“Harry Potter” Characters and Their Mythological Counterparts
There are mythological references everywhere in Harry Potter, from the presence of three-headed dogs to the name of Remus Lupin. As such, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the Harry Potter characters and figure who their mythological counterparts were. Here were my conclusions.
1. Dumbledore – Merlin
This is the obvious one. The fact that Dumbledore is an old and powerful wizard with a long white beard is enough to bring the comparison to mind. But there are other aspects as well. For example, both of them are the mentors and teachers of heroes, helping young men discover their destinies. Both also have a connection to prophecy. Admittedly, Dumbledore himself is not a Seer, whereas Merlin was, but he is the one to deliver the prophecy to Harry, as Merlin often did for Arthur and Uther.
2. Luna – Cassandra
If you actually look carefully at what Luna says throughout the books, she’s often right. Furthermore, she often has a better grasp on the situation than everyone around her, like when she pointed out Voldemort’s tactic of isolation to Harry. However, like the prophetess Cassandra of Greek myth, she’s often dismissed as sounding crazy or ridiculous. Even intelligent characters such as Hermione tend to write her off. Thankfully, she’s not quite as badly off as Cassandra, though, since there are a few people who listen to her, which is how she’s able to help Harry more than a few times.
3. Ginny – Sekhmet
First of all, Sekhmet is often depicted as a lioness, which pretty much sums up Ginny Weasley right there. Secondly, Sekhmet is a fierce goddess of war and destruction and Ginny is no slouch on the battle field. Sekhmet also has a connection with plagues, which fits all too well with Ginny’s signature Bat-Bogey Hex. However, in addition to destruction, Sekhmet also has connections to love, often being viewed as the counterpart to Hathor, the goddess of love. Similarly, we see another side of Ginny in the books aside from her ferocity, that of Harry’s loving girlfriend.
4. Neville – King Arthur
Let’s face it, Neville doesn’t start out as much. But neither did King Arthur! Despite both of them being from powerful lineages, Neville with his Auror parents and Arthur being royalty, both men were seen as weak when they were children. Furthermore, both of them were also mistreated by family members because of this perceived weakness. However, both them then grow up to become strong leaders and commanders of men, with Arthur leading Camelot and Neville taking command of Dumbledore’s Army. Oh, and then there’s the fact that they both end up fighting with famous magical swords.
5. Hermione – Athena
There is the obvious connection of intelligence here, with Hermione being the brightest witch of her age and Athena being the Greek goddess of wisdom. However, there’s also the connection of both of them being the guider of heroes. Hermione often acts as Harry’s advisor throughout the series, and Athena frequently guides heroes such as Odysseus and Perseus. The Perseus myth makes a particularly apt comparison, since in it Athena gives Perseus a mirror-bright shield to fight Medusa, a monster who turns people into stone when they look at her. This can easily be linked to Hermione and her mirror in the second book, which alerts Harry and Ron that they’ll be facing the Basilisk, another creature known for its deadly gaze.
6. Ron – Sir Gawaine
Sir Gawaine is an exceptionally brave and loyal knight, and when his court is faced with danger, he’s the one who volunteers to face it. Ron also happens to be brave and loyal and agrees to go on a dangerous quest. However, what’s interesting is that both of them falter while on these quests. Sir Gawaine lies about obtaining a magical artifact in hopes that it will save his life and Ron runs away. But despite these lapses in courage, both of them repent, with Gawaine confessing the truth and Ron returning. In the end, both of them are able to return home victorious with their mistakes forgiven in favor of their overall good character.
7. Harry – Horus
Horus was born with a great destiny but had to be hidden as a child since he was being targeting by the same dark and powerful enemy that had killed his father. Horus eventually went on to face this enemy and defeat him through trickery, taking advantage of his enemy’s arrogance. The comparison to Harry Potter seems fairly clear-cut, although Harry’s winning strategy involved the ownership of a wand rather than the ingredients of a salad dressing. Aside from their general life stories, there is one other point of comparison, though. Horus is connected to falcons, which are fast birds known for their ability to dive, much like Harry and his ability to fly.