The Two-Way Mirror #16: Heirs and Inheritances

Dumbledore's Office

By Daniela Grab your seats for the question of the century: “What did Harry find out in Chamber that foreshadows something he will learn in Prince?” Yes, I know, there isn’t exactly a lot left to chew on here, considering that hordes of reader Piranhas have already torn to shreds whatever meager clues there were… From what I have seen, I think most major predictions for HBP based on CoS have already been made by other readers. My aim with this editorial is not to shock you with the novelty of my prophecies. Rather, I want to share with you a discovery of a different nature: just how beautiful Rowling’s writing is. As I think you may have noticed in my previous editorials, I am fascinated by the numerous parallels that Rowling builds in her books. Since these endless parallels appear to me to be something of a stylistic device dear to Harry’s author, I have decided to consciously adopt them as a method for reading and understanding and maybe predicting what happens in Potterverse. I will call it the “mirror method,” and I will use it in various ways. I am sure all of us use this method to ... Read More »

The Pure-Blood Little King

family tree

by Pete Happens Every person that has searched for the half-blood prince’s identity has had their own specific way of searching. Personally, I thought that looking for “royalty” or “nobility” references would be the best bet at finding a clue. I started my pursuit as I reread the first five books, and what I came upon was shocking. The most blatant clue stood out at me in the fifth book. Not only did it figuratively stand out, it literally did. It was in bold, it was large, and it was a chapter title: “The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.” JKR does not just give any old phrase the honor of being a chapter title, so this must be important. However, this was not the only mention of nobility in the chapter. If one graces there eyes on pg. 116 (of the American edition) they will find that Sirius destroyed a silver “spider” with a book entitled Nature’s Nobility, A Wizard Genealogy. Plus, for the icing on the cake, the actual word “royal” is used with Sirius saying, “My parents, with their pureblood mania, convinced that to be a Black made you practically royal.” Other, non-word references continue to appear that the Black family ... Read More »

The Battle for the Soul


by Lady Alchymia Good and evil are very well traveled subjects in art and literature and there are many different literary models which Jo Rowling might have chosen for her heroes and villains, but most western allegories can be traced back directly or indirectly to the early Christian poet, Prudentius (c. 400 AD). Prudentius was enormously influential for one very simple reason — he gave the people exactly what they wanted. Before Prudentius came along, Christian dogma was a tad fuzzy when trying to explain what people should and shouldn’t do in order to keep their soul free from evil. This would never do! Prudentius rearranged and relabeled a few existing ideas and created a very popular set of seven virtues that could used to cure seven corresponding vices. The idea was elegantly simple -– and even better, everyone could understand it! Liberality (largesse) cures Greed Chastity (chivalry) cures Lust Kindness (mercy) cures Envy Abstinence cures Gluttony Humility cures Pride Diligence cures Sloth Patience cures Wrath If only he’d stopped there… Unfortunately for us, Prudentius was a truly woeful poet. His tediously long epic poem is right up there with Vogon poetry in my humble opinion. But Prudentius’ ideas were ... Read More »

How does Lord Voldemort’s possession work?


Lord Voldemort is the second most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, and that entails being able to do a lot of impressive things, the most terrifying of which is his ability to possess. We're first introduced to this concept in the very first novel, in the form of poor Professor Quirrell. Failing to obtain the Philosopher's Stone on his own, the Dark Lord possesses him. Read More »

Discussion: After a Dementor’s Kiss, what happens to the victim’s soul?


It's a question that has never been directly answered by J.K. Rowling, and one that we could talk about for days but never necessarily solve. That said, we would like to have a discussion on this question anyway because it came up on the newest episode of Alohomora! and it's often fun to ponder these wild questions. Read More »

Quibble of the Week: How Do Dementors Breed?


More likely than not, the question of how Dementors may breed has not been as pressing on your mind lately as it has been on mine. You see, on the last episode of Alohomora! during our general discussion of these fascinating creatures, I challenged the fandom to write an editorial speculating the mechanics of how Dementors breed. Read More »

Quibble: Does “Harry Potter” support the Occult?


A little while ago we reported about a Catholic priest who created a series of YouTube videos explaining why the Harry Potter series was not an anti-Catholic text, but is it possible the books contain controversial symbolism nonetheless? Read More »

Molly Weasley: Help or Hindrance?


I began to notice certain similarities between Umbridges and Molly Weasley'’s words. At dinner, in 12 Grimmauld Place, Mrs. Weasley kept insisting that Harry et al. are too young to learn details about the Order. It may be arguable that Molly did not want to reveal details to Harry because Dumbledore had instructed her not to, imagining that Voldemort could tap into Harry’'s mind, but Molly'’s feelings go above and beyond Dumbledore'’s orders. Read More »

Quibble: Is it possible that the magic behind love and Horcruxes is the same?


In response to yesterday's essay, explaining how Harry survived the Killing Curse through Voldemort carrying his blood and Lily's protection, staff member Noah examines the magic involved in Horcruxes and love protection spells. Read More »

Philosophers and Sorcerers: Was it Really a Prudent Move to Change the Name?

Philosopher's Stone Cover

By Buckbeak The only thing that infuriates me about the Harry Potter series is the – slightly delicate – situation of “the title change”; namely, the change from the British title “Philosopher’s Stone” to the American “Sorcerer’s Stone” for the US printed books. In this article I hope to point out some reasons why this change shouldn’t have happened. Please note, I mean no offense, particularly to the Americans who are reading this. Point #1: The decision to change Philosopher to Sorcerer was made because, in the U.S., a philosopher connotes a scholar of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields. Philosopher does not typically connote an alchemist or magician, and magic is essential to the Harry Potter books. Consequently, the publisher suggested using another word with a more magical connotation, and Sorcerer was suggested as an alternate word. Indeed, this is true. However, throughout the novel we find out exactly who Nicholas Flamel is and what he does, as seen below: “Nicholas Flamel’, she whispered dramatically, “is the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone!” – Hermione Granger, Chapter 13, page 161, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, British paperback “There have been many reports of the Philosopher’s ... Read More »

Conclusions from OotP

Harry's Prophecy

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…” Let’s break the prophecy down: The person who can defeat Voldemort will be born to parents who have escaped Voldemort three times They will be born near the end of July Voldemort will mark them as equal in some way They will have a power that Voldemort will not know about Either they will kill Voldemort or Voldemort will kill them in the end, because they cannot both exist Although you should never trust a character’s word, Dumbledore is nearly always right and so we should assume the person who can defeat the Dark Lord is Harry. In that case, he was born on July 31st (as the seventh month dies), he was marked by Voldemort (his lightning bolt scar), ... Read More »

Does Ron Weasley really deserve his place in Gryffindor house?

What do you think of this theory? It seems true that Ron is not always as recklessly courageous as Harry, perhaps, but does being frequently scared of spiders make anyone less brave? Or do you think Ellis might be right, and Jo just got it wrong? Read More »

How Hollywood De-fanged Potter’s Radical Politics

Ministry of Magic

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1: more than a movie review by Megan Read More »

The Magic Quill #177: Werewolf Puppy Mills


Thanks for your patience, as this chapter took a record 3 months to pull together. My prognostication, back in September, that it was going to come out in record time, goes to show that I probably have Trelawney blood! I am fairly confident that the time-management crisis that curtailed my creative writing for a few months is now behind me (more or less), so I hope you can expect a few more Quills in 2011! Read More »

The Flaw in the Plan


One of the seeming unanswered questions in the final scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is: Did Albus Dumbledore purposely place Severus Snape in a position to be killed by Lord Voldemort? On the surface this appears to be the case. But delving a bit deeper into the story provides an answer: A resounding no—in fact it’s exactly the opposite. Dumbledore went to great lengths, even endangering Harry, to protect Severus. Tragically, a flaw in his last plan brought about Snape’s death. Read More »

Spinner’s End: Half-Baked Prince/Half-Baked Harry


by Lady Lupin The premiere of the final two Harry Potter films seems a good time for Lady Lupin to make a brief appearance at MuggleNet. With the books published, the series ended and many other things to do, allowing Spinner’s End to fade into history seemed appropriate. However, it’s a new era – the eventual winding up of the film franchise – and a new article seems to be in order. I look at my title and it sounds quite harsh; perhaps more so than I intend. However, it does seem apropos. Adapting any book to the screen is a notoriously difficult enterprise, and though it’s done often it’s rarely done well. There are exceptions, of course, and the Harry Potter film series has some wonderful qualities to recommend it. I have never missed one of the films and don’t intend to, until the series ends. However, I do have a bit of a tempestuous relationship with the franchise. I learned several films ago to put the books away before going to the cinema – at least whichever book was the foundation for the current film. The two media couldn’t be more different or have more varied requirements for ... Read More »

MuggleNet Editorial: Half-Baked Prince / Half-Baked Harry

It has been a while since we’ve posted a new Editorial on MuggleNet, but one today added by Lady Lupin makes up for the wait! In ‘Half-Baked Prince/Half-Baked Harry‘, Lady Lupin examines the gap between Book Harry’s growth and the knowledge Film Harry has.  What are the things that the films have left out that have an effect on Book Harry’s ability to get to the climax of the story?   You’ll find out by reading! Read More »

The Magic Quill #176: The Picture of Doreen Grape

Mrs. Figg

by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: greyniffler VOICE: You are listening to the Wizarding Wireless, broadcasting at 42 thaums per lunar cycle. (Sound of rustling in cupboard.) WITCH: Oh, drat! SECOND WITCH: What’s wrong, Carmen dear? CARMEN: Would you believe it, Branwen? I need to make a simple Complexion Concoction and I’m all out of bees’ wings, four-leaf clover stems, and moonwater! BRANWEN: There, there. That used to happen to me all the time, before I found… VOICE: We interrupt this advert for a word from our sponsor. REALLY DEEP VOICE: No matter where you fly on Saddler brooms, you are not alone. Old man Saddler stands behind every flight on Saddler brooms. (Evil laughter…) PREVIOUS VOICE: And now we return to our regularly scheduled advert. BRANWEN: There, there. That used to happen to me all the time, before I found Lizzie Cauldron’s Potion Packs! CARMEN: Potion Packs? BRANWEN: Each one has all the ingredients for one batch of a standard potion. They have over one hundred recipes available, and they are adding more every week. And they come complete with full directions. CARMEN: Do they really work? BRANWEN: Lizzie’s recipies are foolproof, dear. They’re guaranteed. CARMEN: Well, let’s go buy ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #175: The Hag Bride


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: TWZRD Runner-up: Joe Harvey found himself in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, standing just below the dais where the head table belonged. Instead of the house tables, rows of chairs filled the room, with an aisle down the center carpeted by a strip of avocado-green taffeta. The chairs closest to the aisle were decorated with nosegays of shockingly ugly flowers, most of them either venomous or redolent of spoiled meat. What, Harvey wondered, had he gotten himself into? And why couldn’t he remember how he came to be here…? He looked at himself, and around himself, in a desperate quest to remember. The dais was covered in a tasteless weave that looked almost like burlap embroidered with twine. The designs featured flowers even more garishly ugly than the ones that decorated the chairs. The staff table had been removed, replaced by a hideously decorated lectern under a gazebo-like awning. A wizard Harvey vaguely recalled as a member of the Wizengamot smiled down at him from under a mantel that appeared to have been stitched out of a yak’s pelt. Harvey tried not to look lost as he checked out his own attire (dress robes) and ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #174: Surfer Mice


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Evensong Runner-up: Linda Carrig Merlin and Miss Pucey legged it. In their mouths the slightly medicinal, herbal tang of Turbo Gum (tiny lozenge-shaped chicle drops made to Signor Subito’s family recipe). Over their shoulders a massive wall of water that advanced so slowly that it seemed almost suspended in time. To their left and right, smooth stone walls that arched overhead to form a vaulted ceiling only a meter or so above the level of the approaching water, but with no footholds to climb and no ledges to climb to. Ahead, a seemingly endless tunnel offering no refuge from the wave behind. Time was in their favor while their legs, and the flavor of the gum, held out. They ran and chewed. They chewed and ran. The slow-motion roar of the following wave was so deep it could not be heard by the human ear, but they felt its thrum in their feet, legs, chest. Apart from that, only the sound of their panting breaths and running footsteps broke the silence of the watery, subterranean deathtrap in which they ran (and chewed) for their lives. The wave was not gaining on them. In fact, they ... Read More »