Order of the Phoenix chapters 34-38 FINAL discussion

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Order of the Phoenix chapters 34-38 FINAL discussion

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1foggidawn
Bearbeitet: Mai 5, 2008, 7:19pm

Good morning! With last night's LT outage, hopefully everyone had time to finish off Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! Here are this week's chapters:

34: The Department of Mysteries
35: Beyond the Veil
36: The Only One He Ever Feared
37: The Lost Prophecy
38: The Second War Begins

This is also a great thread for any concluding thoughts on the book as a whole. Next week begins our discussion of chapters 1-5 of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince!

2littlegeek
Bearbeitet: Mai 5, 2008, 9:40am

I actually wrote this last night after I finished the book.
LG's official OotP rant. Sorry, this might be long.

First of all, I don't get what the prophecies in the Dept. of Mysteries actually are. So, it speaks the prophecy again if it's broken? Does that mean it's a one-time only recording system? Muggles have way better technology in this regard.

Voldemort's name is on the damn thing. He can pick it up himself. I know they feebly address this in the text, but I'm not impressed. Why can't Lucius Malfoy break him in? Why not use polyjuice potion? How about a memory charm? Hell, it's obviously not very well guarded, just kill whoever sees you. Jeeze. There seem like lots of other ways that Voldy himself can get into the Dept of Mysteries, much easier and more reliable than trying to convince Harry remotely to do it.

And besides that, on the night Harry goes to the Ministry, Voldy is there anyway!!!!!! Dude, it's so stupid that he's there in the atrium! If he's so worried about being seen down in the basement in the Dept of Mysteries, why is it safe to go there?!!!!?! Surely that's the most likely place to be populated with someone who will be believed if they say they saw you. When Dumbledore asks, Voldy says he will be able to kill them and get out before anyone arrives. Surely if the ministry finds a dead Harry Potter and a dead Dumbledore in their atrium, they'll know who did it. Even if he doesn't leave their bodies, if they're both dead or missing, who else would do it?

What happened to the Order members guarding the Dept? Did I miss something? When Harry arrives, NO ONE is there. There is mention of the guard in the atrium being missing, but there's no one downstairs. I don't recall that the Order stopped guarding after Mr. Weasley's attack. Even more reason to post someone there, actually.

Also, if Voldy is so convinced there's important information about Harry in the prophecy, why is he taking the risk of using Legilimency on him? For all he knows, any contact with Harry could be bad for him. He should be aiming to read the prophecy first before tangling with Harry again.

ARRRRRRHGHGHGHGHGH! Just pausing to express my frustration with the plethora of plot holes. JKR is usually better than this.

I do think Harry has a point that DD is more forgiving of Snape than he is of Sirius.

I can see DD waiting to tell Harry, but once Voldy is obviously in his mind, and Snape can see that he is planting images of the Dept of Mysteries, it's time to tell him. Duh.

This line of the prophecy has always bugged me "neither can live while the other survives." Well obviously that's not true, since both of them were alive at the same time for 17 years. JKR needed to clean up this language. I can't believe this one got through editing.

The mirror! The mirror!! I'm just gonna let foggi rant about that one.

Phew! I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. Now, bib, have at me.

3foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 10:05am

LG, that was a masterful rant.

I have comments written on the first three chapters, which I will be posting in between office-cleaning sessions, when the dust gets the better of me (my office has been nominally unoccupied for a year, which means that there have been three people shoving stuff into it for that amount of time. It also has not been dusted or vacuumed, as far as I can tell, for that amount of time). But I'm supposed to be ranting about the book!

Chapter 34:

- I am amazed at how easily Harry and his team get in. Shouldn't the Visitor's Entrance be closed? I guess the Death Eaters took out the security guard, but I can't believe that there are no more security measures in place, somewhere as important as the seat of magical government for Britain.

- The fact that the search and fight sequence takes place in the Department of Mysteries is highly convenient -- I can't really quibble on the improbability of any given obstacle.

- So, the "mysteries" that we see (or are later told about) include thought (the brain room), death (the veil), love (the locked door), time (the clock room), the future (hall of prophecy), and the universe (planets). I'm guessing that there are rooms we didn't see -- anyone want to hazard guesses as to what "mysteries" they study? I'd imagine there's a room for dreams.

Okay, back to cleaning and organizing!

4biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 10:42am

LOL lg, I can't do it, you do have many valid points. Plot is not really the reason that this is my favorite but rather the change in tone. To me, Harry's CAPS-LOCK-OF-RAGE attitude, while annoying, is indicative of the changes that both he and the series are going through, both have left childhood behind, emotions are becoming more complex and yes, darker. I love that. Grrr....I had a sudden, brilliant insight but then I got interrupted by a customer and now I can't remember!

I do want to say I think maybe rage got the better of Voldy upon realizing that the prophecy was lost and that's what made him head to the ministry after all. I'm not saying it was smart, but I think he was relying on being able to get in and get out before anyone even knew he was there. Remember, he didn't know DD was there until he saw him, though Bellatrix tried to warn him. I'm sure he thought he could easily get in, kill Harry and get out and I don't know that Fudge would have been willing to admit it was LV if it was just Harry dead on the Ministry floor, I'm sure it would be some story about Harry breaking into the Ministry and getting what he deserved. Then of course, DD was there and Voldy should have gotten out of there, but he was feeling cocky and I think hatred took over for his brain once again. But yes, this whole last section requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. I give it because it all becomes integral to the remainder of the story.

Foggi: I have some notes on the rooms in the Dept. of Mysteries as well, although in later chapters. I'll address that later. The Death Eaters did have at least one current and one former Ministry employee with them, perhaps they had "alarm codes" as it were. But I do agree with LG that it's weird no Order Members were standing guard. Were they putting all their eggs in the Occlumency basket? That might just be dumber than everything else DD does in this book! I can't really understand your second note, I guess by the very nature of literature and Hero with a thousand faces I would just expect obstacles and I think these are very interesting, but like I said, I'll get to that in my notes.

I had stuff I had to do as soon as I got in, so I don't know how long it's going to take me to post everything. :)

5biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 10:52am

Chapter 34:

1. Apparently dumpsters are called skips in the UK. This was not a term I knew, so it caught my attention.

2. I know we all love the badges, but they make me laugh every time. HARRY POTTER- RESCUE MISSION.

6littlegeek
Mai 5, 2008, 10:58am

It's funny bib, I had CP read my rant before I posted it and he said the same thing as you. "Yes, the plot sucks but that's not really the point of this book. It's all about Harry's emotional maturation process."

I agree. But I can't stop my brain!

7foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 10:59am

#5 -- My second note was actually a catty-sounding note of praise. During our discussion of PS/SS, we talked a lot about the "obstacles" that the trio faced, and the fact that three reasonably bright first-year students were able to defeat them. The obstacles in this book are intentionally mysterious, and I feel like they're much more believable, as they are inherent to the setting.

806nwingert
Mai 5, 2008, 10:59am

Biblio- I, too, love Harry's CAPS-LOCK-OF-RAGE. I also love the badges.

I was disappointed with the explaination of DD and Voldy's fight/ spells. (Although, I LOVE the fight itself.) Leading up to book 7, I thought Harry would learn some of those nonverbal, kick-a$$ spells like DD and Voldy used; alas, he didn't. Jo has yet to explain what those spells are as well. It seems like some of those spells should be vital, since Voldy says "You do not wish to kill me, DD?" and other stuff that foreshadows the ending of the series.

9foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 11:01am

#8 -- Ooh! I had a note on the spells used in my next chapter full of notes. I'll be sure to incorporate your comments then!

10biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 11:08am

Oops! I got overexcited and hit submit early! Chap. 34 continued...

3. I always thought it was interesting that not everyone was effected in the same way by the veil. Harry and Luna are the only ones who say that they can hear the voices, Neville and Ginny seem mesmorized by it, and Hermione and Ron don't seem effected at all. I have no guesses as to what Neville and Ginny's reactions mean, but I wonder if Harry and Luna can hear the voices because they need to. What I mean is that they each lost parents at a young age, maybe they can hear the voices because they need to believe in and afterlife. Or, maybe only people who have lost someone closely related can hear them. Or, maybe only someone who has lost someone important to them can hear them. Or maybe only someone who has lost someone unexpectedly can hear them. I'm intrigued. Does anyone else have any theories?

4. I also wonder why Neville is so adamant that Harry not touch the prophecy. Is it just because he's really scared and the stress is getting to him, or is it something more? I probably just wonder that because I know the prophecy could have applied to him, it could be his name on there. His reaction just always strikes me as slightly excessive.

11biblioholic29
Bearbeitet: Mai 5, 2008, 11:14am

#7 I get ya now!

#8 I actually didn't put it in my notes, but I do always wonder exactly when people learn these spells. All the "adults" seem to know all kinds of spells that are never mentioned. Then again, we don't sit through every single class with them, so I'm sure we do miss a lot of spells. I also wonder if their....disjointed (for lack of a better word) D.A.D.A. classes have something to do with not knowing as many spells. Of course, in HBP Ron and Hermione wonder if the classes Harry will be taking with DD will be really advanced magic...it definitely makes one wonder...

12biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 11:40am

Chapter 35:

1. I know it is instinct, but I can't help but think it's a little silly that the other "close in around Ginny" when Bellatrix threatens her. I'm sure she would have no problem toturing any of them, or killing them to get to her.

2. I wonder how the Ministry felt about the loss of all those prophecies.

3. Curious: When Hermione says "You can't hurt a baby." do you think she's right or wrong to have stopped Harry? I'm torn, on the one hand, the death eater is pretty well incapacitated, on the other hand, it seems possible that one of the other Death Eaters could probably fix it pretty easily, grab him shove him in the jar and yank him out when he's back to normal, and then you've got another Death Eater to worry about again. Of course, there are counter-curses to all the spells the kids are using, so perhaps its moot and I've been babbling for no reason. What do you think?

4. I think this is where we truly start to see why Neville is in Gryffindor. He refuses to leave Harry alone even though he knows that he can't articulate spells. While one might argue that this makes him a liablility, it's still very brave and he does end up saving Harry. He makes me cry.

5. When Harry climbs up on the dais, the Death Eaters pause. It makes me wonder if they're afraid of what he might do. I wonder what would happen if he were to throw the prophecy through the veil, would it roll out the other side? Or would it be trapped in wherever it is?

6. The battle is so much more exciting in the book than in the movie, but then, many of you have witnessed my complaints about this fight/the apparition thing in the movie watches. If any of you have missed them though and want to hear my rants, let me know and I'll be happy to oblige!

7. How do all the adults know what the veil is? I know that the name Department of Mysteries actually refers to the fact that they are studying the great mysteries of life, however, I did think that their "experiments" were supposed to be secret. No one knows what an Unspeakable does...blah blah blah. I could understand that it could be a rumor, but that wouldn't explain why they were all so immediately certain that Sirius was gone. Is it one of the those open secrets that everyone know and no one talks about? That doesn't make much sense either given what has been said about Unspeakables.

13biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 11:51am

Chapter 36:

1. What makes me cry is not Sirius' death, but Harry's reaction to it. I think JKR writes these emotions so well, that I'm willing to forgive her for a lot of the rest!

2. Fawkes. He's the best "pet" ever.

3. The possession was very disappointing in the movie. I talked to a couple people who hadn't read the books who had no idea what was going on. DD having to kneel and talk to Harry about love just doesn't work. However, there really was no way to do this in a movie, we needed to know not just Harry's thoughts but his emotions, which just couldn't be done here.

4. I admit it, there is a small part of me that feels a little sorry for Fudge at the end here. He made the colossol screwups of all colossol screwups and he has to know at this point that his career is over, no matter what. Of course there's the other part of me that says "that's what you get for being a tunnel-visioned, power-mongering fool of a dictator!"

14foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 12:03pm

Here are my notes on Chapter 35:

- Lucius says of Harry: "He has a great weakness for heroics; the Dark Lord understands this about him." We've discussed, at various other times, Harry's "saving-people thing" -- one's greatest strength can also be one's greatest weakness.

- For a second time (the first being CoS), Ginny is threatened in order to get to Harry. This gives just that little bit more credence to Harry's attempt to break up with her at the end of Book 6.

- I notice that Bellatrix seems slightly more articulate/coherent in the book than she does in the movie.

- The prophecies confuse me, too. As LG mentioned, it seems like an awfully fragile storage medium. I also wondered if the prophecies just appear there, or if they have to be reported? For example, Trelawney made a prediction to Harry in Book 3 about Pettigrew's return to Voldemort's service -- is there a copy of that prophecy somewhere in the Hall of Prophecy, or would Harry have to tell the Dept. of Mysteries about it in order for them to record it?

- The kids get much more action in the book than they do in the movie (unlike Bib, I don't fear repeating m movie-related rants) -- in the book it seems like they do a lot of fighting before the Order shows up.

- Sirius' death, like Cedric's, comes as a complete shock. Most of the deaths in the series do, come to think of it. Rowling doesn't go for the big heroic death scene very often. Bib, I had never thought about how everyone knows that the veil = death, but it's a valid question!

15littlegeek
Mai 5, 2008, 12:08pm

I agree, bib, in the movie, the possession part was clunky. When Harry says, "I feel sorry for you because you don't have any friends," it's cringeworthy. Dan looks constipated during the whole thing. Maybe he was dosed with U-No-Poo and not You-Know-Who? It's the only part of Dan's performance I didn't buy.

A critic mentioned how stupid it looks having the adults just waving their hands around and it's supposed to be exciting. Very true.

I did like all the glass breaking and the water etc. in the DD/Voldy duel. Ralph Fiennes is incredibly scary to me. But I missed the statues helping out.

16littlegeek
Mai 5, 2008, 12:14pm

As to the veil=death thing, did anyone reading it have any doubt about what it was? I think it's kinda self-explanatory. Death is oftern referred to as being behind a veil, at least in the circles I run in.

What was weird about it was the amphitheatre, which wasn't shown in the movie. Do they have seances in there?

It would have been nice to show more rooms in the Dept of Mysteries in the movie. All you get is Prophecy and Death.

Does anyone have a problem with the way it is broken in the movie as opposed to the book? I like the way Neville is involved in the book. And I don't think Harry voluntarily surrenders it in the book, which seems more faithful to the character.

17biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 12:32pm

Chapter 37:
*note* When taking notes on the last 2 chapters I had just finished the group rewatch of OotP, my notes may reflect my mood at the time.

1. There's been a lot of complaining (myself included) about the plot holes and DD not telling Harry about what was going on...in the end though I wonder if there was any other way to get to the point where Fudge and the Ministry would finally see (and have to admit the Truth? I can't think of any, but I'd love to hear if anyone else can.

2. Reading right after watching the movie is putting more of Dan into my Harry than there usually is. It made me even more aware of how talented JKR is at letting her characters mature correctly (and also how much I wish Dan had gotten a chance to do this scene in the movie, not that weird, calm, boring scene.

3. This is a quote that struck me..."Indifference and neglect often do far more damage than outright dislike." How true this is. Many of the moments that stick out in my memory as having caused me pain were times when I felt ignored or neglected, not the times when I felt disliked. For instance, some girlfriends were supposed to go with me to a bridal show a few months before my wedding. It snowed that morning, but not hard. Neither of them showed up or called to say they weren't coming. This was far more hurtful than having someone actively dislike me.

4. DD says the weapon is "the knowledge of how to destroy Harry", but the Prophecy says nothing about that. I suppose Voldy doesn't know that but I think there could be a better explanation.

5. I find DD's arguments for not explaining what was going on very weak. I can understand his reasonings for not explaining in previous years, at least not at the ends of the years...but as soon as he knew what was going on with the Harry/Voldy connection there should have been a talk. I know DD says this (more or less) himself, but that really doesn't excuse it. I suppose JKR could be trying to show him as human so that his death will be slightly less shocking.

6. Something that bothers me about the Pensieve. Memory is fallible, yet they seem to rely on the Pensieve (especially in HBP, but for the Prophecy as well) for accuracy. Is the Pensieve retrieving something a bit more than what we think of as memory then? I'm unclear.

7. I always think it's interesting, the things that they study in the Dept. of Mysteries; time, death, thought, forces of nature (DD mentions this one), love; it's an interesting combination of Science and Spirit, almost as if they're really studying God, just in a different way then theologians do. I also wonder what is in the Love room. Any guesses?

18biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 12:49pm

#14: Thank you! I knew there was a reason she used Ginny and the person being threatened and that it related to HBP, but I couldn't put my finger on it, it was really annoying me! I've often wondered about the Prophecy Trelawney made to Harry as well. It seems that someone must at least file them, I mean, the name was changed to be Harry after the attack, so someone somehow knew to do that.

#15: The Saruman/Gandalf fight in FotR managed to be interesting. I'd probably be mad if they'd had DD and Voldy making each other fly around like in that fight, but at least it would have been somewhat climactic!

#16: I don't know lg. The first time I was reading it, I had no idea what was up with the veil and I had just as hard a time as Harry believing that you could fall through a veil and not come back out.

19jjwilson61
Mai 5, 2008, 1:08pm

Why don't the Death Eaters just use Avada Kadavra all the time? Does it take more energy to throw? I never got the impression that any spells in the HP universe take anything out of you to throw them. Does it make sense to throw different spells to make it harder to block? But I got the impression that the defensive spells could be used to block any other spell.

Come to think of it, in the next book they learn about non-verbal spells. I would think that the kids should have been at a severe disadvantage having to verbalize their spells, but the death eaters were verbalizing all their spells too. In that first DADA class with Snape they were trying to do non-verbally spells that they already knew how to do verbally so you might conclude that all spells could be done non-verbally. If that were the case though then the death eaters should be doing non-verbal Avada Kadavra's.

20littlegeek
Mai 5, 2008, 1:26pm

Aside related to HBP reread: there are 30 chapters in HBP. Does anyone want to just do it 5 chapters at a time and finish it in 6 weeks? Or double up on the last couple like we did with OotP? Maybe bib can figure out where it parses better.

21biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 2:17pm

#19: Other than the obvious answer that that would be a really boring book, I've always wondered about that too. Non-verbal verses verbal spells seems very arbitrary. However, I think I will wait until we get to all that in HBP, so that the "rules", if there are any, are fresh in my mind. I do think that it's been shown that some spells take more out of you though, expecto patronum being a good example. I'm sure there are other spells that left Harry feeling tired as well. I think, this probably gets easier with practice. Also, Bellatrix says that to perform an Unforgivable Curse, you really have to mean it, probably not a problem for most Death Eaters. I guess it seems like many spells are connected to emotion, which should be draining.

#20 I'll check it out when I get home tonight!

22biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 2:43pm

Chapter 38:

1. Another quote I like: "thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else." How true! I wonder if this idea, like the Dementors, stemmed from JKR's Depression. I've had problems with depression in the past and it's horribly painful to feel trapped in your own head with your worst thoughts. The scars that are left after that may not be visible, but I still feel them.

2. I love Harry's retort to Malfoy's threats! "I suppose Voldemort's nothing compared to you." Great!

3. I got to thinking while reading this that when Harry was asking to live with Sirius if he got expelled was the perfect time to have at least explained to him why he had to stay with the Dursleys, and if you're already doing that, then you may as well just explain the whole thing. Now I'm thinking how annoying DD's edict that they not tell Harry more than "he needs to know" is! Harry needs to know it all!

4. Aaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! The mirror! I think Harry's decision that the only reason the mirror doesn't work when he tries it because he didn't have it on him is interesting. If he had died in a more normal way, I'm sure this wouldn't have crossed his mind, but it does make you wonder. Well, it makes me wonder, I don't know about you! ;)

5. I know some of you don't like the conversation with Nick but I think its very interesting. Basically, people who decide to become ghosts are afraid of the afterlife. What really catches my notice about this is the fact that a Friar and a group of nuns (Deathday guests in CoS) are ghosts. I also think this is an important conversation because people, especially children, are bound to wonder why none of the people who are dead (or die later in the series) come back as ghosts.

6. The scene with Luna is perhaps the scene that best reminds me that they are in high school (now) in all the series. I can definitely remember kids doing things like this to the "weird" kids.

7. This is probably my favorite of all the book endings. The threatening is fun and makes me happy, but even more I like Harry accepting that he has to go to the Dursley's now that he finally knows why. It's a great way to end the book that has been all about his journey from childhood to adulthood.

23foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 3:10pm

Notes from chapter 36:

- Bellatrix says, ofVoldy, "I learned the Dark Arts from him" -- though I know she means informally, it fits with our Adventure thread scenatio of Voldy teaching at Durmstrang. Aren't we clever? ;-) (If you don't follow our recent adventure threads, this note will make no sense to you -- on to the next, then!)

- Bellatrix says that she knows lots of powerful spells, and that Harry has no hope of winning against her. However, when the kids are fighting the DEs, it seems to be a much more even fight than you'd expect. As others have mentioned, the adults don't seem to have the advantage of being able to use nonverbal spells. Granted, this is NEWT-level DADA, but you'd think that most of the Death Eaters would know how to do them. Up until the DD/Voldy fight, the only "new" spell I see is the one that creates a purple streak of light and puts Hermione out of commission. That spell actually reminds me of Sectumsempra, but without the blood. However, on the main, the DEs seem to be using "Stupefy" and "Impedimenta" just like the kids. One even uses "Tarantallegra" on Neville -- a spell that was used in the Harry/Draco duel in Book 2. I agree with whoever said that I would have expected a lot more Unforgivable Curses from the DEs. I do think they're more draining to use, but then again, you'd only have to use them once, really, to put an enemy out of commission.

- DD is awesome. I don't have a lot of notes on the DD/Voldy fight, though many of you have posted excellent ones. I did want to mention that I love the line, "Letters addressed to the headmaster will find me."

24foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 3:15pm

I just came up with a rebuttal/addendum to one of my own points in #23. I can see a reason why the DEs would not be really very advanced spell-casters: Voldy doesn't trust anyone. Perhaps Bellatrix is bragging of having "learned the Dark Arts from him" because he doesn't actually teach many of them, allowing them to use what they've picked up in their lives instead. And since many DEs are Crabbe & Goyle - type thugs, not the brightest crayons in the box, that may explain why they often seem to be using fairly elementary magic. Voldy doesn't need any of them to be more than proficient, and he doesn't want any of them to be strong enough to challenge his leadership.

25catbastet
Mai 5, 2008, 4:38pm

It also seems to me that non-verbal spell casting took super hard concentration. In HBP, when they are learning non-verbal spells, it sounds like some kids are just using enough concentration to pass. I think foggi is right that Voldemort didn't really need the DEers to be more than proficient, which means that they did not really need to use non-verbal spells. If you are using the death curse on someone, you don't need to be silent, especially since it seems that no one could deflect the death curse. You had to either duck or there had to be a stronger magic at work, i.e. self sacrifice, elder wand.
I had another thought about the veil, but I have to just check something first to see if I remember right.

26catbastet
Mai 5, 2008, 5:13pm

Okay, I was wrong about what I thought I thought. ;)
But I was reading the part with Sirius's death and I saw a parallel between Sirius's death and Fred's. Right before both of them died, they were laughing (true, for much different reasons). Just a creepy thought that came to me while reading that chapter. I think that I had always had no doubt that when Sirius fell behind the veil, that was it. He was dead and gone.
I liked that when the prophecy breaks, you get a clue about who said it:
A pearly-white figure with hugely magnified eyes

27biblioholic29
Mai 5, 2008, 5:30pm

#20: Ummm...so I did some quick looking and I think that doing 5 chapters a week might be best. The flow doesn't really matter to much in the beginning so what I really looked at is the end. If we did 4 chapters until we hit Chapter 24 we would likely do 3 chapters for each of the last two weeks, which would put the break right after "The Lightening Struck Tower". I don't know about you guys, but I would have a hard time stopping there. However, if we did 5 chapters a week then the last read would start with "The Cave" and go to the end, which would be a much better flow for me. What does everyone else think?

28littlegeek
Mai 5, 2008, 6:17pm

Works for me. I've already read the first 7 chapters. I was braindead yesterday and didn't have the wherewithal to finish the Murakami (only 50 pages left!) nor Twilight, although I plan to finish both of them.

Harry is such nice comfort reading, well, except for OotP.

29foggidawn
Mai 5, 2008, 7:18pm

Five chapters a week for HBP is fine with me. I'd suggest going back to four a week when we hit DH, though -- I imagine we'll have more to discuss with that book.

30biblioholic29
Mai 6, 2008, 8:34am

I checked DH this morning. There's 36 chapters (plus the Epilogue) so four chapters should work out really well for that. Now that we've got all that settled should we talk about OotP more?

31biblioholic29
Mai 7, 2008, 2:17pm

I just wanted to post again because I feel like there should be more to say about these chapters. I didn't want it getting lost.

32littlegeek
Mai 7, 2008, 2:22pm

I'm ready to move on to HBP, myself.

33MellieT
Mai 7, 2008, 2:28pm

I can't wait til you guys move on to HBP i am going to join that one!!! I am excited!

34pollysmith
Mai 7, 2008, 2:29pm

I'm ready too!

35foggidawn
Bearbeitet: Mai 7, 2008, 3:34pm

I'm slogging my slow way through posting my comments, and have been dragging my feet on Chapter 37, as I have a lot of comments on this chapter.

Chapter 37:

- Phineas Nigellus is the cynical voice in the back of my head. "Never try to understand the students. They hate it." While it was undoubtably the wrong moment, there's certainly a part of me that agrees with him! (I don't let that part out around the teenagers all that much.)

- This is the CAPSLOCK OF RAGE chapter. It doesn't bother me the way it does some, but I don't have any terrible fondness for it, either. I do agree that DD should have explained things to Harry sooner, like at the beginning of the school year. I also agree that part of Harry growing up in this book means seeing Dumbledore as falliable, really for the first time.

- I like DD's line: "Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young." As a librarian, I find that the best children's books are written by people who have not forgotten what it was like to be a child.

- Snape raised the alarm, sent the Order to the Ministry, and then went to search the forest for Harry. Could this be Snape trying to protect Harry yet again? Why yes, I think it could!

- Dumbledore says that Kreachers life has been "as miserable as" Dobby's. While I agree that Kreacher is a pitiable character, I don't know that I buy that comparison. The Malfoys made Dobby punish himself; Sirius merely ignored and neglected (and sometimes shouted at) Kreacher. Yes, neglect is bad, but isn't physical cruelty worse? This could open a whole can of worms . . .

- Dumbledore credited Sirius with more maturity than he actually possessed -- the ability to ignore Snape's taunts. This is a common Dumbledore mistake, as he made a similar one regarding Snape and the Occlumency lessons. I suppose this is another case of age forgetting how youth feels and thinks -- but it's also a question of different temperaments. We learn in DH that DD made his mistakes early on, and I think that, from that point on, he worked really hard at mastering himself, controlling his emotions. On the other hand, both Snape and Sirius have less success at this -- Sirius is a bit emotionally stunted from Azkaban, and Snape, though he's accomplished at hiding his thoughts and emotions, still rather wallows in them.

- I'm bemused by DD's grand plan, here -- yanno, the plan that Snape called him on, the one where he basically raises Harry as a lamb for slaughter. Did he really think he would be able to distance himself from any student to that extent? If that was his plan, he should have taken a much more hands-off attitude toward Harry from the beginning, rather than meeting him by the Mirror of Erised and having long talks about dreams and desires, back in PS/SS. (I realize that, in my previous point, I gave DD credit for having better control over his emotions, and this seems contradictory. My point is that it is contradictory.)

- I agree with LG -- the wording of the prophecy is clumsy. But then again, it's prophecy. It's supposed to be ambiguous.

- I'm always confused as to what part of the prophecy Snape overheard. DD states that he overheard the first part, and was intercepted. Trelawney, on the other hand, indicates (in HBP) that she knew that Snape was caught listening; that Aberforth brought Snape in during her "interview" -- wouldn't that have been after she had given the prophecy? I guess Aberforth kept Snape from overhearing the last part, by pulling him away from the door or asking him what he was doing, and then brought him in to confront DD? We can discuss this when we do our HBP discussion, but having just listened to HBP, and then read this chapter, it confused me. That's what I get for mixing up rereads like that!

- DD says, "In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you." While his capacity to love may have saved him from Voldy possessing him, his inability to close his mind got him into the situation in the first place, so I'd say it mattered! But then again, perhaps that's why I'm a Ravenclaw.

- Does DD choose the prefects, then? I would think their Heads of House would have a say in the matter -- but maybe DD holds the veto. In general, I would think that the Heads of House would know their students better than the headmaster.

Okay! I'm done! I'll try to post my notes on the last chapter later this evening.

36biblioholic29
Mai 7, 2008, 3:47pm

I was under the impression that the punishment was sort of ingrained in all house-elves. When Harry sees Kreacher in the fire it says that his hands are bandaged, I always assumed he did this because he had done something wrong.

Doesn't DD say that the interview was first? I think he says something about, after speaking with her he was disappointed and wasn't going to hire her until the actual Prophecy occured. We know from PoA that she doesn't remember making these prophecies, so to her it probably seemed like the "middle" of the interview.

I'll probably have more things to say once I'm home and I no longer need to use the loo.

37foggidawn
Mai 7, 2008, 3:56pm

#36 -- We'll have to look at it when we get to the passages in HBP where DD and Trelawney describe the interview and prophecy.

38littlegeek
Mai 7, 2008, 4:17pm

The problem with the prophecy language is that it is not ambiguous enough. What that bit actually means is that only one can be a alive at any one time, which is just stupid. Surely there was a way to word it so that it doesn't say something patently untrue. Perhaps "neither will rest while the other survives" ? or something. The idea that one will kill the other is actually in the first part of that line "either must die at the hand of the other. " It's not even necessary, except for rhythm.

39littlegeek
Mai 7, 2008, 4:19pm

Somewhere it does say that the only bits Snape heard was up until the seventh month dies part. Voldy did not know about the "marking as his equal" thing.

40Mandy2
Mai 7, 2008, 4:27pm

I didn't reread the book but i wanted to put my 2 cents in here.

But don't the mention that before voldy came back he wasn't really alive. Not alive or dead so for the 13 or so years before he returned he was not really alive. Now that he is alive i took it as the fight is inevitable because they can not both be alive at the same time and it is only them that can kill each other.

Did that make sense...feel free to argue and point out flaws.

41Marensr
Mai 7, 2008, 10:22pm

Actually Mandy I think that is a good point.

LG I was always upset that they left the marked him as his equal out of the movie because it makes it clear that it could have been Neville which I think is why Neville can touch the prophecy as well. I fully expected that to be key to the plot but it wasn't it was one of those sort of red herrings she threw out there.

I agree that the prophecy could be worded better. It essentially fills the role of the prophecy in MacBeth (No man of woman borne can kill me I was siezed untimely from my mother's womb which was lifted by Tolkein for his prophecy with the Nazgul King being killed by a woman) It seems like the loophole needs to be in the prophecy instead the loophole is in the plot.

I agree that it is important that this is where Harry learns DD is faliable and where Harry learns that to some extent he is on his own. The tension between we need friends/ we all face death alone is key to the last book in which he is alone. But I do think that there are too many ways in which Dumbledore is wrong it really undermines who he was in the first 4 books.

42foggidawn
Mai 7, 2008, 11:36pm

#41: "But I do think that there are too many ways in which Dumbledore is wrong it really undermines who he was in the first 4 books."

I felt this way about all of the things we learned about DD in the seventh book. He's still one of my very favorite characters, despite his flaws, but I just hated reading about all of the mistakes and unhappy times in his youth.

43littlegeek
Mai 8, 2008, 11:16am

#42 DD's story in DH didn't bother me because it all felt true to DD to me. I agree with Maren that having DD suddenly make a series of bone-headed moves all at once in OotP has the opposite effect. It just comes across as plot driven, not true to character. While I get the idea that it's only at that age that Harry would have the emotional maturity to see & accept his hero as human, he's just a little too human, imho.

44biblioholic29
Mai 8, 2008, 11:38am

I agree whole heartedly lg. I was thinking as I was reading this how much easier it is to accept the traditional mentor's human side when they are younger. I was mentally comparing HP to Star Wars. In "A New Hope" Obi-Wan seems to know all, see all, etc. etc., much as DD does in the first 4 books. However, in "Phantom Menace" he's only an apprentice and very obviously not perfect. I wonder why that is? Is it an ingrained reverence for the "older generations" that makes us feel this way even in fiction? Or is it something else? Am I making sense or babbling? When will I be able to stop ending sentences with question marks?

45foggidawn
Mai 8, 2008, 3:53pm

I have surprisingly few comments on the last chapter. Here they are -- I'm not running as far behind this week as last week!

Chapter 38:

- So, were there wizard jailers as well as Dementors at Azkaban? I'm guessing not, and that everyone being held there escaped when the Dementors revolted. However, Azkaban can't have stayed closed/unguarded for long, since Lucius got sent there pretty quickly. Did Fudge scramble around and find guards? I'd think that guarding a wizard prison would be a job requiring some pretty specialized skills.

- Harry's line, "I'm trying to decide which spell to hex Malfoy with, sir," is always good for a chuckle.

- I think I was that weird kid when I was in middle school. I didn't handle it nearly as well as Luna, though. She's really an admirable character -- sure, she's weird, but she's secure in her personality.

- McGonagall rocks. Have I said this enough yet?

- I also love the Order of the Phoenix meeting the Dursleys. There are a lot of feel-good moments in this chapter.

46littlegeek
Mai 8, 2008, 4:55pm

I love Luna. She is my hero, bigtime. Harry is brave and all, but he's popular and a jock. Luna does amazing things all the time with almost no emotional support. Plus, she has a certain twisted wisdom.

I love that JKR has her in there not just as proof that her hero is compassionate, but gives Luna a fully realized character and special moments of her own. This is where JKR really shines, in loving all her characters and giving them all depth.

Have I mentioned how I love Luna?

47biblioholic29
Mai 8, 2008, 7:14pm

Luna rocks! I identify her and simultaneously she makes me feel bad for the way I treated "the weird kids" in school. I don't think I was ever mean in the mode of the people who take and hide her things, but I am ashamed to say I never befriended them or stood up for them either. One of the things I love about Luna is that she reminds me of that and makes me want to strive to be a better person.

48pollysmith
Mai 8, 2008, 7:53pm

i love Luna too because I was her, the girl that didn't have any "cool" freinds but the freinds I did have were the best!

49compskibook
Mai 8, 2008, 9:04pm

44 Bib - Not sure. Yes. Maybe. Making sense. Never?

:)