Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Is Harry Potter Jesus?

Daniel-Radcliffe_idol.jpgWas 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!

  • Melissa

    Judging from your excerpts here (I haven’t yet read the full interview), it sounds like Radcliffe’s comparison of Jesus and Harry Potter stopped at how different cultures make them their own. When the interviewer pressed on with what he thought the books were about, Radcliffe simply countered with what HE thought the books were about. There’s no insinuation that Radcliffe is continuing a Jesus comparison, because he apparently only meant the comparison in a narrow sense.

  • ashwin

    i love harry potter and i want to meet him

  • ashwin

    sup melissa

  • Dennis Thompson

    I think it is kind of ridiculous to be honest. Harry Potter is filled with Mysticism, New Age Philosophy.. It is unfortunately an anti-Christian film. One that I would not let my young child see because it promotes occult activity. It does not matter how “cute” something may appear. The truth is what matters.

  • Ella

    “Anti-Christian”? As in…pagan gods having picnics with the Pevensies and Aslan in Narnia? Pagan myths have been used to tell the gospel for centuries. So much of what is now-adays considered to have associations with Christianity did at one point have pagan origins. Sure, the Phoenix exists in pagan myth, but it also existed (and still exists) in Medieval times as a symbol of Christ’s ressurection and of our hope for ressurection. Other mythical beasts incorporated into Christian tradition are unicorns, hippogriffs (do your research and you’ll find it, it existed before Rowling), and stags.
    If Harry Potter lends itself to this literary tradition that follows a chosen person destined to vanquish great evil, and is clearly a fantasy story just as Narnia or Lord of the Rings is…as in not intended to be taken literally but metaphorically, perhaps we need to stop assuming that a self-declared Christian author like Rowling is out to indoctrinate children in the occult.

  • Ella

    I should clarify…she has not as-of yet identified herself as a “Christian author”, but she has identified herself as a Christian. After the 7th book, however, I don’t think there will be much doubt.

  • Michael

    Douglas Howe, are you trying to do demagogy or you just have not read well the interview? The only way he compares them is when he is talking about illustrations, and how every culture imagine them in their own way, which is completly true.
    He doesn’t same more, you are doing demagogy. It’s the interviewer the one who continues to talk about it. Daniel starts talking about a different thing, about what he thinks the books talk about, but he is not doing any comparision.
    You are trying to do demagogy and all you are showing is you don’t know the Bible. You said “never confused about his mission”. And what about the temptations? The devil tried to tempt him several times, it’s a very important part of the Bible.

  • Val

    [I think it is kind of ridiculous to be honest. Harry Potter is filled with Mysticism, New Age Philosophy.. It is unfortunately an anti-Christian film. One that I would not let my young child see because it promotes occult activity. It does not matter how “cute” something may appear. The truth is what matters.
    Posted by: Dennis Thompson | July 12, 2007 6:44 PM]
    You obviously don’t know anything about Mysticism, New Age Philosophy, etc. And I bet you’ve never bothered to actually READ the books.
    Lighten up. Did you ever watch Bewitched or I Dream of Jeanie as a kid? What about Cinderella, The Seven Dwarfs, etc. It’s a fantasy story.

  • Val

    Apparently there is more to the story. The flight attendant should be fired.
    Talkative Toddler Kicked Off Plane
    Created: 7/12/2007 6:18:53 PM
    Last updated: 7/13/2007 9:32:02 AM
    A Gwinnett County, Georgia, woman wants an apology from Continental’s Express Jet Airlines for kicking her and her toddler off of the plane — all because, she said, a flight attendant wanted the woman’s son to stop talking.
    “I was embarrassed, shocked, upset,” the mom, Kate Penland, told WXIA at her home on Thursday. “I was just, words cannot express, you know? I was already tired, I couldn’t believe what was happening.”Advertisement
    Penland and her 20-month-old son, Garren, were on their way from Atlanta to Oklahoma City on June 16 to visit Penland’s father for Father’s Day. Weather delays forced them to sit in Houston’s airport for 11 hours.
    When the flight finally left the gate late that Saturday night, Penland said Garren was talking about it, happily, along with all the adults on board.
    “He’s saying, ‘Bye, bye, airplane’ to the plane out the window. And that’s what he was doing, he wasn’t screaming or throwing a fit, just, ‘Bye, Bye, airplane.'”
    Penland said a flight attendant told her to get Garren to stop talking. Immediately.
    “She leaned over the gentleman beside me and said, ‘Okay, it’s not funny anymore, you need to shut your baby up.’ And, you know, my first reaction was she had to be kidding. So, I asked her, you know, ‘Are you kidding?’ And she said, no, she was tired, she’d been stranded at the airport all day, and she did not want to hear it.”
    Penland said she replied that Garren would probably be asleep by the time the plane lifted off.
    “I said, ‘Well, he’s been here at the airport for eleven hours, stuck in a stroller, you know, you should be lucky he’s not screaming his head off.’ And she said, ‘Well, it’s called Baby Benedryl.’ [She made] just a little, you know, drinking motion, and I thought she’s got to be kidding me. And I told her, ‘I’m not going to drug my baby so that you’ll have a pleasant flight.'”
    Penland said the plane was small and other passengers could see and hear her and the flight attendant clearly. Penland said the passengers began speaking up for her, telling the flight attendant they were not disturbed by Garren’s talking and that the flight to Oklahoma City from Houston was only one hour, anyway.
    “It was ludicrous,” one of the passengers, Stacey Watts, told WXIA on Thursday, from her home near Oklahoma City. “I even heard somebody from the back of the plane call out there, ‘You telling me there’s a switch on kids all these years?'”
    Watts was in Row 6, just behind Penland and her son who were in Row 3.
    Penland said the flight attendant then addressed all the passengers.
    “She put her hand on her hip and informed everyone that it was her plane and she was not going to listen to it. And she then went to the flight attendant station, was there for a few minutes, came back and informed the cabin that we were turning around. And she looked at me and said, ‘You and your baby are getting off the plane.’ And we did, we turned around and security came and escorted my child and me off the plane.”
    Penland was not charged with any crime.
    Penland had only her carry-on, with the few diapers and other baby items she had taken for the short flight. Her luggage went on to Oklahoma City. She said Express Jet paid for a room for her and Garren for the night, and she and Garren flew to Oklahoma City the next morning.
    She said she was talking with a representative of Express Jet just after being escorted off of the plane. “I was in tears,” Penland said. She said the airline representative told her, “The reason I was removed from the plane was because the flight attendant told the captain I had threatened her. And that was the reason I was removed, not because of the baby. I told her that I did not threaten that woman, and I had a plane full of witnesses.”
    “I heard nothing from Katie to indicate there was any type of a threat,” Watts said. “I never heard any of that.”
    A spokeswoman for Express Jet Airlines told WXIA that, due to potential litigation over the incident, the company would have no comment other than this statement: “We received Ms. Penland’s letter expressing her concerns and intend to investigate its contents.”
    Penland said she and her husband are thinking about filing a lawsuit. Mostly, she said, they just want an apology.
    “You know, with all the heightened security alerts at the airports, you would think turning a plane around would be for something important, not, you know, a flight attendant that was irritated.”

  • Sylvia

    Sometimes it’s necessary to be a little more considerate when dealing w/children. Mom, I think, should have attempted to keep little one quiet – and, seemingly an appropriate time to learn this lesson. However, when you have a child that is the apple of your eye, their voice, their mannerisms, nearly everything they do, is endearing and eagerly experienced. Sad… the flight attendant knew not the joy.

  • laura t mushkat

    Good golly miss molly!
    Have not read any of the other posts yet but wonder if Voldermot is now going to be compared to the devil.
    Thankfully Daniel compared his character to Jesus and not G-d! Hope he is not confusing himself with his character. If people think so they will be wondering about his explanation of that and his nude shots! Must think doing that will make people think of him as an adult. Someone needs to talk to him.
    Can you imagine what the suits at the studio are thinking when theny hear him talking about the Jesus character and Harry Potter, and the nude scenes. After all the appeal for the movie and book series is to children.

  • Caitlin

    What about those people who actually practiced the occult, ie, tarot cards, ouji boards, etc and then converted to Christianity? Would you say it is okay for them to watch something that promotes the occult, magic even if it is unintentional?

  • Caitlin

    By the way, Laura, Jesus is God.

  • Angelgoldwin

    Harry Potter is no more than an “character” like Tom Sawyer,
    Batman, or Superman…….

  • Patrick Longworth

    I am not sure what Radcliffe was trying to infer or suggest by his comments but ultimately comparing Harry to Jesus is rather superficial in any case. For one thing, Jesus did (and does) live whereas Harry is a fictional character who engages in activities (magic) that would not have been acceptable to either Jesus or GOD.
    I will be all the more glad when I have heard the last word about Harry Potter…

  • Gloria

    Thank you!!!

  • Alisha

    Yes I agree that Harry Potter has Jesus like qualities in his personality. For example when Jesus was at his worst in his life Satan came to mess with his mind and make him doubt himself just like Voldemort is doing to Harry in the Order of the Phoenix and just like Jesus told Satan to piss off Harry did the same with Voldemort. So there is definitely some simalarities between the two. Jesus Christ and Harry Potter both rock out loud and I love them both with all my heart!!

  • Ruth

    Well, read the last book and you might see one particular similarity . . .
    “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

  • brett504

    Daniel Radcliffe, Aka Harry Potter is no more like Jesus than I am.
    He is portraying a fictionial character, that is it. A hero like Superman, spiderman, batman, Lone Ranger, etc. Jesus is God, in the flesh, he is a real person, who came to this earth, to die for every ones sins. He hung on a cross. Harry used a wand. That was totally fake. I do not see how he could be compared to Jesus.

  • joseph

    hmmmm. interesting comments here! saying that daniel radcliffe is jesus!? in case you don’t know he is jewish! and a jewish person can’t believe in jesus!

  • Kat

    If you had bothered to read the article it was stating how they are similliar in ways not saying he was in fact jesus or that harry was jesus, but how personalities can be similliar, and what the charecter harry potter was going through in the series through his trials and tribulations, and how people persieved him, not everything is black and white in this world there are a lot of grey areas and a ton of colour people just have to be more opened minded and not so judgemental after all isn’t that one of the most important lessons taught in the bible

  • Kelley

    I believe we all pray to be more like Jesus, isn’t that what we want? To be more Christ like. Radcliff never claims to be Jesus, it is the good fighting evil. Maybe he meant he carried the burden of many. He felt “only he” could make things right. Certainly like Jesus. Jesus knew his destiny, a fictional character like Harry Potter did not. I was glad evil was defeated in the end. I certainly wish that Dumbledore’s sexual preferance was not disclosed- it is a children’s book. The story was nothing like Jesus’ however, we all should try to be like him. In other words, “what would Jesus do?” I hope you ask yourself that when you “judge” people on the books they read, the clothes they wear, etc. We are all children of God.

  • Anonymous

    are you going to 18 this year and is harry potter and the deathly hallows your last film

  • jessi

    delicius daniel radcliffe

  • John

    So everybody bow down to harry potter. Jk Rowling must be a prophet

  • patricia

    He is a jesus figure because he openly faces death to save his friends and the innocents in the wizarding world. Then he dies and comes back.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JJ

    But Daniel only said that Harry is like Jesus “in that way” – ie in that readers in different countries have different images of him. The rest of what he said had nothing to do with Jesus.

    the interviewer tried to push the comparison further with “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”, but Daniel politely disagreed with any such comparison (in a very British way)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JJ

    Also, to those concerned about Daniel Radcliffe’s religion, he’s an Atheist. Don’t panic though, this is quite common among educated people in Europe.

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