Questions We Still Have About the Deathly Hallows
There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight” (The Tales of Beedle the Bard 87).
We first heard these words in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when the trio visited Xenophilius Lovegood’s home. This visit happened 18 years ago. They were unaware of this story’s importance even though Ron had grown up hearing it and Hermione had been carrying it around with her for the past several months. “The Tale of the Three Brothers” transformed from a harmless fairy tale into something very real, the Deathly Hallows.
This story makes you think of what you would ask for if you were confronted by death. Would you ask for the Elder Wand and be unbeatable in a duel? Would you want to bring back loved ones with the Resurrection Stone? Or would you want the Cloak of Invisibility so that you could hide from death? Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?
None of them are very good options, really. The one who possesses the wand is not invincible. The stone only brings back shadows of the dead. The cloak can make you invisible, but no one can live while wearing a cloak all the time. If presented with only those three options, I’d choose the cloak, but I’m not sure how much use I would get out of it. Why would you want to spend your life hiding?
Supposedly owning all of them would make you a “master of Death.” What exactly does that entail? Is the title literal? J.K. Rowling capitalizes Death when referring to this in “The Tales of Beetle the Bard.” Does this mean that you would be able to control the personification of death and have a Grim Reaper as a servant? Would you be in charge of who lives and who dies? Do you become immortal? None of these questions were answered by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry does end up owning all three, but we never see how being the “master of Death” changes him. He dies and comes back, but was that because of the Deathly Hallows or the Horcrux? Do you have to physically be holding all of them at the same time for anything to change? We know very little about any of this, and it might be a good thing.
“The Tale of the Three Brothers” is an origin story for the Deathly Hallows, but it is also a warning to not try to cheat death. Don’t strive to be unbeatable because someone will eventually find a way to take your power. Let go of the ones you lost. Remember them but know that it was their time to go and there was nothing you could do to change it. Necromancy is never the answer. Even if you find a way to hide from death, it catches up with everyone in the end.
Which Deathly Hallow would you choose? What are your thoughts on mastering them? Let us know in the comments.