Episode 182: DH 31 – The Gryffindor Way

Man the boundaries! Do your duty to this podcast! It’s time for Chapter 31 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “The Battle of Hogwarts” – so grab your wands, learn Parseltongue, and kiss your love. Join hosts Michael, Rosie, Caleb, and guest Robyn as they destroy another Horcrux (thanks Crabbe!).

On Episode 182 we discuss…

→ Episode 181 Recap: Do the ends justify the means?; Marginalization of women in Harry Potter
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Would Lord Voldemort keep his word?
→ Flashback to the Middle Ages
→ Grandmotherly Pride!
→ Sorry, Harmony shippers…
→ Did Draco know the Diadem was in the Room of Requirement?
→ Do Horcruxes need “feeding”?
→ 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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  • I’d love to hear Michael read the dementor scene in the next chapter. I bawl every time I read Luna tell Harry “We’re all still here. We’re still fighting.”

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I second this. Can Michael just read the entire series to us?

      • I’d buy that audio series!

        • travellinginabluebox

          Maybe if we all raise enough money for this we might be able to pay Michael for doing the whole series. After all this will take up a lot of his time and I am sure he enjoys having free time as much as we do 😉

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            we’d have to buy the rights for that production, too, and that’s where it get’s really expensive.
            I’d say we set our hopes on an official re-recording of the audiobooks in the near future and keep suggesting who would be the best person for that job.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Didn’t think of that… Well in that case we stick to your plan 🙂

          • I’d be happy with just that page lol

      • I love the snippets we get here are there (like in this ep) and I looove the transitions he does for each chapter. Makes me miss audio fictions :'(

      • Mirna

        Oh yes, those Audiobooks would be amazing, a beautiful piece of art. They would be the audiobook equivalent of Jim Kay’s illustrated edition.

    • buckbeak is my spirit animal

      YES. That line from Luna is so beautiful. I pretty much don’t have a dry face for the rest of the book. Once the battle starts it’s all downhill for me….

  • ISeeThestrals

    Wasn’t the only reason Narcissa lied for Harry to Voldemort was because she needed to get back to Draco? I thought on a podcast long ago it was say from someone that Narcissa wouldn’t have lied for Harry if she learned Draco was dead. It’s slight repayment for the information that her son was still alive, but I don’t know if I see it as redemption. I can’t recall but did she stick around for the rest of what happened when it was down to Harry and Voldemort? In the movie she hurries away from the castle with Draco who is her only concern.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Exactly, I’m surprised that anyone reads it as Narcissa trying to help Harry. She only cared about finding her son and it says right in chapter 36 that “Narcissa knew that the only way she would be permitted to enter Hogwarts, and find her son, was as part of the conquering army.” And yes, the next,and last, time we see Narcissa in the book after she says Harry is dead is when she and Lucius are, “running through the crowd, not even attempting to fight, screaming for their son.” Now you can admire them for loving their son so much, but I don’t see anything there that indicates she cared at all what happened to Harry.

      • ISeeThestrals

        I would think either way there would be a ‘conquering army’ for Narcissa to march with back to the castle. If she decided to be cruel after learning about Draco and told Voldemort Harry was still alive, Harry would have to be killed again before they headed up to the castle. But Harry being alive provides a distraction so she can go running off.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          What do you think would have happened if she’d declared Harry to be alive? She certainly wouldn’t have been able to go back to the castle as soon, and every second that passed was a second in which her son could be killed. Was she just worried that it would take more time if Voldemort had to fight and try to kill Harry again? I don’t think she believed Harry would escape with his life, but that at some point Voldemort would discover that he was alive and kill him then. (In which case she’d be in real danger.) I’m not sure she thought ahead farther than, “I need to get to the castle and find my son.”

  • ISeeThestrals

    I really enjoyed learning about The Gray Lady. It was good to finally get to know her. I’ll also say I liked the little addition we get in the movie about how she mentioned she was friends with Luna. I could totally see Luna taking moments to speak to Helena instead of passing her by as most would do to a ghost. I think it can be easy to forget that the ghosts were real people and can still be spoken to on a human level.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I want to know how Harry made it through 6 years at Hogwarts and had no idea that she was the Ravenclaw ghost. I get that we don’t know anything about her as readers since she isn’t part of the narrative till now, but how has Harry never noticed this. He knows the ghosts for the other houses. Does she really just keep such a low profile that only Ravenclaws recognize her?

      Also I think it is really interesting that her history with the Bloody-Baron seems to be widely unknown. If it did get out, I can see a story like that becoming something of legend that Hogwarts students pass from one to another, the sort of story that gets more skewed over time until the truth is lost to wild exaggeration and changes from one telling to another.

      • SnapesManyButtons

        If I had to guess, I’d imagine that the Gray Lady keeps a low profile because she is tired of people asking her about the Diadem and because she doesn’t want to see the Bloody Baron if she can avoid it. Imagine spending eternity in the same castle with a man who pursued you, despite your turning him down, to the point of killing you? And the story of her and the Baron involves her stealing the Diadem (something her mother had kept secret) and him killing her. I don’t think either of them wanted the story known.

        I really don’t think any of the students have any interest in the other Houses, certainly not enough to hunt down a ghost who has nothing to do with their own House.

        • ISeeThestrals

          Not knowing a lot about her before this point gives her an air of mystery that I think is nice for a ghost to have.

          • Agreed. If you aren’t mysterious as a ghost, what really do you have? Nick is taunted by the Headless Hunt and attempts to be ‘terrifying’ (and fails) in front of them. The Grey Lady doesn’t have to do anything or worry about anyone else at all. She can remain silent and be mysterious and no-one will bother her or try to bring up her shameful past.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Oh yeah, for sure it makes sense that neither the Lady nor the Baron would want this story known.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          but why do both of them dwell at Hogwarts? Are they required to stay there like Myrtle? Both of them died abroad, so why return to the school and be in constant reminder of the awkwardness of the entire situation?

          • travellinginabluebox

            Hogwarts just is the best “home” for a ghost I think. Maybe they didn’t return immediately. Nick sure isn’t always Gryffindor’s ghost. After all Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago according to the Sorting Hat. And Nick celebrates his 200th death day in Chambers (unless I am totally mistaken here). So Nick is a fairly young ghost of Gryffindor compared to Slytherin and Ravenclaw. Then again we know Jo’s maths skills are not the best.

            But assuming this is correct I could see them both coming back reluctantly after the founders died and Hogwarts was known as the most magical place around where ghosts were tolerated.
            But for all we know they might both be at Hogwarts for only a century. And maybe the bloody baron just came to Hogwarts after he heard that the grey lady had returned there.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            You’re right, it’s possible they have not been there the entire time. Maybe there are other places where ghosts gather, I guess close to other magical schools or shopping areas like Diagon Alley. But to go there a ghost would need to learn where they are or have knowledge of them before their death. Helena might have known of other magical folk in other countries, she is described as very well educated and interested in learning.
            Nick died in 1492, didn’t he? That’s a year I can remember

          • travellinginabluebox

            Ah so it was his 500th death day celebration. Seems like today is not my day with numbers 🙂 But that would still mean he wasn’t around Hogwarts for all his time and he clearly was an adult when he died so he couldn’t have died at school – unless he was a teacher. But I think we would know if he were.
            So I think we can assume that Helena and the bloody baron are the oldest of the ghosts of Hogwarts. What I wonder is though: Did Gryffindor have a ghost before Nick arrived and if so what happened with that ghost? And when did the whole ‘each house gets there ghost thing’ start? I mean it is save to say that the founders brought the colours of their weapons as well as their animal crest. But I would think the ghosts was a later tradition and maybe just developed throughout time. What do you think?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            You’re right, a ghost from each house being at Hogwarts developed throughout time. Compared to the number of people who “go on” after their death there are not that many ghosts, so I can imagine Nick is the first ghost who used to be a Gryffindor at school who then decided to spend his ghost time at the school. I assume the title of official house ghost would go to the oldest ghost present, and there may well be ghosts at the school who did not attend Hogwarts originally because it wasn’t compulsory.

  • Wokanshutaiduo

    I think he would have fulfilled his promise to not attack Hogwarts provided they give up Harry willingly. But I think he would only have rewarded the ones who actively gave him Harry, and that he would still class the people that defied him as lower class citizens of his new world order. ALSO there are a bunch of non-purebloods pouring into the castle at this point and I don’t think they would have been granted amnesty.

    I think his promise is nothing more than stating that he WON’T kill “EVERY last man woman and child” that stood in his way if they give up Harry.

    • ISeeThestrals

      I would think so too. Hogwarts was important to him as a child. Besides that he stated he did not want to spill more magical blood, when they could be potential followers forced to bow down to him.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I think he would have kept his promise because handing Harry over to Voldemort would have meant that the people were willing to be compliant and do his will to save themselves. He would have let them live and given them some token reward such as a feast to honor their new Dark Lord taking over. He would see it as making them believe he could be a benevolent Lord, but it would only last until his reign really began and then everyone would be under his thumb, or worse depending on their blood status.

  • Wokanshutaiduo

    From one point of view what McGonagall does in the movie is crueller, not letting the Slytherins leave to get to safety. From another perspective, that is actually a smarter decision. By locking them up instead of letting them leave, she prevents them from going and fighting on the other side. And it also gives the Slytherins that DON’T support Voldemort an excuse for NOT showing up to fight for him.

    Also with the “Sorting hat is like stay together and be united which is fine until your life is on the line.” Another important thing to consider is that Slytherin was NEVER included by the other Houses prior to this year, the school NEVER stood united. So what motivation even exists for Slytherin to try and fight? Whereas there are people like Zacharias Smith, who were included and taught by the DA but are still too cowardly to stay.

    And no, I disagree. Snape, Regulus and Slughorn, and Draco to an extent, are the ones who redeem Slytherin. Narcissa doesn’t count in my opinion, because she was acting purely to get to the castle to see Draco.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      please don’t forget Andromeda in the group of people who redeem Slytherin! She’s just on screen for a short moment but what she does offscreen is so important!

      Looking at the students who would be allowed to stay, but leave anyway: I think it does also take guts to admit that you’re not capable enough to fight this fight and then get out of the way so that the capable fighters don’t have to worry about protecting you. I’m not saying this is the case with Smith, but for some unnamed students it may fit.

      • I have no hesitation in saying I’d be a ravenclaw who would have left. Am I against Harry and the work he wants to do? No, of course not! But I am no good at charging into battle with war cries, no siree. I’d be out of there so fast with many “good lucks!” and “best wishes!” thrown over my shoulder as I ran. #RavenclawIsWhereDwellTheNotSoBraveAtHeart

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Bravery alone does not take you far, good judgement is also important. So not fighting can be the wiser choice.

          I believe I’d find a spot where I can see as much as possible and not get myself in danger, but cast shield charms to protect the students and teachers and maybe take out some attackers from a long range.

          • That’s a smart idea. If I was able to get the guts to stay maybe I’d have done something along those lines too. I may well have stayed, I really have no clue. I think it’s hard to judge when you’re forced into such a life-or-death situation to know how you would react. (Which is why I can’t be angry at those who leave, it’s a tough choice to make. Many people died that day.) I feel like my first inclination would be to assist somehow in the evacuation of the younger students and then done a Trelawney and just started chucking anything and everything at the Death Easters. I sometimes have rare gryffindor-esque moments. Maybe I would have stayed after all.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Yes! Help getting the younglings out of the way safely, because it takes too long to send all of them through the floo network. Every adult who can side-along apparate one or two younger students to a safe place and return within minutes to get the next pair out is needed.
            Sending huge parts of rubble flying at someone is also an idea to fight without dark magic or curses. Flitwick’s parting words to Snape seem a good summary for what many Ravenclaws may be thinking about the fight: let the attackers do no more murder at Hogwarts, stop them, buy time for the skilled fighters to do their tasks.

        • The Half Blood Princess

          Same.

      • DoraNympha

        (Always keeping in mind Andromeda may not have been a Slytherin but she probably was.) I agree, there is no point in trying to prove your bravery if you have never stunned a person in your life. In this case, it is absolutely not cowardice to leave, it’s actually a lot smarter and beneficial to the cause to do so and alert outsiders who could come help. I always assumed it was those who left from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff who roused Hogsmeade with Slughorn and sent word to Charlie, not Slytherins. There’s no point in Colin Creevys, if you can’t duel in class, you can’t duel a Death Eater, there’s no shame in leaving, it’s just, again, the Gryffindor bias of the books, which are written from Harry’s point of view. Now, Zac Smith, who knows how to fight and was of age and a DA member, was indeed kind of letting others down.

        • Wokanshutaiduo

          Actually Andromeda is almost definitely a Slytherin, because Sirius is famous for being the first Black not in Slytherin. It is true that I forgot about her, oops!

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Charlie Weasley certainly got the news from his family, when they went to Hogwarts to fight. Arthur maybe sent his patronus to his second oldest son to alert him. As for Hogsmeade, anyone who went through the tunnel and Ab’s pub could have gone and told the villagers what’s happening. If there were still Death Eaters left in the Three Broomsticks or on the streets, there may have been a mini-battle between them and the family members and villagers who wanted to join the fight. Maybe some of the locals helped side-along-apparating the younger kids to safety.
          there are a million fanfic prompts in these chapters and “help me, I can’t duel if my life depends on it” is just one of them.

  • Wokanshutaiduo

    I love this Ron!!! He thinks of the basilisk fangs, he remembers how to mimic Harry’s Parseltongue, HE REMEMBERS THE HOUSE ELVES HAVEN’T BEEN EVACUATED!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Agree! I’m not a huge Ron fan, but I do think he is highly underrated at times. Ron is awesome in this chapter.

    • SlytherinKnight

      I still think that Ron being able to mimic Paseltongue is almost like a cop-out on JK Rowling’s part, it kind of lessens the impact that being able to speak Parseltongue means if you are able to mimic it after only hearing it a few times. Dumbledore, I can understand him at the very least learning how to since he speaks several different languages but Ron, not so much.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        it’s just one phrase, for which he needed several tries, and apparently Ron has a talent for picking up characteristics of speech. If they’d teach languages at Hogwarts, Ron would be acing them – at least in the spoken part.

  • ISeeThestrals

    You added so much more in the discussion of Fred’s death when describing the writing here Rosie. So well done. The death happens quickly, but to talk about the way J.K slowly reveals it, really deepens and lengthens the moment. It is bizarrely beautiful.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Yes and thanks Rosie for always explaining us the British slang – we would be so lost without you 🙂

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    As for house unity. Ravenclaw have always been close(r) to Slytheryn as well (Malfoy says as much in the first book) so its not all that surprising that all of their underage kids willingly leave and some of the older cautious types also leave…

    • ORRRRR, maybe they were all just really smart to leave?!??! Hmmm!!??!? Haha, I don’t know! I’m a ravenclaw and I keep going back and forth about whether I’d have left myself, or not. Sometimes I think: “LEAVE! leave, leave, leave! YOU ARE LEAVING NOOOW. get out of there as fast as your little tail can run!” …and then sometimes I think: “help them fight!! gather up that tiny ounce of courage and brandish your skillful wand and wield it with the force of a thousand eagles! caw, caw, caw!! may the great rowena ravenclaw give me strength to remember all of the spells i have studied! ONWARD!” sooooo…I don’t really know what would have happened, but I definitely don’t judge those who left. Perhaps a lot of them weren’t too keen on wand to wand combat and thought “I’ll let those skilled people do all that fighting stuff, PEACE OUT.” Also, for those who were against Harry/The Cause it would have been far worse for them to have stayed and fought on the other side so I guess it is good that those who weren’t in sympathy with Harry left.

      • ILoveLunaLoveGood

        that was my point. Ravenclaw probably over think things more than the Gryffindors or Hufflepuffs. Perhaps there are those who convinced themselves that they would only be a liability, better to leave things to those more experienced or more confident. Its not a negative thing but just a bit more self preservation than with the other two houses…

  • Awesomebird Sama

    I think Narcissa doesn’t try to protect Harry out of good will.
    She does it, to get information about her son and to find a way to get in the castle to protect Draco.
    her one and only goal is to keep her son safe.
    betraying Voldemort means that if he finds out, you’re dead.
    She willing to give her life for her child.
    it a motif that she shares with two other mothers in the book, Harry’s Mother Lily and Molly Weasley.
    I think it is to show, that even on the “evil” side of a war there aren’t pure monsters.
    the enemies are humans too and they have people they genuinely love and want to protect.

    • Arthur Dent

      I agree with your thoughts on Fiendfyre, which is also evidenced by the everlasting fire, that Dumbledore created as a gift for the giants, having its own, distinct name; it’s called Gubraithian Fire.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Wow. A lot of points covered here.
      Love the bit about analysing the word “fiendfyre”. I totally forgot what it was called in German since I read the series in English but thanks for the reminder.
      If I am not completely mistaken though the German word “Feind” origins from the mythical meaning monster. But lost his true meaning throughout time since nowadays we don’t believe in monsters and beasts like that. So I think that there are two meanings is due to the change in the language because languages constantly evolve. Nowadays there is a lot of English words in the German language due to computers and globalization. So the language is changing again and a lot of words are now considered old-fashioned and are rarely used by anyone any longer due to this.
      It is also telling that most people in Germany apologize with “Sorry” instead of the German word “Entschuldigung”. So English is creeping in the language more and more. I sometimes wonder if in the future there will only be 1 language spoken worldwide (probably English since it is so easy to learn) and just regional accents like we already have. People have different accents within Britain, USA and Australia + New Zealand, to just name a few of the bigger English speaking countries.

      • Awesomebird Sama

        hm… according to my mediocre knowledge a lot of germanic language (including Old-Saxon) use words similiar to fiend/Feind in the meaning of “enemy” /foe/not-a-friend. so I think that is the older meaning.
        However one traditional use of the word is the devil as enemy of mankind, the “Menschenfeind”…i could see this be the connection with the devil being seen as a demon and/or a monster and so slowly the word changing it’s meaning from a simple foe that works against oneself to a monster .

        with the “sorry”.
        urgh…this is difficult because it has a totally differen connotation to say “sorry” in German than it has in English.
        in English you mean it…in German you only use it for not too searious situation.
        If you cheated to your spouse or ran over a child with your car would never use “sorry”. It would be respectless.
        English doesn’t hold as much meaning in German.
        You would say “Es tut mir leid” (I am sorry/ the guilt hurts me), “Verzeih mir” (forgive me) even “Entschuldigung” (take away my guilt )wouldn’t work, because it’s not deep enough.
        “Sorry” is in a similar “severeness” as “Pardon” in German…you say it when you for accidentally bump into someone…nothing too serious.
        same with cursing…the german “f”-word (a word for the female primary sexual organ) is much more severe than the english f-word for us.

        I don’t think the Germanic languages will disappear the same with spanish, chinese, French…we’re way to stubborn to give up on our way to communicate…the language will change, but they won’t die.
        it would also be extremely sad, because all the meaning and culture that is bund to these languages. losing your language means losing a big part of your cultural identity. We see that to a small point in the disappearing of minority laguages like Low Saxon or Norman, not always to the better.
        i prefer people of a small region with a strong regional pride over big nations with a strong national pride anytime. they can do less damage.
        I suppose there will be a lot more people growing up with several native languages, but languages and culture won’t die as much.

        • travellinginabluebox

          Hmm I think you basically summed up my point way better than I was able to. Thanks for that and totally agree 🙂

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    On this reread the three women in the RoR reminded me of the “Triple Godess” who represent stages of the female life cycle and phases of the moon in common Neopagan beliefs: mother, maiden, crone.

    Regarding Jo’s opinion on women being part of the fight I believe placing those three there may be deliberate. Except for Ginny who was told to stay in the room none of them needed to linger there and wait for news, although I think fighting was not their first priority. Augusta goes out to find and help Neville and Dora is specifically looking for Remus, so protecting their loved ones is the first thing on their minds.

    What brings me to my next point: Don’t Remus and Dora have a means to communicate over distance? Some magical something that tells them the other one is alive and well or at least helps them find each other. I know this happened 20 years before everyone took their mobile phones everywhere but they have magic for crying out loud.

    Also interesting how Harry does not look at any of the three women as fighters when he comes in. He expects Dora to be at home with her baby, he is surprised at Augusta’s speed when she leaves the room and he wants Ginny out of harm’s way. Yet all three of them are able to stand their ground, at least for a while…

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Wow, all great points. Tonks might have been able to send Remus a Patronus message, but he thought she was safe at her Mother’s so wouldn’t have thought to send her one. And at the point where Dora is looking for him, I doubt Remus could take time out to send a reply since the battle was in full swing and he was fighting for his life. In fan fictions couples sometimes have magical rings linked so they know when the other is in trouble and that will take them to their side like a portkey, but I don’t think we see anything of that sort in the books.

      Even though Jo has said that use of a wand makes women equal in fighting, the Wizards still seem to think of Witches as needing to be protected. I like that though the three women are overlooked as fighters, they are all very capable. Neville’s grandmother even fought off a Death Eater sent to capture her. Protecting loved ones is not just a male attribute, and that “mother bear” instinct can make you pretty powerful. In my mind, Tonks didn’t die because she wasn’t capable, but because she was and thus took on the most dangerous attackers and risked herself more to protect those less trained. Sometimes the odds are just not with you, no matter how good you are.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Your take on Tonks is exactly how I see her and Lupin going down, by taking on the worst if the lot. I kind of hated when Pottermore released that Lupin died because he was out of practice. That’s not how I wanted to see his death at all. I had just always imagined that Lupin and Tonks just didn’t back down from the fight, that they kept taking on one baddie after another, until they got to those that they just couldn’t beat.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          I agree about Lupin. Even if he was a bit rusty, he wouldn’t let that hold him back and he would have gone all out to attack the most dangerous attackers trying to protect others from them.

          • travellinginabluebox

            I always found it astounding that wizards didn’t have any form of p.e. I mean you basically only have to move your arm so maybe on first sight it would seem unnecessary. Unless you are duelling or fighting another wizard. You would have to be able to dodge curses and hexes as well as be in good shape to last long running duels. So it would only seem logical to remain a little fit in some way.
            Then again the students of Hogwarts have to roam a massive castle with 7 floors so I suppose just going to classes would keep you fit. But for all the older wizards and witches it would be easy to get in a more comfortable way of living. Magic can be used to summon things and if you have your own house elf you basically never have to move again (to say it over dramatically). You could just lay about and never do a thing.
            Now I am not saying the Lupin wasn’t fit. He most certainly was due to his condition and being an order member would most certainly keep you in a better physical condition. But I suppose what Rowling meant here was that no one of the order was used to long lasting fights. I mean throughout the battle of Hogwarts you had to duel possibly more than one wizard at the same time and as soon as one was down there would be the next entering the fight. So I think it is probably less Lupin’s physical abilities and more the long fighting that taxes on your nerves and makes your reactions go slower. I think even a short duel would be very hard for regular wizards. Spells can come from any direction and maybe not all shields can deflect all curses and you are to slow to dodge and so on.
            So I think Lupin died more out of fighting too long and with too many death eaters at the same time. And I am pretty sure he fought the best of the death eaters. He (as would Tonks) would consider himself one of the better fighters of the light and therefore see it his mission to fight all the good death eaters.

            And sadly in the end that let to him die in battle. But as much as it pains me I think we had to expect people that we love to die at Hogwarts. After all this is war and war just writes terrible stories – especially when it involves family or love. Lupin and Tonks will be sorely missed and they would have been awesome parents but I am sure Harry way an awesome godfather to Teddy. So in a way it all worked out and Lupin finally got to see his old friends 🙂

        • Lisa

          Tonks was killed by Bellatrix and Lupin by Dolohov- so yeah, I would definitely say they took on the “worst of the lot”. Or were taken on by them, anyway.

          It is a bit funny that the explanation on Pottermore says Lupin, who’d participated in plenty of fights before this one, was a bit rusty so that’s why he lost yet other characters who’ve never been in a fight before were perfectly capable of defeating powerful opponents… but I’m getting ahead of the chapters now 🙂

  • Efthymia

    Oh, this chapter…

    First of all, what’s all this crazy talk about Fred dying? Sure, he looked dead for a while, but he was just unconscious; I mean, Harry didn’t see him when he used the Resurrection Stone, and we see no burial, and no mention of dead Fred or sad, lonely George in the epilogue, and the book ends with the phrase “All was well.”, so FRED DID NOT DIE, OKAY?!!!

    I’m with Caleb on this: I like the twins, but they’re not among my most favourite characters (mostly because of how they treat Ron and Percy). Still, the sibling thing makes this death the most heartbreaking for me -it’s Fred AND George! It’s always been Fred AND George! And George wasn’t even there during his twin brother’s final moments! I would have actually found it better if both the twins had died rather than any one of them.
    At least that’s what I would have said if Fred had died, but HE DIDN’T!

    And if Rowiling had killed off Ron, I would have never reread the series, I would badmouth it to everyone, and I would hate her forever.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      Supposedly the only two times Fred and George are apart in the series is when George gets his ear cursed off and when Fred is killed (almost…) They were always safe if they were together.

    • ISeeThestrals

      I think it’s crueler that one twin dies. Fred wasn’t my favorite, but the idea of losing one is kind of striking.
      There’s no denying Fred died. It’s pretty clear without the author having to go into extreme detail for some. Also I don’t see a reason for Fred to turn up when Harry used the Resurrection Stone. If that was the case, why doesn’t Cedric and Dobby show up. The people that show up for Harry are parental figures. Least that’s a way to look at it.

      • Efthymia

        Hey, I’ve been building my denial for years: it’s strong and sturdy and no comment can bring it down. 🙂

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      And what a suckerpunch with that ending of that intro clip on this episode. I was not ready for it. I was listening through headphones and my husband, having no idea what I was listening to, asked me why I looked like a “crazy person” because I was so appalled, and wanting to cry and laugh at the shock of it at the same time.

    • Awesomebird Sama

      >”And if Rowiling had killed off Ron, I would have never reread the
      series, I would badmouth it to everyone, and I would hate her forever.”

      me too. Ron is such an important character, i don’t think harry would have been able to go on if he knew that his most important person (I don’t mean this romantically) died.
      Killing off “Harry Potter’s Wheezy” would have ruined the series for me. OnO”
      i wouldn’t hate her…it’s still her story after all…
      but i wouldn’t have reread the books and I’d be very disgruntled if she would have writting a “happily ever after” ending not taking the importance of the trio’s friendship into account.

      • Efthymia

        I use “hate” as a passionate expression of how much I wanted Ron to survive and live happily ever after (I feel the same about other characters as well, but I’m talking about Ron since Rowling has said she considered killing him off).

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Ernie Macmillan in this chapter is one of my favorite secondary character reappearances. I love that he is the one standing up asking to fight. Rather than being a pompous ass here, he is showing his genuine Hufflepuff colors. He has loudly voiced his criticisms of Harry in the past but has also readily admitted being wrong, and has Harry’s back in the end. It is really nice that we get to see him have a shining moment of loyalty and bravery here, especially in contrast to Justin later. I think Hufflepuff house should be proud to claim Ernie, just like Cedric and Tonks. Justin however, I can only assume he ended up in Hufflepuff because he failed to show strong traits for any of the houses.

    • Confused by what you mean about ‘in contrast to Justin later.’ …I didn’t see any mention of Justin at all…? Wondering if you mean Zacharias (??) who certainly doesn’t emit the strong trait of loyalty Hufflepuffs are known for.
      Also, not only did Ernie have Harry’s back in the Great Hall, he also was in the RoR meaning he had been fighting all year and had been driven into hiding just like Neville and the rest. Three cheers for Ernie! The most loyal–if a bit pompous–Hufflepuff one could ask for!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Oh yes thank you! I totally meant Zacharias but for some reason had Justin on the brain. Going to edit now..

        • Now that you bring it up though, where is our Finch-Fletchley friend?! Are we to suppose he went into hiding due to his muggleborn status? WHAT HAPPENED TO JUSTIN?! :O And I wonder, of those people who DID go into hiding (possibly including Justin) did they all go back to Hogwarts the following year to complete their studies? Or were some of them given kind of a ‘free ride’ because of the chaos of the war (kind of like Ron and Harry but maybe on a lower, less-important level?) Never thought of this before…hmm…

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, I didn’t even think about the fact that he wouldn’t have been allowed at Hogwarts this year. I can sort of see him trying to play it safe by the rules, and submitting himself for registration, but I suppose if he were smart he’d probably be better off in hiding. Good question, who knows what happened to the guy. You’d think he’d have gotten the DAs message and shown up with the others but he is never named. So perhaps he opted to stay in hiding, or perhaps a worse fate has already befallen him.

          • Really hope he didn’t fall into what we might call the ‘Florean Fortescue Club’… :/ There are just so many characters in Harry Potter it would have been impossible for Jo to tell us what happened to each of them. I seem to recall her speaking about one her first drafts of the epilogue in an interview at some point and she said basically it was just a list of each character and who they ended up marrying and what their children were called and her editor said something like, “I think you can do this a different way.” and she burst into tears because she had been so overworked and stressed about the conclusion to the story. Anyway, as we know, she came up with a slightly more poetic way to end the story than just a block of who lived and what their family was called.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            I don’t think I’ve heard that interview, that’s so interesting. I would definitely say it was the right decision not to include everyone. Especially since reader’s aren’t going to really be thinking about those secondary characters on a first read, it would just bog down the narrative. Wondering what happened to all thise minor characters comes later, and at that point the story is finished more or less, so throwing all the explanations in wouldn’t really add much. I suppose that’s where Pottermore comes in, well, tries to anyway…

  • Efthymia

    When I first read the book, I was very shocked that Crabbe died -he is the first student we see dying in the battle, and he had been around ever since the first book, even if he had been an unlikeable character. In my mind he was still a kid. And I always found his death a bit sad.
    But this time I realised that, at this point, Crabbe is 18 years old; he is no longer a kid. The last time we saw him before this it was in the previous book, when he still followed and took orders from Draco and he was uncomfortable with what he was made to do, but did it anyway, still giving the impression that he is a dim boy, raised in a bad family with bad principles. Yet now, we know that he has spend the year torturing other students and being pretty OK with it; we see him viewing himself as better and more important than Draco because of his “experience”; we see him trying to kill people who have been his schoolmates, and with whom he had never actually had any personal issue other than that one of his best friends and “leader” of his group did not like them; and he is 18. It’s sad that he grew up to be this type of person, but he is now at an age where he has made some choices on his own, and we can no longer simply blame his upbringing.
    In the 2012 greek elections, the neo-nazi party came in third place, and it has maintained that spot ever since (if the 1930s taught us anything it’s that fascists and nazis follow a financial crisis; apparently, not everyone has learned that lesson -but I digress). The stereotypical image of its members and its supporters/followers is that of dim, uneducated people, who can barely utter a coherent sentence and can’t spell to save their lives, and who value physical strength and violence above all else (and the majority of them are indeed this way). Crabbe fits this image to a T.

    • travellinginabluebox

      I like the comparison with Nazis and as we know Voldy basically is the equivalent to Hitler so it fits. And I wanted to add the quote said by Dumbledore to Riddle during their duel in the ministry in OotP:
      “Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.”
      So in a way Voldemort himself thinks like Crabbe that the worst that can happen is death and he punishes his followers with physical violence. And I think we all know that there is much worse in the world than physical violence. So it would only be logical that his followers are dim-witted people who fear those two things the most. Whereas more clever people know that there are much worse threads in the world. (I know not all of his followers fit into this stereotype. But those who exceed this expectations are all in his inner circle. So people he chose as his men for their intellect and skills, such as Malfoy, Snape and Crouch Jr.)

  • Efthymia

    J.K. Rowling is mainly to blame for this, but people seem to forget that Tonks was not always Lupin’s fangirl and wife. Tonks was an Auror. Her chosen career was to fight and catch bad people. So Tonks didn’t go to Hogwarts to find Lupin and take him home because she was worried, she went there to fight. If she hadn’t intended to fight she wouldn’t have left her newborn baby behind -or do people actually believe that she was so stupid and self-centered as to have gone there to just, I don’t know, make out with her husband and take him back home?
    I find it very disrespectful to both Lupin and Tonks that people are trying to find various reasons and excuses as to why they were at the battle of Hogwarts instead of at home with their baby, as if fighting against evil totalitarian racists, defending people who can’t defend themselves, and honouring what they had devoted their lives to isn’t good and believable enough a reason.

    I love Lupin, he is one of my favourite characters, and I feel like Tonks could have been one, too, if only we knew more things about her and if Rowling hadn’t made her entire existence revolve around Lupin after Book 5. Their deaths sadden me to no end.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Love your comment. I never saw this as Tonks coming to take Lupin home either. By becoming an Auror, she has dedicated her life to fighting dark magic. Likewise with Lupin, he has lost all his childhood friends to Voldemort, has been In the Order his entire adult life; this isn’t a fight he is going to stay out of. To them, they are doing right by their son by fighting to ensure his future, even if it means a future without them in it.

      I also wish we had gotten more of Tonks’ character in the series. I had a hard time actually buying into their relationship since it was built almost entirely off page. I hated the mopey, pining, Tonks we saw in book 5. While I understand the legitimacy in her anguish at the time, it seemed somewhat out of her character as this badass female Auror to let rejection bring her down so much. I wish we could have seen more of them as couple where they are actually bringing out the best in eachother and feeding off of eachother’s strengths. I think Tonks arriving to join him in battle is one of those times. To me, this is why, ar least in part, they are together, because they are both willing to sacrifice themselves to protect others, including eachother.

    • Witherwings

      Interesting! I always viewed Tonks and Lupin as doing what James and Lily would have done had they been prepared to fight. Tonks and Lupin were fighting to protect their son- I mean, Voldemort specifically mentions their offspring in that horrible “will you babysit the Cubs” comment at the beginning of DH- they must have known he would be targeted eventually. What parent wants their child to grow up in an openly oppressive world? I think Lupin, having experienced that prejudice most of his life, would have really thought about this. Tonks would have too as she married into it. I would argue that they were trying to protect their son just as much as Lily and James were. And that makes them awesome parents!

    • DoraNympha

      This! I never assumed she was only there because of Lupin. She’s an Auror, an Order Member, the kind of person I was surprised to find out was NOT a Gryffindor, (her character arc being so defined by Lupin can also just be that intense Hufflepuff loyalty?), she’d be there whether Lupin is or not, who by the way would be here no matter what as well, he’s a Marauder, DADA teacher, Order member, has been through a million dangerous missions in two wars and perhaps a few situations as a werewolf. Tonks saying she couldn’t stand not knowing was just an added factor, I mean, on top of being battle-ready 24/7 as an Auror, anyone’s main thought would be where their partner or family is in this situation. In your dying moments you don’t think about how many more of the enemy you could have taken down but just about your loved ones. And as Lupin says, they were just trying to make a world in which their son could live a happier life, and I always thought that was such a profound reason to explain their roles and deaths in this battle that every other excuse is secondary anyway. Plus, we get so little of either of them, there’s just so much we have to imagine to fill the gaps, I’m not sure I can keep proper track of what’s purely the text and what is just my imagination.

      And while we’re at excuses, Lupin was supposed to be out of practice, which supposedly contributed to his losing the fight against Dolohov, right? But… okay, people like Arthur or Trelawney were not out of practice, then? When was a Trelawney ever IN practice? Wouldn’t Remus’ werewolf instincts keep this up even if he doesn’t do duels for months?

      • Efthymia

        I assume that the Death Eaters focused more on people like Lupin than people like Trelawney, which may have helped her survive.
        As for Arthur, I would say that his amazing awesomeness protected him, but Lupin was also amazingly awesome, so I guess that’s not it. Perhaps all the Weasleys practiced while in hiding at aunt Muriel’s.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          Arthur does not have a newborn baby. Adrenalin in battle can take one only so far, at one point exhaustion will take over.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    in the first passage of the chapter there’s McGonagall and “the remaining teachers”, so who is here but unnamed? Not all teachers are mentioned in later chapters, I can’t recall Professors Vector, Sinistra or Binns anywhere, Madam Hooch does not appear, and is Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank there replacing Hagrid after he had to run?
    in one of my “end this battle before anyone dies”-fantasies I see Professor Binns giving one of his lectures, amplified over the grounds so that all the attackers get drowsy and fall to sleep and can easily be locked up.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Ha! @ Binns putting everyone to sleep. The icing on the cake there is that he’s a ghost so any spells sent at him certainly wouldn’t stop his lecture. Or would a silencing charm work on him? Can ghosts be effected by particular spells? Obviously not AK and such..

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        it’s hard to pinpoint which spell could have an effect on a ghost. But in this case you could just have Binns drone away in his classroom as usual (make him believe it’s the right time) and magically blast the waffling against the attackers.

        • ISeeThestrals

          When was the last time we heard about Binns? Seems ages ago.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            During Harry’s O.W.L.s when he struggles to remember anything from Binns’ classes. Harry and Ron failed History of Magic so they couldn’t pick it for their NEWTs and so we don’t get to see Binns anymore.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Ah, yes. So this would be a nice application for the Sonorus charm, which now that I think about it, is this what Voly is using to project his own voice through Hogwarts?

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            the voice “seemed to issue from the walls themselves. Like the monster it had once commanded, it might have lain dormant there for centuries.”
            What if this is a kind of alarm or announcement system of the castle itself that was put in place for emergencies or important events?
            His words are audible in Hogsmeade and in the mountains beyond, so a really big strong sonorus charm is also a good guess.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Oh interesting with the alarm system idea. It’s like Voldy hacked the PA system.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Also, “magically blast the waffling” is my new favorite phrase. This should be a wizard rock song or something.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            so let’s call ourselves “The History of Magic Ghost-Professors” and make chill-out Wizard Jazz

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeeesssss!!

      • SnapesManyButtons

        Nearly Headless Nick is petrified by the Basilisk, so some things can affect ghosts. I bet a silencing charm would work, since it affects the sound waves and not the source of them.

    • Witherwings

      Good point! When was the last time we heard from Madam Hooch??

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I think the last time we see her is refereeing the Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherib in HBP. Not positive on that though.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          sadly she’s not mentioned at that game and as Harry’s not at the final match against Ravenclaw Madam Hooch doesn’t appear then. I’ve got to get those ebooks someday, really, looking up stuff would be so much quicker.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            We can assume that Hooch was at that final match, we just don’t get to see it, since Harry wasn’t. She was definitely there during the match against Slytherin. Unless I’m mistaken, that was the one where Malfoy didn’t show right, which made Harry wonder what he was doing instead? So unless she is given a non-quidditch related scene after that, it is the last time Harry has direct interaction with her.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Honestly though. What does Hooch do for all the time there isn’t a game or teaching the first years. And even that is only 3 lessons for two classes. So 6 lessons in total.
            Don’t get me wrong I like her as a character a lot but surely she can only be in a part-time contract. Or extremely bored. Or both.
            I always wondered what other role she holds because honestly you could get a referee for the games from outside.

            I thought that maybe she was the contact person to go to for when you want to play professional. So she might help set up trainings with pro teams or something like that. But this might seriously be the most relaxed job ever (and I want it).

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            Could she be a former Quidditch player who went into teaching/coaching after retiring? Sometimes she does watch the teams during training, so she must be able to come to the castle quickly if she’s not there permanently.
            I think we don’t see more Flying lessons after Harry’s first one because Quidditch is far more exciting – and maybe he’s excused from going to Flying lessons because he’ll just upset the other kids who are not as good. For the other first-years the lessons do go on, until they’re good enough. Three lessons to learn would be not enough for all the kids to get the hang of it, especially when they are muggleborn and never got to use brooms before.

          • travellinginabluebox

            Oh I thought it was canon that every first year had 3 lessons. But I looked it up just now and I can’t find anything to prove that so I was probably wrong. Do not why that number popped up in my head. Your theory would mean that Hermiona would have far more lessons than Harry and Ron but we wouldn’t know because they aren’t friends at that point. And later she might be done with them. Although she obviously never became proficient on a broom.
            I also looked up Hooch in the wiki and couldn’t find anything there and Pottermore doesn’t have anything on her either. But I think it is save to assume she was a pro Quidditch player before her time at Hogwarts.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            She’s probably responsible for maintaining the school brooms, but that doesn’t seem like much work either. I’d also guess that she works with Hagrid on the upkeep of the Quidditch pitch. It does seem like a rather easy job teaching wise though.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Oh, I forgot, she is at least mentioned releasing the quaffle and asking the captains to shake hands. It’s not much. I don’t think she even makes any calls during that game, most of the focus is on Harry’s reaction to Zacharias’s asinine commentating.

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        at a Quidditch match in HBP, I guess?

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Sir Cadagon’s appearance made me think about how the war must be affecting the portraits. Think about it, they are having to watch everyone fight and die but aren’t really able to help or run away, which would be a terrible experience. They are limited to just running between frames, passing information and yelling encouragement. So I wonder if that had any psychological effects on the people in the portraits. It sort of depends on how much sentience we attribute to them. We know from the Fat Lady’s run in with Sirius that the portraits feel very human emotions like fear. So how many of the portraits were horror-stricken through this battle, and how might that have changed them in the future. Incan see someone like Cadagon singing the praises of “brave Hogwarts fighters” years after the fact, but maybe other portraits have real trauma they deal with after the fact?

    • ISeeThestrals

      I think the portraits will be able to bounce back quicker than the participants. Afterall the people in the portraits aren’t actually people, but impressions of the people they depict. I think their reactions depend on the person they were painted after.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        You’re likely right about the paintings being able to bounce back quicker than actual people. I wonder though if, for example, there are some portraits that like, freak out, when students set off hexes in the corridors or something.

        • ISeeThestrals

          I can’t imagine a portrait freaking out about a hex going off as they most likely see it all the time, being it’s teen wizards in a magical school and they’ll set off all kinds of spells when they can even if they aren’t suppose to in corridors. I imagine a portrait could be very annoyed if a hex went off, but I feel like being they’re wizards and witches, most probably wouldn’t experience a sense of ptsd when magic’s involved. It would depend on the type of hex because some are really gruesome even for them to take.

  • Witherwings

    I was so glad to see Nearly Headless Nick in his chapter! Nick was always kind to Harry, and he helps Harry out of quite a few tight spots during the previous books (I believe he is responsible for breaking the Vanishing Cabinet that Draco eventually mends, too- see CoS). The Grey Lady was very interesting to get to know, but I am glad this book included a nod to Nick before we finished the series.
    And why, oh WHY didn’t we get more of John Cleese in the movies?!

    • It is actually that master of chaos and missing piece in the movies: Peeves! …who breaks the cabinet apparently on a suggestion by Nick. I seem to remember Peeves dropping the cabinet off of something quite high up…?
      I love all of the throw backs to earlier books. I’m sure that was fun for Jo to write. She has this big playground full of characters and objects and spells that she had created over the years and she just got to take her pick in the last book. I’m guessing it was like a kid in a candy store! (Still disappointed that we never saw the Ford Anglia’s return; surely that’s still bumping around in the forest somewhere?!)

      • Witherwings

        Ah you’re right, it was Peeves! I remembered Nick had something to do with that. The Headless Hunt even makes an appearance in this chapter too, which makes it fun to read!….. Aside from the fact that, you know, we are terrified for everyone’s lives by this point in the book.
        I agree with you – It is awesome that she chose to weave in the older characters throughout this last section of DH. It really heightens the stakes for us as readers- The little flashbacks of Harry’s (and our own) life make the catharsis more intense as the book series comes to a close.

  • Just had to pop on here while I am still listening to the episode to comment on the fiendfyre stuff…

    I don’t think fiendfyre and the fire given to the giants is the same thing. Hagrid specifically states that he gave the giants a branch of “Gubraithian fire” which was enchanted cleverly by Dumbledore. I think its safe to assume, due to its different name, that Gubraithian fire is not fiendfyre. Also, it is literally just described as a branch that burns forever and doesn’t mention any of the defining characteristics of fiendfyre that we see in this chapter. (fast-moving, all-consuming, animalistic shapes, out-of-control, etc) According to the HP wiki, it is supposed that Voldemort uses fiendfyre in his duel with Dumbledore in book 5 but as the only source I could find was simply the film, I don’t feel that can be confirmed.

    On a personal level, this has ALWAYS bugged me about this book!! One of things I love so much about Jo’s writing and her way of crafting the series is her ability to mention things ages ago and then cleverly pop them up again in a “see, I told you this would be important” kind of way that makes us all go “A HA! I remember that from chapter 12 of book 3!” The way Hermione mentions fiendfyre is the complete opposite of this. Even though Rosie supposed that Hermione had slipped in a mention of fiendfyre previously, the fact is that she never does. When Hermione correctly identifies fiendfyre as the spell used by Crabbe it is the first and only mention of fiendfyre EVER. It would have been so incredibly easy to have slipped a mention of fiendfyre (disguised amongst several other ways of destroying horcruxes as Jo often does,) when the trio are all discussing ways to destroy horcruxes wayyyy at the beginning of the book when they are avoiding wedding chores in Ron’s bedroom. This always feels too convenient to me and always annoys the heck out of me. It feels rushed and unfinished and I just plain don’t like it. In a series where the magic is so thoughtfully conceived and throughly planned-out this is one instance where it’s just plain bad. BOOOO FIENDFYRE!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I agree that the branch given tot he Giants isn’t Fiendfyre. Fiendfyre is supposed to be so dangerous and so all-consuming, giving it to non-magical people seems like a horrible idea.

      • It’s like that point in goblet of fire when Harry is looking up ways to get past the dragon and he sees a spell for a “horned tongue” and thinks: ‘that will just help the dragon.’ …Why give the vicious crazy giants another fun tool for killing each other?!
        EDIT: also there’s no way Dumbledore would have been stupid enough to do that.

    • travellinginabluebox

      After listening to this week’s podcast I can’t believe I never thought about how Harry never really bothers with learning about horcruxes from either the books or Hermione. Seriously. You had one job and loads of free time there in the woods! Makes me really angry now. AAAAAHHH!

      Well after calming down my Gryffindor temper here I came to the conclusion that Harry just like all of us is just not perfect. And maybe he just thought that Dumbledore taught him everything he should know and that his part in the trio was finding he horcruxes whereas Hermione’s part was to know all the meanings to destroy it. Not a totally satisfactory explanation but the best I could think of.

  • Accio Brains

    I’m not a Slytherin myself, but I don’t think the Slytherins’ actions in this chapter should be taken as a reflection of them as a house overall, but more just the pressures on them in this year and arguably over the course of the past seven years. If you were a Slytherin in DH you had the Carrows effectively brainwashing you, and the majority of your house from families aligned with Voldemort, so even if you didn’t come from a dark family the level of peer pressure you would be under would be incredibly strong. Your house is effectively your family at Hogwarts and if Gryffindors like Neville are getting punished that harshly for speaking out, I really can’t imagine it is safe nor likely that Slytherins are. So all Slytherins are hearing is the dark propaganda from the war, including how Harry is a murderer and basically the worst – so not someone you would risk your life for (plus those of fighting age that are 6th/7th years have grown up with Harry as the kid who consistently won house cups & quidditch cups from them so I don’t really blame them for not liking him that much haha)

    • travellinginabluebox

      I do think that a lot of Slytherins, that we didn’t get the chance of meeting are not as bad as we (through Harry’s perspective) get to see them. And I think brainwashing might be a large part in it. Be it only now in DH or even before that from family or the peers and maybe even Snape. Because we don’t know how Snape acts as head of house, we only see him interact with students in class. Due to all the Slytherin students treating him with such respect I would assume he truly is respected within Slytherin.

  • DoraNympha

    Such a beautiful, substantial chapter but I always go into it with a wandering mind, knowing that all my favourite characters (sans George, thankfully) are about to die in the span of about 10 minutes, so it’s hard to concentrate on anything else in the process. But I tried, this time, and I noticed, while there really aren’t many foreshadowing moments of Fred’s death in previous books or chapters, this one is FULL of mentions of shaky walls. All throughout the chapter, we get so many references to the fact that the building is about to fall on them, it really would be surprising if it didn’t.

    Well, look, Fred never lost a duel, though, he was just sort of standing in the wrong place at the wrong time… Ughhhh unacceptable! Whyy – it will never be okay, and the randomness is the worst thing about it. Like you said on the show, Fred had no reason to die, but then again, war and death have no narratives, there’s no real reason to die, nor is there for the fifty other casualties, really. This is what’s so hard to get over, our brains are wired to explain everything, to recognize patterns, make sense of everything, but that is not an option here, so that’s why we are all made to feel stuck, not being able to move on, because it’s just so pointless. But then again, war itself is pointless, all of this fight is pointless, and maybe that’s the point?

    This is the worst for me, not just because of how sad it is within the narrative but because Fred and George have always been these amazing forces of joy and happiness and fun and they were so full of life, more so than any other character, and everytime Harry is at his lowest, especially then, when all hope and glee are gone from his world, Fred and George appear on a page and dissolve the gloom with two lines of dialogue. And suddenly, Harry doesn’t feel ostratized by everyone as the Heir of Slytherin, and suddenly Umbridge is not that much of a threat, and Death Eaters can go suck on, well, a literal edible Dark Mark, and when they have no lead for Horcruxes there is Fred again on Potterwatch… For all his flaws (and very in-line with the whole of the wizarding world occasional cruelty) Fred, and George, were always like human Patronuses, to me, especially if you think about the theme of depression sewn into the fabric of the story, which made their appearances throughout the books like some magical remedy when I most needed it. So the fact that Jo then kills Fred, and, mind you, just Fred, so it’s not only him but his impact on George that’s so horrible, is just… It’s like Jo killed JOY ITSELF. And then to see its effect in the next chapter, what Ron is like, and no wonder Harry has a hard time conjuring his Patronus. Knowing very little about what happened later to George, we can assume there’s a story of rebuilding after destruction that Jo said she values, let’s hope that we can go with something like that in canon, although she also said that of course George was never okay, which brings me back to just shutting my copy of Deathly Hallows into the freezer and resurrect Fred by starting Philosopher’s Stone again.

    And you are right, Lupin is most most probably dead by now: you know how Trelawney’s superstitions always turn out to be true in the end? Remember, Lupin stood up first of the thirteen after Moody died – of those present, there will be three dead, Lupin, Tonks and Fred – so he is definitely dead by the time Fred dies, which is probably not more than 10 minutes later than when Ab tells Tonks he was duelling Dolohov, who does end up killing Lupin, apparently. I’m with Rosie on this, though, somehow I always imagined Tonks reached Lupin in time but even if she did, there wouldn’t be a chance to catch up, to explain why she’s there, to say or do anything other than duel Death Eaters, really. For all we know, Tonks’ suprise appearance could have been a momentary distraction for an already out of practice Lupin, but I’d like to think that’s not what happened. Ab says he hadn’t seen Lupin since he was fighting Dolohov, though, sooo this wording may suggest Tonks got there too late anyway. Again, unacceptable but… *sigh* I think everything has been said about this before me, I’ll just sit here and quietly point a lit wand towards the sky…

    This is also around the time when the movie starts going way off course of what it should have been like, but we’ll have time to complain about that later: for now, are we happy we didn’t get the actual death scene for Fred in the film? It’s pretty horrible, just that one bit in the Great Hall, I’m fine without it, but they could easily have gone with showing lots more, more than in the text even, and I’m never sure how to feel about it. What if they’d included it? What if they’d included Lupin and Tonks and Colin Creevey, and whoever else, just to show as many action scenes as possible? This also means there would be a movie-canon about what happened, and I’m kind of glad there isn’t one.

  • DoraNympha

    In that new Marauders Era fan film, Fiendfyre takes the form of the Marauders’ Animagi forms – I don’t know how plausible it is, because if that’s the case, shouldn’t we have seen giant fire cakes and ice cream and sweets from Crabbe? (Sorry, just trying to diffuse the tension………….)

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      good prompt! *vanishes the pile of tissues to find the keyboard*
      Do people who can’t become animagi because they’re not capable enough even have animagus shape? We assume it corresponds with the patronus shape, but Crabbe doesn’t have a patronus shape because he’s definitely not pure of heart.

      • DoraNympha

        A cake. His innermost core of soul is a giant cake. To pull happiness from.

        Jokes aside (sorry Fred), I believe there are potential animals that we feel more familiar with, whether we are capable of Patronuses or Animagia, so it is possible Crabbe had some animal he recognized some kindred spiritedness with. I’m not even sure it’s just ONE animal we are allowed to feel that closer connection with, so I like the idea of Patronuses and Animagus forms not being the same, too.

        • Carapace

          I always believed the fiendfyre took the form it did to illustrate the dark part of your consciousness, or “soul”, that must be delved into to conjure up such a curse. I think it would be connected to the way a patronus takes shape, but…opposite, if you get my drift

          • travellinginabluebox

            Nice idea. I think that is highly possible.

            Also isn’t it canon that patronuses and animagi don’t always resemble the same animal? I thought that this was also possible.

    • Awesomebird Sama

      didn’t Crabbe’s Fiendfyre take the form of several creatures instead of just one?
      that would mean his Patronus isn’t consistent in form.

      i like the idea but i don’t think this is how it works. 🙂

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Helena Ravenclaw’s story is another example of Jo touching on a a very serious topic that is sadly still a huge problem today: men who kill women after the women rejected them. Searching for news about recent murders like this one will bring up many, too many examples and it’s not tragic, romantic or in any way justifiable, it’s just horrible.

    Helena made the choice to become a ghost, we can assume because she was murdered and her soul was in no way prepared for death. After her return to Hogwarts she is still in the vincinity of her murderer, who also decided not to go on, so not even dying helped her get rid of him. This can be compared to cases when a victim of (gender related) violence is forced to stay in a position of dependence to the perpetrator of the violence and authorities do not help the victim in any way.

    In Helena’s case, wearing chains as a symbol of regret or as a punishment is all the Bloody murderer can do, redemption is impossible because Helena is dead and can’t be revived and as a ghost he can’t really DO something to make up for her death. Except for scaring Peeves we never hear anything positive about him.

    (If you haven’t listened to Mugglenet Academia episode 36 “Violence against women in Harry Potter” I recommend you do if you can bear it right now, it’s interesting and gives you another lens to look at the story)

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Thanks for drawing this comparison. I hadn’t looked at it through that lens before.

      I also think that Helena chose to remain as a ghost because she still hadn’t made peace with what she had done to her mother, and she died without answering her mother’s request for reconciliation.

  • The Half Blood Princess

    Oh boy, I am not looking forward to this chapter.

    Interesting that Percy made contact with Aberforth, because I always saw Percy as simmular to a young DD, brilliant but also a bit arrogant, with a weakness for power.

    I think Harry is jealous when Ron and Hermione kiss, not because he has feelings for Hermione, (sorry Harmony) but because he feels like a third wheel, and because he wishes he could still be in a relationship with Ginny.

    One of my favorite lines: IF WE DIE FOR THEM I’LL KILL YOU HARRY!

    I think the locket knew that Ron intended to kill it and reacted. With the diadem, they were trying to find it, but weren’t thinking about actually killing it in the moment. In a way, it died in an accident, and thus had no one to focus on. I like the feeding theory too though.

    I’m not ready for this.

    This makes my heart hurt, but I think that Fred actually was killed by friendly fire. It was a random explosion, and we don’t see who cast it, but it could have just as easily killed Harry. And the death eaters aren’t supposed to kill Harry. Apologies to anyone who just read that.

    • Awesomebird Sama

      i don’t think it has that much to do with Ginny, the third wheel aspect is probably much more important…Ron and Hermione are the most important humans in Harry’s life and he needs them both to survive this war. Losing Hermione to Ron and Ron to Hermione is probably difficult for him even without a romantic aspect.

  • DoraNympha

    I agree that an action scene like a battle becomes too hard to follow if we know about what is happening everywhere at the same time. So Harry’s perspective is an advantage of the storytelling here – with him, we get an anchor in the chaos, but we do see snapshots or episodes from other people’s course of events that night. And it is this episodic style I would use if I wanted to rewrite the battle from a non-biased point of view. This was just Harry’s battle story in full, but with episodes from other perspectives you’d then also get Ron and Hermione’s battle story, then Neville’s, Fred’s/Percy’s, Lupin’s, Tonks’, etc., which would connect at various points, like a literary map, or puzzle of the battle so we’d arrive at junctions where all their paths meet. (Think Love Actually, a story running on a ton of threads but being one another’s background moments at the same time.)

    It would be near impossible to give a good overview of what exactly happened to everyone that night while we didn’t see them, so that’s the form I would use to try to fill in the unseen scenes – scenes of which there are many that I’m sure have been interpreted by many fanfic writers (and even a little bit in the movie). Did Tonks find Lupin? Why did Percy run off to chase Rookwood? (It sounded personal, what’s the story behind that?) Then there’s stuff like how exactly did Fred end up fighting alongside Percy even though they had not been assigned the same post, how everything started to grow chaotic when the Death Eaters penetrated the castle, etc. Where did George last see Fred? (They were probably just heading their groups to the secret entrances and got swept away in the sea of evacuating students, no big moment just losing sight of each other, not even thinking they might never see each other again.) And did Percy have to tell everyone what had happened after the first part of the battle was over? He had to, didn’t he, they had to find Fred and bring his body back to the Great Hall… A hundred scenes of war that we just didn’t have a chance to see, all up for speculation, happening right now, in this chapter, unseen, so if I were Jo, I’d just stick with the snapshot feel and just write it in these episodic short parts, probably.

    • Awesomebird Sama

      the personal thing between Percy and Rookwood…could the reason be that Rookwood used to work for the Ministry of Magic and betrayed the MoM?
      the way i see him, Percy had a very emotional connection to the belief that the MoM was working for the “greater good” of the British magic community.
      He probably genuinely thought that he did the right thing with working in the MoM and he had a harsh reality check when he found out this was not the case.
      it could be that Rookwood was a reminder of that.

  • the head girl

    I’m not done listening yet but I had to pop in, because Jo’s description of Helena as a ‘bluestocking’ really stuck in my head all day today. Maybe it’s because of David Mamet’s play “The Boston Marriage,” which is about two incredibly intelligent, financially independent women living in a very close romantic friendship, but it made me think about why Helena spurned the Baron’s advances – both before she betrayed her mother, and after she fled to the forest as well. The quote from Jo states that “[Helena] never found true love as she never found a man up to her standards,” but is it possible that maybe she didn’t need a man, because she’d found something just as deep and satisfying with another woman? Of course there’s nothing in the text to support it, but I love the idea of Helena and her ladyfriend hanging out in their little cabin in Albania, reading books and talking about philosophy and finding happiness and love with each other.

    • Carapace

      I think it better to just stick with Helena not finding a man up to her standards, as it is a tactic of misogynists to say things like “she doesn’t want me? She must be gay then.” Not to say that literature doesn’t need more strong lgbtq characters. I just feel that this is a very rare instance where Helena being Herero or asexual is better from an anti-bigotry standpoint. Although your version of events is a very beautiful one.

      • the head girl

        A valid point, but (to focus on semantics) being in a romantic friendship does not necessarily preclude Helena’s being hetero- or asexual. Boston marriages in general were thought to be nonsexual relationships, although the gestures involved in one (hand-holding, kissing, co-sleeping) would not have appeared platonic to an outsider.

        However, I definitely agree that bigots have shamefully perverted this sort of thing, and certainly to the detriment of queer readings of literature.

        • Carapace

          I’ve decided to amend my comment, neither reality would be better or worse, because this reaction to love spurned for whatever reason, whether she wasn’t interested in men, or just the man, is inexcusable. Also, both ideas can exist as it is never specified in the novels.

    • Lisa

      Does that quote come from Pottermore? It’s pretty weird to say she “never found a man” as she died rather young. I would say premature death was the cause of her not finding true love rather than her standards. Who knows what would have happened if she’d lived to be a hundred or two hundred like other witches and wizards. “Didn’t need a man”, what are you talking about? In JKR’s land all women need a man and if the man rejectes them they wither and die or lose their powers 😛

      • the head girl

        It’s from a letter from the actress who played the Grey Lady in the first movie – if you google “Grey Lady bluestocking” or along those lines, you can find the whole quote. I agree that the whole “high standards” thing is a bit weird because Helena was very young when she died – it’s a little uncomfortable that Jo framed her in those terms when it’s clear Helena had her mind on a lot of other things besides romantic love.

    • Griff

      Yesss to queer historical characters

      I could so see “no man meeting her standards” being a euphemism, said with side eye amongst the neighborhood gossips

      • the head girl

        That is exactly why I immediately leapt to the idea of the Boston marriage. Jo is so careful with her words, so I knew that specific phrasing had to mean SOMETHING.

    • I would like to explore this more as it reminds me so much of a young Albus. They (Helena and Albus) have similarities in both being very intelligent people, (I think it is safe to assume Helena was incredibly bright having Rowena as a mother,) and both are a bit aloof and arrogant. Maybe Helena was only able to find her mental match in another woman. Interesting thought that I had definitely never considered before.

  • Carapace

    Just a few words on the scene of voldemorts ultimatum from the films. As someone with a background in film sound design, I thought the scene was handled quite beautifully. Only adding a reverb effect wouldn’t have fully captured that voldemorts voice is everywhere and in your head all at once, and Michaels suggestion of adding “images of Voldemort appearing everywhere” is in my opinion a visual copout. I’m disappointed in the hosts for making me defend the films, it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I thought the scene was well done in the movies, too. If there had been reverb or echos then it would have seemed like the voice was coming from outside your head and bouncing off the walls instead of coming from everywhere and inside your head.

    • Michael Harle

      Totally didn’t work for me, and still doesn’t, but that’s simply my opinion. “Visual copout,” for me, doesn’t really make sense in a cinematic context, because film is primarily visual. Be it not upon me to discount sound design (as a podcaster and sound editor, myself), but in this case I’d say more liberties could’ve (and should’ve) been taken with the visuals in the Potter films as a whole to assist with the storytelling (one of the reasons why I like “Azkaban” so much, as visuals take the reigns).

      For me, the part of these scenes that really don’t jive, as we discussed on the episode, were having one totally random student (in addition to Padma) screaming, as well as the issue that all of the actors in each of the scenes with Voldemort’s amplified voice react on different levels; at the Boathouse, Rupert is reacting far more than Dan or Emma are. The extras aren’t particularly good at reacting consistently either. It makes the effect come across as pretty corny for me.

      “Deathly Hallows – Part 2” is hardly my favorite film in the series. But we’ll get to that . . .

      • travellinginabluebox

        I have to agree with Michael here. I cannot rely on a film background here, other than basically living in the cinema, due to how often I go there and having a sister who works in the business. And we recently watched DH2 together and we pointed out to each other the flaws we saw with it. Myself more from a plot viewpoint, since I am the crazy Potterhead here and she more from the film “technical” viewpoint. And aside from Voldemorts death scene, that we both hate with much passion. Not only for being totally wrong and missing the point of why there was a body in the books. But also because we both think that the effect there is a nice to have but not well enough done to have replaced the other version. Because there is another version with a corpse…

        But this scene you discussed here is always giving me the shivers. Not because it is so well-done but because we get to see this random girl and Padma screaming. So the first thing that bothers me here is ‘Why on earth are they screaming?’. It doesn’t seem like a natural reaction to what is happening here. And I know they want to build up the tension here but it doesn’t really work for me. It seems to forced.
        Second I have to agree that the acting of the extras in this scene has always bothered me as well. It is so uncoordinated and different. Some stand around motionless and others react much stronger.
        Also Dan/Harry doesn’t ever seem to be bothered with it at all. He doesn’t react one bit whereas Rupert/Ron does quite strongly, as mentioned by Michael.

        But I suppose more will be discussed in the movie watch episode. Looking forward to that 🙂

        • I’m with Michael here also. I disliked immensely the weird random girls (and Padma) shrieking. I didn’t understand what was going on at all. Like stated above everyone has different reactions (which is totally valid) but they vary /so/ widely it is confusing and not very believable. I didn’t mind once the voiceover of Voldemort actually started, it seemed close enough to the books’ description–loud/far-reaching but quiet/close at the same time–I wish they had just immediately gone from McGonagall informing the students of what the evacuation plan is to Voldemort’s voice. It would have made a lot more sense than the weird screaming. I also got the impression that females were somehow more affected by Voldemort’s voice than the males because of this–did anyone have that thought too? It totally threw me off and ruined what is supposed to be a pretty terrifying scene.

      • Carapace

        The problem you have with the scene seem to be more with acting prowess. The issues would still remain with actors reacting to a
        vision of Voldemort rather than just his voice. However I believe the discrepancies in the reaction of the actors more closely resembles real life. People all react to things in different ways.
        What I meant by copout is that I found your idea to be heavy handed. While unfortunately film is primarily visual, it is not ENTIRELY visual. Filmmakers have a plethora of tools they can use to most efficiently tell a story and avoid pontifical exposition. In some cases over relying on one aspect of filmmaking comes across as the filmmaker assuming their audience to be stupid. Sometimes straying from the source material can lead to interesting and beautiful filmmaking a la Prisoner, but maintaining the efficiency of storytelling is key.

  • Roonil Wazlib

    I have a few quick thoughts to share:

    Has Pius Thicknesse been imperiused this whole time? (Since Chapter 1?) Or did they eventually un-imperius him and convince him to be a Death Eater for real? Pretty sad to see him fighting as a Death Eater if he is actually still imperiused. And how many other people has Voldemort essentially enslaved and forced to fight in this battle for him?

    Just have to note that the Helena Ravenclaw/Bloody Baron storyline isn’t just shakespearean, it’s also very very real–I can think of multiple news stories I’ve seen this year alone where a man murdered a woman because she rejected him. “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood

    I love the small detail of Harry grabbing Hermione’s hand as they make their way over to Fred, Ron, and Percy. Like the graveyard scene in Godric’s Hollow, we once again see Harry and Hermione drawing emotional strength from each other.

    Another favorite moment–when Harry is looking for Ron and Hermione and he feels that he can’t get his thoughts about the diadem straight without them. Even though Harry is the leader, in this moment we really see how much he has been relying on Ron and Hermione throughout this journey.

    I like seeing Malfoy working to save Goyle and then distraught over Crabbe’s death. Throughout the series he always seems like he is just using Crabbe and Goyle for their muscle, and doesn’t consider them real equals or friends. It’s sort of nice to see that Malfoy actually did care about his two cronies on some level.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I think we can assume that Thicknesse has been under the Imperius curse the whole time. When Yaxley first placed the curse, he mentioned it was more difficult than expected and caused him to be late for the DE meeting at Malfoy’s. To me, this would suggest that Thicknesse resisted going along with any DE plotting. I would say that his loyalty lied with the Ministry above all until having had the curse on him. That would potentially make it easier to keep him under the curse since the DE are basicalky still acting under the guise of this all being the official Ministry line.

      • Roonil Wazlib

        Yeah I agree with you. This was the first time reading this chapter where I realized it though. It does change my feelings about seeing him fight in the battle. It always seemed so righteous and awesome to see Percy fighting the Minister of Magic, but I just feel sad for Thicknesse now.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Agreed, it’s a terrible thing to force someone to fight and potentially die for a cause they don’t support. At least Percy had the decency to just turn him into an urchin rather than AK him.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Does anyone want to talk about the different ways of fighting we see in this chapter? There is a lot of stunning going on, Sprout and Neville hurl mandrakes at the attackers who could potentially be killed by the mandrakes’ screams, Grawp is swinging a gargoyle like a club, Ginny is sending unspecified jinxes out of the window (I assume not her trademark bat bogey hex but something strong nonetheless), Death Eaters are AKing their way into the castle, Crabbe uses Unforgiveable Curses and Fiendfyre like nothing else we’ve ever seen him do with a wand, Harry relies on Expelliarmus again, the Headless Hunt adds to the chaos by screaming and galloping around, Percy transfigures Thicknesse.
    The diversity in itself is entertaining, and of course every combatant relies on their respective strengths. I wonder what could be a good strategy to knock out adversaries for good without causing lasting damage. Percy’s choice seems like a good idea to me, making someone incapable of fighting back but otherwise unharmed. Stunning lasts only for a while and depending on the transfiguration used you could pick your transfigured opponent up and lock them away until the fight is over.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yes, it’s great that we get to see all kinds of magic being used in this battle. We get to see all these things from previous books, like the mandrakes, being used which is a nice nod, but it also highlights how battle magic doesn’t have to be all dark magic. We get to see how creative application of the right spells, objects, and creatures can be highly effective.

  • Casey L.

    Listening to the part of the episode pertaining to Helena Ravenclaw and the Bloody Baron, and hearing Rosie talk about her way of speaking as very proper left me wondering why this is. English as a language has evolved greatly from the late 900s, when she would have lived, and according to Pottermore, “their knowledge and outlook remains at the level it had attained during life.” Is this something we chalk up to a plot device, or is there a reason the Hogwarts ghosts’ ability to speak English would have evolved into what it is in the books?

    Also, I’m going to take the liberty of sharing a theory about Helena’s name I personally had never considered but found fascinating. It came from a fanfiction I read awhile back and hypothesized that Rowena may have wished to name her daughter Helena, at least in part, because it is a combination of her first name and that of her best friend, Helga Hufflepuff. In the story, Rowena tells this to Helga as she’s dying and said when her daughter was born, she wanted her to be wise and good, but good first. I don’t know if J.K. Rowling ever put that much thought into the name, but as I said, it’s an idea I found very interesting.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    Thoughts on this chapter:

    It makes the danger feel so real when so many students want to stay and fight, even those underage. Here are people we’ve seen grow up from kids now at risk of losing their lives. This is no ordinary kid’s book and that’s why I love it.

    When the Slytherin student asks about Professor Snape, it shows that he is respected in his own house. He may be the only staff member who really stands up for them. But when the rest of the Houses cheer him being gone it made me think of all he’s doing for them, basically giving up what life he could have had to be a spy, killing the only person who really trusted him, walking the balance between protecting them and keeping his cover as a loyal Death Eater and trying to find a way to get Dumbledore’s message to Harry. All the things he does not only not expecting any reward, but fully knowing that he will be despised and hated.

    When Harry hears “a weird, keening scream,” just as the battle starts, who is that? Is it Voldemort sending his troops onward? The first victim meeting their end? I imagined it was Voldy but I’m not certain.

    When Hagrid says he came to the school by smashing through the boundary by the forest, it seemed like he left a huge opening that Death Eaters and their minions could now get through. Though I guess their giants could have smashed through just as easily.

    There’s something I like about Harry’s idea that he was able to find the Diadem because he wasn’t a “model pupil” like Dumbledore or Flitwick. That it was his bad boy side that gave him an advantage that they didn’t have. Almost like telling the kids reading that being too good isn’t always the best thing.

    Do we know what House Aberforth was in? Because I think Aberforth would have made a good Slytherin with that idea to keep a few kids hostage.

    When Harry is thinking of how Albus would never have kept kids hostage he thinks, “Dumbledore, who had defended Snape for so long…” I think even after all that happened, he still struggles to understand why Albus would trust Snape and hopes that there is the tiniest chance that Dumbledore wasn’t wrong about him after all, that he wasn’t capable of being that wrong. I think this plays a part in Harry later forgiving Snape when he knows the whole story. I think it had a lot to do with Harry being able to see Snape through Dumbledore’s eyes rather than just the narrow viewpoint of him as the mean teacher that Harry had experienced.

    I love Ron in this chapter!

    Look at Draco, peering through a small space between his two body guards and being a big coward overall, but you gotta hand it to him for not leaving Goyle behind when nobody would have blamed him for fleeing for his life without him. He even asks about Crabbe, who knew he really cared about those guys?

    Oh, the beautiful writing in this chapter… and the way she handled Fred’s death… You can tell she had been through loss herself and understands how cruel and unpredictable it can be. “and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart.” So unexpected, so heart-wrenching. Did she have to say, “the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face”? That really hurt.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      When Kingsley says (p. 491 British edition) they’ll divide up the “troops” I thought “what troops?” and I’m torn between thinking this is military language used to describe a handful of kids and that I don’t have to be comfortable with that – and thinking the adults are acknowledging that those kids call themselves “Dumbledore’s Army” and an army has troops…

      We don’t know for sure if Aberforth was in Gryffindor, but it’s likely and his experience of being overshadowed would be greater if he was in the same house as his brother.

      Especially in this chapter compared what happened with Helena and the Bloody Baron it’s good to know that Serverus chose to do something with his talents and his time to make the world better instead of just killing himself after he realized he had made a mistake.

      • I agree, each time I read this chapter the word ‘troops’ falls oddly on my ears. I’m torn for the same reasons you mentioned above and I still don’t know what I think about it. I guess Kingsley is being realistic–this is a war and they are heading into battle. Thinking of Kingsley in relation to someone like Fudge who blatantly refused the truth and lived in denial while the world was crashing down around him, I can easily see why Kingsley was eventually chosen as Minister.

        I’m going to say Aberforth was in Gryffindor also. I don’t think any other house is a possibility for him. He’s not cunning, or brainy, or very loyal. He’s brash and bold and all fire and hotheadedness…so, I’m puttin’ him in…GRYFFINDOR!

        Curious what you mean about Snape in relation to Helena & The Bloody Baron…? I don’t see the connection there. Unless you are just expressing how you are pleased Snape didn’t murder Lily after being infatuated with her and then subsequently kill himself…?

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          I’m looking at different reactions of people who realize they made a mistake and someone they care about is dead because of that mistake. The Baron chose to kill himself and rattle around with ghost-chains for thousand years, something that is not of particular use to anyone. Severus made a different choice to become Dumbledore’s spy and as SnapesManyButtons has described very well, this choice did not make his life more pleasant, but it was helpful for others.

    • ISeeThestrals

      The gangs all here ready to fight and it’s great, however I was never sure how I felt about Hagrid’s entrance through the window. A lot of things that go on with Hagrid catch our attention in a nice comical way. I guess it’s because it was connected to Grawp.

      I wasn’t surprised Draco asked about Crabbe. They were his cronies after all. And on the note of Draco, I’m glad we got a scene of Harry saving him. Draco had been his enemy for ages, but Harry expressed the importance of putting all that aside as a life was at stake. It’s not surprising that Harry would save Draco, but back in the day he probably couldn’t imagine ever doing so. I always found it to be a good lesson.
      Now Draco’s in his debt, and it would’ve been interesting to see what type of future moment/situation would give Draco the chance to pay him back.

  • So Ernie’s Patronus is a boar… Or is it a ‘boor’?

    • I always assumed Seamus was the boar and Ernie was the fox until right now. Rereading the actual line where they all appear in the next chapter it makes sense that Ernie is the boar though since the way the names are listed correspond with the patronuses. Also, the wiki confirms it is a boar for Ernie and fox for Seamus. I always had the line from Order in my head where Seamus first learns to conjure his patronus in the DA. He says “…it was definitely something hairy, Harry!” which I always remember because of Jim Dale’s reading of the pun ‘hairy, Harry.’ Anyway, to me, boars are more hairy and foxes are furry but I DIGRESS. In short, thanks for clearing that up for me! 😀

      • No, what I meant was that Ernie’s patronus is a boar, like ‘boor’ which is basically posh british for being a bit like GoF era Percy.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Given that Seamus’s Patronus is a fox, I’m curious: does the fox have any particular symbolism or legend associated with it in Ireland? Are they especially common wildlife there? (Or does this have nothing to do with the fact that Seamus is Irish?)

      • I wondered this too because I have always associated foxes with the crafty and cunning, like ‘the fox in the henhouse’ kind of imagery and I don’t feel that that fits with Seamus’ character. After my brief interwebs research and general wikipediaing I’ve found this: the fox is often historically associated with being an antagonistic trickster type character in literature and was thought to represent quick-thinking and cleverness. To the Celtic people they thought of it as a sort of ‘guide’ and believed it was wise and intelligent. Also, interestingly, foxes were associated with red-haired people, which could recall Ireland even though our Finnegan friend was often described as ‘sandy-haired.’ I don’t know how I feel about this as it relates to Seamus as I don’t really see any of these traits in him (they are all more closely associated with Ravenclaw, not Gryffindor) however we don’t truly know THAT much about Seamus, so perhaps there is more information we simply don’t know that makes the fox a good fit for his patronus.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          Interesting. I can see him being sort of a trickster, and he was Harry’s antagonist during book 5, but the other descriptions you discovered, and the general folklore about foxes being sly, just doesn’t click for me either. Must be in the JKR backstory file!

      • Ehh, it’s associated with our mythology a lot, but I don’t think it’s especially common over here. Anyway, I live in the suburbs, most foxes live in the country or in the middle of the city.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          In the middle of a city?! That is not a good habitat for foxes. Reminds me of the poor fox in the Spinner’s End chapter. I’ve lived in two U.S. cities and would have thought I was hallucinating if a fox peeked his head out of an alley.

          • I’m not endorsing it, but it happens. They stick around becaisr there’s plenty of scraps from bins, etc. Anyways, foxes keep to themselves and are kinda semi-nocturnal, so…

  • Lord_Trolldemort

    So, I heard you lovely individuals were playing a game of Hungry Hungry Horcruxes. I WANT IN.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation over this chapter, as per usual! I was very happy to hear you discuss exactly how little we’ve heard of Crabbe speaking. I’d like to think that there was a bit more going on behind both Crabbe and Goyle than we are allowed to spy within the books, mostly due to the fact that we see everything from Harry’s perspective. They’re usually being portrayed as such dunces, but I think that may be just because they seem to play such a secondary role to Draco (who is, rather suspiciously, Harry’s main focus). Though it was short lived, it was refreshing to see a change in power dynamic between Draco and his former ‘cronies’.

    Of course, then Crabbe burns himself to death and I found the suddenness of it all to be strikingly horrifying. We are just ‘reintroduced’ to this character at the darkest point in his life, drunk with power that he can’t possibly control and we depart on the idea that because of his youthful stupidity, he deserves to be burned to death. I admit myself a bit uneasy with his ending.

    Another aspect of the conversation that really did intrigue me was the subject of whether the Horcruxes had the ability to feed on emotion. I had always assumed that was the case, to be entirely honest, and that was partially what made them so powerful. Voldemort’s horcruxes seemed to be created with each stage of his life. The diary plays off of a teen’s need to be accepted and seriously listened to (while those secrets can be stored away for later use against them). This is apparent enough when teenage Riddle rises from the diary using the power of Ginny’s trust and secrets. The locket is a young man’s awareness of how attracted people are to his beauty (and how that same attraction can make people foolish and compliant). This is readily apparent in how it taunts Ron with one if his greatest fears, for the woman he loves to prefer his best friend. I would have loved to see what sort of ‘beast’ would have risen from the cup and the diadem, had they the chance to gain energy from whoever held them.

    And finally, on the subject of Percy managing to survive: I’m SUPER happy. I thought Percy was pegged for Death Eater infamy, but for the first time in history, one of my favorite characters managed to avoid a grisly end and a terrible life choice. Unfortunately, that seemed to have cost him his brother. To be entirely honest, I was more upset about the entirety of the Weasley family being sad than Fred actually dying. Reading this back to myself makes me realize exactly how heartless that sentiment sounds, but it’s the absolute truth. Jo’s description of loss is so sudden, so painful, so numbing that the actual loss of Fred seemed secondary to the family’s reactions. In retrospect, thinking of how Percy and Fred could have bridged the gap that the twin’s constant bullying had caused between them eventually really does strike a cord of regret.

  • the head girl

    Rosie, you broke my heart with your analysis of JKR’s writing here! It’s agonizing how she pulls it back, layer by layer, until the full horror is revealed to us.

    As I have said before, I have A LOT of feelings about Fred’s death, and what seems to be a lot of peoples’ wish that Percy had died in his place, and I frankly am glad he didn’t, not in the least because he is bae and I will fight you about him. (Editorial ‘you,’ unless you are Caleb, in which case, come at me bro. ;)) This moment is so genius not just because it really displays the randomness and tragedy of war, but also because it neatly sidesteps the expected tragic end to Percy’s redemption. I think that Percy went into this battle with a subconscious expectation that he would not make it out alive, because it’s a war against the worst Dark Wizard of all time, and he’s a bureaucrat. That’s the rules, that’s the way the story ends. So what happens when the rules break themselves and the boy who has everything to live for dies instead? What happens to a tightly-held man like Percy when the world shatters apart and you realize it could have been you, it SHOULD have been you, but it wasn’t? When you look into your brother’s eyes and realize you’re living on borrowed time, what happens next?

    By taking this expected moment and knocking it sideways, Jo creates a much richer, deeper character moment for a character who, up until his redemption just now, has been a bit of a caricature and the butt of a joke. Of course I wish Fred hadn’t been the sacrifice, but this moment does really underscore the power and importance of family and forgiveness.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      Beautifully written, now you made me cry over Percy and that’s good.

      Percy is a bureaucrat, but he had Lupin as a teacher in his last year of DADA, just like Oliver Wood and other students in that year. While the third-years learned about boggarts, I guess the seventh-years got some seriously useful education in defensive magic from him and that has probably saved a few lives in the years since.

      • the head girl

        Making people sad about Percy Weasley is my favorite thing to do. 😀

        That’s an excellent point! He does display excellent defensive magic against Thicknesse in this chapter, and I think he’s dueling Augustus Rookwood later and holding his own. Yay Lupin!

        • Awesomebird Sama

          i think that percy is the older one plays also a role, more that we might think.
          Big brother should look out for their younger siblings… that’s also a rule.
          Percy is a person that feels (sometimes annoyingly) responsible for his younger siblings. We see him care for Ron and we see it for Ginny, I’m very sure that he feels the same also for the twins, but doesn’t show it as much.
          I can see him feeling like he failed Fred, because he couldn’t look out for him, like a big brother should. (OnO)

          • SnapesManyButtons

            That’s a great point. I think he’d regret two things most, one is making that joke because maybe Fred wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t been responding to the joke and had paid more attention to what was going on around him. And secondly all the time wasted apart while he was estranged from the family. He’d just gotten Fred back when he lost him.

          • I don’t see him regretting the joke, I see him more thinking how lucky they were to have been together and on good terms before Fred died. Maybe thats just me being optimistic but I would hope he wouldn’t regret what was one of the only happy moments Percy and Fred have had in years.

            It always bothered me in the movie that we don’t see Fred’s death in the same way the book portrays it, Fred surrounded by Ron and Percy (George notably absent) and Harry and Hermione, having just defeated two Death Eaters and having the smallest moment of cheerfulness in the midst of the battle. I religiously avoid watching the last two movies as I think they completely butchered my favorite book in the series, (mainly my animosity is for part two, but I’ll save my angst for the movie watch) and therefore please someone correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember a twin, (don’t think it is ever specified that it was Fred) having a curse blasted at them/they loose their wand as they are sitting on the ground against a wall. It is never even shown at that point that the twin has died. Its too vague and too emotionless and the twin is without any family or friends near them. I think it is exceptionally important that all of those people who witness Fred’s death ACTUALLY WITNESS IT. Annnnyway, I’m sure we will all have lots of feelings about the movie when we watch it so I’ll end it there.

          • SnapesManyButtons

            I say he’d regret the joke because I know from experience that grief is not rational. That you go over the circumstances in your mind trying to figure out how such a terrible thing could happen. And finding no way to make sense of it most people grab onto some detail that might have made the difference and then blame themselves for not changing something that, in reality, they had no way of knowing would matter. Sure, Percy will be happy that he had those moments with Fred, that he was happy right then, but in his dark moments I think he’d wonder if Fred might have been able to leap to safety if he hadn’t been distracted by teasing him. Of course, it isn’t true, the wall fell where it fell and Fred was just in the wrong place, but, for whatever reason, guilt is a common byproduct of grief.

            When I lost my husband, he drowned on a fishing trip. One like he’d done dozens of times before. Afterward I found his life vest in the garage and to this day I feel terrible when I think that I could have made sure he took it. My rational mind knows that he was a grown man and responsible for his own safety. That I had never asked about his vest on any of the many other fishing trips he’d made. That if he’d had it, he might not have even worn it. But even all these years later, I can’t help feeling guilty. In my grief support group most people had a similar story, “If I hadn’t gone to the store, I’d have been there when he had the heart attack.” “If I hadn’t let him buy that sports car, he wouldn’t have died in that crash.” I should have picked a better doctor… I should have called for help sooner… for some reason it’s just part of the process for most people to blame themselves for something. That doesn’t mean you forget the good parts or aren’t thankful for what you did have.

            I avoid the last two movies, too, but because they’re so dark and dramatic and you don’t feel good afterwards. I remember the scene with the twin sitting, but I don’t remember the context of it because I haven’t watched the movies much either.

          • Thank you for sharing your very personal story to give insight on this situation. My own experiences with grief and loss have been painful but no one in my immediate family has ever died so I cannot speak to what it would truly be like in this instance. Also, everyone I have ever known who has died has died essentially of old age and not in a particularly dramatic or accidental fashion, so again, I can’t give much in the way of comments there. What I do know is that grief is strange and the process in my experience is never ‘finished.’ So I can completely understand how years later it can still effect you incredibly. For instance I have before thought of a memory or smelled a smell or been to a specific place and I immediately think of the person who passed away and before I know it the tears are there and I’m crying in my car as I drive down the highway. It sometimes takes the smallest thing to remind you of that person and it happens so suddenly it shocks you. I specifically remember looking at spoons for breakfast and thinking “we only need four spoons, not five.” And, of course there is nothing inherently sad about spoons but it just sort of hit me in that weird way that grief does. I imagine the weas lets and also anyone who lost anyone in the battle/any part of the war would have had similar experiences, sometimes much more intense–for example I really think George would struggle for awhile and I think the family would kind of embrace him and help him and support him for as long as it took until he could at least cope. I also think someone who is rarely talked about is andromeda. In this war she lost her husband, daughter, son-in-law, sister (and probably brother-in-law) and she then has to take care of a newborn child and raise him. She is as alone as you can be without actually being alone. I really hope the wizarding community has a period where they visit people like andromeda and make sure she is doing okay, I mean as okay as you can be in this situation. I feel like after this final battle the wizarding community would kind of close in around itself trying to heal and recover and I think they would be more close-knit than ever before. A lot of the time that is what happens after such a major event like this battle and I hope that is what they did to comfort people who were grieving.

          • SnapesManyButtons

            When i lost my husband I was so shocked at how hard it was. Nothing had prepared me for this. I immediately thought of the people I’d known who had lost a spouse and I felt horrible that they had gone through something like this. I resolved then to never hold back for fear of making others uncomfortable, or of them not understanding, because I now think it is very important for people to know the ugly reality about grief. It is irrational and non-linear. It is never really over, it just becomes less sharp. I liken it to thinking you know what it’s like to have children because you have kids in your life that you love. But when you have your own child, you realize it’s an entirely different world and you couldn’t have possibly imagined the reality of it. I think the perception of grief is far removed from the reality. Studies show people think it should take about 6 weeks to get over the loss of a spouse. People tell you to “move on” or accuse you of not letting go if you are still having difficulties months later. But, like you said, it never really ends. You just learn to live without them and it is a long, difficult road.

          • More recently, I have been dealing with the terrible death of a childhood friend of mine who was killed last year by a drunk driver as he, a friend, and his sister were driving home. He was 17, a senior in high school, very smart, very kind, and a star basketball player in their small town. His death shook the entire community and effected myself and my family greatly. I agree that it is important to share your story, to let others know how incredibly difficult any grieving process is and how very personal each person’s journey through the grief process is. There is no right or wrong way to grieve and there is no ‘correct’ amount of time it should take before you feel better. I agree that time dulls the sharpness of grief and the sadness changes over time, but no, it’s never really over.

  • Witherwings

    “Harry saw Zacharias Smith bowling over first years to get to the front of the queue”- What a very Zacharias Smith thing to do.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      I have an alternative reading of this scene if anyone is interested. The prefects are supposed to lead their houses to the evacuation point. But Hufflepuff prefect Ernie Macmillan is staying to fight, so maybe Smith is trying to get to the front to lead the underage Hufflepuffs in Ernie’s place and help getting them to safety. (I don’t believe that this is his intention, but it might be)

      • SnapesManyButtons

        I’m certain that Zacharias was not trying to help anyone but himself, but I truly admire your ability to put a positive spin on this! I like the way you think.

  • Witherwings

    I am bit cross with Harry being so rude to Malfoy upon their meeting in the RoR. I mean, Harry knows enough about Malfoy to know that he’s in a terrible situation- why not try some kindness to Malfoy here, as Dumbledore did before his death? I’m not suggesting they hug or anything (UGH…that movie scene where Draco hugs Voldemort…why), but I am a little curious about why Harry laughs at and taunts Draco.
    I know it could be because he didn’t know if he could trust Draco, he was in a compromising position, there wasn’t time to have a pleasant chit chat, Crabbe and Goyle are enormous and intimidating ….. But by this point, we know Harry felt some sympathy for Draco after seeing the way Voldemort was using him – along with the fact that Draco didn’t totally throw him under the bus at Malfoy Manor.
    Honestly, I kind of preferred this particular scene in the movie when Harry is a little kinder to Draco- for some reason it felt a little more accurate to Harry’s nature. I get that he saves his life in the end so maybe that makes up for not keeping up pleasantries.

    Would love to hear your thoughts- why’s Harry gotta be so rude here?

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      looking at the passage again I’d say it’s classic sassy Harry here, which is also rude. When Dumbledore was kind to Draco, he was looking at the bigger picture, and he knew his time was over. Harry in this scene is more single-minded. Find the diadem and destroy the horcrux, because time is running out and there are still two (really three) horcruxes left. “He could not believe that he was this close, and was going to be thwarted by Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle.” He’s had to deal with them so often and right now they’re interfering with his mission and he’s got no patience and no sympathy for them.

    • MartinMiggs

      he could’ve left but he chose to stay behind to stop HP

    • Arthur Dent

      Where to begin? At this point, Malfoy and Harry have loathed each other for seven years. There’s been bullying, taunts, insults, jinxes, and in most cases it was Malfoy who started it. Even if Harry does have a little sympathy for Malfoy’s situation… after all that’s happened, that goes only so far — especially when Malfoy is once again fighting on the wrong side.

      Honestly, I think Harry treats Malfoy a lot better than he deserves. Besides, the laughing and taunting, at this point, is of course a means of distracting the enemy (yes, Malfoy is an enemy here) and buying time for Ron and Hermione.

    • SlytherinKnight

      Um, Malfoy is claiming to be on the Death Eaters’ side in this moment, he’s an enemy of Harry and the Order. So who cares if Harry is rude to Malfoy? Aside from Malfoy not ratting Harry out at Malfoy Manor, what has Malfoy ever done for Harry? Harry doesn’t have time to feel bad or give sympathy to those who don’t deserve it, he is in a race against the clock to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes before the deadline.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      I think Harry’s mind is racing here, as HowAmIGoingtoTranslateThis points out below, and he just defaults to rudeness (which he is pretty good at, when he’s in sassy mode) because he’s shocked by the turn of events and focused on the Horcrux to the exclusion of all other coherent thoughts.

      I agree that this scene is somewhat out of his nature – Harry isn’t usually so misogynistic as to laugh because another guy needs to borrow his mother’s wand. That annoyed me to no end (in the text, he thinks to himself that there is nothing particularly funny about it, but I think that’s referring to the situation as a whole, i.e., being trapped by them, not the wand).

  • MartinMiggs

    Considering how many times Hogwarts has been broken into is it time for them to build a giant wall? One that is HUUUUUUGE, and make Durmstrang pay for it?

  • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

    One thing I noticed this re-read was that they completely forget about the whole idea of warning the house elves to flee for safety once Hermione and Ron start kissing. (So, Hermione, all it takes for you to throw your priorities out the window is a kiss from a guy? ; ) Just kidding, it’s understandable in this moment.) Now, clearly they need to focus on the Horcrux, and time is of the essence, but I can’t remember if they ever follow up on this before the elves join the battle on their own. Couldn’t they have asked Ginny or someone to go alert the elves while they deal with the diadem?

  • The Half Blood Princess

    I think the idea that Percy should have died instead of Fred is simmular to the idea that Harry should have ended up with Hermione. While there are probably some people who really think the characters have really great chemistry, and there are probably some people (like me) who just didn’t want Fred to die, there’s this underlying logic of, “Well that’s what’s supposed to be done.” The most major female should be the hero’s love interest. The character who did something wrong should redeem himself by dying. What these people don’t understand is that that’s one of the many things that makes Harry Potter so amazing, that it doesn’t do things the way they are “Supposed to be done”.

    • DoraNympha

      And, the thing is, Fred was always going to die, Jo said that, plus she thought about Ron and Arthur, but in the end decided not to kill them, so it was never a matter of Fred dying instead of Percy or instead of Ron or anyone else, so I’ve always thought this bargaining was pointless anyway. That is, if this interview is credible: http://www.today.com/popculture/rowling-i-wanted-kill-parents-2D80555846 Break my heart some more, Jo, please, be my guest. (So all those times Fred and George appear and dissolve a lot of the tension and stress from Harry’s chest, Jo knew? SHE KNEW?)

      Also, if Percy had died, I have an uncomfortable feeling there would have more sympathy towards his character now, whereas, as it is, many people have been all the more harsh about his character for simply being there when Fred dies, on top of his story arc with the Ministry and split loyalties and all.

  • Mirna

    Ohhh, despite the fact that it’s been almost ten years since the book was published, and that I’ve read it many times since then, reading this part is still almost as difficult as it was the first time I’ve read it. I have a hard time enjoying the beautiful writing and concentrating on details because I always dread the parts where some of my favorite characters suffer and/or die. And now, I have another such moment to dread. During my last reread I didn’t know that Lupin was killed by Dolohov, but now the thought that he might already be dead when Aberforth mentions that he saw the two of them dueling makes everything seem even more sad to me. And somehow, more hopeless. I guess that’s because I’ve always kept Lupin alive, in my mind, for as long as possible, all the way to the point when Harry sees him in the Great Hall next to Tonks, but now, I know that he might already be dead when Tonks asks for him in this chapter. That makes it so much worse for me.

    Regarding Fred…

    I dreaded his death, even during my first reading. I realized he was going to die when I read the chapter before this one. I saw the fact that he was the first of the Weasleys to forgive and welcome Percy back, and that Mrs. Weasley pushed him aside so she could hug Percy as a setup for his death. There was too much attention being drawn to him right before the big battle. It seemed to be leading up to something bad. I continued reading with a terrible sense of dread. I was hoping I was wrong about that, but…

    Did anyone else have a similar experience?

  • Griff

    So much of my sympathy for Malfoy was undone in this chapter. He has seen up close the horrors LV inflicts, has seemed to feel hesitant to act on his behalf, and yet…stays behind to capture Harry? What? Draco’s reversion to his sixth year self, pre-Dumbledore in the tower, has always been a disappointing part of his character development for me.

  • SlytherinKnight

    I was finishing listening to the episode, I had to stop when the hosts got to the kiss (I’m a Harmony fan) but I still wanted to finish the episode regardless of my feelings toward the pairings. But the hosts brought up an interesting point after talking about the Trio’s escape from the Room of Hidden Things, and the destruction of the diadem from Fiendfyre, actually two points: The first one is, how is Harry’s arm/body still undamaged if he is holding the diadem/or if it is around his wrist when it is destroyed? And the second point is one that I’ve had issue with for the last two books, Harry’s regression as a character. When the hosts pointed out that Harry and Ron didn’t talk with Hermione about her ‘hidden’ knowledge about Horcruxes, it just underlined the biggest failing of the final two books of the Harry Potter series to me, Harry’s regression to his pre-Prisoner of Azkaban. In books 3-5, we really see Harry grow as a man and a character, he is forced to learn more and more spells and magic, and take on more and more responsibilities, and grow into his own person. But in Half Blood Prince, he regresses to a person who needs things just handed to him, and that continues here in Deathly Hallows. He doesn’t try and learn as much as he can about the Horcruxes, or even try and find a way to better himself spell-wise.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Harry’s utter lack of intellectual curiosity and unwillingness to buckle down and apply serious thought to a problem is a major issue that I have with the last two books as well. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it regression of his character, as he never really was much of a scholar and only applied himself to learning magic because it was novel for him (at first) or because it was a necessity of survival (as when he learned the Patronus charm. And I think he does grow in HBP and Hallows; primarily through his time with Dumbledore in the former, when he learns the value of taking a thoughtful, thorough approach to understanding his enemy rather than just rushing in to fight him; and in the latter, through some self-questioning and acceptance that people are going to disappoint you but you love and forgive them anyway. Those are just some examples – he probably learns other things, but they are lessons either given to him by a teacher or forced on him by hard life experience, not things he seeks of his own volition.

      I think Snape is right that he is like his father in this way. Harry’s best traits come from Lily – his compassion and ethics. His academic laziness and tendency to become self-consumed seem to come from James (full disclosure: I am not the biggest James supporter). I will concede that we only get glimpses of him, but he seems blasé about his OWLs and willing to ride on his natural talents and social advantages. I mean, JKR even confirmed that he had no career aspirations prior to when “Order of the Phoenix Member” became a valid job title.

      • Awesomebird Sama

        I think it is true that his lack of engagement for the Horcrux-destruction is slightly out of character for Harry.
        the way I see him, Harry is a practical person. he’s not learning or reading as an end of itself, he tries finding information or learning skills if he needs them to solve a specific problem.
        Not doing this is a bit out of character.

        it is interesting because the golden trio all have different ways to learn.
        there’s Harry who learns specifically to solve a problem, there’s Hermione who just learns because she finds it interesting and so end up knowing what she needs and then there’S Ron who doesn’t learn goal orientated at all but wriggles himself through life with common sense and strategy.

        James often seemed like a typical highly skilled underachiever to me.
        Since he’s faster than his class mates he gets bored and starts paying attention to other things and then he misses out on important informations so he’s not the “best of the best” in all subjects.

        Since the subject is boring for him, he’s also not really ambitious to reach the top there and he get by with next to no work just fine. He never learned how it is to fail and so he doesn’t feel the ned to learn as much as others. He can get through school and life without learning to learn and work.
        James learned with the war that his actions and behaviour can have consequenses, it didn’t influence him when he was growing up though.
        this makes him different from Harry who very early learned that he needs a certain amount of work to survive from a very young age.
        Young James is much more carefree than Harry.
        James is like a mix of all trio’s learning strategies. he learns because it is interesting, like hermione, he’s getting interested in a topic because he wants to solve a problem, like Harry and he wriggles himself through the uninteresting rest of school with common sense, like Ron.

        I think him being much faster in learning than others in his age group also explains why he often seems so arrogant. he made for a long time the experience that other people basically take in information in slow-motion in comparison to him, which can be really grueling and frustrating.
        he’s not the most compassionate person to begin with, so it is hard for him to find a pedagogical approach to slower-thinking people and gets annoyed by them.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          Your analysis of the trio’s different approaches to learning is right on, I think, and why it’s so frustrating that Harry just slacks off when the biggest problem of his life (and the lives of everyone else living under Voldemort’s regime) is in need of solving. I don’t fault him for not being intellectual in general – some people are just more hands-on, and all types of personalities are valuable and needed in the world. But in the Slughorn memory and Horcrux situations, he should have used all of his ingenuity and effort and resources. Instead, he waits for Dumbledore or Hermione to do it for him. Hermione read Beedle the Bard multiple times while they were camping, and that had to be translated from ancient runes! Harry can’t struggle though one book that appears to be in Early Modern English?

          Okay, I’ve ranted enough on that topic. On James – again everyone’s different, but there is another way to deal with being quicker than average at school: Snape went to work improving upon the spells in the textbook and creating his own spells. It’s really sad to think what he could have achieved had he not gotten involved in the evil side of magic.

  • MartinMiggs

    Since this is the Grey Lady chapter I’d just like to say how horrible this was done in the movies. How would she know Tom “defiled” it and hid it in the Room of Requirement? I get that they cut a bunch of important scenes in previous books because of some dumb belief that HP fans couldn’t sit through a 3 hr movie but this is just ridiculous

  • UnicornYearnings

    “We did not have this dearth of young adult fiction…” Um, guys, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I do not think “dearth” means what you think it means. Probably just a verbal muddling over “did” and “did not,” but dearth is a lack of something, not an abundance.

  • morthascool

    you guys did it i managed to stay dry eyed though the entire discussion until your last open the Dumbledore with the twins. i know no ones probably gunna read it but i have to say i’m catching up keep doing what your doing and i shall see you guys in more comments

    • Michael Harle

      Glad you’re enjoying the archive! Kudos to you for contributing and catching up. We’ll look forward to seeing you on the other side! :{D