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 Crossing the First Threshold
Adventure Threshold Experiences in Harry Potter
Analysis by Lynne Milum
Copyright © 2003-2007 by Lynne Milum. All rights reserved.

Crossing the First Threshold for the Series
(From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

Harry, after eleven years of a substandard existence in a home of little love and ignorance of his beginnings, is introduced to a magical world. A place he never imagined existed…

There are many thresholds that could be considered for his entering into the overall adventure:

  • Hogwart’s letters first crossing the threshold at Number 4 Privet Drive,
  • Hagrid breaking through the door of the run-down shack to find Harry,
  • Opening the door to the Leaky Cauldron,
  • Reforming the magical bricks of Diagon Alley,
  • And of course the dramatic entrance to Hogwarts by crossing the lake.

But it seems that Harry’s true threshold for the series was in the choice he made to follow Hagrid out of the shack on the rock and enter into a world unknown.

Trial 1 – The Third Floor Corridor
(From Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

The first book, in addition to introducing us to the magical world for the entire adventure, also includes the threshold to the first trial. Harry must prevent an evil force from obtaining the Philosopher’s Stone. Again, there are so many doors, but the gateway to proceed with the adventure presents itself when encountering Cerberus, the gate guardian (otherwise referred to as Fluffy).

Trial 2 – The Chamber of Secrets
(From Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

In the second book, the key threshold – one with the prerequisite of locating the doorway – is of course Moaning Myrtle’s Bathroom entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. Myrtle herself was the ‘key’ to opening the gate.

Trial 3 – Time as Friend and Foe
(From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Book Three reveals to Harry more of his past – the story of his parents death and meeting his father’s circle of friends. A key threshold is the ‘opening’ of the Whomping Willow entrance by Crookshanks. The more dramatic threshold is with Harry joining Hermione in defying time by use of the Time Turner.

Trial 4 – Triwizard Championship
(From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Harry never crossed the threshold or circle around the Goblet of Fire to enter the contest. In this episode, he is an unwilling participant. His new adventure is launched by entering the room off the Great Hall, where the participants gathered.

Trial 5 – Mystery of Mysteries
(From Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

The culmination of the adventure is the crossing the threshold into the Ministry of Magic through the Telephone Booth. But of course, Harry had already been through that entryway… The uncrossed threshold was the place in his dreams – the Door to the Department of Mysteries.

Trial 6 – Divined Destiny
(From Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

The final events unfold as Harry passes through the 7th Floor corridor on his way to meet Dumbledore. He finds Professor Trelawney in distress and by her testimony, realizes that Draco Malfoy has accomplished his task in the Room of Requirement. Harry also finds out that Snape was the Voldemort spy when Trelawney made her prophesy, and so was the betrayer of Harry’s parents. Harry takes this information to Dumbledore just prior to embarking on the search for the Horcrux, and is prompted to provide his friends with Felix Felicis as protection, while retrieving his Invisibility Cloak.

 

 



 

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