Today I have a guest post up on Overthinking It, where I spend too much time talking about blood and Greeks and heroes in the Harry Potter series. Have a taste!
Voldemort’s mistake is to think that shedding the blood of others will increase his power. In fact, it increases his enemies, as many of Voldemort’s victims have families and loved ones whose grief motivates their struggle against him. As in Aeschylus, there is a moral imperative to avenge a slain or injured relative. It’s as though kindred blood-ties become more activated by violence. This is why Narcissa Malfoy undermines Voldemort’s plans, why Neville refuses to join the Death Eaters and slays Nagini, why Aunt Petunia’s blood is capable of protecting Harry during all those summer breaks between books.