With the opportunity to have now seen The Dark Knight Rises several times as well as in the comfort of my own home and having the ability to pause as well as rewind, the more I see watch it the more similar the movie starts to seem to be with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Lets examine a few of them. This is mostly to either establish whether I am or am not in fact out of my mind.
[Warning: This blog contains spoilers from both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Dark Knight Rises.]
In this movie (more than any of the others) Alfred really starts to emerge as a Dumbledore type figure to Wayne. Yes, Alfred (like Dumbledore) is established as loving replacement father figure to Wayne. However, Alfred (like Dumbledore) has buried Bruce’s parents. Alfred also kept the letter from Wayne (and presumably has other secrets as well). Dumbledore purposefully kept the information about Harry being a Horcrux until the last possible second as well as Harry’s true destiny being to die. Granted, there was always the resurrection stone there, but still that is a pretty big impediment to a proper mentorship relationship.
The Detonator As The Stone Itself
Remember carefully the criteria for retrieving the Sorcerer’s Stone from the Mirror of Erised. The criteria is that one who wants to possess it but not for themselves shall have it. Everyone is looking for the detonator. It is Bruce (who wants to possess it but not to use it) who is the one who must find it. It is also of no small importance that in order to complete his quest, Wayne must pass a trial that is in a subterranean cave before emerging back in civilization to claim the prize. This is very similar to the quest that Harry has to go through in order to get to the Stone himself.
Ras Al Ghul As Voldemort
In the beginning of The Sorcerer’s Stone, Voldemort is dead. He is a parasitic ghost attempting to come back to life using minions to keep part of what he once was alive. His death occurred after a confrontation with a baby Harry Potter some eleven years before. Can we examine for just a moment the time line in the Dark Knight trilogy? It is established that eight years have passed since the events between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. There were actually three years between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. we have no real reason not to suspect that a similar time frame occurred in Gotham. By my count, that makes 11 years between the time that Bruce Wayne passively let Ras Al Ghul die to the point and time in which Wayne saw his ghost communicating with him. It is well established that Al Ghul wanted to become immortal (in both the comics as well as the movies). Like Voldemort, we suspect that he had ‘ways of coming back.’ Using minions to accomplish this with secret instructions seems like an ideal path for both villains.
The Three Pronged Attack
In the Harry Potter Universe, our heroes consist of the headstrong Ron, the resourceful Hermoine, and the hero Harry, In The Dark Knight Rises, you have the headstrong John, the resourceful Catwoman, and the hero Batman. Forgive me if I am not really seeing the changed dynamic other than who Catwoman ends up with. Harry like Bruce is an orphan with emotional problems. Hermoine like Selina is possibly the most gifted, but has problems in dealing with other people or interpersonal relation. Blake also lost his parents but handles it in a more upfront manner. The overall plot is for these three to foil a complicated plot through the search for a single item.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there is the teacher that Harry trusts and the teacher that Harry does not. The teacher that Harry trusts turns out to be the servant of Voldemort. In The Dark Knight Rises, Miranda turns out to be Talia Al Ghul. Wayne just realizes the fact after it was already too late. The same is true at the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone. Now, we are very familiar with the concept of the ‘Hero of a Thousand Faces’ and that all of these stories tend to share one if not many similar traits. However, when seen through the proper lens, there is a lot of room for comparison between Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Dark Knight Rises. In some ways, that makes The Dark Knight Rises feel more like a beginning than an ending.