This update was a bit short on plot-related stuff, it goes off on tangents about random things, but it theoretically covers the Quidditch World Cup and everything up until the start of term.
Quote from JK:
‘Floo’ came from the flue that you find on a chimney and don’t ask me to tell you exactly what a flue is, because I don’t know.
Facepalm. Flue is just an old word for chimney, you hack. Use a fucking dictionary. She made the Floo network because she needed the kids to travel around and had screwed herself with the secrecy rule, and she thought it was funny to have it so if you spoke the wrong name you could end up somewhere else. Highlighted with an oh so funny story about a woman having a fight with her husband who jumps into the fire yelling that she wants to go to her mother’s house, goes missing, and is eventually found twenty years later living with a wizard called Myron Otherhaus who had fathered seven children with her because apparently she was secretly a Weasley or something and isn’t it hilarious how her existing family never knew if she was alive or dead for two decades? Either she was a horrible woman or the wizard was keeping her prisoner, but either way I can definitely see the humour. And more numbers fail:
in addition to domestic fireplaces there are around a thousand other fireplaces in Britain that are connected, including the Ministry, shops and inns.
St Mungo’s isn’t mentioned; the Ministry’s big but presumably every single fireplace won’t be connected. That’s a hell of a lot of shops and inns that we’re never told of. And Hogwarts isn’t on the Floo… so we don’t ask how Lupin managed to visit Snape’s office via Floo in PoA, or how various people use fireplaces to talk throughout OotP… for fuck’s sake woman.
Portkeys: apparently two Muggles found one by accident once and were transported to a Celestina Warbeck concert. Then promptly mind-raped, of course, though apparently the charm didn’t really take because one of them has supposedly had a pop hit with a Muggle version of the song she was singing when they arrived, as if the WW would ever allow that. Quote from JK:
I don’t like to boast, but I own a real Portkey – the key to the US city of LaPorte – which was given to me by the founder of Mugglenet.
I don’t like to boast, which is why I’ve chosen to boast about this. Nothing on how Portkeys actually work or anything, of course.
Witches and wizards apparently often reveal themselves to each other in public by wearing purple or green
because purple is for rich people and green is totes evil lulz – no seriously:
Green is the colour of much Dark magic – of the Dark Mark, of the potion in which Voldemort conceals one of his Horcruxes, of many Dark spells and curses, and of Slytherin house
Emphasis mine. Fuck you, JK, fuck you – ‘Slytherin house’ isn’t actually a type of magic, stop butchering words for racism. She confirms something I said a very long time ago about the four houses being loosely based on the four elements, too. And lol:
Colours like peach and salmon pink are distinctly un-magical and therefore much favoured by the likes of Aunt Petunia.
Who is of course totally aware of ‘magic colours’ and has clearly chosen to like pink deliberately because she’s evil. But it does explicitly say that really bright pink like Tonks is perfectly okay.
It gets worse. Hagrid and Dumbledore have the first names Rubeus (red) and Albus (white) because alchemical symbolism, red for passion and white for asceticism so together they make up Harry’s ideal father figure. Jesus Christ on a bicycle, I may be sick. (Also; Dumbledore, ascetic? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.)
And this update finishes as they arrive at Hogwarts.
I’d actually thought the Floo/flue thing was sort of cute, originally; and all this time she had no idea what a flue was? (The Floo Network is sort of an actual network of flues, I’d just thought she was being literal and spelling it wrong to be cute; I suppose I ought to know by now to keep my expectations low). I’m not even sure what else to say – the “oh, wouldn’t it be hilarious if it were easy to say things wrong and end up in the wrong place” is just… arrgh. Could this be any more blatantly a plot gimmick? And that’s not even mentioning the horrid story she uses as an example (which, among other things, raises some weird questions about how Floo powder even works – would it have even worked if she’d correctly pronounced “My mother’s house”? That’s certainly not the official/true/whatever name of the place, nor is it whatever name they’d have used to add it to the network; exactly how does it know where to send you, anyway? Do we now have mind-reading powder-fires?). My first reaction was to assume she’d been held prisoner there also, which – ugh, horrifying implications (but otherwise, why would someone just say ‘oh, I’m in the wrong place with some random guy! I guess I’d better just give up and have tons of babies with him and forget about my entire life up to this point’? Who the fuck thinks like this?). Just like everything else Rowling writes, it looks like a cute/harmless story on its face as long as you don’t think about it, but as soon as you do it all becomes horrifying. I’ve no idea what to do with the numbers-fail or the “Hogwarts is exempt” retcon, as neither of them make any fucking sense (as you’ve already pointed out). How is it possible to be so ignorant of the details of a world you’ve invented yourself?!
*facepalm* Is Celestina Warbeck the only bloody singer in the entire Wizarding world? I honestly think she is. I’m not sure I even have anything to say about the “I don’t want to boast, but ” thing either. I guess she’s entitled to be a little proud of her fans giving her “creative” things as a tribute to her work, but that one was just so stupid 😛
Uh. What. She could so easily have salvaged that somewhat, too – saying something like “Salazar Slytherin chose green as the colour of his House because of its affinity to dark magic” etc etc. Not that I’d have liked it if she did that, but it’d at least have been grammatically correct and gotten across the meaning she wanted. Instead we now have Slytherin House as a type of dark magic, up there alongside curses and, um, random Voldy-specific things. (Haha, even that doesn’t make any sense – from what she’s listed, it’s more logical to assume that Voldy just likes green for some reason, maybe because of Slytherin house). And of course she continues to propagate the same old tired bigotry; sigh. She confirmed the elements thing? I honestly couldn’t care less, since it never mattered 😛 I have no idea what she’s trying to do with the pink/peach/etc colours thing either, aside from vilifying Petunia (and Umbridge?) and propagating the usual femmephobia. Not that I particularly care for pink or how it’s used, but there’s no call to be doing things like this 😛 (And of course she carves out an exception for Tonks, because she’s inventing this colour shit on the spot and needs to resort to epicycles to make it make any kind of sense…)
Oh god, really? AGJHJORANGOPAGNKLDSNGKPOS!!! (sorry for the keyboard smash but I honestly have no words)
I thought the Floo Network nomenclature was deliberate too, but apparently nope, in the decade or so since writing Chamber of Secrets she’s never taken the three seconds necessary to Google ‘flue’ and find out what it actually means. I had low expectations already, but once again she’s managed to – well, not exceed them, but you know what I mean! Having a transport system based on voice recognition is complete crap, though, nobody would think that was a good idea. As for the mind-reading powder-fires, who knows? It wouldn’t surprise me 😛 though the woman is specifically described as being in tears at the time so probably wasn’t thinking clearly enough to use her mother’s actual name, and we all know stupid crying people daring to get upset at bad things deserve everything that happens to them because this is the magic of Harry Potter and JK has created a horrible, horrible world. I grow more bothered about this woman with every ‘hilarious’ or ‘romantic’ story we get. There really is no innocent explanation for why someone decides to stay in this stranger’s house and never ever leave or contact anyone, is there. But it’s totally okay because Myron Otherhaus is explicitly described as being very handsome, and pretty people can’t be kidnapping rapists because I don’t know, did JK ghost-write Wither? Ick. [Note: that link goes to a spork of Wither, not Wither itself. DO NOT look at the original book. Just don’t.]
There was never anything to do with the numbers-fail, but the Hogwarts retcon is just nonsense. The two big Floo scenes in Hogwarts involve Lupin and Sirius, she must remember at least one of them. There’s some vague BS about ‘sometimes the school fireplaces get tampered with’ but Hell would freeze over before Snape decided to connect his office to the Floo of his own accord and there was definitely no mention of the Trio having to figure out how to connect the Gryffindor fire to the Floo network to talk to Sirius.
Yes. Yes she is. Though judging by JK’s lyrics-writing ‘skills’, maybe we should be grateful there’s only one singer 😛 And yeah, JK could just tell us she has a Portkey, no need to try to be self-effacing – if you don’t like boasting, you don’t boast, simple. Meh.
Absolutely. The whole of Slytherin House collectively form their own type of magic. Somehow. And never mind that if green was really such an evil colour, someone in the almost three thousand years since Hogwarts was founded might just have suggested changing the sodding House colours. I’m going with Voldy just liking green, though that only really applies to the Dark Mark unless he deliberately added green food colouring to the Potion of Despair; JK did seem to imply the colour was deliberate, which, no. Fair enough about the elements 🙂 I wanted them to matter because I like elemental stuff, but sadly no. And surprisingly Umbridge wasn’t mentioned; I’d think it was to avoid spoilers since she doesn’t show up until next book, but Tonks got in two books early last time and features here, so I have no idea why JK didn’t point out how eeeeeevil Umbridge was. No mention of Lockhart and all his colourful crap, either. To be honest I think she has to give us a certain amount of extra content each update and didn’t want to say anything much about Quidditch, so flailed a bit and made up some colour-symbolism crap; this was in the chapter where they’re at the World Cup wandering around looking at all the pretty tents before the game.
No need to be sorry, I think AGJHJORANGOPAGNKLDSNGKPOS!!! perfectly sums it up. It’s just wrong on every conceivable level, isn’t it? Never mind a ‘characters reading the books’ fic, I want to see a ‘characters using Pottermore’ fic now 😛 Snape would just about have recovered from his rage at this new anti-Slytherin shit in time to collapse laughing hysterically at this particular gem! Assuming he survived pointing out last book just how awful Lupin’s daddy was.
It really is impressive, isn’t it? (I honestly wonder if the ‘flue’ thing is just playing ignorant for attention, that seems like the kind of thing she could be saying to try to be funny… of course it just ends up making her look like an idiot). Same here about the expectations not having been low enough; everything she says just makes the world of Harry Potter more fucking horrifying, doesn’t it? (I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with an explanation for the Myron Otherhaus thing that isn’t terrible, and the only one I could think of is that the woman had been having a preexisting affair with him and was already planning to run away, and the mishap just made her start early… or her husband had misheard her and she actually meant to go to Otherhaus all along. That’s all ludicrously implausible, of course, but then again so is ‘Myron Otherhaus’ in the first place for crying out loud! Fuck, that’s all I’ve got, and it still doesn’t cut it). This whole thing is just so squick, the comparison to Wither is quite apt…
I have no idea what she was thinking with the Hogwarts-floo retcon either. Um, did she confuse it with Apparition? Or maybe she’s trying to retroactively justify the “Hogwarts is a super-safe secure place” bullshit she was constantly going on about in canon but which never made a lick of sense? There’s absolutely no way to make sense of the canon incidents – fuck, even Umbridge had a Floo connection! – and I have no idea why she would make a statement like this. I honestly think she’s forgotten what’s in her own books at this point (I don’t necessarily blame her having a fuzzy memory of things she wrote a while ago, but she could fucking look things up instead of talking out her arse!).
LOL, yes. To all of that 🙂
Oh, she’s always going chapter by chapter? I guess that could explain the randomness of the bullshit somewhat, and why certain issues aren’t addressed at all, though of course not the fact that it’s all bullshit that contradicts her own canon 😛 I’m not even sure what else there is to say about the colour-symbolism stuff, it’s just so obviously invented…
I suppose she could be faking it – it’s a bloody stupid thing to say, surely any normal human being would look up a word before using it; for all she knew the ‘flue’ could be the part where oppressed little Victorian chimney-sweep kiddies often got stuck and died horribly – but God knows why she’d want to. I like your attempt at explaining it, but that doesn’t address the question of why she never told anyone where she was after she’d gone – sadly logic says it’s because she /couldn’t/ tell anyone. I wish JK would stop and think occasionally, it’s clearly a spur-of-the-moment story that she thought was funny at the time, like quite a few of her stories. I also wish any of the Pottermore team would stop and suggest she edit some of this crap – it’s not like it’s helping milk the cash cow, the site’s free and they don’t even sell much in the way of merchandise or anything. Though we would miss out on the entertainment as well as the squick if they did, I suppose!
Well, you could assume Umbridge had her Floo connection installed deliberately, given that she was a Ministry employee and probably wanted direct contact with Fudge occasionally, but that doesn’t explain the myriad other times the Floo’s been utilised in the school. I think you’re right that JK just forgets what’s in her own books. Because she obviously never fucking re-reads anything – come on, if most of her fans can memorise half the series through repeated readthroughs, you’d think the actual author would manage!
Sort of, yes. The content is released sequentially, you go through each chapter looking at scenes from the chapter and reading about the things mentioned in each scene, and every few scenes there’s some extra new bonus content from JK about some worldbuilding aspect or character backstory. I have no idea if she picks what to write about or if there are certain things they demand or what, but usually it’s about that specific chapter – I think Tonks being in Lupin’s story at the end of PoA was the first time she’s talked about later books. The colour symbolism is just funny really, apart from the racist overtones – apart from anything else, McGonagall is quite often described as wearing green 😛 IIRC she’s wearing green the first time we see her, at the Sorting. Guess she must secretly be evil. Oops.