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 Post subject: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Use this space to discuss anything about the podcast episode, including content, questions, and general comments!

If you haven't listened to this episode, you can download it or listen online...
Listen | Download (Right Click, Save As) | iTunes | Transcript

NOTE: Comments posted here regarding Podcast Question of the Week MAY NOT be seen/read on the show. Head over to the main site, Alohomora!, to answer the Podcast Question of the Week.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:02 pm 
Hi,

Just about the wands, I believe that the Pottermore wands are always so perfect are due to a method called 'cold reading'. It's a method that is used a lot with psychological illusions and by 'psychics'. This method gives general statements which can be true for almost anyone. The use of language too can make very general statements seem eerily specific, even though they're the exact opposite. A good example of cold reading is the average horoscope, or some such.

A quick search has given me this article, which explains it better than I can, I think: http://www.skepdic.com/coldread.html

What do you guys think?

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:15 pm 

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(Sorry for the double post, I forgot I had an account :roll: )

I suppose what I'm getting at is that you could essentially be assigned any wand wood and you'd still feel that it suits your personality extremely well - which it does! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:30 am 
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Another great podcast. You guys bring up many topics and ideas that get my brain racing.

You guys questioned if Dudley was magic, how would Petunia and Vernon react. I believe Vernon would not allow Dudley to go to Hogwarts no matter what Dumbledore said. We saw how he reacted when only his nephew was a wizard, but to have his own flesh and blood be so abnormal, he wouldn't be able to tolerate it. I don't think Petunia would be happy about it and she may even side with Vernon, but I could see both arguments. Petunia is a really interesting character and it's interesting to dive deeply into her character.

Harry realizes that Snape hates him in Chapter 8. I don't think Snape ever gave Harry a chance for a few reasons. One of them being a physical reminder of the torture he went through as a kid. Another reason I believe he hates Harry is Harry represents what he lost. Every time he sees Harry, he sees what he has lost and all his regrets about Lily.

Touching quickly on Hagrid and the Marauders; we know that Hagrid knows a bit about them. I believe in PoA when all the teachers are in the Three Broomsticks, Hagrid mentions the troublemakers James and Sirius and how Fred and George are very similar. I think Hagrid knows more about the students than we think.

Your discussion of Filch is also interesting and I'm hoping we get more background on him. He clearly is bitter that all the students abusing their powers.

Sorry it's so long, but you guys create such great discussion. I know I'm forgetting something I want to say :D

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:59 am 

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Location: Australia
I found your discussion of Harry's deam and what Hagrid knows about Snape to be interesting.
I feel that the dream almost sums up the entire series. It has the Harry/Voldemort conection, the killing curse and Snape.
I think Hagrid probably was hiding a mixture of Snape being a death eater, James bullying and Snapes friendship with Lily.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:04 am 

Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 11:26 pm
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I was really interested by your Filch discussion, too, since Filch as a character has always puzzled me. It seems almost cruel to delegate the task of cleaning and taking care of the entire castle to someone who can't make this assignment easier through magic. Plus, the House Elves are so numerous and so good at their job that Filch seems kind of superfluous, at least on the cleaning side of things.These things, coupled with the fact that he hates students so much, have always made me curious about why he works at Hogwarts in the first place. Maybe his family rejected him and he has nowhere else to go, or maybe he desperately wants to be a part of the magical world and Dumbledore is the only person who would hire a Squib, just as he's the only person who would hire a werewolf or a half-giant. In any case, I think there's definitely more to Filch than meets the eye, and I'm hoping we get more from Pottermore on him!


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:54 pm 
I think Petunia would've been terrified if Dudley was a wizard. Its a bizarre thought. I imagine she and Vernon would, at first, have tried to conceal it and stop it (not hurting Dudley or punishing him like they did Harry), but eventually would've had to accept it. I think Dudley would've still been spoiled a bit, but the whole family situation would be bizarre. I agree, Caleb (or Noah, can't tell), that Vernon would've been torn apart by the idea of magic in the family, and Petunia would've been even more bitter.

On the wand discussion, I think that, when wands choose a wizard, they're looking for someone who's like "their other half". I think that their magical components give them a personality, with a character that has flaws and strengths just like us. We can assume that the wands, to some extent, can "see" the personality and history of the wizard they are considering choosing. Its possible that the wands are looking for someone whose personality is strong where the wand's is flawed, and vice versa, thus making a flawless pair when the two work together.

In Malfoy Manor, Harry uses three wands to send a stunning spell against Fenrir :)

I think the portraits are kind of like a "what if". What if this moment never ended? When the painter draws a person in the wizard world, they are freezing the witch or wizard being drawn - personality, thoughts, memories, feelings, and everything else. The portrait continues to live and act, but I don't think that they ever change or adapt how they would react to certain situations like people in the real world do (funny moment when you start calling the wizarding world "the real world" :)). As mentioned in the podcast, the Fat Lady is always partying, Sir Cadogan is always starting a quest, and Violet is always gossiping and spreading rumors. The portraits, in a way, never change.

There is Pottermore evidence that wands do feel to some extent - Unicorn tail wands tend to become depressed if their original owner dies. I think that wands are so magical that they begin to think and feel for themselves. When you combine a magical tree and magical animal, the wand gets a personality from the combination and the overwhelming amount of magic pulsing through it. The wood and animal react with each other and fuse their traits to create an essence that thinks and feels. I think that wands are, to some extent, sentient beings. They are kind of like owls - they aren't human, but they still think and feel.

I think that, when you become a ghost, its a split-second decision - do you want to go or stay? I've always wondered about ghost items too - Nearly Headless Nick is holding a letter that the headless hunt guy "wrote" in CoS. Its a really intriguing concept, because it seems that ghosts can create things in their world. Another example in CoS of this is when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go down to the 500th deathday party and see that the candles have a blue light - Did the ghosts light the real wax candles, thus creating a ghost fire that is only present in the ghost world?

Just a quick reminder - Hagrid says in SS "There wasn't a witch or wizard who turned bad who wasn't in Slytherin"

If you judge the houses based on the people they turn out, Slytherin is evil. Slytherin is kind of made of two houses - the Pottermore one and the book one. The house is presented as not being entirely evil in Pottermore, and I approve, to some extent, of THAT house. In the books, however, you can't deny that the house is really not a nice one. Everyone there, with the possible exception of snape (although even he was pretty mean), is unpleasant and insulting to all but their own house.

I liked the bit about Neville being a near-hatstall, because the hat realized that Neville, despite his timidness, is a brave soul and needed Gryffindor to realize that (which he did, during DH). It was a smart move - letting the Gryffindors influence Neville and help him recognize his true personality.

I think that the house you are placed in really depends on what you value most. Everyone has traits that could lead them into each house, but they also all hold one trait above the others. They think it is most important in life to have the characteristics of the house they are put into, which is why the hat puts them there. The Ravenclaws value intelligence, the Hufflepuffs value goodness, the Gryffindors value bravery, and the Slytherins value greatness and power. When you are put into a house, I think that you are put there so you can develop the trait you most value, not because you already have it.

I love the "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!" theory - It sounds like something Dumbledore would do!

I think that the desk-pig transfiguration is just bringing out the characteristics in the desk that are pig-like. I don't think the pig is necessarily sentient, but it is, to some extent, alive. The desk was once alive as a tree, so I think the pig is as alive as the tree once was. Its a very odd subject....

Hagrid is probably concealing the fact that James and Snape were school rivals - this seems like the reason in Hagrid's mind that Snape would hate Harry.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:26 pm 
Quick note on Ghosts,

I think it is a decision all wizards have when they die, IF there is confusion or fear about or over the death. Ghosts can move around. Remember Mertle chose to come back to torment a classmate and even trailed her until the classmate complained to the ministry. Also I always got the impression that the Hogwarts Ghost were both a selective and general group, i.e. the Hogwarts Ghosts selectively are the four ghosts that represent the houses, The Baron, Nick, Grey Lady, and the Monk. And then the Hogwarts Ghosts in general include Mertle, and Professor Bynes.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Location: In the Room of Requirement, practicing Patronuses with the DA
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!

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"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.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 3, PS/SS 7-8: Are You Gonna Eat That Desk?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:47 pm 
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At one point in the podcast, you were discussing the choice that the Sorting Hat gave Harry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I think the Sorting hat certainly detected the 'Slytherin' in Harry, whether or not it detected Harry was actually a horcrux. Most importantly, as we see Dumbledore tell Harry in COS, that choice to choose Gryffindor was so important because it emphasizes the important of choices in the series, especially Harry's choices. JKR definitely highlighted the 'choices' theme by offering the choice to Harry- and it helped Harry define why he is not like Voldemort.

Great podcast, by the way, I'd love to be a guest in a future episode.

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