LOTR and THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE
I saw the latest Harry Potter film a few nights ago. Anyone who has watched these films and are lovers of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy cannot have failed to notice comparisons between the two. For a start, the Harry Potter books have a Dark Lord, just as in LOTR and the main action is the battle for supremacy between those two forces, Good and Evil.
Did you notice how reminiscent one of the episodes is to the scene in The Hobbit when Bilbo unwittingly finds himself at the very roots of the mountain where the path leads into a dark lake with an island at its centre where the sad creature known as Gollum lives? It comes in the scene where Dumbledore whisks Harry away to an underground sea cavern in search of one of the seven Horcruxes. One of the Horcruxes is on an island in the centre of the lake-like stretch of water in the cavern. After Dumbledore/wizard Gandalf drinks the dark liquid in the crystal basin, a swarm of dead creatures are roused from the depths and, with skinny arms, make for Harry Potter. Was it just my imagination, or did they resemble the Gollum of the films? When Harry Potter is being dragged down into the depths by these creatures, this scene brought to mind the Dead Marshes where we see the arms of the dead reaching up to Frodo, luring him into the murky depths.
The giant spider in the Harry Potter films is, of course, the ancient and evil Shelob in LOTR but why has ‘he’ been given the name of Aragorn? This is most curious. As we know, Aragorn is one of the main protagonists in LOTR. As their King, on him depends the leadership of Men in the forthcoming Age when the forces of the Dark Lord have been vanquished.
Harry Potter himself, of course, is Aragorn, the last survivor of an ancient royal line which can, incidentally, describe itself as Half Blood Royalty being half Human and half Elven. In LOTR being a Half Blood Prince was a good thing for the royal line as it represented a spiritual lineage from the Great Gods themselves. It descended through the female line of Melian and her daughter Luthien who married a mortal man. Its purpose would seem to be to help guide corrupted humanity back onto the right evolutionary path. At the very outset of our quest in 1999 we were told that LOTR was true story and that it was the story of the Corruption of Man. It would therefore follow that, in any account which tackles the same grand themes as found in Tolkien’s LOTR and the Harry Potter books, there are bound to be strong comparisons.
The first ‘half blood’ was Luthien herself, founder of the Royal Line of Numenor from whom Aragorn was directly descended. Her mother was of the race of the Maia, a lesser Race of the great gods, the Valar. Her father was one of the chosen leaders of the Elves, or young gods. Against all tradition, Luthien fell in love with, and married, a mortal man so that their son, Dior, could be described as a Half Blood Prince. One other royal intermarriage took place between Man and Elf, that of the royal Elf, Idril Celebrindel, and the human, Tuor, scion of the House of Beor. These two mixed marriages eventually produced the two brothers Elrond and Elros who, being Half Blood Princes, were given the choice of being either Elf or Human. Elrond chose to be Elven whilst Elros became fully human and founded the Royal Numenorean Line of dark-haired, grey-eyed kings, whose royal colour was black. Note that Snape’s appearance is conspicuously black – particularly his raven black hair and we discover at the end of the film that it is Snape who is the Half Blood Prince.
In the context of the LOTR we can perhaps compare him with the Steward of Minas Tirith, Denethor, whose mind was poisoned by the Dark Lord. Denethor dared to use the palantir, or crystal ball, in his possession out of a need to see the wider events in the world, as war was gathering in Mordor. This gave Sauron access to Denethor’s mind which he subtly manipulated so that Denethor came to hate Aragorn and perceived him as a usurper of the throne, this, despite the fact that Aragorn was the rightful heir to the throne of Gondor. It is clear that Snape, like Denethor, harbours some bitter resentment towards Harry Potter / Aragorn. The reason becomes clear at the end of the film: it is because he is only a Half Blood Prince. rather than a Full Blood Prince, as Harry Potter is perceived to be, or at least it is Harry and not Snape who is the ‘Chosen One’ like Aragorn.
In reality, we can see the comparison is spurious, because Denethor was not of the Royal Blood Line, but of the ancient Line of Stewards. However, what it does represent is a source of powerful opposition to the rightful heir reclaiming the throne. Naturally, the forces of evil want to prevent such an event because they do not wish to see humans evolve, as the Numenoreans did on their island before they, too, were corrupted.
We find the same theme in the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Cain was the baddy as he purportedly murdered his brother Abel because he was angry that God spurned his offering of fruit but found favour with Abel’s animal sacrifices. Recently, the truth has come out which shows the Bible to have given a false version of the truth. Laurence Gardner, in his ‘Genesis of the Grail Kings’, demonstrates from irrefutable sources such as cuneiform texts and Sumerian cylinder seals, that Cain and Abel were half brothers. They both shared the same mother, Eve, but, whereas Cain’s father was one of the Anu Gods, Abel’s father was the half human / half god, known as The Adam. Therefore, Cain’s lineage was superior to that of Abel. If anything, it was Abel who had reason to be the jealous, resentful brother. The set-up broadly compares with that of Aragorn and Denethor, Steward of Minas Tirith. Even though they were not brothers Tolkien depicts them as contemporaries and very alike so that they could indeed have been brothers but he adds that it was Thorongil (Aragorn’s alias during his service to the Steward of Minas Tirith, Denthor’s father) who was loved by the people and not Denethor.
If we skip to the Middle Ages we find the inner cabal of the Templars secretly worshipping John the Baptist and making out that Jesus was the usurper and John the Baptist the true Messiah. Is this not an attempted repetition of what happened to Cain and how his name was unjustly blackened? And where have we heard this refrain before? At the very beginning of life on this planet, when the Great Gods had tamed the elements and made the first Garden of Eden, the God Morgoth, being envious of their Creation, descended to Earth and began to cause havoc. More importantly, he made out that it was he and not Manwe, chief of the Valar, who was the rightful ruler of this planet and that Manwe had usurped his position. We can now see that this is a very ancient pattern seeded at the very Beginning. Once these energies are set in motion they are likely to be repeated.
The latest repetition of this pattern is found in the figure of the ‘bastard’. A bastard son was truly a ‘half-blood’ for his father was from a noble background but his mother would have been from the common folk. He would therefore have been disbarred from inheriting, or even being acknowledge as a son. He was truly an outcast, which was a fine breeding ground for ambition and treachery. We see the same theme in the Robin Hood film starring Kevin Costner and Christian Slater. Will Scarlett turns out to be Robin’s half brother whose mother was a ‘commoner’. The theme appears in double form. The Sheriff of Nottingham is also Robin’s counterpart / enemy. It is interesting that the actor Alan Rickman, with his sepulchral voice, plays both the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Half Blood Prince.
For a fuller understanding of how this age-old rivalry between the two brothers has been deliberately perpetuated through time we need to introduce a further element, but this is not the place. However, it comes into our quest and is touched upon in the book.