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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?

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Reader Comments: (Page 4)

I'm very pleased to hear that the new title is not some sort of bad ripoff, such as 'Harry Potter and the Final Battle'. However, I am sorry to be a partypooper, but the Dutch version of 'HP and the ly Hallows' is 'HP en de Dodelijke Heilige', which is, translated into English, 'HP and the ly Saints'. Do any of you guys have a clue about the meaning of this title when translated to Dutch?

Posted by Nick Batenburg from Rotterdam, The Netherlands on December 22, 2006 05:38 AM

Janis - Wow, that's all I can say - wow.

Let's take it a step further and relate to the books, my thoughts are in ( ):

1. Dyrnwyn, the Sword of Rhydderch the Generous'; Possessing the ability to burst into flame. (Fawkes or Fawkes as a Horcrux)

2. The Hamper of Gwyddno Garanhir';
Possessing the ability to turn one meal into one-hundred meals. (House elves)

3. The Horn of Bran';
Possessing the ability to provide any drink. (Augmenti charm and the refilling charm used when Harry got the memory for Slug)

4. The Chariot of Morgan the Wealthy';
Possessing the ability to travel at great speed to any location. (apparation)

5. The Halter of Clyno Eiddyn';
Possessing the ability to provide a horse of the seeker's choice. (thestrals)

6. The Knife of Llawfronedd the Horseman';
Possessing the ability to cut enough food for twenty-four men. (house elves again? - this one is tough)

7. The Cauldron of Diwrnach the Giant';
Possessing the ability to heat the food for a hero but not a coward. (Mirror of Dirsed - obviously not food but the hero having an ability the coward knows not)

8. The Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd';
Possessing the ability to ensure would follow wounding. (sectumsempra)

9. The Coat of Padarn Red-Coat';
Possessing the ability to identify those of noble birth. (mudblood, pure-bloods, etc., but not a trait as defined here)

10. The Crock of Rhygenydd';
Possessing the ability to provide favourite foods. (no idea)

11. The Dish of Rhygenydd';
Possessing the ability to provide favourite foods. (no idea)

12. The Chessboard of Gwenddolau';
Possessing the ability to play by itself. (voldemont and his desire to work alone - harry and his desire to not have help)

13. The Mantle of Arthur'.
Possessing the ability to make the wearer invisible to any observer. (invisibility cloak, Dumbledore's power to make himself invisible, the charm Moody used on Harry to have him blend in in Order of the Phoenix)

Any more?

Janis - great work.

Posted by Michael from Philadelphia, PA on December 22, 2006 05:39 AM

Janis from NC has not only done excellent research, but her logic fits this puzzle very well. More Potter websites should post information this useful. The Arthurian useagle of symbolic 'things' gives us the very real possibility that the title simply means 'Harry Potter and the search for the Horcruxes'. It is just too symplistic for JKR's style to believe that the title in any way refers to Harry's survival or lack thereof. My non sorting hat is off to Janis.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on December 22, 2006 06:05 AM

Thanks everyone for the lovely things you've said about my comments.

So many of you have brought up good points that it's hard to respond to them all. This is a great place to post.

I like what Michael from PA did with trying to link the 13 Hallows to magical objects. I'd suggest that the Sword of Godric Gryffindor could refer to the Knife of Llawfronedd the Horseman. It might not be used to cut bread, but it's potential to do so is there.

I also think that Harry would most likely be on a quest for the Whetstone of Tudwal Tudglyd. Since that ensures , it seems to me that having the whetstone would be useful in the destruction of any horcruxes that he finds. It was easy for Harry to destroy the diary--but LV may not have put any sort of protection on it. Dumbledore, on the other hand, suffered a severe injury when he separate the bit of soul from the ring.

The chessboard? McGonagall was the one who transfigured the chessboard in PS/SS. I'm sure that was at least partially based on the Chessboard of Gwenddolau. And the Mantle of Arthur just has to be the invisibility cloak that Harry inherited from his father. Remember that the cloak was left in Dumbledore's possession and it's a very old cloak. JKR said we'd learn more about it, so perhaps she'll include something in this book.

I also don't think we have to have all of the Arthurian Hallows. Perhaps Harry just needs the whetstone.

As for the title translation into Dutch, words don't always carry the same depth of meaning when translated. When HBP came out, I noticed that the Spanish title actually says "Harry Potter and the Mystery of the Prince." So, whoever translated the title may not have had direct access to JKR to find out what she truly means by "ly Hallows."

And yes, I think that the part about the "veil between the worlds" is quite likely to happen. The title JKR chose is rich in possibilites and the words can have more than one meaning even in her title. So, Hallows can be some sort of artefact that help Harry destroy the Horcrux, and it can also be the time when the veil is the thinnest. Perhaps when the veil is the thinnest, Harry communicate with one or more of those people who have passed to the other side and they'll tell him about the whetstone and where to find it.

Posted by Janis from Fayetteville, NC, USA on December 22, 2006 07:31 AM

Wow Janis great stuff. And I agree as Charlie has stated, ly Hallows could simply be another way of describing horcruxes or a way of describing Harry's search for horcruxes.

Posted by Rhonda from Pomona on December 22, 2006 07:35 AM

"All Hallows" is a christian celebration of saints and martyrs. It is celebrated the day after Halloween, "The Eve of All Hallows". Lily and James were ed on a Halloween night and the day after they and there son were celebrated by wizarding world. They were martyr. I think that title could be a reference to that. I also think it might all end on another Halloween night!

Posted by Roxanne from Quebec, Quebec on December 22, 2006 10:28 AM

Wow. Could it be that simple? I think Roxanne may have it. "All Hallows" as in "All Hallows Eve", or as we say, Halloween, which, as many have pointed out, has already figured prominently in Harry Potter.

"The ly Hallows" could very well be the "All Hallows" day where the books all come to an end, and either Voldemort s Harry, or vice versa.

OK. I'm going with this explanation, unless someone comes up with something better. Very good, Roxy!

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on December 22, 2006 10:32 AM

it has been a habit for me to check this website daily. so when i heard from the news that jkr has titled book 7 i know there would be new comments. i really enjoy reading them because the views and ideas brought up here make a lot of sense. and i really admire most of them.

for me, i think ly hallows would be the circumstances that harry go through on his search for the horcruxes and to defeat voldemort. it could be a place or persons(maybe).

i also believe that harry defeat voldemort in book seven by ing him accidentally. just my thoughts.

Posted by nalie from Bellflower, CA on December 22, 2006 10:38 AM

Looked-up the word "hallows" and no matter how you slice it, it comes up ""! It also refers to the Celtic ceremony of Hallo'ween, or the night before November 1..."The Night of the "...where those who have departed come back and are able to communicate with the living. I've said all that to say this...I think the last book come out on October 31, 2007. It is also the "end of summer" Harry's birthday...the beginning of winter. I also looked-up Samhain...a Celtic word for hallows, which also refers to like, ly, mortal, cadaverous, ghastly, ghostlike, spectral, fatal, and lethal conditions. Like I said, it don't look good for somebody! And yes, I believe Godric's Hollow play a part but, perhaps, the final battle be at Hogwarts...the only "real" homes for Harry and Voldemort.

Posted by Dee from Sourhtern USA on December 22, 2006 11:26 AM

"As for the title translation into Dutch, words don't always carry the same depth of meaning when translated."

Either that, or the Dutch know something we don't!

Great discussion, especially along the Arthurian epic topic, but one thing I think that is important to distinguish is that it's "Hallows," which is entirely different from "Hollows." It's easy to make that switch, but it's a world of difference.

I think those of you posting along the lines that it might not be a location, as it's easy to believe, may be on to something. Keep up the great posting!

Posted by Tim from Bloomington, IN on December 22, 2006 11:30 AM

Before we all go off and speculate this to "", we need to remember that JO chooses her titles carefully.

I found from reading all of your comments that it may just be the simplest explanation.

ly - Fatal
Hallows - Honor

What would be to any character in this series a "Fatal Honor"?

Posted by Robin from USA on December 22, 2006 11:50 AM

I was just on another site and someone pointed out that JKR had registered the trademark for several titles for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2003 and 2004. Among the titles that were registered were Harry Potter and the Hallows of Hogwarts and Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Hallows.

So, we know she's been thinking of the Hallows for some time now. And, we can also presume that if they are a place they are located at or around Hogwarts. This could refer to the supposed graveyard that we've not yet seen. Or, it could still refer to artefacts (I like the object, place, person, object, place, person, OBJECT thought) or that combination of time and place where the veil is thinnest.

Of course, I also think of Hogwarts as another character in the overall story. It could be that the Hallows are the regalia of Hogwarts, items that symbolize it and give Hogwarts its own magic independent of any wizard or witch. (I think about the Head's office when it sealed itself against Umbridge when I consider that Hogwarts has its own magic.)

Aaargh! Too many possibilities, not enough information!

Posted by Janis from Fayetteville, NC, USA on December 22, 2006 12:55 PM

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