I don’t like the Deathly Hallows symbol

So you’ve read the title, and you probably know what this is about. Its definitely one of the more controversial post on this blog. But here is the facts: I don’t like the deathly hallows symbol. I’ll put my disclaimer first, then get further into why, exactly, this is. Warning: this post won’t mean much to you unless you’ve either read or know what happens in the seventh Harry Potter book, though there are no explicit spoilers.


deathlyhallows3I love the Harry Potter books. I grew up on them. I love the way that friendship is such a major factor. I love that Harry is flawed and really. I love the level of detail. I like that Voldemort is a villain with a backstory. I don’t like the Deathly Hallows symbol.

I can understand why people wear it, though. I see it everywhere- on shirts and t-shirts, posters, and even tattoos (well, pictures of tattoos). It’s easy to draw- triangle, circle, line. It’s an easy, and unobtrusive way to express your fandom. Which is fine. But it is one of the few symbols that JK Rowling has provided, and it’s overused. Of course there are other ways to show fandomness- but the deathly Hallows is simple and easy.

It’s not that I don’t like the symbol. I honestly don’t care about the Illuminati. I just don’t like what it represents. This probably has something to to with my personal beliefs surrounding immortality, but in the books, we don’t see that the items- at least, the items combined- as positive. The invisibility cloak is fine, but how many times did Harry (and James, and probably James’ father) getting into trouble, and possibly danger, because of it. There’s the scene with throwing mud at Malfoy and going up to the third floor corridor or the top of the Astronomy tower, and sneaking out. All the time.  Then there is the Resurrections stone. Aside from it and Dumbledore, which is all spoilers, we know from the story that it drives people to the point of obsession and longing, and at least in legend, suicide. The Elder wand is obviously bad in a lot of ways. Hundreds (at least allegedly) of people have died because of it, and two of those characters are mentioned by name. The power it holds corrupts absolutely.

And then there is what the symbol represents as a whole. Xenophilius Lovegood may wear it as another element of it’s quirkiness, but it is strongly associated with many evil wizards, including, eventually, Voldemort. The quest for immortality is actually a bad thing, and in the end, several of Harry Potters’ major characters were able to acknowledged that. It represents that most evil sort of life (if there is a spectrum of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ life)- the life that does not die when it is over. With the dates provided by JK Rowling, we can figure out that Voldmort is really old. To me, the ultimate fandom symbol- the Deathly Hallows- is an evil thing. Sure, it’s cool and magical and Harry Potter, but I don’t like it.

I would so love to hear your opinions on this. Tell me your thoughts in the comments!


16 thoughts on “I don’t like the Deathly Hallows symbol

  1. Pingback: The Showcase tag |
  2. I’ve never really thought about this, but you make a good point. The Deathly Hallows symbol wasn’t really a good one, so walking around wearing it may not be the best thing. 🙂



  3. OHMYGOD I’M SO WITH YOU!!!!! I mean, mostly I hate the symbol because a) it just looks ugly to me, and b) as you say, it’s everywhere. I had a friend who has it as a tattoo. Has she ever read the Harry Potter books? Nope. But she fancied a boy who liked Harry Potter, and now has it permanently etched into her skin. (I’m not knocking her tattoo: her body, her rules and all that). I’m just not into the whole ‘showing your favourite things to the world’ mindset, I guess…
    Plus, you know, the symbol is basically evil. What you said.
    Beth x


    1. Thanks Beth! I don’t think it’s very pretty either… I definitely wouldn’t want a tattoo of it. If it means something to you as a symbol of your fandom, that’s okay. I’m not trying to bash the people who like it! It is evil- I mean, it was Tom Riddles grandfathers ‘pureblood proof thing’ as well.


  4. When I saw this post I was all ready to defend the deathly hallows! But then you started making great points. That made sense! I mostly agree with you….. mostly….. 🙂


  5. I don’t think I’ve even gotten to this symbol yet. o.O SO I DON’T KNOW and probably shouldn’t comment, but hehe, I think symbols in books CAN totally get overused a bit. I guess they become iconic and it doesn’t even matter what it was for because all we can think of is how it represents the fandom?


    1. Well, you’ll find out if you keep reading- the entire plot of HP& is based on the Deathly Hallows. It’s fine, you won’t be spoiled. They can- I like to spot symbolism but Divergent, for example, was not subtle. It has definitely come to mean something to the fandom outside of the people in the books, which is a really interesting point- because the Harry Potter fandom is largely positive. There are other interesting symbols with fewer negative connotations that could be used though


  6. I’d actually never though about this and didn’t expect to agree with you, but I ended up doing so. But I agree—as shown to us in the bedtime story, only the Invisibility Cloak was used responsibly and even if Harry messes around with it, I don’t have that much of a problem with it. The other two, however, like you said, are like, intended to be death traps. So, it is rather odd that the fandom clings to it so much, because as much as we like to think they defeat death, they actually don’t. This was something interesting to think about. Thanks, Shanti!


    1. The invisibility cloak is the most ‘good’ out of all of them, but all power can corrupt, as the deadly resurrection stone and Elder Wand show. There’s a reason that it’s called the ‘Deathly’ Hallows.


  7. OH WOW. These are all such wonderful points I never considered. I suppose it’s one of the more distinctive fandom signs — I mean, you could use the lightning bolt, but that’s not as classy. But like you say, the Deathly Hallows do have unfortunate implications — the Invisibility Cloak is relatively more innocuous, but the other two are downright dangerous. After all, that’s why Harry breaks the Elder Wand at the end.

    PS: I originally thought this post was going to be an artistic critique of the symbol, which would’ve been interesting, but this was SO FABULOUS.


    1. It’s definitely a fascinating thing to consider! Symbols mean so much, but instead of using them heedlessly, it’s important to think about what they mean. The Wizard is supposed to wield the wand, but with the Elder Wand it always seemed the other way around to me.
      An artistic critique would be interesting too…but I’m exactly sure how to write one.
      Thanks for sharing, Alyssa!


  8. Where there is assumption of being the great power, which deathly hallows offered to anyone who possesed them, evil is born eventually. And the symbol represents it to a great extent. I’m glad someone expressed their thoughts on this. 🙂


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