The Seven Signs of Harry Potter
There is so much controversy when it comes to Harry Potter and the Christian faith. Some will advocate the books, saying that they are the classic story of good vs. evil and encourage children to do the right thing (i.e., the idea that what is right is not always easy and to always be loyal to your friends). However, there are also those who will chastise the books, saying that they promote witchcraft, something the Catholic church vehemently fights against.
However one may feel about the series and its relation to Christianity, I believe I have found a possible clue to the end of the series in a link between the Bible and Book 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
For the record, I am not trying to push my religion on anyone. This is just a parallel I have found that I thought was interesting enough to write an editorial about.
Anyone who is familiar with the New Testament and the Gospel of John will be familiar with the Seven Miraculous Signs. These are seven signs that point to Jesus as the Messiah. If you read closely in the very first chapter of Book 1 of the series you will find seven signs that point to Harry being The Boy Who Lived, and that Harry will soon appear at the Dursleys.
Sign Number One: The Large, Tawny Owl
None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window.
-SS (American edition), pg. 2
I am not sure where this owl was heading. I believe there was speculation that it was headed for Mrs. Figg’s, since she was the only person in the area who had any connection to wizards, but dont take my word for it. Nonetheless, this owl is our first link to the magical world on Privet Drive and therefore our first sign.
Sign Number Two: The Cat Reading the Map
It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar — a cat reading a map.
-SS, pg. 2
The book indicates that this is the first sign that Uncle Vernon noticed. Remember, he did not see the owl flutter past his window. Had he noticed, I am confident that it would have been recognized in the book as the first sign. So, the first thing he saw that got his attention was the cat, who we know later to be McGonagall in her Animagus form. This extraordinary cat and its uncanny ability to read maps is our second sign.
Sign Number Three: People in Cloaks
As he sat in his usual morning traffic jam, he couldnt help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks.
-SS, pg. 3
As we all know, Uncle Vernon couldnt bear people who dressed in funny clothes. Naturally these people dressed in emerald green cloaks would attract his attention. However, it is these strangely dressed people, or one in particular, that may proclaim the most important sign to us. More on this later.
Sign Number Four: Swooping Owls
He didn’t see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though people down in the street did.
-SS, pg. 4
According to the book, Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window on the ninth floor. However, had he turned around he would have seen our fourth sign: the owls that were probably carrying letters form wizard to wizard about the events that had just taken place and filled with rumors about “The Boy Who Lived.”
Sign Number Five: A Whisper About the Potters
…he caught a few words of what they were saying.
“The Potters, thats right, thats what I heard-“
“-yes, their son, Harry-“
-SS, pg. 4
This bit of information is extremely valuable. It helps us, and Uncle Vernon, see that something big is going on. These owls and strange people are not just coincidences.
Sign Number Six: The Old Man
…he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door.
-SS, pg. 5
The man that Mr. Dursley bumps into declares to him:
“Dont be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!”
-SS, pg. 5
Sign six is HUGE. This is a direct proclamation that someone has defeated You-Know-Who and that times ahead are going to be much better than the times behind.
Sign Number Seven: Shooting Stars
“Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they’ve had a downpour of shooting stars!”
-SS, pg. 6
Wizards are celebrating and as Mr. Weasley wisely pointed out, Muggles will do anything to ignore magic, even when it is staring them right in the face. Mr. Dursley has been trying all day, since sign one, to convince himself that these strange occurrences were simply coincidence. This was the last straw for Uncle Vernon: It was no good. He would have to say something. He had finally come to the realization that something was going on, he opened his mind to the possibility that something concerning Petunia’s sister might be happening.
All of these signs, as small as they may seem, could possibly help us to unravel the biggest mystery of them all: will Harry die at the end of the series?
Seven has been an extremely important re-occurring number in the series. This could mean that these seven signs are highly significant or it could mean that Harry is extremely magical, or it could just be coincidence, but knowing J.K.R. we should be inclined to believe that it isnt just coincidence.
Depending on what you believe — or rather, what the Bible tells us — the Seven Miraculous Signs of the Gospel of John point to Jesus being the Messiah and sacrificing himself to overcome evil in order to save the world from sin. If these seven signs point to Harry being the “The Boy Who Lived,” couldn’t they, in terms of Harry, be figured to mean that Harry, in the end, will sacrifice himself to defeat Lord Thingy in order to save the wizarding world?
It’s a sad concept to think about, and I know I personally don’t want Harry to die at the end of the series, but J.K.R. could be paralleling Harry to Jesus once again by using seven signs that he is “The One.”