Order of the Phoenix chapters 1-4 discussion

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Order of the Phoenix chapters 1-4 discussion

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mar 10, 2008, 12:28 pm

Foggi is normally the one who starts this, and does an amazing job I might add! While she's away for her interview, let's wish her luck as we begin our first discussion for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

This week's chapters are:

1: Dudley Demented

2: A Peck of Owls

3: The Advanced Guard

4: Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place

Discuss! :)

mar 10, 2008, 12:44 pm

Ah, the first part of Order of the Phoenix is the most interesting: Dudley attacked and teenage angst Harry.

Point for discussion: Dudley seems afraid of Harry after the attack, even seems to accuse him. Yet in book 7 he totally changes his opinion about Harry. Is it Dudley just being slow at being thankful?

mar 10, 2008, 12:55 pm

Dudley is slow at accepting the fact that there is an entire magic world, I think, prehaps he wants to think that harry is the only one.
But that doesn't work does it becauseDudley has seen other magical people,aka, Hagrid and the Weasleys
I think we should remember too that Dudley couldn't see the dementors and he has to blame someone, because in Dudleys world muscle will save you from anything

I really loved the sudden appearance of Mrs. Figg and the clanking cat food bag. I had thought long ago that she had some connection with the magical world.

mar 10, 2008, 1:00 pm

Oh yeah! Mrs. Figg! I thought she was awesome!

mar 10, 2008, 1:02 pm

I'm going to post my notes from chapter one for now.

"As if a normal boy cares whats on the news-" (Rowing 2). Why in the world is Mr. Durlsey comparing Harry to a normal boy when he has always said he is everything but? 'Strange' is the word I would chose for Vernon Durlsey's point of view. I suppose though that he is just trying to point out that his son, Dudley, is a perfect example of a normal boy, and if his son didn't care about what was happenin gin the world, neither should any other boy.

I wonder that if Mr. and Mrs. Durlsey see themselves as such fine people, they must surely also think of themselves as excellent parents. Reading page three (paragraph three in my American hardcover edition) shows just how much goes unnoticed by them, however. I also wonder over Rowling's choice of the word 'gang' in this paragraph - whether she meant gang as in group of people that can be perfectly (though not in this case) friendly, or if she meant an actual gang which is known for violence. I think I've anwsered my own question while typing this, however. In any case, Vernon and Petunia Durlsey are clearly too busy trying to seem normal to their neighbors and perhaps keeping their noses too high in the air that they don't pay enough attention to their son.

As I read this chapter it come to my mind that the neighborhood must not like the Dursleys at all. Not only unpleasant despite their efforts to keep their neighbors' minds from their home and family, according to page eleven also house two horrid teens - one strange and bad who goes to St. Brutus's, and another far more fearful to the kids in the neighborhood who has a reputation for violence with his wrestling (school)/ beating people up (home).

As the Dementors enter the scene on page fifteen, it left me with some questions. Do any of you think that if Harry and Dudley hadn't been going at each other that Harry would have noticed the Dementors soner Perhaps reacted differently? Different consequences? As the scene with the Dementors went on, it was pointed out that Dementors are first felt, then heard, and third seen, so I guess Rowling is trying to show us that the answers to my questions is probably no.

Still on the Dementors and SPOILER knowing what we know from reading the entire book in the past, does anyone think that Umbridge was on scene or nearby?END SPOILER (I was on page sixteen, paragraph one when I wondered this.)

I know there are a few times Harry does wandless magic and even in this very chapter. I just wanted to point out that he successfully performed the light spell lumos while he was away from his wand. I believe but am not positive that there was only one other time in this chapter that Harry did magic without his wand. This was when his uncle had his hands gripped around Harry's neck while Harry was in the flower bed after Mundungus Fletcher had apparated from their street.

SPOILERAt one point it's mentioned that it's not at all usual to have Dementors in Little Whinning (sp?) but rather extremely odd. Having read book six we know things pretty much look like this everywhere later on, so to me it was kind of like the beginning of it, or a window to what kind of things the future would show.END SPOILER

mar 10, 2008, 1:07 pm

#2 sophie:
I also thought of that! I'm not really sure myself. I need to think about it some more.

#3 polly:
Very good point. Without the sight of anyone but Harry while feeling as he did during the Dementor attack, Dudley surely would accuse Harry of it.
I also really enjoyed Mrs. Figg turning up and as being connected to the wizarding world. Thinking back on it, I guess it's something we should have seen coming before it happened because it's always the strange ones who are magical, right? ;)

mar 10, 2008, 1:39 pm

One thing I thought of is the ever controversial subject of secret keepers. How is it more secure if the secret keeper can write the secret on a piece of paper that, apparently, anyone can just hand over to anyone else. It seems decidedly less secure to me.

So, even if you have this unsecure piece of paper lying around, why does Harry have to be told about the headquarters outside Grimmald place? Why can't he just be escorted in by Order members, then told about it (or handed a paper, whichever) after he is safely inside? What would have happened if Mad Eye had been captured during the flyover?

It has always bugged me.

Redigerat: mar 10, 2008, 1:50 pm

#7 LG:
My reading was interrupted and I still need to get to that chapter today. In the past it seemed to me that whomever had the piece of paper with said secret on it could only show it to those whom the secret keeper um said could see it. Said is the wrong word I'm looking for, but basically I think there's magic involved.

Also, I'd thought that without knowledge of where the secret location was, Harry would not only be unable to see it, but also to enter it. I'm rusty on HP and as I said still need to reread some more.

Your question about Mad-Eye is very good! I had never thought of that. I suppose the Order would then contact the secret keeper immediately, and a new plan would have taken place. Your question does make me wonder if they had taken this possibility into account. (Feeling silly now because they're fictional, but eh. ;)

Misspellings galore, sorry for the edit.

Redigerat: mar 10, 2008, 2:02 pm

But prehaps the paper mad eye had could only be read by the one for whom it was intended?
ETA as the mauraders map could only be read by those who knew the secret

mar 10, 2008, 2:04 pm

Wow, Kerian! Wonderful notes. Good catch on the presence of dementors and Umbridge. Isn't something mentioned about that in book 6 of 7? If memory serves correctly, Dumbledore made a remark...

mar 10, 2008, 2:09 pm

I think the Umbridge thing is actually revealed in the end of this book, if I remember right.

mar 10, 2008, 2:10 pm

Well, I don't know that she was there but she definately sent the dementors there.

mar 10, 2008, 2:15 pm

and going back to #5 of course the Dursleys thought they were the envy of the neighborhood, but I am quite sure that their neighbors didn't like them,

as far as dementors, Prehaps the dementors wouldn't have been able to find them if they hadn't been argueing, because tho the dementors may feed on happy thoughts I believe any strong emotional energy would attract them

mar 10, 2008, 2:15 pm

polly, that's a good idea, and if so, why not have Mad Eye do a reveal spell so we know about it? I just don't think JKR thought the secret keeper thing through very well.

If you can do a spell to make one person the only one who could reveal a secret, why can't you just do one that makes that person unable to reveal it in any way to specific persons? Wouldn't it be nice if they could just have made it impossible for any Death Eaters or Voldy to be told the secret?

Then we wouldn't have a book, I guess.

Speaking of Death Eaters, wouldn't Peter have had a tattoo? Why didn't anyone notice it?

mar 10, 2008, 2:17 pm

I love the Best Kept Suburban Lawn competition.

mar 10, 2008, 3:26 pm

maybe Peter did have a tatoo, he wasn't around long enough for anyone to notice it.....wait a minuteWormtail DID have a tattoo! Its mentioned in the graveyard scene of GOF

mar 10, 2008, 3:27 pm

15> especially since they were in the middle of a drought! LOL

mar 10, 2008, 4:06 pm

#9 polly:
I agree I think that sounds right.

#10 sophie:
Thank you. I just wish I had completed notes for the other chapters as well. Will be doing so later.

#11 LG:
I think so, too.

#12 polly:

#13 polly:
I never thought of that, but it sounds very good and convincing!

#14 LG:
Maybe there would be less to the book then as you suggest.

#15 LG:
That was very amusing as it's such a dry and hot summer - who's lawn isn't dead I figured!

mar 10, 2008, 8:56 pm

Wow, lots of talk! Thanks for starting this thread, K.

I listened to this on my long drive yesterday and today (actually listened to the first 18 chapters or so) -- I'll go back and scan the first four chapters and see if I have anything to add later (I'm pretty tired right now).

I did wonder about the portraits in 12 Grimmauld Place. I mean, we have Mrs. Black screaming imprecations whenever somebody makes a noise in the hall, but shouldn't she be able to do that from any portrait in the house? I mean, the Hogwarts portraits could all come visit each other -- think of Sir Cadogan blundering all over the place, and the Fat Lady's friends coming by for a visit. I'd think that Sirius's mum would be wandering through all the portraits in the house, screaming at whomever she saw. Then again, maybe they put some sort of spell on her so that she can't get out of her own frame?

mar 10, 2008, 9:40 pm

#19 foggi:
You're welcome. :)

Yet another thing I never thought of. I imagine you're right that they put a spell on her portrait to make sure she stayed put.

mar 10, 2008, 10:22 pm

Yeah, they probably did, otherwise they would have had a lot less accomplished!

11- LG is right, (SPOILER) at the end of the book when she catches harry in her office, she says:He never knew I ordered dementors after Potter last summer, but he was delighted to be given the chance to expel him, all the same..."

mar 10, 2008, 10:46 pm

Wow, my memory is usually not that good. Go me.

mar 10, 2008, 10:54 pm

*confetti for LG*

(I know this is a serious thread, but surely one post is okay.)

mar 12, 2008, 9:14 am

Okay, I'm joining in late, but then I only just discovered LT last week and I've been lurking in past threads to catch up on discussion. I'm currently able to actually join the re-read as most of my books are packed in boxes from a recent move, however, I all the books about twice a year (yep, I'm crazy) so I'd like to try to join in from memory where I can. This is my favorite book, which a lot of people don't understand. I think Harry's whinginess (that word just doesn't unless done the British way!) is perfect, he's a teenager after all, and I think I'd be pretty annoyed too if all that happened to me and then I got ignored!

A peck of owls is one of my favorite chapters of all 7 books. Of course, before 7 came out it had me crazy trying to figure out what was going on with Petunia! Think back to that first time you found out she knew what Dementors were, that was great! Also this chapter just makes me laugh the whole way through, imagining Uncle Vernon getting angrier and angrier as more and more owls bombard his house. It's a sublimely written chapter and of course the movie ruined it. (I hated this movie more than any other, possibly becuase I love the book so much, the movie version that plays in my head as I read it is sooo much better!)

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this in another thread somewhere, but I thought it was interesting how many of you don't like CoS and GoF and prefer PoA and OotP (like me). There is a theory, which seems to pan out with the people I have talked to, that the books in the series you prefer tend to point to whether you are more focused on the internal or the external. By which I mean, people who tend to focus more inward (I'm not saying stuck up, selfish, just happier in smaller crowds who prefer to really get to know someone and know themselves) tend to prefer books 3, 5, and now 7, because the action tends to be more about Harry and his thoughts and emotions. Books 2, 4, and 6 appeal more to the extroverts, the ones who prefer action to introspection (there's the word I was looking for) because those books are more action driven and move from one event to another much faster, giving Harry less time to mope/dwell on his thoughts. Just an observation I thought others might find interesting, I believe it's discussed to some extent in John Granger's Looking for God in Harry Potter which I highly recommend to any HP enthusiast.

On a completely unrelated note, I just want to forewarn posters here that my job requires me to type in all caps a lot, so if I ever do a quick post and it's in all caps, I'm not yelling at you, I just wasn't paying attention! Sorry in advance and I'll try not to let it happen.

Redigerat: mar 12, 2008, 10:10 am

Welcome, biblioholic! Interesting points about the action in the books and how it corresponds to personality type. Interesting that you hate this movie -- that's just the way I feel about the GoF movie, but I thought this one was actually a lot better! (And I'm one of the people who prefers books 3 and 5 to 2 and 4, so my reaction makes even less sense.) I agree that the chapter "A Peck of Owls" wasn't done as well as it could have been.

Going back to the book: I do remember being just amazed at Petunia's reactions, and my whole family (we read them aloud together) speculating on who the Howler was from and what it meant. This read-through, knowing what I do from book 7 (SPOILER ahead!) I love the mention of "that awful boy" and the fact that, though Harry (and usually the reader) assumes she means James, Petunia doesn't clarify -- but we later learn that she meant Sev. I love the tiny hints that JKR scatters throughout the books! (end SPOILER)

The first time I read OotP, I wasn't bothered by Harry's attitude, or all of the teenage angst. This time, I really noticed it -- I won't say I was bothered by it, but certainly it got my attention. I still think that it's very true to life. Toward the end of our discussion of GoF, we talked about Harry's hero complex -- the way he seems to think that he is always the solution to every problem, the only one who can fix whatever is going wrong. I think we see a different manifestation of this in OotP, in the way that he seems to think that it's all about him: he stopped the Dementors, he did all of the exciting stuff in earlier books, why isn't he being allowed to participate in the work of the Order, blah, blah, blah.

mar 12, 2008, 10:49 am

Good point about Harry's hero complex. I suppose in the past I had noticed it, but not really thought of it as a different manifestation. I read through all the old threads and remember reading what people were saying about Harry's hero complex in the lake. I tend to think that was altruistic heroism. I know people (and Ron and Hermione of course) thought he was dumb for taking the song seriously but, he was just forced to fight dragons! Why shouldn't he be worried that they might let the others stay in the lake? I think I would have done the same. Then of course, like you said, in this one its a bit more of a selfish heroism; and "I'm the only one who can do it right" mentality (something else I can relate to). I do think maybe the DA helped with that a little too, though don't get me wrong, I love the DA!

Also I hadn't even thought that (SPOILER) Petunia was talking about Snape. (end SPOILER). I read the first 6 twice in preparation for book 7 (also becasue I was working in a bookstore and was the designated HP expert for our midnight party, so I had to know what I was talking about) and then read 7 through twice in a row (the first time in a day, the second time slightly slower, so I'd actually remember it) so I do really need to go back and read them all again in teh context of knowing what will happen, but they're all in storage. We'll see which triumphs, laziness or Harry Potter!

mar 12, 2008, 11:27 am

Welcome biblioholic! Someone more verbose than I am about Harry is welcome in this group. ;-)

What does it say about me that my favourite books are PoA & GoF? One action and one introspective....hmmm....

I liked the movie of OotP, except for leaving out the Quidditch. That made it too dark. These stories really require the comic relief because they are so angst-ridden, especially OotP.

The first time I read it, Harry's attitude went up my back a mile, even though I admired it as being an accurate account of a boy that age. (Also, notice that Hermione is cranky all through PoA, which fits with hormones from what I can remember.) Once it came down to re-reads, I didn't mind this book so much because I knew what was going on. Having the action happening off-screen while we listen to Harry's endless navel-gazing (AND YELLING IN ALL CAPS) was difficult to me.

mar 12, 2008, 11:59 am

Yes, all the yelling definitely gets annoying. And yes, I am super-overly-verbose about all things Harry. Poor anyone who walked into my store to reserve a copy from me in those last couple months before DH! I've both attended classes and led group discussions on the first 6 books. I'm a crazy nutso fan and proud of it!

I think one of the reasons I love this book so much is because JKR does not make it easy to love it. Between Harry being such a pain and Umbridge and all the "no don't do that..." (screaming at the book). And I disliked the movie so much because I thought a lot of that was gone. I missed a peck of owls, (SPOILER ahead) I did not agree with the way Harry's trial was shot, Umbridge, Grawp and the Centaurs in teh forest, and on and on. I did think that the Dementors were much improved from PoA though. But this of course is supposed to be about the book, not the movies! I'll try harder to stay on topic.

mar 12, 2008, 12:11 pm

Don't worry, we talk about the movies all the time. The reason I liked the OotP movie I think was the performances. Imelda Staunton was perfect, Luna Lovegood was perfect (sorry, I forget the actress' name) and Dan did a real good job with a tough part.

mar 12, 2008, 12:40 pm

I agree there were some very good performances, I liked Luna and Dan just keeps getting better and better. However, (and I hope noone will hate me for saying this) I think Emma is getting worse. *ducks head in case something is thrown*

I thought she was the best of the kids in the beginning and now I just don't understand her phrasing. She pauses at weird times and makes that exasperated sighing sound way too often for me (once or twice might be understandable...she is a teenager but there is such a thing as too much realism...especially when it is something that obnoxious). Sorry that my rant for the day. I still can't picture anyone else playing her.

I also just had issues with the script in general. I don't know, I haven't seen it since the theater, it's the first HP movie that I haven't gone out and bought on DVD the day it was released. Looking forward to HBP though, Steve Kloves is back on the job. Yay!

mar 12, 2008, 12:41 pm

BTW, I work as a receptionist and pretty much have my time to myself when the phone isn't ringing, which is why my posts are so long!

mar 12, 2008, 12:43 pm

I absolutely loved the advance guard in the book. I thought that was so cool, all those wizards and witches appearing in the kitchen, and I wonder what Petunia thought when she found the broken plate and the glass Madeye dipped his eye in

mar 12, 2008, 12:45 pm

Agreed about Emma, biblioholic. The boys have extended their acting chops but she seems stuck, somehow. Maybe they'll send her an acting coach.

Yeah, where was Mundungus in the movie? He's such a colourful character. Another opportunity for comic relief lost.

mar 12, 2008, 12:52 pm

I agree lg, unless they were afraid that parents wouldn't like the character drinking smoking and stealing? you know how critics are

mar 12, 2008, 12:57 pm

#34 -- I doubt that he was cut for reasons of censorship -- I'm thinking he was cut from this movie for the same reason Dobby was: he wasn't seen as "essential" to the plot. They really have to strip these movies down to the bare bones! Maybe some day, years in the future, they will make a miniseries of the books, and allow enough time to fully explore each one.

mar 12, 2008, 12:59 pm

Ahh...the book again! I too loved the advance guard. In fact when I read that whole Dursley section I get this feeling of anticipation because I'm so looking forward to everything that happens in those chapters. Actually (and having read all the old posts from previous discussions, I know I'm in the minority here) I love the Dursley chapters. It's such a great way to display the differences between Harry's homelife and Hogwarts. Without the Dursleys there, we might have a harder time understanding how Harry gets so attached to Hogwarts. I know it's magic and all, but it is still school...with homework and tests afterall!

What was I saying? Oh yeah! We meet so many important characters in the Advanced Guard! Tonks and Kingsley, not too mention what's-her-name Vance (Emmeline? something like that). Plus we kind of meet Moody for the first time, the real Moody anyway. And best of all...LUPIN IS BACK!!!!! I luuurrrvvvveeee him!

mar 12, 2008, 1:05 pm

I love when Moody tells Harry "Many good wizards have lost a buttock doing that" and Tonks says "Who do you know 's lost a buttock?

mar 12, 2008, 1:06 pm

This book (okay all the books) are full of laugh out loud moments. Especially once Luna shows up!

mar 12, 2008, 2:11 pm

I keep wishing they'd let Ron swear in the movies. He's got such a foul mouth in the books, although JKR doesn't use the actual words, either. Or Hermione interrupts him before he can finish.

And yes, Lupin in the advance guard. Why did they not have him there in the movie?

mar 12, 2008, 2:49 pm

Exactly! I mean in the books its Lupin being there that makes Harry trust the guard. I don't think just Moody would do it after the previous year!

To me the language in the movies isn't that important except (SPOILER ahead) when it comes to Mrs. Weasley vs. Bellatrix. They better get that swearing right! (end SPOILER). It's funny, I've read a lot of the Harry Potter and religion books, both the "pro" and the "con" and there's an anti-Potter one where the author has an issue with the language. (Written when four books were out.) One example he uses is Aunt Marge saying "*****" in PoA, when she is in fact referencing a female dog! I never quite got how that was a bad thing!

Oh and in regards to the movie (again!) after going to the midnight showing I talked to a guy at one of my jobs who had also gone to the movie but had not read the books. He was completely confused and had no idea what was going on. Again, I blame the screenwriter for that.

mar 12, 2008, 2:55 pm

Just popping in to say I really liked the actor playing Kingsley in the movie, too. He wasn't exactly how I pictured him, but when he delivers the line about Dumbledore having style, he got applause all 5 times I saw it in the theater.

mar 12, 2008, 2:58 pm

Absolutely agree, that line delivery was spot on.

Not having actually read the chapters, can someone remind me where "Number 12 Grimmauld Place" (the chapter) leaves off? Harry yelling? Or is it before that?

mar 12, 2008, 3:15 pm

Home for lunch...end of Chpt 4 is just after Harry hears Mrs. Black yelling from her portrait and Sirius says, "I see you've met my mother."

Another issue from the movie, and yes I know this is not time appropriate, but I'm going for it. SPOILER FOR BOOK 6 - At the end of the movie, why is Ginny walking with Seamus and not Dean? I sure hope they are not going to change it for racist reasons. This is antithetical to everything JKR is saying in the books.

Otoh, they did allow Fred to ask Angelina to the Yule Ball, although they never show them together.

mar 12, 2008, 3:34 pm

Okay so then....searching back in my memory....Harry has already been upstairs and yelled at Ron and Hermione and been introduced to extendable ears. "We thought we heard your dulcet tones." - a Weasley twin. (Love that.) I do like that in this book Ginny starts becoming a bit more like part of the group. More like the twins, I think that's great. She's a good counterpoint to Hermione's goody-two-shoes tendancies. Her outright lie to Mrs. Weasley about how all the dungbombs ended up by the door is definitely like her brothers.

That bedroom scene is another one that the movie just didn't get right, but this time I think it was Emma that was the problem. Okay, if my complaining about the movie gets annoying, just tell me to shut up, I just have so much to say.

mar 12, 2008, 5:24 pm

Actually, the bedroom scene in the movie bugged me because they didn't have Harry yelling -- the yelling was what made the twins' "dulcet tones" comment funny, and if Harry isn't yelling, or at least raising his voice, it doesn't make sense. I think I have to blame the director for that choice, or possibly the screenwriter.

mar 12, 2008, 5:32 pm

OotP is my least favorite movie

mar 12, 2008, 5:44 pm

SPOILER Harry doesn't tear apart DD's office either. That's worse, imho.

Wow, we all have strong opinions on the movie, huh? I still think GoF was the worst of the movies.

mar 12, 2008, 8:12 pm

I do have to agree with above that Ginny and the Twins were my favorite parts of this book. There was a lot of comic releif there that didn't make it to the movie.

mar 12, 2008, 8:22 pm

Yeah, Ginny barely spoke in the movie! This was the book where you started to find out how funny and interesting she is.

mar 13, 2008, 8:23 am

Yay! Someone agrees with me about the movie. (By the way, I also didn't like GoF very much...didn't it kinda seem like they put all the attention on the dragon fight as a way of saying "Look how much better our CG has gotten since PS/SS" and they did totally ruin the maze.)

I have so much more that I dislike about the OotP movie, but I'm going to wait and pepper that in as we get to those points in the book. Oh and do I remember it wrong or did they NOT do a disillusionment charm and then proceed to fly along the Thames past boats and tourists?! How is that secret?! (Though again...nice CGI).

Oh and I managed to find my sister's UK copy of OotP lying around my parents house, so now I'll be able to read along! Yay!

mar 15, 2008, 11:00 am

I was really disappointed with the OotP film. It was much too dark, there should have been some light relief.They should have kept the Quidditch storyline in it, amongst some others.

I do think that the producers shortchanged a lot of the characters in this film and just think the story is about Harry and no one else, which somebody else has already mentioned.

I do think that Umbridge was portrayed well and I am glad I am not the only one who thinks Emma is getting worse with each film. What is with the eyebrows? Everytime she talks she raises her eyebrows, it's most distracting.

mar 15, 2008, 1:05 pm

Just a reminder -- discussion of chapters 5-8 (along with, I'm sure, more critiques of the movie ;-) starts on Monday!

nov 19, 2008, 11:02 am

I suppose with a book as long as this one - some things are bound to be left out. Something that one person would like to see another person may pick something else..