It Has Been Awhile

dementors

It has been awhile since I have written anything relating to Harry Potter.  I did find an interesting article which set me on a quest to find some more information.  Here are some interesting facts about the Harry Potter series you may find intriguing.

  • One of the most terrifying creations of Rowling’s is the dementor.  Those robed figures who suck away all your happiness are actually the fictional manifestation of Rowling’s own depression.  Finding herself a divorced single mother in the world’s spotlight plunged her into a very dark place.  However, like the dementor, a strong happy memory helped her repel her depression.  While dementors may be fictional, depression is a very real human experience.  It is only our happiest memories that keep us going.  If you’re unable to muster these positive thoughts, like a dementor’s kiss, the darkness will consume you.  That’s the real terror of her creation, we all understand how they effect someone.
  • No one would deny the genius of Rowling’s writing chops but it is actually her imagination we are the thank.  Most people know that it was on a train ride that Rowling got the idea of Harry Potter.  It was, however, largely her childhood play that created the wizarding world.  Rowling was known to run through the woods, brandishing a “wand”, as a child.  It was the combination of these early years, the vision of a messy-haired boy, and the brilliance of her own writing skills that created the world we have come to love so much.
  • Fairly early in the life of the Potter series Christians were denouncing the books as works of the devil.   Harry Potter burning parties were rampaging across the Bible belt.  While the books do have witchcraft as a theme, there are also plenty of Christian symbols throughout the books.  Now, i could probably write a book on this subject.  I will just touch on a couple here.  Animals play a big role in Christian symbolism and do so, as well, in the books.  For instance, Gryffindor (the house of the brave) is represented by the lion.  The lion is a Christian symbol for God and has been since the middle ages.  In contrast, Slytherines (the house where the dark wizards are created) is represented by the snake.  We all know that the snake has long been associated with evil, as Eve could very well tell you.  One of the common threads throughout the series is the power of love, a very real Christian thought.  Probably the most glaringly obvious Christian theme would be Harry.  He sacrifices himself for the general well-being of the human race, he comes back from the dead, and then vanquishes evil.  Sound like anyone you know from the Bible?
  • Hermione Granger, the fictional manifestation of yours truly, and apparently JK Rowling herself.  Rowling has stated that Hermione  is based on herself as a child.  It is no coincidence that Hermione’s patronus is an otter, Rowling’s favorite animal.  It is, however, another part of Hermione’s character that Rowling is most proud of.  It is her brains and strength.  Rowling wrote her in such a fashion as to give girls a heroine whose true value lies not in her looks but in her mind.  Also, Hermione never backs down when she knows what is right.  It may take the boys sometime but they eventually come to rely heavily on Hermione’s instincts.
  • There’s more to Aunt Petunia than the nauseatingly normal nosy Muggle she is on the surface.  Of all the people in Number Four Privet Drive, she understands Harry the most.  It was because of her jealousy that there was a rift between herself and Lily.  It is worth noting that Harry did not just lose a mother but Lily lost her sister.  She knows what dementors are and understands what Harry is up against.  She also is in contact with someone from the wizarding world, as the howler would indicate.  Try as she might, her life is forever entwined with the wizarding world.
  • Death is a prevailing theme throughout the series.  JK Rowling knows death, losing her own mother to multiple sclerosis, she understands how it changes you.  This is why she abandoned her original plan to kill Mr. Weasley in the fifth book.  It would have altered Ron forever.  Could the books really have survived without the comedic relief that Ron provides?  The death would have changed that in him.  It is the deaths that Harry suffers, however, that have the most profound effect on the series.  The deaths of his parents, Sirius, Cedric, Dobby, and Dumbledore alter his life dramatically.  There is one death, however, that Rowling has stated was the most meaningful.  It is the death of Hedwig.  Hedwig represents a part of Harry’s life that is no more.  According to Rowling her death represents his “loss of innocence and coming of age.”
  • Who didn’t want Neville to kill Bellatrix?  It would have been sweet vindication for what that wretched woman did to his parents.  Rowling, in contrast, always saw things differently.  Since the beginning of the series her intention was to have Molly kill Bellatrix.  It was the contrast between the two that she wanted the duel to represent.  The difference between Molly’s pure maternal love and the twisted blind devotion that Bellatrix has for her master.  It also is there to demonstrate that no one should underestimate the power of a mother protecting her child.  Besides, who didn’t cheer at Molly calling Bellatrix a bitch?
  • The epilogue to the series shows us a glimpse of what happens to our three protagonists and hints at some other characters, however who doesn’t want to know more?  Well, you’re in luck I have the scoop.  According to Rowling, Neville marries Hannah Abbot and they live above the Leaky Cauldron where Hannah is landlady.  Kingsley Shacklebolt becomes Minister of Magic and relies heavily on Harry, Ron, and Hermione in rebuilding the wizarding world.  Harry and Ron are Aurors and Hermione works  in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.  Hermione went back to Hogwarts and finished off her seventh year, but as expected the boys did not.  Arthur Weasley was finally able to fix Sirius’ motorcycle and presented it to Harry as a gift.  Harry and Dudley get together in order for their children to be exposed to each other, it is however highly awkward encounters.  Harry’s children nicked his Marauder’s Map from his office and use it to get into a few good mishaps themselves.  McGonnagal is now Head Mistress of Hogwarts, succeeding Snape.  Sadly Snape’s portrait does not hang on her wall, as the other portraits would not agree to it.  They saw his desertion of Hogwarts as nothing short of treason.
  • There are several hidden messages in the books, here’s a list of some: Malfoy is derived from the French mal foi meaning “bad faith”.  Voldemort translates to “flight from death” and he did give it quite an effort.  Knockturn Alley is a homophone from nocturnally.  Morsmorde loosely translates to “take a bite out of death”.  Voldemort’s heritage and rise to power is parallel to that of Adolf Hitler.  The numbers seven and three are repeated over and over again in the books.  There are three protagonists, it is the number of times Harry stabs the basilisk, the number of times Hagrid knocks on the front door of Hogwarts for the first time, and there are three Deathly Hallows.  Seven is even more blatant.  The number seven is especially powerful. There are seven years of school in Hogwarts, seven players on a Quidditch team, seven Horcruxes, and seven Harry Potter books written.
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