Friday, July 06, 2007

Harry Potter Cuckoo Theories #3: Questions about book ONE

I like the idea that Harry Potter is told in a story arc and that the second book corresponds with the sixth and the third with the fifth. Assumably the first book, The Sorcerer's/Philospher's Stone will correspond with Deathly Hallows. I therefore am listening to the audiobook version of the first Harry Potter book and jotting down notes and questions that spontaneously come to my mind, devoid of grammatical construct or logical consideration. This will be an ongoing process which will be updated as I go along. Note that this is all from the audio recordings as presented by Jim Dale and I have none of the books in front of me so for the most part I am working with intuition

Ch1: The Boy Who Lived

-Why does Dumbledore need a put-outer? Can’t he just do this with a spell?

-Dadelus Diggle and the Shooting Stars… Important?

-Professor McGonagall finally says “Voldemort” to Dumbledore. Why does she then recoil when she hears the name and avoids using it in the future.

-Can someone lose their power as Pr. McG (I’m going to write names in shorthand) suggests “Voldy’s power broke”? Will someone stop being a wizard or be sapped of their power in Deathly Hallows?

-What’s with Dumb’s wristwatch with 12 hands and planets on it? How can he tell from it that Hagrid is late?

-Bristol (over which Harry falls asleep) is apparently on the way to Surrey from Godric’s Hollow (unless Hagrid didn’t take a direct path). Is Godric’s Hollow therefore in Ireland?

-What became of Sirius’ bike

Ch2: The Vanishing Glass

-Is there a reason Harry’s (and James’) hair was untamable

-How did his hair go back to normal after Petunia shaved it off?

-How does wandless magic work?

-“Thankssssssss, Amigo!” Why does the snake speak Spanish? As Lisa Simpson points out to Bart in "Blame it on Lisa", in Brazil they don't speak Spanish, they speak Portuguese.

-It should be noted that the Avada Kedavra (aka: AK) did hurt baby Harry

Ch3: Letters from No One

-Why did spiders fall from the ceiling when Vernon yells at Harry under the cupboard. Is it because it is a cupboard or is there a reason more... magical...?

-Who was the toothless old man with the mischevious grin? Hey! How does a toothless old man grin?

Ch4: Keeper of the Keys

-Did Petunia ever show Vernon Dumb[ledore]'s original letter (Whatever was referenced in the Howler in HP5:OOTP as "Remember my last!"), yet Hagrid asks Vernon about the letter, though Petunia is the one who discovers it and Harry when fetching the milk bottles.

-Petunia says in muggle terminology that Lily did transfiguration during vacations. ("and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats" -pg 53) This raises a few questions:

--Shouldn't Lily have been punished for violating the underage wizard statute as well as for violating the secrecy statute?
--Was Transfiguration Lily's specialty?

--What did Lily do for a living?

-Harry remembers a high cruel cold laugh when his parents were killed. Was this Voldy... or Snape? I don't have Half-Blood Prince in front of me, but wasn't Snape described as such when he AKed Dumbledore?

-Why is Vernon's insult of Dumbledore the straw that breaks the Hagrid's back?
--Why does he go after Dudley and not Vernon (answered in the movie as he is stealing Harry's cake but not mentioned in the book)

-I think, at this point, that Hagrid will die in the last book

Ch5: Diagon Alley
-Harry is told to pay the owl 5 knuts. Doesn't Hermione, who later subscribes to the Daily Prophet, pay the owl 1 knut? I could be wrong. Perhaps it is a student discount.
-As for banks in the wizard world, there is "just the one -- Gringotts"
-What other stuff has Dumbledore stashed in Gringotts, as Hagrid said he is frequently sent on Gringotts errands for Dumbledore.
-What's the deal with Hagrid's umbrella. I know there is obviously a wand concealed, but how is his magic undetected
-For that matter, how are the unforgivable curses of death-eaters undetected?
-"Some say the high-security vaults are guarded by dragons", "Gringotts is hundreds of miles under London."
-Hearing the schoolbook authors' names as well as thinking about the names of the professors, it seems that many wizards have professions or specialties that suit their names. Too convenient. -Is there a reason? Harry Potter? Will he become a gardener/professor of Herbology (or perhaps a hippie who's high)?
-Mice and rats are not mentioned on list of permissible pets. Sorry Scabbers!
-Would a muggle ever step foot into the Leaky Cauldron (I'm not referring to the Mugglenet boys guesthosting Pottercast). Wouldn't they suspect something's up?
-How does Quirrell shake Harry's hand? Is he wearing his turban at this point? (he is wearing it in the movie, but nothing special is mentioned in the book except that his eye twitches and stutters nervously). Harry's scar doesn't hurt here, by the way.
-Three right, two across: The movement of a knight in chess. Any significance?
-Are goblins Jewish? Sorry, it seems a stereotype of Jews
-What is the meaning of the Gringotts "motto"? Is the wording important?
-The goblins know, off-hand, what the "you-know-what" is in Vault 713?
-Griphook? Important name?
-The rattling car knew its own way? Could that come in useful in book 7, asceding to the whim of someone like the room of requirement? Underground lake? The stalagmite/stalagtite comment seems to be exactly the same as in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis video game. This time, classic Hagrid, he misses the point. But why is he angry? How does Hagrid get "carsick" if this doesn't happen on any other occasion we know of?
-Why does green smoke emerge from the Potter vault? Does this have anything to do with the orange "smoke" that we see on the UK Children's cover of book 7
-Why do all goblins sound alike? (Have to listen to audiobook to see the phenomenon)
-Underground ravine?
-Sucked through the door? Why does Griphook make this unrequested comment when he seems to be short of words?
-Where did the Potters get their money?
-Wouldn't Draco Malfoy automatically hate Harry? Why does he talk to him and try to befriend him and confide him with his illicit plans? Does Lucious confide his love of the Dark Lord to Draco?
-Draco might settle for anything but Hufflepuff?
-How does Draco not recognize Potter if everyone else automatically does just by face?
-I thought of this a few months ago: I understand why they would abduct Olivander as he would make them wands but why Florean Fortescue? Does nothing satiate the appetite Death Eaters after a long day of murdering and pillaging than ice cream? Perhaps it is what Florean helps Harry with in the third book that makes him so important to the death eaters in book six.
-"There ain't a single which or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin!" Did Hagrid believe that Sirius Black, a Gryffindor, was innocent?
-Hagrid's allergic to cats?
-Any reason that the owl emporium is called Eyelops? Doesn't seem to conform to my theory of names that have something to do with the specialty. It sounds like cyclops.
-382 BCE seems to be an important year in Thebes, according to Wikipedia. I wonder if there is any significance to this or just a shot in the dark.
-Did Olivanders predate Hogwarts? We only know of some wizarding History starting at around 1000 CE. Is Olivander really ancient or is he the descendant of the founder of the shop or francise?
-Couldn't they afford better digs? I feel that wands are expensive.
-Lily had a willow wand that was nice for charm work. James had a mahogany wand good for transfiguration. Perhaps the wand also chooses the mate? Methinks wand endogamy is afoot
-Voldy has yew.
-Dragons, Phoenixes, Unicorns. No two Olivander wands are the same. Important, methinks.
-Why Holly and Phoenix feather? 11 inches, same size as his father. Red and Gold sparks? Yeah, Harry's a Gryffindor. Maybe you don't need the sorting hat; the sparks know.
-Do all wands cost the same? 7 Galleons?

Ad Kan, 2:19:49

7/10 Update: I read from the text on Shabbos and found some more stuff. Here I transcribe lines that I have placed post-its on lines I found somewhat interesting or intriguing, though for some I have forgotten the reason I had done so seeing as I don't write on Shabbos, but have included still included many of these lines in case I or someone else figures out what I was thinking of. Here goes:

ch6: Journey from Platform 9 3/4

-pg 90: why did the Dursleys wait a month to have Dudley's tail looked at by a doctor?

-pg 99: Ron talking about his big bros: Bill was Head Boy, Charlie was captain of quidditch, Percy's a prefect. Important: "Fred and George mess around a lot, but they still get really good marks and everyone thinks they're really funny". Why do they then get only 3 OWLS, which is pretty dismal? Have they shirked school work preparing their wheezes? When did they begin to create this stuff, like the ton-tongue toffee?

Chocolate Frog Card
-102-103: Albus Dumbledore Frog Card: Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon's blood [which Hermione learns herself during the course of this book] and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling.
---I am confident that we will hear more about Grindelwald and the twelve uses of dragon's blood in this book, some more on his relationship with Flamel (though maybe not about the bowling or chamber music, but maybe so)
"Dumbledore's face had disappeared" (ibid)- I think this works in some way like wizarding portraits, and we know from later on that Dumbledore has been closely watching Harry in some way, perhaps by cards. ("Dumbledore sidled back into the picture and gave him a small smile)
Will the other wizards named here have an importance as well?

-105: Ron's spell does not sound like any spell we've ever heard in Harry Potter, but rather was a rhyming couplet like the witches in MacBeth. Did he not live around wizards for 11 years that he would know what a spell sounded like?

-106: Why does Hermione hope she's in Gryffindor as it is by far the best and that Ravenclaw is only a far secondary? Wouldn't she fit in better in Ravenclaw?

-107: "Charlie's in Romania studying dragons, and Bill's in Africa doing something for Gringotts" -Ron. I tend to accidentially combine their jobs that one is training dragons for Gringotts. One or both of these jobs will be important, perhaps vital, for the final book.

-107: as to the person who broke into a Gringotts high security vault 713: "They haven't been caught". But Griphook said that nobody but a goblin could get in and that anyone who tried would be sucked in. Do we need to assume that there is a rogue goblin helping the dark side? It should be a given that one cannot apparate into or out of a bank vault, much like Hogwarts I'm sure it has security magic that prevents it.

-109: Draco to Harry (I don't remember why I tagged this) :"I'd be careful if I were you... Unless you're a bit politer you'll go the same way as your parents. They didn't know what was good for them, either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid and it'll rub off on you". Just what does Draco know and how much have his parents told him.

-109: Scabbers attacks Goyle when Goyle tries to steal Ron's chocolate frogs. Why does Scabbers, aka Wormtail/Peter Pettigrew attack the son of a death eater? Voldemort in book 4, Goblet of Fire says he hopes the fathers of Crabbe and Goyle will do better in the future. Is Wormtail taking revenge on people he thinks should be punished by Voldemort? Or is he legitimately helping Ron, either a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome or legitimately.

Ch 7: The sorting hat
pg 115: About 20 ghosts? Besides the four house ghosts, what roles do the other ones have and what power do they have over peeves (besides the Bloody Baron)

pg 117: "There's nothing hidden in your head the sorting hat can't see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be" -The Sorting Hat. Will the hat be helpful in book 7, perhaps telling Harry where he should go to find horcruxes, or perhaps used as a tool for oclumency/legilimency? And what is the significance of Harry pulling Gryffindor's sword from the hat in book 2:CoS?

pg 121: Yet the Sorting hat hesitates on Harry. Does it do it quickly to everyone? Why does it originally suggest Slytherin for Harry? Is it because he is a parselmouth or has a mark of Voldemort? Greatness is in Harry's head according to the hat...

pg 122: Quirrell now had the turban. Why wasn't he noted as wearing it before in the Leaky Cauldron. Did Voldemort possess him between then and the sorting feast?

pg 122: mistake: the book said only three were left to be sorted. But four are sorted after this statement!

pg 123: Any significance of Dumbledore's few words: "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank You!"? I should note that all of these passed the Firefox spellcheck.

pg 123: Nearly Headless Nick says he hasn't eaten in nearly 400 years; "I don't need to, of course, but one does miss it" But he died 500 years before (well, 499 at that point)! Is there a reason for this seemingly mistake. There is food at his 500th deathday party the next year. Can ghosts have any effect on solid objects and can they eat?

pg 125: Neville nearly drowned as a kid but when eight he was accidentally defenestrated by his Great Uncle Algie and bounced to the garden. Can wizards survive such things and will this be important?

127: What did the Weasley Twins do in the past in the Forbidden Forest that made Dumbledore's eyes twinkle?

128: Dumbledore: "'Ah music', he said wiping his eyes, 'A magic beyond all we do here'". Significant? Magical? A hint for the only way to put fluffy to sleep?

130: Very important: Harry's dream about being stuck in quirrel's turban in which malfoy laughed, and snape had a high cold laugh followed by a green burst of light. Same words as his dream about the death of his parents, a "high cold laugh" and burst of green light (see page 56)

ch8: The potions master

136: who is "us" that Hagrid refers to? is it the royal we? Fang?

137: significance of the potion objects which snape refers to: "the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death". Drought of Living Death, bezoar, werewolf potion, all important in the books.

ch10: Halloween: pg 177: What was Snape's relationship with Quirrell. Was he trying to prevent Quirrell from doing stuff? Did he know that Voldemort possessed Quirrell? Whose side was snape on at this time?

pg 184: Potter for President? There is no "President" in Great Britain... Or the Ministry of Magic. Was this an attempt to Americanize the book, like the switched title: Sorcerer's Stone instead of Philosopher's Stone?

190: What kind of countercurse requires constantly to chant nonstop?

Ch12:mirror of erised:
194: interesting that Fred and George bewitched snowballs to constantly bounce off of back of Quirrell's turban... Exactly where Voldemort was hiding...

200: What message did Harry send to the Dursleys?

202: This is Dumbledore's handwriting as seen in his signature in a later book. We kind of know this though as Dumbledore all but admits it in the end of this book.

203: Do prefects usually sit apart from the others at meals with prefects from other houses (prefects is plural here), because Ron and Hermione sat with Harry in books 5 and 6, right?

209: any significance to other members of Harry's family? The green eyes of members of his family besides his mother?

213: Dumbledore: "I don't need a cloak to become invisible"

214: What does Dumbledore actually see when he looks in the mirror of erised? Actually thick woolen socks?

ch13: Nicolas Flamel

215; same dreams
218-9: Chocolate frog as gift to neville, the frog card gives them the answer to flamel's relationship, but they also mention again Grindelwald and Dragon's blood.
220: is flamel actually 665 at this time; does the book update itself. Any significance to the fact that he is about to celebrate his 666th birthday? Is being eternal beastly?
221: Harry had the horrible feeling that Snape could read minds
226: Snape to Quirrell: "We'll have another chat soon when you've had time to think things over and decided where your loyalties lie". Is this double reverse psychology to the reader? Where should Quirrell's loyalties lie and what did Snape tell him, making him petrified?

ch14:Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
229: "It was hard to relax with Hermione next to you reciting the twelve uses of dragon's blood or practicing wand movements". Hermione knows the uses, much like she knows where to find flamel once she is reminded of it on Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog Card!

ch15:Forbidden Forest:
257: "Remember Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens. Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" What is foretold and what is the significance of Mars, the god of war, being unusually bright?

258: Death's better than being cursed. Voldemort doesn't realize that something is worse than death. Could it be being cursed?
260: Ron seems to think that Voldemort can hear them. Can saying Voldemort's name cause him to hear them, like someone saying "Beetlejuice! Beatlejuice! Beatlejuice"?

261: Dumbledore's handwriting again. He sends back the cloak to harry, and "Just in case" seems to imply he knows something is going to happen and encourages Harry to undertake this difficult task, without Dumbledore there to protect him. This time out of town, in book 7, dead.

Ch 16:Through the trapdoor
262:"In years to come, Harry would never quite remember how he had managed to get through his exams when he half expected Voldemort to come bursting through the door at any moment.
How many years to come? Does this mean Harry survives book 7?

267: Dumbledore flew to London? On a broom?
268: Why did Snape seem unusually... chipper...? (Good afternoon, odd twisted smile. Good day to you...")

270:"He'll turn it into a school for the dark arts!" (Voldemort wanted to be a professor of DADA!)
282: In the movie there were three chess pieces missing for the trio to take over. In the book, the pieces only went away when Ron told them to. The board was complete. Could he have just stood on the side and told the pieces what to do a la History of the World Part One? Or perhaps it needed that initiation to get the white pieces to open? Did Ron really need to "sacrifice" himself?

ch17: Man with two faces
289:Why is Quirrell telling Potter about his whole plan and about Snape wanting to referee the match? Was telling Harry this according to plan, making him think that Snape was good? How would Snape referreeing help, besides reinforcing the appearance that Snape is biased and hates Gryffindor and Harry.
294: Legilimency?
295: Did one of the horcruxes die here? Was "Babymort" from another horcrux?
298: My question is why did Voldemort give Lily the choice to step aside and live?
302: "Instead of stopping us, he just taught us enough to help. I don't think it is an accident he let me find out how the mirror worked. It's almost like he thought I could face Voldemort if I could...."
307: "It was the best evening of Harry's life, better than winning at Quidditch, or Christmas, or knocking out mountain trolls... he would never, ever forget tonight." Again, does he survive book 7?

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