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Deathly Hallows chapters 13-16 discussion

Hogwarts Express

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Jul 14, 2008, 9:02am Top

Here are this week's chapters:

13: The Muggle-Born Registration Commission
14: The Thief
15: The Goblin's Revenge
16: Godric's Hollow

Talk, talk, talk!

Jul 14, 2008, 9:07am Top

I actually don't have a lot of notes for chapter 13 (so I'm hoping the rest of you do!) The usual rant about Polyjuice Potion, of course, but that's going to get old if I keep going on about it. Other than that, I really got into the story and forgot to take notes on this chapter. How about you guys?

Jul 14, 2008, 10:17am Top

I'll be posting during my lunch hour, but I don't think I had too many notes on Chpt 13, either. I do remember putting "endless camping begins" at the beginning of Chpt 14.

I miss bib!

Jul 14, 2008, 10:26am Top

I don't know who I felt more concern for

Hermione is Mafalda
Harry as Runcorn
Ron as cattermole

Harry surely took full advantage of being in Umbridge's office
Why would the paper clips be enchanted I wonder?

I was impressed by Mr Weasley's courage in Stopping Harry (Runcorn) and giving him a good piece of his mind!

Harry did a great job of baffling everyone at the ministry

Jul 14, 2008, 11:33am Top

Good notes, Polly! I actually had to go back and check on the enchanted paper clips; my brain skimmed right over them as I read. I have no idea why they would be enchanted.

I think I felt most concerned for Ron -- he had no idea how to do what he'd been asked to do, and he knew that Mrs. Cattermole would be punished if he got it wrong.

Mr. Weasley was pretty brave, to do that.

Jul 14, 2008, 12:12pm Top

I think Harry had it ok, since everyone was intimidated by Runcorn.

I wrote a note about wizard post-its, so you're not the only one noticing the office supplies, polly.

Why did Harry take Mad-Eye's eye, and then just bury it? It might have had some uses, and I don't think Mad Eye would have minded if Harry used it.

Interesting, isn't it, that Harry becomes isolated from everyone who could have been helpful, like how cool would it have been if Kreachur could have come with them on the camping trip.

Why does Harry worry about Kreachur giving up info on him? Would he really have to give an express order about not revealing secrets of one's master? Did Dobby have express orders when he kept beating himself up in CoS?

Food: why don't they just save a little bit every day just in case they don't manage to find anything the next day? You can make more if you have some.

Sorry, I'm not as organized as bib or foggi.

Jul 14, 2008, 12:39pm Top

I was reading Phantom of the Opera and the word "dolores" was used as an adjective to mean sorrow, pain, that sort of thing. And of course umbrage means offense or annoyance. I never realized dolores could be an adjective until then, so now putting toad face's name together, she is pain and annoying. Made me smile.

Chapter 13:
1. I find it creepy and weird in the extreme that Umbridge has Moody's eye on her door.

2. I love the Chosen One's new nickname: Undesireable Number 1.

3. Good for Arthur indeed!

Jul 14, 2008, 12:42pm Top

Now I'm wondering how Umbridge got her hands on Moody's eye. Obviously the Death Eaters must have found it when Moody died and apparently they brought it back to the ministry -- but how did it get from them to Umbridge, who was not (one assumes) flying with them that night?

Jul 14, 2008, 12:52pm Top

She's high enough in the ministry that she can just get whatever she wants, apparently.

Jul 14, 2008, 2:47pm Top

I'm thinking that all that "magical artifact makes the wearer crazy and makes our trio of adventurers bicker" was very Lord of the Rings.

I don't really understand why Hermione cannot see the value of Voldy-cam. Conversely, why is there no Harry-cam for Voldy?

Perhaps the lamest plot contrivance in the whole series is that Ted & Dean just happen to sit down to dinner right next to Harry & co., and they just happen to talk over exactly what Harry needs to know right at that moment. JKR is usually better at this kind of thing.

Ron is an idiot! Poor Hermione. The scene when he leaves is so heartbreaking.

Harry's feelings about DD not giving him enough information seem to be the same ones that Ron directs at Harry.

Jul 14, 2008, 3:21pm Top

Chapter 13: I really liked this chapter, so much going on! The only comment I had when I got to the end was maybe it would have been easier to just break into Umbridge's house. She is just one witch compared to taking on the entire ministry.

3: LG, I think "endless camping" is a good name for it. This is not my favorite part of the book.
Where is bib? Did I miss an announcement? Is she at her new job already?

4: Polly, I think I felt the most concern for Ron as Cattermole. His whole family is on the line with his wife being muggleborn. What Ron does could effect them. Oh, you are right, Mr. Weasley rocks!

5: LG, I had the same thought on food. Why didn't they just get a bunch of canned goods? I also think Hermione said if you have some, you can magically make more.

7.2 Lefty, Is "Undesirable" a UK term, I wonder, or did Rowling make it up? Either way it does sound good here.

10 LG, It is very LotR!
I felt Hermione should have given Harry a break, especially when it happens in his dreams.
Ron really makes me mad in this chapter. What a jerk. I can only forgive him by thinking how much he made me laugh at the beginning of the book.

Jul 14, 2008, 3:40pm Top

#11 -- Good point about breaking into her house -- but how would they find out where she lives? Presumably she's "important" enough to take the Floo Network to work, so they couldn't follow her home.

#11.3 -- Yes, I also agree about the "endless camping." And I was just wondering where Bib was, myself.

#11.10 -- Ron is obnoxious here, but I think it's entirely in character for him to act that way. I'd probably be irritable under similar circumstances . . . or so I try to remind myself when I'm tempted to be too hard on Ron.

Jul 14, 2008, 4:03pm Top

I agree, foggi, it's something Ron would do. He's kind of impulsive and frequently emo. It's not the first time he picked a stupid fight with Harry. And he has hypoglycemia, apparently. ;-)

I still get mad at him.

Jul 14, 2008, 5:48pm Top

Well, I sympathaize with Ron a little bit, I can deal with cold and discomfort as long as there's food.

Why in the world did they continue wearing that locket knowing how it could affect them? I would have put it in Hermione's bag!

The wreath of Christmas Roses still makes me cry!

Yes it does seem odd that Dean and Ted Tonks and the goblins would all show up right there where Harry and Co were.

Jul 14, 2008, 6:01pm Top

14 That would have been a good idea to keep it in the bag or even Harry's pouch from Hagrid.

Maybe that is why Rowling makes the camping seem so endless, after all those nights they are bound to end up near people they know with information they need. Of course, maybe that makes it seem even more far-fetched.

I thought it was very careless of Harry to visit his parents grave, but I guess it turned out okay. It seems odd to me that Voldemort would have someone (in a way) watching the Potters' house but not their graves.

Jul 14, 2008, 6:19pm Top

But wouldn't it still make them nuts from inside Hermy's or Harry's bags? They're still wearing them on their person. Well maybe not Hermione, but Harry is wearing his pouch all the time.

Jul 14, 2008, 6:46pm Top

I think it was because it was touching thier skin

Edited: Jul 14, 2008, 9:17pm Top

Hooray! I am home. Now I can add my actual notes for chapters 14-16. Here's chapter 14:

1) Splinched -- so, does that mean that there's a chunk of Ron's skin lying around somewhere? Ewwww. But now I'm wondering: when we first heard about apparition and splinching, weren't they discussing a case where the Ministry had to go fix some people who had splinched themselves in half? Wouldn't they die of blood loss before they could be "fixed"? Maybe I'm not remembering that part right.

2) Arthur lent Hermione the tent -- does that mean he was supportive of them going off alone? Molly sure wasn't, but it wouldn't surprise me if Arthur was.

3) Lucky for them that Ron took a sudden dislike of hearing Voldy's name! Otherwise, they would have been hounded by Death Eaters.

4) I find it interesting that, though Grindelwald was supposed to be the most evil wizard in the world until Voldy came along, all of the times we see him portrayed, he seems happy and friendly -- here, he's compared to Fred and George. I guess that's done to explain how he and DD could have been such good friends.

Okay -- back with more notes later!

Edited: Jul 14, 2008, 9:23pm Top

yes I think Arthur is smart enough to realize that Harry is going to do what he's going to do.

Yes Ron did do them a real favor that way

I'd rather not think about anyones skin lying around

Jul 14, 2008, 9:41pm Top

Chapter 15:

1) Wouldn't Voldemort have known what Grindelwald looked like? Grindelwald was the main evil wizard during Voldy's formative years, right? I guess maybe the young Grindelwald doesn't look much like the adult Grindelwald? Maybe that's why Voldy's dwelling on him -- that nagging feeling of not quite being able to place the face.

2) And now we come to Gamp's Law -- the fact that you can increase quantities of food explains the questions we had during HBP about Harry refilling Slughorn and Hagrid's glasses. Still, like the rest of you, I'm inclined to think that HH&R should have saved a little bit of food each day, to make more the next day. I'm inclined to think, though, that Hermione is not the best at these sorts of spells -- not having had a wizarding mother to teach them to her, she's probably at a bit of a disadvantage.

3) We get a little mention of Dean's backstory here. I read somewhere that JKR originally had Dean as a much more fully recognized character, but that she ended up cutting a lot of the stuff about him to make room for Neville's character development. I'm hoping she'll put Dean's story into "The Scottish Book" (if it ever gets written).

4) Hearing Dean say that he thinks Harry is "the chosen one" warms my heart. :-)

5) Hah! Fake sword, indeed. Snape is not as dumb as he looks, fellas!

6) The first time I read the book, when I read that Snape punished Ginny and company by sending them into the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid, I felt extremely validated in my support of Snape. If he really had been evil, he could have done something much nastier to them. I think that the Cruciatus Curse was being used with much more frequency, for example.

7) Boy, this chapter ends on a downer.

Jul 14, 2008, 10:26pm Top

Chapter 16:

Again, not a lot of notes on this chapter.

1) Like Harry, I'm having a hard time making sense of the inscription on Kendra and Ariana's stone. I recognize the quote, I know the context -- but it doesn't seem to fit the circumstances.

2) There is not a lot of action in this chapter, but I still love it. I think that taking a chapter for a place as significant as Godric's Hollow is appropriate. It is a chapter of memorials. JKR does a good job here of giving the sense of a nighttime walk through a snow-blanketed graveyard.

Jul 15, 2008, 8:57am Top

10, LG, I believe there is no Harry-cam for V because he can't be in Harry's mind since Harry is loving and all that -- like when he couldn't be in Harry's head at the end of book 5.

I do have to agree with you here, LG, that having Ted, Dean, and the goblins right camp right there is weak for JKR. Though perhaps we would have had more camping if the gang hadn't gotten information from that source. ;)

18.1, foggi, I was thinking that too -- that they talked about a case of someone being splinched in half. Does seem they'd be dead long before ministry officials arrived.

As soon as they got the locket, I expected them to put it in Hermione's bag. Oh well -- what's the story without conflict.

I'll be back tonight; I have a magician's conference to go to, actually. :)

Jul 15, 2008, 9:03am Top

the splinching issue really bothered me, I mean wasn't it susan bones who left a leg behind at hogwarts? She didn't nearly bleed to death! She was okay why did Ron have all this trouble?

Jul 15, 2008, 10:17am Top

foggi, I don't get the inscription either. DD is always going on about how death isn't the worst thing in the world, but apparently the Potters thought so.

Maybe bib can explain it. I'm thinking it has to do with JKR's Christianity.

Edited: Jul 15, 2008, 3:28pm Top

#24 -- The context for the inscription on Kendra's stone comes from the Sermon on the Mount -- specifically Matthew 6:19-21
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
This would make sense to me if Kendra (and/or Ariana) had been deeply religious . . . but none of the wizards described in Harry Potter appear to be religious -- it's an issue that JKR (probably intentionally) leaves ambiguous. It's just not the verse that I would have thought fit Kendra's circumstances. I don't think of her as a woman who was particularly given to good works, etc.

James and Lily's epitaph makes more sense to me, in that they died at the hands of an enemy, but brought about his destruction (albeit unknowingly) through their deaths. It's not a quote that I recognize, but it always brings to mind John Donne: "And Death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die."

()Edited to fix mangled spelling.)

Jul 15, 2008, 12:52pm Top

21.2 FD She did do a great job on this chapter. I really felt like I was there.

24 LG I took it as death is the last thing to fear, the last thing to overcome.

Jul 15, 2008, 10:52pm Top

The epithet on James and Lily's grave is 1 Corinthians 15.26. It is referencing the sacrifice that Christ made so that he could conquer death. "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man" (1 Cor. 15.21). It was only in embracing death that Christ was able to finally overcome it (sorry to preach, but I'm trying to answer the question).

I agree that this is more of JK putting a little of her belief into the book, but I also agree that it feels weird that while religion is not talked about in the books at all we have this solitary church with Christian epithets on the graves.

I'm not Bib, but did that clear up everything?

Jul 15, 2008, 11:13pm Top

About the whole way too convenient campsite thing, I know it's highly improbable, but chance and circumstance are two very common themes in literature.

Hermione tried to take them away from where the Death Eaters could find them. Since everyone in that grouping is fleeing Death Eaters, there is a little bit of reason for the chance encounter. Is it an elegant solution for JK? No, as we've already said it seems contrived. But it was necessary for JK to do it to get on with the story. We can argue (or agree) that the method seems lazy, but in the end there's nothing we can do about it.

When's the last time something this outlandish happened to you?

Jul 16, 2008, 8:17am Top

Well Its true enough that we are always running into people we know in the last place we would expect them to be so maybe its not so strange

Jul 16, 2008, 8:39am Top

About the whole religious thing: Doesn't it seem weird that Jo puts biblical quotes and such in the books, yet we still, unfortunately, have people like Laura Mallory, who decry these book as anti-religion?

Jul 16, 2008, 9:38am Top

Thanks for the religious instructions, espy. That helps.

Strange coincidence does happen in real life, very rarely and rarely giving us exactly what we desperately need, but in FICTION it comes off as false.

Jul 16, 2008, 9:43am Top

Some people don't understand the ideas of the spirit of the law and freedom in Christ. It is not "all things magic" that should be forbidden. To have a problem with Harry Potter strictly because it has magic in it would be following the letter of the law--something the Pharisees thought very highly of. (Pharisees were legalists to the extreme. They thought themselves perfect for their law-abiding skills. And then Jesus showed them to be sinners too.)

So far as the biblical things suddenly appearing: lots of people don't think about God until death. And it's not direct verses on the graves, it's ideas of verses that, if you're not semi-familiar with them anyway, you probably won't notice the biblical reference. The references seem less of a sudden appearance if you consider all the Christian concepts that have been in each book up to this point. Plus, they school off for Easter. Public Muggle schools sure don't get an Easter holiday.

20.6: I thought that about Snape too -- he could have done way worse, so he must be on the right side. To be sent out with Hagrid is hardly punishment at all, really.

Jul 16, 2008, 10:15am Top

32.20.6 -- Yeah, I was surprised that Ron didn't see it that way, considering the number of times he's been in the Forbidden Forest, with or without Hagrid! But, of course, he was cranky for a lot of reasons, so not thinking rationally.

Jul 16, 2008, 1:50pm Top

I still miss bibitybobityboo. I'm glad she's got a better job, but we need her input!

Jul 18, 2008, 12:26pm Top

#32: Whew, someone said what I was thinking as I was reading through all this. I think it's important to note that the tomb inscriptions are not direct Biblical quotations. They certainly are Christian ideals, but many other religions also see death in the same light as Christians do. Any religion that believes in an afterlife or reincarnation would feel the same about death, that there is a way to overcome death, after death. This is also not the first time the idea of death as a beginning has appeared in the series, in SS/PS DD says "Death is but the next great adventure." More than anything else in the series, this theme shows that these books should be lauded by the Christian community in the same way that Tolkein and Lewis are.

Jul 18, 2008, 12:31pm Top

Oh, I should have said, sorry for missing out everyone! This is the first day I've been able to put weight on my bum long enough to come on! I don't recommend bruising that particular area. Not fun! Anyway, I did do my reading and do have my notes. Chapter 13:

1. I think it really shows their youth that they didn't go over options like what to do if they're split up.

2. To me, Umbridge having the eye makes Moody's death worse all of the sudden.

3. Anyone else wonder how the duck was poisonous? Gas? Bite? if Eaten?

4. In trying to figure out why I hate Umbridge more than L.V. I wonder if it's Voldy's current state of being seems something less than human whereas Umbridge's office shows only too well that she is human. (I wondered about the paperclips too, though didn't make a note of it!)

5. I wonder why Hermione has trouble with a Patronus. She should have plenty of happy memories. She doesn't seem to panic all that much in other instances. It seems odd.

6. Poor Mrs. Cattermole!

Jul 18, 2008, 12:36pm Top

Chapter 14:

1. I always wonder about Ron and the not saying the name thing. Is is simply because of how he grew up or is it more? He certainly never liked hearing Harry or Hermione saying Voldemort, but never reacted as violently as he starts doing once they're no longer protected.

2. I wonder if Harry could have given Kreacher orders from far away? He can summon Kreacher from Hogwarts (in Scotland) to London, couldn't he have just said "Kreacher hide"?

3. "Why hadn't DD explined more? Had he thought there would be more time; that he would live for years?" Harry wonders. Well, we know DD doesn't think he's going to live for years. Good question Harry!

4. So weird, Harry reading L.V. reading Gregorovich!

Jul 18, 2008, 12:38pm Top

Chapter 15:

1. Ron's so obnoxious.

2. The conversation with Dean, Ted, et. al. is so exciting. It feels like we've been out of the loop for weeks too, so its nice to get some outside info! (I do agree LG, it is convenient, but I'm very willing to overlook it for the reason stated!)

3. I remember being afraid we might have to live through the last 400 pages without Ron. At that point I wasn't putting anything past Jo.

Jul 18, 2008, 12:40pm Top

Chapter 16:

1. The "mark" definitely sounds like a secret society emblem.

2. I imagine at most other junctures, Harry would be quite pleased to point out impediments in Hermione's logic.

3. Not in anyway a cliff hanger!

Jul 19, 2008, 8:47am Top

So glad to have you back, bib! :D

36.5 I don't think Hermione has trouble with the Patronus for a lack of happy memories. I think it's more just to reinforce that Harry is better at DADD spells. (On the other hand, she's perfectly fine with other spells that are much more complicated..)

38.2 That's a good point, bib, that the conversation lets us hear information we've been missing without knowing we were missing it.

Jul 20, 2008, 6:16pm Top

I just finished my chapters 17-20 and OMG, there's so much going on in those chapters. I can't wait to discuss them.

Oh, Ron!

Jul 20, 2008, 9:12pm Top

I know exactly what you mean, LG...

Jul 21, 2008, 1:18pm Top

Harry says he can't produce a patronus because he's wearing a Horcrux. Now, I had a thought: Voldy loves killing and he gets pleasure from it. Why wouldn't he use those memories to create a patronus (not that he would as he uses the dementors for his own benefit)? If that were true, then Harry could have created a patronus with the Horcrux.
Also, if V and the dementors are on the same side, wouldn't the dementors be drawn into the Horcrux (the same way that the Ringwraiths were drawn to the ring)?
Just a thought.

Jul 21, 2008, 1:43pm Top

#43 -- I think I see what you're saying, but Harry's idea of a good memory and Voldy's idea of a good memory are not the same thing. In fact, you might say they're diametrically opposed. I think the reason he couldn't make a patronus while wearing the horcrux was that the horcrux was feeding off his emotional energy (does that sound too much like something Trelawney would say?) and he couldn't draw up enough good feelings while wearing it. But I'm making the horcrux sound like a dementor there -- I guess there are some similarities. Or maybe it's not that the horcrux feeds off of emotions, but that it exudes negative emotions. Either way, it's a parasitic thing -- I don't think it would "draw" dementors on its own. Interesting LotR comparison there.

Jul 24, 2008, 8:44am Top

offtopic (I am going to have to reread LotR)

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