pqotw 223

Episode 223: OotP 4 Revisit – Super Slytherin House

This place sure is dusty. And who’s doing all of that yelling? Join Kat, Katy, Michael and guest host Alex (listener Feminist_Cat) as they pull out their Extendable Ears on the Order of the Phoenix’s secret meeting at “Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place,” Chapter 4 of Order of the Phoenix.

On Episode 223 we discuss…

→ Living among the Muggles
→ What the Fidelius is going on with the Fidelius Charm?
The incestuous Black Family Tree
→ The Portrait Dimension
Harry Potter and the All-Knowing Prophecy
→ Judgy Weasley
→ A Sirius Discussion
→ “Angst, angst, angst!”
→ The Daily Prophet’s real world applications (and arguments against that)
→ Genuine Ginny
→ Are Percy’s actions justified?
Join us in Diagon Alley on September 1st!

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.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 222

On this recap we discuss…

→ Riddle’s name is his life
→ Voldemort the computer
→ Why did Riddle choose Myrtle?
→ The influence of Love Potion

Listen Now: | Download

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Just a comment on the recap- Michael, I love that you brought up the Redwall books! That was the series I was obsessed with just before Potter came out, so while they are very different, they are closely linked for me in a nostalgic sense. That’s actually how I ended up reading Potter. I had just finished The Long Patrol and was eagerly waiting for our library to get the next book in, when my librarian suggested I read Sorceror’s Stone to tide me over. I finished it in 2 days and came back asking her for the next one only to find out it wasn’t out yet either and I was sooo annoyed. Haha, my poor librarian, she didn’t know what to do with me.

    • Michael Harle

      “I am that is, my sword shall wield for me!”

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        OMG, DO YOU HAVE VOICES FOR REDWALL CHARACTERS?!! Sorry, lol I would just be really impressed because those are some crazy accents…the moles, man.

        • Michael Harle

          The voices in the TV show were pretty perfect. I’d probably just steal them. ^_^

  • AuroraSinistra

    In regards to the discussion on why the Black’s would’ve owned a muggle house in London:
    London townhouses were commonly owned by wealthy families in addition to a country house, which would’ve resembled Malfoy Manor. I’m willing to believe the first or second line of Black’s are the ones who purchased it, which would place them in the Victorian period. Even so, I have a feeling if the Black’s purchased a townhouse then, it would’ve been a townhouse built during the Georgian period, which were more ornate, with mahogany wood and gilded furniture. Bedford Square makes an excellent example of the exterior of a Georgian townhouse that the Black’s would’ve chosen. They would naturally change the lighter colors used in that period to reflect the family, likely opting for a deep emerald green. Based on the Black family tree, I’m more likely to believe that it was none other than Phineas Nigellus or his wife, Ursula Flint, was who coveted the property. As neither of Phineas’ siblings appear to have married, this would’ve allowed the house to be passed down through the generations.

    • Feminist_Cat

      I really like your point about how it was likely that Phineas Nigellus was one of the original owners of Grimmauld Place. It would explain why there is a prominent painting of him in the home because, while it would not be super weird for a self-obsessed family like the Blacks to have several of its members hanging in the house, it makes Phineas’ portrait all the more important.

      • Rosmerta

        Like this idea! Definitely can see Phineas buying the property!

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        It’s a bit odd though that Phineas’ portrait is in a random bedroom and not in the main hall – but perhaps that was done when he was burned off the family tree.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          I don’t think that Phineas Nigellus is the Phineas who was burned off the tree — that seems to be his son, simply named Phineas. The key lists each disowned family member in an order that corresponds to a numbered “burned” spot on the tree, and you can find number 2, Phineas, on the line below Phineas Nigellus (1847-1925).

          It is curious that his portrait is in a bedroom; perhaps it’s actually one of the best bedrooms. Maybe they put Harry and Ron in the master bedroom, hoping that would appease him, or make him feel more welcomed, after being left out all summer? (Gonna take more than that, folks.)

          You were a great host, by the way! Hope you get to be on more episodes. (P.S. I love your enunciation when you say your name.)

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Oh gosh! You’re right! I saw the Phineas in the bottom list and just assumed but now that I look at it again I see Phineas Nigelus at the top, in all of his non-burned glory…lol. Thank you for pointing that out! Perhaps we should add a “Facts we bungled up on our last episode” segment at the beginning of each ep…lol

            That is a really interesting idea that they’re in the master bedroom. Perhaps Kreacher kept that one habitable because it used to belong to his mistress? Molly would never give such a good room to the twins…lol 😉 Though it is curious and she and Arthur didn’t take it. Perhaps you’re right that it was to be some sort of appeasement to Harry. But you’re also correct that it was too little too late 😛

            Thank you so much for the compliment! It means a lot! Now I’m really curious how I enunciate my name…lol. It is the most rhymey name ever, isn’t it? 😉 I was already well known by Katy Cartee in the Rainbow Brite and He-Man fandoms, so when I got married I just replaced my middle name with my maiden name and tacked my new surname on to the end.

          • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

            It’s an easy mistake to make, given how many members of the Black family are named after ancestors. Phinneas Nigellus is one of my favorite minor characters, so I had to set the record straight — he was “Toujours Pur”! Ha.

            You just really articulate the “t”s in Katy and Cartee. Makes you sound quite refined! I’ve been told that I do that, too, with words like button and curtain, so maybe it just sounds right to me. It’s a good name. And you certainly wouldn’t want to cause any confusion among the fandoms! :) I was also born at the end of 1979, so I think your other podcasts sound rad, even though I was more of a My Little Ponies (what’s up with the humongous eyes on the Ponies today? No.) and Strawberry Shortcake girl. But I definitely watched He Man and She Ra and loved my Rainbow Brite doll.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I do like Phineas Nigellus a lot. He makes me giggle 😀

            Good to know about my articulation! I wonder if it’s from years of bad phone reception making people never understand me when I say my name. I’ve gotten the strangest responses…Teenie? Keenie? (My niece and nephews have gone through strange pronunciations of my name too – Teety, Keety.) So perhaps I enunciate as well as I can to avoid confusion…lol. Who would have thought such a common name could be so complicated?

            Yay for another 80’s kid!! I don’t think I’ll ever overcome my prejudice that we grew up in the best decade ever 😉 I had some Ponies and some Strawberry Shortcake merch back in the day! I loved me some Care Bears and Chipmunks too 😉 But somehow Rainbow Brite recaptured me in my teens and it’s been my one great, unwavering love ever since 😀 My website just turned 20 years old. But I refuse to feel my age! I have merely gained experience and wisdom with the passage of time 😉

  • DoraNympha

    It makes little sense to live so close to Muggles indeed but perhaps this is to do with customs at the time of the Blacks’ moving in. Rich, posh families tended to live in country houses and use their town houses for the season. Yes, very Downton Abbey but what if wizardkind also has had some traditions like doing the season, debuting, balls, etc. like the British Muggle upper class? That would explain the need for a townhouse, even if it’s got to be wedged between Muggle houses. Also, in the Georgian/Regency era or whevenever they took the house, there were fewer people in London, enough to be able to live there in hiding more easily than nowadays I guess. So maybe they were based in a country mansion but they were forced to let go of those and were left with only the townhouse for some reason (they may have been getting less and less wealthy too, like the Weasleys).

    • AuroraSinistra

      Can you imagine wizards and witches doing a season and throwing balls? Now that would be something even Fleur Delacour couldn’t snub.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Somehow I’ve thought of this before and have just gone with the idea that this is definitely a thing families like the Malfoys and the Blacks would do. Like, that’s probably what Draco is getting robes for when the Trio first sees him in HBP. Gotta look pretty swank if he wants to snag himself some rich, pure-blooded marriage potential. Draco: the Belle of the Ball.

        • Rosmerta

          .. who’s likely to be a cousin of some sort! Presumably Astoria is pure blood!? I wonder if they are related!

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Yeah, unfortunately all we know about the Greengrasses is that they are one of the ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’ families. I would love to see where those two family trees might link up. Say what we will about Harry and his friends all marrying their highschool sweethearts; at least they aren’t Draco, shacking up with a cousin (potentially). Ha!

    • Horned Badger

      It’s also wroth remember something that I think came from Pottermore. J.K. wrote that the whole anti-muggle interaction and Pure-Blood hype was a relatively recent development of the Wizarding upper class following the institution of the International Statue of Wizarding Secrecy. Before that point the highest class of wizards would frequently be found in the royal courts of muggles and even intermarry with royals to secure wealth and power. It wasn’t until this became illegal (which such families vehemently fought against) that those elite families began to recognize importance in blood status and isolationism.

  • ousley

    For a family who has a disdain for Muggles, owning a home in the middle of a bunch of Muggles without them ever noticing seems a way to say “Ha! Look how much better than you we are! We’re here all along and your impotent little minds don’t even notice or know we are here!” Doing so would be out of arrogance and superiority.

    Like murderers who show up at the town hall meetings to discuss the murders.

    • Merlin’s Baggy Y-Fronts

      I agree that they were probably an arrogant and self-important family, though the portrait of Mrs. Black and Kreacher’s behavior definitely make me think there’s more going on…. There’s an underlying hatred which runs deep. I actually think it highly unlikely that such an anti-muggle family would have lived among muggles peacefully. I wonder if any “funny business” ever happened to the muggles that lived in the surrounding homes… Like, if they ever vanished without a trace? Turned up in the Sahara desert months later? LOL. Or on a more serious note…maybe things more like jinxes like Morfin Gaunt., or, God forbid, things like young Tom Riddle did to his peers in the orphanage?

  • DoraNympha

    No, but Ravenclaws are not supposed to be judgemental…! Molly makes a lot of hot-headed snap judgements, she believes the Prophet’s rumour-mongering, etc. That is so not the wisdom and individuality that a Ravenclaw is supposed to have!

    Speaking of houses, I always thought Percy’s ambition is not (purely) a Slytherin streak but more of Ravenclaw thing. When he’s being his opportunist self, it’s more like the ambitious sort of Ravenclaws – Lockhart, Quirrell, Marietta – rather than Slytherins because he never ever wants shortcuts. He could benefit from his family name if it weren’t for Arthur’s reputation but he doesn’t, he could do what Umbride does and support this underlying bigotry for advancement but he doesn’t, etc… He overdoes his job, like, he doesn’t have to be so meticulous and hand in reports early to Crouch but he does – that is so not the kind of thing that is particularly encouraged by Slytherin House.

    • AuroraSinistra

      Agreed. While Slytherins and Ravenclaws can be very similar when it comes to ambition, I feel Ravenclaws are more likely to get to what they want solely by working as hard as they can. Although I do think Ravenclaws can be judgemental, if they are, it’s likely from them picking up on something other people don’t since Ravenclaws are likely very intuitive, rather than making judgements based on hearsay, the way Molly does.

      • DoraNympha

        Fair enough, Ravenclaws judge, unless they are super free spirits like Luna. We may judge because we have arrogance in our knowledge or impatience towards those who are not familiar with the same subjects we are, unless someone’s an educator at heart, I guess. I myself have a hard time slowing down for people when explaining something and have little patience for ignorance. I stand corrected, we judge. Or let’s call it having “first impressions”…

        • Kat

          You don’t think Luna is judgmental? I think she is, down to her core, just not in a mean-spirited way that is so often associated with the word.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            YESSS!! I knew I couldn’t be the only one who thought this! She is every bit as judgy of Hermione as Hermione is of her.

          • Phat Albus

            In all honesty though I’d rather be judged by Luna than Hermione though.

            I’d rather live my school days (daze?) being complimented for my aura being the right colour than not doing my homework

          • DoraNympha

            Well, I guess she doesn’t take too kindly to Hermione’s lack of imagination but I think if you told Luna Lovegood that you now want to dye your hair purple and live as a Pygmy Puff and go to classes travelling on people’s shoulders, she wouldn’t question it. She thinks up about ten impossible ideas before breakfast, so at least she wouldn’t bat an eye-lash if she learned whatever thing you’re self-conscious about in front of most people. Everyone’s a little judgemental but I wouldn’t be scared of being judged by her in a way I would be with Hermione, Trelawney, Fleur, Ginny, Snape or Mrs Weasley. It’s like she’s seen everything and nothing surprises her anymore. A house elf rescues you from a cellar? Sure, why not, just another day in Luna Lovegood’s life. She’s observant rather than judgy, isn’t she?

            @thattimeremuswaddiwasiedvoldy:disqus
            Am I missing something after all? When is Luna judgemental? I should scan through my ebooks for her appearances, see if I can find something.

          • I think you’re wrong about Luna. Book Luna has a lot more sas and attitude than movie Luna. Movie Luna skews our perception of her character.

          • DoraNympha

            I can see why she could be but I think it’s possible not to read her as judgy. Let’s see if I’m wrong. I’m just going to search for her appearances:

            She voices obvious statements, not opinions. Embarrassing honesty but not berating. She’s a bit unusual socially but she’s only cross when Hermione insults her dad. She even likes Pig, an owl everyone else thinks needs to chill.

            Hagrid IS a rubbish teacher compared to Grubbly-Plank. Sorry, I’m with my house on that. Love Hagrid but I’d drop the subject if he taught it. Luna is matter-of-fact about this, not annoyed, though. Same as when she informs Trelawney about being sorted into Firenze’s classes. You can’t tell whether this is a god or a bad thing, just a thing.

            Luna randomly informs Harry she believes him, one of the few not to be judging Harry left and right.

            Well, Luna’s dad is right, the Prophet IS an awful paper. She’s just repeating what her dad says, she’s not saying “Hi, Miss Skeeter, I think you suck”.

            After seeing the Sirius vision, Luna tells Caps-Lock-Harry he’s being rather rude as another useless observation, as if politeness was priority but she’s not even really scolding him. Later in ch. 32, it says even Luna looked mildly surprised at having been captured by the Inquisitorial Squad. Up until that point, nothing surprised her, not Sirius, not having to up and leave to the Ministry. After Sirius dies, Luna’s the only one offering a conversation that actually does help.

            Remarking on Harry’s yellow eyebrow in HBP is so not like Muriel telling George his ears are lopsided. She’s just stating the obvious and I’ve always thought she’s just curious when she does this. Luna says Ron is funny but can be rude, again, not as something she was angry about on behalf of Hermione who she had just been consoling, but just matter-of-factly, and I’ve always thought this is because she believes Ron and people like him also must have their reasons.

            The narration often says “said Luna serenely”, I think she’s genuinely concerned when she’s serene because she wears her heart on her sleeve and we know exactly what she’s thinking so if she were judging we’d know.

            Luna stating others call her Looney and straight up asking Ron whether he’s making fun of her commentating given everyone else thinks she was rubbish is kind of like when Forrest Gump asks if his kid is also a bit odd – like all this time she’s been aware of immense judgement against her. She just accepts this.

            At the wedding:
            “Hello, Harry!” she said.
            “Er — my name’s Barny,” said Harry, flummoxed.
            “Oh, have you changed that too?” she asked brightly.
            “How did you know — ?”
            “Oh, just your expression,” she said.

            She’s observant but she has such little judgement in her she’s just cool with you changing your body and name to whatever. Literally everyone’s judging her for hideously small things like keeping her wand behind her ear yet you can literally be accepted in your new body and identity as if it was natural in 0.02 seconds by Luna Lovegood, no problem.

            She’s clearly one of the few wizards who are respectful to house elves. The characters we know a lot of tend to be but this is not how people usually think about elves.

            I thought I’d stand corrected in my assumptions but I still disagree having scanned through the books. I think that quiet judgmental attitude that you’re probably thinking of may be read into the lines about Luna but it may not. I still think she’s a lot less judgemental than any average character at any rate. The more I think about this the more curious I am now why Luna’s perceived as judgemental. Am I reading this entire character wrong??? HELP.

          • Also, read her as having “dirty blonde hair” as she was originally written to have. The actress in the movie has white hair which adds a lot to her mystical airiness. When you read her as having a very normal hair color, it’s easier to see her very normal behaviors.

          • DoraNympha

            Yes, it bothers me so much when popular tumblr posts liken her hair to the Malfoys’ because it’s NOT that blonde sdfkjhsdkjfsdkjf Like Phoebe from Friends season 1 in my head, super ’90s. But I think that with the eyes can still be quite whimsical.

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I agree with you, Luna is far more observing that judgemental. At least in the way that I understand judging people. Every personality type chart I’ve seen lists Luna as INFP, with P for perceiving, not J for judging.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            I think it may be come down to how we view the term judgemental. When it comes to Luna, I don’t mean it necessarily in a negative way, as in being overly critical, but in the sense that she does make critical analysis of others, both positive and negative. Like telling Harry she believes him- that is her judging him not to be an attention seeking liar, a good thing, but still a judgement. I think the more negative aspect of that only really reveals itself with Hermione- “There are plenty of eyewitness accounts, just because you’re so narrow-minded you need to have everything shoved under your nose”.
            I think another example of Luna being judgemental, but not in a bad way,is on the train when she brings up Ron going to the Yule ball with Padma. “She didn’t enjoy it very much… She doesn’t think you treated her very well, because you wouldn’t dance with her. I don’t think I’d have minded.” She is stating observational facts, yes, but I think she is also critiquing Ron here, it’s just that her final judgement is that she herself might take a different view than Padma. It’s like saying “You were a jerk to Padma for not dancing, but if someone who didn’t like dancing had been there, it would have been alright.” She’s calling him out on it while at the same time giving him a pass. So she’s not being overly critical or judging him in a disparaging way, but she is voicing her take on the whole thing, which to me is an act of judgement. Also, she is the one who laughs hardest when Ron makes fun of Goyle, though to be fair, it may be more the use of “baboon’s backside” that she found funny.

            Don’t get me wrong, I love Luna, and by calling her judgemental I don’t mean to discredit her tendency to be very accepting as well. I think these are two aspects of her personality that are very closely linked, and are why she is in Ravenclaw. To me, by saying Luna is judgemental, I mean that she is highly observational, which helps her to make highly critical analysis of people and situations, leading to her holding very firm opinions on those things that she isn’t afraid to voice. To me, that can be both a good and a bad thing. More often than not, Luna’s judgements are ones we agree with, so we don’t see them as her being critical, or they are ones we value because they are on the side of “everyone else thinks you’re weird, but I’m cool with it”.

            I like the fact that you brought up how often she speaks “serenely”, because I do think that it implies her intentions aren’t to be pretentious and snobby or any of those things that we associate with judginess. I don’t think the moments where I see her being judgmental are like, her being terrrible, she’s just being matter of fact. Also I like this because I just finished listening to the Jim Dale version of the audiobook for the first time and he makes her sound like a 90 year old hag with a pack-a-day smoking habit. It is awful, and not at all the dreamy, SERENE, Luna I imagined.

          • DoraNympha

            Okay, I can see it if you put it like that. I just feel it’s a lot different than actual judgy people who wear their hearts on their sleeve. I used to know kids like that, whose “hello” was “your hair is crap today” and claim that is just how friends talk to friends but in actuality that’s just being a judgy, rude person. Luna’s not really that at all, she even calls rudeness out. You’re right, it’s hard to say what is being judgemental and what is simply perceptiveness. Having an opinion isn’t necessarily judging is why I am so reluctant, I guess!
            Ahh and Jim Dale ehhh I’m team Fry when it comes to the audiobooks!

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Agreed. I just re listened to Order of the Phoenix, and I had forgotten how much attitude Luna has. She goes from all giggles and daydreams to being rather prickly and glaring in about an instant.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Luna makes all kinds of judgements about Hermione’s character based on Hermione’s statements, both on the Hogwarts Express and during the first DA gathering. And it isn’t that she is wrong, or is trying to be mean, but it’s very much a “You don’t agree with me because you are this, that, and the other, sort of a person.” Luna uses this judgement she makes of Hermione as a means of discrediting what Hermione is saying to her, rather than approaching it from a “Oh, you think about this in an entirely different way than I do, let’s talk” sort of way. To me that is pretty judgemental, in that it makes it difficult for meaningful dialogue to take place once one has already claimed to “know” how the other person thinks and has therefore already judged their opinion irrelevant.

          • You are right Kat. Luna is pretty judgemental, but she keeps to herself.

        • ousley

          I think Luna is judgmental in the same way that people who say “look at me! look how inclusive and tolerant I am! I believe everyone has a voice and opinion!” treat other people who happen to have a different opinion (most commonly politics). It usually isn’t pretty.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          Just wanted to throw in my two cents on this debate. I think being judgmental (in either a neutral sort of way, or in a mean way) can be a very common side-effect of being a Ravenclaw, but it’s not a prerequisite for the house. Similarly, brashness and recklessness are very common traits that appear in Gryffindors, but that’s not what the Sorting Hat looks for in a Gryffindor. Ravenclaws can be very perceptive, which leads to firm opinions informed by fact (as ThatTimeRemusWadiwasidVoldy said), but being ‘smart’ can lead to arrogance, which can lead to being a bit judgy.

          • DoraNympha

            I agree. Perhaps Ravenclaws should be wiser not to judge, though. Harder in practice than in theory. If this was really the house that embraces individuality, eccentricity, open-mindedness, then Luna wouldn’t be bullied.

    • ousley

      Yeah. I associate Slytherin success/ambition with nepotism and “who you know” (hello, Slughorn) and Ravenclaw with (raven)clawing yourself up from the bottom to the top.

      • DoraNympha

        Oooh “Ravenclawing”
        Love it!

    • SpinnersEnd

      THIS! This is exactly why I like Percy. He works hard and just wants people to recognize it. He doesn’t want to take the easy way out and bank on name dropping someone important to get what he wants. I relate to that so hard!

      • DoraNympha

        Yes, he works for it and what’s so bad about wanting recognition for it??? The kid’s worked his butt off!

        But also, that’s the thing, though: he does name-drop somewhat but he doesn’t do that in order to skip a few steps on the ladder. Mr Crouch this, Mr Crouch that… but when he talks about the cauldron report, he’s talking not about how important he is but about the actual contents of the research because people ought to be aware of the dangers of thin cauldron bottoms.

        He name-drops and title-drops when he wants order – you should give way to him simply because he’s Head Boy, you should do as Dumbledore says because he is the Headmaster, we have to pretend Voldemort’s not back because the Minister says that’s what we ought to be doing and that’s that.

        He brags: about Apparating, about knowing about the super-secret-Triwizard-Tournament, about being told things by the Minister himself, about his promotions because that’s confirmation of stability when he has nothing to fall back on, like, financially but it’s also that without his accolades he has nothing and he is nothing in terms of recognition, support, respect, credit, (arguably) personal charm… He’s good with a quill, he has to bank on that, and given there are limited teaching positions in the wizarding world, he has to navigate the Ministry, which entails compromises (up to a limit as we see in DH), and yes sucking up to people.

        His name-dropping reminds me of Slughorn’s way, like, he does his job well, he’s academically/professionally strong in his own right but it’s always an idea to “network”, I mean everybody knows it’s not enough to work hard to get ahead (albeit, perhaps don’t bow like an idiot to every ambassador and supervisor, like, have some SELF-respect too, kid). TBH I’d do what he does too if the alternative was to sit in a windowless office underground for most of my working life and still not being able to afford my child his own wand. And it seems to me like he genuinely likes his job, like, yes there’s the motivation to break out of poverty but it’s as if he genuinely understands and wants to improve things (like, he has suggestions for law enforcement before even graduating). In lieu of any democratic representative system, the only way to have a say in anything is to have money like the Malfoys or, well, write the laws yourself.

        And, he name-drops with his family too, like, when Dumbledore gives Ron points in PS/SS, the text says:
        “Percy could be heard telling the other prefects, “My brother, you know! My youngest brother! Got past McGonagall’s giant chess set!”” I don’t think that’s because he’s being calculating there – if we’re not making Arthur’s mistake and give him credit for a change, he could just be simply proud of Ron.

        I’m rambling but the (cauldron) bottom line is that Percy’s not as much of a prat as it would seem, especially that he’s one of those characters most distorted by the narration’s bias to Harry’s perspective, I suppose. We may not agree with him, he may name-drop and focus on appearances too much but he’s actually good at his job.

        And this is rather just me reacting to the episode talk, vauely related: Aside from the fact that Percy didn’t or hardly knew the real Crouch before he was bewitched and therefore HOW ON EARTH should he have been able to tell something was wrong ???? for the life of me I don’t–
        ANYWAY so aside from that, when was the last time an 18-year-old could handle running the entire foreign affairs ministry of Britain? Because he did that just fine, for months. I think he deserved that promotion 1000%. And it sounds like Arthur just jumped to that conclusion that Fudge was just using him straight away, like, it couldn’t possibly have been because Percy was good…

        To assume Percy wasn’t good at his job is one thing but to assume Percy would be willing to spy on his own family was another, I think that also added to his being offended. Don’t forget, under all that pompousness, there’s moral fibre… This row just shows how all these characters involved are Gryffindors – tensions and emotions run high etc. (Also Percy may remember the previous war, he was like 4 when James and Lily died.) But even with the urgency of Voldemort’s return, it’s a bit steep to expect your son to join what at the time was an obscure revival of an anti-government vigilante group that fraternized with petty criminals like Mundungus, versus the umm well the… the STATE??? THE LAW??? THE GOVERNMENT??? Um… It’s not weird not to join the Order. Especially that Molly and Arthur had NOT been members of the Order the first time around.

        I think it did Percy good to leave home anyway – it could have happened under different circumstances but it was bound to happen I think. And the kid’s got notoriously bad judgement: he recommends Divination to Harry and Ron, Harry loses at chess when Percy’s advising him, he just forces Ginny to have Pepperup when really she’s being possessed, he falls for Umbridge’s facade… The sending back the jumper and the letter to Ron and stuff are obviously inexcusable mistakes he does make, but I’m so glad we have a character like this (and Seamus!) because everyone seems to either be so Pure and Good™ all the time or literally cartoon villains or going irredeemably bad. It’s like there’s no space for any other opinion than Harry’s or that of the self-sacrificial heroic Gryffindors, and anyone who doubts or hesitates is morally dubious or immensely dislikable. (The good guys go to Gryffindor, the bad guys to Slytherin and the rest can go wherever the hell they want…….) And in case there were still doubts about Percy’s sorting, bragging is quintessentially Gryffindor, the whole showing off thing, and so is this argument and being so brash and bold and impulsive as to just up and leave and go it alone from one day to the next.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Holy crap. Looks like we need a Percy episode…

          • DoraNympha

            YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

          • Phat Albus

            I’m not a fan of the guy but I’d want a Percy ep too

        • SpinnersEnd

          Percy does name drop, but he does it for things that he directly involved in. He name drops Crouch like there’s no tomorrow, but he works in that department.

          Unlike Slughorn (who’s name dropping has always bothered me) Percy name drops for people and things that he’s directly involved with or had a hand in making happen and that he’s proud of. I think he does it less to reap a material reward from it (though would never turn it down if he got one), and more to get credit and recognition.

          I also think that Percy does his work in earnest which make his name dropping seem a bit less smarmy than Slughorn’s.

          • DoraNympha

            100% totally. Percy’s name-dropping isn’t just empty bs. He actually gets the job done. No, more than that, he overachieves – he turns in reports early, stays at work until Arthur has to drag him home, etc. He’s a bit of a workaholic rather than an opportunist.

            (And why shouldn’t he be proud? It irks me so much when Ron puts him down for being overzealous, like, Ron sees himself decorated with all sorts of badges in the Mirror of Erised, standing out, having achieved things – well, Percy actually took steps, didn’t just complain that he’s in others’ shadow too lazy to even do his homework.)

          • SpinnersEnd

            YES! YES! Ron is terrible to Percy. I feel like for a long time, Ron just wants a lot of this stuff handed to him. Dumbledore doesn’t help when he makes Ron a prefect. He just sort of hands it to Ron in the hope that he can keep Harry in line. This fails miserably. And beyond that, Ron makes a terrible prefect and takes advantage of his position to get things he wants.

          • SlytherinKnight

            I think the only reason that Dumbledore gave Ron the badge was because, essentially who else could he give it too? Dean is kind of just there, Seamus is too much of a troublemaker, goof-off-er, Neville doesn’t have the confidence yet, and we know why he didn’t give it to Harry. So Ron was the last one.

            But I totally agree that he didn’t earn it, his grades aren’t great (not terrible but not great), he goofs off as much as Seamus and his confidence is only slightly better than Neville’s.

            Conspiracy theory time: I also think that Dumbledore gave Hermione and Ron the badges in order to isolate Harry more. Both of his best (only) friends are now off on their own while Harry is left to stew by himself, making it easier for Dumbledore to manipulate Harry into sacrificing himself at the end of DH.

          • DoraNympha

            Forever mad Dean was overlooked, actually – he is an all around good kid, he’s got a strong moral sense, he stands up for Lupin against Umbridge, he’s also talented at art, he can manage to stay on good terms with Harry even when his own best mate Seamus is super against him. #DeanforPrefectsy1995

          • ousley

            Well, according to old fan theories, Dumbledore is future-Ron, remember? So of course he’d make himself a prefect. :p

          • RickJM

            It has nothing to do with confidence. Ron isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind to anyone. He’s not afraid of confrontation That’s what makes him the best choice.

          • RickJM

            Yeah, none of this is true. Percy tried to get Ron to ditch his best friend, a good reason to be terrible to him. Ron wants to pay Harry back for omnoculars, so he doesnt just want things handed to him. He also practices by himself for quiddich keeper and wants to quit when hes terrible at it, again shows he doesnt just want things handed to him. Ron is a good choice for prefect, hes been with Harry through everything and gets the same grades as Harry. What things did he get by taking advantage of his position? If fine if you dont want to like the Weasleys but dont say things that the books show are untrue.

          • RickJM

            Ron tried out for quiddich, Percy studied. They both tried to acheive something for themselves, only in different ways.

        • the head girl

          /SLOW CLAPPING

          FOREVER

          • DoraNympha

            Do I get points for Ravenclaw? *u*

          • the head girl

            All of them, I’m pretty sure.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            ^^^ yep

      • Horned Badger

        Building off the discussion of Percy’s motivations on this episode I think letting Percy’s ambition or hard work define him only goes so deep. If you really consider he’s most profound motivations I think his Gryffindor really shows. He wants to attain success, but in a lot of ways that’s for his family. The discussion of how much his father’s status in the ministry affects Percy’s character and behavior really opened up this line of thinking for me.

        It took so much bravery for Percy to go against what his father thinks and pursue what Percy truly believes (however blindly) to be right. He’s not quite standing by his family, but rather standing up for them and trying to make something more for his and their name.

        Remember when Ron writes him that one time and he tries to offer a way to his little brother to follow in his footsteps. As a reader that just made me mad at the time because like Ron we were all Team Harry, but I remember Harry not being quite as furious as Ron was. I think Harry maybe noticed the small act of brotherly love Percy was attempting and thought something of it. Wish I had time to reread some chapters to flesh this idea out.

        • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

          I completely agree that Percy believes he is doing what will, in the end, prove to be the best thing for his family. My interpretation has always been that he hoped he could salvage his family’s reputation by working for the Ministry on the “correct” side of popular opinion. His words to Arthur are revealing, although I don’t believe Percy would have voiced those things aloud had he not been stung by his father’s comments. One aspect of his behavior I cannot excuse, though: You do *not* slam the door in your mother’s face.

          Also, he does seem to genuinely care about his siblings and arguably takes a greater interest in their lives than either of the other two eldest brothers, Bill and Charlie, who seem just as consumed with their own careers as Percy does. I reread Chamber of Secrets most recently, and Percy does look out for Ginny during her first year — he is much more aware of what’s going on with her than Ron is, even if he doesn’t understand the full picture (and realistically, how could he have known that Ginny was being possessed by Voldemort? We can’t expect Percy to be any more perceptive than Dumbledore, McGonagall, and the other faculty, who didn’t realize this either. I also don’t think Percy should have been blamed for not realizing that Crouch Sr. was Imperiused when Dumbledore and the other professors didn’t realize that Moody was actually Crouch Jr.)

      • RickJM

        Oh, Percy is a suck up.

  • ousley

    Progression of my reactions to ALL CAPS HARRY from memorable reads:

    2003 (Age 14) – Yeah! You tell ’em Harry! Stupid adults not telling you things and friends who don’t invite you to the knowledge party.

    2007 (Age 18) – I’m whiny and depressed enough in my own life right now, I don’t need 900 pages of Harry being whiny and emo too. Can I just skip this one on my rereads before DH comes out?

    2010 (Age 21) – Hey, Harry, just drink some firewhiskey to cope, take Cho on some dates so you get some practice not being so awkward, and then move on to Ginny when you’re ready to stop being a crybaby. She’s 100 times tougher than you are acting right now, bro.

    2016 (Age 27) – Wow, Harry is definitely experiencing some major PTSD and has had literally zero interaction with people since the graveyard scene – of course the kid needs some help and interaction. Couple that with his other ongoing mental struggles (borderline?) and it’s no wonder he’s ignited. You don’t just send a victim like that to live in solitary confinement for a month immediately following a traumatic event. All the adults are worse at handling emotions than the kids are.

    (Side note – I bet y’all could do an entire episode on how perspectives on books have changed over time and just do an open-style podcast question of the week sort of thing in advance for many perspectives.)

    • Kat

      Submit it as a topic! We won’t remember if it isn’t in the inbox, haha.

    • I love how your perspective changed so much. I was always on Harry’s side how you were at age 14. I still consider all the adults stupid.

      • ousley

        I think my perception has come full circle to “the adults were stupid,” it’s just for a lot deeper reason than it was when I was 14.

    • Phat Albus

      I love how your pov at age 21 was basically “Jeez Harry just get drunk and make out with people”

      True blue college mentality there.

  • SpinnersEnd

    One thing I would like to point out is that this is the first book where the title isn’t the goal of the book. In Sorcerer’s Stone, the goal is to get the Philospher’s stone. In Chamber of Secrets, Harry has to find the basilisk and the Chamber. PoA, they have to deal with someone who’s escaped from Azkaba. GoF: Harry’s name ends up in the goblet, he has to retrieve the goblet from the maze. Even in the DH, Harry ostensibly goes after the Deathly Hallows, making it the focus of the book.

    I find it interesting that the title of this book is the one that people tend to like the least is one of the only ones where the goal isn’t spelled out for the reader right at the beginning.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Great observation!

  • Feminist_Cat

    I had an amazing time on this discussion! Also, everyone feel free to create a drinking game from the number of times I say “you know.” Sweet Jesus.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      You were an amazing guest!! You made my first time being on the show SO much easier and I hope you’ll become a regular here on the main site from now on 😀

  • SpinnersEnd

    I read the article you guys mentioned in the episode. While, I wholeheartedly disagree with the point Sonny Bunch was trying to make, I was heartened to read the comments. There were loads of people coming to the defense of the series with well worded and thought out rebuttals. I am so proud of this fandom!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I was happy to see that too. I did lol though at the “Mr. Bunch clearly is limited by a Muggle’s sense of humor” bit.

  • SpinnersEnd

    I think one of the things that frustrated me so much about Caps Lock Harry is that his reactions are almost the complete opposite of how I would have reacted to a situation like this. Even as a teenager, I would stay quiet until I had thought my response through. It’s always bothered me that Harry just charges on ahead, shouting at his best friends.

    That being said, it’s totally in character for him. He tends to be a little hot-headed and deals with the consequences of his actions as they come.

    The first time I read OotP, I was was 14 and pretty angsty myself. But for some reason, Caps Lock Harry never resonated with men, and now that I’m older and have a few more read throughs under my belt, I still don’t like him. I can understand a little better now why he reacts the way that he does, but it’s still so at odds with how I would react.

    BUT! In most other cases, this is precisely why I enjoy the series so much. Harry reacts in almost the polar opposite way to everything. Harry will rush right into something, as mentioned earlier, without giving it much thought. I, however, in my Ravenclaw way, will gather all the information I can and think through all the possible outcomes.

    This is such a fascinating dichotomy for me. Reading Harry Potter lets me experience the world though a very different perspective.

    • StoneHallows

      This is EXACTLY my problem with All Caps Harry (or ACH as I call him). Maybe it’s because I’m a RavenPuff and he’s a Gryffindor, and I wrote a post on it myself, but even when I am angry about something (and as a 15 year old reading it for the first time, I was like this already, it wasn’t something that came as I got older, though it is stronger now), I’ll yell about it for a little bit, then I’ll force myself to calm down and listen to reason. And if people have a logical reason for doing or saying what they did, I can understand that and we can get to a common ground. It doesn’t continue on without ever actually being talked through or confronted as it does here. I certainly have a temper – I’m a redheaded Italian, I’ve got both stereotypical indicators – but I would never carry on the way he does. I can see how others with a different personality than mine might react differently, but I was never able to connect with ACH, and that’s why this is my least favorite book.

  • Horned Badger

    I just want to talk about Ginny and the advice Hermione gave her! I thought generally it was so great and exactly what Ginny needed to grow up and mature. It’s funny that she dated a bunch of guys from this point on, but even though she gets caught snogging in the passageways it never felt like she was overly promiscuous or anything. In fact, it felt normal that she was dating different people as time went by and kind of highlighted the stunted romantic maturity of some of the other characters (cough cough Ron and Harry). I would have loved to actually see the scene of that conversation and hear Hermione’s exact advice, but I think the hosts broke down the likeliest scenario pretty well. I’m more left wondering where Hermione got this particular kind of wisdom from? I don’t have a lot of deep ideas on this topic yet just lots of questions! Thoughts?

    • Horned Badger
    • Feminist_Cat

      Not to put her on too high of a pedestal, but Hermione is not only book smart, she is also incredibly emotionally intelligent. She is always tuning into how people are feeling, given the slightest bit of information. For example, later in this book, she give Ron and Harry insight into how Cho Chang is feeling when she cries kissing Harry. We joke that “emotional range of a teaspoon” Ron is to blame for being so dense, but I think Hermione is not given the credit she is due when analyzing the situations she is presented with, whether facts or emotions. The only thing I can see contrary to this is when she thinks it’s OK to curse the parchment and gives Marietta permanent scarring. Not the best judgment sometimes, but Hermione knows her stuff.

      • Horned Badger

        So do you think she’s just a natural? I was just looking for something in her past where she would have learned that kind of emotional intelligence. It’s definitely a strength of hers, but Ron also does have the “emotional range of a teaspoon” hahaha (one of my favorite Jo jokes. Right up there with “Cinderella? What’s that an illness?”)

        • Feminist_Cat

          First off, the Cinderella joke is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. I think it gets glossed over too often. It’s a gem.

          Second, I imagine Hermione being an only child allowed her a lot of time to be introspective. Given how awkward and show-offy she was when she first started Hogwarts – heck, even on the train – my guess is that she might have had a hard time relating to people super well. Because Hermione is a problem-solver, I bet she started figuring out what was so off-putting about her behavior and tried to see other people’s perspectives. Again, she’s not perfect because she is still sometimes rude about Trelawney, makes fun of Lavender, etc. Overall, I think Hermione did some soul-searching as a child to become to emotionally intelligent.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          reading can improve the reader’s empathy with characters and expanding from that with persons in their life. Given the immense number of books Hermione must have read, I’m not surprised at all she is able to be empathic and understand emotions.

          • Horned Badger

            Very true! However, it always seemed to me that Hermione was reading to learn and never for pleasure. In other words did she ever read narratives or fiction? I don’t remember her ever being described as reading anything that wasn’t a factual or instructive book (excepting Beedle’s tales).

          • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

            I guess that’s a case where the shower-rule applies. The fact that it is not mentioned does not mean it didn’t happen.
            Hermione reads everything and is constantly reading, and we know what she has read when she repeats the information she has learned. Most of the fictional books or muggle books she has read are not relevant in the magical world, so “Matilda” or “The Little Princess” are never mentioned, but I’m convinced Hermione has read them and countless others.

          • frumpybutsupersmart
      • RickJM

        Not sure I completely agree with this. We still see to many times where Hermione can’t help comment on things she should ignore (like Luna’s “Luna-ness”) or when she badgers Harry about things when what Harry needs is to just be given time to process things on his own. She might have good insight when it comes to matters of the heart but there’s still a certain lack of social awareness that involves a level of emotional intelligence that she never manages to shake because that’s just who she is.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      All great points already made but I have one more to add: Perhaps Hermione had boyfriends before she found out she was a witch. We know nothing about her childhood. She may have first hand experience she’s drawing on or learned from the experiences of her childhood friends. I had my first boyfriend when I was ~8-9, so it’s not out of the question.

      • Horned Badger

        Hm….possible i suppose? i had my first “girlfriend” when I was 10/11, but that relationship was so immature I barely count it. I guess I just question even if that’s the case how she would gain relationship wisdom from a pre pre teen “relationship”…

  • Lisa

    Not a comment on the episode as I haven’t listened yet just on the article you linked to. I find it rather click-baity and sort of elitist. The reason why everyone uses Potter references is because- brace yourself!- everyone knows Harry Potter! Sorry, but not everyone has read Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop or The Plague and certainly not Infinite Jest. Funny thing is I’ve actually read Infinite Jest and I don’t remember anything about any president there so that reference would be lost on me too. Of course not everyone has read HP or seen the movies either, but I think it would be hard to find anyone in most countries on the planet who have never heard of Voldemort! (And if they haven’t heard of Voldy, you can probably bet they’ve not read Infinite Jest either). So yeah, basically another article complaining about the infantilization of today’s adults; for no reason of course since liking or loving HP has nothing to do with how mature or intelligent you are. It doesn’t mean we all walk around with wizard hats and broomsticks all day and don’t contribute to society. Or that we cannot read and appreciate more high brow literature.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Agreed, 100%. Seriously, I’d say that the vast majority of the HP related discussions I have with friends end up on the subject of how closely the issues of our times are reflected in the books or how the lessons we learned through the series affect our personal beliefs about real-world issues. And it isn’t just current affairs- we can trace the similarities to historical points in time as well. It is astonishing how relevant these books are, 20 years after the first publication. The three examples used were totally presented in such a way that purposefully trivialized and dumbed-down otherwise completely legitimate connections. To me this screams willful ignorance, and I would gladly watch Kat destroy said person on twitter, even though said action would perhaps be unwise… Seriously though, we know that we can’t wave our wands and defeat “Literally Evil Genocidal Noseless Magic Man”. We aren’t stupid. I doubt any of us are operating under this kind of delusion.

      This whole article reeks of the same pretention as another article that was making the rounds awhile back about the number of adults reading YA essentially being an embarrassment and basically denying any real literary value in the genre. OMG, reading is reading people, and that is ALWAYS a good thing. Yes, it is even better to expand and vary the material one reads, and everyone should, but it is entirely stupid to demonize a piece of literature based simply on the fact that it is easily relatable to so many people, adults and children alike. That sort of literary snobbery is just plain obnoxious.

      Furthermore, often these comparisons are made because it’s FUNNY! Shocking. The mere existence of political cartoons demonstrates that there is a certain power in exercising our right to mock our leaders, and that humor is a sort of weapon. Like, who cares about Infinite Jest when you can look at a picture of Trump’s face superimposed over Umbridge’s body, or Trump’s smashed walk of fame star being compared to a horcrux? And that image can circulate society far wider and at a faster rate than a highbrow novel will. These things don’t have to be highly intellectual to have a meaning that truly resonates. In fact, they are more widely understood they are, the more effective they are.

      The question I have though, has anyone actually shared this with Rowling publicly via social media? I’d be interested to see that reaction.

      • Lisa

        WORD! Whenever something is popular, people feel the need to put it down in some way because they think other novels/movies/etc are of greater value and therefore more worthy of popularity. I’m not gonna deny it, I’m a literary snob too and I would rather read Virginia Woolf than Marian Keyes for example. I would also say that yes David Foster Wallace is a better writer than Rowling. However, none of this has anything to do with why people use pop culture references rather than more high brow references which (unfortunately, as I’m sure the author of the article would say) exclude many people who haven’t read them. It’s like you say, it’s not about fleeing reality, it’s about making fun of dumb politicians. There is absolutely nothing contradictory about being an adult who enjoys YA fantasy books and who also works as a human rights attorney or a scientist or a politician. It says absolutely nothing about who you are as a person, except maybe for the fact that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

        I don’t think anyone has shared it with Rowling. I haven’t seen any reaction from her anyway. I’m sure she’s pretty used to opinions like these. There was also an article a while back about how people should read high brow fantasy like LotR instead of the Potter books. *tries to restrain self from going into a rant about how books by female authors becoming popular rubs some dudes the wrong way…*

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Exactly. And there is nothing wrong with the view that some authors or literary works are better than others. I certainly have those opinions and preferences as well. Plus, when someone tells me how AMAAAAAZING Infinite Jest is, but than can’t tell me another piece of literature that they think is equally important, I judge. These are matter of opinion sure, and everyone’s tastes are different, but there is an amount of truth to the sentiment that some literature is just “better” than others.. The problem comes from saying that whatever meaning or connections someone has gathered from whatever they’ve read are somehow illegitimate because that particular piece of literature doesn’t constitute worth in the eyes of others. We are drawn to all kinds of different books, movies, music, etc. for different reasons and those reasons are not up for judgement by others, nor do they, as you said, determine who we are or what we do in other aspects of our lives. That is perhaps my biggest problem with this article, the idea that using Potter as a means of reference is somehow indicative of a limited body of literarary knowledge, or that we’re all just a bunch of idiots waving wands at the problem.

          Omg, the struggle for female authors, fantasy/sci-if in particular, is sooo real. I’m so with you on that soapbox.

  • DoraNympha

    Also, something that strikes me as odd, and I’m not sure if we can find an explanation for it or if it’s just a bit of a plothole: Crouch can’t remember Percy’s name but he knows Arthur alright and he is related to the Weasleys. Why is it so hard for him to remember then?

    • travellinginabluebox

      Interesting question. But I think a lot of people will have encountered someone like Crouch in their professional lifes. People that think they are so high-above that they don’t need to learn names, and yes, some people struggle with learning names, I myself do. But I also believe that if you really care about learning a name than you can remember it.
      So essentially it is a way of showing that Crouch just doesn’t care for the name of his assistant, but from my personal expereince I wouldn’t think it to be odd.

      • DoraNympha

        Is there reason to suspect he’s doing this on purpose? Like, he SO doesn’t care about pure-blood stuff, see, he doesn’t even keep track of his own extended family… You know, to distance himself from what his son was advocating.

    • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

      maybe he’s a bit like Professor Binns, who has heard too many names and can’t keep track anymore. Who knows who many different assistants have worked for him until Percy came along?

      During the World Cup I guess part of Crouch’s mind is occupied with worrying about his son being out of their home and among other people.

    • ousley

      I think it’s a combination of showing that Crouch was someone aloof / thought too much of himself to think of anyone else’s name and the to drive the point home that Percy is so boring that his name isn’t worth remembering by superiors.

      • DoraNympha

        Yeah and also to reveal that Percy exaggerates his self-importance. He says Crouch is absolutely starting to rely on him and he says the dungbomb was sample fertilizer from Norway etc. We KNOW he’s flat-out lying there. Harry/the narrative’s conclusion is that Percy’s a prat but I think this need to pretend he’s needed and useful is kinda sad. Like, not sad as in Percy’s a prat but sad in a way I wanna tell someone to stop eye-rolling at him and give the kid a hug.

  • daveybjones999 .

    I think the Fidelius Charm is such a complex piece of magic that a taboo couldn’t break it. I also don’t understand what’s so complicated about the charm. The only thing complicated is the stuff about secret keepers, but everything else is pretty straightforward. The way the charm actually works is that it is placed on a building. It can only be placed on a building it can not be placed on a person. I keep hearing the question, can it work on a person/why didn’t they just use the charm on Harry, but it doesn’t work that way. Once it has been placed on a building one person is chosen to be the secret keeper and only that one person can let other’s know where the building is either through a piece of paper or by telling them. Once said secret keeper dies everyone who has been told immediately becomes the secret keeper, thus making it much easier for someone else to figure out where it is, and the only reason why they abandon headquarters is because first they think the house might be passed to Belatrix and then because Snape a death eater is now the secret keeper and no one knows if he can tell anyone about it or not so it’s safer to just abandon it.

    Also I agree that the Leaky Cauldron is not the Fidelius Charm. There is no spell that stops muggles from finding it or getting into it. The way the pub works is like the Knight Bus or other things of a similar nature in that muggles just don’t notice anything magical, and if they do, it’s just rationalized in other ways and ignored. However once a muggle is told where it is they can now see it, not because theres a spell in place to stop them, but because they just don’t notice it until it’s pointed out.

    • Feminist_Cat

      I would disagree that the fact that muggles don’t see or go into the Leaky Cauldron uninvited is evidence of it not being a Fidelius Charm. As far as we know, the Fidelius Charm is meant to prevent ANYONE from entering uninvited, not just muggles. It definitely could be some other magic at play, but I feel like we don’t know enough to clearly determine that it’s not.

      • daveybjones999 .

        After thinking about it some more I agree that there isn’t enough evidence to clearly determine one way or the other whether or not the Fidelius Charm was used or not, but I still don’t think it would be used for a place like the Leaky Cauldron. To me, it just doesn’t make any sense that a public place like a restaurant or hotel would use such a complicated charm just to repel muggles when a simpler charm, at least I think muggle repelling charms are simpler, would work just as well, and not also stop wizards from being able to find it. We see other places like the Knight Bus, St Mungo’s, and the Ministry that as far as we know, unless Rowling confirms it, don’t use the charm and I think that the Leaky Cauldron also wouldn’t use it.

        • StoneHallows

          The way I see it, since we see Hagrid as the person to point it out to Harry, either Hagrid is one of the few Secret Keepers of the Leaky Cauldron, or there are many Keepers, which makes it much less secure. Maybe with a low-critical secret like that, it doesn’t matter as much so the spread of Keepers wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but I find it much more likely that it’s another spell or charm.

          • daveybjones999 .

            Just thought of something. How long has the Leaky Cauldron been in business? If Tom wasn’t the first owner of the bar, at least I assume he owns it, and his father and grandfather also owned it then the original secret keeper would be dead so, potentially everyone in the wizarding world could be a secret keeper of the restaurant. Still don’t know why a public place would need the spell though.

          • StoneHallows

            Very good point. And by that point it would be so ingrained and natural for everyone who grew up in the wizarding world that they wouldn’t think twice about it.

    • DoraNympha

      I agree, it’s not complicated, though a correction is needed perhaps: the Fidelius Charm is used to protect the locations of houses when we see it used but the actual spell is for protecting a secret, any secret. Here, the secret happens to be the address of a place. However, I understood it to be possibly used to lock other pieces of information in a person/persons too, such as a date or any secret info. For example, if we were to place a Fidelius Charm on the date of the wedding, then the secret keeper would have had to tell everyone the secret of the date, else no one else could have been there in the right time, because magic. Other places not Fideliused are simply unplottable – we get the sense that all sorts of other charms exist to repel others, not just Muggles. Hogwarts has many of those but Hermione could take her parents there even if there’s a Muggle-repelling charm on the area. Same with the Leaky. I guess Muggles just tend to remember they had to go shoe shopping before they are tempted to have a pint in the Leaky Cauldron.

    • Telewe

      Just a quick comment: I never really believed that Yaxley had broken the Fidelius Charm when he grabbed on to them on their way back to Grimmauld Place. I always thought that Hermione just assumed that he had because he saw the door. But, I believe that once he moved away from the door, he “lost” it again, since he wasn’t given the address. To be safe, they never went back.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        It is a shame that nobody ever tries going there again to verify whether or not Yaxley and others were able to gain access.

  • Rosmerta

    Haven’t listened to all of this yet but wanted to add a quick comment in defense of Gimmauld Place! Beautiful Georgian townhouses are very desirable, many where constructed following the 1774 Building Act & have over 900 square feet of space over several floors. They were most often used by nobility as their London residence, occupied for only a few months during the “season”. Wonder if the Black family also had a country residence, similar to Malfoy Manor? Perhaps it was forfeited/confiscated after Sirius’s imprisonment but not Gimmauld Place as it was under a charm? Just a thought.

    • StoneHallows

      I was thinking something along those lines too. I don’t know anything about the area specifically, but I was thinking about those House Hunter shows where you watch as people go around and look at three different houses, then choose the one they want to buy. Some of the things that these people look for (small yards, in the city) I just can’t fathom. I’m a New England country girl through and through – I want land and space and privacy with lots of trees and space for the dog to run. But some people look at that and think I’m the one that is nuts. Just like the Manhattan high rise apartments can’t actually be comfortable, they are desirable in a show of status and success. I always assumed that Grimmauld Place was along the same lines.

  • AurorPhoenix

    Couple of comments.

    First off all, the idea of Kat clapping back at anyone brightens my day.

    Regarding the title of Order of the Phoenix, someone said something about whether or not Orders are a British thing. I’m not British, but isn’t the Order of the British Empire the base of all knighthoods and being a Dame?
    Also, there is the Order of Merlin, which makes me think the name was probably thought of by someone in the group as a play on that. Maybe Gideon and Fabian or a young Molly who, like Ginny, came up with it as sort of a multiple meaning as homage to Dumbledore and a snub to the Ministry (that may not have been granting Order of Merlins to them if it was corrupt).

    Also, it’s kind of funny someone asked is it a British thing knowing they renamed the first book for the US.

    • Rosmerta

      Yes, Order is a British concept, often relating to honours. It is strange that the book was not retitled for the US market but perhaps the publishers realised the English less wasn’t an issue!?

    • travellinginabluebox

      Love the idea that Gideon and Fabian came up with the name! However, it could not have been Molly, because she wasn’t part of the Order the first time!

      • AurorPhoenix

        Yeah, I remember about Molly. I assume she was too young, but was sneaking to listen in on G&F’s conversations about it and threw the name out. Kind of in a Ginny-esque fashion.

    • DoraNympha

      It is a British thing to form Orders but it must come from a different idea than a badge of honour here. I’m not British, I just finished an English major BA and my boyfriend’s a history nerd explaining this while I’m frantically typing. Here’s our explanation:

      Orders were estates in the early parliaments. There were the clergy, the knights and nobles, and then representatives of borrough towns and stuff (we’re around the Model Parliament in 1295 here). These were like factions of society with shared interests.

      Other than that, Orders were formed for a purpose. Order as in hierarchy and organization, succession etc. like the military. The Order of the Phoenix is like the Medieval orders of knights such as the Knighs of the Templar, the Teutonic Knights etc. They set out to form a group to do something in practice for a purpose, to get something done. It is not a decoration in the sense that the Order of the British Empire is but in the sense that the Crusaders were organized in Orders.

      Like Hermione says, it’s a secret society, the Order of the Phoenix, which resembles the Freemasons, for example. These societies came together to actually, in practice, fight for something, to make a change, but in secret. The Order is like the Illuminati of the wizarding world, if you will. No, but seriously, it’s like what we read about in Da Vinci Code. The Order is not a sect, though, but like a group of knights who band together for a good cause.

      • AurorPhoenix

        Well there ya go.

        Thanks!

        • DoraNympha

          But I love the idea that Fab and Gideon came up with it. Dumbledore was clearly the main oranizing force, setting the aim of defeating Death Eaters and Voldemort, but I like that it’s also a cheeky stab at the less efficient Ministry.

      • ousley

        See also: The Lost Symbol.

        Arguably the best of the Robert Langdon series, and the only one that hasn’t had a mediocre movie version that leaves out all the actual historical stuff so far. :p

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Thank you (and your boyfriend) so much for the thorough explanation!! I love learning new things 😀

  • George’s Holey Ear

    Anything book Order of the Phoenix always gets me in the feels – and not in a good way.

    I want to talk about angst ALL CAPS Harry. when I first picked up OotP I was 10 years old and like many fans had to wait a few years (though my wait wasn’t as long) for this book to come out. I remember so vividly being on a bus with my mum and seeing the fantastic display of OotP outside WHSmith and begging my mum to get off the bus to buy the me book. It felt just like Christmas had come early.
    Anyways, I wanted to wait until I was at home in my bedroom with a snack and be able to geek out as I read every sentence.

    So I began reading and very quickly noticed the shift in tone, Harry was also different and when he began his explosive rants at Ron and Hermione I remember really not liking it, and at that point also not enjoying the book they way I had with its predecessors. I also remember really disliking Grimmuld place, we’d gone from the Dursley’s miserable house to an even more miserable house where Harry was even more frustrated, angry, afraid (of the hearing), not including all the shenanigans that go on there e.g. the creatures, Mrs Black, the boggart Mrs. Weasley runs into, Harry/Horcrux Harry and all this bleak internal monologue about being jealous of Ron etc. his feelings of isolation – which were warranted and finding out the wizarding world which I loved was against him – slandering Dumbledore who is a grown man is one thing but a kid who’d gone through a tragedy was both unheard of and unthinkable to me… Let’s just say all of this on top of ALL CAPS angsty Harry was a lot for my 10 year old self to take in and understand.

    Harry Potter really helped me with the loneliness I experienced as a child during primary school however the isolation Harry experiences and the aftermath of death, were two things I was unable to relate to. When I think about it now as an adult, at 10 I hadn’t really experienced any hardships, I had also only been fully conscious about genuine emotions for maybe 7 years, so i’d like to think that it is the reason why I never connected to ALL CAPS Harry. At present, though I completely understand Harry’s reaction, I still have trouble getting through OotP (also hem hem – Umbridge), I did so vicariously during your re-read without actually picking up the book, which as a Potter-head is quite shameful. I am doing another re-read of the series and aim to start and actually finish Order of the Phoenix this time and though I very, very ardently disagree with your views and comments about my dear Sirius, Kat, you loving this book gives me hope that i’ll be able to do so too – even if it’s just a little bit.

  • Lisa

    An important difference between Sirius and Draco which hasn’t been brought up IIRC is that Sirius was sorted in Gryffindor. He made friends whom he loved deeply and who didn’t share his family’s supremacist views. Draco never had that chance. He was always around people who agreed with him and who never challenged his beliefs. So it’s not entirely fair to compare these two.

    I didn’t really understand the comment that Sirius is not redeemable– what did he need to be redeemed from? He played a cruel joke on Snape, yes, but he never killed or tortured anyone.

    • ousley

      That begs the question of what house Sirius wanted to be sorted into – it seems like a lot of Gryffindors are sorted as such because they want to be despite the potential for other houses.

      Meanwhile, Draco was never going to choose anything but Slytherin.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Interesting too that Sirius BLACK would have been sorted before POTTER who he made friends with on the train!

    • Feminist_Cat

      This is a very important difference, yes, but I think Sirius was already going to be Gryffindor before he got to Hogwarts. Sirius strikes me as the type that would’ve started out wanting to be anything but Slytherin, just to spite his family, and grew to espouse more of the beliefs of the people, as you mention, he grew to love.

      However, Sirius was friendly with James on the Hogwarts Express, where James mentions how mortified he’d be if he were in Slytherin, and Sirius seems ashamed that he comes from a family of Slytherins.

      So, as ousley mentions below, I think there was still a choice at play here, and Draco never would’ve chosen anything but Slytherin. Not that he is entirely to blame because his upbringing did affect his choices, but it was still a choice.

      • Lisa

        Yeah, good point. However I think the family dynamics were different in Draco’s case than Sirius’s. As you mention, Sirius already resented his family (presumably for preferring his brother) and wanted to rebel against them. Draco on the other hand was an only child and treated as a little prince. No reason for him to turn against his family in any way. I view Draco as similar to Regulus because they were both well-loved by their families and both wanted to become Death Eaters initially only to realize later on what it actually meant to be working for Voldemort.

        Honestly I blame the sorting system for Draco and partially also for Tom Riddle. In Draco’s case for example, when you take a child from a racist family and put them in a (mostly) racist group at school how do you expect them to see the error of their ways?

    • It’s true that we don’t know if Sirius ever tortured anyone. We see James Torture Snape in a memory, but we don’t see Sirius do it himself. He may have done something just as bad at another time, but we simply do not know.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        In fairness, Sirius definitely joins in on James tormenting Snape. At one point they were both firing spells at Snape when he was already on the ground. And we do know that Sirius told Snape to go chase after a werewolfy Remus when he (Sirius) was sixteen. I do like Sirius, but he definitely made some very questionable choices during his school years.

  • George’s Holey Ear

    Anything book Order of the Phoenix always gets me in the feels – and not in a good way.

    I want to talk about angst ALL CAPS Harry. when I first picked up OotP I was 10 years old and like many fans had to wait a few years (though my wait wasn’t as long) for this book to come out. I remember so vividly being on a bus with my mum and seeing the fantastic display of OotP outside WHSmith and begging my mum to get off the bus to buy the me book. It felt just like Christmas had come early. Anyways, I wanted to wait until I was at home in my bedroom with a snack and be able to geek out as I read every sentence.

    So I began reading and very quickly noticed the shift in tone, Harry was also different and when he began his explosive rants at Ron and Hermione I remember really not liking it, and at that point also not enjoying the book they way I had with its predecessors. I also remember really disliking Grimmuld place, we’d gone from the Dursley’s miserable house to an even more miserable house where Harry was even more frustrated, angry, afraid (of the hearing), not including all the shenanigans that go on there e.g. the creatures, Mrs Black, the boggart Mrs. Weasley runs into, Harry/Horcrux Harry and all this bleak internal monologue about being jealous of Ron etc. his feelings of isolation – which were warranted and finding out the wizarding world which I loved was against him – slandering Dumbledore who is a grown man is one thing but a kid who’d gone through a tragedy was both unheard of and unthinkable to me… Let’s just say all of this on top of ALL CAPS angsty Harry was a lot for my 10 year old self to take in and understand.

    Harry Potter really helped me with the loneliness I experienced as a child during primary school however the isolation Harry experiences and the aftermath of death, were two things I was unable to relate to. When I think about it now as an adult, at 10 I hadn’t really experienced any hardships, I had also only been fully conscious about genuine emotions for maybe 7 years, so i’d like to think that it is the reason why I never connected to ALL CAPS Harry. At present, though I completely understand Harry’s reaction, I still have trouble getting through OotP (also hem hem – Umbridge), I did so vicariously during your re-read without actually picking up the book, which as a Potter-head is quite shameful.
    I am doing another re-read of the series and aim to start and actually finish Order of the Phoenix this time and though I very, very ardently disagree with your views and comments about my dear Sirius, Kat, you loving this book gives me hope that i’ll be able to do so too – even if it’s just a little bit.

  • SlytherinKnight

    Just wanted to point out about Harry getting any information from Ron and Hermione, and how they couldn’t tell him anything. Why didn’t the Order guards just slip the letters in with the muggle post when they were guarding Harry at Privet Drive? They could have just slipped into through the mail slot in the door. That way they could have told Harry at least why they couldn’t tell him much, aside from the fact that they themselves (kids, and the Order as well) didn’t know much.

    • travellinginabluebox

      You sir, are a genius!
      Great idea!

      • SpinnersEnd

        harry might have known enough to keep quiet about receiving a letter this time round…

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Would he though…? Lol

    • Rosmerta

      And why oh why didn’t Harry read all of the Prophet? It’s not like he had anything else to do and it’s a connection with his world. It wouldn’t have improved his mood, but at least he would know more about what was going on!

    • StoneHallows

      I think they might have figured that any letter sent that way still wouldn’t have been received well. Even though it doesn’t seem like it at this point, they are still on his side and don’t want to get him into any more trouble.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I had a very similar thought! Why couldn’t the people on guard interact with Harry a bit? Why did it have to be a secret that he had tighter security on him now that Voldy was officially back? He may have found it belittling but I think he would have understood. And why couldn’t Ron and/or Hermione side-along apparate with one of the Order members to spend a few hours with him?

  • George’s Holey Ear

    Anything book Order of the Phoenix always gets me in the feels – and not in a good way.
    I want to talk about angst ALL CAPS Harry. when I first picked up Order of the Phoenix I was 10 years old and like many fans had to wait a few years (though my wait wasn’t as long) for this book to come out. I remember so vividly being on a bus with my mum and seeing the fantastic display of Order of the Phoenix outside WHSmith and begging my mum to get off the bus to buy the me book. It felt just like Christmas had come early. Anyways, I wanted to wait until I was at home in my bedroom with a snack and be able to geek out as I read every sentence.

    So I began reading and very quickly noticed the shift in tone, Harry was also different and when he began his explosive rants at Ron and Hermione I remember really not liking it, and at that point also not enjoying the book they way I had with its predecessors. I also remember really disliking Grimmuld place, we’d gone from the Dursley’s miserable house to an even more miserable house where Harry was even more frustrated, angry, afraid (of the hearing), not including all the shenanigans that go on there e.g. the creatures, Mrs Black, the boggart Mrs. Weasley runs into, Harry/Horcrux Harry and all this bleak internal monologue about being jealous of Ron etc. his feelings of isolation – which were warranted and finding out the wizarding world which I loved was against him – slandering Dumbledore who is a grown man is one thing but a kid who’d gone through a tragedy was both unheard of and unthinkable to me… Let’s just say all of this on top of ALL CAPS Harry was a lot for my 10 year old self to take in and understand.

    Harry Potter really helped me with the loneliness I experienced as a child during primary school however the isolation Harry experiences and the aftermath of death, were two things I was unable to relate to. When I think about it now as an adult, at 10 I hadn’t really experienced any hardships, I had also only been fully conscious about genuine emotions for maybe 7 years, so I’d like to think that it is the reason why I never connected to ALL CAPS Harry. At present, though I completely understand Harry’s reaction, I still have trouble getting through Order of the Phoenix (also hem hem – Umbridge), I did so vicariously during your re-read without actually picking up the book, which as a Potter-head is quite shameful.

    I am doing another re-read of the series and aim to start and actually finish Order of the Phoenix this time and though I very, very ardently disagree with your views and comments about my dear Sirius, Kat, you loving this book gives me hope that ill be able to do so too – even if it’s just a little bit.

    • Kat

      YOU HAVE GOT THIS! YOU CAN DO IT!

  • DoraNympha

    ALL CAPS HARRY
    Wish he’d been in the movie too, otherwise the “thought we heard your dulcet tones” line doesn’t work. Nor does the talk with Dumbledore at the end.

    • travellinginabluebox

      That chapter was cut from the movie entirely anyways… OotP is my favourite book, but everytime I am like “Let’s watch a HP movie” and then think OotP because it is such a brilliant book I remember what they did with the movie … and then I don’t watch any of them. Sad but true story.

      • AurorPhoenix

        I am the same way! I was so excited to see OotP because that was the book I read the most and liked the most, but I watch the movie, and though I still enjoy it, it still kind of disappointments me a little.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        I partially credit the movie with why there is so much disdain for OotP as well. They cut out pretty much everything that makes the book so good, especially nearly all the humorous moments, of which there are A LOT more than I think people tend to remember.

        • travellinginabluebox

          Agreed. But on a more positive note, as Michael always said: We are still very blessed by those movies because they did a magical job, just sometimes the wrong choices when it came to deciding which scenes to keep and what to completely change.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            That’s very true as well. I mean, I love PoA, even though it is arguably the worst adaptation.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I’m so sad for you that this movie ruined the rest of them for you! :( :( :(

    • Feminist_Cat

      I think the only semblance of ALL CAPS HARRY we get is in Dumbledore’s office after Arthur is attacked and Dan delivers “LOOK AT ME!” while they’re all talking quietly about what to do and how to evade Umbridge. Not nearly enough.

      • DoraNympha

        Yeah and the moving to punch Malfoy when they get off the train maybe. With no Quidditch, we don’t get to see that punch land, though.

      • Michael Harle

        Unlike what we discussed in the episode, though, the “LOOK AT ME!” in the film is clearly attributed to Voldemort and the Horcrux connection. So not really true CAPS LOCK HARRY, I’d argue.

        • Feminist_Cat

          Oh, I agree. I think my point was more than DanRad was totally capable of being ALL CAPS HARRY but they just didn’t give him the chance.

  • DoraNympha

    I kind of love Skeeter??? Because if you place yourself into her mind and try to see what dirt you can get on characters, how you would frame them, stereotype them, pidgeonhole them, that is a weirdly creative new way to think about characters. (It also sometimes aligns with some misconceptions that often appear in fanfics, surface-judgements, caricaturising etc.)

    Also, did no one but Molly try to talk to Percy? Like, did Ginny not try to write to him? He can’t be mad at her… Don’t the twins keep in touch with Wood enough for him to drop a line to Percy about what actually is going on? Sure, Percy’s too busy and high and mighty now to reply properly or come down from that high horse just yet but did no one else even try or we just don’t know? Percy clearly allows himself to write to Ron (which makes me think Ron wasn’t defending Harry when the actual argument was going on – thanks Ron, jeez).

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      I think every Weasley would have been too offended by what Percy said about Arthur and Dumbledore and Harry to even try to talk him around. And in defence of Ron, he’s very non-confrontational when it’s other people who are fighting, and let’s be honest, no one wants to get between two arguing Weasleys.

  • DoraNympha

    It’s worrying that there’s only the Prophet or the Quibbler but also that there seem to be no parties or alternative political options to the one appointed. Wiazrds don’t seem to vote, they don’t seem to have a real say in how things are governed at all. You can join the Ministry to influence policies but not everyone can or wants to do that. Nor should they. I’d really love a better explanation on the organization of the wizarding government, how the Minsiter is chosen, who appoints people to the Wizengamot and to Department Head positions and based on what criteria. Imagine if they voted, too: do only humans get to cast votes or could others like centaurs and elves do so? Isn’t this all too weird or is it just conveniently underdeveloped as far as we readers can know?

    • ousley

      Yeah, appointments to power seem pretty arbitrary beyond just outright nepotism.

      The Ministry certainly seems to be portrayed as a combination of all the worst things about government.

      And I hate to say it, but because of the message of harmful discrimination, if there is voting, I imagine house elves, centaurs, goblins, would only get three-fifths of a vote. :/

      • DoraNympha

        Ohhhhh Merlin’s b— They would SO have something like the 3/5 Compromise, even if it’s Britain, not America. Woah. WOAH.

        Perhaps this is going further off topic but there could be an episode about the politics of the wizarding world. Fudge is kind of a corrupt old-boys’-club Tory, Scrimgeour is supposed to be McCarthyist so I wonder what his stance on privacy was (probably why all the Floo networks are tracked and stuff), and then there’s the Thicknesse/Umbridge totalitarianism. Wonder what Kingsley did. Wonder how the current Minister’s dealing with Brexit. Is Percy about to be found buried under heaps of parchment once all the paperwork’s done? (He loves bureaucracy so much he’d be pro-EU for sure if it matters to the wizarding world at all, which it probably doesn’t.) Everything is privately run or funded by from the Malfoys and stuff – in this world people like Arthur have no chance at representation.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        This has me thinking in the case of centaurs and merpeople, and I wish I had my book on hand, but doesn’t the section about Beasts or Beings in FB basically say that this categorization is what determines if a species has a right to participate in government? So when they chose to remain classified as Beasts, presumably they were voluntarily giving up voting rights altogether, right? If so, this seems incredibly stupid of them, thinking about it this time around.

        House elves on the other hand, I would bet money on them getting some effed up partial vote.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          Yeah, living creatures are classified as either Beasts or Beings, and centaurs and mermaids both opted to be called Beasts so they didn’t have to be involved in government bureaucracy. They’d rather ‘manage their own affairs’ – the Ministry doesn’t bother them, and they don’t have to have a say in human affairs. I doubt house-elves or goblins get a vote, because though they are Beings, the Fountain of Magical Brethren does not make me think that they are considered equals by wizards. Besides, house-elves are so brainwashed into servitude that they probably wouldn’t think themselves worthy of a vote; and goblins hate wizards so much that they wouldn’t want to be involved in human politics anyway.

          As for how the government works, JKR said on Pottermore that the Minister for Magic is elected by the populace, and an election must be called at least once every seven years. In addition, the magical community in Britain is very small, about the size of a large country town, so there probably aren’t enough actual people to have a lot of politicians with a lot of different platforms.

          • DoraNympha

            What! I’m only just now discovering that there’s writing about ministers on Pottermore? I was a beta tester back in the day how did I miss it???

            However, we never see them vote… or even talk about voting… shouldn’t we hear about upcoming elections and campaigns? Or should we just assume Scrimgeour was one of those crisis Ministers appointed not elected? (Thicknesse was definitely not elected either, as we know.) Do they have referendums? Did they respect the Partition? Because the Quidditch League governed by this Ministry still governs the Irish one too… Isn’t that problematic?
            This is not it, Jo, this is not nearly sufficient information. Drives me mad, honestly.

  • NUMBER 1 HOST!

    Thank you Katie for the defense of angry Harry. His anger only makes sense. He ain’t angsty, he is angry! And he is justified! Fill the poor kid in, let him join the fight! My god!

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Hear, hear!

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Thanks you two!! I was happy to hear (and read here) that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about poor Harry! <3

  • Harry is not angsty! Aren’t angsty people hopeless? They look at the world as one long journey toward death don’t they? Harry is far from these feelings. He want’s to take action, and every force in the world is pushing against him. It’s not that Harry just FEELS like the world is against him. The world LITERALLY IS AGAINST HIM.

    He cannot get help from Dumbledore when he needs it.

    Umbridge is suppressing the students

    Important information regarding the state of the world is being withheld

    He is watching is role model God Father wither away locked up in a house.

    He is suffering the weight of witnessing both the death of a classmate and the graphic rebirth of his enemy

    He was attacked at Privet Drive and the government denies it. They also try to expel him

    He is constantly being framed as a liar in the news

    Angsty teens tend to be making up their drama. But Harry is not. He is trying to do good but literally every force on earth is pushing against him. He is angry and he should be. Not angsty. That is just a goofy meme that has grown far too large.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yeeeeeeeeeeessss. I love this.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      *CLAPS*

  • StoneHallows

    So this is really long, bare with me! I have two things I want to talk about: Caps Lock Harry, and Percy.

    The reason I don’t really like caps lock Harry is because I could never actually identify with him. Now, I’ve never gone through what Harry did by any stretch of the imagination, but I was never the kind of person to push people away as he does. If I was hurting like that, I would try all the harder to pull them closer. I might get angry at first, but after a while I would calm down and realize that yelling doesn’t help anything.

    As a teenager reading this, I thought he was over the top dramatic, like the kids at school that I didn’t really like because I didn’t want that drama in my life. Maybe that is judgmental of me, and if anyone had a reason to act like this it would certainly be him, but I’ve always seen that as extremely unnecessary. I have always been able to talk myself down from the anger, so to speak. I was actually confused at why he was yelling at them instead of talking things through. Even if it’s a hard conversation, these things have to be done, and the sooner the better. I could never see myself acting this way, so I had a really hard time accepting this. I wasn’t a rebellious teenager, though I don’t think I was a brat either. I listened to the music I wanted to, dated the people I wanted to, but I did my chores, had a good relationship with my parents. I was stubborn, to be sure, and we certainly got into our fiar share of fights, but we always stayed there until it was worked out. I couldn’t see myself being as hard headed as this against reason and logic – maybe that’s the difference between a RavenPuff and a Gryffindor, though.

    As an adult, now, I understand a lot better of where he is coming from. I can’t imagine the hurt and confusion he must be in. But to get angry and constantly explode at everyone who is trying to help you is simply counterproductive, as we see when Ginny reminds him of what she went through. If he had stopped to think and talk instead of react outrageously, he might have realized that, or someone else could have suggested it. Even as a teen I thought he was being ridiculous, and even though I understand it more now, I still think that, perhaps more so. In hindsight, I think I understand and am a little more lenient with everything; I’ve been through more, seen more of the world and different personalities, understand more and am more connected with myself than as a logic-based teen, but it’s still completely different than I can see myself reacting in the same situation.

    Even with all that, I think that if he just apologized ONCE for freaking out when they are trying to help instead of constantly feeling the victim, it would be much easier for me to accept. Everyone gets mad. Everyone blames people who shouldn’t be blamed. But the mature way to handle that situation is to own up to it and apologize, which I don’t think he ever does. Everyone just accepts that and moves on, which I don’t think is quite healthy either, as (in general) that encourages people to think that they aren’t responsible for whatever consequences they might cause, be they small or large. This isn’t directly applicable to Harry, since he doesn’t go around feeling entitled most of the time, but in a less grounded person, it’s a distinct possibility that they would think it’s completely alright to treat people like this. That would lead to other feelings of entitlement, which is not conducive for a healthy relationship of any sort, and where our society is running into issues today.

    Now, on the topic of Percy. I don’t blame him for reacting the way he does to what he father says. Logically, Arthur is correct – they are using him. But emotionally and relationship-wise, this was the wrong way to say this to his son. In the same way, my husband is brutally honest. And I mean BRUTAL. You always know what he thinks whether you want to or not. My biggest issue with this is not what he is saying (though sometimes that hurts as well), but HOW he is saying it. If Arthur said what he did with more love and concern than anger, I feel it wouldn’t have been so blown out of proportion. Possibly not, with the Weasley tempers, but I do think it’s possible.

    What I DO blame Percy for is having too much pride to make amends before he does, especially when Molly is making such efforts. Again, maybe it’s just because I’m a completely different person, but when someone hurts me that much (and this I do have personal experience with) I will stay there as long as is needed to figure it out – why they said it, why it hurts, what they meant by it, etc. I’m sure once tempers were cooled, Arthur would have explained it better – that he was proud of all Percy had accomplished but didn’t want to see Percy get hurt by the people that he thought were recognizing his potential. Instead it takes a literal war – and Percy seeing for himself that he was being used – to reconcile. Of course, it might be that Percy was the kind of person who would need to see it for himself regardless, but there was still a chance to save the family, Molly in particular, a ton of heartache.

  • ousley

    On that Hermione subject – where TF were her parents while she was petrified in COS?

    • A dentist never quits!

    • AurorPhoenix

      Dumbledore being Dumbledore was probably nonchalantly like, “Your daughter’s been petrified, but no worries we’re working on the Mandrake potion as we speak!” Thinking they’d know what that meant. Her parents probably read the owl and was like, “Aww our Hermione is really scared of something, I hope that juice helps. . ” Back to dentist stuff

      • ousley

        “I guess that’s why she hasn’t written to us in several months. Maybe she has a cavity from all that wizard food and is scared to tell us.”

  • DisKid

    The Black family got me thinking on wizards and being interrelated. If you look at the Black Family Tree that JK Rowling released, you’ll see that the wizards who married within their family were 2nd cousins (I.E. same great-grandparent). This actually wasn’t an uncommon practice among muggle families at the time who were not “commoners” as there were beliefs (and obviously still are) about marrying into your class. At the time, typically, nobody gave a marriage among cousins a second thought unless it was a first cousin. One example I’ll use is the Royal Family. The Queen was lucky. She is genuinely in love with her husband, who she was allowed to marry. However, he is also her 2nd cousin once removed. That’s almost exactly like the Black family we see on the family tree. Even Prince William, who is also genuinely in love with his wife, is distantly related to her being her 11th cousin once removed. Of course, he was allowed to basically marry whoever he wanted with the rules now; but that shows how easy it is to be related to somebody in some way some how.

    With that being said, I *think* it has been confirmed that all wizards are some how related (please correct me if I’m wrong). If it hasn’t been confirmed, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case given how many interrelations there have been among wizards even when it’s not a wizard who has beliefs on pure-blood (I.E. a wizard simply marrying another wizard they are in love with who is not a muggle born). At the very least, I would say it’s not uncommon for wizards to be related to one another. This makes me wonder about how wizards think. How close is too close to marry for them? The idea of not marrying any cousin, even if it’s not a first cousin, is a rather more modern idea and as we have seen; wizards are not exactly on par with muggles on some modern things. Since it seems to not be uncommon in the wizarding world to be related. and possible that all of them are related some how, do wizards not see incest the same way many modern muggles do? Do they not see marrying cousins as something to raise eyebrows about as it may be more normal to them than to muggles? I’d love to ask a wizard who has grown up in the wizarding community their whole life that question. If somebody could put me in touch with the Weasley’s, I’d ask them!

    And side note to the hosts: thanks for indirectly telling me that I need to be more clear with what I’m saying when I make comments lol I’ll try to do better in the future!

    • ousley

      I have 3rd and etc. cousins who are related to me more than once because distant cousins married each other in a few branches of the family in the late 1800s / early 1900s. But it’s rural farming Tennessee and as the old folks in the family say of it, “well, the horse could only trot so far so there weren’t a lot of options.”

      • DisKid

        That sounds about right! Much of my family was from the south too at that time. I’ve never really looked into distant cousins marrying in my family, which would be pretty easy to figure out given our detailed family tree, but as big as it was that would not shock me if it happened multiple times in mine as well.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Yeah, I grew up in a small ranching town where half the people in my class were related one way or another. My friend had both a cousin and a half- niece in our class, and my two best friends shared like, a great uncle or something. There wasn’t anything that I would consider incestuous exactly ( that I know of) but when the community is very small like that and made up of generations of the same few families, those family trees start to get preeeetty tightly interwoven.

  • Sherry Gomes

    Molly:

    This is the book in which I started to dislike Molly. One of
    the hosts mentioned that Molly is trying to protect Harry’s, and the others’,
    innocence. But, at the end of the past school year, just a few weeks ago at the
    time of this chapter, Harry saw a classmate murdered for no reason other than
    just being there. He was also tortured, physically assaulted and had his blood
    used in a ritual to bring back Riddle/Voldie. Harry lost any innocence he still
    had in that graveyard, and the time to protect Harry’s innocence is long past. Molly
    is doing in part, what I so despise about all the members of the order, just
    going along with what Dumbledore says, because it’s Dumbledore. This has always
    disturbed me, because the bad guys follow their leader, too, without question.
    How are the good guys any better, if they don’t question Dumbledore either?
    Also with Molly, she is inexcusably rude and cruel to Sirius. Has she forgotten
    she and her family are living in HIS house? She says hateful things to him—next
    chapter?—which if anyone else had said that to a different character, people
    would be horrified. But it’s okay for Molly to say it to Sirius? Codswallop!

    Capslock Harry. I love capslock Harry. It wasn’t necessarily
    just due to parodies that the name came along. I was involved with an adult
    group of HP fans at the time, and many of the members of that group called him
    capslock Harry. I’ve always thought that Harry’s anger and frustration is
    well-deserved. I also think he must, if this was real world, have some PTSD
    going on, and nobody deals with this at all. It’s just, keep him locked up with
    people who hate him, tell the people who actually love him to keep quiet. He
    dreams of the graveyard every night, as we see in the first chapter when Dudley
    taunts him about his dreams. I was very angry and stressed out when I was
    fifteen. I didn’t react as he did; I was more the withdraw to my room and be
    passive aggressive type. But I sympathize with him all the way. I was not quite
    forty-six when this book came out, so maybe it was my age that caused me to
    sympathize. Also, my dad had died in 1997. He was only fifty-seven when he
    died, and I freely admit, I was still angry. For years, I wanted to be able to
    go somewhere and just scream at something, mountains, oceans, people who would
    just sit there and take it. So, yeah, I kinda liked Harry’s capslock self.

    I also want to say, thank you, Kat. You have made me look at
    OOTP differently, and it really happened just listening to this episode. The
    only reason I’ve disliked this book so much in the past was Sirius dying, and
    dying because the adults were still trying to protect Harry. Sirius is my
    favorite character, after Harry, and the death, the useless death, bothers me
    so much, to the point I’ve never been able to read the whole book since the
    first time. I am now determined to do so. Starting today. Maybe, part of why I
    loved Sirius so much from the first time he appeared as a dog in POA, is that having
    so recently lost my own father, I desperately wanted Harry to have a permanent
    father figure in his life.

    Anyway, thanks to all of the hosts, and this time,
    especially to Kat for reminding me that OOTP is actually a great book and
    inspiring me to read it again, finally.

  • I know that the house didn’t get a lot of discussion in this episode as the house wasn’t much of the focus in the chapter, but Grimmauld Place is one of my favorite locations in the series. I always read the house as having countless rooms, so many that you could get lost in the house! And many rooms housed magical items or creatures that have themselves been lost or forgotten over time. I don’t know if the house is actually written to be incredibly large and full of forgotten stuff, but that’s just how I always imagined it.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Well, the house did manage to house all the Weasley’s, Harry, Hermione, Sirius, and Buckbeak so the impression that it is quite large on the inside can’t be too far off.

      • The Burrow has done that too, aside from Buckbeak, so that’s why I started to think that maybe my image of Grimmauld Place is wrong! The Burrow is far from a large house right?

        • ousley

          “Magical enlargements”

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            *snigger*

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Well, the Burrow is no Malfoy Mansion, but it does have at least 6 bedrooms (did Bill and Charlie each have their own room? I can’t remember) which is pretty friggin’ big by most standards, even if the rooms are tiny. But if the Burrow could be expanded by just magically plopping on another room, which is presumably what they did, then I don’t see why Grimmauld Place couldn’t do the same, especially since we know the bigger on the inside magical tech is possible. I don’t know how much evidence there is in the descriptions of Grimmauld place that would indicate this being the case though. I would say it is probably pretty big and has a fair number of rooms, but not so many that you’d be able to explore for more than a day or two.

          • DoraNympha

            One difference is that you can tell the upper rooms have been added to the Burrow as the family grew, even from the outside, whereas there’s no indication that 12 Grimmauld Place was larger than the neighbouring townhouses between which itwas hidden but I don’t think it would be large enough to house all the people as assumed from the outside, which makes me think they did use Extendable Charms on that house. We also know that charm requires permission, so maybe you also have to pay a fee, which the Blacks could afford and the Weasleys couldn’t?

    • ousley

      If Newt’s briefcase can house entire wildlife environments, surely an old British townhouse can handle as many occupants as it needs to. (see also: tents at the World Cup)

      It does make me wonder if wizard houses change size and shape as they pass down through the generations. It seems like #12 was kind of abandoned soon after Sirius moved out and the war was going on – but I wonder if it had passed another couple generations what it would have looked like inside.

      Same with the Burrow – let’s say Arthur and Molly’s great-grandkids own it someday, would it still have the same rooms and stuff upstairs? Or would they magically modify it to their own generation’s needs?

  • StoneHallows

    So this is really long, bare with me! I have two things I want to talk about: All Caps Harry, and Percy.

    The reason I don’t really like All Caps Harry (ACH) is because I could never actually identify with him. Now, I’ve never gone through what Harry did by any stretch of the imagination, but I was never the kind of person to push people away as he does. If I was hurting like that, I would try all the harder to pull them closer. I might get angry at first, but after a while I would calm down and realize that yelling doesn’t help anything.

    As a teenager reading this, I thought he was over the top dramatic, like the kids at school that I didn’t really like because I didn’t want that drama in my life. Maybe that is judgmental of me, and if anyone had a reason to act like this it would certainly be him, but I’ve always seen that as extremely unnecessary. I have always been able to talk myself down from the anger, so to speak. I was actually confused at why he was yelling at them instead of talking things through. Even if it’s a hard conversation, these things have to be done, and the sooner the better. I could never see myself acting this way, so I had a really hard time accepting this. I wasn’t a rebellious teenager, though I don’t think I was a brat either. I listened to the music I wanted to, dated the people I wanted to, but I did my chores, had a good relationship with my parents. I was stubborn, to be sure, and we certainly got into our fiar share of fights, but we always stayed there until it was worked out. I couldn’t see myself being as hard headed as this against reason and logic – maybe that’s the difference between a RavenPuff and a Gryffindor, though.

    As an adult, now, I understand a lot better of where he is coming from. I can’t imagine the hurt and confusion he must be in. But to get angry and constantly explode at everyone who is trying to help you is simply counterproductive, as we see when Ginny reminds him of what she went through. If he had stopped to think and talk instead of react outrageously, he might have realized that, or someone else could have suggested it. Even as a teen I thought he was being ridiculous, and even though I understand it more now, I still think that, perhaps more so. In hindsight, I think I understand and am a little more lenient with everything; I’ve been through more, seen more of the world and different personalities, understand more and am more connected with myself than as a logic-based teen, but it’s still completely different than I can see myself reacting in the same situation.

    Even with all that, I think that if he just apologized ONCE for freaking out when they are trying to help instead of constantly feeling the victim, it would be much easier for me to accept. Everyone gets mad. Everyone blames people who shouldn’t be blamed. But the mature way to handle that situation is to own up to it and apologize, which I don’t think he ever does. Everyone just accepts that and moves on, which I don’t think is quite healthy either, as (in general) that encourages people to think that they aren’t responsible for whatever consequences they might cause, be they small or large. This isn’t directly applicable to Harry, since he doesn’t go around feeling entitled most of the time, but in a less grounded person, it’s a distinct possibility that they would think it’s completely alright to treat people like this. That would lead to other feelings of entitlement, which is not conducive for a healthy relationship of any sort, and where our society is running into issues today.

    Now, on the topic of Percy. I don’t blame him for reacting the way he does to what he father says. Logically, Arthur is correct – they are using him. But emotionally and relationship-wise, this was the wrong way to say this to his son. In the same way, my husband is brutally honest. And I mean BRUTAL. You always know what he thinks whether you want to or not. My biggest issue with this is not what he is saying (though sometimes that hurts as well), but HOW he is saying it. If Arthur said what he did with more love and concern than anger, I feel it wouldn’t have been so blown out of proportion. Possibly not, with the Weasley tempers, but I do think it’s possible.

    What I DO blame Percy for is having too much pride to make amends before he does, especially when Molly is making such efforts. Again, maybe it’s just because I’m a completely different person, but when someone hurts me that much (and this I do have personal experience with) I will stay there as long as is needed to figure it out – why they said it, why it hurts, what they meant by it, etc. I’m sure once tempers were cooled, Arthur would have explained it better – that he was proud of all Percy had accomplished but didn’t want to see Percy get hurt by the people that he thought were recognizing his potential. Instead it takes a literal war – and Percy seeing for himself that he was being used – to reconcile. Of course, it might be that Percy was the kind of person who would need to see it for himself regardless, but there was still a chance to save the family, Molly in particular, a ton of heartache.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    I definitely think that the perception of All-Caps Harry, or Angsty Harry, has been somewhat exaggerated by the fandom because yes, it makes for a good joke and certainly brings some levity to the suffering through all that yelling. While Potter Puppet Pals certainly bears some of the burden of guilt, I can forgive them because honestly, we all bear a bit of it, don’t we? Who among us hasn’t laughed, or groaned, or wanted to slap poor, angst-ridden Harry? And if I’m really being honest, I believe Harry doesn’t deserve it. So shame on me, shame on all of us…SHAAAAAME! *I’m only half-kidding* Seriously though, Harry is going through some serious **** here. OF COURSE it is frustrating, and it sucks, and it is miserable, but that is what Harry is legitimately feeling and the fact that we feel it too and hate every minute of it is exactly why this book is so GOOD! Whether or not we think Harry is in the right here, the whole situation undeniably makes us feel things, which to me indicates how connected to these characters we had become by book 5’s release.

    The other thing is, there are so many things that are great in this book that get overshadowed by all the bad. I understand, the change in tone is depressing, Umbridge is ruining Hogwarts, some sub-plot issues run amok (lookin at you, Grawp) and it all ends terribly. But I think people tend to forget how much humor is in this book too, because it too, can be just a little different than what we are used to. There is a ton of the usual twin’s antics (“We’re not fussy where we stick this..”) and the rebellion against Umbridge waged by student body and teachers is quite funny. Plus nearly everything Luna says. But there are several moments that are hilarious while at the same time being not at all funny for the characters in them- Neville’s impeccable timing with the Mimbulus Mimbletonia, the ineptitude of the Gryffindor Quidditch team’s newest members, Ron’s Divination O.W.L, Dean asking Firenze if Hagrid bred the centaurs. And Harry’s date with Cho, man that scene made me feel so anxious and I cringed the whole way through reading that as a teenager. But now I find it absurdly hilarious, even though I still feel bad for Harry, and Cho.

    Also, for me this book feels like it just dives headlong into the wizarding world, scale wise. We get three new locations- The Ministry, St. Mungo’s, and Grimmauld Place- to visit and learn about. We get three really great new characters in Umbridge (terrible yes, but great) Luna, and Tonks. And Ginny basically. Plus Lockhart makes a reappearance (who saw that coming?!) and Neville’s family. Even Hogwarts feels like it has expanded a bit in that we are presented with a wider social sphere than just the trio and their classmates through the creation of the DA. And the looming OWL’s give a wider glimpse into academics at Hogwarts. These are some of the things that I really enjoy about this book on a re-read.

    Also, as was mentioned on the show, the life lessons that are raised in this book make it so relevant to our world. Issues of journalistic integrity, the potential for corruption and ineptitude in government, the role of government in education, etc, are all such important things to have an awareness of. I think there really is a lot to love about this book, but it just doesn’t make it easy for us to do so.

    • Rosmerta

      Perfect summary, reminder, poke! Why isn’t it my favourite!!
      Could be the heart break…!

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        It’s a rough one, really. But it’s definitely my favorite, though I am a sucker for gut-wrenching tragedy in fiction. So there’s that.

    • Lisa

      “We get three really great new characters in Umbridge (terrible yes, but great) Luna, and Tonks. And Ginny basically.”
      Hey! What about Bella??? (She did appear in GoF too but that was very brief).

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Whoops! You’re totally right about Bellatrix, I don’t know how I left her out.

    • DoraNympha

      “terrible yes, but great” 100% read that in Ollivander’s voice.

      YES thank you, OotP builds the world even more than GoF and is full of awesome things that show life is going on despite the looming dangers.

      I think the movie is a lot at fault too: it’s so… lacking in magic, if that makes sense. They stop wearing robes, even pure-bloods look like any Muggle, and the sets seem emptier or something. That’s not what the book is like. The book is still Dobby’s Harry-decorations and the colourful magical things in Mungo’s, the Ministry, at the exams, Grimmauld Place… TONKS. Quidditch??? You can’t cancel Quidditch! And seriously, how many seconds does the bike bell thing with Grawp take but viewers are left to figure out themselves that Percy’s cut ties with his family? It would have taken 0.5 seconds of one line. The film loses a lot of the power that’s in the book, the restrainedness of Radcliffe’s acting compared to CAPSLOCKHARRY is just one manifestation of that, sadly.

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Totally agree with you about the movie lacking magic. And seriously, of all the plotline’s they cut, why didn’t they choose Grawp for the axe? I’ll never understand. It would have been cheaper AND easily done, and more important things could have been fit in. They wouldn’t have had to alter the story any more drasticallly than they did anyway.

        • They probably kept Grawp as a way to get Umbridge into the woods. In the books Hermione was leading her to the Centaurs but that probably requires a lot more politics that the Potter films didn’t have the time to explore.

          Hagrid having a giant brother is easier to get out of the way.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Oh AND, how could I forget this gem-Lee Jordan putting Nifflers in Umbridge’s office. I’m chuckling just thinking about it. The movies really blew it not including them the first time around.

      • DoraNympha

        But one thing’s good: the Fantastic Beasts movie’s given us visuals on the niffler and now Lee’s prank is even better to re-read.

  • Only ever a mouth organ

    On the recap episode, Kat and Michael asked for anagrams, so I came out of lurker status to provide one. Back in the gap between Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, there was a lot of discussion on the livejournal page HPtheories about whether Neville was really the chosen one. I posted a comment in which I anagrammed Neville’s name by imagining his middle name was Dirk. Now, we have never (that I’m aware) been given a middle name for Neville, but I find it interesting that with the addition of only four letters in the name Dirk (Neville Dirk Longbottom), you can achieve the anagram: not be killing Voldemort. At the time I proposed this, I was told that JK Rowling had sworn she’d never use anagrams again, but it’s still fun to think about.

    • ousley

      I remember when JK said that Dumbledore was gay, someone pointed out that “Albus Dumbledore” can become “Male bods rule, bud.”

      Seamus Finnigan = I’m a Guinness Fan

      • Only ever a mouth organ

        Those are amazing!

  • ousley

    At times the narration takes such a casual tone to all the distress and ugliness going on in the wizarding world (and more specifically Harry’s life) that we as readers tend to forget exactly just how deeply some of the horrific events impacted the characters.

    At the beginning of this book, Harry is fresh off something that would give anyone a serious case of PTSD and he’s been shut off by everyone who could even begin to understand if he needed to vent about it, talk about it.

    But the narration focuses on what a 15 year old with not much practical education could know about it: he’s angry and needs to yell at these people who have wronged him by leaving him out. Sure, it touches on “oh, Harry saw Voldemort come back” but the passive tone doesn’t include things like “seeing someone die and the dark lord rise and barely escaping death can make you more than a little on edge” because it isn’t the kind of book that spells all that out.

    We’re sent straight from him being angry into the “drama” of cleaning up the house – something that would normally not be a big deal but when you’re dealing with so much other stuff mentally, yeah, it’s gonna be stressful. But we as readers are just like “omg Harry, stop being angry and just dust the freaking shelves” because we’re already forgetting the true impact of what he’s going through mentally.

    I think i’ve said this before, but I’d love for someone much more talented than myself to write an “adult version” fanfic of these books or do an annotated version that’s like “reminder: Harry’s brain is a mess for a good reason.”

    • This comment made me recall the moment in deathly Hallows when Lupin is ready to leave his life and join Harry.

      In this moment Lupin attacks Harry in anger. Why does nobody ever talk about angsty Lupin? I mean seriously, grow a pair man. Talk about annoying. He attacks Harry! WHAT!?!? My god, I can’t stand Lupin and his angst. I don’t know why people seem to love him so much…

      Can we please open our eyes a bit and see where Harry is coming from?

      • ousley

        Good point – and it reinforces the “the adults are stupid” thing. :/

      • ousley

        Or at a minimum, the adults are not even remotely equipped to deal with this **** either.

        The wizarding world needs some counselors.

        • No, adults wouldn’t be equipped to deal with it would they? The world “adult” tends to imply experience and wisdom and knowledge, but that is just incorrect. Why would an adult know how to deal with what Harry went through unless they’ve experienced it on their own? Nobody else saw their parent’s murderer resurrected moments after witnessing their friend being killed. Nobody in the world is equipped to deal with that.

          The word adult is just so misleading. An adult isn’t even a real thing. Just grown up children expected to know more and take on more responsibilities without any real guidance or help. Nobody finishes growing up. You continue to grow and learn until you die.

          • ousley

            I mean, yeah, I’m 28 and frequently find myself in situations where I’m like “I need an adult” and then “oh ****, I am the adult.”

            But I guess what I meant by that is that at some point, all these people who were his parents’ age or older should have stopped for a minute to actually TRY to understand how Harry must be feeling.

            They all seemed to have sympathy but no empathy and there is a distinct difference between the two.

            Sympathy says “I feel so bad that you’ve had to go through this” and leads to them treating him like he’s still seven years old the entire time.

            Empathy would have been “I’m trying to see this from your perspective and you’re right, this entire war is about you so maybe, just maybe, we should fill you in on what is actually going on.”

            Empathy would have been trying to walk in Harry’s shoes instead of the blanket reaction of sympathy that didn’t actually involve Harry’s real feelings and position in their decision making.

  • Lisa

    Arthur Weasley really is the worst. Not only is he the most unambitious person ever to have walked the earth but he also has the nerve to put Percy down for his ambitions and tell him that his career advancements are only because the Minister needs someone to spy on Arthur. Yuck! I don’t really see why anyone would want a father like him, honestly.

    • Not everyone has to be ambitious to enjoy their lives. Arthur seems to enjoy his work doesn’t he?

      And Arthur is not wrong about Percy’s promotion. How can you blame a father for being upset that his son is being used against him?

      Arthur provides for a family of 7+ people. He works a tough job an the ministry and yet he enjoys it. He gets crap from other pureblood wizards who look down on him and yet he is able to raise a humble and loving family. He is an incredibly strong character, offering his home and time to a war that puts everything he has built at risk. But he still does it. What a brave and strong man. There is so much to admire about Arthur Weasley. How could you say such a horrible thing?

      • Lisa

        I’m sorry if my comment offends you (though I’m not sure why it’s okay for you to call Lupin weak and annoying but not for me to criticize Arthur. We all have our beefs, I guess). My comment refers only to Arthur as a character not to other people in his position. Personally I have little patience for him and his shenanigans and I think his behavior towards Percy was vile. Like someone said on the show, Arthur could have said the same thing, expressed his concerns but in a different way. And Percy still kept his job at the Ministry even after cutting ties with his family so he must have had value beyond that of a spy or informant.

        The fact that he enjoys his work is nice and all but when you have seven children it’s no longer just about you. Molly clearly thinks Arthur should work more or at a different position in order to make more money. Now if you ask me I think Molly should be the provider and Arthur the stay at home parent because that arrangement would be more suited to both of their personalities and abilities.

        • Your comments don’t offend me and I never said that it’s not alright for you to criticize Arthur. I was trying to point out where Arthur is coming from and how much Arthur actually does for his family.

          You say that Percy’s skill kept him his job. How can you know that? After everything that Fudge does, how can you trust that Percy only got his job because he’s good and not that Fudge want to use him to spy on Harry and Dumbledore? Arthur is right to be suspicious.

          I’m glad you brought up Lupin. Can you continue to love Lupin after he strikes Harry in a moment of weakness? Yes, of course you can. So why can’t you forgive Arthur for having an honest moment? He love his son and hates to see him being manipulated surely. Have a little bit of empathy. The dark lord was just resurrected and your child is working for a man trying to deny the dark lord’s return. How could you not have suspicions? How could you just let your child into such a dangerous situation?

          (also, I don’t believe Molly wants Arthur to work more. In fact she probably wants him to work less. He works a TON in the books, always getting home late, and she emphasizes on how he’s being overworked. And I don’t see where you are coming from on Molly being the provider. Again, Arthur supports a family of 7+ members and they get along fine. If anything, Molly should find work to contribute, not become a sole provider. But again, they get along just fine.)

          • Lisa

            I don’t know that Fudge didn’t want Percy to spy, I was just saying that Percy was kept in his high position even after he was no longer on speaking terms with his family. It doesn’t matter in the end whether Arthur was wrong or right, it matters how he said what he said.

            I neither love nor hate Lupin, I gave him as an example because you mentioned him in other comments. But no, I wouldn’t judge a character for a single weak or nasty moment, we all have those. Arthur’s behavior towards Percy is just the icing on the cake, to me. I don’t like Arthur’s values nor his attitude. He’s by far my least favorite male character. I’m not saying he’s doing anything objectively wrong, it just doesn’t resonate with me at all. If he wants to carpe the diem that’s fine. I have no problem with people doing that, as long as they don’t have a huge family to provide for. And I totally agree with you that Molly should work too. However if they want to go for the breadwinner model, which they seem to want to do, then my opinion is that Molly is better suited for the job. She’s more interested in money, usually more assertive and she would do well in a number of jobs.

            You’re right that Molly thinks he’s overworked, what I should have said was that she would prefer he’d taken that promotion he was offered or whatever it was which would make him more money.

          • I guess I see where you’re coming from a bit, but I still don’t get the whole job part. The Weasleys do just fine as they are and maintain happiness.

            Also I feel like I need to point out that we don’t see the actual words hay Arthur says to Percy. We just get the summary from his kids. We don’t know exactly what words Arthur used or how delicately or violently he said it.

            Sorry for all the ranting. Arthur is just a character who, for me, has to suffer quite a bit in the war and I don’t see any issues with his character.

        • DoraNympha

          THANK YOU. Fudge may have had the intention to spy on the Weasleys through Percy but he would have realised that was not going to happen on Percy’s literal first day as Junior Assistant. And yet, he didn’t demote him so he must have did his job well. Plus, he can’t go back to his family if he can’t pay the rent.

      • ousley

        Perhaps it’s a combo of being Ravenclaw, INTJ, and Capricorn (lol) but I think Arthur did the right thing by saying what he did to Percy.

        They’re in the middle of a very dark time and some things are more important than your job – admitting that a group of people who is openly opposed to your family and who they associate with may be using your insecurities for their own gain against your family is one of those times.

        • My thoughts exactly

        • Lisa

          I’m two of those things you mentioned and I do think he was wrong. I think both him and Molly nurtured Percy’s ambitions for a while but when they no longer agreed with him, they cut ties. Remember that Molly always praised Percy for his good grades and told the twins they should be more like him (Mother of the Year Award right there!). Percy was raised to be ambitious but then it backfired because he wasn’t team!Dumbledore. I’m not saying he’s blameless in all this, of course. He could have handled things differently, he could have been the bigger person. But it seems like the animosity was mostly between him and Arthur while Molly would have gladly taken him back. Arthur couldn’t get over his grudge or fear or whatever it was, and try to patch things up.

          (I have no idea why you mentioned Ravenclaws here. So people from less intelligent/intellectual houses don’t understand why Arthur had to say what he said? I’m sure you don’t mean it like that but it can come across that way).

          • ousley

            Nah I meant it as ” I’m all of these things so I’m a cold blooded realist who doesn’t see it from the heart like y’all do” haha

          • DoraNympha

            Yeah, Molly literally pushes past Fred and George to hug Percy, and she’s always going on about taking a leaf out of his book etc. I don’t know what it’s like to have seven kids but I’m pretty sure picking your favourites is not advised by any parenting books! That said, Percy’s need for collecting badges and bragging about his successes and being essential to his bosses and stuff is kind of pathetic or sad or something, as if this is the only way he could get attention or respect (and he doesn’t even get that from most of his family). He’s not blameless and someone HAD to be the bigger person, but it should have been Arthur sooner, because he should know better, be wiser, less proud, not hold a grudge as the father. Remember, Percy’s just 18 when he walks out of home. I think fandom as a whole forgets that or most of us read the books when we were younger and Percy seemed like an adult for our child minds – now that I’m 26, yeah, Percy’s a kid, of course he’s allowed to make his mistakes. But Arthur? Less so.

        • DoraNympha

          But that’s just the problem: they’re on the brink of war, so Arthur’s priority should be to keep his family safe. He did the exact opposite thing by talking to Percy in whatever way he obviously did, discrediting his hard work. He should have known his own son better than to drive him away so perfectly. He should have been a little cunning and maybe congratulate him first and later introduce the idea, to teach Percy to think critically about Fudge, rather than do the absolute worst thing, precisely BECAUSE danger’s here.

          Does no one but Molly care about Percy in this family enough to know the literal first thing about him and not downplay his accolades? It’s not even an inflated sense of ego, he’s genuinely got a right to be proud, whatever Fudge’s ulterior motives. And a major part of this wasn’t even the political situation or Voldemort, it was Arhtur discrediting Percy’s work, which is completely unfair and uncalled for and not even true, the kid’s an overachiever like Hermione. So, no, I don’t buy it because if Arthur’s goal was to keep Percy safe, he did the absolute opposite of what he should have done. And Molly knows it. She probably knows how to talk to Percy but by that time she’s rejected by proxy and it’s too late. Percy said things he’s probably not proud of in hindsight, about Arthur’s lack of ambition and lousy reputation (and this is largely down to Fudge and Friends’ casual bigotry but that’s not the point now), so I think Arthur just genuinely got butthurt and it just snowballed until Percy walked the hell out. Good on him, too. I love Arthur but from what I can decipher from Ron’s lousy, unreliable second-hand account, I’m on Percy’s side on this.

    • DoraNympha

      Well, he does have his ambitions (figuring out how Muggle airplanes stay up in the air), they just don’t pay well and he doesn’t compromise them for professional advancement. But you know, if you’re even a little bit morally flexible in order to make something of yourself, you’re the character no one likes *coughs*Percy*coughs*. That said, Arthur’s alright, he just messed up that day COLOSSALLY and he SHOULD know better because he has the closest relationship with Percy of all his children and and and a father SHOULD be quicker to put aside his pride so I’ll forever wonder why the hell we’re trying to understand why it took so long for Percy to see sense as opposed to why it took Arthur so long to apologise (even if he doesn’t mean it and he was right in suspecting Fudge of using Percy, but it’s a WAR, he should have pretended it’s fine just to have Percy in safety but… don’t want to sound like Phineas Nigellus but now’s the time when I let out a long, troubled sigh that sounds like “Gryffindors…”

      • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

        Gryffindors, yes.

        But even parents who do love their children and are generally close with them, parents who know how their children tick and why, even these parents can mess up.

        Both Arthur and Molly do not get their children in some regards, and that’s when they annoy us readers. Fred and George get told off for wanting to start WWW for years and only when they have proven that it’s a good idea and they can be business owners the tirades from Molly (and Arthur to some extend) end. We don’t see how much Charlie had to fight to be able to leave for Romania, but if we want we can look at both of the oldest brothers going FAR away from home and guess “they want to be far away and they’ve got their share of my-parents-just-don’t-understand”. Coming home just to get your hair cut against your will – constant comments about your appearance – no one likes your fiancé –

        I know that most of these examples are Molly being overbearing, but she is because she does not understand. And in Percy’s case like you described, Arthur does not, either.

        • DoraNympha

          That’s true, I think Bill and Charlie had to put up a fight when they decided to go into professions that take them far far away from Britain. Especially Charlie, since his job is quite dangerous (albeit, I have a feeling if he hadn’t gone off to “chase dragons” as Wood puts it, he would indeed have become a Quidditch player, which is not any safer than dragons lol).

          I don’t blame Molly and Arthur for being so erratic at times – seven kids who do what you want them to do would still be cause enough for worry at the best of times but all their children end up going against what they want, especially against Molly. But still, Percy’s personality IS nothing else but his need for his achievements to be recognized, he really hasn’t got anything else to his character, so it’s almost out of character for Arthur to miss the mark SO badly. No matter the pressure of Voldemort’s return, that’s such a stupid mistake to make, but I guess we’d need to know far more about what he actually said to drive Percy away – or was it too late by then anyway? Had Percy been having enough of being associated with that silly guy from the Muggle offices at work anyway?

          And I don’t remember if it was on the episode or in comments above but, actually, Arthur’s been known to have angry moments – when Fred almost made Ron take an Unbreakable vow, when they gave Dudley the Ton-Tongue Toffee, it happens. And while I think corporal punishment is inexcusable, you have to be an extremely strong parent with the twins or with all these kids. You’re perfectly right to point out this struggle between parents and kids in the Weasley family. And especially when we were kids when the books were coming out, this was so relatable, wasn’t it? Infuriating, because we’re on the kids’ side, but quite realistic.

          However, I think it would have been more justified from Jo to expect us to focus on Percy making a mistake and coming back from it, rather than being baffled by Arthur’s inconsideration, if we got a sense that it really wasn’t the first conclusion Arthur jumped to, Percy having had a short-cut to be used as a spy. That would have really made it clear that it was just Percy being his insufferable self and having to go through that development. But this way, I don’t care how hard it was to be understanding of all their children’s antics, this was a huge oversight from Arthur. If he was actually worried for Percy’s safety, he would have put aside pride/hurt/guilt/anger super fast and mended ties with him because Percy’s in an insanely dangerous place, ironically saved by his cluelessness because he’s honestly not in contact with his family(=the Order) so he hasn’t done anything wrong in the overtaken Ministry’s eyes other than not support the anti-Muggle-born policies, obviously. But by that time it’s probably more dangerous TO contact Percy?
          How can one argument mess things up so badly? It can’t have been the work of just Fudge’s brainwashing or just Percy’s grudge. I love Arthur, he’s so diplomatic when he wants to be, such as when he’s trying to keep the peace between Molly and Sirius at the Grimmauld Place table, but I really don’t think he argued with Percy with his safety in mind, such as when you shout at your kids when they hurt themselves by doing something stupid, for their own good. Arthur wasn’t keeping him from harm’s way, he was causing him to run into it.

          Below in this thread, Lupin and Harry’s argument is brought up too: but I love that Lupin uses his wand. Why? Because that indicates that he considers Harry an adult, an equal, so he doesn’t slap him like a kid, you know. He “respects” his status by drawing his wand and using magic – NOT A GOOD THING that’s not what I’m saying, just the thought process behind it. But it sounds like Arthur talked down to Percy, not the best thing to do if his aim was to stop him from being close to Fudge. If that’s what he wanted, he kinda shot himself in the leg.

          But a lot of this is just trying to reconstruct a conversation we never actually read, from second-hand accounts.

          Not strictly related to this question, but I have to say it: actual spy Percy would have been 1000000% the most interesting side plot ever. Like, we’d have learned only at the end that he had cut ties with his family because, I don’t know, Kingsley instructed him to and it just had to be done for the Greater Good or something? Dang it, it would have been so good but no, we missed out on that…

          • Lisa

            Yeah, you’re absolutely right that Arthur’s behavior just put Percy in more danger not less. If Percy thinks everything is a-okay at the Ministry and the sun shines out of Fudge’s you-know-what then he’s not in any danger. He might put the family in danger by involuntarily “spying” on them but that could have been easily solved as the Weasleys could have just kept their Order business a secret (they were already being very secretive about it with the rest of the kids). But yeah, it wasn’t an easy situation for anyone. I don’t know why but I get the feeling Arthur might have been a bit envious of Percy’s success and maybe that’s why it was so hard for him to put aside his grudge. Or maybe his pride was hurt because Percy respected another authority figure more than him.

          • DoraNympha

            While I don’t see Arthur as a particularly jealous or envious person, it’s valid to question that. He’s only human. It can’t have felt good to hear from Percy, who had looked up to him always, that he’s a joke at work. Still, who cares, he pushed him away into Fudge’s hands. Congratulations, Arthur, you played yourself.

        • Lisa

          I think Kat was spot on when she described Molly as judgmental. I’ve never thought of that word to describe her but when Kat mentioned it, I realized it’s perfect for Molly. She jumps to conclusions in regards to Hermione because of an article when she herself admits to brewing love potion to snare a guy in her teens. What a hypocrite! Then she resents Fleur for being beautiful and foreign because of course that also means she is shallow. (Not that I’m excusing Fleur tactless behavior here). Her behavior towards her children reflects the same narrow idea of what success means and how it should be achieved. A joke shop just isn’t a serious business, no pun intended.

          • RickJM

            No Kat wasn’t spot on because what you’re describing is not being judgemental. She thought Hermione was messing with Harry’s feelings. At most she’s gullible for beleiving Skeeter. She doesn’t resent Fleur foe being foregn and beautiful, she just thinks Fleur is a butt. And no mother wants their kids to run a joke shop.

          • Lisa

            She’s definitely gullible but I’m not sure how that’s better than being judgemental.

            Her feelings towards Fleur and her reasons for them are up to interpretation of course. My opinion is that she wouldn’t have liked Fleur no matter how she acted.

    • RickJM

      Oh come on! The worst? Really? There is nothing even remotely wrong with staying in a job you like. And I’m sure it was implied, if not directly stated, that Aurthor was passed over for promotion because of his beliefs. And Percy was given that job so Fudge could try to use him to find out about Harry and Dumbledore. Not wanting to see their child get used is the very sign of a good parent.

      • Lisa

        He was also offered a better job which according to Molly he didn’t take because he was fine where he was. That’s fine of course. Unless you happen to have a big family to support in which case you should at least discuss these things with your spouse before turning the job down. Arthur is the biggest underachiever ever. Nothing objectively wrong with that, but I personally cannot stand him.

        • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          We don’t know that he didn’t discuss the decision with Molly. Just because Harry didn’t observe it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

          • Lisa

            Maybe. But I don’t think Molly could have swayed his decision even if she insisted on it.

            Btw, were you the person on the show who said she always disagrees with me? Just asking since I didn’t realize I was arguing with anyone a lot.

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I don’t think you’re giving Molly enough credit. Arthur may work outside the home but I still get the feeling that she “wears the pants” in that family, so to speak. She has a very strong personality.

            And yes, that was me. I didn’t mean to imply that we argue a lot. But we’ve had many differences of opinion over the past several months :) I enjoy your comments though, because they give me another perspective that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

          • Lisa

            Arthur can be pretty assertive too. Once he banged his fist on the table when Molly wanted to tell Harry about Sirius (IIRC). His word was final that time.

            Oh ok. My guess was either you or ThatTimeRemus. I don’t know if we had many differences of opinion or if we just went over our CC arguments many times, haha. I also enjoy your comments, and debates are always nice to have!

          • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Clearly I need to pay more attention to Arthur during my current re-read of the series. I seem to have forgotten all of his assertive moments. Thank you for reminding me :)

  • Have we ever seen a “living” painting in Harry Potter that is not a portrait? One that is not based on a real person and so was never trained to be alive? I pretty sure the movies have shown us angles or something like that floating around in a painting, but have any characters in the books ever interacted with a painting that was not based off of a living person?

    • Merlin’s Baggy Y-Fronts

      I had the same thought…Aren’t there artists in the wizarding world who desire to depict people from their imaginations? I imagine, however, that if these do exist, these paintings would have a personality and depth of character dependent on how much thought the artist gave them.

      And along the lines of artistic license, do non-classical art styles exist among wizards?! I would love to see the animation of, say, a surrealist portrait. And then if so, if a subject had multiple portraits in different styles, would their appearance change as they traveled from portrait to portrait?

      On another note, until this podcast, I always imagined Sir Cadogan as a comedic fictional character! Almost like Don Quixote. Now I know better…So then, who’s the Fat Lady based off of and why is she okay with being called the Fat Lady? So many questions *shakes fist*

      • Yes! I always thought Sir Cadogen would have been a fictional character as well.

        If the Fat Lady was at one point a living person, did she offer up her essence to become the entryway to Griffyndor tower so many centuries ago?

      • DoraNympha

        WIZARD ART
        That should be an episode of its own too, and I’m 100% admittedly biased as an artist. So. Here’s what I think:

        Artists will probably influence not just the look but the character of the figures in the painting. I guess if you want to have your portrait taken, you must choose your artist wisely because they will be different by respective artists. The more the person depicted takes part in the process (up to the point of a self-portrait, I guess), the more genuine the character of the painted figure will be. Headmasters spend hours and hours talking to their own 2D selves to make them as honest as possible a representation of themselves, on top of filling them with all their memories and throught processes. I imagine it’s also possible to put actual memories in the painting, the ones you put into the Pensieve.

        I think artists specialize in certain areas, so there would be notable, renown portrait artists. Imagine someone specializing in replicating Muggle artists’ works and portraits – you could chat with Van Gogh, the artist would merely have to read about his character, and the more research they do, the better the character will be.

        Imagine study drawings coming to life as you’re still working on them, complaining about having uneven leg lengths or asking for a thinner waist and having to stun them because they move around or get ticklish from the pencil tip.

        Non-figurative art. Amazing. I want Cubist paintings that rearrange themselves because they’re all triangles and dots and patches of colour rather than portraits with a backdrop of a field. I want Surrealist paintings that behave in odd ways, a magical replica of The Burning Giraffe that actually does catch fire and has to be put out and kept away from other paintings with regreattably flammable canvases.

        And why stop at paintings? Statues must be a case of the Pygmalion myth most of the time!

  • Al

    Listening to the discussion on the mechanics of magical portraiture let me throw another spanner in the works…how in the name of Merlin’s pants do the Chocolate Frog cards work?

    It’s not even that a person could somehow travel between a real portrait and something so much smaller and flimsier like a piece of card (which will pick up a lot of wear and tear very quickly) but…Ron said in Philosopher’s Stone (unless I am misremembering) that he had MULTIPLE copies of Dumbledore.

    So is there just like ONE Dumbledore painting in all of existence that just hops around between every given portrait frame and chocolate frog card in existence?

    Is there a separate artistic rendering of Dumbledore exclusive to the chocolate frog cards?

    Can the pictures in the chocolate frog cards communicate like portraits?

    Was Harry just lucky that Dumbledore showed up in his first chocolate frog card or does the subject of the picture automatically appear whenever someone gets a new card? If not are there people with old chocolate frog cards who’ve no idea what the subject of the cards looks like?

    What happens if someone has appeared in a specific chocolate frog card and the card gets ripped up? Is that painting gone for good?

    The plot holes present in these portraits is how I’ve concluded that actually this is the worst thought out book series of all time.

  • BloodCharm

    Off-topic, but since there are no forums anymore, I wanted to bring it up: How in the world did Voldemort NOT REALIZE HARRY WAS A HORCRUX? Look, I know that there is a spell that is used to encase the part of soul into the thing that you are planning to use as a Horcrux which makes the argument that Harry is not exactly a Horcrux per se, but merely a human vessel containing a part of Voldemort’s soul. But that still does not explain how Voldemort could not conclude this after feeling Harry’s presence inside of him(Although Rowling indicated that he saw through Nagini’s, not Voldemort, meaning Voldemort may not have been posessing the snake at the time; see and scroll down here https://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14443/what-is-significance-of-silver-smoking-apparatus-during-order-of-the-phoenix). Either way, Snape confirms that Voldemort has become aware of this and as we know, he used it to his advantage, although he ended up being afraid of it after his duel with Dumbledore. Could Voldemort have realized that part of his soul had existed in Harry, but be simply too complacent, thinking that he and he alone knew about his other Horcruxes and think that killing Harry thus destroying a part of his soul would not matter? Highly interested in your thoughts!

  • Al

    On the topic of CAPSLOCK HARRY!!!111!!!!

    I never had a problem with Harry’s anger in the book in a ‘man Harry sucks in this book’ kind of way.

    OotP is my least favourite book in the series just because there is so much negativity and unfair treatment towards Harry.

    I always felt his anger was justified but reading the book was like hanging out with a good friend who’s just a total downer all the time. You love them, you sympathise with why they are like that but the experience isn’t exactly pleasant. And I’m not just saying that in regards to Harry himself being generally in a bad mood throughout this book. It’s that and everything else. Fudge being a mega jerk. Umbridge incentivizing people to do live dissections on toads. Harry’s life in general sucking hard.

    That and how the tone and expectations of the book from previous instalments was so different. This book is not just darker but…meaner. No Hagrid, the exam pressures, the embarrassments with Cho Chang, the lack of Dumbledore and most of all the knife twisting death of Sirius. Plus events take a long time to transpire. I mean how many pages in is it before we get back to Hogwarts?

    None of this makes it a BAD book. In fact I think Rowling downright HAD to do what she did.

    Harry Potter is very much a coming of age story and this book is the ‘growing pains’ book, the book where Harry truly hits puberty and it hits back hard. Even the events that aren’t typical for most teenagers like the government running a slander campaign or arguably Sirius’ death are metaphorical for the ‘feelings’ teens go through. That the world is against them and that everything is unfair and it hurts. Now to an extent for many teenagers that’s merely their perception of events but Rowling decided to literalize all of that so that no literally the Wizrding World as a whole really was against Harry in this book.

    Which from a storytelling POV makes a lot of sense since he is literally being set up as the grand saviour of the whole Wizarding World and there are world shattering life or death stakes involved here.

    At the same time a lot of the things that happen in this book that are atypical of previous books and that rubbed me (and I suspect many, many others) the wrong way are necessary for set up.

    Goblet of Fire fundamentally changed the game but Order of the Phoenix is the book that has to simultaneously:

    a) Deal with the immediate aftermath of that (most poignantly Harry’s emotional trauma)
    b) Establish the new status quo going forward
    c) Set things up for future books
    d) Be semi-standalone story unto itself that furthers the realistic coming of age story for all the characters (perhaps most notoriously through their burgeoning feelings of injustice, rebellion and exam pressures)

    No wonder she took so long to write this one.

    For myself whilst I’ve grown to appreciate Order a lot over the years I simply cannot enjoy the full experience as much as the other books for many of the above reasons, but also as carry over from my initial reading.

    I was 12 when it got released. I’d just begun secondary school and between all those surely accurate TV shows and films and educational assemblies about ‘adolescence’ I’d devoured I was frankly dreading both puberty and most of all the big insurmountable challenge that was my GCSE exams (obviously the equivalent of O.W.L.s) that loomed in my future. So seeing a character who’d I’d followed through sometimes dark and deadly and scary but mostly (until the climax of Goblet) fun adventures suddenly going through all this stuff further made me dread what was in store for me.

    …It also didn’t help that my friend 100% spoiled Sirius’ death for me…

    P.S. The disdain for CAPSLOCK HARRY honestly annoys me, at least when it comes from older readers. I’m not saying that everyone felt even metaphorically as Harry does in this book (I know I didn’t as a teen) but I see this a lot in media.

    Often times a character is dismissed as annoying or worse ‘emo’ despite having an entirely believable and more importantly justified emotional reaction to the circumstances at hand.

    I’ve spoken before that I am a huge comic book fan, specifically of Spider-Man, and the amount of times I’ve seen people derisively claim the character is a whining emo just comes off as…insensative to put it very, very politely.

    Harry in this book, like Peter Parker most of the time, deal with immense pressures and stresses and life honestly treating them unfairly. And taking a step back what they are dealing with is realistically a million times worse than what MOST of us have to put up with.

    Like in all seriousness how many of us wouldn’t be angry or ‘emo’ if there was a mass media slander campaign run against you that made most people mistrust you, fear you or else generally fail o recognize the positive qualities and contributions you’ve made. And you can’t do anything because the propaganda is being waged by someone in a massive position of socioeconomic power who’s basically doing it due to their own insecurities, issues and ignorance?

    For Harry Potter in this book that’s Cornelius Fudge and the Daily Prophet. For Peter Parker in most Spider-Man stories that’s J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle.

    P.P.S. There are actually quite a few amusing similarties and contrasts one could make between Harry Potter and Spider-Man (like how they both marry badass red heads). I might speak more about it someday.

    • Michael Harle

      Funny you say that about the Spider-Man relations to Potter. I mentioned one of them at the end of Half-Blood Prince. ^_^

      • Al

        What did you say

        • Michael Harle

          Oh, just that Harry and Ginny’s break-up at the end of “Half-Blood Prince” isn’t too terribly dissimilar to Peter and Mary Jane’s little chat at the end of “Spider-Man 2.”

          “Go get ’em, tiger!” ^_^

          • Phat Albus

            True though Peter and MJ were an item going forward whereas Harry and Ginny weren’t.

            Which might’ve been for the best given how Spider-Man 3 turned out.

            Ooooh, now I’ve said that the Locket/Horcruxes are a little like Spider-Man’s corrupting black costume. Exacerbates the darkness within you.

  • BloodCharm

    First Point On The Fidelius Charm: I don’t agree with the Fidelius Charm assessment in some ways- Remember Dumbledore is the Secret Keeper for the Order and given it’s weaknesses, I doubt the house had the charm before Dumbledore could cast it. Obviously, there were muggle repelling charms as well as concealing charms that made the house impossible for muggles to try and call and Sirius’s father made it unplottable, so the house was well protected against Muggles. Dumbledore added the Fidelius Charm in order to make the protection bullet proof as long as Dumbledore is alive. So, the charm was pretty strong protection as long as Dumbledore was alive. But remember how Dumbledore says in book 6 that if since Sirius is dead and the house may have passed to Bellatrix that the protective charms may not hold? Obviously this wasn’t the case, but I could see the possibility of Bellatrix’s ownership breaking the enchantments, but Sirius deliberately countered this? I do not know if he did it deliberately. Dumbledore may have been wrong that there was an enchantment on the house insuring that nobody could own it or Kreacher but a pure blood. We’ll never know I guess.

    Second Point: Why did Narcissa and possibly Bellatrix not realize that the Headquarters of the Order Of The Phoenix WAS at 12 Grimmuld Place? Kreacher was the House Elf there after all and Lucius recognized Sirius on the train, so they knew he was in London. Perhaps the Charm erodes common sense? Lol, that seems doubtful based on what we’ve seen in the books. I guess even if they knew that it most likely WAS there, there was no way of knowing for sure. Kreacher could have left the house, which brings up ANOTHER QUESTION. HOW IN THE WORLD WAS SIRIUS THE OWNER OF KREACHER AND OF THE HOUSE AFTER BEING PUT IN AZKABAN? He was a convicted criminal, you’d think the Ministry would have taken custody of the House and Kreacher or the Malfoys could have tried to gain ownership. Walpurga died 4 years after Sirius was imprisoned and it was highly likely she wrote Sirius out of her will after she disowned him. How in the world would the Ministry let the house go off track? You’d think they’d take it over or the Malfoys would claim it after Walpurga died or some other pure blood family? Any thoughts on these?

    • Rosmerta

      Interesting thoughts on the ownership, not sure what happens in the muggle world. Do property revert to the crown after a criminal is convicted, not sure.

  • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    BTW, if any of you early-downloaders got the version where my audio was out of sync for most of the episode, it was fixed after the fact. So if you ever want to re-listen, I’d recommend a re-download :)

  • BloodCharm

    I totally agree on Kat’s analysis of Order Of The Phoenix- It certainly deals a lot with Harry’s feelings and I think it’s a very important book for Harry’s character.

  • MyNameIsElvendork

    Really great show this week! So, this doesn’t pertain to this episode at all. I’m planning a trip to London and Scotland for christmas. Do you have any suggestions of any places to visit for this HP nerd? I’m definitely going to the studio tour, but would love other thoughts! Sorry for trolling this discussion, but I am guessing the forums are gone.

    • Lisa

      There’s the King’s Cross 9 3/4 plattform to see, if you haven’t already considered it. Or maybe the café where Rowling wrote HP, it’s in Scotland somewhere I think.

      • MyNameIsElvendork

        Thanks Lisa!

    • MrSleepyHead

      For London, I used an excellent free self-guided tour reference provided by http://www.the-magician.co.uk/ . But King’s Cross is probably the biggest thing not to miss.

      In Edinburgh there’s the Elephant House and Spoon (formerly Nicolson’s), both places where JKR wrote some of the early chapters. (http://independenttravelcats.com/2017/02/08/guide-top-harry-potter-sites-in-edinburgh-scotland-jk-rowling/)

      And there’s a pretty nice map of filming locations here: https://www.visitbritainshop.com/world/articles/harry-potter-film-locations/

      I’d recommend doing it yourself rather than through a guide. One of the great things about doing a self-guided tour is that the locations take you into areas of the city/town/country that you would probably never visit otherwise. And you soon find out how much other worthwhile, non-HP related stuff there is to see!

      • MyNameIsElvendork

        This is perfect! Thank you so much for helping this muggle out!

  • Phat Albus

    Is there any chance you guys could revisit like specific scenes as well as chapters.

    If for no other reason than revisiting Minerva’s epic sass towards Umbridge.

    ‘He has achieved high marks in all his Defence Against the Dark Arts tests –’
    ‘I’m terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my not, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me –’
    ‘I should have made my meaning plainer,’ said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. ‘He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher.’

    https://i.giphy.com/media/Aff4ryYiacUO4/giphy.webp

  • StoneHallows

    So this is really long, bare with me! I have two things I want to talk about: All Caps Harry, and Percy.
    The reason I don’t really like All Caps Harry (ACH) is because I could never actually identify with him. Now, I’ve never gone through what Harry did by any stretch of the imagination, but I was never the kind of person to push people away as he does. If I was hurting like that, I would try all the harder to pull them closer. I might get angry at first, but after a while I would calm down and realize that yelling doesn’t help anything.
    As a teenager reading this, I thought he was over the top dramatic, like the kids at school that I didn’t really like because I didn’t want that drama in my life. Maybe that is judgmental of me, and if anyone had a reason to act like this it would certainly be him, but I’ve always seen that as extremely unnecessary. I have always been able to talk myself down from the anger, so to speak. I was actually confused at why he was yelling at them instead of talking things through. Even if it’s a hard conversation, these things have to be done, and the sooner the better. I could never see myself acting this way, so I had a really hard time accepting this. I wasn’t a rebellious teenager, though I don’t think I was a brat either. I listened to the music I wanted to, dated the people I wanted to, but I did my chores, had a good relationship with my parents. I was stubborn, to be sure, and we certainly got into our fiar share of fights, but we always stayed there until it was worked out. I couldn’t see myself being as hard headed as this against reason and logic – maybe that’s the difference between a RavenPuff and a Gryffindor, though.
    As an adult, now, I understand a lot better of where he is coming from. I can’t imagine the hurt and confusion he must be in. But to get angry and constantly explode at everyone who is trying to help you is simply counterproductive, as we see when Ginny reminds him of what she went through. If he had stopped to think and talk instead of react outrageously, he might have realized that, or someone else could have suggested it. Even as a teen I thought he was being ridiculous, and even though I understand it more now, I still think that, perhaps more so. In hindsight, I think I understand and am a little more lenient with everything; I’ve been through more, seen more of the world and different personalities, understand more and am more connected with myself than as a logic-based teen, but it’s still completely different than I can see myself reacting in the same situation.
    Even with all that, I think that if he just apologized ONCE for freaking out when they are trying to help instead of constantly feeling the victim, it would be much easier for me to accept. Everyone gets mad. Everyone blames people who shouldn’t be blamed. But the mature way to handle that situation is to own up to it and apologize, which I don’t think he ever does. Everyone just accepts that and moves on, which I don’t think is quite healthy either, as (in general) that encourages people to think that they aren’t responsible for whatever consequences they might cause, be they small or large. This isn’t directly applicable to Harry, since he doesn’t go around feeling entitled most of the time, but in a less grounded person, it’s a distinct possibility that they would think it’s completely alright to treat people like this. That would lead to other feelings of entitlement, which is not conducive for a healthy relationship of any sort, and where our society is running into issues today.
    Now, on the topic of Percy. I don’t blame him for reacting the way he does to what he father says. Logically, Arthur is correct – they are using him. But emotionally and relationship-wise, this was the wrong way to say this to his son. In the same way, my husband is brutally honest. And I mean BRUTAL. You always know what he thinks whether you want to or not. My biggest issue with this is not what he is saying (though sometimes that hurts as well), but HOW he is saying it. If Arthur said what he did with more love and concern than anger, I feel it wouldn’t have been so blown out of proportion. Possibly not, with the Weasley tempers, but I do think it’s possible.
    What I DO blame Percy for is having too much pride to make amends before he does, especially when Molly is making such efforts. Again, maybe it’s just because I’m a completely different person, but when someone hurts me that much (and this I do have personal experience with) I will stay there as long as is needed to figure it out – why they said it, why it hurts, what they meant by it, etc. I’m sure once tempers were cooled, Arthur would have explained it better – that he was proud of all Percy had accomplished but didn’t want to see Percy get hurt by the people that he thought were recognizing his potential. Instead it takes a literal war – and Percy seeing for himself that he was being used – to reconcile. Of course, it might be that Percy was the kind of person who would need to see it for himself regardless, but there was still a chance to save the family, Molly in particular, a ton of heartache.

  • Newt’s case of biscuits

    Just wondering where one might find the great snape debate part 1?

  • Frodo Weasley

    As to the question of why, for so many people, OotP is so disliked. I think it’s because this is the book that unequivocally takes the series out of the Young Adult universe. I know, many will argue that Goblet did that and I see that point, but I would counter that up until Chapter 32, Goblet could still have pulled back.
    Why? What is so special about Chapter 32 that made it the point of no return? Because up until that point, Rowling could still have turned back from the return of Voldemort. Remember the spell:
    “Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!”
    “Flesh of the servant willingly given, you will revive your master.”
    “Blood of the enemy forcibly taken. you will resurrect your foe.”
    I don’t recall this point ever having been brought up in the prior discussions but it’s that last line- blood of the enemy FORCIBLY TAKEN… All Harry had to do was LET Pettigrew take his blood and the spell fails. Had Rowling simply slipped that piece in there, Voldemort does not return in Goblet. She didn’t and, IMHO, the series went from a pretty good series to a classic. Voldemort had to return for the series to reach truly phenomenal status.
    So that having been said, again I would argue, most of Goblet was still in the YA phase, all of OotP was in full blown adult fiction. I think that transition made it more difficult for people. Instead of the characters we were used to, we met ALL CAPS Harry, questionable Dumbledore, brooding Sirius, etc. The characters are growing and we’re not used to it. My first read through- I HATED OotP. It has now become one of my favorites. There is just so much growth both in the characters and in Rowling’s style as a writer. Against, just humble opinion.

  • Imajine_all_the_wizards

    Kat I’m with you. I’m so NOT a Sirius fan! The biggest thing is why would anyone in their right mind think that Peter Pettigrew would make a good secret keeper?! He has always been flaky! He was also not a good Godfather to Harry. He was the real whinney teenager in OOTP.

  • AussieRagdoll

    About the Fidelius Charm….. Harry needs to be told the specific address, and by Dumbledore, or he wouldn’t be able to see the house. While Dumbledore lives, only Dumbledore holds the secret. The others are not able to divulge the secret. Not even under torture or Verataserum. The difference with the situation with Yaxley on the escape from the Ministry, is that this is after the death of Dumbledore. At this point, everyone that Dumbledore had told the location to has become a Secret Keeper. So by holding onto the Trio as they land on the top step to the house, they have inadvertently revealed the location to Yaxley. It’s why Hermione has them apparate away immediately to another location after shaking off Yaxley.

  • Phat Albus

    What I find very curious is how Snape is to my observation held in a lot more sympathetic regard by fandom than Dumbledore.

    To me whilst Snape is divisive the people who are sympathetic towards him are incredibly numerous.

    In contrast once the series was done Dumbledore (whilst being recognized as a well written and complex character) was really not very well liked.

    This is kind of interesting to me because when you really think about it Dumbledore realistically wasn’t as bad of a person as Snape.

    Being brutally honest no matter where you place Snape on the good/bad spectrum he was a bitter, mean spirited bully of children for 15 years who previously willingly worked in the inner circle of…well the equivalent of Hitler, going so far as to condemn an innocent baby to death to further ingratiate himself.

    In contrast Dumbledore’s crimes are briefly considering subjugating people when he was 17, frustrated and in love and never actually acting upon that and setting up a child to die to save countless lives whilst having a strong belief that the kid could still survive anyway (and being proven 100% right).

    In terms of what’s worse condemning a baby to death so Magical Hitler will like you more is WAY worse than manipulating a teen to sacrifice himself so Magical Hitler can be stopped and thus preventing mass genocide.

    Objectively speaking Snape was a far worse person than Dumbledore and yet Albus gets thrown the much more shade.

    I’m not quite why this is but if I had to throw out a theory…

    It’s often said that the ending of a story is what you remember. The Prince’s Tale is such a potent chapter in the last book that I think it’s arguably the most memorable moment for many readers. It is a chapter presented from Snape’s point of view and therefore makes him seem far more sympathetic, especially since t climaxes with the heartbreaking reveal that he was motivated by a lifelong love.

    But in the same scene we learn of Dumbledore’s manipulation of Harry and by extension Snape. And since it’s from Snape’s point of view Dumbledore is himself painted in a far more negative light.

    The impact of that negative light is also more damning because Dumbledore was built up for a long time as a quintessentially good and infallible person so to see he had if not a darkside but a morally grey aspect to him probably exacerbated people’s reactions. Especially since for many people who began reading when they were younger he came across as the wise kindly old grandfather figure.

    On the flipside Snape had been presented as at best a colossal jerk and at worst downright villainous before we learn he wasn’t quite as bad as we all thought.

    I guess people gravitate to the redeemed bad guy more than the guy who turns out to still be on the side of good but isn’t as clean cut as he first appeared.

    For myself I think Snape and Dumbldore are both brilliantly complex. Dumbledore was definitely a good guy at the end of the day who had to get his hands dirty for the greater good (needs of the many and all that) whilst Snape was a bitter man who happened to be on the side of good and could do things no one else could. He was a man who lived in the grey space wherein he was on the side of the good but for selfish reasons.

    In war though, often such people are vital.

    In a weird way you could compare him to Han Solo from most of the first Star Wars movie. Before his change of heart at the end of the movie Han Solo is a pirate and career criminal who’s helping the good guys not because he believes in their cause but because he gets something quintessentially selfish out of it. In Snape’s case though that something isn’t money it’s a kind of emotional fulfillment to his lost love/revenge on Voldemort.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      *claps* Brilliantly well put!