The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures, Volume 1

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Volume 1, Winter 2020 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

The Journal of

Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1 • Winter 2020 Masthead Faculty Advisor/Editor

Academic Year 2020-2021: Dr. Patrick McGrath Academic Year 2019-2020: Dr. Jane Elizabeth Dougherty (Founding Editor)

Associate Editor

Courtney S. Simpkins

Graduate Student Advisory Board Ash Durrance Andrew Goforth Mandi Jourdan Khara Lukancic Lauren McDaniel Ivy Reitz Kyle Stolcenberg David Turkel Katherine Woods

Undergraduate Editorial Board Brooke Buerck Julia Cicero Kimberly Reed Zachary Seibert

Submissions are now open for the second issue of The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures. The topic of the second issue is an open one, and any essays on fantasy and fan cultures (broadly construed) will be considered.

You may submit once per issue for each category (creative non-fiction and academic essays). We are not interested in publishing fan fiction or poetry. Submissions must be between 2500-7500 words and, if scholarly, must be in MLA citation format. Please use Times New Roman 12 pt font. All submissions should be in .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) format; we cannot accept PDFs. Current undergraduates and graduate students in any major or field are eligible to submit, as are holders of master’s degrees. We consider only previously unpublished work. We ask for first rights to publish accepted work online; after publication, all rights revert to the author.

To submit, please send an email to with the following: 1. Your document for submission (in .doc or .docx format) attached to the email with a cover sheet (this will be the only place you put your name) 2. The word “submission” and the category (creative non-fiction or academic essay) in the subject line of the email 3. A brief bio in the body of the email


TABLE OF CONTENTS Notes on Contributors . . . . . . . . . . Harry Potter and the Sagging Middle or What Went Wrong with the Deathly Hallows? Linda A. Robinson . . . . . . . . . .

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“Let me rip you, let me tear you, let me kill you”: Reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a Horror Text Margaret J. Yankovich . . . . . . . . . 13 The Tale of Three Brothers and the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead Ellen Siebel-Achenbach . . . . . . . . .


The Bigger Picture: The Representation of Female Characters in Jim Kay’s Illustrated Harry Potter Books Katie Cline . . . . . . . . . . .


Archetypal Criticism of Color in Harry Potter Lauren Sieberg . . . . . . . . . .


Mapping Harry Potter’s Global Influence on the Resurgence of Young Adult Literature Through Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone (2018) Kelly Beestone . . . . . . . . . . 51

Harry Potter and the Man with the Mustache Sandra Edwards . . . . . . . . . .


Harry Potter and the “Other” Alyssa Racco . . . . . . . . . . .




LINDA A. ROBINSON holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She specializes in middle grade and YA fiction, and she is currently working on a Sherlock Holmes-inspired novel in which the detective is a young woman. MARGARET J. YANKOVICH is a recent graduate of Rutgers University School of Communication and Information where she earned a Masters of Information in Library Science. She works full time as a reference librarian and holds the title of Head of Information at the Dorchester County Public Library in Cambridge, Maryland. When not at the library, she spends her free time writing and presenting scholarship on horror film and literature. ELLEN SIEBEL-ACHENBACH is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. KATIE CLINE was born and raised in Jacksonville, Alabama with her parents, younger brother, and a menagerie of cats, dogs, frogs, snakes, and turtles. She graduated from Jacksonville State University with her B.A. in English in 2018 and moved to Manhattan, Kansas with her two cats, Minnie and Toothless, that fall. In May 2020, she graduated with her M.A. in English from Kansas State University with a concentration in Children’s Literature. Her work so far focuses on YA literature with a special emphasis on Harry Potter. When she’s not writing about Children’s Lit, Katie can be found entertaining her cats, FaceTiming her friends, trying to bake, or planning the perfect Pinterest wedding. LAUREN SIEBERG is an active reader and writer of middle grade fiction, particularly that of the modern fantasy variety. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University and hopes to spend her future teaching English at a secondary school level while writing speculative novels and short stories on the side. When she isn’t obsessing over Harry Potter or writing, she spends her time engaging with the Bookstagram community and playing video games with friends. KELLY BEESTONE is an American Studies postgraduate student at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her thesis examines trends and tropes in contemporary Young Adult Fantasy fiction from North America. In her spare time she blogs about YA books and writes creatively. SANDRA EDWARDS is an English Creative Writing student at Utah State University, minoring in ASL and Music. She has always enjoyed Harry Potter, and was a panelist on a Harry Potter Trivia panel at FanX Salt Lake in 2019. Harry Potter has had a considerable influence on her life, and she is grateful for the opportunity to explore it in an academic capacity through her writing. ALYSSA RACCO is a PhD candidate at York University in the Faculty of Education. Her current research interests include critical animal studies and language.

The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 1-12

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One of most frightening aspects of writing a fantasy novel – to this writer, at least – is that big empty space in the middle. A certain excitement and freedom drive the beginning of a story; at this point, all is potential. Similarly, nothing is more exhilarating than the current which carries a writer through to a satisfying conclusion. The mid-section, however, is where much of the work of producing an effective, engaging tale occurs and where, consequently, it is all too easy to lose one’s way, producing the dreaded “sagging middle” of stalled momentum and narrative stagnation. One aid to the writer is to study successful, well-crafted middles; another is to dissect a sagging middle to identify specific pitfalls to avoid. The latter is the approach taken here: the sagging middle of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows provides valuable insight into what not to do to keep one’s mid-section taut and firm. At first blush, this “sagging” quality could be attributed to the minimal action that occurs in this segment of the novel. The causes of The Deathly Hallows’ sagging middle are more complex, however; they consist not only of a lack of action but of the protagonists’ passivity and isolation, the lack of causal relationship between the actions the protagonists do take, the abandonment of Harry’s primary quest – finding and destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes – and, most importantly, the substitution for that quest of the red herring of the Deathly Hallows, an unfortunate inflationary insertion in the narrative that adds nothing to the novel but pages. In the immediately preceding book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Albus Dumbledore educates Harry about Lord Voldemort’s scheme to achieve immortality via Horcruxes, physical objects that contain pieces of Voldemort’s soul. In effect, Dumbledore charges Harry with the task of finding and destroying the Horcruxes; he has concluded this is the only way to kill Voldemort himself. The book ends with Dumbledore’s death and the launch of Voldemort’s second war on the Wizarding world. In response, Harry decides not to return to Hogwarts for his final year of schooling but instead to pursue the quest Dumbledore has left him. Consistent with all books in the series, Deathly Hallows commences in the summertime and specifically with Harry’s seventeenth birthday in July. This birthday marks his coming of age in the Wizarding world and the expiration of the magical protection his Muggle home has previously provided him. The book begins with action: a band of Wizards arrive at Privet Drive to escort Harry to the Burrrow, the Weasley home, only to be ambushed by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. In this literal life-or-death rescue, Harry is successfully delivered to safety (4567). Harry, Ron, and Hermione plan to leave from the Burrow to begin their quest immediately

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after the wedding of Ron’s brother Bill, and in fact word comes during the wedding celebration that the Ministry of Magic has fallen to Voldemort’s forces, who are now on their way to attack the Burrow itself (159). Hence, Harry’s quest is launched by another life-or-death flight, this one from the Burrow to a Muggle section of London, where the three friends are immediately attacked by Death Eaters (16566). This attack drives them to Sirius Black’s home, Grimmauld Place, which is magically hidden from Voldemort (169). While staying at Grimmauld Place, Harry and his friends carry out a mission into the Ministry, where they recover one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Slytherin’s locket. In their last-minute escape from the Ministry, however, they accidentally reveal Grimmauld Place to Voldemort’s Death Eaters (270). Driven out of their haven, they go into hiding in uninhabited woodlands. After several months in hiding, Harry, accompanied by his friends, returns to Hogwarts. This draws Voldemort there and triggers the final showdown between the two foes. The trio’s fleeing from Grimmauld Place into the woods is the end of the first act of the novel, and their return to Hogwarts is the beginning of its third and final act. The three-act structure of the ideal Western narrative can be traced to Aristotle’s Poetics, which defined the well-constructed story as a whole consisting of a beginning, middle, and end whose sequence is determined by necessity (26). Subsequent work by the formalist Vladimir Propp and psychoanalytical theorist Joseph Campbell, focused specifically on fairy tale and myth, articulates a “template” for a fantasy quest: a hero’s journey through physical space, during which he endures trials and overcomes obstacles, in search of a precious object which he earns by defeating a powerful enemy or undergoing a severe ordeal (Campbell 211). In The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler provides writers a breakdown of this Hero’s Journey into the three-act structure of the ideal Western narrative. According to Vogel, the first act ends when the hero crosses from the ordinary world into the “special world” where the adventure will take place; the second act ends when the hero embarks on the road back to the ordinary world (6, 12, 17). Here, the three friends are driven out of the Wizarding world – their ordinary world – when the security of Grimmauld Place is breached. For the first time in the Potter series, Harry and his friends are entirely on their own; while in hiding, they inhabit a “special world” not so much in a geographical sense as in a psychological one, in that they must negotiate an existence outside the physical, social, and cultural supports they have always known and relied on. When they return to Hogwarts, they permanently re-enter the Wizarding world. Here they rejoin their friends and family, and unite with those friends and family in the book’s climax: the final confrontation with – and victory over – Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Thus, the book’s second act relates Harry’s experiences in the “special world” of his exile from the Wizarding world. This act (essentially, Chapters 14 through 28)1 covers approximately nine months, from the trio’s leaving Grimmauld Place on September 2 (the day of their Ministry mission to retrieve Slytherin’s locket) to their arrival in Hogwarts in the late spring or early summer of the following year. Prior to the second act, a series of specific dangers and attacks has driven the story forward: Harry’s loss of his magical protection from Voldemort; Voldemort’s ambush of Harry’s rescue; Voldemort’s taking over the Ministry and attacking the Burrow; the Death Eater attack on Harry, Hermione, and Ron in London; and the need to recover Slytherin’s locket from within the Ministry. Once the narrative moves into the third act, the story is driven, for the most part, by the need for immediate action in Harry’s search for the last Horcrux (Ravenclaw’s diadem) and the school population’s preparation for and battle with Voldemort’s forces. The novel’s second act, however, suffers from a severe case of sagginess. Indeed, once Harry, Hermione, and Ron set up camp in the woods, the narrative seems to grind to a halt. Only late in this middle act does the narrative regain some momentum when the trio undertakes their second mission to

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recover a Horcrux, Hufflepuff ’s cup, from a Gringotts vault. By this point, however, it has been 252 pages since their recovery of the first Horcrux,2 and in those 252 pages, very little happens. Throughout this section of the novel, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are living in a tent, and to avoid detection or capture by Voldemort’s forces, they move often. At one point in late autumn, Ron becomes frustrated with their inactivity and leaves; he returns a number of weeks later. During Ron’s absence, Harry and Hermione travel to Harry’s birthplace, Godric’s Hollow, where Voldemort’s snake, disguised as the witch Bathilda Bagshot, attacks Harry. Hermione and Harry manage to escape, however, just before Voldemort appears to finish Harry off. Simultaneously with Ron’s return, Gryffindor’s sword, which the trio has learned can destroy Horcruxes, is anonymously delivered into their hands. Thereafter, not long after Christmas, the three friends visit Xenophilius Lovegood, who calls in Death Eaters on them, necessitating another quick escape. Weeks later, the three friends are captured and delivered to Bellatrix Lestrange, who then reveals that her Gringotts vault contains Hufflepuff ’s cup. After yet another last-minute escape from Voldemort, whom Bellatrix has summoned, the trio go to Shell Cottage, the home of Bill Weasley and his wife. There they plan the Gringotts raid, in which they successfully recover Hufflepuff ’s cup. Once again, they escape pursuit, this time on the back of a dragon they liberate from Gringotts’ goblins. At this point, Harry learns the last Horcrux is at Hogwarts and that he has very little time to get there, find it, and destroy it before Voldemort arrives to collect it himself. The narrative moves from Act Two into Act Three with the three friends’ return to Hogwarts. Thus, in the nine months (and 300 pages) of Act Two, only five events or encounters occur: the visit to Godric’s Hollow; the recovery of Gryffindor’s sword; the visit to Xenophilius Lovegood; the friends’ falling into the hands of Bellatrix Lestrange; and the Gringotts raid. In between are weeks (and pages) that Harry, Hermione, and Ron spend trying to figure out what to do. Thus, one could conclude that Deathly Hallows’ sagging middle results from the fact that, during that section, the protagonists don’t do very much except ponder, puzzle, talk, and quarrel. Nonetheless, although the relative lack of action in Act Two contributes to its overall sagginess, that stagnation cannot be explained by lack of action alone. For instance, one could argue that Rowling has deliberately matched form to content in the middle section of Deathly Hollows. In charging Harry with finding and destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Dumbledore has given Harry only the vaguest of instructions. Consequently, when Harry and his friends begin their mission, Harry has no plan for proceeding. He doesn’t know what the remaining Horcruxes are, much less where to find them or how to destroy them. Thus, in large part, the story told in this section of the book is that of the hero’s trial by doubt. Harry is beset not only by his own fear of failure but by the doubts, disappointments, and frustrations of Ron and Hermione as well. During their first months in hiding, Rowling uses the device of the Slytherin locket – which the friends as yet have no way of destroying – to exacerbate the characters’ malaise, and particularly Ron’s doubts about and frustrations with Harry. In what appears an obvious allusion to the Ring of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the Slytherin locket, containing a portion of Voldemort’s evil soul, darkens the mood of whoever wears it. Thus, not only does the locket increase Harry’s self-doubt when he wears it, but it magnifies Ron’s unhappiness with Harry when it’s Ron’s turn to do so. It is this effect of the locket that ultimately drives Ron to abandon the friends’ mission altogether, leaving Harry and Hermione alone for several weeks. In addition, Harry’s belief in Dumbledore is thrown into doubt by Rita Skeeter’s claims in a recently published biography that Dumbledore was responsible for his younger sister’s death and that he advocated Wizard rule over Muggles as a young man. (Harry reads Skeeter’s biography after Hermione brings it back from Godric’s Hollow.) Harry is also angry and disillusioned because Dumbledore has given him so little guidance for this final mission and because he has hidden from Harry key aspects of his life, such as their sharing a birthplace. This latter secrecy in particular causes Harry to doubt

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Dumbledore’s regard for him. Thus, one could argue that the shapelessness and lack of forward movement of the book’s second act mirrors the lack of direction and stagnation Harry and his friends are experiencing during this time in the story. Certainly, it is nine months they spend figuratively at sea – floundering, frustrated, and lost. Admittedly, indecision, doubt, and uncertainty are not necessarily inherently uninteresting subjects. An effort to explore them on the page fails, however, if instead of vicariously experiencing the characters’ frustrations and doubts, the reader experiences his or her own personal frustration in reading the book; unhappily, the latter is this reader’s experience with Deadly Hallows. Another consideration is that, as with all the Potter books, Rowling has structured Deathly Hallows as a mystery. In each of Harry’s adventures in the series, he has had to figure out what he and his friends must do before they are able to attempt it. A necessary element in a compelling mystery is that the protagonist not solve it too quickly or too easily; the pleasure a mystery offers is the journey of solving it, which journey must be deceptive and twisting, littered with false starts and unexpected reversals, rather than straight and direct. Here, Harry and his friends enter Act Two of Deathly Hallows with two mysteries to solve: First, where are the remaining Horcruxes? Second, how can the Horcruxes be destroyed? Later in the middle act, a third mystery is introduced: that of the Deathly Hallows. Specifically, Harry and his friends must determine if the Hallows are real, and if so, whether they are relevant to the war with Voldemort. The second of these three mysteries adds little to the novel’s narrative momentum, however, because it is of such short duration and because it essentially solves itself. In Chapter 15, approximately 23 pages into Act Two, the three friends learn that Gryffindor’s sword can destroy Horcruxes (304). This answers one question but gives rise to the new one of where Dumbledore has hidden the sword. Even so, this latter mystery is one Harry and his friends don’t solve at all but is solved for them when a silver doe leads Harry to the sword, lying in the bottom of a pond. While the question of who sent the doe remains unanswered until late in the novel, it has no relation to the larger, continuing mystery of the location of the Horcruxes. The mysteries of the Horcruxes and the Hallows remain unsolved throughout the novel’s second act, and the reader expects them to be the primary focus of the trio’s activities during that act. Readers also expect the path to solving a mystery to involve wrong turns and frustrated efforts. Even so, the protagonists’ attempts to solve these mysteries do not relieve the mid-section of Deathly Hallows of its sense of tedium and stagnation. The reasons this mid-section fails – despite the narrative potential of protagonist self-doubt and unsolved mysteries – are several. First, it is not simply the protagonists’ lack of action but the nature of the actions they do take that causes the narrative to drag. Throughout this section of the novel, Harry and his friends are surprisingly passive. In particular, of the five events that occur during this act, two of them are instances of the trio’s being acted upon rather than initiating action themselves: the appearance of the doe and their being taken prisoner by Bellatrix Lestrange. Specifically, the friends learn early in their hiding-out that the Gryffindor sword from the Hogwarts headmaster’s office is a fake but that the last person to wield the genuine sword was Dumbledore, who used it to destroy one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes (304). Thus, the trio learns one method of destroying Horcruxes, but to take advantage of it, they now must find the real sword. Ultimately, however, the sword is simply delivered to Harry and his friends through no action on their part: Harry is led to it by a mysterious silver doe (365-71). It is true that Harry almost drowns trying to recover the sword from the bottom of the pond, that Harry’s following the doe outside the invisibility spell surrounding his campsite allows Ron to see him, and that Ron’s being there enables him to both rescue Harry and retrieve the sword, but these are nonetheless events which happen to

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Harry and Ron and/or to which they react rather than events they plan or initiate. Similarly, the trio learns that Hufflepuff ’s cup is stored in the Lestrange Gringotts vault only because Harry accidentally utters Voldemort’s name, which magically exposes the three friends to Voldemort’s forces, and they are immediately delivered into Bellatrix Lestrange’s hands (445-60); it is during her interrogation of the prisoners that she betrays the cup’s location. Passivity of a different type is imposed on the novel’s protagonists by their complete isolation, another major contributing factor to the book’s sagging middle. Much of the narrative occurs in the friends’ tent and consists of either their conversations or Harry’s internal ruminations on the Horcruxes, the Hallows, and Dumbledore’s distressing betrayals and shortcomings. (While the trio is physically within the tent, we “travel” outside it only during quotations from Skeeter’s (probably skewed) narrative of Dumbledore’s youth and Harry’s visions of Voldemort’s activities. The latter in particular means that the reader’s view of the immediate Wizarding world is limited to either a tent/campsite or scattered, apparently unrelated locations in which victims are being tortured and killed by Voldemort, acting alone.) The claustrophobic nature of the stretches of the book taking place in the tent helps dilute them of narrative interest; talking and thinking aren’t doing; sitting in one place isn’t taking action. At the same time, events are occurring in the rest of the Wizarding world, some of which – primarily the changes and resistance to those changes occurring at Hogwarts – are key in setting up the final confrontation with Voldemort. These events all occur “off-stage,” however, and Harry, Hermione, and Ron learn of them only in second-hand accounts. Similarly, the friends gain much of the knowledge they use to solve the mysteries through such second-hand accounts. Indeed, it is only by heavy reliance on second-hand information that Rowling is able to maintain her protagonists’ isolation over such an extended period of the narrative. Thus, Rowling falls back on a technique she has used – and I would argue overused – throughout the Potter series: having her protagonists gain knowledge through deliberate or accidental eavesdropping. A primary source of Harry’s information about the Wizarding world is the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black the trio has brought with them from Grimmauld Place. Another portrait of Phineas Nigellus hangs in the headmaster’s office in Hogwarts, which means that the figure of Phineas Nigellus can move back and forth between the tent and Hogwarts, and report to Harry, Hermione, and Ron what happens in the headmaster’s office. Thus, for instance, Phineas Nigellus tells them he saw Dumbledore use the Gryffindor sword to break apart the first Horcrux (304), by which they learn that the sword can destroy Horcruxes. Similarly, during Ron’s absence, Harry and Hermione spend many evenings in near silence, and Hermione took to bringing out Phineas Nigellus’s portrait and propping it up on a chair, as though he might fill part of the gaping hole left by Ron’s departure. . .. [Harry and Hermione] relished any news about what was happening at Hogwarts, though Phineas Nigellus was not an ideal informer. . . . However, he did let drop certain snippets. Snape seemed to be facing a constant, low level of mutiny from a hard core of students. . . . From . . . these things, Harry deduced that Ginny, and probably Neville and Luna along with her, had been doing their best to continue Dumbledore’s Army (314). It is by using Extendable Ears to eavesdrop on a group of goblins and wizards camping near their own (invisible) tent that Harry, Hermione, and Ron learn the Gryffindor sword from the headmaster’s office is a fake (297-99). When Ron returns to Harry and Hermione, he tells them (and the reader) about Snatchers, gangs who round up Muggle-borns for reward money (381-82); the Taboo (the spell that has been put on Voldemort’s name so that anyone speaking it aloud will be instantly found by Voldemort’s forces) (389-90); and Potterwatch, a clandestine resistance-style radio program (393, 438-44). It is then a Potterwatch broadcast which informs the three friends that Voldemort’s forces have killed a number

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of wizards they know, that Voldemort is spending much time out of the country (confirming Harry’s belief that Voldemort is searching for a powerful, legendary wand), and that Harry has a force of loyal supporters who are maintaining the fight against Voldemort despite Harry’s absence from the Wizarding world (438-44). Thus, the reader is only told much of what happens during these months. While these events are happening elsewhere, the reader is shown only three adolescents stewing and squabbling in a tent. More significant, perhaps, is the fact that on the two occasions when Harry and his friends do leave the tent, their actions provide little, if any, narrative movement. In the first instance, Harry and Hermione travel to Godric’s Hollow, where they’re set upon by Voldemort’s snake and escape to set up camp in another isolated location. In the second, Harry, Hermione, and Ron visit Xenophilius Lovegood, and this time the arrival of Death Eaters sends them back into hiding. Each of these excursions is an effort to try to perform a distinct task Dumbledore has (apparently) set for them: to look for Gryffindor’s sword in Godric’s Hollow and to learn from Lovegood the meaning of a mysterious symbol. By the time the three friends undertake the second excursion, however, they have attained the object of the first (the sword) through other means, and the second excursion is not an effort to put the sword to use by finding a Horcrux to destroy. Rather, the second excursion has only the slightest relation to the first. The mysterious symbol, which Lovegood had worn to Bill Weasley’s wedding (139), appears in a book Dumbledore has bequeathed to Hermione. She decides the trio should learn more about it because they have encountered it twice more: once in Skeeter’s biography of Dumbledore, which Hermione obtained in Godric’s Hollow (394) and once on a grave Harry and Hermione saw in the Godric’s Hollow cemetery (326). Moreover, the information the three friends obtain from Lovegood has nothing to do with Horcruxes; instead, it introduces the Hallows, magical objects the characters rightly and consistently perceive as distinct from Horcruxes. That is, whatever aid, if any, the Hallows may offer Harry in the fight against Voldemort, they in themselves bring him no closer to his initial goal of finding and destroying the Horcruxes, and the characters never see them as capable of doing so. Thus, these two excursions have the structure of separate spokes on a wheel. Certainly, they function so geographically: each is a separate venture out to a distinct destination and a return to the same starting point, the friends’ hidden campsite. These excursions’ narrative relationship, however, has this structure as well. Not only did the trip to Godric’s Hollow fail to turn up Gryffindor’s sword, but it yielded nothing else of use to the trio in the search for either the sword or Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Further, despite the “but for” relationship between the trip to Godric’s Hollow and the trip to Lovegood’s home, the latter trip is in no way a continuation of the effort begun in the former. Instead, if anything, it is the launching of a new effort altogether: pursuit of the Hallows. Thus, neither excursion advances Harry in his quest; each is merely a diverting “side trip” that culminates in an exciting last-minute escape from danger but doesn’t move the novel’s main narrative forward. That is, at the conclusion of each of these trips, Harry and his friends are in the same place with respect to their ultimate goal as they were before they started out. Neither trip gives Harry and his friends the basis for taking further action; neither leads to anything, much less to the trio’s next step in accomplishing their goal. Only the Gringotts raid is motivated by prior events – the friends’ brief imprisonment by Bellatrix Lestrange – and only in the Gringotts raid do Harry, Hermione, and Ron personally and actively accomplish a step in their mission to find Voldemort’s Horcruxes: at the conclusion of this adventure, they have obtained Hufflepuff ’s cup. It is not insignificant that the Gringotts raid brings Act Two to a close. The three friends never return to their campsite after the raid is over; rather, the retrieval of Hufflepuff ’s cup is the lead-in to the trio’s return to Hogwarts and the narrative’s move into Act Three.

This spoke-in-a-wheel structure contrasts sharply with Aristotle’s fundamental requirements

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of unity and necessity – that each event or segment in the well-constructed plot be a necessary result of prior ones – as demonstrated, in practical terms, in Vogler’s articulation of the second act of the Hero’s journey. Vogler conceives this second act as a series of related movements, each of which must be triggered by action and many of which trigger reactions in the form of yet more movement. Put another way, Vogler sees the events of the middle section of the Hero’s Journey as a series of pushes that propels the Hero logically along the path of his journey to the key moments of his confronting (and defeating) the villain (in Propp’s terms) or enduring the supreme ordeal (in Campbell’s). This conceptualization of the mid-section of the Hero’s Journey results from Vogler’s cataloguing of the story-telling function that each stage of the Hero’s Journey serves. For instance, because Act Two begins with the Hero’s Crossing the First Threshold from the Ordinary World into the Special World, the Hero needs to learn the rules of this Special World and, if possible, acquire Allies to join and help him in his journey. Thus, in the first segment of Act Two, he is tested in a particular way or faces obstacles of a particular kind: either (a) tests and obstacles that arise because he doesn’t yet know the rules of the Special World or (b) tests and obstacles that arise from his first encounter with inhabitants of that Special World and that will determine the type of relationship he will have with these strangers. Similarly, the Hero’s final Ordeal is a greater challenge than any he has previously faced and usually consists of a confrontation between the Hero and the villain, in which the villain is defeated and apparently or actually slain. The outcome of the Ordeal then generates a later moment of crisis, such as the villain’s return from the dead or a retaliatory attack by the villain’s lieutenants. This new crisis poses an even greater threat than the Ordeal – often a threat to the entire world rather than just the Hero himself – and forces the hero to commit to the Road Back. This is not to say that Act Two of Deathly Hallows sags solely because it does not adhere literally to Vogler’s outline of the Hero’s Journey. Nonetheless, one need make only a cursory comparison of Deathly Hallows’ spokes-in-a-wheel structure to Vogler’s progression of events arising logically from the hero’s circumstances, each triggering the next, to perceive the degree to which the protagonists’ excursions in the mid-section of Deathly Hallows lack the causal connection, and the resulting forward momentum, inherent in Vogler’s articulation of the middle section of the Hero’s Journey. Of perhaps greater significance, Rowling essentially abandons Harry’s primary quest – the search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes – during the middle section of the novel, as does Harry himself. While one of Hermione’s motives for going to Godric’s Hollow is her hope that Dumbledore has hidden Gryffindor’s sword there, Harry wants to see the home of his infancy and to learn about Dumbledore’s past from the witch Bathilda Bagshot. Thus, even when the ostensible motive for taking this action might have been pursuit of the mission Dumbledore has given him, Harry himself takes this action for different reasons altogether. Indeed, much of the time Harry and Hermione spend in Godric’s Hollow is devoted to satisfying Harry’s (admittedly understandable) desire to find his parents’ graves and see his former home (320-46). Moreover, the narrative itself throughout Act Two of Deathly Hallows is almost exclusively devoted to the Hallows mystery to the exclusion of Harry’s Horcrux quest. As has been noted, both the Godric’s Hollow and Lovegood excursions prove to be blind alleys insofar as the Horcruxes are concerned. Further, the only instance in which Harry and his friends learn information as the result of their taking action – as opposed to passively receiving information second-hand – is the trip to the Lovegood home. Everything they learn there, however, concerns the Hallows. In fact, it is at this point in the narrative, a little more than half way through the novel,3 that the protagonists (and the reader) are told “The Tale of the Three Brothers” and learn that the Deathly Hallows consist of three items – the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Elder Wand – which, when united, render their possessor impervious to death. Lovegood describes the mythical Cloak of Invisibility in such a way as to lead Harry to believe that it is, in fact, the invisibility cloak he himself owns. Thus Harry concludes

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that the legend must be real; that all three Deathly Hallows exist; that in his visions, he has been seeing Voldmort search for the Elder Wand, albeit because of its reputed power and not because he knows the Deathly Hallows legend; and that Dumbledore discovered the Resurrection Stone inside the Horcrux he destroyed with Gyffindor’s sword (428-32). This introduction of the Hallows then diverts Harry’s attention from his original quest. For the next 70 pages, he is increasingly distracted from pursuing the Horcruxes in favor of this new mission to find and unite the Hallows: “[H]e saw himself, possessor of the Hallows, facing Voldemort, whose Horcruxes were no match . . . Neither can live while the other survives . . . . Was this the answer? Hallows versus Horcruxes? Was there a way, after all, to ensure he was the one who triumphed? If he were the master of the Deathly Hallows, would he be safe?” (429-30 emphasis original). For the reader, the result of this lengthy diversion of time and energy away from the Horcruxes, a quest which Rowling spent much of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince setting up, is a growing feeling of impatience. Perhaps more importantly, the novel’s sagging middle is something the reader experiences not only simultaneously while reading the book but retroactively, after having finished reading it. That is, the attention devoted to the Hallows during the novel’s middle section would give that portion of the novel narrative life and legitimacy if the reader were rewarded for it in the novel’s last act. Because no such pay-off occurs, however, the reader finishes the book and realizes that he or she has spent almost 300 pages of it going nowhere. This, indeed, is the most fundamental problem with the novel and the primary reason for its sagging middle: Rowling’s inclusion of the Deathly Hallows mystery in the first place. Here, Rowling abandons Aristotle’s primary directives of unity and necessity: that a well-constructed plot contain only that which is essential to tell the story (27-28). As Propp and Campbell have established, the underlying determinant of such necessity is logic. In particular, Propp’s morphology of the Russian fairy tale in terms of characters’ functions results, necessarily, in story construction being determined by logical cause and effect: a specific function arises out of a specific need and triggers a specific response, creating a subsequent need that calls forth another character whose function responds to that need, etc. The Deathly Hallows, however, have no logical place in Rowling’s novel. While Harry, Hermione, and Ron are staying at the Burrow before Bill’s wedding, Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic, arrives to deliver to them bequests from Dumbledore. Dumbledore has bequeathed Ron his Deluminator; Harry, the Snitch Harry caught in his first Hogwarts Quidditch match; and Hermione, a copy of a book of children’s stories entitled The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Deathly Hallows 125-26). One of these bequests proves to be a useful device when a person is engaged in a mission that requires keeping one’s whereabouts hidden or that may involve maneuvering in dark places without a wand. Readers were introduced to the Deluminator in the first pages of Book One, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Dumbledore uses it to put out the lights on Privet Drive so as to leave the infant Harry on the Dursleys’ doorstep without being seen. In Deathly Hallows, it is the means by which Ron finds Harry and Hermione again, despite their concealing themselves from all outsiders by magical means. Thus, when the mysterious silver doe leads Harry to a pond in which Gryffindor’s sword lies, it is the Deluminator that brings Ron there in time to save Harry from drowning and to retrieve the sword. Harry concludes from Ron’s use of the Deluminator that Dumbledore left it to him to enable him to find Harry and Hermione if they were ever separated (391, 483). In fact, their mission to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes would have failed if the Deluminator had not brought Ron back in time to save Harry’s life. Ron also uses the Deluminator for illumination when the three friends are imprisoned in Bellatrix Lestrange’s dungeon (465-67). The other bequests, however, have no general use or application. Further, they provide no clues or aid in Harry’s mission of finding and destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Rather, they relate only to

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the Deathly Hallows. Harry’s bequest – the Snitch – in fact contains one of the Deathly Hallows, the Resurrection Stone, which empowers its owner to resurrect the dead to a sort of half-life. Dumbledore’s bequest to Hermione serves no purpose other than educating the three friends about the Deathly Hallows. The symbol Lovegood had worn at Bill’s wedding appears to have been drawn onto the first page of the story “The Tale of the Three Brothers” in Hermione’s book (316), and, as noted previously, Hermione and Harry find the symbol again on an ancient grave in the Godric’s Hollow cemetery (326). Moreover, Dumbledore had incorporated the symbol into his own signature in a letter he wrote as a teenager, a photograph of which appears in Skeeter’s biography (394). Because she is convinced that Dumbledore must have left her the book for a reason and that the trio’s subsequent encounters with the symbol therefore must have some important meaning, Hermione insists they visit Lovegood to learn what he can tell them about the symbol. This visit sets up the tension Harry perceives (and obsesses about for several chapters) between two courses of action: pursuing the Horcruxes or pursuing the Hallows. Harry ultimately makes his choice in Chapter 24. Knowing from his visions of Voldemort’s activities that Voldemort has gone to Hogwarts to retrieve the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb, Harry decides not to try to stop him but instead to undertake the Gringotts raid to retrieve Hufflepuff ’s cup. It has taken him weeks of agonizing to reach that decision, however, and he concludes that that had been Dumbledore’s plan all along: [Harry] looked out over the ocean and felt closer, this dawn, than ever before to the heart of it all. And still his scar prickled, and he knew that Voldemort was getting there too. Harry understood and yet did not understand. His instinct was telling him one thing, his brain quite another. The Dumbledore in Harry’s head smiled, surveying Harry over the tips of his fingers, pressed together as if in prayer. You gave Ron the Deluminator. You understood him. . . . You gave him a way back . . . . And you understood Wormtail too . . . . You knew there was a bit of regret there, somewhere . . . .4 And if you knew them . . . What did you know about me, Dumbledore? Am I meant to know, but not to seek? Did you know how hard I’d find that? Is that why you made it this difficult? So I’d have time to work that out? (483) A valid question, perhaps, and a valuable lesson – if the rest of the novel bore out the need for it. Instead, however, Rowling has set up a false dilemma. Specifically, because Harry’s visions of Voldemort’s activities tell him that Voldemort is merely searching for what he knows to be a powerful wand without his ever having heard of the Deathly Hallows, the only actual functions Harry’s knowledge of the Deathly Hallows – or the Hallows themselves – serve in the narrative are: • in the Elder Wand, to provide Harry – once he has defeated Voldemort – a way to repair his own wand, which had been so badly damaged it no longer functioned; • in the Resurrection Stone, to provide Harry a source of courage to sustain him when he must allow Voldemort to kill him. Further, the Elder Wand as Voldemort perceives it – a wand more powerful than any other but with no connection to any other magical object – could have served to repair Harry’s wand. Thus, it is only the latter function that can justify Rowling’s inclusion of the Deathly Hallows legend in the novel. Dumbledore has hidden the Resurrection Stone in the Snitch and has enchanted the Snitch so that Harry can open it only as he is about to die. Dumbledore knows – although Harry does not – that to achieve the destruction of all Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Harry must allow Voldemort to kill him because, with the curse which backfired on Voldemort when he used it on Harry as a baby, Voldemort inadvertently made Harry himself a Horcrux (686-87). Once Harry learns this is his fate and resolves to let Voldemort kill him, he opens the Snitch and uses the Resurrection Stone to revivify his dead loved ones so that, invisible to everyone else, they can escort him into Voldemort’s hands and give him the courage to die (698-700).

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In typical fairy-tale fashion, the brother in the original story who asked Death for the Resurrection Stone wanted to use it selfishly, out of grief, to bring a dead lover back to life, only to discover it was pointless to do so; once dead, she no longer fit among the living (409). From his knowledge of Harry’s character, Dumbledore anticipates that, instead, Harry will use the Resurrection Stone unselfishly, as in fact he does. If the Stone is to serve Harry in the way Dumbledore intended, Harry has to know he has this resource to call upon at the moment of his death. This, in turn, means Harry has to know the legend of the Deathly Hallows, to believe the legend is real, and to understand he possesses the Resurrection Stone. Hence the reason for Dumbledore’s sending Harry and his friends down the Deathly Hallows path with his bequest to Hermione; he justifies using this circuitous route to educate Harry about the Hallows this way: “I am afraid I counted on Miss Granger to slow you up, Harry. I was afraid that your hot head might dominate your good heart. I was scared that, if presented outright with the facts about these tempting objects, you might seize the Hallows as I did, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. If you laid hands on them, I wanted you to possess them safely. You are the true master of death, because the true master does not seek to run away from Death. He accepts that he must die, and understands that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.” (720-21) This speech serves as well as Rowling’s justification for introducing the Deathly Hallows mystery into the novel in the first place. But the only thing the narrative needed, if anything, was to put in Harry’s hands some magical source of courage or – to adhere to Rowling’s intent more literally – some magical device that could resurrect Harry’s dead loved ones to provide him that courage. Throughout the Potter series, however, any number of devices have provided means for interaction between the living and the dead: in the Wizarding world, the figures in paintings and photographs move, so that Harry’s parents wave and smile at him when he looks through his photograph album and Phineas Nigellus’s portrait tells Harry what’s happening at Hogwarts; in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry can see his parents reflected beside him in the Mirror of Erised, albeit as manifestations of his deepest desire; at the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the shades of Harry’s parents, as Voldemort’s victims, emerge from Voldemort’s wand when it locks with Harry’s, and they hold Voldemort off long enough to allow Harry to escape to safety. Similarly, although they unnaturally prolong life rather than resurrect the dead, the Sorcerer’s Stone and unicorn’s blood are other magical items in the Potter series that challenge or weaken the divide between life and death. This is not to suggest that any of these magical means themselves would have served the precise narrative purpose called for in Harry’s death scene in Deathly Hallows but only to point out that, given Rowling’s own precedents, the one placed in Harry’s hands at that moment need not have been so heavily intertwined with other magical objects or so charged with temptation that Dumbledore could not have bequeathed it to Harry more directly. Indeed, given that Harry can use the Resurrection Stone to raise the dead even though he does not, at that moment, possess all three Deathly Hallows,5 Dumbledore could have given the Stone to Harry for that express purpose without Harry’s ever knowing anything about the Deathly Hallows, just as Voldemort knew of the power of the wand he sought even though he had never heard the Deathly Hallows legend. Finally, and most importantly, Dumbledore’s expressed concern that Harry might have unwisely or rashly tried to unite the Deathly Hallows ignores the fact that it made no sense for Dumbledore to provide Harry this option in the first place. It was not in Dumbledore’s interest – or that of the Wizarding world as a whole – to put into Harry’s hands the means of warding off death because Dumbledore knew that Voldemort could not be defeated unless Harry let Voldemort kill him. Fundamentally, then, the lack of necessity for the Hallows sub-plot as Rowling has constructed it violates Aristotle’s prescription that the well-constructed plot be unified, such that its incidents are “so structured that the displacement or removal of any one of them would disturb and dislocate the whole. If the presence or absence of something makes no discernible difference, then it is no part of the whole”

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(27-28 emphasis added). As has been demonstrated, the Hallows mystery could have been removed without altering the course or the outcome of the novel. Thus, the Hallows are a great misdirection which serve no legitimate narrative function. As a consequence, the devotion of nearly all the novel’s middle section to the Hallows unnecessarily muddles and slows the narrative. Rowling may well have perceived a need to produce a final volume of equal length to the previous several books in the series. Her choices, however, to inflate the book with a magical legend she was unable to build organically into her story and to devote most of the book’s second act to introducing and elaborating on that legend, together with the limitations she simultaneously placed on her protagonists’ agency, produced a sagging mid-section, the value of which lies only in what it teaches other writers not to do. Linda A. Robinson

NOTES Hermione’s accidental transport of a Death Eater into Grimmauld Place occurs on page 271 of the original hardcover edition of the book, three pages into Chapter 14. Chapter 29, in which Harry, Hermione, and Ron return to Hogwarts, begins on page 571. 1

The trio’s mission into the Ministry of Magic to recover Slytherin’s locket is recounted in Chapters 12 and 13 (pages 236-267), while their Gringotts mission to find Hufflepuff ’s cup starts on page 519 with the beginning of Chapter 26. 2

Chapter Twenty-one, “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” starts on page 405, and Hermione has read the story aloud and Lovegood has finished making his case for the existence of the Deathly Hallows by the end of page 413 of the novel, which is 759 pages long. 3

At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort bestows on Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail) a silver hand to repay him for the sacrifice of his real hand in the ritual that brought Voldemort back into physical being. Because Harry had previously spared Wormtail’s life in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Wormtail’s silver hand turns on him in Deathly Hallows when, in Bellatrix Lestrange’s dungeon, he tries to strangle Harry. The silver hand chokes Wormtail to death instead. 4

Harry possesses the Cloak of Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone, but Voldemort has the Elder Wand, which he stole from Dumbledore’s tomb while Harry and his friends were preparing their raid on Gringotts. Harry does not take the Elder Wand from Voldemort until their final confrontation, after Harry has been “killed” and has come back to life. 5

WORKS CITED Aristotle, Poetics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York: Pantheon Books, 1961. Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folk Tale. Austin & London: University of Texas Press, 1968.

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Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Scholastic, 2007. --- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2005. --- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic, 2005. --- Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Scholastic, 1999. --- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1997. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. New York: Ballantine Books, 1965. Vogler, Christopher. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. 3rd ed. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2007.

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The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 13-20


INTRODUCTION Giant spiders, a boy spewing up thick, slimy slugs, a serpentine behemoth with a deadly gaze, children found unmoving, unconscious, as if made of stone, possession, an ancient and forbidden chamber where evil lurks, and a disembodied voice, whispering, “Let me rip you.… Let me tear you…. Let me kill you.…”1 Such terrors would be commonplace in a Stephen King novel or a Hammer Horror film, and yet, these horrifying circumstances actually take place in a fantasy book written for young readers, the second installment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. What is remarkable about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (CoS)2 is how at this point in the series the narrative pivots toward the horror genre, borrowing and playing with horror tropes, thematic conventions, and motifs. In Horror: A Literary History, Xavier Aldana Reyes defines horror fiction as “texts or narratives that aim to generate fear, shock or disgust (or a combination of these), alongside associated emotional states such as dread or suspense. Although this is not necessarily a requisite, horror is also thought to revolve around supernatural phenomena or fantastic events” (7). Using this definition as a jumping-off point, this analysis will demonstrate how CoS can be read as a horror text.3 To do this, I will provide a description of the thematic elements used in CoS that ground the novel firmly in the horror genre. These elements include body horror, monsters, cursed objects and possession, as well as the Chamber of Secrets as a haunted house/space. This analysis of CoS as a horror text is not without precedent. In her introduction to Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture (2016), Jessica R. McCort includes the Harry Potter series in a list of young adult books that “participate in the horror tradition through their use of stock horror characters, body horror, the monstrous, and a variety of other tropes and themes drawn from the genre” (7). Yet to what end does CoS borrow narrative elements from the horror genre? I believe it does so to mark Harry’s transition from child to young adult. At this point in the series, Harry is twelve going on thirteen; an awkward in-between stage that is full of change and yes, terror. “Across cultures and centuries, adolescence has been noted as a time of dramatic changes in body and behavior” (Paus et al. 947), and with these changes come fear, anxiety, and sometimes lasting turmoil. The horrors that manifest in CoS—body horror, monsters, possession, and the haunted space of the Chamber itself—evoke that uneasy and uncertain transition from childhood to young adulthood. Horror, it has been said, allows children to “project their everyday fears into a monster and confront them in an environment they control” (Klause 39). It is to this end that I believe Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets works as a horror text: Poised at that critical moment when Harry is neither wholly child nor teenager, the book sees Harry face the

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terrifying challenges that accompany growing up. BODY HORROR IN THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS In CoS, a number of gruesome events occur that involve bodies in peril, or bodies transformed by horrific or unnatural means. These events place the novel in the realm of body horror. Body horror is a horror subgenre that is “characterized by the manipulation and warping of the normal state of the bodily form and function” (Cruz 161). Though such tropes are usually found in horror films, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) or any number of films by David Cronenberg, body horror tropes have been known to crop up in horror fiction as well, dating back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1818). Body horror, it should be noted, “play[s] on the fear not of death but of one’s own body and its potential destruction” (Cruz 161). The fear of the destruction or transformation of the body by unnatural means is prevalent throughout CoS, specifically in the slug curse scene, the Polyjuice Potion transformation scene, the bone removal scene, and, perhaps the singularly most terrifying sequence of events in the book, the series of mysterious petrifications at Hogwarts.

The Slug Curse Scene. In this scene, Ron attempts to curse Draco Malfoy for calling Hermione the derogatory name for a Muggle-born witch/wizard, “mudblood” (Rowling 112). However, the curse backfires because of Ron’s broken wand. As a result, Ron undergoes a surprisingly gruesome transformation: “Ron opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Instead he gave an almighty belch and several slugs dribbled out of his mouth onto his lap” (Rowling 113). Although the scene is played for comedic effect, the transformation itself is repulsive, and borrows elements from body horror to deliver a shock to the reader that plays upon a fear of bodily invasion by an alien presence, in this case, mollusks. Slugs invading the body are a perfect example of body horror; slugs are slippery and slimy creatures, with probing tentacles that are distinctly alien-like. Thus, with this scene, CoS mobilizes body horror to elicit a visceral, physical reaction from the reader, laughter underscored with nausea. The Bone Removal Scene. Like the slug curse scene, this scene, in which Professor Gilderoy Lockhart attempts to reset a bone in Harry’s arm with a charm that backfires, is played for laughs while also mobilizing body horror imagery. After Harry is pummeled by a cursed Bludger and falls to the ground during a Quidditch match, he finds his arm is broken. He is approached by a crowd of worried onlookers, including a pushy Lockhart, who insists on healing his arm. After he does, “Harry got to his feet, he felt strangely lopsided. Taking a deep breath he looked down at his right side. What he saw nearly made him pass out again. Poking out of the end of his robes was what looked like a thick, flesh-colored rubber glove. He tried to move his fingers. Nothing happened. Lockhart hadn’t mended Harry’s bones. He had removed them” (Rowling 173). Again, while this scene is written comedically, the image of Harry’s arm as a “thick, flesh-colored rubber glove” is, indeed, horrific. The idea of removing an appendage or a bone from the body plays once again on the reader’s fear or discomfort over an unwanted body modification or unnatural transformation. Like the aforementioned slug curse scene, this scene mobilizes body horror tropes for comedic effect, but beneath the comedy is a layer of unease, discomfort, and revulsion.

The Polyjuice Potion Transformation Scene. While the first two body horror scenes explored here were comedic in tone, the Polyjuice Potion transformation scene takes a markedly more terrifying and uncomfortable approach to elicit a more pronounced feeling of repulsion from the reader.

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In the first part of this scene, Harry, Ron, and Hermione each take a dose of Polyjuice Potion in order to transform into Draco Malfoy’s cronies to spy on the Slytherins and determine their involvement with the Chamber of Secrets. Harry’s transformation reads distinctly Cronenbergian: Immediately, his insides started writhing as though he’d just swallowed live snakes-- doubled up, he wondered whether he was going to be sick--then a burning sensation spread rapidly from his stomach to the very ends of his fingers and toes--next, bringing him gasping to all fours, came a horrible melting feeling, as the skin all over his body bubble like hot wax-- and before his eyes, his hands began to grow, the fingers thickened, the nails broadened, the knuckles were bulging like bolts… (Rowling 216-217) The language Rowling uses leaves little to the imagination; it is consumed with revolting imagery, dominated by descriptors like “writhing,” “burning,” “melting,” and “bulging.” Harry and the reader watch in horror as his skin starts to “bubble like hot wax” and his “fingers thickened” and his nails “broadened” under the influence of the potion. This scene is nightmarish and claustrophobic, evidenced by Harry’s entrapment within his own unnaturally transforming body. This is a body out of control, and abject, invaded and contorted until Harry physically becomes someone else. This passage uses body horror to engage with the reader on a level of fear, a fear of undoing the self and the body.

Petrification as Body Horror. Of all the scenes portraying bodily transformation in CoS, the most horrifying is the series of petrifications that occurs in the text. It is the basilisk’s attacks on Muggle-born students, Mrs. Norris, and Nearly Headless Nick, that drive much of the action and mystery of the book. These attacks are nightmarish, and distinctly influenced by body horror. Harry witnesses the transport of one of the basilisk’s early victims into the hospital wing while waiting for the bones in his arm to regrow. He sees Dumbledore carry “one end of what looked like a statue. Professor McGonagall appeared a second later, carrying its feet. Together, they heaved it onto a bed” (Rowling 179). Harry does not know at first it is Colin Creevey, nor does the reader; he is so radically and unnaturally transformed that he is rendered inhuman, and “he” becomes “it.” Hermione’s petrification is perhaps even more horrifying: she is described as “utterly still, her eyes open and glassy” (Rowling 257) and looks “as though carved out of stone” (Rowling 258). The state of Hermione’s transformed body repulses Harry and the reader, evincing an emotional and physiological reaction. Her eyes “open and glassy” evoke a fate worse than death: she is trapped in a cage-like body, unyielding and unmoving, seeing and unseeing the world as it moves on around one’s self. Here, body horror becomes the central source of the reader’s revulsion, the predominant means of eliciting a horrified reaction. Fear of horrors inflicted onto the body becomes a main motivating factor within the narrative of the text, pushing the book toward the horror genre; but it is not the only motivating factor. Indeed, one cannot talk about CoS as a horror text without addressing the book’s monstrous inhabitants, Aragog and the basilisk. MONSTROSITY IN THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS Monsters are part and parcel to the magical world of Harry Potter. The inclusion of monsters in this second installment is not surprising; however, it is how these monsters are used to terrify and push the plot forward that is noteworthy. According to Noël Carroll, who has written extensively on the philosophy of horror, “[h]orror stories, in a significant number of cases, are dramas of proving the existence of the monster and disclosing (most often gradually) the origin, identity, purposes, and powers of the monster” (35). Much of the plot of CoS pivots on the question: What beast has been loosed

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from the Chamber of Secrets and is hunting the students? It is Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s search for the identity of the beast which drives much of the novel’s plot, and it is two monsters--Aragog and the basilisk-- that become central figures in the horror narrative.

Aragog: A Monstrous Red Herring. Although Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s first monstrous suspect is ultimately innocent, it is no less terrifying. Aragog, an Acromantula brought to Hogwarts as a baby by Hagrid fifty years prior, is blamed for the death of a student during the last opening of the Chamber of Secrets, resulting in Hagrid’s expulsion from the school and Aragog’s residency in the Forbidden Forest. Despite his innocence and Hagrid’s affection for him, Aragog is a fearsome, horrifying creature to behold: “And from the middle of the misty, domed web, a spider the size of a small elephant emerged, very slowly. There was gray in the black of his body and legs, and each of the eyes on his ugly, pincered head was milky white” (Rowling 276). Mark Vorobej affirms Noël Carroll’s notions about monsters stating that “[i]n order to elicit horror, a monster… must appear to be both threatening (fearful) and impure (disgusting)” (222). Aragog is just that: he is both disgusting (“his ugly, pincered head”) and threatening when he makes it clear to Harry and Ron they will not be leaving his nest alive: “‘My sons and daughters do not harm Hagrid, on my command. But I cannot deny them fresh meat, when it wanders so willingly into our midst’” (Rowling 279). Aragog satisfies what is required of a monster to evoke within a horror narrative: He is both threatening and impure. However, he is not, in essence, an evil monster, nor is he, it turns out, the monster that has been freed from the Chamber of Secrets, wreaking havoc on the student body. Another more menacing and more terrifying monster is behind the horrors plaguing Hogwarts that exudes both evil and horror: the basilisk.

The Basilisk: Impossible Being. Monsters, according to Noël Carroll, “are obviously a perfect vehicle” for horror narratives due to the fact that “monsters are (physically, though generally not logically) impossible beings. They arouse interest and attention through being putatively inexplicable or highly unusual” (35). The basilisk is one such impossible being, both driving the action of the plot and horrifying the reader. It is loathsome and horrifying to behold, as Harry discovers when he comes face-to-face with the creature after its deadly stare is blinded by Fawkes the phoenix: “[t]he enormous serpent, bright, poisonous green, thick as an oak trunk, had raised itself high in the air and its great blunt head was weaving drunkenly between the pillars” (Rowling 318). Even when its main source of power, its eyes, are rendered useless, the basilisk cuts an imposing, shocking figure. It is too large to be classified as a snake in any normal sense of the word; its very color suggests the venom it exudes. “Dangerous and disgusting monsters,” such as the basilisk in CoS, “constitute the formal object of art-horror” (Vorobej 222). Thus, the basilisk forms the locus of the narrative, further establishing CoS as a horror text. POSSESSION IN THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS Perhaps the only thing more terrifying, more horrific than the basilisk, and further paints CoS as a horror novel, is the possession of Ginny Weasley via a cursed object, Tom Riddle’s “Very Secret Diary” (Rowling 227). While Harry does not discover Tom Riddle’s diary until close to the end of the book, the diary serves as the conduit for many of the horrifying situations in the novel; it is how the Chamber is opened, it is, more importantly, how Ginny Weasley becomes possessed by Voldemort to carry out his wicked deeds. Tom Riddle’s secret diary is also notable for being the first horcrux to appear in the Harry Potter series, though this is not made clear until much later in the series.4

“The Very Secret Diary” as a Cursed Object. In horror, monsters are not the only thing to go bump in the night. Objects can carry as much supernatural power and horrifying characteristics as giant spiders and basilisks. The fear of objects, and their intrinsic power to horrify, stems from the idea that “all objects are

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unknowable” (Olivier 5), and we fear most what we do not know. Not only this, but Mark Olivier argues further that “one of the most terrifying aspects of objects is that human superiority over them is at best temporary” (5). This is the case, of course, with Tom Riddle’s diary. When Harry finds the diary, discarded in Moaning Myrtle’s toilet, he does not lend credence to Ron’s suspicions about the mysterious object, underestimating its power by taking it into his possession. But the power the object holds is made evident when Harry refuses to let it go, even when he believes it to be a useless, blank book: “Harry couldn’t explain, even to himself, why he didn’t just throw Riddle’s diary away. The fact was that even though he knew the diary was blank, he kept absentmindedly picking it up and turning the pages, as though it were a story he wanted to finish” (Rowling 233). There is something intangibly seductive about the seemingly harmless book, something inexplicable yet alluring that draws Harry in. Once possessed, the book becomes the possessor-- though Harry does not have the book long enough to become fully enthralled by its power, like Ginny. The diary’s full potential as a cursed object manifests itself when Harry begins writing in the book. Though his ink disappears at first after he writes “My name is Harry Potter” (Rowling 240), the diary’s previous owner, Tom Riddle, writes back, and soon divulges the diary’s secret purpose: “Lucky that I have recorded my memories in some more lasting way than ink. But I always knew that there would be those who would not want this diary read” (Rowling 240). The reader does not know, yet, that those memories contained within the diary are constructed and manipulated to show Harry a version of history Tom Riddle wants him to see, nor does the reader know that those memories belong to none other than Lord Voldemort, Riddle’s sobriquet. The diary’s power lies in its ability to seduce, deceive, and possess. It seduces Harry, draws him into Riddle’s memories and deceives him by giving him a version of events that seems plausible. However, the object never fully possesses Harry when it is taken back by the person already under the cursed object’s spell: Ginny Weasley.

The Possession of Ginny Weasley and the Horror of Female Puberty. Possession storylines run rampant in horror fiction and film, particularly possession storylines that revolve around children. “[T]he evil, possessed, mutated or ‘alien’ child,” says Bernice M. Murphy, is one of “post-war horror fiction’s most pervasive themes” (144). The 1960s and 70s saw a slew of horror narratives released, both cinematic and literary, with possessed child plots: Rosemary’s Baby (1967, 1968) and The Omen (1976), both cases in which the child was born the Antichrist, and The Exorcist (1971, 1973) which saw a little girl on the cusp of adolescence transformed by demonic possession. In The Exorcist novel and film, it was Regan MacNeil’s burgeoning sexuality and her pubescence that made her the perfect target for possession. Writing about possession in the horror film The Exorcist, Barbara Creed posits that “[c]onnections drawn in the film between feminine desire, sexuality and abjection suggest that more is at stake than a simple case of demonic possession. Possession becomes the excuse for legitimizing a display of aberrant feminine behaviour which is depicted as depraved, monstrous, abject” (43). Ginny Weasley’s possession in CoS draws many parallels to that of Regan MacNeil. When Ginny is reintroduced to the reader at the beginning of CoS, she is seen as being enamored with Harry when he comes to stay at the Burrow: “On the third landing, a door stood ajar. Harry just caught sight of a pair of bright brown eyes staring at him before it closed with a snap. ‘Ginny,’ said Ron. ‘You don’t know how weird it is for her to be this shy’” (Rowling 40). Now of age to attend Hogwarts, at eleven, Ginny is experiencing her first crush. Her feelings for Harry are unrequited, though, as she is too shy to speak to him. This is where the diary comes in and exploits Ginny’s vulnerabilities as a young girl in love. Ginny, vulnerable and feeling the first stirrings of love and romantic attraction, finds in the diary a confidant, an object of affection that seemingly reciprocates her love and attention. Speaking to Harry about his scheme

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to use and possess Ginny, Riddle explains “...I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me like you, Tom….I’m so glad I’ve got this diary to confide in….It’s like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket….” (Rowling 309-310). Here, Riddle reveals that it was Ginny’s need to love and be loved that opened her up to him in the first place. By extension, it is her burgeoning sexuality and desire for a romantic relationship that made her vulnerable to possession, costing Ginny her own bodily autonomy. Ginny’s body becomes a vessel for executing Riddle’s evil work. As Riddle explains, “So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted…. I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her….” (Rowling 310). What is particularly chilling about Ginny’s possession is how Riddle describes it as a parasitic transference, his will consuming hers until eventually there is little of Ginny’s consciousness left. All that remains in her body is Voldemort’s monstrous essence. Riddle’s possession of Ginny here reads distinctly sexual; he invades her mind and body to force her to unlock the Chamber of Secrets and wreak havoc and horror at Hogwarts. He exploits her vulnerability as a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, and her burgeoning sexuality is rendered horrific and monstrous. It is worth noting that Ginny is only saved after Harry destroys the secret diary, effectively exorcising her of Tom Riddle/Voldemort. After she is cleansed through Harry’s destruction of the diary, when he stabs the cursed object with the basilisk’s fang (a distinctly phallic display of power), Ginny describes the horror she experienced while possessed by Tom Riddle: “it was me, Harry--but I--I s-swear I d-didn’t mean to--R-Riddle made me, he t-took me over….The last thing I r-remember is him coming out of the diary--” (Rowling 323). She, too, likens the possession of her body, mind, and soul to a consumption. Ginny’s horrific actions while possessed were not done of her own volition. This feeling of being out of control of one’s body recalls body horror, as well as transgressive female abjection. In this way, CoS relies on the possession trope that has long been a staple of horror fiction, to further horrify the reader, and underscore the novel’s power as a horror narrative. THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS AS A HAUNTED HOUSE One cannot talk about the horrors within CoS without talking about the titular Chamber itself. The Chamber of Secrets looms over the novel as the legend and myth driving the horrors that unfold, but it also exists as a haunted space in its own right. Indeed, the Chamber evokes the iconic image of the haunted house, which is seen when Harry finally finds and enters its ghastly corridors: “He was standing at the end of a very long, dimly lit chamber. Towering stone pillars entwined with more carved serpents rose to support a ceiling lost in darkness, casting long, black shadows through the odd, greenish gloom that filled the place” (Rowling 306), placing the Chamber of Secrets in the tradition of ancient, crumbling Gothic castles, the original haunted houses. In The Literary Haunted House (2015), Rebecca Janicker argues that “[t]he evocation of the haunted house initially takes a visual form. To speak of such a place is to conjure up an image of an archaic building, dark, decrepit and cavernous” (1). The Chamber of Secrets, with its “towering stone pillars” and a “ceiling lost in darkness,” eerily evokes the haunted house motif that is central to the Gothic horror tradition. Ultimately, the Chamber serves as the haunted arena for Harry and Tom Riddle’s meeting and eventual battle for Ginny’s soul and Hogwarts’ safety. The Chamber of Secrets is both a haunted space, and a space which haunts. Haunted houses are spaces that are “latent with memory and pregnant with menace” (Janicker 1), and the Chamber derives its menace and power through rumor of its existence that has been passed down through generations of Hogwarts students. Whispered about by the students after the message “THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED. ENEMIES OF THE HEIR BEWARE” (Rowling 138) is found scrawled on the wall

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beside the petrified body of Mrs. Norris, its presence is denied, at first, by the Hogwarts professors. Yet the students are drawn to this idea of a secret underground chamber that houses a fearsome and terrible beast. Even Professor Binns, who is implored by Hermione to tell the students about the Chamber of Secrets, refuses to budge at first: “‘My subject is History of Magic,’ he said in his dry, wheezy voice. ‘I deal with facts, Miss Granger, not myths and legends’” (Rowling 149), to which Hermione responds, “‘Please, sir, don’t legends always have a basis in fact?” What is crucial about the Chamber of Secrets as legend is that, like all horror fiction, it “has at the center of it something which is given as in principle unknowable-- something which, ex hypothesi, cannot, given the structure of our conceptual scheme, exist and that cannot have the properties it has” (Carroll 35). While the Chamber’s origin is revealed as the manifestation of Salazar Slytherin’s bigotry and hatred toward Muggle-born witches and wizards, the space itself confounds logic and sane reason. It continues to haunt the minds of the students and threaten their lives at Hogwarts until Harry wipes Tom Riddle’s memory from the Chamber, and destroys its monstrous inhabitant, thus cleansing the space of its menace and power to horrify. CONCLUSION Within the context of the larger Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a novel in transition, and the horrors that lurk within the text signal this transition. That is to say, if the novel is a bridge between Harry’s transition from childhood to young adulthood, the horrors he faces— body horror, monsters, possession, a haunted chamber—are trolls lying in wait underneath this perilous bridge. In this way, reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a horror text situates the novel within the ancient tradition of passing down horror stories to children disguised as myths, legends, folklore, and fantasy. We tell frightening stories to our children to help them cope with the anxieties inherent in growing up. Thus, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets mobilizes a horror narrative to help its young readers face the inevitable challenges of adulthood. As a young reader sees Harry Potter overcome the horrors within the Chamber of Secrets, so too, does the child feel better equipped to deal with the unknown terrors awaiting them on the other side of adolescence. Margaret J. Yankovich

NOTES This quote is taken from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter Seven, “Mudbloods and Murmurs” (Rowling 120). 1

Throughout this paper, I abbreviate Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as CoS, to save my writing from becoming too repetitive. 2

For the length of this analysis, I cite a variety of sources on horror scholarship that spans mediums ranging from literature to film. Although it is outside the scope of this essay to examine the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I use horror film scholarship extensively, as there is a great deal of overlap between the tropes and thematic elements of horror that are used in literature and film. 3


It is outside the scope of this essay to discuss horcruxes, though it is a topic I may visit at another time.

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WORKS CITED Carroll, Noël. “Why Horror?” Horror, The Film Reader, edited by Mark Jancovich, Routledge, 2002, pp. 33-47. Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. 1993. Routledge, 2015. Cruz, Ronald Allen Lopez. “Mutations and Metamorphoses: Body Horror is Biological Horror.” Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 40, no. 4, 2012, pp. 160-168, Accessed 8 March 2020. Janicker, Rebecca. The Literary Haunted House: Lovecraft, Matheson, King and the Horror in Between. McFarland, 2015. Klause, Annette Curtis. “The Lure of Horror.” School Library Journal, vol. 43, no. 11, 1997, pp. 38-39. McCort, Jessica R., editor. Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture. University Press of Mississippi, 2016. Murphy, Bernice M. “Horror Fiction from the Decline of Universal Horror to the Rise of the Psycho Killer.” Horror: A Literary History, edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes, British Library, 2016, pp. 131 -159. Olivier, Marc. Household Horror: Cinematic Fear and the Secret Life of Everyday Objects. Indiana University Press, 2020. Paus, Tomáš, et al. “Why Do Many Psychiatric Disorders Emerge During Adolescence?” Nature Reviews Neuroscience, vol. 9, 2008, pp. 947–957, Accessed 15 March 2020. Reyes, Xavier Aldana, editor. Horror: A Literary History. British Library, 2016. Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998. Vorobej, Mark. “Monsters and the Paradox of Horror.” Dialogue, vol. 36, 1997, pp. 219-246.

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“I thought little on th’oure of death, so long as I enjoyed breath … Nothing but Truth comes from my tongue: and if ye should see me this day, I do not thinke but ye would say, that I had neuer beene a man; so much altered now I am” (Weever 205-206). These lines, inscribed upon the tomb of Edward the Black Prince, perfectly encompass the medieval concept of memento mori (“remember you must die”), in which a theoretical contempt for the material world combined with a vivid fear of death (Jacobs 96-97). By the fifteenth-century, memento mori had become increasingly prevalent in the arts and leant itself to the popular Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead. The legend, often preserved in private devotional texts, follows three men who come across three dead, warning them that material wealth in this world will do nothing for them in the next (echoing Philippians 3:7). J.K. Rowling’s The Tale of Three Brothers, which likewise follows three men who cross paths with a physical manifestation of death, bears striking resemblance to this legend. Death, in both tale and legend, is revealed as the ultimate equalizer, eventually taking all regardless of worldly position. However, while the tale follows the same moral as the legend, there are deeper connections between the two stories. Firstly, through the evolving behaviour of the dead in the legend, changing from peaceful dialogue to active aggression over several centuries, Death’s actions as perceived by the two elder brothers of the tale are revealed. Secondly, the dead of the legend, urging the living to prepare their souls in order to avoid the torments of hell, are themselves reflected in the guilt of the two eldest brothers, who likely suffer a similar fate. Regardless of similarity, public reaction to the legend inspired genuine devotion (Dialogue and Violence 137) whereas the tale seemingly inspired exactly what it warned against, the quest for immortality. One of the earliest representations of the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead is attributed to Baudouin de Condé (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal 3142 fol. 311v.), a minstrel active in thirteenth-century Flanders (Walters 25). Baudouin’s poetic setting of the legend served as a basis for ensuing depictions of the story, allowing the legend to both warn and become popular amongst European nobility (A Matter of Life and Death 2). Baudouin’s poem sees one of the living claim that the dead, sent by God, mirror the future and is thus inspired to reflect upon his temporality, ridding himself of all pride (Dialogue and Violence 137). The first of the dead follows this revelation, claiming that “As you are, so we once were; as we are now, so shall you be!” (Dialogue and Violence 137). It further becomes evident that the dead are not damned as the third dead asks the living to pray for them (Kinch 71); through earthly prayers they may be permitted entry into heaven. The poem is accompanied by an illumination in which one of the living holds a hawk, reminding the reader that indulgence in worldly pleasures (hunting in this case) will provide no benefit in the world to come. The living quickly grasp the message of the dead and, upon accepting their fate, agree to change their ways and pray for the souls of

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the dead in purgatory (Dialogue and Violence 138). These key features of Baudouin’s plot are echoed and built upon in all following representations of the legend discussed in this paper. The Tale of Three Brothers is introduced in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows upon the bequeathment of The Tales of Beedle the Bard to Hermione Granger in the will of Albus Dumbledore. It later becomes evident to Harry, Ron, and Hermione, upon Xenophilius Lovegood’s interpretation of the tale with regards to the deathly hallows, that the tale is inextricably linked to Voldemort’s ultimate quest for immortality. The Tale of Three Brothers follows the Peverell brothers (Rowling 336), who, whilst travelling, come across a river and, as wizards, “they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water” (Rowling 331). Death, feeling cheated, appeared before them, offering congratulatory gifts. The first brother requested the powerful Elder Wand; the second requested the Resurrection Stone; the third requested Death’s own cloak of invisibility. These gifts are the deathly hallows; together, the possessor, in Lovegood’s view, attains immortality as the “master of Death” (Rowling 333-334). The three brothers then part ways. The first brother, sick with his new power, uses the Elder Wand to murder a wizard with whom he had had a quarrel and, upon boasting of his success, is murdered in the night. Upon returning home, the second brother uses the stone to resurrect the woman whom he had once hoped to marry but, “separated from him as though by a veil,” (Rowling 333) she grew sad, and, driven mad with hopeless longing, the second brother committed suicide so as to truly be with her. The third brother, although Death searched for him for many years, only went with Death once he had reached old age. Voldemort’s quest for the hallows and his inability to accept death eventually leads him to an early grave and, in great irony, it is Harry who manages to possess all three hallows. However, Harry chooses to place the Elder Wand in Dumbledore’s tomb, thus also choosing mortality (Rowling 612-613). To begin with, The Tale of Three Brothers and the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead both follow the moral that death cannot be evaded, only postponed. Death, in both stories, is the ultimate equalizer, taking without discrimination. Death is also embodied, “paradoxically giving tangibility to the ephemeral,” (Dialogue and Violence 149), reminding the living of their eventual fate. It is the perception of death by the living which firstly differentiates the two stories. While, in early examples, the three living are alerted to their fates through spoken warnings from the dead, thus allowing them to become better Christians, the three wizards are expected to discover Death’s warning themselves, a warning which only the third brother is wise enough to grasp. In early settings of the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead, the three men come across three skeletons in varying states of decay, the degree of corruption perhaps indicating the sins weighing upon the soul (Chihaia 266). After Baudouin’s representation, perhaps the most influential is De Tribus Regibus Mortuis (The Three Dead Kings), an early fifteenth-century English poem attributed to John Audelay (Bennett 344). Here, the first dead informs the fearful kings that “Nay, are we no fyndus, quod furst, that ye before you fynden” (No, we are not fiends, said the first, you find yourselves before you) (Audelay 92). Then the second dead suggests that the living should “Levys lykyng of flesche and leve not that lare” (Abandon fleshly desire, and rely not on clay) (Audelay 112). The third dead echoes the sentiment of the second: “Methoght hit a hede thenke at husbondus to hene fore that was I hatyd with heme and with hyne bot thoght me ever kyng of coyntons so clene” (I thought it was an excellent thing to oppress farmers and for that I was hated by villagers and servants alike, but I still considered myself as being held in high regard by others) (Audelay 122-124). Audelay’s kings are wise enough to grasp the warning of the dead and resolve to mend their ways: “Holde thai never the pres be hew ne be hyde, bot ay the hendyr hert after thai hade; and thai that weryn at myschip thai mend ham that myde. And throgh the mercé of God a mynster thai made” (Never again did they act oppressively towards their villagers and servants, but afterwards they had kinder hearts, and they were mindful of God’s ultimate reward) (Audelay 135-138).

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Unlike the poem, in which the living are explicitly warned of their inevitable fate, the warning of Death in The Tale of Three Brothers is implied by the fates which eventually befall the brothers. The tale’s elder brothers are unable to grasp Death’s hidden intentions and are not given time to mend their ways as Audelay’s kings are. In contrast, the third brother hid under the Cloak of Invisibility until he had achieved a great age, eventually greeting Death as an old friend and departing as his equal (Rowling 333). In Rowling’s tale, the third brother is the only one who is wise enough to distrust Death and to realize the impossibility of conquering what can only be delayed. Described as “the humblest” (Rowling 332), he is also the only brother who doesn’t request material gain, choosing instead to make peace with his fate. It is in this way that the youngest brother resembles the kings in the Three Living and Three Dead legend, who are humbled and moralized by their encounter with death. The two elder brothers serve as a warning against material greed and their ends are met as a result of their luxury, avarice, and pride, a fate which would have likewise befallen the kings had they been unwise. “Whatever you do, remember that some day you must die. As long as you keep this in mind, you will never sin” (Sirach 7:36). The Tale of Three Brothers and the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead both present Death as the ultimate mutual fate, who turns brothers and kings alike to dust (Genesis 3:19). Both stories give the idea of death a physical body and, whilst the presence is intended to warn the living, only one of the three brothers is wise enough to request temporal security over material gain. It is the youngest brother who reflects the three kings who, openly warned of death and the fleeting pleasures of earth, resolve to mend their ways. While depictions of the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead originally followed a dialogue between the two realms, the physical bodies of death became increasingly aggressive and clever over decades of evolution. Designed to inspire fear, these later figures often stalk the living and, as the living reach their ends, the dead are shown mocking and laughing at them (Dialogue and Violence 135). Later medieval Books of Hours (books of private prayers popular amongst the aristocracy) often used the visual motif of the legend as a preface to the prayers for the dead, thus encouraging the owner to ponder their mortality (Biggs). The evolution of the legend sees conversation give way to violence (Dialogue and Violence 135), a development which mirrors that of Death in The Tale of Three Brothers as perceived by the two eldest brothers. Although the two brothers believe themselves worthy of Death’s praise, their false sense of security allows them to be tricked into meeting early graves. The Second Council of Lyons of 1274 asserted the Doctrine of Purgatory, in which it was decreed that prayers from the living could help the dead on their journey to salvation (Dialogue and Violence 148). Thus, the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead, based around memento mori, also focused memory on the departed, urging the viewer to pray for the souls of the deceased. The later acquisition of violent dead only reinforced the urgency of these prayers, reminding the reader that they were of benefit to themselves as much as the deceased. The “London Rothschild Hours” (British Library Add MS 35313 fol. 158v.) was produced in Ghent around 1500 (Biggs), and it is possible that the illuminated legend is a copy of a similar illumination which belonged to Mary of Burgundy (KupferstichkabinettSMPK, 78 B 12 fol. 220v.) (Biggs). Both versions feature a woman amongst the three living, riding below circling ravens and dark clouds. The corpses depicted in both illuminations are very aggressive, chasing and pointing spears at the living, seeking to drag them into death. The Italian Stuart de Rothesay Hours (British Library Add MS 20927 fol. 119v.) follows the violent dead theme as the illumination is placed beneath a miniature of the story of Lazarus, in which he is raised from the dead by Christ (John 11:1415). The pairing of the two illuminations invokes Christ’s promise to bring eternal salvation to humanity (John 10:28-30), reminding the viewer that all are united in death (Romans 6:5). The three dead in the Rothesay Hours also appear to cast shadows, suggesting full physical presence in the world of the living (Violence and Dialogue 148) similar to Death’s presence in The Tale of Three Brothers, a departure from the apparently separate realms of the living and dead in earlier renditions of the legend. The Rothesay

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dead do not appear to have attempted dialogue with the living, merely acting aggressively, seeking to add members to their ranks. While the earlier forms of the legend saw the dead encouraging the living to change their ways, warning them of the temptations of the material world, the later versions of the legend present death’s embodiments as dangers in themselves. In The Tale of Three Brothers the timely evolution of death in the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead, changing from well-intended dialogue to aggression, is mirrored in the perception of Death by the two elder brothers. The eldest brother, flattered by Death’s congratulations, asked for “a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death!” (Rowling 332), and, upon receiving the Elder Wand, is tricked into trusting Death. Likewise, the second brother, also flattered by Death’s congratulations, “decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death” (Rowling 332), and, upon being gifted the Resurrection Stone, is also tricked into trusting Death. The third brother, who “did not trust Death” (Rowling 332), is the anomaly. From the perspective of the two eldest brothers, Death is not violent and aggressive, seemingly allowing them to continue their journey whilst admiring their new acquisitions. It is only after the three brothers go their separate ways that Death begins to embody the aggression seen in later versions of the Three Living and Three Dead legend. Death first finds the eldest brother who, after committing murder and boasting of his powerful wand, is crept up upon whilst sleeping by a thief seeking to steal the wand who, “for good measure, slit the oldest brother’s throat” (Rowling 333). Death next finds the second brother who, upon seeing the suffering of the resurrected woman he had once hoped to marry, is “driven mad with hopeless longing” (Rowling 333) and commits suicide to be truly with her in death. The third brother, whose gift reflected his wisdom in distrust of Death, remained hidden beneath the Cloak of Invisibility and only revealed himself to death upon reaching a great age. The two eldest brothers, who were foolish enough to trust Death, never realize their mistakes and, as a result, meet unnatural ends. Death, whom they believe themselves to have conquered, is enabled to take them precisely because of their original misplaced trust in him. The elder brothers, like the later depictions of the living in the legend, are actively tricked by Death, albeit through cunning means. Interestingly, Death is also portrayed as an enabler of eternal life in the tale, a biblical concept explored in the legend, through his last encounter with the third brother who “went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life” (Rowling 333). While illuminations of the Three Living and Three Dead originally followed a warning-based conversation between the two realms, the embodiment of death became increasingly aggressive and clever over time. Death’s physical presences were designed to inspire fear in later illuminations of the legend by openly threatening and attacking the living, a sentiment echoed in The Tale of Three Brothers. The two elder brothers, who are foolish in their trust of Death, quickly follow Death to early graves. They are tricked by an aggressive and cunning Death and are thus defeated by the very thing they believe themselves to have conquered. In contrast, it is only the youngest brother, wisest of all, who distrusts Death and is able to postpone his end rather than challenging its inevitability. “Great riches here I did possess whereof I made great nobleness. I had gold, silver, wardrobes, great treasure, horses, houses, land. But now a caitiff poor am I deep in the ground, lo here I lie. My beauty great is all quite gone, my flesh is wasted to the bone” (Weever 206). Here Edward the Black Prince, like the three living of the legend, reflects upon the worthlessness of the material world. However, unlike the prince, the three living are given a chance to mend their ways; death is merciful. The three dead of the legend are not shown death’s mercy and they are mirrored by the two elder brothers of Rowling’s tale. By analyzing the characters of the three dead, guilty of deadly sins, we can conclude that the two eldest brothers were probably condemned to the torments of purgatory whilst the third brother, wisest of all, lived long enough to repent for his lesser sins. In the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead, the three dead make clear to the living that they are guilty of several of the seven deadly sins. Due to its written dialogue, the woes of the dead are

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best described in Audelay’s poem The Three Dead Kings, in which the youngest dead is the first to speak, confessing the true nature of his sin: “Those that bene not at your bone ye beton and byndon; bot yef ye betun that burst, in bale be ye bondon” (Those who disobey you, not doing your bidding, you beat, bind, or flog) (Audelay 96-97). Guilty of wrath, the youngest then points to the worms writhing in his bowel (Audelay 98), comparing them to the ropes which now bind him (Audelay 99-100). The youngest dead, seeking to avoid the torments of hell, asks the living to pity him by praying for his soul. The middle dead likewise confesses the nature of his sins: “Fore wyle we wondon in this word, at worchip we were; whe hadon our wife at our wil and well fore to ware” (For while we lived we were held in high esteem, we had our wives at our will and wealth to spare) (Audelay 107-108). Guilty of lust and greed, he urges the living to forget the pleasures of the flesh (Audelay 112), claiming they will only lead them astray (Audelay 114). The oldest dead, unlike the others, implies his sin: “Wyle I was mon apon mold, morthis thai were myne … To me wil enclyne, to me come, Bot yif he be cappid or kyme” (While I was upon earth, I committed deadly sins … There is not an idiot or fool who now bows to my tomb) (Audelay 121, 126-127). The oldest dead, lamenting that he no longer possesses servants to serve his every need, is guilty of sloth, and it is he who warns the three living of the remorseless and cruel nature of time (Audelay 128-130). Following the individual confessions of the three dead, it is made evident that they are all guilty of pride. Described Biblically as “a fountain pouring out sin, and whoever persists in it will be full of wickedness” (Sirach 10:13), Thomas Aquinas later expressed that those guilty of the sin of pride were the last to return to God (Aquinas, q. 162, a. 7, reply to rejection 4). The pride of the living is a common theme throughout the evolution of the legend and is echoed in a late fifteenth-century Book of Hours from Paris (British Library Harley MS 2917 fol. 119r.), in which a pope, an emperor, and a king meet three corpses wearing matching crowns. While the youngest brother in The Tale of Three Brothers is not characterized as guilty of deadly sins, the two eldest brothers are implied to follow the legendary dead, doomed to the torments of purgatory as a result of their unrepenting nature. The eldest brother, like Audelay’s youngest dead, is guilty of wrath: “he sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel … he could not fail to win the duel that followed” (Rowling 332). Described as a combative man, he is also unforgiving. The second brother, like Audelay’s middle dead, is guilty of lust: “To his amazement and his delight, the figure of a girl he had once hoped to marry before her untimely death appeared at once before him” (Rowling 333). With regards to the second brother, it is important to note that the sin of lust includes all desire for physical and sensual pleasures (Cline). The two eldest brothers are likewise guilty of the pride which befell the three dead. Indeed, the first brother believes himself deserving of “a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death!” (Rowling 332), and the second brother is described as arrogant, wishing to humiliate death further (Rowling 332). “Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall” (Proverbs 16:18); unrepenting, the elder brothers share the fates of the three dead whereas the youngest brother, whose wisdom provided him with a lifetime of repentance, escapes the torments. He, who chooses to meet Death in the end as an old friend, embodies the following verse: “It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of their loot” (Proverbs 16:19). While the two eldest brothers are too proud to fear death, and thus are too proud to fear God, the youngest is able to depart life with absolution, greeting death as an equal (Rowling 333), a mercy which follows Audelay’s three living. While death takes all alike, both The Tale of Three Brothers and the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead imply the fates of the characters based upon their worldly deeds. The three dead of the legend and the two eldest brothers are described as tainted by their guilt in deadly sins and emphasis on worldly pleasures. It is the youngest brother who mirrors Audelay’s three living. He alone is wise enough to take heed of Death’s implied warning, a warning that Audelay’s dead implore the living to remember: “Do so ye dred not the dome, to tel youe we have no longyr tome, bot turn youe fro tryvyls betyme!” (Those who do not dread the doom of judgement day, remember that time is running out, so turn away from your worldly trifles soon!) (Audelay 128-130).

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Despite the great similarities between the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead and The Tale of Three Brothers, they differ greatly regarding the public reactions they inspired. While the legend was very successful in promoting genuine devotion, the tale seems to have inspired exactly what it sought to dispel amongst the wizarding community. From this, we can assume that the wizarding world is more prone to optimism in the face of the inevitable compared to the later Middle Ages. The Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead developed as a response to the widespread fear of the later Middle Ages that judgement day was imminent (A Matter of Life and Death 23). Indeed, the legend always includes the three dead presented in varying states of decay, a reaction against the great emphasis placed upon sensuality in the world of the living, present to inspire fear in lay viewers (A Matter of Life and Death 50). The nobility of Europe who, perceived as preoccupied with worldly pleasures, were often challenged to become more devoted by clergy and laymen alike (A Matter of Life and Death 190). The aristocracy were, as a result, obsessed with memento mori and they commissioned Books of Hours filled with prayers for the dead and prefaced by the Three Living and Three Dead legend in the hope that their descendants would later do the same for their souls. This genuine devotional response to death in the legend is not mirrored in the wizarding response to The Tale of Three Brothers. Shortly after The Tales of Beedle the Bard surfaced, a legend which contradicts the original message of the tale sprung up: that the person who possessed all three of Death’s gifts (the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility) would become immortal. While Xenophilius Lovegood is not often understood to be a reliable source, Harry, Hermione, and Ron later become aware that Lord Voldemort is actively searching for the Hallows, proving himself to be as foolish as the two elder brothers. Voldemort, like many in the wizarding community, chooses instead to emphasize his dependence on the material world rather than being inspired to change his ways. He believes the tale to be a secret message, containing the exact opposite of the principles it seeks to establish. “Such as thou art, some time was I, such as I am, such shalt thou be” (Weever 205). Death, as presented in the Legend of the Three Living and Three Dead and The Tale of Three Brothers, takes all regardless of worldly station. A disgust of the material world combined with a vivid fear of death to create the legend of the late Middle Ages, an inspiration mirrored in Beedle the Bard’s tale of memento mori. The three dead of the legend and the two eldest brothers of the tale fail to take heed of death’s warning and, by continued indulgence in earthly pleasures, they secure their early graves and tormented fates. The three living and the youngest brother, in contrast, come to understand that they can only mend their ways by choosing spiritual security over worldly quibbles. Both tale and legend follow an everchanging idea of death and, while the legend inspired genuine devotion (Dialogue and Violence 137), the tale seemingly inspired the quest for immortality it had sought to dispel. The three living and the three brothers, taken by death hundreds of years ago, leave an endlessly important moral legacy that transcends the wizard-Muggle divide. Mortality, it seems, has always been the deepest of human mysteries and hope often blinds us from the inescapable and unknowable truth. Death, in both communities, is inevitable and the timeless test of wisdom sees one make peace with that fate: “He [Harry] let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding his eyes from the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them” (Rowling 268). Ellen Siebel-Achenbach

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WORKS CITED Angus McIntosh. “Some Notes on the Text of the Middle English Poem De Tribus Regibus Mortuis.” The Review of English Studies, vol. 28, no. 112, 1977, pp. 385–392. JSTOR, Aquinas, Thomas. SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: Pride (Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 162), New Advent, Accessed March 5, 2020. Audelay, John the Blind. “John the Blind Audelay, Meditative Close.” Edited by Susanna Greer Fein, Poems and Carols (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Douce 302) Robbins Library Digital Projects, University of Rochester: Middle English Text Series, 2009, Bennett, Michael. “John Audley: Some New Evidence on His Life and Work.” The Chaucer Review, vol. 16, no. 4, 1982, pp. 344–355. JSTOR, Biggs, Sarah J. The Three Living and the Three Dead. The British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, 14 Jan. 2014, living-and-the-three-dead.html. Accessed March 6, 2020. Chihaia, Pavel. Immortalité et décomposition dans l’art du Moyen âge. Fondation Culturelle Roumaine, 1988. Cline, Austin. A Critical Look at the 7 Deadly Sins and Their Punishments. Learn Religions, 25 June 2019, Accessed March 4, 2020. Fronska, Joanna. The Mystery of the Hours of Joanna the Mad. The British Library: Medieval Manuscripts Blog, 25 Mar. 2013, Accessed March 3, 2020. Kinch, Ashby. “Image, Ideology, and Form: The Middle English ‘Three Dead Kings’ in Its Iconographic Context.” The Chaucer Review, vol. 43, no. 1, 2008, pp. 48–81. JSTOR, Accessed 5 Mar. 2020. Kralik, Christine M. A Matter of Life and Death: Forms, Functions, and Audiences for ‘The Three Living and the Three Dead’ in Late Medieval Manuscripts. 2013. University of Toronto, PhD dissertation. Kralik, Christine M. “Dialogue and Violence in medieval Illuminations of the ‘Three Living and the Three Dead,’” 133-154. In Oosterwijk, Sophie., and Stefanie A. Knöll, Mixed Metaphors: the Danse Macabre in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2011. Le Goff, Jacques. The Birth of Purgatory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

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Jacobs, Henry E. “Shakespeare, Revenge Tragedy, and the Ideology of the ‘Memento Mori.’” Shakespeare Studies, Jan 1, 1993, pp. 96-108. Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

The Holy Bible: Good News Translation, Catholic Edition. Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Bible Society, 1992. Walters, Lori J. “Jeanne and Marguerite De Flandre as Female Patrons.” Dalhousie French Studies, vol. 28, 1994, pp. 15–27. JSTOR, Weever, John and Cecil, Thomas (engraver). Ancient funerall monuments within the vnited monarchie of Great Britaine, Ireland, and the islands adiacent with the dissolued monasteries therein contained: their founders, and what eminent persons haue beene in the same interred. As also the death and buriall of certaine of the bloud royall; the nobilitie and the gentrie of these kingdomes entombed in forraine nations. A worke reuiuing the dead memory of the royall progenie, the nobilitie, gentrie, and communaltie, of these his Maiesties dominions. Intermixed and illustrated with variety of historicall obseruations, annotations, and briefe notes, extracted out of approued authors … Whereunto is prefixed a discourse of funerall monuments … Composed by the studie and trauels of Iohn Weeuer. London: Thomas Harper, 1631. Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership, 2011,;v iew=toc.

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The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 29 - 40


When J.K. Rowling wrote of her boy hero, Harry Potter, “He’ll be famous—a legend…. every child in our world will know his name!” (Sorcerer’s Stone 13 [1997]), she could not have known how true that statement would be over 20 years later. The Harry Potter series has found massive commercial success and has gained the attention of scholars and critics in the fields of feminist studies, animal studies, trauma studies, children’s literature, queer studies, and beyond. Now, in addition to 7 novels, an eight-part film series and prequel spinoff, multiple theme parks, and a Tony Award-winning play, Scholastic has announced illustrated editions of the books, opening the series to a new field of study: illustrations. This paper will focus on Jim Kay’s depiction of—and, sometimes, lack thereof—Hermione Granger in the recent illustrated Harry Potter books, as well as the portrayal of 2 other female characters, Ginny Weasley and Minerva McGonagall. I argue that Kay’s portrayal of Hermione reflects the complicated range of feminist criticism about her character. His tendency is to diminish or remove Hermione’s active role in the novels and reinvent her as a passive, codependent character, and while some messages conveyed through picturebook codes can be used to read Hermione in a more positive light, Kay’s illustrations, so far, mostly devalue Hermione’s role in the books. The original U.K. and American editions of the Harry Potter books were not devoid of illustrations, but they were limited to covers and small chapter headpieces. Illustrator Mary GrandPré, who worked on all 7 installments for the first American editions, incorporated pencil sketches at the beginning of each chapter. These simple sketches on a white background illustrate key moments from the chapter. For example, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), “Chapter 1: The Boy Who Lived” is illustrated with a baby Harry wrapped in a blanket (Rowling SS 1 [1997]). Other chapters from the first book feature a fireplace full of letters for “Chapter 3: Letters from No One,” a troll for “Chapter 10: Halloween,” and Harry in front of a large mirror for “Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised” (31, 163, 194). While the aforementioned headpieces directly correspond to Rowling’s chapter titles, GrandPré’s headpieces do not always match. For example, “Chapter 6: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters” features a frog and a picture of Albus Dumbledore when a reader might expect a picture of the Hogwarts Express train (88), and “Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat” does not begin with an image of the Sorting Hat, but, rather, a sketch of Peeves the Poltergeist (113). The headpieces draw attention to specific moments in the chapter that may or may not be articulated in the title, potentially speaking to GrandPré’s illustrative freedom and personal takeaways from each chapter. In the U.K., the first editions of the Harry Potter books were illustrated by 4 different illustrators: Thomas Taylor illustrated the cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) before the series garnered serious acclaim; Bloomsbury then turned to Cliff Wright,

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a more experienced illustrator, for illustrations for the second and third installments, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999); Giles Greenfield illustrated Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000), and Jason Cockroft illustrated books five, six, and seven—Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007). The U.K. and American editions of the books share some similarities in what scenes the illustrators choose to depict on the cover, but, on the whole, GrandPré’s covers place the focus on Harry. With the exception of the sixth book cover, which Harry shares equally with Dumbledore, he is the central and/or most visible character on each cover. The U.K. covers put more emphasis on the action of the particular book. For instance, the U.K. Chamber of Secrets cover features Harry and Ron in the flying blue Anglia whereas GrandPré’s American cover features Harry alone as Fawkes the Phoenix carries him out of the Chamber of Secrets. (GrandPré’s full jacket design does feature Ron and Ginny Weasley, but they end up on the back cover.) The Prisoner of Azkaban covers, however, are very similar, with both featuring Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak the hippogriff, but the children are smaller on the U.K. cover than on the American one. The biggest difference between the two is the tone; GrandPré’s Harry and Buckbeak are smiling while Wright’s characters are solemn and serious. The solemnity of the U.K. editions contrasts with the exuberance of the American covers, suggesting a possible difference in cultural values. The illustrator charged with the monumental task of bringing Rowling’s Wizarding World to life in an official illustrated edition is Jim Kay, whose award-winning work includes illustrations for Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls (2011). Kay is a relatively new illustrator, but his success in the field contributed to him being offered the illustrated Potter books. Kay, who, in interviews, seems to be highly critical of himself, was not completely satisfied with his work on Monster, despite winning the Kate Greenaway Medal. In a 2012 interview with The Telegraph, Kay says that A Monster Calls would have been better had it been “engraved or etched, like lavish 19th-century etchings,” but he concedes that there was not the time—approximately 5 years—required for such a project. However, Ness, who received the Carnegie Medal for his contributions to the same book, calls his “pathologically modest” illustrator’s black and white, multimedia work “perfect” (Jones). The intervening years between Monster and Potter have not inflated Kay’s ego. While he claims, “I’d only really just started in children’s books, and I’m still not sure why I was chosen [to illustrate the Harry Potter books],” (Vanduffel), Kay’s attention to detail in A Monster Calls lends itself well to the rich world of Harry Potter. In an interview for Google Arts & Culture, Kay said that he was influenced by Richard Scarry, whose detail-rich books have entertained children for decades: “The response I’ve had [to the illustrated Harry Potter books] is that people, especially children, like looking for things. So what I’ve drawn has been a response to that—I want to give people something to discover on each reading” (Google Arts & Culture). Kay’s details sometimes mean expanding Rowling’s already-detailed world. For example, in his illustration of the magical Wizarding shopping district Diagon Alley, Kay adds shopfronts that were not mentioned in Rowling’s text, such as “Tangle & Noils Wigmakers & Perruquiers,” “Blinkhorn the Bootmaker,” and “Pettichaps’ Shirts for Squirts” (Rowling SS 61, 62, 63 [2015]). The success of Kay’s illustrations is in his ability to embody the spirit of Rowling’s world and to create illustrations that match its quirky liveliness. By incorporating printmaking and multimedia into his detailed illustrations, Kay encourages readers to become physically, as well as emotionally, involved in his work. For A Monster Calls, he used a chestnut and breadboard for patterns, endpapers from a book for the house’s wallpaper, and techniques like blowing ink through a straw and rubbing a rolling pin over ink and random objects to make erratic patterns (Jones.) Kay’s fondness for unique materials carries over into his work for the Potter books: “I like switching mediums all the time, like trying new paints. I often use paints that are awkward to use, like tester pots from DIY places mixed with things they shouldn’t be mixed with, like wax. I also use damaged brushes and other things that make it unpredictable” (Google Arts & Culture). In a separate interview with German media outlet Boktips, he adds, “Much of the artwork is in watercolour, and I left the ragged

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edges on the illustrations…[I] also use ink splodges to add to the page designs” (av Redaksjonen). Other mediums Kay utilizes are charcoal, pencil sketches, and oil painting. Kay’s diverse, multimedia approach to illustrations supports Perry Nodelman’s theory that rough paper stock “seems to invite our touch [in] a way that supports an atmosphere of involvement and intimacy” (48). It would not be a stretch, then, to say that multimedia illustrations inherently invite an immersive reader experience, linking effortlessly to Rowling’s detailed world. The illustrated Harry Potter books, however, are printed on glossy paper, which Nodelman says “gives colors a glistening clarity, but is distancing, partially because the light shines equally through all the colors and creates an overall sheen that attracts attention to the surface of a picture” (47). The conflicting materials and page stock are important to note, because Nodelman explains that “picture books express our assumptions of the metaphorical relationships between appearance and meaning” and that “they mirror interior feelings and attitudes” (49). A Monster Calls was also originally created as multimedia illustrations before being reassembled with digital technology (Jones). Digital illustrations give the same smoothness as glossy pages, resulting in a similar distance, which, given its themes, benefit Monster but are less favorable for the illustrated Potter books. Kay’s textured, layered illustrations have the potential to draw readers into the story in a physical way, but the glossy page stock causes the illustrations to lose some of their intimacy, potentially leading readers to become less involved in the world of the book. The intended target audience for a book can be a factor in design decisions, and even the size and shape of a book can determine whether a book is “for” children or adults. When applying Nodelman’s theories, it is not clear where Kay’s illustrated Potter books fall in terms of intended audience. On one hand, Nodelman writes that “we associate both very small and very large books with the youngest of readers” and that these books “tend to be the simplest in content and in style, and we approach their stories with the expectations of simplicity—childlikeness” (44). The illustrated Harry Potter books are large, measuring in at 11 inches tall, 9 inches wide, and 1 inch or more thick. While there could be argument that the content, especially of the first 3 books, is simple enough, the illustrations are anything but. The interplay between text and illustrations is crucial in determining whether a book is an “illustrated edition” or a “picture book.” In the years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published, Bloomsbury and Scholastic have released collector’s editions of the series with different covers as well as canonical illustrated editions of books from within the Harry Potter universe. Illustrations in an illustrated edition reflect the text, but to be considered a picture book, the illustrations must be necessary to tell the story. The American Library Association defines a “picture book for children” as one that “essentially provides the child with a visual experience,” “has a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept, developed through the series of pictures,” has children as “an intended potential audience,” and “displays respect for children’s understandings, abilities, and appreciations” (ALSC). For the most part, the illustrated Harry Potter books have earned the moniker “illustrated editions,” because Kay’s contributions reflect Rowling’s text. Kay’s illustrations do sometimes add new details to Rowling’s story, but these details are often superficial, like the new shops in Diagon Alley. That is not to say that illustrated editions are “less” than picture books. As Kay says, “I’ve had a few letters [from parents] saying they couldn’t get their children to read a book, but the illustrated version has finally got them reading” (Google Arts & Culture). However, who and what Kay chooses to omit from his illustrations—namely, the presence of Rowling’s female characters, as this essay will elaborate on—is not wholly representative of the women’s characterization and can affect readers’ impression of them. When “reading” illustrations, it is important to understand the subconscious effect that illustrations have on how readers interpret characters. Scholars like William Moebius and Molly Bang have developed picturebook codes that can help readers recognize how illustrative choices can subconsciously attribute different characteristics to a character. Particularly important to the discussion

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of Hermione in Kay’s illustrated Potter books is Moebius’ principle of “left vs. right” and Bang’s principles of positionality on the page and how shapes affect the reader. Moebius recognizes the left page versus the right page as a difference of agency, saying that a character on the left page is “likely to be in a more secure, albeit potentially confined space than one shown on the right, who is likely to be moving into a situation of risk or adventure” (149). Bang also attributes different qualities to different spaces on the page. The top half of a picture is “a place of freedom, happiness, and power”; the bottom half “feels more threatened, heavier, sadder, or more constrained,” and the center is the “point of greatest attraction” (69, 71, 84). Additionally, Bang proposes the importance of shapes, saying, “We feel more scared looking at pointed shapes; we feel more secure or comforted looking at rounded shapes or curves” and “The movement and import of the picture is determined as much by the space between the shapes as by the shapes themselves” (89, 100). The emotional response that both Moebius and Bang recognize can affect the tone of the book and the reader’s reaction to characters or scenes, so illustrators must be aware of how, when, and where they illustrate characters. Kay’s illustrations utilize the aforementioned picturebook codes and, whether intentionally or not, project problematic messages about Hermione that support some negative feminist criticism of her character. The feminist criticism surrounding Hermione varies from that of a strong female role model to a stereotypical, antifeminist character. Some scholars, like Michelle Yeo, claim that Rowling makes “a superficial nod toward gender equality that only masks a deeply entrenched patriarchal structure” (qtd. in Cordova 22), while others, like Melanie J. Corodva, believe that it is Harry’s narrative perspective that allows him “the final word” (21) on how readers interpret women in the novels. Cordova proposes that there is “a constellation of proximity revolving around Harry’s perspective [of women], with Hermione being the closest, Lily the furthest, and Ginny, Molly, Luna, McGonagall, and Bellatrix at varying points in between” and that “strong women in the series tend to fare better the further away from Harry they are” (21). Cordova argues that Harry’s “myopic perspective [of Hermione] relegates her to stereotypes and either ignores or misunderstands her full potential” (21). Kay’s illustrations support Yeo’s claim of mock-gender equality based on the startlingly few illustrations of Hermione. For reference, Harry is illustrated 53 times in the first 4 books with 27 individual illustrations, and Ron is illustrated 20 times with 6 individual illustrations. Hermione is illustrated 16 times across the first 4 books, and in 12 of those illustrations she is with Harry, Ron, or another male character. In 4 of those 12 illustrations, her face is hidden and/or she is depicted in a passive position. But in 10 of the 16 total illustrations featuring Hermione, she is on the righthand page or the righthand side of the page. My observations of Kay’s work also support half of Cordova’s argument; Hermione does not fare well in the illustrated Harry Potter books, but I see no support for her claim that women further away from Harry, like Lily, fare “better” in Kay’s illustrations. If anything, Lily is more absent from the illustrations because of her lack of tangible presence in the text. I argue that Hermione’s absence more reflects a complicated interpretation of her character rather than a nod to Harry’s narrative perspective. While only the first 4 illustrated Harry Potter books have been published as of 2020—with the fifth installment tentatively scheduled for release in 2021—a pattern of “missing” or “diminished” women is already emerging in Kay’s work. Despite being part of Rowling’s “Golden Trio,” Hermione is featured in fewer illustrations than Harry or Ron, and there are other times when she is omitted completely. For example, both Cliff Wright’s first edition U.K. cover and Mary GrandPré’s first edition American cover of Prisoner of Azkaban prominently feature Hermione, but Kay replaces the classic image of Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak with an image of Harry and the Knight Bus. Across the first 4 illustrated books, Hermione appears in only 16 of the 471 illustrations, approximately 3.4% of the time. Comparatively, Ron is illustrated 20 times (4.25%), and Harry is illustrated 53 times (11.25%). Understanding the positive role that Hermione plays in the Harry Potter novels helps readers understand the significance of an absent or passive Hermione in Kay’s illustrations. Cordova uses the

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phrase “strong women” as a blanket description of a range of Potter characters, from Hermione to Lily Potter to Minerva McGonagall to Bellatrix Lestrange, and defining a “strong woman” helps contextualize Kay’s illustrations. A 1999 study by Patricia Heine and Christine Inkster examines strong female characters in contemporary literature. While their study specifically looks at Karen Cushman’s The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (1996), the pair lay out 6 key factors to determine whether or not a character is “strong”: personal traits, issues that are important to the character, the character’s problem-solving, relationships with others, departure from traditional stereotypes, and whether the character provides a voice for those who are often unheard (429). Using Heine and Inskter’s study, readers can see how Hermione fits several of the criteria of a strong female character. Personal traits that the researchers used to classify strong female characters included perseverance, courage, intelligence, spirit, resourcefulness, and independence. Even in the first 3 books, Hermione’s intelligence, leadership, and problem-solving skills are key personality traits; she is shown to be brave in the face of danger, loyal to her friends, organized, capable, and active in the Trio’s world-saving endeavors. She is even referred to as the “cleverest witch of [her] age” (Rowling Prisoner of Azkaban 260 [1999]). Heine and Inkster also suggest that “social, political, ethical, or moral issues” (429) are important to strong female characters, and these topics do begin to interest Hermione by the third and fourth books. She is instrumental in saving Buckbeak from execution, and, by Goblet of Fire, she continues to grow, showing a fervor for House Elf rights. One complicating facet of Hermione’s character is that she does not immediately display a range of “emotions, abilities, and concerns” as Heine and Inkster say a strong character should, but they also emphasize that growth and change are necessary (429). In Rowling’s books, Hermione’s incessant lectures and eagerness to please professors prompt Ron to call her a “nightmare” (Rowling SS 172 [1997]), but she grows into a “capable, knowledgeable, and fairly self-assured” teenager (Cordova 21) and Harry and Ron’s closest friend. Her ability to grow is evidence of her strength. Looking at Kay’s illustrations, however, it is not clear that Hermione is a strong female character, because many of her most active moments never make it into the illustrations, such as freeing Harry and Ron from the Devil’s Snare and solving Snape’s potions puzzle in Sorcerer’s Stone, brewing the Polyjuice Potion in Chamber of Secrets, or campaigning for the Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W) in Goblet of Fire. Meanwhile, Harry’s achievements and feats of bravery are highlighted. In Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry’s “very brave and very stupid” (Rowling 143 [2015]) act of jumping onto a mountain troll’s back is given a full-page illustration in which Harry is the focal point of the image, located in the upper center of the page (144). His other pivotal moments, like fighting the Basilisk in Chamber of Secrets, casting a Patronus in Prisoner of Azkaban, and dueling Voldemort in Goblet of Fire all receive ample attention in the illustrations. Of course, as the title character, it is expected that Harry would be the most frequently illustrated, but even Harry admits that he “had a lot of help” (Order of the Phoenix 343), and Kay’s illustrations do not accurately reflect the team effort between the Golden Trio. Hermione’s presence and accomplishments, in particular, are erased or minimized in the illustrated books in comparison to Harry’s. One key moment where Kay’s illustrative choice is particularly harmful to Hermione is in Prisoner of Azkaban (2017) when she and Harry encounter the dementors at the lake. Kay draws Hermione unconscious and half-obscured at the bottom of the page while Harry bravely casts the Patronus that saves both their lives (Rowling PoA 288 [2017]). According to Bang, “The bottom half of a picture feels more threatened, heavier, sadder, or more constrained” (71). Bang’s principle accurately describes an unconscious thirteen-year-old, but my main critique of Kay is why he chose that instance. Rowling’s text confirms that Hermione does pass out because of the dementors, but she is alert for a majority of the scene. Instead, Kay’s illustration paints her as in an Ophelia-esque manner—on her back, eyes closed, arm across her chest—that connotates a fragility and frailty not typically associated with Hermione, as earlier discussion shows. Possibly more concerning is that Kay’s depiction of Hermione in this scene mirrors GrandPré’s from the first American edition (Rowling PoA 378 [1999]) and does not

34 // Cline reflect any of the social growth of the last 20 years. The lake scene in Kay’s illustration is also one of the few times that Hermione is pictured on the left page. Depicting Hermione unconscious at the bottom of a left-hand page, Kay represents her as little more than an object that Harry must protect. The illustration makes no account for the careful planning and control that Hermione shows throughout Azkaban by balancing an overload of classes using time travel. In the chapter “Hermione’s Secret,” Kay only illustrates Hermione once: when she is terrified, gripping onto Harry on Buckbeak’s back (310 [2017]). In a chapter where Hermione’s intellect and problem-solving is supposed to be revealed, Kay diminishes her to a scared, helpless child who needs to be rescued, contributing to his pattern of illustrating and drawing attention to Hermione’s most passive moments. Hermione gains a fraction more agency when viewed through Bang and Moebius’ theories on positioning, because she is more often associated with the right side of a page, but the moments when she is pictured on the left page are, arguably, more confining than her righthand images are freeing. Of the 16 illustrations of Hermione across the first 4 books, she is on the righthand page 6 times. In the remaining 10 images, she is on the right side of the left page 5 times, seemingly moving toward risk and adventure. In the first book, every illustration of Hermione features her on the left page; she is always on the right half of that page, but the left, according to Moebius, is connected to safety and constraint. She may be attempting to break free, but she has not yet achieved this. For comparison, Harry is exclusively illustrated on the left when he is with the Dursleys, but, after Hagrid takes him away, he is shown on the left and right page almost equally—6 times on the left page and 7 on the right. Ron, like Hermione, is only featured on the left page in Sorcerer’s Stone, and this frequent placement of child characters on the left page might suggest that Kay is aiming to protect and shelter them. Other picturebook codes, too, suggest that Hermione is “stuck” as a one-dimensional character in Kay’s illustrations. The very first illustration of Hermione in Sorcerer’s Stone features her pointing her wand at a glowing lantern while standing in front of a heavy wooden door (Rowling SS 150 [2015]). Though her body and face are angled to the right, the door reinforces the feelings of containment suggested by the left-hand page. The door is made up of more than a dozen rectangular panels, which, according to Moebius, suggest danger: “A character framed in a series of circular enclosures is more likely to be secure and content than one framed in a series of utterly rectangular objects” (150). The door itself, a liminal space, is closed. Moebius calls liminal spaces “downright basic to the symbolic force of the story” (146), so, it is significant that this space is closed to Hermione as if preventing her from fully transitioning to the right side. By Chamber of Secrets, it could be argued that Hermione’s status improves because all of her images are now on the righthand page, but the complicating factor is that she is depicted half as often as she was in the first book, decreasing from to 4 to 2 illustrations. Ron, the other “leg” of the Golden Trio triangle, has 5 illustrations in both the first and second volumes. The second installment, though, has more pages of text and considerably fewer illustrations than the first. For the purpose of this paper, I only counted illustrations that took up a significant portion of the page; double-page spreads count as 2 illustrations, and I did not count decorative borders or backgrounds. When including illustrations on the end papers and title page, Sorcerer’s Stone boasts 118 illustrations out of 247 pages (47.8% of the book). Using the same criteria, Chamber of Secrets only has 101 illustrations out of 257 pages (39.3% of the book). The number of illustrations decreases as the books get longer. Prisoner of Azkaban has 111 illustrations out of 326 pages (34% of the book), and Goblet of Fire has 141 illustrations out of 451 pages (31.3% of the book). It should also be noted that, as the books progress, Kay incorporates fewer full-page illustrations and utilizes more small vignettes or border illustrations. This stylistic decision is probably because of time restrictions. Kay said, “For book 1, we thought it would take 6 months to do each one. It took 2 and a half years to do book 1 – working 7 days a week, at least 12 hours a day. Then we went straight into book 2 and had 8 months, because the first one took so long” (Google Arts & Culture). Hermione goes from appearing in approximately 3.4% of the illustrations in the first installment to 1.9%

Cline // 35 of the illustrations in the second, and her absence in the illustrations reflects her absence in the second book, as she spends much of the story Petrified or mistakenly transfigured into a cat. Scholars have noted that Hermione’s absence in this book is “fairly substantial” (Dresang qtd. in Cordova 30), with some claiming she is absent a third of the novel (Yeo qtd. in Cordova 30). Of Hermione’s two depictions in Chamber of Secrets, one is a full-page, sepia-tone pencil sketch, and the other is a small vignette. The pencil sketch is the more flattering of the two: it is on the right page, and she is facing the right (Rowling CoS 113 [2016]). Positionally, Hermione’s sketch represents positive qualities, but the lack of color and detail do not draw the reader’s eye—and Kay is more than capable of utilizing color. He interprets the scene of Harry “falling” through the diary into Tom Riddle’s memory as a stunning two-page spread alive with reds, greens, yellows, and blues cascading around Harry as he tumbles out of a portal (Rowling CoS 182-183 [2016]). Even Ron, with his shock of orange hair, is more eye-catching on the page than the so-called “brightest” witch of her age. Kay uses a similar sepia sketch technique for a portrait of Harry in Sorcerer’s Stone. The image appears while Harry is in the hospital wing recovering from his encounter with Voldemort and Professor Quirrell. The scene in the text is melancholy as Harry pieces together Ron and Hermione’s fates, Quirrell’s demise, and Nicholas Flamel’s impending death, and Harry’s doleful expression paired with Kay’s muted palette and feathery pencil strokes reflect that tone (SS 238 [2015]). Because Kay has already used this technique once, readers are prompted to read Hermione’s portrait in Chamber of Secrets in a similar way, as emphasized by both Bang and Moebius’ discussions of color linkage. Bang asserts that “we associate the same/similar colors much more strongly” than similar shapes (97), and Moebius encourages readers to “not overlook what colour can say inside the text” (151). While the portraits of Harry and Hermione are in different books, the pencil sketch style is distinctively different from Kay’s other work, prompting astute readers to associate the fear and confusion of the first portrait with the second one. Because of color linkage, Hermione is ascribed characteristics that do not accurately represent her character. As in Prisoner of Azkaban, we also see Kay’s pattern of illustrating Hermione in her most passive and vulnerable moments in Chamber of Secrets. The second image of Hermione in this book is a small vignette of her as a cat after mistakenly adding cat’s hair to her Polyjuice Potion, a visually rich moment that makes it an optimal choice for an illustrator to depict. Rowling also portrays Hermione’s mistake as almost comic in the text by having Moaning Myrtle the ghost tease her, and Kay may have chosen this scene as a moment of comic relief as well. However, Kay seems to choose to illustrate Hermione’s moments of weakness or failure over her moments of triumph or action. In a critique of Elizabeth E. Heilman’s disappointment with Hermione, Krunoslav Mikulan argues that Heilman “sometimes extracts individual events in order to support her theses without taking into account the development of the characters” (289), and these same concerns could be applied to Kay’s illustrations. Even though she spends much of the book Petrified in the hospital wing, Hermione brews the “difficult” and “very dangerous” Polyjuice Potion (Rowling CoS 159 [1998]) by herself and still manages to get crucial information to Harry and Ron while in a Petrified state. Her mistakes, rather than her successes, are the focal point of Kay’s illustrations, though, and to illustrate her moments of failure without including her important contributions devalues Hermione’s character. There are mixed reactions to minimizing Hermione’s presence in the story. Meredith Cherland uses humanist and post-structural lenses to examine Rowling’s treatment of gender, ultimately concluding that she relies on gender binaries in her novels. Cherland is particularly critical of Hermione, saying that she “takes up so many different subject positions” in the novels and is “one of the least credible characters” in the series (278). Cherland’s reading of Hermione aligns with Kay’s illustrations, despite Cherland’s article predating the first illustrated Potter by almost 7 years. Cherland identifies several feminine stereotypes that Hermione exhibits including “the giggler…the helpful and capable…the emotionally expressive…[and] the clever,” all of which “draw on discourses and story lines that work to

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constitute girlhood in Western culture” (278). Mikulan, however, reads Hermione’s character as Rowling’s example of subverting stereotypes, a process explained by Roberta Seelinger Trites. Mikulan claims that “Hermione’s character grows beyond the stereotype of the weak woman/geek and gradually attains abilities usually attributed to male heroes” and that this growth establishes her as a strong character (290). While Kay does not exhibit every aforementioned stereotype in his illustrations of Hermione, there is a consistent theme of passivity in his depictions of her. Her codependence is emphasized by her lack of individual illustrations. In 12 of her16 illustrations, Hermione is pictured with other people, usually Harry and Ron. One time in Goblet of Fire (2019) she is pictured beside Cedric Diggory (Rowling 50); this image differs greatly from other illustrations of Hermione because this is the only time that she is seen on the left side of a group image. The inset shows the two walking close together with their bodies curved toward each other. Bang notes that “we feel more secure and comforted when looking at rounded shapes” (89) and being on the leftmost side of the left page emphasizes the feeling of safety. Significantly, this illustration is the furthermost left that Hermione has ever been shown, implying that her safety and comfort comes from her newfound male attention. Kay’s illustrations (or lack thereof) remove Hermione’s strong female characteristics and leave readers with the ones Heine and Inkster urged us to avoid, such as being “dependent” and “emotional” with an “innate need for marriage and motherhood” (429). She is forced more neatly into a gendered box where she is portrayed as passive, weak, scared, and objectified. Hermione is not the only female character who is underrepresented in the illustrated Harry Potter books. Ginny Weasley, whose life is threatened when she is possessed by Voldemort and taken to the Chamber of Secrets, is never illustrated in the second book, despite being a key part of the plot. Ginny is present from Chapter 2 onward but does not speak until the end of Chapter 4: “‘Leave him alone, he didn’t want all that!’ said Ginny. It was the first time she had spoken in front of Harry. She was glaring at Malfoy. ‘Potter, you’ve got yourself a girlfriend!’ drawled Malfoy. Ginny went scarlet as Ron and Hermione fought their way over, both clutching stacks of Lockhart’s books.” (Rowling CoS 61 [1998]) This confrontation is a landmark moment for Ginny that foreshadows her spitfire attitude and potential for growth, but Kay never illustrates it, nor any moment with Ginny. One possible reason for the lack of Ginny’s presence could be Kay not wanting to reveal her connection to Voldemort and Tom Riddle’s diary too early in the story. Just looking at the illustrations, though, readers would not know that Ginny plays any role in the book, showing, again, that the illustrated Harry Potter books are more like an illustrated edition than a picture book. Ron’s introduction to his sister describes her as “shy” (40), and Rowling notes that she “seem[s] very prone to knocking things over whenever Harry enter[s] a room” (43), but, after the second book, Ginny progressively plays a more important role in each new installment. She starts the series as a nervous child and grows into “an achiever [for her] athleticism, her popularity, her intelligence, and her beauty” (Cherland 277). By ignoring her presence in the first books, Kay does not allow room for Ginny’s character arc over the course of the series and paints her as a static, rather than dynamic, character. A second troubling point about Ginny’s depiction is that she only begins to be featured in Kay’s illustrations when she becomes attractive to male characters. In Goblet of Fire, the characters begin to show interest in romantic relationships as they attempt to find dates for the Yule Ball. As her protagonists age, Rowling slowly introduces sexual and romantic interests, such as Veela, sensuous magical creatures with “moon-bright” skin and “white-gold” hair who make men’s minds “completely and blissfully blank” (Rowling GoF 103 [2000]). Kay is less tactful in his illustrations of the same subject matter, in some cases ignoring characters until they become objects of sexual desire. Prior to Goblet of Fire, the only illustration of Ginny is as part of the family photo featured in the Daily Prophet newspaper in the

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third book (PoA 6 [2017]). In Goblet, she is shown twice, maybe 3 times: once as a silhouette in a group illustration (47 [2019]), once in her own portrait (254), and another depiction of someone who might be her in a group illustration from the Quidditch World Cup, but it is impossible to know for sure, because her face is hidden (70). Her portrait, which is the first and only time we see a detailed close up of her face, functions similarly to the inset of Hermione and Cedric because of the text that it is juxtaposed with. Ginny’s portrait encompasses the entire left page, but on the righthand page, she, Harry, and Ron have a conversation about dates for the ball, and she admits, “I can’t [go with Harry]…I’m going with—with Neville” (255). In their desperation to maintain—or at least not worsen—their social status, Harry and Ron treat their female friends as pawns that can be easily moved around and paired off with either of them, and Kay’s placement of Ginny’s large, colorful, eye-catching portrait directly beside this conversation supports this reading. It is the first (and, so far, only) time we see Ginny’s face, and readers are most likely to remember the image in connection with the dating conversation. It is significant in some ways that Ginny’s image is connected to romance and sexuality because she transforms into a strong feminist role model in later books. Cherland observes that Ginny takes up multiple “subject positions” in the novels, one more stereotypically negative, and the other more positive. On one hand, Cherland argues that Rowling portrays Ginny as “a dangerous temptation” for Harry (277), but, on the other hand she “stands her ground, points to the unfairness of a sexual double standard, and declares herself free to act as she pleases” (278) when confronted by her slut-shaming brother in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Overall, Cherland is more satisfied with Ginny’s portrayal than Hermione’s and cites the emphasis on “girl power” in third-wave feminism. While Ginny “may be positioned as immoral or impure, [she] can speak [herself] into another existence” (278), which, in the text, allows Rowling to criticize and subvert some traditional social constructions about female sexuality. One interpretation of Ginny’s portrait in Goblet of Fire, then, is that Kay is hinting at her future sexual freedom by drawing her facing the right. If foreshadowing is Kay’s goal, however, it would have benefitted him to show a range of Ginny’s character arc over the course of the 7 books in the same way that Rowling does in the text. Ginny’s portrait gives readers hope that there will be more illustrations depicting her independence in later books, but Kay has a trend of emphasizing female characters’ heterosexual relationships. It will be interesting to see whether Ginny will plateau as a covetable object or if she will retain any of her textual spunk, sportiness, and tenacity. Rowling’s Harry Potter series does not just feature female children; there are also older women, like Professor Minerva McGonagall, who play important roles in the story, making it necessary for Kay to illustrate them, too. McGonagall is illustrated just 3 times over the first 4 illustrated books—twice in Sorcerer’s Stone (one of those times in her cat form, and, therefore not especially relevant to this discussion) and once in Prisoner of Azkaban. Compared to other professors, she is illustrated about as often as other female professors and less often than some male professors. Professors Pomona Sprout, Cuthbert Binns, and Remus Lupin—a woman and 2 men—are each illustrated once over the first four books. Professors Sybil Trelawney, Quirinus Quirrell, and Gilderoy Lockhart—a woman and 2 men—are each illustrated twice, equal to McGonagall’s human depictions. No female professor is shown more times than McGonagall, but Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and Professors Alastor Moody, Severus Snape, and Rubeus Hagrid are each illustrated more frequently—4, 3, 4, and 13 times, respectively. (It should be noted that Hagrid does not officially become a professor until Prisoner of Azkaban, at which point he is illustrated only twice between books three and four, but, prior to that, he is a staff member at the school and one of Harry’s key adult figures.) While McGonagall is pictured the fewest number of times of any female character discussed thus far, her depiction is more positive than either Hermione’s or Ginny’s in that she is not objected to the stereotypes of older women. While McGonagall’s age is never specified in the series, we know she is a “rather severe-looking woman” with “her black hair drawn into a tight bun” (Rowling SS 9 [1997]), and Kay’s portrait of McGonagall portrays her as an older woman with fine lines

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and wrinkles (201 [2015]). Like Hermione, though, feminist scholars are in disagreement about McGonagall’s character. Mikulan notes that some scholars view her as “clever, but not wise,” (Heilman qtd. in Mikulan 293); others describe her as “unfair and dismissive” (Mendelsohn qtd. in Mikulan 293), and still others say that she is “a strong and ethical person that embodies wisdom” (Dresang qtd. in Mikulan 293). Kay’s illustrations do not glorify the professor, but they present McGonagall as poised and respectable, indicating a more positive interpretation of her character than some scholars have posited. The discrepancy in McGonagall’s character may be due, in part, to a lack of older women in children’s literature. A study by Lisa Hollis-Sawyer and Lorilene Cuevas looked at the representation of older women and ageist stereotypes in picture books; past studies have found that “schoolchildren may develop ageist attitudes and perceptions of aging and older adults that are generally negatively biased and stereotypical through exposure to different informational resources,” including picture books (HollisSawyer and Cuevas 903). Hollis-Sawyer and Cuevas’ study found that only one-third of picture books feature an older woman and that, when older women are depicted, they are four times more likely to be caricaturized or stereotyped than older male characters, even though they are depicted less often than men (906). Despite being portrayed as an older woman, McGonagall does not fall prey to stereotypes of having a “stooped frame” or of being “frail,” “too old,” or “weak” (906). There could be an argument that she is “less mobile” (906), because at no point is McGonagall shown engaged in an active position—even as a cat, she is sitting (Rowling SS 2 [2015]). In Kay’s portrait, McGonagall’s high collar and long, puffed sleeves of her emerald green robes read as regal and refined. She is sitting upright at her desk with a pensive expression as she gazes off to the right. While she appears stern and intense, she is not cruel, and, within the text, she provides her students with fair appraisal and guidance, making her a positive example of an older woman in a field where women past a certain age are not represented as kindly as younger women. McGonagall’s non-stereotypical presence in Kay’s illustrations could have a positive effect on children’s ideas of older women. According to Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, “children learn through the process of modeling and the development of schemas,” and some such influential models are found in the media (qtd. in Hollis-Sawyer and Cuevas 903). Hollis-Sawyer and Cuevas expand this influence to literature and, specifically, picture books. They claim that the stereotypical portrayal of older women in picture books “may lead to a more unrealistic understanding of older women and potentially negative attitudes about the aging process” (904), so it is beneficial for children to be exposed to an older woman who exhibits qualities of authority and control. McGonagall’s portrait, like Ginny’s, is on the left page, suggesting safety and stability, but, unlike Ginny, these are positive characteristics for McGonagall. Whether McGonagall’s illustrations reflect Kay staying true to Rowling’s characterization or a personal choice of his own, there does not seem to be the negative stereotyping, diminishing, or erasure that we see with Hermione and Ginny. In conclusion, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are a cultural phenomenon, attracting attention from scholars across the fields of literary, social, and popular culture studies, and, now, the books are opened to illustration studies. Jim Kay’s style lends itself well to the Harry Potter world; his multimedia approach to the artwork encourages an immersive reader experience reflective of Rowling’s Wizarding World. His illustrations also reflect the complexity of the critical conversations around feminism in Harry Potter, literally making visible different feminist critiques. In some ways, the infrequency with which Hermione is shown reflects critics like Elizabeth E. Heilman and Meredith Cherland who criticize Hermione’s stereotypical behavior, but the positionality of Hermione on the righthand page or right side of the page supports more positive readings by scholars like Eliza Dresang and Krunoslav Mikulan. As the illustrated editions continue to be published, other female characters can enter the conversation of female representation in Kay’s illustrations, characters like Cho Chang, Harry’s first love interest; Luna Lovegood,

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his quirky friend; and Nymphadora Tonks, the feisty Auror. More data will also become available on previously mentioned female characters like Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley. As female characters take on bigger roles in the books, like Hermione’s destruction of Hufflepuff ’s locket Horcrux in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Ginny’s recurring role as Quidditch player and Harry’s girlfriend in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, their participation will ideally be reflected in Kay’s illustrations and, hopefully, show their character growth. The continued attention to Harry Potter is a testament to the depth and richness of Rowling’s universe—with all its flaws, strengths, and complexities—and this attraction will keep readers young and old returning to the page—and, now, the picture—for years to come. Katie Cline

WORKS CITED Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). “Caldecott Medal—Terms and conditions.” American Library Association, caldecottterms/caldecottterms Av Redaksjonen, Skrevet. “The Magic’s in the Detail – An interview with Jim Kay, the artist behind the first ever illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Boktips, 12 October 2015. the-artist-behind-the-first-ever-illustrated-edition-of-harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stone/ Bang, Molly. Picture This: How Pictures Work, 25th Anniversary Edition. Chronicle, 2016. Cherland, Meredith. “Harry’s Girls: Harry Potter and the Discourse of Gender.” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, vol. 52, no. 4, Dec. 2008 - Jan. 2009, pp. 273-28, JSTOR. Cordova, Melanie J. “‘Because I’m a Girl, I Suppose!’: Gender Lines and Narrative Perspective in Harry Potter.” Mythlore, vol. 33, no. 2, 2015, pp. 21-35. Google Arts & Culture. “Jim Kay on Drawing the Boy Who Lived.” The British Library, 2019, https:/ Heine, Pat, and Christine Inkster. “Strong Female Characters in Recent Children’s Literature.” Language Arts, vol. 76, no. 5, 1999, pp. 427-434. ProQuest. Hollis-Sawyer, Lisa and Lorilene Cuevas. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Ageist and Sexist Double Jeopardy Portrayals in Children’s Picture Books.” Educational Gerontology, vol. 39, iss. 12, Dec. 2013, pp. 902-914. Jones, Nicolette. “A Monster Calls: Patrick Ness and Jim Kay talk about their Carnegie and Greenaway wins.” The Telegraph, 14 June 2012, Monster-Calls-Patrick-Ness-and-Jim-Kay-talk-about-their-Carnegie-and-Greenaway-wins.html Mikulan, Krunoslav. “Harry Potter through the Focus of Feminist Literary Theory: Examples of (Un)Founded Criticism.” The Journal of International Social Research, vol. 2, no. 9, Fall 2009, pp.

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288-98. Moebius, William. “Introduction to Picturebook Codes,” Word & Image, vol. 2, no. 2, April-June 1986, pp. 141-158. Nodelman, Perry. “Format, Design, Predominating Visual Features: The Meaningful Implications of Overall Qualities of Books and Pictures.” Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Picture Books, University of Georgia Press, 1988, pp. 40-76. Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Illustrated by Jim Kay, Scholastic, 2016. --- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Scholastic, 1998. --- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Illustrated by Jim Kay, Scholastic, 2019. --- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Scholastic, 2000. --- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Scholastic, 2000. --- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Illustrated by Jim Kay, Scholastic, 2017. --- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Scholastic, 1999. --- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Illustrated by Jim Kay, Scholastic, 2015. --- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1997. Vanduffel, Dirk. “Illustrator Jim Kay on Bringing the World of Harry Potter to Life.” ArtDependence Magazine, 23 July 2018. the-world-of-harry-potter-to-life/

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The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 41 - 50


INTRODUCTION A great deal of the content within Western pop culture is reliant on a delicate system of patterns and an eye for detail. This is especially true for colors, which often appear in subtle ways that lead their audiences in the right direction, help bridge connections, and imbue meaning within a story, character, or scene. It can present itself infrequently–through a mention of purple magical objects in passing, for example–or it can play an obvious and influential role in the plot, such as the association between green and a primary antagonist. Fortunately, there is a label for analyzing this emphasis on color: archetypal criticism of color, a subset of the general color theory umbrella. Archetypal criticism of color studies how colors are used symbolically, and its foundation lies within a system of patterns. This may include an analysis of colors as they relate to emotions we may feel or assumptions we might make going into a piece, as well as whether these are confirmed or denied by the canon of that piece. This form of analysis relies on the belief that certain colors are meant to help guide us as content consumers towards certain emotions, feelings, or responses. It might help explain why we would speculate that a character wearing red is going to be a more aggressive individual, or it could perhaps highlight that we have come to expect something upsetting to occur given that negative moments often appear in accordance with colors like green or blue. We are often correct in these suspicions, but we are sometimes left to wonder why we were able to make these guesses with such accuracy. The history of archetypal criticism in literature is most notably linked back to the work of famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung. He argued that well-known myths are chock-full of frequently used images or themes that seem to be pulled from some collective library of our shared consciousness, and literature is one example of how these manifestations materialize in our society (Delahoyde, 2011). Popular literature furthers the spread of these images within Western culture. This concept that literature is molded by its use of specific patterns and symbols that are popular in the culture it comes from (which in turn helps give that piece meaning) lies at the very heart of how we view archetypal criticism today. In Western society, certain colors have come to mean specific things to us: white is pure and matrimonial, green feels lively and natural, and yellow represents joy, to name a few (Rohrer, 2020). If I were to ask you to imagine scenes or characters that fit these molds, you would likely have too many to count. These color associations appear in an extensive range of media, but this does not mean that all creators are part of some conspiracy to manipulate us as content consumers into believing that blue denotes sadness or red is a sign of danger. Instead, it is plausible that these creators picked up on these cultural color undertones, subconsciously or

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otherwise, and simply applied them to their work. This is especially true for the renowned Harry Potter franchise. The world within these magical books and films comes with an intense, vibrant display of color that audiences would find difficult to overlook entirely. Despite this, these colors rarely take center stage and overwhelm readers; instead, they carefully work to supplement our emotional reactions or expectations. Everything from Severus Snape’s obsession with Harry’s green eyes to Newt Scamander’s peculiar brown suitcase serves as a reflection of the color associations author J.K. Rowling may have been aware of when creating the Wizarding World. Many of these colorful connections feel purposeful, yet Rowling has only made explicit comments about a limited handful. While some archetypes perfectly match assumptions made by Western readers and amplify their emotional reactions, others subvert their expectations entirely. The choice to leave these associations almost entirely up to fans provides the chance for us as content consumers to speculate about intentionality and purpose within Harry Potter and on a larger scale. WARM COLORS: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, AND PINK Red is one of the most central colors to the Harry Potter franchise. It is associated with Harry from the very beginning and, by extension, the basic idea of beginnings: Harry’s red lightning scar represents the origin of most conflict within the story, specifically Voldemort’s connection to him as well as many of Harry’s bizarre social interactions with the wizarding community. When Ron Weasley (his redhead best friend) discovers the scar on the Hogwarts Express–a “scarlet steam engine” (Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone 93)–the scene is filled with firsts: Harry’s first friend, his first trip to Hogwarts, and perhaps most significantly, the first time his association with his lightning scar comes into play on a social level. This connection between beginnings and red continues when Harry becomes a part of Gryffindor House and their Quidditch team in his first year, both of which can be described as social groups associated with scarlet through related clothing, tapestries, and emblems. These two particular groups also connect directly to another common meaning behind red: danger and risk. Western society often associates red with a need for caution in case of danger or violence, an idea that covers everything from stop signs to carnage to fire. Pop culture has reflected this understanding of red for decades, most notably through characters like Darth Vader and numerous Disney villains, so Harry Potter is neither the first (and likely will not be the last) franchise to pull from this expectation. Gryffindor, known as the brave house of risk-takers, is likewise filled with individuals who engage in dangerous activities, especially the golden trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. This symbolism is not lost on any red objects or moments within Harry Potter, either. Distinct red items within the series include: Mrs. Weasley’s Howler; the red pieces played in Ron’s “totally barbaric” Wizard’s Chess game (The Sorcerer’s Stone); spells such as Periculum (the charm Harry uses to save Fleur in the Third Task, which translates to “danger” in Latin) and Crucio, a curse that takes on a red light in The Goblet of Fire; the red stripes covering the official Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans packaging; the Durmstrang robes; Romilda Vane’s love potion; and, perhaps most terrifying of all, Voldemort’s “glaring red eyes” (Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone 293). We associate all of these with a degree of danger to one’s emotional or physical wellbeing. Though this is not exclusive to Harry’s experiences (as we see in The Chamber of Secrets when Ginny writes “Enemies of the Heir, Beware” on the wall in blood), it is interesting to note how often it is tied to him in one way or another. Harry wears red when he is in physical or intellectual peril, such as when he fights Quirrell, when Tom Riddle takes him into the past through his diary, and during the dementor attack on the Hogwarts Express. He is also notably reliant on the spell Expelliarmus, which takes on a scarlet hue when he enters combat with Voldemort in the Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows – Part 2 films. Rowling’s use of red throughout the series is intrinsically intertwined with mentions of danger, risk, and beginnings, allowing for readers to understand the importance and interconnectedness of these scenes. Though orange appears less frequently throughout the series, its role in establishing moments of mischief as well as a warm sense of home and family makes its usage no less significant than the

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other colors. Some of the more questionable and borderline dangerous situations, often those involving questionable uses of magic, are associated with orange; it serves the same purpose as a traffic cone, catching our attention to warn us of the potential for danger. The color appears during more whimsical moments like Halloween (a holiday associated with mischief) and more dangerous scenes, like when Sirius uses the fireplace to speak with Harry during The Goblet of Fire (an especially dangerous choice on his part since he is a wanted criminal). The use of uncontrollable Fiendfyre in The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 proves to be dangerous to everyone in the Room of Requirement when it is cast. Though all of these are notable examples, the most iconic of all is Weasley Wizard Wheezes, the joke shop owned by the Weasley twins Fred and George. The twins are infamous for their trick objects and foods, so it is fitting that the design of their original Skiving Snackboxes is bright orange. The Weasleys are heavily associated with orange themselves, due to the various orange tones used for their home and clothes in the films, Ron’s love for the Chudley Cannons (everything in his bedroom is “a violent shade of orange,” as described in The Chamber of Secrets on page 40), and most obviously, their ginger hair. These connections play into how Western society often views orange: not only is it a high-energy color, but it is also quite homey. The color makes us feel warm and comfortable, as we would feel sitting in front of a fire with our loved ones. It makes perfect sense for the Weasleys to be associated so strongly with orange because they are among the first people Harry trusts and feels at home around. The Burrow gives off a well-loved and cozy feeling that is buzzing with life, a sharp difference from the intensely presentable Dursley household. When he enters the tent the Weasleys have borrowed for the Quidditch World Cup, it gives off the same warmth, so much so that Harry visibly seems to be at home and in love with the many things magic can do. The connection between family, home, and orange continues to include the life Harry lived before the Dursleys: the flashback scene in The Sorcerer’s Stone film when Hagrid discusses how Harry’s parents died is lit up in an orange glow, and we see Lily (also a redhead) clutching Harry to her chest protectively. Connecting these precious moments with orange emphasizes that they all play a vital part in Harry’s journey towards belonging in the wizarding community. The use of orange follows a pattern that emphasizes both mischievous magic and a sense of belonging in Harry’s life. No color gives off more connections to positivity, happiness, friendship, and innocence than yellow, and the use of it within the Harry Potter franchise makes no exception. Hufflepuff House, which uses yellow and black in its insignia, is known for its association with positive, kind, and respectful people, including animal lover Newt Scamander, the honorable Cedric Diggory, and founder Helga Hufflepuff herself. While one of the primary traits of Hufflepuff is friendliness, this trait is not limited to just this house, as it appears in a wide array of scenes beyond those with Hufflepuffs. In the first moment of friendship we see between Ron and Harry from The Sorcerer’s Stone, the former tries to show off his first “spell” using the following line: “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow” (Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone 105). Though the so-called spell fails and we know looking back on it that it is nothing but silly and made-up, this scene highlights the hallmark details of childhood, specifically how innocent, playful, and gullible these children are. This sense of happiness and innocence in relation to yellow also appears on many other occasions and connects us to some of the happiest moments. When Luna Lovegood and her father Xenophilius attend Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s wedding in The Deathly Hallows – Part 1, they wear bright yellow clothes as they dance together in a rather unusual style, helping mark the wedding as an event that is supposed to be largely carefree. The scene from The Prisoner of Azkaban in which Remus Lupin begins teaching Harry how to keep the dementors at bay using a Patronus charm (chasing away sadness with happiness) features a bright yellow backdrop supported by the candles, pillars, and a large window in the back of his office. In this specific moment, Lupin asks Harry to recall a powerful and happy memory; this scene serves as a reminder of the power of positivity, as Lupin describes the Patronus as “a kind of positive force.” However, we also see yellow when there is a distinct lack of childhood innocence. When we see Harry sitting on the swing in The Order of the Phoenix, the background is filled with dry, golden plants. This moment reminds us of his youth and the

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absence of it, both in the sense that he never had a chance at a normal childhood and that seeing Cedric’s death firsthand and subsequently blaming himself for this loss has forced him to grow up too quickly. He can go through the motions (sitting in a playground, surrounding himself with yellow), but nothing will revive Cedric or the childhood he has outgrown. The same applies to Dobby’s burial scene, in which Harry sits in the sand surrounded by tall, yellow brush and the audience is reminded of how much he has lost in his seventeen years of life. Outside of the initial series, The Cursed Child production’s marketing material also features a vibrant shade of yellow, which suits the story’s focus on how someone’s youth can shape their experiences and choices as they grow older. Yellow appears in Harry Potter whenever the topics of childhood and happiness become relevant, emphasizing both the existence of such fantastic experiences as well as the unfortunate lack thereof when applicable. In comparison to the other warm colors, which stick almost exclusively to what we expect of them based on common archetypes, pink takes on both expected and unexpected undertones in Harry Potter. Pink is typically associated with creativity, affection, and sweetness, making its many negative connotations and ties to evil throughout the series shocking and noteworthy. It is consistently demonized to such an extent that almost all mentions of it are negative in some way. Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Dolores Umbridge, whose villainous, revolting nature is practically married to numerous shades of pink in a manner that makes its inherent sweetness sickening. Everything about her is pink–from her “fluffy pink cardigan” (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix 203) to her office–and so by the time we have come to fully understand her character, we associate feelings of pain, anger, and discomfort with the color itself. Harry himself also begins to make these connections; during his unpleasant date with Cho Chang in Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, the frilly decorations and “pink confetti” remind him “unpleasantly of Umbridge’s office,” which puts a notable damper on the date itself (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix 559). Beyond this, a few other unfortunate moments and people are also associated with pink. For example, Lockhart’s bizarre and extravagant Valentine’s Day celebration in the Great Hall is a great source of discomfort for Harry, Ron, and a handful of professors. The love potions sold in Weasley Wizard Wheezes also make this list, as they are among some of the most dangerous magical concoctions. The Dursleys themselves, especially Petunia (named after a pinkish flower), are also linked to pink due to its frequent use when describing their skin color and clothes in a negative manner. As Rowling states on Pottermore (now Wizarding World), salmon pink is “distinctly un-magical” when associated with this household (Rowling, 2015). Outside of being demonized, pink is also attached to femininity, a common association to make in the Western world. In the Yule Ball scene from The Goblet of Fire, Parvati Patil and Pansy Parkinson are described as wearing “shocking” and “pale pink” robes respectively (Rowling, Goblet of Fire 412-413). The same applies to Hermione’s Yule Ball attire, which is pink in the film despite being made up of “a floaty, periwinkle-blue material” in the book (Rowling, Goblet of Fire 414). Hermione herself is seen wearing pink on multiple other occasions throughout the film series–pink jackets, undershirts, and cardigans beginning in the third film–sometimes in place of the traditional Hogwarts uniforms. This occurs with a heightened frequency in comparison to her attire in the books. We see numerous other female characters wear pink from time to time, including Luna Lovegood and Lavender Brown in the original films and Queenie Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is in sharp contrast to the only major male character ever seen wearing pink: Gilderoy Lockhart. Any association between him, femininity, and pink applies directly to his role in the second book, given that numerous female characters are enamored by his charm, good looks, and (albeit falsified) heroics. The only other male character who is often tied to pink is Ron Weasley, who frequently turns red and pink in the ears or cheeks: “Ron went as brightly pink as Lockhart’s valentine flowers and closed his mouth again” (Rowling, Chamber of Secrets 331). Though this is a more commonplace description of embarrassment, I bring this up in reference to Ron adopting effeminate stereotypes (being emotion-driven, standing beside Harry but never surpassing him in heroics, and other qualities that are traditionally associated with female characters fulfilling companion roles) to argue that this color

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association also comes across as appropriate. The use of pink within the films and books both adheres to and distances itself from Western expectations, in that these materials highlight femininity through pink while also demonizing it. COOL COLORS: GREEN, BLUE, AND PURPLE The negative color associations in Harry Potter do not end with pink; green takes on perhaps the most widespread and harmful forms of symbolism in the series through its consistent ties to dangerous authority figures, jealousy, and evil as a whole. As Rowling stated in the aforementioned Pottermore post, green is representative of the darker, more sinister side of magic (Rowling, 2015). Whether it be Avada Kedavra or Morsmordre, green spells in Harry Potter are frequently used to convey a sense of evil or impending doom. Just as these spells have this effect, so do their users, who are primarily made up of Death Eaters or other evildoers. Numerous people in positions of power in the series also have ties to green based upon some aspect of their appearance or a group they are a part of. The ultimate political figure in the Wizarding World for most of the series, the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, wears a “lime-green bowler” hat (Rowling, Chamber of Secrets 261). The audience’s first introduction to him involves him taking Hagrid to Azkaban under the suspicion that he may be involved in the recent attacks on students, and given readers’ appreciation for Hagrid, this shapes a common understanding of Fudge as a flawed and misguided man in power from day one. The same can be said for other individuals associated with his line of work, including Rita Skeeter–whose Quick Quotes Quill is described as “acidgreen” in the books and whose clothes take on an equally sour green color in the films (Rowling, Goblet of Fire 591)–and Dolores Umbridge, who wears a “green tweed cloak” (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix 414). Both women are associated with twisting the truth, appearing fake, and causing harm to a great deal of people in Harry’s life, making the connections to green as a symbol of wickedness quite fitting. The other figures in power associated with green are Hogwarts professors, most notably Severus Snape. Snape’s name conveys a certain degree of malevolence, as does his association with green. His resentment and jealousy–a feeling commonly associated with green through the Shakespearean phrase “green-eyed monster,” the personification of jealousy–are connected directly to a physical trait Harry shares with his mother: their green eyes. Not only is Snape a retired Death Eater, but he is also the head of Slytherin House, and both of these qualities are used to reinforce the notion that he must be up to no good for most of the series. The connection between Slytherin and green in particular begins with Salazar Slytherin himself, who created the house and selected both the creature it embodies (a serpent, a symbol of evil in Christianity) and its house colors: green and silver. Slytherin was especially known for his despicable antimuggle-born sentiments, insisting that blood purity would determine who could be sorted into his house. These background details address the deep-rooted connection between Slytherin and evil, furthering the negative stereotypes Rowling establishes early-on in the series. Due to these relationships, it is no surprise that fans of Harry Potter have learned to pick up on the simple understanding that green objects, people, or places in the series are typically dangerous and wicked in some capacity. Although blue is not as emblematic of negativity as green, it is still frequently used to emphasize sorrow and tragedy as well as uniqueness throughout the franchise. In Western works of fiction, blue is repeatedly associated with sadness. It appears prominently in The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix, three films steeped in loss: loss of friends, loss of family, and loss of life, to name its most prominent overlapping manifestations. This process begins with Harry discovering the Mirror of Erised in The Sorcerer’s Stone, during which he and the audience are forced to recognize just how much he has missed out on with his parents as he stands in a room enveloped in dim blue light. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, this deep familial loss is amplified when Harry uncovers the secret that Sirius Black supposedly contributed to the deaths of Lily and James Potter; his grief leads to him declaring that he will hunt Sirius down and kill him. We also see loss of life through the blue-tinted ghosts that wander the halls of Hogwarts, many of whom become reasonably upset when the topic of their deaths

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is discussed. This sense of loss continues with the passing of Cedric Diggory, Sirius, and Dobby. These moments are often cold and shot under pale blue lighting, further equating these scenes with deep sorrow. One of the first moments where Harry is able to acknowledge what he has seen and experienced is during his chat with Luna Lovegood in the Forbidden Forest as she feeds the Thestrals. In this scene, the forest is lit up with a slight blue tinge as they discuss the simple fact that they can only see Thestrals because they have lost someone. Two similar instances occur when Luna speaks with Harry about Sirius’ death and when she is present for Dobby’s. This moment, however, also reveals the second largest connection coupled with blue: the sense of the “other.” Blue is often used to emphasize a hero’s uniqueness within a story, sometimes to such a degree that it is socially isolating. Luna Lovegood herself is one of the most othered characters in the series, owed mostly to her bizarre personality and unique belief system. When we are first introduced to Luna just before the trip up to Hogwarts in The Order of the Phoenix, the forest seems to have a distinct blue glow to it as she discusses how her charm “keeps away the nargles,” making the group visibly uncomfortable in the process. This connection between Luna and blue carries on through her attire, most of which is blue due to both personal choice as well as the simple fact that Ravenclaw, her Hogwarts house, uses blue in its insignia. Her calm demeanor also suits blue–considering that blue has also been tied to a general sense of relaxation–to such an extent that her gentle and quiet nature sets her apart from her many chaotic classmates. This sense of othering also applies to Hermione’s transformative Yule Ball look in the fourth book. Hermione’s periwinkle gown helps designate her as a distinctly magical and distinctive person. This separates her from the crowd, allowing for her to be seen as more than Harry and Ron’s intelligent best friend for the first time and making her feel genuinely special. Simply put, she gets to be a teenage girl for once. This is one of the few moments where this sense of othering takes on a positive spirit, as allowing for her to stand out in this manner allows for readers to not only become more accustomed to the idea of romance within the series, but also to see Hermione in a more multidimensional fashion. Outside of the trio, two minor characters are regularly othered by their blue clothes: Fleur Delacour and Gilderoy Lockhart. Both of their outfits are similar in that these obvious shades of blue help bring attention to their extravagance and charm. Fleur’s silky, pale blue Beauxbatons uniform highlights the otherness of her and her school compared to Hogwarts, making her stand out amongst the competition clad in much darker shades. Lockhart’s robe colors range from aquamarine to forget-me-not; these brilliant shades emphasize his theatrical nature and interest in his own personal spotlight. Compared to Fleur, this sense of othering appears to be more intentional on Lockhart’s part. One additional aspect of othering that appears in the books surrounds the use of blue magic. This tends to present itself as a fairly neutral form of othering used with prophecies, the films’ blue-tinged take on the Patronus charm, the Goblet of Fire, and the Room of Requirement, all of which can be distinguished from other similar objects or places on the basis of their unique qualities. By fusing blue to a sense of loss and othering in this manner, Rowling creates opportunities for fans to better understand the intricacies and patterns that exist within both experiences and, in some situations, place themselves in the positions of the characters being othered or grieving. Purple, a color that denotes a sense of magic, nobility, and mystery within Western culture, follows these attributes closely within Harry Potter. As Rowling personally notes on Pottermore, the noble nature of purple stems from its ties to nobility throughout history, primarily due to how rare and expensive purple dye was. This connection appears through her magic system, in which purple and green work to represent the two opposing sides of magic: “the noble and the ignoble” (Rowling, 2015). Only the most noble of magic users are associated with purple in the series, the most prominent of which is Albus Dumbledore, who wears “deep purple robes” (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix 203). Not only is Dumbledore portrayed as one of the most powerful and distinguished members of wizarding society, but he also carries an air of magic and mystery to him. In the same vein as purple representing nobility, it is also used to touch on these magical qualities due to purple corresponding with what is special or out of the ordinary. The color purple persists alongside what is both unknown and magical throughout

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the series, almost as though they cannot exist separately. Perhaps the best and most obvious example is Hogwarts, which is often linked to purple through branding and merchandise. Hogwarts itself is a profoundly unique and magical place full of deep secrets that Harry and his friends unravel throughout their time there. When Harry interacts with a deeply magical being or object that he knows little about (but will later understand or see as magical), they are often associated with purple in some way. Distinct people and objects that fall into this category include but are certainly not limited to: Quirrell, whose purple turban hides Voldemort; Tonks’ hair–which appears to be quite purple in the films–accentuates her magical qualities and reveals that she is different from most wizards; the Knight Bus and its distinction from normal double-decker buses; Mrs. Dursley’s cake, which is later enchanted by Dobby; Hermione’s never-ending beaded bag; and the iconic chocolate frog packaging, the first magical treat Harry has an experience with. All of these moments and objects provide opportunities for fans to either learn more about the world or question aspects of it. The use of purple throughout Harry Potter relates primarily to representations of nobility, magic, and the unknown, providing multiple opportunities for the audience to better approach the mysteries of the Wizarding World. NEUTRAL COLORS: BROWN, WHITE, BLACK, AND GRAY In both the realm of Harry Potter and the Western world, no color is more simplistic, easy to overlook, or supposedly unmagical than brown. These assumptions work in the series’s favor to amplify the secret magical qualities of people, places, or things. This originates when Dumbledore asks Hagrid to bring Harry to Privet Drive, a suburb made up of identical and boring brown buildings. In his opinion, this is exactly what makes Little Whinging a perfect place for Harry to grow up: its dullness ensures that he will grow up largely uninfluenced by what is abnormal or magical. This stark difference also helps readers differentiate between the two vastly different lives Harry lives at the Dursley’s and Hogwarts respectively. The same applies to Newt Scamander’s suitcase in Fantastic Beasts, which seems drab and normal on the outside but is actually filled with extraordinary creatures from all corners of the world. Other objects that carry this same effect are Tom Riddle’s diary and the brick wall entrance to Diagon Alley, both of which conceal deeply magical secrets from the world that are only revealed to a select few. In regard to characters, this concept applies best to Nymphadora Tonks when her comportment changes for the worse. Tonks is described as having “mousy brown hair” (Rowling, Half-Blood Prince 82) when she is troubled by her relationship with Remus Lupin and the death of Sirius Black, which makes her look particularly nonmagical. Not only does this allude to her sad demeanor, but it also stands in complete contrast to her typical bubblegum-pink locks. Each of these uses serves as a device that prompts fans to theorize about what defines normal or what magical qualities may be lurking beneath this supposed normalcy. By emphasizing brown so carefully in these moments, audience members can hone in on the absence of the abnormal, analyzing this purposeful lack of magic and beginning to question why this may be the case. In Western fiction, it is often difficult to separate white from the ideas of safety, purity, innocence, and rebirth, and this certainly extends itself to Harry Potter. From the very beginning of Harry’s interactions with the magical community, he gains connections to people associated with white who seek to protect him. One such protector is Albus Dumbledore, the white-bearded Hogwarts Headmaster. A great deal of Dumbledore’s actions throughout the series carry the intention of watching over Harry. The same defensiveness applies to the “silvery-white” Patronus charm (Rowling, 2016)–a spell designed to protect from dementors–and Gringotts, the “snowy-white” bank regarded as one of the safest places in the Wizarding World (Rowling, Sorcerer’s Stone 72). This protectiveness also includes Hedwig, Harry’s snowy owl, who sacrifices her life for his. Her death also serves as yet another symbol of Harry’s childhood coming to an end; her tragic passing represents an absence of purity and innocence in addition to the loss of one of the last guardians of his childhood. As this death occurs in the beginning of the last novel, Harry is forced to confront the prophecy and horcruxes directly from this point onward, spending

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the rest of the book doing so. This carries on until Harry sacrifices his life for his friends and meets Dumbledore in some form of the afterlife or limbo. In Western religions like Christianity, white is often used in association with purity and life after death, and this moment is no exception. During this Deathly Hallows – Part 2 scene, Dumbledore and Harry both wear white and very light gray as they discuss what has occurred and what is to come while strolling through a bright white version of King’s Cross Station. This moment carries a distinct clarity to it and stands in stark contrast to the moments following Harry’s rebirth, which occur in the dark Forbidden Forest. It is fitting that the darkest moments of the series (which appear primarily in The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Deathly Hallows, two of the darkest Harry Potter books and films) would be accompanied by white, as they work to highlight the themes of purity and rebirth in comparison. Western notions of security, purity, innocence, and resurrection are often associated with white; this treatment of these themes appears throughout Harry Potter, though it is especially powerful when it takes hold of the darker films and scenes. In accordance with most other uses of black and gray within Western media, these colors are used to address themes of sophistication, morality, death, and darkness found in the franchise. Western society labels black as a refined color used to highlight the seriousness of funerals or the professionalism of plain black suits and dresses. The sleek, elegant style of the numerous outfits we see in the wizarding community–particularly the classy black school robes–reflect an awareness of professionalism. This is especially applicable to families like the Malfoys, who present themselves in a lavish yet meticulous manner through their stylish black attire. The Malfoys’ association with black, however, extends to a black-and-white moral code that persists within the wizarding world. The dark shades worn by the Death Eaters, Severus Snape, and Voldemort accentuate their morality–or, perhaps more accurately, a distinct lack thereof. This is strikingly true for Sirius’ relationship with his family, the Black family. As one of the only moral members of the household, Sirius works hard to go against the grain and prove that he is different from his morally reprehensible, pureblood-obsessed family. This same demonstration of morality carries into Fantastic Beasts through Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore, who are largely associated with black and light gray respectively through their clothing choices in these films; these allude to their moral statuses, one being the villain and the other being somewhat morally ambiguous (though leaning towards goodness) in comparison. Black and gray are also used throughout the franchise to explore the themes of death and darkness. Death being portrayed with gray and black in a somber manner is common in the Western world, and its many manifestations suit this pattern. Whether it be the Millennium Bridge scene from The Half-Blood Prince or Harry’s use of the Resurrection Stone, it is evident that more dull, dark colors help create the desired effect that death is about to become involved. A similar sentiment follows Rowling’s Dementors, wispy reaper-esque creatures cloaked in torn black fabric. Dementors are her hallmark representations of not only misfortune and death, but also of depression and mental illness. Connecting depression to black so seamlessly suits the narrative that having a mental illness such as depression can often feel like being in a deep, dark pit with little to no light, wholly consumed by it. Harry’s first reaction to the Dementor on the train echoes this: he picks up on how this creature in a “black cloak” seems to be “trying to suck something more than air from its surroundings,” which we later find out is happiness or happy memories, and he personally feels “an intense cold … [that] was inside his chest … [and] inside his very heart” (Rowling, Prisoner of Azkaban 83). Darkness presents itself in numerous ways in the franchise, both physically and symbolically. As a whole, the films get progressively darker as Harry grows up, both in content and appearance. Not only does this development suit Harry given that he is no longer able to participate in happy and innocent activities as he grows older, but it also matches Harry Potter’s status as a coming of age story that kids all around the world have grown up with. As readers get older, they begin to notice more of the darker aspects of life (death, evil, etc.) around them just as Harry becomes more and more aware of it within his own world.

However, despite the darkness, there is still a degree of light at the end of the tunnel and the tip

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of Harry’s wand. Even in some of the darker movies, we are still granted a select few bright and colorful scenes (such as Fred and George’s dramatic flight from Hogwarts and plans to start their joke shop) that both remind us of happy moments from the past and fill us with hope that this darkness can be vanquished by the light someday. This conflict between light and dark is supplemented by the application of colors within the franchise, revealing the intricate series of interactions and patterns crafted between even the most minute details that make the world feel lived-in. CONCLUSION One could speculate almost endlessly about the meaning and connection color has with various elements of the Harry Potter franchise. Unfortunately, there is little more available to us than just that: speculation. Though Rowling has spoken about her intentions regarding the roles certain colors play in the series, there is still a great deal she has left unsaid. The lines between what was and was not purposeful are difficult to discern: we do not know just how many of these patterns and symbols were intentional and how much could have simply been pulled from Western culture. As Rowling is someone who would have grown up within a space rich with Western color symbolism, it is plausible that she could have applied them to her own work either subconsciously or otherwise. Simply put, we cannot claim to know that she was entirely aware of these connections unless we have been told just that, and the same applies to those involved with the films and additional material. Some of these could very well be aesthetic choices made with no rhyme or reason to them. All of that being said, this does not devalue any analysis we could make about color archetypes within the series. By saying so little, the creators who contributed to the franchise provide fans of the books, films, and additional content with a valuable opportunity: the chance to identify the kaleidoscopic array of color archetypes ourselves. The absence of confirmation via the author does not equal a lack of content or symbolism. Instead, it demonstrates that–like the existence of the Wizarding World itself– there is a vast assortment of material both in Harry Potter and within the larger realm of fiction available for us to discover, question, and analyze on our own. All we need is a little magic and a push in the right direction. Lauren Sieberg

WORKS CITED Delahoyde, Michael. “Archetypal Criticism.” Introduction to Literature, Washington State University, 6 Jan. 2011,

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2016. --- The Crimes of Grindelwald. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2018.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Directed by Chris Columbus, Warner Bros., 2002. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2010. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2011. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Directed by Mike Newell, Warner Bros., 2005.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2009. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Directed by David Yates, Warner Bros., 2007. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Warner Bros., 2004. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Directed by Chris Columbus, Warner Bros., 2001. Rohrer, Ken. “Color Symbolism and Culture.” Incredible Art Department. Accessed 8 Oct. 2020. Rowling, J.K. “Colours.” Pottermore, 10 Aug. 2015. Wizarding World, writing-by-jk-rowling/colours. --- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Scholastic, 1999. --- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Scholastic 2007. --- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Scholastic, 2000. --- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Scholastic, 2005. --- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Scholastic, 2003. --- “Patronus Charm.” Pottermore, 22 September 2016. Wizarding World, https://www --- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Scholastic, 1999. --- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1997.

The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 51 - 63

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INTRODUCTION In 2007, author J.K. Rowling published the final instalment in her Harry Potter series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was an unprecedented success, breaking pre-order and sales records (Phelvin). According to booksellers WH Smith in the U.K., the company sold approximately 15 copies per second in the first weekend of release (Phelvin). Across the U.K. and U.S. midnight releases for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ensured that eager fans were not kept waiting to read the final book in the series. Bloomsbury publishers also invested around £10 million in the hopes of embargoing spoilers and reviews to allow readers to enjoy the novel without key details being revealed to them first (‘Ten Million Pounds’). Rowling’s success has irrevocably altered the publishing world, changing both the way publishers market and promote books, and even the content in the pages of children’s and Young Adult (YA) fantasy novels. Leading up to the release of the fourth instalment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2000, the New York Times bestseller list introduced a children’s book category, seemingly to prevent Rowling’s novels from simultaneously dominating several of the top spots in the adult list (Fitzsimmons, 78). This decision proved controversial. Barbara Marcus, then president of Scholastic, argued that “best-seller lists are supposed to represent what America is reading […] nothing has ever been as popular with families, adults, children, in the history of publishing” (qtd. in Corliss, 2). On the other hand, New York literary agent Aaron Priest welcomed the change, stating that the Harry Potter books “should not be taking up space in place of bonafide adult titles” (qtd. in Rose, 12). Arguably Harry Potter books were, and continue to be, consumed by adult readers. The magical world Rowling created, the allusions to mythology, and the focus on Harry’s coming of age and facing the realities of the adult world have inspired hundreds of authors to craft their own stories. Consequently, the addition of a separate children’s list has also been a welcome change to YA and children’s book authors and publishers, since it allows debut authors writing for this age category to aim to be on this list, without competing against established adult author “heavyweights” such as Stephen King, John Grisham, and Nora Roberts. YA authors such as Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas have benefitted from this chart, and grown in popularity, and their newly released novels are frequently propelled to the top of the children’s bestseller list. As a result, YA fiction has surged in popularity in recent years, enjoying what Michael Cart describes as a “new golden age” of resurgence (233). This is, according to Joe Monti, Editorial Director of Sega Press, a direct result of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Monti argues that “Harry Potter made the careers of many authors possible […] publishers had a legitimate

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demand to meet: fantasy sagas geared towards younger readers, and ultimately any sort of fiction written for middle-grade and young adult readers” (qtd. in Fallon). It is perhaps not surprising then, that since the release of Harry Potter tropes such as rebellions led by teenagers, groupings influenced by the Hogwarts houses, and the popularity of the “chosen one” predestined to save their world have become staples of YA fiction. These are inherently YA tropes. Although several of these tropes are woven into children’s literature, many novels, such as Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (1995-2000) and C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series (1950-1956), often incorporate themes and motifs which are decoded when a reader is mature enough to grasp the meaning behind the text—often once they are an adult. Furthermore, while it is not possible to state that these tropes are categorically the result of the Harry Potter effect, it is easy to trace these trends after Rowling’s novels were released, implying that her phenomenally successful novels were a direct influence on these emergent tropes. The aims of this article are twofold: to explore how some YA book publishers capitalize on a common adolescent desire for identity through the trope of “sorting,” and to analyse how the Nigerian American writer Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone (2018) adapts the concept of sorting to delve into themes of racism and oppression. Due to the vast volume of YA works that follow this trend, this essay will be limited in its scope, and will primarily focus on Adeyemi’s Nigeria-inspired YA novel, because it bears several similarities to Rowling’s work. By examining how Adeyemi uses popular elements from Rowling’s writing, it is possible to see the global influence Harry Potter continues to hold over the YA marketplace both in the way that fiction is advertised, and the contents of the narratives themselves. Adeyemi uses the Sorting Hat system that Rowling adopted in her work—Adeyemi’s magicians are divided into clans based on their skills and religions. Yet, while Adeyemi’s work bears distinct similarities to the world Rowling crafted, Children of Blood and Bone diverges by focussing on the unity of the clans in the face of genocide and racism, themes which are absent in Rowling’s series.

HARRY POTTER AND YA FICTION Before continuing, it is worth noting that, although Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have changed the landscape of YA fiction, the series is not YA itself. The Harry Potter series begins when Harry is eleven, and follows him through each subsequent year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For the first two books, Harry is not a teenager. Furthermore, the writing style Rowling adopts throughout the series is quite simple, telling readers what they need to know rather than showing them and allowing them to infer knowledge, which is more in fitting with Middle Grade (MG) fiction than with YA. Scholars continue to debate where Harry Potter stands, and whether the series should be considered YA, particularly the later books. Commentator Philip Nel, for instance, suggests that the series “share[s] some territory with the YA novel” (47). Others have noted that the distinction between YA and MG is often murky, making it difficult to position novels such as Rowling’s. Constance Grady contends that this confusion can be traced back to the popularity of Harry Potter: “as Harry Potter became an unprecedented cross-over success, Middle Grade and YA novels became conflated in the cultural conversation” (par. 15). Defining YA is no easy task, and attempts to distinguish it from similar age categories remain only partially successful, resulting in a lack of scholarship in the field. Yet, for the purposes of this essay, a brief summary will suffice. YA is an age category, primarily targeted to 13 to 18-year-olds. Currently, statistics suggest as much as 55% of the YA audience is adults, rather than teens (“New Study: 55% of YA Books Bought by Adults”). Fiction in this category can cover a range of genres, including contemporary or real-life issues, science fiction, and fantasy. Often, YA novels have themes of coming of age, including topics such as first experiences of romance, adulthood, and taking responsibility, and psychological maturity, and they frequently span a very short period of time. Whole series might follow a character for a few months of their life, or even be set over the course of several days. Thus, although Harry Potter does not fit neatly within the parameters of Young Adult fiction, according to the definition given above, there are clear similarities between Rowling’s novels and YA fiction. As such, it is

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possible to see the themes and motifs explored in Rowling’s series replicated in a plethora of YA novels across different genres, and in fantasy literature in particular. In order to trace this afterlife of Rowling’s dominant motifs in later YA fiction, I will turn now to the paratextual world of Harry Potter and its relationship to Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. THE SORTING HAT QUESTIONNAIRE AND THE TALISMANIC TATTOO While running the gauntlet of publisher stalls at the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) in 2018, I was drawn to the posters displayed around the Macmillan booth, which were advertising Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. What intrigued me was the ingenuity of the promotion—the posters offered readers a temporary tattoo based on their Maji clan. In Adeyemi’s novel, the Maji are people who have been blessed by the gods to have special magical powers, with each clan possessing a unique ability related to the elements and nature. Adeyemi’s novel follows one Maji girl, Zélie Adebola, as she deals with the prejudices of the non-magic ruling class, the kosidáns, and attempts to restore magic to the kingdom of Orïsha.1 The novel explores the impact of racism and slavery, as well as asking whether forgiveness and peace or violence and revenge are the better choices for Zélie and the rebellion she leads against the tyrannical monarchy. To discover which talismanic tattoo to take, readers were encouraged to complete a personality quiz on Macmillan’s website to find out which clan they would belong in. Perhaps inevitably, the Maji clan quiz bore more than a passing resemblance to the Sorting Hat questionnaire available on the Harry Potter website, Pottermore. In the Sorting quiz on Pottermore (now Wizarding World), fans are placed in one of the four Hogwarts houses, based on their personality—Gryffindor for bravery, Hufflepuff for kindness, Ravenclaw for intelligence, and Slytherin for ambition (Rowling, Philosopher’s Stone, 126). In the Maji clan quiz there are ten clans to be placed in based on the magic they use—Reapers, Connectors, Tiders, Burners, Winders, Grounders/Welders, Lighters, and Healers/Cancers (“Who Are the Maji?”). Several of the questions on these two quizzes were near identical. In the Sorting quiz, fans were asked to choose between “dawn or dusk,” while participants in the Macmillan quiz were prompted to choose either “day or night” (Rowling, “Sorting Ceremony” ; “What’s Your Maji Clan?”). Other, less abstract questions were also similar—for example, both quizzes ask fans to choose how they would prefer to be viewed by other people, and include responses such as “ambitious, insightful, brave, kind” on the Macmillan quiz, and “wise, good, great, bold” on the Pottermore website (“What’s Your Maji Clan?” ; Rowling, “Sorting Ceremony”).There are ten Maji clans in Children of Blood and Bone, thus offering six more end results than the four Hogwarts houses one might be sorted into. Even so, the similarities between the two quizzes demonstrate the influence the Sorting test has on the marketing strategy behind Children of Blood and Bone. Yet, Adeyemi’s clans are less about Sorting according to personality traits, and more about the magical abilities of an individual, suggesting Adeyemi has taken the foundation of the Sorting quiz and adapted it to meet her own themes and messages. Personality quizzes, including the Sorting Hat test, are a way for readers to connect with one another and identify certain features of their own personalities. Fans of Harry Potter often identify themselves according to their houses. Official merchandise created by Warner Brothers for the movie adaptations frequently incorporates the four houses into items, particularly clothing and stationery. T-shirts, ties, iron on badges, enamel pins, lanyards, notebooks, knitwear, and even replica robes are just some of the items available for purchase through the company’s online stores, each emblazoned with house logos (“Harry Potter Shop”). Many YA readers who discuss fiction through social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, or blogs, identify themselves according to their Hogwarts houses, listing their house alongside other information in their biographies such as their careers, preferred pronouns, and other terms used to identify themselves such as “nerd” and “reader.” (For example, @ ConnieReads_ describes herself using her Hogwarts house in her biography line on Twitter, as does @Lifeofemilyxoxo and @jenjenreviews). Thus, for some Harry Potter fans, their Hogwarts house is,

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to some extent, a component of their identity, particularly in the online world of social media where identities might be mediated. As with the wearing of merchandise such as pins or hats adorned with house crests, the inclusion of a person’s house in their biography information offers a “tangible reminder of […] self-reflection, and of traits fans want to emphasize in their own personalities” (Godwin, par. 1). Consequently, each house becomes a kind of shorthand way of highlighting specific traits fans may identify as valuable—brave, kind, intelligent, or ambitious. Although there are many Sorting quizzes available online from various sites, the Pottermore one is considered official, since it has been created and authenticated by Rowling and Warner Brothers. Thus, when Pottermore first launched, the website permitted each fan to complete the quiz only once per account, which creates the sense that the sorting decision is final, just as it is for Harry and his school friends in Rowling’s novels. Waldman notes that the act of sorting, particularly when the decision is final, may be viewed positively amongst teenagers and young adults who are still struggling to understand their own identities. The Sorting Hat experience on Pottermore mirrors the moment when the first-years are sorted into their houses. These first-years, Waldman notes, “are moving uneasily into self-conceptions that will, they think, seal their fates” (par. 3). In Rowling’s world, the Sorting Hat’s decision is final, although Headmaster Albus Dumbledore remarks later in the series that he wonders if the Sorting ceremony is done “too soon” (Rowling, Deathly Hallows, 555). Even so, there is a sense of permanence there, a belief that the Sorting Hat is able to see inside a person and understand them better than perhaps they understand themselves at that age. As Waldman remarks, “self-invention is hard, and it helps to have a set blueprint. Enter labels and stereotypes: the Gryffindors, Givers, and Geeks who turn the chaotic terrarium of high school into a taxonomist’s paradise” (par. 4). The Sorting Hat makes a decision, the children are sorted, and the individuals are then sent to sit at the corresponding house’s tables. Waldman’s argument will make sense to some individuals—being told where one belongs alleviates the pressure of having to choose for oneself. Nevertheless, it is important to consider that identities are rarely fixed. People will often grow and change over the course of their lifetime. Thus, the permanence of the Sorting Hat’s decision is not necessarily as positive or reassuring as Waldman claims it to be. The Hat itself suggests that its purpose is to decide for others. In its song in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000) the Hat recalls how the four Hogwarts founders struggled to decide how to continue sorting students long after the founders’ deaths. The Hat continues to explain how Godric Gryffindor decided to imbue his hat with magic, before pridefully stating that: “I’ve never yet been wrong! I’ll have a look inside your mind and tell you where you belong” (Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 150). A relief, no doubt, to some of the students. Indeed, Balaka Basu argues that “the proliferation of these [Sorting Hat] quizzes reveals adolescents’ enormous interest in being sorted—especially by an external force that can make one’s inner mind legible” (23). In some ways, this replicates the high school cafeteria, where students will often sit in groups according to their interests or personality types. The key difference is that high school students often have some control over where they choose to sit, even if they sometimes cannot decide on their own position in the social hierarchy of the school itself. For some readers in real life, the Pottermore quiz’s permanent decision enables them to feel as though they too have gone through the same experience of being sorted and placed into the house that best matches their identity. Rather than having to choose a cafeteria table for themselves, the decision has been made by someone else. Once someone had discovered their house on the original Pottermore website, they were encouraged to help their house earn points by progressing through the interactive story, making potions, and winning duels against other users.2 At the end of the year, the House Cup was awarded to the house with the most points, mirroring the same narrative which occurs at the end of each school year in the series. This competition, along with “House Pride” days, is intended to give fans a sense of belonging within their house, as well as encouraging them to accept their identity within that house. Alongside the wearing of house merchandise, fans using the Pottermore sorting quiz and site are able to experience

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something similar to the books, giving them a sense of belonging and positioning themselves in relation to the fictional world Rowling has created. The Sorting Hat experience and the wearing of merchandise therefore “facilitate immersion, transforming everyday environments by bringing story world items into them, blurring the threshold between worlds. Liminal play is a self-reflective process in which fans draw upon story worlds for self-expression,” enabling fans to explore their own identities and desires to interact with Rowling’s fictional world through affirmational fandom practices (Godwin, par. 1). Affirmational fandom practices are when fans show their appreciation for a text by collecting merchandise, and by displaying or advertising their connection to that fandom by visibly showing their interest in it (e.g. wearing clothing associated with the text). These activities “celebrate the vision of the creator” as it appears on the page, rather than transforming that vision into a new text (Scott, 441). Affirmational fans of Harry Potter are thus able to purchase merchandise associated with their adopted houses through websites such as Etsy, Amazon, and Ebay, or even through physical stores in places such as the U.K. Leavesden Studio Tour or the area in King’s Cross Station in London where the fictitious Platform 9 3/4 would be. These items then act as a kind of interface between the fan and the Harry Potter fandom. For some fans who want to bring elements of Rowling’s story into their own worlds, this is akin to purchasing items with real school or university crests on them, something alumni frequently do to show their connection to their education. YA has followed this trend of sorting and houses, both in fantasy, and in other genres. Prior to the release of Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, two dystopian novels had followed the trend of sorting and houses made popular by Rowling, albeit in a different guise. Suzanne Collins’ phenomenally successful The Hunger Games (2008) follows Katniss Everdeen, a girl who hunts illegally to feed her family, before she is catapulted into a competition where children from different areas of the country compete against each other in a televised competition to the death. The twelve Districts of Panem, with their various cultures and infrastructures, vaguely serve as ways to divide citizens into categories based on geography and industry. The inclusion of the Hunger Games tournament, where two children are selected at random from each District and forced to compete in a violent survival of the fittest type challenge, forces the people of Panem to cheer for the children of their District and hope that one of those children is the sole survivor of the competition. In some ways, cheering for the children of a District is similar to cheering for a particular house. The key difference is that there is no merchandise based around the different Districts in The Hunger Games. Instead, Scholastic and Lionsgate focused much of the merchandise run on the Mockingjay pin Katniss wears during the tournament, a symbol of the rebellion and the desire to end the violence of the Games. Similarly, the successor to The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth’s Divergent (2009) is based around a fictional society that is influenced by the sorting in Harry Potter.3 In Roth’s world, children coming of age decide which faction they wish to join. Each faction has a different trait they admire, with employment and other aspects of culture based around these traits—bravery, kindness, intelligence, selflessness, and honesty. The release of Divergent, in particular, seems inevitable—a book based on the popularity of personality quizzes like the one for sorting was always likely to be a success. Yet, Divergent attempts to break away from the sense that there is safety in being sorted, and stresses the importance of agency. Roth’s novel, Basu contends, “appears to be positioned as a warning against the seductive pleasures of being categorized and classified: the truly admirable people in the story are ‘Divergent’ and possess multiple virtues” making it near impossible to place them into a single faction (20). While it is true that Divergent can be read as a warning against the pleasures of sorting, it should be noted that the concept of the series is still heavily influenced by online personality quizzes and the Sorting Ceremony in particular. Additionally, while Roth’s novel attempts to stress the value of choice, it is worth noting that the majority of fan-made and official merchandise for the movie adaptation is based around the different factions, implying that fans should be able to choose a faction, but that they still consider themselves part of that

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single faction, rather than all of them. The tattoos distributed by Macmillan to promote the release of Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone accomplish a similar task, engendering a sense of belonging amongst readers through their connection to a single Maji clan. In recent years, tattoos based on fiction have been considered a sign of devotion to a fandom. According to Bethan Jones, who writes about her own ethnographic experiences of tattoos, fannish tattoos belong in two categories. Some fannish tattoos will have a significant, personal meaning. These tattoos will often be quotes, something that resonates with the person who has the tattoo inscribed on their skin. These tattoos, Jones argues, are not intended to display a person’s connection to a fandom to others; instead, the quote or image is symbolic of a personal experience or memory (par. 1.1). The other type of fannish tattoo is collected because it demonstrates a person’s passion and interest in a fandom, and may even be used as a talking point when discussing the fandom with others. Tattoos, then, are often a symbol of affirmational fandom, a permanent connection between the reader and the text. While the Children of Blood and Bone tattoos distributed by Macmillan are not permanent, the symbolic connection between fans and tattoos is still being drawn upon. These tattoos will last several days. Furthermore, the application process of even a temporary tattoo is a kind of ritual. The plastic sheet protecting the tattoo is first removed. Next, the tattoo on the paper is pressed against the skin, before being wetted. The person applying the tattoo must hold it in place for several minutes. Taking it off too early results in the transferred image being cracked, or pieces of the design missing. The person who is getting the temporary tattoo has to want it placed on their skin, thus suggesting they feel a connection to the design being placed there. Thus, like fans who have claimed a Hogwarts house through the ritual of the Pottermore quiz, the temporary Maji clan tattoo gives a sense of permanence and a sense of a definitive choice having been made. Even a temporary tattoo is a mark that stays on the skin for a while. Short of scraping it off or constantly washing it to try and remove it, the person who places it on their skin is now marked as being in that fictitious Maji clan. Fans may thus feel that they cannot claim another Maji clan without removing traces of the other one first, adding to the notion of facilitated immersion into a fictional world. In Harry Potter there is a greater sense of animosity and separation between the four houses than there is between the Maji clans in Children of Blood and Bone. The Sorting ceremony becomes a “feast of initiation and homecoming [that] reinforces two types of loyalties—that which each individual owes to the school, and that which is owing to one’s house. The Sorting Hat thus brings the students together and simultaneously divides them” (Lavoie, 35). Though there are moments when the school unites, it is rare that all four houses agree to work together when their goals align. For most Hogwarts students, their loyalty is almost entirely to their houses. In her essay, “Safe as Houses: Sorting and School Houses at Hogwarts,” Chantel Lavoie remarks that “the four houses of Hogwarts may be equal in theory; however, two are ‘more equal’ than others” (36). While Lavoie uses this phrase to emphasize the rivalry between the Slytherins and Gryffindors, the same phrase can be used to point out that Hufflepuff and Slytherin are usually viewed as “less than” the other houses, both in the pages of Rowling’s fiction, and in the world of the Harry Potter fandom. Hufflepuff is often viewed as the house for people who lack any of the other traits. Those who belong in Hufflepuff in the books are mocked and pitied by others. The Wizarding World website references this—those who are sorted into Hufflepuff are greeted with a message, purportedly from a prefect which acknowledges the notion that Hufflepuff are known as “the least clever house” (Rowling, “A Message From Your Prefect”). Helga Hufflepuff ’s decision to “teach the lot, and treat them just the same” is also somewhat overshadowed in the Hat’s song in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, since it is surrounded by the Hat’s recollections of the greatness of the other houses (Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 189). Arguably, the Hufflepuff trait of kindness appears to be a generic trait amongst other houses, making Hufflepuff seem like a house that accepts anyone. Even so, it must also be noted that throughout the series, Hufflepuff are often the most humble of the four houses,

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and the most consistently loyal and accepting, regardless of social status or magical talent. Slytherin, on the other hand, is viewed as the “evil” house. Here, the trait of ambition is viewed as a negative, rather than a positive. Ambition can be a negative trait, yet the other houses also celebrate traits that may be construed as potentially negative—the bravery of Gryffindors may become recklessness, the intelligence of Ravenclaws may grow to be patronizing and elitist, and the kindness of Hufflepuff House could easily become naivety under the right conditions. Ambition is not inherently a bad trait, but Rowling frequently depicts it as such. Rowling herself has been criticised in recent years for her portrayal of Slytherin house—very few of the characters who emerge from it are morally good. Children’s books often rely on over-exaggeration to reinforce a point, yet Rowling is zealous in her depictions of “bad” Slytherins. Emphasis is placed on Slytherins being menacing. Many of the Slytherins Harry and his friends encounter throughout the series fall into two categories—malicious and cunning, or brutish, thuggish henchmen. During the Battle of Hogwarts at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the rest of the school stand united against the evil wizard Voldemort and his forces. One Slytherin student publicly voices her distress and demands that “someone grab” Harry Potter after Voldemort threatens the student body if Potter does not surrender (Rowling, Deathly Hallows, 498). Sensing that the Slytherins are not loyal enough to trust, the professor in charge of the school decides to have the whole house escorted to the dungeons to wait until the battle is over (Rowling, Deathly Hallows, 498). The emergent prejudice, the belief that all Slytherins are inherently bad, or even that all Hufflepuffs are just people without much personality, serves to continually divide Hogwarts throughout the series, and while attempts are made by Rowling to show that students have loyalty to the school, this is often undermined by such prejudices. The omission of the Slytherins in the final battle, for instance, or the moment when the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students cheer because Gryffindor won the house cup in Philosopher’s Stone, thus denying Slytherin another win, continues to distance the Slytherin students while uniting the others in a common cause (Rowling, Philosopher’s Stone, 330). REJECTING THE NORMATIVITY OF HARRY POTTER IN CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE Like The Hunger Games and Divergent, Children of Blood and Bone deviates from the rigidity of the Hogwarts Houses model found in Rowling’s series. Personality traits cannot be neatly analyzed and separated into groups of people who share the same traits. Instead, the clans in Adeyemi’s narrative are based on the magical abilities of an individual. Powers are often passed down through families, and the closest Adeyemi’s characters get to a Sorting Ceremony is convincing other dîviners—those who have not yet matured into Maji—to touch a scroll that will unlock their innate magical abilities. However, what perhaps sets Children of Blood and Bone apart from Rowling’s novels, is the fact that the Maji clans have been destroyed by the start of the first novel. They have already been overthrown by a violent uprising, and many of the Maji clan leaders have died. Those who survived are viewed as less than human by the ruling kosidán class, and any indication of the Maji regrouping is treated as an attempt to rebel. At the start of the novel, Zélie is taught how to fight with a staff by Mama Agba, a woman who teaches girls how to defend themselves. These lessons are illegal, since she teaches dîviners how to fight, so Agba pretends to be a clothes designer working with a group of apprentices whenever guards appear to inspect the premises. These attempts to help dîviners suggest a kind of blended community in Adeyemi’s fictional world. Almost everyone in this class is a dîviner, save for one girl, Yemi, who is the illegitimate child of a wealthy man. Even so, Yemi is, in some ways, positioned as more important than the other girls-- her skin is lighter, and her hair is black rather than the white of the dîviners. When Yemi passes, the other girls “cower at the prospect of facing Yemi” (Adeyemi, 11). Yemi also feels a sense of superiority over the other girls—when facing Zélie, she refers to the other girl as a “maggot,” a “miserable, degrading slur” (Adeyemi, 14). Adeyemi repeatedly explores the impact of racism through the slur, but it is also apparent that the Maji have fallen from grace and power when the king made magic disappear from Orïsha. This power dynamic explored through the term “maggot” and the treatment of the Maji children in Zélie’s

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village therefore reinforces the importance of working together to resist oppression, rather than acting as an individual. Zélie yearns for revenge after the death of her mother, yet eventually understands that she would put others at risk with her rash actions. These themes of oppression and racism are where Adeyemi’s fiction most clearly diverges from Rowling’s series. Adeyemi frequently admits that Harry Potter has always had an influence on her writing. Yet, Rowling’s novels lack representation, and her attempts to retrospectively claim that characters were POC or LGBTQ+ have been met with disdain and criticism from scholars, critics, and fans. Tison Pugh and David L. Wallace neatly summarize the backlash against Rowling’s edits, arguing that the “heteronormative heroism [of Harry Potter] ultimately squelches gender equality and sexual diversity in favor of the ideological status quo” (261). Gender is an issue that is contentious in Harry Potter; there are many women who play important and often subversive roles throughout the series, but it would be hard to defend Rowling and her fiction against claims of favoring heteronormativity. Similarly, in an article for The Mary Sue blog, Princess Weekes acknowledges that “organic diversity” or diversity where characters do not exist merely to make a point, is difficult in the setting and time period of the Harry Potter novels, yet they stress that this should not prevent fans of color from engaging with the books (“Harry Potter and the Struggle to Diversify”). Additionally, Weekes states that they feel it is “disingenuous” for Rowling to retrospectively attempt to claim characters’ races were written as deliberately ambiguous, thus allowing readers to see them as any race, particularly as “she can support the art and diverse casing without acting as though she actually had this in mind. She didn’t” (“Harry Potter and the Struggle to Diversify”). Even taking into consideration Rowling’s edits to Harry Potter there is a clear lack of representation across the series. Only a small group of students are POC, and only one character—Dumbledore—has been declared part of the LGBTQ+ community by Rowling. By comparison, racism and oppression are at the heart of the theme of Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. Adeyemi’s novel builds and improves where Rowling’s has been found lacking. Like Rowling, Adeyemi uses allegory and metaphor. Rowling uses the plight of creatures such as goblins and House Elves as stand-ins for oppression in the real-world, alongside the division of Purebloods—people of “pure” magical ancestry—and Mudbloods or Half-Bloods—people who have “muddied” the purity of the wizarding race with non-magical blood. To some extent, Adeyemi replicates this too—the Majiborn in her world are labelled as “maggots,” a word which has similar connotations to “mudblood.” Inan, the heir to the Orïshan throne, best sums up the attitude towards the Maji when he discovers he has latent magical abilities of his own, unlocked when he accidentally touches the scroll. Adeyemi writes in first person to underscore his thought process during this discovery. Once he unlocks his magic, he repeatedly refers to his powers as an “infection,” (151), a “curse,” (155), and something “venomous” (197) that taints his body and needs to be removed. Inan pushes down his powers until he can no longer control them and he becomes physically unable to cope with the strain of repressing them. He also initially believes that the only way to rid himself of this poisonous curse is to destroy Zélie, as she is the only one who is capable of restoring magic to the country. His sister, Amari, is less prejudiced against Maji and dîviners. Nevertheless, her naivety and ignorance are still criticized throughout the novel by Zélie, who understands the true implications of Amari’s actions. The catalyst for Amari stealing the scroll from her father is witnessing the death of her dîviner slave and “best friend,” Binta. Yet, Zélie questions how valid this friendship was, since it involved an uneven power dynamic. She repeatedly asks if it is natural for a “best friend [to] press your clothes and make you food without pay,” stressing how little control Binta had over her position in the palace (138). This power dynamic is further reinforced when Amari recalls how she snuck into her mother’s room to try on her jewellery (Adeymi, 216). For Amari, the punishment if caught is light. Yet Binta hesitates in the doorway during the scene. Although she pretends to be at ease for Amari’s sake, her body language betrays her fear of being caught, which carries a much more significant punishment than Amari would receive. Until later in the novel, Amari cannot comprehend that the unequal power dynamic means Binta could never truly be her friend, showing her

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new understanding of her own complicity in Binta’s treatment. Ultimately, Adeyemi’s novel “takes on African complicity in slavery in an unflinching depiction” (Murphey, 110). Throughout the narrative, African people hurt and kill one another, and “otherize […] other Africans to rationalize their brutalization, torture, slaughter, and enslavement” (Murphey, 111). Skin color is used to distinguish the kosidáns from the dîviners—lighter skin is considered beautiful and desirable, while darker skin is viewed as a sign that someone has “played in the mud” with a Maji or dîviner (Adeyemi, 125). The dîviners also have bright white hair which grows curly with magic use. These prejudices and markers appear to replicate the real-world issues of skin lightening cosmetics and surgeries, as well as the popularity of hair treatments which are meant to straighten hair and acquire the individual the social status that accompanies it and which can be “attributed to the constant, current mass-marketing of contemporary images of white beauty” (Hunter, 143). To some extent, this depiction of prejudice and obsession with “purity” is not so dissimilar from the metaphors of Mudbloods and Purebloods in Harry Potter, yet Adeyemi’s depiction of racism and oppression is arguably more nuanced. With the exception of Hermione, Harry and his friends rarely stop to think about the part they play in the oppression of House Elves and other magical creatures. Although Harry is outraged by the mistreatment of Dobby the House Elf, he does little to alleviate the suffering Dobby endures, and rarely, if ever, considers his own complicity in the oppression of House Elves. The issue of Purebloods and other types of wizards does come to the foreground eventually, but not until several books into the series, and even then it is often overshadowed by other issues. By comparison, Adeyemi’s depiction of racism and oppression is more nuanced, and attempts to show the different ways individuals may be complicit in racism. Furthermore, by concentrating on disturbing depictions of African people “otherizing” other Africans, and often profiting from the enslavement of others, Adeyemi opens up a complex debate about racism. Adeyemi’s argument towards countering this problem of racism appears to be unity and education, rather than revenge. While there is still a sense of pride in each Maji clan, there is also a sense that the old way of life is lost to them, and more emphasis is instead placed on the clans and others such as non-magic relatives and allies, uniting together to repair the world, rather than on their own separate loyalties and clan pride. Adeymi takes this one step further, by the end of Children of Blood and Bone, Zélie begins to realize that the tyrannical monarchy not only represses the Maji, but the other kosidáns too. Sensing that there is no chance for peace if people are not considered equal, she restores magic to all of Orïsha, granting it even to the kosidáns. In one of the most fan-quoted lines of the novel, Zélie declares that “we [the Orïshans] are all children of blood and bone. All instruments of vengeance and virtue” (Adeyemi, 593). Throughout her journey across Orïsha, Zélie encounters Amari, the daughter of the king, who risks her life to turn her back on her family and restore magic with a stolen scroll. Furthermore, Zélie also witnesses several surviving Maji unleashing their power on the king’s soldiers. Kwame, a man with the power to use fire, cuts his hand to use forbidden and potent blood magic against the soldiers. By doing so, he “burns with the power of his god, but it burns through him” turning him into a human torch (Adeyemi, 458). This scene of destruction forces Zélie to consider the consequences of granting magic to all dîviners, since she could grant power to someone as dangerous and ruthless as the king. In the wake of these discoveries, her goals shift with this understanding, and she resolves to end the brutal regime in order to restore peace to her country. While this appears to be her goal from early on, this realization takes away her desire for vengeance against many of the kosidáns. Although Zélie still sees herself as part of the Reaper clan, she acknowledges a more humanist approach to how she sees the world, and her identity arguably becomes more aligned with her loyalty to her country, rather than her loyalty to her clan. While this decision to give everyone magic is seemingly subconscious, rather than intentional on Zélie’s part, it ultimately gives power to everyone—removing the fear that magic will upset the balance of power in the world and make some groups more dangerous than others.

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While Slytherins are never treated as entirely equal to the other students in Harry Potter, and as a result Rowling’s series is never wholly successful at showing that people are stronger united than divided and that individuals can overcome their own flaws to help others in a time of need. In Children of Blood and Bone, the kosidáns initially appear to be the one-dimensional, evil, group. Several of the Maji clans too, are distinguished as more dangerous than others; Cancers can rot away the insides of a person, and those who wield fire magic are capable of burning armies alive. Yet, Adeyemi is careful to show the balance between good and evil—destruction and repairing. Cancers are not only able to cause ruin, they are also capable of healing. Even the kosidáns, who are repeatedly depicted as reaping the rewards of slavery through gladiator style competitions and gambling, as well as ownership, are sometimes capable of good. Amari helps to restore magic to the Maji, and several others help aid Zélie and her friends on their journey. CONCLUSION In conclusion, the phenomenal success of Rowling’s Harry Potter series has significantly altered the landscape of YA fiction. The impact is visible in both the way that YA is marketed, and in the tropes, themes and narratives that are explored in these books. YA novels such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Children of Blood and Bone have, to some extent, capitalized on the success of Harry Potter and amassed their own fandoms in the process. The role of sorting, of the act of being placed into a group based on personality types or abilities, is a common thread in YA literature, perhaps owing to the target age category of teenagers, and the way they often question their own identities and place in the world at this stage in their lives. Even so, while it is possible to see the influence of Rowling and the Sorting Hat ceremony on these works, it is clear that narratives such as Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone do not merely mirror the model that Rowling creates in her novels. Rather, through her writing, Adeyemi examines the importance and values of house pride and a sense of belonging as well as using similar models to address issues of racism and oppression in the real-world. In doing so, Children of Blood and Bone offers both a kind of riposte to the pleasures of sorting, and a reminder that loyalties can be owed to others outside of your own community. Although Rowling’s novels have different and distinct themes that set the series apart from Children of Blood and Bone, there is also a sense that the Harry Potter novels do, at times, oversimplify issues of oppression and prejudice. House Elves and other creatures who are seen as “less than” wizards are routinely forgotten about in the pursuit of ending Voldemort’s rise to power. Although Voldemort’s obsession with “purity” and the destruction of non-magical people is a significant focus in the book, the metaphors are occasionally clumsy and not nuanced. Ultimately, Children of Blood and Bone is a distinctly different narrative, and care should be taken when making comparisons to Rowling’s work. Nevertheless, through Zélie’s journey and growth as a heroine, it is possible to see where Adeyemi has attempted to perhaps use the foundations of the Sorting ceremony to give her characters and readers a sense of identity, while simultaneously trying to adapt it to her own narrative’s themes. Kelly Beestone ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to thank my supervisors, Susan Billingham and Ruth Maxey (University of Nottingham) for reading through several drafts of this article and aiding me in honing my ideas. I would also like to thank the readers who gave constructive feedback on the structure and arguments to help improve them. Your input was greatly appreciated

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NOTES Adeyemi’s work was inspired by images of the Orisha, the native deities of the Yoruba people. Adeyemi discovered the religion while on a trip to Brazil, claiming that the depictions of the gods in the postcards she found in a giftshop made her contemplate “all the beautiful images we never see featuring black people” (Hughes). 1

As far as the author is aware, the House Cup competition is no longer active, owing to the switch from Pottermore to Wizarding World. The original Pottermore website was designed to be interactive, allowing users to explore animated illustrations of scenes from the series. By finding hidden items in the images, and by doing other interactive activities such as making potions and duelling via minigames, users were awarded house points for their houses which were tallied at the end of the school year for the competition. Wizarding World, by comparison, is an encyclopaedia, intended to give users information on Rowling’s work. As there are no ways to “win” house points, it is unlikely that the competition has survived the change-over. 2

While Roth wrote Divergent before the publication of The Hunger Games, Roth’s novel is often considered a successor by YA scholars and critics owing to its popularity with YA readers and the similarity of the themes and genre of the two texts. 3

WORKS CITED “10 Million Pounds to Guard 7th Harry Potter Book.” Rediff 16th July, 2007. Accessed: 03/12/2020. Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone. Uncorrected proof edition. London: Pan Macmillan, 2018. Basu, Balaka. “What Faction Are You In? The Pleasure of Being Sorted in Veronica Roth’s Divergent.” Contemporary Dystopian Fiction for Young Adults: Brave New Teenagers. Ed. Balaka Basu, Katherine R. Broad, and Carrie Hintz. New York: Routledge, 2013. 19-35. Cart, Michael. Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. 3rd ed. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2016. 233-249. Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2011. Corliss, Richard. “Why ‘Harry Potter’ Did a Harry Houdini.” Time 21st July, 2000. Accessed: 03/10/2020.,9171,50554,00.html Fallon, Claire. “How ‘Harry Potter’ Saved Young Adult Fiction.” Huffington Post 27th June, 2017. Accessed: 03/06/2020. saved-young-adult-fiction_n_594c1c82e4b05c37bb7537f2?ri18n=true&guccounter=1&guce referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9jb25zZW50LnlhaG9vLmNvbS8&guce_referrer sig=AQAAAA0zI9CAzEujeUfZdIYklsv8yCdz2VaYfGSiHqcIzbZeLLboAx7Ca5Td4LrWP7 2FyGzuhyUiJhBCBLKGFSpKMT9UW4y_2q4UK4qkz0Ow3gAcgdhEUu3-6O3EY64 Pqk2cTCMXklmNJpxV5Xt6W6r5YbUuFOZGFK0YreSkSmEV4X Fitzsimmons, Rebekah. “Testing the Tastemakers: Children’s Literature, Bestseller Lists, and the ‘Harry

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Potter Effect.’” Children’s Literature 40 (2012): 78-107. Web.

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--- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. London: Bloomsbury, 2003. --- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. London: Bloomsbury, 1997.

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The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures Volume 1, Winter 2020 Pages 64 - 68


Of all the underlying themes and symbolism in the Harry Potter series, the parallels to Nazism and the Holocaust are some of the strongest. The correlation may not be noticeable at first, but it is a strong and rich connection that carries from the wizarding world into our own. A recent study showed that 10% of young adults in America “don’t believe that the Holocaust happened or aren’t sure that it took place,” an alarming statistic that demonstrates the need to educate people about this vital point in our history (“First-Ever…”). The Harry Potter series helps its readers to understand the Nazi regime and its effects by having them experience it through the books’ characters. By echoing themes from history in the story of the wizarding world, the Harry Potter series can connect that history back to our world and strengthen readers’ understanding of it, helping them learn to avoid the mistakes of the past and preserve the freedom they have. Voldemort and Adolf Hitler are counterparts central to the events of their respective eras, and recognizing the parallels between them can help Harry Potter readers learn to prevent the hatred, injustice, and oppression such people and their ideas can bring. The parental backgrounds of Hitler and Voldemort, though different on the surface, had similar effects on them. Hitler was very close to his mother, but had quite the opposite relationship with his father; he said himself, “I never loved my father, but feared him” (“Alois Hitler”). He started his political career in direct opposition to his father’s career goals for him, and through politics he was able to pursue his plan for a pureblood population. Tom Riddle valued his mother’s pureblood Slytherin lineage, and he hated his father for abandoning his mother, believing he left her solely in response to her magic (Rowling, Chamber 314). Like Hitler, Voldemort’s motivations for a pureblood society originated with his relationship with his father: he blamed his father for abandoning him to a miserable upbringing and for giving him “dirty blood” by being a Muggle. In pursuing their goals, both Hitler and Voldemort were fueled by hatred of their fathers, which led both of them to adopt extreme ideals. They allowed their hate to grow from one person to many, and resorted to genocide and totalitarian rule as a result of their nourished hatred. Voldemort shows what extremes hatred can lead people to, as well as the danger of those extremes. As readers recognize that danger in him, they can more easily recognize it in themselves and prevent it from becoming a risk to their own world. Hitler’s and Voldemort’s ideas for a pureblood regime further emphasize the theme of hatred in the Harry Potter series. They were each fixated on creating a “pureblood” society within the community they belonged to and then quickly expanded their focus to include the people outside their community. They had specific standards the members of their societies had to live up to, but they twisted the original meaning of those standards to fit their biases and goals. Hitler used “Aryan” to mean blond-haired, blue-eyed people of pure German ancestry,

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when in reality “Aryan” originally referred to a group of people in a certain area who spoke a certain language rather than being attributed to a race (“Aryan”). Likewise, Voldemort twisted what it meant to be a witch or wizard. Under his authority, Dolores Umbridge said Mary Cattermole wasn’t a witch because Mary was Muggle-born, even though she was part of the magical community and possessed magical abilities: “A wand was taken from you upon your arrival at the Ministry today, Mrs. Cattermole,” Umbridge was saying. “Eight-and-three-quarter inches, cherry, unicorn-hair core. Do you recognize that description?” Mrs. Cattermole nodded, mopping her eyes on her sleeve. “Could you please tell us from which witch or wizard you took that wand?” “T-took?” sobbed Mrs. Cattermole. “I didn’t take it from anybody. I b-bought it when I was eleven years old. It—it—it—chose me.” She cried harder than ever. … “No,” said Umbridge, “no, I don’t think so, Mrs. Cattermole. Wands only choose witches or wizards. You are not a witch. I have your responses to the questionnaire that was sent to you here—Mafalda, pass them to me. … ‘Parents’ professions: greengrocers’” (Rowling, Deathly 260–261). Instead of focusing on the abilities of magical people, Voldemort’s regime was only concerned with their background and birth status to determine what group they belonged to. The regime’s focus on pureblood status echoed the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews, which included categorizing German Jews as other than German citizens under the Nuremberg Laws, beginning the dehumanization process by taking away their citizenship (“Nuremberg Race Laws”). Hitler and Voldemort were able to enforce these categorizations by inciting fear in the citizens so that they would conform to their standards. Hitler and Voldemort were both eventually overthrown to (ideally) restore justice, but there was still great damage done. The way in which the regimes mirror each other shows the danger and injustice inherent in a system built on hatred and fear. Recognizing that parallel can guide readers to recognize corruption and prejudice around them when people’s basic human rights are not being respected, and it can inspire them to challenge such conduct when they are faced with it. As with the regimes, there are also many parallels between the inner workings of their accompanying systems, which draw attention to their leaders’ individual desires for control and further develop Harry Potter’s case for the negative consequences of fear and oppression. One such parallel is the distribution of information within the German and magical societies. The German government under Nazi control made it nearly impossible for citizens to obtain the full truth because they only fed citizens information that put the Nazi regime in a positive light and made the citizens believe the Third Reich was growing and succeeding (“Deceiving the Public”). Withholding the truth enabled them to lull the people into a false sense of security and helped promote the regime’s popularity. These same events and effects appeared in the Hogwarts education system, specifically in Harry’s fifth and would-be seventh years. The system under Umbridge put the students at the mercy of the government to receive correct information. The Ministry made them believe Voldemort was not alive and discredited anyone who dared say otherwise (Rowling, Order 94–95). They tried to assure the wizarding community there was no such evil in the world. In a similar manner, Hitler’s government used its control of media and education to persuade the Germans of the Nazis’ goodness and the corruption of other governments. Neither system allowed for freedom of thought among their citizens, instead opting for a method where citizens were forced into one way of thinking and were punished for drifting from that one way. Dumbledore countered this propagandized information through his succinct yet profound wisdom: “It is my belief that the truth is generally preferable to lies” (Rowling, Goblet 722). Dumbledore provided a basis for strong moral values in his students early on—enigmatic though he may be—which enabled them to push back

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against the increasingly controlling forces that later invaded their lives and education. His wisdom can also provide readers with direction to navigate their way through the contradictory voices of society and uphold agents of integrity. Another direct parallel between the systems is the use of fear to bend the people to the government’s will, which contributes to the story’s examination of each system’s ineffectiveness. In Nazi Germany, Nazis boycotted and destroyed many Jewish businesses and committed acts of violence against Jewish Germans (“Jewish Businesses”). They also “required Jews to identify themselves as Jewish,” initially to separate them from the population but ultimately to ensure their eradication (“Locating the Victims”). Like the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, Muggle-borns during the time of Voldemort’s influence experienced persecution and alienation from society. Muggle-borns were required to register with the Ministry of Magic under the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, ostensibly for the already prejudiced purpose of determining how they acquired magical abilities but really for the purpose of imprisoning and sometimes killing them (Rowling, Deathly 209, 439). The Commission claimed they were “inviting” Muggle-borns to register, but in fact any Muggle-borns who did not willingly register were hunted down and forcibly turned in by Snatchers (Rowling, Deathly 382). Using the Snatchers instilled fear and hopelessness in Muggle-borns to make them think they had no choice but to submit to their fate, much like the Nazis’ use of the Gestapo. However, though the risk may have been high, some witches and wizards were willing to fight against the new system to preserve the freedom of Muggleborns. This resistance alludes to those under the Third Reich who willingly stood up for and protected their persecuted friends, often risking their own lives in doing so. That courage, the willingness to counter persecution and fear—the courage to stand for what is right—is essentially what Harry Potter prompts readers to aspire to as they read. The use of fear also attempts to hide the frailty of each system, which is exposed through the hypocrisy within the highest positions of government. Hitler himself did not meet the standards he held the German citizenry to. He was not “Aryan” to the extent he wanted everyone else to be, and he had Jewish friends, such as a little girl named Rosa Nienau with whom he kept friendly correspondence (until his private secretary advised her and her mother to cut off contact), and Eduard Bloch, the family’s former physician whom Hitler even gave Gestapo protection to until Bloch could complete his preparations for emigration (“Remarkable tale…,” Bloch). He punished anyone who was Jewish or who was associated with helping Jews in any way, yet he inexplicably held himself exempt from the penalty of his own mandate. Similarly, Voldemort and other high-ranking officials within his government did not embody the ideals they enforced. Voldemort preached pureblood principles, yet he was himself a half-blood because of his father. Dolores Umbridge, another high-ranking government official, was also a half-blood, as revealed outside the books by J.K. Rowling on the Pottermore website. Umbridge and her father rejected her mother and brother because they were not magical (Rowling, “Dolores”). From then on she disregarded her very nature and professed to be pureblood, while placing under judgment and dooming those she shared a common bond of Muggle blood with. These leaders’ actions help us recognize their motivations for placing citizens in fear of the government because people in fear may question leadership, but when the hypocrisy of their leaders comes to light, their fear of repercussions will make them less inclined to speak out against it. The few who choose to stand in opposition to oppression and discrimination, who challenge hypocrisy and defend the truth, are the ones who maintain freedom for themselves and others. Resistance movements and freedom fighters within each regime opposed the prejudice of their governments and communities, which holds significance for readers today. During the Nazi occupation, resistance movements sprang up throughout Europe and continued through World War II as circumstances became increasingly dangerous for Jews and Jewish sympathizers. They tried to shelter many Jews and fight back against the Nazis in any way they could as the occupation grew, though

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the “dangers were exceptionally high: captured members of the Resistance were usually shot or sent to concentration camps” (Bentley). Freedom fighters entered the Resistance willingly, aware of the risks they were taking. They could not be passive in their efforts or remain submissive to a system they knew was inherently wrong; if they had been passive or submissive, the Resistance would not have survived and the Nazis would have gained more power and control, not just in one country but throughout the world. We see that same resistance and willingness to fight in Harry Potter and his friends, specifically in their own resistance movements of the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army. Members of the Order included Nymphadora Tonks, Arthur Weasley, and Kingsley Shacklebolt, who were able to spy for the Order from their jobs within the Ministry of Magic. As Sirius Black pointed out, “It’s very important for us to have spies inside the Ministry, because you can bet Voldemort will have them” (Rowling, Order 95). Having their own people in government positions enabled them to fight back more effectively against the growing tyranny of the Voldemort-influenced administration, just as some members of Hitler’s government were able to carry out a plot to terminate his reign (Noble). Similarly, Dumbledore’s Army was able to fight back against the tyranny of Umbridge’s administration at Hogwarts, as well as the larger oppression once the Death Eaters occupied and took control of the school. Voldemort’s downfall was hastened as multiple resistance groups fought against his reign. Ron was right when he said, “People won’t let this happen,” because while many gave in to the new systems of both Hitler and Voldemort, there were others who cared more about preserving human life and liberty than they did their own lives (Rowling Deathly 209). Harry Potter shows that just as Ron and Hermione were not afraid to be associated with Harry, the alleged criminal, anyone who sees injustice should not be afraid to be seen on the side of freedom. The parallels to Nazism in the Harry Potter stories are not necessarily meant to lead readers to rebel against the government or any other general institution. Rather, these parallels show readers what can happen if they give too much power and credibility to those who would silence their voices and stifle their freedom, who would keep them in a state of fear to ensure they remain submissive. These parallels motivate readers to sustain and to nurture a world and society where they can express their thoughts freely and seek out reliable information for themselves. They encourage readers to stand for what they know is right, without fear of persecution. They reinforce readers’ understanding of history to keep events of the past fresh in their minds, keeping history relevant and safeguarding against any repetition of it. Most importantly, the parallels between Nazism and Harry Potter remind readers that they are not defined by any kind of status, no matter what society may tell them; people are defined by who they choose to be, what they choose to do. Voldemort was conceived of a love potion and therefore could not understand love (Rowling, Order 844, Deathly 710). He could not love, but readers learn that they can and should choose to love others so that they can see each other as equals, as beings of great potential and worth and avoid the prejudices and injustices found in history. Gaining love and empathy is the unfailing safeguard that will ensure justice is maintained. As Dumbledore said in his continuing sagacity: “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided” (Rowling, Goblet 723). Sandra Edwards

WORKS CITED “Alois Hitler.” Spartacus Educational,, Copyright 1997–2020. Accessed 16 September 2020. “Aryan.” Britannica, Edited by Adam

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Zeidan. Accessed 16 September 2020.

Bentley, Stewart. “The Dutch Resistance and the OSS.” Central Intelligence Agency. https:// studies/spring98/Dutch.html. Accessed 1 June 2020. Bloch, Eduard. “My Patient, Hitler.” Journal of Historical Review, Institute for Historical Review, May 1994. Accessed 29 May 2020. “Deceiving the Public.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Accessed 28 May 2020. “First-Ever 50-State Survey on Holocaust Knowledge of American Millennials and Gen Z Reveals Shocking Results.” Claims Conference. study/. Accessed 18 September 2020. “Jewish Businesses.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/kristallnacht/jewish businesses. Accessed 29 May 2020. “Locating the Victims.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Accessed 28 May 2020. Noble, L. “Operation Valkyrie 1944.” Cambridge University Library. University of Cambridge, collections/spotlight-archive/operation-valkyrie. Accessed 19 September 2020. “Nuremberg Race Laws.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Accessed 31 May 2020. “Remarkable tale of Hitler’s young Jewish friend.” BBC News, 13 November 2018, https:// Accessed 28 May 2020. Rowling, J.K. “Dolores Umbridge.” Pottermore, Aug. 10, 2015. https://www.wizarding Accessed 28 May 2020. --- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York, Scholastic, 1999. --- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York, Scholastic, 2007. --- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York, Scholastic, 2000. --- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York, Scholastic, 2003.

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This paper utilizes the phenomenologist Martin Heidegger’s idea of language and his philosophy of “the Other” in order to explore the relationship between death and Dasein (existence) as the essence of the human being in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. In the West, language is understood through a Eurocentric lens, rendering any other nuances or influences invisible. This distorts a word’s many valent meanings; even more problematic for Heidegger, is the lack of questioning or thought surrounding language. In the films, Harry attempts to uncover his self as a true self through his connection with others, both dead and alive. For Heidegger, “the Other” is not outside of one’s self, it is instead part of one’s being. Dasein as existence includes both self and other. As one of the first global thinkers, Heidegger’s philosophy on language and thinking is a nexus between East Asian and Western thought,1 and is crucial in understanding the importance of Harry’s relationship with others, both dead and alive. 1. LANGUAGE AND BEING Graham Parkes’ Heidegger and Asian Thought explains that Asian thought is not widely accepted in the Western world. Parkes attributes this to the gross distortion of language in texts because “there is no command of the Eastern languages either in Europe or the United States” (Parkes 12). Heidegger asserts: “the more one understands language, the deeper one’s understanding of the philosophy” (13). This deeper understanding of philosophy would allow the West to “add our voices to the dialogue in other tongues and learn to read with wider opened eyes and ears, we may then be able to engage Asian thought in such a way that ‘there sings something that wells up from a single source’ ” (13). By adding to the dialogue, the West is forced to think and consider other perspectives.

Synthesis is impossible without multiple perspectives. Parkes explains, Heidegger’s thinking, on the contrary, is a response, in full historical self-awareness, to the phenomenon of what he calls “world-civilization,” to its correlate, the process of “the Europeanization of the Earth” and to its consequence, homelessness. As Heidegger puts it: “Homelessness has become a world destiny in the form of world-civilization” (21).

To be homeless, people must not have a dwelling: “for Heidegger there are two main aspects to dwelling: to dwell is to be cared for and protected from harm in the dwelling place and also to care for and protect from harm the things of the dwelling place” (Watts 112-113). People are homeless because their Dasein is informed and controlled by a society where thought is not: “The danger comes from what Heidegger has called the framework, the peculiar constellation

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of man and Being that lies hidden, un-thought, in technology as its characteristic mode of concealment” (Parkes 22-23). Individuals are not protected or cared for; rather, they are told how to be and live without thinking because technology has taken over that responsibility for the West. The West therefore, according to Heidegger, is homeless: the lack of expanded perspectives and influx of technology renders thinking futile and abnormal. Heidegger pleads with the West to think of the un-thought – to question rather than accept statement as fact. Parkes explains, The Heideggerian question is: Must not there be a different way of grasping things than the one which was launched by the Greeks, a way that needs to be fashioned yet by becoming aware of the implicit and unquestioned foundations on which they built? And must it not be, not an alternate way which can be substituted for the Greek, but rather a foundational way which can provide the Greek and the Western enterprise with the foundation of a more primordial awareness and thus break its appearance of absoluteness and independence? For there is no choice between two alternatives today. The Greek way has become world destiny. This is our world, and the only choice left is whether through another manner of thinking … the quest of a common world of shared meaning and ways of speaking. (25-26) Heidegger asks us to question thinking and all things that we hold as fact. Why are our notions preconceived? Who informed us of these notions? Why do we think of some thing in a particular way? How is our thinking controlled? When do we think? When do we not think? How does our language convey our thinking? Watts explains that the new beginning Heidegger “envisages for the West can only spring from the West itself ” (Watts 230). Heidegger’s quest, aside from returning to thinking about the un-thought, is to return to a form of speech where word’s meanings are used so that both the East and West can understand one another.

1.1 Solution to un-thought: Asian Thinking Heidegger has rethought emphasis on thinking and language. Heidegger realizes that Western philosophy is alone, not enough – it needs to be combined with thought from East Asia: “Heidegger maintains that even the rationalism of the West has mystical [elements]. . . By ignoring its mystical element, Western philosophy helps to seal its own death warrant, for it cannot survive indefinitely without drawing sustenance from that which cannot be thought” (Froese 219-220). The exploration of the un-thought is the missing element from Western philosophy [the mystical]; Heidegger guides thinking by introducing concepts and language common in East Asia in conversation with the West. Heidegger guides us so that we can understand philosophy by first understanding language and learning to think and question: “A world has past but its linke with the present are not broken” (Parkes 16). He is able to bridge these two worlds through thinking. For example, Heidegger chooses the word Dasein to describe a human’s essence, undercutting the “Cartesian dualism of mind and body” (11). 2. “THE OTHER” The crux of the Harry Potter films is the relationship between the self and the other. Harry and Voldemort are connected from the moment of Lily’s death and because of it, Harry struggles to decipher who his real self is. Harry is inextricably connected to Voldemort but he is not Voldemort and Voldemort is not him. This is more thoroughly explained by Heidegger: “What someone is, and how he is, is nobody: no one and yet everyone with one another. Everyone is not himself . . . An entity that is the possibility of I am is as such, for the most part, an entity that one is” (Heidegger 8E – 9E). Exploring “the Other” is collecting sameness and it is where you find yourself; it allows being. Both parts of Dasein, being-inthe-world and being-with-one-another, and the parts of the self, I and Other, are unified through care. Heidegger asserts: “As this being- in-the world, Dasein is, together with this, being-with-one-another,

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being with Others” (Heidegger 7E). “The Other” is therefore un-extractable from the I. Dasein is specifically my own and therefore “the Other’s” Dasein is specifically his or her own. The basic mode of being is care (Inwood 35). Care or sorge (35): “anxiety, worrying arising out of apprehensions concerning the future” (35). It is the “dominant member of the triad” (35) and understood “concerned-solicitous care” (36). All three – sorge, besorgen, and fürsorge – are interrelated but care is the epicentre, without it the other two could not exist. However, fürsorge, which is concern for others (36). The first part is fürsorge as “immediately relieves the other of care and in its concern puts itself in the other’s place, leaps in for him” (36). In this state of fürsorge, I try to help by doing for “the Other.” The second part is fürsorge, “‘attentively leaps ahead of the other’ in order from there to give him back care” (36). Dasein does what it wills (36). “The Other” is the fulcrum between being-in-the-world and being-with-one-another (miteinandersin (Inwood 31)). Being-with-one-another refers to “having the same world there with Others, encountering one another, being with one another in the manner of being-for-one-another” (Heidegger 7E). I am always mit (with) others even when I am not close bei (by) them, because of my Dasein (Inwood 31). However, my nearness or farness from one has “little to do with measurement along the dimensions or ‘parameters’ of space and time” (138). According to Inwood, the main sense of the meaning of being-with-one-another or fürsorge is “actively caring for someone who needs help” (35). This can also be called solicitude (35): I am only with others because of my beingin-the-world – both aspects of Dasein are connected. My concern exists because of Others and I know the Others because of my being-in-the-world. My mitsein (33) allows me to empathize with Others: I am an Other to all those I encounter and am with in the world. Heidegger’s mitsein is an in-between self and other which includes both. Heidegger’s being-with- others contrasts with a more common use of “the Other” as alterity coming from Levinas which means someone else as singular and unknown as an exteriority: “The face speaks to me and thereby invites me to a relation…The Other is the sole being that I can wish to kill” (198). 3. HARRY POTTER: SUMMARY In J.K. Rowling’s series, Harry Potter, the main characters--hero, Harry Potter, and villain, Tom Riddle (better known as Voldemort)--epitomize Heidegger’s understanding of “the Other.” In the novels, Voldemort is the “Dark Lord” – he misuses his magical powers to control, kill and obtain power rather than to maintain a secret utopian world. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling explains that Voldemort has gathered an army to kill any wizard or witch that is classified as a “mudblood” – any magical being born from one or two non-magical parents – or any person that refused to join him. In the midst of his quest Voldemort was told a prophecy of a boy that would grow up to kill him. At that moment, the intent of his search changed; he needed to kill that boy before he would kill him. On the other hand, Levinas might argue that “the Other” cannot be comprehended without reducing to the self.2 After an investigation, Voldemort decided that Harry Potter was the boy the prophecy alluded to. Voldemort found Harry and his parents; he first killed Harry’s father, James, and then intended to kill Harry. Harry’s mother, Lily, however, cast herself between Voldemort’s Avada Kedavra spell and her toddler causing the spell to kill Lily instead. This act of love caused the spell to rebound and “kill” Voldemort. However, as is revealed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort was creating horcruxes prior to this “death.” A horcrux is an object in which a wizard has hidden a part of their soul in an attempt to be immortal – their soul will continue to live unless all the horcruxes are found and destroyed. Voldemort had created six before being murdered with his own spell and unknowingly created a seventh the night he tried to kill Harry. When the spell rebounded, Voldemort’s soul clung on to the only living thing it could find – Harry Potter. Voldemort had become a part of Harry, and in the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry becomes part of Voldemort. Harry Potter’s blood is used to resurrect Voldemort

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officially disarming the protective spell Lily Potter’s act of love cast on to Harry at her death (this is why even as a young boy, Harry Potter was able to escape the evil masterminds that were loyal to Voldemort and his mission to kill him). The two grow more and more alike after Voldemort proclaims that Harry Potter’s blood runs through his veins; Harry could speak to snakes because Voldemort could, the two could feel each other’s pain, read each other’s minds and to a certain extent control them. In Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry discovers what a horcrux is and dedicates his time to finding and destroying them. While completing this task, Voldemort again uses his army to kill others but unlike the last, it was directed at anyone that supported Harry. Voldemort speaks to Harry and tells him that he must meet him in the Forbidden Forest and face death or he will kill every last witch and wizard. On the way to the forest, Harry meets the ghosts of his mother, father, godfather, and close family friend and teacher, who tell him not to fear death. Harry accepts death, approaches Voldemort, and is killed. Harry then appears in an all white world with a bloody carcass cast off to the side. This body represents the part of Voldemort that existed inside of Harry and the part of Harry that died is the part that existed inside of Voldemort. Harry’s body regains consciousness and triumphantly returns and conquers Voldemort as the “Master of Death” (to be the “Master of Death” one must have the cloak of invisibility, the Elder wand, and the resurrection stone – all which are owned by Harry). It is only at this point that Harry and Voldemort are able to kill each other because they no longer exist within one another. 4. FILM ANALYSIS Heidegger and his philosophy of “the Other” is integral to discovering the importance of relationships in J.K. Rowling’s novels. Lily Potter’s Dasein functioned as both her and Harry because of her care for him. In the moment where she sacrifices her own life for “the Other” (Harry), Lily’s Dasein is in a revealing state of fürsorge – she ended her life so that she could step ahead, into death, and guide Harry: “Dasein becomes ‘essentially’ Dasein in . . . authentic existence” (McManus 16), and death is the moment this occurs (56). When Lily chose to face death her Dasein was in its most lucid state because it made a decision in isolation from “the Other” but because of “the Other”: “in death we will fully become who we were in the process of becoming, and now we must live with our chosen self forever” (Irwin & Bassham 253). Accepting death and choosing to face it means that Lily’s Dasein was in a lucid state of being: she was content enough be exactly what she was and nothing more: “Heidegger . . . thought that authentic living requires a choice to face boldly what our death implies: that we will no longer be . . . its imminence should shape how we live and think right now” (247). A self is of its own (authentic) because it struggles with the everyday distraction of which it is not (inauthentic). Lily Potter lived as herself: “recognizing limitations, seizing opportunities, and accepting one’s own morality” (249). As a powerful witch, Lily had the power to continue living under Voldemort’s regime but knew she would not be who she was by doing so. Watts states: So, according to Heidegger, equanimity in the face of death arises when Dasein is released from its egocentric, metaphysical understanding of existence and is unified with the infinite totality of Being itself. Most importantly, in this unification with Being there arises an ecstatic “belonging to the essential in all beings” (GA 52: 65) that enables him to “guard the truth of Being, in order that beings might appear in the light of Being as the beings are” (“Letter on Humanism,” in BW: 234). Thus for Dasein, dwelling as an ordinary mortal “being-in-the-world” require simultaneously dwelling beyond the world . . . death, as “the shrine of Nothing” is “the presencing” of “the mystery of Being itself ” (PLT: 178). (Watts 114-115) She knew she would not join Voldemort because she accepted her own morality and was willing to face death – by doing so she was able to move into her remaining future in life and death. More importantly, Lily, like Harry would years later, faced death for the benefit of “the Other” releasing her Dasein from its

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egocentrism. Her Being is maintained in death because she died belonging to “the Other” state of being. On the other hand, Voldemort feared death and lived because he failed to accept his own mortality. For Voldemort death represents that which annihilates everything that matters: one’s entire sense of self when in an egocentric prison (114). His creation and concealment of the horcruxes depicts his obsession with being immortal and inability to face death: “it’s Voldemort’s misguided fear of death that has driven the unspeakable acts that have obliterated any trace of goodness within him, but it is because of these choices that Voldemort now actually has reason to fear death” (Irwin & Bassham 251). Voldemort is unable to face death because he does not want to be thrown against his being – he does not accept who he is because he does not live fully. Voldemort’s Dasein is “the Other” so that he can destroy the other; his fürsorge is concerned with “the Other’s” ability to interpret his being rather than with “the Other” itself. Voldemort chooses to be fallen in order to control his own being through the manipulation of Others. The translation of Voldemort is “flight in death” which encapsulates his life – constantly fleeing from death and being. On the other hand, Harry – in German Heinrich – means ruler of the home (Harry). Harry, unlike Voldemort, is the ruler of his own dwelling – his being. Watts explains dwelling as, “to feel fundamentally safe in the world . . . the ultimate threat to our security is death . . . then dwelling implies that we feel safe, even in the face of death” (Watts 114). Harry’s name alone tells that he is at home and in control of his being. He truly lives because, like his mother, his being is dependent and cares on “the Other.” Harry willingly faces death throughout each book in an attempt to end the Dark Lord’s reign and give life and freedom back to “the Others.” In the final book, Voldemort calls Harry to meet him: “On this night, you have allowed your friends to die for you, rather than face me yourself. There is no greater dishonor. Join me in the Forbidden Forest, and confront your fate. If you do not do this, I shall kill every last man, woman and child who tries to conceal you from me” (Yates). Harry accepts death and allows Voldemort to kill him: “Dumbledore knew that if faced with this choice, Harry would follow through, even though it was his end . . . Dumbledore knew, as Voldemort knew, that Harry would not let anyone else die for him now that he had discovered it was in his power to stop it” (Irwin & Bassham 248). Harry would not allow others to continue dying for him because he understood that his being was dependent on “the Other” and therefore cared for them. The difference between Harry and Voldemort is Harry’s concern for “the Other”: The implication is that this “Other” exists beyond the extinction of beings, and that, in the state, of equanimity characterized by “dwelling,” Dasein experiences itself, in some sense, as this “Other.” . . . Since identity is determined by “that with which you identify,” and what you identify with is what you “care about,” then if Dasein succeeds in severing its identification with the “mortal ego,” and instead, for some reason, identifies with something that it experiences as being its “authentic or deeper self ” – a self that is untouched by death – then Dasein would cease caring about the death of its mortal self (the physical body and the ego), it would no longer feel any need to “evade” death, and thus it might experience complete equanimity in the face of death. (Watts 114) Harry identifies himself with people who have been untouched by death and faced it with acceptance. Harry and Voldemort’s relationship illuminates the strength between one’s Dasein and “the Other.” Harry and Voldemort cannot murder one another throughout their various battles because they exist within one another. In caring for themselves they essentially care for “the Other” because “the Other” is part of them. Harry realizes, prior to being summoned to the Forbidden Forest by Voldemort that the only way to kill Voldemort is to let Voldemort kill him: “Harry understands at last that he was not supposed to survive. His job was to walk calmly in Death’s welcoming arms . . . Neither would live, neither could survive” (Killinger 111). Voldemort must kill the part of him inside Harry in order to separate their beings and loose his immunity to death. When Harry is murdered he appears at King’s

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Cross Station – a train station – where he meets the part of Voldemort living inside him. Unlike Harry, who in death is still being, Voldemort is immobile. Harry is able to return to his remaining future, free of Voldemort, because in living through death his being becomes completely his own. His Dasein reached its fullest state and wills to return and continue fighting against Voldemort: “ ‘I think,’ said Dumbledore, ‘that if you choose to return, there is a chance that he may be finished for good . . . you have a lot less to fear from returning here than he does” (Yates). Dumbledore tells Harry that since he has already accepted and faced his Dasein– death – he has nothing left to fear. If he were to die completely he would return to the resting state of his being, which is no different than his life because he lived it as himself. Voldemort however, has more to fear because he has not yet faced his true being and would be thrown against it in death: “ ‘Do not pity the dead Harry . . . Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love” (Killinger 115). Love here is synonymous with care – those who live with care for “the Other” should be pitied. Prior to dying, Harry encounters four dead people he cares for and who care for him. His mother, Lily, father, James, god-father, Sirius Black, and teacher and close family friend, Professor Lupin, all guide Harry and encourage him to be brave and accept death: “And again Harry understood without having to think. It did not matter about bringing them [his departed loved ones] back, for he was about to join them. He was not really fetching them; They were fetching him” (Bassham 249). Harry was no longer calling them and wishing for the people he cared about and lost to be alive and part of his life – he realized they already were (they were part of his being). Harry’s departed loved ones were “fetching” him so that he too could live in his fullest state of his being and return to conquer his nemesis. Heidegger’s philosophy is a bridge between East Asian thought and the Western World that brings forward new ways of thinking and understanding. Harry is only able to understood his true self when he is able to understand “the Other.” Harry and Voldemort are in part each other but Harry is not Voldemort and Voldemort is not Harry. Heidegger urges the West to re-think and question all things, to consider why I think a certain way and most importantly, push beyond the horizon of the Western world. Alyssa Racco NOTES I wish to thank my long-time mentor Professor Jay Goulding of York University’s Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought for awakening me to the connections between East Asian and Western thought. 1

A referee of this paper astutely suggests: “Voldemort’s weakness and inauthenticity…stems from the fact that he thinks he understands Harry and death and refuses to remain open to the mysterious dimension of both of these Others, while Harry’s strength and authenticity stem from his not trying to subsume Voldemort and death to something that can be known.” 2

WORKS CITED Columbus, Chris, director. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2001. Columbus, Chris, director. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2002.

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Cuaron, Alfonso, director. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2004. Froese, K. Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Daoist thought: Crossing paths in-between. SUNY Press, 2012. Goulding, Jay. “Xiong Wei : Chinese Philosophy and Hermeneutic Phenomenology” Gate of Philosophy, Beijing University’s Journal of Philosophy Special 90th Anniversary of the Dept. of Philosophy, vol. 5, pp. 116-130. 2004. Print. ————. “Heidegger’s Daoist Phenomenology,” in David Chai ed. Heidegger and Dao, the first book dedicated to Heidegger and Daoism. London: Bloomsbury. forthcoming. Print. Goulding, Jay. ed. China-West Interculture, Toward the Philosophy of World Integration: Essays on Wu Kuang-ming’s Thinking. The Association of Chinese Philosophers in America (ACPA) Series of Chinese and Comparative Philosophy, festschrift honorary volume for a leading scholar in Chinese Daoist philosophy. New York: Global Scholarly Publications. 2008. Print. “Harry.” Meaning Of Name. Web. 1 May 2015. <>. Heidegger, Martin, and Albert Hofstadter. The Basic Problems of Phenomenology: Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Indiana UP, 1988. Heidegger, Martin. The Concept of Time. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1992. Inwood, M. J. A Heidegger Dictionary. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000. Irwin, W., & Bassham, G. (Eds.). The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles (Vol. 7). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Levinas, Immanuel. Totality and Infinity. Pittsburg: Duquesne University Press, 1969. McManus, Denis. Heidegger, Authenticity, and the Self: Themes from Division Two of Being and Time. Abingdon: Routledge, 2015. Print. Newell, Mike, director. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2005. Parkes, Graham. Heidegger and Asian Thought. Honolulu: U of Hawaii, 1987. Print. Watts, Michael. The Philosophy of Heidegger. Durham: Acumen, 2011. Print. Yates, David, director. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2007. Yates, David, director. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2009. Yates, David, director. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2010. Yates, David, director. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2011.