Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows – King’s Cross Examined

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So after reading “The Half Blood Prince” I felt compelled to finish the series again. So I decided to read “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” again.

I found reading the book this time so much more enjoyable than when I did when I read it in July of 2007. I also think that because I read “The Half Blood Prince” right before, I was able to understand more of it.

So, the thing I wanted to talk about was the chapter “King’s Cross” which I am going to discuss in detail this time instead of being remotely conscientious of anyone who may have not read the book so here it comes:

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SPOILER ALERT

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So as we know, Voldemort uses the killing curse on Harry Potter, who goes into the and does not attempt to defend himself. The first time I read this, I was completely confused why Harry did not die, and I read this chapter twice to figure it out. Eventually it made some sort of sense in my brain, but I remember thinking “umm….so he isn’t dead. Fine, what happens next?” and continued on my marry way.

According to Dumbledore the secret lies in Voldemort’s decision to rebuild his living body with Harry’s blood. Therefore, the protection spell that Harry’s mother cast now lives in both of them. Dumbledore says “He tethered you to life while he lives.”

Harry, and everyone else, is kind of confused. Because it just makes it sound like that both of them would need to die in order to get rid of him. However, because Harry is a Horcrux the answer seems clear. As Dumbledore says:

“You were the seventh Horcux, Harry, the Horcrux he never meant to make. He had rendered his soul so unstable that it broke apart when he committed those acts of unspeakable evil, the murder of your parents, the attempted killing of a child. But what escaped from that room was even less than he knew. He left more than his body behind. He left part of himself latched to you, the would-be victim who had survived.”

“He took your blood believing it would strengthen him. He took into his body a tiny part of the enchantment your mother laid upon you when she died. His body keeps her sacrifice alive, and while the enchantment survives, so do you and so does Voldemort’s one last hope for himself.”

I feel this actually answers the question. Lily cast an enchantment which prevent Voldemort from being able to kill Harry with the killing curse. The first time he tried he lost a part of his soul in Harry, and lost his body for the time being. When Voldemort casts the death spell again, he obliterates his own Horcrux, but he does not obliterate Harry. So Harry is once again, “The Boy Who Lived” thanks to Lily’s magnificent enchantment. The power of love was of no interest to Voldemort, so he knew not what he was doing when he used Harry’s blood in the way he did. He just made the connection even stronger. So basically, Harry and Voldemort get a do over, only this time, it really counts. Because Voldemort has no more Horcruxs, except  Nagini who gets her head cut off in the next chapter.

Dumbledore is also correct in that in Harry, is Voldemort’s one last hope. Before Harry and Voldemort cast their final spells at each other, Harry gives him one last chance. He asks him to show remorse. Doing so, would allow Voldemort to tap into some of that magic which is stronger than his own, but of course Voldemort does not, and dies.

So that is my personal take on it. I think I had to approach it this time in reading only those elements which explain how Harry lived, and then I could go back through the chapter to learn about the Hallows and everything else.

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UPDATE 08/04/2015

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I’ve noticed lately that people come to my blog to read this post. It was written many years ago, and lately I read a rather simple explanation of the whole thing:

How come Harry didn’t die when Voldemort used the killing curse on him?

Simple (OK, not really). Voldemort only managed to destroy the part of his soul in Harry — the Horcrux — and Harry, still after all these years, was still protected by the love of his parents.

This is in line with what I say above, it’s just much shorter.

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4 Comments

  1. jeandarcy said,

    July 6, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I have also reread all of HP books and it’s true that you enjoy them more. I also discover new things that I missed before every time I reread them. But I think the main reason I do it is because I miss Harry 😛
    When I read the chapter “King’s Cross” I missed a few things, it’s like I thought I understand but I didn’t. I just wanted to know what was going to happen with Harry. When people asked me why Harry didn’t die, I tried to explain to them, but I realized that everything wasn’t clear on my mind, so I had to read it again.
    Really cool blog 😀

    weloveharry.wordpress.com

  2. krugii said,

    December 31, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Hi, I have one more doubt…. When harry kills voldermort finally in the end(due to the rebounding curse), harry’s blood(and therefore his mothers protection) is still running through voldemort…… So won’t voldermort be latched to life while harry lives? The same reason that had harry latched on to life during the king’s cross chapter.

    • kyoske said,

      December 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Dear Krugii,

      Actually I believe that this is the reason J.K. Rowling chose to have Voldemort “kill” Harry and have the entire King’s Cross Station chapter. By destroying Harry in this way, he has killed the part of himself in Harry, and thus cannot be attached to Harry anymore.

      To defeat Harry, Voldemort steals the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s tomb. It is the most powerful wand ever created, and he twice casts the Killing Curse on Harry with it. The first attempt merely stuns Harry into a death-like state. In the chapter “King’s Cross”, Dumbledore’s spirit tells Harry that when Voldemort failed to kill baby Harry and disembodied himself, Harry became an unintentional Horcrux; Harry could not kill Voldemort while the Dark Lord’s soul shard was within Harry’s body. Voldemort’s soul shard within Harry was destroyed because Harry willingly faced death. Voldemort’s Killing Curse fails because Voldemort used Harry’s blood in his resurrection. The protection that his mother gave Harry with her sacrifice tethers Harry to life, as long as his blood and her sacrifice run in the veins of Voldemort.

      In the book’s climax, Voldemort’s second Killing Curse hurled at Harry also fails and rebounds upon himself, finally killing him, because Harry, not Voldemort, had become the Elder Wand’s true master. At this point, there is nothing left to tether Voldemort to this world, as he is, for all practical purposes, mortal. All the Horcruxes have been destroyed. J. K. Rowling said the difference between Harry and Voldemort is that Harry willingly accepts mortality, making him stronger than his nemesis. “The real master of Death accepts that he must die, and that there are much worse things in the world of the living”.

  3. Stine said,

    March 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I realise that this in an old blog, but I have a new take on the analysis of this chapter that I trust you will find interesting:

    All of you underestimate the power of the Deathly Hallows themselves. It is after all the title of the book. Remember that Harry is not only the master of the Elder Wand but in fact in possession of all three Hallows and therefore the true master of death. Even though Lilys protection might still have some part to play in him not dying, it is in fact the three Deathly Hallows that makes this entire conversation possible. For in what way would Harry be able to talk to Dumbledore like this? Dumbledore has knowledge that Harry does not have, and psychologically it would not make sense that he could “dream” this without a very specific magic explanation. And here it is:

    Through the Resurrection Stone Harry has the power to summon the dead, and he CHOOSES to summon the dead Dumbledore at this last hour. Dumbledore says that this is his “party”, it is Harry himself that imagines this place to be King’s Cross, and it becomes King’s Cross because he wants it to be – he is Master of Death and he can make it so. And this is also why he, compared to Voldemort, has a choice whether to move on or go back, because he is – and I repeat – the master of death! And, therefore, in fact immortal if he chooses to be.

    And here comes the real beauty of the scoop: Dumbledore did not plan this, he did not want Harry to be decived by the very powers that led to the destruction of himself and his family. Out of guild Dumbledore tries to keep the Hallows from Harry and to shield him, but it is in fact the Deathly Hallows that saves Harrys life and leads to the death of Lord Voldemort himself, That is the true power of the Hallows, a power that no other wizard before Harry has wielded: The power of both life and death in the hands of one, who does not fear death himself.

    This is the answer that you are all searching for: The Deathly Hallows is what unintentionally saves Harry in the end while simultanously turning into the weapon that kills Voldemort in the end.


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