Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Remaining Questions: Making Inferi

It's said that Voldemort killed (or had killed) enough people to make an army of Inferi. Meanwhile, we know that Voldemort had placed several Inferi in the black lake, where he placed the locket horcrux.

However, we don't see any Inferius attacks first-hand other than in that cave. And we don't hear specifics of any new attacks on the general populace since Voldemort's first rise to power. The Ministry warns that since Voldemort had used Inferi in the past he might use them again, but apparently he didn't. Looks like he only made them before attacking the Potters, not afterwards, and that they all ended up in the black lake. Why is this?

Dumbledore gives us an interesting hint about it, but the details are missing. He told Harry that Grindelwald wanted to use the Resurrection Ring in order to raise an army of Inferi. Though Grindelwald never found the ring (it was still in the possession of the Gaunt family), Voldemort sure did -- he stole it the day he killed his father and paternal grandparents. He was still known as Tom Riddle then, still a student at Hogwarts, still a member of the Slug Club, but he knew how to make a Horcrux by then. He obviously didn't understand that the ring he used to make a Horcrux also happened to be a Hallow. Peverell ring = Resurrection Ring. If he had known just how special the ring was he might never have turned it into a Horcrux. Did Voldemort make Inferi without knowing how he did it? Had he figured out how to tap the ring's ability to make Inferi without understanding the ring?

Is there another way to make Inferi without the Resurrection Ring?

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Remaining Questions: Who is Florence?

During one of Harry's visits to Dumbledore's office, Dumbledore shows him (or simply lets him see) the form of a girl slowly revolving in the Pensieve. This is not Trelawney but apparently an un-named Hogwarts student. She seems to be from a previous generation (not Harry's). She has come to tattle on a boy she saw, behind the greenhouses, kissing a girl named Florence.

Dumbledore looks at the image of the girl and asks (as if speaking to the girl) why she even followed the boy to see what he was up to....

Jo never, as far as I can recall, returns to this topic. Is this a sub-plot she decided to drop, realizing it couldn't be worked into Deathly Hallows?

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Remaining Questions: Snape's Patronus

Well, I don't see much point in typing up chapter-by-chapter overviews or teasers, like I had started with chapter one....

I guess I want to pose questions I still have about the series.

This will still take several posts, and then I might abandon this blog. If I do that I will begin a new one that makes a fresh attempt to answer those very questions. In time, Jo might put much of our remaining doubts to rest. However, the blog will still be here, so that I (and others) could return to it at any time.

So, let's begin with Snape's patronus. I was under the impression (the first time we see the silver doe in the forest) that it was Snape's patronus, and that the doe represented Lily herself. Well I turned out to be correct about it being Snape's patronus. However, Harry tells Voldemort that Snape's patronus was the same as Lily's patronus. This means Lily's patronus was also a silver doe.

Two questions here:
1. How did Harry learn the form his mother's patronus takes? Where is that mentioned?
2. Previously in the series, Harry is told by an Order member (was it Albus or Remus?) that no two patronuses can be the same, so how could Snape have the same patronus? True, two does don't have to be identical does, and if they spoke they would have different voices, but still....

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Deathly Hallows - Chapter One (no details)

I just wish to say that --

Remember when Harry was talking about someone's acting ability and he said that not even Snape could be that good of an actor?

Oh, please let Snape be that good of an actor....

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Predicting Snape's Motives (character analysis part 3)

Severus Snape was sorted into Slytherin house for a reason. Slytherin house is described as the sanctuary for the ambitious and cunning, sometimes a place for the pureblood and the haughty. We know Severus isn't a pureblood -- Tobias Snape appears to have been a Muggle, and Severus once used (for reasons to be discussed later) the nickname "Half-Blood Prince". He can seem quite haughty at times, but there is an insecurity lingering just below the surface. He's definitely cunning, managing to stay alive after publicly leaving the Death Eaters... managing to reenter the fold while remaining a member of the Order of the Phoenix, spying on both sides.

And what about ambition? There's loads of it. You don't join two opposing teams and play them against each other (and consequentially put yourself in harm's way) unless you have some serious goals... that require info from both sides to meet them.

But let's go back a bit.... Severus is a young wizard of mixed-blood. He takes up this nickname, a play on his witch mother's maiden name and his mixed heritage. The trio later assume he chose the name to play up the wizarding side of the family, not like he's the "prince of the half-bloods", but why would someone trying to play up the wizarding side even bring any attention to the "half-blood" part? He probably wouldn't have been popular in Slytherin for his heritage, so I don't think this would be a name he used freely. It might even be a name given to him by another student and he just liked it. Personally I think Lily Evans came up with the nickname for him. The trio might have it backwards. What if Severus chose to use the name, perhaps only secretly, as a reminder of his heritage... and as a reminder of his main goal -- to be a champion for the wizards and witches of mixed or Muggle heritage?

When Harry takes that first trip on the train to Hogwarts, he reads the Chocolate Frog card for Albus Dumbledore. He seems more impressed by the moving picture than by the info given for wizard. Imagine eleven-year-old Severus first reading or hearing about Albus Dumbledore, most famous for his 1945 defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald. How would this impress upon Severus? Then he's at Hogwarts, with the venerable Albus Dumbledore as headmaster. Snape starts to wonder how this wizard managed to defeat Grindelwald. He might start to think Dumbledore has lost his touch....

Oh, my. I have to stop what would have been a particularly long-assed post. I've been tainted by the chapter titles. My predictions haven't changed due to anything I've seen. However, I'm a bit weirded out by actually having seen what I've now ... seen....

Basically, what I want to get across is that I think Severus Snape (for whatever reasons, like a desire for fame or recognition) has developed a plan to defeat Voldemort. The biggest flaw in his plan is that Voldemort ended up choosing one of Snape's enemies as the target. Snape might feel indebted to James even if there was never a Life Debt. So it's bad news if you've triggered something that will lead to your "saviour's" death. Add to this that Snape probably really did like Lily, and he wouldn't have wanted her to die. To add insult to injury, Snape now has to rely on the abilities and shortfalls of his enemy's son to carry out his wish: Voldemort's defeat. And this child will grow up to hate Snape, not just because of Snape's involvement in the Potters' deaths, but also because Snape must treat Harry badly to maintian his cover. This makes it particulary difficult for Snape to train Harry or give him important info. Harry will almost instinctively rebel against anything Snape says or does. Harry will continue to despise Snape and trip him up every chance he gets until Snape's facade finally falls away... or Snape gets killed trying to make Harry realize where Snape's really coming from.

Maybe more on this later, but the book is arriving so soon I might not be able to get my muddled thoughts together in time for an even vaguely cohesive post.... (sigh)

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Egads, I know all the chapter titles....

I'm sorry to say (ok, not too sorry) that I was sent the chapter titles by a friend of mine who found them online. Actually he (going by PrinceofEgypt) found almost 400 pages of "Deathly Hallows" that got leaked by someone else.

I asked him not to send me the chapter pages, only the table of contents. And he obliged. Then he deleted everything he had downloaded.... I know all the chapter titles.... I can't believe it.

I will NOT post them here.

They back up many of my predictions and they don't discredit any of my predictions.

I still think Harry will take the Dursleys to #12 Grimmauld Place, where they will hide.

I still think Harry will find the place Sirius bought with his inheritance from Uncle Alphard.

I still think Harry will receive something through Dumbledore's will.

I still think the trio will have to break into Gringotts because the goblins will revolt again.

I still think Mundungus stole the locket from #12 Grimmauld and took it (probably sold it) to Aberforth.

I still think Snape has the best of intentions. He's just not as noble as McGonagall gives Dumbledore credit for.

I still think Dumbledore isn't as noble as McGonagall thinks he is.

We will find out about how Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald.

Um, I'll post again soon. Hopefully by then the horrible spoilers will not have tainted everyone....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Character Analysis: Severus Snape (part two)

The first part of my analysis is about the definitions of the name. I continue now with some possible historic origins for his name.

Two major historical people come to mind: Lucius Septimius Severus and Severus Sanctus Endelechus.

Here is the basic entry for Severus Sanctus Endelechus in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"Christian rhetorician and poet of the fourth century. It is possible that his true name was Endelechius and that he adopted the other names after his conversion to Christianity. In the manuscripts of the "Metamorphoses" of Apuleius, the subscription of the corrector and revisor, Sallustius, declares him the pupil at Rome in 395 of the rhetorician Endelechius in the forum of Mars (which is the forum of Augustus): "in foro Martis controversiam declamans oratori Endelechio". This rhetorician is certainly identical with the poet. He was probably of Gallic origin. He was a friend of St. Paulinus of Nola, who dedicated to him his panegyric of Theodosius and even owed to him the idea of this work. We are in possession of Endelechius's "De morte boum", an idyl in thirty-three Asclopedian strophes, in which the shepherd Bucolus explains to his companion Ægon that he is sad because his flock are dying of contagion. Tityrus enters leading his flock which remains healthy amid the epidemic. He explains that this miracle is due to the Sign of the Cross made on the forehead of the animals, whereupon Ægon and Bucolus decide to become Christians. This little poem is chiefly interesting because it shows the resistance of paganism in the country and the means by which Christian preaching sought to overcome it. It was discovered in an unknown manuscript and published by P. Pithou in 1586. Riese reprinted it in the "Anthologia Latina" (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1906, n. 893)."

The Free Dictionary gives some info about Lucius Septimius Severus:

"Severus (Lucius Septimius Severus), Roman emperor Severus or Septimius Severus (Lucius Septimius Severus) (sĕptĭm`ēəs sēvē`rəs), 146–211, Roman emperor (193–211), b. Africa. He was campaigning in Pannonia and Illyria when the emperor Commodus (Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus). was murdered. His successor, Pertinax (Publius Helvius Pertinax), lasted three months before he too was assassinated. The Pretorian guards arranged the succession of the weak Didius Julianus (Marcus Didius Salvius Julianus). With the empire in disarray, Severus marched on Rome. Proclaimed emperor, Severus went to the East to overthrow Pescennius Niger, the governor of Syria, who had also been proclaimed emperor by his legions. Severus defeated (194) the pretender. He took (196) Byzantium and subdued the rebellious Arabs of Mesopotamia. Returning to the West, he defeated (197) Clodius Albinus, another pretender, in Gaul and, returning eastward, attacked and expelled (198) the Parthians from Mesopotamia. In 208, Severus went to Britain. From there he harassed Scotland, but he died at York before completing his plans for a large invasion. Severus built a strong army, increasing the number of legions while eliminating the large commands that had been common for Rome, thus protecting himself against being overthrown while he protected Rome. He ruled with vigor and, when he found it useful, a calculated cruelty. Caracalla succeeded him."

I wish to point out the fact that not only is there a Lucius (Malfoy) mentioned in the Black family tapestry, but there is also a Septimus (Weasley) in the same tapestry. It's not at all surprising to see her use the last name, Severus, for yet another character... and it wouldn't surprise me either if Severus Snape is a relative of the Blacks, through his mother's side of the family, the Prince line.

The interesting thing here... well, there are a few interesting things here. Lucius Septimius Severus (let's call him LSS) defeated someone named Pescennius Niger in 194. Niger means "black", and the spring of 1994 is when Severus Snape confronts and almost defeats Sirius Black. He was so close to getting Sirius "kissed" by a dementor, but he (and Fudge) failed because Harry, et al. had set Sirius free. Sirius Black isn't killed until 1997, and Severus Snape gives Bellatrix Black the credit.

LSS defeated a man named Clodius Albinus back in 197. Albinus means white, just like Albus. It was the spring of 1997 when Snape confronted Albus Dumbledore on the Astronomy tower. Watched by Harry, Draco, and some DE's, Snape appears to kill Albus with a Killing Curse. Personally I think the death scene is rather suspicious. Dumbledore is definitely dead, and Snape must have landed the fatal blow, since Snape's still alive (Unbreakable Vow would have killed him otherwise), but I just don't think the Killing Curse was strong enough to do the job. I think Snape had to levitate Dumbledore and send him over the tower to complete the task.

Back in 196 LSS had subdued some rebels, so what could Snape's parallel action have been... to subdue Narcissa and Bellatrix in the summer of 1996? Narcissa was acting particularly rebellious agianst Voldemort, Bellatrix was anti-Snape. The show-down at the Department of Mysteries happened in 1996, so maybe he subdued the Death Eaters by alerting the Order that Harry and friends had gone to the Ministry of Magic?

LSS leaves to travel east and attacks the Parthians in 198. Then he goes to Britain 10 years later (208) and bothers Scotland but dies in York...I think it was in 211. Perhaps JKR wouldn't be able to follow the exact same timeline, but what could the Parthians become in Snape's life.... The Order of the Phoenix? The Death Eaters? And what about LSS planning a campaign in Britain but dying before he can launch it? Will JKR have Snape die in York?

Caracalla was one of LSS's sons. Snape has no daughter (JKR says so), but what about a son? Or what about a chosen heir, if he has no children? Ah, that's where I want to go into all sorts of wild thoughts about Theodore Nott, but I'll hold myself back and not go into it....

Another historical figure is Severus of Avranches:

Memorial: 1 February
Profile: Born to a poor peasant family. Shepherd in his youth. Priest. Monk. Abbot. Bishop of Avranches. In his later years, he resigned his see and returned to monastic life.
Born: at Cotentin, Normandy, France
Died: c.690 of natural causes; relics at Rouen, France
Canonized: Pre-Congregation
Patronage: against fever; against migraine; drapers; fever; hatmakers; hatters; migraine; milliners; silk workers; weavers; wool manufacturers; wool weavers
bishop with a horse nearby

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Jo will have the final word

JKR has changed the final word. She says the word "scar" still appears very near the end, but it will no longer be the very last word, so what will it be? NO CLUE. I mean, I can hazard a few guesses: "horcrux", "life", "Snape".... It's no use, though.

I think, as many readers have also thought, that the final sentence(s) will either be:
  1. a small revelation about the scar itself, like: Snape or Hermione explaining the scar was actually the entry point for a horcrux... or a horcrux itself; Hermione explaining that she should have realized it before, that Harry's scar isn't just shaped like a lightning bolt...it's also shaped like a rune -- the sowulo....
  2. or a statement like "and to think it all started with a scar on his forehead", though hopefully nothing quite so flippant as what I just typed....

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