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Thursday, March 17th, 2011 | Author: Josh

The Wizengamot Court of the Overlooked:

Where you decide the verdict of the overlooked characters places and things in the wizarding world.

 

This time we take a look at……

Argus Filch!

Malicious or misunderstood?

 

Case Facts:

                As the caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch (A.K.A. Filch) has to keep a firm grip on security, rule-breaking, and assigning and recording punishments. However, because of his “disability”, he has to be rather unpleasant to the students or they will ignore him.  He loves his job, he hates kids, and his only friend is his sidekick, Mrs. Norris, a shabby, dust colored cat.

It’s time to decide!

 Malicious or Misunderstood?

 

Chief Warlock:  Malicious, you’re closing arguments!

Malicious: Filch is a very hostile man. Even Hagrid calls him an “old git.” Now why would a man that is so happy and kind, such as Hagrid, hate another man? I’ll tell you why. Because he has been treated badly. Treated badly by that man right there .   

                Although he tries to keep the peace of Hogwarts, the teachers are sometimes annoyed with him. The only teacher that wasn’t exasperated by his presence was the infamous High Inquisitor, Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge, who is currently in Azkaban for crimes against Muggle-borns, was a strict believer in severe punishment. She often took extremes in punishments. It has been rumored that she use veritaserum on a minor, and that she attempted a Crusiatus curse on a minor in attempts to extract information from students.

                No wonder Filch liked her. He had been on a leash of restriction for too long. He was given permission to whip misbehaving students. A whip, ladies and gentlemen! He had always wanted to have permission to whip. He is a lover of punishment. He was rumored to have almost given a punishment to a student for tracking mud into the castle.

                Now you are wondering why a man would behave in such a way. I will tell you why! He was a Squib! Exhibit A! A Kwikspell course assessment with the grade “T. “  

You wonder why that would make a difference? It is very simple. I propose to the court, that he felt inferior to the students. All of them being to use magic, he had to have felt resentment towards them, and the only way he could inflict feelings of jealousy was to cause students turmoil.

Now, most of the staff at Hogwarts that give out punishments are rather reasonable. All except Filch. It has been speculated that Filch has an uncanny speed of getting to places in Hogwarts. Exhibit B! A strange map entitled “The Marauders Map.” This map shows where everyone in Hogwarts is at, and where every single secret entrance way is. It has been revealed by Mr. George Weasly’s testimony that his brother and himself stole it from Filch in their first year (1989). The date that this map was made is unknown (sometime between 1971 and 1977), but it was reported confiscated by Filch himself somewhere in that period. This means it could have been used by Filch himself to purposely track students down.

And speaking of tracking, he had a hunting partner. Mrs. Norris. That ugly thing he calls a cat is a rotten tattletale.

                In conclusion, Filch and his ugly cat both should be charged with being willfully Malicious.

Chief Warlock: Misunderstood, your closing remarks please!

Misunderstood: Thank you, your honor.

Ladies and gentlemen of the court, I would like to sort out some misconceptions that you might have. First, The Marauders Map requires magic, and as you were so kind to point out, Filch is a squib. How could Filch use the map without magic? Unless you have some other crazy theory to this up, Filch had to have found the secret passageways himself.

Second, his “hunting partner” is just a cat. But, not just any cat. If you look up Kneazle in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” it says that a Kneazle is a cat like creature that can interbreed with cats to produce a mixed breed. They can detect unsavory or suspicious persons and react badly to them, and when it takes a liking to a witch or wizard, it makes an excellent pet. I suspect that Mrs. Norris is part Kneazle and Filch uses her gifts to aid him in his work. 

                 Third, Filch has been given nothing but trouble from students since his employment. Since he is limited by his “disability”, he has had to keep a firm hand on the students.  This sometimes calls for a little more push than usual. 

Fourth, our world of magic requires, well…magic. Of course, Filch has no magic. He was very lucky that Dumbledore was able to get a job, or else he would be working in the muggle world, as most jobs in the wizarding world require magic.

                There is no proof that Argus had a relationship with Delores. But it seems that he did try to find a little more than friendship in Madam Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts.

                Filch is a very misunderstood old man. His only friend is a cat-Kneazle mix. He has been shown no love and is given no respect. He has had to use desperate measures to keep the peace, but that doesn’t mean he is malicious.  Thank you.

Chief Warlock: Any redirect?

Misunderstood:  Just one thing. He didn’t have to be mean. And about Filch having a relationship with Madam Pince. That is pure speculation. 

Chief Warlock: Thank you. The Wizigamot will now make their decision.

 

 

Please comment. I will count the first twenty comments as votes and include one myself. I will announce the verdict in the next post.

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What’s Yo’ Name, Cho Chang?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Since we’re still discussing Azkaban on the podcast, let me indulge in one of my favourite character contemplations – Cho Chang. From first read, I’ve always been intrigued with Cho. The character’s ethnic roots alone serve as an example of Jo’s culturally conscious (and accurate) depiction of British society. I’ve yet to fully answer the question “Who is Cho Chang?”, which is undoubtedly where much of my fascination for her stems from. I’ve thrown her into several groupings that might serve as a predictable, overly-analyzed categorization of her person, if anything at all. Please feel free to settle anywhere between a disagreeable scoff and a nod of agreement. I love to take a not-so-main-vein, enlarge it, and then analyze the crap out of it. Shall we?

1. The Mysterious Vixen – Some might say Cho’s role is simple: she serves to get ‘The Beast’ (Harry’s heart and hormones) all fired up. Before this, The Beast was simply an unhatched egg – a zygote waiting to be released into the wild wizarding world. Despite all of the action we’re fed, there is definitely room for lust, and until now, we’ve been slightly starved for it. What? You know you were pumped when you read about Harry’s stomach jolt upon his and Cho’s first unofficial meeting.

Cho is ultra-pretty, mysteriously exotic, athletic, seemingly popular, and harnesses the potential to be sort of kick-ass. Her Ravenclaw membership card gives her an intimidating edge, validating that she is at least academically inclined, and could just be witty and clever (all virtues worthy of envy). We’re not so sure of her personality rating, but that (for now) allows her to remain alluring for Harry. As Emily would say “He’s freakin’ Harry Potter”, so opting for ordinary just isn’t in the cards for him.

2. The Competition – At this point in the series, whether you were once dangerously rowing towards the Hermoine – Harry ship or not, any suspicions or hopes you had for Harry’s love life are at least temporarily squashed during your first read of Azkaban. Cho is on the scene, and we didn’t see her coming. She is suddenly in hot, albeit annoyingly elusive pursuit of Harry’s attention. She’s having a blast playing with his attraction, and she knows that she’s got him. She proves that in “Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw”, doesn’t she? Giving him those eyes, and playfully vying for the snitch. Her game is admirable, and I enjoyed seeing Harry engage in teenage normalcy. It gives him a break from the dramz of being The Boy Who Lived, and we’re all “Gasp! Where did Chang come from? Who is this attractive, interesting girl? We were expecting someone else. Weren’t we?”

3. The Ideal Teenager – Come on, you know the real reason you despise Cho: it’s because she’s perfect. I mean, she’s that girl in school who you can’t help but like, and so you end up disliking because of…liking her. You know? To put it simply, she’s the type that nabs at the (not fully healed) scabs, most commonly called adolescent insecurity and self doubt, commonly mixed with, or caused by low self-esteem and inaccurate self-image. See? All of those unhealthy feelings during teenagehood are completely normal, even though your Health Ed. teacher once made you feel ickishly alienated for harbouring them. At least we had Cho to validate those feelings, and then lash out on her for smartening our wounds.

4. The Purpose is the Plot – I’m not as keen on analyzing plot like the rest of the podcasters. It’s probably because I’m not clever in that way. I’m like, “What are we talking about, guys?” I find my eyes glazing over and my thoughts gravitating toward my fridge (mmm…leftover macaroni and cheese). But um. What was I talking about? Oh yes, plot analysis. I think Cho is just another interesting twist. If anything, our hero’s immediate attraction for Cho serves as a foreshadowing into the competition and comparison between Harry and Cedric Diggory, which serves to both amplify Harry’s heroic qualities (because Harry excels at keeping up with Cedric’s athleticism and honourable virtue), while illuminating his own teenage insecurities. Let’s face it, Cedric is like a white knight while Harry is, in contrast, more of a dark horse (at this point in the series, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I love me a dark horse, but they are always filled with internal struggle that often acts like a firey hell, blazing in the way of potential achievements. Harry can be a clear example of that, no? Wait – was that just a character analysis? I was going for plot. You see how it fits in, though!

I’m sure there are so many other things we could take from Chitty Chitty Chang Chang, but I’ll leave that to you, or I’ll simply leave it to rest. In the end, most of us are fed up with her and Harry’s relationship, which doesn’t really go anywhere (because it’s not supposed to), and becomes tiresome, tediously sad, and downright awkward. Bring on Ginny, I say, and let Cho live on as the ‘meh’ ex-girlfriend who wistfully saunters into the background, never to become relevant again.

Amen.

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Category: Canon, Fun, Uncategorized  | 9 Thoughts

Deathly Hallows… How will it be?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 | Author: Maria

Ok, so I just read Adam’s post about DH (which I completely agree with), and I decided to share some of the things that are actually worrying me a bit (although I’m extremely excited about the film)…

I mean, in HBP they burned the Burrow and now in DH they show it intact, it will be rather strange to watch. However, when I say this, most people tend to reply, saying that wizards and witches can use magic to rebuild it. Oh, yes, that’s true. But doesn’t it seem like the producers just decided to burn the Burrow, I guess to simply try and add some excitement to HBP, and now found a quick, easy, and extremely uncreative way to explain it? Yep, it does seem a bit like that, at least to me.

Another thing is the relashionship between Dobby and Harry, that is not explored in the previous films. For those who have only watched the films, how will they understand the complexion of it? I don’t really know what they are going to do about that topic…

And Fleur and Bill? I mean, they never showed in the films that they were in love! It’s kind of pointless to make a weeding scene in DH… I’m not saying that I don’t want to see that scene, though, because I do, it’s just that it really does seem pathetic to me that, after all the years the producers had to put that kind of details into the films, they just left it behind. Like if we weren’t going to notice that!

Oh, and what about Bill and Charlie? How are we suppose to recognize them? Will they pretend that Harry has already met them or will some of them say something like, “Hi Harry, I’m Bill Weasley”? If they do that, it will sound really bizarre, considering that Harry is supposed to already know all of the Weasleys by now… I think they’ll probably have to do something like that because neither Bill nor Charlie are going to have a poster saying “I’m Bill/Charlie Weasley”. I seriously don’t know how they are going to introduce all of the people that have to be introduced…

Also, how will they explain the mirror fragment? Will someone give it to Harry? Will it be on Dumbledore’s will?

I’m really looking forward to watch the film, which is going to be released on the 18th here in Portugal, and I can’t hardly wait to have all of my questions answered! Although I’m a bit worried about all of these facts, I still love all of the films and I can’t wait to watch DH! Only two more days to go…

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The Battle of Good and Evil?

Saturday, November 06th, 2010 | Author: Kim

If someone asked me to define the main theme of the Harry Potter series, I would say this: Do what is right over what is easy.

Now, you could say there are multiple themes running throughout the series.  Love triumps over all.  Friendship is worth its weight in gold.  I could go on, picking out themes and purposes and meanings for this series.  But for me, it has always been the battle of good versus evil.  Choosing what is right, even when it is hard.  And Harry Potter has never disappointed, at least not in the books.

For this reason, I have some serious beef with the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  In the end, when Harry and Cedric are battling it out, trying to reach the cup, Harry’s ability to always do good falters.  He has to think about whether or not to save Cedric when he is being taken by the maze.

I remember seeing this movie for the first time.  When Harry stopped, looked at the Cup, then back at Cedric, then back at the cup, I was shocked.  Harry has never debated about doing what is right.  He has never stopped to think about whether he should help someone in need or travel on to his own personal glory.  He’s never worried about trouble or fame or his own selfish wants.  That is what makes Harry Potter such a wonderful character.  He never lets us down.  He stays true to what he believes in and stands for.

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It’s All Canon-ish And Stuff…

Wednesday, November 03rd, 2010 | Author: Hollie

Know what I’m thoroughly enjoying lately? The Leaky Cauldron’s “Daily Quotedown” – the awesome daily countdown to the film via quotes from the novel. Don’t you adore how it gives us Nerdfighters (et. al) ample opportunity to ponder the precious jewels of the canon? The daily quotage reconfirms the epic nature of what is coming! Some may call it “the beginning of the end”, but I refuse to believe it will ever end. Never! (Said in the most desperate Xenophilius voice one could muster). And before you all start judging me on my use of the word “epic”, which is possibly the most overused and misunderstood word in history, besides “absolutely”, just know that I’m actually fitting it into proper context. It drives me mad when people utter the word lately – it’s not meant to be uttered! If so, you’d mistake something mundane for being epic! All of that was my nasty English teacher persona splattering onto your screens. Enjoy.

I’m taking y’all back to October 18th when the ever hard-working Edward (isn’t he, though?) posted this brilliance as part of a double “Daily Quoteodown” on Leaky:

“Just — just to be clear,” he said. “You want to leave Tonks at her parents’ house and come away with us?”

“She’ll be perfectly safe there, they’ll look after her,” said Lupin. He spoke with a finality bordering on indifference. “Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.”

“Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.”


Pow! Alright, before we get into admiring Harry’s saucy ways, let’s take a look at the entirity of the thing. First off, I’m expressing our collective excitement over the prospect of seeing this oh-so-poignant moment on screen. The scene is expressing much relevance, and I don’t know where to start. How about this – Lupin had it coming. He needs to be taken down from his gloomy moon and put in his place. Not to hide away with the trio like he thinks, but to do his part from home, just like any other great father on pat. leave would do. Okay, I know, he’s going through a devastating, confusing time in his life. It’s not easy being outcasted – or suffering through his werewolfish episodes. Yet – he’s got a beautiful, intelligent, brave, and loving wife who is there for him, um, always. Seeing him for the human being he truly is, and taking major risks because she um, loves him. Oh yeah, she just happens to be a kick-ass Auror too. No big deal. He’s losing sight of what really matters (his family), and Harry (cheekily, yet effectively) pulls him back down to fam-jam time, where he belongs.

Frankly, folks, at this point in the series, I’m tiring of Moody Moony, aren’t you? I say this out of love for my Lupin. Don’t take me wrong, okay? I know you’re out there, waiting to pounce on a sister for her harshness. Take it like real wizards and witches! But thankfully, we get the real Lupin back…only not for long, which makes me feel terribly sad, disturbed, and sort of guilty for throwing criticisms his way. And in the end, we all know what a proud, happy father he makes!

I’ll also take the time to concentrate on JK’s knack for great words: “…finality bordering on indifference.” I mean, who could have explained it better? And, can’t you just see yourself squirming in your seat when this amazingness is on-screen?

One last thing. Harry. He’s grown-up. He’s confident. He’s knowing who he is, and we love it. He’s the hero we’ve always known, yet the one we’ve been waiting for. He’s here to save the world, and we’re going to see him in…two weeks?! What?!

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A Dementor Cure

Tuesday, November 02nd, 2010 | Author: Kim

Depression is something expressed in a variety of different ways.  For the Beatles, it was expressed through song.  Their famous hit, “Help”, details a story of one person’s depression.  One person’s crying out, “Help me if you can.  I’m feeling down.”  For others, it is expressed through art.  For Pablo Picasso, a blue period which produced some of the most beautiful art in the world helped to ease the pain and sadness of depression.

For J.K. Rowling, depression was channeled into words and thus, the dementor was born.  Depression has never before been captured in such an honest and serious way.  A creature that takes over your life, sucks out any joy or hope or happiness you might have.  A creature that makes you feel as though there is no escaping dread and fear and sorrow.  That is depression to a T.  It is an ugly creature, sucking the life force from people.

For Rowling, there is only one cure… Chocolate.  For others, it is song.  For others still, art.  For me?  My puppy.  My family.  Jumping on a trampoline.  Watching horror movies.  J.K. is a brilliant woman to equate happiness with chocolate.  Chocolate is something that makes everyone feel warm, fuzzy and happy inside.  But for me, I can achieve the same affect by rubbing my face on my soft puppy’s fur.  Or by jumping sky high on a trampoline, forgetting that dread and sorrow even exist.

What’s your own personal dementor cure?

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Category: Books, Canon  | Tags: , ,  | One Thought

A “two-faced bastard”… But, is he?

Sunday, October 31st, 2010 | Author: Maria

One of the most intriguing and complex characters in the “Harry Potter” universe is, at least in my opinion, Draco Malfoy.

J. K. Rowling portrayed Draco as a fearsome and evil little boy during the first five books, and I believe all of us disliked him as much as Harry did. He was just a “twitchy little ferret”, right? Personally, I despised him for his rudeness, for his prejudices against Muggle-borns and especially for his cowardice.

In the sixth book, when Draco is assigned the task of killing Albus Dumbledore by Lord Voldemort, he makes a deadly and effective plan to do exactly so. But he started to get stressed because of the difficulty of the mission and the consequences of failure. And then, surprisingly enough (I can say that I was completely shocked while reading), we read that Draco visited Myrtle regularly, even openly crying in front of her! To add to that, when Dumbledore is wandless and Draco is on the verge of casting Avada Kedavra, he falters. He just could not gather enough courage to say that spell. I believe this shows a hint of goodness in him and that if the Death Eaters did not enter the Astronomy Tower during that very moment, Dumbledore could have succeeded in convincing him that “Good always triumphs”.

After reading Half-Blood Prince, I seriously started to question all of my hatred towards him. I only realised my vision about the character had completely changed once reading Deathly Hallows.

During the last book of the series, I honestly started to see some good in Draco, even though he still fought along side with the Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts. I guess I actually started to consider him one of my favourite characters when in the Epilogue he gives that curt nod to Ron, Ginny, Harry and Hermione. It had to mean something, right? Well, even if it didn’t mean much to most people, it definetly made me analize his past, and I got to the conclusion that he never had supporting parents, he never knew true love, he always thought the best way to shield himself from the cruelty of the world was by acting the way he acted. He never truly was a “two-faced bastard”, like Ron called him, he was just a scared boy that made all of the wrong choices.

And, as Deathly Hallows:Part 1 is about to be released, I just can’t wait to, hopefully, see that hint of goodness I saw while reading the book.

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Category: Blog Post, Books, Canon  | Tags: , , ,  | 4 Thoughts

Nick’s True Death Story…

Sunday, October 24th, 2010 | Author: Adam

I’ve recently realized that I have this strange fascination with death. What happens when we die? Where do we go? What do we see? I’m not particularly religious, so the word “heaven” is out of the question for this post. But I’ve often found myself stumbling upon these questions while reading through the Harry Potter series. In the books, death is a huge component. All wizards except those who fear death, carry on to another world. Those who fear death remain as ghosts for eternity…

When I think of ghosts in the Harry Potter series, a picture of Nearly Headless Nick flashes through my mind. We all know that his death was the result of a botched beheading on October 31st, 1492. According to the story, Nick, fearing death, was hit 45 times in the neck with a blunt axe. “I was afraid of death”, said Nick softly. “I chose to remain behind” (Order of the Phoenix). Yes, Nick feared death, but what strikes a thought in me is the fact that he “chose” to remain behind. While reading through the series I’ve always believed that you didn’t really have a choice. If you fear death, then you do. If you don’t fear death, then you don’t, and this is just the way it is. I’ve always thought that there really isn’t much “choice” aspect here. When first reading of Nick’s death story, I figured that he either feared death before the execution, or that when he was hit with the axe, felt the pain and did not die, it was then that he realized he feared death.

In Order of the Phoenix, I find it very interesting when Nick states, “Wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod, but very few wizards choose that path.” He clearly says that wizards have a choice to stay behind or go on. This passage paints a whole new picture in my mind. It reminds me of the scene in the film The Matrix, where the main character is faced with one red pill and one blue pill. If he chooses the red pill he will return home and hence there would not be a movie, but if he chooses the blue pill, he chooses to learn and carry on with all of the events that happen in the film. The choice is as simple as that. Is this similar to the process that wizards go through before they truly die? And if so, why would anybody want to stay behind? Why would anybody choose to fear death? The way Nick explains “very few wizards choose that path”, is as if most wizards are too noble to fear death, when we all know that many more probably do fear it.

Maybe Nick felt safer by staying behind, fearing the “unknown”. Maybe this isn’t a case of saying “I like my life, I don’t want to go through pain and die”, but saying “I don’t want to die because I don’t know what will happen to me…” Either way, this world that Jo has created is immeasurably complex. I honestly feel that she purposely left us thinking about such topics.

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