The Deathly Hallows doesn’t really waste a lot of time getting into things. Instead of spending three chapters with Harry at the Dursleys we get a lot more excitement. Right off the bat we get a meeting between Voldemort and his Death Eaters, in which we learn there’s an informant in the Order of the Phoenix. We get to see Harry’s goodbye with the Durselys. And we get an exciting battle in the sky, which unfortunately leads to the deaths of Headwig and Mad-Eye Moody.
It’s been great to start the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga and I’m excited to see where things go from here. Below are some thoughts from the first six chapters of The Deathly Hallows.
I’ve never really liked the Malfoys but it’s hard not to pity them. They seemed more excited than anyone for Voldemort to come back to power but apparently the situation hasn’t played out as they had hoped. At the Death Eaters’ meeting all three Malfoys seemed fearful and stressed, uncertain about Voldemort’s feelings towards them. In the Malfoys we have a cautionary tale of getting everything that we want. Often times we think that if we just had this or if that person were a part of our lives, everything would be perfect. We should learn to be content regardless of our circumstances. Contentment with the present keeps us from hoping for a future that may not be all we want it to be.
One of my favorite parts of the entire series was the obituary about Albus Dumbledore. Like Harry, we only got a small glimpse of Dumbledore’s life. From that glimpse I’m more than ready to place Dumbledore up with other mentors like Yoda, Gandalf and Professor X. More than anything, though, from the obituary we can see Dumbledore’s legacy. He wasn’t just a great wizard but he was someone whose life made an impact and influenced others. Even putting up with awful students like Draco and whiny “The Order of Phoenix Harry,” Dumbledore still managed to influence the lives of young people. I’ve had some students over the years who required a lot of extra grace and attention; students in whom it was a lot more difficult to invest. Dumbledore seemed to have gotten beyond that challenge to leave a legacy that lived on in all of his students.
The Harry Potter series takes place in our world, just a version of our world that also contains the wizarding world. Religion doesn’t play a prominent role in the wizarding world yet they still celebrate Christmas and Easter and use exclamations like “oh my God.” Beyond those shallow recognitions of religion and faith, the wizarding world also seems to hold an understanding of the eternal soul. When discussing Horcruxes, Hermione says:
But my point is that whatever happens to your body, your soul will survive, untouched.
As a Christian I believe that my soul will survive independent of my body, but that I will also get a new and resurrected body at Christ’s return. J.K. Rowling never tells us what happens to the souls of wizards who die. Some become ghosts and Dumbledore ended up in the pictures in his office. There was no such continued existence for Sirius, though, or apparently for Mad-Eye Moody. The afterlife seems a little hit and miss in the wizarding world, which should make us even happier that our security is in Jesus Christ.
As I said above, The Deathly Hallows started off with a bang. I wonder if it will be able to keep its pace or if, like the other books, it will slow down for a little bit. I’m excited for Harry, Ron and Hermione to begin their search for the Horcruxes and I’m still holding out hope that Alan Rickman (Snape) will redeem himself in the end.
What thoughts do you have from the first six chapters of The Deathly Hallows?