The Neverending Battle as seen in Epic Fantasy and Beyond

Both sides of the epic battle of Good vs. Evil

Significance of Good vs. Evil

Since time began, there has always been a battle between Good and Evil. It is rather ironic how at a glance you could misread Good and Evil for God and Devil. Made you think, didn't I?imagesCALG1IRX.jpg In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series, we witness an epic battle of good and evil. When someone says that there was evil in "epic proportions", we assume they are meaning there was evil in abundance and in a grand manner. Epic fantasy is like that as well. The stories are large and intricate and depend on imagination to carry the reader through the descriptive passages and abundance of detail. Not only are they full of fantasy and imagination, but there is always a battle of good and evil. In most cases, the evil side has come from the good side in order to get more power and to become immortal (Mulholland 223). The most common story of Good vs. Evil is the Bible. In that epic tale Jesus is a human being who was created by God and is given the task of saving the world. He must go through many trials and tribulations and ends up scarred and beaten. The big surprise is that he "lives" and saves the world from darkness, at least those who believe and choose to follow him. In the Harry Potter series, the battle between good and evil lies in the hands of Harry Potter and his friends, Ron and Hermione, aka the Good, and Voldemort and his followers, aka the Evil. Harry Potter is similar to Jesus on many levels. He is a half wizard/half muggle ( non wizard ) who starts out his life in a most extraordinary way. There is a great fight and sacrifice and he is scarred for life, yet he is the "One who lives"(Beahm 119) and he
essentially saves the world from the evil Lord Voldemort. Other similarities are the sociological ones. Jesus was born in a stable and was raised quietly and plainly by Mary and Joseph. Likewise, Harry is kept in a closet under the stairs of his mothers family's house. Both of them were raised among normal people, doing extraordinary things. When it comes to evil characters, the bible definitely wins with Satan, cast out of heaven because he wanted to be the strongest and best. Voldemort is much the same. He wanted to be the most powerful wizard ever and wanted to be smarter than rest. He actually started at Hogwarts with the good wizard Dumbledore, but left when he decided to go and become more powerful so he could rule the world. It is evident that this battle between good and evil has remained the same from the beginning of time and is especially evident in the epic fantasy genre. It takes on many forms and faces but will always be the greatest battle known to mankind.

The Power of ThreeFather%20son%20holy%20sprite.gif

The holy trinity is made up of three key people or beings, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are several references to the number three in the Bible. For example, Noah had three sons (Gen 6:10) and Job had three daughters (Job 1:2) The Ark of the Covenant contained three sacred objects "The gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant” (Heb. 9:4) (Patterson).

Things that would be incomplete without the three parts they share:

Three persons in grammar
Present, Past and Future
Faith, Hope, Charity ( 1 Corinthians 13:13)

For more examples on the significance of the number three go to The Significance of Numbers in Scripture.

In the Harry Potter series, three key characters are Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. With the two friends, Harry is able to solve more mysteries and accomplish great feats that would have been impossible without the remainder of his trio. This is alludes to the significance of the number three in the bible. This trio is comprised of three honest good hearted souls. The bonds they share are unbreakable and are strongest when they are all acting to serve the same purpose.

Evil is as Evil Does

In the Bible, Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent. He convinces Eve that it is okay to eat the forbidden fruit and that she will gain more knowledge and power by doing so. He tells her that God doesn't want her to have this knowledge because then she will know as much as God. Human nature guides us, so of course Eve wanted to be smart and powerful. Voldermort has the same power and uses the same tactics as Satan. He can speak to snakes, he can enter Harry's mind and he even resembles a serpent. People fear him, yet they want the power they can get by being associated with him. It has been said that in all of us, there are two sides, a good one and an evil one. There is a constant battle that we fight to make good decisions. In the case of Harry and Voldemort, they are linked by a common yet elusive thread. They can read one another's minds and experience the other's emotions. Consequently, Harry must learn to block the evil ones thoughts and make his own decisions in life, similar to our free will. In the first book, Voldemort is only a shell, with no real body. As he kills others and moves people to the dark side, his strength increases, and his body forms a little bit more. As we get to book seven, he has an unmistakable form, not quite human, but not quite serpent. Similarly, when there is an evil person among us in reality, they tend to get stronger and bolder as they convince others to depart from good into evil. According to George Beahm in "Fact, Fiction, and Folklore in Harry Potter's World, The evil one or the dark lord is an archetype and "is usually offstage more often than not, powerful, geographically inaccessible (with strongholds in remote places), and has an insatiable lust for power"(136). Voldemort is the epitome of the dark lord described above. He is only around when he is trying to battle Harry Potter and lets the others do the work for him until it is time to fight. He is not easily located and is seen only when he wants to be.
Voldemort the Evil

dumbledore.jpgArchetypal Symbols

The serpent is "a symbol of energy and pure force"(cf.libido); evil; corruption; sensuality; destruction; mystery; wisdom; the unconscious"(Cromer). Lord Voldemort has serpentine qualities, such as being a parseltongue, his appearance and his association with evil.

The color White is "highly multivalent; signifying in its positive aspects light, purity, innocence, and timelessness...(Cromer)." Albion is an ancient literary name in Britain for "white" therefore The "Good Wizard", Albus Dumbledore's name is similar to a reference to an archetypal symbol for Good or pure.

The Wise Old Man is another archetypal symbol and his job is to teach the others, test what they have learned and then reward them based upon the wisdom they gain from such tests. He always comes in to help save the hero, by simply making the hero think about the lessons he learned and offering moral support (Cromer). Dumbledore doesn't do things to help Harry, but he makes sure Harry has the knowledge needed to accomplish his tasks. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, when Dumbledore provides Harry with the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows you what you truly desire. He tells him how it works so that when the time comes to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort, Harry knows how to use it to be victorious (214).

About The Author

According to the " J.K. Rowling, The Wizard Behind Harry Potter", by Marc Shapiro, J.K. Rowling, lived a fairly normal childhood and grew up in Tutshill a small village situated near Chepstow, in the Forest of Dean (56). When they first moved there, Joanne had a hard time adjusting at first, in part due to her math teacher. After failing her first test, the teacher placed Joanne in the "stupid row" of her classroom (Shapiro 58-59). She worked hard to prove herself to this particular teacher and eventually moved from there to the left side of the room, where the more intelligent kids were seated (Shapiro 62). After overcoming the difficulties of being the new kid, she blossomed into a teenager and wrote stories that she kept to herself. A few close friends were allowed to hear some of the stories, but she didn't let too many be seen by judgmental eyes. Although she is very creative and loves to write, she admits to being a bit unorganized. Therefore, when she started working in the secretarial field, she didn't last very long. She acknowledges that she was the "worst secretary ever" (Shapiro 80). The idea of Harry Potter came to her on a train ride and she never looked back. Shortly thereafter she lost her mother to Multiple Sclerosis and this left her feeling guilty and alone. Harry Potter was her one true solace (Shapiro 94). A brief marriage and divorce deemed her a single mom, and left her depressed and alone once more. Through all of this, she worked and became a teacher, never ceasing in her spare time to finish her novel. She wanted it to be a children's book and was thoroughly surprised by the reaction it received. In the videos below you can see the change in Joanne from the beginning of her fame to the present time. Just as Harry grew and overcame obstacles, Joanne did the same.

Test Your Knowledge of Harry Potter

Works Cited
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Potter's World: An Unofficial Guide. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Pub. Co., 2005. Print.
Cromer, David. "Archetypal Symbols." Handout 1102. Georgia PerimeterCollege.PDF.
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Mulholland, Neil. The Psychology Of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination Of The Boy Who Lived. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books :, 2006. Print.
Patterson, Richard D. The Uses of Three in the Bible. Web. 29 April 2011.
Rowling, J.K., and Mary Grandpre. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows . Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, 2007. Print.
Rowling, J. K., and Mary GrandPre�. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone . New York: A.A. Levine books, 1998. Print.
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"Voldemort: Voldemort Photos, Wallpapers, Galleries, Voldemort." Explore Profiles and
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Tasha Pratt's review of Tonya Darr's Wiki page
The best part of your page is the opening section. You go into great detail about good and evil. Many of the things you mention, I have never thought about. You might want to add a little more to the section titled "The Power of Three." You could maybe add a picture to that section also. Your topic for your page is sufficiently covered. All of your sections have great titles but you might want to try to center them. Your opening is very strong and that is what made me want to keep reading the rest of your page. The order of your page is also great. I did not see any repetition throughout your page. The overall look of your page is great. The sections are separated and the headings are noticeable. I really like your use of videos and pictures. There is enough white space but you might want to make your font a little bigger in each of the sections to make it a little easier to read. I really enjoyed looking at your page and the content was very interesting. Good job and good luck!

JoLynn Gertson's review of Tonya Darr's Wiki page
Hi Tonya, I have to say I really enjoyed reading your Wiki page. I like the pictures you have chosen for each title and subtitle. You have just the right amount of "white spaces" in your document. However, I would add a picture to the power of three section and the archetypal sections. I think doing this will keep it consistent. I do not see any repetition in your page. As far as the overall design I think it looks great. Your research and documentation looks like it should and I like how you seperated the Image Cited from the Works Cited. I hope this helps good job and good luck!