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 Post subject: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:03 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Another great week of podcasting guys! Here's my thoughts.

I agree with what was said this week about Tom Riddle not really even being able to make the choice of what kind of person to become. I'll leave it at that though since I've already voiced my opinions on this matter in other forums.

I agree as well with the idea that perhaps James had changed a lot by the time 7th year came around and had merited the Head Boy job. It's also possible, generally speaking, that circumstances change in the two years between becoming a prefect and deciding on nominations for Head Boy/Girl. What if Lupin struggled with balancing his werewolf life with his prefect one and asked not to be considered for Head Boy? And by extension, what if the other prefects had dropped the ball and not earned the title, or simply weren't interested, or turned out to be bad prefects despite what the Headmaster may have thought? This could be why someone like James, who was outside of the prefect circle, was considered.

Interesting that you mention the details that Lupin withheld from Dumbledore this year because let's not forget that he also did not tell him about the Maurauder's Map which surely could have been a major help for Dumbledore in the race to find Sirius! Sure, I could see Lupin hanging on to it for sentimental value and thinking that it'd be nice for Harry to have it back when the madness of the year was over, but as Lupin points out to Harry, better safe and alive than repaying those who sacrificed themselves for us by being too reckless.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Audiofictions transitions Michael's doing. They're AMAZING!

I personally don't find it weird that Molly was talking to Ginny and Hermione about love potions. I think it was meant to be a cute little mother-daughter, girl talk moment. I could see my mom and I having a little chat like that. I found it more sweet than weird.

Listening to this episode made me realize a few things about Hermione in relation to her teachers. You talked a lot about her motivations for disliking Trelawney, which is odd because she is basically the same as Lockhart. Yes, she does predict things correctly on occasion, but generally speaking, she and Lockhart are both incredibly similar: they are both to some extent frauds, or at least not good at what they claim to do and they're both poorly qualified for their jobs. Hermione seems to ignore all of this straight away with Lockhart despite the evidence that suggests he will indeed turn out to be a sham, but with Trelawney, it has the opposite effect, only adding to her dislike of the woman for all the other reasons mentioned on the episode. Is the only difference here the fact that Lockhart's charming, good looks and reputation proceeded him, easily winning over a young teenage girl? Or can we read more into this? Why are Hermione's reactions to two versions of what I see as essentially the same person more or less, so different?

I think Harry is also super worried about the Grim because he's just had this horrifying experience with the Dementors. He's seen the grim more than once at this point, he's hearing unidentified screaming around horrible creatures that he's defenseless against, and there's a murderer on the loose looking for him. I can't blame him for being agitated.

Also, from what I'm finding online, JKR says that she considered killing Ron off "half-way" through writing the series. So, he probably wasn't on the chopping block before GoF, but the quote also says she only considered the death, so even if she started thinking about it during GoF, she could have been planning for it to happen later in Books 5, 6, or 7. Either way, probably not Book 3.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:33 am 
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I've only just listened to the beginning of the podcast and I'm only going to comment on the Head Boy James scenario for now. We don't have prefects/head boys in my country's schools, so I don't know what their specific functions are, but I am of the opinion being Head Boy requires different attributes than being a prefect. To be a prefect, I imagine a well-behaved, studious and rule-following nature would suit you best, because you will be responsible to keep other students in line and you'll need to give the example. But I think Head Boy would require, above all, leadership. I view it as a position that doesn't concern itself so much with the more mundane student problems, but with more important stuff and it probably also serves as a connection between the student body and the staff.

So, in the specific case of James and Remus, I definitely see Remus as suited for the prefect role, but not so much for the Head Boy one, as he didn't display leadership skills within his group. James, on the other hand, would be abysmal at being a prefect, but could possibly perform well at a position where his clear leadership skills would be needed.

I am also of the opinion that choosing James as HB was yet another clue of Dumbledore's instigator nature. It was during the Marauders' time at school that Voldemort's first rise to power was taking place and, even if open war wasn't happening, it likely wasn't too far from it. And students coming out of Hogwarts would undoubtedly be caught in it. Knowing Dumbledore, his choice of Head Boy and Head Girl would take this into account. I believe he saw in James the potential to be a leader during the war, but his wayward and irresponsible ways were an obstacle to this. Giving him the position of Head Boy would help him learn responsibility, mature and grow into the man he would need to be. And he would serve as an example to the younger students, as James was very popular and always strongly opposed to the Dark Arts and all that Voldemort and his followers stood for. In the same note, a popular muggle-born girl is the perfect choice for Head Girl.

Or maybe he just took matchmaking to a whole new level :lol:

On the subject of James and Lily dating, I believe they only start dating during 7th year and not before. But I agree with Rosie that the "incident" (which was during their 6th year, if I'm remembering correctly) would have had a great impact on James.

It's also possible that James' parents died somewhere during his school years and that affected him, but that's a whole new can of worms.

As for the chaser/seeker debate, I'm all for chaser!James. I don't think playing with a snitch has any relevance to what position he plays in. He's doing it to show off and you can't quite get the same effect with a quaffle, can you? You can't keep it in you pocket. (It's entirely possible that Jo changed her mind after the film, but I'm choosing not to believe it).


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:47 am 
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Snuffles wrote:
Or maybe he just took matchmaking to a whole new level :lol:


I think all previous arguments about why James became Head Boy are invalid after this comment. lol :lol: :) This is perfect!

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:20 pm 

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About halfway through the podcast so far. Great as usual! A few thoughts (well, a few very long thoughts):

1. Molly giggling with the girls v. Arthur frowning at the paper. Setting aside the love potion issue, I love how this reflects the Weasleys' personalities. Molly seems to be the type who gets angry and just explodes and then is perfectly happy once it's out of her system (I'm talking temper rather than her overwhelming fear for the safety of her family). Arthur is a quieter type, generally happy go lucky, but when he's serious about something I see him latching onto it and not letting go. I also like these scenes with Arthur and Harry because they show how fortunate Harry is to have Arthur in his life. Arthur is the most mature male role model Harry has. Lupin and Sirius are great, but both so damaged that they're not always the best examples. And Dumbledore is something else entirely.

2. James as Head Boy. I think it's quite possible (probable?) that this was an error on Jo's part. But I still think it's possible to justify. We get the impression that James changed a lot after his 5th year (which was when SWM was and also when James saved Snape, I believe). I'm sure dating Lily had a lot to do with this, but Sirius (or Lupin?) said that Lily started going with him once James deflated his head a bit. So I don't think Lily was the impetus. Perhaps he got caught up in fights with the Death Eaters on school break. Or perhaps his parents became ill. We know they died of a wizarding disease, but don't know when or how. I do like the above comment distinguishing prefect characteristics from head-boy characteristics. James certainly had leadership capabilities more than rule enforcing capabilities.

3. Lupin's Silence: Thanks for reading my forum comment about what would have happened if Lupin had told Dumbledore earlier about Sirius being an animagus! You compared Lupin's silence here to his eventual abandonment of Tonks in DH and then were wondering what house Lupin was in. I think Lupin's silence is very different than his leaving Tonks. I see Lupin as a brave man, willing to risk a great deal to fight against Voldemort. I don't think running from Tonks was a cowardly act, at least not from his perspective. The poor man absorbed the hatred for werewolves so much that he truly thought that he was doing Tonks and his unborn child a favor by leaving. It was misguided but meant to be selfless. On the other hand, I think Lupin's silence is the one cowardly act we see from him in the series (although you could argue that if he'd been braver he wouldn't have been so hasty to resign). The funny thing is that I don't think Dumbledore would have cared nearly as much as Lupin feared he would. He helped his friends break the law and did some incredibly stupid things as a teenager but that was nearly 15 years ago. Unlike his later actions with Tonks, Lupin had no one to protect other than himself. I'm guessing he hated Sirius more than anyone if we look at how quickly he was willing to kill Peter when he realized that he was the true villain, so certainly he wasn't trying to protect him. I'd assume the only person Lupin really wanted to protect was Harry and had Sirius really been a killer, his silence could have doomed Harry.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:40 pm 

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Hi guys! I've just been listening to the podcast, in the bath again. I've now got ten raisins instead of toes.

Anyway, I had some thoughts:

First of all, on the topic of why Hogwarts wouldn't pass a health and safety assessment, and why Dumbledore seems to insist on incapable teachers. Don't forget, we're dealing with magic here! Fire, drowning, injury, everything can be easily avoided or ended by using a wand. Even a bunch of third year students can put out a fire in the divination classroom. I really think that you would make different decisions about dangerous stuff when you know the consequences are not that severe. And of course, it makes for a fun sort of Roald Dahl type of school, where every other teacher is crazy or silly or cruel. It might even be that we see it through the eyes of the kids, who really can't see how things are managed or organized. My classmates and me always thought the head mistress at school made the weirdest decisions, and my school was as boring as any muggle school.

I always thought the Dumbledore was more concerned with the life experience that Hogwarts brings, than the actual classes that are taught. Transfiguration, charms, herbology and even potions are very well taught by heads of houses, and all the other classes are just there to keep the kids occupied, or so it seems in my opinion. Maybe I just don't know enough about arithmancy or ancient runes, but Dumbledore certainly doesn't care about history of magic or divination. But I always figured that dealing with Lockhart or Hagrid was a character building experience (Skrewts!), and maybe Dumbledore does care more about those kids of "lessons".

About the whole abuse discussion: I was reading OOtP at the time that the discussion first was heating up, and I can't find the exact quote now, but Harry was getting career advice from professor McGonagall. And there was a leaflet about working with muggles, that it required a good sense of fun, and Harry thought: a good sense of when to duck, thinking of Vernon. I really don't think that Vernon is the kind of man that locks the door and gets his belt out, but I do think that smacks around the head were something that he did when he was angry. The worst abuse was obviously the neglect, ignoring, insulting and shouting, but physical abuse was also present.

When I was young I went on holiday to England a couple of times (I'm Dutch). This was in the mid-nineties. And I remember that my parents and me were pretty suprised by the amount of physical punishment that we saw. Nothing serious of course, just a whiny kid in the Mac Donalds getting a little clip round the ear or whatever. But in the Netherlands, this was really not done at all, at least not in public. But the parents in England didn't seem selfconcious at all about it, it was just part of the upbringing. Rosie will probably see this different, but I clearly remember us noticing it. To me, this is minor physical abuse, that can and should be avoided, but will not result in any trauma.

Thank you for the great episode guys, I always look forward to the next one! But I'm actually a Caleb fan, so I do hope he will be present again for the upcoming one!


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:07 pm 

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I think one of the reasons that the topic of abuse keeps coming up is that most of the world no longer has a clearly defined definition of abuse. We live in a world where too many people have a victim mentality. So, some people think that using a belt is physical abuse (and it can be - but it isn't necessarily - if you are beaten with the buckle end of the belt until it draws blood, that's abuse) and some people don't (if you are given several whacks with the other end of the belt, that isn't abuse, but if the person administering the belt gets so carried away that you wind up looking like you've been body slammed several times - that would be abuse).

Vernon hitting Harry or Dudley in the head - well, we don't actually know how he did it. Was it a Gibbs from the tv show NCIS hit on the back of the head? Or was it a blow that was so hard that it knocked them out and they're next memory was waking up on the couch with an ice pack on their head. So, on the abuse issue - I think Harry did endure physical abuse at the hands of the Dursleys - but not the beating kind. I don't think that they hit him so hard that they broke his bones or gave him bruises that took months to heal or gave him a concussion. I think the physical abuse that he endured was the withholding of food and only let out of his room to go to the bathroom, what was it, twice a day. Those things aren't just mental abuse - they are a form of physical abuse.

And if you look at the entire series, Harry really could have just become a victim. The Dursleys were not nice. Voldemort killed his parents and tried to kill him. Umbridge definitely inflicted physical abuse on him - he was left with permanent scars from that. Snape treated him very badly - although, protected him for Lily's sake. Death Eaters were coming after him on a regular basis. He could have either turned evil himself or he could have just sat in the corner crying "poor me." But he chose to stand up for himself and for others. He chose to lay down his life for his friends.

I also think that Tom Riddle could have made different choices and been a good guy - but instead, at a very young age he chose to use his gift to hurt others. The only thing that he loved was power. And I don't think that had anything to do with his heritage or being conceived under a love potion. There are some who just love evil more than righteousness. As far as we know Tom wasn't abused, wasn't picked on, wasn't a victim. The children at the orphanage were well cared for - from literature, we tend to assume that orphanages are horrible places, but really bad orphanages are rare. Most of them are staffed with people who truly love kids and want to help - I'm not an orphan, but I've had a lot of contact with different orphanages. Some of them are even set up with family units - Mom, Dad and even Grandparents living close by. Some are set up more like the one we see in Harry Potter - with dorms and no family structure, but still provide the care that the kids need.

Tom just made his choice about himself very early in life - "I have power, therefore, I'm special. I'm going to do whatever I can to get more power. Evil is fun." Tom had free will and made his choice - Tom was not a vitcim.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:59 pm 
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On the subject of Dementors, I know that JKR created those characters as symbols of depression. Depression is emptiness and leaves you without emotion. If you could cry or even be sad, that would be a good thing because it meant that you had it in you to BE sad. Depression takes all that away.

While reading the first two books, every strange or weird thing I saw is through the eyes of a young boy who has, up until his 11th birthday, lived a Muggle life. When I got to the 3rd book, I got a sense that it's a magical world and so there are things that happen that a Muggle like me wouldn't fully comprehend. So, I've never really thought of Dementors as being human or animal, but more or less being magical creatures that the magical world manifested. I imagine those creatures being brought into existence through others' fears rather than there being generations of families. When Fudge and Dumbledore talk to the Dementors, I imagine both doing it accompanied by their Patronuses as a little extra added support. I don't know about Fudge's past, Dumbledore has a depressing past that I'm sure the Dementors would rush to feed on.

It's a magical world, so that means there are going to be things that are out of the ordinary, topsy-turvy, or impossible for the Muggle world.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Great podcast again, guys! I really enjoyed it. I have a couple of comments:

1. On the length of Azkaban prison sentences - we know that they aren't all life sentences, as besides Hagrid (tenuous anyway because he was let out because he was innocent), Morfin Gaunt got 3 years (because he had a history of attacking muggles), and Marvolo Gaunt got 6 months. Remember Marvolo returning and expecting Merope to be waiting with a meal and his slippers?!!

2. On the question of whether Sirius being Harry's godfather was common knowledge among the wizarding population, I don't think it was. I don't think that Draco knew this, I think he merely knew that Sirius had been Lily and James' friend and that he had betrayed them. I don't think he needed to have known that Sirius was Harry's godfather to say that he would want revenge if it was him. We know that McGonagall and Fudge knew that Sirius was Harry's godfather, but remember that Madam Rosmerta did NOT know, as Fudge was the one to tell her when they were all in the Leaky Cauldron. McGonagall says, "Black and Potter, ringleaders of their little gang. Then Fudge says, "Potter trusted Black beyond all his other friends... nothing changed when they left school, Sirius was best man at Lily and James' wedding, and then they named him godfather to Harry". So it seems as if the general wizarding public did not know this about Sirius.

3. The peeling "Professor RJ Lupin" letters on Lupin's suitcase in the compartment on the train has ALWAYS bothered me! I always wondered if it was a mistake, because I assumed that Lupin had only just started teaching (at all) that year. We know that Lupin has been "unable to find paid work as an adult", because of what he is (a werewolf), and then Dumbledore gives him a job. But it is possible that he worked either in the muggle world (as you guys mentioned), or that he worked unpaid. Although how that would make him a professor I don't know. I liked the idea that he took his battered suitcase to a place to get the letters put on and whoever did it did a bad job, because it was cheap! That's a great idea!

4. On how Dementors breed..... EWWWW! That's all I can say. Although the idea of the mist and aquatic animals intrigues me... I think there is something in that.

5. I also am very intrigued at the use of troll whiskers in Sir Cadogan's wand!!! (By the way, I have always thought it was pronounced CAD-OH-GHIN - weird!). It is possible that his wand was not made by Ollivander, although most British witches and wizards seem to have got their wands from Ollivander, or that, as you said on the show, that Ollivander refined his cores to just the 3 most powerful only later on. However, I notice that the information on Sir Cadogan's wand in Pottermore says: "Wand. According to legend. Blackthorn and troll whisker". Therefore, it is possible that this is simply not true, and is just a legend.

5. And lastly... for now at least... we know that Hagrid's wand is made of OAK. Ollivander says so when he sees Hagrid in his shop with Harry in Philosopher's Stone ("Oak, 16 inches, rather bendy, wasn't it?"). Ollivander: Makers of fine wands since 382 BC.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 22, PoA 5-6: Cadogan's Pony
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Well it’s very rare that I can have personal insight into something in Harry Potter – but I was head boy at my school in Scotland. I find the discussion and the comments on here really interesting because James seemed a perfect choice for me as head boy.

In Scotland (and the rest of the UK) head boy is usually something a bit different to being prefect. You need leadership qualities as you tend to be in charge of committees organising school activities and big events in the school year. You are (and I think this is really important) the representative of the school. That means you need character, charisma, a little something extra. Additionally, you are usually chosen by the teachers and have a close relationship with them. This means, speaking practically, they tend to pick someone they like, someone they can work with and trust. You also don't have to be a prefect to become head boy.

I think a lot of debate forgets that there would very much be two sides to James (and the rest of the Marauders). Remember he was an excellent student academically - abnormally so in fact due to the extracurricular magic. He was involved in the school and a prominent Gryfindor. From the perspective of a teacher he is the ideal choice. The ‘naughtiness’, the rebellious nature and the arrogance would be saved for the students – and I think was all for show at any rate.

I find it interesting that people are discussing ‘what changed’ – that line about his head deflating always said it all for me – he grew up, remember how young he is. I was different as I was really quiet and came out of my shell, but at the age James is when bullying Sirius I would have never dreamed of being head boy. A lot changes in those formative years.

So I’m sure the teachers saw the arrogance but they would also see the potential and the understand what sort of person he was. A perfect choice for Head Boy in my opinion.



And Lupin’s suitcase – really people???? The books takes inspiration from a semi-Victorian view of England – loads of people had cases like that with their names on. As suitcases tended to look the same it was something of a necessity.


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