Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
How we cite our quotes:
Harry and Ron went slowly upstairs to their dormitory. As Harry pulled on his pajamas, he looked over at Neville's bed. True to his word to Dumbledore, he had not told Ron and Hermione about Neville's parents. As Harry took off his glasses and climbed into his four-poster, he imagined how it must feel to have parents still living but unable to recognize you. He often got sympathy from strangers for being an orphan, but as he listened to Neville's snores, he thought that Neville deserved it more than he did. Lying in the darkness, Harry felt a rush of anger and hate toward the people who had tortured Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom ... He remembered the jeers of the crowd as Crouch's son and his companions had been dragged from the court by the Dementors ... He understood how they felt ... Then he remembered the milk-white face of the screaming boy and realized with a jolt that he had died a year later ... (31.17)
The next book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, picks up on a number of themes in this passage: the "good" side's vengefulness and hatred of evildoers ("the jeers of the crowd as Crouch's son [...] had been dragged from the court by Dementors") and Harry's growing, fierce personal loathing for Voldemort. But even hatred of evil people seems problematic in Rowling's moral universe. She spends a lot of time showing the bad effects of moral righteousness on wizards like Mr. Crouch or even Mad-Eye Moody. So, given her depiction of extremes on the good and bad sides of the wizarding world, how does J.K. Rowling try to humanize Voldemort? How does Rowling attempt to make him a well-developed villain? And when in the series do these efforts to deepen his character start to take place?
Wormtail was gasping and moaning with agony. Not until Harry felt Wormtail's anguished breath on his face did he realize that Wormtail was right in front of him.
"B-blood of the enemy ... forcibly taken ... you will .. resurrect your foe."
Harry could do nothing to prevent it, he was tied too tightly ... Squinting down, struggling hopelessly at the ropes binding him, he saw the shining silver dagger shaking in Wormtail's remaining hand. He felt its point penetrate the crook of his right arm and blood seeping down the sleeve of his torn robes. Wormtail, still panting with pain, fumbled in his pocket for a glass vial and held it to Harry's cut, so that a dribble of blood fell into it. (32.44-6)
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry finds a dead unicorn in the Forbidden Forest. Professor Dumbledore explains that the blood of a unicorn brings eternal life, but it's a cursed life, because killing something as innocent as a unicorn isn't a crime you just bounce back from. Continuing with that theme, we have to wonder a little bit about the terms of Voldemort's resurrection in this scene. He's being brought back, yes, but with the bones of his father and the blood of his enemy, "forcibly taken" (32.45). What kind of price might be attached to this kind of dark magic? What, exactly, is Voldemort at this point in the series – is he still human, in any sense of the word?
"We bow to each other, Harry," said Voldemort, bending a little, but keeping his snakelike face upturned to Harry. "Come, the niceties must be observed ... Dumbledore would like you to show manners ... Bow to death, Harry ..."
The Death Eaters were laughing again. Voldemort's lipless mouth was smiling. Harry did not bow. He was not going to let Voldemort play with him before killing him ... he was not going to give him that satisfaction ...
"I said, bow," Voldemort said, raising his wand – and Harry felt his spine curve as though a huge, invisible hand were bending him ruthlessly forward, and the Death Eaters laughed harder than ever. (34.5-7)
Voldemort has a real flair for the dramatic. He's definitely trying to put on a good show for the Death Eaters – and we, the readers, have to acknowledge the Dark Lord's power as well. Harry's personal resistance, his refusal to "give [Voldemort] that satisfaction," lends him the strength to frustrate Voldemort's plans. But it's not enough to truly defeat Voldemort. Voldemort is still meeting Harry from a position of power. One of the things we like about this resurrection scene is that it truly underlines how long the odds are for Harry's triumph over Voldemort. In the previous books, Harry has been in tough situations, but this is the first time that Voldemort's casual, powerful cruelty has been on display directly. And it's both intimidating and frightening – how can Harry ever win?