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Neville Longbottom: The Other Chosen One

by David Haber

On the night that Sirius died, after the battle at the Ministry of Magic at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore showed Harry the complete Lost Prophecy. It is then we learn that it was possible that Neville could also have been the Chosen One. Dumbledore tells us this, and then immediately insists it could only have been Harry. Why mention it then, in the first place?

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Reader Comments: (Page 20)

Peter from Australia -

I don't think Neville is a horcrux because why would Voldermort put his soul into someone that wasn't working on his side? If he were to put his soul in a person I think it would be someone that he trusted.

Posted by Jen from Perth, Western Australia on July 14, 2007 6:30 PM

Very interesting article. While I think that Neville play a large role in book 7, I do not believe he is the "chosen one." Also, there is no way that he would join up with Voldemort. Voldemort is the reason Neville's parents were taken away from him and he (as can be seen in any of the later books) has a deep hatred for the dark side. He also doesnI think (and hope) that he finish off Bellatrix allowing Harry to gain access to Voldemort (who incidentally I think everyone in the wizarding world should take to calling Tom, just to make him angry).

Of course all that said...all the illusions to Dumbledore making a big mistake (he mentions that all of his wisdom opens him up to making much bigger mistakes than the average wizard) could be in reference to his understanding of the prophecy. Or it could be that he never should have trusted Snape...

Posted by Megan from Boston, MA on July 14, 2007 11:52 PM

i think neville is the chosen one for his own battle. i think that he have to fight bellatrix to live or she have to him. same with harry potter, he must voldemort. plus i don't think the shape of the scar means anything, but i do think it disapear if harry s voldemort.

Posted by Jordan from springboro, ohio on July 15, 2007 3:30 PM

I am wondering if Neville is really the chosen one since Voldy would not have expected Harry to live, right? So in thinking that he is ing Harry, that would have left Neville to be the marked person that would have the power to vanquish him and to become the actual target of future violence/plotting by Voldy and the DEs. Of course, since the plan back-fired, doesn't that mean that the prophecy was somehow altered (due to Lilly's love and protection) and so Neville and Harry could potentially both have the power to "vanquish" Voldemort.

I am going to be really sad if this is true, but so many people making predictions that someone is going to have to make a "sacrifice" play to allow Harry and/or Neville to vanquish Voldy. Ron played that role in the chess game in SS/PS. He also was sort of that role (though less intentionally) in PofA since he was the bait that drew Harry and Hermione into the Shrieking Shack to rescue him. And then, he was not with Harry and Hermione during the real rescue mission of Syrious. He also was not in on the action with Harry and Hermione when they took Umbridge into the forest in OofP. I am wondering if JK is setting us up for a scenario where Ron eiher by choice or not is not available to participate in the final climax/showdown with Voldemart. Possibly because he is . I also am a bit worried about Trelawney's prediction(?) or characterization of Hermione as an old maid -- further concern that Ron does not survive. I hope that if he does not, his is heroic and not due to being a traitor.

Posted by LW from Charlotte, NC on July 15, 2007 5:23 PM

Voldemort actually doesn�t know the full extent of the prophecy, and hence is unaware that there is a potential "other chosen one" out there, therefore wouldn't have known to send people after Neville. He only heard the section that Snape overheard, and since the prophecy was destroyed in the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore and Harry are the only two that know the full prophecy, and I think this includes the fact that it could have been Neville.

Perhaps this is the power Harry has that the Dark Lord knows not? Knowledge. And Neville.

Posted by Meredith from Sydney, Australia on July 15, 2007 10:00 PM

i don't think that neville is the 'chosen one'. on the other hand, i think he (and possibly luna) have a major role in the final showdown against voldemort. i also believe that neville and luna end up together, if one or both of them do not . i have more faith in this after seeing OotP and the way those two look out for each other especially in the ministry. i hope this does happen because then the six would be paired up; harry and ginny, hermione and ron and neville and luna.

Posted by claire from queensland australia on July 16, 2007 04:24 AM

If it turns out to be the case in Book 7 that Neville is truly important, the most recent HP movie did an incredible disservice by omitting Neville from the prophecy. That said, though, I believe J.K. Rowling has creative control over the movie making, so if she approved the Order Of The Phoenix film, what I conclude from that is that Neville is of little importance in terms of the ultimate conclusion of Voldemort vs. Harry Potter. Anyone else with thoughts on this?

Posted by Ryan from Cincinnati, Ohio on July 16, 2007 09:27 AM

Ryan from Cincinnati: I think Neville is goin to be of GREAT importance; just because JK has a lot of control over the movies doesn't mean that every single thing that is different from the books is not *really* important. I think if you look at the books, Neville's been gaining in importance since HP and The Goblet of Fire. While I'm just not sure if he's the Chosen One or not, I don't doubt that he's going to figure largely into this last volume.

Posted by Ashly from Memphis, TN on July 16, 2007 10:20 AM

A lot of people seem to think that Harry turning out not to be the one to personally Voldemort somehow undermine his importance in the story or negate all the courage & s he's shown to date. It won't.

Neville turning out to be the one who can Voldemort is actually quite fitting. Harry Potter has been, since the beginning, about teams and friendships and individual talents banding together for maximum effect. JK has gone out of her way to make her hero(s) 'ordinary' instead of super-gifted or one-of-a-kind. But together, they do amazing things. It's the whole Wizard of Oz mythology recreated (Hermoine's brain, Ron's heart, Neville's courage) with Harry as a modern day Dorothy. Only together can they get through it. (Let's just hope this doesn't all turn out to be a dream!)

My theories on 'why Neville' are very real-world oriented. Sorry to be so unmagical. I'll leave the task of pulling amazing meaning from the detail of the book to those others of you that do it so well.

I think a couple of simple things point to Neville being a major player in the final outcome...

1. The scar
2. Screen-time
3. Serpent behaviour

The scar. This is the major, major symbol in the books & films. Back when JK began this journey (knowing, for sure, what her endgame would be even if the details weren't yet fleshed out in her mind) she included much more obvious hints for her (then) much younger aunce. Her key 'pointers' were quite obvious in the book and then highlighted in the resulting films. Therefore, don't overlook the ruddy great "N" carved by Voldemort into Harry's forehead. Sometimes obvious is a ruse and sometimes its not. It's unlikely to be an accident that it has been visually portrayed as a wonky 'N' onscreen. And, it has been getting fractionally straighter in the films since the beginning which is possibly preparing us all for the big 'gasp' moment (presumably in case we can't all tilt our heads sideways and imagine...). For all you literal prophecy readers, the line that seems like a deal-breaker in favour of Harry being the chosen one... "and the Dark Lord mark him as his equal"... could easily mean that the mark itself identifies the one that is his equal (N for Neville)as opposed to being-marked as the sign of being the one. (This still leaves room for the 'scar-is-a-Horux' theory which hadn't occured to me but makes a mountain of sense..)

2. Screentime. Much better characters, sub-plots and themes than Neville & his backstory have been left on the cutting room floor of all five of the books so far made for the big screen. In print, JK has woven really complex characters and stories which disguise her intentions as much as enriching he story. But, in film, to 'waste' that kind of precious screen-time on a character that isn't integral to the immediate plot or doesn't become really important later... just wouldn't happen. That's why lots of great characters barely get a look-in. We've seen JK and the filmmakers drop other characters like hot potatoes as soon as their character-jobs are done. Therefore, Neville still being on-screen and (as someone else has said) ever growing in presence, ss & courage means Neville be major. Question is - how major?

3. Serpent behaviour. All of those layers of protection alluded to by others (forgetting charms, confusion charms, protecting grandmothers) despite the occasional hints are all there. But Harry himself is the biggest smokescreen of all. Voldemort is a serpent at heart afterall and, like all good vipers, the best way to catch them is to distract them with something waving around in their face and then come at them from the side when they're not looking (kids, don't try this at home!). Harry's certainly been waving enough to hold Voldemort's attention. And ours! So... Neville strike while Harry waves.

So... I guess we all only have to wait a couple more days. But, like Wizard of Oz, ing off the bad only be part of their final journey, not the end-point.

Personally, I'll just be really sad that the journey is over.

Posted by Nikki from Australia on July 17, 2007 01:05 AM

Ryan from Cincinnati, i do agree with one thing you said "the most recent HP movie did an incredible disservice by omitting Neville from the prophecy." i beleive that Neville be of great importance in the final book.i was thinking that as the prophecy could have meant harry or neville... but i think that when it all comes down to it it be neville that s voldemort. the prophecy says he Dark Lord mark him as his equal, but he have power the Dark Lord knows not. isn't it possible that voldemort in some way mark Neville as his equal in the final book? if so then he won't know of the power neville has, because he has been so focused on Harry. the prophey NEVER says when or how Voldemort marks the chosen one.

Posted by Taryn from Easton, Pennsylvania on July 17, 2007 02:08 AM

a problem i have with the whole 'neville being the real chosen one' is that nevilles parents didnt actually have anything to do directly with voldermort as you even showed-

"The Longbottoms were very popular," said Dumbledore. "The attacks on them came after Voldemort's fall from power, just when everyone thought they were safe." (GoF pg 603/524)

after voldemorts fall from power.. neville's parents were attacked by eaters and neville was not chosen by voldemort like the prophecy says

Posted by Tim on July 17, 2007 10:11 AM

doesnt neville hold the prophecy, does that mean anything, cant only the people that they are about hold them?

therefore he could also be the chosen one.

also in POA on the knight bus harry says his name is neville longbottom. coincidence?

Posted by poonam from london on July 17, 2007 12:48 PM

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