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  1. Menelaos Gkikas says:

    The Boy Who Lived! What an amazing feeling!

  2. Iain Walker says:

    I always suspected that the whole “life debt” thing was a fanon invention – it’s not exactly unusual, after all, for fans to take one of Dumbledore’s quirky moral metaphors literally and then spin webs of speculation on top of it. Rowling’s a pretty down-to-earth author and her metaphors are usually just that – metaphors. It’s the fans who spin them into something mystical, and build up their thematic importance into something far beyond the author’s intention. The “lead up to the life debt being important” was, I’m afraid, something more in the imagination of the fans than an actual thing in the books.

    So in the end, Pettigrew has one fleeting moment of compassion, a brief recollection of obligation, just enough to cause him to hesitate. But this didn’t come out of the blue – we saw him in GoF hesitantly suggesting that Voldemort use someone other than Harry for the resurrection ritual. Of course, this is bound up with other motivations (Pettigrew generally likes to avoid things that are hard or dangerous), but we still get this small hint of an existing awareness of a debt owed. That the “life debt” turns out not to be some all-powerful magical geas, but just a residual sense of personal obligation, is both in keeping with his prior characterisation and with Rowling’s general emphasis on human motivation (rather than mystical forces) as a driver of plot.

    So I for one didn’t find the manner of Pettigrew’s fulfillment of his “life debt” disappointing at all. I won’t claim I saw it coming, but it didn’t particularly surprise me that she took the approach that she did – low-key, a little mundane, and very, very human.