Search Results for: hanged man

Cormoran Strike: Lethal White

Lethal White has been a focus at HogwartsProfessor since the publication of Career of Evil in 2015. This Pillar Post for ‘Strike4’ is a gathering and organizing of more than eighty of the more important articles that discuss Lethal White directly or indirectly. This list was most recently updated on 22 June 2019.

I urge the first time visitor researching the subject to listen to the ‘Reading, Writing, Rowling’ podcast about Lethal White which gives a fun introduction to and fire-hose survey of the key topics. From that beginning, either work your way down the list or jump to the subjects which most interest you.

Happy surfing!

Introduction/Overview/Key Points

Lethal White as Turning Point of Seven Part Ring Cycle

Literary Alchemy and the Mythic Context

On ‘White Horses’

Louise Freeman’s Lethal White Posts

Series Mystery Possibilities

Literary Allusions and Influences

The National Health Service Sub Plot


Rowling Interviews, Twitter

Prepublication Predictions and Speculation

In a nutshell, the theory is that Jonny Rokeby was responsible for Leda Strike’s death, a ‘hit’ that he arranged to insure that she would never reveal what she knew about crimes he committed as a Deadbeat, crimes to include murder, in conjunction with heroin and the drug trade. The ‘White Horse’ that Rowling has been teasing readers with this past year may involve an actual stallion but the larger meaning of the clues is heroin, for which ‘white horse’ is a street euphemism.

Postpublication Scorecard


Countdown to Mockingjay Part 1

On Friday, I will be taking a group of students and colleagues on our now-annual excursion to a local theater to see the newest film adaptation from The Hunger Games Trilogy. Though we have already speculated here a good deal on what is promised by the trailers and ads, and I will have up a complete review after the showing, I thought I would share my “top 9” list (everything in this trilogy is in threes, so we’ll do nine, not ten) of moments, themes, images, symbols, and other elements that I will be watching for as I and a healthy group of college students, high schoolers, and our colleagues and friends gather to see how the movie gamemakers have envisioned the transformation of this remarkable story from page to screen. I hope you’ll share your thoughts, too, especially if you plan to see the film! [Read more…]

Jane Eyre 4: Edward (Cullen) Rochester, I Presume? Twilight’s Jane Eyre Roots

Once upon a time, there was a pale, bookish girl who did well in school but was not very sociable. She went to a new location and made some new friends, but found her world completely consumed by a strange, secretive, older man who seemed to read her thoughts. One of his secrets put her in great danger. While they were apart, seemingly severed forever, the heroine was protected by a handsome man connected to her father. The young man had two sisters and was of a lower economic status than her beloved. Though he had a strong commitment to another calling, he sought a relationship with her, but her heart belonged to her one true love, whose voice she heard and whom she sought out and saved from despair and death. She rescued him with her love, and they were married, had a child, and lived a restored home.

Okay, so I left out a few details, but it doesn’t take much tinkering to show how clearly the Twilight Saga echoes Jane Eyre.  Though Pride and Prejudice is generally regarded as the literary scaffolding for Twilight( as Romeo and Juliet is for New Moon, Wuthering Heights is for Eclipse,  and Merchant of Venice—with a dash of Midsummer Night’s Dream—is for Breaking Dawn), it’s clear that Jane and Rochester lend as much to the story of Twilight as Elizabeth  and Darcy do—and maybe more. [Read more…]

Deathly Hallows (Part 1): A Reader’s Movie Notes

I really struggle with writing movie reviews.

I don’t know about you, but I roll my eyeballs at film criticism written by serious book readers in which the reviewer just doesn’t get beyond a throw-away acknowledgment that screened images and printed text are different media so the stories are necessarily different. Reading all the changes made in the jump from page to celluloid, be it in the Potter and Twilight franchises or in Narnia and Middle Earth, especially when these changes are noted with disapproval, disappointment, and a dismissive dismay at what the film-going reader experiences as something like heresy or sacrilege, leaves me marveling that anyone in the 21st Century still doesn’t understand that the movie experience is not and cannot be the reader’s experience of story. (Prof. Baird Hardy, of course, gets it just right.)

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Mockingjay Discussion 26: Getting to the Ballad Roots of “The Hanging Tree”

Last week, in Mockingjay Discussion 15: The Hanging Tree, we covered some of the fascinating symbolic possibilities for the haunting song Katniss sings to Pollux, primarily to distract the mockingjays from singing Rue’s four-note tune, but which echoes throughout the novel.   “The Hanging Tree” also connects to real ballad types and actual ballads. Understanding the different types of ballads and where “The Hanging Tree” fits can add to our understanding of the way Collins uses music in general and this evocative piece in particular.

[Read more…]