Other Resurrections in Literature Besides Jesus
(Okay, but we definitely included some allegorical Jesus)
In this season of Easter, a.k.a. Resurrection Appreciation Day, we think there’s a topic applicable to bookish fans of all faiths: the best resurrections in literature.
In the short story “The Final Problem,” Sherlock Holmes supposedly died in a fight with his greatest enemy, Professor Moriarty. On a visit to the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, Watson is sent away on what turns out to be a hoax, and when he returns, he finds evidence of a struggle in which Moriarty and Sherlock both fell to their deaths. No bodies found, though. You know what happens when there are no bodies.
Apparently, author Arthur Conan Doyle was pressured so hard to keep writing Sherlock Holmes stories, that eventually he gave in and brought the detective back in a short story in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Apparently, Holmes just climbed down the path to make it look like he was dead. So not technically a resurrection, but it’s a resurrection in the authorial sense.
This is undisputedly a resurrection, Jesus-style. Aslan offers himself to be slain instead of Edmund and the Witch legit sacrifices the lion Aslan with a knife. His body disappears, and a deeper magic prevails. The power of selfless sacrifice is a capital-T Thing in literature, in case you can’t tell. And it’s especially cool in lion form.
Aslan’s sacrifice is noble and all, but Gandalf’s sacrifice is arguably more epic. What with him fighting a balrog until the last moment of his life, travelling out of thought and time, and coming back with way better glow. (Like, for real, what bleach is he using?). Galdalf the White is forever, literally.
We’re getting all the feels just thinking about it. The power of selfless sacrifice. That limbo scene at King’s Cross where Harry gets to talk to Dumbledore. Harry’s choice to move on or go back. That line, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?" The resurrection in Deathly Hollows has the best of both Aslan’s and Gandalf’s coming-back moments: it is epic and emotional.