Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Friday, July 13, 2007

Where I stand on the Harry Potter theories

There are a number of theories floating around the Interweb about Harry Potter, and things that will be revealed in the next book. There are also a number of interesting questions JK Rowling has raised. Here are a few of my favorite theories and questions and my stand on them:

Lily and Snape:
The theory is that Snape loved Lily--whether she loved him back or not is also in question. Evidence supporting this theory is based largely on trying to read into clues and see who or where they point best. The key being the "Lily's eyes" comments that are scattered throughout the books. It is mentioned a number of times that Harry looks just like his father, but with Lily's eyes. It then begs the question of how those who saw his parents would see him, and it goes kind of like this:
Loved Lily+ Loved James= Loves looking at Harry as the combo of people they loved
Hated Lily+ Loved James= Love looking at Harry, but Hate looking Harry in the eyes/unsettled when they see HER eyes
Loved Lily+ Hated James= Hate seeing Harry, but unsettled when they see Lily's eyes in James's face.
Hated Lily+ Hated James= Hate seeing Harry

So obviously, one of the most interesting would be someone who Hated James, but loved Lily--seeing the eyes of the one they loved staring out of the face they hated. Personally I think the Hate/Hate is pretty interesting too, but I can see the allure of the Love/Hate all in one face argument as well.

Rowling has said that Snape "has been loved" and the question of "by whom" is still up for debate.

MA: Has Snape ever been loved by anyone?
JKR: Yes, he has, which in some ways makes him more culpable even than Voldemort, who never has.

The visions Harry saw when he broke into Snapes mind during Occlumency lessons shows he had a troubled home life and didn't have a great deal of friends at school (at least not in the way James did), so another relationship is tempting, but doesn't necessarily point at Lily.

The three things I think support this theory:
1. The chapter "Snape's Worst Memory" had Harry viewing a memory so important that Snape took it out of his mind lest Harry see it during an Occlumency session. That memory showed not only the taunting of Snape by James Potter and Sirius, but it showed Lily saving him and him calling her a "mudblood". This memory was embarrassing, and certainly could have been amongst the "worst" on a lot of people's lists, but even more so if Snape remembered calling the girl he loved a horrible name.
2. Snape did not just pull Harry out of the pensive, he entered the pensive, grabbed Harry and then left. This allowed him to see how much Harry had seen and since we didn't see the ending we don't know more about any further conversation or if there were more memories in the pensive.

David Moulds for the News of the World - How does Aunt Petunia know about dementors and all the other magical facts she knows?
JK Rowling: Another very good question. She overheard a conversation, that is all I am going to say. She overheard conversation. The answer is in the beginning of Phoenix, she said she overheard Lily being told about them basically.
Is that true?
JK Rowling: Yes. The reason I am hesitant is because there is more to it than that. As I think you suspect. Correctly, but I don't want to say what else there is because it relates to book 7.

The book say's she overheard "Lily talking to THAT BOY" or that strange/weird/filthy/odd, something...boy. So I've kind of thought from how it was said in the interview that maybe Lily was talking to someone OTHER than James...perhaps Snape???

Rowling has also said
ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily?
JKR: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl.

Again, seeming to hint that there might be other former flames out there.

Okay, on to other interesting theories/subjects

Peter Humphreys for BBC Newsround. - Who did Fawkes previously belong to and will he play a vital role in the next book?
JK Rowling: I am not going to answer about the role in the next books, which probably gives you a big clue, and he has never been owned by anyone but Dumbledore... Fawkes is Dumbledore's possession, not a Hogwarts possession.

I love Fawkes! I think the relationship between Harry and Fawkes has been interesting and I believe the pheonix chooses their owner much more than the owner chooses them. My guess is that it will choose to help Harry at least once more and I'm really interested to see if she explains more about the cool way it seems to be able to "apparate" even inside Hogwarts (OTP--Dumbledore's escape: "there was a flash of fire and the pair of them had gone")

JK Rowling: I keep killing all my favourite members of the Order of the Phoenix, but there is one member of the Order of the Phoenix that you have not yet met properly and you will -- well, you know that they are a member, but you haven't really met them properly yet and you will meet them in seven, so I am looking forward to that.

My bet is on Dumbledore's brother, Aberforth, who also has a number of "Aberforth Spotting" Threads devoted to him. The leading theory is that he is the bartender at the Hog's Head Inn, which "smelled strongly of something that might have been goats" HBP pg335. (Aberforth, Dumbledore had mentioned once, had been publicly ridiculed for performing illegal charms on goats). The bartender is described in HBP as "a grumpy-looking old man with a great deal of long gray hair and beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar to Harry." We've been told by Rowling that we will learn more about Dumbledore's past in Book 7 and I'm on the Learning-through-Aberforth boat.

ES: Dumbledore is unrivaled in his knowledge of magic –
JKR: Mmhm.
ES: Where did he learn it all?
JKR: I see him primarily as someone who would be self-taught. However, he in his time had access to superb teachers at Hogwarts, so he was educated in the same way that everyone else is educated. Dumbledore's family would be a profitable line of inquiry, more profitable than sweet wrappers.
MA: His family?
JKR: Family, yes.
MA: Should we talk about that a little more?
JKR: No. But you can! [Laughter.]

MA: It's interesting about Dumbledore being lonely.
JKR: I see him as isolated, and a few people have said to me rightly I think, that he is detached. My sister said to me in a moment of frustration, it was when Hagrid was shut up in his house after Rita Skeeter had published that he was a half-breed, and my sister said to me, “Why didn't Dumbledore go down earlier, why didn't Dumbledore go down earlier?” I said he really had to let Hagrid stew for a while and see if he was going to come out of this on his own because if he had come out on his own he really would have been better. "Well he's too detached, he's too cold, it's like you,” she said!" [Laughter] By which she meant that where she would immediately rush in and I would maybe stand back a little bit and say, “Let's wait and see if he can work this out.” I wouldn't leave him a week. I'd leave him maybe an afternoon. But she would chase him into the hut.

But I love you Dumbledore! I love his grandfatherly patience. He reminds me of my own patient grandfather in ways. Plus his idea of "a few words" are absolutely precious! I can't wait to learn more about him!

ES: What would Dumbledore see? [in the Mirror of Erised]
JKR: I can't answer that.
ES: What would Dumbledore's boggart be ?
JKR: I can't answer that either, but for theories you should read six again . There you go.

Oh...twist my arm, all right I'll read book 6 one more time for you Jo!

There are a lot of theories about the Veil in the Ministry
JKR: The veil's been there as long as the Ministry of Magic has been there, and the Ministry of Magic has been there, not as long as Hogwarts, but a long time. We’re talking hundreds of years. It's not particularly important to know exactly when, but centuries, definitely.
MA: Was it used as an execution chamber or just studying?
JKR: No, it's just studying. The Department of Mysteries is all about studying. They study the mind, the universe, death…
MA: Are we going back to that room, that locked room?
JKR: No comment.

So no coincidence that Luna, Neville, and Harry were all the ones who had "seen death" and could see thestrals and were also the one's attracted to the veil and able to hear the whispers just beyond. Obviously the veil has something to do with the divide between the living and the dead, but I'm not expecting anyone to come striding out of it or anything. But perhaps it would be a way to make sure no part of Voldemort could return???

[about the rest of Harry's mission as it was set forth in book 6]
JKR: It's not all of it. Obviously it's not all of it, but still, that is the way to kill Voldemort. That's not to say it won't be extremely an torturous and winding journey, but that's what he's got to do. Harry now knows — well he believe he knows – what he’s facing. Dumbledore's guesses are never very far wide of the mark. I don't want to give too much away here, but Dumbledore says, ‘There are four out there, you've got to get rid of four, and then you go for Voldemort.’ So that's where he is, and that's what he's got to do.
ES: It's a tall order.
JKR: It's a huge order. But Dumbledore has given him some pretty valuable clues and Harry, also, in the course of previous six books has amassed more knowledge than he realizes. That's all I am going to say.

So the last four horcruxes:
1. The locket--I'm guessing it is the one discovered and briefly mentioned in the cleaning of the Black household and that Kreacher helped Regulus A Black (RAB) to retrieve it from the cave. I'm guessing either Kreacher or Mundungus has removed it from where it was though.
2. The cup of Helga Hufflepuff--I'm not sure on this one, but I'm also interested in the fact that the trophy room has been mentioned over and over again and how Tom Riddle liked to "collect trophies" from people when he was young.
3. Nagini--seems a bit too easy, as all the other items found so far had some kind of curse that made them difficult to destroy, and the snake is mortal, so how would it improve Voldemort's immortality. Perhaps this is one of Dumbledore's "Big Mistakes"?
4. Something of Ravenclaw & Gryffindor. I think Voldemort was trying to do something of Godric Griffyndor's by killing Harry in "Godric's Hollow" but that Harry's "being a true Gryffindor" (maybe even by blood???) will allow him to have more control over the object than Voldemort would anticipate.

So if indeed Dumbledore was wrong about Nagini the snake, it would seem more likely that that object was something Ravenclaw related and might be an object related to the intelligence and sharp witted-ness of the Ravenclaw's.

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