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TDH Meta--the duplicates - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
TDH Meta--the duplicates
I brought this up at SQ's symbolism thread, but no one bit, so I'll bring it over here for anyone who wants to play with it.

There seems to be a lot going on with duplication throughout the Deathly Hallows. The first image we have of Harry involves him finding the shattered mirror, followed almost immediately by "The Seven Potters," with its multiples of Harry.

This is picked up immediately with the introduction of Andromeda, who seems at first glance to be Bella's double (though Harry realizes quickly enough that she isn't). The ghoul is set up to be Ron's duplicate (albeit with spattergroit), and the disguise of choice throughout the book is Polyjuice Potion, which creates duplicates.

When Hermione takes the locket from Umbridge, she uses a duplicating charm to replace it so that no one will realize it was stolen, and a duplicate of the Sword of Gryffindor is placed in the Lestrange's vault, which itself has a duplicating curse in it. On the object level, you could even look at the replicating Quibblers at Xeno's as part of the duplication motif.

Fred and George, the "duplicates," are first separated when George loses his ear and comments that Molly will be able to tell them apart now, and then brutally reduced to the singular when Fred is killed.

Other examples? Thoughts on the significance (even if it's completely made up)?
23 comments or Leave a comment
ittykat From: ittykat Date: August 6th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
One could argue that Harry and Voldemort are in ways duplicates of each other. Though that one is not me, as it is too late and my mind is mush.

A lot of the multiples are in sets of two, which perhaps emphasises the duality of the Harry/Voldemort relationship. Harry and Voldemort's wand share the same wand core.
todayiamadaisy From: todayiamadaisy Date: August 6th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brothers duplicate brothers: Regulus looks a bit like Sirius, and Aberforth like Albus. Harry looks like his James, and, of course, his eyes look like his mother's eyes. No idea why this would be the case, except for some sort of mirror or reflection theme.

There is also duplication of certain scenes, particularly from the first book: for instance, Hagrid & Harry on the motorbike, or how the saga is effectively started by baby Harry's mother saving him from Voldemort and ended with grown Harry saving his mother-figure from V instead. That could be to do with the series' obsession with time, showing how things have come full circle since the start. I wonder too if there is a kind of Groundhog Day effect: this time, they're going to get it right.
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: August 6th, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder too if there is a kind of Groundhog Day effect: this time, they're going to get it right.

In that case, wouldn't Ted Lupin have paralleled Harry by *almost* becoming an orphan, only to have R/T saved?
silly_dan From: silly_dan Date: August 6th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aberforth Dumbledore has his brother's eyes, while Harry Potter has his mother's. Harry otherwise seems to be a physical duplicate of his father.

Crabbe and Goyle may as well be Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as junior-league thugs, except only one of them dies.
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: August 6th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not just that Aberforth has the same eyes as Albus, but that the eyes are all Harry sees in the mirror, so he thinks maybe it is Albus he is seeing somehow.
mathslut From: mathslut Date: August 6th, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
So Crabbe and Goyle as twin-like supports the everything has "an equal and opposite reaction": Fred and George = my favorite characters, Crabbe and Goyle = possibly my least liked, yet still each pair has one die and one live.
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tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: August 6th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suppose there's also the duplicate of Dumbledore left to guard Grimmauld Place.
And McGonagall's duplicated Patronuses.
glishara From: glishara Date: August 6th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget Snape's Patronus, as a duplicate of Lily's!

Also: Xeno Lovegood's attempts to replicate the lost diadem.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 6th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Part of the story also seems to deal with telling the "real" from the double - or recognizing the qualities that make people and things truly alike and the things that make them different.

So, Regulus looks an awful lot like Sirius, but Harry's first response to a picture of him is momentary identification. That identification gets strengthened while he is able to recognize the ways in which Sirius was flawed.

The point with the seven Harrys is to make it impossible to tell which one is the real Harry, but their _actions_ help give away who's real and who isn't. Harry's unwillingness to kill when he doesn't have to reveals which Harry is real.

With the sword, it becomes of primary importance to know which one is real because of the ability the real sword has. An inability to tell the real sword from the false in Bellatrix leads Harry to discover where another treasure is hidden.

In the case of Fred and George, an outward injury makes it possible to recognize what was true all along - Fred and George are separate individuals, emphasizing when one of them dies that it's the loss of a unique person and not (as they said in the first book) the "spare."

Aberforth and Albus may be completely unalike in abilities and temperment, but they are alike in their souls. Harry may look like his father, but his soul is more like his mother's. Harry and Voldemort may be strange mirrors of each other and even carry bits of each other inside them, but their souls are utterly different and face different fates.

gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: August 6th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know about the significance -- but all the founders artifacts ending up having duplicates. The locket has two: Regulus's and the one Hermione makes for Umbridge, the Diadem has one: Xeno Lovegood's not very accurate one, the Hufflepuff Cup has...many once somebody tries to touch it, and Gryffindor's sword has one that Snape makes to cover the fact that he's giving the real one to Harry (or perhaps Dumbledore made the duplicate in preparation for giving it to Harry -- doesn't really matter).

Hmm...except for the Diadem, all the duplicates are there with the intent to deceive/protect the real item -- same goes for the Seven Potters. Perhaps it all boils down to the Hallows/Horcruxes. They aren't duplicates, though they overlap -- and Harry must discern the true path from the convincingly, equally attractive other path.

Symbolism = not my thing, obviously.
From: ethnotechno Date: August 6th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
And there I was, wondering whether or not the Polyjuice Potion was being used excessively as a plot device.
From: ethnotechno Date: August 6th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see a possible vague connection to the Harry-Voldemort as duals of each other stuff. However, most of the duplication seems to me to be just things that are done during any real war as modes of deception. I'm not convinced there is much deeper significance to it.
dreamcoat_mom From: dreamcoat_mom Date: August 6th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Other examples? Thoughts on the significance (even if it's completely made up)?

I was always taught that symbols and signifiers don't necessarily appear in literature by authorial intent, so completely making it up is well within the realm of intelligent discourse. In fact, I think it's always a lot more fun to go after stuff the author didn't consider important, but are nonetheless telling. I remember being at a symposium with Rosellen Brown, author of Before and After and Tender Mercies, fielded questions from a panel of MFA in writing candidates. One student asked a question about theme prefaced by a complex reading of signifiers, etc. The silence stretched out while the author blinked in surprise, then said, "You got all of that out of it? I must be bloody brilliant!" The room erupted in laughter, but the point was made that well-written literature can often be rife with unengineered symbolism. That said, JKR has made it pretty clear that her use of mirroring, paralleling and historical repetition is deliberate, but I don't think even she realizes how often she's done it, or how richly symbolic a lot of it is.

I'll take a quick stab at it and guess that all of the instances of duplication have one common thread...the choices of the individual. Examples:

Duplicate Hufflepuff cups come down to one important one. Pick up any of the others, and the quest is lost. Hold onto the one in spite of pain and injury, and the quest will be successful.

Duplicate Harrys are meant to throw off the enemy, but the choices made by each fleeing "team" and each pursuing death eater have a profound effect on the Order, regardless of who is the real Harry.

Duplicate twins are suddenly set apart by injury, and just as we come to appreciate them more fully as individuals, one is taken by death. Fred may have been a "duplicate," but he and the choices he made in his life had a direct impact on those whom he knew and loved in a very individual way.

Duplicate Quibblers are being churned out by the press, but they have the power to persuade only by virtue of their individual readers, who choose to believe what they see in print or not.

Duplicate lockets are created, but the motives of the individuals who possess them are very different and ultimately have a profound effect on the Wizarding world.

Teddy has been very deliberately left (by JKR's own admission) as an orphan whose situation closely duplicates Harry's, but through a series of individual choices and actions, will not live a life that duplicates Harry's. Harry, himself a duplicate of Sirius (standing as godfather to the child of a fallen Marauder) has grown and learned from the mistakes of those who came before him, and will create a stability and presence in Teddy's life that he didn't have from the adults in his sphere.

Andromeda/Bellatrix are duplicate in appearance, but very different based on individual choices.

Duplicate wand cores face off against one another based on good or evil intent.

It would be interesting to find as many examples as we can and see if they all fit the pattern.

muridae_x From: muridae_x Date: August 6th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Andromeda/Bellatrix are duplicate in appearance, but very different based on individual choices.

One thing I wondered for a while before the Black family tree established the birth years for Bellatrix and Narcissa was whether the Black sisters might have been triplets. (It would have helped compress their ages closer to the Marauders' year, since Andromeda's dates are somewhat fixed by what we know of Tonks's age.) And even after the family tree established that they weren't, I wondered whether Andromeda and Bellatrix might still be twins.

Of course, if so, you'd have expected the "A" twin to be the older rather than the younger, so I don't think it particularly likely. But it would be yet another duplicate-of-opposites if true.

In any case though, I expect that their respective attitudes each pushed the other further in opposite directions. Bellatrix would have been appalled by Andromeda's choice to marry a Muggle-born, and it might have pushed her further and deeper into Voldemort's circle, to prove that she wasn't like that. And Andromeda might well have got to know her Muggle-born in the first place by considering Bellatrix's pure-blood snobbery to be out of date and unfair to what she saw in the Muggle-borns she met at school.
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merrymeerkat From: merrymeerkat Date: August 6th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Double, double, undone?

...Although I like sjepstein's theory of counterfeits, which works with the locket, the cup, the sword, and the Harrys; in each case we have to sort out the true object from the false ones. I wonder if the duplicate or copy theory also works with the idea of Horcruxes in a way - Voldemort breaks his soul into pieces to achieve a kind of safety, but Harry brings in more 'souls' - Ron's, Hermione's, Mundungus', etc - to ensure his own safety (even if it's totally Snape's idea).

The disjointed parallels seem to run throughout the series - Harry being dropped off at his aunt's by Hagrid for his own safety, vs Harry being escorted away from his aunt's again for his own safety. I wonder if Petunia and Lily's originally fine relationship-turned-bad could even be compared to Harry and Dudley's terrible-turned-bearable one. Again, the present 'undoes' the past. (Like the 'priori incantatem' 'undoes', in a sense, the deaths of Cedric, Lily and James in GOF? Something to think about.) We could probably add in Snape "killing" or causing the deaths of Lily and James (leading to Voldemort's downfall), his "saving" of Harry and then "killing" him, or letting him know he hws to die, leading to Voldemort's ultimate death. Maybe the "doubling" is like a double-negative in English; the second one undoes the first? Obviously this doesn't count in cases like Fred being killed...

Side note here, before I forget: Fred and George are supposed to have been named for Molly's brothers Gideon and Fabian, weren't they? So there's another kind of double.

Andromeda, Bellatrix and Narcissa are another example of "copies" - Bella and Andromeda especially look similar. Andromeda's schism from the family is a 'reaction' to the views of her sisters, in a way. Bellatrix then serves as a foil to Narcissa, especially in the HBP chapter "Spinner's End" and the final few chapters of DH.

As far as the copies and contrasts within families go, I think love is the major linking theme... Molly names her boys in remembrance of her brothers, "undoing" their deaths in a sense, or preserving their memories... Narcissa turns from Bellatrix for love of her son, "undoing" years of hatred and abuse and attempted murder of Harry... the births of Lily and James Potter could do the same for Harry and Ginny as Fred and George did for Molly... Maybe this makes sense and maybe I am just rambling, but I think it'd be a good essay with lots of talk about FOILS. (Have at it. My days as an Englishh student are DONE.)

Thanks for the interesting discussion topic - must go ponder this all now. :)

merrymeerkat From: merrymeerkat Date: August 6th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Double, double, undone?

Rereading and adding another point - Voldemort kills many in order to attempt immortality, and these acts have to be undone by an equal number of people. No one person destroys more than one Horcrux - Harry does the diary, Dumbledore the ring, Ron the locket, Hermione the cup, Crabbe (inadvertently) the diadem, Neville the snake, and then Voldemort himself destroys the bit of his soul left in Harry. For every curse there is an equal and opposite countercurse? Something to think about.
moonlinnet From: moonlinnet Date: August 6th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
And then there's the duplication of the "godfather" situation, with Harry being named Teddy's godfather and Teddy's parents getting killed mirrors the Sirius/Lily/James situation.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 7th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
But at least Harry is not in Azkaban and he's not going to kill one of his friend. lol
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 7th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
You've also got duplicate dialogue, especially between Ron and Hermione.

Hermione yells, "Are you a wizard or what?" at Ron in DH; Ron yells, "Are you a witch or what?" at Hermione in PS/SS.

Hermione says, "Always the tone of surprise" when Ron compliments her; Ron says "Always the tone of surprise" when he's figured out something that Hermione didn't expect him to.
kagehikario From: kagehikario Date: August 8th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
McGonagall and Umbridge have the same patronus; an interesting double
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