June 2006


Book 2, the Chamber of Secrets, introduced us to the Horcrux (although we were not aware of the notion of a Horcrux until Book 6). Tom Riddle’s Diary was central to the story, and is a good place to start if we are to understand how JK Rowling has developed and delivered her excrutiatingly delicious story.

To summarize some of the most important disclosures to which we are made privy in Chamber of secrets:

  • The Item is placed in the safekeeping of Lucius Malfoy
  • The Item and the purpose to which Lucius wants to use it is known to his servant, Dobby
  • The part of Tom Riddle’s consciousness (later we learn, his soul) contained within the item is capable of acting independently and of resuscitating itself
  • Riddle’s consciousness in the diary knows his enemies, both those he knows in his youth (Hagrid, Dumbledore), and those he encounters as a somewhat more limited, Horcrux sustained consciousness (Harry, Fawkes)

How do these disclosures fit with where the story may be going? It is a widely circulated speculation that the RAB who wrote a note to the Dark Lord, found in the fake Slytherin locket, is another death eater – Regulus Black, Sirius’ brother. Having his own underlings, who fear their master, subvert and wreck Voldemort’s plans for immortality, would create a sharp contrast between their own unreliability and the simple devotion of Harry Potter’s allies. Another sharp contrast is that Voldemort selects his underlings, while Harry not only doesn’t select hsi allies, but often finds them frustrating, as well as underestimating their abilities (ex. Book 5 – Order of the Phoenix “If he could have chosen any members of the D.A. in addition to himself, Ron and Hermione to join him in the attempt to rescue Sirius, he would not have picked Ginny, Neville, or Luna.”), to say nothing of their strong devotion to him.

The Horcrux’s destruction: we, like Harry, do not receive an account of the destruction of the Horcrux aspect of Marvelo’s ring, but do see, with both, that it is not necessary to destroy the object in order to destroy the enchantment, and the part of voldemort’s soul preserved thereby. We do see, that Voldemort unwittingly provides the magical tools necessary to accomplish the destruction of the enchantment in his attempts to kill Harry Potter. Here again, I will be surprised if we do not see the parallel feature in book 7. He is too evil to not sow the seeds of his own destruction. And anyway, it would not make for such good reading if he failed to satisfy us that way.

Further contrasts we may expect to see, based on the spurious assumptions growing out of my reading of Book 2 in its significance as foreshadowing the climactic conclusion of the series. Just as Voldemort’s underlings let him down (fail to meet his impossibly high expectations?), one of them (Bellatrix perhaps?) will be undermined by his/her servant. The independent action of the bit of soul in one/more horcrux(es) may have the unintended consequence of its destruction. More? You tell Me!

 

It occured to me that the fountain in the Ministry of Magic, the “Magical Friends” is not only a decorative element, but is also a symbol. Harry first encounters the fountain in the Order of the Phoenix when Arthur Weasley brings him to the Ministry of Magic for his disciplinary hearing. The fountain has statues of a wizard, a witch, a centaur, a goblin, and a house elf.

Through the series, Harry has managed to find a single ally among various magical creatures, among centaurs, only Firenze will assist Harry. Among house elves, Dobby allies himself with Harry, among giants, ony Grawp returns (and it could be argued he didn’t exctly come willingly).

It would seem impossible that by the end of book 7, whatever it is to be called, that Hermione and Ron would fail to be teh witch and wizard central to the story of how Harry defeats the Dark Lord. If I guess correctly that Firenze and Dobby also play a significant role, then I venture to predict that a new character to be introduced in the last volume will be a goblin. That of all goblins, only one will abandon the neutrality of the rest of goblinkind towards this war among wizards, by doing so will be shown to be regarded as a freak by the rest of his/her clever magical race, and will play a significant role in the downfall of Lord Voldemort.