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Archive for the ‘Lily Evans Potter’ Category

I’ll be leaving shortly for a midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but before I go I wanted to post this.

One of my favorite tracks from the CD of Alexandre Desplat’s score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is “Ron’s Speech.” You can listen to it here:

When the “Ron and Hermione in the Chamber of Secrets” scene was leaked on YouTube, I’ll admit I couldn’t resist watching it. I noticed that “Ron’s Speech” is the basis for the musical theme which accompanies their long-awaited kiss. Listen to it at this link, but only if you want to be spoiled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KrbLB6MN38&feature=player_embedded

You won’t hear the complete theme, but a shorter variation of it. The tempo and rhythm have been altered, but it is definitely based on “Ron’s Speech.” Desplat does what John Williams was famous for writing in his highly-acclaimed Star Wars scores. He is using a shorter variant of a complete theme as a leitmotif. (This German musical term refers to a recurring melody, chord progression, or chord which is associated with a particular person, place, or idea in an opera, or in this case, a film score. You will encounter this term if you study the music of the German Romantic period composer Richard Wagner, who was the undisputed master of the sublime use of leitmotifs in his music dramas.) I have listened to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 soundtrack CD, and I didn’t hear many other new examples of this theme, but I will be listening for it at the cinema tonight. There is one example of it on the CD that I’ll mention later in this blog post, which was so subtle that I missed it the first time I heard it. The music for the Ron and Hermione kissing scene wasn’t on the new DH2 CD, so I am wondering what other musical surprises are in store for us tonight. If you haven’t listened to the new soundtrack CD yet, I can honestly say I was very impressed with it. Desplat does use variations of John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” most effectively throughout the score, as well as bringing back some of the more memorable themes he composed for DH1. Of the new melodies Desplat introduces, Lily’s Theme is one of the most haunting. Listen for it during Severus’ death scene (“Snape’s Demise” on the CD) and at other key moments in which Lily’s love plays an important role, such as during the “Resurrection Stone” scene. In this audio example, you will hear the theme introduced by a lone female vocalist, followed by a texturally fuller presentation of the theme by the string section. The female vocal rendition reminds me of plainchant, specifically the chants composed by the German saint and mystic, St. Hildegard von Bingen, a great female composer of the Medieval Period.

Listen for a pianissimo variant of “Hedwig’s Theme” and and a vocalization of “Lily’s Theme” during the track called “Snape’s Demise.”

This track is “Harry’s Sacrifice.” You will hear the “heroic” thematic material that Desplat introduced at the very beginning Deathly Hallows Part One and fragments of “Hedwig’s Theme,” which in my opinion ought to be renamed “Harry’s Theme” because that is how it has functioned throughout the entire film series. What stunned me the most about it is that during this track you hear a very subtle and sorrowful rendition of the Ron/Hermione love theme at the beginning and again, starting around 1:13. Pure genius!

Another one of my favorite tracks on the new CD is “Dragon Flight” in which you can hear a bold statement of “Hedwig’s Theme” made by the trumpet section, which is followed by a absolutely triumphal presentation of Lily’s Theme by the violins. This one gave me the chills! 🙂

I may have more to say about the score after I have seen the film. Now I’m off to the Midnight screening!

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I actually cried when watching this final Harry Potter trailer. It was when Harry was using the Resurrection Stone. He asked his parents, Sirius, and Remus to stay with him. Lily said, “always,” and I just lost it. I also loved it when Sirius said, “until the end.”

You can see lots of screenshots and gifs of the trailer here: http://phoenixweasley.tumblr.com/

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I am now a regular panel member on the Secrets of Harry Potter podcast. 🙂 Please listen to our Mother’s Day Episode at http://harrypotter.sqpn.com/2011/05/07/shp067-mummy-dearest and let us know what you think of it. Our panel was having their discussion late Thursday night on Skype and there’s some microphone noise there. (Sorry about that! It wasn’t me.) The mic wasn’t picking up my voice very clearly at the beginning, but I think it was working better after a while. Anyway, I thought we had a great discussion about Lily Potter, Petunia Dursley, Molly Weasley, Merope Gaunt, Augusta Longbottom, and Bellatrix LeStrange. When you click on the link, hit the Facebook “Like” button. You can also follow Ari, Bob, Lyn, Jim, and me on Twitter. You can follow The Secrets of Harry Potter on our new Twitter account at SQPNPotter. Help us spread the word about our show!

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If you have not read Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel by David C. Downing, you may wish to read my review of it at https://phoenixweasley.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/my-review-of-looking-for-the-king-an-inklings-novel/

I just read a short interview with author David C. Downing here:

http://ignatiusinsight.com/features2010/ddowning_interview_nov2010.asp

While visiting the Ignatius Press website you may want to look at the books that they have published on Lewis and Tolkien. I’ve read nearly all of the Inklings-related titles that Ignatius Press has released, and just about every one of them was a great read. In the interview, David Downing made a statement with which I wholeheartedly agree: “I’m sure that part of my attraction to both Lewis and Tolkien is simply that both are master story-tellers. But there is also a power of Goodness in their work. As an English major in college, I spent much of my time reading contemporary novelists who are experts at portraying troubled people–selfish, neurotic. brutish, and downright evil. But very few twentieth century novelists besides Lewis and Tolkien (and Chesterton) have the power to show us what good people look like–characters with integrity, compassion, courage, and a willingness to sacrifice for others. I’m sure this ability to portray good characters convincingly is derived from their Christian world-view, a sense that ultimately, it is not evil or chaos, but Goodness that reigns in the universe.”

I believe that this ability to portray good characters with whom readers can easily love or identify with is one of secrets of the success of the literary works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and J. K. Rowling. Aren’t Harry Potter and his friends good examples of characters who have “integrity, compassion, courage, and a willingness to sacrifice for others,” as Dowling described it? Bonds of loyalty, love, and friendship strengthen Harry, Ron, and Hermione as much as Frodo and Sam on their seemingly impossible mission to defeat the Dark Lord. True romantic love can be found in Tolkien and Rowling’s stories. Yes I like Aragorn/Arwen and Harry/Ginny as couples…

"I do not believe this darkness will endure." This is one of my favorite scenes from The Return of the King Extended Edition.

…but I just adore Faramir and Eowyn,…

A Hobbit Wedding

…Rosie and Sam, and these two stubborn kids:

My most favorite couple.

 

Every sinner who has turned away from temptation to follow the difficult path of repentance can find hope in the stories of Boromir of Gondor and Severus Snape.

"I would have followed you, my brother, ...my captain, ...my king."--Boromir to Aragorn

This beautiful fanart, "Severus and Lily" by Wmash, can be found at deviantart.com.

 

“All the heroes in all the stories in the world are heroes only because they are in some ways like Jesus.”–Peter Kreeft in Because God Is Real, page 212.

The loving self-sacrifice of Lily Evans Potter, her brave son Harry, humble Frodo Baggins, wise Gandalf, and Aslan all resonate with the Greatest Story Ever Told, the story of Christ. Seek and ye shall find: if you look for the King of Kings in these stories, you will find him.

What are your thoughts on my ramblings? Comments are welcome. 🙂

 

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This is another excerpt from The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter  for you to enjoy. I think the popularity of both The Lord of the Rings and of the Harry Potter series is due in part to the loving  relationships between the heroic characters and the loyalty that these brave friends have for each other.

 Both in Christianity and in Harry Potter’s world self-sacrificial love has the power to defeat the Curse of Death.

          In the first four novels, Voldemort was unable to touch Harry because of the protection of Lily Potter’s loving self-sacrifice:

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign…to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” (SS 299)

Lily's self-sacrifice saved Harry from the Death Curse.

          Dumbledore again mentioned that Lily’s blood shed in self-sacrifice was a powerful protection against evil in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, “Your mother’s sacrifice made the bond of blood the strongest shield I could give you.” (OP 836) 

Lily shed her blood to save her son, just as Jesus shed his blood on the Cross to save the human race from sin and death.

Harry lost this protection in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Voldemort used Harry’s own blood to return in the flesh. This event would contribute to Lord Voldemort’s downfall in the seventh novel. There is a passage in Goblet of Fire that indicates that Dumbledore knew this would happen:

“He said my blood would make him stronger than if he’d used someone else’s,” Harry told Dumbledore. “He said the protection my—my mother left me—he’d have it too. And he was right–he could touch me without hurting himself, he touched my face.”

For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes. (GF 696)

"I can touch you now."

          Voldemort was able to possess Harry in Book 5 due to the fact that Lily’s blood no longer offered Harry protection. However, this terrible circumstance led Harry to make an important discovery: the power that Lily had is a power that Harry has as well. It is the same power that is behind the enigmatic Locked Door in the Department of Mysteries:

“It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than the forces of nature…It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all.” (OP 843)

Harry has" The Power the Dark Lord Knows Not," and he defeats Voldemort with it in Deathly Hallows.

When Harry was possessed by Voldemort in Order of the Phoenix, he was able to save himself using the Power the Dark Lord Knows Not, the power of love.

  Harry’s friends have this power as well. Ron and Hermione risked their lives to help Harry to defeat evil many times throughout the series. The theme of self-sacrificial love is present from the first book onward, not just in the tale Lily’s dying to save baby Harry from Voldemort, but in Ron’s heroic actions in the giant chess game.

          “We’re nearly there,” he muttered suddenly. “Let me think—let me think…”

          The white queen turned her blank face toward him.

          “Yes…” said Ron softly, “it’s the only way…I’ve got to be taken.”

          “NO!” Harry and Hermione shouted.

          “That’s chess!” snapped Ron. “You’ve got to make some sacrifices!” (SS 283)

"Greater love hath no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13, KJV

Ron willingly sacrificed himself in the chess game to save his friends. By risking his life, Ron allowed Harry to win the game, and then  prevent Quirrell from obtaining the Philosopher’s Stone.

Harry, like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, tried to travel alone on his mission to destroy a great evil, but in both situations, their friends would not allow it. Both Rowling and Tolkien made a point about the importance of fellowship. The hero may save the world, but it is his friends who save him. Three hobbits from the Shire accompany Frodo on his mission, Sam, Merry, and Pippin:

“Merry and I are coming with you. Sam is an excellent fellow, and would jump down a dragon’s throat to save you, if he did not trip over his own feet; but you will need more than one companion in your dangerous adventure.” –Pippin (LOTR 102)

“You cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone…We are your friends, Frodo.” –Merry (LOTR 103)

Sam, Pippin, and Merry bravely accompany Frodo into danger.

Frodo warned Sam of the dangers they would face, but Samwise was not deterred:

 “But I am going to Mordor.”

“I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are, and I’m coming with you.”—Frodo and Sam (LOTR 397)

The love of his friends, especially that of Sam, is what sustained Frodo in his struggle to resist the influence of the Ring as he made his arduous journey to Mordor and Mount Doom. Sam’s devotion to Frodo is a selfless model of Christian love:

“It is going to be very dangerous, Sam. It is already dangerous. Most likely neither of us will come back.”

“If you don’t come back, sir, then I shan’t, that’s certain,” said Sam. Don’t you leave him! They said. I never mean to. (LOTR 85)

"I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well." Sam carries Frodo and the Ring when Frodo is too weak to continue his journey to Mount Doom.

Just as Frodo desired to complete his terrible journey alone, so did Harry insist upon going after the Philosopher’s Stone by himself.

“I’ll use the invisibility cloak,” said Harry. “It’s just lucky I got it back.”

“But will it cover all three of us?” said Ron.

“All—all three of us?”

“Oh, come off it, you don’t think we’d let you go alone?”

“Of course not,” said Hermione briskly. “How do you think you’d get to the Stone without us? I’d better go and look through my books, there might be something useful…” (SS 271)

Ron and Hermione accompany Harry on his mission to protect the Philosopher's Stone.

When the trio is faced with the task of getting past the giant three-headed dog, Fluffy, all three of them realize the dangers that await them.

“If you want to go back, I won’t blame you,” [Harry] said. “You can take the cloak, I won’t need it now.”

“Don’t be stupid,” said Ron.

“We’re coming,” said Hermione. (SS 271)

In the adventure that followed, Ron sacrificed himself to save Harry and Hermione in the giant chess game, and Hermione, after solving the potions riddle, reminded Harry about which of a person’s qualities matter most: “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things—friendship and bravery.” (SS 287)

Hermione reminds Harry of the importance of friendship and bravery.

          In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore remembered Ron and Hermione as well as Harry when he made his will. His intention was to have all three of them go on the mission to destroy the Horcruxes together, knowing that Harry should not face such terrible dangers alone. As Gandalf said, with regards to Merry and Pippin going on the quest, “I think, Elrond, that in this matter it would be well to trust rather to their friendship than to great wisdom.” (LOTR 269, emphasis mine).  Gandalf, like Dumbledore, knows that the love and loyalty of friends is a powerful weapon against the darkness that threatens to engulf the world. Love isn’t just the power that allows Frodo and Harry to save others, it is also the power that saves them from the evil they must confront.

          Rowling, in my opinion, has made a reference to Sam’s loyalty and devotion at the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Ron and Hermione insist on going with Harry on his mission to destroy the Horcruxes. Sam Gamgee, in one of his most memorable speeches, reminds us that he and Frodo are characters in a story. Their adventure is one of the stories that stays in our hearts, long after the telling of the tale is done.

"There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for." --Sam Gamgee in the film version of The Two Towers

“But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them usually—their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t.” (LOTR 696)

Perhaps Rowling viewed Harry’s story as one of the “tales that really mattered” when she wrote the ending of the sixth of Harry’s adventures. At the close of the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ron and Hermione express a devotion to Harry in words that echo Sam Gamgee’s selfless loyalty.

 “We’ll be there, Harry,” said Ron

 “What?”

“At your aunt and uncle’s house,” said Ron. “And then we’ll go with you wherever you’re going.”

“No,” said Harry quickly; he had not counted on this, he had meant them to understand that he was undertaking this most dangerous journey alone.

“You said to us once before,” said Hermione quietly, “that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?”

“We’re with you whatever happens,” said Ron.

The final scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Hermione and Ron promise to accompany Harry on his most dangerous mission of all.

 

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.  

I was upset when I saw how the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince differed from the novel. In the movie version, Hermione made her pledge of loyalty to Harry, but Ron remained silent, unlike Ron in the novel. This is one of many examples I could give of how these films have slighted Ron as a character, and it continues to upset me. I hope they portray him correctly in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Comments are welcome!

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