stone-wand-cloak

Lily found the Resurrection Stone during her 6th year at Hogwarts, Albus used the Invisibility Cloak more than anyone and after James disarmed his father in a friendly duel the summer before his 5th year the Elder Wand accepted him as its true master.

Submitted by: anon

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“So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother.”
“So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead.”
“So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.”

I have thought about the deathly hallows a lot over the years, and I always ask those I talk to which one they would choose. I have come to the conclusion that the hallow a person would pick says a lot about them. It is almost a gut response in all of us. We just know which one we would choose. You don’t have to think about it much. 

The thing about the hallows is that each of them is negative in some way, even the invisibility cloak (even though it is not portrayed that way in the story).

Before I give my explanations, I just want to point out that these are all my theories. If these reasoning’s don’t fit you, please don’t get angry with me. I’m just saying what I have noticed in my experience. 

Every person I have talked to that would choose the elder wand craves power in some way. They usually feel powerless in every day life somehow, they have quite a few insecurities, and they’re usually more in the background of things. They want to be that unstoppable force of a hero (or villain, though I have never met anyone with those intentions), but they feel like they can’t be so in their waking life.

Every person I have talked to that would choose the resurrection stone (myself included) is terrified of losing those they love. They cling to them and put them before anyone else. They’re especially curious about death (possibly even afraid of it) and want to know what it is truly like after we die. They don’t want to let go of those they love, and if they were to lose someone they care about in an unexpected way, they would want the stone to answer those unanswered questions. They can’t usually let go of things without a proper goodbye.

And then there’s the invisibility cloak. Every person that has chosen that wants to get through things without being seen. They want to remain in the background, or they finally want attention to be taken off of them for whatever reason. They usually want the easy way out of problems, to hide from them. 

All the hallows have their pros, but they mainly have cons. None of us need or want these things ideally, but which one we choose shows a lot about us. It uncovers our deepest fears, our deepest regrets, and our deepest insecurities. So ask yourself, which one would you choose? 

“The Elder Wand,” he said, and he drew a straight vertical line on the parchment. “The Resurrection Stone,” he said, and he added a circle on top of the line. “The Cloak of Invisibility,” he finished, enclosing both line and circle in a triangle, to make the symbol that so intrigued Hermione. “Together,” he said, “the Deathly Hallows.”

-Xenophilius Lovegood

Writing Empathetically vs. Sympathetically and Sentimentally

Several weeks ago, I read a story that had a passage like this:

“My parents never really cared about me,” Allie said. “All my life they saw me as a disappointment, a waste of space. I was always the butt of their jokes. And no one really noticed. I was always last place, as far as they were concerned. I had a really difficult childhood…”

And it went on like this for about a paragraph or two.

I could see that the writer wanted to foster sympathy for the character, wanted to explain how the character felt about her upbringing.

But ultimately, it made her sound whiny–and I could tell that wasn’t what the author intended.

At first I was a little sympathetic to the character…then after several sentences, the writing just felt sentimental to me, meaning, I felt like the writer was trying to coax me to feel a certain way, like I was being controlled, rather than letting me feel for the situation myself. 

It’s a good idea to want your readers to connect with your characters’ hardships, but it can backfire if it’s too sentimental or sometimes even when it’s sympathetic.

Instead, when you want to impact the reader, strive to create empathy.

Usually when I hear empathy, I think of someone who is in pain, going through a lot of difficulty, but really, it’s a level of deep understanding–whether that’s an understanding of fear, bravery, or obsession.

Here are two examples to illustrate empathetic writing.


In The Maze Runner, I got to a scene where James Dashner wanted to show that his main character, Thomas, was a hero with a good heart–but I could only tell because I’m not just a reader, I’m also a writer. He didn’t write about it sympathetically or sentimentally, he created empathy simply by putting us in Thomas’s head and showing us what he did in a given situation.

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