So I have a lot of thoughts on this last podcast, I took notes as I listened! I'll color code by topic...
GhostsFirst off, I think ghosts may go back to where they felt safe when they return. For example, Myrtle obviously felt safe in the bathroom where she went to hide after being teased, so she returned there after haunting Olive Hornbeam. Nearly Headless Nick probably felt safe and at home in Gryffindor Tower (could he be like Harry and have found a true home there?) And Helena Ravenclaw, the Gray Lady, probably felt like she was making up her treachery to her mother by returning to Hogwarts. As for ghost clothes, I would assume they are something like the ghosts themselves, shadows of the “imprints of a departed soul”. Oddly though, why are they not “transparent” (oh, Ron…).
As for the Sorting Hat, I have a reasonable theory. I believe the founders “brains” were similar to a Pensieve effect, where it siphons out thoughts, and then is able to sort (no pun intended) and process them to make a decision. Perhaps it uses thoughts and memories and categorizes them into which house they fit in, then takes the house with the most weight in it and chooses a house based on this. Having someone like Harry want to make a choice so badly in there sorting could affect the hat if two houses are even, but, in Neville’s case, his bravery (after all, he was practically tortured as a child to try to prove he was a wizard and he stood for it all) outweighed his choice. Also, in book 5 I believe, someone mentions that the hat hears things in Dumbledore’s office. It has probably been hearing things and processing them for years, refining its sorting abilities. In Harry’s sorting, the Hat was probably seeing the part of Voldemort in Harry, and if it follows my theory above, it would be very confused to see such Slytherin characteristics in his head (those from Voldemort, obviously; things like Parseltongue, etc.). I don’t think Dumbledore knows about the Horcruxes at this point, so the hat wouldn’t either.
As for the Slytherins looking unpleasant, as the book is from Harry perspective, he taints our view a bit.
Hermione's sorting I agree that Hermione’s solidarity to be herself marks her as a Gryffindor! I also think the hat may have seen how much she admired Dumbledore (as evident by her conversation with the boys on the train) and may have taken that into account.
A thought on Dumbledore’s shining hair: could it be a symbol that for Harry, Dumbledore is a light in the darkness?
The turban in Harry’s dream certainly points toward the Horcrux inside him.
I agree that the Bloody Baron created or brought Peeves in, therefore becoming the only one who could control him. Jo’s thoughts on suicide, perhaps?
I have several thought on Filch. Maybe he ended up there like Petunia wanted to be, by begging Dumbledore, and because of his wizard family was allowed? Or is his story more like Hagrid’s? Did his parents perhaps try to force him to be magical, and he failed, so Dumbledore took pity on him?Could he be hoping magic would rub off on him if he’s constantly around it? Or did he just never fit in the Muggle world?
Wow, the transfiguration talk is scrambling my mind right now. However, Scabbers turning into the goblet is purely movie. Are we reading into this too much?
As to learning basic skills in classes, we never actually see a whole class. Whenever we have a scene in a class, we just catch part of it, when something exciting or relevant to the story happens. We know they write essays for homework all the time (two rolls of parchment, anyone?) and they use measuring in potions and probably angles and such in Astronomy. Not to mention Arithmancy, which is all math, though in a wizarding use. The kids probably learn the basics at Muggle school (if they’re raised by Muggles) or from their parents, if raised by wizards (I’m sure they don’t just mess around for 11 years and never learn anything until they go to Hogwarts). It brings up the question though, do some Wizarding families send their children to Muggle schools to learn the basics? Obviously, people like the Malfoys wouldn’t, but I can see the Weasleys sending their kids to the local grade school.
Snape hating Harry: Obviously, at first glance, Snape sees James when he sees Harry. Most people don’t study other peoples’ eyes when they first meet (that’d be a bit creepy). And once he noticed the eyes, I think it would cause Snape great pain to see Lily’s child and know that it is not his (Snape’s), as he was so in love with her, and hated James so much, so to see the eyes he loved in the face he hated would be torturous. Also, testing Harry on magical subjects he obviously wouldn’t know parallels Snape teasing and being rude to Petunia as a child for her igonorace of the magical world. Knowing Harry grew up under her care, could he perhaps be targeting Petunia through Harry? Just a thought.
On the point system, it seems to me that JKR had a smaller incremented point system in place at first, and then changed it. Perhaps Snape’s taking only one point is a mistake? If JKR changed the point system, though, does this give meaning to the amount of points each house has at the end of the book?
Hagrid avoiding Harry’s eyes: It’s possible that Hagrid knew about James saving Snape’s life, and the animosity between them. Perhaps he was the first to respond when Snape tried to enter the Whomping Willow and Shrieking Shack? I would assume there would have been some shouting as the boys struggled. Maybe he heard it and came running? Or perhaps he arrived during Snape’s worst memory just before James “took (Snape’s) pants off”. Did he intervene?
I believe Pettigrew does belong in Slytherin. He’s very crafty, sneaky, and conniving. He only looks out for himself as well (Sirius or Lupin says he wouldn’t go back to Voldemort or kill Harry until he was sure it would benefit him). He would be a negative interpretation of Slytherin values, but he has the qualifications nonetheless.
Finally, on Pottermore sorting questions: I started a topic thread on this a bit ago! My sister and I both had some very interesting questions. As for the black or white question discussed on the show, I chose white because the illustrations on the cards reminded me of the scene in the Order of the Pheonix movie where the Order and the Death Eaters are flying around in different colored smoke in the death chamber.
That’s it! Thanks for the great show, again!
"You said to us once before," said Hermione quietly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"
Pottermore: SeekerSpell89, DawnDream24997
Wand: Cedar/Cypress, Phoenix, 10 3/4 in, Slightly Springy
Last edited by Ali Wood on Sun May 27, 2012 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.