Monday, February 7, 2011

Like a Behavioralist Sex Joke

Let's consider Harry Potter.

Spoilers, and all that River Song jazz.

(Must I trace a genealogy of my thought? I was contemplating the phoenix and the void.)

Dumbledore's pet phoenix, Fawkes, perpetrates his self-immolation in Harry's presence in Chamber of Secrets, when Hogwarts was filled with suspicions that Harry was a Dark Lord.

Harry was also considered a Dark Lord because he could speak Parseltongue.

In general, we readers were meant to realize that Fearing the Protagonist is Evil™ is a very naughty thing; in fact, one should never bully anyone. FtPiE™ is prejudicial and wrong and, obviously, Harry is never punished for being a Dark Lord (even though he does really creepy things involving casting so-called Unforgivable Curses and making Draco Malfoy's skin blow up - we forgive our white middle-class heteronormative hero the unforgivable).

But here's the thing (and, I must admit, the complication that makes more ambiguous that whole forgiving-the-Unforgivable bit). By Order of the Phoenix it's become a major plot point that Voldemort knows of the mental connection he has to Harry. In the words of a Doctor Who character, "A door, once opened, can be traversed both ways."

Even more importantly, in the grand unveil to the "Is Harry going to die at the end of book 7?" rumors (the answer, again, ambiguous: "Yes...but no..."), in Deathly Hallows we learn that the aforementioned door to Voldemort is a mental demon-construct (and Horcrux) that must, itself, die.

So, not only was there a temporary telepathic connection to the Dark Lord (which postdated the initial FtPiE™), but, indeed, there was a demon-construct colonizing Harry the entire time. (I use "colonize" intentionally.) Which means that some part of "Harry" was, indeed, a Dark Lord. Which means the FtPiE™ was correct; the prejudicial assumptions of all the Hogwarts studentry were, in fact, vindicated by Rowling's own plot points.

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