John’s Speaking Schedule: The HogPro Speaks!

Have you heard the song “Online” in which the geeky nerd puffs himself up into a virtual reality hunk on his MySpace page? I suspect folks who come to hear me speak after reading posts at Hogwarts Professor have something like a blind-date nightmare experience when they discover I’m a short man who looks a little too much like a house-elf with a mustache and bow-tie. Maybe one of the reasons people are so kind in saying I am a great speaker after I talk is that I greatly exceeded their expectations that had collapsed when they first saw me at the podium?

If you don’t want to risk that roller-coaster ride, you can hear me speak without the video element at Ancient Faith Radio’s Illumined Heart program. I did an interview there last month with Steve McMeans and two students at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute that covered a lot of ground about the status of the Controversy in the Christian community concerning the Potter novels. The folks at Ancient Faith just posted it today as an audio file you can listen to from the Internet. Please give it a listen and post your review here. I haven’t heard it so I look forward to learning from y’all where I misspoke.

If you would like to hear me speak and aren’t afraid of the Dobby Effect, my dates for this month and next include:

21 September: Church of the Redeemer (Allentown) “The Christian Content of Deathly Hallows”

26-27 September: Biola/Torrey (LA) “Literary Alchemy in Deathly Hallows”/”The Possibility of a Christian Diet”

28 September: Pepperdine (LA) James Thomas Classroom discussion, “The Christian Content of Deathly Hallows”

30 September: Publishers Conference (W. Springfield, MA) Featured Author appearance

11 October: Easttown Library (Wayne, PA) “The Meaning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

18 October: Washington & Lee (Lexington, VA) “The Literary Merit and ‘Religious Undertones’ of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

17-18 November: Derry Presbyterian Church (Hershey, PA) “The Christian Content of Deathly Hallows”

11 January 2008: New York C. S. Lewis Society (NYC) “C. S. Lewis and Literary Alchemy”

There are a few more college, church, and bookstore talks in the works that I will post here as updates to this schedule as the times, dates, and places are confirmed. I will be attending my first New York C. S. Lewis Society meeting this Friday, September 14th, but I won’t even be asking questions; if you want me to autograph a book with loopy joined-together writing, I’ll be the bow-tied Kreacher in the back row taking notes.

Shameless Promotion Department: Contact my Speaking Agent to make arrangements so I can give a talk at your library, school, college, or bookstore! If you want me to speak anywhere in the New York Metropolitan area, you’re “local,” which means I travel for free and won’t need to stay overnight. What a deal! I’d love to meet all the HogPro All-Pros who don’t travel to Harry Potter conventions and this is the way for me to get to your neighborhood. Call or write today!

Here is the promotional stuff that OSB sends out to media who inquire about my credentials and the like when a talk is scheduled. Who knew I was so interesting?

John’s Potter credentials, beyond the two books he has written and the weBlog, are being a Featured speaker at Harry Potter academic conferences (Nimbus 2003 in Orlando, Lumos 2006 in Las Vegas, Enlightening 2007 in Philadelphia, Sonorus 2007 in Los Angeles, and Prophecy 2007 in Toronto), talks he has given in churches on the East, West, and Gulf coasts, and at universities from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, and articles in which he was quoted or about his work in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. John has been interviewed on almost one hundred different radio stations and has been featured on A&E, CNN, and MSNBC news programs as a Harry Potter expert.

For Church groups:

What does John say about the Harry Potter books? He explains why they are so popular. The short answer is that in a secular culture entertainments serve a mythological or religious function (Eliade). The more popular entertainments have themes, symbols, and meaning that resonate not only with the Zeitgeist but also with the predominant residues of religious understanding today. Harry Potter is off-the-chart in its “reach,” therefore, largely because of its implicit and, post Deathly Hallows, nigh-on explicit Christian “religious undertones” (Ms. Rowling’s words). John unpacks these undertones for readers of the books, explains the irony of objections to the series based on their supposed magical undertow into the depths of the occult, and he discusses the place of literature in the life of a disciple of Christ.

And the blurbs from other talks!

It was our very good fortune to have John Granger as a featured speaker at our international conference. Witty and wise, Mr. Granger manages to educate and edify even as he entertains with his presentations. It was a joy to watch him bring his careful scholarship to vibrant life, and many of the comments we’ve received have mentioned Mr. Granger by name as a highlight of our event.

Amy H. Sturgis, Ph.D.

(Past Watchful Dragons: Fantasy and Faith in the World of C.S. Lewis International Conference, Belmont University, November 2005)

I’d like to recommend John Granger as a speaker who will both fire up his audience with imaginative insights and paradoxically cool them down with sweet reason. One address John gave to a church and school group – a mixed group of concerned Harry-as-the-occult and enthusiastic Harry-as-the-Hero parents and grandparents. John devoted just the right amount of time to develop his discussion – well organized but not tied to notes; with asides, he showed the depth of knowledge behind the remarks; but most impressive were his skill, courtesy, and effectiveness in debating the issues of Harry as bad influence and incitement to devil-worship. Those who disagreed with his interpretation were won by his quiet yet scholarly authority. I recommend him as a lecturer and stirrer-up of fascinating discussion.

Anne Graves
Head, English Department
St. Thomas’ Episcopal School
Houston, TX 77096

Thanks a thousandfold, not just by me but by everyone in the class. I’ve bumped into Carly, Crystal, Emily, and other students at your talk over the last couple of days, and we agree that we were ennobled and uplifted by your presence and your words. “Cool” and “awesome” were the mildest of the adjectives. In particular, John, please know that I see in you not only a passion and a love, a deep bond with others, but an erudition worn lightly and a teaching gift for making the complex understandable that awe and inspire me. I am very glad to know you, and the students feel the same.

How blessed we are! I am looking at so many things differently, and at least two students are following up with E. M. W. Tillyard.

Thanks and thanks again.

Vincent Kling
English Department
La Salle University

I attended a presentation on Harry Potter that John Granger made to a group of about 60 college students. He was at once engaging and informative. His presentation was peppered with students’ exclamations of “Ah!” and “Oh!” Obviously, quite a few lights were turning on in young brains as they made connections within the Harry Potter series and between the series and traditional English literature. He impressed upon them the power of symbol in literature, and students came away wondering how they could have come so far in their study of literature without awareness of the important literary patterns Granger explained and illustrated so compellingly. His enthusiastic expertise was contagious—two students visiting from another college convinced their professor of Literary Theory to use the Harry Potter series as a text for their final exam!

Carrie Birmingham, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor, Pepperdine University

When I read an author I listen for their “voice.” Is their personality and style reflected in the words on paper? Do I hear a “real” person or is there a disconnect between the words and reality? When I first read John Granger’s writing I heard his voice and I liked what I heard. When I actually heard John speak in interviews, debates, and sponsored talks, I recognized the same engaging content and manner of his books and articles. Authors who speak publicly often either exceed our expectations or they fail miserably. I am glad to report that John’s talent as a writer is matched by his talent as a speaker. Whether the topic is J.K. Rowling, literary alchemy, English literature, memory technique, or a sacramental approach to cooking and eating – John Granger surprises, delights, and educates both readers and listeners.

Robert Trexler, editor CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C.S. Lewis Society

Dear Mr. Granger,

It was an honor once again for the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University to enjoy your presence in our lecture hall this past week. Ever since your first lecture “Should My Kids Read Harry Potter?” given to our students in September of 2004, we have been most eager to have you return. It was a delight to make accommodations for your arrival once more. Your presentation on the theme of alchemy in the literary tradition of the Medievals, C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books was most enlightening to our students. It is always stimulating to hear good ideas presented in a lecture that inspires careful reading and thoughtful analysis of the texts we read. We would like to extend our appreciation to you by offering an open invitation to come and speak at any time. We look forward to seeing you again in the near future!

Under the Mercy,
Hilary E. Dotters
The Torrey Honors Institute
Biola University

I first met John Granger several years ago after reading his book The Hidden Key to Harry Potter. When I realized he did not live far from my home, I contacted him to see if I could meet him. He invited me to visit him in his home. I found him to be an intelligent and fascinating fellow, both in appearance and in conversation.

Since first meeting him, I have heard him give talks in a variety of venues and to large and small groups in the Seattle area. Words are inadequate to describe him as a speaker. He is very, very good. I once heard him speak for almost two hours at a Barnes and Noble bookstore about what the Harry Potter books mean and what will happen in the remaining books. It was my observation that every single person in that audience of adults, teens, and young children was spell-bound and delighted the entire time.

I think his Great Books education at the University of Chicago, where he studied Classical languages and literature, has given him an insight to the Harry Potter books like no other author (Ms. Rowling was also a Classicist). As good as his books and articles are, though, his talks are so wonderfully engaging I think they are much better.

I am seventy one years old. I owned and managed a book store for 14 years. I long ago lost count of the number of public talks on books at conventions, schools, churches, stores, and libraries I have been to. John Granger is one of the best, if not the best speaker I have heard in my life. I recommend him to you very, very highly. Your group will be delighted and challenged by what he has to say both about Harry Potter and about books and life as we know it today.

Don Holmes
Bellingham, WA


  1. John is being overly modest in talking about the Dobby Effect. It’s true that he’s not very big, but he’s also a U.S. Marine – and you don’t mess with the U.S. Marines!

    Second point – as a favor to Steve McMeans, and to paraphrase Chicago politicians, download early, and download often. Steve’s in the middle of a highly spirited contest with his podcast partner to make this program the most downloaded in the history of Illumined Heart Radio. So if you have access to a dozen different computers, download it on all of ’em!

    Third point – I haven’t heard the talk yet, but I’m told it was John at his enthusiastic, excitable best.


  2. Are the talks at Biola open to the public?

  3. oh i HATE it that my sound card is kaput! i’d love to hear this John!

    i’ve been reading along in silence for some time, but still enjoy the site…i’d love to hear what you have to say about the disspirted among us (me, for one) who, while enjoyed the book, feel it wasn’t quite up to Rowling excellence (and if you have and i missed it, please direct me)

    thanks for the great site and extremely interesting discussion!

  4. Hi, John,

    So … I enjoyed that interview so much that I’ve listened to it a couple of times.

    As a lifelong Baptist in the process of becoming Catholic, I found the last few minutes particularly fascinating. Sacramentalism as a concept was almost completely foreign to me a year ago, even though–as most evangelicals do–I did take baptism and communion seriously inside my limited understanding. Needless to say, learning the great Mysteries is like having an entirely new dimension opened to me. It was intriguing to hear you speak of the sacramental ideas in the books and especially of the idea of “word-based magic.”

    Oh, and “Ron the Baptist” … I’m still laughing about that.

  5. Having listened to it now – much of it is, of course, familiar to us HogPros. However, I found the introductory description of literary alchemy something I don’t remember hearing or reading before. It will be useful in the future in trying to describe the concept to others.

    So disappointed that John’s exasperated “Kill the boy on the broom!” line didn’t make it into the podcast. That would have been amusing – but understandable.

    I too am expecting to be at the Biola talk, since it’s maybe a mile from my home. We could well have a mini-HogPro meet, not to mention a possible “Orthodox sedition meet” – the director of Torrey is yet another Orthodox Christian, at a largely Baptist institution that has had its share of anti-Orthodox moments over the past 15 years. (I’d love for Janet B to be there, though I suspect she’d be more likely to venture to Pepperdine.)

  6. Cigar95–
    I could possibly make it down to Biola… Actually more likely than Pepperdine, as I have to slide into my Girl-Scout-leader alter ego on the 28th and take 20 little divas-in-training to Sea World for the weekend. (Kill me now.)

    Which re-raises the question: Are the Biola talks public?

    Also — Very late notice, but for anyone in the greater LA area: I am having a Harry Potter party this Sunday evening (the 16th) — HP-related food, a guaranteed non-cheesy game or two, and lots of discussion. Email me off list if you want directions and want to come… (I live near UCLA, if that helps — near the 405/10 or 405/101 intersections)…

  7. Dear John,

    Don’t you ever come to the Midwest??? We would love to see you here in St. Paul. Does anyone know of any HP fans/events in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area?

    P.S. John, if you served in the Marine Corps for six years, there is no way you’re a “geeky nerd,” regardless of height and/or elf-like appearance.

  8. Mary N —

    Maria Elena Baca at the Minneapolis Star Tribune is your contact for all Harry Potter events in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. They just closed down her “Potter Blotter” but I’m confident she’s still tracking this story as part of her beat.

    If you want me to come to the Midwest, do what your fellow HogPro All-Pros have done: invite me! That’s how the Pepperdine and W&L speaking dates happened. Write me for details…

    John, who was last in Northfield (visiting a friend at Carleton) in 1982

  9. W&L’s CCM is so honored to host both John and the *entire* community (locals, students and keydets!) as well as any guests! And I think a big crowd will be happening! In case there are any HogPros in VA, here is the info:

    John Granger will speak around 8:00PM on Thursday 18 October in the University Commons (Elrod Commons) in the (Commons) Stackhouse Theatre.

    Directions and further information:

    Washington and Lee is in Lexington, Virginia, Rockbridge Co., 35-40 miles south of Staunton (30-40 minutes), 60 miles north of Roanoke (an hour or so), 1.5 hours from Charlottesville, 2-2.5 hours from Richmond.

    Lexington is at the southern end of where I-81 and I-64 run together. If you’re taking I-81, take Exit 191 to I-64. From there, it’s Exit 55. Left at the end of the ramp onto Rt. 11 S. Route 11 splits into 11South (straight) and 11-Business (right fork)- take Rt. 11 Business (you will drive past VMI and W&L’s Colonnade on the right). Turn right at light onto (West) Nelson St. On the left at the bottom of the hill you will see the Lenfest Center for the Arts. The parking garage is across the street from the Lenfest center.

    From the garage: procede to top level (4- there are elevators). Walk towards main campus (away from Nelson St.) along side of hill/large building (it’s a built in concrete walkway, and it is lit). Continue straight at intersection onto a wooden walking bridge. That leads you to the back bottom floor of the Commons– walk in the large glass doors (you can see a big staircase through them) and the theatre is immediately on your right.

    That probably sounds a lot more complicated that it is– it’s a rather small campus, so it’s not that big a deal, and I’m certain if you ask any student where the Commons is (probably anyone in the area, too), they will be able to direct you.

    Yay! I’m soooo excited!!

  10. Arabella Figg says

    John, I listened to your interview night before last. Really wonderful talk. I enjoyed your bubbly enthusiasm and thought you condensed ideas very well, especially for listeners new to these subjects. It was great that your hosts pretty much let you rip. And, yay, people at good old Biola support HP–nice surprise. I wonder if Biola Betty jokes are still popular.

    I was so surprised when a host asked what every person should read by age 20 and you said…Bram Stoker’s Dracula! ??
    You didn’t really have time to elaborate, but would you do this on a future thread. I’m curious now and would like to read it, but do so in an informed manner. As when I read Alice in Wonderland several years ago in an annotated edition, ditto a new translation of Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales with copious notes.

    I like the way you distilled the alchemy down to a digestible level. Would you be willing to do that also on a new thread? Something we could copy and have handy. Sort of Cliff-Notes Quickie Alchemy? I confess, in reading what you write about the alchemy aspect of HP, I sometimes get bogged down by the wealth of rich details and references. I’m kind of an outline person.

    Speaking of details, I see de tails of de kitties lashing furiously, better check it out…

  11. Dracula vs. Harry Potter: A Sublime View
    Spoiler, Spoiler, Spoiler Spoiler….

    Where do I start? There are six books for Harry and only one for Dracula, but we are more concerned with Harry, so here goes. In Harry Potter we see gazillions of gothic or romantic elements in the novels (see my list and think about Harry) and it is to be sure that Rowling is tipping her huge hat to the Romantics of the Victorian age. John is writing a book about Harry meeting Hamlet, how appropriate, since the Victorians were very concerned with Shakespeare and Dante (revival of medieval literature and King Arthur) for inspiration, and so it is with Rowling. Hamlet is even mentioned in Dracula, guess Stoker was a true Romantic.
    Harry Potter starts out with a wise wizard (DD) that I could compare to Van Helsing in Dracula, both professors are very brilliant and both try to get their underlings to think about their memories (and others’) and think about the history of the enemy to learn how to defeat him. Memory is a very important key element in Dracula in order to learn how to defeat the evil one. That was the most important one to me. The whole book is written in journal entries and diaries of peoples memories that had contact with Dracula or Renfield. They even use the modern phonograph so that they don’t have to tire their hands. They go to painstaking efforts to keep all of the journals together and safe. Mina and Jonathan even knew shorthand. We see in HP5-6 that dreams and memory rule the entire book, with DD pleading for Harry to get what he is saying, trying to get him to think on his own, like Van Helsing did for the five friends in Dracula.
    Another huge similarity is the Hogwarts express that leaves King’s Cross station to return to the far away Hogwarts school, the same station is used in Dracula, the train delivers his keys to London’s King’s Cross. That is another thing, London is the setting for both books and both travel to a castle, far away that is un-plottable by map and both look like ruins to fool the muggles or non-evil folk. The modern civilized London against the contrasting wild country of Transylvania or Hogwarts is similar. The castle in Dracula has hidden evil magic and holds bad memories which cause nightmares and demons to appear. Hogwarts holds magic, but not in an evil way, but heavenly or Arthurian. There are long winding staircases in both and hidden passageways, locked doors and Dracula holds the keys to his living quarters, Dumbledore is a good guy who has reign over Hogwarts. Both are set in tall jagged mountains and surrounded by huge wild forests with rivers running through the countryside, at Hogwarts, it is a lake.
    Queer dreams, well we know Harry has had a few, and someone was really there in a few of those. Just like Voldemort can communicate and read thoughts of the one he has marked with a scar or mark, so can Dracula. Dumbledore saw right through to him in HP5 and Van Helsing can sense when the shadow falls behind vampiric Mina’s eyes, after learning from the diaries about how Lucy behaved. Dreams were very important in Dracula and the same for Harry Potter, too numerous to name.
    Weapons are used in Dracula to fend themselves against evil, but I doubt a Winchester (gun maker who’s home is now a haunted mansion in California) will defeat a supernatural being, so they used sacred wafers, the body of Christ; holy water, wine the blood of Christ, knives (for beheading, it worked), crucifixes, spells of garlic, ash and white rose flowers were a few. They read scripture when they confronted an Un-Dead, and it was like witnessing an exorcism. In Harry Potter they do not carry Winchesters; they carry wands and say incantations. They use spells of potions and use herbology and exotic plants to ward off enemies like in Dracula, or sometimes to kill or make sick.
    We hear a lot of Latin in Dracula and a lot of new funny words in Harry Potter are based on Latin.
    Nature is a key Romantic element and we see this used in Harry Potter in the alchemical formula. I think it is also going on in Dracula as alchemical formula. It is mentioned in the book that Dracula was an alchemist and very wise when he was in his time. We see sun (red in Dracula for the red phase of the alchemy), snow, rain, storms (HP3 Quidditch match), the sea (HP6), moon (HP6), clouds, fog and the list goes on. These elements can interfere with the characters or just be a symbolic backdrop.
    We hear and see things: moaning and Moaning Myrtle, chill and cold with the Dementors, and screams from Harry’s mother and his horrible memories, all very gothic romantic. Harry passes out on the train; he hears voices from the basilisk, writing in blood on the wall, he sees ghosts, howling of a were-wolf, gypsies and fortunetellers (Divination) and, someone in a trance are all typical of the genre.
    Rowling uses grim adjectives and adverbs to describe the world Harry lives in, such as the Grim, grave, wake. Well, we call the third and fifth Harry books the black night of the soul, which would sum up Dracula too. Darkness being cast over the soul is typical also, being out of control of yourself by an evil one and very, very emotional. We saw Harry very emotional in HP5.
    Ruling by fear would sum up Dracula and Voldemort, both would kill instead of reward their servants, or traitors. They think only of themselves and care for no one’s life or soul. They just want to be immortal and not die a real death. Being part animal, or having the characteristics of animals, and being in control of them are similarities. Dracula can call the rat and wolf, Voldemort can call the snake, Nagini.
    Of course the personal effects and architecture is a nod to the ancient times in Harry and Dracula. The Romantics shunned the Industrial Revolution and advancement. They would rather things grow wild, preserve and respect nature, and create by human craftsmanship; not by machines. They questioned the morals and ethics of medical advancement and so on. In Harry, we see the use of no modern, civilized, muggle technology in Hogwarts, instead we see torches and candle light, quills and ink, fire places and transport by magic. Magic is used as a stand in, I guess, for those things, but maybe not. I see the same effects in Dracula. JKR has set Hogwarts in the Victorian late 19th Century, a huge nod to that era.
    Madness is not an admirable trait at Hogwarts and neither is hearing voices. In Dracula, it troubles people immensely for this to happen to them. The metaphor that they share is being mortally in peril, wounded and tortured. The soul that is, is in big trouble unless you have Van Helsing or Dumbledore to guide you to find it within yourself how to defeat the evil. Remember Harry saying he felt unclean after LV possessed him and controlled his dreams, well guess what? They feel just as justifiably unclean in Dracula after he has had his way with them. They feel like God will shun them now and there is no hope for salvation.
    Coffins are so far used for holding the goblet of fire, for Dumbledore’s dead body and in Dracula for him and his concubines. Graveyards are where crucible scenes take place(yew trees in both), blood is drawn and an inverse Eucharist happen in Harry. In Dracula, he drinks blood and takes lives into eternal damnation.
    Keys (Hagrid) are mentioned in both books and locked doors (HP5). Gruesome murders happen in both. If being beheaded and having the blood sucked out of you is not enough, well? Cedric was killed because he got in the way of LV quest for Harry’s blood, Sirius is killed in HP5 because he loved Harry and wanted to protect Harry and Dumbledore dies at the end of HP6 on the Astronomy tower and his death was predicted that week by a Sybil, a possible sign he had to die for someone else. Or did he die a metaphoric beheading like a vampire. Maybe he was unclean after wearing that Slytherin ring, or after the basin and the only way to set his soul free, as to not wander the earth in a damned half-life, he had to die by Snapes hand. Who knows. But this is a wild guess. Lucy was killed by the ones she loved to give her a peaceful real death so that her soul could be free to go to heaven, and Mina is almost given eternal damnation for telling her friends how to find and assist killing Dracula. Quincy ( a very brave, smart, manly man) dies in the end as a sacrifice to save Mina’s soul and set it free, and for all mankind in the future and past. I think that sacrifice part is what makes me think of Harry Potter, since we have been talking about someone sacrificing themselves in order to free someone’s soul, whether it be for Draco’s or Voldemort’s. At least that is popular opinion.
    Churches, abbeys and chapels are where Dracula likes to hang out and I think he does this as a mockery. I mean a man raping (metaphor) a woman in a churchyard is no saint. And when LV transfuses Harry’s blood into his veins in a graveyard, well that is just the lowest. As John said in his book, Looking for God in Harry Potter,” the Eucharist being used in this way is full on evil inversion”.
    In Dracula, Renfield gets his wish to see his master Dracula after escaping a couple of times, with help, trying to see him. When he does Dracula says he has betrayed him for talking to Mina, I think. Dracula kills him for this instead of rewarding Renfield for his servitude. Renfeild is heard saying, “God, God, God” while Dracula is in his cell. Guess he didn’t like that. At one point, I thought of Pettigrew and the Shrieking Shack with five other men with him trying to keep him from being reunited with his master, and said to myself, this is very spookily similar. Renfield keeps saying that he needs lives, and that blood is the life, actual scripture here. Dracula was giving him little ones by sending spiders and flies to his cell during the day. This just reminds me of Pettigrew, I mean LV didn’t have to reward him and give him an arm of silver, he could of just killed him, but didn’t and Harry was the one to save him from death at the time. Then we see him at Snape’s house, and I now wonder if he might die anyway. What if Snape is on DD side and LV finds out Pettigrew is helping the other side?
    We see pale weak people in Dracula like we see in Harry Potter, which are werewolves mostly, or when we think that person has an animal characteristic such as a vampire, or snakelike person. In Dracula, they just have no blood. I mean children are being bitten in both books. The wolf in Dracula is not a werewolf like in HP, and Dracula has control over them and can change into one at will. He can change in to a bat, fog, and controls the owl, rat, moth, and fox. He has control of the dead, like LV and the inferi.
    Basically from page 262 on, it is a mini version of Harry Potter. It just reads like a Rowling novel. I can’t really explain it. Van Helsing says of Dracula, “he is the devil in callous, but his heart is not”. Dracula says “I too can love.” I wonder if Voldemort is capable of love in the end? He says of the five close friends, “We have the power of combination. Science, free will to choose our destiny, and being free thinkers, hours of day and night. Self-devotion in a cause and an end to achieve without selfishness, and love, which is Dracula’s limitation, will help.” Sounds like your choices are very important in Dracula as well. “Superstition and belief in vampires in the 19th century, of science, is the key to destroying the vampire.” They must be brave and worry not that they may die, for fear would beat them and give Dracula victory. I still believe that in order for Harry to free LV’s soul, he will have to kill him and he can’t do it without his very faithful friends. Also, using those memories of his and others will be the key to finding him and destroying him. So the clues and the mystery are all part of the gothic genre also. They have to read about Dracula’s history in books to figure him out. Van Helsing says that he has a criminal mind and a child-like mind compared to theirs. He has missed out on much new and advanced knowledge that the five know, and he hath not. I hope LV has a little mind of lesser knowledge so that Harry can defeat him. Bravery, Harry definitely has, and he has faithful friends to see him through battle, and love.
    There was another funny little scene, where after Dracula injures Renfeild, he is talking to the five friends and tells them all about the visit. He keeps saying “give me some water, my lips are dry” and they give him Brandy and water. He says “I am dying.” Then he says “He sends me moths with skull and cross-bones on their backs.” This is how he has been communicating with Renfield and it reminded me of the dark mark. He also sent him animals, like sending a patronus to communicate with another person like himself. The give me water part sounds like Dumbledore did in HP6, when he was drinking from the basin and saying give me water. You could also talk about the crucifixion, when Jesus asked for water before he died, like what was said in the August class. It just sounds so similar.
    When Mina is asked to give her story as to what Dracula did to her in her bedroom while Jonathan was passed out on the bed beside them, she gives the story and it takes every last bit of energy and some horrible memories to do so, and then she is given a potion for dreamless sleep. That is what happened to Harry at the end of HP4 and HP5 (no sleep, just reliving memories). It just reads the same.
    I just hope that Harry

  12. Dreams and Memory: The Weapons of Harry Potter

    By Rumor

    We have seen the dreams in Harry Potter act like the hypnosis state of Mina in Dracula. Voldemort, transferred over his powers to Harry accidentally when he tried to kill him, via a scar. When he gets mad or is happy, Harry can feel it when he dreams and can even see from LV’s point of view what is going on (then LV caught on). When LV possessed a snake, Harry was seeing from its point of view. Just like Dracula can lure women out into a churchyard at midnight, so can LV. He lured Harry through his dreams (because of love) into the ministry of magic to save Sirius; instead Sirius had to show up to save Harry and died in sacrifice as a result. Lucy and Mina were of pure heart just like Harry, but it was Mina’s choices that saved her in the end, and gave Dracula a peace, finally. This is the same with Harry and his choices. Dumbledore said, “It is your choices that make you who you are.” Voldemort used Harry in his dreams, even tried to possess him, but could not, because of love. Mina was using her mind connection to Dracula to find our where he was at all times, so that they could attack him and kill him. They traced him back to his ancient lair, by Mina’s knowledge of train schedules and her mind connection.
    Next, we see Voldemort out of the picture in book six. This time it is through memory that we find out the history of LV and through Dumbledore’s travels and learning of his history, that we find out valuable knowledge of how to kill Voldemort. Yes, I said kill. That is a quote from Harry and Dumbledore. This is just like Van Helsing in Dracula, he did the same thing using books and diaries, and it worked. So far, Dumbledore has been right all along about LV’s whereabouts and intentions about making Horcrux’s. It leads me to believe he will be found this way and a showdown will follow. Harry will have to find Hufflepuff’s cup, something of Ravenclaw (HBP potions book wink, wink, nod, nod), and he will get the locket back from Dung (Yes, he was caught with the Black’s/Harry’s personal effects), and find LV and Nagini and then a showdown will occur. Let’s just say Nagini is one, since Dumbledore said, he possessed the snake and could make a horcrux of an animal which lead him to believe that he is a horcrux. Let’s also say Harry is Griffindor’s horcrux, since Dumbledore said the one artifact (sword) that was his, is locked up in the case in his office and lest not forget, LV himself is the last part of his soul and will have to be killed too, but not easily (I am hoping this is his heart that is left/love). In Dracula, Lucy was mercifully killed, Van Helsing had to kill his three wives, and Renfield died leaving Mina as a last person to save by killing Dracula (7 people total). Aha!
    This is my personal prediction, based of course on the book Dracula. The ring was in the ground, the diary was with Malfoy, the snake is with LV (who knows where), the Locket (with Dung) under water, well air and fire are the only elements left, but that does not have to have anything to do with it, just the fact that Rowling herself said that the four houses are based on the four elements, but 7 horcruxes may exist, so. Dracula himself had certain posts around his castle marked by blue flames, believed to be buried treasure. So, I wonder where ol’ Voldy would hide a cup. Guess we will have to wait on that one. I just think he may be there at his ancient lair right now, waiting for Harry. This does seem like the Tri-wizard tournament as I think John said. I also, read in Magical Creatures andWhere to Find Them that an Aragog spider was used by wizards to hide treasure. Hmmm.

  13. You can also look up the Touchstone Magazine article about Dracula as edifying Christian Literature on their website in the archives or wrtire them. It is brilliant. Stoker was a Catholic, a lot of people do not know that. Most people know the Hollywood version, which is a perversion of the actual book, which is beautiful. Definitly read the book for your self and you’ll see what we mean.

  14. Arabella Figg says

    Thanks, Rumor–wow. Since you indicated spoilers (thanks) on your info and I’d like to read the book spoiler-free, but with some helpful as-you-go commentary, can you suggest something? I’ll save your information, which I’m sure is great, for reading after I’ve read Dracula. Will the Touchstone Mag article be helpful without being Spoilerville?

    Fullatricks in baring her teeth, uh-oh…

  15. I would read the book first and then read the article. It will help explain any questions you may have afterwords. That’s what I did. Actually after I posted these essays, John posted the link to the article, and I was blown away.

  16. Arabella Figg says

    Rumor, thanks. I can’t find where John has posted the link–on this thread lurking someplace I can’t find it?

    Our library is getting an annotated Dracula for me. Horror-ay! After reading it I look forward to reading your essays and the magazine article (where’s that link again?). I never thought I’d read Dracula. But I’m long past 20 and my education is apparently derelict, so to Transylvania I shall go.

    Dang! Fullatricks nipped me, she wants to play…


    Oh, miraculously they have a wonderful archive on the touchstone magazine website. Who knew. The titile is “No Dread for the Undead”.

  18. My list of Dracula Notes…Like speed reading!
    (Gothic romance references that belong to Harry Potter and Dracula, lots of similarities)

    Trains as a means of transport, intercontinental
    Set in the U.K. and Transylvania
    Johnathan researched the country in the library, used maps since it was umploted
    Queer dreams
    Dogs howling, white wolves circling
    The Golden Krone Hotel (interesting name, very gothic)
    Lack of civilization, different tribes of people, don’t get along
    At midnight evil has full sway (St. George’s)
    Rosary, crucifix
    Exotic food, land and plants
    Foreign language
    Brink of war
    Nature (sun, snow, water, moon, clouds)
    Shadows, moaning, chill
    Grim adjectives (wake…)
    People cower in fear of the evil count
    Architecture-arches, dark, large, old, stone.
    Enter freely at your own will!!!!
    Dressed all in black
    Long winding stairs
    Exeter University!!!!
    Cardinal points (n, s, e w)
    Blood, death, earth and coffins. Especially blood as very important. Sacrifice=blood=saved
    Demonic fury
    Houses create uneasy feelings
    All alone
    Locked doors and keys
    Rose, ash, garlic, crucifix-sacrements
    Fears you keep to yourself, being brave!!!!!
    Mention of Arabian Knights and Hamlet
    He split up his affairs into 7 ways so no one would know all his business
    Castle is full of bad memeories and dreams
    Count seems to be part man and animal
    #3, three evil women, Lucy’s three lovers
    Riuns, abbeys, graveyards, churchyards
    Renfield, insane? Spiders and flies
    Doctors, medicine, psycology
    Sunsets, storms, fog, gray clouds
    Gruesome murders
    Ships, dead men steering, storms and death
    New women writers
    Unclad women in a churchyard at night under the moon
    Shodowy figure in the abbey, aloneness
    Kings Cross, receive keys and boxes there and sent to the chapel
    Messers as a salutation (sound familiar)
    Troubled souls
    Johnathan taken care of by Nuns
    Watches and clocks are important
    Servant and master reunited
    Religious ravings
    Pale, weak people
    Diaries *****
    Science, scientists, philosphy, metaphisicians= Van Helsing
    Arthur offers sacrifiice by giving blood to save Lucy
    Red eyes, fire in Dracual’s eyes
    Arthur drank wine
    Black velvet ribbon around the throat (popular fashion at the time of the book, also a legend says that a woman had one on and never took it off and it drove her husband mad, so one night he took it off while she slept, and her head rolle doff the bed and into the floor. An old english folk tale)
    Spells (garlic is one)
    Natures cycles
    A bell tolled and a nightengale sung
    Howling wind
    Refernces to chess
    Mina sacrificed for Lucy, all of the men gave her blood
    Duddings Rents (sound familiar)
    They believe in the supernatural, and a life after death
    Questioning knowledge and sanity, right and wrong
    Page 187: Seems like the professor has good reason for severing her head, and keeping her memories (paper and phonograph)
    Professor and student-we have to believe things are truth when they are not
    Children being bitten
    Lead coffin
    Yew trees
    Mina is a light in the darkness
    The demonic women said he had never and can’t love. Dracula says back “I too can love”.
    Johnathan left with the demonic women who were given a baby to eat, he loses hhis mind and daoubts his soul. Contrast to the gentlenman’s life he lives in London.
    Bite marks on the neck, blood loss and gain, transfusions
    Fear and horror on everyon’s mind, try to find the truth, be brave, stick together and fight.
    Demon possesses the undead, they must have their soul set free, puncture the heart, cur off the head.
    Maps and history
    All of the dead are at his command (divination by the dead)
    He is a shape shifter, appears at will, directs the elements, commands mean things rat, owl, bat, moth, fox, wolf) grows and shrinks, vanishes and invisible, he is devil in callous but the heart in him is not.
    They have power of combination. Science, free will and thinkers, hours of day and night. Self-devotion in a cause and an end to achieve without selfishness. Which are his limitations. Page 261
    Superstition and belief in vampires in the 19th century when it was waning, and of science is the key to killing the vampire.
    Page 269-70 is a mini shrieking shack scene
    Renfield is being judged and wanting to be released in the room with the four friends to decide his fate.
    4 Poters Cort/ 4 Potters Court, mis-phonetic spelling (no commnet needed)
    Talk of suicide
    Dracula was an alchemist and was obsessed by his geneology
    Eating before battle to get strength
    People are in mortal peril
    Dracula had blue flame candles around his castle and his treasures are buried there
    He also had a bank vault for his gold

  19. Info on John’s Biola lecture – it is indeed open to the public

    Wednesday, 26 in the cafeteria banquet room on the Biola campus, in La Mirada California (just a few blocks from my home, yay!) Starts at 7 pm, and goes until, . . . . . . . well, knowing John, it goes until he’s finished!

    For a campus map, I’m sure there’s a campus map at, and you can find the cafeteria building.

  20. John’s Biola talk

    I had a delightful time at last evening’s talk – wish you all could have been there. First, a few words about the audience. This event wasn’t sponsored by Biola at large, which might well bring out the Harry-haters, but by the Torrey Honors Institute, a classical, “Great Books education” subset of the college at which John is somewhat revered.

    If you’ve been to one of John’s talks before, imagine him with an extra dose of caffeine. No, really! John was turned up to 11 last night. Here is is in an auditorium filled with young people who have read the Aenid in Latin, who are familiar with Dickens, and Dante, and probably Tolstoy. (As a mere physicist, I was intimidated.) There was no need to dumb down the talk, or to stop and give an explanation for every reference to the classics. John would toss out the references, and you’d hear the murmurs of realization sweep through the audience. When John pointed out that Snape’s chapter in Deathly Hallows happened to be chapter *33*, there was a tangible, collective “Oh my goodness!” in the room. (I missed that one altogether, I admit.)

    The hands-down belly laugh of the evening was John’s description of Rowling’s masterful description of Dobby’s death: “I’ve talked to guys who sell crack to teenagers who cried when Dobby died!” (By the way, John, my wife admitted to me after the talk that she didn’t cry at that point.)

    Much of the talk focused around the “Five Keys” (how thomistic!) with which the AllPros will already be familiar. However, many of the points were illustrated using examples from Deathly Hallows. Some of these were things that John has already blogged on to some degree, but quite a bit of it was material that I’d not heard before.

    What this means, I hope, is that there is still a good deal of blogging to come on the story elements of Deathly Hallows. (BIG unsubtle hint there, John!) Or maybe John will want us to buy the revised versions of “Looking for God” and “Five Keys”.

    Before I forget – the talk was taped, so I’m guessing it will be available in some form, at some point in the future. When where and how, I haven’t a guess.

    In any case, it was a fun evening, and one which apparently continued in the campus pub after I left. At my age, the wife and I can only stay out so late.

    One last observation – John and I had only met once before, briefly, back in November of 2004, before I had read a single word written by Rowling. But when I walked into the room, John greeted me instantly with a look of recognition. SO either John has a really good memory, or he has me confused with someone else. (Given his comment to my wife that I’ve made some of the best posts to the blog, I fear it’s the latter.)

    I will follow up later if I learn any more about how to get the recording. It would be an enjoyable listen, although for this talk, the audio-only format may give some confusion in a few spots.


  21. Arrabella, My dracula post is on this thread above. Enjoy. Rumor

Speak Your Mind