There’s no doubt in my mind that the title of this post is true. Sure, the Harry Potter books get more angst-ridden as the kids get older, and sure, the stakes get higher when Voldemort is trying to take over the world and generally deploy his Evil Schemes. But you can keep your graveyard incantations and Departments of Mysteries, your snakes and corpses and lakes full of zombies. Harry Potter is never as scary before Prisoner of Azkaban, and it never gets quite that scary again.
Because the scare quotient (if I can use that phrase) of Prisoner of Azkaban doesn’t depend on gross images or Gothic idioms, it doesn’t depend on dark magic or evil ideologies. The story does more than just startle or alarm us. It unsettles. It gnaws away at us with a, creeping, oozing fear that pricks under your fingernails and round your eye sockets. And it’s the only book with scary not just as decoration or set design; the fear is embedded in the story itself.
Several of the recent discussions here at The Hog’s Head have reminded me once again of what great thinkers regularly visit and comment. Here’s a discussion starter for you all: Remus Lupin’s character. It’s time to give everyone’s favorite werewolf some careful attention. Directions to head in:
Remus Lupin’s “Furry Little Problem”
Werewolves are classic scary characters, but in Lupin’s case, Rowling seems to have taken some of the psychological analysis of the werewolf as scapegoat and used that in her story line. So while Greyback is certainly nasty, the overall picture of werewolves is that they are an oppressed group within the Wizarding World, rather than a bunch of scary creatures who belong in a horror flick.
Discuss, then, Rowling’s use of the werewolf. Here are a couple of starting points. Feel free to suggest others.
- The werewolf is a metaphor for the “diseased others” in our society, such as AIDS victims.
- The werewolf is a metaphor for internal struggle with personal evil (sin).
Remus and Nymphadora: Did it Work?
I’ve heard it from more than a few Potter fans that the Remus/Nymphadora pairing was out of left field, and that it didn’t work. For a time, it even seemed like it didn’t work for Remus, who was ready to abandon his wife to follow the trio on the Horcrux hunt. Did this relationship “work” for the story line? Many (including David Thewlis!) believed that if Rowling were going to “out” a character as gay, it would have been Lupin.
Lupin Goes to the Movies
What do you think of David Thewlis’s performance as Remus Lupin? I’m of the opinion the Thewlis’s Lupin is bang on, but I’d love to hear if anyone disagrees.
This is Remus’s thread. Say what you like. What other important aspects of his character need to be addressed?
What upcoming movie are you most looking forward to?
- The Half-Blood Prince (49%)
- Prince Caspian (15%)
- The Hobbit (12%)
- The Dark Knight (10%)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (6%)
- X-Files 2 (2%)
- The Screwtape Letters (2%)
- Avatar (Last Airbender- M. Night Shaymalan) (2%)
- Avatar (James Cameron director) (1%)
- Halo (Directed by Peter Jackson) (1%)
- Iron Man (0%)
Total Votes: 164
No surprises there considering this is a Harry Potter blog.
Now the new poll.
Who do you think is the Most Good character in the Harry Potter series?
At times we have discussed evil here on SoG and shades of evil and so I thought it might be interesting to examine Goodness.
I have been thinking that this area of examining the books excludes, to some degree, Rowling’s opinions as “Good” to one person will mean something completely different to what you or I percieve as good. Rowling’s opinions will not = canon in this circumstance.
So fire away!