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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 5)

I think that some eaters really love him. There must be someone in the whole world who loves him. But harry has a far way to go and I don''t think it be like we think. J.K is full of surprises, we know that.

Posted by Claudia from Holland on March 21, 2007 08:56 AM

There are such a number of possibilities here.. and the Author has kept this tightly guarded without telling Harry and us what the Power of Love actually means. However, these spring to mind:

1. Harry's Love enable him to use his great, untrained, power through one of the artifacts. Huffelpuff's cup has many powers for example. (Healing? Protection?) Hufflepuff is the one founder who 'loved' the students arguably the most as she refused to reject any single one unlike the others. Her artifact may work magic from or through Love. This could suddenly increase Harry's s level to make a confrontation equal.

2. Ginny. Ginny loves Harry, and he, her. Ginny has great untrained power also. She is, after all, the 7th child of a pureblood is the 'most magical number' of course. Sacrafice, devotion, a Voldemort suddenly knocked flat by huge 'Bat Bogies' fed by enormous power could be all the distraction needed by Harry. Remember the Troll in the first book? Harry has been raised as a muggle...he could only stick the wand up the Troll's nose. Harry could simply jump Voldemort with some 'muggle dueling' when Voldemort was distracted by a loving and powerful Ginny.

3. Snape. Snape's entire character revolves around love, remorse and regret. As a student he loved Lilly Evans as he also detested James Potter. She was, as foreshadowed in the Azkaban film, an uncommonly kind witch who could be interested in outcast and sad young men. (Lupin says it of himself, but it's not in the book) She may have befriended the friendless Snape to cause his un devotion to her. The fact that he indirectly caused her caused his conversion to the good side to the satisfaction of Dumbledore. Snape is both powerful and also extremely well trained. Snape's Love for Lilly and the part of Lilly that he can see in Harry...'Lilly's eyes'.. can cause him to enter the fray and sacrafice himself fighting Voldemort on Harry's side and leave him perhaps a bed explination to Harry of one of the great secrets of the series. All of this revolves around Love and the ability to insipre, appreciate, and return Love.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 21, 2007 09:51 AM

i was reading a couple of posts and a few things caught my eye.
firstly: meredith from sydney said harry destroy Voldemort, not him.
secondly: dumbledore told voldemort that are things worse than
thirdly: tim from flagstaff said in his post " if JK goes down the route of ing Voldy with hug or a kiss"

here are two theories that could completely miss the point behind love in the books but here it is.

voldy doesn't get ed by love or even directly by harry himself. instead harry orders a dementor to give voldy a kiss after a battle between each other. as the kiss only sucks out the soul and does not him, dumbledore is right, and so is meredith. voldy is left with just a body, which we learn from POA is a terrible thing, worse than being and therefore he has only been destroyed and not ed.

another theory love does not , but instead voldy and harry battle, harry wins without ing him, however voldy knows he close to and so being afraid of so afraid of somehow gets destroyed or sent insane by his own fear

Posted by Carl from Birmingham, England on March 21, 2007 10:16 AM

i most definitly agree with you that if harry walked up to voldemort and told him he loved him voldemort would . but i just have one question, in the SS/PS quirrel could not touch Haryy without feeling intense pain, but dumbledore later explains this. but in the fourth book the GoF voldemort had no problem touching harry because he had harrys protection in him. wouldn't that play a big part in harry trying to voldemort? won't that make it harder for harry to defeat him, because they now both have Lily's protection?

Posted by Lili from New York on March 21, 2007 1:27 PM

Really great article, and you have a point. However, you said "Now that he's irreparably damaged his soul by splitting it into seven pieces, he no longer has the physical ability to understand or accept love." If so, how could Harry simply say I love you and him?

Posted by Louis on March 21, 2007 1:50 PM

Thanks for this question. I really wanted to say more about this when I wrote the article but couldn't find the words, and figured this would come out in the conversation.

My thinking on this is, and perhaps others can expand on this, that the job of the human heart (where the soul lives) is to process love, ie., take it in, collect it, give it back out to others, etc. If the spiritual part of your heart is grotesquely damaged, as Voldemort's is, then putting love into it would just be too much for it, it couldn't handle it. His heart would give up under the strain, and he would .

That make any kind of sense?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on March 21, 2007 2:26 PM

First I think that the final duel take place at hogwarts: Dumbledore sacrificed himself (like Lily) to save Harry and ontop of that he asked to be buried at Hogwarts (the first headmaster ever) I think that at the when we see the catch flames and then a pheonix flies away (in HBP)that was Dumbledore's final spell (maybe something he prepared long before his ) to protect Hogwarts students and staff.

Second I think that Harry has in many ways taken Dumbledore's place. At the end of each book (except HBP) Dumbledore is able to answer everyone's questions about what and why certain things happened but at the end of HBP it is Harry who does this for everyone, also Dumbledore used to be the wizard Voldemort feared most and now it is Harry.

I think that it is important to understand that Tom Riddle and Voldemort are not two different people, Voldemort is only a persona that Tom Riddle has taken on; dumbledore understood this and so Harry (I agree that he start referring to him as Tom as Dumbledore did). Voldemort has grown into the adult we know now, but Tom Riddle ceased being the primary personality when he was like 15 (I think) so Tom Riddle is still that same little boy; who although he was evil, still had a chance at being someone better (at least dumberdore thought so, and he is never wrong! Dumbledore also always thinks that people deserve second chances this has been a major theme in this series-but always regarding snape) If Harry can tap into that with love then Voldemort cease to exist.

Posted by Danielle from Brooklyn on March 21, 2007 2:30 PM

I have to admit, this is the first time I have first laughed at, then seriously considered a theory since a few years ago when I read something about Ron going back in time and becoming Albus.

While I agree that Harry walking up to Tom and bear hugging him is still quite silly, I agree with those who say Harry's general compassion toward all people, his ability to love and be loved be Tom's undoing. He "wanted to" Sirius at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban when he still thought Sirius his parent's betrayer, he had the wand pointed at Sirius' heart and everything, but he couldn't even bring himself to attempt it.

The "Love Rage" theory is also quite plausible. It led him to attempt to use Cruciatus in vengence, not only once but twice, and possibly would have been successful if Severus had not blocked him. If Tom (or Bellatrix, as is my premonition) ed one of Harry's friends (I've been worried about Ron's survival for some time now...) that would surely be enough to push Harry over the edge. But it be enough to cause Harry to use Avada Kedavra? Harry may be too compassionate for that. My opinion on this point is still quite up in the air. (Sorry, but I cannot help thinking this: "Hello. My name is Harry Potter. You ed my parents. Prepare to .")

Then there is Harry's ability to be loved. By Ginny, by Hermione, by Ron, and by a host of other unlikly characters, and this also is a great asset to Harry. However, someone else taking a hit to save Harry may be something to consider in general (I refer you again to "Bellatrix s Ron"...), but I do not believe the fight end that way. He survived that way the first time, and if he survives that way again, the story has no end.

Not to nit-pick or anything, but I do not consider the movies cannon; any "evidence" presented therein that deviates from the book, while I understand is approved but Jo, must be taken with a grain of salt; one example is James' Quidditch position, which in the movies is shown as Seeker, but Jo has said is actually Chaser and he played with the Snitch because it was more impressive. There is really no evidence that I can see to Severus loving Lily and detesting James because of this. (Sorry Charlie.) I think Severus may save Harry of other reasons, perhaps even loves him for other reasons than "Severus loves Lily".

Posted by monkeeshrines from Orlando, fl on March 21, 2007 3:01 PM

I agree with you Danielle on the idea the final battle take place at Hogwarts. Another reason is that it would be easier to fight Voldemort in a place where you cannot apparate.

Posted by herve from strasbourg on March 21, 2007 3:46 PM

Rather than write pages here I limit 'evidence' to the chapter 'Snape's Worst Memory' (OOP). Why on earth would someone involved with double agency, s, top secrets have a memory hidden about a schoolyard prank?

The definitive memory about which side he is really on might be something to hide, or other top secrets.. but a schoolyard prank?

The only real reason is that first off it is a clue. Secondly it shows when Lilly was prepared to fight for Severus and to assist him. He, with such a rage flaring and such embarassment, drove her away with such force that he was never able to regain a position with her. That is the only 'worst memory' part of it. Oh.. we see the first uses of TWO of the HBP's spells as clues in it as well but the relationship clue is the main one.

At the end of HBP Harry summarises the reason Dumbledore trusted Severus. As in so many other situations Harry is only partially right... He asserts that Snape repented when he found he caused his parents . Dumbledore was able to see the lost love and remorse and believed Snape Harry, without Hermoine's insight into relationships, misses it completely. Harry, missing the point completely says that Snape hated his mother and called her a mudblood. As indeed he did call her that... but that is precisely why it is his 'worst memory'.

No, the movies are not 'cannon' but JKR said that she was struck how there were several items in the POA film which 'foreshadowed' later events in the books and which were not in the book POA. Lupin's speech to Harry is not in the book but it is in the movie. So also, for that matter, is Snape's throwing himself between the werewolf and Harry, Ron and Hermoine. This appears in great detail in discussions elsewhere on this site.

Posted by Charlie Tarbox from Gettysburg, Pa on March 21, 2007 4:49 PM

We've all been speculating on Voldemort being unable to possess Harry because of the love Harry is capable of feeling. While Dave's theory of Harry giving Voldemort a great big hug, might be stretching it, there is something else. I can see a situation in which Voldemort attempts to possess one of Harry's friends, perhaps Ginny since he has possessed her before. Harry would not be able to strike in any way, but what if he took the risk and went in and possessed Voldemort? Or even Ginny? That combination might well be enough to destroy Voldemort, or break his power for long enough to finish him off. If it was Harry doing the possessing, Voldemort might not be able to break free as he did when he possessed Harry in the Ministry.

As someone else has said, Harry is not going to be able to defeat Voldemort in a straight duel. Not even if he practised for the entire book! And of course we know now why Dumbledore didn't even attempt to Voldemort in the Ministry - he knew about the horcruxes and knew it would be useless. Even so, it took all his power just to contain Voldemort. Harry doesn't have that sort of power yet, so it have to be something else. So far what has tripped Voldemort up every time has been something to do with love and sacrifice.

And I really wonder if we have seen the last of Fawkes the Phoenix. I think we see him again. He may even be a connection between Harry and Dumbledore. He has responded to Harry before because of Harry's loyalty to Dumbledore, and he has healed Harry twice. Maybe three times is the charm.

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on March 21, 2007 5:15 PM

I so love this site! Before I comment on the article I just want to say thanks for making me smile to monkeeshrines -- love the Princess Bride!

I think that love definetly play a HUGE role in this book. I think that it is more likely that there be a duel than a bear hug. I see it playing out that there is an intensely physical battle with both Voldemort and Harry exhausted and near at the end. I see a lot of injured bystander and s. Then I see Harry surrounded by the people that love him Ginny, Ron, Luna, Hermione, Neville...the faithful DA members that helped in HBP. As they stand around Harry and begin to mourn his inevitable , the love begins to feed life into Harry while taking life from Voldemort. In this way, I think love finish him off. I think it would be unbearable for Voldemort to watch them helping one another while he lies alone.

Posted by Kim from Manchester on March 21, 2007 5:39 PM

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