Essay: The Meaning and Role of Death in Harry Potter

‘It was over, he knew it, and all that was left was the thing itself: dying.’

Throughout Harry Potter’s life, the shadow of death hangs over him, a knife point dangling by a thread above his lightning-shaped scar, separating past and future. From the very beginning, we see the motif represented as something both unavoidable and yet not something to be feared. Luna insists that she will see her mother again sometime, and Sirius reassures Harry that it is ‘quicker and easier than falling asleep’. Rowling, through Dumbledore, repeatedly expresses the idea that ‘there are worse things than death’, and that the denial or betrayal of love can leave a person in a worse place than even their own destruction.

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