The Flaw in the Plan

chapter thirty-six of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry returns to the forest, faking his own death as Voldemort marches triumphantly to Hogwarts. When Voldemort uses the Sorting Hat to torture Neville, however, Neville pulls the sword out, kills Nagini, and battle breaks loose. The Death Eaters are felled one by one, including Bellatrix by Molly Weasley, and Harry and Voldemort then face off. Harry explains Voldemort’s mistakes and then reacts to Voldemort’s curse, causing it to rebound and finally killing Voldemort. Harry then leaves the celebration with Ron and Hermione to visit Dumbledore’s portrait, and puts away the Elder Wand forever.

Voldemort, by LMRourke

“I do not require assistance,” said Voldemort coldly…. “The boy… Is he dead?”


Is He Alive? by TomScribble

He could hear the woman’s fast breathing, her long hair tickled his face. He knew that she could feel the steady pounding of life against his ribs.
“Is Draco alive? Is he in the castle?”


The Forest, by Chantelle

Harry could feel Hagrid’s arms trembling with the force of his heaving sobs; great tears splashed down upon him as Hagrid cradled Harry in his arms, and Harry did not dare, by movement or word, to intimate to Hagrid that all was not, yet, lost.


Carry Harry, by Sullen-Skrewt

Harry… lay quiescent, his mouth lolling open, his eyes shut, and in the darkness, while the Death Eaters crowed all around them, and while Hagrid sobbed blindly, nobody looked to see whether a pulse beat in the exposed neck of Harry Potter….


Hagrid with Dead Harry, by Cambryn

He waited. Any moment, the people for whom he had tried to die would see him, lying apparently dead, in Hagrid’s arms.

(by Cambryn)


by reallycorking

The scream was the more terrible because he had never expected or dreamed that Professor McGonagall could make such a sound.


No! by Mudblood428

“Harry! HARRY!”
Ron’s, Hermione’s, and Ginny’s voices were worse than McGonagall’s; Harry wanted nothing more than to call back, yet he made himself lie silent.


Neville Longbottom and the Sixth Horcrux, by Mudblood428

In one swift, fluid motion, Neville broke free of the Body-Bind Curse upon him; the flaming hat fell off him and he drew from its depths something silver, with a glittering, rubied handle –


by TomScribble

The slash of the silver blade could not be heard over the roar of the oncoming crowd or the sounds of the clashing giants or of the stampeding centaurs, and yet it seemed to draw every eye.



Mrs. Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger.

(by Cambryn)


“You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!” screamed Mrs. Weasley.

Molly vs Bella, by Heather Campbell

Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did.


Harry, by Caladan

Harry pulled off the Invisibility Cloak at last. The yell of shock, the cheers, the screams on every side of “Harry!” “HE’S ALIVE!” were stifled at once.

(by Caladan)


The Final Battle, by Pen-umbra

The crowd was afraid, and silence fell abruptly and completely as Voldemort and Harry looked at each other, and began, at the same moment, to circle each other. “I don’t want anyone else to try to help,” Harry said loudly, and in the total silence his voice carried like a trumpet call. “It’s got to be like this. It’s got to be me.”


by Emily Benson

“You don’t learn from your mistakes, Riddle, do you?”
“You dare -“
“Yes, I dare,” said Harry. “I know things you don’t know, Tom Riddle. I know lots of important things that you don’t. Want to hear some, before you make another big mistake?”


Harry Sketch 5, by Maria Abagnale

Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco’s wand:


Final Scene - Tom, by Elad Tibi

“Avada Kedavra!”


The Elder Wand, by MartinTenbones

Harry saw Voldemort’s green jet meet his own spell, saw the Elder Wand fly high, dark against the sunrise, spinning across the enchanted ceiling like the head of Nagini, spinning through the air toward the master it would not kill, who had come to take full possession of it at last.


EXPELLIARMUS, by Jenny Dolfen

One shivering second of silence, the shock of the moment suspended…


A New Dawn, by Marta T

…and then the tumult broke around Harry as the screams and the cheers and the roars of the watchers rent the air.

(by Marta T)


Hogwarts, by sharpfish

The sun rose steadily over Hogwarts, and the Great Hall blazed with life and light.


The Only One He Ever Feared, by VivalaVida

But Harry had eyes only for the man… in the largest portrait directly behind the headmaster’s chair. Tears were sliding down from behind the half-moon spectacles into the long silver beard, and the pride and the gratitude emanating from him filled Harry with the same balm as phoenix song.


The Boy Who Lived, by Jenny Dolfen

“That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,” said Harry. “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.”


about the chapter


The Boy Who Lived

Harry Potter has long been a hero in the wizarding world; the first time we ever met him, when he was fifteen months old, we learned that witches and wizards were meeting all over the country and toasting “The Boy Who Lived.” Now, however, his survival as a baby hardly even seems relevant, as Harry publicly defeats Voldemort and cements his place as one of the greatest legends in history. Books will undoubtedly be written, not only about Harry, but about Ron and Hermione and Neville and Dumbledore and Snape; places like the Hog’s Head and Gringotts and the Ministry and the Room of Requirement will forever be marked with monuments, commemorating their importance to Harry’s journey of defeating Voldemort; and hundreds of years down the road, children in History of Magic will know Harry’s story the way today’s children know the stories of Arthur and Merlin. Perhaps a museum will even arise, in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, displaying some of the destroyed Horcruxes, and a D.A. galleon, and descriptions and pictures and Pensieve memories of the Death Eaters, the Order of the Phoenix, and this fateful day in the Hogwarts Great Hall. And one day the Potter and Weasley children will whisper stories to their grandchildren that aren’t written in the history books – of Dumbledore’s memories, of the Deluminator, and of the Deathly Hallows.
At the end of the day, however, Harry’s legend will not exist simply because he defeated Voldemort, but for the way in which he did it. All his life he never veered from his mission, and he never ceased to be motivated by anything but the most noble intentions. And then in his final confrontation with Voldemort, he calmly showed that he knew more about wandlore than even Ollivander; that he had journeyed to unprecedented depths of magic like love, and sacrifice; that he had learned more about Voldemort than any other living soul; that he had allowed himself to be killed for the good of the wizarding world and returned to fight anyway. And then he openly gave Voldemort a final chance at redemption, before ultimately defeating him with a spell that probably would never have even occurred to anyone else in the room, but which was precisely the spell the moment called for. Harry’s duel was not the epic battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but instead was about the fact that the deepest and strongest forms of power lie not in skill or in might but in the heart.
Perhaps most important of all, however, is the symbolism of those who in the end, fought by Harry’s side. The centaurs. The house-elves. The Slytherins. Defeating Voldemort was of course about ridding the world of an evil maniac. But it also allowed Harry – and Kingsley, and McGonagall, and Ron and Hermione and Neville and Luna and Ginny and the dozens of others who fought alongside them – to build a more just, and equitable, world. Where goblins and house-elves and centaurs have more rights, where dementors aren’t used in a perverse form of justice, where the government strives to represent the people instead of its own interests. The world will never be perfect, of course. But for one shining day, it is. And it’s been an absolute pleasure to follow along on that journey, with Harry and with Jo, to get a glimpse of what humanity is capable of when a great leader steps up and shows the way.
These books haven’t been perfect, either; part of the nature of a website like this one is to spend time pointing out the flaws. But there is a reason they became an unprecedented publishing phenomenon. They are books about love, and bravery, and justice; but more than that, they are books about a very real boy and his very real friends and their struggle to do what’s right. We can all see ourselves in Harry Potter, and his existence in our world is a remarkable gift. They may not be perfect, but they are as close to perfect, I think, as any book could ever strive to be. So I want to end with this: Thank You, Jo Rowling, for bringing this world and these characters, into our lives. Harry has done so many great things for this world, and we will forever be in your debt.

I think it’s high time we pick up book one and start again, no? ;)

111 Responses to “The Flaw in the Plan”

  1. Love the pictures by Sullen Skrewt, Mudblood428, Caladan, and especially Elad Tibi! All the images used to illustrate the series have captured what it was like to read the books for the first time before seeing the movies.

  2. amazing!

  3. It has been an exciting and most thoughtful journey, one brought out most vividly by the collection of artwork and thoughtful comments and arguments. Indeed, all thanks to JKK for the concept and execution of the great story. And all thanks to Josie for the research and effort to pull this site together.

    I disagree that the museum would have the horcruxes as exhibits. First, I don’t think the trio kept them — too painful, and second, the exhibition of them might be too thought provoking — give other would-be Voldy’s ideas. Interesting thought that wizarding museums would have Pensive memories.

    A point to consider: just how long afterward the Battle of Hogwarts would the participants be getting their own Chocolate Frogs?

  4. So sad that it has to end, but it’s been an exciting journey. Thanks a million JKR and Josie! I want to say that I absolutely LOVED the fact that Neville killed Nagini, and with Gryffindor’s sword! I remember when I read Dumbledore telling Harry that another boy was also born at the end of July, and I was upset that Neville seemed such a bumbler during most of the books. For the most part, the prophecy was correct, but I am SO happy that Neville got to help in such a huge way with the defeat of Voldy! Cheers everyone! See you back at Book 1 :)

  5. I was practically cheering when reading this chapter. It was so exciting and fulfilling. Everything came together.
    This has got to be my favorite chapter in all the Harry Potter books.

  6. I have looked forward to each installment of this webite from almost the time it began – I am going to miss it – however, like everyone else – yes – it’s back to the beginning. Thank you Josie, for the research and work you put into the website, the pictures are brilliant so thanks to the artists as well. It has been a thought provoking journey , even more so seen through your eyes and also the eyes of all the members of the website. And, of course, a huge thanks to JKR for this wonderful journey. I know it’s probably asking too much, but I for one would love to see another book telling the after-stories of all of the participants!

  7. Thank you, Josie, for summing up our appreciation for Harry Potter so eloquently!

    I love this chapter… love that Neville pulls the sword of Gryffindor out of the sorting hat, love the house-elves attacking the Death Eaters shins, love Horace Slugorn and all the folks from Hogsmeade racing in to fight…

    The only part that I find a bit jarring in this chapter is the duel between Bellatrix and Molly. I think it’s surprising that Bellatrix paid enough attention to know that Fred was killed to taunt Molly about it (Fred’s death happened away from the main action and it’s surprising Bellatrix would know which twin is dead). It’s also interesting that the actual curse that Molly sends at Bellatrix is not written in the text, but it must be “Avada Kedavra” n’est-ce pas? Was Rowling trying to minimize the use of an unforgiveable curse here? Maybe it’s just me, but considering it seems that we’re supposed to view Harry as noble or heroic for using “Expelliarmus” to defeat Voldemort, it’s a bit confusing to know what to think of Molly using the unforgivable killing curse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly understandable for Molly to be “fighting to kill” as defends Ginny and the rest of her family from an incredibly evil woman in the midst of her grief and anger over losing Fred. Personally, I cheer to see Bellatrix defeated. Bellatrix definitely “deserved” it, but if that’s the ultimate message, Harry should have just yelled “Avada Kedavra” at Voldemort too.

    I love that the two spells Voldemort and Harry yell at each other here are the very same spells they cast at each other in the graveyard in Little Hangleton… Harry holds true to who he is and what he knows of magic, and Voldemort (sadly or not) does the same to his own destruction.

    Thanks again! Looking forward to the Epilogue… and starting back at Book One!

  8. Well I recently found this site and quickly read through all of it just so I could be part of at least one discussion so I’m quite happy that I made it for the last two! Thanks a lot for doing all of this, Josie. You’re last paragraph completely sums up how I feel about Harry Potter and why this series is so much more than just a story.

    I’ve never really thought about something like a museum being built but it makes perfect sense. Having memories there is a very cool idea, indeed.

    And perhaps having been there during the battle would finally make Professor Binns teach an interesting lesson! Ok, I couldn’t even keep a straight face typing that :-D. But it does make me wonder what it’d be like for the kids of everyone involved to learn about there parents in school.

  9. Gary, that’s a cool thought: HRH Chocolate Frog Cards!!

    As moving as this chapter is, one minor thing made me tear up a little, and that is McGonnagal’s reaction to seeing “dead” Harry. She’s always so composed, so together, that seeing her “lose it” in this way was more shocking than seeing any other more “emotional” character do it.

    Besides the specific discussion for this chapter, what is there to say but “thank you”?

    Thank you JKR for the adventure of a lifetime. Being only a couple of months older than Harry myself, I always felt “connected” to him and his journey. Although the differences between him and I are many, I always found that I could identify with Harry’s emotions, doubts and discoveries, which made for a very interesting examination of myself and my thoughts, ideas and hopes.

    And also, thank you Josie for finding this unique, fascinating way of reliving the stories we love so much, accompanied by wonderful art and interesting discussion. We will treasure the gift you have given us.

  10. Several points about this chapter:
    “The Dark Lord always knows.” Well, not this time. Voldemort was yet certainly shaken by the side effects of his last killing curse, and Narcissa was certainly using Occlumency, but the fact remains: Narcissa lied with all her teeths.
    I would liked to see Harry pointing to Voldemort another flaw in his plan: no more Horcruxes, all his supporters were either injured, captured or dead, he was surrounded by a large number of foes in a place from which he could not Disapparate, even if he managed to kill Harry what was he expecting, that everyone else would let him calmly walk away? No way.
    Finally, Avada Kedavra again against Harry? He already had tried that curse four times: the first rebounded, the second gave him a great scare, the third was stopped by Dumbledore, and the fourth also had side effects. Why not try other curse, probably more messing but with the same effect (lets say, for example, Sectumsempra)?

  11. One more thought: what if Harry’s wand imbedded some of the Elder Wand’s powers?

  12. I love Sullen-Skrewt’s drawing, one of the most beautiful on this site (in my opinion), I keep getting drawn to it.

  13. There were mentioned 50 fatalities aside from Colin, Fred, Tonks and Lupin on the side of the defendants of Hogwarts.

    I think, that this is a mistake, since there were hardly more than 80 defendants of Hogwarts. Most of them we know, and from many we know surely, that they had survived the Battle of Hogwarts.

  14. “You won’t be able to kill any of them, ever again. Don’t you get it? I was ready to die to stop you hurting these people… They’re protected from you. Haven’t you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding? You can’t torture them. You can’t touch them.”

    And it really was only at this moment that I recognised what the whole Harry Potter epic was truly about. There had been ever-increasing hints that Harry was a Christ-figure, but I still hadn’t realised that How Harry Defeated Voldemort was a complete soteriology and the centre-piece of the whole plot.

    And I love the fact that Harry did not “defeat” or “kill” Voldemort at all. Voldemort killed himself through his own direct action.

    Andrea, I agree with you. While there was something fitting about Molly being the one to take Bellatrix down, I wish she hadn’t used an Unforgivable to do it. Surely there was another way?

  15. woah! completely blown away by Elad Tibi’s scene that’s also in the header. Fantastic. Thanks for posting!

  16. I too love so many of the details of this chapter, esp. Neville taking down Nagini and Molly taking Bellatrix.

    I do personally find it disturbing that the “b” word was used here. Yes, it’s a war, but so was the rest of the series. I think we’re at the point where, as mentioned, a temporarily ideal world is being shown where many creatures live together and it’s the last place where vulgarity from a heroic figure fits in. That’s just me.

    And, GraceHV, I also saw HP as the Christ figure at this point — but my knee-jerk fear was, “Oh, no. Now the fundamentalists are going to cement their opposition to HP. They are going to say the implication is that Christ also faked his own death, so the book is blasphemy.”

    I can’t believe we’re at the end. Although I do love the epilog.

  17. I loved Neville’s contribution to the victory. I’d been cheering him on since the first book so to have him kill Nagini was brilliant. I hope they keep the full brilliance of Neville in the film. The fact he managed to pull the sword from the hat whilst it was on fire and then successfully kill the snake was just brilliant. If Harry really had died I can’t think of anyone else I would rather continue on and lead the resistance than Neville. To me he truly came into his own this year and it’s his 7th year at hogwarts that I’d be most interested in seeing in it’s own right.

    As for the impact I hope that they have the sense to replace Binns once and for all. It may seem cold hearted to replace a ghost but the poor standard of History teaching at Hogwarts is a major promblem. Get a dedicated passionate History teacher and the subject could be central to the recovery of wizard society after the war. As a History student I’m obviously biased but all those hours that they spent asleep seem like such a missed opportunity!

  18. Wonderful! Love the site and so sad that it’s coming to an end! Love the illustrations too especially Heather Campbell’s. I hopt the movie does this chapter justice.

    In response to the comments about Molly v Bellatrix – does it have to be an Unforgivable Curse that killed Bella? I reckon there must be more than one spell that can kill even if it isn’t the intended effect (think of the damage Reducto or Confringo could do if they hit someone). I also think it’s significant that the spell hit Bellatrix’s heart. Perhaps if it had hit a different part of her body she wouldn’t have died?

  19. Andrea/Grace has Victory: It’s interesting, since I was one of the ones protesting loudest when Harry used an Unforgivable a few chapters back, but Molly’s using one here never bothered me much. I’m not entirely sure why – perhaps simply the fact that Harry is the *hero* and the protagonist and the character I most relate to? But I think part of it is the nature of the curses, too; there’s a difference between torturing an already-defenseless lackey and killing a person who is widely acknowledged to simply be evil. To draw an analogy to Muggle war: Bellatrix is killed on the battlefield, hardly the time or place to extend an arm of negotiation. Whereas the Carrows are tortured when they’re alone and essentially defenseless. I don’t know. Somehow it just being Bellatrix makes it feel different.

    I’ve always found it interesting in general in this chapter, like with Molly’s presumed AK, how much is left to the imagination. It’s never explicitly stated that any of the Death Eaters are killed, including Bellatrix. They’re “taken down,” they “fall,” they “move no more.” This had to be a deliberate choice on Rowling’s part; perhaps reflecting an in-the-moment perspective where you can never be sure whether to trust your eyes? But then, why not move Bellatrix’s body into the side chamber along with Voldemort’s? Perhaps it’s a statement on war; losses on your own side are felt while losses on the other side aren’t really considered losses at all. I’m not sure.

    Marco: I too found the number 50 incredibly jarring. But these are the sorts of numbers Rowling has loads of trouble with. For example, there were 22 people in the photo of the original Order and Lupin says they were “outnumbered twenty to one,” yet it’s made pretty clear that there were never more than a few dozen Death Eaters. Certainly nothing remotely like 440. So we know to take these things with a grain of salt.

    In this case I count something like 43 named fighters, plus “a number” of Ravenclaws, “even more” Hufflepuffs, and “half of” Gryffindor (minus those that left when McGonagall forced them to). Probably also teachers like Sinistra and Hooch stayed to fight, and just weren’t mentioned. But for there to be 50 casualties that don’t mean anything to Harry, an incredible number of students would have to have been killed. He simply knows nearly all of the adults that would have been there. But on a grim level, this does make some sense: the students that Harry doesn’t know would be by far the least capable fighters in the battle (the best ones were those in the D.A.). Perhaps some of the Hogsmeade people that Slughorn and Charlie Weasley brought back were killed in the briefer melee at the end, as well. Either way, I think it’s clear that the sixth and seventh years of Hogwarts (plus some younger Gryffindors) were absolutely decimated. What a horrific thing. It also explains the sheer horror of the girl that GInny is comforting outside. She was completely overmatched, and probably just watched an incredible number of her friends and classmates get killed.

  20. Josie, those final paragraphs you wrote were absolutely brilliant! I even teared up a bit :)

    I always wonder… just how much will Harry tell everyone? I mean, everyone will be BEGGING to know what Harry’s been doing all year, what was Voldemort’s secret (Yes Harry may have shouted “all the horcuxes” are gone, but how many of the people there do you think this is going to mean anything to?), and basically, especially if you say they’re going to be writing books about him and erecting museums and making chocolate frog cards, what bits to you think Harry will mention, and what bits do you think he won’t mention?

    I mean for one, (I don’t have the chapter in front of me), didn’t Harry mention that Voldemort had the Elder Wand (which unlike Horcuxes, may be more recognisable)? A few people might want to get their hands on that. And what about the resurrection stone “left in the forest”? I’m sure he’s not going to mention that, or else there’ll be thousands of people dying to find it. There must be some magical analog of a metal detector that finds magic in things. What else will be left out? What do you guys think?

    Also, I adore the idea that a wizarding museum would contain pensieve memories! What an amazing experience, to be in the middle of a large room like the Great Hall, and then entering the pensieve and all of a sudden you’re in the same room but it bursts to life with battling all around! Imagine a History lesson, where you go to the museum and the teacher and a whole class enters memories of famous events in history!

  21. Perfect end to the book, Ms Josie Kearns. It was beyond all i expected for this chapter. The Deathly Hollows really was a great end to Harry Potter, the book had great meaning beyond Hogwarts.

    The pictures are great, especially the one used for this chapter and the one of the sketch with Harry’s closeup with Hagrid.
    Beautiful site, beautiful chapters, beautiful people to be discussing this with, beautiful artwork.

  22. Also worth a mention is a previous comment that was made in past chapter about Harry not realising how effective his earlier actions are; Here he has the moment with Narcissa where his earlier help to Draco comes in handy. Throughout th books Harry has helped Neville to gain his confidence and his well known behaviour toward the other beings of the wizarding world mean that they are willing to help here despite the fact that usually he’s with Hermione whenever he has met another creature of the wizarding world (at Hogwarts) and she often has a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. At least Harry leaves a good impression!

  23. Regarding how much Harry would tell everyone, I think we can make a guess about that.

    JKR has said that Rita Skeeter rushed a mostly-fictional biography of Harry into print shortly after these events took place. I think Harry’s initial reaction would be to ignore the book and the lies, but he would have felt an increasing pressure to set the record straight as he kept meeting people who believed Rita’s version of events. He decided to give the wizarding world the whole story.

    I think that he met a muggle author, J. K. Rowling, and commissioned her to write a true account of his life for publication in the wizarding world. His original idea had been to pay her a lump sum for her writing, but as she heard more and more of his story she proposed another arrangement: she would write a one-volume wizarding biography in exchange for permission to write a seven-volume account for muggle publication.

    Harry agreed to this with three provisos: she had to keep her story truthful, she had to present it as a work of fiction, and she had to change the names of all the people and places in the story. Harry was anxious about her keeping to these conditions, but none of them troubled Ms. Rowling at all. Harry’s story was so good that she didn’t want to change it, and no one would believe it if she said it was non-fiction. As for the names, she was delighted with that restriction. It enabled her to exercise her amazing gift for creating names, and to write about a werewolf named Remus Lupin and a Herbology teacher named Pomona Sprout, to give just a couple of examples.

    I think that to achieve the level of detail found in the books, Harry would have had to borrow the Pensieve and take the author on numerous trips into his own memory. This would have taken a considerable time, and would have required Ms. Rowling to make many visits to Harry’s home. Given the difficulties of transporting a muggle (her home couldn’t be connected to the Floo Network, muggles can’t ride brooms, side-along apparition has its own risks, and muggle transportation is expensive), I think that Harry must have lived in Scotland during the period when Ms. Rowling was doing her research.

    There are a few chapters in the series that are presented from the point of view of someone other than Harry, of course. For these, Ms. Rowling would have had to interview Narcissa Malfoy and John Major. I wonder which of these interviews was more difficult to set up – and to conduct.

    Josie, thank you so much for taking us on this trip with you. As an earlier poster said, it’s been magical. :-)

  24. Billie, I love it! :)

  25. I wonder what Griphook must have thought when he realized the sword of Gryffindor was, once again, back in Wizard hands. Makes you wonder why he tried so hard to reclaim it for the goblins, if it can just be pulled back into the Sorting Hat at any point from wherever it is. This is a wonderful website, and beautiful artwork! I love the banner especially. :)

  26. Nice one Billie :)
    Btw, Josie, you didn’t found pictures with the duels, that is Voldemort/McGonaggal+Flitwick+Slughorn and Voldemort/Hermione+Luna+Ginny? I just made a search with my mobile on Google Images by “battle of hogwarts” and theres and amazing picture of the second duel with Ginny almost being hit by Bellatrix’s killing curse. I was unable to find the author (one of the picture’s location is DeviantArt, but I don’t know if is a work from the owner or just a favorite).

  27. Think I found it: try ShingoTM on deviantArt. My mobile is ruining my research, just changed the default language of Google to spanish (I understand a good deal of the language but come on, this is a blatant sabotage).

  28. Josie –thank you for this website, I’ve really enjoyed the artwork and taking part in the discussions sparked by your observations. :) I never thought I’d get a chance to discuss quote “magical theory”, haha, but I certainly have. It’s sad to come to the end of it, but I hope you keep updating in other parts of the site so we can keep discussing. :-P

    I’m sure Molly used Avada Kedavra (and if she didn’t she used something else that would be just as deadly when hit in the heart). But that doesn’t seem out of place to me at all. It’s the middle of a battle: what do you think battles are all about? :(

    In terms of a comparison to Harry’s use of Crucio earlier, it’s not just the use of an “Unforgivable” curse that’s important, the situation is a big part of how I see it. I don’t like “judging” characters (I like that they’re imperfect people)… I prefer to judge the writing and the use of Crucio sticks out, for me, because it has been emphasized in the series as being something that requires a certain amount of sadistic will to perform, and because it has implications in terms of Harry’s character development in comparison to the last time he tried that spell, and those implications just aren’t addressed at all.

    That said, if you do want to judge them morally, you can compare to something like the Geneva conventions. Killing someone (normally unforgivable) is “okay” in a battle, but torture, even in war, still isn’t. You could also make the case that Molly is acting out of righteous anger, whereas Harry against the Carrows wasn’t (he observes the difference of “really needing to mean it” versus the last time when Bellatrix says “Righteous anger won’t hurt me for long!”). (Actually, this has just occurred to me: it’s interesting that an “evil” spell like Crucio couldn’t arise out of grief, the same emotion that Voldemort himself couldn’t stand contact with, and the only emotion that helped Harry keep Voldemort out of his head. Grief seems to be tied with Love, and in JK Rowling’s world that’s not demonized as a motivation for sadistic revenge).

  29. Something that made me feel very bittersweet in this chapter was the way the narration pulled out towards the end and it became less immediate. Throughout the whole series, every scene is written in a strictly immediate way, with basically none of what I’ll call “literary vagueness” when things are left to our imaginations. That was one of the things I found most wonderful about Harry Potter as a kid. Unlike other children’s books, I could trust Harry Potter to have a glorious and satisfying immediacy. Here after Voldemort’s death for the first time that leaves us. I wanted to hear Ron and Hermione’s voices more clearly, I wanted to stick with Harry the way we always have. But I guess he himself is feeling dazed.

    Something about the fight between Molly and Bellatrix doesn’t seem totally believable to me, and it might be because JK Rowling is skirting around the deadliness of the battle as Josie mentioned, or it might be because of the sort of hazy immediacy I mentioned above. However, it’s fitting that Molly’s the one to kill Bellatrix. Mothers certainly have an important place in Harry Potter, much more so than fathers, you could argue (which is interesting when you consider other epic fantasies with male orphan heroes, such as Star Wars, and the importance of fathers in those). The longing for a mother, and the importance of her love, are pretty central. You can see why JK Rowling has referred to her own mother’s death in relation to the series…

    I have an opinion that’ll probably be pretty unpopular, but here it is: a big part of me wanted Harry to say “Avada Kedavra.” I felt that killing someone, even someone evil, requires a certain amount of a loss of innocence, and that letting him defeat Voldemort without saying it allowed him to maintain a level of innocence that seemed unrealistic.

    Don’t get me wrong: I get the point she’s making, and I appreciate it. And I DO love that Harry ends up being right about his approach to things, proving to the entire world that it’s possible to defeat violence without using violence. And yet there’s a part of me that wanted Harry to have to face the fact of saying Avada Kedavra himself.

    I do love this chapter, of course. <3

  30. hazelwillow, I would also liked another finale, but not the one of Harry using the AK curse. Remembering the words of Dumbledore when dueling Voldemort, I think that a fate worst than death would also be a good ending for LV. If he had been kissed by a Dementor I would also be quite satisfied (btw, could a Dementor’s kiss be reverted?).

  31. Another nice “full circle” moment is Neville escaping the Full Body-Bind curse!

  32. For those that don’t know which picture I mentioned above, here’s the link:

  33. I don’t believe Molly used Avada Kedavra to kill Bellatrix, because it’s stressed that Bellatrix left herself vulnerable when she threw back her head and laughed, and that Molly’s curse hit her in the heart. It seems as though the fact that she was hit in the heart is an important detail. With AK, it doesn’t matter what part of a person’s body is hit, does it? But a freezing spell could stop a person’s heart.

  34. I love the drawing by Jenny Dolfen. Harry’s facial expression is brilliant.

  35. This was amazing. My journey in this site has been amazing. Thank you for putting this site together. The illustrations have made me cry and laugh, as well as yell and whoop.

  36. Billie, I LOVE your story!! That is a great explanation for these books!

  37. Billie, you are BRILLIANT!

    I certainly hope it was a freezing spell (“Gelo!”). That way Bellatrix could have been immobilised until she could be escorted back to complete her life-sentence in Azkaban.

    And I always saw the Harry/J. K. Rowling relationship exactly the way you describe it. The only flaw in this plan is that the first book was published in 1997 (soon after Dumbledore fell off the tower) and the second book in 1998 (only weeks after Voldy’s defeat, not giving the researcher long enough to collect all her data). So I wonder why Harry began to commission the books as long ago as 1996, immediately after his OWLs? There must be a good reason for that!

    And Jose, I always expected Voldy to be kissed by a Dementor. After all, the story is about souls. I expected some evil deed of his own to combine with some good deed of Harry’s and hence bring the soul-sucker down upon him. No, a Dementor’s kiss canNOT be reversed.

    Anna1, it never occurred to me that anyone would read that into Harry’s not-quite-death. I did have the reaction that “JKR cheated on her theology,” but it didn’t occur to me that it was anything more than a plot device. After all, Harry was closer to real death than anyone is usually likely to return from; it’s only because of his extraordinary circumstances that he had a choice.

  38. With regard to the Dementors being the ones to finish Voldemore off – he would not have had much of a soul for them to suck out by the time he had finished messing with it – and even then – would they have? They were on his side, remember. And regarding Molly and Bellatrix – Molly was a mother, and a very caring mother at that – I know that if I had seen such a near miss with my daugher I would have been as angry as Molly was and knowing what Bellatrix was capable of would have wanted her permanently out of the way – to keep her alive was always going to be a risk. Sorry, but I’m with Molly on this one!

  39. What a lovely (almost) ending, and what stunning comments. Two comments on the comments, just to start with:

    Andrea, remember in HBP that Bellatrix has a *very good look* at Snape in Spinner’s End, and later Snape himself remarks that Draco had been learning Occlumency from his Aunt Bellatrix. Bellatrix loves all kinds of torture, including messing with people’s minds, so she’d find it easy to know which Weasley twin had died, and delightful to taunt Molly with the knowledge. And if anything was going to extract a hearty Unforgiveable from Mrs Weasley, that was it.

    Grace has Victory, the dating of the Muggle series could be “explained” by skilful manipulation of a Time-Turner … and if there were none left extant after the battle in the Ministry, surely Hermione could cobble one together for the occasion!

  40. Deborah Hubbard, I am very happy for you to be right on both counts. But you usually are, aren’t you?

    Electa, I could certainly be as angry as Molly under the circumstances. But haven’t we already established that “righteous anger” is not good enough to produce an Unforgiveable? You have to mean it in the malicious sense. That’s why I really hope that Molly killed Bellatrix in some other way, i.e. via the ethical path of the Minimum Necessary Force. Good point about Voldy’s (lack of by now) soul, though. And I have no real objection to the way he actually died, caught in his own trap.

    It seems premature to add my thanks to Josie Kearns for this wonderful site because we still have one more chapter to go… the ride isn’t quite over.

  41. Electa, your point is a good one. Voldemort doesn’t need the dementors to suck out his soul. He’s already destroyed the soul himself. Compare the “lives” Harry and Voldemort saw glimpses of in the previous chapter – Harry as a full person, content and able to spend time with those he loves; Voldemort as a mutilated baby, living a half- (or eighth-) existence for all eternity. I don’t know what happens to you when a dementor sucks out your soul, but in Voldemort’s case, it may have actually been more pleasant. Perhaps more like simply vanishing for eternity rather than living in hell.

  42. Josie, sorry if this has been mentioned already, but I have some thoughts on what you said 22 comments ago: why couldn’t there have been 440 Death Eaters? Hagrid describes Lucius Malfoy as “part of Voldemort’s inner circle”, so why can’t it be that we have only ever properly seen LV’s inner circle? Counting all of the “weak seeking protection”, “the ambitious seeking some shared glory” and the thugs, and all other types of undesirable people, the Snatchers for example, all those who fought for Voldemort and thus helped outnumber the OoP don’t necessarily have to have known LV personally. I personally believe that, as you suggested, the 50 dead can be explained by Hogsmeade fighters. If we take the principle, as I have, that there are c.1000 students at Hogwarts and that the low number in Harry’s class is an anomaly, that equates to around four thousand witchards for every three million people, so a Great Britain population of roughly 54 million = 72k GB (aka not NI, who might well have their own witcharding school in Dublin or Belfast) witchards. Given that witcharding society in GB has favoured the rise of several villages of a high or total witchard population, is it not therefore reasonable to infer that Hogsmeade (especially as Britain’s only all-witchard village) might have up to five thousand residents? In which case 50 dead could be filled by 1 per cent. I think that this removes the necessity for Harry’s year and that below to have been decimated, whether literally (1 in 10 dead) or as in nearly wiped out, so either way I don’t feel more sorry for the girl Ginny comforts than we are given to by her battle participation and inferrable witnessing deaths of friends & others. A final thought: perhaps Binns spent so long as History of Magic teacher because heads of Hogwarts have traditionally been indifferent to history as a subject, so have used his boringness as a way to allow the students some time off to goof off/sleep without overtly showing leniency. Thank you, Josie, for all of this, and thanks to JKR. I’m off to read the above 22 comments. :)

  43. Grace has Victory and Deborah Hubbard: I think I’ve got it! The events in the stories actually took place several years earlier than was recorded in the books. When Ms. Rowling was readying her first book for publication, her publisher caught a glimpse of her timeline. The publisher insisted that she make the stories more recent, so that they would seem more current to the readers. Jo went along with this because she couldn’t say, “But this is when these events actually happened!” Harry was fine with the change because it added another level of disguise to his story. What do you think?

  44. Oh, and Josie, I don’t believe in any form of hell (and certainly none that’s justifiable) other than the metaphorical, so for me the comparison between how LV actually died and the idea of a Dementor sucking his soul out is like one between the simple end of his life or continuing to exist purposelessly. Taking the Dementors’ depression metaphor, like between a natural state and a life lived in the blackest of depressions all the time with no hope of even the slightest recovery until physical death. As a depression sufferer myself, I’m glad LV died without Dementor involvement.

  45. Josie,
    Incredible job! I can’t wait for you to finish the epilogue and start doing the character pages. I remember my 2nd grade son wanting to read the Harry Potter book and I only remember having heard it was about witchcraft and telling him we’d have to read one first, to make sure it was ok. I thought it was silly I was reading a “kids” book to make sure it was appropriate! Now, 10 years later, he’s a senior in hs and we’ve both read the books so many times over I can’t even count how many times. Thanks to JKR for what I believe is one of the, in not the, best series I’ve ever read. Thanks again to you, Josie, for providing so much wonderful insight into HP that have made them even more enjoyable.

  46. We know what Harry was going through when Voldemort cast Avada Kedavra at Harry but what was Voldemort going through?

  47. Interesting thoughts. About Harry not using AK and Molly apparantly using it: One thing that always bothers me when it happens in American action movies is when GoodGuy and BadGuy are in the final face-to-face battle, and they are shooting, punching, kicking, etc, and the BadGuy dies by 1) falling into his own trap, 2) getting knocked off a platform and impaled, etc. They almost never show the GoodGuy actually shooting the bad guy. After all, they are in a life-or-death struggle.

    I like the contrast between the motherhood emphasis in HP and the fatherhood emphasis in StarWars.

    Great sight, Josie!

  48. WOW!

  49. Billie, I think that must be it. Everything happened ten years earlier than appears in canon. (Perhaps not Grindelwald – he still died in 1945 – but Harry was born in 1970, etc.) Voldemort was defeated in May 1988, and by September 1990 Harry was so sick of the misconceptions that he met JKR on that train carriage and negotiated with her how they were going to tell his story properly. Even the epilogue occurred in 2006 (eighteen years later) and it was the very latest update on the Potter/Weasley families.

    And I wouldn’t be too certain that JKR is a muggle. She’s probably a half-blood with plenty of connections in both worlds.

  50. @rtozier and Josie Kearns

    The citizens of Hogsmade did not interfere before the second part of the battle, after Harry had intended to sacrifice himself.

    Regard Harrys words:” I’ve done, what my mother did. They’re protected from you. Haven’t you noticed, that none of the spells you put on them are binding.”

    So we can assume., that there were no deaths among the citizens of Hogsmade and those fighter, who were still alive, when Voldemort had called off the battle for the first time and set his ultimatum to Harry to surrender.

    From Harrys year we had 30 students, who wereage and fighted. (Slytherin did not participate on the side of the defenders)
    In Y6 I estimate, that about 80% were in age and participated in the fight.
    From Y5 and under all were underaged.

    So there were about 50-55 students, who had participated in the fight.

    Then we have 7-10 teachers, who had participated. All 4 househeads, Hagrid and Firenze surely had survived. The fate of Trelawny is unknown.

    InOP we had Molly and Arthur Weasley, Tonks, Lupin and Shaklebolt. Tonks and Lupin died, all other surely survived.

    From former students we had Fred, George, Percy, Charly and Bill Weasley, Oliver Wood, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinett, Katie Bell, Cho Chang and Lee Jordan. Fred died, George, Percy, Bill, Charly, Wood, Johnson, Chang and Jordan surely survived. The fate of Spinett and Bell is unknown.

    Grawp and Fleur Delaceur also participated and survived.

  51. Marco: why do Harry’s words indicate an absence of Hogsmeaders from that scene? 10 students in Harry’s Gryffindor year doesn’t necessarily make 40 in his whole year.

  52. Marco, what I’m not totally clear on is whether the *Death Eaters* were capable of killing citizens of Hogsmeade. It doesn’t seem like the sacrifice should work that way. Voldemort himself can’t do anything to the people resisting him, but it seems like the Death Eaters still could. It’s just that the Death Eaters were totally outnumbered and overwhelmed once the Hogsmeade citizens arrived, is why they all fell at that point. I’m not really sure on that, but it’s what I was thinking when we were talking about it earlier.

    Billie/Grace has Victory, I personally like the idea that JKR is a Squib, who’s now acclimatized herself to the Muggle world!

  53. Concerning the discussion about the 50 dead at Hogwarts, I have to agree with the earlier suggestion that most of the casualties were likely students. Rereading through the last several chapters of DH again, there’s a big emphasis on the number of bodies that were laying on the grounds of Hogwarts as HRH return from the Shrieking Shack and before Harry hands himself over to Voldemort in the forest. The language is vague near the beginning of The Prince’s Tale chapter, but I think “Small bundles seemed to litter the lawn at the front of the castle” alludes to the bodies of students. There were enough dead at this point that bodies were laid in a row in the middle of the Hall as HRH enter, and after Harry viewed Snape’s memories in the pensieve, Neville & Oliver are still bringing in bodies from the grounds. Sadly, it makes sense that less experienced students would be the first casualties in the fight against Death Eaters. All this happens before more adult reinforcements arrive from Hogsmeade, and I think Josie is right that this makes the experience of the girl who Ginny is comforting all the more horrific. It’s possible that some of the reinforcements from Hogsmeade may have been killed by Death Eaters during the later part of the battle as they are only protected from spells cast by Voldemort, but it seems that Voldemort’s gang were quickly overpowered and no casualties for the “good” side are mentioned at this point. Considering the apparent heavy loss of young people in this battle, it’s amazing that there is any hint of a celebratory mood at the end. The toll on a narrow age-range of students should be overwhelming.

    On a completely different note, I thought I would ask what people think it means when Harry says about the Elder Wand: “If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it?” So does this mean that the invisibility cloak had some extra kind of power that disappeared once Ignotus died? The cloak still works perfectly at concealing the wearer after all, although Dumbledore told Harry in King’s Cross that the cloak “could never have worked for me as it works for you, its true owner” (This is confusing… what else did the cloak do for Harry that it couldn’t do for Dumbledore? It’s an invisibility cloak after all… put it on, you’re invisible–ta da!). So what power of the Elder Wand will be broken? Won’t it still be a wand capable of channelling magic? Will it just not be “unbeatable” anymore?

  54. Actually, I think we’re supposed to infer that a whole lot of people came to the battle, not necessarily just those named. Harry was too busy to see everyone who arrived in Hogwarts, and they didn’t all necessarily arrive together. But I still wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers don’t add up. We know that JKR is arithmetically challenged.

    As to how Harry’s friends are protected by his sacrifice… I think everyone who was aligned to his cause, i.e. who turned up to fight, is protected in the battle. I believe this because I think the theological analogy requires it. Voldemort cannot kill anyone, and nor can any of the Death Eaters kill anyone as long as they are fighting Voldemort’s battle.

    After Voldemort dies, of course, any mischief that the Death Eaters might wreak in the future is a personal crime, not linked to Voldemort, and hence not linked to Harry’s death. But in the context of the Battle of Hogwarts, I don’t think Bellatrix could have killed Molly.

    And did I neglect to say how stalked I feel by Elad Tibi‘s picture of the final showdown? That image sprang right out of my own imagination – how did that happen?

  55. bahahaha Billie, you crack me up :D

    Speaking of mathematics, I remember discussing vigorously with friends pre-DH about the nature of souls and Horcuxes, and about how you split your soul once, so 1/2 of your soul is in you and one half is in a Horcrux, but if you split your soul again, you only have 1/4 of a soul inside you and 1/4 in the second Horcrux. And in the third Horcrux, you place an 1/8 of your soul, etc etc. So each Horcrux has different amounts of soul in it, and Voldemort at the end only has 1/2^7 = 1/128 amount of soul left. This explains why some Horcruxes are so much more *active* like the diary. Being the first Horcrux created, it had 1/2 of Voldemort’s soul, and that explains its power. But things like the diadem and the cup do practically nothing, they probably have little bits of soul in them, and so are far more vessels than active agents for the soul.
    However, there is reference to Dumbledore talking about “one seventh of Voldemort’s soul” etc. And Harry himself asked “Could Voldemort feel if a soul portion was destroyed?”. It begs the question whether the Horcruxes can spill soul into each other and reach “spiritual equilibrium” so that each piece actually has 1/7 of soul. (Or in reality, 1/8, since there are 7 Horcruxes PLUS the bit of soul left in Voldemort).

    Anyway, it’s probably meaningless because Jo would probably say something like “Souls don’t work like that” or something, but as a mathematician, this is the sort of thing that I think about :P.

    Another thing is, if there is an actual WAR, like an actual battlefield where hundreds of wizards on both sides are attacking one another, what spells *would* they use? I mean, wouldn’t they *all* use Avada Kedavra? In a muggle war, we would all use guns, (or in the past, swords), and these are solely designed to kill. I mean, why use a stunning spell or a body bind curse if you are actually *fighting a war on a battlefield*? Or is it because of the emotion and expertise needed (what did Moody say exactly? can’t remember) that you might use another spell. And this brings us to an interesting question, wizarding warcraft. The Great Hall was much too small for wizarding equivalents of cannons or bombs, too many people from both sides were intermingled, but do they exist? What about how “Sirius Black killed 13 people with a single curse?”, that sounds far more useful in a war than an AK, some sort of super explosion curse? Hmmmmm…

  56. Oh, and for all the mysterious and powerful magic of the House Elves which is on a “different frequency” to wizarding magic, it annoyed me somewhat that all that the Elves did was kick the shins of the Death Eaters. I mean… come on!!! :P

  57. @ Grace Has Victory – I agree that theological parallel would suggest that no one fighting on Harry’s side should be able to be killed by those fighting “Voldemort’s battle.” It’s definitely interesting that no casualties are mentioned for the “good” side after Harry’s self-sacrifice in the forest. The closest we hear is the “Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch–” … it’s tricky to know exactly from this wording if the Killing Curse would have killed Ginny (it seems that Harry & Molly presume that it would) and next it says that Molly & Bellatrix were both “fighting to kill.” Harry is torn as he watched the duels about whether to step in and “protect”… he even casts a Shield Charm between Voldemort & Molly once Bellatrix has fallen, even though it seems Harry knows by this moment that Voldemort’s curses aren’t binding. There’s no example to know for sure if the Death Eaters curses would be effective… this is left pretty vague.

    @ AndreRhineDavis – I had similar thoughts about the spells used in battle… it seems like witches and wizards could do a lot more damage than that described in the battle if they had wanted to. And it would have been great to see what the House Elves could really do if they unleashed their magic!

  58. @AndreRhineDavis: But wasn’t Fred killed by some sort of super explosion curse – or at least something to the same effect…? So these things do seem to occur. But in the Great Hall it would of course be too risky for both sides to use something like this, because it could kill their own people too.
    I’ve also always thought that there were no deaths on the “good” side after the forest scene, whether that is because of Harry’s sacrifice, or because they are outnumbering the Death Eaters by far – so the 50 deaths mentioned must be from the students.

  59. GhV, I guess I just don’t know who those people who came to the battle *are,* and how they found out. Harry knows all the members of the Order, and it pretty specifically states that the crowd of people that rushes by him is a mixture of Order members, D.A. members, and Harry’s old Quidditch team (even though they were all in the D.A. originally too, except Oliver). I agree with you that this is probably what Rowling intended, I just can’t find anything in the text to justify it, which bothers me. Perhaps it shouldn’t.

    You’re right about the protection, of course. I didn’t think about the fact that the Death Eaters were fighting Voldemort’s war, but that’s the perfect way to describe it.

    AndreRhineDavis, I’ve seen those calculations before (and it would really be 1/2^8 = 1/256th, wouldn’t it?). I think the question is whether splitting your soul actually splits it in half, or simply breaks off a piece. This is a weird analogy, but I picture it like, say, eating a bagel – you break off a piece for each bite, and they’re all about the same size, but eventually you reach the point that the remaining piece is just too small to break off any more. Does that make sense? I don’t know which is *correct*, as there isn’t much canon evidence for either. But I’d still call the locket pretty darn powerful, especially as, unlike the diary, it didn’t have the benefit of a person getting emotionally close to it to give it power. And the piece of Voldemort’s soul in King’s Cross seems more to me like a seventh (or a fifth or an eighth or whatever, depending on the math) than a 256th. It just feels more substantial to me than that, you know?

    Of course, it’s also possible that his soul was split into sevenths simply because it was his intent to do so…. whereas a wizard only intending to make one Horcrux would split his soul in half. Don’t really know anything about the magic behind it, thankfully.

    Anyway, just some random thoughts on the subject…. excuse the rambling. :)

  60. Fascinating discussion on the horcrux math. Josie, I do like your idea that since LV’s intent was to create 7, if there is any different in soul fraction sizes (and maybe there isn’t — maybe each piece of soul is inherently the same “size”?), his would have been planned to be 1/7. The “sizes” would still be a little off, because of the extra one, but closer.

  61. Poor Tom! Pride definitely came before the fall. Harry truly shows him his greatest weapon. He offers him mercy, and a chance to reform, but Voldemort blows his chance. I find it interesting that Harry addresses him as Tom; not Voldemort. Since Harry’s soul is completely his own, he does not want to murder his enemy, he speaks to Voldemort by addressing him as Tom, as if he is trying to reach his heart. It has to be obvious to Voldemort that he is defeated. His death eaters are all on the run at this point and his enemies are protected by Harry’s love. This was a great ending to the series and I hope the movie can do justice to the saga, as well.

  62. GinGin4, I also love that Harry (like Dumbledore) refers to LV as “Tom.” Before, though, I only saw it as a refusal to allow LV to dictate the terms of the discussion. I like that you point out it is also reaching out to the last remaining human part of him.

  63. Josie, the precise details of who came to fight bother me too. How did Oliver Wood even know to come to the battle? He didn’t have a magic Galleon. My penfriend and I came up with the fanfic answer that he was engaged to Alicia Spinet and just happened to be spending the evening with her when her Galleon flashed. That’s fine for fanfic (anything that doesn’t contradict canon goes) but it isn’t so fine with trying to establish actual canon (where there must be positive evidence).

    However, if Oliver Wood knew to come to Hogwarts, then all kinds of Order members must have been advised in a similar fashion, and they may well have brought their friends too.

    I’m flattered by your assertion that I’m “right about the protection, of course”. I’m not so certain that any reader is “right, of course”; I just think this is the probable implication. It is interesting to consider how the protection might work. Did the curses miss his friends solely because he had died for them (as I assume, but only on theological grounds)? Or did their survival depend on the fact that they continued fighting and that their own efforts enjoyed a Felix Felicis-style luck (as you might assume if you believe in salvation by works)?

    Anna1, I like your assumption that each piece of soul is inherently the same size; I suspect it’s the kind of thing that can’t be measured mathematically (like love, which actually increases as you divide it). But I too am tempted to measure Voldy’s soul anyway and suggest that he broke it up into approximate sevenths. Of course, he accidentally made an extra horcrux, which leaves 1/14 of his soul inside Harry and 1/14 inside his own body. Okay, some of us are just impossibly nerdy and demand of this story a degree of logic and consistency that this kind of story simply wasn’t designed to provide…

    GinGin4, I think Harry addresses him as “Tom” because Lord Voldemort can’t be redeemed, but it’s theoretically possible that Tom Riddle can be. I think the metaphors are slightly mixed here (and I think this is deliberate). Voldemort at one level represents Satan, who cannot be redeemed and who is the one ultimately defeated by the act of atonement. At another level, Voldemort represents a Hitler-type, and of course Hitler could have been redeemed if he’d wanted to be.

  64. GhV: rather than consider Voldemort as representative of anything, when analysing his character as opposed to real-world analogy, I prefer to think of him as entirely redeemable, being prevented from doing so only by his own choice, as would be true of all sentient beings.

  65. Well done to Jo and to you. Thank you for this site! I thoroughly enjoyed the past year reading the critiques as I read the books. There was nothing left to say about this chapter and I am glad you ended like this.
    I won’t be reading the epilogue summary – I strongly believe it should have never been mentioned, as it was too cheesy and killed the buzz a bit. But I suppose it was nice.
    Cheers!! Here’s to the final flick, and may the love of HP go on!

  66. Wow, the artwork in this chapter was nothing short of amazing!! Since most of the discussion is based on numbers, I won’t bother giving an opinion since I long ago realized that Jo is just not meant to be doing math.

    In regards to earlier points about Harry’s legacy – I think that if there was an eighth book, it would be Harry fleeing from paparazzi. I’ve no doubt that chocolate frog cards were made of Harry, and that every magazine out there had “exclusive” interviews with people who fought in the battle. But what strikes me is that (perhaps because of Binns) no one in the wizarding world seems to care much about history. Things like Grindelwald’s “symbol” aren’t even known in Britain…the equivalent of us not knowing what a swastika was supposed to mean. So I don’t think there’ll be that many museums and whatnot dedicated to this in the future.

    What I always wondered about, though, was what happened to all the Death eaters following the battle? Not all of them were killed in the battle, so what then? Dementor’s Kiss doesn’t really seem like an option anymore. Life sentence in Azkaban? Imprisonment? Do you think they were put on trial (like in GoF), and did Harry have to attend all of these?

  67. YYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love this chapter’s artwork; kudos as always to all the amazing artists who are featured on this site! Josie, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to re-experience the magic of these books as if for the first time.

  68. Thanks for your good answers, sorry for turning the discussion into a maths one :P. Yeah, I know Jo isn’t an expert with the numbers, I just try my best to ignore it mostly. I just thought I’d tell you guys a funny anecdote :D.
    I’m really going to miss all you guys and your inspiring analysis! Every day I check this site, and in the comments I’m always seeing the same names :). And even though I don’t know these people at all, it’s wonderful to hear your delightful unique and deep views. You can read a book 10 times, and see it one way, and then someone else can read it and get something totally different out of it. Josie, you have an amazing gift of making these deep connections and seeing things we all never knew were there!!! I can’t wait for you to write the essays on books 6 and 7 :).

    Now here’s an interesting question. Do you guys think that at the Ministry of Magic, things will just go immediately back to the way they were? I mean, there’s Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but there’s the whole wizarding government with witches and wizards at the top who, while may not be *Death Eaters*, have no problems following their rules as law-makers, judges and government officials. There’s a whole lot of anti Muggle/Muggle-born legislation that’s in the law now thanks to Voldemort, and I can imagine there are heaps of people who work in the Ministry who support this idea, they’re just not murders who wanted to join in Voldemort’s gang. (I remember some character describe Voldemort’s rise, saying how many people thought he had the right idea at the time, until he started killing people). I can imagine Harry leading a subsequent revolution at the Ministry, but do you think there is anyone left to kick out? Like what will people like Umbridge do? Or do you think everyone upon hearing of Voldemort’s death will spontaneously rejoice and elatically snap back into the way things were. I think there would have to be some sort of revolution, whether spontaneous or not.
    I don’t know too much about history… can you guys tell me what the after effects of evicting a dictator are governmentally? As in post-Hitler Germany or Russian after the breakdown of the Soviet Union?

  69. @AndreRhineDavis I can’t find the quote but JKR stated that Kingsley had a complete overhaul of the MoM. I’m guessing it started pretty soon after Voldemort’s defeat but it would take years for attitudes to change. Umbridge (and I’m assuming others like her) were imprisoned for their actions against muggle borns. So the people who were obviously involved in the anti-muggle movement were put on trial and potentially jailed for their actions. I’m sure there would be a lot of relief which would help in changing the attitudes of workers but it would probably take a generation at least to show true change. For example, in the epilogue Ron was still prejudiced against Slytherins. Change happened but it took time.

  70. hpboy13, I don’t think Jo ever specifically states what happened to the Death Eaters, though it’s implied that (with the exception of the Malfoys, who weaseled their way out of it) they were all sent to Azkaban. She does specifically say that Umbridge was imprisoned for life as well, and also says this about the dementors:

    (Question: “Will Azkaban still use Dementors?”)
    “No, definitely not. Kingsley would see to that. The use of Dementors was always a mark of the underlying corruption of the Ministry, as Dumbledore constantly maintained.”

    AndreRhineDavis, I’m not a history expert either, but there are lots of quotes from Jo about what happened to Harry’s world in her mind:

    “The Ministry of Magic was de-corrupted, and with Kingsley at the helm the discrimination that was always latent there was eradicated. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny et al would of course play a significant part in the re-building of wizarding society through their future careers.”

    That’s the general idea, anyway. Jo’s ideas on what happened tend toward the fantastical – “with Kingsley and Harry in charge everything became sunshiney and PERFECT!!!! :-D :-D” – which bothers me a bit. But her general idea is that, at least for a time, the role that government corruption and bigotry played in Voldemort’s ascent was recognized and dealt with. And Kingsley’s willingness to give significant roles to Order members and to the trio helped with that, for example Hermione cleaned up some house-elves legislation.

  71. Grace has Victory: So is the Prime Minister of HBP chapter 1 actually Margaret Thatcher? :-)

  72. I said earlier something about a Dementor’s kiss that needs some clarification: for whats said in the books the kiss cannot be reverted. But, in theory, even a Dementor has to die sometime. What happens then to the souls he acquired? Do they been released? Do they stay in limbo or do they go after their body (if he is still alive)?
    Of course being Dementors such adorable creatures as they are, once they feel one of them is dying I think all the others will gather to feast on the souls he may have captured…

  73. Jose Lopes, I think the question comes down to this: when a Dementor sucks out a person’s soul, do they *acquire* the soul or do they *destroy* it? My guess would be the latter, that it’s like a type of food for them. So it would be like when we die, and all the burgers we’ve ever eaten aren’t released into the world.

  74. If we follow christian tradition the soul is immortal, you may damage it but you cannot destroy it.
    Other subject from this chapter, just imagine Ollivander in the near future watching Harry’s wand: “Your wand, is repaired… But how?” All those questions about the Elder Wand may start to make some sense.

  75. I was trying to rationalize the “how did fifty people die/everyone (Oliver) know to show up?” questions for a fanfiction too. I’m guessing that once a lot of people showed up in the “second half” of the battle the Death Eaters took down a lot of them (Voldemort himself couldn’t, but maybe the DE’s could). And there were probably deaths of students Harry knew but didn’t see in the first half.

    There’s an interesting discrepancy I just caught in chapter 29 (just another JKR math fail, I think, but still interesting). When Harry/Ron/Hermione first enter the Room of Requirement with Neville, Harry notices “what seemed to be more than twenty people.” Not counting those who show up later, the mentioned names are Neville, Seamus, Lavender, two Patils, “Terry Boot, Ernie Macmillan, Anthony Goldstein, and Michael Corner.” That’s nine.

    Later, there’s a “little group of Ravenclaws” Harry addresses about the diadem: “Padma, Michael, Terry, and [latecomer] Cho.” So probably no other Ravenclaws than the ones in the nine mentioned, despite the fact that Harry notices about twice as many people as are really there? Maybe the remainder are the results of Neville’s new recruitment campaign. Younger, less experienced students (disproportionately Gryffindors and/or Hufflepuffs), who probably got wiped out in the first part of the battle.

    And as for Oliver, in my story Angelina meets with him early on about joining a Quidditch players’ strike in solidarity with their Muggle-born counterparts. He blows her off, but she discreetly sticks a two-way mirror in his apartment that she can yell at him when the time comes. After getting over with the “whose voice exactly is emanating from behind my toilet? :S shock.”

  76. If everything moves back ten years, there are some details that have been altered by JKR, possibly to throw peoploe off the scent – for example Dudley couldn’t have had a Play Station in 1981

  77. Samantha: I’d like to register my opinion here on the epilogue (jumping the gun though to do so arguably is). Yes, I agree it was too cheesy for my taste, although plausible. What I most disliked, however, by far, is a trope JKR used which I don’t like in any medium of art: presenting the future as the present. The book was released in 2007 and the epilogue is set in 2017 – for me that is like assuming the next 10 years of Harry’s life after point of read, which for me cheapens the idea of their progression a bit. (I disliked the endings to (spoiler) Lost and Charmed, shows I’m a big fan of, for similar reasons.) I know that the theories on JKR-as-Muggle-transcriber (very well done on that, btw, everyone who thought of that: a much, much more well-thought-out version of flickerings of thought I’d had on that being the case) would solve this problem to a large extent, but I would have preferred JKR have in-booked something like that herself, a hint at least. It would have made for a neater epilogue. One thought I do have that impacts on that: it might go a long way to solving the problem that the timeline PM of HBP1 is John Major, whose predecessor was a woman, (cough: political joke approaching) She Who Must Not Be Named, if you will, and yet Fudge tells the presumable Major “you’re handling it better than your predecessor – HE tried to throw me out of a window.” As it is, I prefer to think that Fudge had no dealings with Thatcher (oops, now I’ll have to fight off some Snatchers) and was thus bumblingly lying to Major in an attempt to flatter him and thus calm him down. Given the gender mistake, this had the opposite effect (as if Fudge’s oddness wasn’t enough). Two more thoughts: Major is a known cricket enthusiast. Perhaps he might have warmed to the wizarding world more if it had been through Quidditch. And, shortly before Dumbledore’s death, Major lost the election to Tony Blair. Imagine Scrimgeour, on top of everything else, having to brief a new PM (especially on top of Blair’s celebrations at getting the Labour Party back into office for the first time in 18 years) on the fact that he was in the middle of a war he was largely powerless to fight. Of course, that didn’t stop him helping to start one six years later.

  78. Me again: JKR is a known Labour Party supporter and donor. What price she was commissioned by the new PM to write reports on the unfolding witcharding war upon his 1997 rise to power (thus perhaps helping to solve the problem of why the books would have begun to appear before the war ended). Of course, this doesn’t explain PS’ original, largely unsuccessful publication, as I understand it, in c. 1991, but maybe Time Turners would take care of that one.

  79. Ember Nickel, I love the idea that the D.A. has grown this year as more students (including younger students) have joined the force. So Harry would walk in and see twenty students, but only know half of them. That’s a great testament to Neville, among other things!

    Timbo, your point is interesting, especially because Dudley also couldn’t have had a PlayStation in *1991*. It’s one of the many inconsistencies in dates and calendars in the books. :)

    rtozier, I think the reason the Epilogue being set in the future didn’t bother me is because the books weren’t *really* written to be set in a particular time period. There are dates stuck in where dates are needed (tombstones, specifically), but it’s clearly just not written with those dates in mind. There certainly wasn’t any place where Rowling set out to say, “okay, in 1996, this was happening in the world, so I’ll write it like this….” If the dates aren’t real to begin with, it doesn’t bother me when they don’t make sense. The Epilogue isn’t the only example of this – the Prime Minister, you mention, is another big one.

  80. @Billie: Genius. And I’ll just say that if JKR was asked to change a couple details like names, she certainly could have changed a few other things like the gender of the prime minster and what year the story took place. I love it!

  81. In the forest Voldemort uses crucio on Harry but he feels no pain. Is this because Harry has already been killed and has therefore moved beyond pain (but he hurts like hell when he comes round.) or could it be that it’s because he is going limp and not resisting the pain he thinks is coming?

  82. @Laura. I’m not too sure but it might also be a weaker pain than normal. Voldemort had also been affected by the AK. Perhaps it meant his spell wasn’t as powerful as normal as he hadn’t recovered from it fully. There is also the fact that he was using the elder wand. It recognised that Harry was its true master and didn’t want to cause him harm. I think I’m leaning towards the elder wand explanation.

  83. I’ve wondered if Harry’s new nickname isn’t “The Phoenix” after this. Look at the number of times he’s survived the killing curse already, and now he returns from the “dead” right in front of them. It’s got to be awe inspiring.

    I loved the battle scene, although, in my mind, I keep hearing Harry say “It all comes down to whether the Wand knows I defeated it’s true owner. If it does, you lose. If it doesn’t, I’m dead. So, do you feel lucky, Tom ? Well, do you ?” Sadly, I guess that that’s been done.

    I was disappointed with the ending in that I wanted to see Umbridge get hers, the Malfoys being reformed, and Harry’s reunion with Ginny. I’m sorry, but if I’ve been staring at her dot on a map for a year because I’m so desperate to be with her. My thoughts upon winning are going to be of her, not a sandwich or bed. And to think that you don’t have to see her now because you’ve got “days and weeks and months” ahead of you is stupid. My wife would kill me for acting like that, and she’s not the hot-headed fireball that Ginny is.

    The Epilogue was OK, I guess, but it just seems that so many points of closure that I, as a reader, wanted to see were really glossed over. As a result, even though I liked the book, it left me with an unsatisfied feeling at the end.

  84. Douglas Arbuckle, I know what you mean about the ending. For instance, JKR said in an interview that Umbridge got life in Azkaban, but that’s still not as satisfying as it would be if it happened in the books.

    About Ginny, I initially had the same reaction as you, especially when Harry saw her in the Great Hall and chose to find Ron and Hermione instead. But over time, it’s made more sense to me. He wants to see Ginny – that’s why he notices her and thinks of her and of the “days and weeks and maybe years in which to talk.” But think of his situation: he’s been awake for well over twenty-four hours straight, running at full speed (both physically and emotionally) nearly the whole time, with only some of Aberforth’s bread and cheese to eat. He’s also still dealing with the trauma of losing Fred, Lupin, Tonks, Colin, and everyone else. And the reunion with Ginny won’t be a simple hug; it will be incredibly emotional and long (lots of stories to catch up on!) in a way that I just don’t think Harry can deal with right now. It makes sense that he’d do the things he *needs* to do – tell Ron and Hermione what happened, talk to Dumbledore about the Hallows – and then eat and go to bed. And I bet the first thing he does when he wakes up is seek her out. That’s my justification for it in my own head, anyway. ;)

  85. Josie, that’s great, if it works for you. I imagine that Harry will be getting a big dose of bat bogies in this scenario. It just seems to me that Harry could have spared a moment for Ginny, if for nothing else than to say “I love you, and I’ll tell you everything as soon as I can get some sleep.” That would only take a few moments, and would certainly put off an explosion by my 2nd favorite red-head. (My daughter is a red head, so she has to be first)

    I guess I just really didn’t like JKR’s handling of Ginny in the last book. I mean, we have this great build up of her character from PS to HBP, showing how much she cares for Harry, what a skilled witch she is, and how determined she is to get what she wants. I really grew to care about her character, and then she’s just suddenly off stage in DH, and for reasons that just didn’t seem to make much sense to me.

    Harry breaks up with her to protect her, but I don’t see why he thinks that would work. First, reading HBP, it seems that pretty much everyone at the school knew that they were dating, including Snape and the children of the Death Eaters. When Harry breaks up with her, those characters are all already gone, and pretty much the only ones that know of the break up are Harry and Ginny, of course, and Ron, Hermione, and maybe Neville and Luna. So when those Death Eaters come swooping into Bill and Fleur’s wedding, who should be the prime target for torture ? Why, Harry’s girlfriend, of course. In fact, I think she would have been tortured even if they hadn’t known that she was Harry’s girlfriend. I think it would go something like this: Death Eaters appear, and Harry escapes. They can’t find Hermione, either, and Ron, the other best friend, is supposedly deathly ill. So, who do you try to use to get information from ? Why, the youngest, smallest member of the Wizarding Family that is known to be the closest to Harry, and it helps that person just happens to be the only girl in her family for generations.

    I pictured a scene where Ginny confronted Harry about going along with the Trio. Ron would smugly snort that she couldn’t, because she was still under the trace, and Ginny would reveal that she had known how to beat that for years, thanks to the twins. Face it, as much magic as those two used outside of school, they had to have known how to beat the trace, and Ginny has been shown to never be one to be left out when she wants something. Just look at her flying skills.

    Anyway, I think Ginny had a horrible year, having been left behind, probably tortured at the drop of a hat, worrying about Harry, and then thinking that he’d been killed. After Harry’s victory, he says nothing to her, and has to have left her wondering if he still cared for her. As you note in the behind the scenes for OP and HBP, she’s probably been watching him constantly. I’m sure she saw Ron and Hermione slip off, and knew that Harry was with them, just one more time that she was left out when there was no reason for it. I would have preferred that he say something, and we get the scene shown in the behind the scenes of DH, with them exhausted and sleeping, but together. I’m sure Kreacher could have brought her along with the sandwich.

    Still, JKR is still queen, and I have enjoyed your web site. Thanks for letting me run off at the keyboard.

  86. Yes, I think I’ll start with book 1 again! Thanks, Josie, for all the great posts! I loved this chapter a lot. And I absolutely love that Neville gets a horcrux, too!! :)

  87. I can’t wait to see this chapter portrayed on screen, especially the fight between Harry and Voldemort.

    (Moderated for spoilers)

  88. @Douglas Arbuckle: Thank you for your ideas. However, it seems to me inferrable that the Trace is unbreakable; that it is therefore a law like gravity: if you are an underage witchard, you will be traceable. Otherwise I don’t think it would have been afforded such prominence; furthermore, if it were controlled by any human, why would they not extend it past Harry’s 17th in order to track him down? The only logical answer is that they can’t.

  89. You guys are incredible…reading the comments are wonderful and I love the idea of Jo being a squib recounting this amazing story! I will be smiling all night on that one. Josie, you have helped make my Harry Potter experience even more multi dimensional and enjoyable! Thank you!

  90. I believe I have made a grievos error in calculation, and would like to replace it with an updated version that seems to make more sense.
    I posited 80,000 witchards in the UK. This I believe I did by taking the idea of 1,000 Hogwarts students at any one time and multiplying it by the average UK (Muggle) life expectancy: to whit; 80. What I failed to realise is that the school population in any given year is made up of SEVEN different years, so the accurate calculation would be Hogwarts pop as 7/80 of the general. Recalculating, then, this translates to about 12,000 (150×80). If, as suggestible, the average witchard life expectancy is 120, we must multiply the sum again, by 1.5, thus getting 18,000. Let’s average that out: 15k UK witchards. Imagine if you will, that for the reasons I stated above, Hogsmeade plays host to 5% of that population: this would make a total Hogsmeade pop. of c. 750. As such, 50 of these people could have died in the battle, however implausible the text itself may make this.

  91. Elad Tibi’s artwork is EXACTLY how I imaged Harry and Voldemort’s final confrontation! So glad to see a real representation, vs the movie. :)

  92. rtozier, I think you’re definitely on the right track (as usual). If there are 1,000 Hogwarts students, that means about 150 wizards born each year. The age structure of any population is pyramidic, i.e. people can die at any age (and certainly do in a time of war) so there are always more young people than old people. If a wizard’s natural lifespan is 120 years, the total population is 150 x 80 years (to allow that many don’t reach old age), giving us about 12,000 wizards in total.

    Actually the numbers don’t work. 12,000 doesn’t give us enough working-age wizards to populate Diagon Alley, pay enough tax to support the huge tertiary sector and fill a professional sports league of 13 teams. The apparent size of the British wizarding community, given its industries, political structure and the number of people who just don’t know one another, is more like 100,000. And that is only possible if the MoM supports several other Hogwarts-sized schools; which it doesn’t, as JKR has told us that Hogwarts is the only one.

    Oh dear, maths. I think we have to conclude that the wizarding population, like the calendar, is impressionistic and not literal. So if there need to be 50 Hogwarts villagers who died in the battle, then there certainly were.

  93. Perhaps Hogwarts is larger than we think it is. Either way I’m starting to forgive JKR for her maths problems (not that she needed it). On the dead of Battle of Hogwarts note, I reread DH recently and have started to come around to the idea that most of the dead are Hogwarts of-age students. I do however think that with a couple-thousand-strong Hogsmeade population (mathematical inconsistencies notwithstanding), some of them at least might well have attempted to go to the school’s aid as soon as hearing Voldemort’s magnified voice. This has led me to something of a fridge horror moment: Aside from the assumption that there are c.130 participant students implying a fatality rate in those two academic years of at least 30%, there is the question: why were so many students never mentioned again after the end of this chapter (unless I’ve missed the relevant parts of JKR’S Word of God)? Dean Thomas? The Patil twins? Seamus Finnigan? Ernie? Justin? The Ravenclaw trio? Etc.

  94. Billie, I think the Prime Minister at the beginning of HBP was Jim Hacker!!

    Regarding the “more than twenty students” in the RoR, the majority have to be new recruits.

    There were 29 in the original D.A., but eight of them have aged out of Hogwarts.

    The “more than twenty” are referred to in a way that specifically excludes Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville.

    We know that Dean, Ginny and Luna are not at Hogwarts, and that Zacharias was too intent on saving his own skin to stand up to the Carrows.

    Then there is the issue of the Muggle-borns: the Creevey brothers are not there (JKR says that Colin sneaked in for the battle) and Justin is never mentioned either.

    The only original D.A. members who seem to be included in the “more than twenty” are Seamus, Lavender, Parvati, Padma, Terry, Michael, Anthony, Ernie, Hannah and Susan. So the rest must be new and younger students. We do know, in fact, that Neville & Co did recruit quite a few.

  95. The very first and the very last spell of the series, that’s actually spoken is reparo. An intresting choice to repair something, it’s not a difficult spell, but it carries a lot so symbolism.

  96. Lovely returning to these images after having seen the movie!

    Again, Josie, I’m wondering if it’s ok to spark a little bit of movie-discussion? If you don’t think this is the right context I understand and will take my questions elsewhere, but if its ok, I value your and my fellow readers’ thoughts and would absolutely love to hear them. What did people think of the film, and its final sequences thatcorrespond to these last few chapters?

    Personally, I enjoyed the movie a lot, especially its first half. Snape’s memories and many other things were wonderful, imo. The part of the movie that most undwhelmed me was that which coresponds to this chapter – I felt the final confrontation was anti-climactic. After thinking about it a lot, i realized this was, for me, becaue of the way they treated Harry’s “death” and its importance/meaning. In the book, Harry’s real victory is his facing death, the turning point which literally gives him “power the Dark Lord knows not”. He comes back from King’s Cross and the book’s tone is already quietly victorious as all Harry really has to do is let Voldy know of the victory that already happened, in essence. Harry returns with a certainty in his heart that protects him from the Dementors, no one at Hogwrts can be hurt by Voldemort, and theres a sense of renewal. But in the movie, they seem to want to rack up the tension by refusing to allow that feeling of building victory. Instead, Harry leaves King’s Cross asking in confusion “what should I do?” (a question that seems to be leading towards some future turning point and moment of clarity that never comes).
    Treating Harry’s death as a pause in a battle instead of the true end of the battle, and wracking up the uncertainty to the end meant the moment of victory was really brief and unsatisfying, for me anyway…
    What i am really curious is what you (everyone) think about whether all this drastically changes the thematic content of movie vs book. Leaving out the protecting effect of H’s sacrifice, that’s major. Yet two additions, i thought, drew out some of the themes of sacrificial love in a more general way,or at least emphasized that love is the difference between V and H. One was Lilly explicitly telling Harry he is loved, something I don’t think we ever hear Harry told in the book (!), which i found really powerful. Her telling him that and then standing to face Voldemort is as explicitly as you can show the meaning of what the laws of magic are about to do in that scene. The other was Voldemort’s attempt to embrace Draco, which so clearly showed how V doesn’t (/hasn’t been) love(d). He’s just not polluted by any of that love stuff.

    What do you think? And what was Dumbledore changing “ask” to “deserve” -what was all that about?

    Again, hope this is ok Josie. Hope to hear some thoughts.

    P.s. @liz – i never noticed that about reparo. Very cool!

  97. Does anyone stand by a street corner, waving a sign, and demanding “Dementor Rights?” Just a thought.

  98. I didn’t checked wich one is the very first spell of the series, but is not “reparo” (only in the movie, I think). The first spoken spell on DH is the AK curse.
    There was several portions of the movie that I wished were more like the book, but I totally dislike the end given to the Elder Wand (first thing about it I think the wand was unbreakable, second point is that Harry didn’t repaired his wand).

  99. I agree with you Jose, those were my exact thoughts on the destruction of the Elder Wand – what is Harry going to do for a wand now that his is still broken! Why not just follow the book and put it back where it came from – thank goodness for the books – they bring some sanity into the story.

  100. On rereading, that sounded a bit garbled. What I meant was why not mend his wand, and then put the Elder Wand back with Dumbledore where it came from.

  101. I have a question I hoped someone could answer for me, one that rised with this chapter.
    When Harry goes to talk to the portrait in the Headmaster’s office, he says to Dumbledore that he will return the Elder Wand to his tomb and if he, Harry, dies a normal death the power of the Elder Wand will be broken. That’s all very well, but… is that really enough? We just learned that Draco was the master of the Wand because he had disarmed Dumbledore in book six, but he wasn’t aware of it. Still, when Harry takes Draco’s wand with force, not only THAT wand but also the Elder Wand changes allegiance, making Harry the true master.
    Wouldn’t that mean, that if someone were to disarm Harry or beat him in a duel further on in his life – wouldn’t the Elder Wand change its allegiance with Harry’s own wand, the same way it did with Dracos, allowing the winner of that future duel/practise to be the next master of the Elder Wand?
    I guess one solution to the problem could be that Harry’s own wand was broken when he became the master of the Elder Wand, but I still don’t think it adds up.
    I would be really glad if someone could spread some light over this :P

  102. Ah, yes, and Josie… your thoughts on this chapter also made me realize how beautiful it is that love and sacrifice, the deepest magic of all, is something that is not reserved for the wizardning kind alone, but is a magic that stretches over boundaries so that we Muggles, too, are capable of the greatest magic of all.

  103. Jose Lopez, I think the real tragedy of the Dementor business is that in JKR’s universe a soul can be totally destroyed. The Dementor may die, but the souls inside it no longer exist. There are two ways we can interpret this – and this is actually one question that I don’t want to ask JKR, because I like the way the Potterverse is agnostic about whether God objectively exists.

    (1) We can assume that the victims of the Dementor’s Kiss have literally ceased to exist. Neither their own bodily death nor the death of the Dementor can change this. They are permanently prevented from participating in “the next great adventure” in which Dumbledore believes. If you take this route, then the Dementor’s Kiss is the ultimate horror-story, an unmitigated tragedy from which there is no escape.

    (2) We can follow strict Christian theology, which is agnostic about the literal existence of the soul (i.e., JKR is free to make up any story she likes about the nature of souls without in any way departing from Christian orthodoxy) but very definite about the resurrection of the body. Those who progress to the afterlife do so in a resurrected body, regardless of how completely their molecules were destroyed on earth. E.g., even the cannibal and his dinner, who presumably share molecules, can both be resurrected in separate bodies. By this argument, the soul (which exists as an objective entity in the Potterverse) is simply reconstituted along with the resurrected body.

    The latter theory makes some sense to me if we assume that the idea of soul is related to the idea of memory. Kiss victims are very like people who have had their memories totally wiped. But memory is a network of neural connections, so presumably the network could be restored along with the biological brain.

  104. This is completely off topic of what is being discussed here…but I thought that this chapter would be most appropriate for this question, since it’s the last chapter of the series.

    What do you think the graduation ceremony is like for Hogwarts? Do you think it’s just the end-of-the-year feast, or maybe there’s supposed to be a special ceremony for the graduates?

    It’s never mentioned in any of the books, but this thought came to my head the other day and just wanted to know your speculations on it.


  105. @Chiyou I’m not sure about the actual ceremony itself but I read in an interview with JKR that the students left the school in the boats they arrived in in first year. I’ll see if I can find it.

  106. Here it is do a search for boats and you’ll find it. She doesn’t really say much else other than that there is a feast and that she’s disappointed she didn’t get to write it.

  107. Thanks for posting the link, Amy. I’d never heard/read that interview. What a special way to finish your career at Hogwarts! ::sigh:: I love tradition. :D

  108. Is it not awesome that Hagrid carried Harry’s body? After all, it was Hagrid who carried Dumbledore’s body to his funeral? Symbolism anybody?

  109. one thing that made me laugh in this chapter was Neville pulling the sword out of the hat. I cat just imagine Griphook putting it someplace, standing back to admire it, and then,, suddenly, it vanishes. he wonders where it went. he must have been livid! all that trouble to get it back, and it is back in wizarding hands

  110. Love the discussion…. So many good points!
    Billie, interesting…. But I prefer rtozier’s idea that Blair commissioned Jo to “investigate” – perhaps she is one of those Squibs who’s a liaison between Muggle & Magical?
    Though, for everything to be so accurate, she’d still need a timeturner.
    As usual, Josie, your discussions are great.
    Interesting point about the fifty people….

  111. Douglas Arbuckle, you raise some interesting points regarding the finale (not Epilogue) and the development of Harry’s relationship with Ginny. It is amusing to think of Harry, after meeting Ron and Hermione with Dumbledore’s portrait, wanting three things. To see Ginny (for a long time maybe), a sandwich, and bed, in no particular order. But I agree with Josie, I think. Consider, Harry along with Ron and Hermione, has been awake and active since leaving Shell Cottage for Gringott’s. With nothing since that early breakfast but a bottle of pumpkin juice and then Aberforth’s bread and cheese. So the sandwich and bed, after the tensions and climactic conflicts are over, are very, VERY attractive.

    Yes, Ginny is a very beautiful young woman, and a remarkable witch, who is not teary. But consider, while she hasn’t been awake as long as the Trio, but she has had a full day. She has seen the brother she thought the whole family had lost, returned and join them in the fight. She has seen one of the twin brothers killed only a few hours earlier. (She and they seemed to be particularly close, they knew how she became proficient at Quiddiitch, she suggested it was from them that she learned how not much is impossible.) She had a very close scrape and nearly met her own end. So she is having a quiet time with her family. She would probably tell Harry, if he had wanted to see her right now, “Don’t be stupid, Harry! You are exhausted after saving the wizarding world, even you need some rest, love. And Ron would be wanting some food about now, don’t you, too?” She and he will truly have a chance to get together, and talk about everything.

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