Percy Weasley: A Wizard-World Odysseus?
There have been many theories concerning Percy Weasley and what the future will hold
for him. I think hes actually a very fascinating character, and I feel that there
is a strong parallel between him and the Greek hero Odysseus.
One of the things that first clued me into this possibility was the significance of
Percys girlfriends name Penelope. Penelope was, of course, the ever-faithful
wife of Odysseus. As J.K. Rowling uses names to give us some of the biggest clues to
the stories, I think this is a valid point.
In The Iliad,
we begin by having Odysseus refuse to join the Greeks in the fight
against the Trojans, even going so far as to feign madness in order to escape his
duty. He sowed his fields with salt, thereby ruining their ability to produce good
crops. However, when the Greeks placed his son Telemachus in front of the plow,
Odysseus finally admitted his ruse and joined them. He later rose to great
prominence: he is credited with coming up with the idea for the Trojan Horse, and he
is also responsible for bringing the Greek heroes Neoptolemus and Philoctetes to
Troy for the final stage of the conflict.
How does our least-favorite Weasley fit into all this? Well first of all, theres
the obvious fact that he refuses to join his family in the fight against Voldemort.
Therefore, for the purpose of this editorial, the Greeks represent the Weasleys and
all others fighting on the good side of things, and the Trojans represent
Voldemort and the other bad people. People grow in their families and learn a
great deal about life from their families. Percys family, then, is comparable to
the fields that Odysseus sows with salt. Percy points out all the negative things
about his family, which is similar to rubbing salt in a wound. This ruins the family
relationship and causes rifts that prevent further growth, just as salt in the
soil will prevent the crops from being fruitful.
Although Percy certainly doesnt have a son, I think theres a duality here in that
Percy looks after Ron almost as though he were a son, and he looks after Ginny kind
of like a daughter. Therefore, when his children face great danger at the
Ministry in the final fights of Book 5, perhaps this is the wake-up call that Percy
needs to realize where his position should be. Certainly now that his boss has
admitted to the world that Voldemort is back, Percy will be forced to realize that
maybe he wasnt on the right side of things afterall. (This goes with his
already-established character of always trying to follow whats right.)
There has already been quite a bit of comparison between Neoptolemus and Harry. And
the fact that we already know Harry is the one to vanquish Voldemort (going with the
theory that it couldnt be Neville as discussed in The North Tower),
perhaps this indicates that Percy will play a vital role in giving Harry the chance
to take out Voldemort. And perhaps Philoctetes is Ron, although that is up for
debate. Going with this theory, it also indicates that Percy will probably come up
with some brilliant idea that helps Harry defeat Voldemort, similar to the Trojan
Horse. We certainly know that he is quite clever, considering how many O.W.Ls and
N.E.W.Ts he received at Hogwarts.
Finally, in The Iliad,
Odysseus is given the famous armor worn by Achilles upon
Achilles death. Perhaps this means that for all of his hard work and his return to
the good side, Percy will be rewarded something fabulous.
I dont claim to be a scholar on the Classics or anything, so its possible
that I may have misinterpreted some things. Please dont hesitate to leave feedback if