Sunday, August 31, 2003

Those Silly Grown-Ups!

Have you read The Little Prince? It's a beautiful book that every adult should be required to read every few years. It's all about seeing ourselves through the eyes of a child. For all who wanted to be artists and ended up mathematicians, this is the book for you. For all who are tied down by money and forget about sheep, this is the book for you. For all who have forgotten what is truly a matter of consequence, this book is for you.

It's really a wonderful book. A pilot crashes in the desert and meets a boy from outter space that teaches him about what is important in life. It never fails to make me cry!

Other books to read: Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Enders Game, and anything by Shakespeare. Agree with this list or have your own to share? Put it in the comments section!

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Okay, I have now finished putting up all the posts from the old site! Their all Harry Potter because the last site was a Harry Potter site. I promise that there will be articles here on other literature. I'm hoping to have one on The D'Artagnan Romances soon. The D'Artagnan Romances are a set of 3 (5) books by Alexandre Dumas. They are The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Louise de La Valliere, The Man In the Iron Mask). If you have any books you would like to see something on, let me know in the comments section!

How Luna Represents Faith

"So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
(Corinthians 13:13)

It is interesting that Luna Lovegood's character is introduced in Harry Potter V, a book based on truth and knowledge. It is interesting because I believe that Luna represent faith, especially faith in dark times.

This would explain why Luna was given her strange name. Luna means moon, a fitting name for faith. The moon shines in the night sky, keeping some perspective in the dark. Luna shines a light of truth on the darkness. I will go more firmly into how Luna does this later in this article. Luna's last name is another corny name made to make us think. I believe we should break up the name into its two obvious parts: love and good. If Luna does represent faith, it is fitting that love and good are part of her name. Faith comes from love just as love grows in faith. Faith is also good, though often unrecognized.

Now I am going to examine Luna in more detail, based on the actions from book 5.

"The girl beside the window looked up. She had straggley, waist-length, dirty-blond hair, very pale eyebrows, and protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look. Harry knew at once why Neville had chosen to pass this compartment by. The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of butterbeer caps, or that she was reading a magazine upside down."
Book Five, pg. 185

When we first meet Luna, we are not sure what to think about her. She is a strange girl that reads tabloids upside down, wears wands in her ear, and seems to believe a great deal of ridiculous things. In fact, one of my first inclinations was to think: Don't believe a word this girl says. Why? She looks strange and acts crazy. Yet, something tells us that this girl must know something more than we think. After all, why is she in Ravenclaw?

Luna starts to show Harry that there is something more to her when she claims to see the animals pulling the school carriages. Athough Harry can only see them for the first time, Luna says that she has been able to see them ever since she first came to the school. Is Luna lying, making up stories, or is their truth to her tale? The truth is confirmed when Hagrid shows the students the thestrals and explains why only some people can see them.

Why is this representative of faith? Just as many people who have faith seem to believe crazy things, so does Luna. In fact, much of the world shakes off the beliefs of people with faith. "A man can't walk on water." is similar to "Voldemort is not back, and I will never believe otherwise." Luna understands that there is something beyond herself and the known world. She may believe some crazy things, but the fact is that at least some of what she believes is true. People don't understand her, they mock her, and they insult her. Why? Because she is different and she believes different.

Luna proves herself as faith throughout the book. She is always willing to help Harry, even when what he wants to do doesn't make much sense, isn't fully explained to her, and might put her in danger. She simply has faith that Harry knows what he is doing and needs her help. Even when Harry tries to shake her off, she insists on coming and helping him out with the journey. For many people with faith this is a familiar story. We may not want to believe something, yet that belief manages to stay with us. We may not understand something that we put our full faith in. Sometimes we put ourselves in danger only because our faith tells us that we must. Notice how Luna is one of the first to publicly announce to the school that she believes Harry's story. Others don't listen to her simply because of her strange appearance, but the fact is that she has enough faith to step forward and say I believe you and I don't care what people think. It is her standing up that leads people like Ernie to also stand up and say, hey I believe this is true. It first took faith leading the way.

Faith is a tool that keeps the darkness at bay. It is a silent truth. Yes, some of what Luna believes in may not be true, but a large part of it has now been proven to be. Her announcements of these truths help shed light on the blindness of the world. It is because of Luna that Rita was able to publish the article telling Harry's story. It is because of the article that some people came to see what was true instead of what they wanted to believe. This is true with faith. Often we have to put our faith in something we wish wasn't true, knowing that to deny it would only cause more harm.

At the end of book 5, Luna sheds the greatest light on Harry's darkness.

"Yes, it was rather horrible," said Luna conversationally. "I still feel very sad about it sometimes. But I've still got Dad. And anyways, it's not as though I'll never see Mum again, is it?"
"Er - isn't it?" said Harry uncertainly.
She shook her head in disbelief. "Oh, come on. You heard them, just behind the veil, didn't you?"
"You mean . . ."
"In that room with the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that's all. You heard them."
They looked at each other. Luna was smiling slightly. Harry did not know what to say, or to think. Luna believed so many extaordinary things . . . yet he had been sure he had heard voices behind the veil to . . .
. . .
She walked away from him, and as he watched her go, he found that the terrible weight in his stomach seemed to have lessened slightly.
Book Five, pgs. 863-864

For years, Harry has lived under the impression that he would never see his parents again. Even Dumbledore never told him anything beyond the fact that his parents live inside him (Why Dumbledore never mentioned Beyond the Veil is anyone's guess). Yet, Luna is the only one out of the five books that returns this hope to Harry. In a way, his parents are alive and so is Sirius. They are simply beyond the veil. (Even if what we saw is a death chamber for executions, I still believe it is a door to the afterlife. That's why Harry could hear the voices and that's why Luna said he would see them again.) Dumbledore told Harry once that "death is but the next great adventure", Luna's story sheds more light on this. The next great adventure is beyond the veil where all the loved ones will be united. Harry will see his mom and dad, and Harry will see Sirius. Luna has gone beyond telling Harry about faith to giving him a small piece of it. From this, Harry's load is lightened.

There it is. Luna is faith, a great moon giving light in the darkness. I think I understand now why my intuition suggests that she could die. By the end of the books, Harry will have gained lots of faith. As with many people who gain faith, the outside appearance of it becomes less and less important. I think Luna will move on to Beyond the Veil, leaving Harry with his own well grounded faith. Harry will know that Luna has gone there, and maybe even ask her to say hello to Sirius and his parents for him. I could be wrong, but it does make sense. I've noticed that in these books the three main themes appear to be: faith, hope, and love with love being the greatest theme. Faith is strongly found in Luna. Love is found in the story of Harry's mother. Harry represents hope. Perhaps that is why I love these books so much!

Update: I don't think Luna has that strong a chance for dying. It is something I waiver back and forth on though. I still think she represents faith.

Death Eater: Despicable Name or Disturbing Meaning?

Is anyone else disturbed by the name deatheater? Not disturbed because of who Death Eaters are, but disturbed because the name sounds as if it belongs in a fiction written by a toddler? I have a problem with it. The name is more corny than the sappiest love story ever told. Yet, I plan to spend a good hour or so of my time pondering this title. Why?

A professor once told me that if an intelligent author uses something that catches the eye with its ridiculousness, serving only to annoy the audience throughout the performance, than they are doing it for a reason. It is very likely that the author wants people to think about the use of language, imagery or whatever the object of annoyance is and ponder why it is there. I believe JK Rowling is an intelligent author. I also believe she wants us to think about this obscure name.

Simply put a Death Eater is one that eats death. No surprises so far. Yet, let's look even deeper. Why would Voldemort want his supporters to have a name that meanst to consume death? If Voldemort is afraid of death, which is why I think he flees from it, it could be that he uses his Death Eaters to keep death away from him. They consume death so that death cannot touch him. Yet, what does it mean to consume death? To take it into oneself? To make it a part of oneself? Our physical bodies are made from things that we eat. Therefore, to consume death is to become death. By serving Voldemort, his followers feed on death and are slowly transformed by it. They become death and start to lack life.

Look at characters such as Lucius Malfoy. Malfoy came to Voldemort because of Malfoy's bigotries and undoubtably his affinity for power. Voldemort then takes control of Malfoy, having him do whatever Voldemort wishes. While Voldemort may fear death, in many ways he is death. People who fall into his trap lose themselves in their greed and lust for power. Malfoy and other Death Eaters kill for Voldemort, they serve him in all ways that Tom wishes. What is it Tom wishes? That they keep death away from him. Malfoy and other Death Eaters keep death away by putting others to death. Slowly their servitude to Voldemort causes them to lose the life that is in them. They are servants and they are really powerless under the hand of Voldemort. They are owned, controlled, and ordered by death. Even their bodies are like death as they continue to consume it. Their quest for power, their greed, this is their demise.
So there you have it. My idea on why the term deatheater is important. A man becomes a Death Eater to seek out what they see as a richer life, in the end all they find is death.

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Who will inherit Grimmauld Place?

In Harry Potter Book V we learn a lot about wizarding families, imparticular "The Blacks". To tell the truth I'm not sure why Sirius inherited the house. He was not the last of the Blacks. After all, Narcissa and Bellatrix are both from the Black family. Why didn't they inherit the place? After all, wasn't Sirius basicaly disowned? Perhaps it was because Sirius was a male, and inheritance naturally fell to the next male in line. Now that there are no males that this would naturally fall to, does this mean that the next female in line would inherit it? If this is so, the Order of the Phoenix' headquarters will be inherited by either Narcissa or Bellatrix.

This leads to a number of problems. First, if Narciss or Bellatrix inherits Grimmauld House will the secret keeper charm still have an affect? Or will one of the girls come to their house only to find out that it seems to have disappeared. If they can get in the house, they're in for a shock. It's definitely not the same dark house they will be expecting. Second, if the girls do not inherit the house, who does? The ministry? If so, than once again you have a problem with the secret keeper charm. I don't think Harry will inherit the home. He's only a godson and not a direct descendent. I think the house would sooner go to the girls.
I know it's not a well layed out theory, but it is something worth thinking about.

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Is Percy the Prodigal Son?

"I sincerely hope that, in time, they will realize how mistaken they were and I shall of course, be ready to accept a full apology when that day comes." (Percy, Harry Potter Book V)

The Pomopus statement above was made to Ron about Molly and Arthur. Percy is convinced that he is right in siding with the Ministry of Magic. He believes Molly and Arthur will come to see the "truth" and seek Percy's forgiveness. Yet, this scenario will not play out. By the end of book five, Molly and Arthur are proven true in their fight against Voldemort. Once again Percy has aligned himself with the wrong people in his quest for power. In short, it will not be Molly and Arthur that will apologize to Percy, but Percy who must apologize to his parents. The problem is, can Percy swallow his pride, admit his mistakes, and seek forgiveness.

Like the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32, Percy Weasley has chosen a superficial life over his family. He has denied that which makes him a Weasley (sticking together, love, the importance of family). He has gone so far as to return the sweater that Molly traditionaly makes for her sons. It is hard to reconcile this Percy with the Percy in previous books. It is true that Percy always cared about his image (freaking out when Ron was coming out of the girls restroom), but he always cared deeply about his family. When he learns that Ron was under the water for over an hour in book IV, he runs to his brother to see if he is okay. He is so worried about Ron that he looks younger and pale. Even in the letter he writes Ron, it is clear that he does still love the Weasleys and sees them as his family. He refers to Molly and Arthur as the parents, and Ron as his brother. Yet, Percy does not even go to visit Arthur when he is in mortal peril at St. Mungo's. These two sides of Percy are disturbing. One can sense a child who belongs to a loving family struggling with his pride and ambitions. Unfortunately, in book V it appears that his ambitions have won the greater battles.

At the end of book V the truth of Voldemort's return is uncovered. It is clear that a new battle will have to surface in Percy. Can he swallow his ambition and go back home? It may take Percy a while, but I believe that he will return. He will plan an elaborate tale to excuse himself or face his inequities and seek forgiveness. Why do I believe this? Because I have faith that Percy is inherently good. He has a good family and is surrounded by love. The call of love is stronger than any other power, and this power will call him home. He will feel shame at the way he treated his parents, especially his failure to visit Arthur. He will not know where this leads him, other than that he has to go home to love. He will appear near Molly and a few other Weasleys and the site will be beautiful and beyond all of Percy's expectations. He will open his mouth to excuse or apologize, and Molly will hear none of it. Like the father to the prodigal son, Molly will weep for joy that her son has returned home and be so thankful for the chance to hug him again that she will treat it as if he never left home. (Much like how she hugged Fred and George after the Quidditch Cup incident). The other Weasleys might have a hard time warming up to Percy, but they all will. Percy may even appreciate Fred and George who will likely accept the return of their brother (Though not without a few pranks). The only brother in question is Ron. Ron will remember the letter and the lack of a hospital visitation. Undoubtably there will be some kind of row and it will be a rockier path to forgiveness. Yet, I do believe Ron will forgive him and the Weasleys will be a complete, happy family.

"But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come back to life again; he was lost and has been found."
(Luke 15:32)

Other considerations
There is always more to the story
Voldemort may use Percy's ambition and pride against him.
His quest for power could lead him further away from the Weasleys, and even closer to Voldemorts grasp.
There is a possibility that Percy is under the imperious curse
It may not be until the very end that Percy comes home. He may make even more mistakes before admitting his inequities.

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Will Montague help unite the houses?

"Two households both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."
(Romeo And Juliet, Prologue, 1-4)

There is no doubt in my mind that Montague is an important name in the Harry Potter books. After all, many names in Harry Potter reveal the role a character will play. Arthur Weasley is possibly taken from King Arthur, leading me to believe that Arthur will be the Minister of Magic at the end of the books. Voldemort is perhaps the most obvious use of etymology. His name means "escape (flight) from death", which I doubt anyone could say does not describe Tom Riddle. The character of Montague is likely named after Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Romeo was a Montague and therefore an enemy to the Capulet household. Romeo falls in love with Juliet, which leads to the deaths of Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris. Romeo must then flee Verona and never return under pain of death. When Romeo does come back it is to Juliet's grave, where both lovers take their lives. Their deaths serve to unite the Montague and Capulet households, ending the feud.

If this is indeed where Montague received his name, many things are revealed about the coming books. Montague is a Slytherin and a member of the Inquisitorial Squad. When he made the mistake of trying to take points away from Fred and George, they put him in the Vanishing cabinet where Montague disappeared for a while before being found in a toilet. When Montague is found we are given the following quote:

"To cap matters, Montague had still not recovered from his sojourn in the toilet. He remained confused and disoriented..."
(Book V, pg. 678)

I do not think it is superfluous that this happened to Montague. We do not know what happened to him when he disappeared and we do not know how this might have changed the Quidditch Players outlook on life. His journey may be the first step to his wanting to unite the houses. It may not come from a love story, or even from death, but I believe Montague will prove an important piece in uniting the houses.

If the houses are to be united, some obstacles must be considered. I believe things will get worse before they get better. Remember the Sorting Hat's song. The house founders were originally united by friendship and a common goal, building the school. I think that both aspects must be found for the houses to truly unite (friendship coming at the very end after trust is earned). At the very least, the houses will have to have a common goal. This means that Slytherin will have to share the goal of trying to destroy Voldemort. Clearly, not all members in Slytherin will follow this idea, but all it takes is some of them for the uniting process to begin. Meanwhile, those in Slytherin that do not want to unite will likely persecute those who do. Remember from the song the houses were originally divided because of "feeding on our faults and fears." Right now there are faults and fears in each house that can hinder any attempt at uniting. After all, how likely is Ron to trust a Slytherin? Or Malfoy likely to trust Harry? (Malfoy may not even be among those willing to unite, he may be a persecutor. Still, it is worth thinking about.)

Therefore, I think that fighting and fears will escalate in book 6, but in the end I believe the houses will be united.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I'm for,
But this year I'll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting
May not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we'll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you . . .
Let the Sorting now begin
Book Five, pgs. 206-207

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Do Snape and Harry have to Reconcile?

I say to you all, once again -- in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
Dumbledore, Harry Potter Book IV, 723

Do Snape and Harry have to reconcile? It sounds crazy. Snape loathes Harry and Harry loathes Snape. In fact, when book five ends it is clear that Harry is using Snape as an escape goat. He has decided to blame Snape for everything that occurred in book five, and he would not be wrong that at least some of the blame is rightfully Snape's. Yet, I do think that Harry and Snape have to reconcile. In fact, the way that book five ends tells us something of the rift that their enmity causes. Remember, Dumbledore warned that "we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided". The more that Snape and Harry create rifts between each other, the more divisions that cause weaknesses in the Order. Voldemort feeds off of enmity, and he uses this enmity to destroy his enemies. Harry's greatest power is love, but love is weakened by hatred such as the hatred that he carries for Snape. Therefore, I firmly believe that these two will have to reconcile for the good of the Order.

The enmity between Harry and Snape has already proved itself a problem. When Harry thinks that Sirius is in danger, he tries to seek out members of the Order to help. He looks for McGonagall only to find out that she is in St. Mungo's. Dumbledore has gone to fulfill some unknown plan. Yet, Harry does not think to seek out Snape. Why? Harry knows Snape is a member of the Order, he just doesn't think about him. Why? Simple, because Snape is not a good guy. He treats Harry horribly, he acts evil, and he holds such hatred that who could ever think about him when needing help? Even though Snape is a "good" character through helping the Order, Harry cannot see past Snape's hatred. The little actions we do affect who we are just as much as the large actions we do. Dumbledore may trust Snape with large Order matters, but as long as Snape holds hatred in his heart he is a target for Voldemort and a rift in the Order.

Other ways that their enmity has affected the major plot include Snape not getting the DADA (Defense Against the Dark Arts) job. I believe that Dumbledore recognizes the wounds that Snape still carries in his heart and sees that the DADA job would be a temptation for Snape to return to the dark arts. He trusts Snape fully, but he also knows that hatred can lead a person down the wrong road. Also, Snape holds much of Harry's future in his hands. Remember, for Harry to become an Auror, he must take potions. Will Snape accept him in his class? Undoubtably Dumbledore will force him to. Yet, will Snape allow Harry to succeed or hinder his progress in Potions? Also, the enmity between Harry and Snape is a good example of the lack of forgiveness. Harry blames Snape, Snape blames Harry (another paper topic). Neither forgives. Where there is no forgiveness there is a discord, a rift. Again, another place where Voldemort can find weakness within the Order.

Despite all of this, we know that Snape and Harry do not let enmity hold them back. Snape still saves Harry's life or searches the forest for him. Snape is true to the Order, putting himself at great personal risk for whatever Dumbledore has up his sleeves. However, their enmity is still a rift that can be manipulated. Just as Harry did not think about Snape as a member of the Order, thus leading to the events that led to Sirius' death, enmity can cause accidents -- lethal accidents. Forgiveness, hope of healed wounds, all of this is love. Love is the one power that can defeat Voldemort. Therefore, Harry and Snape must forgive and they must learn to heal all wounds. For if Dumbledore is correct, and some wounds cannot be healed, than that means that there is no hope. I personally believe that Dumbledore will have to eat his words. ALL wounds can be healed when the bearers of those wounds opens themselves up enough to be healed. Harry and Snape must heal their wounds by healing the rifts between them. This is not to say that things will be great and they will be nice to each other, it is to say that they will not loathe each other. It is to say that they will forgive and be able to work together in trust.

In many ways, the rift that lies between Harry and Snape is representative of rifts within the Order itself. This is similar to the fights between the houses representing rifts within Hogwarts itself. The Sorting Hat is right, unification must occur or the rifts will bring about destruction. I personally believe the unification in the Order (ALL its members trusting ALL its members) and the unification of the houses will start to occur at the same time. When the unification occurs, then Snape will be DADA teacher. If we believe that the DADA teacher represents what each story is about,* then Snape will represent reconciliation, forgiveness, healing, and hope.

If JK doens't have the two reconcile, I am sure that she will show a large number of problems and discords that come from their inability to forgive.

*Idea from Harry Potter Prognostications

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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Is there Romance in Harry's future?

Sorry for the errors that were previously on this page. I keep trying to fix the grammar and spelling and it keeps reverting to the original draft.

As Harry Potter finishes his fifth year at Hogwarts, he has already begun to ponder the conundrum that is girls. His first crush on Cho proves to be based on little more than looks and Quidditch. While he first finds it easier to talk to her, things go down hill from there. Cho is still upset about Cedric's death, and Cedric is the one topic Harry is not keen to discuss. Unable to understand Cho, Harry finds himself avoiding her more and more.
By the end of Book 5, I am not certain that Harry even wants to date anymore. He is still confused by the whole Cho fiasco, but over it enough that he is secure with her dating Michael Corner. Harry has been through so much and has much more he still has to deal with. Right now, dealing with the opposite sex is more complicated than it's worth. In Book 6, Harry will still have to face Voldemort, prepare to be an auror, and continue to deal with more death. Does he really have any time for...girls?

To tell the truth, I am not convinced that anyone in the books is right for Harry right now. However, as Harry turns 16 his hormones may have a larger say. If this is the case, there are only two girls I see as even having a chance. They are Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. That's right, I am not even considering Hermione Granger in the mix. I am also not considering Cho at this point in time.

I am going to examine each possiblity separately before reaching a conclusion. It is possible that Harry may continue to choose not to date, go back to Cho, or meet someone that fits him better. For now, let's just examine Ginny and Luna.


"Famous Harry Potter," said Malfoy. "Can't even go into a bookshop without making the front page."
"Leave him alone, he didn't want all that!" said Ginny. It was the first time she had spoken in front of Harry. She was glaring at Malfoy.
"Potter, you've got yourself a girlfriend!" drawled Malfoy.
(Book II, 61)

In the first three books, there is no doubt that Ginny has a crush on Harry. She barely speaks when he is the room. She even annoys Ron by talking about him all through the summer. In Book 2, Ginny's first words are of understanding. Without Harry having to tell her, she knows that Harry doesn't want fame. I believe this is important, because Harry needs a girl who can understand him at least on this level. Later on in the book, Harry saves Ginny's life. She is a background character in Harry's life which is why it may take the audience a long time to realize that there is something wrong with her and to consider her a suspect. In Book 3, Ginny is basicaly non-existent. Yet, when Ginny returns in Book 4, her attachment to Harry seems to waiver. She is forced to turn Harry down when Ron says they should go to the Yule Ball together, because she already has agreed to go with Neville. Though she is annoyed about this at first,...

"I can't," said Ginny and she went scarlet too. "I'm going with - Neville. He asked me when Hermione said no, and I thought... well... I'm not going to be able to go otherwise, I'm not in the fourth year." She looked extremely miserable. "I think I'll go and have dinner," she said, and she got up and walked off to the portrait hole, her head bowed.
(Book IV, 401)

...we learn that she starts dating Michael Corner at the Yule Ball. Perhaps, the invitation to go with Harry made her think about what was attainable and what was not. Whatever the reason, when Book 5 begins Ginny has completely separated her actions from the crush. She can talk freely in front of Harry, and moves from a background character to forefront character. Harry learns that she is a strong witch and able to now hold her own when fighting against evil.

In short, Ginny decided that it didn't do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. She decided to go out and live and just let things be. She still likes Harry, but she's learned to move on. By the end of book 5 she is dating Dean Thomas. She doesn't hold herself down to one guy, and there is once again hope that maybe she will date Harry. Why? Because now that she is strong, has a front role in Harry's mind, and doesn't only tie herself to one person, she is a suitable girlfriend for Harry. What's more, Harry now sees parts of Ginny he has never seen before. She talks! She laughs! She fights! In reality, there are not many hints in the books that these two will decide to come together. Not in actions anyways. (Unless you count Ron hinting that he would approve of the match.)
Yet, Ginny does seem a good match for Harry now. She understands him deeper as she herself has been through a lot (including possession by Voldemort and fighting deatheaters). Now that Ginny is her own person, the pairing would be spectacular. Both are strong, powerful, caring, and determined individuals.

As a side point, Ginny does look a lot like Lily.


To many people, the pairing of Luna and Harry seems the obvious choice. When I mention this to other people they look at me as if I am crazy. "Harry and Luna? No way!" I personaly believe that there is a chance that these two will hook up. However, it might take Harry a while to accept that he likes her (if indeed he does). After all, this is Loony Lovegood I am talking about here.

"You went to the Yule Ball with Padma Patil," said a vague voice.
"Yeah, I know I did," he said, looking mildly surprised.
"She didn't enjoy it very much," Luna informed him. "She doesn't think you treated her very well, because you wouldn't dance with her. I don't think I'd have minded," she added thoughtfully, "I don't like dancing very much."
Book Five

In the first meeting with Luna Lovegood, there are not sparks flying in Harry's mind. If anything he is disturbed by the strange girl that reads tabloids upside down. Luna makes it clear that she noticed Harry, but doesn't necessarily give any signs that she likes him. In fact, her actions seem to be of studying someone and processing the information like a computer. In the lines above, Luna may sound as if she is flirting, but I think it is more likely that she is simply saying what she thinks as she processes all information. She is stating little more than facts.

Yet, the facts are interesting in this case. Luna does not like to dance. Harry definitely has not shown a dancing enthusiasm. Luna is judged and stared at by fellow students. Harry is judged and stared at by fellow students. Both are seen as liars, both are often telling the truth. Yes, even though half of what Luna says is insane, there lies some truth in most of it. For instance, she really could see the thestrals.

These similarities form a bond between Luna and Harry. They are both misunderstood, but they are both kind, courageous, and intelligent individuals. As the book progresses we see these themes continue to play out. The ideas of trust and denial, truth and lies, are struggles for Harry. Luna is quick to stand up for him and quick to want to help him. She helps even when helping puts her in danger. Harry may not want her assistance, but in the end he does need it. (Notice that Ginny also does the same thing, and Harry's reactions are similar. They are just more pronounced with Luna). When the book ends, Harry meets with Luna. She alone offers him the words of comfort that Nearly Headless Nick and the two-way mirror could not offer him.

"I still feel very sad about it sometimes. But I've still got Dad. And anyway, it's not as though I'll never see Mum again, is it?"
"Er - it isn't?" said Harry uncertainly.
She shook her head in disbelief. "Oh, come on. You heard them, just behind the veil, didn't you?"
"You mean..."
"In that room with the archway. They were just lurking out of sight, that's all. You heard them."
They looked at each other. Luna was smiling slightly. Harry did not know what to say, or to think. Luna believed so many extraordinary things... yet he had been sure he had heard voices behind the veil too..."
"Are you sure you don't want me to help you look for your stuff?" he said.
"Oh no," said Luna. "No, I think I'll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up...It always does in the end. ...Well, have a nice holiday, Harry."
"Yeah...Yeah, you too."
She walked away from him, and as he watched her go, he found that the terrible weight in his stomach seemed to have lessened slightly.
Book V, 863-864

Luna understands Harry on a rare level for a 14-year-old. She knows what it is like to lose someone. Yet, she also knows that all hope is not lost. They will see their loved ones again in the afterlife. After all, "death is but the next great adventure." I believe that Harry and Luna would make a good couple. They have such similar lives and similar backgrounds that they could build each other up where no other person could.


If I were to have to pick between Ginny and Luna on who Harry would end up with, I would have to go with Ginny. Why? Doesn't all of the evidence points more to Luna? Here's the thing: I think that Luna is a wonderful character and a great choice for Harry. I also think that Luna represents faith (a paper I will save for later). I also think that with everything that Luna is, she will not survive the books. I could be wrong, she might live. If she does, than she is a good choice for Harry. Yet, I think she will die. I have no evidence, only intuition. I hope I am wrong. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if it was Ginny or Luna that Harry ends up with. Their both great candidates.

Update: I'm unhappy in general with this post. I will probably rewrite it soon. I'm not so sure Luna will die, and I still think she would make a great match for Harry.

I'm having fun trying to figure out how to work this site. Unfortunately, I can't seem to link individual articles together. I'll figure it out eventually though.

Most of the articles from the other site will be back up by next week. Sorry that it is taking so long. *shrugs* It'll probably take everyone that long to find this site anyways! LOL :) Thanks for listening.

While you are waiting for HP book VI go and pick up The Three Musketeers. It's a great book! If you've already read it, go pick up its sequel, Twenty Years After. It's an even better book!

Friday, August 29, 2003

What is Snape doing for the Order of the Phoenix?

"Severus," said Dumbledore, turning to Snape, "you know what I must ask you to do. If you are ready . . . If you are prepared . . ."
Book Four, pg 713

Perhaps the greatest conundrum in the Harry Potter books is the character of Severus Snape. He is the mysterious Potions Master that was once a Death Eater but is now an Order member. Why is he trusted by Albus Dumbledore? Why did he leave Voldemort's ranks? Why won't the headmaster give him the Defense Against the Dark Arts job? All of these questions are only small pieces to solving the enigma that is Snape. Each question is a long article in and of itself. Today, the question I'm going to tackle could be the key to answering all of the questions above. What is Severus Snape doing for the Order?

In book five, Rowling gives a number of hints that Snape is spying for the Order.

"That is just as well, Potter," said Snape coldly, "because you are neither special nor important, and it is not up to you to find out what the Dark Lord is saying to his Death Eaters."
"No -- that's your job, isn't it?" Harry shot at him.
He had not meant to say it; it had burst out of him in temper. For a long moment they stared at each other, Harry convinced he had gone to far. But there was a curious, almost satisfied expression on Snape's face when he answered.
"Yes, Potter," he said, his eyes glinting. "That is my job."
Book Five, pg. 591

Yet, this idea is incomplete. If Snape is a spy, how has he found his way back into Voldemort's confidence. Many websites have suggested the idea that Snape came to Voldemort begging forgiveness and asking to be allowed back into the ranks. This idea is hardly believable. After all, we can be about 85% sure that Voldemort swore Snape's death in book four.

"And here we have six missing Death Eaters . . . Three dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return . . . He will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever . . . He will be killed, of course . . . And one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service."
Book Four, pg. 651

(From this line we can gather that Karakarof is the coward, Crouch Jr. is the faithful servant, and Snape is the one who has left forever. After all, Voldemort was on Quirrel's head long enough to know where Snape's loyalties lie. I put this only at an 85% possibility because while these pieces fit well, I would not put it beyond Rowling to use this quote to make us think we know something we don't.)

I highly doubt that Voldemort would bring Snape back under his wing after vowing his death. Voldemort's power rests with making the other Death Eaters fear him. He instills this fear by letting them know what will happen to those who cross his path. Even if Snape comes back begging forgiveness or carrying valuable information, Voldemort has to kill him. To not kill Snape is to lower the amount of power he has over his Death Eaters. To not kill Snape would be a sign of weakness. Voldemort has to do what he has sworn to do. Also, the fact that Snape did not show up for the first call of Death Eaters would also make it more difficult for him to rejoin the pack.

The fact that Snape cannot go to Voldemort as himself, does not necessarily defeat the idea of Snape spying. A number of sites have suggested that Snape took the Poly Juice Potion to become Crouch Jr. We do know that Snape is accomplished at Legilimency and Occlumency.

"Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie, and so utter falsehoods in his presence without detection."
Book Five, pg. 531

Using Occlumency, it is possible for Snape to pretend to be Crouch and Voldemort not be any the wiser. However, Snape would have to know Crouch Jr. well enough to mimic his actions precisely or Voldemort would become suspicious. In fact, the events at the Ministry were no doubt made public enough that Voldemort's spies would know the truth about Crouch Jr.'s death. Also, Dumbledore gave the orders to Snape as if Snape already knew what to do and had been waiting for it for a long while. His response was of a person who knew this was coming eventually, and the day had finally come when he would have to face it. As the death of Crouch Jr. only occurred the night the order was given, it is unlikely that Snape and Dumbledore would have been preparing this particular plan. Therefore, I do not believe that Snape is taking on the likeness of Crouch Jr. He might be able to pretend to be someone else, but who could he pretend to be that would gain Voldemort's trust quickly? I believe the answer to how Snape is spying is much deeper than a Prodigal Son type return or a Potion.

In fact, what I think Snape is doing might not be considered spying at all. It's more of an intelligence job, that is to say he processes and reports information. The one doing the real spying is Lucius Malfoy or some other Death Eater. Sounds crazy? Please, take a few minutes to hear me out.

Voldemort wants absolute power, right? He gets this power by convincing others to follow him, and then uses those people to destroy anything that gets in his way. He rules with an iron fist. Voldemort demands that his Death Eaters prostrate themselves before him. Voldemort demands unwavering loyalty. Most of all, Voldemort demands that he alone be the Dark Lord, the omni-powerful leader. Yet, he gains most of his followers by promising them power. He gains followers by touching on their bigotry and greed. In short, those that follow Voldemort end up in a trap. They are promised power, but in the end they must always submit to Voldemort's will. They are promised power, but in the end they are prostrating themselves and groveling at an evil wizards feet. The Death Eaters are punished severely when they make a mistake. As Greg said on the Harry Potter Prognostications site, under Voldemort a Death Eater can only go so far. Under Voldemort they are no more than trapped and humiliated. Those such as Lucius Malfoy are not likely to appreciate groveling. They do not appreciate having limited power. In fact, they probably never wanted Voldemort to return in the first place. I'm not saying all the Death Eaters fall in this category, but a significant number of them probably do.

Think about it. Why didn't the Death Eaters seek out Voldemort after his fall? Why did they not try to bring him back to power? I think that Harry Potter Prognostications is right. They had gone as far as they could with Voldemort and had become trapped. They didn't want him to rise again; they were better off with him powerless.

"My lord, I was constantly on the alert," came Lucius Malfoy's voice swiftly from beneath the hood. "Had there been any sign from you, any whisper of your whereabouts, I would have been at your side immediately, nothing could have prevented me --"
"And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?" said Voldemort lazily, and Mr. Malfoy stopped talking abruptly. "Yes, I know all about that, Lucius . . . You have disappointed me . . . I expect more faithful service in the future."
Book Four, pg. 650

If we accept that some of the Death Eaters are not thrilled to have Voldemort back, this makes the conundrum a little easier to understand. Remember, Snape is a good friend of Lucius. Snape still talks to Lucius, which is interesting as Lucius is Voldemort's servant and Voldemort has sworn Snape's death. Snape knows Lucius and the other Death Eaters better than other Order members do because he has been around them. He has worked with them and kept up contacts even after Voldemort's death and his treason had been revealed. Therefore, it is not too much of a leap to say that Snape knows of their malcontent. He knows which Death Eaters may not appreciate the current situation. By knowing this, he knows how to use one of Voldemort's greatest weapons against Voldemort himself.

"I say to you all once again -- in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust."
Book Four, pg. 723

I may quote this passage a lot on this site, but that is only because this passage is the key to the whole books. In order to survive, there must be unity. The same is true for Voldemort's side. He must have unity, loyalty, to keep his power. Division among his own ranks will only weaken his power.

With this in mind, Snape's job is clear. Snape must spread as much enmity as he can in Voldemort's ranks in order to lower his power. Death Eaters such as Lucius Malfoy are so hungry for power that I believe they will risk deceiving Voldemort in order to gain more. Snape knows this. He starts to talk to them, he's been talking to them long before Voldemort ever came back. Snape may tell them, "You will get a reprieve when Voldemort is caught," or "You can only gain power once he is out of your way," or something similar to get the Death Eaters to turn against Voldemort. It is the Death Eaters that must use Occlumency against Voldemort in order to hide their deceit. Meanwhile, the Death Eaters furnish Snape with information on what Voldemort is telling them. Therefore, what Snape told Harry is not a lie. It was just not the whole truth.

This does leave a blank or two still open. Would Dumbledore be willing to work with such people as Lucius, knowing that one of them could take Voldemort's place later? Why was Snape frightened at the prospect of doing this? Why did he have to leave immediately to handle the situation? Is it because he continues to fear Voldemort? Clearly Snape does; he still will not say Voldemort's name. Second, why does he continue to call him the Dark Lord? Is it a force of habit or something more? It is clear that we do not yet have the full picture of what Snape is doing, only a partial picture. At least a partial picture is something. Snape could be doing everything I said, plus more. He may be working with Vampires or other creatures to learn more of Voldemort's plans. He may be trying to gain more creatures to work on the side of light. There are literally many possibilities. I could be wrong, and Snape could be spying directly. This would explain his fear, but then what of the problems I listed earlier? It will be interesting to see what directions Rowling does take this. Whatever direction it is, clearly Snape will have to be careful and watch his back. I say it once again, Severus Snape is one of the largest enigmas in these books.

Just a quick note. I don't think Lucius is going to be on the good side. If he is supplying information to Snape it is only to overthrow Voldemort. He won't help in the battles or become good at any point. To be honest, I don't even think this theory is correct! The main point of this article is really that none of us really know what's going on except Rowling!

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Hey, welcome to my new site!

I've decided to start this blog with my thoughts because I didn't appreciate the ads on the other site. For those who haven't seen the original site, this is a place for me to write down my thoughts on what is happening in the Harry Potter series. Although, now I'm going to expand it to ideas on all great literature with an emphasis on Harry Potter. I try to solve conundrums, analyze various themes, and come to unique (though sometimes ridiculous) conclusions.

The best thing about a blog is that you can leave comments by each article. Please take a second and let me know your thoughts!

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