Comparing Frodo and Harry
You can all be mad at me now. This article has come late
I know. I have a really good excuse though: my computer crashed. Hopefully I will be a bit more regular now, and you all can enjoy more Quibblers!
First of all, a disclaimer. A lot of you have written in warning me of the response I might get from comparing Harry Potter to The Lord of the Rings. There is no way that I could possibly point out all of the similarities between the two, and even if I wanted to, I would not. What I really wanted to accomplish in this is comparing the themes of the two stories and learn about what clues we can gather about what might happen to Harry based on what happened to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. That is all, nothing really special or complicated.
Second of all, another disclaimer. The Lord of the Rings has had a huge rebirth lately with the films by Peter Jackson. For many people, this is the only opportunity that they have had to experience the story. Because of this, I will really only compare the major themes found in the films, unless specified otherwise. I know that many fans will be disappointed by this, but you must realize that this is the easiest way to get my point across to the most people. If you really must, you may yell at me by using the feedback form.
Both Frodo and Harry have a burden. For Frodo, it is an inanimate object that happens to be a gold ring that holds within it power to rule the world. The burden itself was inherited, although Frodo could have given it to anyone else, but chose to complete his mission to destroy the ring because he felt that he was meant to. It was his fate. He accepted it and it nearly killed him. For Harry, it is fame. This burden can easily be characterized as a simple scar on his forehead, a souvenir of his match as a baby with the Dark Lord Voldemort. Harry did not have a choice in his first match; it was simply fate. As he has grown up and the evil has become more powerful, Harry feels compelled to fight the evil that killed those that he loves, and even those whom he does not. Both Harry and Frodo have to overcome their burden in order to complete the task that fate has given them: to save the world from power and evil.
Both Harry and Frodo have a circle of friends to help complete the mission. For Frodo, it was a fellowship. It was started by the Council of Elrond in Rivendell (more people who wanted to organize a group of people to help complete the task) and then aided by various other people throughout Middle Earth (like Galadriel, Eomer, Theoden, et cetera). Harry has something very similar. Not just the Order of the Phoenix, but something unique that we were introduced to in the fifth book; an un-named fellowship, that is the group of peers that went with him to the Department of Mysteries. Those people happen to be Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and Ginny, and they are his own fellowship (some might include other members of the DA as well here, including the Weasley twins). All-in-all, the point is that both Harry and Frodo have a very select group of people near them helping them to complete their task.
Another interesting similarity is a fickle member of the fellowship: Boromir and Snape. In The Lord of the Rings, Boromir is driven by the ring, nearly to betraying the fellowship, but instead he sacrifices himself to protect Frodo. Could Snape be compared to Boromir? Snape, too, seems to be driven by power and intimidation, but to what extent? Would he betray Harry? During the fifth book, we learn more than we ever have about Snape, but it is still not enough to draw any clear conclusions. However, there is a striking similarity that one must consider. Gandalf, who could probably be compared to Dumbledore, clearly allowed Boromir to join the Fellowship, and continue even though Boromir continually showed signs that he might be driven by the ring. For Harry, Dumbledore clearly allowed Snape to be a teacher at Hogwarts, be around Harry constantly, and become a member of the Order of the Phoenix. We trusted Gandalf, and so we must trust Dumbledore.
One of the more controversial aspects of this theory is comparing a character from Harry to Gollum. Perhaps Gollum/Smeagol could be compared to the tricky behavior of Snape (voiding the paragraph above). The dual personality of Snape could be extremely important to the success or failure of Harry. If his fate ends up like Frodo (with the Snape/Gollum theory), then we can expect for Snape to turn against Harry right at the end, but also sacrifice himself in the end. But what if the Gollum character were actually closer to Harry? Perhaps a certain friend who has been burned by the power of evil wizards? One who might turn bad when tempted by the things that he desires most? Need more hints? A friend who has bright red hair? Ron. I really really do not want this to be the case; Ron is my absolute favorite character. A betrayal to Harry is inevitable, however, and a nice twist would be with Ron. If anyone were to turn on Harry, my money is on Ron. Please do not yell at me for this, just think about it: it is perfect. I love Ron, and I hope that he does not, but I think it is the most probable.
Most generally, what will happen to Harry based on what happened to Frodo? First of all, Harry will live, as Frodo did. However, he will be greatly changed, never being able to adjust to real life again. I do not think Harry will lose a limb or appendage, but he may lose his scar. In some science fiction books, effects of evil will disappear when the evil itself is defeated. This would mean that if Voldemort were defeated, Harrys scar would melt away because the curse would be broken. I think that this is very possible.
So what have we learned? There are a lot of deep similarities between Harry and Frodo (both orphans, task with burden, fellowship surrounding them), and we must watch the major characters for any sort of lapse in loyalty or judgment because it may alter the outcome of the task.
I hope that not many of you were too offended by this installment. To try to include all the similarities would surely fill a book (or five) and it is not my intention to retell the stories for you. Just know that there are many similarities and we can therefore draw some clues and make predictions about what happen to Harry. I will undoubtedly come back to this subject at a later time with even more to speculate on, but I will leave you with this much for now.
Be sure to stay tuned for the next Quibbler soon. The topic will be "Arabella Figg and Argus Filch: The Same Person or Just Coincidental Cat Lovers?"