What Our Favorite “Potter” Characters Could Have Become
A Doppelgänger (“double walker” in German) is a double or second-self. In literature, dream analysis, or archetypal symbolism, the Doppelgänger is often figured as a twin, shadow, or mirror-image of the protagonist. ~ Doppelgänger and Doubles in Hitchcock’s Movies
The Potter stories are filled with doppelgängers—characters who seem very similar but are opposites. They could have had the same future, but their choices led them down separate paths. Here are a sample of the many doppelgängers in Rowling’s magical story:
1. Harry Potter & Voldemort (a.k.a. Tom Riddle) ~ Besides them being connected via Voldemort’s soul, Harry and Riddle have other similarities. They are both orphans brought up in homes devoid of love and affection. Voldemort becomes self-serving through his experience, but Harry chooses to become selfless after growing up under the Dursleys’ “care.”
2. Hermione Granger & Moaning Myrtle ~ Both girls wind up crying their eyes out in a bathroom stall because someone was mean to them. The difference, Hermione chooses to forgive, whereas Myrtle chooses to remain as a ghost so she can seek revenge.
3. Ron Weasley & Petunia Dursley ~ Both are tall and lanky. Both grew up in households where they were shunted from the limelight. But where Petunia takes her jealousy out on her sister, Ron grows close to his elder brothers and lays down his jealousy to stand by Harry.
4. Peter Pettigrew & Neville Longbottom ~ Both Hatstalls who could have ended up in different houses (Neville wanted Hufflepuff, and Peter may have wanted Slytherin though we do not know what he communicated to the Hat) but were placed in Gryffindor anyway. Neither Neville nor Peter were as talented as their friends, and both are considered cowardly. However, Neville chooses bravery, remaining loyal to Harry even in the face of Voldemort, whereas Peter chooses cowardice, selling his friends to protect his own back. Though the Hat claims his death shows he died a Gryffindor.
5. Ginny Weasley & Bellatrix Lestrange ~ Both fell hard for the cunning Tom Riddle, placing their full trust in him. However, Ginny is repulsed by his power over her, whereas Bellatrix is enthralled—standing by Voldemort’s side to her death.
7. Weasley twins & Patil twins ~ Whereas Fred and George are inseparable, Padma and Pavarti go their separate ways starting with the Sorting. Pavarti is the silly friend of Lavender Brown who adores Trelawney; Padma is the studious Ravenclaw prefect. Fred and George are just alike, but the Patils are opposites in many ways. And though both sets of twins face the Battle, the Patils both make it out alive, whereas George loses Fred.
8. Lily Potter & Molly Weasley ~ Both strong, red-headed mothers. Both defenders of their children (Lily took the Killing Curse for Harry, and Molly stood up to Bellatrix for shooting a Killing Curse at Ginny). The difference between these two great women—Molly lives to see her family grow, to have grandchildren, to be a mother to Harry; however, she does so with the loss of a son.
As a bonus, here are a couple of doppelgänger ships:
1. Ron Weasley/Hermione Granger & Severus Snape/Lily Potter ~ Both Hermione and Lily come from Muggle families and are loved by wizards. Ron is a pure-blood but comes from a Muggle-loving family. He has no qualms in marrying Hermione. Snape comes from a mixed household and develops a hatred for Muggles and Muggle-borns, except Lily. Ron gets his girl and changes because of her. Snape changes because of Lily, but it is too late. She dies because of his poor choices.
2. James Potter/Lily Evans & Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley ~ The couples look alike (except the eyes). They both join groups that fight Voldemort. However, James and Lily give up their lives in the fight, whereas, though Harry does give up his life, Harry and Ginny survive because of what he learned from his parents’ sacrifice.
What doppelgängers have you found in the series? What have they taught you about the power of choice?