Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Saturday, January 20, 2007

On "Deathly Hallows"

This could be a reference to the "Four Hallows" of Celtic myth, various items in Arthurian legend, or any other Fisher King-like story.

Quoted from http://www.answers.com/topic/four-treasures :

Four Treasures
"The Tuatha Dé Danann came to Ireland from four cities on four islands in the North; Murias, Falias, Gorias and Findias, bringing with them The Four Treasures, also known as The Hallows of Ireland.
From Falias was brought the Stone of Fal (Lia Fáil), The Stone of Destiny which was supposedly located near the Hill of Tara in County Meath. It used to cry out beneath every king of Ireland. Said to hold Ireland above the waves. The Druid who lived in Falias was named Morfessa. From Gorias was brought the Spear of Destiny (Spear Luin). The Druid who lived in Gorias was named Esras. It was forged by the Smith of Falias for Lugh to use in his fight against Balor. No battle was ever sustained against it, or against the man who held it. From Findias was brought the sword of Nuada (Claíomh Solais). The Druid who lived in Findias was named Uscias. No one ever escaped from it once it was drawn from its deadly sheath, and no one could resist it. A bronze sword in the National Museum in Dublin claims to be this sword. From Murias was brought The Dagda’s Cauldron, the Coire Anseasc ("Undry Cauldron"). Semias was the Druid who lived in Murias. The cauldron was bottomless, capable of feeding an army. No company ever went away from it unsatisfied."

If JKR intends for us to consider the Hallows of Ireland, the Deathly Hallows are probably tied in with the four founders of Hogwarts: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. Not necesarily from different islands, they are definitely from different parts of the land.

We'll also have to see how this ties in with the horcruxes Harry has to find, as well as various items that could help Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort.

Gryffindor's sword was not turned into a horcrux, but Voldemort might have been trying to find a Gryffindor item during his interview for the DADA position many years prior. Harry was able to "pull it out of the Sorting Hat" while battling Slytherin's Basilisk back in the Chamber of Secrets. It might come in handy again. Come to think of it, the Chamber of Secrets, or other hidden areas below Hogwarts, might come in handy. It's interesting that Dumbledore has the sword and says Harry would have to be a "true Gryffindor" in order to get it out of the hat. I wonder if 1) Dumbledore used this sword during his fight with Grindlewald, and 2) Dumbledore's odd scar above his left knee was somehow caused during that battle (either by sword or wand). Let's also recall that Vernon drove into the middle of a forest during what I call the "flight of the Muggle" (PS/SS). A forest is where Godric Gryffindor came from.

Hufflepuff's cup (a replacement for the cauldron) was intended for becoming a horcrux, but Harry hasn't found it yet. A few of the places it could be: Potter house ruins in Godric's Hollow, near or in the rubble of Brockdale Bridge (brockdale means "badger valley"), trophy room at Hogwarts, Room of Requirement junk room at Hogwarts. Brockdale Bridge also reminds me of the suspension bridge Vernon gets halfway across before turning around during his "flight of the Muggle". Of course Vernon also drove to the middle of a field... the field being a more direct reference to Hufflepuff from the valley.

Slytherin's locket could be the representation of the stone often appearing in early hallows myths. Sometimes it is a silver dish. Again I'm reminded of the bridge that Vernon drove to, simply because bridges denote water. Of course, Harry and Dumbledore travelled to a cave with an underground lake. The water reference here is unquestionable.

We don't know what Ravenclaw heirloom Voldemort found, if he even found one. The last of the four hallows is generally a spear or a rod. A wand would fit quite well, and we have one that is as of yet unexplained: it was on the purple pillow in Ollivander's wand shop. Where it is now, we don't know, but I should think we'll see it again when Ollivander makes an appearance in DH.... We also have the brother wands owned by Harry and Voldemort. A variation for the spear is Nagini. We might not think of a possessed snake as being a "hallow", but she did bite Arthur Weasley in the side, much like one version of the spear (lance of Longinus) was poked into Jesus's side in stories of the crucifixion. Yet another possible variation of the spear (of destiny) is Harry's scar, a scar of destiny. Harry's scar is shaped like a bolt of lightning, or like a Sowulo rune, so it's a good fit, too, and it tends to make Harry feel like there is a re-opening wound, like it should burst at any moment and bleed. We figure the scar has some other significance than what has been explained so far, since it's the last word of the septology... so far. We should also consider Vernon's drive to the top floor of a multi-level car garage; this can be seen as symbolic of Air, of Ravenclaw, of wands.

If we look at the Thirteen Hallows/Royal Treasures of Britain (http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/13.html) we should also consider:

  • cauldrons (leaky or otherwise),
  • knives (silver),
  • the Invisibility Cloak,
  • the Black family silver (particularly the chalices/cups),
  • a chariot, the vanishing cabinets, or the flying motorcycle,
  • horse references (centaurs, thestrals, hippogriffs, Abraxan horses, chessboard knights, even the horse-faced Petunia Dursley, if anyone mentions the "horsepower" of the Ford Anglia or the flying motorcycle),
  • wizard chessboards,
  • a whetstone (perhaps the Pensieve is an odd variation),
  • a coat or some robes that shrink or enlarge to fit (what about those robes that attacked Ron?),
  • as well as a stone and ring (the Perevelle ring's a good fit here). The Philosopher's Stone could also be considered here, even though it has its own rich history.

What else? (updated April 13th, 2007)

  • the hamper Slughorn receives every year from Honeydukes.
  • any horns (drinking horns)

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