Harry Potter - A Review!

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Information about Harry Potter - A Review!

Published on July 13, 2007

Author: rajendran

Source: slideshare.net

Description

After being a Muggle for more than a decade, I bought the boxed-set of six books on a whim, and since then have had a breathtaking nonstop adventure, from the first page of the first book to the last page of the six. It's been one helluva ride, and I am here to share my observations, opinions, thoughts, with you. I am not here to criticize Rowling or offend any HP Fans, I just want to share what I think about the books. Also, if you are new to Harry Potter, I wouldn't advise that you start with this presentation, as there are spoilers and over-head transmissions galore.

A non-conformist fan’s view of Rowling’s bildungsroman By Rajendran Dandapani

About Book 7 Looking back on 1-6 The Format The Style The People The Things & Places The Spells The Questions…

About Book 7

Looking back on 1-6

The Format

The Style

The People

The Things & Places

The Spells

The Questions…

Let’s take a brief look at the cover art of Book 7 The UK Children’s Edition

Let’s take a brief look at the cover art of Book 7

The UK Children’s Edition

 

Hmm…. My son’s first comment – Why are Hermione and Ron so ugly in this picture! What are they doing wallowing in a huge pile of golden treasure? Some Horcrux surely? Well, our Patronus Stag has a role to play, it looks like!... And, hey, what was that again in the inner flap?...

Hmm….

My son’s first comment – Why are Hermione and Ron so ugly in this picture!

What are they doing wallowing in a huge pile of golden treasure? Some Horcrux surely?

Well, our Patronus Stag has a role to play, it looks like!...

And, hey, what was that again in the inner flap?...

Mistress?? Reread, and read again??

Quite predictable (the format, not the plot!!) Starts with a Muggle home scene Departure to MagicLand Welcome Feast Plot Thickens Exams and such Christmas Hogsmeade Year-end Feast Back to Muggle Land Provides a safe platform of sorts…

Quite predictable (the format, not the plot!!)

Starts with a Muggle home scene

Departure to MagicLand

Welcome Feast

Plot Thickens

Exams and such

Christmas

Hogsmeade

Year-end Feast

Back to Muggle Land

A strange kind of “Personal Account” Did you notice, we never learn how the “other dragons” were outwitted, in the Tri wizard tournament? Did you see how many times Rowling writes, “…with another boy whose name Harry didn’t know….”

A strange kind of “Personal Account”

Did you notice, we never learn how the “other dragons” were outwitted, in the Tri wizard tournament?

Did you see how many times Rowling writes, “…with another boy whose name Harry didn’t know….”

A strange kind of “Personal Account” Pensieve Harry couldn’t be everywhere. Rowling had to fill up a lot of details both in events separated by SPACE and by TIME from Harry’s. So, bring on the Pensieve – a cool video cassette player!

A strange kind of “Personal Account”

Pensieve

Harry couldn’t be everywhere. Rowling had to fill up a lot of details both in events separated by SPACE and by TIME from Harry’s. So, bring on the Pensieve – a cool video cassette player!

A strange kind of “Personal Account” Lightning Scar So, how do we let the readers know a little about Voldemort himself? Invent a device using which Harry can SENSE what Voldie is doing!

A strange kind of “Personal Account”

Lightning Scar

So, how do we let the readers know a little about Voldemort himself? Invent a device using which Harry can SENSE what Voldie is doing!

A strange kind of “Personal Account” Sidekicks (Ron, Hermione) Okay, if Harry does what he does, how do we readers learn the reason, his thoughts? Like Watson for Sherlock, here we have Ron and Hermione.

A strange kind of “Personal Account”

Sidekicks (Ron, Hermione)

Okay, if Harry does what he does, how do we readers learn the reason, his thoughts? Like Watson for Sherlock, here we have Ron and Hermione.

A strange kind of “Personal Account” Mugglesy Background (Aunt, Uncle, Cousin) The Readers are Muggles. If Harry is a complete wizard, we won’t be able to relate to him. So, give him a Mugglesy background, and let him rot in a non-Magic world for 11 years.

A strange kind of “Personal Account”

Mugglesy Background (Aunt, Uncle, Cousin)

The Readers are Muggles. If Harry is a complete wizard, we won’t be able to relate to him. So, give him a Mugglesy background, and let him rot in a non-Magic world for 11 years.

"Half-past eleven," Ron muttered at last, "we'd better go.“ They pulled on their bathrobes, picked up their wands, and crept across the tower room, down the spiral staircase, and into the Gryffindor common room. A few embers were still glowing in the fireplace, turning all the armchairs into hunched black shadows. They had almost reached the portrait hole when a voice spoke from the chair nearest them, “I can't believe you're going to do this, Harry." Guess what happens next?? An interesting writing device…

"Half-past eleven," Ron muttered at last, "we'd better go.“

They pulled on their bathrobes, picked up their wands, and crept across the tower room, down the spiral staircase, and into the Gryffindor common room. A few embers were still glowing in the fireplace, turning all the armchairs into hunched black shadows. They had almost reached the portrait hole when a voice spoke from the chair nearest them, “I can't believe you're going to do this, Harry."

"Half-past eleven," Ron muttered at last, "we'd better go.“ They pulled on their bathrobes, picked up their wands, and crept across the tower room, down the spiral staircase, and into the Gryffindor common room. A few embers were still glowing in the fireplace, turning all the armchairs into hunched black shadows. They had almost reached the portrait hole when a voice spoke from the chair nearest them, “I can't believe you're going to do this, Harry." A lamp flickered on. It was Hermione Granger, wearing a pink bathrobe and a frown. An interesting writing device…

"Half-past eleven," Ron muttered at last, "we'd better go.“

They pulled on their bathrobes, picked up their wands, and crept across the tower room, down the spiral staircase, and into the Gryffindor common room. A few embers were still glowing in the fireplace, turning all the armchairs into hunched black shadows. They had almost reached the portrait hole when a voice spoke from the chair nearest them, “I can't believe you're going to do this, Harry."

'Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley –’ 'Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,' said a quiet voice from behind Harry, who turned his head so fast he cricked his neck. Guess what happens next?? An interesting writing device…

'Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley –’

'Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,' said a quiet voice from behind Harry, who turned his head so fast he cricked his neck.

'Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley –’ 'Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,' said a quiet voice from behind Harry, who turned his head so fast he cricked his neck. Dumbledore was striding serenely across the room wearing long midnight blue robes and a perfectly calm expression. An interesting writing device…

'Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley –’

'Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,' said a quiet voice from behind Harry, who turned his head so fast he cricked his neck.

A young witch with a pale, heart-shaped face and mousy brown hair was sitting at the table clutching a large mug between her hands. "Hello, Professor," she said. " Wotcher, Harry.” "Hi, Tonks.“ Harry thought she looked drawn, even ill, and there was something forced in her smile. Certainly her appearance was less colorful than usual without her customary shade of bubble-gum-pink hair. "I'd better be off," she said quickly, standing up and pulling her cloak around her shoulders. Guess what happens next?? An interesting writing device…

A young witch with a pale, heart-shaped face and mousy brown hair was sitting at the table clutching a large mug between her hands. "Hello, Professor," she said. " Wotcher, Harry.”

"Hi, Tonks.“ Harry thought she looked drawn, even ill, and there was something forced in her smile. Certainly her appearance was less colorful than usual without her customary shade of bubble-gum-pink hair.

"I'd better be off," she said quickly, standing up and pulling her cloak around her shoulders.

A young witch with a pale, heart-shaped face and mousy brown hair was sitting at the table clutching a large mug between her hands. "Hello, Professor," she said. " Wotcher, Harry.” "Hi, Tonks.“ Harry thought she looked drawn, even ill, and there was something forced in her smile. Certainly her appearance was less colorful than usual without her customary shade of bubble-gum-pink hair. "I'd better be off," she said quickly, standing up and pulling her cloak around her shoulders. " Thanks for the tea and sympathy, Molly" An interesting writing device…

A young witch with a pale, heart-shaped face and mousy brown hair was sitting at the table clutching a large mug between her hands. "Hello, Professor," she said. " Wotcher, Harry.”

"Hi, Tonks.“ Harry thought she looked drawn, even ill, and there was something forced in her smile. Certainly her appearance was less colorful than usual without her customary shade of bubble-gum-pink hair.

"I'd better be off," she said quickly, standing up and pulling her cloak around her shoulders.

He lost his coat and his temper… ±ÉìÌ ¸ðÊì¸ ¯ý¨É ¾Å¢Ã §ÅÈ ²¾¡ÅÐ ¾¡! Syllepsis and Zeugma A figure of speech in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, is used in the same grammatical and semantic relationship with two or more other words… While I like this specific construct in the English language, I felt Rowling over-used it a bit. An interesting writing device…

He lost his coat and his temper…

±ÉìÌ ¸ðÊì¸ ¯ý¨É ¾Å¢Ã §ÅÈ ²¾¡ÅÐ ¾¡!

Syllepsis and Zeugma

A figure of speech in which a single word, usually a verb or adjective, is used in the same grammatical and semantic relationship with two or more other words… While I like this specific construct in the English language, I felt Rowling over-used it a bit.

From “The Department of Mysteries” To “Beyond the Veil”…. From “The Flight of the Prince” To “The Phoenix Lament”…. I found the style of presentation (both in situ, and in past-tense narration)….. Contrived, Dragging, Slow-paced, Hackneyed... 

From “The Department of Mysteries”

To “Beyond the Veil”….

From “The Flight of the Prince”

To “The Phoenix Lament”….

I found the style of presentation (both in situ, and in past-tense narration)….. Contrived, Dragging, Slow-paced, Hackneyed...



Magic has its limitations too The Legilimens / Occlumens combo Counter-proof curses, but you need to really mean them! Wands have cores, and sometimes don’t work well…. (Prior Incantatem, Ron’s broken wand) Serious emotional shock can blunt your powers (Spider-Man 2, anyone?) The most powerful magic of all – LOVE!

Magic has its limitations too

The Legilimens / Occlumens combo

Counter-proof curses, but you need to really mean them!

Wands have cores, and sometimes don’t work well…. (Prior Incantatem, Ron’s broken wand)

Serious emotional shock can blunt your powers (Spider-Man 2, anyone?)

The most powerful magic of all – LOVE!

Is JKR a Legilimens? That’s what I started thinking, after reading the six books. Guess why? Well, see for yourself, in the next slide. How else can a 30+ woman, understand a teenage boy’s mind so well!!?

Is JKR a Legilimens?

That’s what I started thinking, after reading the six books. Guess why? Well, see for yourself, in the next slide. How else can a 30+ woman, understand a teenage boy’s mind so well!!?

Is JKR a Legilimens? Giggling should be made illegal. For a moment, he considered accidentally-on-purpose showing her his cut hand as he helped her tie her parcel on to her owl … Harry turned to look at her and his stomach gave a weird lurch as though he had missed a step going downstairs. "Wangoballwime?“ Harry tried not to watch Cho and Cedric too much; it gave him a strong desire to kick something.

Is JKR a Legilimens?

Giggling should be made illegal.

For a moment, he considered accidentally-on-purpose showing her his cut hand as he helped her tie her parcel on to her owl …

Harry turned to look at her and his stomach gave a weird lurch as though he had missed a step going downstairs.

"Wangoballwime?“

Harry tried not to watch Cho and Cedric too much; it gave him a strong desire to kick something.

Am I drinking too much tea?? Researching for this presentation, I encountered something very very interesting. See the next slide, first! It’s a passage from the sixth book…

Am I drinking too much tea??

Am I drinking too much tea?? And while he copied out all their various offenses and punishments, he wondered what was going on outside, where the match would have just started . . . Ginny playing Seeker against Cho…

Am I drinking too much tea??

Am I drinking too much tea?? I don’t want to be scorned for trying a Divination, but you will be surprised too… The last occurrence of the name “Cho”, is at that point where Rowling says, “Ginny playing Seeker against Cho”… Who won, after all? And, what was she Seeking?  “ Ginny playing Seeker against Cho…”

Am I drinking too much tea??

… ..They formed a giant hand, which was making a very rude sign indeed at the Veela across the field… … ..A few of the portraits even hissed at him; one or two even made rude hand gestures. … ..Ron dropped several boxes, swore, and made a rude hand gesture at Fred that was unfortunately spotted by Mrs. Weasley. I even showed my wife, these passages. Told her how masterfully Rowling had handled these necessary unmentionables.. Hinting at and not being direct….. The Unmentionables

… ..They formed a giant hand, which was making a very rude sign indeed at the Veela across the field…

… ..A few of the portraits even hissed at him; one or two even made rude hand gestures.

… ..Ron dropped several boxes, swore, and made a rude hand gesture at Fred that was unfortunately spotted by Mrs. Weasley.

I even showed my wife, these passages. Told her how masterfully Rowling had handled these necessary unmentionables.. Hinting at and not being direct…..

But then, Why oh why…. "Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" said Ron. Most unfortunately, Prof. Trelawney heard him… (and, she does it ONCE MORE, in the Department of Mysteries, where Ron comments to Harry, “I saw Uranus, Harry!”) Why did she have to stoop so low?? (no puns intended here please!) To what cheap taste was she pandering? The Unmentionables

But then, Why oh why….

"Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?" said Ron. Most unfortunately, Prof. Trelawney heard him…

(and, she does it ONCE MORE, in the Department of Mysteries, where Ron comments to Harry, “I saw Uranus, Harry!”)

Why did she have to stoop so low?? (no puns intended here please!) To what cheap taste was she pandering?

Barking…, Blimey…, Corking…, Git…, Prat…, Skive… (all new slang-words I learnt, as British English) Warningly …, Cajolingly…, Bracingly…, Wonderingly…, Approvingly…, Scathingly…, Yearningly…, Reprovingly…, Commandingly…, Consolingly…, Pityingly…, Witheringly…, (all strange “ingly” words I found nauseatingly often in the books) Some burrs…

Barking…, Blimey…, Corking…, Git…, Prat…, Skive… (all new slang-words I learnt, as British English)

Warningly …, Cajolingly…, Bracingly…, Wonderingly…, Approvingly…, Scathingly…, Yearningly…, Reprovingly…, Commandingly…, Consolingly…, Pityingly…, Witheringly…, (all strange “ingly” words I found nauseatingly often in the books)

So, how did Harry work up a Patronus, the second time he tried, in the Azkaban Adventure? Simple answer, because he knew he could, having seen it the first time.. But, how did it happen the first time?? The Stag Patronus…

The Grandfather Paradox… The Causality Loop… Back To The Future The Terminator… Interesting science-fiction device employed by Rowling here. We’ve seen it happen in the movies too. Like in Back to the Future (where the hero loses himself because his father doesn’t fall in love….) and in the Terminator where the hero sends a savior who becomes his own dad! Uber-Cool !! The Stag Patronus…

The Grandfather Paradox…

The Causality Loop…

Back To The Future

The Terminator…

The (self-fulfilling) Prophecy The Question of Choice Choices define us, not our abilities! The philosophy twist I liked the most. Dumbledore’s observation that it is Choice that defines what we are, and not our abilities. Also, the fact that it is your belief in a prophecy, that ultimately ends up making it come true! Wow, profound!

The (self-fulfilling) Prophecy

The Question of Choice

Choices define us, not our abilities!

The philosophy twist I liked the most. Dumbledore’s observation that it is Choice that defines what we are, and not our abilities.

Also, the fact that it is your belief in a prophecy, that ultimately ends up making it come true!

Wow, profound!

What follows is a select pick of names of People, in the Harry Potter series. Particularly the ones I liked the most, because of their etymology, the sly joke underlying, or just because of the euphonic appeal they had.

What follows is a select pick of names of People, in the Harry Potter series. Particularly the ones I liked the most, because of their etymology, the sly joke underlying, or just because of the euphonic appeal they had.

Clearly, you can see that he is a “Star” in the book, as well as in the sky! His Animagus-equivalent is a Dog, and we’ve heard of the Dog Star – Sirius! Interestingly, seems the star Sirius has a small companion star too, and it is a hardly visible “black dwarf”. (Wow, what a way to bring it all together in a name!?)

Clearly, you can see that he is a “Star” in the book, as well as in the sky!

His Animagus-equivalent is a Dog, and we’ve heard of the Dog Star – Sirius!

Interestingly, seems the star Sirius has a small companion star too, and it is a hardly visible “black dwarf”. (Wow, what a way to bring it all together in a name!?)

Sidekicks of Draco Malfoy With her great weakness for resorting to wordplay and spoonerisms wherever possible, it is hardly surprising that Crabbe and Goyle, on “swapping”, become Grab and Coil… Is it only coincidence that grabbing and coiling are typical “Snake Actions” and these two belong to the Slytherin House at Hogwarts??

Sidekicks of Draco Malfoy

With her great weakness for resorting to wordplay and spoonerisms wherever possible, it is hardly surprising that Crabbe and Goyle, on “swapping”, become Grab and Coil…

Is it only coincidence that grabbing and coiling are typical “Snake Actions” and these two belong to the Slytherin House at Hogwarts??

Argus was a monster in Greek Mythology, who had a “Thousand Eyes”, never all asleep at the same time! What better word to use to name somebody who had to be “ever alert” against the pranks of mischievous schoolkids and the even more troublesome Peeves? Filch on the other-hand is slang for “stealing”. It figures, doesn’t it?

Argus was a monster in Greek Mythology, who had a “Thousand Eyes”, never all asleep at the same time!

What better word to use to name somebody who had to be “ever alert” against the pranks of mischievous schoolkids and the even more troublesome Peeves?

Filch on the other-hand is slang for “stealing”. It figures, doesn’t it?

Not a big role to play, in the books. Ludo stands for “Play”, from Latin. (And, he was a master Quidditch Player during his time). A bagman, interestingly, refers to the “unlucky loser”, in a tournament or a wager. And, remember how Fred and George win a bet against him, about the result of the World Cup Match? He is, figuratively, left “holding the bag” while the money is all gone. The Bagman!

Not a big role to play, in the books.

Ludo stands for “Play”, from Latin. (And, he was a master Quidditch Player during his time).

A bagman, interestingly, refers to the “unlucky loser”, in a tournament or a wager. And, remember how Fred and George win a bet against him, about the result of the World Cup Match? He is, figuratively, left “holding the bag” while the money is all gone. The Bagman!

When Rowling doesn’t like someone, and if she doesn’t want us to like somebody, she really gets the message across in various direct, indirect, and even subtle ways. Even the name has a role to play. Millicent – Worth less than a thousandth of a cent! Bagnold – is wordplay for old bag, derogatory word used when referring to grumpy old men. What better way to paint a picture of the previous Minister for Magic!?

When Rowling doesn’t like someone, and if she doesn’t want us to like somebody, she really gets the message across in various direct, indirect, and even subtle ways. Even the name has a role to play.

Millicent – Worth less than a thousandth of a cent!

Bagnold – is wordplay for old bag, derogatory word used when referring to grumpy old men.

What better way to paint a picture of the previous Minister for Magic!?

A poisonous woman, if ever there was one. And, how does Rowling convey the theme? Belladonna is a seriously poisonous plant. Donna is “feminine suffix” in French. Trix, like you recognize from Proprietrix, Aviatrix, etc, is a feminine suffix in English. Some simple wordplay later, she becomes “Bellatrix”, the poisonous woman!

A poisonous woman, if ever there was one.

And, how does Rowling convey the theme?

Belladonna is a seriously poisonous plant.

Donna is “feminine suffix” in French.

Trix, like you recognize from Proprietrix, Aviatrix, etc, is a feminine suffix in English.

Some simple wordplay later, she becomes “Bellatrix”, the poisonous woman!

This chap, if you remember, is shown to us only as a photograph in Dumbledore’s room. He is one of the “ex”principals, and a highly hated one at that. (He was a Slytherin). Phineas – is Black in a quaint Egyptian tongue. (Phinehas). Nigel – is Black, from Latin origin. So, he basically is the Blackest Black. 

This chap, if you remember, is shown to us only as a photograph in Dumbledore’s room.

He is one of the “ex”principals, and a highly hated one at that. (He was a Slytherin).

Phineas – is Black in a quaint Egyptian tongue. (Phinehas).

Nigel – is Black, from Latin origin.

So, he basically is the Blackest Black. 

I hardly realized the subtle joke that Rowling had slipped into this one, until I saw it mentioned at a website. Yes, Scabbers, the Animagus Equivalent of Peter Pettigrew, was actually the pet rat of Ron. The “Pet I Grew!”

I hardly realized the subtle joke that Rowling had slipped into this one, until I saw it mentioned at a website.

Yes, Scabbers, the Animagus Equivalent of Peter Pettigrew, was actually the pet rat of Ron.

The “Pet I Grew!”

However strangely she wants it pronounced, Hermione is a cool, euphonic word, and in fact, the name of many historic wise queens in antiquity. But, what’s more interesting is Granger. It seems Granger is the name of the Hero of a famous Sci-Fi story by Ray Bradbury called Fahrenheit 451. It is about a new world culture where “books” are taboo (and are burnt, hence the temperature at which paper burns…). Granger there, has the amazing ability to photographically memorize anything he sees on print! (Yeah, we know about Granger!!)

However strangely she wants it pronounced, Hermione is a cool, euphonic word, and in fact, the name of many historic wise queens in antiquity.

But, what’s more interesting is Granger. It seems Granger is the name of the Hero of a famous Sci-Fi story by Ray Bradbury called Fahrenheit 451. It is about a new world culture where “books” are taboo (and are burnt, hence the temperature at which paper burns…). Granger there, has the amazing ability to photographically memorize anything he sees on print! (Yeah, we know about Granger!!)

Squib is not really a name, but a word for a “kind” of people. Those who are born into wizarding families, but can’t do magic. A squib is a wet firecracker, that won’t go off. Also called damp squibs, these make a lot of drama and preparatory gesticulations, but end up doing nothing of any impact. Perfect word choice!

Squib is not really a name, but a word for a “kind” of people. Those who are born into wizarding families, but can’t do magic.

A squib is a wet firecracker, that won’t go off. Also called damp squibs, these make a lot of drama and preparatory gesticulations, but end up doing nothing of any impact. Perfect word choice!

There are words you hate right from the time you hear them first, and this one is one such. You hardly know the meaning, there is probably no meaning, but that doesn’t matter, you just hate it. Slytherin is too close to slithering – the sliding movement of a snake. And, use a Sectumsempra on it and you will see “Sly Therein”!

There are words you hate right from the time you hear them first, and this one is one such. You hardly know the meaning, there is probably no meaning, but that doesn’t matter, you just hate it.

Slytherin is too close to slithering – the sliding movement of a snake. And, use a Sectumsempra on it and you will see “Sly Therein”!

Here is something for those looking for tenuous clues to what might happen in Book 7. If Arthur is inspired by King Arthur of the famous Round Table thing, then, we can rest assured he’s gonna be killed by Lucius Malfoy, because, it seems, King Arthur was killed by his archenemy, by name Lucius!

Here is something for those looking for tenuous clues to what might happen in Book 7.

If Arthur is inspired by King Arthur of the famous Round Table thing, then, we can rest assured he’s gonna be killed by Lucius Malfoy, because, it seems, King Arthur was killed by his archenemy, by name Lucius!

Worse than having no power of Divination is to have the Power of Divination and have nobody trust and believe you, whatever you foretell. That was the cruel curse Cassandra from Greek Mythology suffered from Apollo. Interesting that the only real Seer in the Trelawney family, the great-great-grandmother of Sybil, was named Cassandra…. Are we going to see some Pensieve scenes from her?

Worse than having no power of Divination is to have the Power of Divination and have nobody trust and believe you, whatever you foretell.

That was the cruel curse Cassandra from Greek Mythology suffered from Apollo.

Interesting that the only real Seer in the Trelawney family, the great-great-grandmother of Sybil, was named Cassandra…. Are we going to see some Pensieve scenes from her?

Hippogriffs don’t exist, except in Myth. Let alone, having names! Rowling needed to create one for the important Hippogriff in Azkaban. A horse bucks, a bird has a beak…. The shoulder plate area of a horse is called “wither”, and hippogriffs have wings sprouting from there… Buckbeak, Witherwings, ….

Hippogriffs don’t exist, except in Myth.

Let alone, having names!

Rowling needed to create one for the important Hippogriff in Azkaban.

A horse bucks, a bird has a beak….

The shoulder plate area of a horse is called “wither”, and hippogriffs have wings sprouting from there…

Buckbeak, Witherwings, ….

For a long time, I thought Vulpine meant, “Like a Wolf”, and thought Rowling had used a simplification to call our dear werewolf Remus Lupin. But, a dictionary check revealed, Lupine is Wolf-Like and Vulpine is actually foxlike. And, interestingly, she threw in a Remus first-name, from the famous Romulus/Remus twins reared by a wolf. (Are we going to see a Romulus Lupin, soon? Who on earth is RAB after all?)

For a long time, I thought Vulpine meant, “Like a Wolf”, and thought Rowling had used a simplification to call our dear werewolf Remus Lupin.

But, a dictionary check revealed, Lupine is Wolf-Like and Vulpine is actually foxlike.

And, interestingly, she threw in a Remus first-name, from the famous Romulus/Remus twins reared by a wolf. (Are we going to see a Romulus Lupin, soon? Who on earth is RAB after all?)

Came across this interesting story of a Bicorn. Looks like it is a monster, a fat, well-fed monster, that thrives on the meat of “good husbands”. And, guess what, there is an equivalent good-wives eating monster, called the Chichevache… And, as good wives are hard to come by, it is usually depicted as skinny, bag-of-bones! (I see my wife pointing a gun at me, but, hey, Radha, don’t blame me, blame the French romantic authors for this travesty!)

Came across this interesting story of a Bicorn. Looks like it is a monster, a fat, well-fed monster, that thrives on the meat of “good husbands”.

And, guess what, there is an equivalent good-wives eating monster, called the Chichevache… And, as good wives are hard to come by, it is usually depicted as skinny, bag-of-bones!

(I see my wife pointing a gun at me, but, hey, Radha, don’t blame me, blame the French romantic authors for this travesty!)

Voldemort, from French, clearly means a flight from death, or an escape or even a theft of death. No better word would have fitted someone who wanted to escape the one disease that made him human – mortality. The best twist of it all was when Jo brought in a Marvolo to help her in the anagrammatization of “I Am Lord Voldemort”. Kewl!

Voldemort, from French, clearly means a flight from death, or an escape or even a theft of death.

No better word would have fitted someone who wanted to escape the one disease that made him human – mortality.

The best twist of it all was when Jo brought in a Marvolo to help her in the anagrammatization of “I Am Lord Voldemort”. Kewl!

I really couldn’t find a real reference on the web that explained why those poor souls were called DE’s. Nor do the books really lay it out. My guess? Okay, here it goes. Voldemort’s wand is from yew wood. Yew is poisonous, and grows best in graveyard soil, seemingly FEEDING on the corpses buried there. How else would you name a group of followers who swear by “He-whose-wand-is-a-real-Death-Eater”??

I really couldn’t find a real reference on the web that explained why those poor souls were called DE’s. Nor do the books really lay it out.

My guess? Okay, here it goes. Voldemort’s wand is from yew wood. Yew is poisonous, and grows best in graveyard soil, seemingly FEEDING on the corpses buried there. How else would you name a group of followers who swear by “He-whose-wand-is-a-real-Death-Eater”??

Ogg, Olympe Maxime, Hagrid Gurg, Grawp

Ogg, Olympe

Maxime, Hagrid

Gurg, Grawp

Ogg Olympe Maxime Hagrid Gurg Grawp

Ogg

Olympe

Maxime

Hagrid

Gurg

Grawp

A romping view at some of the important things and places in Harry Potter, and notes on their names and roles in the HP firmament..

A romping view at some of the important things and places in Harry Potter, and notes on their names and roles in the HP firmament..

The Horcrux is going to play an important role in Book 7. There are four yet to be dug out, after all. After realizing that the Horcrux was an invented word by Jo, and didn’t exist in dictionaries before that, I was able to appreciate how she arrived at it… Horology is the study of clocks… And, we know what crux means, don’t we!

The Horcrux is going to play

an important role in Book 7. There are four yet to be dug out, after all.

After realizing that the Horcrux was an invented word by Jo, and didn’t exist in dictionaries before that, I was able to appreciate how she arrived at it…

Horology is the study of clocks… And, we know what crux means, don’t we!

I was teaching programming tricks to students at a part-time course I handle at a local university, and they were thrilled when I recounted to them how smartly the Goblet of Fire was done in! To have a fourth nonsense-school thrown in, and ensure a 100 percent chance for Harry to be selected!...

I was teaching programming tricks to students at a part-time course I handle at a local university, and they were thrilled when I recounted to them how smartly the Goblet of Fire was done in!

To have a fourth nonsense-school thrown in, and ensure a 100 percent chance for Harry to be selected!...

A cool (well not so cool) way to travel between wizarding locations – Use Floo Powder and the Floo Network… While the instant reference to “Flew” comes to mind, I realized only recently that the chimney tower is called a “Flue”..

A cool (well not so cool) way to travel between wizarding locations – Use Floo Powder and the Floo Network…

While the instant reference to “Flew” comes to mind, I realized only recently that the chimney tower is called a “Flue”..

I am not a car buff, and didn’t really know what was special about a Ford Anglia. Later, the web helped me, Rowling chose the Ford Anglia for its real midget size… Magical expansion to accommodate passengers, and all that!

I am not a car buff, and didn’t really know what was special about a Ford Anglia.

Later, the web helped me, Rowling chose the Ford Anglia for its real midget size… Magical expansion to accommodate passengers, and all that!

Durmstrang (play on Strum und Drang) Grimmauld Place (clearly, grim old place) Hogwarts (play on warthog, and the winged boars at the gate) The Lake (something tells me the squid is gonna play a role….in Book 7) The Alleys (diagonally and nocturnally…)

Durmstrang (play on Strum und Drang)

Grimmauld Place (clearly, grim old place)

Hogwarts (play on warthog, and the winged boars at the gate)

The Lake (something tells me the squid is gonna play a role….in Book 7)

The Alleys (diagonally and nocturnally…)

Some observations about the world of spells, charms, curses, and other interesting stuff you could do with a wand…

Some observations about the world of spells, charms, curses, and other interesting stuff you could do with a wand…

Felix Felicis Felix and Felicis both are words that mean Luck.. But, there is this other connection – Feline, Felix the Cat.. Not for nothing do they say, “A cat has nine lives” or “As lucky as a cat”…

Felix Felicis

Felix and Felicis both are words that mean Luck..

But, there is this other connection – Feline, Felix the Cat.. Not for nothing do they say, “A cat has nine lives” or “As lucky as a cat”…

Patronus (Expecto Patronum) Even before I looked it up to note that Patronum was related to guardianship and fatherly help, just hearing the word brought to mind a noble plea “I expect my Dad to help me”… 

Patronus (Expecto Patronum)

Even before I looked it up to note that Patronum was related to guardianship and fatherly help, just hearing the word brought to mind a noble plea “I expect my Dad to help me”… 

Bubblehead Charm This is among the most “scientific” looking of the charms used in the books. To swim underwater with a self-contained breathing apparatus reminds us of a Scuba!

Bubblehead Charm

This is among the most “scientific” looking of the charms used in the books.

To swim underwater with a self-contained breathing apparatus reminds us of a Scuba!

Finite / Prior Incantatem Programmer that I am, I immediately liked the way these spells worked. Ctrl – C – Suspend execution – Finite Incantatem Ctrl – Z – Undo (rewind) – Prior Incantatem

Finite / Prior Incantatem

Programmer that I am, I immediately liked the way these spells worked.

Ctrl – C – Suspend execution – Finite Incantatem

Ctrl – Z – Undo (rewind) – Prior Incantatem

Fidelius Charm What I liked best about this Charm was that, once executed, even the original TELLER of the secret can’t let the secret out, as it has been locked in with the soul of the current holder of the secret! Way Cool!

Fidelius Charm

What I liked best about this Charm was that, once executed, even the original TELLER of the secret can’t let the secret out, as it has been locked in with the soul of the current holder of the secret! Way Cool!

Unbreakable Vow While I blame Rowling for inventing this monstrosity, and forcing Snape to kill Dumbledore, it is interesting to learn that you can’t go back on a vow like this, EVEN IF YOU HAVE a change of mind! 

Unbreakable Vow

While I blame Rowling for inventing this monstrosity, and forcing Snape to kill Dumbledore, it is interesting to learn that you can’t go back on a vow like this, EVEN IF YOU HAVE a change of mind! 

There were some paradoxes, contradictions, and uneasiness creators among the many spells in the books. Here is a pick…

There were some paradoxes, contradictions, and uneasiness creators among the many spells in the books. Here is a pick…

Enervate? While most spells meant (in Latin or Greek or English) what they were supposed to do, this one was an exception. Enervate in English means, to drain of energy, while in HP, it was used to REVIVE someone!

Enervate?

While most spells meant (in Latin or Greek or English) what they were supposed to do, this one was an exception. Enervate in English means, to drain of energy, while in HP, it was used to REVIVE someone!

Too many bastard tongues … Why is such an important corpus of phrases composed of so many different TYPES and VOICES? Ex:- Aguamenti – water spout. Relashio – Fire spout. Why couldn’t it simply be Inflamenti?

Too many bastard tongues …

Why is such an important corpus of phrases composed of so many different TYPES and VOICES?

Ex:-

Aguamenti – water spout.

Relashio – Fire spout.

Why couldn’t it simply be Inflamenti?

The Particular and the General… Again, in a mature language, you can’t often find words switching between the Particular and the General. But, in spells, look at Densangeo – Make your incisors grow, or Mobiliarbus – Move a tree… Why can’t they be combos of simpler phrases grow+teeth, move+tree?

The Particular and the General…

Again, in a mature language, you can’t often find words switching between the Particular and the General. But, in spells, look at Densangeo – Make your incisors grow, or Mobiliarbus – Move a tree… Why can’t they be combos of simpler phrases grow+teeth, move+tree?

Wand (mis)behavior… It was really useful to have a broken wand, didn’t it Ron? So useful too, to have brother wands to malfunction against one another, wasn’t it Harry?

Wand (mis)behavior…

It was really useful to have a broken wand, didn’t it Ron?

So useful too, to have brother wands to malfunction against one another, wasn’t it Harry?

Rictu… Sectum… If you were to invent a language, would you provide words that were so close in pronunciation but so different in impact, like Rictusempra and Sectumsempra? How irresponsible!!

Rictu… Sectum…

If you were to invent a language, would you provide words that were so close in pronunciation but so different in impact, like Rictusempra and Sectumsempra?

How irresponsible!!

Some questions, at the end of it all… About overall glitches, open ends, et al..

Some questions, at the end of it all… About overall glitches, open ends, et al..

How can somebody invent their own charms, spells, curses? How can Harry perform the Sectumsempra, if it was invented by Snape? Where was the spell until Snape invented it? How does a spell propagate into world knowledge? If a wand chooses its owner with so much drama (as in HP1), how come Lockhart can use Ron’s wand, Harry Neville’s wand, and so on? And, finally, why couldn’t Voldemort grab a nearby Death Eater’s wand, for godssake?

How can somebody invent their own

charms, spells, curses?

How can Harry perform the Sectumsempra, if it was invented by Snape?

Where was the spell until Snape invented it?

How does a spell propagate into world knowledge?

If a wand chooses its owner with so much drama (as in HP1), how come Lockhart can use Ron’s wand, Harry Neville’s wand, and so on?

And, finally, why couldn’t Voldemort grab a nearby Death Eater’s wand, for godssake?

Why have Knuts, Sickles and Galleons? My explanation is that Rowling had to project Harry as a poor orphan boy living with his uncle in the Muggle world, but with enough money to purchase stuff in the magical world. Seeing the golden coins in the Book-7 cover makes me wonder if Gringotts has yet another role to play!

Why have Knuts, Sickles and Galleons?

My explanation is that Rowling had to project Harry as a poor orphan boy living with his uncle in the Muggle world, but with enough money to purchase stuff in the magical world. Seeing the golden coins in the Book-7 cover makes me wonder if Gringotts has yet another role to play!

You think it's just memorizing a bunch of spells and throwing them at him, like you're in class or something? The whole time you're sure you know there's nothing between you and dying except your own - your own brain or guts or whatever - like you can think straight when you know you're about a ________ from being murdered, or tortured, or watching your friends die… Fill in the Yellow Blank below, with a word… An anachronistic word!!

You think it's just memorizing a bunch of spells and throwing them at him, like you're in class or something? The whole time you're sure you know there's nothing between you and dying except your own - your own brain or guts or whatever - like you can think straight when you know you're about a ________ from being murdered, or tortured, or watching your friends die…

when you know you're about a nanosecond from being murdered, … Hey, doesn’t it sound so anachronistic, so out of place, in a book about magic, with a timeline based in the early nineties, to have a word like Nanosecond spill out of a teenage boy?? The Word? – Nanosecond!

when you know you're about a nanosecond from being murdered, …

Hey, doesn’t it sound so anachronistic, so out of place, in a book about magic, with a timeline based in the early nineties, to have a word like Nanosecond spill out of a teenage boy??

Why celebrate an elaborate DeathDay? When we were treated to the elaborate rituals of the Death Day Celebrations in Book 2, I thought there must be more to this, at least later. But, four books and many amazing adventures later, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why Rowling had to make such an elaborate treatment of the Death Day. Okay, we had to create a diversion so that Harry is late for the feast, but this is too much…

Why celebrate an elaborate DeathDay?

When we were treated to the elaborate rituals of the Death Day Celebrations in Book 2, I thought there must be more to this, at least later.

But, four books and many amazing adventures later, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why Rowling had to make such an elaborate treatment of the Death Day. Okay, we had to create a diversion so that Harry is late for the feast, but this is too much…

Photos move, newspapers have video, but why dusty dog-eared plaintext books?? I would’ve loved to be in Magic Land. With talking photographs and video newspapers, it must have been one helluva wonderful time studying at Hogwarts. Or, so I thought until I encountered the books used there. The same old boring, dogeared, plain text books? What happened to books that had video demonstrations? Hyperlinking? Cross references? Even books that self-adapted based on your learning skill? Or, even those that didn’t allow you to scribble on them?? Come on Rowling!

Photos move, newspapers have video, but why dusty dog-eared plaintext books??

I would’ve loved to be in Magic Land.

With talking photographs and video newspapers, it must have been one helluva wonderful time studying at Hogwarts. Or, so I thought until I encountered the books used there. The same old boring, dogeared, plain text books?

What happened to books that had video demonstrations? Hyperlinking? Cross references? Even books that self-adapted based on your learning skill? Or, even those that didn’t allow you to scribble on them?? Come on Rowling!

Why should it not be possible for people to Apparate / Disapparate within Hogwarts? My simple explanation (in addition to the age-limit thing)…. Well, clearly, Rowling had planned for a lot of adventures when Harry rushes from room to room, loses his way, in the corridors, etc. If people could apparate, these can’t happen. So, she drew a self-limiting charm around Hogwarts…

Why should it not be possible for people to Apparate / Disapparate within Hogwarts?

My simple explanation (in addition to the age-limit thing)….

Well, clearly, Rowling had planned for a lot of adventures when Harry rushes from room to room, loses his way, in the corridors, etc. If people could apparate, these can’t happen. So, she drew a self-limiting charm around Hogwarts…

WeatherBee of Archies, Dumbledore (Olde English for BumbleBee), any connection? No idea at all, and I found no place on the web either, talking about this connection. Anyway, WeatherBee has almost no facial/head hair, while Dumbledore used to overflow with it. (I typed “used to” with a heavy heart). 

WeatherBee of Archies, Dumbledore (Olde English for BumbleBee), any connection?

No idea at all, and I found no place on the web either, talking about this connection.

Anyway, WeatherBee has almost no facial/head hair, while Dumbledore used to overflow with it.

(I typed “used to” with a heavy heart). 

My guess about Voldemort’s future? Dumbledore, on more than one occasion, chided Voldemort for not realizing that there are worse fates than Death. I have a feeling, killing off Voldemort would be too simple to end such a complex, long-winded plot like Harry Potter’s. I don’t know what will happen, but Voldemort won’t just die off into oblivion…

My guess about Voldemort’s future?

Dumbledore, on more than one occasion, chided Voldemort for not realizing that there are worse fates than Death.

I have a feeling, killing off Voldemort would be too simple to end such a complex, long-winded plot like Harry Potter’s.

I don’t know what will happen, but Voldemort won’t just die off into oblivion…

If I say Thank You now, would you clap and make me happy? 

If I say Thank You now,

would you clap and make me happy? 

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