Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Penelope and Pigwidgeon

As I mentioned before (in a comment), Penelope is a type of duck. It also apparently means "needle and thread" or "needle and spool (of thread)".

According to http://dict.die.net/anas%20penelope/, "Anas penelope n : freshwater duck of Eurasia and North Africa related to mallards and teals [syn: widgeon, wigeon, Anas penelope]" It's also sometimes called Mareca penelope.

Anyways... Widgeon? Pigwidgeon? Now, says http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pigwidgeon, "Pig´wid`geonn. 1. A cant word for anything petty or small. It is used by Drayton as the name of a fairy."

However, we don't simply have a small (Scops) owl here, do we? Are we really to assume it's a coincidence that Percy had a pet rat (who turned out to be a wizard) and gave it to Ron... then for Percy to get an owl he names Hermes... and then for Percy to meet (and date) a girl named Penelope and for Ron to later receive an owl that Ginny names Pigwidgeon? Notice that Crookshanks pays attention to "Pig", but that the half-kneazle simply seems hungry, not distrustful... what does Crookshanks think about Pigwidgeon? For that matter, what does he think of Hermes?
Back to the myths discussed in the comments to the blocked passageway post: Odysseus's wife, Penelope, was the daughter of Icarius and the first cousin of Helen of Troy. (Icarius is also a star in the constellation Boötes.) Penelope was the loyal wife who thought up clever ways to ward off her suitors. She would work on a tapestry by day but then unravel it by night, so that it would never be completed. As long as the tapestry was incomplete she would not have to choose a husband. A suitor caught on to her deceipt, and she was forced to find another way to keep the suitors at bay. She had them try to string one of Odysseus's bows and shoot a single arrow through 12 axe handles. Odysseus came back (in disguise) and, after stringing the bow and shooting an arrow through all 12 axe handles) chased off or killed the suitors. Penelope was helped by Athena (Minerva) and Hermes. Odysseus, in his attempts to return home, was helped by Zeus and Hermes.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Blocked Passage Revisited

In part one (the revamped version) of my predictions posts I talked about (many things) Snape and his possible relation to Irma Pince. Well, I stand by the basic idea, however I got a fact wrong, and I want to clear it up. Here's the excerpt from the previous post:

A secret passageway on the fourth floor of Hogwarts was blocked off sometime after Severus and the Mauraders left Hogwarts but before Harry started attending the school. This blocked passageway will turn out to be connected to Severus Snape. As an extention to the above part (Snape's relatives in hiding idea) I believe the blocked passage's location, relative to the library, means it's a particularly good place for Dumbledore and Snape to hide Snape's relatives. It would also be a good place for Snape to hide. This also leads to my next prediction....

I had said the passage was blocked before Harry attended Hogwarts. This is not true. When Gred and Forge (heehee) give Harry the map they tell him about 7 passages. Four of them Filch knows about, but the twins don't explain to us where these passages are or where they lead. Another passage is under the Whomping Willow and goes somewhere into Hogsmeade (turns out to go to the Shrieking Shack). Another passage starts at a statue and leads into the stockroom of Honeydukes. The last passage is on the fourth floor. The twins don't say where it leads, but they seem to think this unnecesary info, since they haven't been able to go through it since "last winter". Last winter would be during Harry's second year at Hogwarts. This would be around the time Harry and Ron impersonate Crabbe and Goyle to interrogate Draco.

By this time there had already been basilisk attacks. Though the first time the chamber had been opened had already taken on the characteristics of a tall tale, even a myth, Dumbledore knows it happened (he was teaching Transfiguration at Hogwarts at the time). Many of the teachers are too young to have been there at the time (as either professor or student), but I think Snape knew something about it. Lucius sure knew, since he planted the diary on Ginny for this exact purpose. Lucius and Severus having such a long, apparently chummy, history together, perhaps Lucius had told Severus about it -- not about planting the diary, not even about the diary's existance -- but how Voldemort boasted about having opened the chamber while he attended Hogwarts... and how he was the last of the Slytherin line, he -- and only he -- could open it again some day. If this is the case then Snape might have suspected Voldemort's direct involvement this time around, too, making Snape think Voldemort had already returned in some form (even though the mark on his arm would still be quite faint). If he's truely hiding his family from Voldemort and the Death Eaters he might have chosen winter holiday as an opportune time to block the passageway. And why? Well, if this passage was chosen as a hiding place for himself and any family members he might have at Hogwarts, then he might have been making some final preparations to this chosen hiding place.

There's only one thing that's really bugging me. Ok, it's a person, really. Percy Weasley. When Harry and Ron (Polyjuiced) head towards Slytherin's common room they run into Percy. Ron and Harry assume Percy is trying to catch Slytherin's heir himself. The readers start to suspect Percy has just come back from a rendez-vous with his girlfriend. However, she's not in Slytherin house, so why is he snooping around down there? I know that this scene takes place down in the dungeons, but we don't know where that passage leads from the fourth floor. I can't completely rule out the idea that Percy came through that very passage and blocked it himself.... And though I don't know why he would do such a thing, we can all agree Percy's been acting more and more strangely, and it's not just teenage hormones kicking in. The potions book plotline was removed from Chamber of Secrets, but we still have two possible book-related plots going on here: Tom Riddle's diary... and the prefect book Percy was reading at Flourish and Blotts. Ok, so maybe Voldemort isn't hiding behind some F&B's bookcase, but something horrible might be on the shelves....

I must think some more... and re-read some more.

Correction 1: Though Penelope is in Ravenclaw Harry and Ron ran into her near Slytherin house's common room before they ran into Percy.

Correction 2: Percy found the prefect book at a second-hand store, not Flourish & Blotts.

Addition 1: Another possibility (like we needed any more) is that Ginny blocked the fourth floor passageway while being possessed by the Voldemort from the diary (Diarymort or Voldymem).

Addition 2: Is the blocked fourth floor related to the rubble Harry, Ron and Lockhart find in the tunnel leading to the chamber?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Other Philosopher's Stone

As I mentioned before, someone "leaked" some teasers about Deathly Hallows.

One of them had to do with there being something other than gold, something hidden, in Harry's Gringotts vault. That's actually not such a big surprise. The interesting part is what the item could be, how it got there, and why it's there.

I'd already suggested that Harry somehow comes across another Philosopher's Stone. I mean, we have Dumbledore telling Harry, in PS/SS, that that "particular" stone was destroyed... the one belonging to Nicholas Flamel. Flamel was the only known maker of the stone. It doesn't mean he's the only person to have ever made one. It also doesn't mean he only made one.

I had also suggested that Harry finds this "new" stone in the locked Love Room of the Department of Mysteries. My reasoning was that the stone has also been a symbol of love and perfection, not just a way to make gold or gain immortality. The people who work at the DoM are called Unspeakables because they do not speak about the things they study or develop in their department. So, if they had access to a Philsopher's Stone they would be bound not to tell the wizarding public about it. I considered the possibility that Lily worked for the ministry, as an Unspeakable... in the so-called Love Room itself.

But after the supposed teaser leak I got to thinking again. What if the stone is actually in Harry's vault? How did it get there? Then I thought back....

If you go to www.jkrowling.com and find the cool items to add to your scrapbook, one of them is an exerpt of an early draft from PS/SS, from way back in 1991. In it, the trio talk about Nicholas Flamel, how he's known for making the Philosopher's Stone, and how he died because someone stole his stone, leaving the Flamels without enough Elixir of Life to keep them alive much longer (not long enough to make another one, at least). Then Harry tells Hermione and Ron about his and Hagrid's trip to Gringotts. Harry states that Hagrid removed the stone from Harry's vault (not vault 713) when Harry withdrew some of his gold. The trio go on to discuss how the stone got into Harry's vault. I believe it's Ron (of course) who suggests Harry's parents stole Flamel's stone. Harry doesn't take the suggestion well, since he equates stealing the stone with killing the Flamels... someone else had to have stolen it. Someone else had placed it in Harry's vault. Jo chose to abandon this plotline, opting instead for the Flamels to still be alive and to choose to let the stone be destroyed, to choose death instead of eternal life.

Now why did she take this route? It's not really a matter of whether the Flamels live, since they die in both versions. Jo decides to have Flamel choose death. It's best to remove Voldemort's temptation -- keeping Voldemort from the stone is worth dying for.

This still doesn't rule out the existance of another stone. It greatly decreases the chance that Nicholas Flamel had ever made more then one, though.

Now let's look at Lily and James. Lily is particularly good at potions (a major component of alchemy) and charms. James is particularly good at Transfiguration (another major component to alchemy, since it's one of alchemy's main goals). Could they have been advanced enough at such a young age to produce a Philosopher's Stone? Perhaps. But why would they even try to make one? James came from a wealthy family and inheritted lots of money from his parents, so they were in no need of more wealth... nor do they seem greedy. They apparently didn't have any Elixir of Life on hand when Voldemort came to call, nor do they seem to fear death. James faces Voldemort with courage and pride. Lily sacrifices herself, ultimately saving Harry from a Killing Curse. Here, protecting your family from Voldemort is worth dying for. Harry's what's worth making a Philosopher's Stone for -- the hope that he'd use it some day (not for gold or everlasting life but) to defeat Voldemort.

But what if Lily and James didn't work together to make a stone? As brilliant at magic as they must have been, they did die in their early 20's. Flamel was quite old when he finally succeeded in making the stone, and he had been trying for many years. Back to the idea that it could have been made over several years in the Department of Mysteries, perhaps with Lily's help (if she worked there). The Unspeakables wouldn't be allowed to tell the public they'd made one, so the general public would continue to give Flamel sole credit. So, how would it end up in Harry's vault? Like Harry says to Hermione and Ron in that old draft -- someone stole it and placed it in his vault. But who? If it's Lily and/or James we're stuck with the reality of them being thieves, and though that's not cool at least they didn't murder the Flamels. Perhaps helping Harry is worth stealing for....

This leaves a huge question still: why would James and Lily (or anyone, for that matter) provide Harry with a Philosopher's Stone when we figure that if it's there in the vault it would have to have been there for a very long time, probably before Voldemort attacked the Potters? Someone knew the prophesy... in it's entirety... and expected Harry to survive the attack.

There is a good chance that Dumbledore told Lily and James the complete prophesy (after Snape warned Dumbledore that the Potters were the chosen target). This would allow Lily and James to prepare for the possibility of attack, in the event that their Secret Keeper spilled the secret. This would help explain why James could have the forethought to send his Invisibility Cloak to Dumbledore, expecting Harry to survive and eventually attend Hogwarts. Dumbledore said he and Harry were the only ones who knew the full contents of the prophesy, but he must mean that no one else alive as of OotP knows the full contents... and he could yet be wrong.

Whoever placed the stone in Harry's vault (if one was placed in there before the attack) would have to have known Harry would survive the attack... or at least expected him to.

The only candidates I can think of for expecting Harry's survival and planning for his training would be: Lily, James, Dumbledore, Snape (if he heard the entire prophesy), and whoever worked in the Hall of Prophesy and labeled the prophesy orb.

Labels: , , , , ,

On Entering the Arena....

Some quotes from the series:

"Very good," said Voldemert softly, and as he raised his wand the pressure bearing down on Harry lifted too. "And now you will face me, like a man... straightbacked and proud, the way your father died... "And now --we duel." (GOF PB US Edition p. 660 Chapter 34 Priori Incantatem)

"That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry.


But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew -- and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents -- that there was all the difference in the world. (HBP HB US Edition p. 512 Chapter 23 Horcruxes)

Entering an arena with your head held high, that's what Harry seems to be doing on this cover. Il Colosseo is still a good candidate for the arena-like scene depicted here.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some Teasers that Came My Way

Typically I wouldn't bother to even talk about such things: teasers and spoilers. I will definitely not give away spoilers if I come across any. However, someone posted some teasers on a site (the post has since been removed). I'm interested in them only because they are vague enough that I can fit them into what I think will happen... without giving away any spoilers myself.

Here are the teasers I found from a single, now unknown source:

Pettigrew's Silver hand is vitally important to Dumbledore. When this teaser showed up people in the Dumbledore-isn't-dead camp chimed up immediately to suggest that Wormtail's silver right hand could be used to replace Dumbldore's right hand, restoring his health. I'm sorry to say this makes no sense, since Dumbldore is in fact very dead. If there is any truth to this teaser it would have to be that the fact of Wormtail's silver hand is vital to Harry's cause, in some way. It's a matter of metallurgy, anyway. We know Voldemort conjured the hand, we think it's made of pure silver, we know Dumbldore taught Voldemort Transfiguration and probably knows not just Voldemort's magical strengths but also his weaknesses. How nice would it be for Harry to be related to the wizard (from Godric's Hollow) who invented the Golden Snitch? Maybe Harry will turn out to have a knack for metallurgy himself? Perhaps Harry will figure out how to disarm Wormtail or manipulate the silver hand.

The gold in Harry's bank covers something far more important to Harry than gold. The concensus is that there is something hidden underneath the piles of gold, either in his family vault or the Black family vault he recently inheritted. At first I wanted it to be the flying motorcycle, but that seems a bit odd for the vault, doesn't it? How would it have ended up there? Besides, I'd like for the bike to come to Harry through some grand gesture of Hagrid's. No, I think it will be something smaller but still quite valuable and useful. Some goblin-made armor might be good, an extra Philosopher's Stone would be most-helpful during battle, as well.... I admit there are too many possibilities here.

Sirius Black is related to an important Half-Blood. Well I suppose he wouldn't be a blood relative of Voldemort; Severus Snape is a good bet, though. The Black family tapestry has so many burned out names and truncated branches that it wouldn't the least bit surprise me if Sirius Black were somehow related to the Prince family line, making him related (by blood or by marriage) to Severus Snape. The split of the families could have happened multiple generations ago and it's just not shown in the tapestry because someone's name was removed, their marriages and progeny simply never recorded there. If the Princes were ever anywhere on the family tree (and Jo simply hasn't disclosed this branch) then Eileen would have been scorched off for marrying a Muggle anyway. Makes me wonder more about any friendship between Severus and Sirius's younger brother Regulus. I mean, who introduced Regulus to the ranks of the Death Eaters? Since Regulus is younger than Sirius and Severus, and Lucius is too old to have been at Hogwarts by the time Regulus attended (Lucius was apparently in his last year when Severus started) then did Severus bring Regulus as an initiate? And, for that matter, did Severus do so because he wanted to, or did Regulus insist? Hmmm.

Harry gets an unexpected friend-- something that we previousy thought disliked him. Something? I'm sure Harry has friends he doesn't recognize. Sure, but something? The best bet here is probably Kreacher. On the UK Children's cover for "Deathly Hallows" we can see that there is a House-Elf like creature riding on Harry's back and holding what appears to be Gryffindor's sword (or something quite similar). I first thought it was Dobby, but Kreacher would be a good option. He belongs to Harry and must follow direct orders. Besides, time away from the deranged portrait of Mrs. Black, as well as time with the Hogwarts House-Elves, might have done Kreacher a world of good. He might come to recognize that Harry means well and isn't such a bad master, despite being a Half-Blood. Who knows, Harry might grant Kreacher his dying wish: put his head up on the wall in Black house, assuming Kreacher will still desire that supposed honor -- he could well change his mind.

After being Demented, Dudley learns how to do something... Again, thoughts flew all over the place that Dudley would learn some magic, even how to conjur a Patronus. I'm sorry -- no, I'm actually quite happy -- to say that this will not happen. It simply makes no sense, not even for him to learn Occlumency. Sure, someone will produce a burst of magic in some desperate measure to attack or defend someone (according to an interview with Jo), but it's not going to be the most-definitely Muggle Dudley. I suspect Dudley will finally realize that his parents haven't really treated him as they should, haven't raised him to support himself. He will realize he's been an abuse victim all these years, oblivious to the poor upbringing. I hope that he realizes he has a lot to learn about the real world, that he can actually go to Harry for help. We don't know what Dudley saw (the horrible memories he relived) when he wa attacked by the dementors, but I have a feeling it's far worse than remembering some birthday he didn't get a certain present he wanted, or the feeling of being playfully snapped at by a snake on the loose. Maybe, just maybe, Dudley learns to grow up and be a man, not a bully. Sadly, the future looks generally poor for Dudley, and he may never recover from his spoiled childhood.

Dumbledore has made an invention that comes in very handy for Harry. Who invented the Pensieve? Or the Put-Outer? What about Dumbledore's super-cool golden pocketwatch... or any number of silver instruments to be found in the Headmaster's office? The Pensieve might be simply too old for Dumbledore to be its inventor. I have a feeling it's something metal. The best bet is the silver instrument that emits smoke in the form of entwined snakes. It could be a horcrux detector of some variety. It's also entirely possible that Jo intoduces us to a previously unknown, unseen item. Introducing objects, at this point, is a lot easier than introducing new characters.

Someone important to Harry dies suddenly rather early in the book. I immediately considered Rubeus Hagrid. He just seems destined to die. Early on, even before Dumbledore died, some other sleuths and I were discussing Alchemy, particularly Soul Alchemy. There are three main stages, three major chemical transitions: black, white, and red, in that order. First Sirius Black dies (that's the black). Then Albus Dumbldore dies (that's the white, since albus means white). So we should expect someone symbolizing red to die. Enter Rubeus (red) Hagrid. I hate to lose him, but it seems fitting that he should go. It also makes sense that he would die suddenly. We've seen how strong and tough he is (the Stunning spells kept bouncing off him when Umbridge and several others tried to capture him). However, we've already realized that full-blood giants could kill him - to them he is but small fry. How advantageous for Voldemort to have a gurg in his camp, rounding his followers to do Voldemort's bidding (like the fake hurricane)? It would also explain how Harry could end up with Sirius's flying motorcycle... and quite early in the book, without it necessarily being a birthday present from Hagrid or an inherrited item directly from Sirius. It's simply another option.

In the chapter of the book, there is a poem which serves as much of the driving action for the first quarter of the book. This is how the teaser appeared, so I don't know what chapter the person meant. Some people thought of the Sorting Hat, but I don't know that we'll ever hear the Sorting Hat again, at least not until after the war is over and things have returned to "normal". I wish the same as the hat -- that the houses be destroyed, and that students attend Hogwarts in a more united fashion, not warring with each other over principle. Therefore, we really might never get another poem or song from the Sorting Hat. I've been leaning toward the idea that Harry re-evaluates the poem on the Gringotts wall, the one warning against thieves. It sure looks like Harry will have issues getting to his gold, so any poem or riddle posed by the wizarding bank would be quite telling if it appears early in the plot. Another good option, mentioned by a fellow sleuth, is that Harry finds a poem on the gravesites of his parents, and that this pushes him along for much of the plot. Another, but much less contemplated idea I've had is that Harry finds another Severus Snape original. Recall back to when Snape wrote a poem (riddle) about which potion to drink to get through to the next chamber. Hermione was most helpful here, since, as she says, most wizards don't understand logic. If Harry gets the HBP's potions book back early in the plot and reads more of the scribbles (trying to learn as much about his supposed enemy as he can) he might come across a poem Severus wrote -- who knows how long ago.... What would Harry learn from it? Hmmm...

Well, that's all the teasers I had found. Not sure if there's anything to them, but it was worth a thought... or two.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Countdown

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Draco's wand gives insight into character (well, duh)

JKR updated her site to answer some more book FAQs, so I plan to do a few posts about these new bits of info.

She revealed that Draco's wand is, in fact, made from hawthorn, May's birth flower/tree. However she has not said what the core is....

Hawthorn tells us something very important about Draco's character and what he might do in the future. Basically, the scene where Draco lowers the wand he'd pointed at Dumbledore is just the begining of his turn around. True, we figured as much, right? Well, hawthorn is all about healing the heart, giving psychic shield protection, opening up to love and understanding, and spiritual development.

Hawthorn is a thorny tree (of course) and we must remember that thorns are grown for personal protection. Draco is a natural at Occlumency, being able to block Snape after perhaps a single summer of practice, and with the hawthorn of his wand it's really no wonder at all that he would learn it so quickly.

For a while (once Christianity took over Rome, Greece, and Britain) the meaning was changed from one of love and fertility to one of bad luck, enforced chastity, and misfortune. It has since regained some of it's more positive aspects. Of course, Draco is most-likely in for more bad luck and misfortune before things get better for him. Losing the nerve to kill Dumbledore was the first step after "Draco's detour", but it was a really big step.

Will he take up an offer for protection if Snape offers it?

(Lots of thanks to http://www.whitedragon.org.uk/articles/hawthorn.htm for info on hawthorn....)

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 07, 2007

More on Helga Hufflepuff

Helga's name is often (but not always) changed in translation. More can be learned about her by analysing how her name changes from language to language. These are not mere translations; her name completely changes meaning sometimes.

For example, the French translation mentions her as Helga Poufsouffle. Well, here's a clear reference to her food-related magic -- a puffy souffle.

The Italian version of her name is removed from food references. Tosca is a well-known opera. Here the important part is the last name. Tasso has a few definitions: rate, badger, and yew. Rosso can mean red, purple, or redhead. She's a Redheaded Badger!
I'm intruiged by the possible connection to yew, though....

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hufflepuff and Prewitt?

Well, well, well. Now it makes perfect sense why the Hufflepuff commonroom and dorms are near the kitchens....

Helga Hufflepuff, as described and depicted on JKR's site (Wizard of the Month, May 2007), looks rather suspiciously like Molly Weasley... plump, orange-red hair. And they are each exceptional at food-related charms.

Does this mean the Prewitts are related to Helga Hufflepuff?

Is Helga holding the cup Harry must find? If so, where is the picture of the badger...facing Helga? Or is this just some other cup that belonged to her?


Labels: , , ,