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Dec 25th 2020 at 8:28:02 AM

Enchanting objects is one of things that's really cool but which the series doesn't go into a lot of detail on. Doing it to regular stuff is under the purview of charms iirc, but accomplishments like the suits of armor in Hogwarts and especially the Sorting Hat seem like a step waaay beyond.

I always thought it would've been cool if one of the trio had, like, a knack for it.

Edited by KnownUnknown on Dec 25th 2020 at 8:28:55 AM

"The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy, paraphrasing Mark Twain.
M84 TIL Aromantics had a flag too from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
TIL Aromantics had a flag too
Dec 26th 2020 at 10:01:11 PM

Don’t forget the flying car, which actually became sentient in the Forbidden Forest.

Disgusted, but not surprised
HeraldAlberich from Ohio Relationship Status: Gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Dec 27th 2020 at 6:25:08 AM

[up][up] It would be an interesting change in the dynamics if Hermione was the genius in all other magic but Ron, say, enchanted his own set of wizard chess pieces in first or second year, and went from there.

Dec 27th 2020 at 9:05:47 AM

Yeah, Ron's thing was supposed to be The Strategist, but that just wasn't relevant like... ever after the first book. Giving him something else besides being Harry's best friend would have been a good idea.

Dec 27th 2020 at 11:12:41 AM

Don't know about the "supposed", but I agree on him having something other than best bud and white rabbit.

Dec 27th 2020 at 4:40:48 PM

[up][up] You could argue that the first two novels had a bit more on Ron and Harry being a pair - even Bash Brothers at times - with Hermione as a third on top of their dynamic, but by the time the third book rolled around they had switched more heavily to a Kirk, Spock, McCoy dynamic that left Harry as essentially the median between the other two's turbulent personalities.

Even in the books (but far more obviously in the films) there's a degree to which Ron's functions as Harry's initial guide in the wizarding world were folded into Hermione, leaving him solely with his "brave but insecure boor" characterization.

But it's kind of a missed opportunity not to go ahead with the initial idea that while Hermione is extremely studious and competent, Ron is a tactless boor but knows how to read people very well. It would've made them an even stronger contrast.

Edited by KnownUnknown on Dec 27th 2020 at 4:41:03 AM

"The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy, paraphrasing Mark Twain.
dmcreif from Lewisburg, PA Relationship Status: I'd jump in front of a train for ya!
Dec 28th 2020 at 8:41:44 AM

A random thought I had today is that I think Barty Crouch Sr. should've been introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, even briefly. Rowling could have written him in as being obsessed with catching Sirius. All you'd have to do is replace aspects of Cornelius Fudge's role in POA with Crouch Sr. It's just weird to me that Crouch is introduced and killed in the same book and we never hear about him or his son again, despite how integral they are to the plot and Voldemort's plan to return.

The scene in the Three Broomsticks with Fudge could have had a lot more depth if it was Crouch instead of Fudge. Of course, if that was the case, it's likely Rowling would've had to retool a lot of the backstory, because the way that that group exposit Sirius' backstory sure as shit isn't gonna happen with the Crouch we've been introduced to, but man does it make more sense.

Edited by dmcreif on Dec 28th 2020 at 11:43:57 AM

Never underestimate your audience. They’re generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.
Dec 28th 2020 at 6:09:13 PM

[up][up] Yeah, the films did not like Ron. But even ignoring that, his contributions to the triangle were subtle, so even book readers sometimes had trouble seeing his value. I read some interesting essays (which I'm never going to be able to find again) about how when Hermione is mad and not hanging out with them, Harry doesn't have much trouble, but when Ron is mad and not hanging out with them, he's completely at a loss for what to do with himself.

[up] It could work if Crouch was there in addition to Fudge. So Fudge is sort of bragging on his behalf, dragging the details out of him, while Crouch is mostly just sitting there being professional, and only speaking to correct Fudge.

CrimsonZephyr Would that it were so simple. from Massachusetts Relationship Status: It's complicated
Would that it were so simple.
Dec 29th 2020 at 1:13:59 PM

Crouch should have been in every book leading up to his death. He was Voldemort's old nemesis, the face of the Ministry's war against him; his story should permeate the lore.

The fact he shows up in Goblet of Fire only is another example of how JK Rowling's claim of having basically the whole thing planned from the start is sort of suspect.

Edited by CrimsonZephyr on Dec 29th 2020 at 4:14:33 AM

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
Dec 29th 2020 at 7:03:05 PM

Eh, that seems like a standard "I have a decent outline and the major details ironed out" thing rather than "I know exactly who all the important characters will be" thing. I'm sure she had the horcruxes and all their locations mapped out, Dumbledore's death and the multiple Snape reveals, and probably Pettigrew too. Beyond that was probably a lot more fluid.

Goblet strikes me as the one she had mapped out the least; she had Voldemort's resurrection planned out most certainly, but everything else seems like stuff she made up on the spot. There is a lot of stuff in that book that should have been at least mentioned earlier. There could have been a passing reference to the Twi-Wizard tournament (the first two books mentioned the trophy room enough, it could have been namedropped then), the other wizarding schools would have been nice to know about before, and of course Crouch.

M84 TIL Aromantics had a flag too from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
TIL Aromantics had a flag too
Dec 29th 2020 at 8:23:57 PM

The Tri-Wizard tournament not being mentioned earlier is at least justified since it hasn't been held for about two hundred years before the start of the series. It fell into obscurity.

On a sadder note, it turns out that the tragic consequences of the 1994 Tri-Wizard Tournament permanently tainted the institution. The tournament was never held again.

Disgusted, but not surprised
Dec 29th 2020 at 8:34:13 PM

Maybe they should try taking cues from the muggle's Olympics.

Blueace Blue Reflection Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Blue Reflection
Dec 29th 2020 at 8:43:40 PM

They'd need to think about a lot of things on how to do some international school events. The Triwizard was a meat grinder in the end.

And international relationships seem pretty distant in the wizarding world.

Edited by Blueace on Dec 29th 2020 at 1:44:48 PM

theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Dec 30th 2020 at 7:39:00 AM

Really the wizarding world as a whole needs to learn about health and safety.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
Blueace Blue Reflection Relationship Status: Chocolate!
Blue Reflection
Dec 30th 2020 at 1:46:08 PM

When you can fix what should be fatal or crippling injuries in less than a minute, safety becomes really lax.

Dec 30th 2020 at 5:51:09 PM

Wizards and witches tend to come up with various other ways to injure/harm themselves, some of which aren't easy to remedy.

dmcreif from Lewisburg, PA Relationship Status: I'd jump in front of a train for ya!
Dec 31st 2020 at 6:47:14 PM

On the whole subject of the Triwizard Tournament and Crouch, there are two moments where Crouch Jr. came close to getting caught and the whole series would've played out quite differently.

The first was at the Quidditch World Cup when Crouch Jr. stole Harry's wand and cast the Dark Mark. After the Aurors arrive to get the situation under control, Crouch Sr. demands to know who conjured the Dark Mark. Hermione points to where the shout was heard. The Aurors investigate and return carrying an unconscious Winky who is possessing Harry's wand, infuriating Crouch, who instantly realizes what happened. Crouch had to be absolutely terrified during this scene as the Aurors looked for the caster. He looks visibly nervous and distant. Which makes you wonder what his reaction would have been had Amos Diggory found Barty Jr. in the bushes instead of Winky? My guess is that Crouch Sr. would be fucked big-time, as his son is supposed to have died in Azkaban. This whole incident would be enough to ruin what's left of the reputation he lost when he sent his son to prison, especially when it comes to light that he kept his son under house arrest with the Imperius Curse and even brain-damaged Bertha Jorkins with a memory charm when she found out the truth. Crouch Sr. likely gets sent to Azkaban, and the public pressures the Ministry to review Crouch Sr.'s time as head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, likely meaning that many of the cases he handled (like Sirius's) get overturned on appeal. I don't know what would become of Crouch Jr., but I imagine the public would see him as the victim in all this (and in a way, he kinda was).

The other was in "The Egg and the Eye". After figuring out the egg clue, Harry gathers the egg and his other belongings and prepares to return to Gryffindor tower under the invisibility cloak. While observing the Marauder's Map, he sees the name 'Bartemius Crouch' in Snape's office. This intrigues Harry, who wonders what Crouch would be doing here since his illness kept him from attending the Yule Ball (the map can't be fooled by Polyjuice or Animagi forms, but it can't distinguish between two people who share a name). Harry decides to investigate, but as he is concentrating on the Marauder's Map, his foot gets caught in a trick step, causing him to drop the egg and the map. The Egg rolls down the staircase and starts wailing, summoning Filch, who in turn yells at Peeves, assuming he's finally got Peeves for stealing from a student. Snape arrives and dismisses Filch's accusations about Peeves, and claims someone broke into his office. It had to be a wizard; Snape seals his office with a Charm to prevent Peeves from entering. Crouch Jr. appears and is "concerned" that someone was in Snape's office. His magical eye spots Harry under his Cloak, but he says nothing and offers to help Snape investigate the "break-in". Snape demurs, saying he believes it was a student stealing potion ingredients. Crouch Jr. wonders if Snape could be hiding something else, to which Snape retorts that Crouch Jr. has previously searched his office. Crouch Jr. lies that it is an Auror's privilege. He dismisses Snape, causing Snape to bridle. He then spots the Marauder's Map on the floor; Snape immediately recognizes it and thinks Harry's responsible for the theft. Through some bluffing, Crouch Jr. forces Snape to back down and leave.

If Harry hadn't gotten his foot caught in the trick step while going to investigate, the rest of the book, and maybe the rest of the series, would've progressed a lot differently: Harry misses the trick step, so never drops the egg, and Filch is never summoned. Snape, however, still shows up because the charms protecting his office from intruders have been triggered. So Harry does make it to Snape's office, and catches Crouch Jr. in the act of stealing potion ingredients for the Polyjuice. Snape probably shows up at the same time. Crouch Jr. is subsequently subdued by Snape while Harry goes to summon Dumbledore. Dumbledore summons Amelia Bones, and they get a confession from Crouch Jr. under Veritaserum before having him arrested. Aurors and Curse Breakers are also dispatched to the Crouch home to free Crouch Sr. from the Imperius Curse. The Wizengamot would likely decide that Crouch Jr. gets a very discreet trial to keep Voldemort at a disadvantage. He's later part of the breakout of Death Eaters in Order of the Phoenix, and Neville kills him during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Crouch Jr. being taken into custody here would've greatly screwed up Voldemort's resurrection plans. Crouch Jr.'s endgame was to turn the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey, only Voldemort and Wormtail knew about Jr., and they'd had a really short amount of time to get the current spur of the moment plan they lucked into in place. It's very likely Crouch Jr. would've confessed to Peter Pettigrew's involvement, allowing the Aurors to track him down and arrest him, depriving Voldemort of another follower, while giving Sirius a chance to turn himself in and clear his name. I think it safe to say Voldemort would rely on other followers to get his plans back on track, and he would find a way to enlist the help of the other Death Eaters who were at the Quidditch World Cup when Crouch Jr. cast the Dark Mark.

And on the Hogwarts front, Dumbledore is in trouble as to how to handle the rest of the academic year for the DADA class. He has to explain Moody's departure (because the real Moody needs to spend time recovering in Saint Mungo's) in a way that won't negatively affect his reputation with the Ministry, the Wizengamot, the Hogwarts student body or with the other schools participating in the tournament (considering Crouch Jr.'s cover was so deep that in canon, Dumbledore didn't suspect him until the night of the third task), and find a suitable replacement teacher. I think Dumbledore would play it safe by picking someone in the Order to do the job. I bet Lupin or Kingsley would be his top choices.

Edited by dmcreif on Dec 31st 2020 at 9:49:04 AM

Never underestimate your audience. They’re generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.
jouXIII The One with Knowledge of Things from Between the Multiverses Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
The One with Knowledge of Things
Jan 1st 2021 at 6:13:01 AM

You know, there is at least one fanfic with that premise, When Harry Missed the Trick Step.

dmcreif from Lewisburg, PA Relationship Status: I'd jump in front of a train for ya!
Jan 1st 2021 at 12:26:42 PM

I think in retrospect, one thing that happens to an unfortunate extent throughout the book series is 'suspension of disbelief' or 'ignoring incredibly obvious things that should be very apparent to the smarter characters in the books'.

For example, one thing about "The Egg and the Eye" that is so frustrating is that Harry doesn't think to use the Summoning Charm to summon the Marauder's Map to him when he gets caught in the trick stair, when he literally spent an entire chapter learning how to and succeeding at performing the damn thing, and used it in the First Task to summon his Firebolt.

Another is with Dumbledore and everything to do with Sirius's presumed guilt. Based on Dumbledore's knowledge of frame-ups and people wrongfully imprisoned in Azkaban, he should find it suspicious that Sirius, the alleged servant of Voldemort, not only let Hagrid take Harry to Privet Drive, but also gave Hagrid the means to do so by loaning him his bike. It's moments like this, and JK Rowling's use of Dumbledore in general, that make me vacillate between feeling as though Dumbledore really does earn his role as "brains" of the Voldemort resistance and then makes me wonder, "like, what the fuck? You should be smarter than that." Dumbledore not trying to solve the riddle of Sirius' actions after Voldemort attacked the Potters is not a high point, nor is him somehow not sending...I dunno, literally anybody from the Order after Peter Pettigrew when he found out he was alive. He was just like, "Nope, Harry saved him, he'll play a role somehow in bringing Voldemort down. No need to worry about maybe catching him and preventing that from happening la de da de da."

Never underestimate your audience. They’re generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.
M84 TIL Aromantics had a flag too from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
TIL Aromantics had a flag too
Jan 1st 2021 at 12:31:19 PM

Dumbledore's belief in Sirius' guilt was based on thinking Sirius was the Secret-Keeper.

Don't forget, even Remus believed Sirius betrayed the Potters since he also thought Sirius was the Secret-Keeper.

Disgusted, but not surprised
dmcreif from Lewisburg, PA Relationship Status: I'd jump in front of a train for ya!
Jan 1st 2021 at 12:36:48 PM

Another thing I've come to notice is Rowling's aversion towards "risky deaths".

Compare this franchise to Game of Thrones, which had no problem killing off characters without warning. The Harry Potter series doesn’t really do that. Rowling starts by killing off people that the reader would expect to die as part of Harry’s hero arch. Sirius (father figure), Dumbledore (father figure) so that Harry essentially has to finish the journey alone and loses any paternal guidance he might have. While both deaths are certainly shocking and leave the reader pretty hurt and, in the case of Dumbledore, wondering where Harry should turn next, both are rather expected upon reflection and sort of “need” to happen in order to advance the plot as well as Harry's maturation.

During the Battle of Hogwarts, she kills off some characters, but nobody who is particularly important. Lupin (another father figure) and Tonks (a minor character that we only really meet on the surface level). Neither character really leaves you thinking “gee what are they going to do now?”, like some of the Game of Thrones deaths do. Colin Creevey? Sad, but not exactly a major character.

Voldemort and Bellatrix? Of course Bad Guy A and Bad Guy B are going to die.

Snape’s death is also expected in order for him to reach the end of his tragic arch. I think most people would expect Snape to die as a villain, but not live as a “happily ever after” hero. No surprise there.

Fred Weasley, definitely one that makes the fans sad. But do we ever actually get to meet Fred? Like the real Fred? He’s almost always partnered with George. We seldom if ever see any emotion out of either, other than causing mayhem and joking around. We’ve gotten to know them a bit, but frankly we’ve seen more emotion from a minor character like Tonks than Fred Weasley. That’s not a criticism of Fred, he’s a good character, he’s well written for his role, and I like him well enough, but his death isn’t really that sad or tragic in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, the only two deaths that are really heart-wrenching are Hedwig and Dobby, two characters that we seem to like mainly due to the fact that they are “cute” animal-like creatures. Hedwig is one of Harry’s first friends in the magical world. And Dobby had a character arc over the course of the series and he died innocently while saving Harry’s life.

Imagine the characters she could have killed. Wouldn’t Ron’s death have been heartbreaking considering how many times he struggled with his emotions throughout the series? Ron abandons Harry and Hermione at one point in Deathly Hallows and I feel like he doesn’t necessarily redeem himself by destroying that Horcrux. Imagine if Ron were to somehow die saving Harry’s life, or even took Fred's death. It seems like Rowling even foreshadowed Ron’s death in the first book by having him sacrifice himself during the chess match. I fully believe she intended to kill him and I think the story would have been a lot stronger had she chosen to do so.

What about Arthur Weasley? Molly Weasley? Both sacrificed so much for Harry, certainly their deaths would have been both dramatic and added weight to the struggle against Voldemort. Ginny Weasley? That’s Harry’s love interest, what if she would have died? Percy? He just came back into the fold, how tragic for him to die as he returns to the family. What about the young newlyweds Bill and Fleur? Imagine the heartbreak if Hagrid died.

By not having "risky deaths" in the series, Rowling also doesn't allow some minor characters that do end up dying to have any kind of growth that could be truly meaningful. Lupin only just barely managed to not be a complete coward and get back with his pregnant wife before dying, and him getting over his cold feet is arguably the best character development for any character in the series that ends up dead. Sirius could arguably count as this too. If he didn't get thrown through the veil in book 5, Sirius would get to spend the last two books learning that Regulus didn't go out like a Voldemort-loving little shitweasel.

Never underestimate your audience. They’re generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.
M84 TIL Aromantics had a flag too from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
TIL Aromantics had a flag too
Jan 1st 2021 at 12:40:22 PM

Cedric's death was pretty unexpected.

And while Dumbledore's death got a lot of build-up, most of the deaths in the series are either very sudden or off-screen. It emphasizes that death usually isn't a dramatic affair at all.

Disgusted, but not surprised
tclittle Professional Forum Ninja from Somewhere Down in Texas
Professional Forum Ninja
Jan 1st 2021 at 5:17:12 PM

For example, one thing about "The Egg and the Eye" that is so frustrating is that Harry doesn't think to use the Summoning Charm to summon the Marauder's Map to him when he gets caught in the trick stair, when he literally spent an entire chapter learning how to and succeeding at performing the damn thing, and used it in the First Task to summon his Firebolt.

I figured in the heat of the moment, the fear of getting caught, and the fact he only just mastered the Summoning Charm recently, Harry just forgot he could.

"We're all paper, we're all scissors, we're all fightin' with our mirrors, scared we'll never find somebody to love."
theLibrarian That all you got? from his own little world
That all you got?
Jan 3rd 2021 at 1:51:12 PM

Indeed. You forget a lot of stuff under pressure.

That is the face of a man who just ate a kitten. Raw.
tclittle Professional Forum Ninja from Somewhere Down in Texas
Professional Forum Ninja
Jan 3rd 2021 at 8:54:53 PM

Reminder of PS where Ron had to remind Hermione she could use spells to get out of the Devil's Snare.

"Are you a witch or not?"

"We're all paper, we're all scissors, we're all fightin' with our mirrors, scared we'll never find somebody to love."

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