I’ve had this post scheduled for absolute ages – but I’m glad that I kept putting off publishing it. Because this is the start of the real darkness of Harry Potter, and it mirrors today’s world terrifyingly well.
Everyone knows about how Death Eaters = the KKK. Obviously the comparison is made visually, with their pointed black hoods. However, this was one of my pet peeves about the movie – although you see the hoods and the masks, the movie doesn’t actually portray their hatred towards Muggles. (I can understand why – surely torture would make the rating of the movie higher.) But this seems like an enormous cop-out.
(Also? Yet another reason why Hermione should be black, and Harry should be mixed-race. I’ve told a lot of people about the race undertones of Harry Potter – and many had never even noticed. Symbolism be damned, I say! Where is my black Hermione?!)
Finally, I know this was published ages ago, but Bookshelf Fantasies wrote a really interesting thinkpiece about Goblet of Fire and consent, which you can find here. This actually got me thinking – other than the goblet itself, there’s one other pretty huge area of non-consent. And that’s when Pettigrew takes Harry’s blood in order to resurrect Voldemort.
This is a really interesting area, actually. As I’m sure we all know, the potion that resurrected Voldemort had 3 main ingredients (for lack of a better word):
- Bone of the father, unknowingly given
- Flesh of the servant, willingly sacrificed
- Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken
My first point? How ‘willing’ is Pettigrew? Is fear enough to sacrifice his own hand? Should this have worked?
And the second point: the other main difference I can think of between the original book and the movie is that it is made very clear that Harry thinks to himself ‘you can take my blood, this isn’t force’ in order to try and combat the magic. However, what Harry thinks during this trauma makes no difference at all. I don’t know about you, but thinking about this, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Harry has no way to define what happens to him. He is an enemy, whose blood is forcibly taken. I feel like these words are branded on him at this point, and there’s very little room for any other self-definition.
(Actually, this is a thread I might continue for later instalments – the power of the imperius curse and the consent issues that go with that is something that I’m very interested in.)