I've got a confession to make.

I've been indulging in rather horrible YA guilty-pleasure fantasy.

(No, not Twilight, I'm not that far gone.)

But, occasionally, I like to listen to Artemis Fowl audiobooks whilst doing household chores.

Now, Artemis Fowl isn't exactly good literature, but I can see the appeal of the books and am pretty sure I would have enjoyed them as a kid. At the age of 10, I would probably have had a crush on Artemis (he's dark-haired and thin, I'm easy), later on Butler and later on Holly. I can enjoy the convoluted plots and brainless action, I can suspend disbelief easily to buy into a world populated with the underground fairies with superior technology etc. etc.

But: the sheer stupidity of these things can be exasperating. Suspension of disbelief does not work if I'm asked to ignore very basic RL facts. I can ignore the fact that Artemis Fowl is a genius who performs better than every expert in any chosen field, from IT, through impressionistic paintings, to psychology and linguistics - it's not his fault that he's a totally unbelievable and hence unrelatable character, he was written that way.

I cannot ignore the fact that Artemis Fowl writes a translation programme for an as-yet unknown language (Gnommish) that provides a perfect translation in rhyme! That's not how translating works, and it's no wonder the kids of today(TM) grow up to believe that running stuff through an online translator will provide them with a perfectly phrased result.

Even worse, because even more rooted in a Real World scenario: When Artemis and Butler pretend to open an account at the super-safe International Bank in Munich, the clerk greets them with: "My name is Bertholt, and I will be assisting you today." WTF? He's not American. An employee at a high-profile bank (or any bank, really) in Germany will not, never, ever invite the customers to be on a first-name basis with him. He will very definitely be "Herr Soandso", and he will not try to get chummy with a sulky teenager. The Berholt bit actually threw me so much, I had to put the book aside for a while. It still makes me cringe.

And then there's the all-knowing, all-expert Artemis himself. God, what an unlikeable... not character, because he isn't, really. How does the author fail to realise that a protagonist who has all the information and skills (apart from physical fitness and social skills, because he's a nerd, donchaknow) is just plain boring? Oh, so Artemis speaks another language now - flawlessly, of course - and has published another article in some specialist magazine. How... exciting.

Probably not so much the author's fault, either, since the all-knowing, albei socially inept hero is very much en vogue, isn't he? It's like writers just couldn't be bothered to introduce relevant information other than having The Hero spout them.

I've read people complain about Harry Potter being only able to solve many of the riddles and get out of many of the dangerous situations by a combination of sheer luck (strategic eavesdropping) and the help of friends who are actually more competent than himself. Which is... kinda the point? What I love about the Harry Potter books is that the heros are very much incompetent and hopeless and that they acknowledge that don't know the anwers until they stumble over them by accident. (Apart from Hermione, but then, I've never liked Hermione.)

Misfits fits the bill, too. The heroes are totally useless, and they know it. Nathan states outright that they're lazy and incompetent, and the authorial voice acknowledges it, too. And the resident nerd is a perv.

I don't know what brought this on. I think it's because Artemis Fowl has annoyed me so much recently - the books might have been good (well, -ish) if they had proper characters in them instead of those ridiculous cardboard cutouts.
While reading old LJ entries, I came across this:

A long time ago, I made a post about how Remus Lupin = Jane Austen villain. And look what I said:

When I was considering a HP adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility", I settled for the obvious cast of Snape as Col. Brandon (naturally), Sirius as Willoughby and Remus as Edward Ferrars. But this is nonsense. Remus doesn't have any of that moral integrity that is Edward's most striking feature. He should be Willoughby and abandon the girl in an act of self-preservation.

See? I knew it. I knew Remus would run at the first opportunity. And if he and Tonks hadn't died, he would so have abandoned her and Ted some time later - Harry's preaching notwithstanding.

*feels smug*
I'm currently re-reading HBP and a question has begun to form that has been nagging on the back of my mind for ages. In very simple words that question is: What does magic really mean for witches and wizards? How integral a part of their selves is it?

Basically, witches and wizards define themselves over magic. Magic is part of what they are. It's not just an extra skill but rather an inherent power that, carefully cultivated and honed, results in extra skills that are used to faciliate many aspects of life. Right? Magical powers are a bit like intelligence: a gift of nature based on which extra skills can be acquired. This would make witches and wizards the prodigies of the human species, and the way many witches and wizards talk about Muggles, it is apparent that this is what they consider themselves when compared to Muggles.

So what do magical powers and the loss thereof mean for a witch's or wizard's sense of self? )
So. First of all let me thank all you people who have not defriended me despite the fact that I seem to have abandoned this journal. I have not, and I am hoping to return to it in full swing at some point in the near future, though I cannot say when. I was also floored to discover that there are some people who friended me in my absence. Thank you and welcome. Problem is that I have rather lost interest in fanfiction. As far as I remember I only wrote two fics last year - both for the [livejournal.com profile] reversathon challenge - and have entirely lost any inspiration to write more - and not only in the HP fandom, but in any and all fandoms I have ever been interested in. On plus side, I have started writing an original novel, which has to be a success when it's published because I desperately need the money - but that's only by the bye. Anyway, I'm sure you are all familiar with the symptoms so I will not bore you by going on and on about them.

All this made me consider how I came to love Harry Potter in the first place and what made me end up in fandom. I guess the books have always held great appeal to me because they didn't make me think. I studied fictional and non-fictional texts for the better part of my adult life, and there is always a part of my brain which feels obliged to question and analyse literature. Harry Potter, being a children's and a fantasy book, was ideal to just delve in and enjoy on a very visceral level. In a way, the books let me experience the wonderful feeling again that I used to experience as a child when immersing myself into fairy tales/adventure novels/fantasy books etc. Don't get me wrong - I love meta discussions, character analyses and wild theories (as I think should be quite obvious), but, being as they are intellectual by definition, they are the exact opposite of what the novels represent to me.

However, I am convinced that my evaluation of the characters is not an intellectual but a purely emotional process.* When I read the books for the first time, I developed preferences for and aversions against the individual characters that were entirely irrational. I only began to question my own likes and dislikes in order to justify or explain them in discussions, thus beginning to read the texts more closely and search for clues that "proved" my analysis is correct. I use the inverted commas, because of course a proof that one's analysis is correct does not exist. As we are all aware of, there are plenty of different ways to read and evaluate a character (which is one of the aspects that has always appealed a lot to me in fandom). So while I enjoy reading other people's takes, they won't change my overall impression of a character.

But this all isn't new. What I was really aiming at was presenting my - possibly lesser known - entirely personal opinions on some HP characters, all of them based entirely on my initial impression, which I have embellished over the years. Starting, of course, with Remus. )
I think I am beating a dead horse here (i.e. Dumbledore = Uber-Manipulator), but I was thinking about the Dark Mark recently and have made some assumptions that I'd like to share.

Quite possibly it's [livejournal.com profile] pauraque's re-reading of GoF which triggered this thought, because I can't otherwise explain what made me wonder about the Dark Mark and its implications at this stage. GoF is an old hat, and I should rather have continued writing my ideas on postHBP!Bill, but there you go. This theory appeared from thin air and required being written down.

I've always worked on the vague premise that the Dark Mark triggers reactions of other Dark Marks in its vicinity. It's not in the text, but what is in the text is:

"It was a means of distinguishing each other, and his means of summoning us to him,"

says Snape when explaining the Dark Mark to Fudge in Chapter 36, The Parting of the Ways, in GoF. But how exactly it is used by Death Eaters to distinguish each other?

The books imply that all wizard robes have long sleeves, which sort of rules out the possibility of accidentally spotting another Death Eater's Dark Mark. Besides, as the Dark Mark tattoo features the same motive as the Dark Mark spectre that is used by Death Eaters to indicate that they've just murdered people, it would not be wise for Death Eaters to flash it at the unsuspecting public, who are familiar with the motive and not very fond of it.

Sneaking up at random strangers loitering in dark corners in Knockturn Alley and pulling up one's sleeve to show them one's tattoo in the hope that they, too, are Death Eaters might work, but is still risky and is bound to be futile. - There are more random strangers loitering in dark corners in Knockturn Alley than there are Death Eaters, and it is not a very efficient way of recognising possible allies.

The Dark Mark might be used in lieu of a password to authorise Death Eaters to enter Dark Revels™. It's certainly very handy for people like Crabbe Sr. and Goyle Sr. who are - as the text implies - not terribly bright and incapable of remembering complicated sequences such as, say:

"The significant owl hoots in the night."
"Yet many grey lords go sadly to the masterless men."
"Hooray, hooray for the spinster's sister's daughter."
"To the axeman, all supplicants are the same height."
"Yet verily, the rose is within the thorn."
"The caged whale knows nothing of the nighty mighty deeps."
"The ill-built tower trembles mightily at a butterfly's passage."

So yeah, flashing your Dark Mark at the doorman instead of rattling down elaborate passwords does make sense - especially when you consider that Lord Voldemort does not seem to select his followers on account of their intellectual prowess.

But I thought - as Voldemort uses the Dark Mark to summon his followers by activating one Death Eater's Mark (Peter's in GoF) to which the other Dark Marks react thus indicating to their bearers that they have to Apparate at Voldemort's side - that it would make a lot of sense for individual Dark Mark's to activate each other, too. If a (masked and robed) Death Eater bumps into another (masked and robed) Death Eater, they know instantly that they work for the same side. I used this concept in The Last Resort, where Snape realises that Peter's just entered the room by the reaction of his Dark Mark.

What does that mean for GoF? )

On Ginny

Sep. 17th, 2005 03:52 pm
Apparently, there are those who say that Harry only went for Ginny because she's Lily II. Regardless on whether or not this is true - would that be that bad if the boy fell in love with a girl who reminded him - if only superficially - of his mother? I know that I tend to go for boys who have something in common with my father. I'm not attracted to my father at all, but I've read a silly little poem he wrote in my diary when I was ten recently, and I realised that I could so fall for a man who writes like that. And then I thought, OMG, it's my father! And: But the poem's so cute and witty!

What I'm trying to say is that there's nothing wrong with being attracted to someone because there are certain characteristics about them which remind you of your parents. Unless there's something seriously wrong with me, which I wouldn't quite rule out.

I've always liked Ginny. She's the only female character in the novels who's ever showed a sense of humour. Her newly developed ability of being entertaining is a logical extrapolation of her capability of laughing at silly things, which she had shown from the very beginning. She's unnecessarily bitchy? Growing up at Molly's daughter, she had to find some way to deal with her pent-up frustrations.
Following the confirmation of the Remus/Tonks canon and the subsequent - to use a polite term - discussions about whether or not Rowling has merely submitted to society's heterosexist pressure, I would like to ask a question that's always interested me: What makes Remus gay?

I am asking this, because there are many readers who read the character Remus Lupin as gay. And I don't mean the character's being coded as representing the idea of homosexuality on an allegorical level, which is quite a different thing. (A worrying one as well if people assume that making someone a vicious man-eating monster means that they stand for homosexuality, but this is neither here nor there.) What I am interested to know is what, exactly, about Lupin's characterisation makes readers think he's as gay as a tree full of monkey.

Because, as much as I like writing and reading Remus in slash pairings, I've never read the character in the novel as gay. (He reminds me far too much of my ex-BF for that, but this, again, is neither here nor there.) He's polite, understanding and witty, which, I realise, are qualities that are often contributed to gay men, because they are oh so full of understanding for us women, quite unlike their rude, insensitive, grumpy straight counterparts.

This is a serious question. I'm honestly interested.
Having spent the better part of last night reading, I am ready to re-enter the fandom. Thank God.

I am a sucker for first impressions. Therefore, I wrote down my thoughts whilst reading to capture my initial reactions before they get muddled by too many discussions and too much theorising. I managed to simultaneously read the book and write down my comments up to chapter 18, and then had to give up, because it was getting really late. I didn't go back to revise my comments afterwards, so everything is perfectly unspoiled by my knowledge of the events to come.

Wizards do like their drink, don't they? )
I've made a worrying observation about my reading habits. I haven't been reading much fanfics lately, partly due to RL, and partly due to the fact that I have less and less tolerance for things that don't fit into my personal view on canon. Wading through the fics that I have saved for later perusal in the course of the last few weeks, I came across one which I liked a lot. It's got some of my favourite characters, it's got excellent characterisation, it's touching and well-written and lovely. But. It also works on an absolutely uncanonical premise, which I can't overlook, as much as I'd like to. This is something that happens a lot to me and stops me from sending feedback for an otherwide excellent story. As I don't want to point out that fic, I'll use a purely hypothetical example: Imagine this fantastic story, full of dark realism and understated communication, which works around the plot point that Peter is unable to cast the Killing Curse. In fact, the story is called "The Death Eater who couldn't kill". - No matter how brilliant the fic otherwise is, this uncanonical plot point would grate on my nerves so much that I would not be able to fully enjoy it. Am I too fastidious? I fear I am.

And because there is no fandom-related post without a mention of Remus: )
HBP is one week away, and I realised something: I am not worried about anything that might happen in the book. (I have quite reconciled with the idea of Remus' death.) But what makes me uneasy is the anticipation of the reactions in fandom. There will be hissy fits, there will be character bashing, and there will be outcries of "OMG! JKR is, like, so stupid! She has no idea what makes her characters work, and she dares [dislike Snape/Draco/Voldemort] [like Sirius/Harry/Dumbledore]!!" So, hm, in order to remind myself that there are people who actually like the books and don't mind that it is Rowling who continues writing them, I've got a question: What did you liked about OotP? If anything? Because, personally, I quite liked it. I realise that there are plot holes in Rowling's writing and that Sirius should not have died and that Harry is angry and irrational. But, on the whole, I like the book better than I liked GoF.

- I like angry!Harry. I've always found him too bland in earlier books and never cared much about him, despite his being the hero. His reactions are now appropriate to all the shit life puts him through

- I like that Remus didn't die

- I like Snape's smooth put-down of Umbridge when she demands more Veritaserum

- I like that there isn't so much Quidditch

- I like that Ron is made prefect and not Harry and that Harry is now shut out from a part of Ron and Hermione's life

- I like the glimpse we get of Petunia and Dudley at the beginning (and I like that it is only a glimpse, without any explanation)

- I absolutely adore that Rowling acknowledges that people don't start trusting/liking each other just because they happen to have a goal in common. In fact, this is what I like most about OotP. Most fics written post GoF and dealing with the war had the good guys stand united and fight the evil together (whether or not successfully is immaterial). Snape would train Harry, who would submit to it like a reasonable kid; Snape would forget his own grudge against MWPP and acknowledge Lupin and Black's competence; Dumbledore would be the leader and the Ministry would submit to his leadership... etc. OotP does not offer any of those satisfactory solutions. The good guys keep disliking and distrusting each other, and Harry, despite his hero status, is treated like the brat that he is. OotP is also the book of stagnation: nothing much happens, apart from waiting for Voldemort to act. This drives the characters mad, and their irritation translates to the reader. I don't know whether Rowling did that on purpose, but whatever her intention might have been: she managed to make the readers feel as twitchy and frustrated as the characters. OotP would not work as a stand-alone novel, but as part of a series, it does.

So, I am curious: is there anything you liked about OotP? Or is the hatred of the book universal?
I've been meaning to say this for quite some time: I don't believe in the Hogwarts houses and don't take them into account when writing fics or considering characterisation. There.

All right, that's not quite correct. Obviously, the Sorting is an important initiation ritual at Hogwarts, and the houses form the way a student is thinking and acting. But that's exactly the point: the Hat does not sort the children with regard to the character traits that are developed the strongest a priori. It sorts the children into the house in which they will do best and which will help them to develop certain character traits. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy: tell an 11-years-old that they are supposedly hard-working and loyal and put them into an environment that promotes hard work and loyality and award them for being hard-working and loyal, and you most likely will get a hard-working and loyal person in the end.

During Sorting, the Hat listens to the children's wishes and does not put them into houses they don't want to be in, as Harry and Hermione's examples prove. This shows that the Hat acknowledges that each person has many different character traits, all of which can be promoted and nourished, and that putting them into a certain house does not mean that the other characteristics do not exist. Being sorted into Gryffindor means that one values bravery most as a method of getting things done, not that one is completely unable of logical thinking, cunning or loyalty.

Also, it should be obvious, given the strong family bonds in the wizarding world, that children grow up in an environment that favours one particular house over the others before they get to Hogwarts. The Weasleys were all sorted into Gryffindor not necessarily because they are braver than, say, the Malfoys, but because they grew up believing that Gryffindor is the best house to be sorted into. They most likely sat under the Hat thinking, "Not Slytherin, not Slytherin... Please let me be in Gryffindor..." and the Hat said, "Not Slytherin, eh? Very well, then... GRYFFINDOR!" - I understand that when a boy comes from a family with a long Oxford tradition, he will go to Oxford, too, and not to Cambridge, and he will be considered later in life to be a typical Oxfordian. The same happens with the Hogwarts students. If someone behaves in a certain manner, everyone says, oh, yeah, that is because they're such an [insert house here]! Had they been in a different house, everyone would say, oh, yeah, that is because they're such an [insert different house here]!

Basically, this is the way logic works. You don't start at A, proceed through B and arrive at C. - You know what C will be from the very beginning, and then start looking for a B that will get you there from your starting point A.

Because, really, Neville Longbottom is such a Slytherin. )

And before you ask: Yeah, I'm a Ravenclaw. We love logic games and intellectual exercises.

HBP rumours

Apr. 6th, 2005 05:32 pm
OK, is anyone else amused about Rowling's answer to the rumour about the chapter titled "Lupin's Papers"? I must admit I love the idea of the Pocket Crosswords of Severus Snape. Fic, anyone?
I was considering doing that "Post a list of 10 TV shows you watch and have your friends guess your favourite character" meme, but then I thought that it's way too easy. Name the thin dark-haired one and in you're likely to be right. Not much of a challenge.

Remus, then. [livejournal.com profile] rosina_alcona promised me chocolate if I talk about him, and even though I don't really like chocolate (I like chocolates, though!), I'd rather eat chocolate than work. So there.

It's no secret that I like Remus - not because he's nice, but because he is cool. I've got a very strong impression of what Remus is like(1). In fact, it is so strong that I don't read fics in which he is presented in a distinctly different manner, because, if this is the case, I don't recognise the character as Remus. Thewlis' Remus, for instance, did nothing for me - the character on screen didn't match in any way with the image I carry of Remus.

Reviewers have referred to my Remus as: "bad", "evil", "ruthless", "immoral" and "slutty" and some have expressed their bewilderment about my characterisation of him. I have my reasons for writing him that way, and I claim that I extrapolate from canon and don't use characteristics that aren't alluded to in the books. However, I place a different emphasis.

Remus was the character I fell in love with and which made me read Harry Potter in the first place. While I liked him all throughout PoA, the moment that really did it for me was the quiet, "Well hello, Peter. Long time, no see". This simple sentence sent shivers down my spine (still does), and I was completely lost. In this moment, Peter is dead and he knows it.

The whole Shrieking Shack scene and the way how Remus was in complete control of it has been frequently discussed. Remus works his way towards killing Peter, but he does it slowly and deliberately. He doesn't rush in a flurry of hatred and rage. He quietly decides to kill Peter, and then he just as quietly decides not to when Harry asks him to. This is an action of a singularily cold-blooded man. This is what constitutes the foundation of my characterisation of Remus to a high degree.

Remus makes an appearance in two books, and in both books, he plays a major role during the climax.(2) It's worth noting that Remus is the last and only man standing after the battle at the DoM (Harry doesn't count, he's the hero), while fully-trained aurors lie around unconscious. If this isn't an indication that Remus seriously kicks ass, I don't know what is. Not only is Mr. Looks-Like-One-Good-Hex-Would-Finish-Him-Off unhurt, he also manages to prevent Harry from leaping after Sirius, lifts the curse from Neville, and is presumably in charge of keeping the others alive and calm until the arrival of any officials. That's seriously cool.

At the same time, he manages to maintain that pleasant, lovable facade that renders him invincible. He doesn't present a target, either because people like him (If handled skillfully, "being liked" does not make one a doormat. It constitutes a shield and a weapon, and Remus is certainly very, very skillful.) or because he does not respond to being provoked.

This is, in a nutshell, where my characterisation of Remus derives from. He's deceptive in so many ways, I can't even start to emphasise how much of a turn-on fascinating I find this.

(1)This is not saying that I know what JKR intented Remus to be, or that my version of Remus is entirely correct, and certainly not that my impression of him is the only correct one.

(2) Strictly speaking, he also plays a major role in the post-climax of GoF. "Lie low at Lupin's" spawned more fics than any other sentence in the books.*

*Apart from "Found himself on his hands and knees in Snape's office".

How does one create LJ footnotes?


Mar. 30th, 2005 10:44 am
So, the Silencing Charm is used in Hogwarts dormitories so that the students can indulge in some quiet wanking or shagging. But is that canon? I don't remember that sort of Silencing Charm existing in the books. (Also, I am not a great fan of it. If drowning out any sounds were that simple, Harry could easily prevent Ron from hearing his nightmares, and IIRC this is something he worries about in OotP.) The only Silencing Charm I can think of is the one cast on living creatures (bullfrogs and ravens) in Flitwick's class. Somehow, the idea of Harry and Ron casting Silencing Charms on each other before wanking each other off is oddly appealing. Has anyone ever used it in a fic? (Doesn't have to be Harry and Ron, though.)

On Ron

Mar. 13th, 2005 09:00 pm
Oh, right. Apparently I have no middle gears. First I don't update for, like, two weeks at all, and then I am unable to shut up.

But there is something I have to address before it slips from my mind (like many other brilliant thoughts have done before, I am sure). You know how half the fandom is convinced that Rowling is oblivious to the fact that her hero characters, the ones on the side of Light, have flaws and faults and that they base their judgement on moral values which are more than dubious? Within the space of the last few days, I have read posts and comments accusing her of painting black-and-white characters, of thinking Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore, Sirius etc. are always right, of never questioning her characters' actions and of thinking that Gryffindors can never go wrong.

Obviously, the characters don't question their actions - Harry and Hermione especially are scarily self-righteous - but does is hence follow that Rowling is unaware of the fact that their judgement is flawed? I, for one, don't think so. Yes, she says she likes Sirius and dislikes Snape, but you know what? I like Sirius better than Snape, too. I don't think that Sirius is "good", that he's the "rebel with a heart of gold", but I like him nevertheless. His flaws undeniably exist, but he's got redeeming values, and I like him for them. I realise that Remus is passive-agressive and liar, but it doesn't stop me from loving him. As to Harry - poor, angry, capslock Harry - I love him since OotP, because he has finally realised that he is trapped in a nightmare and reacts accordingly. And the only way he can vocalise his anger and pain is by lashing out at people - which also happens to be Snape's method (whom I likewise adore, though not as much as Sirius).

Somehow, I do suspect Rowling is - on the whole - intelligent enough to realise that. She has created a number of fascinating, multi-layered characters, and she likes them not because she doesn't see their flaws but in spite of them. Or would she be entitled to liking her good guys only if they were flawless, never erred and their moral judgement never failed? I don't agree with her moral values in many instances, but I don't think that she completely fails to see that her good guys are ridiculously self-righteous.

And this is where Ron comes into play: )

So why I agree that Hermione, especially OotP Hermione, represents the authorial voice, I have begun to suspect that Ron is the meta commentator. Hermione gives us background information and tells us what is happening during the narrative, but Ron tells us what is going to happen and questions the characters' actions on a meta level. In any case, I will pay more attention to Ron when reading HBP.
Poor Tonks carries the stigma. Poor Ginny has been accused of it. But neither of them is the real OotP Mary Sue. No, the Sue has cunningly disguised itself and has assumed a truly unexpected appearance - but isn't this the marking of a real Sue?

I've just realised: The OotP Mary Sue is none other than Grawp. Have a look at the MS litmus test:

Long-lost relative of a major canon character? - Check.
Is the same gender as the author? - Who knows? Hagrid says Grawp's a boy, but did he actually check?
Belongs to a rare species on the brink of extinction? - Check.
Unusual name? - Check.
Superhuman and unique powers? - Check.
Unusual hair/eyes/physical appearance? - Check.
Comes from an exotic far-away country? - Check.
Has random hobbies that are undeniably convenient to the plot? - Check [i.e. pulling out trees and hitting people with them]
Appears out of nowhere to save our heros from mortal danger? - Check.
Sacrifices himself so that our heros can escape? - Check.
Do school rules not seem to apply to him? - Check. [Or any rules, for that matter.]
Spends an absurd amount of time depressed/brooding/sulking/being generally miserable about a situation beyond his control? - Check.
Meets the main characters and, after a few tense pages of plot, become friends with them? - Sort of.
Is muggle-born a giant, or doesn't know he is [related to] a wizard until he gets his letter is kidnapped? - Check.
Gets his school supplies with Hagrid? Hee!
Calls Hermione "Hermy"? - Check. [This, in fact, is what tipped me off in the first place.]

Well done, JKR. Pink-haired, sassy Tonks was just the red herring. It's Grawp who'll save the day.

ETA: Apparently, I haven't been getting comment notifications. If I haven't replied to any of yours, it's not because I'm ignoring you.
I don't like epithets, as I'm sure I already mentioned a couple of times. But yesterday I came across one that made me laugh (and hit the back button, too, but laugh first of all): "his godfather's best friend". Apart from the fact that it was Harry's father and not Remus who was his godfather's best friend - how much more complicated can you get? His head of house's barmy superior? The red-haired headboy's younger brother? His aunt's meaty husband's dog-breeding sister?

I understand that one can use any of those epithets when actually talking about the interactions between the people mentioned in them, but not if they are used because the author wants to avoid using the name. Have no fear of names! Names aren't evil.
...And already there are "Oh no, poor Snape has been forced by evil Dumbledore to continue teaching Harry!!!11" vibes. But look at it logically: We want Dumbledore to force Snape to continue teaching Harry. Because the books are written from Harry's perspective. If Snape no longer teaches Harry, there will be less Snape in the books.

Unless, of course, one doesn't care for canon!Snape, because Rowling has no grasp of his character anyway.
Hm. I haven't updated for about two weeks. I haven't commented much, either - I have been reading my flist regularly and have begun writing comments in several instances, but haven't posted them in the end, feeling as though I had nothing relevant to say *points to subject line* I'm not ignoring you. You're all wonderful people who say interesting things; it's only my mind that's completely blank...

...Nevertheless, it's still able to come up with some fannish thoughts every now and then:

With the release of HBP drawing ever nearer, there's been a lot of speculation about whom Harry will end up with. I've always been a supporter of the Harry/Parvati pairing - yes, I like Parvati - and here's something to support this theory: [Parvati] is usually described as very beautiful. She showed a keen interest in Shiva from the outset, repeating his name to herself and taking delight in hearing about his appearance and deeds. While she is a child a sage comes to her house and after examining the marks on her body predicts that she will marry a naked yogi. When it becomes clear that she is destined to marry Shiva, her parents are usually described as feeling honored. Parvati too is delighted.

Names mean something in Rowling's universe. Clearly, Parvati is destined to become the wife of a major deity hero.

I'm not entirely sure how I've came to like Parvati. Having analysed the way she's characterised throughout the novels, I realised that Rowling portrays her as a very outspoken girl who stands up for people and against injustice - believe it or not. Her behaviour is strikingly different from Lavender's, who is much more timid. But that's not the reason why began liking Parvati. I don't base my likes or dislikes on an analysis of the characters. I like or dislike them instinctively, and then I start looking for reasons for my preferences and aversions.

So what is it that makes me like or dislike characters? It's by no means connected to any moral issues - I see plainly Hagrid's prejudiced and dangerous, but it doesn't make me dislike him. Remus is a liar who compulsively dodges responsibility, and yet I love him. I understand Molly's reasons for being overprotective, but she annoys the hell out of me.

Sad as it is, I think I'm simply superficial and like characters who are a) pretty, b) cool, or c) have a sense of humour.  )

And just so you know: I'm definitely not going to use Frienditto, and I'd greatly appreciate if none of my flocked posts would be made available to the public.

GoF stuff

Jan. 16th, 2005 10:27 pm
Listening to GoF during the past few days, I realised that it is probably the HP novel that annoys me most. (I kinda liked OotP, because the form corresponded with the plot quite perfectly: the loose endings, the illogical actions, the annoying behaviour of the characters serve to emphasise the stagnation and frustration the characters experienced. In a way, Rowling made most readers feel quite as frustrated as the characters do, and while I don't think she did it on purpose, it worked quite well for me. Plus, I very much appreciate that she didn't have the characters forget their petty old grudges (yes, I'm looking at you, Snape) and stand united against their mutual enemy. But I digress.)

So, there are quite a few things that annoy me about GoF (even if I ignore the completely preposterous Triwizard Tournament frame story). But before I come to them, here's a random theory:

In book six or seven, Ron will be put under the Imperius Curse.

Ron will be put under the Imperius Curse because of the spiders: In Moody's class, Moody makes the spider tap-dance to illustrate the Imperius Curse. In PoA-the-movie, Ron wakes up from a nightmare in which spiders wanted to make him tap-dance. Rowling said in the DVD extras that Cuarón unknowingly foreshadowed many events from the upcoming books. - Namely, Ron's being put under the Imperius Curse. (<-My elaboration, not Rowling's.) (This would also neatly encompass the theory that Ron will turn traitor. He will, but not because he wants to.) Farfetched? Possibly. But fun.

Things that annoy me this way. )



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