Monday, April 5, 2010

Twenty Questions for J.K. Rowling

These are all questions based on the premise that the world J.K. Rowling created is one of logic and reason, and demonstrate my freakish insistence on continuity as well as my slight obsession with Harry Potter. And really, there are twenty-eight question groups.

1. How is that the end of book 1, Sir Nicholas hasn't eaten in nearly 400 years, but in book 2 he's celebrating his 500th death day?

2. How is that in book 4, the false Mad-Eye Moody (Barty Crouch, Jr.) takes Harry's Maurader's Map, which is never returned, and yet Harry is once again in possession of it at the beginning of book 5?

3. When Hagrid returns in book 5, he uses dragon steaks on his face and green blood dripped no his beard, but in book 6, Slughorn uses dragon's blood convincingly as human blood on the walls. How is this possible?

4. Book 1, 4, and 5 tell us that the quality prized above all others by Godric Gryffindor is courage. Yet, in book 3 we learn what a coward Peter Pettigrew is. How did the sorting hat manage to miss this?

5. If people can see thestrals only after seeing death, why didn't Harry see them at the end of book 4 as the carriages returned the students to the train home?

6. Furthermore, Harry remembers the flash of green light and his mother's screams when Lord Voldemort murdered her (and we know he recollected these facts prior to the dementors in book 3, as in book 1 2we were introduced to Harry awakening from a nightmare of these events). Why then couldn't Harry see the thestrals from the end of book 1 when he headed home the first time?

7. In book 5, we're told that prefects can't dock point, but in book 2, Percy Wesley docks 5 points from Ron for hanging around the scene of Mrs. Norris's petrification. Did the rules change?

8. If there are only 2 prefects from each house, picked in their 5th year, are there no 6th year prefects, or does ever other class miss the chance at having prefects? We know Percy was still a prefect in his sixth year...

9. In book 4, having perfected it for his first task, why didn't Harry use the summoning charm to collect the Maurader's Map and egg he dropped when his foot fell through the trick step?

10. If a house-elf's enslavement requires they follow their master's command, why didn't Kreacher show up at Christmas in book 5 when Sirius called him? This is especially curious as we see him show up immediately in book 6 when Harry calls him...

11. In book 7, Harry has a rather strong reaction to the necklace (locket horcrux) when he has it in his possession. Why does he not have a similar reaction to the diary in book 2 or the tiara (diadem) in book 6?

12. If it took Fawkes to get Harry, Ron, Ginny and Professor Lockhart out of the Chamber of Secrets in book 2, as the entrance was an enormous slide, how did Ron and Hermione get out in book 7? While it is possible that Ron took brooms with him, or summoned them, we also know that Hermione is not an adept rider.

13. At the beginning of book 5, Harry summons a patronus to save Dudley from the Demoentor's Kiss, but doesn't think to feed him chocolate after. What's up with that?

14. In book 1, Dumbledore comments to McGonagall how foolish it is not to use the Dark Lord's proper name--Voldemort. Yet his proper name is Tom Riddle, which is how Dumbledore addresses him in person in book 5. Why does Dumbledore insist in book 1 that his proper name is Voldemore, when he already knows Voldemort is Tom Riddle?

15. How can Harry be surprised at the distance from Hogsmeade Station to the school in book 6 when he's been walking to and from Hogsmeade for three years?

16. How can Hogwarts be off the connection from the floo network (HBP, 349) when Sirius has been using it for the previous 2 years? Unless Hogwarts being taken off the floo network was part of the security measures? But then this would mean security was pretty lax for the first five years...

17. If felix felicis is so rare that Professor Slughorn has only taken it twice, and if he is hesitant to take up the post of potions master at Hogwarts that he didn't accept the appointment until six weeks before the start of term, and if it takes six months to brew felix felicis because it has to stew, what was Slughorn doing with a ready cauldronful on the first day of classes in book 6?

18. If the ban on speaking Voldemort's name is how Harry, Hermione, and Ron were found in Tottenham Court Road, why could they speak Voldemort's name freely at number 12 Grimmauld Place? Is that part of the fidelis charm? Or is that how the Death Eater's showed up outside number 12 Grimmauld Place (DH, 201)?

19. Harry believes Voldemort put a charm not hes tone basin to prevent the magical summoning of the horcrux (DH, 188), but his logic is mistaken. While we know the inferi leapt from the lake, it was to prevent the taking of the horcrux, Harry was "unable to summon the fake locket" (DH, 188). This, however, is due to the fact that Harry said, "Accio horcrux" when there was no horcrux to summon, as he and Dumbledore did not know which horcrux was supposed to have been in the cave. Is there any chance he would have gotten a different result if he had said, "Accio locket"?

20. Regardin the ban on Voldemort's name, number 12 Grimmauld Place, and the Fidelis Charm, how can it be the case that the Death Eaters know they're in the area, as Lupin says they're staking out everywhere Harry has a connection? So then, it must be the case that the fidelis charm or other enchantments action on the house keep them from knowing wizarding law was broken.

21. Speaking of enchantments at number 12 Grimmauld Place, if the freezing charm broke when the caster, Dumbledore, died, why did all the charms in and on the Black house not die with their casters?

22. Harry insists that "Bathilda" didn't want to talk to him in front of Hermione because it was all Parseltongue. But how can that be? When they got to the house, "Bathilda" said, "Come!" from the second room, cause both Harry and Hermione to jump. As Hermione heard this and did not recognize it as Parseltongue, it must have been spoken in English. re we then to assume that the snake had some control of Bathilda's vocal folds, tongue, mouth, and lungs? Is this a new way to animate a corpse?

23. If speaking Voldemort's name breaks magical enchantments, why didn't it break the enchantments at number 12 Grimmauld Place? (DH, 173)

24. If, as someone once explained, the Ministry of Magic can only track where magic is done and not by whom, trusting parents in magical families to keep their children from using magic during the holidays, and this is the reason Harry was blamed for Dobby's hover charm in book 2, why in book 5, and subsequent books, are members of the Order of the Phoenix able to apparate, disapparate, and perform other spells in and near Harry's house without Harry getting into trouble for it? Particularly if their movements are secret...

25. If Bill is secret keep to Shell Cottage, and we know from book 5 that only a secret keeper can betray its whereabouts to another, how was Ron able to tell Harry about Shell Cottage? How was Harry able to tell Dobby? (DH, 397 and 468, respectively)

26. If Harry's parents died on October 31, 1991 and book 1 opens the day after their death, how can it possibly be a Tuesday morning, when October 31, 1991 fell on a Thursday?

27. If Quirrell could not touch Harry because of love in book 1 (and it was that love which gave Harry his protection), and if by using Harry's blood to regenerate his body, now sharing that protection and able to touch Harry, why could Voldemort not possess Harry at the end of book 5?

27. As to the destruction of a horcrux, shouldn't a piece of Voldemort's soul not be able to reside in something so full of "a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature" (OP, 843)? Or is it the case that love is not "something so destructive that the horcrux cannot fix itself" (DH, 104)? And as Harry is a horcrux, then nothing short of basilisk venom or the Elder Wand could have killed him, could it?
(Even Nagini was killed with the sword of Gryffindor). Why then the concern, at the end of book 1, that his fight with Quirrell would have done him in?

28. The biggest question of all: If the protection of his mother's love makes it impossible for Voldemort to possess Harry, even if he can touch him after sharing that blood, and Dumbledore himself says, "Lord Voldemort's soul, maimed as it is, cannot bear close contact with a soul like Harry's" (DH, 685), how is it that Harry is able to be a horcrux?

29. When writing HP&HBP, was Professor Slughorn's mistake in calling Ron "Rupert" a nod to Rupert Grint who plays Ron in the movies?

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