Blog | Sitemap | Contact     

SCARPnotes for the book
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Table of Contents

   I. Key Facts Portus
  II. Plot Overview Portus
 III. Context- with commentary by Luna Lovegood Portus
  IV. Summary and Analysis of Chapters Portus
   V. Character List and Analysis Portus
  VI. Themes, Motifs and Symbols Portus
 VII. Important Quotations Portus
VIII. Study Questions and Essay Topics Portus
  IX. Review and Resources Portus
   X. Quiz Portus

Key Facts

Full title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: Joanna Kathleen (J. K.) Rowling
Type of Work: Part seven of a seven part Novel, containing xx words in 37 chapters.
Genre: Fantasy, teen and adult
Language: English
Time and Place Written: Late 1990's to 2007
First Publication Date: 21 July 2007
Publisher: Great Britain: Bloomsbury Children's books; US: Arthur A. Levine Books an imprint of Scholastic inc.
Narrator: A detached, trustworthy (mostly) third person, close, but not in, the action.
Point of View: An omniscient narrator who, initially follows Severus Snape, but then consistently follows Harry Potter.
Tone: It is the most complex of the Harry Potter saga, quite a bit more "dark" with heavily adult oriented thematic material. Action and tension continually build throughout, with only rare "pauses" in its escalation, until the epilogue.
Tense: Past and future (the epilogue)
Settings (time): JKR web site listed "Albus Dumbledore: 1881 - 1996; therefore, this book takes place from June 1996 to September 2016. Some of the specific's remain "magical" however as the author's references still do not always coincide with a normal calendar; for example, the school year always begins on September 1st, and it's always a Monday, of every school year.
Setting (place): Great Britain and undisclosed wizarding places abroad.
Protagonists: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger
Antagonists: Voldemort, Death Eaters, corrupt Ministry officials
Major conflict: From the outset Harry's major goal, and Dumbledore inspired, was to prevent Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort) from returning to power and the wizarding world falling, once again, into tyranny. However, a conflict developed within the adolescent wizard, as his mentor was maligned in death and he had to decide if their pre-arranged goal was really what he should be doing. Further, even this was complicated by the late introduction of yet another set of secret objects: Deathly Hallows. Harry's quest then became the decision between "Hallows or Horcruxes"; until, in the final hour, Harry was told from the grave that HE HIMSELF was basically an unintended Horcrux. So the quest changed, yet again, to whether or not he would sacrifice himself "for the greater good." And, finally, the question became, once he was dead, would he go back and live.
Rising Action: Harry, Ron and Hermione are together again; and, despite having grown so much that they barely fit under it, spend most of their time under the cloak. Volemort has gotten more brazen as he has come out into the open. The wizarding community is falling like flies to Voldemort's tyrrany; whether from fear or from "imperious" curses. Unfortunately, there are more than a few, Umbridge included, who don't seem to need "imperious-ing" in order to fulfill Voldemorts plans. Forced into hiding, the three roamed the countryside looking for the remaining Horcruxes and barely escaped the many "traps" that Voldemort had set for them. Even the distraction of finding out several apparent weaknesses in his mentor, Dumbledore, didn't stop Harry; but, the realization of yet another "magical system" of objects, nearly did. The three "Deathly Hallows" had been sought, to his hurt, by Dumbledore, and were now well within Harry's grasp. The cadre of friends, Harry had assembled over the years, amassed even more solidly in his support; and, to his sorrow, began paying dearly as, together, they fought tyranny. The here-to-fore unrecognized capabilities of many characters were revealed in a final "battle of Hogwarts," where McGonagall, Luna, Neville and many others held Death Eaters at bay while the fifth Horcrux was found and destroyed.
Climax: Through the sacrifice of an arch-enemy, Harry was finally told that HE was a seventh Horcrux so must die before Voldemort could be killed. It was when he had determined to willingly pay the ultimate price, that the "Hallow's" were opened to him, in the form of moral support from those who had gone before: his parents, Sirius, and Lupin. Putting his cloak and wand inside his robes, so he wouldn't be tempted to use them, he stood his ground against evil itself, in order to become like Dumbledore and his mother.
Falling Action: Harry met Dumbledore at an etherial "King's Cross Station" after Voldemort had "killed" both Harry and the portion of his own soul which had been tormenting Harry's life. Dumbledore explained that, through an equally mysterious faux pax, Voldemort had turned the tables on himself and tethered Harry's life to his own. Now, Harry could not be killed while Voldemort lived, so Harry went back to finish the deed.
Themes: Good and evil: the Eternal Battle, Coming of Age: Finding 'Who I Am', Choices: Making Life Our Own, Bigotry: The Fulfillment of Arrogance, Tyranny: The Demise of Liberty, Death: And Its Meaning to Life, Love and Friendship
Motifs: Medievalism, Wizardry, Genealogy
Forshadowing: As the books have ended, nearly all of the plot-line's questions were answered. Because the Epilogue is in the future (2017) however, one could conjecture upon what the author intended to communicate — a "followup" book in ten years perhaps?

Plot Overview

Ms. Rowling telegraphs to us, from the first paragraph, that the book is NOT written for the same aged child as her initial book. Voldemort, despite thirteen years of fates' attempts to teach him some humility, raged back to become as he ever was — the very definition of evil. He had learned, from the captured Ollivander, about he and Harry's wand's having duplicate cores and was determined to not let it happen again. He learned from Snape the date Harry was going to be transported by the Order; and not only took the Malfoy's mansion as his headquarters, took Lucius' wand as well. He planned Harry's capture, as well as tortured, killed, and fed to Nagini, a captured Hogwarts professor — all in the first chapter.

Although Dumbledore is gone, he still fairly orchestrates the action in the book. Rita Skeeter began a campaign to discredit his memory; and did, accidentally, print some grains of truth in his less-than-pristine past, which Harry had to overcome. Harry parted company with his foster family, the Dursley's; but, not before Dudley astonished us all with a change of heart... of sorts. Six decoys of Harry, produced by Polyjuice Potion, were used in the scramble from #4 Privet Drive; but, Mad-Eye was killed and George was permanently wounded. Bill and Fleur were married; and, while at the house, Harry, Ron and Hermione made preparations for their quest to destroy Horcruxes — ok, mostly Hermione. Hermione modified her parents memories to forget her and sent them abroad, Ron convinced his ghoul to act as his double in quarantine with Spatergroit. Dumbledore's bequests (a runic children's book, Harry's snitch, his Deluminator and Gryffindor's sword) to the kids, were finally relinquished from examination by Scrimgeour. Unfortunately, he was killed as Voldemort took over the ministry, raided the Weasley wedding, and forced the kids into hiding. Voldemort continually surprised them with "booby traps," the first of which was making the uttering of his name "traceable." They overcame the curses against Snape's treachery, that Mad-Eye had placed on #12 Grimmauld Place, and made it their temporary headquarters. Kreacher was called to them and disclosed that Sirius' brother, Regulus, was the RAB of the locket. Kreacher had been the one Voldemort used to "implant" the locket, then he had led RAB to it, after his change of heart. RAB had drunk the potion and ordered Kreacher to destroy the locket, which he couldn't do. Mundungus had stolen it then gave it to Umbridge as a bribe. They devised a way to use Polyjuice potion to get inside the Ministry, which had begun rounding up Muggle-Born's for prison. Posing as ministry officials, they explored Umbridge's office, before stunning her and switching her locket with a fake. Their exit wasn't smooth and many captured Muggle Born's were released. Unfortunately, a Death Eater had now made it impossible to return to Grimmauld Place, and Ron had splinched a hole in his arm that Hermione had to make right.

At Ron's demand, they stopped using Voldemort's name. Harry relied on his "visions" of Voldemort, to find he had killed Gregorovitch, a wand-maker, and was now abroad, looking for another legendary wand. Voldemort's old orphanage had been torn down, and they had to camp at a different place every night. Ginny and others, had tried to steal Gryffindor's sword from Snape, who was now headmaster, so he had sent it to Gringott's for safe keeping. A goblin said that it was fake, but he hadn't told anyone. Their taking turns wearing the locket for safekeeping, was affecting them badly. They blindfolded Phineas Nigellus, who's portrait Hermione had brought along, and pumped him for information about Hogwarts. He had seen Dumbledore break the Gaunt ring with Gryffindor's sword, so they realized that Dumbledore must have hidden the real sword. The ring made Ron moody and angry, and he picked a fight, which ended in his storming out and leaving — Hermione was heartbroken. Hermione saw a symbol inked in her runic book by Dumbledore, the same symbol Luna's father wore at Bill's wedding, the symbol of Grindelwald, who had attended Durmstrang. So they decided to visit Godric's Hollow and found the graves of Dumbledore's mother, Kendra, and sister, Ariana in the cemetery. Harry's parents graves were marked with: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," and their home had been turned into a wizard monument. A "smelly" old woman, who seemed to know them, took them to her house. She had been Dumbledore's old friend, Bathilda Bagshot, and had given Skeeter information for her book. The wizard with the wand Voldemort was seeking was Grindelwald. Unfortunately, this was another booby-trap, and Bagshot was being possessed by Nagini, Voldemort's snake. The snake summoned Voldemort, but Hermione's quick thinking and skill delivered them, just as he was coming in the window! In his anger, Harry was able to "vision" the entire events surrounding this parent's deaths. Unfortunately, Harry's wand was broken in the battle.

The loss of his wand and difficulty of the task, made Harry very angry with how Dumbledore had left him hanging. Then the copy of Rita's book revealed that Dumbledore had been friends with Grindelwald, and had written about "wizard dominance" and "seizing control of Muggle's for the greater good." The next day they moved, and as they unpacked Hermione said that they were in the Forest of Dean. On Harry's night watch, a bright silver doe came toward him, then led him into the forest where he saw a pond with Gryffindor's sword at the bottom. He undressed and dove in, but the locket tried to strangle him and he nearly drowned. Just at death, Ron pulled him out... he had returned. It was the true sword, and Harry had Ron use it to destroy the locket. Back at the tent, all was definitely NOT forgiven by Hermione. Ron told them about Voldemort's name being jinxed so they could trace Order members; and that he had run into "Snatchers," which had prevented him from returning. He escaped from them, commandeered an extra wand, and stayed at Bill's Shell Cottage until the Deluminator acted like a guide back to Harry. Christmas morning he had heard Hermione's voice, mentioning his name, coming from the Deluminator. When he clicked it, a blue light guided his Disapparition to the forest. He saw the Doe, and followed it to see Harry undress and jump into the pond. They decided to ask Luna's father about Grindelwald's symbol. Mr. Lovegood told them the mark was the sign of the "Deathly Hallows." Hermione's story book told about three Peverell brothers, who had cheated death with three objects: an invisibility cloak, a resurrection stone and an invincible wand. They were real, and Grindelwald had sought them. Unfortunately, it was yet another trap for them, because Luna was a hostage over Quibbler articles. Hermione, again, provided an escape. On "potterwatch," a resistance radio program, they heard Lupin say, "if Harry is listening I would tell him to trust his instincts, which are nearly always right." Hermione kept up an incessant criticism of Harry's opinions about the Deathly Hallows; until, in anger, he blurted out a retort using Voldemort's name!

Men, led by Fenrir, captured and took them to the Malfoy Manor. Bellatrix, seeing Gryffindor's sword, was inordinately concerned about her bank vault. Hermione was tortured, while Harry and the others were sent to a cell, and met Luna and Ollivander. Harry saw a blue eye in his magic mirror fragment, asked for help, and Dobby appeared to side-apparate half the group away. Wormtail, investigating the noise, was overpowered; but, still choked Harry with his silver hand. Gasping, Harry muttered, "you owe me," and Wormtail's momentary hesitation let Harry escape; but caused an enchantment on the hand, to attack and kill the man. Dobby returned and mayhem ensued; which, basically, left: Bellatrix and the Malfoy's wandless, Greyback blasted, Ron and Hermione Disapparated and Harry rescuing Griphook and Dobby. Unfortunately Bellatrix's last minute throw of a silver knife hit Dobby and killed him. At Shell Cottage, Harry manually dug a grave and buried Dobby, which impressed Griphook just enough to consent to help them break into Gringott's. Even though Hermione "polyjuiced" into Bellatrix, and had her wand, it didn't go well. They got past the dragon guard, and found Hufflepuff's cup, but were found out and nearly buried and burned. Griphook defected, taking the sword, but they escaped on the nearly blind dragon's back, blasting their way out. They had a new Horcrux but no way to destroy it, and Voldemort now knew their plan. Harry envisioned Voldemort recount his Horcruxes, including one at Hogwarts, and set off to check on them; he had already retrieved the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave. When the kids landed in Hogsmead, it set off another booby-trap, and Aberforth Dumbledore had to rescue them from Death Eaters. He told them that their sister, Ariana, had been attacked by Muggle boys and their father sent to Azkaban for his retribution. Permanently mentally unstable, Ariana, had been "kept safe and hidden" by their mother until, in a fit, she killed her mother. Albus, a reluctant head of family, met Grindelwald, envisioned wizard supremacy for a time, hunted for Hallows, then fought with Grindelwald when the man attacked Aberforth in an argument. Ariana was killed, but no one knew by whom. Aberforth had bought Sirius' mirror from Mundungus, had been watching Harry, and had sent Dobby. A magical tunnel, in a portrait of Ariana, led into the Room of Requirement where Neville and others had been hiding from the Death Eaters: Snape and Carrow's, now in charge of the school. Thinking that Harry had come to save them, former DA members were summoned, which eventually led to Luna suggesting Hufflepuff's lost Diadem might be what they sought. Unfortunately, Alecto Carrow caught them in Ravenclaw's common room, where Voldemort had surmised they would come, and sent the summoning signal. Luna stunned her, then Harry Crucioed Amycus unconscious, after he showed disrespect for McGonagall, who had come to check. Finding that Harry had a mission from Dumbledore, and he could "see" Voldemort coming, McGonagall mobilized the remaining professors to make a stand. In the process Snape was forced to flee, but Aberforth's pub and tunnel became a portal for a whole host of "battle joiners."

Nearly-Headless Nick told Harry that Ravenclaw's ghost was the Grey Lady, who turned out to be Helena, Rowena's daughter, who had been the one who stole the Diadem. She hid it in a tree, in Albania, when a baron — the "Bloody Baron", was sent to fetch her; and ended up dying by his hand in an argument, before he killed himself over grief for what he had done. She admitted to having told Tom Riddle the story, and Harry realized that he had seen the Diadem in the Room of Requirement, on the head of a statue. Hagrid and Grawp entered the battle and Ron and Hermione returned from the Chamber of Secrets, where they had gone for some Basilisk fangs and destroyed the cup. As Neville's grandmother joined the fight, the kids returned to the Room of Requirement, and there were entrapped by Draco, Crabbe and Goyle. In the ensuing ruckus Draco and Goyle lost their wands, Crabbe set off Fiendfyre which destroyed everything (including himself), and Harry had to coerce Ron into saving Draco and Goyle. The Diadem was destroyed by the "fyre," Percy returned and Fred was killed in a building collapse. On the way to the shrieking shack, where Voldemort was hiding, they needed to save Draco, for a second time; and, Luna, Ernie and Seamus had to save the kids from Dementors, using their Patronuses. They eavesdropped on Voldemort: dismissing Lucius, and using Nagini to kill Snape, because he thought Snape, being the true owner of the Elder Wand, needed to die in order for it to work properly for him. Harry went to his side, in death, and retrieved memories to use in the Pensieve. They showed that Snape: had been the one to tell Lily she was a witch, fell in love with her, bargained for her life after the "prophecy," joined Dumbledore after her death, conspired with Dumbledore to kill him (instead of letting Draco do it), continued allegiance to Dumbledore's portrait, produce the doe which led them to the sword — and forwarded the message to Harry that HE was a "seventh Horcrux" and must die before Voldemort could be killed.

On the way to the forest to meet Voldemort alone, he told Neville of the need to kill Nagini. His cloak was the first hallow, Voldemort had the second — the wand; and the third he discovered inside the snitch that Dumbledore gave him — Marvolo's ring, the resurrection stone. Using it he received comfort from his parents, Sirius and Lupin before Voldemort used Adarda Kedavra on him. He found himself in a celestial "Kings Cross Station," where Dumbledore explained many of the questions that he had; including, that he hadn't been "fully killed" because Riddle had used Harry's blood for his new body; and, that he was now rid of the fragment of Voldemort. The Elder Wand, Dumbledore said, decided upon its own allegiance, based upon who had fairly won it; and, IF Harry chose to "return" he might defeat Voldemort. So... after returning, he found that Voldemort had been unconscious at the same time. Narcissa was sent to see if Harry was dead, and lied that Harry was. He didn't feel the Crucio that Riddle used on his "dead" body, and the captured Hagrid was made to carry Harry back to the castle. In Riddle's arrogance, he deluded himself that he had won; but, Neville was able to kill Nagini as Centaurs, Hippogriffs, Thestrals, Hogwarts families, and Hogsmead residents stormed the grounds. Trelawney killed Fenrir, Molly killed Bellatrix, the Malfoy's searched for Draco instead of fighting and Harry finally faced Voldemort saying: "one of us is about to leave for good." Harry told him that Draco had been the master of the Elder wand, not Snape, and that he had just disarmed Draco (twice) so the "Elder wand knows that I'm its master... and none of your spells have been effective." Riddle's Avada and Harry's Expelliarmus met in the middle. The Elder wand flew to meet its true master, and Riddles spell rebounded and killed him. After much celebration, Harry secretly went to Dumbledore's portrait and discussed that: he was going to keep the cloak, put back the wand, and not look for the lost stone.

[The epilogue discusses what the kids are doing nineteen years later.]