Arthur, Harry and the Late Mother
DOI link for Arthur, Harry and the Late Mother
Arthur, Harry and the Late Mother book
The parallels between Harry Potter and the Arthurian legend pervade J.K. Rowling’s series and add to the mythological depth created in the story. To some extent, Harry is presented as a modernized version of T.H. White’s King Arthur, sharing his destiny and his family structure. However, the absent maternal figure is used in the Harry Potter series as a way to emphasize the hero’s journey. By associating notions of death and maternal love in a renewed perspective, Rowling gives more weight to both Lily Potter and her death. This chapter focuses on the reinterpretation of the trope of the late mother in Rowling’s book series. Even though the author listed The Once and Future King as one of her main influences, no study has currently been attempted to clarify the extent and the implications of this particular intertextuality, notably due to the lack of contemporary analysis of White’s work. The study of the representation of the absent mother of the young hero, and its impact on the narrative, will be one starting point of this literary comparison, in order to better understand how Rowling decided to create meaning for a secondary character’s absence.