One is a modern-day wizard with a dark nemesis while the other is an ancient God with an equally dark enemy – both signify the victory of Good over Evil. But there’s more in common than you think.
Hinduism’s Lord Krishna, perhaps the coolest mythological figure, was a wizard in a world of muggles. In fact, it could be easily argued that the famous round-spectacled Harry Potter, who made the world go bonkers with his spells, is a literary incarnation of Krishna. Now, we’re sure Ms. Rowling had a clue.
Harry Potter and Krishna are counted among the most loved stories of all time. Even the mere mention of their names kicks in a high dose of nostalgia. How well-versed are you with the two legends? Very, right? But we bet you would not have observed how these two stories run so closely parallel to each other.
Have you started joining the dots yet? If not, then let’s get started and unlock the doors.
I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
The Chosen Ones in their respective storylines
Both our protagonists Harry Potter and Krishna were made into their formidable characters by their villains. Why so? Well, they both were destined to be the ends of super-villains who had traumatized hundreds in their times. In fact, their destiny was panned out even before they were born.
Prophecies shaped the lives of the two wizards
The Prophecies that shaped Harry Potter
Harry Potter was termed ‘the chosen one’ not before the sixth book in the series. On the path to self-discovery, their prophecies work like magnets and shape their lives. In the famous novel by J K Rowling, we get a glimpse at “The Prophecy” made by Sybill Trelawney to Albus Dumbledore. This is how it reads:
“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies….”
And the Prophecies that shaped Krishna
Now let’s look at a similar prophecy made by fortune tellers at Devaki and Vasudeva’s wedding. Kamsa, Devaki’s brother, is warned that a child of his sister would be the end of him.
As soon as these predictions hit the ears of Kamsa and Tom Marvolo Riddle aka Lord Voldemort, both are left in a state of panic, worrying about their dear mortal lives. The dark lords left no stone unturned in making sure their exterminators were killed before they were born. (After all, the best way to be immortal is to finish off the cause of your death, right?)
The Boys who lived
In order to eradicate the “possible” reasons of their impending deaths, the two villains set off in the exact paths that the prophecies set out for them. This makes one wonder what would have been if they would have embraced their respective prophecies and let things be? Would the stories have taken different directions?
While Kamsa tries to avoid the birth of his death (by killing all of Devaki’s children at birth), Voldemort is not so lucky. In fact, he is the one who “chooses” Harry (Neville Longbottom too fit the profile) when he kills his parents.
But Harry and Krishna both become ‘the boy who survived’ all thanks to their parents!
Princes versus Lords
While Harry Potter was the half-blood prince in movies; Krishna was, in fact, a prince in real life (His father, Vasudeva, was the King of Devanagari).
But why does the heading include Lords, you ask? Power and fear of death drove Voldemort and Kamsa to hysterical actions. Filled with a sense of dark pride, both treated themselves as actual Lords.
Both used terror as their means to be treated like Lords. Voldemort even went so far as to add it to his title when he anagrammed his birth name ‘TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE’ to ‘I AM LORD VOLDEMORT’. In fact, he is also called the Dark Lord. (Because you know, he must not be named!)
Both wanted the world to fear them. For this, they used all their resources. We come across many Rakshasas, demons sent by Kamsa to kill Krishna in the lore. Parallel to this, Harry Potter movies have Death Eaters (followers of Dark Lord) are always onto Harry Potter.
Harry Potter’s and Krishna’s Magical paraphernalia
Can you recall the Deathly Hallows from J K Rowling’s novel that were a gift by Death itself? Here’s a reminder. The Elder Wand, the resurrection stone and the invisibility cloak were at the centre of the seventh Harry Potter novel. (The Tale of Three brothers)
Rowling penned down a story through which she asserted that if a person owned all three, they would have the ability to conquer death. The stone was in fact a way to resurrect the dead. Who would you bring back once you owned such a power? Potter preferred to bring back the parents he had never met.
The stone episode was not only a part of Harry Potter movies but Krishna’s storyline also has a similar happening where his dead siblings were all brought back to life.
But there’s one glitch… or was it intentional?
While we have traced such major similarities between the two protagonists, Harry Potter and Krishna, there is one that makes them worlds apart – their personalities.
Hindu God Krishna is fabled as being a confident personality who was always on the top of the problems that surrounded him. But the same can’t be said for Harry Potter, who always needed his friend Hermione Granger’s help. While he was the face of the destruction of evil, he was not the means to it. Well, we can’t blame Rowling for not turning him into a superhero.
If Harry Potter movies were not about an unlikely hero, the masses wouldn’t have had such an overwhelming response. All characters in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have their own sets of flaws. But Krishna, understandably, had next to none.
Can you point out any other similarities between the two iconic storylines that we missed? Share them in the comments section below.