Three Broomsticks

The Three Broomsticks: Has J.K. Rowling robbed her characters of justice?

the Trio

Harry Potter presents us with a multitude of themes on love, friendship, bravery, and morality, but what about revenge? There are countless despicable characters who certainly warrant vengeance. Read More »

Revenge Part I: The Missing Message

Baby Harry Potter

By hpboy13 Note: This editorial was inspired by and owes a great debt to a panel at Expeditious 2010 – the “Vengeance Panel” – by Carla Cecil, Amy Loviska, Nat Gibson, and Mike Varney. The excellent discussion there gave me all the ideas that will be in this essay, and it was one of the best panels I ever attended. In stories, one of the themes that is most prevalent is revenge. Revenge is the act of paying back someone who has wronged you, usually in a very unpleasant manner. Ever since Eris, goddess of Chaos, dropped a golden apple because she was offended at not being invited to a party, and thereby started the Trojan War in The Iliad, characters have been seeking to avenge past slights and wrongs. And between Eris’ success with the apple (she did start the war after all), and Telemachus’ success in slaughtering his mother’s suitors in The Odyssey, characters both good and bad have successfully gotten revenge. This is usually followed by a platitude about how awful revenge is, two wrongs don’t make a right, and so forth. This brings us to Harry Potter. In a book that is full to the brim ... Read More »

Why Luna Is Loved

Luna Lovegood

I frequently write about characters I dislike, because I’ve a lot to say on the subject. And just as frequently, I get told that I should write something positive instead, about how much I love one of the characters. So that is just what I’ll do! Read More »

The True Machiavellian: Dumbledore’s Deadly Plans


The character and motivations of Albus Dumbledore has been a key debate amongst the fandom since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Was he truly working for the greater good? Or did he have more selfish impulses? Read More »

Dumbledore’s Deadly Plans


By hpboy13 Note: This editorial owes a debt of gratitude to mirrormere’s superb editorial, “The Flaw in the Plan”. While I disagree with the conclusions reached, the research is impeccable, and the writer does a fantastic job of laying out an alternate theory on what Dumbledore’s plans possibly were and how they went awry. I used it as a springboard for my own theories, and highly recommend reading it. There are a lot of polarizing characters in the Harry Potter series, characters that fans either love or hate with equal passion – Snape, Ron, Ginny, James, etc. Those of you who have been reading my editorials know that I am exceedingly opinionated, and have a very firm stance on most characters. However, there has always been one character toward whom I could never figure out my feelings. I am talking about none other than Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. I have written two essays on Dumbledore thus far, but both of those have been about his scheming and machinations. I’ve yet to evaluate his character, because my own feelings have been so confused. I cry every single time I reread Half-Blood Prince and he dies. Yet I always feel furious ... Read More »

The Quality Vacancy: A Review of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

JKR The Casual Vacancy

By hpboy13 This is my review of The Casual Vacancy. ADULT CONTENT ADULT CONTENT ADULT CONTENT!!! Trying to keep it spoiler-free, as best I can. Okay, I don’t even know how to start. I wanted to like this book so badly. I REALLY wanted to like it. And I was convinced that I would. Whenever anyone voiced doubts about the book, I would reply defiantly, “Has Jo ever let us down yet?” Sure, this book would be very different from Harry – it would be adult, and realistic, and all that. But surely anything Jo wrote would be good? I’ve read adult books, I’ve read realistic books. Let me just reiterate that I really really wanted to like this book. Now, might as well address the erumpent in the room: this book just isn’t very good. I don’t think I’ve ever been this disappointed by a work of fiction. I feel like I just found out Santa isn’t real. But the reason why it’s not very good, that’s what really shocked me. Leaving aside plot and characters and all that (which I suppose could subjectively be considered good or bad), there is the inescapable fact that this book just isn’t ... Read More »

Camping out in New York City for tickets to see JKR at JALC


by Irvin K. I had never camped out for an event before, because I never found an event I thought was worth camping out for. But J.K. Rowling was worth camping out for. As soon as we found out about the event, my friends and I started planning our camp-out – we prepared for this as if we were storming a castle. Knowing how popular the event was going to be, we anticipated camping all weekend, and possibly the latter part of the week. It was my duty to check Columbus Circle every day to ensure there was no line, and to enquire at the box office as to how this would all happen. It was clear from the get-go that JLAC was not prepared for this event in the slightest. No one had any idea what would be happening. No one knew when tickets would go on sale online. More importantly, as of Wednesday they did not have a plan for the campers, despite over a hundred people coming in to ask about it. Thursday, the building security informed me that there would be no camping out, because we were not allowed to be in the building at night, ... Read More »

Did Umbridge Have a Point? Dumbledore’s Giant Mistake

Today, we're happy to bring you the first editorial of what promises to be a very interesting series from MuggleNet writer hpboy13. The theme of his series? That Umbridge may have had a point! Read More »

“Did Umbridge Have a Point: Punishment and Safety (Conclusion)”


Does Dumbledore do such a great job at running the school? Sure, we’re told he’s the greatest Headmaster the school’s ever known. But looking at some of the things Umbridge did while in power… while they were done horribly, she may have had one or two good ideas. Read More »

Did Umbridge Have a Point: Dumbledore’s Giant Mistake


Discussing the possibility that, though Hagrid is a beloved character and friend to Harry, his competency as a teacher is reasonably questioned by Umbridge. Read More »

Did Umbridge Have a Point: The Other Professors

Umbridge Fires Trelawney

Discussing the possible legitimacy of the Ministry reviewing the professors of Hogwarts (ignoring the obvious corruption of the Ministry in OotP). Read More »

Fandom Five Years Later


Here is a statement that catches many fans by surprise, and leaves a good portion of them exclaiming in anguish over how old they are: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published five years ago. Whoa. Five whole years. People who had just gotten into HP back then would lament not having joined the fandom sooner, now those same people smugly recall how good times were before all the books were out. In five years, we have witnessed three new movies, two musicals, two ends of an era, five Quidditch World Cups, about half a dozen major conventions, one new Potter book, one theme park, and so much more. I’d like to take a stroll down memory lane, and then look at what our fandom faces going forward. Read More »

Professor Dumbledore: not the all-knowing mentor


In this week's editorial, hpboy13 asks the fascinating question: "What Did Dumbledore Know of Horcruxes?" In his earlier article on the headmaster, he theorizes about Dumbledore's actions in Order of the Phoenix, stating it was the beginning of the horcrux hunt. Now, hpboy13 ponders just how far back Professor Dumbledore knew about the Horcruxes. Read More »

What Did Dumbledore Know of Horcruxes?


By hpboy13 Abstract: Hello, dear readers! Let me apologize profusely for my prolonged absence. But I am now back in New York, back to having access to the US paperbacks (which is what page numbers I will reference from now on), and back to writing for you! This essay is the promised follow-up to “Dumbledore’s Decoy,” so I recommend reading that one first (or at the very least reading that when you’re done here, because I don’t plan on rehashing much of what I’ve already said in that one). Without further ado, grab your butterbeers (or iced butterbeers, since it’s summer), and let’s talk Potter! By the time Harry is let in on the Horcrux hunt in Half-Blood Prince (and we are let in on it along with him), Dumbledore seems to have everything together. He knows what the Horcruxes are, and how many there are; he’s collected all the necessary memories, and it’s just a matter of telling Harry about it and then destroying them. At first, we do not question this; after all, Dumbledore is presented as almost omniscient throughout the series, so why wouldn’t he have all the necessary information already? But then, someone has to ask ... Read More »

Are We Victims?

Potter Fans

By hpboy13 Please note: the following article is entirely an opinion piece. If you are offended by such things, please go read something objective like an encyclopedia instead. The following article also suggests the possibility that there are aspects of the Potter brand that are imperfect. If you are offended by such things, please go read something like My Little Pony instead. Lastly, the article uses “you” as a generic pronoun for some fans, not as a generalization for all fans. So please don’t be offended by that, either. Grab your butterbeers, and let’s talk Potter! It has lately come to my attention, both here and (to a slightly greater extent) on Hypable, that a large portion of the HP fandom feels conned, wronged, and victimized by most entities involved in the Potter brand – Sony, WB, and Jo Rowling in particular. The things that have drawn the fans’ ire are many and varied: WB’s DVD box sets, Sony’s new “Book of Spells” video game, Sony’s Pottermore, and WHY OH WHY doesn’t Jo just write the encyclopedia already?!? The common response is to treat every single one of these as a personal affront, and mob mentality begins rearing its ugly ... Read More »

Guide to Harry Potter Conventions

Convention Fans

By hpboy13 If you’ve been following the fandom news lately, you know that this summer there is going to be a host of Harry Potter cons happening. And some of you are doubtless con- going veterans, and already have everything planned out and so forth. But for those who are new to the con-going scene – attending your first con this summer, or still deciding whether to attend a con – I thought I’d write a helpful guide for you guys. I am far from the ultimate authority on cons, having only been to two thus far (Expeditious 2010 and Aeternitas 2011), but between my own experiences and those of my many con-going friends, I believe I can offer some advice on the matter. Table of Contents 1.Should I go? Which con should I attend? 2.General Structure 3.Costumes 4.Planning! Do your homework! 5.At the Con… 6.Which event should I go to? 7.I want to give a presentation! 8.The Ball 1. Should I go? Which con should I attend? If some of you are still on the fence about whether to go to a con or not, I should tell you that you absolutely should go. It is a weekend of ... Read More »

Dumbledore’s Decoy: Did Dumbledore use the prophecy to lure Voldemort off his tracks?


Editorialist hpboy13 has recently come out with a new essay, and with it a new theory that might shake some Dumbledore-diehards: Did Dumbledore manipulate the importance of the prophecy, encourage his Order of the Phoenix to risk their lives to protect it, in order to push Voldemort off course and distract him while Dumbledore destroyed his Horcruxes? The theory is a troubling one – if hpboy13 is right then perhaps we have to take another look at Dumbledore’s character. The lengths he has gone “for the greater good” and his willingness to put the people around him in danger seems to contradict a dominant perception of the man in fandom; a powerful, but at his root benevolent old wizard. What do you think of this theory? You can head over to The Three Broomsticks forums and discuss this editorial with the writer himself. Have a cool theory like this one about the Harry Potter books? Want to share it with the world? You can submit it in essay-form to us by following the rules of submission, right here. hpboy13 has entered the Dumbledore. Will you? Read More »

Where WB Went Wrong

Warner Brothers Reel

By hpboy13 When I complain about the Harry Potter movies, one of the most common responses I get is that I simply expect too much from the movies. Which may be a legitimate point: I do expect a lot. But after this weekend, I can say that I do not expect the impossible, because I just watched The Hunger Games. And that is the most flawless book adaptation I have seen in the last decade (and I have seen a great many book adaptations of varying quality). So I will take a look at my main complaints with the Potter series, and why most of them don’t apply to Hunger Games. Spoiler alert now, for the Hunger Games movie and books. SPOILER ALERT!!! Also, to clarify, none of these complaints except the first one apply to Sorcerer’s Stone or Chamber of Secrets, which I thought were excellent. It was the rest of the Harry Potter movies that I found lacking, and here is what WB should have done differently. Here are the 7 steps to making a good book adaptation. #1: Wait until all the books are out! This honestly seems like the biggest no-brainer: if your source material isn’t ... Read More »

More Important Things: How the Sorting Hat Sorts

The Sorting Hat

By hpboy13 Summary: I question whether the Sorting Hat makes its decisions based on the personality of the students, or their values. And if it’s their values, does that help explain why some characters didn’t end up in the House that seems to best fit them? The questions posed over at Level 9 right now are about the Sorting Hat, and I determined a long time ago that it is a flawed system, but I am much more interested in how the Sorting Hat sorts… Jo said that the Hat does not make mistakes, and yet there seem to be a lot of characters in the books who were Sorted oddly. Why is Neville a Gryffindor and not a Hufflepuff? Why on earth is Hermione not a Ravenclaw? Does Luna really fit into Ravenclaw? Did Harry cheat the system? And so forth. The Hat supposedly Sorts students based on whether they’re brave, intelligent, hard-working, or ambitious. But what happens if a student is both brave and intelligent, both hard-working and ambitious? Does the Hat choose the trait which is more prominent? No, because then Hermione would still be a Ravenclaw. I would argue that the Hat Sorts people not on ... Read More »

Dumbledore’s Decoy


By hpboy13 Hello folks! Sorry about the lack of updates – real life has an annoying habit of getting in the way, and college is even worse with limiting productivity! That, and seeing Europe, and working on my novel have kept me from writing. And I’m afraid that it’ll be several weeks, perhaps even a month or two, before the next essay. However, let’s focus on the positive: we are delving deep into the glorious area of book discussion! And before I forget, this essay owes a huge debt of gratitude to John Kearns’s Harry Potter Companion (, where I got to hash out the books chapter by chapter with some brilliant HP fans. I have mentioned previously that Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite of the books. Not for any of the usual reasons: I never had issues with CAPSLOCK!Harry or Sirius dying. Rather, it’s because the entire book seemed rather pointless, to be honest. All the other books move the story along as a whole, but what does OotP accomplish? After 800-odd pages, we have learned that… (drum roll, please!) Harry and Voldemort will have to kill each other! Gee, who saw that coming? [/sarcasm] Really? ... Read More »