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  #1  
Old August 7th, 2007, 9:47 am
Jadelynn  Female.gif Jadelynn is offline
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Life Debts

As we all know... Peter Pettigrew had a life debt to Harry Potter. But what about the others Harry saved? Ginny... from Tom Riddle, Ron... from the poisoned chocolates, Arthur...from Nagini... are they all in-debted to Harry as well? Also... are there any others I am forgetting? And does Rons actions in DH make it so that the life debt is paid? I was just curious as to your guyses oppinions on this matter.


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  #2  
Old August 7th, 2007, 10:04 am
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Re: Life Debts

I think those are different because they were people he actually liked so they wouldn't have a life debt to him.


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Old August 7th, 2007, 10:23 am
bulldog7_23  Male.gif bulldog7_23 is offline
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Re: Life Debts

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Originally Posted by Jadelynn View Post
As we all know... Peter Pettigrew had a life debt to Harry Potter. But what about the others Harry saved? Ginny... from Tom Riddle, Ron... from the poisoned chocolates, Arthur...from Nagini... are they all in-debted to Harry as well? Also... are there any others I am forgetting? And does Rons actions in DH make it so that the life debt is paid? I was just curious as to your guyses oppinions on this matter.
My take on it is that the saving of Wormtail is different from when Harry saved the others. Harry didn't so much as save Wormtail as spare his life and show him sympathy. Harry could have easily killed Wormtail (or let him be kill which would basically be equivalent) but instead, Harry decided to spare his life. Conversely, Harry saved the others lives, not out of sympathy or a decision not to let them be killed, but rather from life and death struggles brought on not by there own intentions or actions, but rather, from situations beyond their control. Also, I can't remember the dialogue where Harry is told that Snape owed a life debt to his father, but in my opinion, I doubt whether this was the whole truth. Once again, in this situation, James isn't necessarily saving Snape out of sympathy or such.

I feel I've done a terrible job explaining what I mean so if someone could find a better explanation for me I wouldn't mind.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 1:06 am
elfears91  Undisclosed.gif elfears91 is offline
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Re: Life Debts

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Originally Posted by bulldog7_23 View Post
My take on it is that the saving of Wormtail is different from when Harry saved the others. Harry didn't so much as save Wormtail as spare his life and show him sympathy. Harry could have easily killed Wormtail (or let him be kill which would basically be equivalent) but instead, Harry decided to spare his life. Conversely, Harry saved the others lives, not out of sympathy or a decision not to let them be killed, but rather from life and death struggles brought on not by there own intentions or actions, but rather, from situations beyond their control. Also, I can't remember the dialogue where Harry is told that Snape owed a life debt to his father, but in my opinion, I doubt whether this was the whole truth. Once again, in this situation, James isn't necessarily saving Snape out of sympathy or such.

I feel I've done a terrible job explaining what I mean so if someone could find a better explanation for me I wouldn't mind.
i understand the way you explain it perfectly, all though coming from me who according to my dad has my own language probably doesn't mean much.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 1:35 am
Puffapod  Undisclosed.gif Puffapod is offline
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Re: Life Debts

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Originally Posted by bulldog7_23 View Post
My take on it is that the saving of Wormtail is different from when Harry saved the others. Harry didn't so much as save Wormtail as spare his life and show him sympathy. Harry could have easily killed Wormtail (or let him be kill which would basically be equivalent) but instead, Harry decided to spare his life. Conversely, Harry saved the others lives, not out of sympathy or a decision not to let them be killed, but rather from life and death struggles brought on not by there own intentions or actions, but rather, from situations beyond their control. Also, I can't remember the dialogue where Harry is told that Snape owed a life debt to his father, but in my opinion, I doubt whether this was the whole truth. Once again, in this situation, James isn't necessarily saving Snape out of sympathy or such.

I feel I've done a terrible job explaining what I mean so if someone could find a better explanation for me I wouldn't mind.

I thought you did a great job explaining that.

As far as any life debt on the part of the Weasley's owed to Harry was prepaid in a way by them 'adopting' him as one of their own. Harry went from feeling isolated and unwanted to being the surrogate son of a large and welcoming family. He probably benefited more in the long run than the family did with Arthur being saved. Sounds callous but I think true.



Last edited by Puffapod; August 8th, 2007 at 1:38 am.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 2:25 am
Shewoman  Female.gif Shewoman is offline
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Re: Life Debts

JKR said in her long interview with Melissa and Emerson in July 2005 (when HBP came out) that Ginny didn't have a life debt to Harry. She has yet to explain that, as far as I know. I take it that a life debt occurs when you save the life of someone you have every reason to condemn . . . like Harry and Peter.


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  #7  
Old August 8th, 2007, 5:09 am
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Re: Life Debts

My opinion: there is no such thing as a 'life debt.' It was never said in the books or in an interview, Dumbledore only said saving someone's life forms a bond between people (true enough, even in real life) and the save-ee feels obligated to the saver. (true as well.)

Really, what a horrible, cynical thing it would be if saving someone's life meant they were magically forced to help or serve you in some way. What happened to choice and altruism?

I've hated the 'life debt' theory with a passion since it raised its ugly head, and I'm delighted that it didn't amount to anything in the end.

Ginny didn't owe a life debt because there's no such thing.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 5:12 am
Runemage  Male.gif Runemage is offline
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Re: Life Debts

I think that in order to have a life debt on of the people probably hates the person but spares their life thus creating the life debt. In the case of Harry and the Weasley's he was saving them for a different reason. I am not sure if this makes any sense or not.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 5:20 am
RE_master916  Male.gif RE_master916 is offline
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Re: Life Debts

Harry saved a lot of lives in the 7 books. Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Sirius, Draco, Goyle, Gabrielle. Who can actually keep track of all the people he has saved


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  #10  
Old August 8th, 2007, 7:22 am
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Re: Life Debts

Okay I agree with Inkwolf. The idea of a 'life debt' is simply that the person who is saved will feel obligated to return the favor in some way or in the very least not be able to forget that their life was saved. It's not some force of magic that gives them 91 days to complete their debt by making Harry a thank-you cake or anything.

If a life-debt were really something magical then the whole world would be in chaos because really every thing you do affects everything else in the world (I can feel a long and confusing rant coming on here so sorry if this makes no sense.) If you were to really think about it then everyone would owe life debts to everyone else for something. Say you get up in the morning and go outside and you spot a penny on the ground and pick it up. A second later a roller-blader comes crashing into you having not been able to see you since you were couched over to pick up the penny, the fall over and a moment later there is a crash from above and a potted plant falls out of a second story window onto the empty pavement below. Had you not bent over to pick the penny then the roller-blader would not have been stopped by you and would have been hit by the potted plant and killed. But the roller-blader not only owes you a life debt but tecnically he owes a life-debt to the person who dropped the penny there or else you would not have bent over to pick it up. He also owes the person who sold the man who dropped the penny the candy bar that he payed for and recieved the penny from. He also owes the person who delivered the candy bar to the store that sold the candy bar to the man who recieved the penny that was dropped on the floor. He also owes the owner of the company that made the candy bar that....blah blah blah.

If life-debts had really been that serious of a thing then everyone would owe everyone else for some little thing that happened to change the course of there life when it could have been ended. It would be madness.

Sorry for my rant......but at least I warned you first right?


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  #11  
Old August 8th, 2007, 11:43 am
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Re: Life Debts

I think I read once that life debts can only come from your enemies and not your friends so that's why Ginny, et al owe Harry nothing while Pettigrew does.

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Old August 8th, 2007, 1:10 pm
Firebolt_Rider  Female.gif Firebolt_Rider is offline
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Re: Life Debts

I think bulldog7_23 said it best. It's not just someone saving your life. It is someone who made the choice to spare your life, like Harry did for Peter. He didn't rescue him from a sudden death...he made the conscious decision to spare his life so that his father's friends would not be murderers.

There is a huge difference betweens saving and sparing, in my opinion.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 1:21 pm
Iqen  Male.gif Iqen is offline
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Re: Life Debts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firebolt_Rider View Post
I think bulldog7_23 said it best. It's not just someone saving your life. It is someone who made the choice to spare your life, like Harry did for Peter. He didn't rescue him from a sudden death...he made the conscious decision to spare his life so that his father's friends would not be murderers.

There is a huge difference betweens saving and sparing, in my opinion.
I agree. Harry actually wanted to save all the people he had saved. If he hadn't saved them, he would have felt extremely bad. I doubt Harry would feel a touch of sadness or guilt if he had let Wormtail to die. After all, it was him who (indirectly) killed his parents. But he had spared him, and that's why Wormtail owed him a life-debt.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 4:56 pm
visitorspass  Female.gif visitorspass is offline
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Re: Life Debts

I think that the Life Debt thing... is simply a matter of conscience. I mean... the person in debt can not magically be forced to repay said debt, but if the person has a good conscience then when faced with the reminder that this person actually saved his or her life it might actually make them think twice about doing harm. For example... When Harry met up with Wormtail... Wormtail was only stopped because Harry reminded him about what he did for him.... so Wormtail hesitated... (now had Wormtail not had that silly magical hand that Voldemort gave him) he could have simply let Harry go with a.... the debt has paid... the next time I see you... I will not let you go again.... instead of that happening... because of Wormtail reluctance... Wormtail was killed by the magical hand that Voldemort had given him.
When Ginny was saved by Harry... I would assume that she felt gratefull, but that she didn't feel like she owed him a life-debt because Harry is already soooo close to their family. They have a bond that is kind of like... well if the situation were reveresed that she would have done the same for him.
It's kind of like what happened with Dobby....
Harry set Dobby free and in that little elf's mind... that was a debt that could NEVER be repaid... (nothing magical forced Dobby to be in-debted to Harry), but Dobby in his conscience mind always remembered what Harry had done for him and so he felt in-debted. Then on top of that.... Harry treated Dobby with a kindness that Dobby had never experienced before. Harry treated him like an equal. So this coupled with the other.... basically had Dobby adoring Harry Potter. He thought that he owed Harry everything and more.
To sum up....
Life Debts.... hmmmm... I'd have to repeat what I said before.... It's really just a matter of good conscience and what one feels that they owe the other.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 6:04 pm
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Re: Life Debts

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog7_23 View Post
My take on it is that the saving of Wormtail is different from when Harry saved the others. Harry didn't so much as save Wormtail as spare his life and show him sympathy. Harry could have easily killed Wormtail (or let him be kill which would basically be equivalent) but instead, Harry decided to spare his life. Conversely, Harry saved the others lives, not out of sympathy or a decision not to let them be killed, but rather from life and death struggles brought on not by there own intentions or actions, but rather, from situations beyond their control. Also, I can't remember the dialogue where Harry is told that Snape owed a life debt to his father, but in my opinion, I doubt whether this was the whole truth. Once again, in this situation, James isn't necessarily saving Snape out of sympathy or such.

I feel I've done a terrible job explaining what I mean so if someone could find a better explanation for me I wouldn't mind.
I tottaly agree.
By the way, you didn't make a terrible job. I was a perfect explanation.


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Old August 8th, 2007, 8:27 pm
Ginny1984  Female.gif Ginny1984 is offline
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Re: Life Debts

I think that yes, they did owe Harry a debt, but they paid it back in full when they fought for him against the DEs and LV in the final battle, and also remember that others lost their lives, not to say that Fred was a fair exchange for Harry saving Arthurs life, but it all adds up to the debt being repaid.
They all risked their lives to help Harry, I think that there is nothing left to pay, and I am certain that Harry would never ask for it!


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  #17  
Old August 8th, 2007, 9:11 pm
bryanweasley  Female.gif bryanweasley is offline
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Re: Life Debts

The question in my mind when thinking about life-debts is: would the other person without a second thought rescue you? The Weasleys would save Harry without a moment's thought.

The only life-debts in my mind not paid off is Draco to Harry and Goyle to Ron.


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Old August 9th, 2007, 1:12 am
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Re: Life Debts

I think Harry has saved at least 7 people, reinforcing his soul, the opposite of splitting his soul, any thoughts?


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  #19  
Old August 9th, 2007, 4:56 am
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Re: Life Debts

Well, Harry also has life debts to other people. Like Hermione, she saved him endlessly in DH.


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  #20  
Old August 16th, 2007, 9:40 am
Wright1771  Undisclosed.gif Wright1771 is offline
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Re: Life Debts

The life debts Harry had with the Weasleys were taken care of with love. Harry didn't expect anything from them...yeah, Hermione was in there also.


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