With the penultimate novel in the saga—Half-Blood Prince—we know that things must become much worse before they can become better and reach resolution in the seventh and last novel. We should thus expect that it will be chilling in unmatched fashion, and I shall argue that it’s the scariest of them all! Let’s take an eerie walk through the dark corners of Half-Blood Prince, to places seemingly devoid of light or hope . . . .
You may have noticed the recurrence of several numbers in the Harry Potter series and wondered what it all meant. In fact, this is a popular topic of speculation on forums and in critical essays. In this new series, I’ll give you my take as I explore
occurrences of various numbers throughout the series and explain how I believe J.K. Rowling uses numbers as signposts and signals throughout her texts.
The study of number meanings and symbolism, and their influence on Life, is called “Numerology”. More specifically, Numerology is “the study of a cosmic code that uses numbers as symbols… Continue reading
Thanks to The Torchonline where I saw a link to this article about a crucial scene change in Deathly Hallows Part 2. It concerns the death of Severus Snape. Seeing as Snape is a somewhat paradoxically beloved character in some quarters, this might be a huge change. However, the change apparently does have Rowling’s blessing. I won’t detail the changes here as there might be spoilers but feel free to follow the link to the article & come back & comment here.
This chapter was originally scheduled to be written by Red Rocker. Red has graciously agreed to write anyway, even though I mixed up the schedule and gave it to Mr. Pond. The result: Two views of one of the best chapters Rowling wrote!
Cast your mind back to the time just before Deathly Hallows came out. It’s more than 3 years ago, now, but try to remember: what were you expecting? What did you think would happen? Did you suspect that Harry was the seventh horcrux? Did you know that he would die? Did you know that Dumbledore had planned it all out ahead of time? Did you know that the body count was going to be so great? Continue reading
Moderator note: This chapter had been posted out of order. Further, its summary was originally scheduled to be written up by Red Rocker. Mr. Pond’s post will remain up, and discussion can continue. Tomorrow, Red Rocker’s write-up on the chapter will also be posted!
“You have used me.”
“I have spied for you, and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter–”
“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe; she landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
The counter-melody that has run throughout all seven books now crescendos, overriding the other harmonies and dissonances of the series. What has lurked in the background now steps up center, into the spotlight. The voice of the narrator falters, recedes. Harry is a spectator, not a protagonist.
Snape is a consummate artist. In this chapter, we read his memories as he gave them to Harry. We encounter, in other words, his greatest creative work, his magnum opus, his self-portrait. This is the Prince’s Tale, a story of Snape’s knightly quest from profane to sacred love.
This is the last and greatest of Harry’s artistic and creative encounters with life-beyond-death–an unbroken thread through the series from the Man with Two Faces to Godric’s Hollow. But without hearing the Prince’s Tale–without encountering Snape himself though the medium of art, he would never had succeeded in his quest.
Rather than go through all the events of this chapter, which continues the events of the previous one, I’ll hit on some highlights, because I know that Severus Snape will be the biggest focus of discussion.
We have a tour down Memory Lane, with the anguished and tearful Percy laying “across Fred’s body, shielding it from further harm,” refusing to let go of it, just as Harry refused to let go of Cedric’s body when he returned it from the graveyard. The chapter also includes spiders again, this time carrying Hagrid off to the Forbidden Forest, and Dementors and Voldemort in communion with Nagini in the Shrieking Shack.
Sorry for the bad Steppenwolf take-off but it just played into my thoughts as I was reading an article over at The Torchonline. The Torchonline has a regular feature called Ask the Oracle. The latest one is a Harry Potter edition! Several questions are asked, one about Shirley Henderson the actress who has played Moaning Myrtle & one on whether or not J.K. Rowling has ever done a cameo in any of the HP movies. But it’s the last question they have that interested me the most.
“Q: In Rowling’s world-view, is one “destined” to be evil? It sure seems that way, since every single person that the Sorting Hat puts in Slytherine turns out to be evil…” The Oracle has a very extensive & thoughtful answer. I encourage you to check it out. Feel free to comment both at The Torchonline & also here. Enjoy!
A fun piece by Joivre. Enjoy!
American Wizarding Press
The UK Ministry of Magic has confirmed in an article that appeared in The Daily Prophet that an ongoing investigation into the death of former Headmaster of Hogwarts, Severus Snape, has hit a wall.
“It’s hard to close a murder case when you don’t have a corpse”, said the source. According to eye witnesses, Professor Snape was killed by a particularly nasty snakebite to the neck ordered by Tom Riddle in the pre-dawn hours of May 2, 1998. He was 38 years old and working as a double-agent for the European Allied Forces in the second wizarding war. Authorities as well as those who knew Snape are still puzzled 11 years later.
Acquaintances of Professor and former Headmaster Snape say the previous Potions master was the go-to man for all liquid and dark art remedies and that his talents for creating and executing difficult-to-brew, but often ingenious potions were formidable.
“He was exquisite at potions. He could easily rival, or even surpass, the techniques of the legendary Horace Slughorn. It boggles the mind to think Severus would not have been prepared for such a bite. I mean, he was playing chicken with the most dangerous and unpredictable wizard of all time who happened to have a snake who did his bidding.” says one fellow teacher.
Many former students agree, saying that Professor Snape often told his first years he could teach them how to “stopper death”. Says one alum “Snape was nothing if not meticulous. Arthur Weasley survived precisely the same attack – so I find it hard to believe Professor Snape was not prepared for this with a potion up his sleeve.”
“There are still a lot of questions that haven’t been answered and we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of it. There certainly are some discrepancies.” says the lead investigator on the case. “For one, we are confused with the choice of weapon in this case. Why the snake? We know Tom Riddle’s standard M.O. was the Avada Kedavra curse. He uses it time and again because it is quick, efficient and final. And especially if he was trying to secure the allegiance of the elder wand, you would think he would do the killing himself, just to make sure. But he orders his snake to kill instead. Also, Riddle walks out of the room before Snape is actually dead – how very Largo/Bond of him.”
He continues, “Then there is the problem with the witness accounts. Neither of the witnesses checked his pulse or respiration. They simply said he went paler than usual, though we now know this actually happened to Snape on more than one occasion in the past, and that his eyes were fixed and he moved no more. There was a lot of blood loss, maybe he was dead, but then again maybe he was just in shock. We don’t know for sure. Also, one witness said Snape released some memories that the witness then took to a pensieve to view. What raises suspicion is the witness remarked that upon raising his head out of the pensieve, he thought Snape might have just closed the door.”
An unconfirmed rumor circulating the UKMM is that Professor Snape’s supposed murder took place in the Shrieking Shack, however, according to this source, when they went to retrieve the body, all they found was a single phoenix feather.