Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 18 & 19, ‘Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs’ & ‘The Servant of Lord Voldemort’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 18 & 19

Match ’em up! Identify the following characters with action they take in Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 18 & 19. Write the letter of the action in the space before the character’s name. I will post Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts and my own thoughts. If you disagree with my answers, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on “Chapter Quiz” for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. ______ Harry Potter

2. ______ Hermione Granger [Read more…]

Red Hen: Deathly Hallows is Disappointing Departure from and Ending to Seven Book Series

The Red Hen, also known as Joyce Odell, is a friend of this blog. There are very few people in Fandom whose opinions I weight as heavily as I do the Red Hen’s, as should be evident by the place and weight I gave her thoughts in Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?. But, because we approach the books from different, even contrary perspectives, we have rarely agreed on plot-point speculations or over-arching themes. Most of the influence has been Joyce-to-John, believe me, but I remember with delight that she thought my theory of Voldemort’s wand being a Horcrux was sufficiently interesting to be adapted into her theories (albeit in unrecognizable form!).

I greeted Deathly Hallows with celebration. The Red Hen thought the finale was a failure. I asked her when she had put her thoughts together if she would share them with us. This weBlog has several failings, the most egregious of which is that we very rarely criticize or see the short-comings or failings in Ms. Rowling’s writings. Yesterday, in an interview with Time magazine, I went so far as to say that comparisons with Tolstoy and Tolkien were only inappropriate if the standard is majesty of language; the themes of the Harry Potter novels, the accessibility of this meaning to readers, and the impact of the message on a generation are equal to or, in accessibility and impact at least, greater than War and Peace and The Lord of the Rings. Any site proclaiming stuff like that requires a sober corrective from an equally serious reader.

I urge you, consequently, to read the Red Hen’s Post Mortem. It’s personal, cogent, and based on a magisterial command of canon. [Read more…]

Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 16 & 17, ‘Professor Trelawney’s Prediction’ & ‘Cat, Rat, & Dog’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 16 & 17

Match ’em up! Identify the following characters with action they take in Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 16 & 17. Write the letter of the action in the space before the character’s name. I will post Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts and my own thoughts. If you disagree with my answers, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on “Chapter Quiz” for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. ______ Harry Potter

2. ______ Hermione Granger [Read more…]

Interpreting Oz, Narnia, and Hogwarts: Four Historical Notes

Saturday’s discussion touched on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Frank Baum’s sub-creation. Later that day I received a sneak-peek of the first chapter of Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia. Both reminded me of the perils and possibilities implicit to “detective” interpretation of fiction. Let me lay out these four historical events, the insights and failed interpretations, with this question: what are the hazards of looking for the “hidden keys” to Harry Potter? the benefits? [Read more…]

Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapters 14 & 15, ‘Snape’s Grudge’ & ‘The Quidditch Final’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapters 14 & 15

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” I will post T/F Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts and my own thoughts. If you disagree with my answers tomorrow, please do send me an explanation about where I went wrong. Click on “Chapter Quiz” for previous quizzes and discussion points.

1. _____ Chapter Fourteen, Snape’s Grudge, begins with heightened security in the castle after a search for Sirius Black fails to find him. The Fat Lady returns but only with “a bunch of surly security trolls” to protect her.

2. _____ Hagrid has a meeting with Harry and Ron in his hut to talk about Hermione. “I gotta tell yeh,” he says, “I thought you two’d value yer friend more’n broomsticks or rats. That’s all.” [Read more…]