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The power The Dark Lord knows not

by David Haber

It all comes down to this. The big difference between Voldemort and Harry. The only difference that's really important. It couldn't be more important to the climax of the Harry Potter Septology Mystery. And the reason we know it's important is because J.K. Rowling went out of her way to tell us about it, right out, in plain language, not couched in a riddle, in the very first Harry Potter book.

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Reader Comments: (Page 12)

I think Lisa is on the right track. Dumbledore always insisted on calling Voldemort "Tom". There has to be a reason for that beyond the one that Dumbledore gives about being an old teacher. It has to do with identity and who Voldemort really is under the mask. Like Lisa says, it's Tom Riddle that Harry can identify with and even Malfoy, terrified for his parents' safety if he fails.

I'm not sure that an Avada Kedavra curse is what Harry use to finish Voldemort off. It's too simple and hardly a power the Dark Lord knows not. He knows it all too well.

That scene where Harry finds Malfoy crying in the bathroom might be an important clue as well. Harry hates Malfoy, but for a moment there he can feel compassion for him, and pity. Not liking as such, or love, but for a moment he can empathise and that seems to drive the hatred out. Same when he realises that Tom Riddle's mother simply gave up and d, the ultimate abandonment. Dumbledore picks up on that and asks him if he can possibly be feeling sorry for Voldemort and Harry quickly denies it, but I think it is vital and that he does feel pity. And that Dumbledore intended him to. That Harry can feel these things is not just window dressing to make him look like the sort of nice boy you'd like your daughter to bring home - it's important somehow. He still hates and rejects what Tom Riddle has done and become, and Malfoy as well, but he can feel compassion and pity for the child within perhaps, and empathise with them. So yes, I'd say Lisa has something. Think of Dumbledore saying to Voldemort that the time is past when he could force him to do the right thing by setting his wardrobe on fire, and then: "But I wish I could, Tom. I wish I could." He knows it is beyond him, but he still wishes that he could save Tom Riddle.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 31, 2007 06:15 AM

This is a great site...Just some observations but no great conclusions to throw into the pot...

Perhaps Snape hates Harry because if it wasn't for Harry, Lily would still be alive and Harry's presence is a constant reminder of Snape's betrayal of addition to all the other stuff about James tormenting him at school and what Dumbledore says about some feelings running too deep? Also, I think Harry must believe Snape ed Dumbledore in hatred so that he cannot give snape away in the presence of Voldemort. Though I find Harry's feelings of hatred toward Snape at the end of the HBP disturbing.

When Snape s Dumbledore, the most important thing must have been for Snape's cover with Voldemort to be maintained because this is going to be very important to Harry in the end. The most important thing to Dumbledore would have been to make sure that Harry succeeds when he confronts Voldemort. For this, Snape must have to be on the "inside" as it were. His presence be significant in the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

Linked to this is when Dumbledore says tyrants create their own enemies, this can apply to Snape as well as to Harry.

I also think Malfoy still has a significant role to play. After all, think of Dumbledore when he says that his mercy is what is important now, not Malfoy's. Dumbledore showed Malfoy mercy when Voldemort would not.

Harry must use love in some way to succeed in the end. Has anyone else noticed that Harry can't use unforgiveable curses? He tries twice to use the cruciatus curse and can't. I think it unlikely that someone who is pure of soul, as Dumbledore says Harry is, would be able to use the Avada Kedavra curse. One does not overcome hatred and evil by using hatred and evil.

Also, "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"....

Posted by Joe from England on March 31, 2007 08:08 AM

Joe from England,
I agree absolutely, but for selfish reasons I don't like the sound of your last line. I very much want Harry to live on.
Elizabeth from Australia,
your insights are brilliant, both here and in other discussions. I sure wish I had you in my Book Club!

Posted by Rickie from Illinois on March 31, 2007 4:56 PM

One thing about the relationship between Bellatrix and Voldemort we are overlooking. Bella says 'The Dark Lord has, in the past, entrusted me with his most PRECIOUS...' Secrets are not 'precious'... THINGS may be precious. Voldemort may not have wished Bella to again fall into Dumbledore's hands abandoned. She may know where the Horcruxes are...

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 31, 2007 8:14 PM

I may be a minority here but I believe that Harry never be able to find love for Voldemort even to for the simple reason that voldemort ed Harry's parents!

Posted by Bill from ft. wayne, in on March 31, 2007 10:07 PM

Initially I did not feel that Harry would , but after seeing the new cover I am not sure. Perhaps Harry go through the veil as voldy. Once inside the veil the power of love defeat him. Inside the veil are all of the people Harry has loved an that love him. He be reuninted with all of the people that love him, including the two more that in this book. Dumbledore said that was just a new journey. Perhaps the happy ending be not that Harry lives but he s and is reuninted with all of the family and freinds he loves and that love him. They help him defeat Voldy. Harry has never survived without the help of others and I suspect this be no different. The power of love save him. All of those that love him, that he loves and perhaps loved his mother play a part. If he s he be in a happier place for him. After all he has gone through and all of the people he has lost does he not deserve happiness.

Posted by Jeff from San Augustine, TX on April 2, 2007 06:02 AM

Joe and Rickie: I agree with you on moral standings. I can't see Harry's power (love) resulting in ing someone, even Voldemort, and surely not with an Avada Kedavra. Dumbledore is known to have vainquished Grindelwald. Vainquished, not ed. McGonagall (was it her) insists on Dumbledore's noble attitude. An unforgivable curse is an unforgivable curse, even against someone really evil. See Sirius fighting against Bellatrix. Does he try once to send a green light curse? Never. He fights with his ss. At Hogwarts, nobody be taught conjuring an unforgivable curse, even to fight in the Order of the Phoenix.

To a certain extend, Harry give his life to defeat Voldemort. It doesn't mean he , which would be the ultimate sacrifice, but he surely have to abandon something he cares very much about, like some magical ss or abilities. That's another way of laying down one's life for one's friends.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on April 2, 2007 09:11 AM

Dave: I read again your article and it's just great. I complete on one point. I can't consider love as being a real weapon. Love alone wouldn't defeat Voldemort. Harry isn't the only one in the world who was dearly loved by his relatives and he isn't the only loving and noble character. Love alone doesn't make him the "chosen one".

According to the prophecy, Harry is clearly the only one that can defeat Voldemort. He's the only one who could do it because he's the only one who was marked by Voldemort as his equal. Then, he can do it because he has the power of love. Love makes the difference between "could" and "can".

The mark Voldemort produced to make Harry his equal (most probably the scar) makes Harry being very special to Voldemort. Voldemort cares about Harry so much that he lost his most devoted Eater (Crouch) to get Harry next to him in GoF, to use Harry's blood and be able to touch him. Voldemort is cold-minded and clever. He doesn't want anyone else to Harry. He pretends to Harry himself, but in fact I don't think his aim is about ing Harry (more precisely, I would say: his aim is probably ing Harry's soul and keeping Harry's body intact).

To fulfill his plans, Voldemort must overcome Harry's protection. That's where the power of love intervenes. As long as love protects Harry, Voldemort can be trapped in his own net. I think this happen. For instance, if Voldemort meets Harry at Hogwarts, he can't disapparate. If he gets in front of dementors, his ability of becoming invisible won't help him. In that case, he won't be able to go away, like in OotP. Harry certainly is the only one who can attract Voldemort to Hogwarts, in vulnerable standing.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on April 3, 2007 04:26 AM

It's a good theory about love, and i am determined that it be love that make the end of the HP-series, but i think it end in something like this; Harry leaves Hogwarts and has kids with Ginny, Voldemort attack Harry and his family, but the youngest kid survive, go to Hogwarts, learn about Voldy and his Horcruxes and fight him (Voldy with all his Horcruxes destroyed), finish Voldy, who s for good!

Posted by Nils from Slellefte�, Sweden on April 3, 2007 10:28 AM

I think "the power that the Dark Lord loves not" is not so much love, esp. romantic or familial love, but friendship. It is said in multiple places that Voldemort has followers, not allies or friends. I think the moral of the story won't be that we need one hero to defend us from evil, but that we ALL have to stand up for what is right. I think that only when Harry realizes that he CAN'T do it alone, and lets his friends, the DA, even the non-human allies (centaurs, giants, werewolves...there was another post to this effect earlier on) help him, can they all defeat evil, together.

Also, an interesting thought--what if Olivander disappeared to the Order of the Phoenix to make other wands with Fawkes' feathers? Would that somehow protect the other wielders from Voldemort's magic?

Posted by Erin from Baltimore on April 3, 2007 11:21 AM

In the Order of the Phoenix Dumbledore is talking to harry about how the ministries greatest mystery of magic is the power of love. well i think in the last book harry s by using some "Love Magic" (for lack of a better term) which would be new, and it'd be a far better way to combat evil then any method they currently know. Then harry goes on to being a teacher teaching this "Love Magic" at the school, and it changes the magic world forever.

Posted by Mike from Jacksonville, NC on April 3, 2007 7:33 PM

correct me if i am wrong...i also think i am highly mistaken, but knowing J.K she can pull anything off....
The prophecy states that the child be born to the parents who defied voldemort thrice and be born as the seventh month approaches... but by not letting voldemort harry (the ultimate sacrifice) lily again defied voldemort, that means now they have defied him four times... then maybe because of this neville is the chosen one and he be the main person in the end whuo actually s voldy....harry and neville not realise till the end of the book...

Posted by Arjun Arivastava from Mumbai, Maharashtra on April 5, 2007 12:57 PM

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