Goblet Runneth Over
I’ve been watching my favourite Harry Potter movies tonight. Namely, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. What I love about these stories has nothing to do with magic. What’s really beautiful about these stories is that Rowling doesn’t use “kid gloves” with her audience, young as some of them are. It’s the deepest respect and dignity with which she entrusts her audience.
At the end of Goblet when Cedric is killed, Dumbledore defies the ministry and chooses not to spare the young wizards any of the heart-wrenching truth of its circumstances. In doing so he reminds them and us of what makes life precious: honouring and celebrating each other in both life and death. Through Dumbledore, Rowling shows us that by not avoiding death we can be our most vulnerable and genuine with each other and with ourselves.
As the story continues on into Order, a major theme is the contrast between Harry who dares to struggle with the reality of Cedric’s death; and by contrast the tragedy, destruction and misery perpetuated by Cornelius Fudge’s determined avoidance of it. Voldemort who is himself a death figure is, at the end, expelled from Harry’s mind not by magic spells, but again by Harry’s state of love and acceptance against Voldemort’s of denial and avoidance.
I think Rowling understands that the young, just as well as the old are not only capable, but have so much to gain in knowing these important truths.