Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2
The final Potter movie reminds us of the ultimate saviour
The determined Harry
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the final chapter of the final book in the incredibly successful Harry Potter series (just check out the box office records!). And it seems like Harry is finally all grown up.
The film picks up exactly where Part 1 left off. Harry, Hermione, Ron, and what’s left of the forces of good are still hiding from the dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his evil army, but the tone has now changed. Gone is the tension and uncertainty which so pervaded the previous film; now Harry is in charge. He’s not sure what he’s looking for, or where he’s going to find it, but he’s ready for a fight nonetheless. The young, cautious, frightened Harry is no longer present. Director David Yates gives us plenty of chances to look into Harry’s eyes and see his resolve.
This determination of Harry's reminded me of one of the Bible’s more surprising statements about Jesus. Mark Chapter 9 reports that “as the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” This comes after Jesus twice predicts that Jerusalem is the very place where he will “suffer many things and… be killed.” Quite a surprise, then, for Jesus to be so determined, so resolute to set out for this place. And it’s similar with Harry. He may not know how the battle with Voldemort will happen, but he’s ready and willing, if not yet able, to see it through to the end.
Spoiler alert: Harry & Jesus
Many have commented that the final book in JK Rowling’s series is based loosely on the story of Jesus, and I think ‘loosely’ is the truth. The shared ideas are all there – self sacrifice, resurrection, victory and defeat of evil – but the intent and mode are all askew. Where Jesus knew from the outset that he would “be killed, and on the third day be raised to life,” Harry is a bit more surprised, confused even, by his resurrection moment. And where Jesus knew that he would be dying to take God’s punishment for the sins of a rebellious world, Harry’s cause is the slightly less noble dying for his friends and family – he has no love or forgiveness to extend to Voldemort or the Death Eaters.
Most telling, however, is how Harry responds to the almost unlimited power awarded him at the climax of the film. The three Deathly Hallows are his – the cloak of invisibility, the Resurrection Stone and the superior Elder Wand – and his most earnest adversary has been vanquished, so what does he do? Well, you’ll have to see the film or read the book to find out. But I’ll tell you this much – it’s a far cry from Jesus’ victory act.
A great movie, but our reality is better
None of this should detract from the exciting, interesting and well-crafted film it is. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 has all the battle, intrigue, thoughtfulness and flashing wands one needs in modern storytelling. All I’m saying is that Harry, like so many of our modern day heroes, is but a poor shadow of Jesus.
For when Jesus defeated death and sin, it was just the beginning; he was handed authority to rule over Heaven and Earth, to judge the nations and to humble the arrogant and self-made “kings of the earth”. Jesus still reigns today as the powerful Lord to whom every person, even a victorious person like Harry Potter, must one day bow. That is true power, authority and victory! Thanks be to God for Jesus’ ongoing victory.