Friday, 1 February 2013

HP Friday: Two books down.


It's Friday, my little diary zombies, which means it's time to talk Harry Potter. This readalong of excellence is hosted by Reading Rambo. Be sure to check out her post for hilarity and also links to the other readalongers. Spoilers abound, as they do.


This week we're rationally and studiously discussing the last half of Chamber of Secrets. To that end, here are my bullet-pointed feelings and reaction gifs:
  • I would really like to know what Riddle was up to in those years after Hogwarts, spent cavorting with dark wizards and undergoing horrible magical transformations and whatnot. I would read that book. 
Look at him. It's like he knows he's going to lose his nose.
  • Riddle was one of the smartest students Hogwarts had ever seen  I don't really buy that he'd forget phoenix tears have healing properties until it was too late. Another villain caught monologuing. He probably even wears a cape. Amateur.
  • Ernie does Hufflepuff proud. A 12-year-old kid is confronted by the boy whose back he's talking behind, and so tells him honestly what he was talking about and why he's suspicious. Later, when he finds out he was wrong, he approaches said boy, apologizes to him, and offers his hand in truce and apology. A 12-YEAR-OLD KID. My heart. I love Ron, for example, but that little punk wouldn't dream of doing such a thing.
  • Fred-and-George banter is totally vultures-from-Jungle-Book-banter. 
  • I think that, given the times, Salazar Slytherin's original reason for wanting to keep Hogwarts to pure-blodded wizards and witches was understandable (though not something I agree with, of course). Magical folk were getting burned at various stakes, y'all. But then, they weren't actually in danger, I guess. Is Harry Potter the series that tells us witch/ards would bewitch the flames so that they wouldn't be harmed, but rather slightly tickled? If so, then I take back my sympathy for ol' Saly.
  • "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" Harry said, thunderstruck.  She knew so many things I love JK forever.
  • I tweeted this to Alice last week, and I feel the need to reiterate it here. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT BECAUSE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT. Dobby is way better than Jar Jar. Instead of flouncing around, being annoying for no reason, he, like Gollum, serves as a litmus test for jerks. (Don't get me wrong, Gollum wins entirely on the actual character front. Way more complex and tragic and wonderful. But in this way, they're the same.) How people treat Dobby reflects their true character. On a related note: suck it, Lucius.
That's right. I said it.

I. Am so. Excited for the next book. When I first picked a favourite, maybe 10 years ago, it was my favourite. We'll see if that still stands. I look forward to all your collective thoughts on Sirius. I hope it goes better than the Dobby fiasco. (It's like I don't even know you guys.)

26 comments:

  1. "Later, when he finds out he was wrong, he approaches said boy, apologizes to him, and offers his hand in truce and apology."

    FINE I ACCEPT THIS POINT. But he's still a pompous ass and makes Hufflepuff look bad.

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    1. I DISAGREE WITH YOU. He is totally not pompous. But I thank you for accepting my point.

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  2. That was all really mature for Ernie. Go him.

    I love Dobby!!! He's just so mistreated and awesome. I can't wait till we get to the whole SPEW thing :-) I'm really sad they left that out of the movies.

    Oh and baddies monologuing is the WORST. Kill first, chat after. But you know, it's obviously a good thing cause Harry lived. But still.

    Yay book 3!

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    1. So excited for SPEW! I hardly remember the whole deal.

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  3. Lol, a litmus test for jerks. Of course, the same isn't true for all house elves; Kreacher must be a litmus test for patience. And excellent point about Ernie! I never thought about that but yeah - he's got some great qualities and to constantly dismiss him as pompous isn't really fair. He's much more mature than our hero. And yes, it was at the beginning of this book that we learned about the flames-to-tickles charm, ergo Sal is a giant ass.

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    1. Yeah, Sal, you ass.

      Yay, an Ernie convert! Harry is less mature than most of the folks in this book. Maybe that's the affect of the Dursley's that we see. Not a full sociopath, but kind of stunted in social development.

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  4. You're right that other 12 year olds (or you know, actual adults) wouldn't behave as maturely as Ernie did. I hope he won Hufflepuffs points for that. Even if he was sort of a doucheface.

    I giggled at the line "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" cos I'm gross.

    I do get Saly's reasoning for wanting to keep the school pureblood. I mean, even though the witches & wizards weren't actually being harmed by the whole burning alive thing, the truth is the Muggles WANTED them to be hurt. So while I disagree that the school should only be pureblood, I see his reasoning of "If you don't want us, we don't want you".

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    1. Hahahaha, inappropriate giggling. That's why this readalong group is the best.

      Saly's reasoning would be better if the Muggles posed an actual threat.

      Ernie was a doucheface, but he felt abashed about it, so I forgive him.

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    2. Well the Muggles that tried to burn the witches & wizards alive weren't a threat. But what about the Muggles that tried to kill witches & wizards in other ways? Do they have bullet repelling spells? Or ways to keep from being hanged?

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    3. An anti-machete charm? It was tough to be a witch/ard, back in the day.

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  5. You're totally right that Dobby serves as a litmus test for asshat-ery. Except that I think this extends to all house elves. Look at how Sirius treats Kreacher and how a whole bunch of people (otherwise decent people) give the whole "oh, it's okay, they say they like it" excuse about house elves. Which, you know, is CRAZY because the "it" they like is magical slavery, and what slave is going to rebel against his owner if said owner can punish him by making him IRON HIS FINGERS. It's either that or Stockholm Syndrome.

    I'm going to have a lot of feelings in book four. You've all been warned.

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    1. Which is why it's totally *ironic* when Sirius says in GoF that Hermione has the right measure of Crouch because you can best know a person by how they treat their inferiors, not how they treat their equals or betters. CF: Crouch's treatmnt of Winky. I guess Sirius didn't see that about himself and Kreacher. And god, once we learn Kreacher's backstory in DH, it's so damned awful that I cry buckets.

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    2. I DON'T REMEMBER SO MANY THINGS. I'm scared and eager to read Kreacher's backstory again. Sirius totally fails in his treatment of Kreacher, absolutely.

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  6. OMG EDNAAAAAAA! I love you so hard. (Also I need to watch The Incredibles now. Obvs.)

    I would totally read the Tom Riddle prequel. That shit would be AMAZING. And and and now you put it like that, YES Ernie, that was pretty awesome of you! Because admitting you were wrong is the HARDEST, so yes. Very cool.

    I'm kind of nervous about PoA because it seems like it's EVERYONE'S favourite and I'm just like 'um.. that's the one with werewolves and... something about the rat, right?' But I'm sure it will be AWESOME, obvs. (Goblet of Fire is what I would have called my favourite coming into this. But WE SHALL SEE!)

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    1. I want a Tom Riddle book and a Dumbledore/Grindelwald book. Then I'd be happy to let JK retire the world.

      Oh and maybe a Neville book.

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    2. PoA is the awesomest because it's the tightest-plotted of the series, we get lots of new and important characters, and it's the last book that wraps up its individual plot nicely without feeling like a cliffhanger for the series.

      And most importantly, Hermione saves the day in the end of this one AND gets full credit for it.

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    3. I love Hermione in PoA - I am so excited.

      I basically would like new books to be written about each character we meet in the series. McGonagall? Yup. Trelawny? Yup. Igor Karkaroff? Heck yup.

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  7. That is a very good point about Dobby being a litmus test. He so is exactly that. But I still don't like him in this book because he is the opposite of helpful.

    Aw, Ernie. Ernie is a decent guy. AND he continues to be a totally stand-up kid in the fifth book, and he defends Harry and does it in front of a crowd even though that makes everyone think he is nuts. Way to go Ernie. He makes Hufflepuff look awesome.

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    1. Aw man, I don't remember that at all from the 5th book! That is excellent. Way to be awesome, Ernie.

      It's like Dobby is trying extra hard to bring out the jerk in people by being so inept at all the things.

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  8. Excellent defence of Ernie and Dobby, although E is still a douche for smack talking Harry in the first place.

    I think you're right about the tickling flames being in HP because I've read that as well and it'd be crazy if we've both read the same non-HP witch books (I haven't read many).

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    1. Harry is not that great. He smack talks Malfoy all over the place. (Malfoy is a bully, though, so I guess it's more forgivable.) I dunno man. I would have suspected Harry if I'd been in Ernie's shoes.

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    2. Buuuuut Malfoy smack talks right back so that kinda cancels Harry's out. Aside from Malfoy and his cohort, Harry doesn't often snark about people - he has Ron for that duty. But I will agree that Harry isn't great. Not sure if I would have suspected him or not, I guess if I was in Ernie's shoes (i.e. not really knowing HP much) I maybe would have.

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  9. Ernie may be formal (I never really got the "pompous" bit the way Harry sees him), but he's a stand-up kind of guy. I respect him and I'm so happy you pointed that out.

    There are all kinds of fanfics out there for the Tom Riddle middle story, not to mention Dumbledore/Grindelwald. I think starting next week I'm going to start including links to the really awesome fanfics that I love. Because this is a world worth dwelling in, and sometimes they kinda kick Rowling's butt in terms of how good they are. (tho most of 'em are pure drivel)

    There's a fanfic writer out there named Anna who gave a lot of thought to the Salazar pure-blood agenda and put it into historical context. Her rationale was that yes, fully qualified witches and wizards could always defend themselves against those dreadful witch-burning muggles (I think it was Wendolyn the Weird who liked the feel of the flames so much she was "burned" multiple times), but that occasionally some of them must have been caught without their wands and then there wasn't much they could do. And children must have been caught sometimes, too.

    Hogwarts students are required to go home over the summer break, and I'd bet that the muggleborn ones wouldn't have been very safe--even from their own families. Look at how nasty Petunia was with Lily. If she had been born a few centuries earlier, I'm pretty sure she would have sold her out to the witch hunters.

    So yeah, I get the thousand-year old reasoning for keeping out the muggleborn. But I don't approve not changing the policy with the times as things evolved. Then again, the wizarding world isn't exactly known for its progressive policies.

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    1. I would really love it if you would post links to your favourite fanfics! I would love to read some, but there's just so much out there that I don't know where to start or what's good.

      Excellent explanation for Salazar's reasoning. It's like I glimpsed it but hadn't fully thought it out, and yes, it really was dangerous to be a known witch or wizard at the time. So, understandable, if undesirable.

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  10. I totally love Dobby now. How quickly I had a change of heart! I did not see it coming that Dobby was the Malfoy's house-elf AT ALL. But now it all makes sense.

    "Voldemort put a bit of himself in me?" - *giggle*

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    1. Hurrah! I'm so glad you feel better about Dobby. He's misguided, but he's tries SO hard.

      Another bonus of reading these books as an adult: inappropriate sex jokes. I bet they're all OVER the place.

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