Archive for » July, 2011 «

Ginevra: The Betrothed

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Ginevra Molly Weasley was born in the dog days of summer under the sign of the Lion. A true Gryffindor, there is no doubt. On this day, the Weasley family was blessed with a baby girl; the first to be added to their family tree in a wizard’s age. Our Harry Potter canonry insists this is evidence that Ginny was destined to become a gifted witch. If her Aunt Muriel predicted such a thing, we know she would have been right. So why are we often “meh” about Ginny Weasley? I will attempt to answer that, perhaps uncovering the jewels of her true being, something I think we should all take the time to discover. Ginny may not be my absolute favourite character, although I do have a great amount of respect and admiration for her. If we just knew her a little better, I think we’d love her like the daughter, sister, friend and lover she has become right before our eyes.

Ginny’s antique name could be of great significance, and I don’t mean the curious kind; Ginevra is a Welsh (or Italian) derivative of Guinevere, and we all know who that is, don’t we? Queen Guinevere, the fair and noble wife of King Arthur, the true and fierce lover of Sir Lancelot – the exceptional lady who brought the Round Table and one-hundred knights as her dowry. Although not altogether wholesome, Guinevere is of noble character, withstanding the challenges faced by a Queen ruling in a rugged (not to mention bloody) era of Britian’s history. if decidedly mythical, she was a ‘real woman’, one that we can cast a contemporary light on: she did not lead a virtuous existence, but she certainly stayed true to her heart and her beliefs. Like Ginny, Queen Guinevere was destined to lead an exceptional life. It seems trivial, but Ginny’s father’s name is Arthur. It is worth mentioning!

Is our Ginny a Guinevere? Not precisely, no, but we can draw similarities, as I’m sure Jo has. For one, Ginny Weasley comes from a noble, pure-blood wizarding family. Despite their lack of wealth and social status, the Weasleys are courageous, kind, and of the highest moral standards. They would serve any kingdom admirably. To add, they descend from a line of brave magical talent, so it seems, and have proven themselves to be amongst the most unyielding of Voldemort’s opposition. As members of The Order, they are like knights – they fight to save their ‘world’, and while doing so, sacrifice the comfort and joy of their home, their namesake, and their lives. As wise and selfless people, they seek no alternative, pressing on through the years of the Dark Lord’s reign.

Ginny may be the precious family jewel, and like any stone, she is lovely, but has an amazingly tough exterior. And like a precious gem, she is formed from the elements of nature, having purpose and strength that the ordinary eye fails to see. Jo once told us that Ginny is “…a fairly forceful person (and always has been…)”. We know we are not dealing with a mousy little sister who tags along with her brothers. In fact, she has learned much from them: “The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” (OP29) In turn, Fred and George come to realize the awesomeness of their youngest sibling:

“Yeah, size is no guarantee of power,” said George. “Look at Ginny.”

“What d’ you mean?” said Harry.

“You’ve never been on the receiving end of one of her Bat-Bogey Hexes, have you?” (OP6)

She’s rare – the youngest and only girl, often in the protection of her parents, brothers, or Harry himself, but perpetually proving her own power as a witch and cleverness as a young woman: “I’m three years older than you were when you fought You-Know-Who over the Philosopher’s Stone, and it’s because of me Malfoy’s stuck back in Umbridge’s office with giant flying bogeys attacking him – ” (OP33) Throughout the series, we come to know and respect Ginny Weasley for her wit, moral character, talents and strength. However, I’ve noticed a lot of us have a hard time uncovering a whole image of her; she is always in the picture, but never at the centre of it. I have an inkling that this is the cause of fans’ difficulty accepting her as Harry’s betrothed. I use the arguably outdated term because I find its concept is entangled in the tale. A prominent hint is the resemblance of Lily and Ginny in appearance, attitude and reputation. Jo comments on Lily’s school days, saying, “Like Ginny, she was a popular girl.” And like Ginny, Lily had no problem working for the underdog, voicing her opinion, and maintaining independence. Both women possessed natural magical talent, and both were brave and strong in fighting evil with love. Like Slughorn says, they are equally “lovely…”.

Aside from Hagrid, Ginny and her family were the very first to befriend Harry in the wizarding world. He quickly becomes an honourary member of the Weasley clan, connecting him to Ginny at a tender age. There is something quite sacred about this, and it is impossible to ignore the circumstances that solidify their relationship. The shared adventure and family gatherings, as well as the sharing of burdens, milestones, successes and failures naturally weave their lives together. To Molly and Arthur, Harry is “…as good as” a son to them. In my point of view, nature has betrothed the pair, and in the end, they find each other independently, and by choice.

Getting a bit tired of fairy tales? Let us look at a modern point of view: Ginny is an exceptional witch, quite worthy of both our and Harry’s adoration. She is an incredible role model to readers, and here’s why: from a young age, she has been able to keep up with her brothers – not because they are boys, but because they are basically insane. She laughs with them on many occasions, not garnering the attitude of her mother (who thoroughly disapproves of their antics). Her own sense of humour is unrivaled, even upping the ante for Fred and George – she is so clever and dry, it would probably be difficult to discern her jokes from mere commentary at times. Ginny’s humour contains the same wryness as Harry’s, making for a smart pair. We really can’t forget her unforgiving mockery of Fleur. I think it would be difficult to gain Ginny’s respect as a future sister-in-law, unless you were rugged, great at Quidditch, unnervingly brave, and downright sarcastic. Not too much to ask, right? Looking past the epilogue, it’s easy to see that Ginny puts her intelligence to much further use, becoming a sports journalist. In a rather male-dominated industry, I’m sure it would have been refreshing to see her bright face and fresh perspective dawning the pages of the Daily Prophet. Besides, she does have her credentials in check: a former member of the Holyhead Harpies. Imagine having their poster on your bedroom wall, then having the gumption and skill to become one of them. A dream come true for a young woman, indeed. In all of this, she is lucky to share her life with someone who is equally as passionate about her. Remember the unnamed beast summoned inside of Harry? Only Ginny could conjure such a thing!

My favourite thing about Ginny Weasley is, in the end, her compassionate soul. She seems to understand Harry, Luna, Hermione, Neville, and many other characters in their time of need. She does not dote on her popularity, and seems quite unabashed by it. It is quite clear that her friends are her true friends, no matter their status. She takes Neville to the Yule Ball when I’m sure she could have had her handpick of dates. She befriends Luna despite her oddities and social awkwardness. She loves Hermione as a sister, making her part of the Weasley family as much as Harry is. It is easy to picture Ginny as a wonderful mother and wife someday: creating a sanctuary with Harry, enjoying a career as a writer and role model, and continuing to ward off evil with her good spirit.

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Hollie’s Summer Series: Ginny Weasley is Next!

Monday, July 25th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Hey y’all. I am currently writing what I hope to be a great post about one of our faves, Ginny.

It’s a little in-depth, and I want to make sure it’s perfect, so you will most likely find it posted tomorrow afternoon.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer; my husband and I are working, mostly, in preparation for our big move overseas! So, um, I’m sorry that I am not blogging as much as I’ve promised. My series will have to extend into the Autumn (and maybe even Winter) months! Look at it this way, there will always be another post to read and then discuss with me!

Besides, it’s the era of “new things to look forward to”. Hello Pottermore!

Always grateful to be part of this fandom, yours til the end,

Hollie

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The Potter Pensieve Podcast #22 – GoF Chapters 23-25

Thursday, July 21st, 2011 | Author: Adam

What’s up listeners! We decided to record this episode on spur of the moment, in realization that between our two DH discussion shows, there would be A LOT of empty days! So, this ep we discuss chapters 23-25 of Goblet of Fire. And special “welcome” and “thanks” to Marcel Schaer for being a guest on the show, and dazzling us with his awesome music! This episode, we discuss topics such as:
-Ron needs to fight with Hermione in order to become a man!
-Dobby, an inspiration to all future house elves.
-Rock Music? In Harry Potter? Hmm..
-Hagrid’s emotional insecurity.
-Could Dumbledore have made Moody’s eye?
And loads more!

Don’t forget to join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to us through iTunes!

ALSO! Be sure to check out Marcel’s YOUTUBE ACCOUNT HERE!! And watch his music video below!

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Who’s the baddest of them all?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 | Author: Kim

Time Magazine has been coming out with Harry Potter articles, lists and reviews left and right. It is only natural, considering Harry Potter is one of the most important and influential series of our time.

Their most recent list, the 10 baddest Sorcerers, has to be one of my favorites thus far.  While we all cheer for Harry and love the good guy, there is something to be sad about the baddies as well.  Why else would there be a “Team Slytherin”?

At the top of Time’s list is Sauron and I must say I agree.  He’s really the most dangerous of them all.  His one ring has powers that no one can comprehend.  And the battle to destroy this one ring caused death and destruction in a big way.

Second on Time’s list is The Emperor, Star Wars’ main baddie.  Bravo. I’ll agree with that one as well.

Our main evil man, Voldie, only clocked in at number 5.  I’m not really sure time understands the significance of the words Avada Kedavra.  Or that they really get just how dangerous Voldemort can be.  Isn’t it Voldemort who believes in the purification of the wizarding race?  Did Time miss out on the important of that? Did they miss the symbolism and similarities between wizard purification and genocide?

Time, I don’t know if you’ve got this one in the bag.

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Kim Cooper and Potter Pensieve On WJR Radio!

Saturday, July 16th, 2011 | Author: Adam

Hey listeners! We are overwhelmingly proud and excited to have our very own Potter Pensieve editor Kim Cooper, featured on The Warren Pierce Show with WJR Radio! The round table discussion on the impact of the Harry Potter franchise lasts about 14 minutes, and not only is Kim on the radio but Potter Pensieve is mentioned many times! Check it out and enjoy!

Note: July is a busy time of the year for PPP! First we had our Pre DH2 Discussion show, now we’re on WJR radio, in a few days episode 22 will be released (featuring Marcel from Switzerland), and at the end of July we will be recording our Deathly Hallows Part 2 review show! Lots of goods in store for everyone. :)

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I Have to Wait to Watch Deathly Hallows, And It’s Killing Me!

Saturday, July 16th, 2011 | Author: Adam

I didn’t waste my time in making a creative, subtle title that will leave you readers wondering what this blog post is about. I just threw it all out there for ya! Bam! No puzzles here!

Because I live in a small town, with the nearest city being about 1.5 hours away, I have no way of making it to the theatre to watch Deathly Hallows Part 2 within the next couple days. Whenever a movie like this comes out, I always remind myself that I will have to wait, but I never pay any attention to this fact until the time comes. Now, I have to wait. And wait. Gee, can time go by any slower? Maybe I can just sleep for the next week, and make the days whiz by!

My summer days here are a mixture of work and podasting. There are other things of course, but because I work 10 hour days, from 9AM to 7PM, those other things are minute. I literally seem to be waking up, working, then coming back to watch some television before bed time. And as mom is working on my days off, (we want to watch this movie as a family event) we cannot drive to the city then. But don’t get me wrong! I love my job and I need the money! But what an inconvenient time! I would have been much better off if the final film had been released in November of 2011, so I could catch it for the midnight release then.

And so, I have been listening to others rant and rave about the film, each burst of excitement as a stab of pain on my insides. I have listening to insane stories of how people were sobbing as if they’re parents were dying right in from of them, of how everyone clapped, how everyone screamed, and “ooooed” and “ahhhd”. How everyone felt a sense of loss, but finality and closure as they lights went up again at the end of the film. Everything that I wish I could have experienced having lived in a bigger city. And now that the final film is out, and literally everyone has seen it, I feel that I have completely missed my chance. In fact, when I think about it, I have lost every chance I’ve had in life to watch these films on their release day!

And so now, all I can do is wait. I am literally helpless. This is complete insanity. I still can’t possibly imagine what I will experience watching this movie, and yet everyone else has. And I must, I MUST resist the urge to ask everyone all about it, every single minute detail of the film. It’s the last one, therefore it must remain a surprise for the most part!

Heh..funny thing…if you search in the right places there are pathetic camera versions of the films leaking online everywhere! I think about these at least 3 times everyday. And how, if I just typed in a few words, clicked a couple times, and said a prayer, I would be able to watch the whole movie right in front of me, right in my own home, just like that. No money. No hassle! It would be a terribly watered-down version of the film. But it would still be the film!..Who am I kidding? I can’t do this!

In the words of dear Lily Potter from the trailer (of which part you have now all seen in context with the film), “be strong”. Rediculous? Cheesy? I think not! I have made myself a plan! I will avoid certain parts of the internet for the next few days or so until I finally view this film. I will refrain from asking all of those burning questions. I will block all of those naughty illegal websites which host movies such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Wish me luck! And to all you who missed the midnight release, had to see the film the next day, and complained about it: HAH! You think you have it bad. ;) Cheers!

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What Are You Seeking?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 | Author: Kim
What is it that attracts us to the Harry Potter series? Is it the fantasy world? The epic struggle of good and evil? Or is the deeper meaning really what brings people to love this series? 
 
Some people have chastised this series, claiming that it is heritical and blasphemous.  That it goes against Christian teachings.  But for many others, Harry Potter has taught them moral lessons that weave who they are.  Harry is not labeled as a “Seeker” by accident.  He seeks. 
 
Potter seeks the good in people, all people.  He seeks a better world for his fellow man.  He seeks the one thing we want more than anything: Love.  His journey for love is our journey.  When we suffer a loss, we can turn to Harry Potter for solace.  We can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that he too sought love and family.  And in the end, his family was there with him, until the very end.
 

Lily speaks first: “You’ve been so brave.”

“You’ll stay with me?” Harry asks.

“Until the very end,” responds James.

In these days leading up to the final hurrah in the Harry Potter saga, we remember what we love so much about this series.  We remember that Harry is a boy, yearning for acceptance, family and love. 
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Category: Uncategorized  | One Thought

The REAL Magic!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 | Author: Kim

With the opening of the final chapter of the Harry Potter movie saga this weekend, there really is no way to escape Potter fever.  Everyone has jumped on board.  Those most loyal, of course, have been awaiting this moment for years.  We’ve been sitting on the edge of our seats, going crazy with anticipation.  We’ve debated, analyzed, done everything we could to soak in every moment leading up to the final moments.

With this being the end of the incredible saga, lists are sprouting up everywhere. From the greatest moments in Potter to the best one-liners to your favorite magical creatures. Time Magazine recently released their list of the Top 10 magic spells in the series.  I must say, I don’t agree with most of the list.

Of course, in terms of magical spells, Expecto Patronum has played the most important part.  It has been the most powerful spell for the viewer.  The second Harry utters those words, chills run through our spines and the tiny hairs on the back of our necks prick up.  Those two small words hold so much power and so much meaning.  They’ve saved Harry and his crew more times than we can count.  And so I completely agree that this would be the top of the top in terms of magical spells.

Coming in scond on Time’s list is a flyig charm. Here, I disagree.  Yes, a flying charm is amazing.  And has played an important role in the series.  We all remember Ron and Harry hijacking a Ford Anglia in their second year.  And Hagrid’s flying motorcycle has an important place that goes under the radar in the series. But to say that it is one of the best spells? I disagree.

Have we forgotten the second year, when Ron was jinxed to barf slugs?  Anyone that has played the Lego Harry Potter game can attest to that spell being quite useful as well as humorous.  And what about the ever important Expelliarmus? Has one spell ever really helped Harry more? Personally, I am a fan of Petrificus Totalus. It has proved useful in so many ways, to both good and evil forces.

Never seen in the films themselves, I find that Muffliato would be incredibly useful and cool.  I’ve been a student, I’ve wanted to have secret conversations with friends.  Nothing would be more useful than a spell to muffle someone’s hearing.

What do you think? If you had to pick a favorite spell, what would yours be?

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Category: Blog Post, Fun  | One Thought

Hermione, the Heroine: Part I

Monday, July 11th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

I am not a pretty girl

that is not what i do

I ain’t no damsel in distress

and I don’t need to be rescued

so put me down punk

wouldn’t you prefer a maiden fair

isn’t there a kitten

stuck up a tree somewhere

~Ani Difranco, 1995.

For me, Hermione Granger is the witch that will give our summer series the perfect kick-start. The reason behind my choice is obvious – she is the ideal contemporary heroine. Courageous, loyal and honest, her work ethic and moral standard give any Average Josephine a run for their wand. Despite her brilliance, she possesses the attributes of a knight with true modesty, revealed early in Philosopher’s Stone: “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship, and bravery.” (16) Let’s not forget her spirit for adventure, blossoming with her thirst for knowledge. But wait – aren’t we forgetting about those envious characteristics most classic heroines come by naturally? How about incomparable beauty?  Not unless you count the bushy hair and abnormally large front teeth. Countless suitors pining for her heart? Besides Viktor Krum (with his surly uncouthness), and Cormac McGlaggen (who feels like something out of Varsity Blues), Hermione remains overlooked, until her and Ron’s love grows into its own. Is she graceful; full of poise? Regretfully, her shrill, insistent tone isn’t always pleasing to the ear, and she was never able to mount a broomstick properly let alone play a match of Quidditch. Beyond that, does she come from a long line of regal witches and wizards? Interestingly enough, no, yet Remus Lupin remarks that she’s “…the cleverest witch of [her] age [he's] ever met…” (PA17) And in the end, she does not give excuses or apologies for who she is. All wrapped up, we’ve got an incredible role model for today’s girl. Note that I didn’t say a ‘perfect’ one. Take it from the young woman who, other than J.K. Rowling herself, knows Ms. Granger better than anyone. In her recent speech at the Deathly Hallows: Part II Premiere, Emma Watson shines a light on one of the most beloved female characters of all time, claiming the on-screen Hermione is “…every bit as strong and beautiful and brave as she is in the books.” She’s ‘real’ in a ‘not-so-real’ world, and we dig that. We need to relate to her, or at least some aspect of her, and for many people that is easily done. Some readily admit this (or embrace it heartily) while others would rather attach themselves to Ginny, Luna, or even the likes of Bellatrix Lestrange (understandable – she’s a knock-out in the films…until she opens her mouth to reveal those rotting Azkaban teeth. The outside truly reflects what’s within, doesn’t it).  All that said, let’s dig deeper into Hermione’s character and decipher if we admire her for who she is, or perhaps for who she isn’t. Myself? I believe it to be a wondrous mix of characteristics that, when melded together to make our Hermione, always saves the day.

*Stay tuned for my next installment where I go into a bit more detail about the current culture of feminine standards, a real life feminist icon, and what we can learn by peering through Hermione’s perspective, even if it’s just for a moment.

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Dear Mr Potter

Saturday, July 09th, 2011 | Author: Katherine

I thought I’d write my own “Dear Mr Potter”, what with it being less than two weeks to the last film. I actually wrote this a few weeks ago, but I’ve been without internet.

Dear Mr Potter,

From the moment I first picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone nine years ago, Potter has been the one constant unchanging thing in my life, my rock to hold on to. From the first day, sat on my bed, dictionary beside me, I was hooked. Even though I was only six, I devoured the first four books in just a few days. They were amazing! I had always enjoyed reading, but I had struggled to find something written for children, with as much depth and detail as I wanted.

That weekend, I begged my parents to let me watch the films. And eventually, they gave in. After watching the first film, I remember crying in my room because “Hermione doesn’t look like that!”. For me, you see, the characters were real in my head.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, I became very ill, and was in hospital for six weeks. I survived, and Harry and his friends kept me going through the long hours spent in a hospital bed.

I had to wait a year until the fifth book came out, which I think was a good thing, as I found the first chapter of Goblet of Fire very scary. I read it in a day, only pausing to eat, and once I had finished, I went straight back to the beginning and read it again.

At school, I would play Harry Potter with my friend, Shona, who then introduced me to Potter Puppet Pals. But for another six years, that would be my only foray into the online fandom.

When Book 6 came along, I was living in Germany, and because I wanted to be able to fully enjoy the book, I decided to wait a few weeks to read it in English. This was my first experience of spoilers. Random strangers would come up to me in the street and say “English? Dumbledore stirbt.”

When it finally came out in English, I dressed up to go the book shop, and read it in a few hours. I completely fell for Snape being evil (I was nine, give me a break) and I wouldn’t believe Dumbledore was really dead until the last page. I kept thinking that there must have been a mistake. But after finishing the book, I knew he wouldn’t ‘do a Gandalf’. I had no idea what Harry would do next though.

I was back in England for Deathly Hallows, and dressed up again for my first (and last) midnight release party. Despite promising my parents I would go to sleep, I had finished the book by morning. I was devastated that there would be no more Potter. But at least I’d have the films.

Then, bored in the summer holidays of 2009, I typed Harry Potter into Google. I was amazed – there were other people as obsessed as me! Soon I had read every essay on the HP Lexicon, and checked Mugglenet and Leaky daily. It wasn’t long before I discovered podcasts.

Now I face a similar situation to 2007, with a world without Potter looming on the horizon. Although I missed the speculation, and the fansites heydays, I still feel that the Harry Potter community will survive a little longer. After all, we’re getting Pottermore. Still, it really does feel like the final closure to the series, and the films just prolonged the fun. It’s the end of a series that has kept me going through illness, and bad times in my life, and has always been there for me. I’ve felt like the trio really were my friends when I moved schools yet again. I don’t know who I would be without Harry Potter, but I wouldn’t be the same me.

Because what’s really so great about Harry Potter is it’s so relatable, despite the magic. Harry’s nerves before entering Hogwarts for the first time were my exact feelings on my first day of grammar school. That’s just one example out of millions. And they’ve also taught a whole generation to hope, to love, and to know that they’re not alone. They’ve taught us that no matter how bad things seem, or how much evil seems to happen in the world, not to give up. And that everyone can do something to help. The very fact that the HP Alliance exists is testament to this.

So thank you Harry Potter, for everything that you’ve done for me and so many others, and I know that one day, my children will read the books. Because, even if the fandom shrinks, I want another generation to experience the wonder, and lessons, of Harry Potter.

Yours always,

Katherine

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Category: Blog Post  | 2 Thoughts