Friday, March 22, 2013

HP Readalong ~ 5.1


I'm writing this post on Tuesday night because I'm leaving for a short trip to Austin tomorrow morning and don't want to miss a post or worry about writing it while I'm away.  If you're reading this, then the "schedule" feature was successful.  If not...then I'm just talking to myself.  :]  Happy Harry Potter Day!

P.S. I mostly listened to this section on audiobook so that I'd finish in time to write this post early and I've forgotten most of what I told myself to write about because there are no post-its while I'm driving.  Oh well, I'm sure the rest of you will make all the points and I'll be annoyed that I forgot.

Order of the Phoenix is one of the more difficult books in the series to like.  Not only is Harry a little brat, but Rowling's editors apparently decided to go on vacation and so more than 200 pages pass before Harry actually enters Hogwarts castle.  Snore.  Details are nice and helpful and whatnot, but Rowling goes waaaay overboard with them here.  And not the good kind - there is far less of the whimsy that makes the earlier books shine and far more of Harry shrieking his little head off.  Eugh.

Okay, so I know you're all going to be like, "Don't you remember being a teenager?  Look at all he's gone through!  Dumbledore's being such an ass!"  And you're right about all of that.  Harry's anger is justified, especially since he hasn't been given any chance to express the true sadness and fear and sense of loss underlying it.  And his constant shrieking at his friends even makes sense.  I read some interview with Rowling at some point that I can't find now in which she explains that he has to shriek at his friends because he doesn't have parents to do it to.  As teenagers (and beyond), most of us take out our conflicted feelings about stuff on our parents and other close loved ones.  When we get older, we do it to our spouses or whoever.  It's normal.  Harry doesn't have parents, and Sirius is touchy, and though Mrs. Weasley is practically his mom, they don't really get to that point, and Dumbledore's ignoring him so yeah.  He takes it out on Ron and Hermione.  I get it.  I do.  That doesn't make it any less obnoxious.  Which is funny because teenagers are the group that I most want to work with.  Moving on.

Can we take a minute to discuss how creepy Hogwarts letters are?  In Sorcerer's Stone, Harry's letters specify where he sleeps.  In this book, Aunt Petunia's letter specifies where she is standing at that very moment.  Not cool, Dumbledore.  Stop stalking your correspondents.  This isn't Facebook.

We meet the real Moody!  And he's kind of hilariously paranoid, which is sad, but also kind of proves that the impostor wasn't perfect (just good enough to convince everyone Moody ever knew).  Because Crouch-as-Moody never warned Harry about the danger to his buttocks inherent in pocketing a wand.  We also meet Tonks, who I have nothing to say about except that I want her to be my friend.  Can you give me her number??  OH AND LUNA LOVEGOOD.  I'm all out of order here but how fantastic is Luna Lovegood?  Okay, for now she just seems weird and a little annoying...so yeah, awesome!  I'll invite her to hang out with me and Tonks, too.  AND WE CAN ALL BE WEIRD TOGETHER.
 photo tumblr_lp9zr5mDcP1qzgb0t_zps48223688.gif

Oh, and there's also Umbridge, who's obviously awful in a rather shallow way, and she's all, "school's all about tests" and I'm all "facepalm" except doesn't it sometimes seem like that?  Le sigh.  I do love that she is compared to a toad, and her horrible bow to a juicy fly.

But before she shows up, Harry goes to 12 Grimmauld Place, and it's between numbers 11 and 13, which is not how house numbering works (unless it's different in England?).  Speaking of numbers, Lupin tells Mrs. Weasley that during Voldy's first reign, the Order was outnumber 20:1, which, um, wow.  No wonder there are hardly any students at Hogwarts, if even half of those Death Eaters were rounded up and put in Azkaban and prevented from procreating.  This number seems very wrong, but maybe he's just exaggerating.  Because there were only like 12 Death Eaters in the graveyard a few months ago.

So Harry, Ron, Fred, and George are all talking about Voldy and how he kills people and how maybe he's trying to find more effective ways of killing people and it's all so naive - as though bad guy = killing machine who just kills for fun because killing is fun right?  They don't seem to understand that there's a master plan there.  Like Hitler (who I'm sure Voldy is based on and maybe I should write a post about that sometime though I'm sure somebody's beaten me to it because apparently none of my observations are original), Voldy has purpose to his killing, and beyond that, a desire for power and control.  Killing is more of a sideline but the kids don't see that yet.  This really reveals how immature they still are, even though they play at being grown-ups, and confirms that Fred and George really aren't ready to be in the Order even if they are of age, because they still don't understand what it's all about.

A question: why is everybody so concerned about the Death Eaters finding Sirius?  They're all, he's gotta watch out for Voldy, uh-oh, the Malfoys know about him, but what is the big deal?  We haven't heard anything about his astonishing feats of defiance against Voldy, or any particular reason that Voldy would want him dead more than, say, Mad-Eye Moody.  From what I can tell, the Ministry is the real danger here.  I don't understand.

20 comments:

  1. It's like you were inside my head when you wrote your Harry paragraph, I am glad I'm not alone in my feels.

    I'm assuming the death eaters at the cemetary are the inner circle, because I think there was a pensieve scene where someone (karkaroff?) mentions not being able to give up names because he didn't know who else was a death eater outside his small group because Voldy likes to play his cards close to his chest. But also, if that photo Moody showed Harry was accurate, there were like 12-20 members in the original order. Unless it also had a secret member strata.

    I honestly don't know why Voldy would be obsessed with getting Sirius, except maybe to do with Sirius's brother? Like a revenge thing? Wait, but Voldy didn't know the full story of Regulus at this point sooooo I'm out.

    I will give you Tonks number if you promise not to cut me out of the gang hangs.

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    1. You will definitely be invited! :] There weren't many Order members but THAT many Death Eaters seems crazy, even if we're only seeing the inner circle... though according to a scene in the final movie, it looks like all of England is backing Voldy, so who knows.

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  2. Yay for scheduling working :)

    I love Harry's time at Grimmauld though. I didn't mind him not being at Hogwarts. At least we didn't spend that time with the Dursleys.

    On wanting to be friends with Tonks: RIGHT?! (That is all.)

    Re: the number of Deatheaters and if that number is wrong. Probably. Cos it's Rowling coming up with the numbers and we've seen how good she is at that.

    What ultimately does Voldie want? Does he want wizards that agree with him to rule the whole world? I've never been entirely clear on what his final plan is beyond "he wants power".

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    1. I think power and "purity" of blood are the two main things. See Hitler for details.

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    2. But is Voldie going to try to rule England or the world? Is that his ultimate plan?

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  3. I love that Luna GIF so hard.

    Harry is a tricky character in this book. I think all of you anti-angst bloggers are taking an excellent approach in saying that, yes, you get why he has to be that angsty and angry, but that doesn't mean you want to read about it. Can't argue with that.

    But hey, more Ginny time in this book so far. That's good.

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    1. YESSS, I'm loving Ginny!! And she's not just Ron's dorky little sister anymore either - she's got her own stuff going on, which makes her so much better!

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  4. >>>Speaking of numbers, Lupin tells Mrs. Weasley that during Voldy's first reign, the Order was outnumber 20:1, which, um, wow. No wonder there are hardly any students at Hogwarts, if even half of those Death Eaters were rounded up and put in Azkaban and prevented from procreating.

    But he's not just talking about Death Eaters, right? He's talking about Voldemort followers more generally, including like Imperiused people and dudes like Sirius's brother, don't you think? That was the impression I got. There was this inner circle, the Death Eaters, and then there were a lot of people who supported Voldemort in varying degrees.

    I also cannot argue with you not wanting to read about Harry yelling at his friends. I don't like people yelling at each other in life, so I don't know why it doesn't bother me as it does other people. It just doesn't. I love Harry and I like the acknowledgment by Rowling that he has a lot of anger to process.

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    1. I guess if you count followers and all, that makes sense. I'd like to know how much of the population in England is magical though to get some perspective. Ah well.

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  5. Oh shit, you are so right about street numbering, because yeah, we totally do it like even numbers on one side and odd numbers on the other. I didn't even think of that, but yeah! DUH JK.

    I totally see what you mean about Sirius actually, cause Sarah left a comment on my post saying practically the same thing. Because yeah, even if the Death Eaters know that Sirius is a dog, why the hell would they really care? And The Ministry don't, so HEY why can't he go out? I guess that Luicius Malfoy is all up in the Ministry, so he could tell them that he saw him? Maybe? But then why don't they do that anyway?

    Let's ALL hang out with Tonks and Luna and be super weird. I'm up for it!

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  6. "but Rowling's editors apparently decided to go on vacation and so more than 200 pages pass before Harry actually enters Hogwarts castle."

    I SPECIFICALLY LIKE IT BECAUSE THEY TAKE SO LONG TO GET TO HOGWARTS

    Also, if you will remember, when this came out everyone just wanted the HP books to be as long as possible. "MORE OF ROWLING'S WORDS! MORE!" So the insane length was deemed "awesome."

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    1. Lol, yeah I'm pretty sure that's how I felt. But then I read it now and I'm all ugh, I don't care, get on to the good bits!

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  7. I love how every post this week is all, I know you're all going to say Harry's been through a lot but GRRRRR HARRY.

    Good point about not having parents to be a dick to, though. R&H will have to do.

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  8. At this point I wonder if we should all give up on anything math-related in JKR's world. It's like muggle electricity in the presence of magic -- math just goes haywire.

    I love the point about Harry having no one to take it out on... It's very true and also quite sad. Because Mrs. Weasley is a mother figure but she doesn't factor into a big part of his life, just the occasional holiday, and Sirius is kind of the same. Except with Sirius I think there's also this whole other dimension where Harry feels like he needs to put on a really brave face in front of him so that Sirius won't ever be disappointed in him.

    *sob*

    PS I hope JKR isn't somehow reading this and getting really offended that we're always poking fun at her wonky math.
    PPS Nevermind, I totally hope JKR is somehow reading this. That would be the best ever.

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    1. Yeah, it sucks how Harry has to be all manly for Sirius. I guess that's probably true for a lot of 15 year olds and their male role models, but not cool. LET HIM CRY SOMETIMES.

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  9. I'm not really bothered by Harry's angst, maybe because this is my first read (even though I certainly knew the angst was coming). And since we're seeing everything through the Harry Filter, when no one will give him information, I'm especially inclined to be on his side. "No one ever tells us ANYTHING." *stomps foot*

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  10. Exactly! About Sirius. I'm so confused as to why he has to remain on the down low.

    I was wondering about Grimmauld Place... the neighborhood sounds like real crap. I always got the impression that Sirius's parents were rich (cause lots of the Death Eaters seem to be well-off? I don't know why I think that) but it seems like they lived in a relatively small house in a lousy Muggle neighborhood. I wonder why? And if there are more wizarding houses hidden between house numbers?


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    1. Hmm...the sounds seems big to me, but in a tall, narrow sort of way. There are like a trillion landings. But you'd think that such pureblood-crazy folks wouldn't live among lowly muggles, right?

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