Godric’s Hollow

chapter sixteen of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

With Ron gone, Harry and Hermione continue to move around, but their days are punctuated by sadness. Finally they decide to go to Godric’s Hollow, where they see a statue of Harry with his parents and visit the graves of Lily and James.
 

Ron Left, by gerre

The instant they arrived, Hermione dropped Harry’s hand and walked away from him, finally sitting down on a large rock, her face on her knees, shaking with what he knew were sobs.

(by gerre)


 

Hermione, by Behindtheveil

They did not discuss Ron at all over the next few days…. Hermione seemed to know that it was no use forcing the issue, although sometimes at night when she thought he was sleeping, he would hear her crying.


 

Hero, by reallycorking

Hopelessness threatened to engulf [Harry]…. He knew nothing, he had no ideas, and he was constantly, painfully on the alert for any indication that Hermione too was about to tell him that she had had enough, that she was leaving.


 

Lost in Translation, by lberghol

“Hermione?”
“Hmm?” She was curled up in one of the sagging armchairs with
The Tales of Beedle the Bard….
“I’ve been thinking. I – I want to go to Godric’s Hollow.”


 

Hermione, by briarthorn

“We’ll have to think it through carefully, Harry.” [Hermione] was sitting up now, and Harry could tell that the prospect of having a plan again had lifted her mood as much as his.


 

Godric's Hollow Muggle, by TomScribble

Perhaps Hermione knew how he was feeling, because she reached for his hand and took the lead for the first time, pulling him forward. Halfway across the square, however, she stopped dead.


 

Godric's Hollow, by TomScribble

“Harry, look!”
She was pointing at the war memorial. As they had passed it, it had transformed.


 

Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also, by somelatevisitor

Harry drew closer, gazing up into his parents’ faces. He had never imagined that there would be a statue….


 

Godric's Hollow, by Jenny Dolfen

“Harry, they’re here… right here.”
And he knew by her tone that it was his mother and father this time. He moved toward her, feeling as if something heavy were pressing on his chest… a grief that actually weighed on his heart and lungs.


 

Godric's Hollow, by briarthorn & greendesire

Harry let [the tears] fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.


 

The Wreath, by gerre

He put his arm around Hermione’s shoulders, and she put hers around his waist, and they turned in silence and walked away through the snow, past Dumbledore’s mother and sister, back toward the dark church and the out-of-sight kissing gate.

(by gerre)


 

about the chapter

 

Full Circle

Harry and Hermione standing in the snow at Godric’s Hollow, staring at the graves of Harry’s parents, is one of the most poignant scenes of the series. For a moment, Godric’s Hollow takes Harry back to the little ten-year-old boy we saw in the beginning of the first book: lying in his cupboard, desperately dreaming of a miracle that would give him a life different from this place that he has no way to escape. But now that dream is made all the more powerful by knowing the life that he could have had, the life that he can almost reach out and touch standing in this town, with a letter his mother once wrote from it tucked into the pouch around his neck. All Harry has ever wanted is a normal life, and his parents’ graves symbolize it – after all, the moment they died, any semblance of normality in Harry’s life died with them, too. And as he once again sits with almost all hope extinguished from the horizon, it’s no wonder he dreams of sleeping under the snow himself.
 

The Boy Who Lived

Much of the reason Harry’s hope is fading, of course, stems from Ron’s departure. And as I read this chapter I can’t help thinking of the choice Ron made, and what it means for his two best friends. “He’s gone and he’s not coming back.” I’ve talked before about how Harry doesn’t know (as we readers do) that his book is nearly half-over; from his perspective, it could easily be a decade before he succeeds in destroying Voldemort. Or, just as easily, he could simply be killed in the attempt. Either way, it’s very, very possible right now – if not probable – that Harry may never see his best friend again. And if he does, it may be so far off in the future that any friendship they once had will be forever changed by the friend who left and wasn’t seen for years. And from this perspective, it’s not hard to see why Hermione is so upset, either; given what we know about her feelings for Ron, she’s quite possibly feeling as though her soul mate has broken up with her, on top of the weight of the wizarding world that now rests on her and Harry’s shoulders. You have to wonder what Ron is feeling right now himself….
 

The Boy Who Lived

It’s not hard to understand Harry’s intense frustration with Dumbledore, and in some ways he has every right to be frustrated – for instance, why on earth didn’t Dumbledore just give him Gryffindor’s sword? But at the same time, it’s justifiably hard for him to remember that however it may have seemed to Harry, Dumbledore never did have all of the answers. Think about the other Horcruxes: Dumbledore spent a full year searching for the cave (and had no idea that the real Horcrux wasn’t even there); it could be considered something of a miracle that Harry was able to locate the real Horcrux in less time than that. And the other Horcruxes, still out there somewhere? Well, if Dumbledore had known where they were, he certainly would have destroyed them himself, as he did the ring. So while it’s easy for Harry to have a scapegoat, much of his frustration should really be chalked up to Voldemort, who deliberately made the task in front of him very, very difficult. And maybe even altogether impossible: What if the final Horcrux is simply a rock that Voldemort chucked into the ocean?
 

Something to Remember

The Marauder’s Map gives Harry an interesting bit of information, and while he’s too angry with Ron to think about it much, it’s worth our attention. Specifically, why doesn’t Ron ever show up back at Hogwarts? Where is he? What is he doing? And can we even be sure that he’s okay?
 

The Final Word

(Regarding the biblical quotes Harry finds on the tombstones in the graveyard, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” from Matthew & “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” from 1 Corinthians):
“I go to church…. [but] the truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return. It’s something I struggle with a lot. I was raised in a Christian tradition. To me, it’s always been obvious but I never wanted to talk that openly about it because I thought it might show people just what is the story, where we were going. They’re very British books, so on a very practical note, Harry was bound to find biblical quotations on tombstones. Those two particular quotations that he finds on the tombstones of Godric’s Hollow, they almost epitomize the whole series. I think they sum up all the themes in the whole series. “–J.K. Rowling, October 2007
 


49 Responses to “Godric’s Hollow”

  1. The picture by lberghol is awesome! Thanks for updating.

  2. Just one remark about some of the pictures: Harry and Hermione should have been in disguise by use of Polijuice potion. The artists used the same approach that was used in the film (no Polijuice).

  3. I know that for the storyline Voldy couldn’t have had a pebble in the sea as a horcrux but it was very silly for him not to. He could have had the rest in special objects and places but he would still be alive if he did have a pebble in the sea. It would have been a fail safe option. I know it’s Voldy’s personality to discard the notion that anyone knows as much as him and it would be impossible for anyone to find all of the horcruxes. But he didn’t count on Dumbledore and Harry.

    I think this is the chapter where I started crying and didn’t really stop until the end. First the statue, then the graves, then the house, Ron’s return, Dobby’s death, the deaths in the battle, the forest again, the reactions to Harry’s ‘death’, worry for Neville, the final showdown, the epilogue… Basically it’s non-stop water works from here on.

  4. Oh, thank goodness! I’m home sick today with nothing to do and was hoping you might post another chapter!

  5. Jose: Don’t know how much you puruse DeviantArt, but several of the artists have made the conscious choice to portray Harry and Hermione as themselves rather than the older couple they were impersonating with Polyjuice Potion. I think that, based on the artists talent, they are just as powerful as portraying them correctly.

    In fact, honestly, I “see” Polyjuiced characters exactly as they are, just with a hazy sort of mist for those that are interacting with them, because I’m not imaginative enough to rework how they look. :)

  6. beautiful artwork once again :’) i never feel more belief in God than when I’m reading Harry Potter, these sorts of chapters especially. I simply can’t see why some people are so against the series due to religion. Anyhow great update Josie :)

  7. I’m pretty sure Hermione is curled up in a Chudley Cannons blanket in Iberghol’s picture. :(

  8. Jose Lopes, the Polyjuice thing bothers me a bit too, but there’s a reason artists do it – a picture of two unrecognizable Muggles who we know are supposed to be Harry and Hermione crying over James and Lily’s graves just isn’t that interesting. And of the tens of thousands of pieces of HP fan art I’ve seen, I’ve never seen one like that, presumably for that reason. So I used these instead, and I don’t think they significantly detract from the chapter. It’s like I always say, if I was the artist here, every drawing would be impeccably accurate to the books – and I would have a website that nobody would ever want to visit. ;)

  9. Tom Scribble’s matched drawings are excellent!

  10. I like that Tom Scribble shows them in polyjuiced form. I do understand why in the movies it may be hard to do, because then two different actors are portraying the roles, but in a drawing they aren’t. Or there could be a way to show a hazy representation of the polyjuiced form around the drawing of each one? What do I know; I can’t draw. :)

  11. Even if the pictures are not exactly accurate they still express the intensity of the scene. I did’nt search much through DeviantArt or any other site, but if most artists preferred to draw Harry and Hermione like themselves I guess that they feel it would look odd to draw two strangers looking at James and Lily’s grave.
    Just one other remark: the church tower is very alike on three of the drawings, considering the fact that they were made by two different artists. I did a quick read of the chapter and did not found any particular reference to the tower. I guess thats only a coincidence that both artists thinked about a squared tower with spikes at his corners.

  12. By the way, Josie, you make good analysis of the books, so there will always would be visits to your site. On the other hand if you draw the same way I do then I’m afraid the critics to your art would’nt be very positive ;)

  13. This was one of the chapters that reminded me “Oh wow, Harry sure is in over his head”
    The poor guy, so much depends on him. I know I would be tempted to just give it all up.
    This evil immortal man, who’s obsessed with killing him and a huge task of finding untraceable objects that the greatest wizard of all time couldn’t find.
    But Harry perseveres through it all.
    Ugh, I’d be like “hang it all, I’m done, leave me alone world, I want some normality in my life,”

  14. @Samantha: Great catch with the Chudley Cannons blanket. I’m sure you’re right. That’s a very poignant touch.

  15. TomScribble and gerre do use the Muggle forms in their art (because they’re notorious for being detail sticklers, which I love) but it’s in such a way that it doesn’t distract or confuse me from the general (which I doubly love!).

    And, Samantha, I LOVE that you pointed out that detail!

  16. So happy to see another chapter was posted today! The artwork for the chapter is amazing!

    @ Jose Lopes – That’s a neat observation about the similarity of the church towers in the work of two different artists! All I can say is that this Norman-style square tower is incredibly common, and there are literally hundreds of old churches in little towns across England that look like this.

  17. LOL.

    I must say that my first reaction to TomScribble’s drawings was something like: “wow, these are good… but how come two random muggles saw the statue transform?!” =p

  18. Hi… thanks Josie for including my pics & thanks everyone for the nice comments on them. About the towers, as Andrea said, these square towers are terribly common for English village churches, if you google image “English village church” most of them will be square and flat-topped, without a spire. The church in my grandparents’ village (I was using them as models for Muggle-Harry and Muggle-Hermione) was like that, as was the church of the village I was in when I drew the picture… I think somelatevisitor‘s Harry and Hermione are polyjuiced Muggles too! Though they are so small it’s hard to tell.

    One thing that struck me about this scene – and only struck me as I drew it – was that it is Christmas Eve, and the main iconography for Christmas Eve is “parents with a baby boy” (and other assorted worshippers). The baby boy (Jesus Christ) is seen to be the saviour of the world. I like the parallel that we are seeing a statue of parents with a small boy, and this particular boy was seen, when it was erected, as the saviour of the (wizarding) world (in Britain). It gives you an idea of what the Potters, Harry Potter especially, meant to the wizarding community then, and I find it’s poignant that we come to see it now, when the wizarding world is once again under threat and badly in need of its saviour.

  19. i am FULL of admiration for the drawings here that show Harry & Hermione in their polyjuiced forms – because they do what i didn’t think was possible, which is to evoke the same emotion with characters that aren’t visually recognisable.
    this is one of my favourite chapters. i love harry and hermione’s friendship – the solidarity of their companionship which i find touching and SO well written.

  20. This is a very moving chapter: the statue of the Potters, the quiet of the gravesite, the singing in the church, the graffiti on the secret sign outside the devastated house where the Potters once lived. I loved the discussion about the meaning of the scriptural quote on Lily and James’ grave. It’s a sweet, quiet, poignant scene.

    Once I visited the neighborhood where I had grown up until I was thirteen; I was surprised at how much smaller everything looked! Harry didn’t have that chance, of course, because he didn’t get the chance to grow up in Godric’s Hollow.

  21. @ TomScribble – Thanks for sharing some background and insight into your two remarkable drawings! Seeing the books brought to life through art enables a much richer understanding of the text. Thank you!

    The contrast between the images of the muggle war memorial and the statue of Harry’s parents is quite striking. Village war memorials seldom convey a sense of victory as much as they seem an outpouring of a community’s grief. The statue of the Potters is like a village memorial in that it stands as a testament to sacrifice and to commemorate the fallen, but also exists to celebrate and honour “the boy who lived.” War memorials typically have a generic & anonymous feel, while the statue of the Potters is very personal. And while the war memorial asks us to never forget the horrors of the past, the statue of the “saviour” child conveys a sense of victory and hopefulness for the future.

  22. Dumbledore couldn’t have just given Harry the sword for the same reason after Ron saved Harry he had to be the one to destroy the Horocrux. The sword had to be taken with need and valor in order for it to work and only then for the person who had proven himself worthy. When Harry pulled the sword out of the hat in CoS he had proven himself loyal to Dumbledore at great risk to himself…need and valor. In the lake Ron saved Harry when he almost drowned…need and valor. If Dumbledore had just given him the sword the previous year, it wouldn’t have worked.

  23. TomScribble, I’m quite sure the Christmas Eve imagery was deliberate. From this point in the story, the Christian imagery never lets up.

    I have to admit that I’m a dense reader. It wasn’t until several chapters after this one that I realised which story JKR was telling. Yes, the Christian imagery has always been there, but so have the Greek mythology, the Arthurian motifs, the alchemy, Grimms’ fairy tales, etc., etc. Even after Harry was established as the Chosen One (Messiah) and we read the inscriptions on the gravestones (very culturally normal!), I still didn’t realise which of the many themes was going to be the dominant one. I feel stupid in retrospect… But perhaps it was JKR who hid her real intentions from us extremely well and kept us guessing until the very last minute…

  24. Harry tells Ron that he loves Hermionie “like a sister” and this this is demonstrated after Ron leaves. So many were probably hoping with Ron and Ginny out of the way that this romance would blossom between the two of them. I do not understand where people could possibly get this concept. I have always seen Hermionie as a mother-sister role in Harry’s life. She would scold him and nag him to do the right thing; and he would sometimes act like a petulant child, but knows she ultimately has his best interests at heart.

  25. This is one of my favorite parts of the book – not in a happy way, of course, but it’s such a powerful, touching scene when Harry stands there and just wants to be in the ground with his parents. Since he began at Hogwarts, he has always been fairly happy with his life there, but now he is away from Hogwarts, his home, and seeing Godric’s Hollow and his parents’ graves for the first time really strikes him about what kind of life he almost had. I really love the artwork here.

  26. GinGin4’s comment made me think… What if the Horcrux hunt *had* gone on for years, with Voldemort acquiring more and more power, Harry and Hermione’s need for secrecy rising, together with their solitude, and Ron forever unable to find them (maybe just because they would have kept avoiding his name)?? Would H & H have eventually wound up together, as the only companions left to each other as time went by??
    I wouldn’t go as far as striking Ron off as unwilling to return: but since the only way he could find them again was with the Deluminator, there was a good chance he would never be able to use it without the other two speaking his name. Maybe if the war had gone on much longer, the Order might have turned into some kind of partisan, underground group, trying to curb Voldemort’s ascent while waiting for Harry to reappear, and Ron could have joined in and be active in the war in his own right; which might have provided some reconciliation between the three friends once Voldemort was eventually defeated… But maybe it would have been too late for Ron and Ginny, as Harry and Hermione might have meanwhile developed a much deeper bond. Not to mention that the Weasleys themselves might have moved on from their adolescent love interests, though Ron’s guilt might have prevented that.

  27. Irene M. Cesca, that’s a really interesting idea and one I hadn’t ever really considered. As long as we’re considering ‘what ifs’, we might as well consider Ron not being *able* to get back to Harry and Hermione. After all, he doesn’t know what the deluminator was for; what if he, say, stuck it in a cupboard somewhere and never heard it, no matter how much his name was spoken? After years and years… it’s hard to imagine relationships wouldn’t be drastically different, whether Ron was still involved in fighting Voldemort or not. At some point it wouldn’t just be about his motivations any more; it would also be important that so many years apart would have old friends growing in different directions.

  28. As for those who wonder on why Dumbledore didn’t give Harry the sword in the Half-Blood Prince was because Dumbledore needed the sword to destroy the locket when they both got back. So, always a back up plan in mind, he dictated in his will the the sword of Gryffindor would be left to Harry. Though knowing full well the ministry would not give the sword, Dumbledore counted on Hermione or Harry to realize why he left the sword to Harry. Then counted on Snape to do the rest.
    If you think about it, it was mere chance they actually realized that the Sword of Gryffindor destroys horcruxes.
    As I go through the seventh book, I’m really amazed on how much Dumbledore left to mere chance (though it all ended well) it could have easily gone wrong. One little slip up on Harry’s part, and the entire plan would fail.
    I mean, how did Dumbledore know where they would get info on the Deathly Hallows?
    How would Snape figure out where Harry his hiding knowing he would have protective enchantments to boot?
    So much to chance, it just makes my stomach churn thinking about it.

  29. I’m not sure the Deathly Hallows were very relevant to the whole plan. Sure, the *may* be one of the factors that allowed Harry to survive (the fact that the Hallows exist doesn’t necessarily mean that their owner is a “Master of Death”), but Dumbledore’s plan required Harry to destroy the Horcruxes and then take on Voldemort… Harry’s survival was auspicable, yet not necessary: quite on the contrary, if it had been necessary for Harry to actually die in order to bring Voldemort down, then that was it, end of the story.
    Dumbledore probably passed on the Tales of Beedle the Bard just because the Hallows had been his lifelong obsession and what had impacted so tragically on him and his family, maybe hoping that the Trio would believe the tale and that, at showdown, Harry would know what to do with the stone in the snitch and find solace in his dead. Which he does. But that Dumbledore might have imagined that in his quest Harry would have had the chance to duel and subdue Malfoy, gaining the alliegiance of the third Hallow seems a little more than far-fetched…

    Dumbledore still left A LOT to chance, especially regarding Harry being a Horcrux himself and his chances of survival. What if Harry had never been able to find the remaining Horcruxes?? Dumbledore didn’t know where they were and had himself excluded that one might be at Hogwarts. What if Snape’s final message had never been delivered?? Snape was an exceptional wizard and his dedication to his mission might have assured Dumbledore that he would manage to pass on the Sword and that he would do everything in his power to assist Harry beyond that, but what if he had simply run out of time?? What if Harry hadn’t been right there before Snape died?? What if someone from the Order had attacked and taken Snape out of the picture even before that, in revenge for everything??
    I think those are the chanciest twists in the plot: everything else just works out well, but would have worked out all the same. Even if the Trio had never figured out or obtained the Sword, they were bound to get to Hogwarts at one point to get the tiara, and they would have found the Basilisk’s fangs there, too. The whole mission might have just been a tad more depressing with the locket still intact (and the cup, to boot). And infiltrating Gringotts would have been harder without some bribe for Griphook.

  30. Yeah, that’s what frustrates me about this book the most. Don’t get me wrong, I love it to pieces, but in other books, there seems to be some plot spiraling that they are trying to uncover; in this one, they’re completely stuck, with an infinitessimally small chance that things will go the right way.

  31. I think the reason Dumbledore’s “leaving everything to chance” doesn’t bother me so much is that he didn’t have a choice. It’s not as though he knows where the other Horcruxes are, or as though he hasn’t been trying himself to figure it out. And even if Dumbledore were still alive, the odds that he would find the locket, the diadem and the cup would be incredibly small. He clearly spent a lot of time searching for the things himself; I’m sure it never would have dawned on him that Harry might be able to accomplish the feat within a year. He just knew he had to try, and that his only chance was to play his cards close to his chest so there was next to no way Voldemort could find out what he was up to. Not a great option, for lots of reasons, but what would have been better?

    I confess, though, that the Deathly Hallows plot line has always rather mystified me as well. It’s interesting, but what’s the point? The only thing I can think of is that he thought Harry wouldn’t be able to face his own death without the Resurrection Stone. So he had to learn what it was, and then use it. But unlike Ron, Harry seemed to be doing just fine without Dumbledore’s gift. Hard to say.

  32. In the end, I think the Hallows were a mere legacy on Dumbledore’s part… He just wanted someone else to figure it all out and know he had found them.

    And they are, after all, the stand alone plot of book 7.

  33. The Deathly Hallows is crucial to the story because Voldemort is looking for another way to make himself immortal since he is losing confidence in his horcruxes. Up until now Harry is seeing visions of Voldemort’s conquest for the hallows;especially the Elder Wand. By giving the trio the tools, Dumbledore is hoping that they will figure out what the hallows are and why it is so necessary to get their hands on them before Voldemort does.

  34. GinGin4, I don’t know if I agree… because in the end, it doesn’t matter that Voldemort got the Elder Wand, and it would have been clear to Dumbledore that Voldemort was never even aware of the other two Hallows. That’s why it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, because it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Voldemort.

  35. Besides, Voldemort doesn’t lose confidence in his Horcruxes ’till the end, when he finds out about the Cup being stolen from Gringotts. And he still seems pretty sure that no one could find the Tiara or, more importantly, the Locket, since he believes no one else is aware of the Room of Requirement or his Cave. He worries enough that he shields Nagini, but I believe that until the end he was not aware that all had been lost.

    And I agree with Josie: Voldemort only knew about the Elder Wand, not about the other two Hallows. Unlike the Cloak and the Stone, the Unbeatable Wand had spun legends of its own and had grown detatched from the original Tale of its creation, as wizards (and witches?!) kept killing each other over it. As for the Tale of the Three Brothers, I would be immeasurably surprised if Voldemort had ever even heard it mentioned, let alone told: little Tom doesn’t strike me as particularly fond of bedtime stories and even if he was, he was still raised among muggles, and probably lived his whole life as unaware of wizarding tales as Harry and Hermione were before being presented with the book.

    But if Dumbledore *had* been worried about the Wand (at least), he probably knew that its alliegiance would not pass to Snape, if the latter killed him at his own request. If Harry figured out that Draco had been the true Master of the
    Wand, Dumbledore must have also considered the possibility (provided he gave the matter serious thought in those few moments): so either Draco was the Master or Dumbledore had died unbeaten, and the Elder Wand was now merely a wand of elder. Either way, it was highly improbable that Voldemort would gain full access to the Wand’s powers, as it just sounds ludicrous that he would steep so low as to battle Draco or simply kill him personally.

  36. Isn’t it correct that possessing all 3 Hallows does nothing to actual make you immortal? SImply having all three Hallows just gives you the power to use each one in turn, but you are still susceptible to death. Even if Voldemort possessed them, he would not be immortal.

  37. The issue with Voldemort possessing the Elder Wand doesn’t have anything to do with his immortality but rather his invincibility.
    Voldemort has no reason to find another way of being immortal (or so he thinks…)

    Dumbledore would only have been worried with Voldemort having the Elder Wand because it would make Harry’s already slim chance of defeating him nearly impossible. (of course everything did go well in the end though)

  38. A few days ago I tried to reconstruct the story of the Hallows’ ownership/allegiance and came to an interesting conclusion: Harry was the master of all 3 Hallows when Voldemort cast him the Avada Kedavra in the forest! So I wondered if this actually made him the “master of death”, which allowed him to choose if he would live or die at the “King’s Cross”.
    [I know my theory is a bit outstretched, since he had already just dropped the Stone and lost it forever. But still, he had chosen to drop it so it was in a sense his. It wouldn’t be the most outstretched point of the story anyway.]
    But then, wouldn’t JKR have even let a hint about the issue? (Through Dumbledore for instance. Or later, during the final Harry-Voldemort duel.) But she only insisted on the importance of Harry’s blood inside Voldemort. Which IMO was another point where chance mattered in the end, by the way.
    Which returned me to the original question: What was the point of the Hallows anyway? I mean, it’s OK with the “stand-alone plot” but there has to be an in-story explanation. I tend to agree with Irene M. Cesa, it was the legacy of Dumbledore.

  39. Johny Muggle, I think that in the end the Hallows subplot was meant to illustrate just one very important point: that Harry is a much better man than Dumbledore. The wand is the really relevant one, and i get the feeling Jo just sorta added bits to the legend of the wand for the hell of it. The stone was there only so Harry could have the tragic walk into the forest, and the Cloak just completed the Trio and tipped them off about the Hallows.

    Also, I have a huge problem with Dumbledore’s leaving so much to chance. How on earth was Harry to find out HOW to destroy Horcruxes (unless he planned on Hemrione stealing his books)? How was Snape to get the sword to them? How was Snape to get the memories to Harry? What was the bloody point of sending the Trio on a wild goose chase after the Hallows. Honestly. it’s as if the whole thing is just some game to Dumbledore, where he sets up an uber-elaborate plot and watches over his folded fingers how it’ll play out.

    As to the mast-of-death thing being why Harry could choose ot live or die in King’s Cross, I think that was part of it. I think the line that speaks the most to me in that chapter is when Dumbledore says, “You and Voldemort have traveled into realms of magic unknown, you are connected as no two wizards ever have been.” It’s Lily’s sacrifice AND Harry’s blood AND the wand cores AND the Hallows AND the Harrycrux.

  40. I agree with hpboy13 that the purpose of the Hallows plot is to prove Harry the “better man,” and the worthy saviour of the wizarding world. In his arrogance, Voldemort murdered others and created horcruxes to make himself immune to death. Dumbledore pursued the Deathly Hallows out of self-importance and intellectual pride to become “Master of Death.” Harry learned the truth behind both Hallows and Horcrxues and chose neither. He inadvertantly became the master of the Hallows through his essential quest to destroy the horcruxes, and in the process destroyed the power of both. The key is that Harry willingly chose death–a completely selfless act–in order to save those he loved.

  41. Very poignant …, Indeed the readers were anticipating this scene in the book prior to its release.. and Jo writing was fantastic as always… I cry every time after reading this chapter…Wonderful artwork and commentary!

  42. The hole that is left when Ron leaves Harry and Hermoine behind is incredibly touching and painful beyond words. For some reason, i was a bit surprised that much could not be done without his presence. Not that they didn’t need him, but that they needed not to.
    I lit up when Hermoine did, when Harry and her made plans about going back to Harry’s original home. It was great to have something positive after the sorrow that was left behind when Ron had to ran away.
    I absolutely loved the scene about the monument. The whole idea that the town had that little secret to themselves was very warming. I was probably way off, but i had the impression, at least twice, that Hermoine was leading Harry the moment they arrived in the area. To take him away from the pub and a second time that i can’t quite remember (probably to stop him from looking around his old town). The pictures on this site of the statues of the Potter family are incredible. It was what i pictured, only i saw that the monuments were much bigger.
    This story cannot do with Ron, but that picture at the last of this chapter gives the impression that Harry and Hermoine are doing pretty well, which they are in a sense. Contrary to what was said about Harry wanting to join his parents because of sorrow and losing Ron (which i aggree with), when i read that part i felt it was more of simply wanting to be with them and not necessarily something that sprung from some sense of negativity over Ron and his parents.

  43. Luckily though, Harry would never have to ponder over the matter of having an ordinary piece of rock chucked into the ocean as a possible Horcrux. Dumbledore did say that Tom Riddle liked to collect trophies – things which are of great value to him, if not the wizarding world. I’d say that piece of fact is a HUGE relief on Harry’s part. ;)

  44. i’ve only cried 5 times while reading a book. once when Dumbledore died, once when Hedwig died, this entire chapter basically and at the end of the book. all during the harry potter books. never has a book series grabbed such attention from me.

  45. One thing that I always found a bit sad and unnecessary for Rowling to do, was to include dates in this chapter. Before this, the books never specifically mentioned what year it was or when Harry was born – things that, to me, made the books more timeless since they could be applied to the time we live in right now (and other generations in the future, as well). The books would just be more independent if the dates were never mentioned.
    Of course, at this point most fans DID know in what space of time the series was to take part, and of course you could still figure out what year it would be with the age and birth date of, say, Nicolas Flamel… but still, this was the first time the series was ever placed so squarely in a year in my opinion. It’s a bit sad because up to this point, there is so little in the books that can be connected to a certain year – for example we never learn the name of the prime minister in book six, we never hear any of the music that was popular in the muggle world at the time or see any evidence of what year it currently is. To write the dates in this chapter was a bit like ruining all of that.

    Otherwise, this is such an emotional chapter. It’s very beautiful, and in many ways we did just wait for Harry to come back here.

  46. Amanda, I know a lot of people who felt the same way you did about the dates. I didn’t love it, either. It felt cheap somehow – like it was thrown in because Rowling thought her fans wanted it, when it was really just a few squeaky wheels.

    On the other hand the date on Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday cake isn’t really much different. Does having to add 500 make it less obvious? So I kind of go back and forth.

  47. As usual, I’m late to this party, but I’ve been thinking about this all day, so I might as well write it down . . . .

    It seems to me that the Deathly Hallows are actually much more than a plot device; they play a role in crystallizing an important “theological” concern, one that grips Harry from the moment he reads the passage from I Corinthians on his parents’ tombstone. He’s bewildered by, it, even panicked, for it sounds creepily like Voldemort’s obsession with fleeing death. And Hermione doesn’t really have that much of a grip on it either; neither one, after all, is likely ever to have had any Christian training. But the question haunts him from here on out: What exactly does it mean, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”? Xeno Lovegood’s exposition of the Hallows suggests an answer: There are magical objects possession of which will make the bearer immortal and invincible. This is the temptation to triumph over Voldemort by becoming like him–obsessed with immortality, and willing to kill to achieve it. Of course the irony is present immediately: the Tale of the Three Brothers obviously shows the vutility of such lust–a moral that utterly escapes Lovegood (and Hermione as well; her rationalism here seems overly literal-minded to me). Fortunately Harry escapes that obsession with the death of Dobby (though I’ve never quite understood how; it’s less a conscious choice than a sudden loss of interest, reinforced by a revulsion at the thought of invading Dumbledore’s tomb and the excitement of a new lead on another horcrux). From grieving Dobby’s death to facing his own in the forest, Harry comes to embrace another understanding of death–as a means of saving those he loves, the precious gift of his own life. And then at King’s Cross Harry comes to a final realization of what it means to “destroy” death; by embracing it out of love, he has given life not only to the defenders of Hogwarts, but to himself as well. His victory is won when he accepts the killing curse, and would have been sure even had he not chosen to return to the battle; that he does so is simply out of desire to stand with those he loves. That victory won, the Hallows themselves are but a trifle; the stone disappears into the forest floor, the wand placed beyond temptation. Only the invisibility cloak remains, to be relinquished at some future time to the son he’ll now have, so that he can greet death as an old friend and depart this life as equals.

  48. I believe Leah has a point about the Hallows providing Harry with protection! I never even considered that angle before and it’s a very fascinating one:)

    Whether or not the Hallows were important, I suppose is arguable to some. But I am certain that they were important to Dumbledore. He even states that he wished for Harry to obtain them safely. He said that he made his clues vague for fear that Harry’s hot head would interfere with his good heart or something of that sort…

    I think Harry did need to know about the Elder Wand due to the fact that Voldy would be hunting that wand down and without the proper guidance, Harry may have prematurely confronted him over it and that would have ruined everything!

    Dumby even left him the resurrection stone because he knew that Harry would need it to enable his self-sacrifice. “I will open at the close.”

    The cloak, well.. I think Dumby wanted Harry to understand exactly what it was that Harry had inherited from his father.

    I think, now in hindsight, that maybe Dumbledore was hoping that if Harry obtained and mastered these items safely, it may have given him an edge in his final battle against Voldemort.

  49. The first biblical quote made me thin that JKR was throwing a hint at Hufflepuff’s Cup before we encounter it. She likes these subtle hints she does. I know it might be a coincidence but this is what I got:

    “Where your treasure is (your money at gringotts), there your heart (Horcrux) will be also” implying that there’s a horcrux at Gringotts.

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