“To Harry Potter—the boy who lived.” ~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
It is no secret that there are many Christian parallels throughout the Potter series. One of them is the idea of The Boy Who Lived. Harry wasn’t the first boy to have a death sentence placed upon his head and escape. When Christ was a baby, the evil ruler of the land, Herod, heard a prophecy about Jesus. He heard that Jesus was going to be king. Herod, in his limited understanding, thought this meant that Jesus would one day overthrow him. So he issued a decree across the land that all the baby boys two years and younger must be killed (playing right into the prophecy), but Jesus lived because his parents got him out of the land and into hiding in time.
The story of the prophecy and Herod’s reactions can be read in Matthew 2. It amazes me the similarities between Harry’s Boy-Who-Lived story and Christ’s Boy-Who-Lived story. Here are a few parallels I picked up:
- While the prophecy did mean Christ, Herod didn’t know which boy it meant so he went after them all fulfilling the “Rachel weeping” portion of the prophecy. The prophecy Voldemort heard could have meant Harry or Neville, but he goes specifically for Harry which fulfills the “marking” part of the prophecy.
- Voldemort and Herod’s reactions to a partial knowledge of the prophecy lead to their failure at stopping it’s fulfillment.
- Both Harry and Christ are whisked into hiding upon hearing that Voldemort/Herod are after their child.
- Lily and James along with Joseph and Mary make sacrifices in order to protect their children. Joseph and Mary have to go back to Egypt—the land their people escaped from—and leave behind their homes and their families.
- Both Voldemort and Herod “die” or “disappear” so that Harry/Christ can return to their “worlds” after a period of absence.
Anything you’ve found that I didn’t pick up on?