Search Results for: hanged man

Hogamanay, Scottish New Years = A Clue to the Meaning of Hogwarts?

Before we get too far from New Year’s Day, here is an interesting possibility. Could the ‘Hog’ in ‘Hogwarts’ be more heavenly than porcine? According to Robert Trexler, friend of this weBlog and authority on George MacDonald, there is a possibility that ‘Hog,’ at least in one Scottish celebration, Hogamanay (“New Year’s” to us), the ‘Hog’ means ‘holy.’ He writes: [Read more…]

Fred Blundun: Deathly Hallows Finish Revealed in Goblet’s Quidditch Cup Final

Happy New Year, Gregorians! I’m taking a break from Christmas Pig today and thought this Guest Post was in order for several reasons. First, it not only points to several HogwartsProfessor touchstones — the ‘Hanged Man’ tarot card, ring composition, and the theory put forward by Emily Strand and Caitlyn Harper that Quidditch matches reveal the meaning and ending of the novel they are in — but combines them. What better way to start the New Year than with a little three-dimensional chess?

Second, that combination highlights the fun of reading J. K. Rowling a challenge specific to her stories. There are embedded puzzles, plot clues, and alchemical, astrological, and tarot notes sounded through-out, especially in the cryptonyms — but when are what might be a connection actually be an over-reach? It helps to remember that I was ridiculed in 2002 for suggesting Rowling was writing in the English tradition of hermetic literature, an idea that was really only accepted when the 1998 interview surfaced in 2007. What seems an overreach or fantasy, may be substantive.

Third and perhaps most important, I want to introduce Fred Blundun to HogwartsProfessor readers. You’ll be reading more of his finds in the coming year!

That being said, here is Mr Blundun’s theory that the World Quidditch Cup Final in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a snap-shot pointer to the finish of Deathly Hallows, a connection he made while reflecting on a post here about the Hanged Man tarot card

I think I have found another reference to hanging in the Harry Potter books: the Irish Seeker is named Lynch, a word meaning “(of a group of people) kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging”.

I think there’s a general parallel in this match: Lynch and the green-robed Irish team correspond to Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Krum and the red-robed Bulgarian team correspond to Harry and his allies. Lynch’s name brings to mind the Death Eaters’ unjust murders. Krum’s first name, Viktor, is for Harry’s eventual victory.

The point of all this: Harry intuitively understands Krum’s decision to catch the Snitch and end the game despite Bulgaria being one goal short (“He wanted to end it on his own terms, that’s all…”). This foreshadows Harry’s own decision to open the Snitch and end his life despite still being one Horcrux short of making Voldemort mortal.

Some more possibly intentional parallels, some of which may be a huge stretch:

  • Immediately after catching the Snitch, Krum is seen rising into the air, “his red robes shining with blood from his nose” – a reference to the blood magic that becomes the key to Harry’s victory at the end of Deathly Hallows?
  • Following Ireland’s victory in the match, the Irish players are seen “dancing gleefully in a shower of gold descending from their mascots”… but this leprechaun gold will evaporate in a few hours, much like the Death Eaters’ apparent victory in The Flaw in the Plan.
  • Meanwhile, after his collision with the ground and subsequent trampling, Lynch can’t stand on his own and is clearly very out of it  – mirroring how Voldemort collapses at the start of The Flaw in the Plan, and is then unable to harm others with magic due to Harry’s sacrifice?

Again, this made my day because it connects the tarot card image with ‘Lynch,’ the ring idea of the center reflecting the story latch, hence Goblet foreshadowing Hallows, and the Strand-Harper idea of Quidditch as signifier. That’s a treat…

Your New Year’s challenge is to review Lethal White with the question, ‘What signifier does Galbraith give us in each of the Strike mysteries that appears in the fourth book that may point us to the ending of Strike7?’ Enjoy!

Beatrice Groves: Easter Eggs on J.K. Rowling’s New Website – Part 1

Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post looking at the Easter Eggs on the new J. K. Rowling Stories website and what they tell us about the author and her influences. Join me after the break for the first of two posts, and enjoy…

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TheRowlingLibrary: Kloves and Rowling

TheRowlingLibrary.com, a website and an online fanzine, has just published their December 2019 issue, and it’s a good one. The feature article of #36 is about J. K. Rowling and Steve Kloves and the much neglected change in their relationship with respect to the Fantastic Beasts series (in brief, Kloves is now not only an Executive Producer in his role as Rowling Re-writer but actually credited as a co-writer). That’s worth the time it takes to download issue in itself, but there’s more.

In addition, there is a review of all the Headline Generating Events of 2019 in Harry Potter fandom and an in-depth survey of the Christmas celebrations in each Harry Potter book. If you’re like me, both of those pieces will have several “I forgot all about that!” forehead slapping moments. There is also a wonderfully out-there piece by S. Sipal on the new Rowling twitter header with its Tarot card theme; Sipal, perhaps the world’s leading expert on the Fantastic Beasts film franchise esoterica and inside baseball, links the Tarot cards to possibilities in the next Beasts film.

This is all great material and fun reading! TheRowlingLibrary creates a fun and beautiful product and deserve your attention and support.

Is it perfect? No, but what is?

I suspect you’ll be as disappointed as I was that this issue went to press before the Tweet Heard Round the World, Rowling’s #IStandWithMaya Ezra Pound moment on 19 December, the 2019 event most fans will remember as the biggest news of the year. And why no mention in the Christmas survey of Beatrice Groves’ delightful LeakyCauldron posts on the Christmas Roses and Why a Basilisk fears the Rooster’s Cry?

And I just blushed at the Sipal piece on the Tarot Cards because she doesn’t know, as Evan Willis pointed out at HogwartsProfessor in August, five months before Rowling posted the three cards on her Twitter page, that these cards are featured on the cover of Blue Oyster Cult album, Agents of Fortune. They’re not about the Fantastic Beasts movie at all, alas, but the Cormoran Strike mysteries in which at least one Serious Striker believes the song ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ acts as something like The Prophecy does in Harry Potter. [For more on Rowling and the Tarot, read the three posts I wrote on The Hanged Man card here at HogwartsProfessor.]

Those are nit-picking criticisms, though, that only demonstrate how closely I read every issue of TheRowlingLibrary when it comes out! I recommend you download the current issue and read it yourself.

‘Alchemical Gardens & Fantastic Beasts’

Brady Pendelton has posted a hermetic interpretation of J. K. Rowling’s first two Fantastic Beasts screenplays,Alchemical Gardens and Fantastic Beasts.He spends most of the essay discussing traditional English literature’s alchemical stream with special attention on the meaning of Garden imagery and symbolism. Almost all of that was new to me and it proved a delightful challenge.

When he gets to the discussion of Fantastic Beasts, the text becomes challenging in a different way and I found it difficult to follow his argument or to see the connections he does between alchemy and the transformations taking place in the first two films. Even in my hurried reading, though, I couldn’t fail to be impressed by some of Mr Pendelton’s points, especially those about Jacob Kowalski, whose last name, it turns out, means ‘Smith.’ You don’t get much more metallurgical than that and even in the first movie the changes he goes through are remarkable.

Are there problems with the essay? Sure. I found one distracting mistake, for instance, the assertion that Newt “asks Jacob” to be obliviated at the end of Beasts. There may be more missteps I missed. I enjoyed his discussion of Marvell and the aside about ‘The Hanged Man.’ Your mileage may vary; it’s pretty esoteric stuff and the argument is not conventionally discursive. I wish, too, there had been a lot more on the screenplays and its alchemical content, especially Crimes of Grindelwald. He doesn’t mention the couples as representatives of the four elements, Dumbledore and Grindelwald as the Quarreling Couple of Mercury and Sulphur, or Nicolas Flamel.

Those problems aside, though, it’s a serious bit of writing about literary alchemy and Rowling’s latest Wizarding World writing adventure. GiveAlchemical Gardens and Fantastic Beasts the time it and the subject merits — and then let me know what you think of it in the comment boxes below!