"The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter," says Ollivander, the wand-smith of Diagon Alley, ushering in one of many foreshadowing instances that J. K. Rowling reveals in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," first of the seven-part teen fantasy series. The future hints given in her first Potter novel evolved into epic elements: The Ollivander wand's claiming of Harry presages the wand-riddle that climaxes the last battle of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
The Snake Says It All
An equally significant foreshadowing is Harry's zoo visit in the book's second chapter, where he magically releases a boa constrictor from its glass terrarium; the serpent thanks him and heads for Brazil. This is the first intimation that Harry speaks the snakish language of Parseltongue, another affinity he shares with the twisted Lord Voldemort, and a skill that opens the Chamber of Secrets in the second book of the series.
Rowling's clearest foreshadowing finds Harry looking at his parents in the Mirror of Erised. His overwhelming feelings foreshadow not only his recurring future pain at parental loss, but also his oncoming adolescence.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, 1998)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, 2007)
- All Things Linguistic: Parseltongue
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, 1999)
- JSTOR.org: The Sorcerer's Stone: A Touchstone for Readers of All Ages
Michael Stratford is a National Board-certified and Single Subject Credentialed teacher with a Master of Science in educational rehabilitation (University of Montana, 1995). He has taught English at the 6-12 level for more than 20 years. He has written extensively in literary criticism, student writing syllabi and numerous classroom educational paradigms.