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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Chapter Thirty-Six:
The Flaw in the Plan

'Really gives a feeling for the scope and tragedy of the thing, doesn't it?'

Notes by Michele L. Worley
Page editor Belinda Hobbs

U.S. hardcover edition: pages 724 - 749
U.K. hardcover edition: pages 580 - 600
Timeframe: ?+1 May, 1998

In which both Harry and Voldemort regain consciousness in the Forest, Harry plays dead, and Hagrid is forced to carry Harry's body up to the castle, where Voldemort displays him to the defenders of the castle in an attempt to break their will to resist. Neville confronts Voldemort, who Body-Binds him and puts the Sorting Hat on him to make a point. Neville pulls Gryffindor's sword out of the Hat and kills Nagini when Voldemort is distracted by the arrival of the centaurs, the battle resumes, and Voldemort is finally defeated by Harry.

illustration by Mary GrandPré

Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:

'You see?' screeched Voldemort. 'Harry Potter is dead by my hand, and no man alive can threaten me now! Watch! Crucio!'

More shades of the Stone Table sequence in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, except that Voldemort had enough sense to wait until after his enemy was safely dead (supposedly) to make showy gestures like this.

what sounded like hundreds of people came swarming over the out-of-sight walls and pelted toward the castle, uttering loud war-cries.

And as long as I'm on the subject of scenes that remind me of other scenes from some of JKR's favourite books, this reminds me of the arrival of the eagles at the Battle of Five Armies in The Hobbit - an army of unexpected help arriving at the last moment in a desperate battle.

'Snape's Patronus was a doe,' said Harry, 'the same as my mother's

I'm willing to take Harry's word for it that Lily's Patronus was a doe, and it certainly fits with what we saw earlier in the Pensieve (i.e., Snape conjuring his own Patronus to make the point that what he did was done for Lily's sake), but I don't recall that it was previously stated outright that Lily's Patronus was a doe.

try for some remorse, Riddle...

As Hermione learned from Secrets of the Darkest Art (DH6), this is what would be necessary for Riddle to put his soul back together again.

Characters introduced in this chapter:

  • none

Characters returning in this chapter:

Characters mentioned in this chapter:

Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:

Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:

Exceptional character moments:


Links and Resources:

Memorable lines:

  • 'Quite honestly, I've had enough trouble for a lifetime.'

Strictly British:


Still in the small hours of the same morning as the previous chapter.

Tailpiece illustration by Mary GrandPré


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