Thursday, February 19, 2015

Potter Ponderings

Peter is obviously my favourite roommate. That goes without saying. However, he isn't my FIRST favourite roommate. I have loved before. (*gasp* drama.) Since beginning college in 2010 I have been blessed with truly wonderful roommates (but a few crazy housemates) who filled my life with joy. 
 The greatest part about having a roommate is the late night talks. My roommates talked me through Peter's two year mission, about relationships, likes and dislikes, spiritual trials, physical trials... We discussed it all. My last roommate before I got married was the glorious Christy Hoffmann. Our late night talks almost exclusively were Potter Ponderings which are probably the BEST kind of late night talks. Potter Ponderings are questions we have about the wonderful world of Harry Potter. There are no answers usually, but lots of opportunities to question and dig up textual evidence supporting various conclusions. Here are a few Potter Ponderings. 

- If Harry had been kissed by a dementor would his own soul be sucked out or Voldemort's horcrux? 

A simple answer could just be "they would both be sucked out" but that's a super boring answer, and I like debating against it. Harry's soul would be the more attractive of the two as it is full of happiness and is actually a full soul, but if Harry is sucked out, does that leave his body as a living breathing embodiment of Voldemort? We know Voldemort can leech onto another living soul, but in the case of Quirrel, Voldemort couldn't remain once he had died. I'd like to believe that Voldy would be destroyed and Harry would walk away free. Luck always favours the boy who lived. 

- How far back in time can you go with a time turner? (Additionally, who was behind the decision to give a small time machine to a 13 year old girl so that she can exhaust herself with school work? That really seems like bad decision making.) 

The time turner is just such a strange concept to me. I love that Prisoner of Azkaban dabbles in time travel; it is such a dizzying field that I even studied extensively for a semester of my undergrad. Yet, if you take those final scenes of PoA (and Hermione's repeated use of the time turner through out that year) and put them into a wider perspective, suddenly it is harder to comprehend on a legal scale. If these tools are so readily available (i.e. There is a shelf full of them in the Ministry of Magic, and young girls are being handed them in school) how is it that no one has seriously altered time? How does Voldemort exist? How does Harry exist? It seems to me that if time travel were as easy as a few spins on a chain, surely many people would have attempted to abort plans on BOTH ends of the good/bad spectrum. This makes me want to assert that there are specific time restraints on the time turners, and that you may only travel back within a 24 hour period or so. No matter what, it is hard to debate because if time travel has occurred and events changed, then that change is all we know. 

- Why does Harry only first see the thestrals after Cedric's death? His eyes are open during his mother's murder, but closed during Cedric's. 

In the Goblet of Fire we read: 
"From high above his head, he heard a high, cold voice say, "kill the spare." A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words to the night: "Avada Kedavra!" A blast of green light blazed through Harry's eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to ground beside him. Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead." 

Actually, we don't know that Harry's eyes were open during his mother's demise. All that he can recall from that Halloween is a flash of green, screaming, and high pitched laughing. That flash of green that he has remembered is exactly like the one he witnesses at Cedric's death. Logistically, if Cedric's murder (seen through closed lids) was enough to have Harry "see death," his becoming an orphan would be equally as qualifying. I read or heard once that it is the understanding that it is death you have seen that makes the thestrals appear, and therefore Harry's being present as a one year old was not enough to have him comprehend death. That seems more valid to me, until we consider how much death Harry has faced in his 15 years of life. When Hagrid explains to him why he is an orphan on his 11th birthday, Harry attributes understanding to his earliest memory: 

"Something very painful was going on in Harry’s mind. As Hagrid’s story came to a close, he saw again the blinding flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it before — and he remembered something else, for the first time in his life: a high, cold, cruel laugh."

Doesn't this mean Harry has now seen death? He has understood for the first time in his life exactly how he became an orphan; his parents were murdered. Even if that doesn't work, why doesn't witnessing (and kind of causing) Quirrel's death at the end of his first year at Hogwarts? What about destroying Riddle's diary? That was a pretty much a murder. Harry aimed to destroy Riddle and accomplished it. I have so many questions regarding thestrals. 

-Where do dementors come from? How do they multiply? 

I understand that dementors are essentially depression in a physical form, I also deduce from context clues and quotes throughout the series that they multiply anywhere that there is unhappiness, but how? Dementors are in no way sexual creatures. Granted, this is an assumption, but I'm pretty sure there is a very short list of people hoping to get jiggy with a dementor. Probably a list shorter than the one of people who want to make out with Umbridge. We aren't told that people who have their souls sucked become dementors and so it seems they aren't like werewolves or vampires who create others like them. WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? Is it mitosis? I must know. 

What are your Potter Ponderings? I have many, but this already seemed like a brain dump, so I'll stop. 


  1. Regarding threstals, there's a reason:

    Year 2: flying car
    Year 3: almost had his soul eaten and was unconscious and kind of out of it
    Year 4: not clear in my memory haha

  2. Year 4 is the clincher; he rides in the "horseless" carriage. As for dementors, maybe they're created by sorrow, literally. They "pop out of the ground like daisies!" :) Now here's my Potter pondering: If Hermione had the power to go back in time (which she obviously did), why did she exhaust herself? Why not use the time-turner to take a good long nap? That's what I'd use it for. Also, she knows she has the time-turner, so why does she need to avoid being seen by herself? She won't go crazy; she'll just think "oh, I must have to come back for some reason."

    1. I know, right! I thought that too - why not NAP?! Doesn't surprise me, honestly though, Hermione doesn't think about resting.