The last three volumes deal with Harry’s increasingly desperate battle against Voldemort, and his fight to remain steadfast even as the world spins into chaos around him. (Note: I am not going to explore the hot-button issue of whether Dumbledore is or is not homosexual. His death leads to the salvation of countless others. Change ). Like the rest of the Malfoys, Draco’s mother Narcissa is described as having blonde hair. Thanks JK Rowling. He feels he can serve the good guys better with a Ministry position than in the Order, something that Harry doesn't particularly respect. Was his love for Lily real, or was he just a, How did he get in with his Death Eater friends? Weigh in on the scripts yourself with a collection of Harry Potter’s previous movie scripts: 1. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Dabbling in these areas, which is very easy, is a common way that people become involved with the occult. The symbolism is almost explicit. To make matters worse, Lily asked Snape to watch over their newborn son in the event of her death. If the others were still behaving like assholes even after he had stopped (so that he could have a chance with Lily), why did he continue to hang out with them? Fans are on two sides as to how sympathetic Marietta is. One of the most recurring themes in the “Harry Potter” series is the sacrificial love of Harry’s mother Lily, who died to protect her infant son. ( Log Out /  On the one hand, she was scared of Umbridge (and her mother worked for her, which added to the pressure), and Hermione's secret spell seemed rather cruel and, Cho Chang herself gets some for defending Marietta Edgecombe for betraying Dumbledore's Army, and Harry (understandably) breaks up with her for it. Or do they just get their kicks from. I am glad I’ve read the books and watched the moves. That is not boring at all! And this isn’t even the classes where they get to learn how to charm objects to make them fly, or transfigure yourself into an armchair, or defend against dark curses. After Dumbledore’s untimely “death” in Book 6, a series of rumors begin to fly regarding Dumbledore, questioning his authority and his wisdom. I’ve previously avoided discussing this issue directly for a variety of reasons. Many Death Eaters don't exactly share in Voldemort's fervour to, Draco Malfoy's most popular interpretation, Did she truly support the Death Eaters when they took over, or did she just go along with them to save her own bacon? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Script (Dialogue Transcript) (2001) 2. And, of course, they’ve attracted praise and scorn from virtually all sides, including an almost unprecedented amount of criticism from the conservative Christian community. I also appreciate that since I have read the series I can converse with others, Christian and non-Christian alike, intelligently and knowledgeably about it. Some of the particularly prevalent arguments deserve honest and respectful consideration. Death in Potter. Was she just infatuated by his celebrity status? I believe instrumental is an excellent way to describe it. Snape, a longtime admirer of Lily (Harry’s mother), was forced to watch as she married a man Snape deemed reckless and immature. Five years ago, I began reading the series suspiciously, expecting to encounter a barrage of subversive, anti-Christian propaganda. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he has never grasped.”. One alternative interpretation is that since the guy she, In general, Harry practically idolizes him and sees him as, Dumbledore is gay which was heavily implied in the last book but only ever confirmed via, Rita Skeeter was known for scathing and notoriously false reporting, but she may have inadvertently hit upon a nugget of truth in her postmortem reporting on Dumbledore's formative years and how much influence they held on who Dumbledore eventually became. These are certainly legitimate: the books get progressively scarier and as the series goes on, although the ending is ultimately redemptive. Did that evolve into deeper feelings? On another level, Book 7 also serves as a metaphor for the relationship between God and His people. The situation may be summarized thusly: Harry, a bearer of evil that is not his own, must suffer death at Voldemort’s hands. He's credited with defeating Voldemort, but the first time he did it he was an infant and it was through his mother's, Is he really a good friend? You of course mentioned that the divination from the books is basically the same as in real life, and while it is true that it is typically mocked, it is also portrayed as real on one (maybe 2) occasion in specific where Professor Trelawney actually goes into a trance and gives a prophecy. To offer some background, Professor Albus Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School, and fulfills the role of a father to Harry. As one final critique (and I know I’ve been mostly negative, but you did do a pretty good job of explaining the positives, which I partially agree with you on), it absolutely drove me crazy how most of the characters were such horrible students! Later in the series (after the Dark Lord’s return to power), Voldemort attempts to “possess” Harry (yes, in the biblical sense) but cannot due to the contrast between Harry’s soul and his own. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Did he target Snape and try to destroy their friendship so that he could have her for himself? I do have strong objection to both of these are they are often practiced in the real world. It soon becomes clear that the death of Harry’s parents was no accident: the evil Dark Lord Voldemort murdered them. She was found out because Hermione secretly cast a spell that would give away any snitches - by effectively disfiguring their face. “Harry Potter” magic is similar to a genetic mutation – some possess it, others do not. Unfortunately, legitimate disagreements with the content of “Harry Potter” have often been obscured by a deluge of inaccurate information. Harry must decide whom he trusts: Dumbledore, who is no longer directly there with him, or those who criticize him. I’ve listened to the books way too many times (the audio books are truly remarkable plus I have few audiobooks and lots of housework). Criticizing something one knows little or nothing about is unwise. One theory suggests that he was a mole within the Ministry working for the Order, likening him to the hero of, After Dumbledore and Harry are proven right about Voldemort's return and, Some fans discovered a minor point of contention: in, We know that she lost her mother when she was young, which would likely leave some emotional scars, and that her father is about as eccentric as she is. This dark desire leads him down the path of villainy, transforming him from a disturbed orphan boy into the living incarnation of evil. As Dumbledore puts it: “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”. Snape loves Lily (he is not just an admirer) and this love means he cannot ever give himself over to Voldemort or Dark Magic; in fact his love empowers him to successfully hide his true self from Voldemort. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’d been mistaken: the books were adventure stories in the style of Roald Dahl, with a layer of fairy-tale magic added on. The series does have a very compelling and exciting story that while making them fun to read means that it requires much more intentionality to read them with discernment. There’s no conjuring up of spirits, no altars to pagan gods, no communion with demons – Potter-magic functions along the lines of “point wand, say word.” The spells aren’t cribbed from pagan rituals – for the most part, they’re pseudo-Latinized phrases (“Expelliarmus” blasts an opponent’s wand out of his/her hand, “Incendio” summons fire, “Reparo” fixes broken objects). However, considering that the franchise has almost run its course, and sentiments have cooled somewhat, I feel it’s time to take an in-depth look at some of the themes and worldview elements in this oft-disputed series. The Sorting Hat itself seems to characterise Hufflepuff this way at one point, almost as if to discourage anyone from wanting to be sorted there; maybe they just don't want kids who feel a strong need to "fit in" with any given group. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. It’s got to be like this. Is there something that she's missing, or is the Wizarding World — which has. Rather than being blindly condemned and censored, it should be read and analyzed thoughtfully. I do agree with you that the majority of the magic in the series is not like real magic. Primary characters are willing to (and do) suffer unbelievable loss for one another, even giving up their lives in order to do the right thing. This past summer, I took the time to revisit the series from a more critical standpoint. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Script (2005) 5. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. On his eleventh birthday, Harry receives a letter from Hogwarts, a school for young wizards and witches, and promptly enters a world of wonder and mystery. Or vice versa. Did they actually like him, or were they just trying to recruit him? This is hardly a unique objection and I happily apply it to other series such as The Lord of the Rings, which many Christians praise (which I think might be more dangerous because it is so often blindly accepted and supported by Christians that very few of them read it with any level of criticism). In the books Snape is shown as having a lot more baggage than in the films (possibly due to, What to think of Harry's dad James? With more than 400 million copies sold, the books have impacted popular culture in a massive way. In the same way that Jesus pleaded with God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane to “take this cup from [Him]”, Harry struggles to understand the “cup” that Dumbledore has left him to bear. Did Snape actually like, Do the movies change anything? I mean even the history of magic class, which sure the professor was a boring ghost, but it was full of stories about wars between differing magical creatures. There is honestly no moral difference between the magic in “Harry Potter” and the powers possessed by Superman or Spider-Man. In the climactic scene, Lucius and Narcissus, as devoted Death-Eaters, should be trying to kill, but they are only desperately searching for the son they love. Not that it helps, because he and Tonks are both killed by the end. The “Harry Potter” series is the story of the eponymous hero, orphaned at birth and left in the care of the cruel Dursley family of “Muggles” (non-magical people). But one interpretation is that she's, Her behaviour may be a defense mechanism, especially considering the fact that her dad runs a conspiracy paper. The book of Acts tells the story of Paul using the Athenians’ altar to an “Unknown God” as a means of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. While Harry is certainly not Christ himself, he is the books’ “Christ figure”, willingly enduring a sacrificial death in order to save others from evil. How did he end up with Lily to begin with? What to make of his relationships with the other Marauders? Voldemort is obsessed with the concept of living forever, no matter what the cost. I enjoyed them, but there are a great many other series that I have enjoyed much more. It operates according to certain rules, just like gravity, and there are both good and bad ways to employ it. The “Harry Potter” series is, in many ways, a parable about the danger of desiring immortality. While Harry lives, Voldemort cannot truly die. Since that point, Snape’s relationship with Harry has been a constant source of pain…yet Snape chooses to sacrifice his own feelings and defend a child he believes should have been his. was she in love with him, or was it mutual, or what? Over the years, the House Cup becomes much less important to the story, but in, Severus Snape has many such interpretations. Never judge a book by its movie. This will necessarily be a fairly long discussion – after a brief summary of the series, this commentary will explore the three predominant motifs in the seven books before responding to a few of the foremost anti-“Potter” objections. Did it matter that his friends Sirius and Lupin might still have been behaving like assholes even after James had grown out of it, or was James able to convince Lily that they were cool even if they hadn't "grown up" yet? But when, Its founder, Salazar Slytherin, is not painted well in the books - he was known to have built the Chamber of Secrets, which housed the Muggle-killing Basilisk, and he did have a falling out with the other founders over whether or not to accept Muggle-born students. As the film series nears its completion, there will likely be many questions about the themes in the final installment. While it isn’t an allegory on the level of the “Narnia” books, it contains some deeply Christian themes. She’s also described as looking like she constantly has dung under her nose, but that might just be Harry’s, um, unique interpretation. She clearly had a schoolgirl's crush on him in their first year. Canonically, people like him, and his friendships are, Ron Weasley is one of Harry's most loyal allies, but that doesn't stop the fandom from interpreting him as, What was the nature of Ginny's relationship with Tom Riddle in her first year? Book 7 successfully unites all these elements into a dramatic, triumphant finale. This subplot is one of the most moving elements of the entire series. I think it’s fair to say that few books have ever inspired as much controversy as J.K. Rowling’s hugely popular “Harry Potter” fantasy series. Each of these deserves thorough evaluation. Their relationship can be analyzed on two distinct levels: as a metaphor for the relationship between God the Father and God the Son, and as a metaphor for the relationship between God and His people. I envision reading the books aloud to my children someday – once they’re old enough to understand them, and mature enough to handle them. There are certainly moments in the “Harry Potter” series disturbing enough to put the books off-limits for sensitive readers. The love between family members is celebrated as beautiful and noble, never something to be mocked and sneered at. Draco, who takes on the task of killing Dumbledore out of love for his father (wanting to redeem Lucius) cannot do it, even with Dumbledore helpless before him. The curse that originally failed to kill Harry struck Voldemort instead, blasting away a piece of Voldemort’s tainted essence…which in turn bonded to Harry. Would he have granted Snape's request that he not kill Lily? It’s a fairly simple story arc, but the intricate web of plots and subplots grips the reader’s attention. By recognizing the Christian themes woven into the plot, the “Harry Potter” series can become a tool for cultural evangelism. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. At Hogwarts, he meets his two closest friends – Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger – and begins studying magic. Voldemort’s deadliest weapon, the “Killing Curse,” rebounded when he used it against Harry, shattering the Dark Lord’s power. If JK Rowling might read this I wanted to tell her I love this book. I don’t mean to sound like I am against Christians reading them, but I believe, and I believe you would support as well, that they should only be read by people mature enough to exercise proper discernment about the themes, ideas, and actions in the books. When Harry is only fifteen months old, Lord Voldemort murders his parents. Reading the final book of the Harry Potter series was one of my holiday activities this summer. Compounding this fact is that the saga is told nearly completely in limited third-person perspective, making it so we only see and think what Harry sees and thinks. Harry even observes: “I don’t want anyone else to try to help. Aided by his fellow evil wizards (“Death Eaters”), Voldemort begins a campaign to kill Harry Potter, the only one who may stand a chance of defeating him. Or is he a, Gryffindor is the house Harry belongs to, so naturally we see the most of it and it's painted in the best light. This isn’t to say that there aren’t other themes in the books. As a Christian, I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble by what I say, nor do I want to simply stir up dissent. What made him turn out the way he is? Sadly, most Christians who criticize the books focus on the larger instrumental magic and ignore the real parts. Hermione seems to be the only one who's utterly horrified at House Elves being used as slave labor. What’s more, disputes over the “Harry Potter” series have led to other, more subversive material being overlooked. Death is seen not as an end, but rather as a beginning. This is for sure one of the better positive critiques I’ve read about Harry Potter from a Christian. Nice analysis. The way he's written, this may well be intentional. (Interestingly, magic operates in a way that could theoretically be tested according to the scientific method!) There are so many story lines and they are so perfectly combined, that I coul not stop reading. He was indeed mistreated by his father, by the Marauders, by Voldemort, even by Dumbledore, but this. In all honesty, advertisers erred in marketing this series to a preteen demographic: although the early volumes are filled with childish innocence, the story matures along with its protagonist. Notably, Philip Pullman’s atheistic fantasy series, “His Dark Materials (which directly attacks Christianity) was published alongside “Harry Potter”, and went largely unnoticed by Christian critics. It’s got to be me.” While this motif is certainly common even in non-Christian literature, it gains special significance when viewed in light of another prevailing theme (to be discussed later). Voldemort is obsessed with the concept of living forever, no matter what the cost. Dumbledore sharply critiques this empty attitude towards life: “As much money and life as you could want! Harry explicitly states that he doesn't want to learn from Snape and doesn't see any real point to it, while Snape was even more of an abusive jerk to him than usual during those lessons. He and Grindelwald held great aspirations to help bring wizards and witches out of hiding and put them at the top of the food chain, and if an unknown number of Muggles had to die in service to this dream, it was all ", Dumbledore's treatment of Snape is particularly concerning to some fans, who saw him as manipulating Snape into doing his bidding by exploiting Snape's trauma at losing the only woman he ever loved. The “Harry Potter” series is, in many ways, a parable about the danger of desiring immortality. As a Christian, I choose to recognize that the “Harry Potter” series may be a modern “altar to an unknown God” – a means by which we can share our faith with the world. The other Weasleys were very prone to making fun of Percy and had little respect for his interests. There is of course nothing inherently wrong with reading something multiple times over; however, I don’t know anyone who does it in a non-obsessive way. Also, it is hard to travel though a town without seeing at least one or two divination places that offer readings (palm, tea leaf, or crystal ball) or communion with spirits. All the “dark” characters in the book who nevertheless love someone deeply and truly are unable to fully participate in evil. The magic employed in “Harry Potter” is purely instrumental. However, this is perhaps the most interesting and uniquely symbolic element of the entire seven-book saga. For starters, the only “real-world” occult practice employed by “good characters” is divination (reading tea leaves and crystal balls in an attempt to predict the future). The Interpretation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ... Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a story of a young hero, Harry Potter, who suffers from the actions of the story's villain, Lord Voldemort. Did his condescending, Is he a genuine, committed Pureblood supremacist? Some paint them as rather boring, academic, and exclusionary. This suggests that he really was a Pureblood supremacist, but one interpretation suggests that since the, Hufflepuff is so often portrayed as "the House of All the Rest" that, What to make of Pius Thicknesse, Voldemort's, Professor Trelawney is, in the books themselves and by other characters, generally regarded as a fraud who's only ever made two real prophecies in her life. I just found it to be rather unrealistic (especially for Harry) and thought it was a missed opportunity to encourage studying. I’d read plenty of books about the “occultism” of the series, and heard all the anti-“Potter” arguments. It's nominally the house of courage and chivalry, but some fans see it more as a house full of, Ravenclaw is the house for smart people, but how smart are Ravenclaws really? This may have contributed to his clashes with his fellow Gryffindors. Some suggest that he was just different in personality, being smarter but more rules-oriented and more willing to think of the consequences of risky actions (unlike his siblings, some of whom are legendarily impulsive). (Note: In order to evaluate the complex themes of this series, the following commentary contains spoilers). Draco has abundant opportunities to injure Harry but he can’t bring himself to really injure Harry. Did she really understand Harry, or was she, On a somewhat Meta level, some readers have argued Ginny gets too much, The Weasley twins: Are they good-natured pranksters who target people who deserve what's coming to them? He's, Some fans, however, see him as a straight hero — usually, Others are more nuanced: They say that Snape's just after power. Was he doomed to be evil from birth, or could he have become a better person had he believed there was someone who actually cared about him? Therefore, it's very easy to re-examine characters' behavior and motivations while thinking Harry - whether out of ignorance or his own biases - is an Unreliable Narrator. When Harry confronts Voldemort and suffers death at the Dark Lord’s hands, he awakens to find himself in a limbo-like state between life and death. Harry doesn't learn much about what Tom's diary did to her; he suspects it, One hot-button issue among the fandom is her relationship with Harry. There are countless other elements worthy of analysis – race and class discrimination, civil disobedience, and the corrupting effect of power, just to name a few – but these three are perhaps the standouts from a Christian worldview standpoint. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. You did forget the astrology of the centaurs. Percy Weasley was always kind of different from the rest of his family, but there are different suggestions as to why: The usual interpretation: he was just too ambitious. However, it soon becomes clear that, in fact, a seventh Horcrux exists: Harry Potter himself. There is nothing in the series that will corrupt a mature Christian, and it borders on slander to make harsh accusations without knowing the facts. However, the way in which Harry fulfills the task left him by Dumbledore is, to an extent, analogous to the way in which Jesus obeyed His Father’s will. I must confess that I missed the significance of this theme the first time I read the series. Well-intentioned individuals like Laura Mallory (who has engaged in an anti-“Harry Potter” crusade for years, despite not actually having read the books) do not further the cause of Christianity by their protests. However, it has been argued by fans that many of her predictions are at least, With a few exceptions, such as Dobby, they, The other question is what to make of wizards who seem okay with this sort of thing. However, Book 7 finally provides the full story. I think it is certainly possible, but I honestly don’t think the majority of 15 and 16 year-olds that I know are mature enough to read the series with the proper discernment and understanding. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Script (2002) 3. I will make an open request to all individuals who are still concerned about “Harry Potter” after reading this review: please do not argue that “Harry Potter” is evil/Wiccan/Satanic, unless you have actually read the books for yourself. I know people that are so obsessed with the Harry Potter series that it is actually all they ever dream about. This, perhaps, stuck out to me having attended Patrick Henry College with lots of studious people, but seriously, with the exception of Hermione almost none of the students (at least the ones that are even slightly important characters) actually cared about their studies or spent time doing school. That is unhealthy, both in an emotional and social sense, but especially in a spiritual sense. dismiss everyone else's problems as unimportant. But for Harry, death isn’t the end. OVERALL VERDICT: 9.5/10 Of course, there have been plenty of criticisms of the “Harry Potter” series as well. I devoured the first six volumes, read the seventh book as soon as it came out, and moved on to other things., Harry Potter and the Literary Analysis « The Oak Dialogues. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It is not practiced by any of the main characters, but it is referred to several times as a means of determining the future. Horoscopes (based on astrology) are in almost every newspaper and online, and there are a great many people that read them. Clearly, the question of “Harry Potter” is a complicated one. He attains a sort of pseudo-immortality by constructing the aforementioned Horcruxes – but in order to do so, he must take a human life for every Horcrux he creates. To complete the Christ metaphor, Harry is resurrected from the dead, defeats Voldemort once and for all, and saves the magical world.


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