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 Post subject: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:07 pm 

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Listening to the Podcast right now - and I had a thought that I wanted to share before I forgot (I'm old!)

The Map - it might have shown Voldemort with Quirrell, but I would think that he would shown up as Tom Riddle. In which case, Fred & George wouldn't have known who Tom Riddle was. After all, Voldemort was a made up name that Tom chose for himself, but Tom Riddle was is actual name.

Also, I think that the Weasley twins were using the map just to make sure the coast was clear before they went down to the kitchens or sneak out to Honeydukes. They would be mainly wondering where the teachers were. I doubt it would occur to them to use it to spy on their siblings. The exception would maybe be Percy - because he was a prefect and not only could, but would turn them in and take points from Gryffindor.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Another great week guys! Here's some of my thoughts.

Concerning whether or not portraits can learn, here is a quote from Jo that might help, taken from her 2004 interview at the Edinburg Book Festival:

Quote:
All the paintings we have seen at Hogwarts are of dead people. They seem to be living through their portraits. How is this so? If there was a painting of Harry’s parents, would he be able to obtain advice from them?

JKR: That is a very good question. They are all of dead people; they are not as fully realised as ghosts, as you have probably noticed. The place where you see them really talk is in Dumbledore’s office, primarily; the idea is that the previous headmasters and headmistresses leave behind a faint imprint of themselves. They leave their aura, almost, in the office and they can give some counsel to the present occupant, but it is not like being a ghost. They repeat catchphrases, almost. The portrait of Sirius’ mother is not a very 3D personality; she is not very fully realised. She repeats catchphrases that she had when she was alive. If Harry had a portrait of his parents it would not help him a great deal. If he could meet them as ghosts, that would be a much more meaningful interaction, but as Nick explained at the end of Phoenix—I am straying into dangerous territory, but I think you probably know what he explained—there are some people who would not come back as ghosts because they are unafraid, or less afraid, of death.


Going off of this quote, I think the Marauder's Map might be somewhat similar to the portraits in terms of the Marauders leaving an imprint of themselves behind in it. Since the portraits can't interact like the ghosts do, they can only repeat catchphrases of their former selves or knowledge they already knew. Maybe that's how the Marauders are interacting from the map when people try to use it.

Also, I disagreed with what one of the hosts was saying about ghosts. I think I'm to the point now where my headcannon is that ghosts are actually mostly made up of soul, rather than what was said on the episode about them not having any soul at all. I think that they have soul and that's why they can't move on, they just exist without the body portion, making their existence trapped and stuck in time. And because of this, I would guess ghosts would appear on the Map.

Here are some quotes Jo has given us about Animagi and Patronuses:

Quote:
Does the animal one turns into as an Animagi reflect your personality?

JKR: Very well deduced, Narri! I personally would like to think that I would transform into an otter, which is my favorite animal. Imagine how horrible it would be if I turned out to be a cockroach! - Oct. 19th, 2000 AOL.com chat


Quote:
Robert Dawson for Asda - If you were an animagus, what would you like to be?

JK Rowling: This always amuses me this idea. You see, you do not know what you are going to be until you have done it, so you might spend half a decade trying to turn into an animal and then find out you were a slug or something, which would be most unpleasant.
I gave Hermione my favourite animal, which is an otter. If you wanted to be something impressive, you would probably be something like a stag or a tiger, would you not, I just suspect I might be a guinea pig or something which would be so embarrassing. - Edinburgh "cub reporter" press conference, ITV, 16 July 2005


So, we can see that we don't choose our Animagus. The Animagus reflects our personality. I'm not sure if Jo meant to say 'Animagus' or 'Patronus' when talking about Hermione's otter, because so far as we know, we don't have confirmation of her becoming an Animagus at any point, though we know her Patronus is an otter. However, this convo was about Animagi and not Patronuses, so I'm not sure.

My theory is that the Animagus is a 100% pure representation of you as a person - your personality, attitudes and disposition. Your Patronus can reflect that as well, but can also be influenced by your values and beliefs, which is why it can be changed to reflect the various relationships you hold most dear in your life, thereby explaining why we can have some Patronuses who change for romantic love and others for familial love.

I think that I agree with Rosie. I don't think we have any idea when Ron would have been killed off, only that at some point midway through writing the series did Jo consider the idea. If she had gone through with it, though, I think it would have had to have been during Book 7 because I can't imagine him dying in Book 5 and Harry having to go through those last two years with Hermione alone. I mean, the two of them held their own for a while in Book 7, but things really fell apart and Harry has moments in the books where he reflects that Hermione just wasn't the same as having Ron around. I think it would have been weird to read without his best guy friend there for him the final two books. I see Ron dying in the Battle of Hogwarts maybe after the hardest bits have been done already.

I'm so sorry Noah, but as with MuggleNet Academia's sexual innuendo episode, I just really don't see any of the sexual metaphors here. But maybe that's just me! If you haven't listened to Academia - I think it's Episode 4 - you should check it out because this is exactly the kind of stuff they hit on!

Finally (sorry for always writing a novel guys!), I thought that the idea George couldn't cast a Patronus after Fred's death was one of those rumors, similar to the one about Nagini being the same snake from Sorcerer's Stone. I don't know, but I did some digging and I can't find any legitimate source or quotes that say he failed at producing a Patronus from Fred's death on. Does anyone have confirmation of this?

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:57 pm 

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Just finished listening to the podcast. Fabulous of course. I think I need to relisten to some parts to gather all my thoughts.

First thing that came to my mind is in regards to the comments about the wizarding community's acceptance of homosexuality or anything else that would make a person, for lack of a better word, "different." I'd think that they are quite unaccepting - look at how they treat werewolves, muggle-borns (at least subtly), or Hagrid. I've always assumed that Dumbledore kept his sexuality hidden and was a very solitary person. On the other hand, it's possible that the wizarding community echoes the muggle community and acceptance of homosexuality has gradually increased in recent years.

Also, this was sort of touched on in the podcast although I don't remember exactly what you said - about whether Dumbledore's sexuality is or is not canon because Jo mentioned it afterwards. I wonder whether Jo wanted to mention that he was gay, but chose not to. As much as love is a theme of the series, I don't think romance is Jo's strong suit when it comes to writing and sex was never mentioned at all. The only people pre-epilogue we know had sex for sure are Tonks and Lupin.

Practically, it would be very difficult to have a specific mention of homosexuality in a series theoretically written for children in the late 90s/early 00s (it would be more accepted in YA, but these books are shelved in children's). The level of acceptance of homosexuality in the late 90s was very different from what it is today. I wonder if Jo was starting the series in 2013 or perhaps in 2023, if she could have a homosexual character in a children's novel without having a huge outcry.

What do you think?

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:07 am 

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I loved the discussion of the etymology of "patronus." I'd never associated it with the word protector. I do think, as mentioned, that the idea of the certain character's patronuses (patroni?) modeling themselves after characters who they feel are their protectors a bit muddled. It's a definite possibility, but I don't see Snape viewing Lily as his protector. Nor do I see Lily or Tonks viewing James or Lupin as their protectors. I envision them both being strong women who can take care of themselves. But maybe it's not protector in a traditional sense of the word. My idea of a patronus is more of a soul mate. Snape, Lily, and Tonks' patroni changed to reflect their loves, because they perceived these people to be their soul mates (I say perceived b/c it can be one sided - I highly doubt Lily thought Snape was her soul mate but clearly he thought that she was his).

I find it interesting that Umbridge could conjure a patronus while Draco could not. Of the two, I see Draco being much more pure of heart than Umbridge. Of course, as Sirius says (I think he's the one who said this), the world isn't split into good people and death eaters.

Do you think that Snape wasn't able to conjure a patronus until he started being Dumbledore's spy? Prior to learning that Voldemort wanted to kill the Potters, he seemed pretty committed to the Death Eater cause.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:27 pm 

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HPAlison wrote:
Also, this was sort of touched on in the podcast although I don't remember exactly what you said - about whether Dumbledore's sexuality is or is not canon because Jo mentioned it afterwards. I wonder whether Jo wanted to mention that he was gay, but chose not to. As much as love is a theme of the series, I don't think romance is Jo's strong suit when it comes to writing and sex was never mentioned at all. The only people pre-epilogue we know had sex for sure are Tonks and Lupin.

Practically, it would be very difficult to have a specific mention of homosexuality in a series theoretically written for children in the late 90s/early 00s (it would be more accepted in YA, but these books are shelved in children's). The level of acceptance of homosexuality in the late 90s was very different from what it is today. I wonder if Jo was starting the series in 2013 or perhaps in 2023, if she could have a homosexual character in a children's novel without having a huge outcry.

What do you think?


I wish that Jo had never mentioned Dumbledore's sexuality at all. I don't want to think about him being gay OR straight. When I meet people, I don't automatically wonder about their sexual preference. The books are about the war between good and evil - why bring up sexual preference?

Yes, we have two couples get married in the series (other than in the epilogue). But, we don't really see them intimately. The two couples are actually there make a point. Lupin & Tonks - even if you have a dreaded disease, you are still worthy of love. Bill & Fleur - looks aren't important, it's the person that matters.

You also have Ron and Lavender kissing throughout most of HBP, the point of that relationship being Ron realizing that a physical relationship isn't the most important thing. He gets really tired of Lavender.

If the books had more about the characters' sex lives in them - I really wouldn't have read them. And I don't think they would have been appropriate at all for a series that started out aimed at 9 - 11 year old kids - not even if they were written now.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:10 pm 
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IHateSpiders wrote:
HPAlison wrote:
Also, this was sort of touched on in the podcast although I don't remember exactly what you said - about whether Dumbledore's sexuality is or is not canon because Jo mentioned it afterwards. I wonder whether Jo wanted to mention that he was gay, but chose not to. As much as love is a theme of the series, I don't think romance is Jo's strong suit when it comes to writing and sex was never mentioned at all. The only people pre-epilogue we know had sex for sure are Tonks and Lupin.

Practically, it would be very difficult to have a specific mention of homosexuality in a series theoretically written for children in the late 90s/early 00s (it would be more accepted in YA, but these books are shelved in children's). The level of acceptance of homosexuality in the late 90s was very different from what it is today. I wonder if Jo was starting the series in 2013 or perhaps in 2023, if she could have a homosexual character in a children's novel without having a huge outcry.

What do you think?


I wish that Jo had never mentioned Dumbledore's sexuality at all. I don't want to think about him being gay OR straight. When I meet people, I don't automatically wonder about their sexual preference. The books are about the war between good and evil - why bring up sexual preference?

Yes, we have two couples get married in the series (other than in the epilogue). But, we don't really see them intimately. The two couples are actually there make a point. Lupin & Tonks - even if you have a dreaded disease, you are still worthy of love. Bill & Fleur - looks aren't important, it's the person that matters.

You also have Ron and Lavender kissing throughout most of HBP, the point of that relationship being Ron realizing that a physical relationship isn't the most important thing. He gets really tired of Lavender.

If the books had more about the characters' sex lives in them - I really wouldn't have read them. And I don't think they would have been appropriate at all for a series that started out aimed at 9 - 11 year old kids - not even if they were written now.


I think the fact that Dumbledore was gay changed a lot about how one perceives his history with Grindlewald, a relationship that set many later events in motion. Not being aware of Dumbledore's sexuality as I read Deathly Hallows the first time, I originally assumed the two were simply very close friends who had an extreme conflict and went their separate ways. But saying Dumbledore loved Grindlewald brings a much deeper level to that. I do think it's unfortunate Rowling didn't include this in the book, as it weaves perfectly into the themes of love and betrayal in the Harry Potter series, but I do think there's a reason. Rowling's very conscious of social politics.

Just because it's mentioned that Dumbledore's gay, that does not mean his sex life is the prioritized aspect of his character, but I think this was something Rowling was concerned about. I have the feeling that, along with the tween-YA audience issue mentioned earlier, this was why Rowling hesitated to include this detail in the book; a lot of people flipped when she made this knowledge public, immediately making lots of crude jokes about Dumbledore (including some rather disconcerting jokes about his intentions with Harry). I think Rowling was intent on ensuring her readers (especially those opposed to rights for LGBT) saw Dumbledore as we always knew him, rather than seeing him first and foremost as gay, which is definitely a method of approach by some in the LGBT community; rather than argue with others over what rights LGBT are entitled to, show those who oppose said rights that one's sexuality does not define them.

There is a lot more to sexuality than just sex.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:49 pm 

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HPAlison wrote:
I find it interesting that Umbridge could conjure a patronus while Draco could not. Of the two, I see Draco being much more pure of heart than Umbridge. Of course, as Sirius says (I think he's the one who said this), the world isn't split into good people and death eaters.

Do you think that Snape wasn't able to conjure a patronus until he started being Dumbledore's spy? Prior to learning that Voldemort wanted to kill the Potters, he seemed pretty committed to the Death Eater cause.


Wow, yeah, while I was listening to the Patronus discussion I wondered why Umbridge was able to conjure a Patronus, while Draco was not. I suppose her heart was "pure" because her sole desire was for power... Draco's character is more controversial - he doesn't have any pure driving desire through his entire life. He's just kind of wishy-washy. Dolores Umbridge is never wishy-washy. Also, when she casts her Patronus in Deathly Hallows, she is in her element, completely happy to be "purifying" the Wizard race, wielding absolute power over those who she deems to be dirt. Do we ever see Draco really happy? He is very entitled and spoiled, and I don't know if his upbringing prevented him from ever having his expectations for his life completely fulfilled.

On the podcast, someone suggested that maybe Draco couldn't conjure a Patronus because he joined the Death Eaters. The Dark Mark cannot stifle the ability to conjure a Patronus because as you mention, Snape can cast one, and he has a Dark Mark. His intention and life's purpose is to protect Lily's son. You'd think that Snape's guilt over being responsible for Lily's death would put a damper on his ability to cast a Patronus, but apparently his hatred of Voldemort for killing her/making it up by protecting Harry is enough to purify his spirit or intention.


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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:41 pm 
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When you were talking about the dementor's kiss in the chapter discussion, I was wondering, can dementors eat horcruxes? I don't know that they'd be particularly drawn to horcruxes, since nobody who commits murder and fears death enough to make a horcrux is probably particularly joyful. But if Harry were to have somehow befriended a dementor, could he have fed it the locket, or asked it to suck the soul out? Or if the dementor had performed the kiss on Harry, would it have killed the creepy baby Voldemort horcrux inside of Harry (instead of him or in addition to him)?

And I don't side with Noah that often, however, I'm mostly on board with his patronus = magical orgasm theory. Although, I don't think it's necessarily that sexual. But it is a release, and it requires intense joy, and serious concentration. And ultimately, at least for Harry, it's a pretty intimate setting where he's figuring it out and actually doing it for the first time. I don't think it's meant to be that kind of graphic or sexual in context. And I agree with Rosie that romantic love and sexual expression are not always connected. However, I do think the orgasmic nature of conjuring the patrons is undeniable. I see the parallel, but I don't think that was the intention JK had when she wrote it in this CHILDREN'S BOOK. I think we can read more into it after the fact. As adult readers we can draw our own parallels and read deeper meaning into things, but I'm not sure that's the best way to celebrate children's literature. So, while I do agree with Noah overall, I'm not sure the podcast is the best place to bring up every possible interpretation. That's what Noah's Nook is for in the forums, right?

About the patronus conjuring issue:
I think Draco is an intensely unhappy person. He's insecure, bullied by his family, conniving, and ultimately, I think he's lost. At least from what we see in the books, I think he's trying to figure out who he is, so he doesn't know how to be happy because he's so uncomfortable in his own skin. That's why he always surrounded himself with Crabbe and Goyle. He not only can't be alone with his thoughts, but he has to surround himself with "lesser" people to have any sense of self worth. It's no wonder to me that he can't conjure a patronus. It makes me kind of sad that even after his adolescent years he never really figured it out.

I guess that's all I have for now.

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 Post subject: Re: Episode 25, PoA 11-12: Wolf, Rabbit, Dragon, Cat
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:46 pm 
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Oh yeah!

About the Weasley twins not noticing Voldemort or Pettigrew on the map, when they give it to Harry, them mention that they have it pretty much memorized. I bet they didn't consult it all that often because they knew where they were going. Fred and George don't strike me as the types that would be overly concerned with checking for teachers before leaving the common room. They seem more like sneak out and hope for the best types.

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