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The Origin of the Deathly Hallows. The Tuatha de Danaan were said to have brought four treasures to Ireland from the Otherworld. . The Shining Spear of Lugh , which is always victorious in battle. The Sword of Nuadu , which always destroys its target completely.

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The Tuatha de Danaan were said to have brought four treasures to Ireland from the Otherworld.

The Shining Spear of Lugh,

which is always victorious in battle.


And LiaFáil, Stone of Destiny, also called the Coronation Stone of Tara. This confers kingship on those crowned there.

celtic wonder tales

THE chiefs of the Tuatha De Danaan thronged round Lugh on the Hill of Usna. Lugh stood on the summit, and the Sword of Light was bare in his hand: all the hill below him shone with a radiance like white silver.

"Chiefs," cried Lugh, "behold the Sword! Ye should have three great jewels to match it.

Where are the Spear of Victory, the Cauldron of Plenty, and the Stone of Destiny?"

The Tuatha De Danaan bowed their heads and veiled their faces before Lugh, and answered:

"The Fomor have taken the Cauldron of Plenty and the Spear of Victory from us. Ask the Earth of Ireland for the Stone."

Lugh whirled the Sword till it became a glancing wheel of light, and cried:

"O Earth of Ireland, sacred and beloved, have you the Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny?"

A strong sweet music welled up from the earth, and every stone and every leaf and every drop of water shone with light till all Ireland seemed one vast crystal, white and shining. The white light changed to rose, as it had been a ruby; and the ruby to sapphire; and the sapphire to emerald the emerald to opal; the opal to amethyst; and the amethyst to diamond, white and radiant with every colour.

"It is enough! " cried Lugh. "I am well answered: the earth of Ireland has kept the Stone."

"O Chiefs," he said, "raise up your foreheads. Though ye have not the jewels ye have the scars of battle-combat, and ye have endured sorrow and hardship for ye have known what it is to be exiles in your own land. Let us swear brotherhood now by the Sword and the Stone that we may utterly destroy the Fomor and cleanse the world. Hold up your hands and swear, as I and those who came with me from Tir-nan-Oge will swear, and as the Sacred Land will swear, that we may have one mind and one heart and one desire amongst us all."

Then the De Danaans lifted up their hands and swore a great oath of brotherhood with the Earth and with the hosts of the Shining Ones from Tir-nan-Oge. They swore by the Sword of Light and the Stone of Destiny; by the Fire that is over the earth; and the Fire that is under the earth; and the Fire in the heart of heroes. They swore to have one mind, one heart, and one desire, until the Fomor should be destroyed. Lugh swore the same oath, and all his shining comrades from Tir-nan-Oge swore it. The hills and valleys and plains and rivers and lakes and forests of Ireland swore it--they all fastened the bond of brotherhood on themselves.

"Let us go hence," said Lugh, when the oath was ended, " and make ready for the great battle."

At his word all the chiefs departed, each going his own road.

Celtic Wonder Tales

In Chrétien de Troyes' Arthur, the grail quest climaxes with the symbols of a broken sword, silver serving dish, the Grail, and bleeding Lance.

Meanwhile, many see the sword and lance as the Blade (or male principle) and dish and grail as the female principle (chalice).


While the master weapon descends through Rowling intact, these others have been massively changed.  Why?  Though Harry is on a type of grail quest, he is not a king.  Thus he doesn’t need to feed subjects. Still, as Hermione’s bag provides endless information, clothing, healing potions, and supplies, it must be deemed equivalent. Harry needs a sword of unavoidable destruction, but to murder Voldemort’s Horcruxes, not people.  His test is to descend into death, not to sit on a throne, and so that is the power the stone grants him.  Obviously, one item is missing from this collection: the third hallow of Harry’s cloak. Perhaps it is not surprising that the humblest of these, the one he’s had and used all along, comes from a more modern list… 


King Arthur owned thirteen hallows, treasures of his kingdom. These are described in the Welsh epic, The Mabinogion.

powerful flame

1. Dyrnwynthe sword of RhydderchHael; if any man drew it except himself, it burst into a flame from the cross to the point, and all who asked it received it; but because of this property all shunned it; and therefore was he called RhydderchHael

Fiendfyre burns up Crabbe, the unworthy

Powerful Flame
endless cauldrons of food

2.   The basket of GwyddnoGaranhir; if food for one man were put into it, when opened it would be found to contain food for one hundred.

  • 3.   The horn of Bran Galed; what liquor soever was desired was found therein.
  • 6.   The knife of LlawfroddedFarchawg; which would serve four and twenty men at meat all at once.
  • 10. 11. The pan and the platter of RhegynyddYsgolhaig; whatever food was required was found therein.
  • Harry masters the Aguamenti spell, the passages to the Hogwarts kitchens, and much more, aided always by Hermione’s beaded bag.
Endless Cauldrons of Food
magical transport

5.   The halter of ClydnoEiddyn, which was in a staple below the feet of his bed; and whatever horse he wished for in it, he would find it there.

4.   The chariot of Morgan Mwynvawr; whoever sat in it would be immediately wheresoever he wished.

Magical Transport
who is worthy

7. The cauldron of Tyrnog; if meat were put in it to boil for a coward it would never be boiled, but if meat were put in it for a brave man it would be boiled forthwith.

  • 8. The whetstone of TudwalTudclud; if the sword of a brave man were sharpened thereon, and any one were wounded therewith, he would be sure to die, but if it were that of a coward that was sharpened on it, he would be none the worse.
  • 9. The garment of PadarnBeisrudd; if a man of gentle birth put it on, it suited him well, but if a churl it would not fit him.
  • “…I was unworthy to unite the Deathly Hallows, I had proved it time and again, and here was final proof…Maybe a man in a million could unite the Hallows, Harry. I was fit only to possess the meanest of them, the least extraordinary. I was fit to own the Elder Wand, and not boast of it, and not to kill with it. I was permitted to tame and use it, because I took it, not for gain, but to save others from it…You are the worthy possessor of the Hallows.”
Who is Worthy?

12.  The chessboard of Gwenddolen; when the men were placed upon it, they would play of themselves. The chessboard was of gold, and the men of silver.

bonus hallows

This version is rather different from that given by Jones, in his Welsh Bards, which omits the halter of ClydnoEiddyn, but adds

the mantle of TegauEurvron, which would only fit such ladies as were perfectly correct in their conduct,

and the ring of Luned, by which she effected the release of Owain the son of Urien, as has al­ready been seen in the story of the Lady of the Fountain; whoever concealed the stone of this ring became invisible.

Bonus Hallows

Analysis:   These items represent many others we’ve seen in the books: between the Hallows, the Horcruxes, the spare wands, the new spells, and other items (Sorting Hat, Sword of Godric Gryffindor, beaded bag, basilisk fangs) Harry has at least thirteen treasures aiding him on his sacred quest to destroy Voldemort.  Only one who is truly worthy, a symbolic king or those who he’s appointed to aid him (As he confides his task to Ron, Hermione, and Neville) can wield these items.  Dumbledore withholds knowledge of the Hallows because Harry has to prove himself worthy. Likewise, the sword can only appear to Neville and Harry as a test.  Dumbledore must realize that being appointed is not enough: only those imbued with kingship can succeed.

gender matters

The bag, like the cauldron, is a feminine symbol. The stone and sword blend masculine and feminine power, as the stone brings back all of Harry’s relations, and his mother’s image guides him to the powerful sword. The Elder Wand alone doesn’t blend traits from both genders—its single purpose is winning battles. It is all Voldemort bothers to quest for; thus, Voldemort’s quest for power without understanding of the gentler magics (like the truth of Harry’s blood protection through his mother’s sacrifice) causes his destruction. He makes feminine Horcruxes as well as masculine ones, but, as with the Resurrection Stone, he fails to understand the deeper symbolism.

Gender Matters
gender matters1

Surprisingly, Voldemort’s Horcruxes (excepting Harry and himself) are all feminine symbols. Perhaps he’s seeking his absent feminine side. However, as with the Resurrection Stone, he fails to understand the deeper symbolism.

To see or wear a tiara in your dream symbolizes feminine power and mystique. A necklace, similarly, is feminine adornment and lunar roundness.

The feminine [Tarot] suits, the cup and the pentacle, are symbols of ‘feminine’ traits- receptive, nurturing, and welcoming.

The serpent sheds its skin to be born again, as the moon its shadow to be born again. They are equivalent symbols. Sometimes the serpent is represented as a circle eating its own tail. That's an image of life. Life sheds one generation after another, to be born again.

Gender Matters