King’s Cross

chapter thirty-five of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry finds himself in a sort of in-between world along with Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore then explains the significance of Harry’s scar acting as a horcrux, and informs Harry that he does not, yet, have to be dead. They also discuss the Deathly Hallows before finally, Harry prepares to go back.
 

waterharry, by Elisabeth Alba

He lay… listening to the silence. He was perfectly alone.


 

King's Cross, by FrizzyHermione

“Voldemort… took your blood believing it would strengthen him. He took into his body a tiny part of the enchantment your mother laid upon you when she died for you. His body keeps her sacrifice alive, and while that enchantment survives, so do you and so does Voldemort’s one last hope for himself.”


 

King's Cross, by Jenny Dolfen

“And you knew this? You knew – all along?”
“I guessed. But my guesses have usually been good,” said Dumbledore happily, and they sat in silence for what seemed like a long time.


 

Kings Cross, by Katrina 'Rohanelf' Young

“The Deathly Hallows,” [Harry] said, and he was glad to see that the words wiped the smile from Dumbledore’s face.
“Ah, yes,” he said.


 

Kings Cross, by Lisa Villella

“Can you forgive me?” he said. “Can you forgive me for not trusting you? For not telling you? Harry, I only feared that you would fail as I had failed. I only dreaded that you would make my mistakes. I crave your pardon, Harry. I have known, for some time now, that you are the better man.”


 

The Resurrection Stone, by TomScribble

“When I discovered [the Resurrection Stone], after all those years… I lost my head, Harry. I quite forgot that it was now a Horcrux, that the ring was sure to carry a curse. I picked it up, and I put it on, and for a second I imagined that I was about to see Ariana, and my mother, and my father, and to tell them how very, very sorry I was…. I was such a fool, Harry.”


 

Is this real? by somelatevisitor

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”


 

about the chapter

 

It’s easy to see the allure of the Deathly Hallows. As Xeno Lovegood tells Harry, the legend holds that a wizard possessing all three items at once would be “master of Death.” He’s far from the only one to think so, as a hundred years earlier Dumbledore and Grindelwald considered that the Hallows would make them “invincible.” But this approach to these objects reminds me of another quote of Dumbledore’s, too, from way back in Harry’s first year.

“The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”

It’s not hard to imagine, now, what Dumbledore was thinking of when he told Harry that – for he’s now old enough and wise enough to realize for himself what “master of Death” really means. It doesn’t make the possessor invincible, or give him eternal life. But instead, the true possessor of the Hallows “does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.” That’s what the Tale of the Three Brothers taught us, when the third brother took the cloak off and “greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.”
 
One of the most common criticisms of Deathly Hallows is, in fact, the plot of the Hallows – “what does it have to do with destroying the Horcruxes?” is a typical refrain. Yet while destroying Horcruxes is what Harry does in this book, they’re not what the story is truly about. No, the story is about Harry, and what he becomes. And the Deathly Hallows are a beautiful symbol of that. Harry’s good heart and acceptance of death has long made him the rightful master of the Cloak; his life-long journey that seemed to end, last chapter, in the Forest made him the rightful master of the Resurrection Stone. And his choice not to chase Voldemort to the Elder Wand – because he realized it wasn’t what he was meant to do in his quest to defeat him – makes Harry a much more rightful master of the Elder Wand as well. The Hallows symbolize everything that Harry is about, and that he has become. He is the true leader of the wizarding world in this moment, and the reason Dumbledore never regretted having to die and leave the task to the boy. And we’re one chapter away from finding out what happens as a result.
 


60 Responses to “King’s Cross”

  1. First comment! And does anyone else think that the thing under the bench was the part of the horcrux in Harry? I’ve had so many arguments with my friends about this….

  2. Anna: the crying baby? Of course it was! It was the piece of Voldemort’s soul that was just expelled out of Harry’s head.

  3. This is one of those chapters that always blows my mind. Love the artwork, especially Jenny Dolfen’s, since I had not seen it before now.

    Anna2: I always believed it was the bit of human left in Voldemort. That’s what my roommates tended to lean toward, too. But I’m interested to read what other opinions are out there!

  4. Anna, I thought it was a given that the baby under the bench thing is the fragment of Voldemort’s soul… What else could it be?

  5. This site is just so darn amazing. It shows me so much that I didn’t think about myself. Thank you.

  6. Anna 2: The thing under the bench was what remained of Voldemort. JK Rowling: “He is forced to exist in the stunted form we witnessed in King’s Cross.”

    I loved this chapter. It was the point where all questions got answered.

  7. hmm.. Anna 2, I actually don’t know for sure either… I also thought, since Voldemort seems to be lying on the ground as well in the next chapter, that it’s actually the piece of Voldemort that is left, bound to earth, still in his body present at that time…Either way, it represents some part of Voldemort :)
    Love the Artwork, though I had hoped your “About the Chapter” would have been a bit longer, since there are still some mysteries in this chapter, such as above question!

  8. I like the use of the colour, the golds and stuff in the art. Mostly i think because thats the association with heaven (or whichever term you use for the afterlife, i prefer summerlands) and light and all. I always thought it was the section of Voldemorts soul that was in Harry before he died. What I don’t get is how a blade impregnated with basillisk venom can destroy a Horcrux but being bitten by one some years earlier wouldn’t do the same thing, shouldn’t the horcrux have already gone

  9. Also one of my favorite chapters in the series! Anna 2, I also assumed it was the bit of LV’s soul that had been in Harry.

    Also, I love the “full circle” type setting of “King’s Cross” not only to the train station but to the Christian imagery that finally wins out in the story.

    And the part where he says it’s “real” and “in your head.”

  10. I really like this chapter and it always gives me a really clear picture in my head. That said it’s of a mixture of Waterloo, Paddington and the glass covered courtyard in the British Museum. It’s funny the memories that get triggered by descriptions. I always assumed it was what was left of Voldemort. It reminds me of the baby form he had in the fourth book.

  11. Voldy just killed the part of his soul in Harry, so I assumed what is left is the remains of his fragmented soul that Dumbledore says “we can’t do anything for it”. I was also amazed how Harry wanted to do something for it initially and wasn’t bothered by it once he came to realize what it was (via discussion with D).
    Re: Emma
    Interesting thought, why wouldn’t Basilisk have destroyed V’s soul in CofS? In thoughts???

  12. In addition to the quote edyrased posted earlier, Jo also posted this on her website about the baby-like thing in King’s Cross:

    (Quesion: “What exactly was the mutilated baby-like creature Harry saw at King’s Cross in chapter 35 of ‘Hallows’?”)
    “I’ve been asked this a LOT. It is the last piece of soul Voldemort possesses. When Voldemort attacks Harry, they both fall temporarily unconscious, and both their souls – Harry’s undamaged and healthy, Voldemort’s stunted and maimed – appear in the limbo where Harry meets Dumbledore.”

    If you think about it, this makes sense – the same thing happens to Harry and Voldemort in the forest, as they both fall down and seem unresponsive for the same amount of time. It’s because they’ve both gone to the same place. Also, as the last fragment of Voldemort’s soul that was in Harry’s head has now been completely destroyed, it would not remain in limbo but would have gone “on.”

  13. Emma- when hermione was explaining horcruxes to the boys, she talked about how it was the opposite of a person. To skip to the point, the object containing the soul had to be irreparably damaged (for living things, death. Inanimate objects, destruction). Harry was saved by Fawkes in CoS, therefore he, as a container, wasnt destroyed. So the bit of voldy’s soul was still ok.

  14. I would only add the immense relief I felt for Harry when I realized he was finally free of the monster that had dwelled in him so long.

  15. Amazing, wonderful, and totally beautiful chapter. I was also impressed by Harry wanting to do something for the Voldemort-baby. It stresses who Harry is and why he was able to make such a sacrifice. Perfect!

  16. I always thought that the baby-thing under the bench was the piece of Voldemort still left in V himself, too. It only makes sense that when Harry went in limbo so did V. And (Spoiler) when H gets back to the DE’s in the next chapter it’s obvious that something odd had happened to V, too, and no one- including V, it seems- knew quite what to expect or what had happened. It’s an amazingly powerful image- V truly not caring about the creature within himself- the little child part inside of him that could have been the greatest and best thing in him.
    This discussion of death also reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from all of the books- from the 1st book when D tells H: To the well organized mind, death is simply the next (great adventure? now I’m drawing a blank as to the exact word used here). In other words- Master of Death- the person not afraid of Death. Death, the last enemy, conquered because there is no fear of death. I love this chapter. Love it!

  17. Harry is truly master of death (a “king”), and this vision brings him to his final choice (“crossroads”) about whether to proceed to the “next great adventure” or return to complete his task.

    Do we know another story about a King on a Cross?

  18. @LizB I feel fairly certain that the baby form V had at the end of GoF is this same thing we see here. I love that depiction.

  19. It’s funny, my friends and I had to read that chapter a couple of times to be able to understand how exactly Harry stayed alive.

  20. GraceHV, that’s what I was attempting (poorly) to allude to when I said “the Christian imagery…[of] ‘Kings Cross'”. :)

  21. In CoS Harry’s received the antidote to the Basilisk’s venom, so there was no time to the venom complete his destruction of LV’s fragment of soul (at this point of the story it would also killed Harry).

  22. Just agreeing with what Grace has Victory already said…

    I’m so impressed with the wordplay and meaning of “King’s Cross” as used here. Throughout the books, King’s Cross has been a symbol for the transition between two worlds, the Muggle world and the Wizard world. And here it’s used as a place of transition again, but this time between the living world and the afterlife. Also, we get a full circle moment; King’s Cross in PS was when Harry first truly entered the wizarding world as he left for Hogwarts, and here at King’s Cross again, Harry is (potentially) leaving the wizarding world from Hogwarts.

    *Another* way of reading it is as a King’s Cross, Harry being the king of course, and to cross as in to traverse. This is, as grace said, a *crossroad*, a point where Harry can choose whether to *cross* over to the next life, or remain behind. And finally we can see it as a Christian metaphor as Harry being Jesus, the King on the Cross.

    So much meaning in just two words! :)

  23. Beautiful things written by John about this chapter. I like reading about the ‘master of death’. I had not had that thought process at all when i read it, over Harry being the rightful master simply by accepting death. It seems Harry is a much more complicated character than i thought he already was.

    The discussions on the baby Voldemort are so interesting! I saw it in a COMPLETELY different way. I assumed that what was left (spoiler) had everything to do with the fight between Harry and Voldemort. That it wasn’t really what was left of Voldemort or, more importantly, what was left as a result of Voldemort being defeated, but what would EVENTUALLY be Voldemort if he did not accept Harry’s offer to leave Hogwarts and walk away when Harry reveals that he is the owner of the Elder Wand. The baby was what Voldemort would become if he did not choose to surrender…a helpless thing with no power that would be so pathetic that it would need others to depend on instead of being a horcrux that might come back to everything that Voldemort was.
    That is what i read about this particular part of the book.
    However, i’m sure that other people’s perceptions are more accurate.

  24. (spoiler) “…I’ve seen what you’ll be otherwise…be a man…try…try for some remorse”

  25. This is (apart from The Silver Doe) my favourite chapter. I love it because it’s the single moment of peace before the real end – and because throughout this final book I’d been yearning to hear Dumbledore’s voice. One thing I think is fantastically interesting is if you read the Chapter, everything Dumbledore says to Harry, or explains to Harry is actually things Harry already knows. Jo is always cautious to emphasize that nothing can bring the dead back – so why is Dumbledore allowed to talk to Harry?
    For me, the answer is in that last exchange, when Harry asks if the whole conversation that has just happened is real. And Dumbledore says, (paraphrase) “Of course it is only happening in your head, Harry – but why on earth does that mean it is not real?” Essentially then, the conversation is Harry’s attempt to explain everything that has just happened to himself, through Dumbledore’s voice and image. He is also allowed to question Dumbledore for not telling him everything, for keeping things from him, and he allows himself to forgive Dumbledore as a consequence.
    For me, this means that no, Dumbledore wasn’t really there – but that doesn’t make a difference, doesn’t lessen his love for Harry or his quest to fight evil with good. It just means that he has been successful in helping Harry on his way to become this brilliant, flawed, but ultimately wonderful person.

  26. @Edt- I love that line in regard to what Harry saw in this chpt at King’s Cross Stn! He really, finally, got it!
    And- I don’t think that your thoughts are out of line at all- obviously, it’s all up to interpretation; it’s all interesting.

  27. Love this site, the artwork, love the chapter – the Kings’s Cross setting is wonderful. But here are some things I’m confused about – if Harry hadn’t survived because of his blood being in Voldemort, would the Elder wand actually be able to kill him? And in this chapter they talk about how Snape was supposed to end up with the wand, but in the next chapter Harry says that “if all had gone as planned” its power would have died with Dumbledore.. So what was the plan?
    And maybe I’m just stupid but Dumledore says that when Harry didn’t defend himself and meant to die that that will make the difference. So if Harry knew he would survive the Killing curse would kill him? Or was it beacuse this way he sacrificed himself to protect those who are still fighting?
    As to the “baby-like creature” I also always assumed it was the part of soul that is still in Voldemort. JKR also explained somewhere why the Harry-Horcrux survived the basilisk venom – basically because he was healed in time and wasn’t “beyond repair”.

  28. @Mar- the plan was that Dumbledore would die undefeated because he’d planned his death at Snape’s hand- it wasn’t Snape getting the better of him. At least that’s how I understand it.
    Harry sacrificed himself (thinking he was going to die) therefore he didn’t.
    Thanks for pointing out that Harry-horcrux bit- he wasn’t damaged beyond repair. That makes sense.

  29. @Mar and ann: My interpretation of “will have made all the difference” is that Harry would still have survived LV’s AK at the end of TFA no matter what, but that his willing sacrifice is what made it impossible for LV to kill everyone else at Hogwarts during the next chapter, because Harry did for them what Lily did for him. @Grace has Victory and Anna1: your assessments of the phrase “Kings Cross” shows more of JKR’s aptitude for many-layeredly intelligent wordplay. I personally never thought of the idea of Christian imagery within the book/s while reading them before I came across this site, and the thought of it being there doesn’t personally add anything (other than further demonstration of JKR’s intelligence) to the story for me (it’s such a great story already, for one thing), but I’m glad that the profundity of Harry’s sacrifice speaks to all of us as deeply as your Christian references imply it does for you. :)

  30. I rarely, if ever, just pick up a book and read a random chapter in it. I feel almost guilty in doing that, like the book expects to be finished once you start it. But this chapter, King’s Cross…several times since the book came out I have found myself wandering into my bedroom, opening Deathly Hallows to this chapter and reading it aloud to myself. In fact as soon a I finished my first reading of the book back in the summer of 2007 I immediately went back and reread this chapter first. I’m not sure why this chapter stuck with me so much. Whether it was because of all the information it reveals, whether it is because of the new context, the new light it throws on all the previous chapters (like The Prince’s Tale does, too), I still can’t adequately explain. But maybe it has to do with the fact that from the first word of this chapter, for the first time in this book, I knew everything was going to be all right – that Harry would be okay, that he would survive, soul intact, and come back to defeat Voldemort. That for one last time, Dumbledore would be there – even if only in Harry’s head – to explain and guide, to make us laugh and think, and to let Harry choose his own way, as he always has. From here on out, it was a race to the finish, and I could barely see the pages through my tears (or keep the book in my hands for all the jumping in excitement I was doing). One more chapter. John, keep up the amazing work.

  31. Just another thought re the baby Voldemort and Harry at K’s Cross Stn (and DD, too, for that matter)- it’s just dawned on me that what we’re seeing there are their souls. Back at the Burrow when HRH are planning their ‘adventure’, Hermione says that a horcrux is an object in which someone has hidden a piece of his soul. Harry’s and DD’s are intact and healthy- thus they appear as they did in life. LV has damaged his beyond repair and therefore appears as the frail ugly ‘child thing’. Maybe this is just beating a dead horse but really, I hadn’t quite made that precise connection before…

  32. i am supposed to be revising for exams but this wonderful site has reignited my harry potter addition for the umpteenth time so i might have to start reading all the books again. the artwork brings it to life in better ways than the films ever could. whoever is the creator of this deserves an order of merlin first class

  33. I was so relieved when I read this chapter and realised that Harry wasn’t really dead. I was really worried about him during the previous chapter. I got very confused by this chapter at first. I was reading it so quickly the first time that I hardly understood anything. I had to force myself to go back and read it at a slower pace. Even then I didn’t really understand it properly until about my third read of the book. It was Harry’s wand acting by itself that got me all confused. If you asked me to explain it now I probably still wouldn’t be able to do so. I’m not sure why but I felt it was slightly over-complicated.

  34. Sometimes I really enjoy joining the discussion late because I love reading everyone’s thoughts about the chapter!

    @ ann – I had a similar “Aha!” moment while reading all the posts… I never fully understood until now that this scene depicts the souls of Harry, Dumbledore & Voldemort. I think it’s really interesting that here in King’s Cross “there is no help possible” for Voldemort’s mangled soul. However, Dumbledore does speak of Voldemort’s “one last hope for himself.” From this it’s apparent that once a person has left the land of the living there is no change or redemption possible… but there is hope for Voldemort when he is back in the flesh, and Harry extends the possibility of healing in the final moments when he tells Voldemort that his “one last chance” is to “try for some remorse.”
    @ Edt – Nice point! Harry’s words “I’ve seen what you’ll be otherwise” reveal that unless Voldemort makes a change quick, his soul will always remain withered and tormented just as we see it here.

    By contrast, it’s interesting that Harry & Dumbledore’s later discuss Gellert Grindelwald during their conversation in this chapter, and the report that he showed remorse in his later years in prison. The change in Grindelwald seems to be substantiated by the vision Harry witnessed of Grindelwald lying to Voldemort in an attempt to deter him from disturbing Dumbledore’s tomb and taking the Elder Wand. I don’t think it’s an accident that this account of another dark wizard who rose to power and was later remorseful is included in this chapter. I think JKR wanted to show us that redemption is possible, and that change & remorse are choices to be grasped.

  35. As we near the end, I want to thank you, John, for all your hard word. I also want to say how much I have enjoyed reading other fans’ posts, especially Grace HV and Jose Lopes. It’s been magical.

  36. @Andrea, your last point: precisely. Which is why one of the few points at which the film disappointed me was in having Grindelwald tell Voldemort that the EW is with Dumbledore.

  37. @rtozier I felt the same. I wasreall annoyed when that happened. for me Grindlewald’s refusal to tell Voldemort was very important. By refusing he shows redemption but also he make Dumbledore seem less foolish. There is clearly the potential for at least personal growth in Grindlewald. Grindlewald’s refusal and the lack of Regulas’s story really rankled with me. Without them the theme of different kinds of redemption is really not explored fully.We need all these examples so that when Voldemort refuses his it’s more than an empty idea. We’ve seen others show remorse in various forms so we know it’s a valid choice one that Voldemort is too weak to make.

  38. This chapter was probably the strangest of all the chapters in the series and I still don’t truly understand it. I suppose I’ve taken to the series so much it seems real – except this moment. How could he die and yet still live? Magic eh. It was a very… hard chapter to get your head around.

  39. Samantha,Harry never died because Voldemort took Harry’s blood to rise again(book 4).

    According to J.K.Rowling Official Site:

    “Having taken Harry’s blood into himself, Voldemort is keeping alive Lily’s protective power over Harry. So Voldemort himself acts almost like a Horcrux for Harry – except that the power of Lily’s sacrifice is a positive force that not only continues to tether Harry to life, but gives Voldemort himself one last chance (Dumbledore refers to this last hope in chapter 35). Voldemort has unwittingly put a few drops of goodness back inside himself; if he had repented, he could have been healed more deeply than anyone would have supposed. But, of course, he refused to feel remorse.

    Voldemort is also using the Elder Wand – the wand that is really Harry’s. It does not work properly against its true owner; no curse Voldemort casts on Harry functions properly; neither the Cruciatus curse nor the Killing Curse. The Avada Kedavra curse, however, is so powerful that it does hurt Harry, and also succeeds in killing the part of him that is not truly him, in other words, the fragment of Voldemort’s own soul still clinging to his. The curse also disables Harry severely enough that he could have succumbed to death if he had chosen that path (again, Dumbledore says he has a choice whether or not to wake up). But Harry does decide to struggle back to consciousness, capitalises on Lily’s ‘escape route’, and pulls himself back to the realm of the living.

    It is important to state that I always saw these kinds of magic (the very deepest life and death issues) as essentially un-scientific; in other words, there is no “Elder Wand + Lily’s Blood = Assured Survival” formula. What count, ultimately, are Harry and Voldemort’s own choices. They have each been given certain weapons and safeguards, but the power of these objects and past happenings lie in how they are understood, and how they are used or enacted upon. Harry has a deeper and truer understanding of the meaning of the objects and past events, but his greatest powers, those that save him, are free will, courage and moral certainty.”

  40. Thank you for that, Maria. I have to admit that I have always been very dense regarding the whole Elder Wand plotline. I had always thought that Malfoy had it because he disarmed Dumbledore, then Harry grabbed it from Malfoy and it was since his. It has been a long time since I’ve read the book, could you (or someone) please clarify to me what actually happened… Was the wand Voldemort stole from the grave really the Elder wand; if so, why did it actually belong to Harry, etc etc??
    Thank you so much in advance!!

  41. Nevermind, googled it ;)
    DD -> Draco -(buried with DD) -> Harry, transfer of power upon grabbing —> Voldy stealing –> Expelliarmus! -> Backfire!!

    Wow, took me long enough to get that figured out!

  42. It just struck me while looking at Jenny Dolfen’s piece again how striking Harry’s eyes look without glasses. It made me think of how difficult it must have been for Snape to see Harry’s green eyes… not only did Harry look so much like James, but Harry’s eyes (that are “precisely” like Lily’s) would always be viewed through James-like glasses.

  43. Josh / briarthorn, I loved your interpretation of this chapter. I never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense!

    So, I was rereading this chapter, just because it is awesome, and I realized I had read this line before:

    [Harry is protesting that he should have died and that he meant to let Voldemort kill him.] “And that”, said Dumbledore, “will, I think, have made all the difference.”

    Some of you may probably recognize it, but for those who don’t, it’s eerily similar to the last line in Robert’s Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”. The final stanza reads:

    “I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.”

    You should read it complete, it’s beautiful.

  44. Valeria: And isn’t self-sacrifice often the road less traveled? Thanks for the tie-in to Robert Frost. :)

  45. Perhaps another full circle moment, here. Thank you John for explaining so eloquently why Harry is the true master of the Hallows. He had all three of them for good, selfless intentions so they could be truly his. And sometimes what is most surprising is not what has changed but what hasn’t. I think we all remember who was, about six years ago, able to obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone because he meant to have and not to use! So even though Harry has been forced to mature and lose his innocence, his heart is as pure as it was when he went after the stone at eleven years old.

    What a beautiful story.

  46. Yeah the dying thing definitely is the piece of Voldemort still hound to Voldemort’s body because as Dumbledore said the horcrux inside Harry was already destroyed. Also Voldemort woke up passed out on the ground also, so therefore definitley the alive part of Voldemort.

  47. Is it fair to say that the reason Harry did not die was because he, in a way, did have rightful possession of all of the Hallows, thus conquering death?

    And maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember him wearing the cloak to meet Voldermort in the movie. If the first statement is true, shouldn’t he have died?

  48. em, I think Dumbledore explains that the reason Harry dies is because Voldemort used his blood to regenerate, and therefore the protection Harry has from his mother continues to live on in Voldemort. Harry can’t die while Voldemort is still alive.

    The movie largely ignored the Hallows plot, but remember that just because Harry isn’t wearing the cloak doesn’t mean he’s not the master of it. He doesn’t even *possess* the wand (or the stone, after dropping it) and he’s master of those, too.

  49. Here’s another way that the story is rightly entitled “The Deathly Hallows”. The other two important characters that die were so flawed and could not accept death. Voldemort could not accept his own death and his own power killed him, and Snape could not accept the deaths of the one he loved which eventually led to his own death.

    Looking at it this way, isn’t it sort of ironic that Harry brought back the four people from the dead that made Snape who he was? It’s also interesting that Snape and Voldemort could never use the Hallows that they symbolized properly while Harry had the Invisibility Cloak his entire life. It’s even more interesting since we already know that he would have chosen the Resurrection Stone for himself, which is Snape’s symbolic Hallow yet I’m almost positive that is the Hallow that Snape would have chosen as well. However, the cloak is the only Hallow that Harry keeps in the end, showing yet again how much he has grown as a character. It’s funny, but I really don’t think he would have succeeded unless Dumbledore had given Harry all the time that he had. He had to grow out of the same flaws that Snape had, realize that everyone was dying for a cause, for him, for the world, and that we could only continue living no matter who died.

    Another interesting point, Harry NEVER desires the Elder Wand, which is the one that would get him killed. I wonder if that has kept him alive for this long as well.

  50. @Anna 2: I think it’s the only bit remaining of LV’s soul – the part in his body that’s on the ground in the forbidden forest. Earlier Hermione says (don’t have the exact quote) that horcruxes are the complete opposite of souls. She says that if she ran Ron through his body would die but his soul would continue on. The exact opposite is true of a horcrux. So, when a horcrux is destroyed there is nothing left to exist. The reason the thing writhing on the floor is so small and pitiable is bc LV ruined his soul so completely that this is all that’s left.

  51. Sorry, my comment above was repetitive; I just read the other comments. @Josh/Briarthorn: Great insight! I never thought of it that way. And @Maria: Thank you for posting that. I hadn’t seen those explanations (I’m assuming from JKR?) and they clear up a lot, particularly about the Elder Wand.

  52. I never thought the Hallows were a cause for critisism – after all, every single one of the Harry Potter books has it’s own mystery to be solved within the boundaries of that specific book, and the book in question is named after it;
    Book one – what is the Philosopher’s Stone, who wants it?
    Second book – does the Chamber of Secrets exist, what is the monster, who is the heir?
    Third: Who is the prisoner of Azkaban, why does he want Harry?
    Fourth; who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire, will he get through the Triwizard Tournament?
    Fifth: How will they solve the Ministry’s interruption, what is Voldemort after, why is Dumbledore ignoring Harry?
    Sixth: Who was the Half-Blood Prince, what’s Malfoy up to?
    All these are questions specific for each of the book, the side-plot if you’d like (but still really important to the story as a whole). So I definitley think that the Hallows fit – in all the other books we are introduced to some mystery or something that requries solving, it would be strange if the last one wasn’t like that.

    About the two souls of Harry and Voldemort – don’t forget that the Harry in King’s Cross is “perfect” – he has no need for glasses there, and his body seems to be completely unmarked since he noticed that his scar “didn’t seem to be there”. His soul is unmarked and pure.
    Voldemort, on the other hand… his soul is diminished, frail, stuck in a terrible state.

  53. Something I never fully understood was, why did Harry have to willingly sacrifice himself for Voldemort to destroy the Horcrux. Why could they have dueled and Harry lost?

  54. Why COULDN’T they have dueled… sorry.

  55. Timbus, a Horcrux-container has to be completely destroyed, so Harry must actually die, not just be defeated in combat.

    In practice, Voldemort could not kill Harry because he had Harry’s blood, and Harry therefore had to outlive him.

    There’s also the problem that if they had duelled, there was no guarantee that Harry would lose. He might have won. And if he lost deliberately, then that would have been a “willing sacrifice” anyway.

    There is also the literary symbolism issue. Harry is an analogy-character for someone else who sacrificed himself willingly. The symbolism only works if the sacrifice is deliberate and willing.

  56. Actually what we see of Voldemort at King’s Cross is not the only bit of him left. And that makes me wonder: Would he have been able to go back if it hadn’t been for Nagini?

  57. To me the story with the Hallows was important because it showed the true greatness of Harry. So many people have seeked the power of them, especially the power of the elder wand. It was one of the main motivations of Grindlewald. It attracted the interest of Voldemort. Even Dumbledore, knowing the dangers, couldn’t resist the stone. Harry on the other hand is ultimatively able to resist the lure of power – how many people can say that about themself? Not only NOT seeking power, but also not grabbing and using it if it’s offered? I think even Hermione, for all her talk about the cloak being the best hallow, wouldn’t have been able to withstand the lure to use it the better the world. But Harry might be the first wizard ever who has control over all three Hallows – and he is able to let it go. That’s the most impressive thing he has ever done.

  58. @ Anna 2
    Well, of course the “baby” is part of Voldemort’s soul. And you might remember that the EXACT SAME “baby” was shown before it was bathed in the potion.

  59. I love the artwork of the past few chapters.
    Nice discussion. Good points John.

  60. This chapter provided a small but still exciting full circle moment for me. First we must go back to the Goblet of Fire in Dumbledore’s office when Harry is telling Dumbledore and Sirius about what happened in the graveyard. When Harry reaches the part about Voldemort (via Peter Pettigrew) using Harry’s blood, the headmaster stands up suddenly and has a look of victory in his eye. That part always threw me for a loop until Deathly Hallows was released. How could Dumbledore be finding delight in such a cruel and violent act directed at Harry? Was this some tiny hint at Dumbledore actually being evil? Then one day it clicked. Even by Harry’s fourth year Dumbledore had some idea that Harry was a horcrux and would have to die to defeat Voldemort. But when he learns that Harry’s blood, and thereby Lily’s protection, now course through Voldemort’s veins he realizes that there just might be hope for Harry to live and Voldemort be defeated. If nothing else it is a testament to Rowling’s skill.

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