Episode 231: DH 34 Revisit – We’re All Just Stardust

The time has come for Harry to die but his last moments are not wasted. From passing the torch, to reflecting over his years at Hogwarts, to being surrounded by the fallen he loves most, he does not face his final foe alone. Join hosts Beth, Katy, Michael and guest host Sherry, as they shed some tears over “The Forest Again,” chapter 34 of Deathly Hallows.

On Episode 231 we discuss…

→ Harry Potter in braille
→ Short but beautiful
→ What more could Dumbledore do?
→ Expecto Patronum Maxima!
→ Deaths of innocents
→ “Harry and Ginny kiss, I guess.”
→ Harry becomes Dumbledore
→ Ron, the dude bro
→ What did the Resurrection Stone resurrect?
→ Harry, the Christ child
→ Dead and back again

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

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RECAP: EPISODE 230

On this recap we discuss…

→ Snape and Sirius: More alike than you think
→ What if Snape had killed Lupin?
→ Are Fred and George just as bad?
→ Proof of Sirius’ Remorse
→ Lupin forgives Sirius. Why shouldn’t we?
→ Putting the dog back in the dog house
→ We want to meet Uncle Alphard STAT

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  • The thing about the story of a Christ-figure being in everything is that it is itself a rip-off of older stories of gods or god-like heroes who die and rise again.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Thank you for pointing that out! I meant to dive deeper into messiah figures before Jesus but ran out of time.

    • Alison

      *whispers* Archetypeeeeeeeeeeeees. Archetypes are everywhere, in everything, and they are so so fascinating.

      • Well yes, that’s what it boils down to, though I tried to avoid going down the Jungian rabbithole. 😉

  • Huffleclaw

    First, I loved this episode! I will likely make another comment later but I have not reread the chapter yet and want to do so before I delve into comments, plus I would like to re-listen to the episode.
    I wanted to expand a little bit on the self-sacrifice theme that was discussed in the episode, particularly with Jean Grey in the X-Men universe. For those unfamiliar with the comics the X-Men were returning from a mission in space when their ship had trouble entering the atmosphere. Jean used her powers to shield the ship from the intense heat, but it was too much for her to bare and she cried out for help. The Phoenix Force, an intergalactic god-like entity heard her cry and gave her the strength to hold on, but the cost was she got put in a pod in the Caribbean (I think?) Sea and she was basically comatose and then the Phoenix Force basically took over her powers and body.
    Another example is the end of the first season of Stranger Things, which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I didn’t even bother reaching into the comic world (outside of the tv/movie adaptations) because there are a billion examples in there…lol. How many times has Superman died now? Great call on Stranger Things!! 😀 I just watched S2 over the weekend…soooooo good!

      • I’m not completely up to date on current DC continuity, but I think insofar as that the writers really committed to the story to some degree, Superman “died” twice so far: the first time in the 1990ies and the second time a year or two ago.

        Almost all of the big DC heroes were officially “dead” for a while at some point, most notably the Flash (Barry Allen), who actually stayed dead for about two decades.

  • travellinginabluebox

    First of all, I am Team Dumbledore all the way. However, I can see his faults and the frustrations readers have with him. But just like Katy and Michael said, he did apologize and what else could he really have done?!
    And just like Harry forgave Dumbledore, I forgive Dumbledore.
    The difference for me with Snape here is, that Snape has not shown remorse for his horrible actions towards Harry. So I don’t forgive Snape or at least not as lightly as Harry did.
    So in the end the difference really is, that Dumbledore had good intentions and really regrets his faults. He is truly remorseful for all the pain he has caused Harry and he would have taken the burden from him if he could.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      “he would have taken the burden from him if he could.”

      That is such a good point!! I truly believe that Dumbledore would have transferred the Horcrux into himself from Harry if it had been possible. And what parent with a sick child hasn’t said, “I wish I could take your illness away from you! I would gladly take it onto myself.” When thinking of father figures for Harry, perhaps that’s another measure we should hold them to. I’m 100% sure that Dumbledore and Sirius would have taken his burden away. What about the other father (or mother) figures in his life?

      And I agree. Snape shows remorse for calling Lily a Mudblood, telling Voldemort the prophecy (but only because it ends up causing his “one true love” to die), and he probably felt remorse for killing Dumbledore, even though DD himself told him to do it. But those are the only things I can recall him showing remorse for. Perhaps instead of, “Look at me,” his last words should have been, “I’m sorry Harry.”

      • travellinginabluebox

        Exactly. Every single one of Harry’s parental figures would have gladly taken the burden from him. Sirius and Remus would have happily jumped at this, wanting to protect their best friends son. But I can even see some of the Weasley’s doing it, should it resolve to that.

        Snape’s last words should have only been “I’m sorry” if he had meant it. However, I don’t think Snape ever felt sorry for Harry. He might have pitied him a bit after realizing Harry had to die after all, but I don’t believe he was ever sorry for him. He hated Harry with such a passion and devotion, there was no room for being sorry.
        Voldemort might have been the one to kill his family, but Snape bullied him and made his life miserable as often as he could. In a way, Voldemort treated Harry with a lot more respect than Snape ever did. Although admittedly Voldemort already had very little respect for the “schoolboy” who kept escaping his traps.

        • Lisa

          I agree that Snape wasn’t sorry for his treatment of Harry but that doesn’t take away from his redemption, IMO. Not everyone has to like Harry or be nice to Harry to be considered a good character, I think. The point is that Snape did things behind the scenes which helped Harry survive even if he delivered nasty one-liners to Harry and his pals in class (which to be honest I found hilarious, Snape’s definitely one of the funniest characters in the series). Anyway, just my two cents.

      • DeadAsADumbledoreNail

        But even in death, Snape was obsessed with Lily. At first read, I thought Snape’s “Look at me” meant “See me, know what I’ve done”, but it wasn’t until I read it a time or two again that I realized that he simply wanted to see Lily once

  • travellinginabluebox

    Harry having the choice to come back or go on, is going back to the basis of Harry Potter: CHOICES

    The whole series is about choices and choosing wisely, it is also about following your heart in hard decisions. Especially in DH Harry and his friends have to face harder choices and face the consequences of them. Horcruxes or Hallows being another big one.
    But Harry pretty much has unfinished business. Voldemort is not yet dead and his urge to help protect his friends is bigger than venturing off with his loved ones. Because “the real world” still has a lot to offer, including his friends and surrogate family. And I think, Harry would have never forgiven himself, for not going back to his friends.

  • Paigers

    “Stop being so hard on James, you guys,” – Michael.

    *Inserts long, footnoted rant about how right Michael is here*

    Nah, but really, what I always find interesting about James in this scene is that he really is the one who gets the best lines. He says “We are…so proud of you,” and the pause in that sentence really emphasizes it and gives a sense of how overwhelmingly proud he is oh his son. It makes me so happy.

    He also gets Rowling’s DH dedication line, “Until the very end.” If I had known that one of these characters would get that line, I would have guessed that it would be Lily, because Rowling used it herself, and she is sort of the “mother” of the series. I’d think she would want to give that to her most thematically important mother figure. I really appreciate that it’s actually James’s line, though. It’s also really reflective of his love for his child, and it credits him and elevates him in a way that the books since OotP haven’t.

  • Violet

    Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but I always thought that Dumbledore was taking some unrealistically high risks when he relied on the theory of the blood protection magic. Think about it – his whole plan depended on the event that 1) the blood protection magic theory actually works (remember that while Lily dying for Harry to keep Harry alive after the killing curse actually worked in real life, how could he know 100% that Voldemort’s taking of Harry’s blood would tether Harry on Earth after he “died? This was pure speculation) and 2) that Voldemort would kill Harry himself. This plan seems incredibly risky because we and Dumbledore are aware that Harry escapes near-death multiple times per year, and that the Death Eaters, although instructed to not kill Harry, don’t always listen to Voldemort (see Crabbe in the Room of Requirement, who doesn’t seem to care about the orders and tries to kill Harry multiple times).

    I always thought that Dumbledore had a backup plan to make sure that Harry would survive after Voldemort’s demise. While people seem to look at the Master of Death concept in a metaphorical way, I wondered, why should we not take it literally? After all, the three Hallows exist in real life, and each of their powers are very real. What if possession of all three actually guaranteed temporary immortality?

    Dumbledore knew Harry had the cloak and he always planned to give Harry access to the resurrection ring. We also know that Dumbledore originally planned that Snape should possess the elder wand. I believe that Dumbledore’s back up plan consisted of Snape handing the elder wand over to Harry, around the time when he was supposed to tell Harry that he would have to sacrifice himself to Voldemort. That way, in case the blood protection magic theory did not work, Harry would still stand a chance to survive the killing curse a second time.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Small point, Dumbledore planned for Voldemort to believe that Snape was the Elder Wand’s Master when, in fact, the Elder Wand had no Master. From DH: “Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!”

      Draco disarming Dumbledore ruined that plan, but if it had gone as planned, Voldemort would have believed Snape was the Wand’s Master – and that he would have to defeat him to gain mastery for himself. Of course Dumbledore doesn’t tell Snape this, he tells him he must kill him to save Draco and protect him from death at the hands of Death Eaters. So Snape, who had tried to get out of it, kills the only person who knows his true loyalties, knowing this also means he must flee the only real home he’s ever had in his life and the closest thing to friends he’s had, without realizing he was also signing his own death warrant. (Because Voldy isn’t the type to disarm when killing will achieve the result with no doubts.) And he has nothing to gain but Voldemort’s defeat, no glory, no reward, in fact it will turn everyone against him and force him among the Death Eaters where he says they “carry false tales of my treachery.”

      I believe Snape would have killed Dumbledore even knowing it put his life on the line, but I don’t blame Dumbledore for what he did. Running a war is not easy and it involves making decisions that cost lives. I think Dumbledore’s backup plan was simply that if Harry couldn’t come back, his death would be the price of defeating Voldemort and saving many more lives and the freedom of the Wizarding World as a whole.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        If Snape was marked for death (and I agree with you that he was due to the Elder Wand’s allegiance), then it was even MORE reckless for him to wait until his dying breaths to give Harry his memories. It astounds and frustrates me that he had no backup plan in case of his demise.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          maybe Snape’s backup plan was to come back as a ghost.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I can’t imagine him giving up his last chance to see Lily by coming back as a ghost for all eternity.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            yes, he would want to see Lily after his death. But if he had not helped Harry, would Lily forgive him? Not to start the redemption-discussion again, but Snape wants to be on good terms with Lily, and that would not work if he doesn’t help Harry.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          Snape didn’t know that killing Dumbledore marked him for death, because Dumbledore didn’t tell him about the Elder Wand. He only told him that killing Dumbledore would protect Draco’s soul and prevent Dumbledore from a messy death at the hands of Death Eaters. Snape had been told to tell Harry the truth only when Voldy started protecting Nagini. The first time Snape saw Nagini protected in her bubble, was in the boathouse right before he was killed – and he made every effort to get Voldy to let him go find Harry, I find it amazing that after that horrific snake attack and as he lay bleeding out on the floor, Snape still has his duty in mind and managed to find a way to pass on the information.

          It’s Dumbledore who knew that Snape’s life would be forfeit after killing him and who should have arranged for Harry to be told the truth should Voldy get to Snape before he had a chance to tell Harry. Snape would have believed himself to be in less danger of death from Voldy after killing Dumbledore, because he’d proved his true loyalty beyond all doubt. What frustrates me is that Dumbledore didn’t tell Snape what killing him really meant regarding the Elder Wand and that he tasked Snape with delivering this crucial message knowing full well that Snape was the last person Harry would want to hear anything from.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I agree – the fault actually lies with Dumbledore. I should have said it frustrates me that “the plot” had no backup plan…lol.

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    Ok so … raise your hand if this episode made you cry. *raises hand*

    First off, I loved the discussion about Gethsemane, because it’s just so moving. I’m not particularly religious myself but I’ve been steeped in Christianity my entire life, so this parallel has always been fairly clear to me (at least when I was old enough to really understand it). For anyone who wants a summary of this part of the bible without actually having to read the bible, and/or you like musicals, you should listen to the song Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar – it’s basically this scene in song form. This is one performed by Michael Crawford, it’s my personal fav: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsS53BARos8

    In regards to the trio’s goodbye scene in DH2, I personally was not a fan. Partly because it deviates from the book (though I agree that it would have been difficult to translate to film), but also because Ron doesn’t get a word in. To me it’s just another example of the toxic masculinity that pervades Hollywood – it would have been much more meaningful to have Ron express his feelings more clearly here, as well as Hermione. I understand that it may not have been exactly in Ron’s character to talk here – let’s face it, he’s not exactly in touch with his emotional side – but it just feels like another example of Ron’s character being written off by the writers/directors.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Thank you for the link to that song! I don’t think I’d ever heard it before and it’s so appropriate! (Not to mention beautiful and amazingly sung! Wow!) When I looked up that story before the episode, I only got the version from John. I forgot, until Sherry mentioned the other verse, that there are other accounts in the Gospels from that night. I’m glad Harry didn’t have to experience a, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” moment. He was given the evidence he asked for. He was given support until the end. And while I think he would have carried on even without those things, it’s not quite as heartbreaking as it could have been without them. Then again, in some ways, seeing those loved ones again is just as heartbreaking…just in a different way.

      And I totally hear you on Ron, the dude bro!

    • daveybjones999 .

      I agree about Ron, but in this case I see it less because of toxic masculinity thing, but more a continuation of the movies annoying tendency to shove Ron off to the sidelines in favor of Hermione because she’s the screenwriter’s favorite character.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        I mean, I don’t want to say that they actively decided to give Ron zero dialogue *because* he’s a guy, but it definitely falls in line with that troubling trend. I do absolutely agree that it was probably because the screenwriter doesn’t seem to value Ron as a character, and because his favourite character is Hermione, but the effect of the scene is also that it reinforces harmful stereotypes about how men should be.

  • ANOTHER Weasley

    I think it was C.S.Lewis who talked about how fairy tales are so relevant to us because our real lives are a good vs. evil story. There will always be references to Jesus’ sacrifice to save everyone forever in every good story.

    I’m listening to the podcast right now, and you just asked if we think Harry was “dead, dead?” I do. If his sacrifice for the wizarding world is going to be actually successful, he would have had to actually die all of the way to truly kill the horcrux.

  • ANOTHER Weasley

    When I heard you talking about how Remus looked like he was pre-werewolf, it made me think of the end of Jedi, when Anakin returns in his young form.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I can see why some would like the Anakin change but I will always be faithful to the original with older, but good Vader. Sorry! lol

      • ANOTHER Weasley

        Me too, actually. But even in the original, they all looked happy at least, and not as pained and miserable.

        • ANOTHER Weasley

          and for the record, I never said I LIKED the Anakin change…I would hate for you to think I am one of those! lol.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Haha!! Thank you for the clarification 😉

    • travellinginabluebox

      Isn’t Remus bitten as a child? Something tells me he was 4 years old. So this pre-werewolf should be more a Remus without werewolf, right? Maybe I am just confused…

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I think they meant more Remus without werewolf than pre-werewolf, because like you said, he was bitten as a child. Lycanthropy is a disease and I don’t think diseases would follow them into the afterlife.

        • ANOTHER Weasley

          Yes, sorry I said that wrong.

  • ANOTHER Weasley

    I’m glad you said that about Harry’s happy family being the end goal. That blasted play really irks me from the very first few moments all the way through to the very last end. It messed with Harry’s reward, and I do not approve!

    • travellinginabluebox

      Well there are 19 years of possible happiness in between… And after all no one can expect the rest of their lifes to be boring when they are only 17. Some form of distress will always come and get your life hectic for a bit. That’s just how life works.
      We as the readers / viewers are only privy of the exciting parts in Harry’s life, because they are interesting and tell a good story. But after all Harry chose an auror career well knowing that this would lead to more adventures and possible heartache. It would be totally out of character for him to decide at almost 18 to retire and never have dangerous adventures anymore.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        In my headcanon, Harry becomes a teacher and then headmaster at Hogwarts many years down the line 🙂 His students would FREAK OUT that they were being taught by The Chosen One 😀 But I agree that becoming an Auror straight out of school makes total sense for Harry. Fighting and saving others is what his entire life has been about since the age of 11. He’s not as reckless as Sirius but he definitely has a reckless streak.

      • MartinMiggs

        All was well*

        *some exclusions may apply

  • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

    First of all, I loved loved loved this episode. I will admit to tearing up every single time quotes from the chapter were read. I totally agree that is one of the beautifully written chapter in the HP series, and you guys did a fantastic job discussing it once again.

    Secondly, while I did think that Resurrection Stone scene in DH Part 2 was done wonderfully, I did have one tiny-ish problem with it, and that would have to be the lack of Lupin Love.

    Just like Michael, I too am a HUGE Remus Lupin fan. He’s a very close second with Luna Lovegood for me. I have been lamenting the lack of Lupin & Tonk’s relationship in the films since HBP, which is another discussion (or rant) for another time. So when Harry mentions to Lupin his son who is never really mentioned at all up until this scene in the movie in the forest, it doesn’t carry the same weight as it did in the 7th book. Teddy doesn’t even show up in the epilogue scene! Harry and Lupin’s relationship is put under strain and is made whole again when Harry is made Teddy’s godfather; that’s what makes this scene all the more heartbreaking. Those moments are some of my favorite of the DH book, and if Lupin & Tonks’ love story had been done right in the films, the Resurrection Stone scene would have been beyond perfect. Hate to nitpick such an emotional scene, but I will fight for Lupin Love if I need to do so.

  • Paige Crawley

    I promised myself I would listen to this episode as soon as it was posted, but I failed again. The only thing i had to share was on the subject of Harry’s death. When I was reading either Prisoner or Chamber, about ten years ago, my friend’s older sister told me that she had read almost all of Harry Potter, except she never finished. When I asked why, she told me she stopped WHEN HARRY DIED, assuming there was nothing more to the story. My younger self, thinking the death of the main character impossible, never believed her, but I truly hope someone eventually informed her that Harry didn’t stay dead.

  • travellinginabluebox

    Also want to share my favourite WROCK song by the band called Riddle TM. They have a lot of songs named after chapters in the books and this one is “Chapter 34”. Have a listen here (or on Spotify), if you are not familiar with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgTLNK8i0ek

  • Lisa

    It’s interesting to ponder over how the ring actually works. In the legend, the brother brings back his dead lover but she’s not really the same person anymore (dying will do that to you). In this chapter however, I’ve always imagined that Harry summons versions of his loved ones who tell him what he wants to hear, what would comfort him most at that time. I’ve seen some people online point out how creepy it is that his parents and Sirius and Remus are so okay with him basically committing suicide at Voldemort’s hands after they all gave their lives for him. I can see their point but I’ve always thought that all those who “appeared” were figments of Harry’s imagination which is why they were so peaceful instead of crying or trying to get him to reconsider.

    I don’t remember what happened to the ring in the end but assuming it’s still intact– could someone have found it and maybe brought back, say, Voldemort? As Voldemort was so afraid of dying, he would probably be very grateful and not like the brother’s girlfriend who had found peace but had been forcefully brought back to life. (This also reminds of those Buffy episodes when she dies for a while but her friends bring her back and then she’s happy about it on some level but also sad because she was finally at peace. Sorry for the spoiler).

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I don’t think it’s out of character that they don’t cry or try to stop Harry from dying. Like Dumbledore, they know it has to happen for the war to end.

      I like the thought of what would happen if someone brought Voldemort back with the ring! Bellatrix would be the obvious person to try it. What do y’all think she would do with Ringemort?

      • Lisa

        In my book, if you sacrifice your child for a cause, any cause, you’re an extremist basically. Even if they knew it had to happen they could have had reactions similar to Hermione’s reaction in the DH movie. The way that they were so serene about it makes me think that they existed only in Harry’s mind and would have comforted him no matter what decision he’d made, even if he decided to run away.

        Well obviously someone would have to bring Bellatrix back first 😀 Except we all know she didn’t really die because Voldemort taught her to make Horcruxes. #headcanon

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I like your Bellacrux headcanon 😀 I just can’t think of anyone else who cared about Voldy enough to try it apart from her. It seems as though you can only bring people back who you have a personal connection with. But I could be wrong. Maybe you could bring back figures from history and learn from them 🙂

    • SnapesManyButtons

      The ring was dropped in the forest in a place even Harry doesn’t remember. But it doesn’t bring people back to life as fully human, the second brother’s returned love was unhappy because she was “separated from him as by a veil.” To me it sounds like she could see the mortal world but couldn’t fully participate in it because she didn’t belong there. So if Voldy came back, he probably wouldn’t be able to do much unless he could convince people to follow him when he can’t really interact with the mortal world. I suppose with Bella as his “enforcer” he might be able to pull it off.

      As for the people Harry brought back not caring that he was about to die, I believe that a lot of the fear of death rests in the fear of the unknown. Is there an afterlife? What is it like? Will I be punished for my bad deeds? But once you die, you know these things and, unless you find yourself in “the bad place,” you know there’s nothing to fear. Even a long life is but a blink of an eye compared to how long you are dead, so they would know that death is nothing to fear and life fleeting. They could accept that the end of Harry’s life was simply the beginning of his eternity in the afterlife, so wouldn’t see death as the tragedy that the living see it as

      That said, I also wonder if they could have somehow known that it wasn’t Harry’s time to die and that he would have the option to return to life if he chose. They couldn’t tell him since he had to believe he would die, but maybe in the afterlife you can know things we don’t know down here…

      • Lisa

        Yeah, I think ghost!Voldie could have still achieved some of his evil schemes but of course he would only be a poor version of his former self. Still, I’d like to read a “Voldy returns by help of the ring” fanfic. It would be pretty canon-consistent.

        I’m with you on the knowledge of an afterlife making death easier to accept. However, Harry was a 17 year old boy and there were so many things he could have done in his life. I don’t think his parents (assuming they were their true selves and not figments of his imagination) would have been okay with him dying young at the hands of a psychopath who murdered them as well. It’s one thing for them to welcome him when he’s dying of old age after a fulfilling life and another to welcome him as a teenager who got murdered by a madman. That’s still a tragedy no matter how awesome afterlife might be, IMO.

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          They didn’t have to be ok with it to show strength when that’s what Harry needed. I don’t think a sobbing Lily would have buffeted Harry’s bravery like their caring strength did. Parents put on brave faces for their children all the time to keep them from being afraid. That’s how I’ve always interpreted their demeanor in this scene.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          of course parents want their children to have a happy and long life. But these particular parents gave their lives to protect their child when they were only about four years older than him, trying to stop Voldemort. Harry following their example and protecting everyone else is very Gryffindor of him and they do understand that.
          Sirius and Lupin have shown to think along the same themes. So while they themselves will do anything to protect Harry, they won’t stop him from protecting others when Harry believes it to be unavoidable.

  • Timothy Walsh

    The incident when Sirius lured Snape into the Shrieking Shack must have happened in their fifth year. When Harry finds out about it during his fifth year, he comments that his father was the same age when he saved Snape as Harry was at the time.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Thank you so much for the reminder!!

  • DeadAsADumbledoreNail

    I think that perhaps, the apparitions that appear to Harry in the Forest are real, but ONLY because Harry was the Master of Death by that point. The Tale of the Three Brothers told us that the girl who came back for the second brother wasn’t quite right and it eventually led the brother to taking his own life, as Death had wanted from the beginning. Death claimed the first two brothers by giving them items that it knew would eventually claim their lives. If Harry had used the Resurrection Stone without either of the other two items, I think that the James, Lily, Lupin, and Sirius that would have appeared to him would have been the same pale imitations that had appeared to the second brother. Revenants intended to claim the life of the user. Since Harry was that Master of Death in that moment, he was able to summon the genuine spirits of his parents and their friends.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Ooo, I like this theory!

  • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

    A fabulous episode, heart-rending, excellent discussion. This chapter always feels slightly different, as if Jo was in a different place in her mind when she wrote it.
    On Michael’s point about Harry last thought being kissing Ginny; I thought it had parallels with Lily’s sacrifice in terms of it being about love. Harry’s thought, at that very moment when he was willing to give himself up, was of love; his heart, body and soul were full love. So perhaps this helped Harry to die but survive and aide the protection to those in the remainder of the battle that his sacrifice gave?

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      “…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

      That such a nice thought. Because even though his last thought was of Ginny specifically, he was dying not only to protect her, but also the countless others that he loved and cared about. In that sense, this moment really captures how much love Harry has in his entire being. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Killing Curse missed Ginny by inches, along with any other curses sent his friends’ way. Harry was born of love, and a greater capacity for love and forgiveness than anyone I have ever known. So I do agree with this beautiful, heartwarming thought.

      • Lisa

        Did Harry’s sacrifice protect his friends even from attacks from Death Eaters? I thought it was just Voldemort’s spells which didn’t work properly since he was the one actually holding the wand and performing the AK curse on Harry. However, if Harry’s sacrifice offered protection from any Dark wizard then that would explain why the Death Eaters started losing all their duels after Harry’s ressurection. They seemed to be doing pretty well before that.

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          It looks like it only protected them from Voldemort himself from the text:

          “You won’t be killing anyone else tonight,” said Harry as they
          circled, and stared into each other’s eyes, green into red. “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 from hurting these people —”
          “But you did not!”
          “— I meant to, and that’s what did it. I’ve done what my mother
          did. 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. You don’t learn from your mistakes, Riddle,
          do you?”

          DH page 738 US

          But Harry was running around throwing up shield charms around people while under his invisibility cloak for a bit before revealing himself. I think the only curse we see falter is when Voldemort immobilized Neville. The spell wore off very quickly.

          • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

            There was also the Silencing Charms Voldemort tries to put on the crowd when he brings back Harry body to show that he’s “dead”.

            “‘He beat you!’ yelled Ron, and the charm broke…” (DH pg. 730)

            “…and there was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort’s Silencing Charm seemed unable to hold.” (DH pg. 731)

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Oh yeah!! Good call! I didn’t go back far enough 😀

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          another explaination why the DEs started losing after Harry’s sacrifce might be that they believed they had already won and could not be defeated anymore. The defenders of Hogwarts on the other hand put in even more effort to push back the attackers and fight in Harry’s name.

        • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

          I’m not entirely sure that it protects them from other Death Eaters 
curses. The only example would be Bellatrix sending a Killing Curse at Ginny and it missing her by inches. But then again, that could’ve been a case of extreme luck.
          Other than that, there’s no other evidence of curses missing the others. There’s only mention of George and Lee Jordan taking down Yaxley, Ron and Neville doing the same with Greyback, and Arthur and Percy going after Thicknesse. It does seem as if the fighters of Hogwarts double their efforts and have more of an advantage, though.

      • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

        Yes, I agree not Ginny specifically but the love that filled Harry’s heart!

  • DoraNympha

    How is Fred not there, though? He was more family for years and years to Harry than anyone else who died just before this chapter, really? I mean, I get that he’s not part of that Marauder gang that’s the previous generation but if the Stone brings back your loved ones…? Harry is an honorary Weasley, tbh

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Fred is a loved one of Harry’s, but not a parental figure. And in order to pass safely through the forest full of dementors Harry gathers the persons whom he associates with his patronus.

      • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

        Exactly. He used the stone to see the ones whom he loved and the ones who would give him the necessary courage to continue walking to his death. Each one was an important part of his journey throughout the series, and even though Fred was there along the way as a good friend, he wasn’t someone he needed in that moment.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    when writing scenes and chapters like this, where we see the thoughts and feelings of a person who is dealing with their own death, Jo succeeds in making the feelings relateable and it feels accurate how Harry’s state of mind is described. When Jo had to go through the tragical years during her mother’s illness, she had the time to ponder about the imminent death of a person she loved so much that having to say goodbye must have seemed unfathomable. The stages of grief that appear at different point in the Potter books are discernible in this chapter, too, and after having gone through those stages several times in her own life, Jo is more than capable of depicting them.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      and it is even more evident in the Godric’s Hollow Chapter. Visiting a loved one’s grave for the first time and taking in the reality of the fugaciousness of lives and physical bodies is hard. Especially hard for Harry in this moment, when he has not seen his parents in such a long time, but no less hard for Jo, who had to say goodbye to her mother too early, too.

  • The Fifth Marauder

    Ok this whole episode I was continuously being reminded of one of the firstborn quotes I heard from Welcome to Night Vale (look into that if you haven’t, it’s incredible): “Death is only the end end if assume the story is about you.”