Yesterday I saw the new Harry Potter movie with my two youngest children (12 & 17) and we all agreed it was the darkest, but far and away the best, of the movies thus far. As Harry and his friends move into adolescence, their depth of character increases; seeing these children struggle with the eternal "life and death" questions of adolescence from time immemorial (for Harry and Ron : Will she laugh at me when I ask her to the dance? and for Hermione: Will he ask me to the dance?) is sure to bring a knowing smile and slight tug of the heart strings to most parents, who have already been through this themselves so many years before. At the same time, we know that they have been thrust pre-maturely into truly adult "life and death" questions; Voldemort has returned and is preparing a new reign of terror.
Last summer I wrote about the newborn mythology of our times, the stories of Harry Potter and Frodo, from Lord of the Rings. In many ways, they represent an everyman who does not seek greatness but finds himself in the middle of great trials. In both cases, their failure would result in the most horrifying terror being unleashed upon the world. I pointed out that Frodo and Harry share many features.