Episode 63 – GoF 25: The Staircase of Lies

One fish, two fish, blue fish, and lots of red herrings. Okay, so the rhyme isn’t great, but Chapter 25, ”The Egg and the Eye,” certainly is! Listen along as hosts Caleb, Kat, Noah, & Michael take on this amazing chapter for their very last episode of 2013! Happy New Year everyone!

On Episode 63 we discuss…

→ Episode 62 Recap: Unicorn mythology; Pavarti; Bechdel test; Hagrid’s professional growth; Cedric’s sexy suggestion
→ PQOTW Responses
→ The unreasonable reasonable concern
→ Can Mrs Norris see through The Invisibility Cloak?
→ Does Snape suspect Moody?
Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! Store

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  • Elvis Gaunt

    Its not just Little Crouch, Diary Riddle too was fascinated with Harry.

    As far as fascinating characters go, there is one other very very curious character whom we never meet; Regulus Black. I hope we get a little more about him from Rowling.

  • Bryan Levine

    Longtime listener, first-time commenter. Regarding the unicorn thing, I’m sorry, but I have to stick up for Noah on this one. Medieval unicorn mythology clearly has EVERYTHING to do with sex and it’s not at all unintentional that the unicorn can only be caught by placing the phallic horn in the virgin maiden’s lap. A visit to view the unicorn tapestries at The Cloisters in New York City will confirm this. Obviously this was far too racy for Jo to spell out clearly in the books, but I think that’s exactly the type of unicorn myth he was referencing. This also explains why the unicorns generally approach female humans (gay unicorns excepted, of course!).

    • Elvis Gaunt

      What about female unicorns?

      • Subjective Unicorn

        exactly :)

    • http://bs-media.tumblr.com/ Noah Fried

      Yes! Thank you Bryan…

  • Bryan Levine

    *she was referencing

  • elizabeth melas

    Sexy episode! I never really considered Hagrid’s parents relationship before this. It was a bit unnerving.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    A few points about Harry Potter and the Bechdel test. This series is told from Harry’s point of view. Obviously Harry is a part of most conversations we get in the books. Also. he may have listened to Angelina, Alicia and Katie discuss Quidditch or Parvati, Lavender and Trelawney discuss crystal balls. But this not a slice-of-life kind of narrative. Since, these interactions bear no significance to the story-line they are not mentioned.

    What if the protagonist had been a female and the Bechdel test said there has to be a conversation between two males about something other than a female. Then most of the dialogue would be with the protagonist and when characters like Snape and Dumbledore (or Voldy and his death-eaters) get together, they would inevitably speak about the protagonist. Would series pass the test then?

    • http://www.mugglenet.com/ Caleb

      I see where you’re coming from, but the Bechdel’s point is in fact to focus on how prominent women are, not men, because they are historically less featured. Your hypothetical scenario would not pass this test because it would need another female character to speak to the protagonist about something other than a male. It’s just one of many ways of evaluation. It’s also worth noting the Bechdel test is traditionally used for film, so it really has a lot to do with the adaptation process.

  • Efthymia

    Regarding the Sr/Jr thing on the Marauders’ Map, maybe the map goes by full name (first-middle-last); for example, it would show Voldemort as Tom Marvolo Riddle and his father as Tom Whatever Riddle rather than Tom Riddle Jr. and Tom Riddle Sr. respectively. Since Harry has no idea a Bartemius Crouch Jr. exists and probably doesn’t know what Barty Crouch Sr.’s middle name is, of course he thinks that the “Bartemius Something Crouch” showing up on the map is Barty Crouch Sr., and he (or, rather, the writer) feels no need to mention the middle name.
    On Barty Crouch Jr./Fake Moody suggesting Harry become an Auror: I don’t see this as him being kind to Harry and showing his admiration for him. I see this comment of his as both (a) feeding Harry’s ego and gaining his trust and (b) mocking Harry in a way that he’s unaware of, like “Oh, you’re sooo clueless, if there were Aurors like you out there, we Death Eaters would rule”.

    • DolphinPatronus

      Every reference about what Harry reads on the map seems to be first & last name only no middle name.

      • Bill White

        what about the fact that SR. JR. III IV are only notable when the people in the generation is the same name. I am the 4th because my father and his father etc etc all have the same First, Middle and last

  • Subjective Unicorn

    I am sure it has been asked before but – How come Harry did not use ACCIO!!!!come on! is he a wizard of what? He even took his wand out to tap the map,unsuccessfully.
    Obviously his slow mindedness is a quite convenient plot arrangement, but still this plot arrangement maybe could be done differently…

    • DolphinPatronus

      He may have been able to use Accio on the map but I doubt it would’ve worked on the egg. If it did all of the champions could’ve just summoned the eggs from the dragon in the first task.

      • Subjective Unicorn

        yes but if he used it on the map it would make quite a difference. At least the map will not end up in Crouch’s hands and we know to what that led.

        • DolphinPatronus

          I agree. It seems like everytime Harry is put on the spot he forgets he’s a wizard. lol

          • Bill White

            Harry attempts accio in his mind but can’t get to work unless I am book jumping to 6 where nvbl are mentioned. he just left the bath This comment is under the presumption that you need a wand to use the map if that’s the case who takes a wand to the bath and 2 if you don’t need a wand then why didn’t he just say mischief managed

          • Subjective Unicorn

            I am definitely sure he does have a wand. Here’s the proof – “Harry pulled out his wand and struggled to touch the Marauder’s Map, to wipe it blank, but it was too far away to reach” page 356 UK edition (ebook)

          • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

            Ugh! This bothers me every single time! Kinda surprised none of the hosts mentioned this. I remember hearing someone somewhere saying that almost the entire GoF book is based on things like this– things that are placed so carefully on such unstable foundations, that it all comes tumbling down like a house of cards if one thing is moved. This ‘Staircase of Lies’ scene is a prime example. To Bill’s point: I think you must certainly be skipping ahead since we just had a huge scene before the first task about how good Harry was at the Summoning Charm and how he was able to manage the shortest capture on his Accio-ed brown of all the champions. Harry knows this spell. It is literally one of the three or four spells we see him use over and over in the series, without incident or failure. Let’s just face it, our hero is sometimes not the brightest bulb.

          • Elvis Gaunt

            Why didn’t he get his foot out if he had a wand?

          • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

            Another good point! I repeat, our hero is not the brightest bulb. Though, if he had done, he would have missed the whole ensuing scene. Jo needed him stuck there so that he could witness the scene and create suspense and hilarity. I know it’s not always fun to bring it down to a storytelling level, but Jo is trying to write a novel, and sometimes she has to use elaborate measures to create an interesting story.

  • DolphinPatronus

    I’d like to point out that Harry has now unwittingly busted 2 people that were supposedly dead using the map. Wormtail had supposedly died at the hands of Sirius years before he was seen on the map & Jr was reported to have died in prison sometime after that. In both cases he doesn’t realize this until the bitter end.

  • PixieDragon137

    I agree with Michael, that you can’t compare Trelawney with Hagrid. And perhaps the students would benefit with Grubbly Plank and Hagrid co-teaching the subject. But, although Grubbly Planks lessons are more informative than Hagrids, I think it lacks the sense of adventure and challenge that Hagrid tries to provide to his class. He also tends to expose his students to a wider variety of creatures than is required for their course which I believe will help the students decide whether they really want to pursue it as a career later on.

    Also Hagrid might not be as organized and articulate as the other teachers, owing to the fact that he was expelled from school when we was about 13 years old, but that doesn’t really affect his competence as a teacher. And I don’t see a lot of problems with the way Hagrid teaches. I know, the blast-ended skrewts were a bit extreme, but it’s not like they went unsupervised during classes. That being said, I don’t believe his lesson’s were any more dangerous than his predecessor, Professor Kettleburn, who is said to have been put on probation no less than 62 times during his time as a professor at Hogwarts, lost an arm and a leg, and was responsible for an explosion in the Great Hall which landed a lot of people at the Hospital Wing.

  • froggyhpmb3

    I think Moody/Crouch definitely made a mistake when he told Snape that Dumbledore told him to snoop in Snape’s office. Snape should know that Dumbledore trusts his loyalty and wouldn’t allow or see the necessity in Moody snooping in Snape’s office. It definitely should have seemed suspicious to Snape. At the very least, he’s trying to keep him at arms length although he’d probably react that way to the real Moody.

    • Bill White

      Also, moody might have been at snape’s hearing just like he is at Igor’s and snape’s name is mentioned. If moody brought snape in, then he may/may not have been able to delineate mannerisms and habits to be able to pick up them

      • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

        As Crouch/Moody succeeded, (and, admittedly, I have issues with this being the truth,) in fooling Albus Dumbledore, one of the greatest, (if not THE greatest,) wizards of the age, I don’t take issue with Snape being fooled as well. Perhaps what Crouch/Moody says to Snape, (about Dumbledore allowing Crouch/Moody to search Snape’s office,) is more truthful than we think. I can see Crouch/Moody appealing to Dumbledore and saying something like, :”You’ve got an ex-deatheater in your castle Dumbledore! You’re cracked if you think I won’t search his office!” And then Dumbledore, absorbed in knitting patterns or whatever, waves him away, saying something like, “Search him if you wish.” Obviously, Crouch/Moody is really doing the searching to get his precious potion ingredients, but he may be smart enough to at least have a somewhat solid reason to back him up.
        I also agree with Caleb, when he questioned how much close contact Real Moody and Snape would have had, prior to OotP. I am also pretty sure that Snape wouldn’t have even had a hearing in front of the MoM since he wasn’t ever charged with anything as he turned spy, (and therefore had DD’s protection,) before Voldemort’s fall.

        • PixieDragon137

          haha I like the part about Dumbledore absorbed in knitting patterns. Yes it seems likely that even the real Moody being this super suspicious character would tell Dumbledore that he’s going to search Snape’s office because, well, he has some serious trust issues. And here we have Snape this reformed deatheater, who’s story no one really knows.

          I kind of admire how well Moody/Crouch impersonated the real Moody to the extent of fooling even Dumbledore (..I wonder if he practiced in front of a mirror) And the reason I believe he nearly succeeded is because he had the advantage of having Moody in his trunk, where he could question him (probably under the influence of Veritaserum) about his relationship with both Snape and Dumbledore. I also think the real Moody tended to disregarded authority a bit, which is why Moody/Crouch got away with saying/doing things, like turning Draco into a ferret when Dumbledore said they are not to use transfiguration as a punishment.

        • DolphinPatronus

          I can actually see both real & fake Moody insisting on searching EVERYONE’S office. Especially after Harry’s name came out of the goblet. Real Moody would want to for the obvious security reasons & if fake Moody wants to pull off the disguise he’d not only know that but use it as an excuse to steal from Snape.

  • froggyhpmb3

    While the validity of Trelawney’s subject and her own abilities as a Seer have constantly been questioned (by myself included) I happen to see her as an equal teacher to Hagrid. She is enthusiastic about her subject, if not always the testing that is a part of the curriculum. I am not going to get into the pros and cons of both subjects because I get the feeling that both teachers treat the. with equal merit.

    The one aspect that leads me to favor Trelawney as a teacher equally to Hagrid is the fact that she has a plan for her class’ course of study. Hagrid seems to teach his students about the creatures he finds interesting. Trelawney however tells the students that throughout the year (year 3 for example) they will be studying specific topics each term and going over the basics for their first year. Hagrid however treats every lesson individually and isn’t concerned with grades but the experience each student has in his classes.

    I think that neither of them are good teachers but they both focus on aspects that make up good teachers. It is ignoring the other aspects that makes them comparable. What would make their classes better is Michaels suggestion of two teachers to balance their teaching methods out.

  • elizabeth melas

    Where is it stated thay Mrs. Norris is half Kneazzle?

    • DolphinPatronus

      It’s not. In fact has said somewhere (I believe it can be found on her site) that Mrs. Norris is “just a highly unpleasant cat.”

    • Elvis Gaunt

      Crookshahks is a half-Kneazle, not Mrs. Norris.

      • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

        I thought this too. I think they just got confused between Crookshanks and Mrs. Norris. Even if Mrs. Norris WAS half-kneazle, I would still find it hard to believe she could see through Harry’s (Deathly Hallow!) cloak. Though, I did also find it difficult to believe that Moody could ever do that. What is the point of the cloak being a Deathly Hallow if all you need is, I presume, a highly-available-to-the-public magical eye? Unless, do we think that Moody’s eye is extremely rare/expensive/a one-of-a-kind thing?? Never-the-less, it’s removal (GROSS) from Moody’s eye-socket means it could be transported, stolen, and/or used by people other than Moody, (and as we see the eye falling into the wrong hands later on, this obviously happens.) It always unnerved me than even a Deathly Hallow couldn’t keep all magical penetration at bay.

  • StoneShield128

    Great episode! Love having Noah back, as I think he adds much to the discussion and is willing to say off the wall stuff that ends up bringing out really cool questions. There was just so much interesting stuff in this chapter. The Crouch-Moody/Snape dynamic in this chapter was very intriguing. I just think Snape is generally suspicious–I think it would be so far fetched for anyone to suspect MoodyCrouch to be the one taking polyjuice at this point…however Snape probably thinks he is acting slightly suspicious and picks up on it. However, like other characters in the book, he probably passes it off as Moody just “being Moody”

  • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

    On Hagrid’s Parents
    I never really had an issue with Hagrid’s conception, (though, admittedly, it is *quite* odd, and as far as we know only one of two wizard/giant union’s resulting in a half-giant child; the other being Mme. Maxime.) What I am more curious about is the actual pregnancy and birth. Do giants have a similar gestation period as a human? I am assuming wizards and muggles have similar gestation periods/symptoms/labors even though it is noted that some wizarding biology is different, i.e. wizards living longer than muggles, but for the most part they are similar, if not the same. Giants, however, especially with a pregnancy involving a mixed-being union, may have shorter or even longer gestation periods than our own human period of approximately nine months. My point is, if the pregnancy did take a ‘human period’ of nine months, are we to assume that Hagrid’s father stayed with his mother that whole time and attended to her/lived with her/helped at all? I always assumed it was a very fleeting relationship, but that doesn’t make sense if Hagrid’s father eventually raised him. There are a lot of questions here about the timeline that I am curious about, i.e. Did Hagrid’s father leave? Why/why not? If he stayed, did they all live together as a sort of family unit? How long was that for? Why/how did it end? Additionally, I think it’s pretty well known that Mme. Maxime is also a half-giant, (though I don’t think this has ever been confirmed;) my other area of question is: how do the only two known half-giant pregnancies/unions differ and how are they similar? We don’t ever see Maxime’s parents so who knows which was a giant and which was a wizard though, as noted on the show, logistically it would almost certainly have been a female giant and male wizard, as was Hagrid’s situation. I am mainly interested in how Maxime seems to have turned out so much more civilized than Hagrid. Could this be due to a more civilized upbringing? Or can Hagrid’s rough nature be mainly due to the fact that his father died (Of what, we can’t be sure. Maybe more interaction with giant(s) are to blame?) when Hagrid was so young? Lots of questions! Hardly any answers! What do YOU think??

    • PixieDragon137

      Hagrid mentioned that his mum left his dad when he was about 3 years old. So unless Hagrid’s dad was some kind of sadist and enjoyed being beaten up to a pulp by Hagrid’s mum (haha…oh dear) it looks like his parents did at least try to make it work. And perhaps there was some sort of affection between them, if not love.

      Interesting question about the gestational period. i’ve never really thought about it, hmm…

      • http://rkphoto.org/ Rebeccatheravenclaw

        Oh! I guess I had forgotten that the books mention a specific age. I just remember Hagrid referencing that his mother left when he was young. So, I guess that settles it then. They were (minimally) “together” (whatever that means) for three years & nine months, possibly longer if giant’s gestational periods take longer, as noted above. I know Hagrid sort of explains his mother as not being very maternal, and that leading to why she left, but I sort of wonder if it wasn’t more than that. She clearly took up with another giant later in life and birthed Hagrid’s half brother Grawp, so maybe she found this second mate and preferred him to Hagrid’s father? I remember Hagrid mentioning that his father ‘was heartbroken’ when Fridwulfa left so, it’s possible they really were in love, despite their many differences. I doubt many could conceive a child and then live together with that person/giant without sort of liking each other…?