Saturday, September 17, 2016

Top 20 Times JK Rowling Used Foreshadowing Excellently in the Harry Potter Series


If you are an English teacher and you plan to teach foreshadowing as a literary device, then the Harry Potter books are the best teaching aids to help you. In this list, we will avoid more obvious foreshadowing like how Dumbledore mentioned the Room of Requirements in passing one book before Harry and his friends actually discovered it, or the time Harry talked to the snake at the Muggle zoo before he actually learns he is a Parselmouth one book later. You will see how the use of various literary devices here is definitely an excellent mark of consistent world-building by JK Rowling.


20) First Book Foreshadows the Entire Series

The first book foreshadowed key elements for the other books in the series. In Chapter 16, Harry, Ron and Hermionie go on a quest to stop Voldemort from stealing the Philosopher's Stone and obtaining eternal life. They face several challenges along the way and each of these challenges represent in order, an upcoming book.



19) Centaur's Predictions

In the first book, Harry encounters Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest but is saved by Firenze, the centaur. However, another centaur named Bane turns up and states that by helping Harry, Firenze has interfered with what has been written in the stars. The centaurs, who can see read the future, already could predict that Harry would have to be killed by Voldemort. Six years later, Harry learns that his Divinity teacher, Professor Trelawney had predicted the same thing in one of her two only actual prophesies. Also, the Centaurs constantly say Mars is Bright, which means oncoming war.



18) Pettigrew's Fate

At the end of the third book, Dumbledore tells Harry there will come a day when Harry will be thankful he spared Wormtail. That day does indeed come in the final book when Wormtail lets Harry and his friends escape from being captured. However, the silver hand given to Wormtail as a replacement for the hand he sacrificed to remake Voldemort's body ends up choking him to death. Speaking about that, early on in the fourth book, Voldemort tells Wormtail, "I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform." Most readers probably had no idea this had a more literal meaning to it.



17) Harry's Dreams

In the first book, on his first night at Hogwarts, Harry dreams he is wearing Professor Quirrell's turban which keeps talking to him. The turban tells him he must move to Slytherin because it is his destiny. Well, we know what is in that turban, and it makes sense why that thing would talk to Harry, since he has a piece of it in him. Similarly, after the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw in the third book, Harry dreams of following a silver, galloping creature through a forest before arriving a clearing. This actually happens in the final book when Harry follows Snape's Patronus, a doe, through a forest into a clearing to find the Sword of Gryffindor.



16) Dumbledore's Deepest Desire

In the first book, Harry comes across the Mirror of Erised, which shows him his deepest desire - to be with his parents and the rest of his family. He becomes a little addicted to it since it gives him something precious the real world cannot. Soon, Dumbledore shows up and tells Harry it is dangerous to live in an imaginary world and that the Mirror will be moved someplace else. When Harry then asks the Headmaster what he sees in the Mirror, Dumbledore answers he sees himself with a pair of thick, woollen socks because all people give him are books. As Harry goes to bed that night, he suspects Dumbledore was not telling the truth. True enough, at the end of the series, we learn that Dumbledore probably saw what Harry sees in the Mirror - his family intact.



15) The Weasleys' Fate

Apart from Ron, all the Weasleys names are either the names of British kings or queens or an Arthurian name. Also, the Weasleys accept Harry almost as part of their family, which is fitting since there has been eight kings with the name Harry on the throne. King George III, who became king because of the untimely death of Prince Frederick, was deaf in one ear. Remember how George loses an ear? This could be JK Rowling foreshadowing Fred’s death. Another foreshadowing in regards to the Weasleys happens in he fourth book, when Harry, Ron and Hermione confront Fred and George at the Owlery regarding Ludo Bagman scamming them at the World Cup. George tells Ron that if he carries on caring too much about following the rules like this, he will eventually be made a prefect. True enough, Ron is appointed a Prefect in the next book along with Hermione.



14) Mad Eye's hatred for free Death Eaters

In the fourth book, Professor Mad Eye Moody states that if there is one thing he hates, it is a Death Eater who walked free. Of course, it makes sense that Mad Eye would say that since he is the Auror who brought many Death Eaters to face justice after the first Wizard War. Except this was not the actual Mad Eye, but an impersonator all along. It was Barty Crouch Jr. a Death Eater who went to Azkaban prison rather than betray his Dark Lord. Naturally, he would hate his fellow Death Eaters who chose freedom. So technically, he was not lying when he said this. He genuinely does hate them.



13) The Vanishing Cabinet

The Vanishing Cabinets would play an important role in The Half-Blood Prince when Draco Malfoy repairs and uses them to allow Death Eaters to enter Hogwarts. However, the cabinets are actually mentioned in earlier books in passing. In The Chamber of Secrets, Harry eavesdropped on the Malfoy family while hiding inside one of these cabinets at Borgin and Burkes. a store selling Dark Arts objects in Diagon Alley. Later in the novel, Peeves the poltergeist breaks the connecting cabinet at Hogwarts while trying to distract Filch when Harry is in his office. Finally, in The Order of the Phoenix, Graham Montague from Slytherin disappears when he is stuffed into a cabinet as a prank. It is easy to look over this incident since strange things happen at Hogwarts almost everyday. However, it is possible that Montague first learned about the cabinets' abilities and informed Draco about it.



12) The Barman At Hogsmeade

In the fifth book, Harry notices that the barman at Hogsmeade "was a grumpy-looking old man with a great deal of long gray hair and beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar." One book later, while visiting one of Dumbledore's memories, Harry sees how Voldemort is unhappy that Dumbledore will not give him the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position. This is because Dumbledore knows Voldemort has been up to some suspicious activities. Voldemort comments that Dumbledore is as “omniscient as ever”, to which Dumbledore replies: “No, no. Merely friendly with the local barmen.” In The Deathly Hallows, we find out who that local barman is actually Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth.



11) Some characters' demise

Professor Trelawney may not be the best Seer out there, but she definitely got things right on occasion apart from the two times she was in trance. In Prisoner of Azkaban, she comes to the Great Hall for Christmas breakfast and claims that "when 13 dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die." Sure enough, Dumbledore rises to greet her, and he is the next out of the 13 of them to die. Speaking of Trelawney predicting Dumbledore's fate, she does mention in The Half Blood Prince that she has been sensing distant vibrations of catastrophe when she drew the Lightening Struck Tower card. Her predictions do come true since this tower is where Dumbledore's life ends.



10) Sirius' Fate

While we are discussing the prediction of the first of 13 to rise while dining shall die, its important to note how this applies to both Lupin at Mad-Eye Moody's wake and Sirius at a dinner at Grimmauld Place. In Sirius' case however, his death is foreshadowed more than once. In the fifth novel, when Harry first enters Sirius’ house, Harry gets “an odd feeling of foreboding; it was as though they had just entered the house of a dying man.” If that is not enough Sirius’ Animagus form is that of a shaggy dog, which is often viewed as “The Grim,” a sign of foreshadowed death. Also, when Harry sees Sirius for the last time, he "had a bad feeling about this parting; he didn’t know when they would next see each other.” But Sirius' death is not the only thing foreshadowed about him. In the very first chapter of the very first book, Dumbledore is at Privet Drive to receive baby Harry and leave him at the Dursleys’ front step. When Hagrid arrives with the baby, he is flying a motorcycle. When asked whose motorcycle it is, Hagrid says it was Sirius'. This is the first time his name is mentioned but it is only in the third book do we come to know he is actually a major player in the story.



9) Divination Homework Predictions

Divination is probably the subject Harry and Ron least take seriously. Despite this, most of the predictions made here actually comes true. In the third book, Ron's prediction for Harry when reading tea leaves is he is,"you're going to suffer but you're going to be happy about it." When you think about it, that actually does come true. Harry suffers a lot after the fourth book but he ends up happy. Another one of Ron's predictions is Harry might work for the Ministry of Magic. In The Cursed Child, we learn that Harry does indeed become an Auror. However, the icing on the cake goes to Harry and Ron’s divination homework when they decide to make crazy predictions that they think would never come true. Everything they make up would eventually come true during the events of the Triwizard Tournament.



8) The Bezoar

In the first book, Professor Snape tries to humiliate Harry on his first day in class by asking him difficult questions. One of them is: “Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?” Harry does not know. However, in the sixth book, Harry finds an old Potions textbook with handwritten notes in the margins that mentions bezoars as a poison antidote. When Ron is poisoned in the book, Harry remembers the bezoar and feeds it to him saves his life.



7) Some Hocruxes

In the fifth book, Harry and his friends are cleaning up Sirius old house which is now The Order of The Phoenix's new headquarters. While cleaning an old cabinet full of seemingly worthless stuff, they come across "a heavy locket that none of them could open." One book later, we learn about Hocruxes and how one of them is actually a locket. Another Hocrux that is mentioned earlier in the series is a tarnished tiara that he places on his book in the Room of Requirements. This tiara turns out to be Ravenclaw's Diadem.



6) Aunt Petunia's Wizarding Knowledge

Early in the fifth book, Harry and his cousin, Dudley are attacked by Dementors, As Harry struggles to explain what Dementors are to his Uncle Vernon, his Aunt Petunia suddenly reveals what they are, even describing the place they are guarding. When asked how is it she knows, she says she overheard "that awful boy" tell her sister about it. At that time, Harry assumes his aunt is talking about his father, James. However, in the final book, through one of Snape's memories, we learn that 'awful boy' is actually a young Professor Snape.



5) Myrtle's Murderer

In the second book, Harry and Ron learn that the Head Boy from 50 years ago, Tom Riddle, whose magic diary they have received an award for special services to Hogwarts. Ron tries to speculate what it was for. He says, "Maybe he got thirty O.W.L.s or saved a teacher from the giant squid. Maybe he murdered Myrtle; that would’ve done everyone a favour…" Towards the end of the book, we learn who Tom Riddle actually is and that he did indeed kill Myrtle with the Basilisk, creating his first Horcrux. Speaking of Riddle, the first time Harry comes across Voldemort's real name, he gets this strange vibe that he knows him. Well, of course he does.



4) Harry's Second Soul 

Professor Trelawney does not only make true predictions when she is on trance. During Divination class, she predicts that Harry was born in midwinter. This is, of course, untrue because Harry was born in July. However, Voldemort was born on December 31st, which is right in the middle of winter. In the final book, we learn Harry is a Horcrux, meaning he is a vessel with part of Voldemort’s soul in him. Could it be that Professor Trelawney was sensing something that Harry and we find out only four books later? Also, the Dementors feed on happiness, but they take certain joy in sucking the soul out of humans. They were especially attracted to Harry from the start. This comes off as a little weird since Harry has little happiness in his life after having been raised by the Dursleys. Nevertheless, the Dementors were probably attracted to him because they could sense that he has two souls in him. One was his own and the other, of course, the part of Voldemort's inside him.



3) Lily Potter’s Protection

When Harry returns from the graveyard with Cedric Diggory's body after having confronted Voldemort at the end of the fourth book, he tells Dumbledore that Voldemort returned to his bodily form after forcefully taking blood from Harry. Voldemort could have used the blood of any wizard who he considered his enemy, but he waited a long time just to get Harry's. Harry notices that Dumbledore has a gleam of something like triumph in his eyes, just for a second, which might have confused us at that time. We are led to assume that Harry probably noticed something wrong, but that is not the case. Dumbledore already knew that by using Harry’s blood to recreate his body, Voldemort was unwittingly further enhancing Lily Potter's protection on her son. This would prevent Harry from being in any real harm. Dumbledore only reveals this to Harry at the imaginary King's Cross in the final book.



2) Snape was actually a good guy

Professor Snape is had us guessing whether he would turn out a hero or villain at the end throughout the series. If you know the story, then you would know he is eventually revealed to have been on Dumbledore’s side the whole time, acting as a double agent while successfully shielding his thoughts from being read by Voldemort. This is actually foreshadowed, ever so briefly, in the fourth book when Harry is in the fake Mad-Eye Moody’s office. Here, he notices Severus in a Foe-Glass, a tool that conjures up images of its owner's enemies. The fake Moody is a Death Eater named Barty Crouch Jr. Since Snape appears in the glass, it is immediately implied that he is not on the same side as the evil Death Eaters, which means he is a loyal follower of Dumbledore. Another similar occurance happens when Snape is teaching Harry Occlumency. Snape tells Harry that Voldemort "almost always knows when somebody is lying to him." Snape says 'almost', because Voldemort cannot always tell if he is being cheated since Snape lies to him all throughout the final two books. Also, way back in his first year at Hogwarts, Harry "sometimes had the horrible feeling that Snape could read minds." Turns out that is not just a hunch.



1) The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Dumbledore explains that Professor Trelawney prophecy regarding Harry and Voldemort need not necessarily have to come true. The only reason it will come true is because Voldemort, being the paranoid wizard that he is, actually believes it. Therefore, he will not allow Harry to live unless Harry kills him first.




Also read:

1 comment:

  1. Kangga u wrote this? U r a total fan of HP!

    ReplyDelete