Harry Potter and the Prophesy of Vagueness. My interpretation of the most important prophesy of the Potterverse

THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES. . . . BORN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES . . . AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT . . . AND EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES. . . . THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES. . . .” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling

Yes, today I will be discussing the topic that changed the game in the Potterverse – the prophesy.

When I first read the thing, I was too young to do anything but to interpret it as Dumbledore did. Much like Harry himself, I hadn’t grown out of the “Albus Dumbledore can do no wrong” stage of my life. As I grew older and read The Deathly Hallows, I began questioning everything I knew about the Potterverse and that includes the prophesy.

My only conclusion is that Lord Voldemort is an absolute idiot. I know that I might get Avada’d for my conclusion, but facts are facts.

Here’s how I think the prophesy could be interpreted if we examine it line by line.

The first line says: The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches. Straightforward, right?

Wrong.

We’re only told that someone who has the power to defeat ‘the dark lord’ approaches. That doesn’t mean that the ‘vanquisher’ is willing or even able to kill the dark lord. If Voldemort had spared Lily Potter like he promised Snape or even disregarded the prophesy in its entirety, he would’ve prevented the whole vanquishing thing. I highly doubt that Lily is such a careless mother that she’d allow her son on the front lines against a tyrannical dark lord who had decades more experience than her son. Also, it is said ‘to vanquish the dark lord‘. Not ‘Voldemort’, ‘You Know Who’ or other title said psychopath had been bestowed with. When you consider that the prophesy indicates no year when the so called ‘vanquisher’ is to appear, then the prophesy can easily apply to any Dark Lord in Voldemort’s generation or onward.

Let’s examine the next line: Born to those that have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies. This is another line that seems clear at first, but hear me out on this. I have no doubts that as Aurors, Frank Longbottom and his wife Alice could’ve easily defied Voldemort three times.

The same cannot be said for the Potters.

I can suspend my disbelief that James Potter could’ve defied Voldemort three times. Even though he was unemployed (or so Pottermore claims), he was heavily involved with the Order of the Phoenix and since he was a Gryffindor, had no doubt been on the front lines of the battle.

But Lily?

She was a housewife. A pregnant one to boot. I highly doubt that James would allow his pregnant wife to battle anyone in her condition. I strongly suspect that she was only a researcher in the Order which means there was no way she could possibly defy Voldemort three times.

I can already hear people shouting: But she defied the Dark Lord when she married James and when she refused to step aside at Voldemort’s demand!

Yes.

These are the two real instances of defiance we can infer from the books. Here’s the thing. When she married James Potter, she defied more than just Voldemort. She defied every single pureblood that no doubt protested the marriage and the prophesy clearly states ‘defied HIM’, so such instances shouldn’t be counted. As for the not standing aside bit, well, that happened post prophesy and once again it says ‘DEFIED’ not ‘WILL DEFY’. With this, we only have just Dumbledore’s word and Voldemort’s choice that the Potters were eligible for the position. Every single fact points towards the Longbottoms.

Also ‘born as the seventh month dies’? Seventh month? I admit it’s a really cute reference to the whole seven is the most magical number theme, but seriously? The saying ‘the seventh month’ is about as clear as mud. Sure, if you take the Gregorian calendar, that’s obviously July, but there are more calendars than the one we use today to consider. So, who’s to say the seventh month of what calendar it is being referred to?

The next line is the clearest one of the lot: And the dark lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have the power the dark lord knows not. The mark is obviously the scar that Voldemort gave Harry, but ‘mark him as his equal’? Really? Since when was Harry equal to Voldemort? Sure, they had brother wands, but other than that? Voldemort was a genius wizard, one with enough power and experience to flatten Harry who as we see was a frankly sub par student in any subject but DADA. Also, what power could Harry possibly have that Voldemort doesn’t know about? Dumbledore and Rowling clearly sold us ‘love’ as the so called power and I can only roll my eyes at the cliche.

Seriously, the power of love and friendship defeating the enemy should be left to the cheesy anime that don’t know how to end better.

I would’ve picked the power of wands. Sure, Voldemort finds out about the phenomenon of brother wands and does the sensible thing – he exchanges wands with Lucius and the wand breaks. Later, Harry states that his wand shot the golden fire. So, it’s obvious that it’s not anything that Harry did. So, the only theory I can think of that the power he knows not is in fact the sentience that wands seem to have. I think that Harry was able to overpower Voldemort with Lucius’s wand is due to the fact that Voldemort wasn’t the owner of said wand, just like he was able to overpower Voldemort with The Elder Wand, because once again, Voldemort wasn’t the owner of the wand. A simple and clean explanation. Completely nothing to do with Harry.

Finally, there is the penultimate line: And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.

We know how that was interpreted. Harry allows Voldie to kill him. Voldie dies via Death Stick. All is well.

Here’s the thing.

Either must die at the HAND of the other. The key word in this is: HAND. In the Potterverse, this meant that either Harry or Voldemort must kill the other, but there is a simpler way. After all, giving the Death Eaters the order to kill Harry and Harry dying via one of them could easily be considered dying at the hand of Voldemort even if the act itself is not done by him in person. In other words, Voldemort could’ve easily gotten rid of Harry by ordering one of his minions to do it.

So, to recap, I will give the solutions on how Voldemort could’ve won within the limits of the prophesy and therefore the reasons why he’s an idiot:

  • The simplest way is to disregard the prophesy. After all, even though Sybill Trelawney is Casandra Wablatsky’s descendant, she didn’t inherit her gift.
  • To pick Neville as the would be BWL. Remember, Neville’s parents were the ones that most definitely defied Voldemort and the Pre-OotP!Neville was weak as s**t. I have no doubts that he’d be even worse with the whole fame thing to deal with.
  • To stun Lily Potter instead of killing her. Reason 1: Harry wouldn’t be protected by Lily Potter’s ‘love’. Reason 2: In my eyes, Lily is a mama bear and even if Harry survived the Killing Curse, there would be NO way she’d allow her baby to fight Voldemort.
  • To order any of his Death Eaters to kill Harry. Seriously, Voldemort was too possessive and single minded for his own good.

So, there you have it. My interpretation of the prophesy that ruined Harry’s life.

The new Pottermore: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Nowadays, Pottermore is a serious topic of discussion. After its big overhaul and complete makeover, Pottermore became so much more and so less than it used to be.

I tried to love the new Pottermore, I really did.

My efforts, however, proved to be in vain, because the more I visit it, the more I grieve the wonderful site it used to be. Of course, the new Pottermore isn’t all bad – believe me it could’ve been worse, however, the ugly parts are definitely in the forefront of this sad and confused site that is the shadow of its former self.

In my article, I’ll discuss the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the new Pottermore.

Please note, that this is a personal opinion.

Without further ado, I start with the more optimistic side of this discussion:

The Good:

The availability of the site. While the site’s design is questionable at best, you can’t deny that the fact that you can reach  the site from any device is a good thing. This way, a larger audience – one that might prefer tablets or phones over PCs – is being drawn into Pottermore.

The wand, House and Patronus selections. It’s nice to see that the developers are listening to the complaints of the site’s users. Indeed, it is good that you can log into your new account, get a wand and get sorted not only to your Hogwarts house, but to an Ilvermorny house as well. I also adore the Patronus feature. It is the one feature that is exclusive to the new Pottermore that people have wanted since forever and now it’s here – brand new and super gorgeous.

Alas, with those minor good things in Pottermore, we have even more bad ones. So, here it is, ladies and gents. The list of:

The Bad:

Oh boy, where to start. There are so many things bad with this site that it’s just hard to pick. Okay, I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind – the fact that the “Writings by JK Rowling” section is a complete mess. Sure, it will display the few articles that Rowling had written about since the site’s remodeling, but if you want any older content – it’s not there. Believe me, sometimes I want to revisit the Celestina Warbeck article and listen to “You stole my Cauldron” one more time, but I can’t. I have to click the discover button to search for her.

What?

Instead of a simple click to the “Writings by JK Rowling” and searching for Celestina’s article, I have to rely on the search bar to find what I want. You’ve got to be kidding me. Here is another of my Peeves – the search bar itself. Would it really be so hard to  add some sort of filtering system? Celestina is pretty easy to find, but let’s just say I try to type “Harry Potter” and I get this:

EXPLORE THE STORY

Family ties in Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And that’s just the EXPLORE THE STORY part of the search results. All I wanted was an article on Harry friggin’ Potter. Please allow me to exclude things from the search to make my life easier. Also, the titles of the search results are misleading at best. Let’s go with the “Harry Potter” example. When I click on the link, I expect to see some sort of basic info and an article (or a collection of articles) on Harry Potter by JK Rowling. What I get is film stills, posts like “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”, quotes from the book and maybe if I’m lucky a link to the info on the Potter family or broomsticks or whatever articles that have nothing to do with Harry himself (although they can still be a fun read). Search for minor characters seems to be far simpler and the results far more accurate. Here’s another bad thing. Articles like the mentioned “8 adorable Harry and Ginny moments”. They are opinion pieces that are better left in the blog of whoever the “Pottermore Correspondent” is, instead of an official Harry Potter site that’s meant to enrich and expand the universe millions around the world have grown to love. The last bad thing I’ll mention is the lack of interactive elements. Where is the Potions brewing, spell casting? Where is the commenting feature that made Pottermore so attractive? It’s not in the new Pottermore that’s for sure. A Death Eater did it? Frankly, I don’t care. I want them back. Also, what happened to the charming articles by Rita Skeeter and the classes such as Duelling and Potions? I’d also like them back please.

I could go on and on, but I believe there are far more things to say in:

The Ugly:

The site’s design. Tiles, really? Those might work for Windows tablet interface, but on Pottermore they’re just butt ugly and they take up space. They’re just taking the whole “metro” craze a bit too far. Speaking of ugly design choices, can someone explain the site’s unexplainable case of MPD? Back in the day, Potermore was a pleasure to navigate. Yes, the interracive elements were there, but they were both intertwined and separate to deliver one of the best site designs ever. This headcase of a site is a royal mess. What is it supposed to be, anyway? A merchandise selling hub? A cheap HP fan site? A place to expand the fandom? A way to promote upcoming movies and plays? It tries to be all that and fails. Miserably. It delivers inaccurate info *cough*Lavender Brown *cough*, ridiculous content (I mean honestly, who needs to know the ways Harry messed up the Dursleys’ day.) and fails to deliver new and fresh content from JK Rowling. It seems that everything the site stood for took a back seat for all the things I frankly don’t care about. I don’t care about the limited edition cover designs. I care about learning about the Black family. I don’t care about info on the Cursed Child, a play I will never see as it is not being performed in my country, but I’d like an article on Colin Creevy or an article explaining what happened to Sally-Anne Perks.

Please, is it too much to ask for the developers of the site to return to the drawing board? I’m not saying that the new Pottermore sucked entirely. They did some good things with it. There is potential. So why not take that potential and turn it into something magnificent? Why not return some things from the old Pottermore to improve the website? Please, Pottermore, I’m begging you. Fix yourself.

The Dark side of Albus Dumbledore

In the Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore is known as a brilliant mind, a mentor to Harry and an overall supporter for all that is good and great. He is also viewed the same way in the Harry Potter fandom. I was also in the ‘Dumbledore can do no evil’ camp firmly until I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

To my horror, that view was firmly shattered only to never return.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there is a chapter called The Life and Les of Albus Dumbledore. In this chapter, we are given a letter written from Albus Dumbledore to Gellert Grindelwald, the Dark Lord that came before He-Whose-Nickname-Must-Be-Hyphenated and the one whom, according to his chocolate frog card, he had defeated.

The letter, which I will give below puts an entirely different perspective on the seemingly benevolent Headmaster of Hogwarts.

Gellert —

Your point about Wizard dominance being FOR THE MUGGLES’ OWN GOOD — this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counterarguments. We seize control FOR THE GREATER GOOD. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more. (This was your mistake at Durmstrang! But I do not complain, because if you had not been expelled, we would never have met.)

Albus – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowilng

Now, this letter is horrifying by itself. It completely destroys the image projected by the earlier books – that Dumbledore had always been a supporter of the non magical. Apparently, it was not the case, as he plotted domination over muggles and muggle raised alongside one of the most twisted maniacs in all of HP universe history.

The deeper implications are far more horrifying than that. Apparently, Grindelwald didn’t know how to proceed with his agenda of world domination if the line “This was your mistake at Durmstrang!” was accurate. Also, this whole letter became the Dark Lord’s inspiration as we see that after this article Hermione remarks that “For the Greater Good” was Grindelwald’s slogan and was apparently on the entrance of Nurmengard (the prison Grindelwald built for his enemies).

Now, this would be bad enough if we didn’t remember the horrors that Gellert Grindelwald did. For those unaware, Gellert Grindelwald wasn’t just your run of the mill Dark Lord. In the HP universe, he was the reason for the entire World War II with Hitler as his front on the muggle side.

That’s right, Albus Dumbledore was the inspiration for a war that had claimed the lives of a whopping over 60 million people (according to wikipedia. To put it in perspective, it is about the same number as the population of Tokyo and Jakarta combined (according to this site). Also, this war gave us concentration camps, atomic bombs and other horrors that people have nightmares about. In my book, this makes any efforts of atonement Dumbledore attempted in later life completely cheap and meaningless. How does one atone for the lives WWII stole, for those lost in Auschwitz and camps similar to it? I am quite astonished that Harry even trusts Dumbledore after that. Didn’t he have some sort of history class after that or did they not study WWII at school?

I am further astonished by the frankly weak argument Hermione states in that very chapter:

“He changed, Harry, he changed! It’s as simple as that! Maybe he did believe these things when he was seventeen, but the whole of the rest of his life was devoted to fighting the Dark Arts! Dumbledore was the one who stopped Grindelwald, the one who always voted for Muggle protection and Muggle-born rights, who fought You-Know-Who from the start, and who died trying to bring him down!” — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowilng

The only thing I have to say to that is “Nice try, Hermione, but no dice.” I am frankly revolted at how Hermione was willing to brush off the horrendous acts that Dumbledore was responsible for and frankly, I am sick and tired of that attitude.

Albus Dumbledore fans, I beg of you wake up!

Albus Dumbledore is no hero!

Sure, he might dish out sage advice like it is his precious lemon drops, but the evidence is undoubtable!

And to anyone willing to follow Hermione’s example I have one thing to say to you: “I hope you enjoy your swim in denial.” Just please realize the magnitude of Dumbledore’s actions and don’t try to brush it off as a “youthful mistake”. Getting drunk in prom is a youthful mistake. Getting a silly tattoo is a youthful mistake. Writing letters that promote muggle subjugation “for the muggles’ own good” is NOT and NEVER WILL BE a youthful mistake.

Please understand, I didn’t intend to write this article as a Dubledore bashing article. I intended to change the minds of all of those clueless people who still think that Dumbledore is the personification of good.