Beyond Hogwarts

Search Beyond Hogwarts:

Reference Desk:
Beyond Hogwarts FAQ
Wizard to Muggle Currency Converter
Harry Potter Spelling Reference

Into the Deathly Hallows

by David Haber

J.K. Rowling finally announced on that the title of Book 7 will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The definition of "Hallow" is something that has been "made holy, sanctified, consecrated". What consecrated place in the Harry Potter stories could this refer to? Could it be the Hallowed Halls of Hogwarts? Or perhaps, does this refer to Godric's Hollow, the place where it all started?

> Read the full article

Pages:  <<  <  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ...  >  >>

Reader Comments: (Page 16)

Actually the sword, the cup, the spear and the stone show up in another older fantasy novel. Anyone here read Alan Garner's Elidor? Let's not start discussing it, but I'd recommend it to any of you needing something to read while you wait for DH. It's a cracking good read.

I think the idea is rather good. Certainly the comparison of Harry to a knight of the grail is apt. So a sword which Voldemort never got to turn into a horcrux, could the stone in Marvolo's ring have been THE stone? Hufflepuff's cup, and a wand instead of a spear perhaps? Orlando, in your research was there any mention of why the spear drips blood?

Voldemort used two objects belonging to Slytherin, so whether or not it pan out quite that neatly, I don't know. It is fascinating to see where she got some of her themes from, though. Thanks, Orlando.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 1, 2007 06:54 AM

Just got my e- mail saying its time to preorder book 7.:-0
I think it very likley that Arthurian legend is some how tied to the 'Hallows some how, if not directly then they my have been inspiration....(admittedly my knowledge of arthurian legend is pretty weak)

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on February 1, 2007 07:01 AM

Today is 1 February 2007. JKR's publishers just announced the July 21st 2007 release date for "ly Hallows."

Interesting, though, isn't it? That JKR would release this information on a holiday. For February 1st is the holiday Imbolc in ancient Scotland - where Hogwarts was founded 1000 years ago...

Imbolc is a holiday recognized by the same ancient Scottish folks who celebrate the Samhain (November 1st) and related Hallow Eve (October 31st)holidays, the Celts. Imbolc is a cross-quarter day in the Celtic calendar. A day that recognizes "seeds in the belly" for farmers, or perhaps in modern times "books at the publishers" for writers!

I remember once Jo was asked what her religion was and she said she couldn't reveal it because then everyone would know how the books would end. I always wondered what her religious leanings were, but her "Yule Ball" at Hogwarts, the start of the story in Book 1 on Samhain (November 1st), her information releases on the Solstice, the mysterious prophecy in the Ministry of Magic about something coming on the Solstice, and her book-on-the-way announcement at Imbolc is really rather curious...

A little background Note: The ancient Celtic solar calendar divides the year into four natural quarters based on the placement of the sun and the Earth (think Stonehenge). The Quarter Days start one of the four quarters, or seasons, of the cycle: the "Yule" or Winter Solstice which falls on either on December 21 or 22 is longest night of the year and the start of winter, "Ostara" the Vernal Equinox on March 21 or 22 has equal amounts of dark and light and begins the Spring, "Midsummer" or Summer Solstice on June 21 or 22 has the longest daylight, and "Maben" the Autumnal Equinox on September 21 or 22, has equal amounts of day and night.

The Celts added four additional holidays to the calendar, the Cross Quarter Days, which mark the mid-point or high point of each season. The four Cross-Quarter Days are "Samhain" on November 1st, "Imbolc" on February 1st, "Beltane" on May 1st, and "Lughnasad" on August 1st. The Cross-Quarter Days fall on the dates that are roughly half the number of days between the Solstice and the Equinox Quarter Days.

The Cross Quarter Days are quite important and thought to be very magical. "Samhain," (pronounced by the Scottish Celts as sa'-ven), falls on November 1st which is the start of the Celtic New Year, beginning a new life cycle. It also serves as the beginning of JKR's Harry Potter septology. The night before Samhain, Hallow Eve, October 31st, is considered to be a time of chaos and disorder before the new year starts the following dawn (they didn't exactly use digital clock technology and start the New Year with a disco ball drop at 12:01 from a tall building... the start of the day was the dawn and the end of the day was sunset. What fell in between belonged to neither day). And this last night between the end of the old cycle and the start of the new cycle was when the "veil between life and " was the thinnest. This was the time when the could return to earth. Hence our Halloween celebrations. Anyway, long story here about Samhain and how it turned into Halloween despite the Catholic church's attempts to make it all about saints...

But this is when JKR had Harry's parents ed, on Hallow Eve before Samhain. And this is when Harry got his scar, Voldemort "d" corporally, and a new cycle began for the wizarding world on New Year's day, Samhain.

But in the Celtic beliefs, time moved in a cycle. You would always return to where you started and begin the next cycle. It wasn't a linear calendar that counted how many years had passed from a start date to an end date. There was no forward progression from one date to another in the future. Life cycled. The Celts were farmers and herders. There was dark, that turned to light, then returned to dark.

Could this be where Jo is headed with Harry in "ly Hallows"?

Posted by jan-marie from new york on February 1, 2007 10:25 AM


One legend for a spear dripping with blood, is the spear of destiny - the spear used to (for want of a better word) prod Jesus with at the crucifixtion to see if he was - he then apparently bled blood and water (do I dare make a half-blood connection there?). I am not sure of the Arthurian version - check though.

What I do know, is that the sword hallow is often in pieces (such as LOTR sword). We know wizards get their wands broken in two (Hagrids for starters, and in the song Odo has a broken wand) for various reasons. So I am thinking that the sword is in fact a wand (maybe why Ollivander has vanished...).

In CoS after the battle scene and everyone is safely back in Dumbledore's office Harry explains that Lockheart has suffered from a rebounding Obliviate charm and Dumbledore says:
"Dear me," said Dumbledore, shaking his head, his long silver moustache quivering. "Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy!"

Ok it is an expression, but there is the idea of a wand being the wizards sword - they duel with them, and they seem to use the rules of fencing/sword fighting when about to duel. So just a thought.:o)

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 11:23 AM


In Arthurian legend it seems the spear runs with blood as it has brought harm to the grail keeper.

It also says that the person in possession of the spear is guarranteed victory in battle (back in WWII Hitler was after the spear of destiny - the spear of longinus).

I know this sounds daft, but JK Rowling said that the dark wizard Grindelwald, whom Dumbledore defeated in 1945 is connected to Hitler - she didn't say why though.

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 12:02 PM

I've just caught up with the last two or three pages of comments here and have a thought to add:

Remember those annoying IQ test questions that went something like, "If some Browns are Smiths and some Smiths are Potters, are some Browns then Potters?" Remember those? (And, of course, the answer here is, "Don't Know.") Well, how about this:

"If some Horcruxes are Hallows, and some Horcruxes are non-Hallows, must all Hallows be Horcruxes?"

Still with me?

Horcurxes are Horcruxes and Hallows are Hallows, but I susoect some Horcruxes are actually Hallows as well.

The Horcruxes are in motion. They are not fixed. Voldemort wanted seven. He started out with two and then began adding others. He made two from the s of the Riddle family and intended to make four more (the seventh, of course, remains inside his truly ugly and twisted self). He meets with Hepzeba (sp?) and finds that she has two "sacred" objects (Hallows)that belonged to Hogwarts founders. He stole those two, the cup and the locket (read: the Cup and the Pentacle/Coin from Tarot). He wanted to get two more, one each from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

At some point Dumbledore believes Voldemoret had five external Horcruxes and needed a sixth. But then the early Horcurxes both got de-activated/destroyed and Voldemort had more work to do to get back up to his goal of seven Horcruxes.

He went to Hogwarts and met with Dumbledore to discuss a teaching position, but D assures us that all he wanted was Gryffindor's sword. And here I would suggest that he probably still does want to get a hold of Gryffindor's sword - he knows the Diary Horcurx is void and perhaps someone who saw Dumbledore wearing the Peverell ring has let him know that his second Horcrux is void (it may be worth a look back through OOtP to see if Harry had a weird feeling or searing scar episode at a logical moment for that to have occurred, hmmm...)

He didn't get the sword so he made a Horcrux of something else. D thinks it may have been the snake Nagini.

OK, so we've got 4 Hallows (Cup, Sword, Wand, Coin/Pentacle/Locket) and two of them are Horcruxes - the Cup and the Locket, one for sure isn't - the Sword, and the final one, the Wand...

We've seen that Wand. I remember it in Book 1. When Harry first goes to Diagon Alley to buy his wand he sees in Ollivander's window a single wand lying on a dusty purple pillow.

Bet you a couple of chocolate frogs that the lone wand sitting on the dusty purple pillow was Ravenclaw's Wand. And it held a place of honor in Ollivander's shop window. And Voldemort needs it now to replenish his dwindling Horcrux cache.

Thank goodness Dumbledore is one step ahead of Voldemort and advised Ollivander to pack up and go into hiding (I think this must be what happened to Ollivander. Why? Because if Voldemort had gotten the wand he would have blown up the shop and left it. But the shop was emptied, completely, of everything. So logically it would have been vacated by someone who didn't want anything in there damaged.).

O.K. so, in conclusion, All Horcruxes are not Hallows, but Voldemort would prefer it if they were and is probably going to do his best to get the Sword out of Hogwarts and the Wand from Ollivander before we reach the end of Book 7. Not only is Harry looking for the four Horcruxes, Voldemort is looking for the remaining Hallows.

Posted by Jan-Marie from New York on February 1, 2007 12:03 PM


If the wand in the window is indeed the spear of destiny is it possible that it is now in the possession of one Neville Longbottom?

I don't have HBP in front of me, but does he not mention that he must have been the last person to have a wand from Ollivanders?

Red Herring at Voldemort as he would chase Ollivander whilst the wand would be with Neville.

With the spear you are guarranteed victory...

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 12:14 PM

Along with the sword, wasn't there also a goblet that was always full? Like I said, my Arthur is pretty weak. (Joseph Campbell would be disapointed.) The idea of Neville having "the wand of destiny" is intriguing. Maybe something significant be passed to Neville "Lady of the Lake" style?

Posted by Kevin from Wisconsin on February 1, 2007 12:54 PM

If you want to follow the Arthur theme and we see Harry as a knight searching for the four sacred Hallows on his grail quest.

Then may I suggest searching the name 'Bors the Younger', rather like our Harry; Bors the Younger had a distinctive scar on his forehead and not went on the grail quest but succeeded on this quest too with Galahad and Percival.

Bors the youngers best friend was Lionel - if Lionel is Ron I hope the ending has been altered!

To confuse matter Bors the YOungers father was Bors the Elder - King of GAunnes (which of course couldn't possibly be connected with the House of Gaunt - could it?)

I don't think you would need a literal father/son relationship for this.

The spear of destiny is used in this quest, and also the one who needs to be defeated is immobolised by a column of fire. In CoS it is said that 'conjuring up portable water-proof fires was a speciality of Hermione's' (pg 138, uk).

Posted by Orlando from England on February 1, 2007 1:38 PM

Question: Is it at all possible that neither of them (Harry nor Voldemort) actually has to in this last book? I know that the prophecy says that neither can live while the other survives but the way I see it Voldemort has two personalities Voldemort and Tom Riddle, what if Harry brings him to renounce his Voldemort persona and become Tom Riddle again?

Is there anything in the books that makes this an unlikely possibility?

Posted by Danielle V from Brooklyn, NY on February 1, 2007 1:40 PM

It's a theory, Danielle V, but I have to question it. On a couple of counts. is one thing, but there is the possibility of repentance. I just have a feeling that making a horcrux to enclose the torn piece of soul means that you can't ever be whole again, therefore Voldemort has irrevocably rejected any thought of redemption. I don't see him as a Darth Vader figure at all. More like the Emperor to follow the Star Wars analogy. This is not to say that Rowling has been unoriginal, just that she is dealing with archetypes.
My second reason is the characterisation of Voldemort. To me he comes across as clinically psychopathic. He is highly intelligent, a loner, doesn't understand the first thing about love, he thinks he's "special", better than all the others. As a child he torments other child and hanged a rabbit. He collected trophies of his mean little victories. He has learnt to hide what he really is. He is glib, able to function and put on a performance to deceive others. A true psychopath is not a candidate for reform because he simpy doesn't care.
The matron of the orphanage can see this, although she doesn't quite understand what she is seeing. Dumbledore sees a glimpse of it, and after that Tom realises that he has to keep himself hidden. Dumbledore is quite right when he questions Voldemort's use of the word "friends" to describe the Eaters. His supposed affection for Nagini the snake probably only fits if she IS in fact a horcrux. She is a little bit of himself, and Voldemort really only cares about himself. Either Voldemort has to or meet a very hungry pack of Dementors.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on February 1, 2007 4:08 PM

Jan-Marie: how can we be sure that the sword in Dumbledore's office is the original Gryffindor's one? It could have been there for ages, and still be a copy, the original being somewhere else (and of course at Voldemort's disposal). I would rather ask Hermione to have a look at early Hogwart's history to check about this.

I really think there are four Horcruxes (Jo said so very clearly) made from the four relics (cup, stone, wand, sword) and Harry has to gather them.

The wand could be Ravenclaw's AND a Horcrux. Remember: if you have to conceal a wand, the best place is in a wand's shop, and if it is a relic, the shop owner be the best person to keep an eye on it and secure it. If Dumbledore found out and hid Olivander, then it won't be too difficult for Harry to get this one.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on February 2, 2007 02:52 AM

Pages:  <<  <  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ...  >  >>

Featured Discussions | The Septology | Harry's World | Harry Potter Movies | Dumbeldore Is Not Dead | FAQ is not affiliated with or approved by
Scholastic Books, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros., or J.K. Rowling
Original Content Copyright © 2006-2010 David Haber, All Rights Reserved