Archives for February 2016

Rowling’s Gift of Expecto Patronum

200_sJoanne Rowling is well-known for reaching out to fans in need, often through social media.  So it probably shouldn’t surprise us that, when a depressed young Brazilian fan tweeted her asking for help in banishing his own dementors, she responded with encouragement, as did many other Potterphiles.
tumblr_o0t5oj36ed1qkvbwso1_500Rowling has always been open about creating the dementors from her own experience with clinical depression. The two major effects of depression, intense despair and the inability to feel happiness, correspond to the first two symptoms listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.  But, the dementors also induce the rest of the nine symptoms.  Harry is often confused or unable to concentrate cntped0713_Feature-2_Table-1when confronted with dementors, and Sirus tells us that Azkaban prisoners stop eating, have sleep disturbances and “go quiet after a while,” representing the symptoms of loss of appetite, insomnia and psychomotor retardation. Dementors sap the prisoners’ mental and physical energy, so that they lose the will to escape.  As Lupin tells Harry, “They don’t need walls or water to keep the prisoners in, not when they’re trapped inside their own heads.”  Harry guiltily relives his parents’ deaths under dementor influence and, during the Battle of Hogwarts, comes close to a type of suicide.

Fred was gone, and Hagrid was surely dying or already dead… How many more lay dead that he did not yet know about; he felt as though his soul had already half left his body…A hundred dementors were advancing, gliding toward him, sucking their way towards Harry’s despair… his own wand trembled in his hand, and he almost welcomed the oncoming oblivion, the promise of nothing, of no feeling…

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Shared Text: Donald Trump called Voldemort?

AngryTrumpThe Muggle World Daily Prophets are today abuzz over the supposed latest step in the Megyn Kelly/Donald Trump duel, where Ms. Kelly allegedly compared the Presidential candidate to the Dark Lord Himself, Voldemort.  However, the headlines seem to me to be a bit misleading, and the writer of this article seems to have missed the point when she concluded, “so the revelation that she referred to him as such an evil character will probably only worsen their feud.”

Voldemort_angryThe actual quote was from Iowa Caucus winner Ted Cruz, who said to Ms. Kelly, “Well, you know, you were joking just before we went on air that it was sort of like Voldemort, He Who Must Not Be Named.”  In that context, it seems that what Ms. Kelly was noting was not Trump’s villainy, but the reluctance of the other candidates to mention him in the last debate. In which case, her remark would have been not so much a dig at Trump, but a jab at the rest of the candidates for their timidity in the face of Trump’s bluster.

Donald-Trump-1I guess it depends on how much of a Potterphile Ms. Kelly is.  And I’ll leave it to John to remark on what it means for a staunch Evangelical candidate to acknowledge familiarity with Harry Potter; I suspect there was a time when that would not have happened.

gilde smileBut anyway, I think the Donald’s trademark coiffure is too much a part of his image for him  to be a truly convincing Voldemort.  Perhaps more of a Gilderoy Lockhart, with his own line of hair care products.

Hat tip to John!