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Symmetry in the Harry Potter Books.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheAxeofMetal, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. TheAxeofMetal

    TheAxeofMetal Muggle

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    Just something I noticed in a combination of rereads and shower thoughts. The Books are connected, not sure if it was intentional on JK's part but I would guess maybe.

    First and Seventh books deal with the Start and End of Harry and Voldemort. It deals a lot with Voldemort's immortality, Philosopher's Stone and the Horcruxes. It involves rare magical artifacts, Stone and Hallows. It also involves the 2 most removed parts of Harry's story, how he landed at the Durselys 10 years before the main story and how his life progressed 19 years after the main story. The first book is all about making friends, the seventh is about losing friends. Plus Voldemort in the castle as Quirrel and Voldemort having the castle in his Control.

    The Second and Sixth book delve more into what Voldemort did with his life, The Chamber of Secrets and the Acts the Voldemort committed during and after Hogwarts. They are the two books that focus the most on Horcruxes, if the diary hadn't cropped up in CoS it's possible that HBP might not have happened. 2&6 also starts and ends Aragog in the HP books. The Narcissistic ignorant DADA teacher and the not exactly pleasant but highly knowledgable DADA teacher.

    Third and Fifth deal with things that aren't directly tied to Voldemort. Ministry incompetence and favouritism, posting Dementors around Hogwarts and not even loooking into the evidence around Voldemort. As well as Fudge letting Harry off the hook after he blows up Marge and how Fudge is in the pocket of Lucius. It's also the books where Azkaban breakout's occur the most. It's also a polar opposites of teacher of DADA, competent Half-Breed with a liking for Harry and useless Pure-Blood Supremacist with a hatred for Harry. Also in Book 3 is when Harry meets Sirius and Book 5 is when Harry loses Sirius. Another point the difference in the reactions to Harry's underage magic, blowing up his aunt waved off vs full Wizengamot trial for defending himself.

    The Fourth book is a mid point. Everything leads up to this point and everything leads from this point. This is the mirror in the equation. It involves Ministry, Quidditch Cup and Triwizard Tournament. It involves Voldemort, Azkaban breakout. It culminates with Voldemort returning and the most obvious show of Ministry incompetence in the denial of Voldemort's return. Book Four can fit with any other book. It is the mirror.

    I've talked about his on the Harry Potter subreddit but wanted to get your opinions on my theory. Feel free to discuss, call me an idiot reaching for straws. Have fun.
     
  2. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    You know what, this is actually pretty awesome and makes a lot of sense when you think about it. This reminded me of a tumblr post in the funny pics thread that theorized about Harry, Snape and Voldemort as the three brothers and Dumbledore as Death and one of the replies was along the lines of "it's been years and HP still screws with my head".

    Maybe some of it is reaching, but it's cool enough that I don't care.
     
  3. Lesath

    Lesath Second Year

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    It makes sense. Insightfull study.
    One issue remain painted unilaterally in books. Pureblood supremacy neither get reasoning nor roots. Salazar Slytherin doesn't count - I think it's something wizards added to his bio after statute of secrecy and there doesn't exist any justification left behind by him. As a teacher and founder he certainly would make one.

    So even if books show two sides of conflict, they don't show their rights and wrongs. And before someone say supporters of supremacy don't have debating point, I will sugest to read THIS.


    It remind me also a bit other theory - equating following toms to stages/phases of alchemy. If someone is interested there are many articles on the net, but this one sum up it quite well.
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    All I think this shows is that if you're selective about what bits of information you focus on and what bits you ignore, you can shoe horn any pattern into a larger narrative. Humans are great at drawing connections and finding patterns, even when there isn't actually a pattern there.

    In this particular case, for example, we have "Third and Fifth deal with things that aren't directly tied to Voldemort." Except there's a lot of inconvenient information that undermines that. We did, in fact, see Voldemort in book five. The two books in which Voldemort doesn't appear are three and six. But that destroys the pattern so it's ignored.

    I think there's a lot to be said about GoF being a transition book between two very different halves. JKR has said as much. But I think further symmetry is really stretching. For example: why accidental magic? It's a single, relatively minor, plot point. Using it to prove symmetry is like using "these are the books where Harry used a car" or "these are the books where the colour orange features prominently". It's cherry picking at its finest.
     
  5. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Still sour about the flag?
     
  6. Atram Noctem

    Atram Noctem High Inquisitor

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    This isn't exactly a new idea, see for example this article by redhen, or this post. HP is indeed full of symmetry, between books, between characters, events, even words (Harry and Dumbledore's "You're with me"/"I'm with you" in HBP) and it's interesting to find it. Like Snape dying in the Shrieking Shack from the bite of a deadly creature, which mirrors the infamous prank.
     
  7. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    You just blew my mind. Dumbledore gave all three artefacts out, in a way: Voldemort took the Wand forcefully, and Dumbledore gave the Cloak and the Stone to Harry voluntarily.

    Voldemort - Obsessed with power like the big brother, Snape - unable to let go of the dead like Cadmus, and Harry accepting Death like an old friend like Ignotus. (And you might make a case for Dumbledore sort-of enabling Snape's stymied emotional state so that he may take advantage of his fixation, though I doubt Snape was ever going to let go of that anyway.)

    Though personally I've always drawn parallels between Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Harry and the three brothers. The Wand is passed down by force and ended in Albus's hands after a bloodied history; Tom inherited the Stone and Harry inherited the Cloak. It fits with their canon history: Dumbledore signifies power, Tom and Cadmus signifies the inability to deal with death, and Harry is enshrouded in Death and had been dealing with the fact of it practically since birth. (I do wonder whether Rowling already had the Hallows planned when she gave Harry an Invisibility Cloak or whether she came up with all that later. The Hallows did come quite from the left field plot-wise.)

    There's also the canon parallel between the Trio and the brothers (Ron - Wand, Hermione - Cloak, Harry - Stone), so really there's quite a few ways to play this here.

    There are a lot of parallels in the books and definitely good spots in the main post. Don't know why but I never quite caught on to the parallel between the start of book 1 and the end of book 7. Must have been actively repressing the whole Epilogue...

    The one parallel that I'm a little surprised that Rowling didn't capitalize on though, was the one between Sirius and Harry. They both grew up as the resident outcast of a family, and both eventually ended up trying to escape their families (there's also the fact that Harry first encounters Sirius during his attempt at walking away, it seems all the more natural to draw the connection.) It seems to me that "the Abandoned Boys" team should have included Sirius as well, but I guess in the context that this moniker was put to use Sirius wasn't really relevant. And, you know, it would have disrupted that whole "three" and "seven" thing that Rowling had going throughout the series...
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  8. nh253807

    nh253807 Muggle

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    While I agree with Taure that you shoehorn your facts to fit the stated argument I couldn't help but think of the Reddit post by Bakatch Bandit I saw awhile back saying that the Battle of Hogwarts was essentially the first 6 books in reverse order. Thought it was very itneresting and something I had never noticed. I'll list Bakatch Bandit's text below, in no way is this my original thought I'm just regurgitating from Reddit.

    HBP - Harry, Ron, and Hermione apparate into Hogsmeade and are met by a barkeep who gives them access to a death eater-infiltrated Hogwarts.
    OotP - Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the Room of Requirement, talk DA into rebelling against the current regime.
    GoF - Harry flies on a broomstick and evades fire to grab and object he s seeking.
    PoA - Harry, Ron, and Hermione battle dementors before going under the Whomping Willow and into the Shreikeing Shack.
    CoS - A gryffindor uses the Sword to kill a snake.
    PS - Voldemort is destroyed by his own reflected killing curse.
     
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