The House of Gaunt: Is it from ‘Vanity Fair’?

This morning I received a note from Mr. Jerry Bowyer, a long time correspondent on Harry Potter subjects. Mr. Bowyer is a remarkable man, who, at the height of the Witchcraft Controversy, said publicly and without hedge in his newspaper columns and television and radio shows that Ms. Rowling’s books were the gateway to English Literature rather than to the occult. This took no little prescience and courage when his readers and listeners were those least disposed at the time to hear that sort of thing.

He wrote today on another matter but mentioned in an aside that “Susan and I just had an interesting conversation about ‘the dark mark’ which is found in the Gaunt family in William Thackerey’s Vanity Fair.” I am not a Thackeray reader, alas, but thought HogPro readers might be as interested as I was in this potential hat-tip and key to the Gaunt family cryptonym as well as a pointer to the ‘Dark Mark’ of Voldemort. [Read more…]

Question About Fidelius Charm

I received a list of questions this morning from a reader in Germany, Bernhard Nowak. Herr Nowak was disappointed in what he felt was the inconsistency of Deathly Hallows with the previous books of the series and Ms. Rowling’s comments on her web site. He wrote a polite letter to Christopher Little, Ms. Rowling’s literary agent, and to Bloomsbury, in which letter he detailed ten specific points that he thought didn’t line up, points that the Continuity Editor, if not Ms. Rowling herself, should have caught.

He has not received a response. Having just finished reading my The Deathly Hallows Lectures in which I discuss the questions I would ask Ms. Rowling in an interview, he sent his questions to me on the unlikely chance Ms. Rowling and I ever have tea.

I post the best of Herr Nowak’s ten questions here, one about the Fidelius Charm, with his permission. Is this a continuity gaffe? Can it be explained logically within canon? Or do we need an ex machina explanation? What, for example, does the inability of Death Eaters to enter 12 Grimmauld Place in Deathly Hallows tell us about the continuing effect of the Fidelius Charm? Are they only there because Harry and friends continuously break the Name Taboo?

Herr Nowak’s question for your consideration: [Read more…]

HBP Film Screening: Major Changes from Book?

These reviews from a film screening in Chicago are all spoilers, of course. If you don’t want to learn about this movie, don’t click on the link or read the comments boxes below. I suspect the changes in the Tower scene alone and the decisions made about the funeral are going to have several All Pros upset. Remember, please; “the movies are just trailers for the books.”

(HT/LOONy Linda; thanks!)

Harry Potter Banned in Wasilla, Alaska?!

What a wonderful week of Daily Prophet watching we have had courtesy of the nomination by Sen. McCain of Gov. Palin as the Republican Party candidate for Vice President! Because of the compression of time post-Olympics and pre-election for the party conventions to play out the last two weeks, it has been a veritable feeding ground for Rita Skeeters, Cornelius Fudges, and Dolores Umbridges on both sides of the aisle to attack and smear political candidates, especially Gov. Palin and her family, and, in this madness, to bring the American political process out into the open for what it is. I waver between seeing it as “hilarious,” “glorious,” “shameful,” and Jefferson’s figurative fertilizer, the “blood of liberty,” but it never comes quite into focus so I keep looking.

If nothing else, the white heat of Presidential politics in Denver and St. Paul has filled my inbox with e-owl inquiries about what I’m up to these days and if I knew that Gov. Palin had tried to have Harry Potter banned from the Wasilla library when she was mayor of this small town in Alaska — and that she fired the librarian when her request was refused. [Read more…]

Good News, Movie Fans!

Thee best part of a Harry Potter movie release is the run-up to the event and the anticipation everyone feels as the day approaches. Warner Brothers announced today that they are moving the Half-Blood Prince movie premiere from 21 November 2008 to 17 July 2009 (the day before the HPEF Conference Azkatraz 2009 opens in San Francisco). Their reasoning? They can make more money. Nice of them to be upfront like that.

Rejoice! We get more than six extra months to think about this… (HT to David!)

UPDATE: And Harry/Daniel to appear in the buff in Half-Blood Prince! Who knew Equus was a warm-up?