Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion


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Prophecy (Spoilers)

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message 1: by ella (last edited Jul 25, 2016 10:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

ella Okay, I need answers, please. I don't understand. "Neither can live while the other survives."

I'm still confused after finishing the series. Voldemort died, but Harry lived. Shouldn't Harry be dead? I'm sorry, and I loved Harry Potter so so much, but could someone explain this to me? I'm getting it all wrong. Maybe it refers to someone else?


ella Okay, this book has 1 million ratings but this topic has no views... anyone?


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Ella wrote: "Okay, I need answers, please. I don't understand. "Neither can live while the other survives."

I'm still confused after finishing the series. Voldemort died, but Harry lived. Shouldn't Harry be d..."


The prophecy could of referred to either Harry or Neville depending on who Voldemort went to to kill. Since Voldemort went to the Potter's house Harry was 'the chosen one'. But if Voldemort went to the Longbottom's house Neville would've been 'the chosen one'.

The prophecy 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...."

Both Neville and Harry were both born at the end of July (the seventh month).
Harry lived because he killed Voldemort.

"and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..."

Only one could live in the end, and they had to be killed by the other (i.e. Harry had to kill Voldemort).


Ruby Neither can live while the other survives.

In the sixth one, Harry took this to mean that one of them had to end up killing each other, but I believe Dumbledore pointed out to him that it's about choices.

I think it means that neither Harry nor Voldy can live with themselves if the other person is living– they hate each other and they are mortal enemies because the other is an obstacle to their living/ruling in peace.

The statement "neither can live while the other survives" doesn't mean that they each have to die. It just means that while person A is alive, person B can't survive/live with himself, and vice versa. So the prophecy logically says there are three oprions: that person A must die but B lives, person A lives but B dies, or they both die.


message 5: by ella (last edited Jul 28, 2016 07:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

ella I'm sorry, I still just don't understand. Voldemort died. Harry is alive. But they both can't live if the other is still alive. So shouldn't Harry be dead?

It's okay. You don't have to write a long explanation for me so feel free to just pass on that. :)


message 6: by Ruby (last edited Aug 03, 2016 07:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruby Harry doesn't have to be dead, no.

Ah! I understand your confusion. When it says neither, it really means "each respectively." It does not mean both– so when it says: neither can live while the other survives, it does not mean that both must die. It means that for each Voldy and Harry respectively, if the other person is alive, the other person must die (probably because the other person killed them). It's just phrased with the word neither to avoid clunkiness.

Point is that the strict logic of the statement doesn't really matter because it's really about choices and Harry and Voldemort's choice to fight each other (which then are dependent on who is a live and who isn't because you can't fight someone who's dead).

Hope this helps!


ella Thank you so much!


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