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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 4)

Hypothesising over the exact nature of Harry's "power the dark lord knows not" and how this resolve the prophecy is something I do frequently whilst thinking about the books. I think you've stumbled upon the impasse we all have in that how can loving someone possibly result in their destruction? By it's very nature love as I know it wouldn't destroy Voldemort. I think the idea that following a bear hug from Harry Vol would simply turn to dust is flawed. Far more likely he'd commit suicide in light of his humiliation?

I agree I don't see this ending with Harry or any of his cohorts in real "battle" with Voldy, it's obvious with Dumbledore passing that no wizard could confront Vol in magical duelling. It be something unexpected that seals his fate.

I still maintain the ultimate act of love is sacrifice, history has shown this; Harry's father, mother, Sirius, Dumbledore...Harry? What more noble choice can Harry make than that of surrendering himself to guarantee the survival to all that matters to him in the world?
Is he a horcrux? This is a well-trodden path. Whatever it is I think predicting it be fiendishly difficult!

Posted by Mysterious Cat on March 20, 2007 4:14 PM

Loving the theory Dave.

Agree with the others, don�t think that Harry have it in him to love Voldemort, although I liked the idea that Voldemort could be destroyed by an act of compassion by Harry (previously shown by Harry to Wormtail despite blaming Wormtail partly for his parents )�interesting notion that Voldemort would have a life to Harry in that event?

I get stuck with this idea though as surely Harry�s goal in life is to Voldemort. Although, maybe by showing Voldemort compassion, he destroy Voldemort, not him?

Dumbledore has stressed to Harry that the prophecy is only significant because Voldemort marked Harry upon hearing it. The Department of Mysteries is filled with unfulfilled prophecies. Perhaps this prophecy may be another unfulfilled one? Perhaps when the time comes Harry finds a way that Voldemort is destroyed and yet they both live � Tom Riddle being reborn�

I come unstuck again with this as Riddle was always inherently evil, as shown by his actions in the Orphanage�

Also agree that Love is a significant difference between Harry and Voldemort�there are similarities between Harry and Tom Riddle, but underlying it all is the most important difference, Harry�s mum loved him enough to save him, Tom�s mum didn�t love Tom enough to live for him�the foundations are laid.

Also think that the gleam of triumph in Dumbledore�s eyes when he heard that Voldemort used Harry�s blood is hugely significant. Think this be part of Voldemort�s downfall, am sure we hear more of this kind of ancient magic in DH. Can�t wait!

Posted by Meredith from Sydney, Australia on March 20, 2007 4:17 PM

How would it be if Voldemort, having taken Harry's blood to regenerate, has actually negated his ability to Harry? He's had his pound of flesh, so to speak. I can see Harry with no thought but to save a friend, knocking someone out of the way of a curse from Voldemort, and the whole thing backfires on Voldemort because of either Harry being prepared to for someone, or Voldemort having already taken life from Harry, or a combination of both.

I can't see Harry coming out of this unscathed though. Someone did suggest that Harry might even lose his magical powers through whatever it takes to finish Voldemort. I've wondered about this too. It would be a really hard ending to bring off successfully. Perhaps even harder than Harry actually . I'm a complete softie - I just want to see Harry happy with Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Lupin and Tonks, oh, and Bill and Fleur! Romantic? Moi?

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 20, 2007 5:45 PM

Really lovely article, but I dont think thats enough love to destroy Voldemort. Like Dumbledore said it take a lot to Voldemort and thats not really a lot. I kind of felt bad for Voldemort myself when I read his mother d and Im sure that wouldnt work if I tried. Maybe, I highly doubt it though, Harry some how trick Voldemort into drinking a love potion and Voldemort not be able to handle it and or maybe he is too powerful and it be nothing to him.

Posted by Racquel Jones from North Carolina on March 20, 2007 5:47 PM

Herve - i see what your saying about Voldemort's incomprehension of love leading to his downfall because he cannot manipulate it.. but JK seems to describe love as an outright power in itself, the fact that it's unpredictable to Voldemort being more of a symptom than the intrinsic significance.. though i agree that it might manifest itself in that way..

Dave and Amy - i think i'm siding with the: compassion/pity/sympathy for Voldemort - Yes, maybe.. but love - not by my reckoning. Although I think it's very possible that an act of Mercy/compassion by Harry might be the final nail in Vold's coffin.

i think that snape in a last-ditch attempt to rid the world of Vold - and weaken him significantly for harry to polish him off - but in the process having been utterly redeemed. A tragic end to the mystery of his true allegiance..

Posted by Ted on March 20, 2007 6:56 PM

as i was reading the article i started thinking of ways that love could possibly be used to voldemort. in order of the phoenix when he tried to possess harry but was unable to do so for very long time, i believe dumbledore said that the reason was because of the overwhelming amount of love harry had in him. what if harry possessed voldemort like this? could that possibly him to be so filled with love, the one thing that he detests and has never been able to understand? just a thought.

Posted by tonya from cordele, ga on March 20, 2007 7:35 PM

Thank you for another excellent article, Dave.

I think you are right on some level, that Harry have to love Voldemort. It does seem strange and make me want to laugh, but love overcomes fear and gives power. This can only be accomplished by Harry if he learns to control his power of love. This also is the opposite of Voldemort who is motivated by the fear of and a greed for power and it show his weakness.

In the duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore in the ministry, I thought it was so striking how Dumbledore was without fear and treated Voldemort with compassion. He was in control and on the defensive, not the offensive. I see Harry facing Voldemort the same way, even though he might , I cannot see him succeeding at an Avada Kedavra curse.

As many people have pointed out in these comments, many people love Harry, and Harry loves many people, actually I should include creatures in here, too. Many people in Voldemort's inner circle love, or have a mission to protect Harry, I believe, Snape through the life- to James, and Wormtail, through his life- to Harry. The Malfoys can no longer be counted on to defend Voldemort, either. Harry also has at least one of each type of creature on his side, Grawp the Giant, Dobby the House Elf, Firenze the Centaur - no Goblins yet though. To summarize this, Harry actually has the ability to lead many people and creatures against Voldemort and then when Voldemort is cornered his inner circle could also turn on him - aided by love either for each other (Malfoys) or for Harry in some form. There are so many layers of love in all of these relationships and it has been building throughout the books. So the force of love can overcome and destroy Voldemort and some come from Harry, but I think it be a building force that smothers Voldemort in some way.

I really can't wait for the book to answer all of these questions!

Posted by raow from Petaluma, CA, USA on March 20, 2007 11:27 PM

Great piece Dave, I really enjoyed it.

I know the whole love theme is of importance, but I just have to say: If it ends with Harry giving Voldemort a big hug, I'm gonna be upset. I agree with the view of love not having a destructive power, so I don't think there be a direct action of 'love' that finishes Voldemort off, but love influence someone to do something that turn the tides. But seriously, if JK goes the route of ing off Voldy with a hug or kiss or whatever, I'm going to be be severely disillusioned. She has given us too much gloom and doom (in a very good way) to let it end with that mushy stuff. Please or please Jo, give us a good show down and not a bunch of emotional gushing...I just couldn't take it!

Posted by Tim from Flagstaff, AZ on March 21, 2007 02:35 AM

Hi all. Dave, great article, I also love your other articles as well, but I feel sorry to say, I seriously think the hug theory is ridiculous. Anyway, I think Ministry of magic's love room (the room they couldn't open) have a great role in the book 7. I also think Voldemort would be defeated with a physical weapon, not a curse. I think Snape is bad, and Harry s him first. He then makes Godric Gryffindor's sword a horcrux, and s voldemort with the sword, destroying the horcrux as well. How can a horcrux can be destroyed? Cast AK on it. If Harry uses the sword as a horcrux, when Voldemort casts a spell to him, he could use the sword as a magic-absorbing shield. What do you think about this theory?

Posted by Izzet from Turkey on March 21, 2007 03:00 AM

I don't think that Harry be able to Lord Voldemort with Avada Kedavra, but I don't think he do it with a hug, either. It may be this "love rage"-thing that happens. I don't know who the person that is ed is, but it could be almost anyone. Personally I think it would be Luna or Ginny.

Posted by Merope from Norway on March 21, 2007 04:25 AM

really good conclusion.. and quite absolute

I think, the love which Dumbledore meant, is to love those who deserve LOVE. and, of course, Voldemort doesn't deserve it.

What you said is right, I think, but not to love voldemort. Harry use love to love those who deserve LOVE, his parents, his friends, and many others.
This is some kind of prove:

from HBP, the end of chapter 23 - Horcruxes - page ( 512, 479 )

- But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew � and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents � that there was all the difference in the world. -

Harry thought that he wanted to finish Voldemort, because of the one's who he loved, the ones who gave their life, to give the chance to vanquish Voldemort. Like his Parents, His godfather Sirius, and others.

So, By loving those who deserve LOVE, I think, Harry be able to vanquish and end Voldemort, but not by loving Voldemort himself, and to show Voldemort what love is and what love does.

Posted by ZaYoOoD from E.Riffa , Bahrain on March 21, 2007 05:13 AM

Hey, hold on a sec!
Meredith said "he destroy Voldemort, not him".
That brought something to my mind. I remember that somewhere, Dumbledore said Harry (I guess) that there were "worst things than ". So that would fit perfectly! Somehow with Harry's love, he would destroy Voldemort's powers.

Of course it wouldn't fulfill the prophecy, that says one cannot live while the other survives...or something like that. Does that makes any sense?

Posted by Jhonv from Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 21, 2007 06:44 AM

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