Soul Theory Still Holds Water

by Danielle Menillo

This editorial is in response to the editorial by Meredith E. entitled The Problem with Soul Theories. While I do concede that Fawkes, according to Esther Kleinig’s editorial The Soul Theory is Dying, is not housing Harry’’s soul (as she now admits), I do however disagree with her assessment that Harry is not housing Tom Riddle’’s soul.

I wrote an editorial a while back entitled Neville: Thunder Stealer in which I explain, among other things, the tired analysis that Harry currently possesses Voldemort’s soul. However, in that article I did not distinguish between the essence of Tom Riddle, and the essence of Voldemort. I bring this up because I think it is important. For one, I believe that Harry is playing host to Tom Riddle’’s essence (his human side) as opposed to Voldemort’’s essence (the evil side) which was separated from each other that night in Godric’’s Hollow. I distinguish between these for the following reasons:

1) In the scene where Dumbledore says, ““but in essence divided,”” I believe Dumbledore was talking about Tom Riddle’’s essence and Voldemort’’s essence, not Harry’’s and Voldemort’’s essence. That explains the green mist of the two serpents and why one was not “red/gold” for Harry and the other green for Tom Riddle as mentioned in another editorial I cannot currently locate on MuggleNet.

2) Hagrid said in SS “there was not enough human left in him to die.” I don’’t know what Tom Riddle did to become Voldemort but he said himself he went through various transformations. J.K. Rowling posed this very question to her audience over the summer. Maybe what he did made it possible for the Tom Riddle essence to be suppressed (his human self) for him to become Voldemort. We know that Tom Riddle was heavily into the dark arts during and after his training at Hogwarts and that his ultimate goal was to become immortal.

3) As for what happens to a person after a Dementor’’s Kiss and its effects on its victims, because of what Tom Riddle did before becoming Voldemort, the rules for him (I think) do not apply. His soul (or essence for lack of a better word) was already separated inside himself. After the failed Killing Curse, Harry now houses Tom Riddle’’s essence and Voldemort retains the evil essence. He is not a complete soul — his essence is divided. Therefore, I don’’t think he would suffer “a fate worse than death” according to the rules we know because Voldemort does have some sense of who he is — he is evil and he knows it.

4) As for the argument that Harry would not be the person he is today if he had Voldemort’’s soul in him, I strongly disagree. If you believe the Changeling Hypothesis you will see that Harry, although very similar to Tom Riddle, has one strikingly important difference: Harry loves AND is loved by others. Tom Riddle never had that. Now, in Harry’’s body, Tom is experiencing everything Harry is experiencing, including the emotion LOVE. The only thing is, Harry is in control because Harry’’s essence is intact; Tom’’s is not. Harry can still be the hero.

So, the theory I leave you with here is that somehow, some way, Voldemort’’s essence in his present state is not human. The essence hiding inside Harry is Tom Riddle’’s, which is human. They are two separate and distinct entities. When these two essences become combined into one physical body (which I believe they will), the experiences Tom Riddle had in Harry’’s body (experiencing pain, loss, and of course love) will overcome the evil essence of Voldemort and that essence will be vanquished. (Of course, I still believe Neville will have a direct hand in Voldemort’’s demise until it is proven otherwise by J.K. Rowling herself because I am very stubborn).

Based on the above, I strongly believe that the Changeling Hypothesis still holds water. To me, it is a logical theory and I cannot see any other way around it. However, as with all other theories, I and so many others can be way off the mark (pun intended). If that is the case, after J.K. Rowling makes us all look like fools, I will probably have to change my name and go into hiding. Until then, I still believe.