Monday, June 27, 2011

The Deathly Hallows Discussion: Chapters 21-25

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all baffled as none of them have ever heard of the Dealthy Hallows. Xenophilius continues to explain the Deathly Hallows have nothing to do with Dark Magic, and the symbol is merely a way to show other wizards that they believe in a particular legend and they engage in the quest for the objects. To explain further Xenophilus asks Hermione to read out loud the familiar fairy tale from The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The story goes – Three brothers were walking along a road, they came across a very dangerous river. However because they were well trained in magic, they simply made a bridge using their wands. Death then spoke to them; although he was angry that he was unable to cheat them and take their lives, he congratulated them and offered each a prize of his choosing. The oldest brother asked for a wand that would always win duels, and Death fashioned one out of an elder tree branch. The second asked for the power to bring people back from the dead, and Death gave him a stone with that power. The youngest brother asked for something that would let him leave that place without being followed by Death, and Death reluctantly handed over his own Invisibility Cloak. The three brothers departed. The first brother was killed in his sleep by a thief after he boasted about his wand. The second brother summoned the spirit of a girl he had once loved, but she couldn’t truly be with him in life, so he killed himself to join her. The youngest brother lived for many years, then handed the cloak off to his own son and welcomed Death like an old friend.

Xenophilius continues to explain the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility are the Deathly Hallows. Initiates into the legend behind the fairy tale believe that the possessor of all three objects will be the master of Death. The discussion continues on the Deathy Hallows as Xenophilius excuses himself to get dinner. The three friends debate the relative merits and possible existence of the three artifacts, then Harry wanders upstairs into Luna’s room, seeing paintings of himself and Luna’s other friends, as well as a photograph of Luna and her mother. Harry is startled to realize that the photographs are dusty and the room clearly has not been inhabited for months. He confronts Xenophilius with his lie, and Xenophilius admits that the Ministry has kidnapped Luna because of the pro-Potter articles Xenophilius had been printing. When Xenophilius had gone outside earlier, he had actually dispatched an owl to the Ministry.

Death Eaters arrive, and Xenophilius attempts to hold back Harry and his friends with a spell, but the spell hits an explosive Erumpent horn hanging on his wall, which detonates and blows up half the tower, leaving the trio upstairs and Xenophilius below, separated by rubble. The Death Eaters beat Xenophilius and berate him for constantly summoning them on false pretexts, but one of them uses a spell to determine that someone is indeed upstairs. Ron, Harry, and Hermione Disapparate, but not before Hermione hits Xenophilius with a Forgetting spell to erase his memory and allows the Death Eaters to catch a glimpse of Harry, so they’ll know Xenophilius wasn’t lying.

Having transported themselves safely to an empty field, Ron, Harry, and Hermione discuss what they’ve learned and debate whether the Deathly Hallows could possibly exist. Hermione steadfastly maintains that it is all nonsense, but Harry starts to put together the information they’ve just gathered into a coherent picture, until he becomes almost obsessed with the Hallows.

Harry then remembers that during the previous year, when he saw the old memories in Dumbledore's Pensieve of Marvolo Gaunt (Voldemort's Grandfather). Gaunt claimed he had been a descendant of the Perveralls brother and claimed that the symbol was on his ring. Harry puts the pieces together and concludes that Gaunt must be a descendent of one of the three brothers in the tale, and that the Resurrection Stone is the stone on the ring, finally he comes to the conclusion that Dumbledore must have hid the Resurrection Stone in the Snitch he had given Harry. The realization hits harry that Voldemort was tracking Ollivander, Gregorovitch, and now Grindelwald because he wants the Elder Wand—not because he wants answers about how to defeat Harry’s wand.

Finally, Harry decides that his Invisibility Cloak—the cloak that he inherited from his father—must be the cloak in the story, and that he himself must be descended from the third brother in the story, living as he did in the same town as the Peverells. He remembers that in the letter fragment from his mother that he found in Sirius’s house, she mentions that Dumbledore had borrowed the Cloak. Harry believes that Dumbledore must have known that it was one of the Hallows and must have wanted to assemble them all. Harry is seized by the idea that if he gathers the Hallows himself, he will finally be powerful enough to defeat Voldemort, whose Horcruxes will be no match for the Hallows.

It occurs to Harry that Voldemort must not know about the Hallows, having been raised in a Muggle orphanage without being read wizard fairy tales. He must be searching for the wand thinking only that it is a powerful wand, not one of three artifacts. If Voldemort had known, he would have pursued the Hallows rather than making the Horcruxes, and he wouldn’t have made a Hallow into a Horcrux (the ring with the Resurrection Stone in it).

This new passion Harry has from his discovery of the Hallows starts an issue between him and his friends. Hermione resists, stating that there is no reason for Dumbledore not to inform Harry of the Hallows if they truly existed. She also reminded him that Dumbledore had left them with clear instructions to find and destroy the Horcruxes. Ron supports Hermione, so the matter seems to be closed, but Harry lies awake that night obsessing about what he could do with the Resurrection Stone and the Elder Wand—for example, using the Stone to question Dumbledore and the Wand to free Luna from Azkaban, where she is most likely being kept. Over the next few days, the sense of division between Harry and Ron and Hermione deepens.

One night, Ron manages to tune into the underground radio program “Potterwatch,” produced by members of the Order of the Phoenix. Harry, Hermione, and Ron listen eagerly as wizards they know and recognize give out news of the outside world and the people they know and love. Ted Tonks and Dirk Cresswell have been murdered, along with a goblin; Xenophilius is in prison; Hagrid was almost arrested but escaped; Muggles are being murdered by Death Eaters in great numbers. Rumors have circulated that Voldemort has been sighted outside of England. As the program ends, Harry seizes on this last piece of information to insist that Voldemort must be searching in Europe for the Elder Wand. Unfortunately, he slips and says Voldemort’s name, breaking the Trace and leading the Ministry’s agents to their hiding place. A voice announces that a dozen wizards are outside the tent, and orders them to come out with their hands up.

Just before the three friends are seized by the snatchers, Hermione quickly points her wand to Harry's face, causing it to swell so he's unrecognizable. Although Harry is unable to see, he recognized the voices of those threatening Hermione as Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf. Each of them are questioned of their names, Harry claims to be Vernon Dubdly, Ron claims he is Barny Weasly (after he is caught in the lie that he was Stan Shunpike) and Hermione claims she is Penelope Clearwater.

As the Snatchers go to check their names against lists of wanted persons, leaving the prisoners bound together, Harry and his friends discover that Dean Thomas, their fellow Gryffindor, is bound with them. Dean tells them that these Snatchers are merely looking for truant Hogwarts students to sell to the Ministry for gold.

Harry is able to lie convincingly that he is a Slytherin and that his father works in the Ministry, but the Snatchers realize who they’ve actually caught when they match Hermione to a picture of her in the newspaper, which states that Hermione is known to be traveling with Harry Potter, then discover the Sword of Gryffindor and Harry’s glasses. Throughout this ordeal, Harry has trouble staying in the present moment, as he keeps having visions through Voldemort’s eyes of Voldemort flying to the top of a black fortress—Nurmengard. The Snatchers decide to take the prisoners to Malfoy Manor, Voldemort’s base of operations, and as they go there, Harry has visions of Voldemort interrogating Grindelwald in his cell at Nurmengard.

At the manor, Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy try to get Draco to positively identify Harry, whose face is still unrecognizably swollen, but Draco, fearful and reluctant, won’t commit. Narcissa and Lucius think it is Harry, because they can identify Hermione and Ron, but they don’t want to contact Voldemort without being sure. Bellatrix Lestrange enters the room, and though at first she seems ready to contact Voldemort herself and end the dispute, when she discovers the Sword of Gryffindor, which she had thought safe in her own vault at Gringotts, she tells Narcissa and Lucius that they are all in mortal danger, and she has Harry and Ron thrown into the dark basement so she can interrogate Hermione and plan her next move.

Harry and Ron discover that the basement also holds Luna, Ollivander the wandmaker, Dean Thomas, and Griphook, a Gringotts goblin. Luna has a nail that she uses to untie them, and Ron uses his Deluminator to light the basement. As they hear Hermione screaming in pain, Harry desperately looks for a way to escape. Finding none, he empties his pouch, looking for something that might aid him, and he finds the shard of Sirius’s magic mirror. Dumbledore’s eye is looking out of it at Harry. Harry asks the eye for help, and it disappears.The prisoners hear Hermione claiming that the sword is only a fake, and then Bellatrix stating her intention to question the Gringotts goblin. Harry asks Griphook to lie and say the sword they were carrying is a fake, then they turn out the lights, just as Malfoy comes down to bring Griphook to Bellatrix.

There is a loud crack, and they relight the Deluminator to discover that Dobby the house-elf, has appeared in their midst, ready to rescue them. Dobby, with his special house-elf magic, can Disapparate in and out of the house, taking humans with him, so Harry tells him to take Luna, Ollivander, and Dean to Bill Weasley’s house, and then return for the rest of them. The people upstairs hear the crack of the elf disappearing, so they send Wormtail to investigate. Ron and Harry struggle to subdue Wormtail, but Wormtail’s silver hand clamps around Harry’s throat and chokes him. Harry reminds Wormtail that Harry once saved his life and says that Wormtail shouldn’t kill him, and Wormtail actually loosens his grip. But then Wormtail’s silver hand, which had been given to him by Voldemort, turns on Wormtail and strangles him, a punishment for his moment of hesitation.

In the main room, Griphook, tells Bellatrix the sword is fake and she quickly summons Voldemort. Harry then has a vision from Voldemort's point of view, Voldemort is enraged at being summoned, and in his impatience he killed Grindelwald. Bellatrix announces that she’s finished with Hermione and offers Hermione to Greyback to eat. Ron and Harry rush in, disarming Bellatrix of her wand and incapacitating Lucius, but Bellatrix holds a knife to Hermione’s throat and forces Harry and Ron to drop the wands they have taken which Draco picks up. Harry senses that Voldemort is very near.

With a grinding sound, the chandelier above them starts to fall. Bellatrix leaps out of the way, and the chandelier falls on Hermione and Griphook, who is holding the Sword of Gryffindor. Harry jumps up and wrestles Draco’s wand from his hands, as well as the two wands Draco had picked up. Narcissa sees Dobby and realizes that her former house-elf is the one who helped Harry and his friends. Dobby seizes her wand as Bellatrix screams for Dobby’s death. At this time, Harry, Ron, Griphook and Dobby all Disapprate to Bill's cottage, however, Dobby arrives wounded. Bellatrix's had thrown her silve knife into his body before diapperaing. Harry pleads with the house elf not to die, however, Dobby passes on after calling out Harry Potter's name.

As the others enter the house, Harry covers Dobby's body with his own jacket. In his mind, he is aware that Voldemort is enraged, however, in his moment of grief, for Dobby, he is able to close the connection between himself and Voldemort. Harry then digs Dobby's grave by himself without using any magic. Then Harry uses the wand he seized to inscribe a stone with the inscripition "Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf."

After having much time to think and after digging the grave, Harry decides to stop looking for the Hallows and pursue his quest of the Horcruxes as Dumbledore instructed. He speculates that Dumbledore didn't tell him about the Hallows, knowing that Harry would struggle with himself not to pursue them, and Harry would need all his time and efforts into finding the horcuxes.

Harry takes Ron and Hermione with him to question Griphook. Harry asks the goblin to help him break into the Lestrange vault at Gringotts, and Griphook, who is impressed by the kindness and respect Harry shows to elves and goblins, says he’ll consider it. Outside of Griphook’s room, Harry tells Ron and Hermione that he thinks the vault may house a Horcrux, since Voldemort trusted Bellatrix and tended to find grandiose homes for his Horcruxes, and also because Bellatrix seemed so worried to hear that her vault might have been broken into.

After questioning and speaking with Griphook, the three of them speak to Ollivander. Harry is saddened to hear that his broken wand is past repair. He informs them that the wands which they had taken are Bellatrix's and Draco's. Ollivander tells them that when a wand has been captured, it generally shifts its allegiance to the new owner; regardless of whether the previous owner is still alive. Ollivander confirms that Voldemort had taken him prisoner and tortured him to find out how to overcome the problem of not being able to beat Harry with the wand that shared the same phoenix-feather core as Harry’s. Ollivander first told Voldemort to simply borrow a wand, but Harry’s wand destroyed the borrowed wand. Then, Voldemort decided to try to find an even more powerful wand, and that is how Voldemort began to seek the Elder Wand. Ollivander confesses that he told Voldemort to look to Gregorovitch for the wand, because Gregorovitch was rumored to possess it. However, though Ollivander knows about the history of the Elder Wand and its powers, he doesn’t know about the Deathly Hallows or the wand’s connection to the other artifacts.

Harry makes the assumption, that Gregorovtich had the wand and it was stolen from him by Grindelwald, then Dumbledore defeated him in their famous duel, which meant that Dumbledore was the last owner of the Elder Wand. Harry then realizes that Voldemort must have already figured this out and was on his way to Dumbledore's grave to take it from him.

Griphook agrees to help break into Bellatrix's vault; however the Sword of Gryffindor must be given as a payment. This left Harry and his friends in the bind, if they were to refuse they'll never get into the vault to find the Horcrux, but if they were to give up the sword they wouldn’t have a way to destroy the Horcrux. Harry decides to trick the goblin, telling him he can have the sword after they break into the vault, but not specifying how long after. Feeling somewhat guilty, Harry gives his promise to Griphook, and for several weeks they plan the break-in.

Lupin arrives at the cottage with the news that Tonks has had her baby. He asks Harry to be the godfather, and Harry agrees.

Before Harry and the others embark on their mission, Bill takes Harry aside. Although Bill has no idea what Harry is up to nor does he know how Griphook is involved, but Bill warns Harry to be careful with Goblins. He says that goblins are deeply distrustful of wizards, it is their belief that wizards do not respect agreements involving treasure and tend to trample on goblin rights. He explains that goblins believe manufactured items belong to the maker, and that ownership of goblin-made goods should not pass from wizard to wizard but should revert to the goblins after the first owner’s death. He warns Harry of the dangers of reneging on a deal with a goblin.

1)What are your thoughts on the Hallows? Could they be real?

2)Horcruxes or Hallows? Which one will win in the end? If harry potter is to find all Hallows will he truly be the master of death?

3)Did Harry potter make the right decision on focusing on the Horcruxes and forgetting the Hallows?

4)Seeing as Bill has worked with Goblins in the past and he understands their way, should Harry be more careful? Will Harry be able to really trick the Goblin?

Review and questions by Nina.


  1. Was just watching the first Harry Potter movie! Downloaded all up to Deathly Hallows part 1... They were so cute when tiny! To the main discussion...

    1. If it's truly the cloak that was part of the Hallows then yes, it is real... If they manage to find the wand it could really help in his future battles against Voldemort!

  2. Oh really awesome review, very well detailed and discusses the main points!

  3. #1 In Rowling's magical world, anything could happen. However, only the Invisibility Cloak seems to be more realistic than the others although the other Hallows are there in the story. I know I would want one :P

    Question: Which one of the Hallows appeal to you the most, and which one would you like to have? (This qs is for fun)

  4. Redirection: They changed a lot! I'm planning on watching DH1 once we're done reading.. and I can't wait for the upcoming one. July 15th.. so close!

  5. I would like to have the cloak! No doubt... How about you?

  6. I'd want the Cloak of course.

    Everyone's busy, I guess.

    Anyways moving on to the next questions:
    2 & 3
    Both questions are related, I think. If he found the Horcruxes he’ll defeat Voldemort and isn’t that his mission? I don’t think there’s a reason for him to look for the Hollows but it sure does make sense when he found out that Voldemort’s looking for the Elder Wand. So finding the Horcruxes is the right decision.

  7. Yeah him going for the Horcruxes gives him a better advantage, unless Voldemort already thought that through, but sometimes when you're blinded by what you desire you neglect other things or get too confident in his "hiding" places...

  8. Although having that wand can give him an advantage over Voldemort, his wand broke so I guess yeah...

  9. In my opinion, Harry should have first thought of gaining all of the Horcruxes, after destroying all of them he should have followed his heart. I think J.K Rowling made the underline lesson that Love will always beat Hate and Evil. Now Voldermort is based on the values of Evil and hate whereas Harry has been surrounded by those who love him and kindness. Although, Harry and Voldermort dealt with a lot of the same experiences growing up (no parents, speaking to snakes etc) the one thing that makes them so different is the mere love vs. hate relationship they hold with the rest of the world. So in the end its not that the Hallows win, nor the Horcruxes, simply I think the one with the purity of a clean and natural soul could win above all.

  10. :( the turn out was bad... It seems like slowly one person doesn't post every new discussion

  11. Awesome review, very detailed and explains the chapters well. I'm sorry I couldn't join you guys. Here are my answers to the questions:
    1)What are your thoughts on the Hallows? Could they be real?
    First I didn't think they were real, but the invisibility cloak is such a strong evidence that one can't neglect it. Now, I'm somewhat convinced that the deathly hollows are real.

    2)Horcruxes or Hallows? Which one will win in the end? If harry potter is to find all Hallows will he truly be the master of death?
    I think horcruxes should win in the end, these hallows aren't meant for someone like Harry. I know he's quite taken with them, wanting to bring his parents back but at the end they're enough to drive a person mad.

    3)Did Harry potter make the right decision on focusing on the Horcruxes and forgetting the Hallows?

    4)Seeing as Bill has worked with Goblins in the past and he understands their way, should Harry be more careful? Will Harry be able to really trick the Goblin?
    That goblin is seriously annoying. I mean, they really need him but they should be seriously careful. What Bill said is quite unsettling. I just hope our trio take enough precautions!

  12. Question: Which one of the Hallows appeal to you the most, and which one would you like to have? (This qs is for fun)
    I think the invisibility cloak, it'd be fun to lurk around, watch people, do anything I'd wanna do and go on adventures! :D