Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Friday, June 29, 2007

Who is that dragon? Revisited

There's one really big question I somehow skipped over in my previous post about the dragon on the deluxe edition of DH. How did the trio get the dragon to cooperate?

So, perhaps you really can't tame a dragon... but maybe you can magically control one, anyway.

Being a Parceltongue might be one step in the right direction, but if you put dragon's blood into the equation...? Dunno.

Another thought had come to mind while reading a thread on Galadriel Waters' New Clues 6 Discussion forum. Harry and the other TWT champions received animated models of the dragons they had to get the golden egg from. I know that Harry battled a Hungarian Horntail, which looks nothing like the dragon pictured in the Deluxe artwork, and the other champions also battled dragons that don't match the artwork, but where did the TWT organizers get those models? Might there be one for the Antipodean Opaleye, or perhaps for another dragon that might match this one? If so (and I should think so), then he might be able to get one of these models and use an Engorgement charm (or Hermione could). Then they might be able to control it.

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus

We all know Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon", but I wonder if this is more than just a school motto....

In a recent audio clip of Stephen Fry (the narrator of the HP audio books in the UK, as well as a hilarious comedian from shows like Jeeves and Wooster and Black Adder) he says he can't give anything away. Duh. But then he repeats the school motto.

The big questions here are:

What is this dragon?

Who's doing the tickling?

What actually happens if you tickle the sleeping dragon?

For the first question, we could think of the dragon who is shown on the cover of the deluxe edition of DH. Then we could say Harry might have tickled him. And then we might suggest tickling a sleeping dragon could give you some power over the dragon, allowing you to order it around, at least for a while. But, then, why warn people not to do such a thing? Seems very odd to me.

So, what if the Dragon is not really a dragon? What if it's a person named Draco? Now it gets harder to answer the other questions. Is Harry provoking Draco when it's not wise to do so? Has Voldemort's punishments of the Malfoys been enough to provoke Draco to actively switch sides?

Or what if Snape is the "dragon"? He's definitely a powerful wizard who you wouldn't really want as an enemy. Who provoked him so badly when his guard was down? James, Harry, Dumbledore, his own parents, Voldemort, Wormtail? And what happens if you cruely provoke Snape? Well, back in HBP there was mention of how everyone Snape hates tends to turn up dead....

And what about Harry? He was innocent (and perhaps actually sleeping) when Voldemort attacked the Potters. Since then Voldemort has provoked Harry several times, even invading his dreams... mentally tickling him with false images, like the one that sent Harry to the DoM looking for Sirius. Snape has also provoked him on several occasions. What happens would be Harry seeking revenge... big time.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Prediction: Kreacher will

Here's an article about a character that JKR said should be in the OotP movie, since he will be important to Deathly Hallows:

This is great! From the cover of the UK children's edition of Deathly Hallows you can see a House Elf riding Harry's back and holding up a sword. It has pointed ears, like Kreacher's, not more-rounded ears... like Dobby's. But the artwork allows for some artistic license, so we couldn't be sure which House Elf it was... or if it was actually a friendly Goblin.

Of course we had a feeling Kreacher would still be important to the story, since there was a good chance R.A.B. (Regulus Black) left Slytherin's locket (used as a horcrux by Voldemort) somewhere in #12 Grimmauld Place. Chances are it's no longer there, as Mundungus has stolen several items, and Aberforth appears to have bought something from Dung, perhaps the locket (pulls his cloak up about his neck before he walks away).

Interestingly, this works well with the unauthorised teaser given earlier by an unknown person claiming that something Harry thought was against him is actually loyal to him. Of course, Harry owns Kreacher, and he might be simply following Harry's orders, against his own will....

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Character Analysis: Severus Snape (part one)

First, let's look at his name: Severus Snape.

Severus means "strict, stern, severe".

We can also break the name into two different phrases: the English sever us and the Latin se verus. In the first case, we could see it as a plea. Matter of fact, this lends support to the idea that Dumbledore's words "Severus. Severus... please...." were a hidden message for Severus to kill Dumbledore. Imagine interpreting the words as something like "Severus, sever us, please" or "Sever us... Severus, please." Not that Dumbledore would refer to himself in the plural, more like he knows he must be removed from Harry's side, just as all the references to Dumbledore stopping dead and Harry running into him are symbolic for Dumbledore holding Harry back from fulfilling his "destiny"... for Dumbledore being in the way. This phrase could also be a reference to Severus's apparent dual personality. Harry must figure out what Severus's different roles are... and when Severus is switching roles....

The second phrase is particularly interesting, since se verus means "himself true". This goes well with the French version of his name: Severus Rogue. Rogues don't really follow rules, and they generally look out for #1, themselves. The quintessential Slytherin, right? Of course, the meaning of the French word rogue translates best as "arrogant", rather than how we generally define rogue. Dictionary.com gives us a very extensive English definition:

"rogue /roʊg/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[rohg] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, rogued, ro·guing, adjective
1. a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel.
2. a playfully mischievous person; scamp: The youngest boys are little rogues.
3. a tramp or vagabond.
4. a rogue elephant or other animal of similar disposition.
5. Biology. a usually inferior organism, esp. a plant, varying markedly from the normal. –verb (used without object)
6. to live or act as a rogue. –verb (used with object)
7. to cheat.
8. to uproot or destroy (plants, etc., that do not conform to a desired standard).
9. to perform this operation upon: to rogue a field. –adjective
10. (of an animal) having an abnormally savage or unpredictable disposition, as a rogue elephant.
11. no longer obedient, belonging, or accepted and hence not controllable or answerable; deviating, renegade: a rogue cop; a rogue union local.
[Origin: 1555–65; appar. short for obs. roger begging vagabond, orig. cant word]
—Synonyms 1. villain, trickster, swindler, cheat, mountebank, quack. See knave."

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to add:

"rogue 1561, "idle vagrant," perhaps a shortened form of roger (with a hard -g-), thieves' slang for a begging vagabond who pretends to be a poor scholar from Oxford or Cambridge, perhaps from L. rogare "to ask." Another theory traces it to Celtic (cf. Bret. rog "haughty"); OED says, "There is no evidence of connexion with F. rogue 'arrogant.' " Rogue's gallery "police collection of mug shots" is attested from 1859."

Then there is the last name, Snape. There are several meanings of Snape and other words that are related to it:
  1. Snape - English and Scottish: habitational name from any of various places in England and southern Scotland, for example in North Yorkshire near Bedale, in the Lowlands near Biggar, and in Suffolk, so named with Old English snæp ‘area of boggy land’. In Sussex the dialect term snape is still used of boggy, uncultivable land.

  2. Snape \Snape\, v. t. (Shipbuilding)
    To bevel the end of a timber to fit against an inclined

  3. related to snipe
    n : Old or New World straight-billed game bird of the sandpiper
    family; of marshy areas; similar to the woodcocks
    v 1: hunt snipe
    2: hunt or shoot snipe
    3: shoot from a concealed position [syn: sharpshoot]
    4: attack verbally, in speech or writing; "The editors of the
    left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker" [syn: attack,
    round, assail, lash out, assault]

  4. related to Sneap \Sneap\, v. t. [Cf. Icel. sneypa to dishonor, disgrace,
    chide, but also E. snip, and snub
    1. To check; to reprimand; to rebuke; to chide. [Obs.] --Bp.
    2. To nip; to blast; to blight. [Obs.]
    Sneap \Sneap\, n.
    A reprimand; a rebuke. [Obs.]

  5. related to snap
    n 1: the act of catching an object with the hands;
    2: any activity that is easy to do; "marketing this product
    will be no picnic"
    3: (football) putting the ball in play by passing it (between
    the legs) to a back [syn: centering]
    v 1: utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone; `"No!," she
    snapped'; "The guard snarled at us" [syn: snarl]
    2: separate or cause to separate abruptly; "The rope snapped";
    "tear the paper" [syn: tear, rupture, bust]
    3: break suddenly and abruptly; as of something under tension;
    4: move or strike with a click;
    5: snap close with a sound;
    6: as of tightly stretched ropes or fingers [syn: crack]
    7: move with a snapping sound;
    8: to grasp hastily or eagerly;
    9: put in play with a snap, of a football
    10: cause to make a snapping sound; of fingers [syn: click, flick]
    11: record on photographic film

  6. might make you think of snoop
    n : a spy who makes uninvited inquiries into the private affairs
    of others
    [syn: snooper]
    v : watch, observe, or inquire secretly [syn: spy, stag, sleuth]
Other language versions of the novels use translation, transliteration, or simply give him a new name. Most play up his cruel behavior or make references to snakes, marshy or boggy land or other water features. I'll probably make a separate post to discuss the names given to him in other languages, besides French.

More about his character later....

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Who is that dragon?

The new artwork for the deluxe edition of Deathly Hallows has been released, and we have so many more questions than answers:

Who is that dragon? It could be a grown-up Norbert (the picture vaguely matches the description of Norwegian Ridgebacks given in Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them). This dragon looks to be either a greenish color or black (but reflecting lots of color), has long horns, has a black-ridged back, and has opal-like eyes. FBaWtFT never describes the eyes of a Norwegian Ridgeback.
Update 6/14/07 -- However, the book has this to say about the Antipodean Opaleye :
"Antipodean Opaleye:This species is native to New Zealand, although it has also been known to make its home in Australia as well. It has pearly scales that reflect the light to make a rainbow of colour, making it (in the opinion of many) the most beautiful dragon of all. The name comes from its eyes, which are multi-coloured and have no pupil. It is generally non-aggressive and its main prey is the sheep. Its weight of 2-3 tonnes makes it a medium-sized dragon [FB]."
Interesting idea: what if there is a new breed, one that was bred to be tameable? It could have a combination of features from various dragon breeds....

Is the dragon a dragon? What if it turned out to be an Animagus? I know, I know... we've had lots of unregistered Animagi (Sirius, James, Peter, and Rita), but we've only seen one registered Animagus so far (McGonagall), so perhaps it's time for another registered one. It would sure go a long way to explain why it's acting tame.

Who's riding the dragon? Is that Hermione and Ron with Harry... or Hermione and Charlie, the Weasley who works with dragons, with Harry? Update 6/11/07: According to Scholastic, that is definitely Ron with Hermione and Harry, not Charlie (and definitely not Draco, as some people have suggested). Yep, we have a particularly light-haired Ron bringing up (sitting on) the rear.

What are they wearing? Looks like Harry is wearing a sweater/jumper and a pair of jeans. The other two might be wearing robes over muggle attire. Update 6/19/07: Harry's outfit actually looks similar to what he's wearing on the front cover of the regular US edition: either brown or black robes over a greenish long-sleeve shirt and a pair of jeans.

Where are they? I see a valley with a river running through it. There is a bridge crossing the river to the right. There are mountains in the background. There is a small village in the valley, at the foot of the mountains. On the other side of the river are some croplands. It could be Norway (Norwegian Ridgebacks live in the mountains, while Muggles live in villages along the southern shoreline and in valleys). Another idea I've heard is Godric's Hollow, specifically that village. This would probably place them in Wales, which also has mountains and valleys bisected by rivers. Update 6/19/07: Since we might be dealing with an Antipodean Opaleye, could the trio be in New Zealand or Australia? Perhaps the horcrux hunt has sent them quite far and wide across the globe....

Where are they going? This would depend on the time of day, and that's a bit tricky. Though we see the sun, I'm not sure if this is sunrise or sunset. With all the colors in the sky I'd like to say sunset, which would put them moving northward. If this place is Godric's Hollow (and if Godric's Hollow is located in Wales), then maybe they are headed up north towards Hogwarts in Scotland. If it is in fact sunrise, they must be headed South, maybe towards London (where Gringotts is), or into another country, like Italy (where Il Colosseo is to be found). The sky is very reminiscent of the orange-red, fire-like sky of the regular cover art. I'm not sure how fast the dragon can fly... could it leave Great Britain at sunrise and be in Rome, Italy before sundown? Update 6/11/07: The time is sunset, as stated by Scholastic. Update 6/19/07: And what if they are in New Zealand? Well, they'd be headed north at sunset. But, oh my, if they are that far away from the UK, how long will it take to get back to the UK, or even to Italy, by dragon?

What's with all the mist? Is this Dementor spawn? It would help explain why the trio look like they are wearing layered clothing. It must be quite cold... unseasonably cold.

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