Episode 72 – GoF 34: Pope Potter

It’s time for a magical showdown, but when Harry and Voldemort cast their final spells, they can’t possibly be prepared for the result. Kat, Michael and Noah, with Snapchat artist and special guest, Michael Platco, have their wands at the ready for Chapter 34 “Priori Incantatem.”

On Episode 72 we discuss…

→ Episode 71 Recap: What If?; Difference in the sacrifice; What Jo won’t tell us
→ PQOTW Responses
→ What Voldemort feels
→ Evil Extracurriculars
→ How does the James/Lily switch effect the plot?
Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! Store

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  • Dan Sharp

    Just started listening but want to thank Noah for explaining why I thought James’ sacrifice didn’t count a little more completely than I did in my comment. James was always going to die but Lilly had a real choice. Also, I still think that James had a small, if slightly delusional, hope that he would be able to survive. He may not have had any idea how but as Kat said his intention wasn’t to die but distract.

  • AccioPotassium!

    I’ve found it particularly interesting on how Frank Bryce manifested from the Dark Lord’s wand. All the other ghost like forms that appeared from the effects of Priori Incantatem, were either a Witch or a wizard, while Frank Bryce being the only muggle that came into being. In Pottermore’s information about chapter fourteen of Chamber of Secrets, we learned that muggles are unable to become ghosts when they die, and only witches & wizards are able to decide which path they take after their deaths. If we can consider the imprints of Voldemort’s wand similar to that of ghosts, the soul form of Frank Bryce may have contradicted information that we have learned from Pottermore.

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

      That’s a fantastic comment.

    • RoseLumos

      Very interesting. From another perspective this scene plays a bit into Jo’s religious ideology, since it seems that in the HP universe there is a very clear afterlife. If the HP universe operates according the the Judeo-Christian Bible then there is a Heaven. So perhaps Wizards and Muggles both live in Heaven and watch what is happening. Then Priori Incantatem “called” them back to Earth. So, maybe they aren’t ghosts, but angels?

      *Note – All of this is theory and not particularly based on my religious opinion or any real religious study.

      • DolphinPatronus

        I have to lean toward something like this being an explaination. Not only does the text question their ghostliness (the very end of page 665 in the US edition) but they function like guardian angels might by helping Harry save himself which actually makes me think this even more.

        • RoseLumos

          Coming this summer, from the makers of “Angels in the Outfield,” comes “Angels in the Graveyard!” Watch as a young boy, through the power of magic and love, brings his parents back from the dead! A motion picture for the whole family!

          • DolphinPatronus

            LOL I love it!!! I’d totally go see that.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      The idea that only wizards can become ghosts could be found slightly disturbing as it seems to indicate that only a particular group of enlightened (in this case enlightened to magic) people can make it to the afterlife. This can give a kind of disturbing theme to the Harry Potter books.
      Also it is kind of similar to Mormon ideology that only 144,000 (or some number like that) people can go to heaven.

      • AccioPotassium!

        I would agree with your comment on a magic only afterlife being rather disturbing, especially if Rolling intended her information to be read in that way.
        This could just be wishful thinking on my part, but maybe Muggles automatically go to their afterlives because they don’t have the magic power to reverse the process.

        • ArchdukeSeverus

          That is probably true. Also it might be possible that the muggles don’t have an awareness of the opportunity to become a ghost so may not make the necessary preparations or choice. It may even be that muggles can’t become a ghost because the process involves magic.
          Also I’m pretty confident that Rowling wouldn’t want her text read this way unlike C.S.Lewis might have, as C.S.Lewis protrayed that only some people can go to ‘heaven’ in Narnia by showing that Susan wasn’t allowed in because she started becoming ‘impure’.

          • DolphinPatronus

            I don’t think the ghost comment was meant to imply Muggles have no afterlife. They just move on right away. As for C.S. Lewis… Judeo-Christian ideology says people that do things that are against God’s rules & are unapologetic about it don’t go to Heaven. That does not however mean they don’t “move on” to an afterlife. There is always a possiblity they go to Hell or even Purgatory.

          • Raven

            Actually John 3:16 basically says believing in Jesus and that He’s the son of God is how you get to Heaven it’s not anything you do. So Susan didn’t get to “Heaven” because she didn’t believe in Narnia anymore not because of anything she did or didn’t do.

            As to the imprints from LV’s wand I think they were somehow called back from wherever they were similar to the resurrection stone.

          • DolphinPatronus

            So you can kill someone but as long as you believe in Jesus & that he is the son of God you get to go to Heaven? I seem to remember there being a little more to it than that. In fact
            1 Corinthians 6:9-10 has a list of people that will not be allowed into Heaven. Matthew 5:20 says “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” There are also other pieces of scripture that mention following the commandments & being free of sin so there is some room for debate but this is a Harry Potter podcast not a religious one & I’m not going to debate admittance to Heaven here any further.

            NOTE: I haven’t actively participated in any organized religion in about 20 years because it tends to contradict itself. (As shown here.) So I personally don’t have any strong feelings on this topic either way & mean NO disrespect to those that do.

          • Raven

            I’m not a moderator but I think it’s appropriate to talk about religion in the comments. The text often calls for it. Also no offense taken from me:) I don’t think it’s offensive to state your opinion.

            I used John 3:16 to explain why Susan didn’t get to Aslan’s Country in C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle. But I do think that faith is a big issue (specifically in Christianity) more so than the things you do. Hebrews 11:1 says that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives assurance about things we
            cannot see.” I see it as being less about organized religion and more about
            having an individual relationship with God and having faith despite
            appearances.

            In a similar way, I sympathize with the Lovegoods and Trelawney and their opinion of Hermione, in the sense that everything can’t be explained with hard evidence. And also why sometimes I disagree with the hosts and wanting to explain everything in the series and that if something doesn’t make sense that its a JKR mistake. I sincerely enjoy the hosts’ suppositions on things like the pig desk and the
            Beauxbaton carriage. And I understand that it’s human nature to want to explain
            things. But at the end of the day in regard to the HP series the answer to the
            question is usually that “it’s magic”.

          • DolphinPatronus

            I see where you’re coming from but I don’t feel that faith & faith alone gets a person to Heaven (or whatever afterlife they believe). But I do agree that sometimes the best & only explaination for some of the things within the series are simply “it’s magic.”

  • RoseLumos

    You asked, so here it is: a list (according to the Harry Potter Wiki) of when the Horcruxes were made and destroyed, as well as who was killed to make the Horcrux and who destroyed it

    Diary – Created June 1943 (Myrtle), destroyed May 1993 by Harry

    Ring – Created 1943 (Tom Riddle Sr.), destroyed July 1996 by Dumbledore

    Locket – Created sometime between 1946-1970 (Muggle), destroyed December 1997 by Ron

    Cup – Created around 1946 (Hepzibah Smith), destroyed during the Battle of Hogwarts 1998 by Hermione

    Diadem – created sometime between 1946 – 1956 (Albanian peasant), destroyed during the Battle of Hogwarts 1998 by Crabbe

    Harry – created 1981 (Lily/Harry), destroyed during the Battle of Hogwarts 1998 by Voldemort

    Nagini – created 1994 (Bertha Jorkins), destroyed during the Battle of Hogwarts 1998 by Neville

    So where they destroyed in order? Maybe. There are no positives about when exactly the locket, cup, and diadem were created. What I do find interesting is that no one person destroyed two Horcruxes. Each was destroyed (whether intentionally or unintentionally) by a different person.

    Also another interesting fact was on the HP Wiki Quirrell was listed as a Horcrux. I think their reasoning was that Voldemort in some form was inside his body, but I find this inaccurate. We know that there is a multiple step process involved (including a death) needed to create a true Horcrux. True, Voldemort’s soul was in Quirrell but that is only because Voldemort himself was in there too. It’s simply possession and manipulation since once Voldemort leaves Quirrell, the soul is gone. Also Quirrell was not destroyed by one of the listed methods of proper Horcrux weapons. By their reasoning Ginny was a Horocrux for
    parts of CoS. This makes me question the reliability of the HP Wiki so if anyone else has more accurate information about the creation of the early Horcruxes please let me know. I checked the HP Lexicon (my usual source for HP info) but they did not list dates on their Horcrux page.

    The HP Wiki lists this info from Jo as their defense: “J. K. Rowling revealed in Pottermore that Prof. Quirinus Quirrell served as a temporary Horcrux when Voldemort’s soul possessed his body during Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts. A notable difference however is that the piece of soul within Quirrell was able to exist without its container, as it abandoned Quirrell and left him to die in the Underground Chambers. This is due to it being the “main” soul that serves as the awareness and consciousness of Voldemort’s psyche.
    Based on this, the animals that Voldemort inhabited during his years of exile, such as rats and snakes, can also be considered as temporary Horcruxes.”

    As I was writing this I came up with a totally random question: why is Horcrux a proper noun? It should be not capitalized like any other noun, so I find it strange that Jo always capitalized the first letter (although other “normal” words like “Muggle” are). I know that the word is French in origin by Jo’s creation but I wonder in the canon who the first person to create a Horcrux was? I wonder if there is some German origin or backstory since (from my understanding) all German nouns are capitalized. Please correct me if I’m wrong since the only languages I have studied are Spanish and Hebrew, which I am terrible at.

    • Dan Sharp

      Can’t be bothered to look it up right now but I think the wizard who made the first basalisk also made the first Horcrux. Can’t remember his name, someone The Unclean or something. I’m too tired and probably shouldn’t be typing.

      • Michael Harle

        I’m sure you kids would’ve hit on it eventually, but since I’m around, I thought I’d come help with one point on this . . .

        The creator of Horcruxes was Herpo the Foul, who lived during the time of the Ancient Greeks. He also, as Dan mentioned, created the Basilisk and is the earliest Parselmouth on record.

        Fun guy.

        As far as Quirrell, as you said RoseLumos, I would be inclined to not include him on the main list of Horcruxes because he housed the main part of Voldemort’s soul in an instance of possession. For all of her secrecy on Horcruxes, Rowling seems pretty clear in her explanation that “temporary Horcruxes” differ from the actual Horcrux process.

        • Dan Sharp

          Thanks Michael, now I don’t have to spend part of my morning looking that up. I was pretty close with my sleep deprived brain.

  • SpectacularlyHypothetical

    This is weird, but when you were talking about Voldemort loving to monologue and that he secretly wants to tell everyone about his Horcruxes, all I could think of was some alternate universe where Voldemort wins and every now and then he’d go on the wizard version of Oprah (perhaps with Rita Skeeter) and give folksy interviews about the possible source if his power.
    Rita: “ow your Lordship, we’re all dying to know, just how do you stay so young?”
    LV: “Oh well Rita, I can’t give away all my secrets, but I really do believe in clean living, a healthy diet and the magical properties of the number seven”

    • DolphinPatronus

      Now now Oprah is much nicer than Rita. Lol But if Rita did host such a show I bet everyone in the audience would get a copy of her lastest book. ;)

    • RoseLumos

      I laughed out loud in the middle of work because of this.

  • Silverdoe25

    I just love the weekly discussion, but I haven’t commented in a long time, simply due to being busy. I do, however, talk directly to the podcast every week. ;)

    Going back to the point discussed about Snape not reporting to the graveyard. Bellatrix brought this up during the Spinners End chapter. Snape tells her that by delaying his return to LV for an hour, he was able to convince Dumbledore of his loyalty.

    I’m with the listeners who believe that not even Bellatrix knew about the horcruxes. Everyone points to her as the “most trusted”, but ultimately, Voldemort was neither close to nor trusted anyone. Lessons learned in Half Blood Prince. He works alone.

    Not even finished with this week’s episode, but it is so ironic that our old friend, Little Crouch, actually taught Harry how to throw off the Imperious Curse. That proved pretty useful in the graveyard.

    • RealRavenclaw

      I feel that Little Crouch teaching Harry those skills was intentional. Just like Voldemort, even though he is evil, he still has a sense of honor. He still wants to give Harry a fighting chance, because that will make Voldemort’s victory that much greater. I think that this sense of honor is what makes him so convincing as Moody.

      • HallowsMaster97

        I never thought of it that way. Crouch is preparing Harry for a battle in which Harry is supposed to die. He gives Harry a lot of good pointers through this book, how to utilize his strengths, focus his will power, etc.
        Would Voldemort approve of the fact the Crouch taught Harry how to fight off the curse? I would imagine Crouch would get quite the punishment if he didn’t die and returned to his dark lord.

  • RealRavenclaw

    Listening to this week’s show, it got me thinking about Dumbledore’s conversation with Harry about the manifestations that came out of Harry’s wand during this chapter. Michael mentioned that he did not believe Dumbledore when he told Harry that they were not actually the ghosts of his parents. I had never thought about it, but I have to say that I agree. I believe that it is possible that Dumbledore might have lied because he remembers how Harry handled the Mirror of Erised. Harry became obsessed with seeing his parents. Dumbledore might have feared that if Harry knew that it was the actual ghost of his parents, he could again become obsessed with meeting his parents; possibly even confronting Voldemort again for the sole purpose of seeing them.

    • Dan Sharp

      Good call. In addition he would probably be thinking about his own obsession with the Deathly Hallows and in particular the Resurrection Stone.

    • Raven

      I don’t think Dumbledore lied about that. Harry’s parents weren’t ghosts. They moved on. Also as AccioPotassium stated earlier. Frank Bryce came out of LV’s wand too and according to JKR Muggles can’t become ghosts.

      • RealRavenclaw

        True, but either way, there was always the potentional for Harry to become obsessed with seeing them. The figures in the Mirror of Erised were not ghost. They did not even talk or interact with him and he still could not stop himself from going until Dumbledore stepped in.

  • DolphinPatronus

    On the subject of the figures of Voldemorts victims that come out of his wand…what if when a person is killed by magic a small part of that person’s spirit attaches itself to the killer’s wand & “lives” there as part of the afterlife? A bit like a Horcrux without the immortality & vomit worthy ritual. Just a thought.

    You talked about how the Horcrux in Harry might be affected by the Cruciatus Curse. This discussion made me wonder what if Harry had been tortured to the point of insanity like the Longbottoms? Would Voldemort still have killed him? Harry wouldn’t have really been a threat anymore so there wouldn’t have been a need to kill him.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      I think that if Harry was tortured into insanity Voldemort would would probably have kept Harry around as a pet for a while, to show off. Then he probably would have disposed of him once he had had enough.
      Cruel Voldemort.

      • DolphinPatronus

        Ya Know I can actually see something like that. Also since Harry’s mind would be weaker he’d be easier to use Imperio on & I can see Voldemort & the Death Eaters making him do their bidding.

      • BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts

        Even more disturbing…what if he had killed Harry and made him an inferius?

        • ArchdukeSeverus

          That would be horrible. Imagine it: ‘Lord Voldemort and his magical pet inferi.”

    • Raven

      No he would’ve definitely killed him because of the prophecy.

      Also with the priori Incantatum sp? you would think that it would wear off after a while I mean those murders were done 13 years ago. And why did it stop at James? Why didn’t it spew out more murders or spells?

      • DolphinPatronus

        But in this scenario the prophecy would be obsolete. Harry would no longer be Voldemort’s “equal” because he would no longer be mentally competent. I don’t doubt that Voldemort would EVENTUALLY kill Harry but I feel like he probably would toy with him a bit first.

        Your question about Priori Incantatem are interesting. I don’t think it would wear off. I don’t have any reason why tho. LOL
        As for why it stopped with James the only explaination I can come up with is that Harry broke the connection so quickly after James appeared that nothing else had a chance to emerge from the wand. Sorry I know that’s a weak explaination but it’s all I’ve got. LOL

        • BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts

          I thought the “equal” part of the prophecy was that they both had a piece of Voldemort’s soul. Marking him as equal was making Harry a horcrux. The actually “mark” was the lighting scar due to Harry become a horcrux. I believe it was just misinterpreted by Dumbledore at first and also Voldemort.Voldemort misinterpreted the prophecy by thinking the baby would rival his power. I don’t think Harry was ever Voldemort’s equal when it comes to wizarding skill. A random thought: why wouldn’t Voldemort have a dementor kiss Harry? We always hear about how losing your soul is worse than death.

          • DolphinPatronus

            I think Voldemort misinterpreting the prophecy is key to my point tho. If he felt Harry was his “equal” in anyway but especially power & skill he’d kill him but if he drove him literally insane they would not be equal in Voldemort’s eyes anymore.

            As for the Dementor’s Kiss…Voldemort doesn’t have the same regard for the soul most people do so I don’t think he’d see the kiss as much of a punishment like most people would.

          • BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts

            Good point

          • ArchdukeSeverus

            Actually when you think about it, Harry has more of Voldemort’s soul in him than Voldemort.

    • AccioPotassium!

      I find your hypothesis on spirit capturing wands to be rather interesting.
      Do you suppose this would only work if the person dies from an Avada Kedavra curse?

      • DolphinPatronus

        I don’t know because it seems like in order to kill using wand magic but not the Killing Curse would require a combination of spells (The only single spell I can think that might would be Sectumsempra it could cause someone to bleed to death). So if a combo of spells were used I’d assume the spell that “finished” the person off could potentially have the same effect. Molly & Bellatrix in DH is the only case (that I can think of) where we know someone is killed by a curse but we are unaware of what the curse is. In the movie it looks like Molly stuns Bella then uses a Reductor curse to kill her so I wonder how this would show in a situation like this…or even if someone cast Prior Incantato on her wand after?

        • AccioPotassium!

          It may depend on how the Avada Kedavra’s spell affects an unfortunate victim. Does the spell affect only the body of a person? Or is it more like a Dementor’s kiss? If we use your hypothesis, it seems to capture the soul of the person after the victim’s death and then traps the spirit in the caster’s wand. I think the killing curse is the only way this could happen. All the other spells we know of don’t directly kill the victim. For instance, a jelly legs charm may cause someone to fall off a building, but the spell doesn’t kill the person, the impact does. The same could be said about Sectumsempra.

          • DolphinPatronus

            I’d be interested to find out more about how Avada Kedavra works. It sounds like something the Department of Mysteries might study.
            And
            LOL your example just gave me a mental image on a person coming from the wand & wandering around on wobbly legs. (even if they didn’t die)

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    I just thought that the thing when Harry and Voldemort were picked up and moved was a bit weird and didn’t fit into the rest of the procedure. All the other parts of ‘Priori incantatem’ are reasonably logical but this bit is just a bit stupid. The only likely explanation is that the procedure moved them because of the graves in between them and the possible human presences that accompanied the graves, not wanting them to interfere with the process. But even then the shift seems a bit weird.

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    Something I noticed a few chapters ago was that as Voldemort was waiting for the death eaters he took a stroll around the graves looking at a few. It could be possible that Voldemort was looking for the graves of his relatives or the people he killed in the village. This shows that he is still thinking about his past at this point, but perhaps not as much as he was during his youth.

  • Subjective Unicorn

    I was interested in what the death eaters saw while Harry and Voldemort were surrounded by the “ghosts”. To me it seemed that the soul imprints were visible only under the golden dome, if the death eaters have seen them too, than it would mean that the “ghosts” are actual imprints of the souls, which means that they are independent from the person who sees them. If they are like the “ghosts” from the ring Hallow, which were visible only to Harry, than they could be defined as an imprint which is projected only into the mind. In the case of the ring it would be a ring wearer, or in this scene they are only the manifestations of the minds of the two who are connected under Priori Incantatem spell.
    If it is the latter, then probably this incident of a powerful mind connection is what triggered Harry’s and Voldemort’s mind bond in the next books. Their mutual hallucination makes it difficult to disconnect the minds until the end of one of them.

  • Guest

    If it is the latter, than probably this incident of a powerful mind connection is what triggered Harry’s and Voldemort’s mind bond in the next books. Their mutual hallucination makes it difficult to disconnect the minds until the end of one of them.

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    One thing I noticed during the chapter a few weeks back was that as Voldemort had Harry tied up and was waiting for his death eaters he was wandering around looking at graves. Could it be possible that Voldemort was looking for his ancestors or the people he killed in the village? Either way it shows that Voldemort is looking back to his past as soon as he was reborn, indicating that Voldemort still thinks about his past quite a lot.

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    Something that I thought was odd in this chapter was the fact that the portkey would go back to Hogwarts. Do portkeys always return to their place of origin or around abouts’ or is it enchanted to do so? I’m inclined to believe that it was enchanted to return, but why?

    • RealRavenclaw

      I think that the panel discussed this very topic a few episodes ago. I think that it might be an “oops” moment on Rowling’s part. I can’t remember what the panel said.

      • ArchdukeSeverus

        Oh. I must have forgotten.

        • Dan Sharp

          The only “in world” answer to this that I can see is that the cup was always ment to return the first person who touched it to the beginning of the maze so that a clear winner could be established. Little Crouch simply added an extra destination. If this is the case then it isn’t made very clear but J.K would have wanted to keep the fact that the cup was a portkey at all a surprise for the reader and explaining it later would seem silly given everything that happens

        • BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts

          I think it was set to return to Hogwarts because Voldemort intended to return Harry’s body in the invent that he was killed. Voldemort would’ve made it seem Harry died accidentally in the tournament.

  • Bill White

    I think it’s bad to discount James’ sacrifice because if it had worked as sacrificial protection and then voldemort was able to kill harry. The blood connection would be thru james and we don’t have any evidence that james’ family still lives. Even if they do, when lily went to them to help raise harry then he would have been raised as a prince and might have ended up like Tom Marvolo Riddle(LV) which would have not given the prophecy the “power the dark lord knows not.” Let me make this clear I am not saying that if lily lived and james’ relatives help raise harry that they wouldn’t have loved him and shown him a loving home. I am saying that the reason harry is able to share openly on the Train in SS is because of his treatment under the dursleys

  • Mysterium Scriptor

    Regarding James sacrifice not working the same way as Lily’s – I have a theory though I would welcome feeback on this – I take it that the fact that James did not have his wand on him when he ran out to meet Voldermort (James was a member of the OOTP and had fought and escaped from Voldermot twice before) meant he was willing to sacrifice himself to give Lily and Harry time to escape. The difference between their sacrifice was that James knew that if he failed, there was hope that Lily would be able to protect Harry (or die trying) while Lily sacrificed herself to protect a defenceless child and her only hope was that her death would protect her child.
    The reason behind my…well reasoning… is that otherwise this powerful protection charm would work everytime a member of the order sacrificed themselves for someone else, hence why I think the fact that person being defended is an innocent and defenceless child is important.

    • DolphinPatronus

      That wouldn’t explain why Harry’s sacrafice works in DH tho.

      • Mysterium Scriptor

        That is true! Thanks for pointing this out – is it the intent behind the action then? Lily and Harry weren’t expecting to survive – they went in with surety that they would die while James might have had a small hope somewhere that they would survive this, as they twice previously!

  • phoenixflame22

    What if, regarding James’ sacrifice, it was the fact that he still sacrificed himself and it added onto Lily’s sacrifice? So both of their deaths boosted the sacrifice and protected Harry. I think that James knew he was going to die, he didn’t have a wand and was willing to do whatever it took to slow Voldemort up to allow Lily and Harry time to escape. He knew he was going to die, he was willing to give up his life to give them time, his sacrifice is just as important as Lily’s. While Voldemort gave Lily the option of stepping aside, I’m sure that James had a similar option to step aside but didn’t. He gave his life to try and save his wife and son.

    I hate how people keep saying that James’ sacrifice didn’t mean as much. It’s an insult to both James’ character and anyone who gave their lives in order for someone to get away (ex. any soldier who stayed behind as a delaying action to allow their fellow soldiers to escape). James is just as much a part of the sacrifice that protected Harry as Lily was.