Do you think that lantern light could actually shine through Harry’s invisibility cloak? Like, the first movie shows us Harry carrying a lantern underneath the cloak and using it to snoop around the Restricted section of the library. He drops the lantern and flees when he’s almost caught by Argus and his cat.
But, if the invisibility cloak makes everything underneath it invisible to the outside, including Harry and the lamp, can the light from the lantern even pass beyond the cloak in order to light anything up for Harry? Because wouldn’t the light then be visible to people outside the cloak? Sure, people couldn’t see the lantern itself but they could see the affect it has on the surroundings, right? Because we’re later shown (in the third movie during the Hogsmeade scene) and told (I think at least in the 7th book?) that footprints show up. And if you knock into something then everyone can perceive that bit too (Harry either taking Neville’s bloody pop in the third movie or alternatively, I’ve heard suggested, when the pop gets stuck to the invisibility cloak).
So wouldn’t the lantern be more of a give away than is worth the risk?
In the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, the hobbits meet up with a character by the name of Tom Bombadil. Not in the movies, he was cut out of those, but in the books, he actually saves the hobbits at least twice. First, he finds them under attack by a willow tree that is trying to consume them into its roots and after saving them, brings them to his home to recover. When the hobbits leave to continue their journey, they actually have to cross a barrow field that’s just covered in ancient graves and they end up getting trapped inside one of them. Tom comes along and gets them out and sends them on their way.
Tom’s a super interesting character who’s never fully explained in the books because no one really knows what the hell he even is. Like, he’s presented as some sort of primordial being who was living in Middle Earth before the elves came east and possibly even before they were created. It’s even shown that the ring has no effect on him! This leads Frodo to wonder if they could leave the ring with Tom because he would be powerful enough to protect it without being tempted by it. Gandalf cuts that idea down because Tom is just not what we would call a moral human being. He doesn’t understand the dangers the ring would bring about and would ultimately forget he even had it, never mind protect it.
Frodo really should have realized that because its Tom’s influence that first convinced him to try the ring on. Yes! The first time Frodo puts the ring on isn’t a wacky accident in the Prancing Pony but a conscious choice on Frodo’s part. You see, Tom tries the ring on, nothing happens, he then makes it disappear and reappear before giving it back to Frodo who then puts it on because he wonders is Tom switched it! Why did Tom show off a little magic trick with the ring that might destroy the world? Did he really not understand what it was and what damage it could cause? Because if Tom is meant to represent a figure of primordial nature then, surely, he has some understanding of the damage to the earth itself that someone like Sauron could cause. The movies took this route: they gave some of Tom’s lines to Treebeard the Ent, very much a figure of ancient nature.
There are two other possibilities though, both of which consider Tom as someone with enough knowledge to know the consequences of the ring. Could Tom be evil, purposely playing a trick with the ring in order to get Frodo to put it on? This was suggested by a classmate of mine when we were studying the Inklings and, originally, I didn’t give it much thought but the idea has grown on me. See, Sauron is destructive to nature but so too are human beings and the next age is meant to be a human age. So maybe Tom’s trying to throw the two groups at each other so that they destroy each other and ultimately save nature.
The other possibility seems to be the more moral side of this idea. That Tom got Frodo to put the ring on for the purpose of prompting Frodo to try and destroy it. Like, Tom knew the consequences and so tried to find someone who would take the ring to Mordor. Seems like Tom could have easily done it himself but nature doesn’t tend to fix societies problems for us?