History Headscratchers / HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone

16th Jul '16 7:54:01 PM inspibrain101
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** The OP isn't talking about security during the series; of /course/ Hogwarts needs some greater security measures at that point! I'm talking about /before/ Voldemort starts his reunion tour- no Dark Lord, very few Death Eaters, very few threats on the lives of wizarding school children.
16th Jul '16 7:48:57 PM inspibrain101
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** I'll do you one better; why the heck to wizards bother using ANY kind of lock, if a first year can 'alohamora' it open? (I don't quite recall, is there some sort of charm or ward that can enforce a lock?)
11th Jul '16 8:05:03 PM willyolio
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** Basically, ViewersAreMorons and appealing to stupidity. "Philosopher" sounded too difficult for a kid's book, not enough Americans would have known about the philosopher's stone (as a mythological object), and "Sorcerer" just sounds cooler than "philosopher" because philosophers are supposed to be just stuffy old men who read books and stuff.
4th Jun '16 1:18:29 AM FlashSteps
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** In the movie, Hermione was the queen-side castle, and that, actually, is arguably the piece that most commonly takes the longest to get developed into the action, and, aside from the Kings, the most likely piece to last all the way to the late endgame. When this troper and chess player saw the movie, he immediately assumed that Ron was being subconsciously protective of Hermione when he assigned her to the queen-side castle.

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** In the movie, Hermione was the queen-side castle, and that, actually, is arguably the piece that most commonly takes the longest to get developed into the action, and, aside from the Kings, the most likely piece to last all the way to the late endgame. When this troper and I, a chess player saw the movie, he I immediately assumed that Ron was being subconsciously protective of Hermione when he assigned her to the queen-side castle.



** Well, Halloween isn't really celebrated as much in England. At least, they don't dress up and make a big deal like Americans do.

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** Well, Halloween isn't really celebrated as much in England.the UK. At least, they don't dress up and make a big deal like Americans do.



** Maybe he was going to make himself a body out of pure gold. Well, ''This Troper'' would have, at any rate.

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** Maybe he was going to make himself a body out of pure gold. Well, ''This Troper'' ''I' would have, at any rate.



** This Troper always imagined that the elixir would become part of a regeneration potion, much like what Voldy eventually cooks up in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''.

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** This Troper I always imagined that the elixir would become part of a regeneration potion, much like what Voldy eventually cooks up in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''.



** This troper believes people frequently underestimate not only the student body of Hogwarts but the size of the pureblood community in Wizard England as well. JKR really liked to highlight the pureblood wizard families that have died out at least through paternal lines or are down to a few, if any, heirs. She possibly did this to explain why so many pureblood families support Voldemort and the racist fervor running so strong in the Wizard World. Not to mention there is something of a 'hidden' middle class in the Wizarding world of descendants of muggleborn wizards. AKA those from a family of wizards but not yet considered a 'pure' family. JKR did not even really touch on that population at all.

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** This troper believes I believe people frequently underestimate not only the student body of Hogwarts but the size of the pureblood community in Wizard England United Kingdom as well. JKR really liked to highlight the pureblood wizard families that have died out at least through paternal lines or are down to a few, if any, heirs. She possibly did this to explain why so many pureblood families support Voldemort and the racist fervor running so strong in the Wizard World. Not to mention there is something of a 'hidden' middle class in the Wizarding world of descendants of muggleborn wizards. AKA those from a family of wizards but not yet considered a 'pure' family. JKR did not even really touch on that population at all.



** I have my own theories on the "neglected for nine years" bit, but as to why he doesn't show more signs of the neglect and mistreatment, this troper has seen three different abuse victims all from the same house all affected at varying degrees. It's highly possible that Harry's one of those people that can adjust well. Some people can go through just a bit of abuse and be so horribly affected that it takes years for them to be able to live a healthy life, while others can go their entire life living in a proverbial hell and only have a handful of issues.

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** I have my own theories on the "neglected for nine years" bit, but as to why he doesn't show more signs of the neglect and mistreatment, this troper has I have seen three different abuse victims all from the same house all affected at varying degrees. It's highly possible that Harry's one of those people that can adjust well. Some people can go through just a bit of abuse and be so horribly affected that it takes years for them to be able to live a healthy life, while others can go their entire life living in a proverbial hell and only have a handful of issues.



** This troper went to an all-girls non-boarding school and called quite a few of her friends by their surnames. Some of them were to prevent confusion- between two Katherines, Taylors, or Emilys, for example-, but plenty of people whose surnames were used were the only one in the nakama/general area with that name.
** This troper went to a British mixed comprehensive and addressed several of his friends and acquaintances by their last name. It's not massively uncommon.

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** This troper I went to an all-girls non-boarding school and called quite a few of her my friends by their surnames. Some of them were to prevent confusion- between two Katherines, Taylors, or Emilys, for example-, but plenty of people whose surnames were used were the only one in the nakama/general area with that name.
** This troper I went to a British mixed comprehensive and addressed several of his my friends and acquaintances by their last name. It's not massively uncommon.



** This Troper could imagine. You're 11 years old, you come in this great hall with hundreds of students and teachers (and Dumbledore!) and the Sorting Hat asks you where you want to be. Maybe you're shy or don't know it yet. Or perhaps you who don't want to be marked "brave", "smart" or "evil" yet. To be fair, if this Troper went to Hogwarts, he'd probably be sorted into Hufflepuff (or Ravenclaw).

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** This Troper I could imagine. You're 11 years old, you come in this great hall with hundreds of students and teachers (and Dumbledore!) and the Sorting Hat asks you where you want to be. Maybe you're shy or don't know it yet. Or perhaps you who don't want to be marked "brave", "smart" or "evil" yet. To be fair, if this Troper I went to Hogwarts, he'd I'd probably be sorted into Hufflepuff (or Ravenclaw).



** He probably didn't choose that as a third-year elective. He was hardly a "caring" sort of person, and the only magical creatures he liked were snakes, whose needs he could just ''ask'' them about as necessary. (Note that Diary-Tom underestimates Fawkes's powers, and doesn't recognize what the weeping phoenix is really doing until Harry's wound is healed entirely.) Offhand, this troper would guess Riddle selected Arithmancy (because of his "7" fixation) and Ancient Runes (because Salazar Slytherin, coming from the fenlands, probably knew a lot about Vikings and their runic traditions).

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** He probably didn't choose that as a third-year elective. He was hardly a "caring" sort of person, and the only magical creatures he liked were snakes, whose needs he could just ''ask'' them about as necessary. (Note that Diary-Tom underestimates Fawkes's powers, and doesn't recognize what the weeping phoenix is really doing until Harry's wound is healed entirely.) Offhand, this troper I would guess Riddle selected Arithmancy (because of his "7" fixation) and Ancient Runes (because Salazar Slytherin, coming from the fenlands, probably knew a lot about Vikings and their runic traditions).



** To answer the OP, this troper always felt that it had less to do with the difficulty of each task or more to do with the skill level needed for each one. Yes, three first years passed them, but THREE of them were needed. You have seven challenges, each requiring the person to get past them to be proficient in a specific area. First one has to get in the castle, not an easy feat since Hogwarts is shown to have very good protections, then you have to locate where the stone is. Then there's Fluffy. Once one finds out that Hagrid provided Fluffy, getting past the dog would be easier, since Hagrid can't keep a secret. Then you have the Devil's Snare, which takes either someone who reads a lot and happens to have read about that particular plant, or a Herbology expert. Then you have the keys, which takes a person whose fairly athletic and can figure out which key it is. In the book, Harry notices that one key has a slightly crumpled wing, which tells him which one it is. Without that crumpled wing, it's more trial and error (I'm assuming more than one is old and silver), then the chessboard which takes a specific skill set. Ron is shown to be a master at chess, which isn't an easy thing to become. The troll is taken care of for them (and said to be much bigger and nastier looking than the one at Halloween). The potions and riddle takes logic and then there's the mirror, and then of course getting back out after the mirror. So basically, just for the tasks alone (not mentioning the castle) you need someone who is sneaky enough to get figure out Hagrid ownes Fluffy, reads a lot/is a Herbology expert, is highly athletic, a chess master, good at defensive spells, and highly logical just to get to the mirror. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised Quirrel so proficient in all those areas.

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** To answer the OP, this troper I always felt that it had less to do with the difficulty of each task or more to do with the skill level needed for each one. Yes, three first years passed them, but THREE of them were needed. You have seven challenges, each requiring the person to get past them to be proficient in a specific area. First one has to get in the castle, not an easy feat since Hogwarts is shown to have very good protections, then you have to locate where the stone is. Then there's Fluffy. Once one finds out that Hagrid provided Fluffy, getting past the dog would be easier, since Hagrid can't keep a secret. Then you have the Devil's Snare, which takes either someone who reads a lot and happens to have read about that particular plant, or a Herbology expert. Then you have the keys, which takes a person whose fairly athletic and can figure out which key it is. In the book, Harry notices that one key has a slightly crumpled wing, which tells him which one it is. Without that crumpled wing, it's more trial and error (I'm assuming more than one is old and silver), then the chessboard which takes a specific skill set. Ron is shown to be a master at chess, which isn't an easy thing to become. The troll is taken care of for them (and said to be much bigger and nastier looking than the one at Halloween). The potions and riddle takes logic and then there's the mirror, and then of course getting back out after the mirror. So basically, just for the tasks alone (not mentioning the castle) you need someone who is sneaky enough to get figure out Hagrid ownes Fluffy, reads a lot/is a Herbology expert, is highly athletic, a chess master, good at defensive spells, and highly logical just to get to the mirror. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised Quirrel so proficient in all those areas.



** This Troper was wondering about that also, until a sudden case of Fridge Logic: Why would Vernon even THINK about saying that to Marge, he is embarassed to death by the fact that Harry is a wizard. For him it would be like admitting that Harry is a gay delinquent going to art school except 10 times worse. Not to mention the fact that he is practically a reality warper that has every right to turn her into a bug and stomp on her for all the crap she put him through.

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** This Troper I was wondering about that also, until a sudden case of Fridge Logic: Why would Vernon even THINK about saying that to Marge, he is embarassed to death by the fact that Harry is a wizard. For him it would be like admitting that Harry is a gay delinquent going to art school except 10 times worse. Not to mention the fact that he is practically a reality warper that has every right to turn her into a bug and stomp on her for all the crap she put him through.



** The author is from England. Their currency used to have 2 Ha'pennies to a Penny; 3 Pennies to a Thrupenny Bit; 2 Sixpences to a Shilling; 240 Pennies to a Pound; 1 Pound AND 1 Shilling to a Guinea. Wizarding currency is comparatively simple.

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** The author is from England.the UK. Their currency used to have 2 Ha'pennies to a Penny; 3 Pennies to a Thrupenny Bit; 2 Sixpences to a Shilling; 240 Pennies to a Pound; 1 Pound AND 1 Shilling to a Guinea. Wizarding currency is comparatively simple.



** "Why would Quirrel know..." Because V would've certainly ''told'' him if he knew a way. "get the mirror to a place of safety..." Again, try to ''invision'' what you're saying. So, Quirrell "just" has to drag a huge-ass mirror out of the chamber through the whole school and school grounds and then...somewhere (where?) without anyone seeing him and in time before DD crashes on his head. That is assuming that the mirror is not fixed to the floor, and that he will be able to either shrink it to fit through the doors or blast through the walls of the gauntlet. And even, EVEN if he manages all that, then what? How is he even supposed to find the right individual, and what "leisure" are you talking about, when all the Aurors in England will be on his tail? And even then it will still not work. You know why? Because "stopping Voldemort from getting the stone" '''does not involve removing the stone from the mirror'''. So if a noble wizard looks into the mirror, he will see himself apprehending Quirrell or escaping or dying with honor or ANYTHING other than fuck up the perfect protection and deliver the stone into V's hands. So, yes, it does take a unique and extraordinary '''well-intenioned idiot''' whose greatest fear, apparently, is that the matters might resolve without his interference and that other people might actually know what they're doing.

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** "Why would Quirrel know..." Because V would've certainly ''told'' him if he knew a way. "get the mirror to a place of safety..." Again, try to ''invision'' ''envision'' what you're saying. So, Quirrell "just" has to drag a huge-ass mirror out of the chamber through the whole school and school grounds and then...somewhere (where?) without anyone seeing him and in time before DD crashes on his head. That is assuming that the mirror is not fixed to the floor, and that he will be able to either shrink it to fit through the doors or blast through the walls of the gauntlet. And even, EVEN if he manages all that, then what? How is he even supposed to find the right individual, and what "leisure" are you talking about, when all the Aurors in England the UK will be on his tail? And even then it will still not work. You know why? Because "stopping Voldemort from getting the stone" '''does not involve removing the stone from the mirror'''. So if a noble wizard looks into the mirror, he will see himself apprehending Quirrell or escaping or dying with honor or ANYTHING other than fuck up the perfect protection and deliver the stone into V's hands. So, yes, it does take a unique and extraordinary '''well-intenioned '''well-intentioned idiot''' whose greatest fear, apparently, is that the matters might resolve without his interference and that other people might actually know what they're doing.



* This had bugged me for a while, and there's two parts to this. So the train leaves from London for Hogwarts every September 1, and the first term starts the next day. Well, it's not like September 1 is a floating holiday or anything, you know? Eventually, the first is going to end up on a Friday or Saturday. In fact, in 1995 (Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts) it first ''does'' fall on a Friday, yet they still have classes the next day (Saturday). But the characters have seemingly normal school weeks through the rest of the series. The other part of this that Hogwarts serves the entirety of the UK and Ireland. Hogwarts is located in Scotland. So you're telling me that instead of having a parent drop their child off at school (which no one seems to do), they all take their children to London, which is at the bottom of England, so they can ride a train for over six hours when they live closer to the school than they do to King's Cross? The train never makes any additional stops. It just seems like it would be out of the way for students who live in Northern England to go all the way to London to ride a train all the way to Scotland.

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* This had bugged me for a while, and there's two parts to this. So the train leaves from London for Hogwarts every September 1, and the first term starts the next day. Well, it's not like September 1 is a floating holiday or anything, you know? Eventually, the first is going to end up on a Friday or Saturday. In fact, in 1995 (Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts) it first ''does'' fall on a Friday, yet they still have classes the next day (Saturday). But the characters have seemingly normal school weeks through the rest of the series. The other part of this that Hogwarts serves the entirety of the UK and Ireland. Hogwarts is located in Scotland. So you're telling me that instead of having a parent drop their child off at school (which no one seems to do), they all take their children to London, which is at the bottom very south of England, so they can ride a train for over six hours when they live closer to the school than they do to King's Cross? The train never makes any additional stops. It just seems like it would be out of the way for students who live in Northern England to go all the way to London to ride a train all the way to Scotland.



** This troper always assumed there were other locations for Hogwarts students to go to that would bring them to the Hogwarts Express and this troper always heard Word of God that there were floo network locations set up for young Muggleborns to go to. It also wouldn't be impossible in the magical world that you may not have to go to King's Cross Station and that many of the methods from other locations would simply bring you onto the Platform at King's Cross Station from all over the country.

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** This troper * I always assumed there were other locations for Hogwarts students to go to that would bring them to the Hogwarts Express and this troper I always heard Word of God that there were floo network locations set up for young Muggleborns to go to. It also wouldn't be impossible in the magical world that you may not have to go to King's Cross Station and that many of the methods from other locations would simply bring you onto the Platform at King's Cross Station from all over the country.
21st May '16 2:28:12 AM wusch
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** I think the hat decides mostly on his own but takes the pupils wishes into the whole thing if it is extremely close for 2 houses. In Harrys case Slytherin and Gryffindor where more or less equal and he himself couldn't decide, so he took Harrys wish and sorted him into Gryffindor. Neville on the other hand clearly belonged into Gryffindor, even if he didn't show it yet.
17th May '16 5:20:34 AM TimBuckII
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[[folder:Who needs the stone?]]
* Why didn't LV just use the same way to ressurect himself he used in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire''? He had the flesh of a servant, and apparently he wasn't ''that'' fixated on Harry Potter back then to not use some other enemy for the blood.
** Perhaps he saw the stone as a more permanent and reliable method of returning. Plus with the stone he'd also get true immortality and all the gold he needs for wherever his lust for power goes. Sure he could have got the stone after returning but perhaps he was still hoping to remain under the radar to make retrieving the stone easier.
** Voldemort himself answers this in ''Goblet'': "There was no hope of stealing the Philosopher's Stone anymore, for I knew that Dumbledore would have seen to it that it was destroyed. But I was willing to embrace mortal life again, before chasing immortality. I set my sights lower... I would settle for my old body back again, and my old strength."
** Oh, thanks for reminding of yet another Headscratcher (boy, do these things multiply like roaches!). What the hell is all that supposed to mean? What "mortal life", what "chasing immortality"? V ''was'' immortal, thanks to the Horcruxes. His body could still be destroyed, it turned out, but, the Stone was only supposed to expand his life-span (and give him back his body through some undefined mean), not render him invulneruble or even enhance his powers, so how was it any better, and what would it give him that he already didn't have? The gold? What for? Should he return, he'd have the funds of Malfoy and, possibly, other rich Death Eaters at his disposal and anyway, his prime instrument was terror, not gold. Hell, DD himself admits that the stone was ''not'' a permanent solution - you have to drink the Immortality Potion regularly, and if the stone is stolen, you're screwed. In his own words: "He [LV] would use the Stone to get back his body and then rely on Horcruxes to keep him alive". That makes sense. V's aforementioned words or his behavior in PS don't.
** As we're shown in the series horcruxes can be destroyed and render the "immortality" they grant worthless. Having the stone would be another reliable method for him as he can always carry it on his person (having two methods of immortality are better than one after all). The gold is an additional source of revenue and not much more, but it is an added plus.
** So can the Stone be destroyed. So can he carry a Horcrux with him, but he can also hide it in the most out-of-reach place ever, which he cannot do with the Stone. Besides, V clearly considered the possibility of loosing the Horcuxes all but non-existant (Hey, if others can use this shitty excuse, then so can I!)
** Yes, the stone can be destroyed but like I said that's why you have back ups in the form of horcruxes for your immortality. We don't know how often you have to take the elixir of life so perhaps he could hide it in an out of reach spot and only visit it every month or so. I believe Tom thought that the idea of loosing his horcruxes to be non-existent because he thought no one knew about them. People know about the philosopher's stone so he can use his horcruxes as a back up for the stone in case someone intentionally sets out to destroy it. Besides if he boasts that he's immortal ''only'' because of the stone and it's destroyed people won't automatically assume he has a back-up source of immortality until it's too late.
** Why. What's the point. Why bother with the stone that he needs to visit every month or so to expand his life-span, when it is already infinite thanks to the Horcruxes that DO NOT require visiting them every month or at all, that he already has several of, and that nobody is supposed to know about? It's just pointlessly redundant! Seriously, calling the Horcruxes back up to the Stone is like [[http://thxforthe.info/2008/04/30/drive-me-closer-i-want-to-hit-them-with-my-sword/ calling your battle tank a back up to your sword]]. "If he boasts...people won't automatically presume..." - yes, because the fact that he survived the destruction of his body even WITHOUT the stone will certainly not clue them, right? Not to mention, what the hell should he care? He's the (second) most powerful sorceror in the world, defeating him in a duel is all but impossible and even then the Stone wouldn't save him anyway, like the Horcruxes did. In all possible ways the Stone seems just inferior to what he already has. So why risk entering the domain of his arch-nemesis and risk loosing his only servant to obtain it, when he could use Quirrel to return into flesh quietly and inconspicouosly and maybe THEN send him after the Stone, if he still wanted it so badly.
** Because it's quite clear that horcruxes do nothing to protect his '''body'''. He was stuck possessing rats and snakes and crappy DADA teachers for ten years. The horcruxes anchor his soul to the land of the living, but a philosopher's stone would give him an eternally-healthy, young, powerful body to, you know, actually ''do'' stuff. And if he had that stone hidden in a safe location, he'd presumably be able to make himself a new body as soon as he was killed again.
** Neither would the Stone protect his body in such occasion[[note]]And let's not forget that he was hit by a blast of some ancient and divinely powerful magic, point-blanc and completely off-guard. The way other characters spoke about him, killing him with convential means was apparently very problematic, if possible at all[[/note]]. So it all boils down to the prospect of ressurection, which (surprise!) brings us back to my original point, i.e. ''he didn't need the Stone for that either''. He had the much more convinient "Bone&Flesh&Blood" method available that didn't require him to break into high-security institutions, cross his arch-nemesis[[note]]DD, of course, not the scarhead[[/note]] and risk being exposed and loosing his only servant. Sure, ''maybe'' the Stone could be used repeatedly[[note]]or maybe to rebuild a body from scratch you need to grind it and pour the powder into the potion[[/note]], and ''mabye'' the BFB could only be used once, so ''maybe'' procuring the Stone in general was a good idea[[note]]Again, he could have Quirrel safely revive him through BFB and then send him after the Stone[[/note]], but in the immediate circumstances of PS it doesn't make any sense.
** It's never actually stated that the Stone wouldn't protect his body. Most concepts of immortality include regeneration, so it's not hard to assume that someone who drinks the Elixir regularly will have any wounds heal quickly and without any lasting damage.
** It's stated by DD, that V would use the Stone ''only'' for resurrection, so apparently no. And again, it is already nearly impossible to wound him due to his sheer magical power and skill. DD himself didn't manage to.
** As I've already said I don't object to the idea of procuring the Stone ''in general'', but it's painfully obvious that V should have had Quirrel safely revive him through BFB, which didn't require him to break into high-security institutions, cross his arch-nemesis and risk being exposed and loosing his only servant, and '''then''' send him after the Stone. He didn't. Why.
** It is generally not a good idea to advertise to your enemies that you have immortality jars, so the "mortal life/chasing immortality" bit might have been deliberate misdirection [[note]]Gasp, the evil man LIES!?[[/note]] Also, the BFB ritual may not have existed before Harry's 4th year. Voldy might have had to come up with it on his own, or adapt another ritual that served a similar-but-different purpose, because how often do you think shades come back to life? Horcruxes are supposed to be super-rare.
** Enemies, sure, but he's sputtering that gibberish in front of his cronies, who all ''know'' that he'd existed as the "meanest of ghosts" before Pettegrew revived him, so there was really no sense in "misdirection" at that point. As for the second part, V calls BFB "an old piece of Dark Magic" and doesn't say anything about adapting or changing it, so no.

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** The movie, at least, states that unicorn blood will save you ''even if'' you are at the brink of death, not ''only'' under that circumstance.
10th May '16 6:56:57 PM Fireblood
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** I think it was done for the American edition because they felt readers in the US [[ViewersAreMorons wouldn't understand the term]] "philosopher's stone", and be turned off (Presumably British people are more familiar with this/easygoing? I don't know).
10th May '16 10:51:13 AM QuarrelsomeChevon
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* I'm sure this has been explained somewhere, but I was wondering whether someone would humor me by detailing the facts behind the change from "Philosopher" to "Sorcerer"? Like, when it happened, where, and why? All I really know for sure is that "Philosopher" (I think...) came first, while the film I always watched as a kid used "Sorcerer" instead, but now, it feels sort of weird whenever I have to refer to the book using the latter term.

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* I'm sure this has been explained somewhere, but I was wondering whether someone would humor me by detailing the facts behind the change from "Philosopher" to "Sorcerer"? Like, when it happened, where, and why? All I really know for sure is that "Philosopher" (I think...) came first, while the film I always watched as a kid used "Sorcerer" instead, but now, it feels sort of weird whenever I have to refer to the book using the latter former term. Was there any version printed under the name "Sorcerer's Stone," or was that just for the film?
10th May '16 10:50:02 AM QuarrelsomeChevon
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[[/folder]]

[[folder: Title change]]
* I'm sure this has been explained somewhere, but I was wondering whether someone would humor me by detailing the facts behind the change from "Philosopher" to "Sorcerer"? Like, when it happened, where, and why? All I really know for sure is that "Philosopher" (I think...) came first, while the film I always watched as a kid used "Sorcerer" instead, but now, it feels sort of weird whenever I have to refer to the book using the latter term.
9th May '16 11:10:48 AM wusch
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** In addition to that, Hagrid is the first staff member the students ever see at Hogwarts, so with sending Hagrid with whom Harry would likely form a friendship, Dumbledore could be pretty sure, that arriving at Hogwarts would be a good deal easier for Harry when a friend was bringing him to the castle. And in addition to that: While Hagrids look can easily get you wrong, he is the friendliest and most easygoing member of the staff. Dumbledore did not only send Harry a bodyguard and guide for his very first steps in the magical world, he send him a friend, actually the very first one in his life. It almost certain, that Dumbledore knew that Harry had no friends.
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