Episode 144: HBP 26 – Baby Birding

The Horcrux hunt begins in earnest, but with so much Dark Magic in the way, it’s not going to be an easy journey. Join Eric, Kat and Michael, along with special guest host, Conor (better known as skgai) as they explore “The Cave,” Chapter 26 of Half-Blood Prince.

On Episode 144 we discuss…

→ Episode 143 Recap: Saving Snape; Everything is right!; The Trelawney cause; Snape & Lily are NOT BFFs; In defense of Ms. Prince
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Wizarding Higher Education
→ An homage to Tolkien
→ What exactly makes up The Drink of Despair?
→ Does Dumbledore promise to never love again?
→ Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! store

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Don’t forget to leave us a voicemail at our phone number: 1-206-GO-ALBUS (462-5287). Skype users can also send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below or on our Forums!

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  • Susan

    Once again, thank you for a great show!

    I always thought that Dumbledore was reliving the fight between Aberforth and Grindelwald because of the potion. Ariana was there, so Albus really had his whole family near him, as his father was already in Azkaban and his mother gone. So “them” could refer to both Ariana and Aberforth, in my mind. What do you think?

    • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

      I agree, and I think it fits with everything Dumbledore says and screams in the cave.
      While drinking the potion, Dumbledore says “Don’t make me”, “Make it stop and I’ll never, never again”, “Don’t hurt them”, “Not that, I’ll do anything” and “I want to die! KILL ME!”
      I think “Don’t make me” refers to Aberforth forcing Albus to choose between Ariana and Grindelwald – Albus doesn’t want to choose, so he says “don’t make me … choose”.
      When Albus realizes the consequences of his love for Grindelwald, he says “Make it stop and I’ll never, never again” – I think this refers to love; Albus will never, never love anyone again, because he feels that his love for Grindelwald is the cause of Ariana’s death.
      “Don’t hurt them” would refer to Aberforth and Ariana, and, when the fight breaks loose and Grindelwald starts duelling and eventually torturing them, Albus says “Not that, I’ll do anything”.
      I’ve always imagined the Emerald Potion forcing Albus to watch the scene as a bystander, unable to do anything. The pain of seeing Ariana killed once again, and being unable to do or change anything is so painful for Albus that he wishes nothing but death, and therefore yells, “KILL ME!”

      • skgai

        Muy bueno! You have changed me mind.

      • Silverdoe25

        Fantastic post. You made all the same points I was thinking.

    • lifeanddragons

      I’m actually really curious about the part where Dumbledore says and I quote, “Please, no…not that, not that, I’ll do anything…” In the middle of some obvious references to people in his past and his own feelings, what could ‘that’ refer to?

      • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

        I wrote in my previous post that I thought it was Grindelwald torturing and dueling his siblings, but I thought I bit more about it. Maybe “that” it’s Grindelwald’s true self. The part of Grindelwald that Dumbledore had seen, but tried to deny. So what Albus says is “Please, no … don’t be that person, I’ll do anything …” I think Dumbledore fell in love, not with Grindelwald, but with his own idealization of Grindelwald – how he thinks Grindelwald should be. So when Grindelwald shows his true self, Dumbledore would do anything if it meant that Grindelwald would be the person that Dumbledore wanted him to be, so that they could live a happy life together.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Yes! Thank you! I complained about this on my comment last week too! Snape probably had no idea that Lily was pregnant!

    Eileen Prince went to school 50 years ago, because Snape’s textbook was passed down from her, and it was published 50 years ago as a red herring to make us think it was Voldy’s.

    You say that Felix Felecis is almost sentient, so I must ask: Is it alive?

    I know Harry’s not the best authority on these things, but when he’s being attacked by inferi he’s thinking about how their going to drown him and how he’s going to be stuck guarding a piece of Voldy’s soul for all eternity, so I assume that that’s what happened to Regulus. And that freaks me out every time too.

    Maybe there was an enchantment on the horcrux so that it couldn’t be summoned, but this same charm was not placed on the replacement locket.

    • Hufflepug

      Haha. Felix Felicis can go hang out with the Desk Pig and they can complain to each other about people always trying to eat or drink them.

      I always assumed that Voldemort put protection on more than just the locket, though I’m sure there was protection on the original locket too. That potion is serious business and it almost seems like he “programmed” it specifically so that there would be absolutely no loopholes around drinking it. This would include ensuring that you couldn’t use Accio to summon anything out of it.

      • Septumseverus

        I see your point but I think I disagree, respectfully of course!, I just feel the anti summoning charm would have to be on a specific object. for instance one would assume that you should not be able to summon objects at Hogwarts, and if it was possible to make an object able to prevent the items within it being summoned surely Hogwarts would have this in place? And we know as cannon this is not the case so would the basin be able to?

        • SnapesManyButtons

          There is an anti-apparition charm over all of Hogwarts and it does not have to be performed on each individual person. In fact they were able to remove it from just the Great Hall for the apparition lessons, so it can be set up to cover (or not) specific areas. I believe that the potion itself could have held an anti-summoning charm so that whatever it held would be kept inside. In fact, I don’t see it as specifically an anti-summoning charm as much as a spell that makes it impossible to remove whatever is in the basin unless the potion is drunk by someone. The same force that kept them from just reaching in to grab it could also keep the object inside from just flying out. In the Ministry of Magic Harry was able to hold onto the prophecy when Bella tried to summon it, so we know that summoning charms aren’t all powerful, even fingertips can overcome it. Just my thoughts. I think this is one of those issues we can’t ever know for sure, it’s just fun to speculate.

          • Septumseverus

            Fair point, I think I was seeing things from the perspective that the basin would have to contain the anti summoning charm and not the potion, and I think it’s an important distinction that the potion as you say is not an anti summoning charm but designed so that the only way to obtain the locker is by drinking the potion, you may have me convinced! I do still find it suspect however that if an anti summoning charm is possible in the same way anti apparition charms are that one has not been placed on Hogwarts! Surely the ability to summon must be abused terribly in a high school! Accio exam answers etc…

          • SnapesManyButtons

            I think the anti-apparition charm is for security reasons. I bet a big reason they don’t block summoning charms is because the teacher’s and staff wouldn’t want to live without it. I think they show them using Accio to collect papers. It’s a basic part of Wizarding life. If they banned everything the kids could abuse, there’s be no spells left at the school! Imagine the kinds of things they can transfigure. Of course the real reason is probably that there was no reason in the story to ban summoning charms at the school so it wasn’t written in.

          • Hufflepug

            I see your point as well and I do think it would be hard to place an anti-summoning charm on an abstract idea such as a place. It may be possible though, we just don’t know! It’s not banned in Hogwarts because it’s an important spell for students to learn, practice, and use, and I imagine that after they learn it they need it day by day for a lot of reasons. I agree with SnapesManyButtons that the potion may block out all summoning simply by its nature of requiring the person to drink it to get the Horcrux out.

          • Septumseverus

            Yes, my original stance has changed thanks to snapesmanybuttons, I agree re the potion preventing the locket being summoned due to the nature of the potion. Personally though I do not buy that an anti summoning charm could be placed on artifacts within hogwarts. If we are to take the example of apparition it is possible to lift the preventitve enchantments to enable the students to practice apparation, surely the same could be applied to summoning. Additionally I think summoning provides a signinficant enough risk to safety to warrant preventetive measures to be put in place regardless of teachers inconvenience, their inconvenience isn’t brought into account re apparating. I’m sure where it possible within hogwarts teachers would have made use of it . To me summoning poses a great security risk, students personal items can be taken, items of clothing can be taken, i can accept ‘accio exam answers’ not being an excessive enough risk but ‘accio bra’ for instance or ‘accio wand’. I think the only reason an anti summoning jink can not be on hogwarts is because it’s impossible and thusly the basin could not have had one on it either. It must be all in the potion!

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      When Harry tries to summon the horcrux, one of the bodies in the lake jumps out. In my headcanon this is Regulus’ body, because he knew about the horcrux, and even in death he reacts when someone is there because of it.

      I think to turn a corpse into an inferius someone has to cast a spell on the specific corpse. So not all bodies in the lake would be inferi, just the ones that Voldemort cursed. Someone who just drowned in the lake without Voldemort present would not be turned into an inferius, would he? Can the water be enchanted to make inferi out of every dead body that is in there?

      And I really, really hope that some time after Voldemort’s downfall Harry sent some people there to take apart the magical protections – if they were still working after Voldemort’s death – and lay the dead to rest in peace. Leaving the cave as it was is a horrible thought.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        I agree about getting things cleaned up! I was wondering and hoping for that myself. Great thought 🙂

    • Lisa

      What do you mean had no idea she was pregnant? Wasn’t Harry already born by the time Snape came to Dumbledore? I thought that’s why they were talking about a son and about protecting the entire family.

      • The Half Blood Princess

        Yeah, but the prophecy was before Harry was born

      • SnapesManyButtons

        Those are two different events, he had no idea Lily was pregnant when the prophecy was made in late ’79 to early ’80 ( time based on when Trelawney would have been hired). Lily would have been at the most 5 months long at the time Snape heard the prophecy and took it to Voldemort. It was only later, after Harry was born, that Voldemort decided that the prophecy meant Lily’s baby and Snape went to Dumbledore and became a spy in exchange for their protection.

    • PigPuff

      I couldn’t agree more that Snape and Lily were probably not in contact with each other and hadn’t seen each other in potentially years.

      It’s not like Lily had any friends that were also friends with Snape (I think we can assume they weren’t hanging out in the same circles), so it’s unlikely he heard she was pregnant from someone else.
      The only person I can think of is Wormtail…he could have potentially told Snape about it since he was close to the Potters, but from memory I don’t think all the death eaters knew each other, so maybe they didn’t have anything to do with each other.

      Just a thought.

      • The Half Blood Princess

        Wormtail and Snape not knowing each other as death eaters is crucial at this point of the timeline, because both of them are betaying different sides. (I mean they will be soon.) And while Wormtail betraying Snape wouldn’t be a problem because he’s a double agent, Wormtail isn’t, he’s just a spy. And there’s this whole thing going on when the potters are picking the secret keeper where they know that one of the marauders is a spy, but they don’t know which. So I feel like if Snape knew that Wormtail was a death eater, he would have exposed him as such.

        • PigPuff

          Ahhh true, with this in mind I don’t see how Smape could have been aware of Lily being pregnant/ having a baby.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Awesome job Skgai!

    • skgai

      Thanks!

      • Excellent guest hosting 🙂

      • PuffNProud

        Great work, you were certainly prepared! It’s obvious you’re a huge fan!

  • Hufflepug

    Yay, great job skgai! Also a second yay for Michael’s triumphant return! 🙂

    On the topic of Voldemort needing to monitor the cave for intruders, I remember one of the hosts saying early on in the episode that he probably assumed he could feel part of his soul being destroyed but then the other hosts said that he didn’t feel that for the rest of the Horcruxes. I think that’s exactly the point – it’s another one of Voldemort’s fatal errors. He assumes that the destruction of the bits of his soul will feel horrible, just like how he assumes that death is the absolute worst thing that a person can experience. But he doesn’t realize that he’s already experienced the destruction of his soul since he’s mangled it beyond repair by killing so many people and storing the fragments of it in the Horcruxes. That’s what Dumbledore has been trying to teach us this whole time – that living life without compassion or the capacity to love is way worse than death.

    Also, I love the connection to Plato’s cave. When you think about the meaning behind that and how it connects to the overall series, I think it could be said that this book represents the turning point not only in Harry and Dumbledore’s relationship but also in Harry’s relationship with the wizarding world. After the next chapter, Dumbledore will not be there to show Harry the light like he has been in this book and the previous ones. Harry will have to use the light (i.e. the knowledge) that Dumbledore gave him to save the wizarding world on his own now.

    • Hufflepug

      Adding to the Plato’s cave reference… Maybe the reason the King’s Cross scene is so bright is partly because it represents Harry finally being enlightened completely about everything he has been through, so like in the allegory, the sun is shining brightly at him.

    • PigPuff

      Soooo Happy Michael is back too! YaY 😀
      Great theory about Voldemort assuming he could feel his soul being destroyed!! I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case, however I can’t believe Voldemort would make such a fatal mistake. Thats the problem with pushing the boundaries of magic and doing what was never done before, you are essentially making a guess at what will happen.

      • Septumseverus

        do you think voldermort would have felt the horcruxes being destroyed if he has only made one?

        • SpinnersEnd

          I would like to think Voldemort would feel it, but I think the hosts got it right: that piece of soul is not completely detached from his body and encased in something else. I doubt Voldemort would feel the destruction of the even half his soul.

          • PigPuff

            I think it depends if you look at your soul as a tangible thing. I’m not sure you could tear apart your soul so its beyond repair by making just 1 horcrux. I’d say if you’ve just made 1 theres the possibility for some redemption. This is considering the more spiritual side of a soul rather than seeing it as a tangible thing, im not sure which is the correct answer.

        • PigPuff

          Good question! I’d say yes, based on this hypothesis that Voldemort didn’t put some sort of alarm on the cave because he assumed he would feel a horcrux being destroyed. As we are led to beleive no other wizard has pushed the boundaries of magic so far and created so many horcruxes, this makes Voldemort journey into the unknown and guess whether or not he could feel the destruction of parts of his soul. If he is just basing this on guess work I’d say wizards who’ve created 1 horcrux probably recorded that they could feel it, which is why Voldemort probably thought he’d be able to.

          • Septumseverus

            I personally think their must be some significance in dumbledore pointing out that voldermort in his eagerness to achieve immortality underestimated the power of an untarnished soul. This for me, and i will accept that this is me only, suggests had he mangled his soul just once would have felt it being attacked. For me the entire story is about choices and intentions and purity so i believe the dilution, for want of a better word, of voldermort’s soul is part of his undoing. The plot point I would take and accept is that in striving for immortality and in diluting his soul and essence to such an extent is juxtaposed with harry’s purity, because of this i completely believe the amount of horcruxes voldermort made affected his ability to feel them being destroyed.

            I see horcruxes as an attempt to hide vulnerability and ultimately his refusal to acknowledge vulnerability is his undoing.

          • PigPuff

            Well said, I agree!! 🙂

  • Celestina Is My Homegirl

    So I know the comments on Harry’s swimming were a bit of a throwaway comment, but tying it in with last week’s podcast question of the week, what if Harry’s swimming ability is affected by Felix Felicis? We know that Harry can swim at least a little because in Goblet of Fire it’s mentioned that he swims a few lengths of the prefects’ bath. So what if, because it would be pretty bad luck for Ron, Hermione and Ginny if Harry died, Felix improved Harry’s swimming abilities so that he wouldn’t?

    I know that this is really shaky ground because this would affect everything that happened in the cave, but if you think about it, up until the point with the Inferi, nothing happened that really compromised Harry’s safety in any way. Dumbledore gave the blood offering to open the entrance, both made it across the lake unscathed and he didn’t have to drink the potion because Dumbledore did. Of course most of this was Dumbledore making sure Harry was kept safe, but I think Felix might have had at least a small part to play in Harry’s survival.

    • I think Harry is a fair swimmer on his own. Because unless the gillyweed not only helped him breathe underwater but helped him swim as well he did an awful lot of swimming in the lake for the second task in GoF.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        we forget that playing Quidditch makes you somehow athletic and Harry has played in matches when he had to practically swim through the air on his broom.

      • PigPuff

        I actually do think the gillyweed helped him to swim. He seemed to know the basics as we saw from the prefects bathroom, throw in the fact he could breathe underwater and that his hands and feet turned into flippers… he seemed to have a bit of a helping hand from the gillyweed.

        • True. For some reason I kept thinking the webbing & flippers were a movie thing. But now that you mention it I do recall reading it too.

          • PigPuff

            It’s a bit of a worry because it doesn’t explain how he got to the cave haha….

  • Gryffindora The Explorer

    Great show guys!!
    I think it’s very interesting which horcruxes Voldemort chooses to protect well. The ring, which he stole from his uncle, is very well protected. The locket, which once belonged to his mother, is also incredibly well protected. The diary is just given to Malfoy with, what seems, very little regard. The diadem is just kinda tossed into the room of requirement, and the cup is given to the Lestranges to keep in their Gringotts vault. None of these other horcruxes is being protected by a spell Voldemort personally performed. I think this shows Voldemort definitely places more value on the locket and the ring. While the increased significance of the locket makes sense because of the connection to Slytherin, I think it interesting that the ring is really only connected to his mother’s family. Even still, he places much more value on the ring than on the other horcruxes. I wonder if the locket’s value is influenced by more than just the fact that it was Slytherin’s. Maybe he wanted to protect the only connection he has to his mother?

    • Lisa

      I think it’s also a plot thing because Harry needed to find and destroy the other Horcruxes alone and there’s no way he could have done that had they been protected by powerful spells, like the ones in the cave. Harry was never going to be a super powerful wizard or have time to learn how to get past Voldemort’s enchantments. So JKR’s solution to this: make the rest of the Horcruxes be more or less unprotected.

      • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

        I don’t know if the remaining Horcruxes are so unprotected after all: The Cup is in Gringotts, the safest place in the country. Nagini is with Voldemort all the time and the Ring is surrounded by very Dark Magic. As for the Diadem, you can just go into the Room of Hidden Things and take it, but it is so well hidden. To place the diadem in the Room of Requirement (which is unknown to almost everyone) between thousands and thousands of objects makes it almost impossible to find, and – in my opinion – the best hidden Horcrux. It was extremely lucky that Harry happened to hide his Potions book right next to the Diadem. Here’s a scary thought: If Harry hadn’t attacked Malfoy with Sectumsempra, he wouldn’t have found the Diadem!

        • Gryffindora The Explorer

          Yeah, Harry needing to perform Sectumsempra to find it is kinda scary! Although I guess Snape could’ve just caught him using one of the little flourishes that Snape used and

          • Eileen_Prince/Jones

            I thought it mentioned somewhere that voldy chose gringotts as a hiding place cause having a vault there meant truly being part of the wizarding world…? That was always my thinking of why he chose to hide one there, using the lestranges vault because it was an old family vault and one of the best protected…also hiding the diadem at hogwarts had the double meaning of that was the first place he felt at home/belonged and he thought no one would find room of requirement.

        • Roonil Wazlib

          I agree, it almost seems as though Voldemort intentionally employed different types of protections for each horcrux to make it as hard as possible for one single person to find/destroy them all. For example, the skills needed to get past the obstacles guarding the locket are different from those that would help someone to retrieve the diadem.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            and nobody could have done it all alone. All his skill and remarkableness did not point Dumbledore to the diadem that had been in the castle for DECADES right there to find, no travelling needed, Harry had even touched it…
            I guess after the Battle of Hogwarts the curriculum will include something about noticing when you handle a dark, dark evil soul-containing object.

          • PigPuff

            This has to be the best explanation I’ve read about the different (and perceived lack of) protection surrounding the horcruxes!
            Makes alot of sense!

          • Roonil Wazlib

            Thanks! 🙂 🙂

        • Eileen_Prince/Jones

          O wow! Great thought…I’m thinking of the discussion a couple podcasts ago about defending harry using sectemsempra…theres a valid, even if its a total hindsight, reason to defend that situation. Awesome sauce!

        • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

          Also, keep in mind that Voldemort’s arrogance and vanity are a huge part of it all. He even says that he believes that he was the only student at Hogwarts to penetrate the Room of Requirement, the only student to have penetrated the schools’ secrets. Which is so blatantly, obviously untrue, but it would never occur to Voldemort that the Room of Requirement opens itself to ANYONE. That would interfere with his internal narrative of his being the bestest wizard to ever wizard.

          • PigPuff

            I just honestly can’t see how Voldemort could ve that blatantly wrong about the room of requirement! What a blunder on bis behalf if this is true, where did he think all the other objects in the room come from if not other students?

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            Good question ! It seems so stupid, you know? But he says several times that he alone had been the one to find it and use it. Sheer unmitigated arrogance.

    • Hufflepug

      What’s interesting about the diary is that there were between 30 and 40 years between the time the Horcrux was made and when he gave it to Malfoy. And we have absolutely no knowledge of where it was during that time, other than it being most likely in Voldemort’s possession. So it could have been guarded better but he had to remove it from that so he could give it to someone to open the Chamber of Secrets. As much as I want to believe that Voldemort wanted some connection with his family that way, I don’t think he cared about that. The ring and the locket were two of the earlier Horcruxes he made (the diary was the earliest but again, we don’t know if it was under stronger protection before it was given to Malfoy) and I think after he put up protection around those he got confident enough that no one would find them that he hid the others in secure yet easier to find locations.

      • Gryffindora The Explorer

        Yes!! He was incredibly stupid!! Although, I suppose he was too arrogant to believe that the basilisk, that only he could control, could ever be used against him. I wonder if he kept the diary in the Chamber of Secrets till he gave it to Malfoy??

        • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

          I think it’s an interesting idea. It makes sense that he hid the Diary in the Chamber while he was still at school and intended it to be the Hogwarts Horcrux. Even though basilisk venom could destroy the Horcrux, a basilisk would certainly be efficient protection. Maybe the basilisk was ordered to attack if the Diary was touched by anyone but Voldemort? I can imagine that he got the idea to use it to reopen the Chamber around the same time he found the Diadem in Albania. If so, he probably placed the Diadem in the Room of Requirement and retrieved the Diary from the Chamber the day he applied for a job, and then gave the Diary to Lucius Malfoy.

          • Gryffindora The Explorer

            My thoughts exactly! 🙂

          • Hufflepug

            Wow, that timeline seems like it would be true! And you all are right – he was very confident in his protective measures and he probably didn’t consider that someone as smart as Hermione would be there to figure out that the monster was a Basilisk or that the sword would present itself to a worthy Gryffindor down in the chamber. Plus he assumed there were no other Parseltongues who could enter the chamber, let alone even find it.

            Also, I love your username! Where did it go? That’s the true mystery of the series, haha 🙂

          • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

            Thank you 🙂 Since Riddle’s ‘beautiful eyes’ were in the Locket, I think his nose is in another Horcrux, perhaps it will attack you if you try to drink from the Cup. Now that wasn’t weird at all

          • Hufflepug

            Hahaha! Headcanon accepted. That mental picture is so weird that it’s hilarious! “Harry Potter and the Lost Nose of Voldemort” should be the title of the eighth book 🙂

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          If we assume that Voldemort knew how to destroy horcruxes, then he took the risk knowingly, and I agree with you, he estimated it very low. His giant pet-snake would not attack his horcrux, and no one else can command the basilisk, because there are no other Parseltongues.

          The soul piece in the diary is the teenage Riddle, who was very fond of Hogwarts and thinks that staging his rebirth there would be a good idea. He also could have made Ginny take the book away from the castle and go somewhere else to become alive again. That way the search for her would have taken longer and it would have been too late to save her. But he wanted to lure Harry into a trap and gain a body again at the same time, so he had to stay within reach of the boy.

          • PigPuff

            Sometimes I wonder how no one has ever found the chamber of secrets in 1000 years, but somehow two 12 year olds figured out it’s location… haha

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Never get in the way of two twelve-year-olds rescuing their sister!

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            It comes down to Parseltongue, doesn’t it? If Salazar Slytherin was the last notable Parselmouth before Tom Riddle, and then Harry, it wouldn’t matter how clever you were, if you couldn’t speak the language so to speak. Right?

          • PigPuff

            idk about that honestly I feel like a Parsletongue would have probably been brought into the school to try and find the chamber. Considering Salazar Slytherine was known to be a great parsletounge I can only assume wise wizards would thought of that.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        Lol great point about the basilisk! But voldy doesn’t think straight all the time, does he?

    • PigPuff

      I agree with your comment and what the hosts brought up, it was fairly disappointing to see how weakly the other horcruxes were protected (especially the diadem).
      I remember thinking at the end of HBP “How the hell is Harry going to find the other Horcruxes without Dumbledore?”…. the locket was just so well protected, so I guess it’s just a bit of a let down.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        I don’t see that any of the horcruxes had a weak protection. They are hidden and enchanted in different ways that correspond with their nature and each of them is hard to come by. What makes the cave so incredible is the accumulation of dark, dark spells in a scenery that makes RPG Players rejoice, but the ring in the Gaunt shack didn’t need that. It was protected by the fact that no one except Dumbledore had cared to figure out where Voldemort’s parents had lived. We have seen that a horcrux can be passed from hand to hand without anyone noticing what it is, so the ring in the shack could have stayed there forever if Dumbledore had not thought to go there.
        Breaking into Gringotts is a mad idea and that the trio manages to get Hufflepuff’s cup shows their desparate perseverance. Hiding the diadem in plain sight among other discarded objects is a genious thought, similar to the memes of a pebble on a beach being a horcrux. Can’t find it because there are too many.

        • Gryffindora The Explorer

          All the horcruxes are kept in places that have good security. I just find it interesting that Voldemort would leave pieces of his soul, which are his only means of defying death, in a place he didn’t personally secure. It surprises me that he would think anyone but himself capable of protecting these most precious objects.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            maybe having six Horcruxes makes each one of them less precious, so he doesn’t need to guard every single one himself with all the effort he can muster. He does have other things to do, so putting them in places that already are very secure will have to make do.

          • Gryffindora The Explorer

            I suppose you’re right. He’s way too busy killing people and adding them to his army of inferi in the cave. And making plots within plots, being the nightmare to the entire wizarding world, and generally trying to take over the universe 🙂

        • PigPuff

          I guess my issue is that it feels like a cop out – no more Dumbledore, and Harry obviously couldn’t get through any kind of enchantment similar to the cave, so all the other horcruxes are protected in an “easier way”. Lets face it the cave was protected the best because there is no way Harry could have gotten through without Dumbledore. Maybe Harry would have been forced to go to Lupin or someone for help if he was faced with getting the horcrux from the cave when Dumbledore was dead.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            in the end there was no need to get into the cave, because there was no more horcrux in there. Dumbledore must have made a lot of pointless travels while looking for the right places, and then when he has found the cave and takes Harry along and we are in awe of his powers they find – a note. The real breakthrough in their search is when the trio talk to Kreacher and gain his loyalty. So it is not all about enchantments and powerful spells, but about talking to the right people and getting them to cooperate.

    • I have to disagree that the diary was given to Malfoy with “very little regard” I believe Voldemort saw the Malfoys are trusted top level supporters. He told them to keep it safe & Lucius thought he was. Had Malfoy known what he had he probably would’ve given it more safe guards but as far as he knew it was just a book his boss wanted kept away from the M.O.M. And the Order.

      As far as the diadem is concerned I believe he was so cocky that he felt no one else knew or a very limited number of people knew that room was there. He figured people used it to discard things there so why would someone look for something so special in a room of garbage.

      The cup is actually pretty safe are we see from the difficulty the Trio had getting it.

      • PigPuff

        My only issue with this theory for the diadem, is that the room is obviously filled with thousands of items. This makes it clear that alot of students actually know about the room. Then again the idea of hiding the horcrux in plain sight is smart…but I feel like its out of character for Voldemort.

        • I always thought it was 100s of items not 1000s. But for some reason I feel like either Dumbledore or Voldemort himself actually states that he was one of the few that knew the school’s secrets. Plus the school has been around almost 1000 years by the time Harry gets there.

          • PigPuff

            Even if it was hundreds, lets say 400 items (which seems very low), thats 400 students in 1000 years figuring out how the roon works. Those 400 students presumably told at least 1 other person about it, which makes 800 people in total knowing about the room.
            Not a massive amount of people but a large enough number to be worried about hiding a piece of your soul there. And an even bigger indicator that mlre than a few students knew about this hogwarts secret.
            Anyway I really do beleive there are thousands of items in the room. Im pretty sure this isn’t just movie cannon, in DH when they go to get the diadem Harry dives behind piles of stuff, looses Ron and Hermione at one point, malfoy climbs on piles to escape the fire etc… this sounds like a room with thousands of objecta.

          • Good point. We do also need to remember tho that there are also some fairly large objects in there as well (the cabinet for instance) & I’m also sure the people that did find it likely used it more than once. I mean look at all of Trelawney’s bottles. (Doesn’t Dobby also mention using the room?) Lol

            Regardless at least a few hundred people knew about it. But I can still see Voldemort thinking he was special for finding it.

            My questions are do you think A) Filtch can get into the room being a Squib? B) If he can do you think he uses it like a giant junk drawer? And C) Do you think it’s possible tha the house elves have used the room all these years for a similar purpose?

          • Gryffindora The Explorer

            I don’t think Filch can use it. He’d have an absolute fit if he saw all that junk, most of it unauthorized junk. I think the house elves use it when they find stuff just laying around the castle. I wonder if they’ve got a lost and found box where they keep stuff for a while. After a certain amount of time they just toss it into the room of requirement if no one claims it.

          • What if they have s lost & found then after a certain period of time the box banishes the items to the room magically.

          • PigPuff

            Good question!!
            I’d say that Filch can probably use the room, this is purely based on the fact that Mrs Fig can see dementors, which means squibs can still interact with the magical world in some way. So maybe he would have used it as a place to put his junk.

            And yes I’d say many house elves use the room, probably to hide anything they found shameful.
            I’d still say alot of the items in the room are students though.

          • I agree Filch can probably use the room & Squibs can interact with the magical world but I have my doubts as to whether Mrs. Figg actually saw the dementors. I always thought she felt their presence but used second hand descriptions when she testified.

          • PigPuff

            Maybe you’re right, I just assumed that she did because thats what they said in the trial. Fudge said they were going to check up on that, and I feel that Harry would have probably been expelled in OotP sometime after the trial for lying in court/ providing a false witness. I can’t see Fudge not following that up, he was still trying to do anything he could to disgrace Harry from the wizarding world.

          • That makes me wonder how he would’ve gone about checking on it. Did he gather a bunch of known Squibs & expose the to dementors? Because that seems cruel. Since dementors are supposed to be sequestered to Azkaban I can’t imagine them coming across many Squibs. Then again with Fudge who knows. Lol

          • PigPuff

            HAHA this has just made my day, I now have this mental image of Fudge rounding up squibs and exposing them to dementors. Like you said…with Fudge who knows lol

        • DoraNympha

          It is pretty smart, I agree, and if he wasn’t so blinded by arrogance to notice that plenty of others must have been in that exact room before, he’d still have assumed it’d be house elves, whom he probably didn’t think of as threats to his Horcrux. But then WHY oh why not hide the Hogwarts Horcrux in the Chamber of Secrets?

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I love your user name!

      • Gryffindora The Explorer

        Thanks! 🙂

    • Griff

      I think it’s an interesting idea that the value of *particular* Horcruxes led to their varying levels of protection. It makes sense that Voldemort would see the two objects with connection to Slytherin as the most important.

      But I also think it’s important that these were early Horcruxes. Voldy is obsessive and committed at one moment, just to be distracted by some other evil project that comes along. Unleash the Basilisk. Okay now avenge self against parents. Done that, let’s find founders objects. Oh shit destroy Harry.

      In his cockiness, and belief that no one could guess how he was becoming immortal, he may have gotten a little lazy over time, and focused on finding new objects/taking over da world, and spent less time protecting his existing Horcruxes.

  • Minerva’s tartan biscuit tin

    Great episode. Thank you!

    I do agree with the audioBoom. I think Voldemort would have put the Anti-Accio spell on the actual horcrux. Seeing as the locket is not the object Voldemort protected againt the Summoning-Charm I am convinced Harry could have summoned the locket had he not used the word horcrux. The important part about the Accio spell is knowing what you want and wanting to have it. For me the spell didn’t work because Harry didn’t know what the object really was and therefore didn’t call on the object he thought he was but something very different. Had he called the locket, he would have gotten the locket.
    (I am not saying he could have summoned the actual horcrux, which is some kind of living thing and living things (with the exception of Flobberworms apparently) can’t be summoned this way.)

    And because I love this kind of stuff my mind wandered after your discussion about the recipe for this potion and came up with this (Warning: do not read if you do not ike crazy ideas of sleep-deprived people with heat headache):
    – Basis: extra strong Memory potion (stewed for three days longer than the usual 14 days) to assure the memories will have a very strong effect on the drinker
    – tearse of the victum of a Boggart
    – ask a Dementor to breath into it and stir it for half an hour (with occasional more breathing into it untill it turns an unhealthy dark murky colour)
    – after the Dementor is done let it rest for two days untill the colour turns more greenish
    – add the essence of a disturbing memory and stir it five times counter-clockwise until the distress makes the potion glow
    – finish with a sprig of peppermint to enhance the colour and counterbalance the taste of Desperation and let it rest for at leat one moon-cycle; the longer the stronger the effect
    (hint: if the potion hears the cry of a Banshee durig it’s making it will be even stronger)
    (Warning: don not use if older than ten years or it might cause lasting damage, in one case one wizard once started believing he was an Augurey after drinking a potion that was seventy years old by accident)

  • Kat you figured me out! I sent my patronus to get a message to Harry & Dumbledore that the locket wasn’t legit. But the Inferi tried to stop it.

  • DoraNympha

    Great show everyone and well done Skgai! Lots of mindblowing topics this week!

    You’ve mentioned magical higher education, and while I do agree that most things you’re interested in, be it wandlore or teaching, you’d have to find someone who’s already a master at it and just become an apprentice. However, we do have tidbits of info about actual further education or rather trainings:
    – Healers will obviously have to study about medicinal magic to be allowed to work as Healers at all, I think it’s safe to say this is how it’s got to be done;
    – Aurors have a 3-year long training (I always interpreted Moody and Tonks’ relationship as tutor-based rather than an apprenticeship);
    – while I think drama classes were banned after an incident at Hogwarts, there’s still the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, it’s canon, so that’s a legit canon further education insitution.
    – Hogwarts and all magical buildings are full of paintings and statues as well, maybe there’s a W.A.F.A., too? A Wizarding Academy of Fine Arts? I HOPE SO. As an artist, I’ve always been super desperate to know if there are art classes at Hogwarts or how you can learn magical painting – or is it just like singing (Celestina) and photography (Colin Creevey), that you just have to like the thing, start doing the thing, research the thing, and just become an artist by doing?

    I mean fine arts would work without an institution, okay, since it had been apprentice-based for centuries anyway, but drama without a school or theatre to go to would be hard to do and probably be limited to traveling theatres. Do they have art history included in their History of Magic lessons? And I haven’t even begun to talk about the hows and whats of magical painting – there’s just no way there isn’t a place to go learn everything about it. Magical places are full of art, yet we see next to nothing of how and by whom they’re made. I have a feeling it’s just because Harry’s not interested – like the recently revealed Alchemy classes after OWLs? Nothing about it in canon, purely because none of the trio, not even Hermione took it. Just because we don’t know about art classes or opportunities to study specific fields like this after Hogwarts, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A kid like Dean, coming from a Muggle household, has to have some way to study magical art, right?

    Anyway, got carried away by art headcanons, sorry. Point is: there ARE further schools, training programs and even academy/-ies for after your NEWTs, we just know about very few of them (yet).

    • Hufflepug

      One of the books mentioned Dean casting some sort of spell on his art to make it move, right? So even though he is a Muggle-born and has only studied at Hogwarts, he learned this somehow. Maybe he was just interested in it enough to find some rudimentary art spells in a book and practice them? I think when you’re considering a magical portrait there must be some really complex magic that goes into it… you have to give it a personality, the ability to move at their own will, a sleep cycle, a method of going into other portraits, the ability to communicate with people outside the portrait, and some way to separate the figure from the background to just make the figure have these properties. It makes my head spin just thinking about it, so I agree, there must be some sort of training on that. Maybe all students learn the basics of a lot of magical arts and careers, so perhaps in charms Flitwick spent a day talking about where portrait magic stems from and teaching that to the students rather than the specific magic that people use on portraits. So then people who are interested can pursue it further in whatever the apprenticeship program for that field is. I think there would be something like an artisan-apprentice relationship for art because it fits with the old-fashioned characteristics of the wizarding world. I hope Dean went on to become a successful portrait artist who in his free time tried to educate the magical community about Muggle football 🙂

      • DoraNympha

        This keeps me up at night, I swear. 😀 Magical art seems so much more complex than the 2-3 simple examples we see of moving doodles (Dean, and then there was also Wood, moving the quidditch figures around when he was explaining the strategy to the team, and I think Draco’s quidditch doodle isn’t just a movie-ism, right? Can’t remember if it’s only in the movie.) I could go on for hours about how magical paintings are probably made but the point is: this can’t just be learnt in one brief Charms lesson, this would at least require an art club or optional classes or some sort of art school. One or more of these must exist, I’m sure.

        I mean, imagine Dean Thomas giving an interview to Witch Weekly joking about how once his roommates were awed at his unmoving Muggle posters and now he’s this really cool magical artist. I live for these headcanons.

        ART.

        • Hufflepug

          Oh to know more about Dean’s life after Hogwarts and the details of the wizarding world post Hogwarts in general. But if there is a Hogwarts art club, sign me up!!! That would be the coolest thing ever!

          • DoraNympha

            Agreed! Sign me up too! 😀 Wonder if we could charm statues or ask house elves to model for us in case there’s no live human model… And the majestic castle and grounds? The whole seven years would not be enough to draw every corner and nook of it! And what if you could make magical cartoons on parchment? And if people want a copy? Gemino that thing and ask for a few Skiving Snacks as payment. Umbridge bans art classes? Lucky you know how to charm painted cats to bark instead of meow… Love a Muggle artist? Recreate a self-portrait of them and fill it with all info about their personalities to be found = congrats, you can chat with van Gogh now. Endless possibilities!

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            3D marauder’s map.

          • Hufflepug

            I love all of it! In a strange and inexplicable bridge between the wizarding world and the real-life Muggle world, paint a portrait of J.K. Rowling, animate her, give her a personality, and then you can talk to the queen 🙂

    • PigPuff

      I honestly think it’s all self learning after Hogwarts.
      Hogwarts provides you with the basics, and gives you a little taste of everything. After Hogwarts you can pursue a career, further study (this could be under a knowledgeable wizard), travel the world and learn about international magic and history etc.
      I do think education seems to really lack in the magical world, they would benefit from a university experience. Also Hogwarts often seems to teach kids things that aren’t super relevant, instead of useful spells such as mending broken bones etc.

  • The_Potter_Dude

    Ring Theory Alert: Book 2, Ron and Hermione believe that Draco is the Heir of Slytherin trying to kill Mudbloods. Book 6, Ron and Hermione do not believe that Draco is a Death Eater and wimpy to kill. Also Book 2, Harry, Hermione, and Ron spy on Draco at Christmas. Book 6, Draco tries to spy outside of the Slug Club at Christmas. Book 3, Sirius Black ( a good guy ) breaks out of Azkaban. Book 5, Death Eater ( bad guys ) break out of Azkaban.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      we could add Book 6: Dumbledore uses wandless magic to find the cave entrance

      Book 2: Dumbledore examines Mrs. Norris with similar methods

      • The_Potter_Dude

        Yes, I agree!!

  • I always thought that the reason why voldemort didn’t set up intrusion alert, is because he didn’t expect anyone to get past the potion and inferi. He didn’t expect them to survive. Yet again, voldemort is underestimating the power of people. The defensives are set up for one person. Voldemort evidently never expected two people to go.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      he likes to operate alone, why should it be different for other people? Lack of empathy, poor guy. Especially when Voldemort himself is making Draco do things, it could occur to him that Dumbledore is coaching Harry to fight him, and that they might go to the cave together because it is such a beautiful scenery…

    • PigPuff

      In Voldemorts defense I doubt many wizards could have penetrated the caves defenses and enchantments … except I guess Dumbledore and Regulas hahaa.
      But I feel that not many wizards would know how to figure out how to enter the cave, as Kat brought up it isn’t something people learn at Hogwarts.
      With this in mind it seems Regulas was actually quite a powerful wizard (or at least very knowledgeable) I’m surprised Voldemort didn’t take him more seriously.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        I guess a team of curse breakers could have gotten in there, as soon as you have spotted the right place you just have to bleed on it and the entrance will open. Compared to Egyptian pyramids the cave doesn’t strike me as very dangerous. Inferi or mummies… same difference.
        Alastor Moody, good old Ollivander, some of the Unspeakables… people who deal with extraordinary magic every day and like to Indiana Jones their way through some deadly trapped place could get in there. Actually, anyone with decent magical skills who brings Kreacher along could. Regulus was familiar with some dark magic, being a Black and in Slytherin, so with Kreachers help getting into the cave and to the island is not that difficult. What makes Dumbledore so impressive is that he works it out in such a short time.

        • PigPuff

          Good point! Maybe the enchantments put on the cave are similar to the ones Egyptians put on tombs.

      • MartinMiggs

        I agree with most of this but I believe Regulus to be more knowledgable than powerful. Voldemort takes Kreacher with him to the cave so Kreacher knows about paying blood, where the boat is etc. He left Kreacher to die in the cave and didn’t expect the house elf to get out alive. Regulus knew how to get past the defences because Kreacher would’ve have told him to. If he was a powerful wizard (like Dumbledore) he would’ve used fire to keep the Inferi off him and escape.

        • PigPuff

          Thats true, he probably knew a lot about it from Kreacher, I guess I was underestimating house elves lol.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        I always thought that regulus got in cause kreacher brought him who was there with voldy when they went thru the first time…wasn’t regulus still a teenager when he died? He couldn’t have known much more magic than harry…unless maybe some of his death eater pals tutored him on the way to toturing/killing others 😛

        • Yes kreacher went with him to tell him what to do. I always though that regulus had book smarts. I’m not sure if he was a teen.

          • Eileen_Prince/Jones

            Well he had to be some sort of special cause he was in the slug club right? I wasn’t saying he wasn’t smart, i just assumed he didn’t need any smarts cause kreacher was a return visitor;-)

          • It’s ok. I knew what you meant.

    • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

      Also, if anyone did make it through, Voldemort wouldn’t want them to leave easily. He’d want to punish them for making it that far. So why set an intrusion alert? He doesn’t need it. They may have gained access to his cave, but he’s put precautions in place to make sure they will die painfully and in terror for their presumption. His assumption was that if anyone made it in they would never make it out, which was what he wanted.

  • Hufflepug

    Does anyone else feel like it’s harder to watch Dumbledore suffer in this scene than it is to read the scene where he dies? He had planned out his death carefully but here he wasn’t in control of anything. This scene where he drinks the potion is natural and shows Dumbledore at his weakest.

    • Gryffindora The Explorer

      I was just talking about this with someone! I think it’s ridiculously hard to see Dumbledore as low as the potion brings him. Anything that can bring Dumbledore down like that should be feared for sure! We see Dumbledore at the weakest point that we have ever seen him, or will see him, in the entire series. It’s an interesting juxtaposition with the beginning of the chapter when he was being his awesome Dumbledore-y self, and figuring things out. I think the beginning of this chapter and the chapter in Order where he duels Voldemort are probably the places we see Dumbledore be his most powerful.

      • Hufflepug

        Yeah I agree 100%! And I think that makes it an even bigger blow to see that in this chapter Dumbledore has to rely on Harry rather than the other way around, right after he has had one of his most powerful scenes in the series.

        • Gryffindora The Explorer

          As a reader it’s terrifying at this point to think that Dumbledore could die. He’s been a constant protector and “the only one Voldemort ever feared.” This scene really brings home how real this fight against Voldemort is, and how much it’ll cost to defeat him.

      • PigPuff

        I’m really glad you brought this up! Seeing Dumbledore in this state shocked me possibly more than anything else in the series! Very full on

  • Septumseverus

    I agree that no horcrux could be summoned, but the locket in the basin was not a horcrux, so surely it would be able to be summoned? I would argue that an anti summoning charm could only be placed on the actual object, so surely regulus would have had to have place this charm not voldermort and why would regular have done this?

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      Thats interesting thought about regulus placing the no summoning charm on the fake locket…even tho I’m in the camp with the anti summoning charm being part of the potion…super interesting…altho, wasn’t regulus under the influence of potion and kreacher switched the lockets? When did he have a chance to do that? Still great thought:-)

  • SpinnersEnd

    So to answer Kat’s question: could Harry have conjured another goblet that hadn’t touched the potion and filled it with water?

    • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

      I don’t think so. I think that Voldemort planned carefully enough that whatever the obvious answer was, you wouldn’t be able to make it work. You can conjure water via Aguamenti, but it stay only for a second. The entire point is to create a setup where you will HAVE to go to the water. So an obvious part of guarding the cave would be to put in place countermeasures that would ensure that certain things would not work, like accio, like Apparition, and, since the lake was the planned destination for all intruders, like aguamenti.

  • SpinnersEnd

    I don’t really know if waiting to split his soul would have made him more mature. At a very young age, Voldemort displays qualities both socio- and psycopathic tendencies, so I don’t think Voledmort ever really had a hope of “growing up”. I think he would be stuck as the immature, selfish thing he becomes.

  • MartinMiggs

    You can place a spell in some location so that it is impossible to apparate/disapparate (e.g. Hogwarts) so why can’t there be a spell in the cave that makes it impossible to use a summoning charm?

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I’ve always wondered, what would have happened if Dumbledore had died from drinking the potion that Harry forced him to drink? He would have died at almost the same point in the story, but how would it have affected Harry, and what people thought of Harry? Would Snape still have been made Headmaster without the proof of loyalty killing Dumbledore had been? Would the Malfoy’s be treated better for Draco’s attempts to kill Dumbledore or worse for failing to be the one to do it? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Hufflepug

      Who would become the master of the Elder Wand? Would its allegiance die with Dumbledore since no one technically killed him, or do you think it would go to Voldemort since he was the one who made the potion? Dumbledore dying in this chapter could have horrible consequences!!!

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Voldemort made the potion, but Harry gave it to Dumbledore. If the “weaponmaker” would be responsible for the death of a person, that would be loads of guilt for Ollivander. I also think that Harry would feel responsible for Dumbledore’s death if he died from the potion, because that’s the way he thinks.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        Good question! Dumbledore thought Snape would become master of the Elder Wand when he killed him, so the fact that he did it on Dumbledore’s orders didn’t matter. The person who made Snape’s wand wouldn’t become Master, but the person who wielded the weapon. Since Harry forced Dumbledore to drink the potion, even though it was on his orders, I think he would be considered the one who killed him. Since Harry “wielded” the weapon, I think Harry would become Master.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      If Dumbledore had died here, Voldemort wouldn’t have killed Snape for the Elder Wand. I think the Vow would be defunct, so he wouldn’t die from that. He would have had a chance to survive the war. But given the choice, I think Snape would rather do it than have Harry kill Dumbledore and have to live with it.

  • DoraNympha

    And what if you had Helga Hufflepuff’s cup (not as a Horcrux but the real awesome thing it was) on the Emerald Potion? Could that trick the magic of the basin? Could that be the only way to avoid having to drink it? (Provided the cup has some awesome magical power that could aid the worthy user like Gryffindor’s sword does or I assume Ravenclaw’s diadem?)

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      good idea!
      another idea, so if someone would collect all horcruxes first and then destroy them in one big basilisk-fiendfyre-explosion, he would experience the combined effects that they have in working together either for or against the collector.

  • SlytherinKnight

    Great episode!!! While Half-Blood Prince is my least favorite book of the series, it does have its moments and this chapter is certainly one of them. The atmosphere that JKR put into the cave was eerily intense and still sends shivers down my spine when I read the chapter. I actually think she did herself a bit of a disservice in making the protections around this Horcrux so top notch that she couldn’t top it with the others, though the Gringotts protections were well done (and I would have loved to see what protections were around the Gaunt Shack). But again, the faults in this story come out as well in this chapter, as Dumbledore constantly overestimates Harry, as well as not really showing Harry how to detect magic and traps. Harry’s growth is seemingly and suddenly stunted in this book compared to books 3-5, and being taught by Dumbledore would have been a perfect opportunity to show some of that ‘subtle’ magic that Harry talked about in the chapter (not the flashes and bangs).

    Also, with the protections around the Horcruxes that have been destroyed/retrieved already (ring and locket), could Dumbledore have scouted out the other locations for the Horcruxes while away from Hogwarts in fifth year as a way to ease Harry’s path? The ring and the locket seemingly were the best protected of the Horcruxes (a thrilling tale for sure) compared to the others, so could Dumbledore have been using his time away from Hogwarts to ease Harry’s path to destroying them by taking out the two most well-protected Horcruxes by himself?

    • ISeeThestrals

      This is my least favorite book too, but I think this was the chapter where I was most tense. As a matter of fact, it might have been the top most nerve-wracking moment I’ve read from the entire series. I recall the anxiety I felt just going through it, and reading all the details about that black lake and green light. And man I wouldn’t have wanted to be in Harry’s shoes of deciding whether or not it was wise to make Dumbledore keep drinking that potion. I think I was thinking it was a bad idea, and then going back and forth on the idea of trusting Dumbledore that it wouldn’t kill him. Oddly enough I didn’t think he died when he collapsed afterwards. I was thinking this could be it for Harry if Dumbledore doesn’t come around. It’s so well written. Not only is Harry force-feeding Dumbledore scary, considering they don’t know what it is, it’s also very awkward and was awkward for me to read the first time.

  • Gryffindora The Explorer

    On the subject of spells dying with their owners, I don’t think that’s always the case. When Moody dies his protections at Grimmauld Place are still active. Not to mention things like the Sorting Hat or the invisibility cloak, which are all still working generations after their creation. Also the permanent sticking charms that Sirius and his mother used at Grimmauld Place are still active as well. I think spells like petrificus totalus, which was never meant to be long lasting, might be the only kinds of magic to die with their performers.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I great distinction u observed there! I never thought about the spells u mentioned lasting after the death of the caster…yay i love all these comments!!!

  • Eileen_Prince/Jones

    A couple things:
    -someone was upset how dumbledore was using everyone in this big game of chess and he held his hand close to his chest and lied to everybody about his plans…i agree that that was messed up…but would it have worked any other way? Wormtail and Snape prove that loyalties can change, what if dumbledore told the wrong person something and his whole plan fell apart?
    -a big part of the discussion was lack of knowledge/how did wizards gain more knowledge after hogwarts? I have always felt that harry was completely lacking in basic magical knowledge when he went to find the horcruxes…he didn’t even plan that far in advance, it was hermione who came up with the undetectable enlargement charm (? Is that the name of it) on her bag, who brought the tent, who thought to place protections around the tent…she saved him with the stinging curse when they got caught by snatchers…i just don’t know how harry could have been as half successful with out hermione…and I’ve always wondered how harry managed to become head auror with out a little more ‘schooling’ even if it wasn’t going back for his 7th year at hogwarts…
    -there was the discussion of the doorway into the inner cave being the same as the door to moria from LOTR…i think the similarity of these two doors stops at they lit up, which as kat mentioned: how else do u show a door in a dark cave setting? The door in LOTR showed lit up because the light of the moon fell on it right? (I’m no expert at LOTR, this is just from memory from the movie) and to open it u had to solve the riddle and speak the elvish word for friend…totally different than the door in the horcrux cave, lighting up just to show it was there, didnt it fade just as fast as it showed up, and u had to give it blood to open it.
    -a lot of people are talking about the lack of protection around the remaining horcruxes, i like all of the comments! I mentioned on someones comment that i thought voldy chose gringotts/hogwarts because they were of significant importance to belonging to the wizarding world…and then that gringotts was protected a lot and that he just thought no one was as clever as him to work out the room of requirement, which no one really was right? Cause dobby told harry and then draco found out because of the DA, neither discovered it on their own…
    – and last small thing: one of the hosts was talking about harry knowing any fire casting charms and how he would have seen hermiones bluebell flames but that they didn’t have heat….i thought they did….didn’t they use them in book one to warm up in the courtyard during winter time? Its not just light, its actual heat, and if u look at fire in the real world, blue fire is stuff burning at a higher temperature so hermiones flames might could actually be hotter than the flames dumbledore conjured, if she could have conjured them in that large of an amount.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE listening to the show. I love the new insights, sometimes i just don’t think of the stuff other people do 😛 so glad i finally found this place!
    Thanks!

  • I disagree with Eric on his opinions of Dumbledore. I do not believe Dumbledore is insensitive and that he is indeed humble and caring!!! The moment in discussion was a horrible moment to discuss what Harry needs to know. There are far more important tasks on hand and Dumbledore may indeed have been anticipating death that night!

  • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

    Everyone’s discussion about the Horcruxes and the levels of protection was really interesting. I think one thing people always forget is Voldemort’s flaws inform so much of what he does, including protecting his Horcruxes. For example, people said that some of the Horcruxes weren’t well protected, like the diadem. But in Voldemort’s mind, it was perfectly safe. He hid it when he came to the school, and he was convinced that he was the ONLY PERSON who had ever found the Room of Requirement. So he, somehow unbelievably, thought that no one could penetrate it but him. The sheer arrogance of it is stunning. It would have changed his mind, I think, if he had realized that any student could access it. But he truly believed that he was the only one who knew.

    The Gringotts vault, I think, fed his vanity too. Harry believes that Voldemort would see Gringotts as a symbol of the wizarding world, that he was entitled to hide his horcrux there, because of its symbolic importance to him. I take it one step further — I think that it pleased Voldemort enormously that he was able to hide a Horcrux in Gringotts without having to get his own vault. He didn’t have to subject himself to Gringotts goblins, who are beneath him, and he evades the rules and the system entirely. In doing so, not only does he get to have the protection of a vault, but he gets the protection of the vault of one of the oldest, wealthiest families there, which he could not have gotten on his own as a young man with little money and no magical family heritage he could prove. But he is Voldemort, he is special. So he can have whatever he pleases, with a dragon and multiple curses protecting it to boot, and he never has to sign on the dotted line. It’s so perfectly fitting with what we know of him.

    I think it was always disappointing to Voldemort that he couldn’t get a Gryffindor relic, but in a way, he did. If Voldemort is the heir of Slytherin, it only makes sense that Harry, a true Gryffindor who calls the sword of Gryffindor to him, becomes his Gryffindor horcrux. To me that ties in to Book 1, where Quirrell cannot stand to touch Harry. Voldemort made the mistake of pitting Slytherin against Gryffindor, of making a Gryffindor a horcrux, and in a way, Gryffindor would not stand for that. Harry is truly Gryffindor, and as such, Voldemort does not truly ever conquer him as a Horcrux.

    The comments that Voldemort wanted to show his power by making Horcruxes out of powerful magical objects are, I think, true. The irony of Harry being made one by mistake is fabulous, then. Because Voldemort may be the heir of Slytherin, but he is never able to conquer Gryffindor.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I like your comment about how voldys flaws inform what he does…i was thinking this last time i read the books that if he wasn’t so predictable and stuck in his ways/prejudices he may have been able to keep some of his horcruxes secret and stay tethered to earth again even if harry killed his body eventually. Everyone always says about the pebble horcrux being thrown on a beach somewhere never to be found again…but voldy is too proud for that and Dumbledore knew it and because of that he was defeated

  • The problem with Eric’s PQOTW trump is that Harry has no reason to go to Grimauld Place!! The only reason Harry gets the idea to go to Hagrid’s house is because he received the invite from Hagrid! It was an occasion that was on his mind. Grimmuald Place is far from Harry’s mind!! Not to mention both Harry and Dumbledore have no idea the Horcrux will be a locket!

    There is absolutely nothing other than Kreacher that would drive Harry towards Grimmauld Place. And Kreacher might only show up if Harry attempted to expose Malfoy further while on Felix.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I totally forgot that i wanted to comment about this…we are in agreement, thanks for posting about this…no one knows its a locket when they head out to go look for it!

    • ISeeThestrals

      Yeah I think the key is neither Harry nor Dumbledore know it’s a locket in that basin, so how would Felix know? Seems a bit of a large stretch.

    • PigPuff

      The only thing I can think of is that Harry might have put the 2 and 2 together about the symbol on the locket, which he has seen both in the pensive and with his own 2 eyes at Grimmauld place. Could felix have extracted that memory and helped him realize where it was ahead of time?
      I don’t think this is very likely though because he could have had the same realization when he took the Felix to retrieve the memory. It seems to me the way Felix works is that it just helps you achieve the task you want to achieve at that moment, and points you in the right direction. If they knew for sure this horcrux was the locket before going to the cave then maybe Felix would have kicked in and Harry would have remembered ….

  • Wait, Harry can’t swim? What happened to year 4?!?!?

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Harry had gills and webbed feet and hands from the Gilly Weed for the tournament. One thing he fretted over when he found out about the 2nd task was not being a good swimmer, “Dudley had had lessons in his youth, but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, no doubt hoping that Harry would drown one day, hadn’t bothered to give him any.”

      • Right, yet webbed hands and feet don’t make you a master swimmer. Gills certainly help, but Harry WAS swimming during that tournament and certainly knows how to swim afterwards.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          The webs just help push more water with less effort, so not not a master swimmer, but he found it hard to move once his webs wore off. I suppose after all that time in the water, he could swim better than he could before the Tournament.

        • ISeeThestrals

          lol, We didn’t get to see Dumbledore swim in the movie. I had a glimmer of hope they might show it, but I knew why they didn’t.

        • Phoenix

          In fact, we know how Harry sees his own swimming abilities because he reflects on them in book 4, right after having figured out what the second task will be:

          “But he suddenly realized what he was saying, and he felt the excitement drain out of him as though someone had just pulled a plug in his stomach. He wasn’t a very good swimmer; he’d never had much practice. Dudley had had lessons in his youth, but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, no doubt hoping that Harry would drown one day, hadn’t bothered to give him any. A couple of lengths of this bath were all very well, but that lake was very large, and very deep… and merpeople would surely live right at the bottom…”

          If the lake scared him, why doesn’t the sea? Maybe he discovered his passion for swimming in his 4th year and kept practicing…

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            It’s a difference if you have to swim under the surface for an hour to rescue your friend who will die if you fail, or if you cross a distance that has it’s end in sight and the best wizard of all times swimming right in front of you.

  • CUT HARRY SOME SLACK HERE! He is using first year spells? Do you honestly think anyone could have done any better? Harry was afraid of the inferi long before they began to attack. It was on his mind the entire journey through the cave! And when they did attack, how could Harry have possibly kept his head straight?!?! He was spitting out words and that was the best he could do in such a frightened and urgent moment! Do not forget that he basically just forced Dumbledore to poison himself. Harry, with his own hands, just made Dumbledore BEG FOR DEATH! CUT HARRY SOME SLACK!

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      I could be mistaken but i thought the first year spell comment was more about his lack of knowledge overall not just in the panicked situation…

    • PigPuff

      I’d agree with you if it wasn’t for the fact that Harry continues to use first and second year spells all throughout Deathly Hallows. Harry really needs to learn to use some more complex spells, without Hermiones help I don’t think he would’ve made it very far.
      Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry but I think he needs to seriously learn some more spells hahaa.

  • PuffNProud

    Great episode. A few comments…and I’ll wrap them all around my favorite character… Severus Snape (hint, hint, happy to be on the Prince’s Tale or The Forest Again (makes me cry every time)). Anyway:

    The Elder Wand – Dumbledore meant to have Snape disarm DD. That would mean that Voldemort would kill Snape and potentially be the master of the Elder Wand. If the allegiance did change, then the outcome of the Voldemort/Potter duel could have been very different and DD would have been wrong and his grand plan would have failed. But since murder does not always mean change of allegiance, it still might have worked. But once again, poor Severus. DD used him and left him to die not having the whole story.

    The Emerald Potion – did we ever consider another great potion maker to have made this potion? Jut throwing it out there. And because I love Snape. Supporting argument would be that Snape could have made the potion not knowing what it would be used for, and at the time Snape would have been more than happy to be at the service of the Dark Lord. Counter argument would be that Voldemort coud have certainly make the complex potion, as we know he concocted the potion that returned him to his body.

    And on Snape…so many reasons to love Snape, so little time… just a quick few. First, one of the great mysteries of the series is Snape whether is good or bad. So much of the outcome could hinge on his allegiance! Second, he’s a man of dedication. He loved Lily. He devoted his life to helping her son, despite all of his dislike for James. Drive and dedication are good things. Third, and why I believe DD so truly trusted Snape – Snape’s remorse. Only a person of true remorse, in this case driven by love, could repair their own soul and carry on with life, which I believe Snape did (and would have to do again after he kills DD). Is Snape a nice guy? Not really. Is he a bully at times? Yep. No excuse for what he says to Neville. Can he be a total jerk? Sure. But he’s someone who is consistently true to love and dedication and is redeemed by them. I can’t help but cheer for someone who is so strong that they pull themselves up from rock bottom and become a better person, even if no one can see it.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      It’s still true that Dumbledore used Snape and left him to die, but Dumbledore didn’t intend for Snape to be the Master of the Elder Wand, he intended to die undefeated. Here’s the quote because it explains it better than I would:

      (Deathly Hallows, pg. 742, US paperback edition)
      Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!

      In the same way that the wands didn’t change allegiance in the DA practices because they were not true duels, Snape killing Dumbledore wouldn’t have changed the Elder Wand’s allegiance.

      Yay! Another Snape fan! Have you applied to be on the podcast? They were talking about needing a pro-Snape guest for The Prince’s Tale, and I think it’s true. I don’t know how far ahead they book, but I hope they really do pick a Snape fan for that chapter.

      • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

        Oh, if any mods are reading this – I’m a Gryffindor and a Snape fan. Please keep me in mind for one is those chapters!

        • What makes you like Snape?

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            Oh goodness, that’s a loaded question with a Looooooong answer. I will clarify that I’m not a shipper — I think his love for Lily was unhealthy in many ways and I’m sure that Lily did not regret marrying James. That love is an integral part of him, but it doesn’t excuse him.

            I love his complexity and his contradictory nature, his relationship with Dumbledore, and even his own sarcastic sense of humor that occasionally surfaces. I love how flawed he is.

            Snape is not a nice man. But for all of that he’s a great character, and I love his role as double agent. I love that Voldemort believed that he was the best Occlumens/Legilimens alive, and that even Snape parrots that line to Bellatrix, and yet it’s so obviously untrue – Snape was always better!

            I blame fanfic for overly romanticizing Snape. I think that has turned many people off from him. Yes, he is a petty, mean spirited man who has clung to misplaced rage his whole life. But he is hugely important and fascinating, and I cannot help but like him for his strengths. I identify with Dumbledore in a lot of ways, and I think I feel about Snape the way Dumbledore must have at times — under no illusions as to his character, but still trusting him, understanding him, and in many ways, bonding with and liking him.

          • I have never once read fanfiction and so I have no influence from outside work. For the same reason I love Umbridge, I too loved Snape. Yes, I said “LOVED.” I love to HATE Umbridge. I also used to love to HATE Snape. I believe he was a great villain in the earlier books. True that he was never actually a villain, but to an 11 – 15 year old boy, Snape certainly was a villain. This is when I loved Snape. However, when Snape became part of the larger picture, when his story began to expand and we suddenly found sympathy for the character, I began to dislike him very much. When he finally killed Dumbledore I truly hated him. I could not wait to see Harry strike revenge. But then, as it turns out, Snape was good the whole time, I couldn’t be farther from liking the character. He has no excuse for being that villain all this time. He never should have been the way he was. He is a horrible person and a horrible character. I cannot like Snape.

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            Gotcha! I can understand that. No, I don’t think there’s an excuse for his petty nature and anger. I always knew that Snape wasn’t really evil — even when he killed Dumbledore, I had pretty much figured out that there was an explanation.

            I think one of the things I love about the books so much is that Rowling presents characters in a format that pushes us to make judgment calls about people being good or bad. And we see Snape as a villain because of his treatment of Harry and of students he dislikes, of his power complex, his desire for petty revenge, etc. And then it gets more complicated when she does the same sort of thing to characters we like — she takes James, and Sirius, and definitely Dumbledore, and shows us their flaws, and they make us uncomfortable because we thought these were ‘good’ characters, they treated our hero well, but we also can’t ignore that as a young man James was cruel, self-centered, and a bully; that Sirius even as an adult was reckless, angry, petty, and dismissive of others feelings. And Dumbledore is a whole other bundle of problems.

            I see Snape in the same way, only in reverse. We start off seeing Dumbledore as the ultimate good, for example, but as we go on we learn more about him that makes us realize he wasn’t particularly ‘good’ all the time — smart, yes, and cunning, and brilliant, and his heart was mostly in the right place, but also cold, manipulative, ruthless, ambitious, and single-minded. Snape gets the opposite treatment. We see him the entire time as evil, petty, small, vicious, vindictive — the ultimate ‘bad’ adult in Harry’s life, other than Voldemort, who isn’t really in his life per se. But then we get all these other factors added in, and again, it makes us uncomfortable because we thought we had him pegged, and maybe we don’t. She forces us to make complex judgments about complex characters, and the great thing is there isn’t really a right answer. To some people Snape will always be unredeemable and unforgivable. That’s not the case to Dumbledore, and not to me. But I can understand why that would be the case for so many others.

          • PigPuff

            I used to like Snape and Dumbledore alot more… after listening to Alohomora I’m slowly disliking both of them more and more, and seeing the major flaws in both of them. Personally I liked Snape because I found him very romantic, in the sense that he protected and died for Harry. Now that I think about it more I feel that even after everything that Snape has done for Harry, it doesn’t excuse him treating him as badly as he did.

      • PuffNProud

        Ah you are correct!!! I forgot about that. I also fell prey to Voldemorts concept that killing is the way to change allegiance!

        I have had the great experience of being on an episode already (A Sluggish Memory -117?) so I doubt I would be picked again but perhaps I should!

      • PuffNProud

        I forgot about that! Thank you. I also fell prey as Voldemort did that killing drives allegiance.

        Thanks for the props. I have had the fantastic experience of being on an episode so I don’t know that they’ll have me back but I will try! (A Sluggish Memory -#117?). But agree we need a Snape sympathizer for that episode!!!

  • ISeeThestrals

    Great episode guys. I hadn’t thought of a scenario of Harry claiming he needed to go to Grimmauld Place if he had taken Felix, but the question is, would Felix have known that there was a locket in the basin in the cave? I don’t think even Dumbledore knew what type of horcrux was there.

    • Gryffindora The Explorer

      Maybe once Harry sees the locket in the cave then the Felix would push Harry to go to Grimmauld Place. Harry has seen the locket before, and Grimmauld Place is where he saw it. There are interesting implications if Harry and Dumbledore go to Grimmauld Place instead of immediately back to school. Of course that’s assuming Harry would listen to the Felix with Dumbledore in his deteriorated condition.

      • Eileen_Prince/Jones

        I was thinking the same thing about felix after seeing the fake locket! But would felix know its a fake? Ahh too complicated!

      • ISeeThestrals

        seems like by the time Harry traveled to Grimmauld Place, the potion would have worn off. But after this business with the cave, they needed to go back to Hogwarts since the battle is occurring, so Felix might be better off insisting Harry return to school to keep his friends from being killed. They didn’t take the potion in this scenario. Felix would have to weigh what’s more important here, getting the true horcrux or saving his friends.

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      If Harry took Felix before going with Dumbledore, I don’t think he would have tried to push Dumbledore to Grimmauld place because because the locket wasn’t on his mind at the time. He didn’t know they were looking for a locket. When Harry takes it for the memory, Slughorn is on his mind and retrieving the memory is on his mind, so that’s what he is able to get in the end. At this time just a horcrux is on his mind, not the locket horcrux. I don’t think that felix is that broad to give you exactly what you want. I think something/someone very specific needs to be on your mind. Plus, I believe that Mundungus has already filched it from the House of Black.

      • PigPuff

        The only argument that could be made here is that maybe Felix knew it was a locket even before entering the cave…but I don’t think that to be true. I think you’re correct in that taking felix wouldn’t of led them to grimuald place.
        I think if Harry had taken Felix after the cave (perhaps early on the camping trip?) he would have come to the conclusion about the locket much sooner.

        • lifeanddragons

          I think felix would have had harry somehow persuade dumbledore into not horcrux hunting that particular night and stay behind at hogwarts which was under threat from malfoy and the other death eaters…

  • PigPuff

    First off, great episode guys!! So happy to have Michael back!
    And I have commend Eric on his hilarious stormtrooper joke, I was listening at work at everyone looked at me as I started laughing 😛
    I’ve been waiting for DH to discus this, but since it was brought up in this chapter discussion I thought it was a good time to discuss the “lack of knowledge” that students seem to have.

    One of the hosts brought up the quote about Dumbledore and Voldemort underestimating youth, and honestly I don’t think it was an underestimation.
    When I was reading DH (and you get a glimpse of this feeling in this weeks chapter) it becomes apparent that Harry has very limited magical skills. It really does seem like he only knows a handful of spells, and he gets by with either Hermiones, or Dumbledores help in almost every situation.
    Now I don’t want to completely diss Harry, he does have several attributes which get them through alot of their adventures/ situations such as bravery, love and compassion, but he really has limited magical skills. Like Michael brought up he uses a first year spell on the inferi…
    What does everyone think of this? It’s just something that has really frustrated me.

    • ISeeThestrals

      I do think by this point, it’s time for Harry to be using more advances spells, but I don’t see a problem with him resorting to some of the first spells he learned. I think we all go back to basics with something we learned in our first years of school, so I can see the same thing here for wizards. They need to know the basics and just because they would be learning more advanced stuff doesn’t mean there’s never a time for them to be using something that seems simple. I think in a way it might imply that older wizards should focus on using bigger spells. There’s no age limit on certain spells. But I think another reason for the spell choices Harry makes against the inferi is the result of panicking at the sight of creatures he’s never seen before in person. For a teenager, even an adult, such a moment could limit anyone’s thinking, if they can’t keep a cool head.

      • PigPuff

        Well yes, but but my point is that Harry consistently uses these simple spells in DH. If he didn’t have Hermione he wouldn’t have lasted 1 day. Harry is severely under prepared for the events in DH (magical skill wise), and the fact that Dumbledore expects him to achieve this is asking alot.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    I keep forgetting to say Great Job skgai! I really enjoyed hearing you on the show.

  • The Vegemite Sand Witch

    On the topic of sensing magic and why they don’t teach this at hogwarts, I thought of the way Dumbledoor senses magic as something you can’t teach, but is gained through lots of experience. To draw a comparison to real life, I have three kids and when I was pregnant with my first I was amazed at the way the more experienced doctors and midwives could put their hands on my belly and know the exact position of the baby. I would push around on my belly and I couldn’t tell which way the baby was facing. But by the end of my third pregnancy I was a pro, and could tell exactly where the baby was positioned. If I was asked to teach someone how to do that, I couldn’t teach it to them in a lesson, you just get it through hands on experience. Similarly, sensing magic may not be teachable, just something that you start to become aware of after many years of experience. Maybe harry was having his first inclining of this in this chapter, in the future he will compare this experience to subsequent ones and eventually know how it feels.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      That is a great comparison! Hands on experience is the only way to learn sensing like that, both magical and medical. What is important is to give people the opportunity and time to get that experience, and from what we know that is not yet the case in Hogwarts.

    • PigPuff

      This is a good point! I always think you learn more on the job in a practical sense, then from studying at university/ school etc.
      Another reason behind it could be that not everyone is interested in learning magic of this type/ level. It would be nice if Hogwarts taught a class like this, maybe advanced defense against the dark arts, or something similar to ancient ruins. I’d say 90% of wizards are happy knowing basic spells and magic, getting a job in the field they enjoy and living out their life. Wizards who take a special interest in this ancient type of magic probably go into the field of Alchemy, or something similar, and research this themselves or learn from a wise older wizard. This magic is also relevant for Aurors I think.

    • TheAmazingBouncingFerret

      Yes, I was thinking the same thing! I think it’s something that comes from experience or/and lots of talent. Reminds me a little of dowsers and of how they can sense when there is water underground, and nobody knows how they do it or how they learned it.

  • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

    Finishing the podcast today, I was struck by the discussion of what splitting your soul does to you. It was debated that people weren’t sure what splitting your soul did in a negative way if it didn’t affect your powers. I thought that this was the entire point that Rowling developed thematically.

    Splitting your soul WOULDN’T diminish your powers. That’s it’s allure — if you can commit the evils necessary to do it and not feel remorse, then it feels like a win-win proposition. That’s the nature of its lure and its true evil, because it is a short-sighted thing. A Horcrux may give you a longer life on Earth, but it rips apart your chance at any life after death. In the HP universe we aren’t told what happens after death exactly, but it is clear that souls go “on” — under certain conditions. The fearful may choose to remain as ghosts, and are frozen in their final state, never allowed to go on to the next existence. And that is the true evil of a horcrux. If you split your soul, can you even remain as a ghost when you die? Possibly — the bloody Baron, for example, killed the Grey Lady, which would split his soul — but the book also says that he was overcome with remorse and killed himself, which may have mended it.

    The most chilling moment to me is in DH when Harry sees what is left of Voldemort’s soul, and tells him later, “I’ve seen what you’ll become.” Voldemort was in a hurry to split his soul because he only valued life as a human, and feared death. It never occurred to him that he might need his soul intact for whatever came after death. Dumbledore knew better.

    To me, the true horror facing Voldemort comes after he is dead. He cannot remain behind as a ghost, and he cannot go on with a whole soul. He is forever splintered, flayed, damaged. Will he remain in limbo, suffering forever? Who knows? We don’t know enough about it. But we do know that he has doomed himself, and that is the negative end of a Horcrux. In other words, Horcruxes are for the short-sighted.

    • Hufflepug

      Thank you so much for posting this! You put into words everything I was thinking but couldn’t put together into a concrete thought. That’s one of the main messages of the series and Dumbledore hints at it well in this chapter. “It is the unknown that we fear when we look upon death and darkness. Nothing more.” Voldemort feared this unknown territory so much that he sacrificed everything to avoid it, and ironically he ended up avoiding what could have been eternal life. All because he chose hate and selfishness over love and compassion and tore his soul apart out of fear.

    • PigPuff

      Fantastic post!! Thank you.

      A few follow up thoughts/ questions

      Has it been said somewhere that Voldemort cannot come back as a ghost? I’m curious because he seems like the prime candidate for becoming a ghost, but obviously he doesn’t become one (I assume we would hear if there was a ghost Voldy lol). So your theory does seem very plausible. The real issue here is the lack of information we really know about the horcruxes, so we can only guess, but I believe that perhaps only killing 1 or 2 people (possibly even more I don’t know) still keeps your soul somewhat intact, or that there is a chance for remorse.
      This was something I discussed in another topic this week, but the idea that Voldemort thought he would be able feel his horcruxes being destroyed got me thinking that if you make 1 horcrux it’s probably been recorded (by wizards who have made horcruxes) that you can feel it’s destruction. This makes me think that if you can still feel part of your soul then not all hope is lost and there is still some connection. Voldemort creates 7 which has apparently never been done before, so he moves into the realms of guess work, and assumes he can still feel his horcruxes based off what he’s read/ researched about the horcruxes. Theres still alot of guessing at this point, maybe the more horcruxes you make the less likely you are to feel connected to them, or maybe its completely related to the person and their feelings, like you suggested maybe they feel remorse?

      And it’s a good question, what comes after death for a wizard like Voldemort? Is hell a thing? Do you simply cease to exist?

      • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

        Good point about feeling the Horcruxes — I think you are probably right about that. It hasn’t been said as far as I know that Voldemort can or can’t come back as a ghost; it just occurred to me that having a mangled soul like he does would probably make it impossible, and then I made the connection to the Bloody Baron. Even if killing splits your soul, JK has said that remorse is the only way to mend it, and the Baron does, according to the book, feel so much remorse that he is overcome and takes his life. So I thought, okay, that must mean that he was able to repair the damage he had done.

        Even if Voldemort came back as a ghost– if you choose to remain behind as an imprint of yourself at the time you died, what would he be? I don’t think it’s really possible. Which is why I thought, it has to be a sort of limbo.

        I agree with you — he has pushed the bounds of magic way past where they should be pushed, and he has crossed into unknown territory. We can only surmise that he has damaged himself so much that he can’t even feel himself dying off one Horcrux at a time — a sure sign that he is truly doomed, as if another were needed.

        • Lisa

          Rowling has actually stated in an interview that Voldemort cannot come back as a ghost because his soul was destroyed by the creation of Horcruxes. Otherwise, he definitely would have wanted to come back, I think.

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            Hey, awesome! I logicked that one out right.

        • Hufflepug

          I always got the impression that if you make a Horcrux, it makes it a lot harder to mend your soul with remorse. If the Bloody Baron had made one, he probably wouldn’t have become a ghost. The remorse came automatically to him when he realized what he had just done in a fit of anger.

          • WhoDoYouKnowWho’sLostAButtock?

            Right, I wasn’t saying that the Bloody Baron had made a Horcrux. In the story they say killing splits your souls but it can be mended via remorse. That’s why I say the Bloody Baron probably split his soul, but mended it with his remorse, died with soul intact, and could then become a ghost.

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    Wonderful episode!! Welcome back Michael!!

    I need to bring this up from a episode of Mugglecast when they did this chapter discussion. I always found it fascinating, and I wanted to talk about it more. When Dumbledore is drinking the potion to get to the locket he acts much differently then he normally does. Do you think that the potion is making him relive his worst memory? Which is when Ariana dies? OR does Voldemort relive the memory of the few muggle children that Voldemort takes into the cave? There is a lot of speculation, but I wanted to know what you all think! I think that it does make you relive your worst memory, but I would love for it if it made Dumbledore relive what happened to those muggle children in the cave because I’m sure it was AWFUL! None of the those children returned the same and it was probably their worst memory.

    I have an another question. This totally random, but I thought the thought of Regulus being an inferi. We know that he probably isn’t because you have to use a spell to create an inferi. But! What if Voldemort cast a spell on the lake and stated that anyone who died inside the lake, or died and brought into the lake would become an inferi. So then, what if, Regulus was killed by the inferi and brought into the lake. Then, when Harry cast the Accio Horcrux, Regulus’s body sprung out of the lake?! Even if he wasn’t an inferi and died in the lake, and his body still jumped out of the water because of Harry’s spell?

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    Another question. Harry has studied astronomy in school, wouldn’t he have learned about
    the moon? So wouldn’t they in turn learn how the moon affects the tides?

    • ISeeThestrals

      I feel like the only thing he really pays attention to is quidditch.

      • SlytherinKnight

        Or Malfoy, or Ginny, you know the important things.

    • PigPuff

      Good point, but I feel like tides aren’t something wizards would worry about
      I think the hosts were right, and that we really need to suspend our disbelief in order for this scene to be believable.

      • TheAmazingBouncingFerret

        I never really saw it that way, I suppose I always thought he only made a guess anybody who ever heard the tiniest thing about tides would make. I think you learn about it in elementary school or something. I mean, I don’t know who told me the tides change, I feel like it’s common knowledge. Harry went to muggle school and spent his childhood in the muggle world, he could even just have caught some documentary or even a piece of news about a stranded whale sometime in his life. I would believe that kids from wizarding families don’t know anything about it though.

  • Conor said something really interesting during the episode about Harry having to master all of the houses of Hogwarts in order to defeat Voldemort. This comment immediately associated with a show called Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’m currently watching through the series so it is on my mind. In that show there are 4 nations that consist of 4 different elements – Water, earth, fire and air. If you are familiar with the book Harry Potter for Nerds then you will remember reading the essay titled “Is There Hope for Slytherin House” by Sandra Miesel. In the essay, Miesel compares each Hogwarts house to an element. Gryffindor – fire, Hufflepuff – earth, Ravenclaw – air, Slytherin – water. This made me momentarily think, “Wow! Harry is the Avatar.” But that is an obvious connection. But then this made me think of Literary Alchemy and Ring Composition. Ring Comp. suggests that Goblet of Fire (Book 4) is the center of the ring. Literary Alchemy says the same thing. Both suggest that books 1 and 7 reflect one another, books 2 and 6 reflect one another, and books 3 and 5 reflect one another. Now, I don’t want to get too deep into Literary Alchemy here but essentially it is said that Book 1 is the red book, Book 2 is the white, and Book 3 is the black. Book 4 is the center. Then Book 5 reflects Book 3 and is black, Book 6 reflects Book 2 and is white, and Book 7 reflects Book 1 which is red. Check out John Granger’s Hogwarts professor blog for more info about that (or buy HP for Nerds on Amazon which I referenced above).
    Back to the Avatar connection though; the show has 3 seasons and each focuses on a different element for the Avatar to master. S1 – water, S2 – earth, S3 – fire (he already mastered air). This suggests that in the 7 Potter books, the odd books could all represent Harry learning an element or mastering a Hogwarts house.
    I know this is a stretch but here it goes…
    Book 1 he masters Gryffindor house. This is obvious for it is Harry’s very first exposure to a Hogwarts House. It is also arguably Harry’s bravest book as he outright announces, “I will never go to the dark side!” and it contains his first confrontation with Voldemort and him defying him.
    Book 3 he masters Ravenclaw. This is more allegory than true mastery as Harry doesn’t necessarily use books more or value intelligence this book. However, he does rescue and ride Buckbeak the Hippogriff who is part eagle, the animal representation of Ravenclaw.
    Book 5 he masters Slytherin. This book is easily the darkest in the series. It is the Slytherin book because Harry is so often in Voldemort’s head (or Voldy’s in Harry’s head) during his dreams and waking hours. He is always angry and very temperamental. I know these aren’t the only traits of Slytherin but they are brought on by Voldemort, the poster boy for Slytherin. Rowling also doesn’t outright defend Slytherin house and it is seen as an opposing force to Harry’s good, making Slytherin seem evil which Harry must confront full force during this book.
    Finally Book 7 is Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff at it’s core is a house of love and acceptance. “Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest, And taught them all she knew…” This quote points the most to acceptance and also points to the fantastic argument that Jesus would be sorted into Hufflepuff. Taking all of this into account, Book 7 is most definitely a book about love and Voldemort’s misunderstanding of it. Also, speaking of Jesus being a Hufflepuff we see Harry become a literal Christ figure and lay down his life and rise again. Hufflepuff is also seen as a house of justice is served when Voldemort is vanquished by the end of the seventh novel.
    To end this, I just wrote this up for fun. I have nothing more to back up my points and don’t think I take much stock in what I’ve written but at the same time it is so fun to think about! I also don’t think J.K.R. intended any of this haha. Ring composition and literary alchemy I’m fairly sure she had an idea about while writing. My theory? Most likely not at all. But again, fun to think about.

  • MartinMiggs

    Would it be possible to take the goblet, fill it with the potion and then just dump it on the ground or if that didn’t work drink but don’t swallow and just spit the potion out?

    • Yo Rufus On Fire

      I think if you tried to dump it on the ground then it would appear in the bowl again.

    • ISeeThestrals

      It’s like an all knowing potion. I had thought they could’ve filled the goblet and dumped it in the lake. Don’t imagine it would affect the inferi though. I would have liked to see them actually test this theory as a way to prove that Dumbledore had no choice but to drink it. Considering how quickly Dumbledore was able to deduct what wouldn’t work, it’s easy to believe that there’s got to be another way around it than drinking it.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        When we keep in mind that Dumbledore does not do everything to stay alive because he knows that he’s nearing his end, then we can assume that he does try a few things on the potion and then decides that drinking it will work. He then does not go on to think of other possibilities, because for him it is enough that he has found one way to get rid of the Emerald potion. If he get’s ill or dies that is not the problem, because then they’d have the horcrux and he still thinks that Harry is capable of getting them back to Hogwarts, or escaping alone. We know Harry isn’t, so we think it is a foolish decision to drink the stuff. But I can relate to becoming a tiny bit reckless and not caring anymore when you know you’ll be dead in a few days anyway. So why not do all the risky stuff you’ve been avoiding all those years?

        As a Pen and Paper Roleplayer I have looked at the cave as an obstacle course with the inferi as the end bosses. Dumbledore reminds me of an experienced player who is able to get through any of the obstacles, can think like a GM and knows how to navigate and keep his team safe. At the basin he acts like a player who wants his character to die, and knowingly triggers the trap that the GM has put up, because he knows that it will be a fast way to get to the treasure and make for an interesting game. He passes the spotlight on to the less experienced player who understandably panics because he’s suddenly facing things he can’t handle alone and has to keep his reckless team leader’s character from dying.

        Dumbledore just regards himself and Harry as possible victims who could drink the potion. He does not try to think of a way to have someone else drink it, or discards the idea without mentioning it. I believe he would have been able to conjure Fawkes, because the apparition limitations do only apply to humans, not elves or phoenixes. Fawkes swallowed Voldemort’s death curse a year before, and just was reborn sooner than scheduled. So drinking that potion might not be a real problem for him. It would be animal cruelty, though, and so Dumbledore sticks to his “I’m much less valuable” and goes on.

    • PigPuff

      I always thought the potion had more to do with the mouth of the drinker. Even if Harry put his wand in Dumbledores mouth I don’t think it would have worked.
      The potion is designed so that there is no other way to consume water than using the water from the lake. I don’t think there are any loopholes to this.

  • MartinMiggs

    Dumbledore said the inferi will eventually realize that Harry and himself are not Voldemort how are these corpses able to identify who is friendly? Is it as simple as they know who the spellcaster was that reanimated them?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      They will have a simple “programming” that involves recognizing Voldemort and attacking everyone else who touches the water. Or even attacking everyone who touches the water but Voldemort doesn’t touch it because he’s flawless 😉

  • I think that in any fantasy adventure book you’re going to find similarities. To compare Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings, is like comparing The Hunger Games to the Japanese book Battle Royale.

  • Phoenix

    One more question on Felix Felicis: Wouldn’t giving Felix to his loved ones keep Harry safe as well? Just imagine if Harry died – that certainly couldn’t be considered a lucky day for Ron, Hermione and Ginny.

    • Phoenix

      (Did somebody already say this last week? If so, I’m sorry.)

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    My contribution to host love for this week:

    Thanks to Kat for choosing my comment! Of all the hosts I can relate to you the most, because we’re both Ravenclaws and roughly the same age. That makes me go “Why do we disagree? That’s so sad!” when your opinion does not match mine, and that way I get to wrap my head around even more perspectives! Thank you!

    When this episode went online it was hot where I live, like OotP-beginning-hot. To make staying hydrated more fun I decided to do a drinking game with the episode (drinking water, of course) and take a sip every time someone said Harry, Dumbledore, Voldemort, a host’s name, horcrux, Alohomora or any spell name. I had gotten through a few glasses when I got to the chapter introduction. And then I took a double-sip because Harry says “accio horcrux” and spit it right out again because of the horrible noise that followed. Well done, Michael! 🙂

    skgai blended in so well with the others as if he’d been talking on the show for ages. And it’s great to have listeners as guest hosts who are well known because they have contributed loads of fabulous comments during the years!

    • Kat

      Aw, thank you! Glad I can be relatable 😀

  • Silverdoe25

    I feel like this is one of the most in-depth chapter discussions that Alohomora has had. It was riveting. I always wonder if the cave itself was a creation of Voldemort’s. Obviously, the crevice in the rock was there. It also defies me to this very day how boy Tom got other kids there. But regardless, the big cave, the lake, and the island were all behind the wall that had to be opened.

    Also, Dumbledore talks of the place “still thinking we’re Voldemort”, but I don’t really think there was anything of the sort. Voldemort had to bring Kreacher along to test out the system, so to speak. Voldemort could avoid all the pitfalls because he created them.

    It would be fantastic to find out what similar-type protections were on the Gaunt shack. Dumbledore alluded to powerful protection there, as well.

    And finally, I vividly remember when the “Irma Pince; I’m a Prince” theory was launched between Books 6 & 7. It all centered around the discussion of whether Snape was good or bad. (Who remembers selecting stickers at Borders?) The fact that Dumbledore was potentially hiding Snape’s mother in the library at Hogwarts was built around the offer he made to Draco at the top of the tower. It also pulled together the Pince/Filch; Snape/Filch relationships. It felt weird at the time that Jo was dropping so many references to Pince & Filch, especially at Dumbledore’s funeral.

  • To comment on the bonus content – the best part about the Ginny – Harry relationship is that there isn’t a horrible amount of it. It verges on the edge of having too much time in the books! I very much like that it isn’t in the forefront if the story. There is a main goal and focus and the relationship between Harry and Ginny doesn’t matter in any way to that main goal and focus.

  • Also I’d just like to say that nearly every week I listen to the podcast while on my way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. The podcast and the park make a great combo!

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      What?!? Jealous! Do you just go for fun every week?

      • Yea! I love all the wizardy drinks and shops and rides. Just being within the atmosphere is incredible. I’ve been living in Orlando on an internship and take every chance I get to go to the theme park!

        • Eileen_Prince/Jones

          Thats totally awesome! I get to go for the first time in october…do you have any tips for getting the best experience possible?

          • Wait in the full queue lines! The wait times for rides are never terribly long anyway, and the queue lines provide a TON of fun for he Harry Potter fan. You find a lot that comes straight from the books!

            Butterbeer is an obvious must, but they also have some other drinks too that I’ve come to enjoy a lot! The Fishy Green Ale and Fizzing Orange Juice primarily.

            Dress up if you like as well. Many other people will be dressed up! Also take your time. There is a lot to see and I find something new nearly every trip!

          • Eileen_Prince/Jones

            Awesome, thanks alot!

    • Kat

      Well, well, well! You should come to the WWoHP the last weekend of July and say hello to Kristen, Michael, Eric, & myself since we will be in town!

      and thanks!

  • lifeanddragons

    Harry performed a lot of underage magic in that cave? Should there have been a dozen owls swooping into the cave at some point, or does the ministry just not have that much of reach?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      as long as there are adult wizards close by, the ministry can’t know who performed the magic. and inside the cave Harry and Dumbledore may have been under some kind of barrier that stopped the trace from working.

  • lifeanddragons

    There was a lot of talk about dumbledore ignoring harry and i think that’s a little unfair. Dumbledore was merely treating Harry as an adult, and although it’s possible that he overestimated Harry a little bit, it’s probably a result of not having dealt with the abysmal teenage level of wizardry in 20 years rather than him completely forgetting harry. After all, dumbledore was not holding harry’s hand and taking him for a walk at the park. Harry bumping into dumbledore and almost falling into the water? childish, he should have been a little more aware of what dumbledore was doing rather than gaping everywhere else. Likewise, dumbledore assumed harry knew there were inferi in the water, he is probably so used to travelling alone or at least with adult wizards who could dry themselves when needed that it just slipped his mind for a moment that harry was in fact not of age…I guess you could also say that Dumbledore has this sheldon-esque tendency to assume a lot people know certain things that seem so fundamental and obvious to him, when in reality they’re not so. Basically, the way he treated harry wasn’t something really off wit his character at all.

    • Eileen_Prince/Jones

      Did you just reference big bang theory?!? Awesome!! 🙂

    • SnapesManyButtons

      That’s the way I saw it too. This is the point where Dumbledore starts treating Harry as someone who doesn’t need to be lead by the hand like a child. Dumbledore has dwindling time and he must concentrate on what has to be done rather than the adolescent trials that matter to Harry. When he is gone, Harry will have to be ready to carry on and he can’t afford to coddle him.

  • Alnwickist

    Late to the discussion *again*, but just caught up now.

    I realise a sensitive subject and not sure if you deliberately didn’t address this to keep your podcast a ‘U’ rating, but this episode was perhaps one time when you really needed Noah!

    Surely one of the major points of this chapter was re first experiences of mature sex….

    I remember when I read it the day the book was released, I thought “There’s no way JKR is going to get away with this!”

    OGM for this OMG moment.

    HP:HBP Chp26 p376+

    The fissure soon opened into a dark tunnel that Harry could tell would be filled with water at high tide. The slimy walls were barely three feet apart and glimmered like wet tar in the passing light of Dumbledore’s wand.

    […]

    Dumbledore was standing in the middle of the cave, his wand held high as he turned slowly on the spot, examining the walls and ceiling.

    ‘Yes, this is the place,’ said Dumbledore.

    ‘How can you tell?’ Harry spoke in a whisper.

    ‘It has known magic,’ said Dumbledore simply.

    Harry could not tell whether the shivers he was experiencing were due to his spine-deep coldness or to the same awareness of enchantments. […]

    ‘This is merely the ante-chamber, the entrance hall,’ said Dumbledore after a moment or two. ‘We need to penetrate the inner place … now it is Lord Voldemort’s obstacles that stand in our way, rather than those nature made …’

    Dumbledore approached the wall of the cave and caressed it with his blackened fingertips, murmuring
    words in a strange tongue that Harry did not understand. Twice Dumbledore walked right around the cave, touching as much of the rough rock as he could, occasionally pausing, running his fingers backwards and forwards over a particular spot, until finally he stopped, his hand pressed flat against the wall.

    ‘Here,’ he said. ‘We go on through here. The entrance is concealed.’

    Harry did not ask how Dumbledore knew. He had never seen a wizard work things out like this, simply by looking and touching; but Harry had long since learned that bangs and smoke were more often the marks of ineptitude than expertise.

    Dumbledore stepped back from the cave wall and pointed his wand at the rock. For a moment, an arched
    outline appeared there, blazing white as though there was a powerful light behind the crack.

    ‘You’ve d-done it!’ said Harry through chattering teeth […]

    Sincerely hope I don’t offend anyone with this, but at this point in the books Harry is becoming a young man and exploring a whole new, erm, world with Ginny…

    As always, I’m in awe of JKR’s writing.

    xA