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More About Hallows

By and

As part of our quest for the possible meanings of ‘hallows,’ Lexicon friend Bandersnatch kindly agreed to assemble some information for us. The result is an excellent essay which gives us some context for the new book’s title.

Enjoy: The Grail Hallows and Harry Potter


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Reader2

    If I remeber the legend of the Grail correctly, Sir Percival was meant to find the Holy Grail.
    He was supposed to enter the castle of the Grail Keepr and ask him “what is this place?” than the Keeper would be cured of his wound and the true power of the Grail would be unlocked.
    However, when Percival did find the castle, he simply hesitated to ask any questions and left the castle without fulfilling th eprophecy.
    Acording to some versions of the legend he got a second chance, but that’s where versions differ.

  • Bandersnatch

    In the version of the tale by Chretien de Troyes (linked to in the essay), Percival was supposed to ask his host about the hallows that were shown to him, and most especially to ask the Grail Question: “Whom does this Grail serve?” But he was too shy to ask, because his mentor once told him to not make a fool of himself by asking too many questions. So he stayed silent, and therefore had to leave the castle the next day. Many of the other versions of the story (also linked to in the essay) have a similar episode.

  • Dragonfan

    Do these two versions of the story mean that Harry has to overcome his reluctance to ask questions? He has been frustratingly reticent about asking those things we fans want answered!

  • journeymom

    Well, Percy Weasley doesn’t want to make a fool of himself by associating with his parents. He does not question Fudge. He doesn’t wonder who Fudge serves.

    Perhaps this is stretching it, though!

  • beauxbatons

    Good point, journeymom… And let’s remember that Percival is also one of Dumbledore’s first names… Maybe he should also have questioned … about Snape’s loyalty, for example…

  • journeymom

    From the essay: “In many versions of the Grail story, the questing knight enters a castle in a barren wasteland. There he meets the Keeper of the Grail, sometimes also identified as the Fisher King, the Rich Fisher, or the Maimed King. He is an old man whose life has been unnaturally prolonged, but who is inflicted with a wound that will not heal. He lives in the castle with his attendants and guards the Grail.”

    Bill Weasley (the Weasley family seems to be linked to the Arthurian legend) works at Gringotts, a castle-like fortress of a bank. He now has a wound that won’t heal. Gringotts housed the Stone, perhaps it is housing a horcrux.

    Obviously not everything in the above description fits my observation. Gringotts isn’t in a barren wasteland, not even symbolically. Bill isn’t an old man or a king and his life hasn’t been unnaturally extended, though Voldemort’s has. But JKR does like to take bits and pieces of myths, whatever serves her needs at the time.

  • journeymom

    beauxbaton, great point! I’d forgoten about Dumbledore’s name, Percival. The name being used twice cannot have been a coincidence.

  • Donna Hosie (MaraudingDon)

    Congratulations Bander on a great essay.

  • qwertyuiop

    Wonderful essay. I myself have discovered some of those points with internet research as well, but you definitely educated me. Congratualations.

  • Acacb

    cool essay…What about “The room of requirements” objects…maybe we will find one hidden there by “The Dark Lord” the day he visited “Professor ADumbledore” to ask for the DADA job.(Maybe before that!) …probably this idea was already posted…

  • Bible Spice

    Has anyone yet considered the award Tom Riddle received for “services to the school”? Wasn’t it a platter or something? (I do not have my books with me…)

  • Lisa

    BibleSpice, you mean the gold shield-shaped award for “Special Services to Hogwarts?” That suggestion pops up every now and them. I saw it on HPANA last year in a thread where they were trying to guess what Voldemort wanted from Hogwarts when he visited Dumbledore after graduation. It is literally a trophy so it is an intriguing possibility for a horcrux.

  • Theodore

    i dont think its a horcrux because it applies to the shame restrictions of the sorting hat.. ” Horcruxes are not singing songs to attract attention upon them ” or sth like that.. and Ron could shine that award so he could also take it.. and since its in plain site it would be too obvious.. but i think that we will hear sth from it.. maybe a tip for finding the horcruxes? because if voldemort died then he would have needed for someone to find one horcrux and ressurect him..

  • hpu2M

    Perhaps Harry has already entered the Hallows. Can the chamber of Secrets be part of the Deathly Hallows? Any Slytheran would consider the chamber Hallowed grounds. Maybe a Horcrux or two, three, four, is hidden there. That’s where a Horcrux went, when it was attempting to regenerate a body. I thought I had heard Joanne quoted as saying we would see the Chamber again, I just haven’t had any luck finding the quote.

  • Theodore

    As for the chamber :
    Its pretty sure that harry will go down there again… but the question is with what target? maybe a hint for the horcruxes? maybe a horcrux? ( not likely -> the diary was the horcrux of the chamber but we can still consider that voldemort would have liked his 1/7th of the soul to find another 1/7th so maybe young tom riddle from the diary was supposed to find another horcrux and use it to empower himself).. and as for the chamber Harry didnt really search in his last visit.. he was running blind all around the place to hide from a beast hungry to eat him.. so maybe he will find something in the basilisk’s lair?..
    and i also think that Riddle learned about the horcruxes (and dark magic in its finest) visiting Slytherin’s lair(the chamber) so maybe there are books or an office or maybe a pensieve down there… and sth that just came up.. voldy would want his horcruxes to be found by worthy ppl so why not use a parseltongue locked place so he makes sure that only him or another part of his soul or maybe another heir of slytherin finds them… phew! quite a lot speculation… but maybe sth is right.. i think it all fits.. and if we put the theory of the 4 hallows (items) together then we have a really good portion of the story or maybe a FANTASTIC fanfic 😛 😀

  • Peppergnome

    Nice piece of research Bandersnatch! Thanks for the thoughtful essay.

    The theory that the hallows refer to four objects belonging to the founders inspired a lovely little theory that my nine-year-old daughter came up with recently. She believes that Ravenclaw’s hallow was her wand, and that it was in the possession of Ollivander before his disappearance.

    Her theory is that Ollivander sold the wand, immediately before his disappearance — to Neville. Check out the text in HBP, Chapter 7, where Neville is showing his new wand to the trio, and points out that it was one of the last wands Ollivander sold — he disappeared the very next day!

  • Bandersnatch

    Oooo! I like the Little Gnome’s theory! Haven’t heard that one before.

    Thanks Pepper, and I’m glad you liked the essay.

  • Theodore

    Nice theory there ! maybe we can find someone to write a 300k word fanfic with all these theories and have some nice reading to do up to 7/7/07 ( i think that’s the date)

  • Bowtruckle

    Another idea I heard was that Voldemort made his own wand into a Horcrux – whether by his original plan or as a substitute for the lost diary Horcrux, to keep the number of parts of his soul at the magical 7. Harry would have to use the ‘brother wands effect’ to lay hands on this wand and may have to risk losing his own wand in process. (Which may be related to Rowling’s statement that Harry’s advantage over Voldemort isn’t in being a better wizard but in being a better person.)

  • Melissabeth

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who thought Ravenclaws item was a wand, and was placed in Ollivanders possession. I had always wondered about the wand that Harry noticed laying on the faded purple pillow in the front window of Ollivanders shop. Could he be related to Ravenclaw? Is the ability to remember an insane amount of information, without straining to remember, a Ravenclaw trait? Is that why the Sorting Hat considered Hermione for Ravenclaw? Or are the gray misty eyes that both Luna and Ollivander share a true Ravenclaw trait? That’s my 2 cents.

  • Beth

    I’ve come new to this, having just read the very wonderful Hallows essay, but for quite some time whole HP series has had me harkening back to Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, in its vision and sweep. Now I guess I know why it kept niggling at me as strongly as it did. If you then transition over to the other seminal work of Romance Literature, Malory’s Morte d’Arthur–and I agree, JKR likes to dot in allusions and make us study and think–then you look at the Arthurian side of the Grail legends. “Arthur” Weasley, Ginevra “Guinevere” Weasley (not as Arthur’s wife so much as the hero’s love set aside because he has to go to battle against…”Mordred” = Voldemort, Tom “Riddle.” Of course, I’m sure any number of people must already have posted all these things.

  • Beth

    mmm, Journeymom, re your 12/26 posting, Bill before Gringotts in England had been in Egypt which if pyramids might stretch to being termed barren wasteland.

  • Beth

    and has anybody commented on Dumbledore’s other middle name Brian, as in The Life of Brian which of course immediately leads to Monte Python and the Holy Grail…

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