Friday, February 15, 2013

Your father is alive in you, Harry

Another Friday, and another Harry Potter readalong post! Thank you Reading Rambo for hosting this gif-filled readalong.

So the Northeast got hit with blizzard Nemo over the weekend, which meant I had a lot of time to sit around the house and read. It also meant that while I was reading I was sitting near my computer and could write down my thoughts as I went, instead of trying to remember them all at the end. Which is the reason I have actual quotes this time. And also why I spent so much time thinking of Hogwarts math. As with every other readalong post, thar be spoilers ahead. Be warned.

I love the Patronus charm and the idea that the spell is based on happy thoughts. However, Harry's motivation for learning the charm, so he can make sure he doesn't fall off his broom and thus lose the Quidditch Cup, is very lame. And Ron said Hermione's priorities were messed up in the first book.

I do think the best part about Harry's Patronus lessons is the fact that he sort of doesn't want to successfully produce the Patronus because then he won't be able to hear his parents, even though he's hearing their dying words. That is so heartbreaking. I just want to hug him.
Except then I remember that he and Ron are going weeks without talking to Hermione because she tried to save his life by making sure the Firebolt isn't going to kill him, and then I want to smack him upside the head. Then hug him.

Overall I'm not a fan of any of the Quidditch scenes. Then again, I'm not a huge sports fan anyway so this is nothing against Rowling. However I do enjoy Lee Jordan and McGonagall's arguments during his commentary.

"I thought you two'd value yer friend more'n broomsticks or rats." Damn straight! You tell 'em, Hagrid. Stupid Ron and Harry need to BE NICER TO HERMIONE.

"Everyone from the Minister of Magic downward has been trying to keep famous Harry Potter safe from Sirius Black. But famous Harry Potter is a law unto himself. Let the ordinary people worry about his safety! Famous Harry Potter goes where he wants to, with no thought for the consequences." Snape may be an asshole, but he makes a very good point. Obviously Lupin makes the same point that actually gets through to Harry, but still, the idea is the same.

Earlier in this readalong we guessed there are about 10 kids per house per grade, based roughly on how many Griffindors there are in Harry's year. So there are 7 grades at Hogwarts so each house would have about 70 students. Except during the Quidditch match Griffindor vs. Slytherine it says there are 200 people wearing green. The scene at breakfast suggested that Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff are also rooting for Griffindor (cos everyone hates Slytherin) so who is making up all 200? So I asked the internet for an answer and apparently Rowling gave an interview in 2000 and said there are 1,000 students at Hogwarts. The folks at Beyond Hogwarts argue that this makes no sense, and they guess closer to the 10 students per house per grade. So I know since Rowling wrote the books her answer should be the correct one, but since most of the other stuff she wrote doesn't support that (except maybe this scene with 200 Slytherins) I'm choosing to believe the smaller number.
Doing the math: how many kids are at Hogwarts

I don't deny that Hemione is super clever, but is she really THAT smart for figuring out Lupin is a werewolf? Given all of the clues that were handed out, a few of Lupin's students should have guessed what he was. Considering so many of them saw what the boggert turned into. Did all of them REALLY thing it was just a white glowing ball he's afraid of?

Speaking of Lupin as a werewolf, I mentioned in my last post I had a problem with Lupin's name. I didn't think the history about Lupin becoming a werewolf came out until the 5th book, but it looks like it's here. Therefore, here is my problem:
Remus Lupin says he was bit by a werewolf as a young child. Yet his name has two wolf references in it: Remus one of the twins that founded Rome, raised by a she-wolf and Lupin or "Lupine" which is relating to a wolf. That is either a) insanely coincidental, b) Lupin changed his name at some point (perhaps to give people some warning of what he is) or c) he was actually born a werewolf and this is actually a family thing. Or most likely, Rowling named him this because it's a clever little play on words and assumed no one was going to look this closely at a children's book. Silly Rowling.

"Is a schoolboy grudge worth putting an innocent man back inside Azkaban?" Snape is TOTALLY fine with this. Which is why he's a pretty big asshole. But then (at least in the movie) he makes sure to push Harry, Ron, and Hermione behind him so he's between them and werewolf Lupin, and it makes up for some of his asshole behavior. Some.

This is totally a Cracked point, but I think it should be made cos, ew. So Pettigrew was Scabbers and has been hanging out with the Weasley family for 12 years. First he was Percy rat, then later he was given to Ron. On the Marauder's Map, it doesn't matter if he's hidden as a rat, he still shows up as himself. And the twins had that map for awhile before giving it to Harry. So if they were to look at that map to see what their brother is up to, they'd see him sleeping with a man named Peter Pettigrew. So yeah, wtf?

"You're the only person who has the right to decide [what to do with Pettigrew], Harry." What? Why? Why is Harry the only one who has the right to decide? Sirius has a pretty good right to decide, considering he lost his best friend AND has been in Azkaban for 12 years because of it. Gives him at least some right to decide.

I'm not going to go on about the Time Turner because there are so many problems with it there is no way to go over all of them. Time travel in general doesn't work if you think about it too hard. Including the fact that in order for Hermione to get the Time Turner McGonagall had to get permission from the Ministry to get it for her, so there's a good chance Fudge would know she had it.

Sirius is innocent and free (although still on the run), Lupin is sadly no longer their DADA professor, and Harry will be going back to the Dursley's for the summer. And if Rowling felt like writing a book detailing the Marauders time at Hogwarts, that'd be neat.

Title quote from page 427

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Scholastic, 1999.