Dumbledore cooperates with his own death in a way that Lily Potter never did. Dumbledore makes Snape, who works for Dumbledore, kill him. In a way, Dumbledore has committed suicide. This is absolutely wrong, and Snape is actually very wrong for doing this.

That is the morality of the situation, if my theory is right, and I think that Ms. Rowling is making too close a comparison between the two different situations. Lily was willing to accept death, but Dumbledore brought about his death. Dumbledore actively cooperated with his own killing, and that is wrong, even for a good reason.