The Burrow: The Truth About the Deathly Hallows

Xenophillius Lovegood

An original editorial by Magical Me The Deathly Hallows were introduced at an unfortunate moment in the story’s progression. While many of us read through the seventh book with the anticipation of the final battle on our minds, or the curiosity as to the fate of our beloved characters, we were distracted from the true significance of the Deathly Hallows, not only in the magical world but in the eyes of the characters themselves. In this essay I take a more thorough look at the Deathly Hallows and what they tell us about the magical world and the characters we know and love. As we all know, the earliest record of the Hallows is “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” This children’s story gives us an explanation of what the Hallows are generally thought to be: Wand: Unbeatable, strongest magic possible Stone: To do the impossible, to bring the living back from the dead Cloak: To become completely undetectable Like most children’s stories, these descriptions are not all together true, but there is truth in it…kind of. The story also claims that the person to unite all the Hallows, which I interpret to be in possession of all three, will ... Read More »

The Burrow: The Curse of the Hallows

The Deathly Hallows

An original editorial by Stuart Taylor The Deathly Hallows. We all wondered what they might be: some suggested the world beyond the veil; others suggested Horcruxes; others still believed it was something we had not yet seen, as with the books’ other titles. And they were right – sort of. Of course we had seen them all before – two of them (the Wand and the Cloak) as early as Philosopher’s Stone and the third (the Stone) in Half-Blood Prince – but the nature of them, we could not have imagined. Three objects to make one the “Master of Death”. As it turned out, things were not so simple – in The Tale of the Three Brothers, the Hallows led two of the brothers to premature deaths, but perhaps one could blame that on the owners rather than the Hallows themselves. The Quest for the Wand This whole Elder Wand lark is a tricky business. The misconception (a resultant increase in likelihood of death) lies in reading too much into the fable by Beedle the Bard. The Elder Wand does not make the bearer invincible; this much is true even within the Tale of the Three Brothers – the elder ... Read More »

The Burrow: Why Hermione Was Right

Tale of the Three Brothers

An original editorial by Robbie Fischer “It’s obvious which gift is best, which one you’d choose–” The three of them spoke at the same time; Hermione said, “the Cloak,” Ron said, “the wand,” and Harry said, “the stone.” Which Deathly Hallow would you choose? Clearly, this question can yield a key insight into the different characters of J.K. Rowling’s leading trio. Harry Potter picks the Resurrection Stone, because at the heart of his personality is the pain of loss and the wish for a family of his own. I know too well how grief can cloud a person’s judgment about right and wrong, good and evil, what they really need and what is only a selfish wish. I have seen many living examples, from the widower who holds a grudge against God for taking his wife before him (as if God mightn’t have more on His mind than pleasing one man) to the elderly couple broken up by the death of their son — a grandfather in his own right — saying, “We had such hopes for him” (how much more can you hope for, anyway?). Fortunately by the time Harry recognizes the Stone is in his possession, he has ... Read More »

The U-Bend #45: Re-Introducing the Player

harry potter books

by Andrew Lee “But aliens, future men, ghosts, monsters, espers, evil cartels and anime, manga, live-action heroes that fight them…It wasn’t till later in my life that I realized they all don’t exist. No, I probably noticed it. I just didn’t want to accept it. I longed for aliens, future men, ghosts, monsters, espers and evil cartels to just appear from the bottom of my heart.” – Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)   Welcome to The U-Bend. Since we’re going to be spending the next few months together, I think it’s time to re-introduce myself to the loyal readership. (Thanks for all your messages. They’re really encouraging.) Right now I still dream of doing something for one of the Harry Potter films, but you probably remember that from the first U-Bend written long ago. So, I’ll be a bit more specific. I’m generally a happy person who enjoys life and looks for the positives in people and events. I live in Canada and my favorite color is blue. Of course, none of that information is relevant to the big question that any Harry Potter fan must answer at some point: Why do you like Harry Potter? Well, settle down because today I’ll tell you. In a ... Read More »

The Burrow: For the Greater Good: Lessons for Deathly Hallows from Lord of the Rings

Frodo Baggins

An original editorial by Peter Wagner (Wimsey) Adapting a story from one medium to another always presents challenges. Here, I will discuss why Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings offers a good template for the adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This will touch upon the nature of both stories, how aggressive adaptation can emphasize and enhance stories, and why Deathly Hallows is best presented in a single 3-hour installment. Why use LOTR as a template for DH? Comparisons are obvious, simply because LOTR and HP are arguably the best-selling and most popular fantasy works of our time. Moreover, both LOTR and DH are the final stories in series linked by common themes, and in which the plots depend on items from earlier stories. On the other hand, in many ways the two tales are antithetical. The HP stories are mostly character-driven ones that revolve around a single protagonist; each story centers on Harry’’s choices. Conversely, LOTR is a plot-driven epic with no one protagonist. The reason LOTR offers a good template is that the film (and I will refer to all three as one film, as it really is a single movie ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #133: Titus Fistley


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Dragonic Runner-up: greyniffler Miles O’Roughage sat with the briefcase on his knees on an incredibly hard chair, jammed into a corner between a potted palm-oil palm and a frosted glass door with the words DEPARTMENT OF ABRACULTURE: PATENT OFFICE stenciled on the other side of the glass. Every time someone opened the door, the glass banged Miles’ knee painfully, without being damaged itself. The palm-oil palm kept nudging his arm until he dug a sickle and a few knuts out of his pocket and dropped them on its roots; afterward the sound of the palm’s roots counting and burying its hoard was enough to drown out the coughing of a sickly, yodeling flytrap in a hanging planter on the other side of the door. The herbologist sighed, reflecting that magic could sometimes be tiresome. Here he sat in the most uncomfortable chair in a waiting room where he had spent a net two years of his life (though not all at once), steadfastly ignoring a dispute between two other wizards who were both trying to patent the same herb — either as wurtha-mint (sachets of whose leaves were meant to lend a wizarding home the ... Read More »

The Burrow: Sketch of a Sketch of a Series Finale

Deathly Hallows

An original editorial by Robbie Fischer All the Harry Potter movies that have come out so far have all cut out a lot of material to fit each book’s basic plot elements into one movie that people with average-sized bladders can sit through. And though it is hard to say how many threads Movie 6 is going to leave for Movie 7 to tie up – since the sixth film has not yet been seen – I think Warner Bros. will follow the past formula that has worked so well. I think the seventh book will be adapted into a single, one-part movie. For the first part of this essay, let me unpack a few of my reasons for saying this. Not all of the Harry Potter books had an equally tight-strung plot. The first two books, for example, and the fourth book as well, were somewhat episodic – though they did have plot lines that ran through them. If any of the Harry Potter books could have been chopped up between multiple films, they were Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Goblet of Fire. Though Goblet of Fire would have suffered most from this multi-movie treatment, it also suffered ... Read More »

The U-Bend #44: The Long Goodbye and Hello


by Andrew Lee “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Goodbye. That was one thing Robert and I never got to say to the readers of The U-Bend. I had always wanted to end The U-Bend properly, but never got the chance. In its short-lived life, The U-Bend brought you many famous articles, including: Choking Ron: Evil Harry and You, Are You There Jo? It’s Me, Andrew (and Robert) and Half-Blood Pie: A Musical Review. Before then, I wrote a few other articles, including one of my all time favorites: Don’t Do What Diggory Did. But I digress… There comes a time when everyone has to face their destiny and set the record straight. For myself, that time is now. It never sat with me correctly the way the column abruptly ended, leaving our five fans in the dark. In late January I was finally asked by the MuggleNet editorial staff about the final status of The U-Bend. And rather leave the column as it was, I felt it was time to say the things that were never said before: Think of this as the long goodbye. During this long goodbye, The U-Bend will ... Read More »

The Burrow: Going Out with a Bang


An original editorial by hpboy13 It is time to plan the end of the Harry Potter movies. However, there are still several things to consider. First off, will they make as much money as the previous ones did? Any way you look at it, HP is no longer going to be the pop culture phenomenon in 2010 that it was in 2007. There are “new Harry Potters” everywhere, be it Twilight or Inkheart or anything in between. While none of these is truly anywhere near comparable with HP, the fact remains that in 2010 HP won’t be as hyped as it once was. So to milk those last billion dollars out of this franchise, Warner Bros. has to go out with a bang. The books have gotten progressively longer until now, yet for some reason the movies have stayed the same length. Two and a half hours was perfect for a 300 page book, but it is far from perfect for a 900 page book. I’ve been in the online fandom since 2003, and people have been complaining about the movies as long as I can remember. However, as time progressed, the complaints became much more widespread, and much more ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #132: Harvey Face to Face


by Robbie Fischer Contest winners in ABC order: Dragonic, Echoreyn, greyniffler, h_morgan, Linda_Carrig, PotterPig, Snuffleupagus, TWZRD, and zanaboo [Transcript of group session on Lewis Bell Ward at St. Mungo’s] HEALER: All right, Mr. Sphaeris, let’s hear from you. Have you learned what started you on the road to this place? PATIENT SPHAERIS: I suppose it was my wife’s cooking. HEALER: Is that so? SPHAERIS: You have no idea what an awful cook she is. She can burn water. Her bangers and mash taste like tinned sardines with a side of sweaty socks. The neighbors have complained about the taste of her tikka masala getting into their food. Fresh meat begins to turn when it sees her coming. I’m only alive today because she can give food poisoning food poisoning. Once, while pulling a batch of croissants out of the oven, she dropped one and it went right through the floor, then cracked a six-inch concrete slab in the cellar. HEALER: I see. So all this is your wife’s fault? SPHAERIS: No. She does her best. Only, I couldn’t take it any more. So I asked a friend for help. He mentioned a friend of a friend, who was an ace ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #131: Scratching Post


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: h_morgan The stone door slid open with hardly a sound. Rigel and his companion stepped out into the starry night, led by the light at the tip of Rigel’s wand. As they emerged from the shelter of the cliffside, seven goblin faces turned toward them from around a folding table where they were playing exploding snap, close to the edge of the still, misty lake. “At last,” said the goblin with the longest nose, rising from his seat. Quickly the creatures closed in on the man and boy, surrounding them tightly. “I don’t care what you want!” Rigel yelled. “I’m not going back in there!” “We already have what we want,” said the lead goblin. Long-fingered hands brushed Rigel’s face. Sharp-toothed grins leered at him. Tough little arms held him and the man in an all-but-suffocating embrace. But there was no move toward the entrance to the crystal cave, where all manner of goblin-desired treasures must lie. “I don’t understand,” Rigel gasped. “What is this all about? Does this man owe you money?” “Money!” snarled a particularly ugly goblin. “We would never take money from master!” As one, the goblins stepped back from the two ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #130: Wish Wash

Madame Pomfrey

by Robbie Fischer Contest winners: zanaboo and greyniffler [Transcript of group session on Lewis Bell Ward at St. Mungo’s] HEALER: All right, have you all taken your meds? Good. Morning, everyone. Thanks, I will. Mmm. Well, let’s welcome our new members to the group, Niall and Siobhan. Why don’t you start, Niall, and tell us what brings you here? NIALL: Bloomin’ git named Farnaby Joad is what brings us here, that’s what. HEALER: Er, perhaps you could give us a bit more detail on that. NIALL: Well, old Farnaby invited us up to his flat for a New Year’s toast, like. Only he decided at the last moment to whip up a gift to hand out at the door, and being a potioneer, naturally it was an elixir. Came in a fancy little bottle with a glass stopper and a ribbon worked into the wax seal. Looked a treat. Told us to drink it down at the stroke of midnight, and all our New Year’s resolutions would come true. Wish Wash, he called it. HEALER: Oh, dear. I think I see where this is going… NIALL: Well, what with a bucket of firewhisky and eggnog, I didn’t get around to ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #129: The Crystal Cave


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Dragonic The goblins bound Rigel hand and foot. Then they bound him knee and elbow for good measure. They gagged him and carried him down the drive, trussed like a fly in a spider’s web, wriggling ineffectually on their shoulders. Turning toward town, they walked beneath him in double-file. Rigel’s insides were tied in knots, with fear pulling at one end and fury at the other. He wanted to ask where they were taking him, and was afraid to ask at the same time. He was afraid, rather, that the answer would be Gringotts, the last place in the world he ever wanted to see again. Muggle cars passed them on the road. No one seemed to notice a band of goblins carrying a tied-up boy in clown makeup. No one noticed, either, as they marched through the town square, or as they waited for a signal to cross the street. No one made a remark as they bought tickets at the train station, climbed aboard the train, and stowed Rigel on an overhead luggage rack, though they had to stand in a goblin pyramid to do so. Rigel watched with growing frustration as the ... Read More »

Dumbledore Comes Out


by Leah G.  In the Harry Potter community, J.K. Rowling’s announcement at the New York reading in October has been the talk of the town, with a lot of people reacting in ways I find disappointing. I’ll admit to being a bit shocked when I first read the news, less at the information and more that she would actually put it out there given its potential level of controversy — and the reactions seem to be confirming that expectation. There are several responses I really must address before I get to the meat of what this means for our understanding of Dumbledore. If readers are having any of these types of reactions, they lie in those readers’ own preconceptions, biases, and phobias about homosexuals, which are a bigger set of perceptions than I can hope to alter here. I’m more concerned with the intense reaction that insists the information is wholly inconsistent with his character and detracts from the figure we’ve understood him to be, and I will address this after I delineate the following more bias-based objections from the discussion. First off, people saying this completely changes his relationship with Harry into one potentially based on a romantic or sexual interest. ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #128: Vivis Exion


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: greyniffler Spanky hummed to himself as the hoverchair floated along the corridor. Ilona followed behind, fondling the hair on the back of his head. The chair stopped in front of a shiny golden plate, fixed to the wall next to a door. There were four large words printed on the plate: “THE LEWIS BELL WARD.” Under them a dense block of text was engraved in a thin, curling script: “Dedicated to the memory of Lewis ‘Cannon’ Bell, beater for the Chudley Cannons from 1921 to 1938, holder of six all-time records: most spectators hit by bludger in a single game (17), season (124), and career (1,227); most mascots struck by bludger (18 to his own side’s mascots and 49 to the opposing side’s, including two on one shot), and most bludgers put through a scoring hoop (11 in his career, though no one started counting these until 1929). In spite of the danger to spectators, he was considered the best beater of his time because of his record for protecting his side from the bludgers, though he was less successful at interfering with the opposing team. The Daily Prophet announced his retirement with the headline: ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #127: Oldmanson and Son


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: zanaboo The old man attracted remarkably few stares as he pedaled his bicycle around three sides of the village green, up the high street and out among the fields at the edge of town. Perhaps the reason for this apparent lack of interest was embarrassment. No one likes to be caught gaping, even at a man who chooses to ride a stationary exercise bike down the street. Puffing only slightly (since the rear legs of the exercise machine were supported by a levitation spell), the old man turned directly into a seemingly solid hedge…and drove through it as if it wasn’t there. On the other side he halted in a cobble-stoned courtyard half-filled with an assortment of hovering brooms, flying carpets, Abraxan horses, and jalopies fitted with holes in the roofs to accommodate pointy hats. The old man rolled his eyes at the sight of the sprawling building ahead. In meter-high letters of Gubraithian fire it heralded itself as VOLDMART. Beneath this, a free-swearing sign painter dangled from a rope that ended in thin air ten feet above his head. He seemed to be trying to replace the slogan “WE SPELL FOR LESLIE” with one that read: “FEWER ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #126: The Platypus Test

The Elder Wand

by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Linda Carrig Runner-up: TWZRD Spanky drooled. His eyes stared blankly, his head hanging at an odd angle, as Avarice Exion spooned porridge into his slack mouth. His wrists and ankles were tied to the chair, and the skin around his mouth was discolored. “Well, I think he’s faking it,” said her sister Concupiscence, who was leaning against the doorjamb. “It’s his training. He’ll wait until our guard is down, and then attack. Or run for it, maybe.” “That may be so, Connie,” said the third sister Malignancy from her rocking chair in the corner, without looking up from her needlework. She was embroidering thorny vines around the edges of a pile of linen napkins. “But it may also be that the serum is working, and his power is breaking.” Spanky chose this moment to belch a mouthful of porridge onto his bib. Ava sighed and mopped it up. “His mind is breaking, more like,” she said. “We have to stop dosing him before he loses his marbles completely.” “The quest for knowledge calls for sacrifice,” Malignancy chirped. “This is next to murder,” Ava grumbled, slamming the bowl down on the corner of the washstand. “Finished, ... Read More »

Snape and Dumbledore: The Unnecessary Bargain


by D.W. Hill ( With several rereads of DH under my belt, it is now time to reflect upon what has just happened. To put things in context, let me remind you that I have long been a Snape supporter. In my essay “Severus Snape: A Portrait in Subtlety” (posted on MuggleNet 3/3/07), I confessed that Snape’s murder of Dumbledore had been the worst thing which had ever happened to me while reading a book. In fact, I felt so betrayed that I hid the book, not wanting it anywhere near me. Upon reflection, however, I ultimately came up with my theories on his innocence, the reasons he killed Dumbledore and other matters, many of which – with the notable exception of my disastrous speculations on Horcruxes – turned out to be not far off the mark. My experience with DH, though not as dramatic, was also emotionally wrenching. I began reading with the full confidence that Snape would emerge as truly worthy of Dumbledore’’s trust and equally confident that – with so many enemies on both sides – he would not survive. However, once it was clear that Snape had given Voldemort the date when the Order of the ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #125: Ask Fran Sanders


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Celairiel Sadie looked up when the cell door opened, but it was only Agent Dalyrmple bringing in another prisoner. The new inmate was a frail, elderly man attired richly in the old Persian manner, with many layers of robes and high-heeled half-boots. He had proud, wizened features; long, gray-white hair; and pointed moustaches and goatee of a somewhat darker color. The moustaches quivered as the man continued an indignant speech that had begun before the door was opened: “…papers to prove it!” the man complained. “But magic carpets are not legal here,” Dalrymple said patiently, “and therein lies the difficulty. In this jurisdiction, rugs are regarded as muggle artifacts, and so…” “And what is this?” the old man exclaimed, having noticed Sadie sitting on the lower bunk of the double-decker bed. “A female cellmate? No, sir. That would be most unseemly.” For a split second, Dalrymple’s face closed – few, besides Sadie, would have known that he was scrambling for an answer. Then he shrugged idly and said, as if he had planned this all along, “We reckoned you would approve of her modest nature. The veil, you know.” “Well, she does seem very demure,” ... Read More »

The Magic Quill #124: The Eyes Have It


by Robbie Fischer Contest winner: Linda Carrig The prisoner smirked as he was led into the interrogation room. The RMB agents looked tired and ill. The wizard, who sat across from the prisoner at the small scarred table, had bags under his eyes and stains on his collar. The witch leaning against the far wall wore sunglasses with mirrored lenses, though it wasn’t terribly bright in the room. The prisoner suspected that she was asleep on her feet. The bailiff unclipped the prisoner’s wandcuffs from his own buttonhole and transferred it to the RMB wizard, then left the room with a click of the door. The RMB wizard buttoned the free end of the fine, silvery chain to his lapel. The other end was clamped to the prisoner’s wand. For a few minutes, no one said anything; the agents didn’t even look at the prisoner. This left him free to chew on his bitterness about this newest RMB outrage: wandcuffs that made it impossible for you to let go of your wand, impossible to unhook it from your captor’s control, impossible to do magic. At least it left the prisoner free to use his most important weapon: deception. The wizard ... Read More »