Was Daniel Radcliffe doing some heavy marketing or a sublime giveaway of the next book’s ending in his recent interview for Entertainment Weekly?
After answering some nice questions from Steve Daly about his personal and physical growth, his fame, and comparisons to “Beverly Hills: 90210,” the conversation turned to a comparison (initiated by Radcliffe) between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ.
When Daly asked him about the images that different audiences in different cultures have of Harry Potter, Radcliffe opined, “It’s interesting. Harry Potter’s like Jesus in that way.”
He got shy about it for a bit, and then explained “My point is that Jesus is different in different countries. Like when Christianity was trying to be spread in Africa, all the depictions of Jesus were as a black man. In England, he’s a white man, and that’s how everyone views him. Of course, he wasn’t. He was from the Middle East, he was from Israel, y’know, and would’ve looked Israeli. And so, it adjusts. The same does happen, I think the world over, for Harry Potter. He does change his appearance from country to country. Obviously he’s always going to have the black hair, the scar, the glasses. But each country makes that its own.”
Harry Potter, a Jesus figure? Interesting. Daly egged him on:
“Well, you’re such a modest fellow, you immediately blanched at having compared Harry Potter to Jesus,” Daly said. “But the comparison is apt. Harry is treated like a messianic figure in the books, and part of what the narrative’s about is Harry coping with the exalted way other people see him.”
Radcliffe replied, “To me, the books are mainly about a loss of innocence. He is on a mission in some way, and he is striving to do good. But he feels his goodness being taken away from him, as he becomes more like Voldemort.”
I don’t get the connection. Not to sound like a bible geek, but Jesus never lost his innocence, never became more like Satan, and was never confused about his mission. Harry may be heroic, sacrificial, caring, and even moral within the confines of the story, but not messianic. Whether Radcliffe had a Freudian slip or was trying to hint in code to his fans, I think we’ll look back and realize that this was the first time we could know that Harry likely dies in the last book. You can read the whole thing here and decide for yourself.
Postscript: I suppose one door this may open is the chance for another book! After all, if the Jesus-figure dies, He’s going to have to rise again!