Friday, May 24, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Readalong 2: Evil incarnate is not an accessory

In this week’s installment of The Deathly Hallows, the Magnificent Trio ignores just the whole message of Lord of the Rings and WEARS THE EVIL JEWELRY; Umbridge uses Moody’s magical eye to spy on her employees (someone fetch me a centaur); Ron throws a tantrum, right on schedule; Dumbledore frustrates Harry with his secrecy, from the GRAVE (masterfully done, sir); I go a little crazy not knowing what Neville/Luna/Ginny are up to back at Hogwarts; and Ron delights me with his continued use of “effing” as an adjective (I can't stay mad at you, you pseudo-bad-boy, you).

Who else—besides Ron and Hermione—was super uncomfortable during that Lupin/Harry confrontation?
“Harry, I’m sure James would have wanted me to stick with you.” 
“Well,” said Harry slowly, “I’m not. I’m pretty sure my father would have wanted to know why you aren’t sticking with your own kid, actually.”

So this is what everyone was talking about when they said they love Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban but not so much later. I was certain that I would love ALL the Lupins. And I’ve been trying to justify his behavior—as I’m so adept at doing for Snape (he kills because he LOVES, you guys)—but there’s just not . . . nope, I can’t do it. He has been AWFUL to Tonks in public. Who knows how he treats her in private, but statistics tell us . . . probably not so good. So what, dude? You accidentally put a werewolf fetus in the woman you love. If you feel so bad about it, maybe don’t then ABANDON YOUR WIFE AND CHILD. That is not an empirically proven solution to accidental pregnancy. Now get out of here. I can’t look at you right now. (Don't worry, I'll forgive you in like 5 minutes.)

Do you know who I DO want to look at? One Gellert Grindelwald. Oh, surprise, I have a crush on another fictional character. Everyone pick your jaws up off the floor. He has golden hair. He is handsome. He is a tricksy thiever with a sense of humor. He crows with laughter (I DO love a good crow laugh). He was best friends with Dumbledore. He may or may not be (he totally is) evil.

And I’m SO glad that I’m going into this book already knowing about the “Grindelwald and Dumbledore: Starcross’d Lovers” angle. Because lines like this are 10 times more enjoyable:
“I don’t know who he loved, Hermione, but it was never me. This isn’t love, the mess he’s left me in. He shared a damn sight more of what he was really thinking with Gellert Grindelwald than he ever shared with me.”
YEAH, he did.

Question: When Voldemort saw Grindelwald steal the wand in Gregorovitch’s memory, wouldn’t he have recognized him right away? It seems like Grindelwald was pretty damn notorious in his day, and in general. So wouldn't his picture have been . . . places? And if he was in line to be the most powerful dark wizard of all time until Voldemort showed up, you would THINK Voldemort would have a passing familiarity with his handsome, laughing face. No? Am I way off? Be gentle.

Other question: I don’t remember for SURE (and am too lazy to look, apparently), but I don’t think the Polyjuice Potion changed Ron’s and Harry’s voices into Crab’s and Goyle’s back when they first used it in . . . I don’t even remember which book that was THEY ALL RUN TOGETHER (Chamber of Secrets. It was Chamber of Secrets). Yet here we are using Polyjuice Potion again in the Ministry of Magic, and Harry is speaking in Runcorn’s “deep and gravelly” voice. So what gives, yo?

And now . . . *drumroll* . . . for Week 2 . . .

1. Gregorovitch
2. Bathilda Bagshot
3. Harry’s wand (may it rest in pieces)
4. Dumbledore’s reputation
5. A piece of Voldemort’s soul that particularly dislikes gingers

I’ll let you know if I forgot anyone after I read Laura’s post.


  1. I didn't even think this about Grindelwald, but I... Yeah, surely EVERYONE knew what he looked like?! Doesn't Rita 'The Bitch' Skeeter say that he's second only to Voldy in notoriety? Yeah, good call man.

    BUT I feel like Polyjuice potion totally does change voices, otherwise it would be really obvious that someone was all polyjuiced? And then it would be a faiiirly pointless potion.

    We actually have the same death count this week, only I missed out Dumbledore's reputation because I sense that it might be revived, at least in my heart! AND Dude, I was totally thinking Lord of the Rings with the necklace the whoooole time and forgot to mention it! So, yesssss.

  2. I guess I'll probably have to get off my ass and go read the Polyjuice Potion part in Chamber of Secrets again. *SIGH*

    I, too, think Dumble's reputation will rise again. I aaaalmost included Ron and Harry's friendship in the death count, but then it was fine before the section ended, so never mind.

  3. I wrote a whole comment that Disqus decided to erase. Let's assume it held deep and profound insights the likes of which we'll never see again.

    ANYWAY, I love reading all the Grindelwald scenes knowing all about their ill-fated love.

    But Voldie should have recognized Grindelwald from the memory. I feel like there are a lot of details like that I missed the first time around because OMG so much is happening. But then you stop and think and suddenly things aren't quite fitting

  4. I might be wrong, but isn't Grindelwald older when he starts to mess shit up? I thought he was thoroughly adult, so perhaps since he was a teen when he stole the wand he's unrecognisable by the time he started terrorising people. Considering Voldemort made a pretty extreme transformation physically, maybe it's the same?

    See this is why I hate the Lupin/Tonks pairing. We never once see Lupin happy to be in a relationship with Tonks, there's no real indication that he makes her happy or that she's ever made him happy. They're just together (and mostly after an entire book of her berating him about how it "doesn't matter to me"). I don't blame him for wanting out because he never seemed to want in either. But I also hate that we see this aggressive twisty Lupin when he was never like that before, even when faced to face with the man he thought had killed his best friends. Sigh.


    Since this is my first time around and I'm noticing all these details, do I get a cookie?

  6. Er...hmmm...well you're very rarely wrong in my experience of you, so I think you might be right. That actually makes a lot of sense. Because he stole the wand when he was still Dumbles' friend-ish? So he would've been QUITE young. And then evil messes with one's looks, true. FINE.

    I never feel the love between Lupin and Tonks...until...*SOB*

  7. The first line of this post: LOL, yes.

    As for Lupin, it's shitty but he's freaking out. He doesn't ACTUALLY leave Tonks, he just talks about it. AND THE IS NO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (or rape for that matter) IN HP WORLD. Okay, there probably is, but not Lupin, okay?! He's just surly.

    You'd think Voldy would recognize Grindlewald BUT, Voldy himself is no longer recognizable as his younger self and also HP world is rather xenophobic so...maybe not?

    And YES to the plot hole. You're totally right.

  8. I was mainly implying that if he's rude to her in public he's probably even RUDER to her at home. THERE WAS NO TALK OF RAPE.

    Anyway...I've already forgiven him.

  9. I was actually REALLY upset about his wand. Not even gonna lie.

  10. I felt mean for laughing (sorry Harry), but 3. Harry's wand resting in pieces, LOL. Also, I love your confession for falling for handsome, thieving, tricksters!