Monday, July 23, 2007

SPOILER! The end of Harry Potter

The folk at Slate are having difficulty with the end of Potter.

I think that the panel miss the point of Rowling's prophecy: 'Neither can live while the other survives'. The point is that Voldemort and Potter are both surviving rather than living. Both have spent the past 16 years in misery, the past 7 afraid that the other will destroy them.

Despite everything, Voldemort does have a way out: remorse. Redemption is possible even at the very end. If Voldemort feels genuine remorse he does not need to kill Harry and Harry does not need to kill him.

From a plot perspective Rowling plays fair. Voldemort is not destroyed by a deus ex-machina. The method of killing Voldemort is laid out in volume 6 and Rowling sticks to this. The scar was pretty obviously a horcrux. The new element that Rowling lays out is the means for Harry to survive.

At the point when Harry is blasted by Voldemort he is in posession of all three of the deathly hallows. He has the ring, cloak and the elder wand that blasts him recognizes him as the owner. Why shouldn't Harry survive when he is wearing a ring that allows him to recall people from the dead?

Due to the horcruxes Voldemort has to be killed eight times. It seems somewhat pikish to complain that he fails to kill Harry a second time with the same spell that failed the first time round. Voldemort decides that he has to kill Harry himself, which is somewhat illogical as all the evidence suggests that he is the only wizard who cannot kill Harry.

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