Monthly Archives: December 2015

Random Notes

Random notes I made to myself while drunk-reading GoF:

  • WTF are they watching during the 2nd & 3rd task???
  • Voldemort was a helpless baby creature five minutes ago why is he so cocky
  • So whatever fudge is a coward and prefers a comfortable lie to the uncomfortable truth but be did go toe 2toe with Minerva that one time
  • The leader of the merpeople was a woman. But their society (the little we see of it) seems relatively primitive, cave man like. I’d like to know more about it.

I don’t really have a full post worth of stuff to say about any of these, but sober(ish) me is always really amused by what drunk me has to say, so I figured I’d share.  Also, very good point about Fudge, drunk me.  You go.

Also, I cannot find my copy of OotP (TRAGEDY).  It shouldn’t affect my posting on here (cause a – this blog isn’t exactly reliable to begin with and b – I’ve got a bunch of post ideas lined up that I just need to type up & schedule) but I felt like the world needed to know.

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Barty Crouch

If you mention “Barty Crouch” and “evil” in the same sentence to a Harry Potter fan, they’ll probably assume you’re talking about Jr – after all, he was part of the group that tortured Neville’s parents into insanity, and he kept Moody locked up for MONTHS so that he could put a plot for Voldemort to abduct Harry into motion.  But no.  Today we are talking about Barty Crouch, Sr., head of the Department for International Magical Cooperation.  And evil man.

Yup, I said it.  Now, do not get it twisted – Barty Crouch, Sr. was definitely no Death Eater.  But neither was Umbridge – as Sirius reminds us, “The world is not split into good people & Death Eaters”.  Let’s take a look at his actions during the First Wizarding War – as the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement:

  • He did away with trials for suspected Death Eaters – including giving them sentences up to life in prison without ever being given the opportunity to defend themselves
  • He authorized the use of Unforgivable Curses while attempting to apprehend suspected Death Eaters
  • His Department operated under the dual principles of “kill rather than capture” and “attack first, ask questions later”

Most of the wizarding population seemed to support Crouch’s decisions, probably because the Death Eaters themselves were so ruthless that there was a feeling that an equal level of ruthlessness was needed to stop them.  Obviously, after the war this sort of behavior fell out of favor, since he was moved from Law Enforcement to International Magical Cooperation (the wiki lists this as a demotion, but I’m not so sure – after all, he remained head of the department – so I think this may have been just a case of one department being seen as more prestigious than the other).

Lets be clear here: fighting fire with fire never fucking works.  Sure, you may eventually “win”, but at what cost?  You’ve brought yourself down to the level of the enemy – and just like wrestling with a pig, you’re covered in mud.  What’s the point of winning a war if the winning side has become just as bad as what they were fighting against when it all started?  After all, you can just shift the people in charge into less important positions and right the ship, can’t you?

Well, no, you can’t.  Because there are always casualties when you fight a war, never more so then when the good side winds up down on the evil side’s level.  Sirius Black is the immediate, in-your-face reminder of this – he spend twelve years in Azkaban, for a crime he did not commit, while the man who did commit the crime was free (ish.  pretending to be a rat isn’t exactly free, but it’s better than Azkaban).  Had Crouch not done away with trials for suspected Death Eaters (except, you know, his own kid) he might not have lost 12 years of his life.

And that’s not even counting the people who surely died for the “crime” of being near a suspected Death Eater when the Ministry arrived, or the people who were tortured or killed mistakenly.  Oops.

I’m just gonna say it: Bary Crouch, Sr. is the most evil character in the Harry Potter books, and there are actual people in our world today who are exactly like him.

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S.P.E.W.

In Goblet of Fire, when Hermione finds out about the “plight” of House-Elves, she starts the Society for the Protection of Elvish Welfare (or S.P.E.W for short – NOT spew!) but she gets very little backup from other witches and wizards.  Most of the people Hermione speaks to – especially the pure-blood witches and wizards – hold the view that the elves ENJOY their position in the wizarding world, and that any attempt to change that would make them miserable.  Hermione is undaunted and continues to campaign on their behalf.

This begs the question – how much of the elves desire to serve and to help is actually innate – as it’s repeatedly insisted – and how much of it is cultural conditioning?  Are the elves truly born with the desire to serve, or are they simply conditioned from birth to think that’s what they  want?  Hermione often points to Dobby as proof that their desire to serve is taught, not ingrained, because he wants freedom and pay.  But Dobby is the most abused elf we see (Winky & Kreacher, while not treated WELL by their owners, never seem to be abused to the extent the Malfoys abused Dobby, and the Hogwarts elves are downright happy), and even he is nervous about too much pay and freedom – he talks Dumbledore DOWN from what Dumbledore is originally offering him.  So his desire for freedom may simply have been a reaction to the abuse he suffered.

 

I was going to say that depending on the answer to this question, Hermione can be looked at as either a savior or a sort of magical colonizer, but I guess either way she’s the second.  On one hand, if it is innate (and Dobby broke under the abuse) she’s basically saying their species is stupid and needs to be changed.  And if it is cultural, she’s saying their species is stupid and needs to change.  Sure, improving the working conditions of house elves is probably a noble goal (laws preventing wizards from abusing their elves would probably not be amiss) but by trying to force her version of freedom (getting paid, sick leave, vacation time, etc) on them, Hermione is really becoming the worst kind of activist – the kind who doesn’t listen to the people she is trying to “help”.

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The Sorting Hat

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Throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts (and the Mauraders, and the Weaslys, and Voldemorts, etc etc) the Sorting Hat looks into the hearts and minds of new Hogwarts students and decides whether their personalities suit them to Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff Houses.  It’s canon (per the Sorting Hat’s various songs) that when the school was first opened, the Founders chose their students personally, and the Hat was only brought into play when it was clear that the school would outlive the Founders themselves.

Besides the obvious questions of how they enchanted the Hat and how it chooses the Houses for the students (is it evil, since it thinks for itself but you can’t see where it keeps it’s brain?), I’m curious about how the Sorting went prior to the Hat coming into play.

How did the Founders know what the student’s most prominent personality traits were – did they put the students through a series of tests, or were the students just required to come with several letters of recommendation from people who knew them at home?  Did the Founders ever fight over a student?  I can see them fighting over someone like Harry, who was famous and would bring prestige to the House just by being there, or by Hermione, who was clearly split between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor traits.  And if they did fight, how was it handled?  Did they duel over students?  Or – more boringly – ask the student him- or her-self what house they wanted to be in (that’s probably the most likely solution, considering the Hat Sorted Harry into Gryffindor over Slytherin at his request).

These are the sort of questions I wholeheartedly believe JK never believed anyone would ask while she was writing these books.

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What Are You Even DOING?

I can’t be the only one who wants the Harry Potter books from Voldemort’s perspective. I don’t even care about his motivations – I just want to hear him explain how these convoluted ass plots are a good idea.  Like, really – you’re going to have one your your followers whose father illegally smuggled him out of jail impersonate a well-known Auror to guide Harry thorough the Triwizard Tournament so that you can transport him to you at the most dramatic moment.  That’s your plan.  Not to, I dunno, snatch him while everyone else is focused on the Tournament.  Oh, you’re going to put your soul pieces into highly valuable and sought after antique pieces, and a mortal snake?  Not something that nobody would notice – the way a Portkey is used?  Like, who is advising you that you are creating these nonsensical plans, because I want to be in these planning meetings.

Also, I’m really interested in what was happening between the end of Sorcerer’s Stone and the beginning of Goblet of Fire.  When we leave at the end of SS, Voldemort has been defeated by Harry, with an assist from his mother’s love & the Mirror of Erised.  I think he is basically thrown out of Quirrel, who he was possessing at the time, because he was totally disembodied.  The next time we see him – well, we don’t see him at the beginning of Goblet of Fire, we just hear him, but we know he has some sort of body and that he’s surviving on Nagini’s milk (which, btw, gross.  Why don’t we talk more about how gross that is?).  Then at the end of Goblet of Fire we finally see him, in his gross, helpless baby form.

(Chamber of Secrets only deals with the portion of Voldemort’s soul that was encased in the diary, adult Voldemort doesn’t actually make an appearance.  And Prisoner of Azkaban focuses on Sirius, Voldemort is totally absent.  So, yeah, we don’t see him from the end of book one till the beginning of book 4)

How does he make that shift from disembodied soul living on the back of his servant’s head back to a corporeal form?  He discusses killing Bertha Jorkins – mostly because Wormtail allowed her to see him & they were able to torture information about the Triwizard Touranment out of her – did her death have something to do with it?  Or was it some other sort of dark magic?

So, basically, in addition to wanting JK to write a Mauraders series, and a Founders series, I also need her to write the books from Voldemort’s perspective, just so I know exactly what kind of nonsense goes on in the Death Eaters organization.

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Trailer!!

Ahhhh I was crazy busy yesterday but don’t think that stopped me from watching the SHIT out of this trailer!  Yay!  I’m so excited really I can’t wait for next year!

 

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Retirement

It’s a particular quirk of mine that I’m always very concerned about how people are going to support themselves in retirement.  I’m not a financial planner or anything – in fact, I’m pretty terrible at finances – but I’ve been known to send out texts while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race expressing concerns that drag isn’t a stable long-term career path.

So NATURALLY while I was reading a scene where the Weasleys clean out their Gringott’s vault to buy school supplies, I started worrying about them.  Does Gringotts offer IRAs?  Does the Ministry have a 401k program – and do they match contributions?  I  just really really hope that when JK describes them feeling right into the corners to make sure that they’ve gotten every single coin in the vault, that it wasn’t literally all of their money.  Molly deserves to be taken care of like a princess once Arthur retires.  And Arthur deserves to retire and play with his plugs!

Granted, I’m sure their kids would help support them – but still.  They have to think about this stuff, right?

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