Avoiding for a moment the elephant in the room, I’d like to kick off an analysis project I’ve been considering for a while.
My goal is to consider the Harry Potter books, Movies, and Pottermore as bold British mythos for the modern era (the 20th and 21st centuries). It definitely has all the makings of legend. Before this series is complete, I hope to demonstrate that Harry Potter not only provides a bold Mythos of Modern Britain but that the series ignited a fire in the imaginations of people the world over that sparked a re-enchantment of the modern world, dispelling a more than one hundred year effort to disenchant the world by rationalists, futurists, and other such enlightened thinkers of the West.
A young hero who is a legend before he can even read. Movie Producer David Heyman argues that Harry fulfills the classic Everyman Hero. Raised among an absolutely normal family, Harry is unaware of his own power and fame when the story begins. Following the hero’s journey, he first rejects the amazing possibility of his identity. Unlike Tom Riddle, who instantly knew it must be true that he was a wizard and a special one at that, Harry feels there must be some grand mistake when Hagrid first comes calling, his hesitation repeated throughout the series when he learns more of his legend, his prophecy, and the role he is to play in the war to come.
“You’re a wizard Harry” says Hagrid. “I’m a what?” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 51).
“A wizard, o’course! An’ a thumpin’ good’un, I’d wager once you’ve trained up a bit.” Hagrid continues. Harry continues in disbelief, “No, you’ve made a mistake. I mean.. I.. I can’t be ahh a wizard. I mean I’m just Harry. Just Harry.” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the movie, North American version).
While a full consideration of Harry’s Hero’s Journey is well worth wild and I intend to eventually pursue it further. But my own personal research interests lead me to first consider what Harry Potter as a myth can tell us about Death. I’ll do this as a 7 part series analyzing how Harry faces death in each year of the series.