Order of the Phoenix discussion Chapters 13-16

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Order of the Phoenix discussion Chapters 13-16

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mar 31, 2008, 8:45 am

Okay, I'm starting the next discussion because I have a lot to say and I either have to do it early in the morning or wait till I get home! The chapters up for discussion this week are:

13: Detention with Dolores
14: Percy and Padfoot
15: The Hogwarts High Inquisitor
16: In the Hog's Head

I'm going to post this and then the next post will be what I have to say!

mar 31, 2008, 8:51 am

Okay, here we go. Chapter 13:

1. In regards to SPEW, I think that parts of it are great and other parts not. I think that in trying to free the elves against their will, Hermione is doing exactly what she is trying to fight against. If she were to focus on the treatment of elves, so that they weren't beaten (or forced to beat themselves) and mistreated, then that would be a righteous cause. And of course if she were to come across any other elves like Dobby who wanted freedom, than she could work for that.

2. I'm always fascinated by how much Malfoy knows. From what we see of their interaction, is father doesn't seem likely to tell Draco about these things, I think he must spy on his parents a lot.

3. I wish they had had bowtruckles in the movie. I know they're not important to the story, they just sound cool.

4. I get teary everytime someone publicly supports Harry, be it Luna in her weird wishy-washy way or Ernie in his overbearing pomposity.

5. Does anyone else feel that Umbridge's punishment is more horrifying in the book than it was in the movie? I feel physically ill when I read about it but then I'm fine watching the film.

6. Angelina drives me nuts in this chapter!

mar 31, 2008, 8:52 am

Chapter 14:

1. Poor Katie! First the ridiculous bloody nose. Next year the necklace. Poor, poor girl.

2. Who do you all dislike more? Percy or Umbridge?

mar 31, 2008, 9:05 am

Chapter 15:

1. I think one of the worst things about Umbridge being inquisitor is that she is not a teacher. I had a teacher...a math teacher no less...in high school who thought teaching was telling the students to read the book and do homework. This is not teaching. Anyone could do that! The irony of her therefore judging other teachers is not lost on me!

2. I rarely feel bed for Trelawney, but I do here.

3. I vastly prefer this McG/Umbridge meeting to the one in the movie. In this one McG comes out on top.

4. I get teary when Hermione and Ron start hatching their plan to have Harry teach. I wish I had friends who had that much faith in me.

5. I love that it's the name Voldemort that calms Harry, especially since it get the opposite reaction from most people.

mar 31, 2008, 9:11 am

Chapter 16:

1. Okay, I know everyone probably always notices this, but it really bugs me that Dennis Creevy is there, he's a second year!

2. I did the math, a full 10% of the student body of Hogwarts is at the Hog's Head for this meeting!

3. Zacarias Smith is annoying (I know, I'm deep)

4. This is one of my favorite chapters in all 7 books and yet I have nothing of value to say for it. I think in the end, while I love the stories and yes the angst, what I really love are the friendships and interactions, and this chapter is chock full of those.

Again, I apologize for posting so much so early, but it's about to get too busy at work to post. In fact, it just started. I'll check in as I can!

mar 31, 2008, 9:24 am

Yay for discussion threads!

Chapter 13:

The line about Angelina "channeling Wood's spirit" always gets a chuckle from me.

I get so irritated with Harry for not telling anyone about Dolores' punishment in this chapter. He seems to think that nothing could be done to stop her, but I'm sure that if the majority of Hogwarts parents had known that sort of punishment was going on, there would have been a real outcry. I mean, if I were a parent and there was even the possibility that someone would be punishing my kid that way, look out. But nooooo, Harry has to be all tough and martyred.

In response to Biblio's excellent points on this chapter:

I agree that trying to free house-elves against their will is a bad idea, but Hermione, for all her smarts, is still a young teenager. She just hasn't thought this through.

Good point about Malfoy! I'll bet you're right about him spying. Also, his parents probably talked in front of him pretty freely -- especially with an only child, parents can sometimes get caught up in conversation and forget the kid is there.

I also agree that the punishment seems worse in the book that the movie. I think part of that is that in the book we see Harry's horror at it, as well as his pain.

mar 31, 2008, 9:29 am

Nice work Bib!

Post 2, Point 1: I never liked SPEW and was finally glad when something was left out of the movies.

2,2: You are right about the relationship Draco has with his father. I hadn't thought about the spying, but you are probably right there, too.

2,4: Ernie Rocks!

3,2: Umbridge! Percy is just a prat, she is evil!

4,2: I think Harry feels the same way, even after all the death predictions.

5,4: The entire Dumbledore's Army bit is one of my favorite things in the book. I was really hoping Harry would become a professor at Hogwarts someday, and then maybe headmaster.

mar 31, 2008, 9:34 am

Chapter 14:

I love Harry's letter to Sirius -- particularly the line, "She's nearly as nice as your mum."

Again, we have the Big Mystery of the Thestrals -- I think this was overdone. I really think a short scene at the beginning would have been enough, then she could have resolved it with Hagrid's lesson. Throwing it in here just feels like she's harping on it.

The bit with Filch and the dungbombs is peculiar. I mean, obviously Umbridge sent him because she wants to know what's in that letter, right? But why tell him it was dungbombs? I can see her saying something like "Confiscate the letter and bring it to me. Tell him whatever you like -- tell him that you suspect he's ordering dungbombs or something. But get me that letter!" But Filch seems really convinced that it was dungbombs (as shown later, when he's sniffing Harry, looking for evidence) -- why convince him that Harry was ordering dungbombs? If Filch had read the letter, it would obviously not have been an order for dungbombs, and he would have had to give it back.

I'm over-thinking this.

Percy is a prat, but a well-developed prat. I will always like him better than Umbridge -- but not much!

Redigerat: mar 31, 2008, 9:46 am

Chapter 15:

Much discussion of O.W.L. grades here, and I have many problems with it. I must first say, though, that Fred's pun, "There's nothing wrong with a good, healthy P" is much funnier when listening to the audiobook. On the other hand, I thought that "T" standing for "Troll" was a joke on the part of the twins, and a dumb joke at that, until the sixth book when Harry gets his results, and it's listed as an actual grade. I still think it's dumb. I also have a problem with Hermione asking the twins about grades -- wouldn't she know all of this already, from some book? Those lines could have gone to Ron, if we really needed an exposition dump about grades.

I don't think I properly appreciated McGonagall before this book. I want to be like her with I grow up!

In response to Biblio's points: I agree, I agree, I agree (but the scene in the movie rocks because it's so well-played by two really excellent actors), I agree, I agree.

mar 31, 2008, 9:54 am

Chapter 16:

They're learning vanishing spells -- where do vanished things go? I mean, with invisibility spells, the thing is there, you just can't see it -- but with vanishing spells (I'm guessing it's Evanesco that they're learning?) the thing that's vanished goes away completely. Where does it go?

And we get a cameo in this chapter by Aberforth, though of course we don't know it's him at the time. He "looked vaguely familiar to Harry" -- hint, hint! Do you think he told Dumbledore about the meeting?

I love that Ginny can do an Umbridge imitation. That's pure Weasley!

I have to laugh at Ron finding out that Ginny's dating. He gets all big-brotherish and protective.

And, of course, Hermione's cool comment about how Ginny used to like Harry was a big hint/confirmation for people like my father, who had been Harry/Ginny shippers since the second book (he had all of the rest of us convinced, too, but he was the first one in the family who spotted it).

mar 31, 2008, 12:18 pm

#6 I agree about Harry playing the martyr. That is really annoying and I agree, if I had thought my kids were being literally scarred for life, I'd be down there in a second.

#8 I thought maybe Umbridge doesn't know whether she can really trust Filch or not yet, she has only been there for a week and he is a Squib (we know how she feels about halfbreeds, how do you suppose she feels about Squibs? So she came up with a reason she knew he wouldn't pass up. Once Educational decree whatever is passed she has the "right" to look at mail and no longer needs to worry about.

#10 I think for me its when Harry realizes that's why Ginny talks now. I realized that that was going to be what made all the difference. I've also always wondered where vanished things go, especially after hearing about the "wiggling" mouse tail. How is it wiggling?

To answer my own question in this book, I think I actually dislike Percy more, because Umbridge is evil. It's almost like she can't help it, but Percy knows Harry I was completely unable to forgive him until Fred forgave him, and then....but we'll talk about that horrible moment when we get there.

mar 31, 2008, 12:24 pm

SPEW- I ask you did Hermione really think about the name? Also all the elf hats and stuff, that was so silly.
Oh yes the movie was definately lacking in several areas which makes me worry that the other movies will be just as dissapointing.
I also agree that Harry being quiet about his punishment was totally wrong but I can understand he didn't want to be considered a crybaby tattletale either which at his age is very important. He didn't trust the ministry and in a lot of ways he didn't trust his teachers either.

FD I agree about "..she's nearly as nice as your mum..." I laugh heartily each time I read that part.
and yes Draco is definately the kind of person who "lurks and listens" His own father obviously doesn't like Draco all that much but he tries to work with what he got. and of course Narcissa spoils him terribly.

Aberforth may have told Albus about the meeting but I don't think so since they had Mundungus there (As a witch no less!)
and I totally agree about umbridge not being a teacher, but then neither was Lockhart, Lupin, or Moody
Now lets see the skiving SB were a laugh but very dangerous, don't you think?

Ginny is very much like her twin brothers! and I had Ginny and Harry pegged from book 2

Redigerat: mar 31, 2008, 12:43 pm

#12: polly

Lupin was a great teacher! He gave the kids informative lessons with hands on experience. The wizarding world doesn't seem to care about teaching certificates so what I'm judging on is whether what they do actually ends with the kids learning, which I think Lupin does. For that matter, they did actually learn things from imposter Mad-Eye too.

ETA IMHO of course! :)

Redigerat: mar 31, 2008, 7:38 pm

#12 -- I would strongly disagree about Lupin, and quite possibly about Moody, too, not being teachers. I agree that Lockheart had no idea how to teach. Lupin, on the other hand, did an excellent job of explaining a concept, then allowing his students to practice the practical application. Even McGonagall (later) refers to him as one of the few "competent teachers" of DADA that Harry has had. Moody was more unorthodox in his methods, but I still think they learned a lot from him, even if he wasn't who he claimed to be. If you meant that they weren't "teachers" in the sense of being officially trained and certified, that doesn't seem to be a requirement in the Wizarding world.

mar 31, 2008, 12:45 pm

#13 -- jinx!

mar 31, 2008, 12:46 pm

Yes I agree, Percy turned against his whole family for selfish gain and in this book I seriously hoped he'd get killed, but well Perhaps Umbridge liked Filch because he was like her, enjoying the pain and misery of others, or maybe because he would do her bidding without question and she felt that tho he was a squib she could still use him to her advantage, My question is why in the he double hockey sticks why...did DD keep him on?I would've have kicked his can to the curb so fast! incidently the guy who does filch in the mopvies is teriffic!

mar 31, 2008, 12:49 pm

that is what I meant, it didn't seem to matter if the person had a degree in teaching or anything like that...It seems anyone could teach which I suppose in the relatively small magic world I guess you would take who you could get. I agree Lupin and the fake moody were good teachers

mar 31, 2008, 12:52 pm

#16 I love the way he runs!

I completely agree, I don't know why DD keeps him around, he seems to offer nothing positive to the school. If only we had some explanation for him like we get later for why Trelawney is still around!

mar 31, 2008, 12:55 pm

#17 Okay, then I completely understand where you're coming from. It's interesting they don't seem to have "uni" at all, though obviously we know some jobs do require more training after school (like Aurors) teaching doesn't seem to be one of those. A bit of an odd choice for JKR I think considering she used to be a teacher!

mar 31, 2008, 4:45 pm

"Wow, I wonder what it would be like to have a difficult life?" is one of my fav lines.

I love the movie version of Umbridge's office, almost exactly how I pictured it. I agree that the torture scenes are worse in the book than the movie. I think that Harry not telling anyone is very common behaviour for abuse victims.

Why does his scar hurt in Umbridge's office? I'm not sure they fully explain that.

Quidditch rocks!

I hate SPEW.

JKR often has her characters show loyalty by lying to authority figures. Similar to Hermione in SS/PS, Cho shows she's on Harry's side by lying to Filch.

Percy is a PRAT!!!

I am so sick of the everyone winces at Voldy's name thing. For one thing, it's just stupid and overdone. For another thing, why would muggleborns like Hermione or Dean have that reaction? They never heard of Voldy till they went to school. What would probably happen IRL would be that the kids would throw his name around to show how tough they are, kind of like how kids use swear words.

I also wrote a note about how much Malfoy knows. I don't know how he could know about Padfoot....how does Lucius even know? If Lucius knew because Peter told all the Death Eaters, then why wasn't it common knowledge during PoA?

Harry keeps on arguing with Umbridge....why is he such a dolt?

I love Ron wanting to order a fire whiskey and Hermione having to remind him he's a prefect. and Ron being an obnoxious big brother about Ginny.

mar 31, 2008, 6:36 pm

I agree, that's one of my favorite lines as well, gets a giggle out of me every time.

Umbridge's movie office is great, it's not exactly what I had in my mind, but it's close!

I think it hurts because Voldemort is happy (the stomach sensation) and is completely unrelated coincidence, I think they'll talk about it later.

True, she does often have people lie, in this case it was a white lie though, didn't hurt anyone, except perhaps Umbridge, and who cares.

I've always wondered myself why Muggleborns should have that reaction to Voldy's name. I almost said something in my notes, but I thought it might have already been discussed, I wasn't sure.

I honestly think Harry can't help myself. I remember having no control over my emotions or when they would show themselves when I was 12 and 13. It's a learned skill and Harry just hasn't learned it yet (hence his horrible attempts at Occlumency).

I think it's important to see Ron behaving this way (which I also love) when he finds out about Ginny dating so that we could reasonably believe that Harry might be afraid that dating her could ruin his relationship with Ron (because I had a hard enough time believing it even with Ron's reaction here). Harry's a moron. (but I love him)

mar 31, 2008, 7:48 pm

#20 -- Good point about muggleborns and Voldy's name. I bought the concept because such a big deal was made of it in the first book, though you'd think that more of the muggleborns would be like Harry -- somewhat mystified about what the big deal was. On the other hand, there seems to be the general feeling that words have more power in the Wizarding community. I mean, look at the reaction to the word "mudblood" (both when Malfoy uses it, and when young Snape uses it) -- the reaction seems much stronger than if they'd used a common muggle swear word. And, in the seventh book, it becomes apparent that you can put some sort of trace on a word or name.

#21 -- Excellent point about Harry's inability to control his emotions, and the tie-in with occlumency. I also think that teenagers see adults who have learned that control, and they think that the adults don't have any emotions. We see that later in this book (but I'm desperately trying not to jump ahead, so I'll make that point when it comes up).

mar 31, 2008, 8:37 pm

I think Harry actually doesn't want to break the connection to Voldy. He's too curious, even though it scares him.

Besides, Harry can't learn anything from Snape. His animosity just gets in the way. Remember how he is able to learn potions from Slughorn?

mar 31, 2008, 8:40 pm

These chapters showed, yet again, how dense Harry really is. He keeps arguing with Umbridge despite McGonagall's constant warnings. Honestly, how dense does someone have to be to not get those hints?
I also love the whole Ron trying to order whiskey-thing. But, you'd think that, sense the book is set in Britian where there's a lower drinking age and a tolerance for alcohol, and sense the kids regularly drink butterbeer, that fire whiskey wouldn't be too bad. Maybe Jo is saying something about underage drinking here...

mar 31, 2008, 10:57 pm

I thought butterbeer was like rootbeer, nonalchoholic.

mar 31, 2008, 10:59 pm

I think she is talking about fire-whiskey

mar 31, 2008, 11:45 pm

#25 -- I always thought so, too, but it has something very mildly intoxicating in it, at least to house-elves.

I did think it was like rootbeer, and maybe it was something other than alcohol that has that effect on house-elves.

apr 1, 2008, 8:17 am

I'm wondering if it's more like near-beer, which does have a very slight alcohol content, but not so much that someone under twenty-one cant drink it. Certainly near beer would get a house-elf drunk though, don't you think?

Also, and a Brit will have to back me up on this, but I do believe they differentiate between alcohol and liquor in their drinking ages. Meaning I think you are allowed beer and wine at like 16 or something and have to wait till 18 for liquor. (I'm not positive on the ages...LadyN?)

apr 1, 2008, 8:31 am

That would make sense, biblio.

apr 2, 2008, 11:39 am

It sounds logical bib maybe I can google it

apr 2, 2008, 11:47 am

What I have found is that basically you can have alcohol in your home with your parents from age 5 on up, there are other instances of comsuming wine etc with a meal in an establishment licensed for such as long as the beverage is purchased by a person over the age of 27 but you must be eighteen to purchase or consume alcohol by yourself.

apr 2, 2008, 11:48 am

as far as butterbeer goes I think it is only alcoholic to house elves

apr 2, 2008, 12:30 pm

Okay, so i was on the right track, that's good.

#32 Yep, near-beer is like that.

apr 2, 2008, 12:53 pm

About Harry not being able to learn from Snape, It is hard to learn from a teacher whom you dislike and who dislikes you. I always thought that as Headmaster DD should have had a few words with Snape about his treatment of Harry since a lot of it if not all of it stemmed from the dislike of Harry's father. No teacher should ever be allowed to mistreat a student so...and yes I do believe DD knew it was going on, the same as I think he knew what Umbridge was doing, umbridge of course was a slightly different story but DD could have brought Harry into his office or anywhere really and without looking at him as seems to be what DD didn't want to do in this book and explained that to him. I realize the books would lose a lot but I think DD should have done a lot more to help Harry understand things

apr 2, 2008, 1:16 pm

DD was being a chickensh*t himself about Voldy. He tells Harry that he thought Voldy was trying to get to him through Harry. (Sure Albus, it's all about YOU.) Instead of confronting Voldy himself, or having Harry retrieve the prophecy before things got out of hand, he hides.

He uses Snape to do his dirty work, tries to get Snape to teach Harry about occlumency because DD himself is scared. He knows Snape is the more powerful wizard when it comes to Legilimency/Occlumency. Never mind that Snape instructing Harry is doomed to failure.

DD really comes off as a dolt in this book. The more I think about it, the more it just bugs the hell out of me. Everyone is always going on about how powerful DD is, how accomplished, how Voldy fears him, yadda yadda. In this book, I'm not seeing it at all.

apr 2, 2008, 1:38 pm

ah but thats the thing isn't it lg? we are seeing things as they really are but the wizarding community at large sees only what JKR reveals to them! hehe! yes it does seem as tho DD should have faced a lot of situations for himself instead of leaving harry to do it

apr 2, 2008, 1:44 pm

then again, maybe DD is just off trying to retrieve horcruxes by now and is giving Harry less thought than he deserves. Maybe he figures Snape, such a powerful wizard and experienced teacher, should be able to handle teaching a child, so he delegates that part.

Either way, his head is up his nether regions.

apr 2, 2008, 2:51 pm

Good observation, Littlegeek, about Dumbledore being not so powerfull this time. Did Rowling set this up for book six, where Dumbledore makes mistakes (wearing the horcrux ring for example)? But you are right: it is not the great Dumbledore from the earlier books.

About Dumbledore and Snape: if I recall correctly, in book 7, Dumbledore knew of Snapes dislike for Harry (Snapes memory).

apr 2, 2008, 6:28 pm

I thought Dumbledore hoped that Snape and Harry might discover how similar they were, their childhoods etc. in studying occlumency. He does tend to hope for the best.

Also we are always given Harry's perspective and he doesn't understand why Dumbledore is keeping his distance and is pretty surly about it. I found I got surly just reading about it.

apr 2, 2008, 8:59 pm

First of all I want to agree that it's ridiculous for DD not to have had words with Snape or Harry or yes even Umbridge, but looking back, Snape has always treated Harry horribly, and DD has never said anything to him. Filch still works there. DD doesn't get rid of Peeves, etc. I think the reason we are starting to notice these things more in this book is because Harry is starting to notice DD's weaknesses. I think most children look at their parents and teachers as something more than human at 11, 12, 13 etc. Maybe they are aware that they are not perfect, but they are powerful and their mistakes are rare. As we grow, we begin to understand that this is not the case at all, that all people are human and we begin to recognize the imperfections of our role models more and more. I think it is natural therefore that as Harry grows our perception of DD changes. As Maren says, we are given Harry's perspective, and this is a prime example of what JKR is so good at and that's understanding the development we all go through as children.

Okay, that's a bit rambling, but I think I made my point at some point. If not let me know and I'll try it again when I have sleep.

apr 2, 2008, 9:42 pm

#37 -- Good point about DD and the Horcruxes. The first time I read this book, I was struck by the fact that Dumbledore seemed to be off on his own a great deal the whole year. I think he felt there were more important things in the world than whatever was going on at Hogwarts. Maybe he was a bit negligent in that assumption.

#39 -- I tend to agree with you -- but of course, as we all know, I tend to see both of those characters (DD and Snape) in the best possible light. Like DD, I have a tendency to hope for the best.

#40 -- I do remember DD talking to Snape, in his own mild way, about Snape's treatment of Harry in one of the memories we see in Book 7 (the specific reference was to the amount of detention he was giving Harry in Harry's sixth year). I imagine that a similar conversation took place when DD asked Snape to give Harry occlumency lessons. I also don't think DD knew how unpleasant Snape was, at points. I think DD gave both Snape and Harry more credit than was merited for maturity in that situation. It's DD's most persistent weakness: foolish optimism.

As to the question of Filch, and why he still works there, I think that when DD was headmaster, the amount of unpleasantness Filch could perpetrate was severely curtailed. DD was giving a job to an unhappy old man who didn't fit in either the Muggle world or the Wizarding world. He limited Filch's power, and I think he was amused at Filch and his endless lists of forbidden items. I seem to remember a comment somewhere in the seventh book about Squibs, and the question of whether they should be "mainstreamed" into Muggle culture, or places created for them in the Wizarding community. I think Mrs Figg is an example of the former, Filch is an example of the latter. Only when Umbridge came into power did Filch have the ability to be really unpleasant.

And not even Dumbledore could get rid of Peeves!

apr 3, 2008, 9:28 am

39: I have always been a big fan of Snape, but I was really mad at him for not seeing the similarities between his childhood and Harry's. Snape saw all those awful memories. In many ways, Harry was more like Snape than his father.

apr 3, 2008, 11:28 am

#42 But how many of us would be able to embrace the child of our childhood tormentor and the love of our lives?

apr 3, 2008, 11:45 am

43> I think most people would. It doesn't take that much to realize that he is not his father and to torment him because of who his father was is pathological.

Redigerat: apr 3, 2008, 12:03 pm

Well, he's also a Gryffindor. Some of what people are deeming "torment" amounts to favourtism. You don't have to pathological to indulge in that.

Snape has a point about Harry getting away with murder at school. He is cheeky and arrogant, especially to Snape. What Snape does to torment him is mostly snide comments in class (which he levels at all Gryffindors) and a few extra detentions. He really does try to teach him occlumency, but gives up after he himself is exposed.

Let's not forget the many, many times he saves Harry's a$$. Harry would be toast several times over if not for Snape.

edited to fix italics

Redigerat: apr 3, 2008, 12:51 pm

#42 -- I think he did see the similarities. I will address this in more detail when we get to the occlumency lessons, I'm sure. (Right now I don't have my book in front of me to make the points I so dearly want to make!)

#45 -- Exactly!

edited to fix parenthesis

apr 3, 2008, 1:05 pm

Another spoilery thing about giving up occlumency...Snape also has access to Voldy and can hope to manipulate the situation that way. Perhaps he felt he was able to do more through Voldy than through a snotty kid who hates him.

apr 3, 2008, 1:39 pm

But they weren't trying to manipulate Harry, they were trying to get him to close his mind so that Voldy couldn't manipulate him.

I have more I was about to say about Occlumency, I but I'll wait, it won't be too much longer now.

I've found everything you all are saying really interesting, and feel that I want to join in, unfortunately I have a splitting headache and am unable to form coherent sentences. I need a nap.

apr 3, 2008, 1:46 pm

I wasn't saying Snape was going to try to manipulate Harry, just to manipulate the situation perhaps by his contact with Voldy. Snape is also a gifted legilimens, perhaps he could put it in Voldy's mind that the prophecy isn't such a big deal.

(Acutally, it's not....why don't they just let him have it for cripes sake.)

apr 3, 2008, 1:48 pm

Sorry for the misunderstanding, as I said, headache.

I agree about just giving him the stupid prophecy, the only thing I can come up with is that it did distract him from, you know, killing people and stuff for a year.

apr 3, 2008, 1:48 pm

Because even with it gone Voldy still worries about it. Sometimes the best way to subvert your enemy is to make him question everything he knows about you.

apr 3, 2008, 1:55 pm

True. Plus he needs Harry to get it down from the shelf. Keeping him away from Harry should be the first priority.

And you accomplish this easily by TELLING HARRY ALL ABOUT IT. (sorry, this book makes me lapse into CAPSLOCK ANGST.)

apr 3, 2008, 2:04 pm

Yeah, because he never did see it. I think that what lg and I are saying is DD would know that the prophecy didn't really matter, it wouldn't have really hurt anything if they had just let him have it. By protecting it the way they did however, the Order, did manage to distract Voldy from other dastardly deeds. It's just one of those things that JKR has in there that don't make a whole lot of sense in RL.

apr 3, 2008, 2:22 pm

I think DD was too scared to tell Harry the prophecy anyway. With Voldy picking apart Harry's brain, DD didn't know how much HP could protect his own thoughts.

I agree that there are so many things in this book that just make me want to throw it across the room. The mirror pops into mind.

apr 3, 2008, 2:28 pm

More spoilage, but in the end the book made pretty clear that the reason DD didn't tell Harry about the prophecy was that he didn't want to burden Harry with the knowledge that he will have to be the one to kill Voldy in the end. Or at least that's what he told Harry.

apr 3, 2008, 2:28 pm

Ah I think much of the book (and the series generally) is how children and adults perceive each other. Regularly the trio do stupid things and don't think to tell adults because in their minds they've hit upon the only way to handle it.

This is a case where adults have decided not to burden Harry with the knowledge that he will either be murdered or Voldemort will have to die. Most adults want to shield children from horrible painful things so it is not that odd that they do so. In this they underestimate the importance of honesty and the ability of Harry to cope. So having things withheld from Harry serves a character function and shows him growing up and being able to handle the information. (Much as information was withheld about Sirius in PoA).

As for the prophecy as a plot device there are lots of confusing bits here- like why not go for the prophet?

But I think in the overall series the prophecy is important because it brings in the issue of choice and freewill and how one chooses to face almost certain death.

apr 3, 2008, 2:30 pm

I think that when prophet make actual prophecies in HP world they don't remember anything happening.

When Trewlany made her only other real prediction she seemed to think she had some sort of fit come over her, and she denied what she'd said.

apr 3, 2008, 2:32 pm

#54 -- when we get to the part with the mirror, you all will get a nice long rant from me.

#56 -- Dumbledore made a pretty firm point of keeping the prophet safely within Hogwarts grounds, even after Umbridge sacked her. (Getting ahead of myself again -- but this is such a great discussion!)

apr 3, 2008, 2:50 pm

#57 I don't think Trelawney remembers but under the influence of veritaserum or occlumency or a pensieve who knows what would come up

I don't seem to have as many rants about this book. The government is turning into a stasi state. I figured Dumbledore has his hands busy on a lot of fronts before knowing anything about the horcruxes.

apr 3, 2008, 3:08 pm

The mirror!!! (ANGSTY ANGST ANGST!)

As for keeping Harry in the dark to save him pain....well, jeeze, it's not as if Voldy has not already tried to kill Harry many times over. I don't see it as such a big secret. Harry's not stupid.

I have more ranting to do about the prophecy itself, but that's for later.

apr 3, 2008, 3:30 pm

Ah yes but it is different knowing someone has tried to kill you and being told you either have to die or kill.

I'll liken it to a personal example when i was about 12 I got very sick and the illness I had and still have- people die from (It turns out I have a painful but non-life threatening illness but we didn't know that then). I felt misearable for a year but when we got the actual diagnosis it was real and I saw my parents and the adults around me look scared and that is when I grew up. Because they couldn't protect me anymore and I knew they couldn't help me.

That is what the prophecy does as a plot point for Harry. Yes it really should have come with Cedric's death or earlier but I can see it's literary function even if the execution is problematic on many fronts.

apr 3, 2008, 3:35 pm

Boy, with the rants LG and I are threatening, future discussions look to be just as exciting! ;-)

apr 3, 2008, 3:39 pm

Maren, are you ok now? You know, we all worry.

I get what you're saying, and yes, the whole book is about growing up and learning that your elders are flawed and you're basically on your own. But like you, I think this part could have been handled much better.

apr 3, 2008, 3:49 pm

Oh yes LG. I don't want to make people worry. I've been dealing with this successfully for a long time. My own immune system attacks me. I am on painkillers pretty much all the time and then still have pain but I am fine. Some pain is not such a bad thing there are far far worse illnesses than mine. It was such a formative experience I wouldn't wish it gone now.

apr 3, 2008, 3:52 pm

Autoimmune diseases suck. I'm glad you have yours under control.


apr 3, 2008, 4:02 pm

*hugs* for Maren -- I somehow missed your post (#61) when I posted mine (#62).

I agree that's what the prophecy was supposed to do for Harry. I don't think it was as well-realized as JKR intended.

apr 3, 2008, 4:09 pm

Thanks guys! I suppose I have spent more of my life sick than well now so it is the new normal. I don't notice it until the wolf that was sleeping quietly under that table gets up and starts to prowl around.

apr 3, 2008, 6:39 pm

The Voldy name thing - I always figured that the Muggle-borns didn't say his named because of a learned/peer pressure thing. I mean, they don't know anyone at all when they go to Hogwarts and want to fit in, right? I would imagine that they work hard to pick up on that sort of thing pretty quickly to be one of the gang.

apr 3, 2008, 8:28 pm

I was really confused for a minute until I went back and realized that people were posting to lg in #52 and not me in #53. Just to clarify though, mine is about letting Voldy see the prophecy, not Harry. I thought DD's reasons were stupid and Harry should have been told after Cedric though. It all does eventually come down to what you always have to remember when reading fiction...that it's fiction, and you do have to let some things go for the sake of the story. Without all the prophecy junk, OotP wouldn't exist, so it's all important to the grand scheme of things, it's when you take it out of context and look at it as a separate entity that it becomes ridiculous.

apr 6, 2008, 8:20 am

Don't forget, everyone -- discussion of Order of the Phoenix chapters 17-20 starts tomorrow!