On the Prophecy in Harry Potter

So, a while ago I saw an article about the prophecy in Harry Potter. The prophecy, if you need a reminder, is:

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies….

The line the article focused on was “either must die at the hand of the other”, suggesting that Harry Potter can’t die unless it was by Voldemort’s hand. The article went on to suggest that this could have set up an interesting plot point where Harry is immortal.

The interesting thing is that Dumbledore understood the prophecy the same way.

In the Deathly Hallows, Harry goes through Snape’s memories. During the sequence, he witnesses Dumbledore explain to Snape why Harry must die in order for Voldemort to be defeated.

Long story short, Harry is an unintentional horcrux and has a part of Voldemort’s soul attached to him. If Voldemort is to die, then all of the pieces of his soul must die also. Which means that Harry needs to die.

But Dumbledore says something else, too, that’s odd. He specifically states that Harry must die by Voldemort’s hand. Why would this be true?

At first, the reader might think its a requirement for the horcrux to be destroyed. However, multiple characters have destroyed horcruxes by themselves before, and the only stated requirement needed as that the object that is the horcrux must be destoryed beyond repair. Killing a human host seems like it would destroy the horcrux – as killing Nagini, Voldemort’s snake, destroys Voldemort’s final horcrux. So what’s the difference?

Or is there another reason Harry must die by Voldemort’s hand?

Which brings me back to the prophecy. Dumbledore realizes that in order for the prophecy to become true, Harry must die by Voldemort’s hand. The prophecy isn’t saying that only they can kill each other, but they will kill each other.

So, in summary, JK Rowling still has layers beneath Harry Potter that haven’t been found. Yet.


Picture from: http://the-harry-potter.wikia.com/wiki/Sybill_Trelawney