Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Discussion, Chapters 9-17
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This is the discussion for the second half of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (aka Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). If you're looking for the discussion thread for the first half of the book, it is here.
Chapters discussed in this thread:
9. The Midnight Duel
12. The Mirror of Erised
13. Nicholas Flamel
14. Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
15. The Forbidden Forest
16. Through the Trapdoor
17. The Man with Two Faces
I find it curious that while neville bounced when dropped from a window at home but he fell and broke his wrist at Hogwarts
We are all glad when Harry gets on the Quidditch team but was it fair? I mean first years don't often get to play at all, and then to get his own broomstick? How would you have felt?
#2 -- As for Neville falling, I think the thing with under-aged wizardry is that it's unpredictable. I don't think all under-aged wizards would bounce if they fell from a window, nor would Neville have done it every time, if they decided to drop him several times. And some appear to have more control over it than others (Lily Evans, for example, seemed to be able to float when she jumped out of a swing, but she was making a conscious effort, whereas Neville's bouncing was more of a reflex). Also, since he was at Hogwarts, taking lessons and learning spells, he might not have had "excess" magical power to manifest itself in that way. There might even be protections at Hogwarts so that students couldn't do reflexive or automatic stuff like that -- otherwise you'd have a whole school full of volatile young wizards who might do any number of things to each other when they were angry or excited, even if they didn't mean to.
And for Harry making the Quidditch team, if I was just another student (not one of Harry's particular friends), I think I might have thought it seemed a little bit like the staff showing favoritism toward "The Boy Who Lived" -- but I also probably wouldn't care much about Quidditch, either, as I'm hopeless at sports!
As a sports fan let me tell you that sports is definitely a meritocracy, and thank goodness! Whatever resentment some may have at Harry getting on the team would evaporate as he keeps winning matches.
But then again, I'm just a fan. Actually, it might have been fun to have put in a rival for Harry within Gryffindor who resented his BMOC status. I guess Jo felt Malfoy was enough.
Another reason that Harry doesn't face much resentment could be that there apparently isn't any real competition to get on the team. When McGonagall tells Wood that she "found him a Seeker" he is positively delighted. That suggests that there weren't any other candidates, so the rest of Gryffindor would probably be happy that they have got someone to play for their house.
Some students from the other houses may think that it is unfair, but (apart from Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle) they don't play much of a role in the first book (some are mentioned by name but not much more), so if there is any resentment against Harry, JKR probably didn't think it important enough to mention it.
I think, and this is later confirmed by Hermione in Chamber of Secrets, that Harry got on the team because he had talent, unlike Malfoy who got on the team because his father is rich and can afford the best brooms.
#6 -- I don't think any of us are disputing that. Harry definitely has talent. However, I can see other students being mildly disgruntled at first because Harry got put on the team as a first year. I agree with others who have said that the disgruntled students would get over it quickly when it became obvious that Harry could, in fact, help his team win the majority of their matches.
I always thought Neville was unnecessary to the story line in the midnight duel
Neville being out on that adventure makes us know that Neville knows the group sneaks around at night and gives him leverage to tell them all not to go out at the end. A rare moment of courage!
#9: I always thought that leverage came more from them all being caught after Norbert than the Midnight Duel.
#8: I think this might have been a case of JKR knowing the story hindering things a little bit. By which I mean that I think she knew the important role Neville would be playing in the future and she was trying to establish a link between him and threesome in this book, but you're right, he's not needed here, the Forbidden Forrest and the end would have been enough.
ETA: Oh, and the fight at the Quiddich game! I love Neville!
#10 I think the fight at the Quiddich game is when I fell head over heels in love with Neville and Ron.
#10 Neville would have never gone into the forbidden forest if not for being punished for the Norbert thing and the midnight duel part shows what a good friend he was to the others more than anything. As you can tell Neville is my favorite character. He has such a tough past and yet is still a huge part of the future. I really think the books would have been better if told from his point of view.
#12: Maybe my post wasn't clear, I'm totally cool with him in the Forbidden Forest, what I was saying was that I think the forest and what he did to get there was enough to cement his relationship with the big three for OotP on, when he becomes a more significant character. I'd be interested in what you think it is about the Midnight Duel that shows Neville's friendship? Neville is also one of my favorite characters, as evidenced by the "I love Neville!" proclamation at the end of my post, however, until and unless someone can convince me differently, I maintain with polly that Neville isn't necessary to the duel.
Your right, the friendship didn't start at the "duel". It actually started on the train when Hermione helped him find his frog. It then started for Harry when he helped recover the Remembrall which led to the "duel". But Neville didn't have to go with them, he could have gone in now that he had the password but he chose to go with them and possibly get in trouble. If that's not an act of friendship (in his helpless way) I don't know what is. Of course he wasn't necessary to the "duel", none of them were as there was no duel. It was just Draco's attempt to get Harry in trouble. In a way Neville had more right to be the second in the duel than Ron did as the duel started because of him.
Actually, he couldn't have gone in because the Pink Lady was off visiting. He followed them because "the Bloody Baron has already been by twice" and he didn't want to sit outside waiting for the Pink Lady to return and risk running into the Bloody Baron again. No, Neville being there in this case had nothing to do with friendship. Also, understand that when I say "had no reason to be there" I mean that he was not an integral part of that point of the plot. That chapter would not have suffered had he been removed from it, though there are many other chapters that would have. As polly says in #8: "I always thought Neville was unnecessary to the story line in the midnight duel." I'm agreeing with that statement. He is not necessary for the story here.
Sorry. I had to do that.
You're right, but the whole duel thing is really unnecessary to the plot, except it does develop the characters and cements their roles. Harry is his typical rule-breaking-for-no-good-reason self, Ron is the loyal friend, Hermione is her usual don't-break-the-rules self, Neville is the bumbling forgetful sidekick and Draco is hatching his usual plot to get Harry in trouble.
Just posted on the penultimate chapter. Pretty proud of this one.
That was very good, Bib, I agree that Ron and Hermione really demonstrate the meaning of friendship and ultimately love
Polly, I finally see what you mean about him being unnecessary to the midnight duel plot, because he doesn't have to get past Fluffy in the end. That is what you mean isn't it.
Better late than never!
Ron is so wonderful in this book. Between resisting returning to the Mirror and encouraging Harry to do the same and sacrificing himself in chess he really proves himself to be a great person and friend. Harry is a lucky kid.
I really wish the movie had left the lines for Harry, Ron, and Hermione a little closer to the book when the boys are stuck in Devil's Snare. It's so much better when Hermione loses her head for a second.
This first conversation of Harry and Dumbledore remains one of my favorite parts of the series. And how awesome that this first question Harry asks isn't addressed again until book 5! 5!!! I wish I had such planning skills! Just one of those little things that set these books apart.
I remember the first time reading this being surprised that Quirrell was the villain. I wasn't convinced it was Snape because that seemed too obvious a choice but I didn't expect it to be Quirrell. The fact that I didn't expect it made me so ready to read the next one and figure it out before the end because it's a rare book that keeps me guessing. Another attribute that makes me love the books!
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