Harry Potter and the Arrogant Mistake
It’s no secret that Harry Potter is arrogant. He’s been arrogant since he took it upon himself to go after the sorcerer’s stone. One of my biggest complaints about him from the very beginning is that he thinks he can do everything. He runs headlong into trouble whenever the opportunity presents itself, with seemingly little regard for his own wellbeing. It’s arrogant.
And it makes for a very interesting and complex leading character. I’ve come to appreciate his arrogance, because it’s so nicely balanced by Ron’s ineptitude and Hermione’s apprehensive nature. Also, in a lot of ways, Harry’s arrogance has lessened over the years. A few solid deaths have instilled a little fear and reverence in him – taken him down a few notches.
But he still calls He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named by the name which one must not (as is indicated therein). His fast and loose use of Voldemort has long placed him in a different league than his fellow wizards. He refuses to give the name power through fearing it’s usage. That’s noble. Good on him.
The problem being, when an honest consequence is associated with saying the name, saying it no longer robs it of its power – it simply enacts it.
It is clearly an habitual response, but Harry’s arrogance is what brings a whole world of hurt down on the trio in Chapter 23. Ron was very clear – don’t use Voldemort’s name. Voldemort’s name is bad. Voldemort’s name gets you tracked by Death Eaters. If you’ve been spending half-a-year trying not to be tracked by Death Eaters, it’s inadvisable to say the name. Just don’t do it. You won’t like the results. Voldemort? Never say that. Say something else. Call him V-Man, Snake-Eyes, Powder. Call him He-Who-Wasn’t-Loved-Enough-As-A-Child or He-Who-Has-Mommy-Issues. Just don’t call him Voldemort.
How hard is that?
I know, I know – don’t even say it. If Three’s Company hadn’t been captured by the Death Eaters, they wouldn’t have found Ollivander or Griphook, Harry wouldn’t have secured a way into the Lestrange’s vault (or even realized he should be trying to find a way into the Lestrange’s vault), they wouldn’t have obtained new wands by force, and they wouldn’t have learned the truth behind the Elder Wand.
You know, I can see the argument that Dumbledore set all this up, but there is NO WAY he could have guessed that Harry would say Voldemort’s name, be captured by the Death Eaters, make nice with a goblin, and learn all about wands. We call that pure luck. Vegas odds.
Luck and arrogance: it’s amazing what the two can do. They may be the only reason Harry has even survived this long.