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Severus Snape vs. Lord Voldemort

Snape and Voldemort.jpg

By Laurel Abstract: In the Harry Potter series, Snape serves as a character foil for Voldemort, and vice versa. They have much in common–including appearance, childhood experiences, talent, intelligence, interest in the Dark Arts, and antagonistic role in the story–save for one critical difference. It is Snape’s capacity for love, which lies at the very core of his character, that prevents him from following in Voldemort’s footsteps and that ultimately ensures the downfall of his former master. In this essay, I explore how making a comparison between Snape and Voldemort proves Dumbledore’s conviction that love is the most powerful of all magic. “If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love.” (p. 299, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) Severus Snape could have been the next Lord Voldemort. He was on the same path as Tom Riddle from the moment of his birth, and his interests and abilities developed in a similar direction. An 11-year-old Harry Potter even attributed the first time he felt his scar hurt – in the Great Hall on his first day at Hogwarts – to the piercing stare of his new Potions professor. Even though this sensation would later be explained by Harry’s ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Devil


By Murray Vasser Abstract: This essay is a response to the criticism of the Harry Potter novels voiced by many in the Christian community. Introduction Some Christians have argued that children should not read the Harry Potter novels because these books are all about magic, and the practice of magic is strictly prohibited by the Scriptures. However, an examination of the nature of magic in the ancient world and the nature of magic in fairy tales reveals that the magic in Harry Potter is fundamentally different from the magic which the Bible condemns. Furthermore, the paranoia over the Harry Potter novels reveals a dangerous misunderstanding about the nature of demonic activity. Magic in the Bible Magic was extremely prevalent in New Testament times, as it provided the promise of safety and security in a cosmos believed to be populated by dangerous spiritual forces. In the ancient world, “Magic represented a method of manipulating good and evil spirits to bring harm or to lend help.” [1] Thus magical formulas consisted in the invocation of a wide range of spirits, as illustrated in this love potion discovered in Egypt: I entrust this charm to you, underworld gods, to Pluto, to Kore, Persephoneia, ... Read More »

S.P.E.W: Did Hermione Get it Wrong?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

By Isla Neilson Abstract: This essay is about how Hermione was wong when creating spew and what she could have done. The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, also known as S.P.E.W., was an organisation founded by Hermione Granger in Goblet Of Fire after seeing the way house-elves like Winky were treated during the Quidditch World Cup. Winky the house-elf was wrongly accused of using dark magic and she ran away from her master’s tent against her master’s owners because she was scared when death eaters came. Winky was caught under a Dark Mark with the wand that preformed it and was threatened with being given clothes by her master. If a house-elf is given clothes it means that they are free. For some house-elves this is great – for example Dobby, who was accidentaly given a sock by his master Lucius Malfoy (who abused him) and became a free elf. However for other elves, it would seem being given clothes is the worst thing that could happen; they feel like they have disgraced the wizarding family they have been serving as well as the generations of House Elf ancestors that came before them. Despite the seemingly horrid lifestyle ... Read More »

The Indictment of Cornelius Oswald Fudge

Cornelius Fudge

By Ben Lamoureux Let’s face it – who doesn’t dislike the sad excuse of a Minister of Magic named Cornelius Fudge? We never get to fully see what happens to him after he leaves office. What consequences does he suffer, if any? What if he were to be tried for his failure to fulfill his ministerial duties? Answers to these questions (and more) are speculated (and attempted to be answered) in… “The Indictment of Cornelius Oswald Fudge.” While the non-Muggle characters in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix don’t operate under all of the normal laws that we Muggles do, the following case is based upon a reality in which the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is being charged under the restrictions of Muggle laws. Charges Cornelius Oswald Fudge is charged with the following: 1) Crimes against the British Wizarding World, including a) Breach of duty b) Severe negligence of duty Procedure Cornelius Oswald Fudge undoubtedly had a duty to the British Wizarding World, as he was, in fact, the Minister of Magic at the time at which Lord Voldemort (henceforth referred to as Tom Riddle) began regaining power. When he was elected to his position within the ... Read More »

In Defense of the Dursleys

The Dursleys

By Abbii Summary: One of the most hotly debated issues among the Potter fandom is the role and character of Severus Snape, a man who treated Harry abysmally for six years, only to be exonerated in a final revelation in Deathly Hallows. However, I cannot help but wonder if a similar overhaul is long due for the Dursleys. The Dursleys are not well-liked by the Potter fandom: they are representative of the Muggle world which holds Harry back; the home from which Hogwarts is a glorious escape; the abuse he suffers in his early years. But whilst in the case of Snape, a great many people leap to his defence and try to exonerate and explain his actions once they realise it was all done for Harry’s own good, the Dursleys are left to languish in this miserable reputation. I would like to question why. The most obvious reason for Snape’s redemption is the danger he risked to keep Harry safe. Firstly, can anyone deny that the Dursleys were putting themselves in an incredibly vulnerable position by protecting Harry? While they could not have been harmed as he was growing up – or else, clearly, Voldemort would have captured or ... Read More »

Atoning After the War

Draco Malfoy

By Monique Jones Summary: Draco Malfoy is one of the prime examples in the “Harry Potter” series of how racism can twist a young mind in the worst of ways. But, one thing that I feel was slightly alluded to in the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but never actually said outright, is how the events of the War have changed Draco and expanded his worldview, hopefully for the better. In my essay, I intend to show how post-War Draco could possibly come to terms with his racist past and overcome it. I use a real-life example to illustrate this–the life of Elwin Wilson, who grew up hating African-Americans, but later came to grips with his thoughts and sought out forgiveness. On the Draco-centric section of my site, I use a quote from Tom Felton’s music site, Feltbeats.com, which explained in a few short sentences what I tried to convey in a few clumsy paragraphs. Draco Malfoy may be the school bully, but, to quote the website, “his villainy is not by choice, but rather, it is thrust upon him.” Now this sentence explains his bungled mission to kill Dumbledore, but it also explains other aspects of ... Read More »

The Dumbledore-Severus Relationship, Was it Really Loyalty Between Them?


By Sly_Like_Slytherin Summary: Throughout the entire Harry Potter series, it is said that Severus Snape is loyal to Dumbledore, but is Severus truly loyal to him? And does Dumbledore himself deserve that loyalty? I know a number of Potter fans that will agree when I say that, even with all of his flaws, Severus Snape is a substantially loyal character. He remains loyal to Lily Evans-Potter, long after she dismisses him as a friend, and long after she has declared her love for another. He remains loyal to Albus Dumbledore despite the danger he willingly puts him through, seemingly without caring for the outcome. It does take some serious heart to remain loyal to people, even though they hurt you. The question I pose is simply this: Is Severus Snape truly loyal to Albus Dumbledore, and If he is, does Dumbledore himself deserve that loyalty? We see evidence in Goblet of Fire that Dumbledore has kept Severus out of severe amounts of trouble with the Ministry and Azkaban. If I was in his situation, I would be very grateful for someone who kept me out of such a horrid place. That, I believe, is THE element that fuels Snape’s loyalty ... Read More »

Harry Potter – The Ideal Source for an Opera/Musical

Dumbledore & the Great Hall

By Stuart Abstract: The Harry Potter story is as wide ranging and dramatic as any opera plot – why aren’t we seeing a major West End adaptation on the lines of Les Miserables? Who would write it and who would star in the leading roles? Okay, I have a confession. I am a lifelong fan of opera and musical theatre…I’ve even written a couple of shows that have appeared on the London stage and Edinburgh Festival. And, having just watched the final episode of the history of British Musicals on BBC4, plus a documentary about the origins and success of Les Miserables, it has set me wondering: what about a Harry Potter musical or even opera? Why am I vacillating between musical and opera? Simply that with the modern musical, it has blurred the distinction between opera and musical theatre – watch anything by Lloyd-Webber or Shoenburg/Boubil (writers of Les Mis and Miss Saigon) or even Steven Sondheim and spoken dialogue has been more or less eliminated in true opera style. At the same time there are no really world class composers coming forward that can write true classical opera. Probably the last one I can think of is Benjamin ... Read More »

Harry Potter for Adults – What Would the World of the Last Three Books and the Battle of Hogwarts Have Looked Like Rated R?

Battle of Hogwarts

By Stuart Abstract: The Harry Potter novels are written as childrens’ books, but imagine the film versions of the latter novels without the constraints to appeal to a childrens’ audience… Look through the various quibbles on the this site and you’ll see interweaving questions on how certain aspects of the books – specifically from the last few chapters of Goblet of Fire – have been ‘dumbed down’ or’ skimmed over’ or sanitised when it came to the movie adaptations. On the face of it, there’s a very good reason in that both books and films were launched and promoted as tales for children. Anything above a PG-13 rating would have seriously impaired any of the movies’ ability to appeal to a wide audience and would have seriously dented their wide ranging appeal. And yet, the seeds are sown in the novels themselves for something far more sinister and frightening. While not at all criticising the existing movies, it is interesting to speculate what might have been had this audience-appeal constraint not been present. Let’s consider the Ministry of Magic scenes for a moment. Even in the early books we get a whiff of an autocratic, all controlling organisation, intolerant of ... Read More »

The Bravest Man is the One Who Faces Fear

Ron Weasley

A Response to Does Ron Weasley Really Deserve His Place in Gryffindor House? By Rose Weasley Abstract: I start by asking readers who the bravest person in Gryffindor is, and listing likely answers, such as Harry or Neville. But I choose to support a different answer: Ronald Bilius Weasley. Who is the bravest person in Gryffindor? Most would say Harry Potter, who helps others no matter what the cost to himself, and has faced terrible tragedy. Others say Neville, who is always made fun of but turns out a hero. Some say Hermione, for her nerve and fearless pursuit of what’€™s right. Yet others say Luna, because she is always true to herself no matter what others may think of her. The list goes on, but one unsung hero remains in the shadows. The bravest of them all is the most unsuspected of all: Ronald Bilius ‘œRon’€ Weasley. Many see Ron as a weakling, as a scaredy-cat in need of protection. But that’€™s just it: Ron is afraid, he is afraid of many things. But he follows through anyway, and does whatever he can to help his friends no matter how horrified he is by doing it. Facing your fears ... Read More »

In Defense of James Potter

James and Lily Potter

By marauders-legacy Abstract: Was James Potter a villain or a hero? Is the fandom right in despising him? Question: Is a murderer a bad person? Is the sky blue? Was James Potter a vile, vicious monster? Answer: Yes. Obviously. No question about it. Stroll into a Harry Potter fanatics convention, and I can guarantee that every single one of those present will despise James Potter. No exceptions. And why? Why is the father of the Boy Who Lived, the man he inherited his famed Quiddtich skills from, the best friend of the beloved Sirius Black and the supporter of the amazing Remus Lupin, so unpopular with Potterheads? The answer is evident in the Order of the Phoenix, ‘Snape’s Worst Memory’. He was a bully. I can’t justify what James did to Snape in that particular chapter. I’ve heard people fuming about it enough – James carried out an unprovoked assault on him. He taunted him, mocked him, and threatened to remove his trousers in front of the school’s entire population. Unfortunately, we were yanked out of the memory alongside Harry at that moment, so we can’t tell whether or not James fulfilled his promise. But we can hazard a guess, ... Read More »

Was Dumbledore Really Beedle? – A Quibble Response

Tale of the Three Brothers

By Stuart Abstract: A resonse to the latest quibble of the week. Could Albus Dumbledore really have gone back in time to become Beedle the Bard? Is the theory logically sound? The question postulated is, did Dumbledore go back in time and write the Tales of Beedle the Bard? Any answer to this would need to have two parts: a) Did he have the ability to go back in time? b) Why would he have done so and written the stories if he could? To answer the first part, much is made of the time turner used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban. However, even without close analysis of the text, I’m sure I remember that the one she was using was very rare and its use was frowned upon by the Ministry of Magic. She used it for time jumps of hours and not even days. Nothing is said about the capabilities of a time turner, but one wonders if it would have the ability to flip Dumbledore back the hundreds of years necessary to create the stories and place them in the very psyche of the wizarding world. Remember that Ron says they were part of his childhood ... Read More »

Harry Potter: A Coming of Age Story

Harry Potter

By Rachel Abstract: Throughout the essay I examine not only the idea that appearances are not only deceptive within the Harry Potter series, but also Harry’s inability to see the adults in his life for what they truely are and how, by learning to see beyond appearances, Harry is able to grow and muture. J. K. Rowling claims that ‘the trouble with writing [the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone>] was (as so often in a Harry Potter book) I had to give a lot of information and yet conceal even more’ (http://www.jkrowling.com/en/). The readers are introduced to the idea of concealment early on in the novels and the audience is shown that a key theme in the Harry Potter books is that appearances are deceptive. The wizarding world itself is hidden from the non-magical people and the ‘international statute of secrecy’ (p 261 DH UK) is a law regularly referred to throughout the novels which enforces wizarding secrecy. However the wizards and witches of this community do not only disguise themselves against non-magical people. Throughout the course of the seven novels Harry and the readers encounter animagi, metamorphmaguses, paintings that hide secret passage ways, a castle ... Read More »

The Two That “Might Have Been”

Snape Boggart

By marauders-legacy Summary: Is Snape’s vile treatment of Neville only because of Neville’s relation to the prophecy? Or does his pride play a role? What is Rowling trying to tell us? A discussion about the relationship between these two characters; what it reveals about Snape’s character, and an attempt to answer these questions. With one word – “Always” – Snape transformed from the despised cynic to the romantic hero of Rowling’s absolutely wizard series in the eyes of the Harry Potter fandom. The actions they had once condemned so forcefully were now completely understandable because he was thwarted in love. Hey, we’re all suckers for a tear-jerkingly tragic story. But still, glossing over his treatment of Harry entirely since he was saving Harry’s life, although I think making it a misery is a pretty high price – what about the man-who-might-have-remained-a-Death-Eater(had it not been for Lily)’s treatment of the boy-who-might-have-been-the-Chosen-One (had it not been for Harry’s blood status)? My sister pointed out to me that his singling out of Neville for bullying is because of Neville’s connection to the prophecy – if Neville’s mother had died for her son, Lily would be alive and thriving. I’d stupidly missed that entirely ... Read More »

Does Ron Weasley Really Deserve His Place in Gryffindor House?

Ron Weasley

By Ellis Abstract: A discussion as to whether Ron should have been placed in Gryffindor house, after all. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to belong to a particular Hogwarts house. The Sorting Hat outlines clearly from the moment Harry begins his magical journey the distinct definition between the four: ‘You might belong in Gryffindor, Where dwell the brave at heart, Their daring, nerve and chivalry Set Gryffindors apart; You might belong in Hufflepuff, Where they are just and loyal, Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil; Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, If you’ve a ready mind, Where those of wit and learning, Will always find their kind; Or perhaps in Slytherin You’ll make your real friends, Those cunning folk use any means To achieve their ends.’ — ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone‘, page 88, UK hardback. Throughout the course of the novels, the members of the famous trio each display qualities relating to all four of the houses at some point, when put in different situations. However, Harry and Hermione fundamentally remain constant, definite Gryffindors. Their bravery can be proved simply through the form of their boggarts; Harry’s being the image ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Narrow-Minded Muggles

The Dursleys

By KBHP Abstract: The writer has an answer for Potter-bashers everywhere. Although it has been two years since the last Harry Potter book was released, conservatives and liberals still have strong negative opinions about the series’ presentation of witchcraft, wizardry, and beyond. With the release of MuggleNet.com’s Harry Potter Should Have Died many unanswered questions emerged even after the series’ end, driving Potter bashers everywere to take up arms once again and push their own negative opinions about the series forward. For the most part, I believe these Harry Potter critics are blinded by the imagination that J.K. Rowling surrounds her novel with – but if they opened their minds and eyes a little wider they would realize the many wonderful things that this series has taught its readers. Conservative Pro-Family Christian groups fought hard to remove the Harry Potter books from the shelves of libraries and take them out of school classrooms. These groups were afraid that the positive spin on witchcraft would make children stray from their Christian roots. But what conservative Christians fail to realize is that the magic taught in Harry Potter is extremely imaginative and holds no secret innuendos of practicing the WICCA or paganism ... Read More »

Harry’s Books, Films and Fans in the Future

Quidditch IQA

By Gilles Abstract: This is an essay I wrote about the Harry Potter series and what its fandom could become in the next few years. “IT all ends here,” this is what every Harry Potter fan saw on the Deathly Hallows – part 2 posters leading up to the final movie release. But did it? Of course we all claim that it will never end and that Harry will never leave us. But can we truly believe in that statement or is it only the result of the hype created by the last film’s release? Is wizard wrock going to survive? Is muggle quidditch’s popularity going to increase in the next few years? Are the Harry Potter fansites going to find a new return value when the HP related news will become inexistant? And, more importantly, are the harry potter fans going to remain, to paraphrase J.K. Rowling, “as enthusiastic and inventive as ever?” I personally think that most of the series future depends on it’s fandom, which, for Harry Potter, is a rather extraordinary one. Jo did her work brilliantly, Dan, Emma, Rupert and all the film-makers did theirs and now it is our turn to allow the franchise ... Read More »

Deathly Hallows Part 1 and the Audiovisual Soundscape it Wasn’t

Deathly Hallows Part 1

By Selina Abstract: This essay expresses the less heard opinion on the latest film, that it was neither “the best one yet” nor spellbinding in any way. It argues that this was the case because of the poor use of its soundtrack, and how this takes away from the overall experience, making it harder to find yourself transported by the cinematic experience. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 premiered this week, and fans around the world are currently celebrating its success and brilliance. But I wish to address a major issue I had with the film, one which made it impossible to truly immerse myself in it and enjoy the experience: the lack of an epic soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the film and there are a lot of excellent elements to point out as well, but this is so important to me, I wish to single it out. I don’t like comparing the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies – mostly out of fierce loyalty to HP, because the LotR movies are undeniably, unfathomably better. My mother always says that the difference between the franchises can be summed up by looking at ... Read More »

Why the Harry Potter Saga Didn’t Receive Any Valuable Oscars (and Why the Lord of the Rings Did)

The Oscars

By Vincent Summary: The writer argues David Yates was the worst thing to happen to the Harry Potter franchise. After three successful movies, Lord of The Rings won several Oscars as a coronation to a movie saga that has enchanted the world. David Heyman and David Baron were both hoping to obtain a similar achievement, but they destroyed all their Oscar-chances four years ago by hiring David Yates as director for the final four movies. Although Yates tried to focus on the emotional plotlines of the characters and he succeeded in making some very touching moments, the movies were not magical. They were never enchanting, or even epic. Through the first four movies, the directors did huge efforts to show us the magical world of Harry Potter that we all deeply love. You can see this in various little cut scenes like the ghosts in Prisoner of Azkaban that jump on their horses through a window in the great hall. In Sorcerer’s Stone Chris Columbus tries to give us as many details as possible when Harry enters places such as Diagon Alley, Gringotts and the Great Hall. We see the candles float through the air as we are overwhelmed by ... Read More »

A Fan’s Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Ron and Hermione

By Adeeb Abstract: A rather positive view on the first installment of the Deathly Hallows movie. How did I feel about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Movie? Seeing the movie a few months ago, I’ll tell you how I felt about it. Before I start talking about the movie itself, I wanted to talk about the posters. The posters were amazing, reflecting what’s out there for the trio and the dangers they’re in. The photoshop skills were amazing, I loved every single poster. The way I felt about the movie can’t be described. It was stunning, beautiful, amazing… etc. It lived up to my expectations. The movie was stunning with its visual effects. David Yates managed to put a lot of effort to improve the style and the darkness of the film since Order of the Phoenix. This movie was the best one, in my opinion, in the visual effects era. Lighting, camera angles, and everything else were perfect in that zone. Since we’re talking special effects, I’d like to add the “Tale of the Three Brothers” scene. That part of the movie was shockingly prodigious… I did not see that coming. I just fell in love ... Read More »