So, the final part of PoA. Not as terrible as I anticipated, mostly since it was once again pretty light on extra content, but there were a few gems.
Apparently the Shrieking Shack was built specifically for Lupin and wasn’t an existing random house. So Dumbles’ amazing plan was to build an insecure easily-destroyed not remotely werewolf-proof house at the end of a tunnel guarded by a dangerous people-maiming tree and then generate rumours about ghosts to keep nosy wizards away… Seriously JK, stop retconning things, you’re just making it worse.
Apparently Muggles taste worse to werewolves than wizards do, LOL, so they’re not attacked as often and they’re also more likely to die from the bite wound because they’re so inferior and weak (also because the bite apparently has to be sealed with dittany and powdered silver or the victim dies, which I suppose is at least semi-interesting), so no Muggle werewolves because they’re just not good enough.
re: stories of werewolves in the Forbidden Forest – when werewolves mate in wolf form during full moon they apparently give birth to super-intelligent wolves and Dumbles gave permission for a litter to be released there for some reason. So there are actual werewolves in the forest apparently. At least she doesn’t say they’re Lupin’s, but seriously wtf. Also if this was true Harry and co would have met them by now, or Hagrid would have bred one with Fang or something.
No extra content about the ‘prank’, obviously. Nothing new about Severus or anyone else interesting either.
Time Turners – apparently after lots of experimenting they’ve determined you can only go back about five hours without risk of dying horribly and painfully and fucking up the present/future because they’re super-dangerous. So Dumbles gives one to a thirteen year old girl with full permission from the Ministry and no opposition from rational adults, of course. Quote from JK admitting she didn’t think it through when she decided to include time travel (you don’t say????) which is why she had to write all the random crap into the Ministry battle so they could smash all the Time Turners in existence and thus have to resolve the plot the hard way, because apparently there are none anywhere else in the world and apparently this explains why nobody thought to use one in the entire year of war that had happened by then…
More wank about how super-hard a Patronus is… its shape represents your secret unknown self and someone who produces the Patronus they wanted to have is apparently obsessive and possibly dangerous, instead of simply being aware of their own personality – not sure who this is meant to be aimed at, I’m not aware of any of the characters picking their own Patronus. Dogs, cats and horses are most common, it’s normally but not always from the caster’s native country, extinct animals are possible, owls are rare and magical animals are the rarest and most specialest ever. But Dumbles totally isn’t a Sue for having a phoenix since the wizard with the most powerful Patronus ever known had a mouse. Oh, and Dark wizards who can cast one can only do it because they’re arrogant and totally believe they’re right about everything (even though that should have no bearing on whether they can feel happy or not); she used Umbridge as an example but it was probably a dig at Snape. Nothing on Snape’s Patronus though because for some insane reason Pottermore never spoils any plot point beyond the current book, as if anyone on the site hasn’t read them already, except for the story of Lupin and Tonks which I assume was included now because JK just loves it so much.
For some reason one of the random items you can collect in each scene was a hair curler in Lupin’s office, lol. I don’t know why, but it was kind of amusing.
The past-Lupin Boggart expert was actually his father, it turns out – Lyall Lupin. LIKE LOYAL DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE HAHA I’M SO CLEVER WHY AREN’T YOU WORSHIPPING MY BRILLIANCE. His mother was a Muggle (named Hope, of all things, gack) and was so special and sensitive she saw a Boggart in the woods somehow, and Lupin Senior changed it into a mushroom (what?) and led her to believe he’d saved her from a dangerous attacker, and only told her the truth about that and about being a wizard months later after she’d fallen in love with him. So being a colossal asshat runs in the family, clearly. Lupin Sr pissed Greyback off by trying to make him register as a werewolf while he was attempting to convince the rest of the Ministry at his hearing that he was just a Muggle tramp and had no idea how those Muggle children got eaten, so Lupin Jr was bitten age 5 because if you’ve pissed off a borderline-paedophilic werewolf you’d absolutely leave your young child unguarded without even locking his bedroom window (no really, the attack is described, Greyback just opens the window and saunters in). Lots of emo wank about how hard his life was. Dumbles showed up just before his 11th birthday and revealed he’d known about them and been stalking them all along and just never bothered to help them even though all the emo wank says they had to keep moving house and little Lupin had no friends and it’s so tragic, but it’s all okay because he can totally come to Hogwarts and endanger people now. Then some more emo wank. His mother snuffed it at some unspecified point before the end of the first war, Daddy is stated to have still been alive at that time but is never mentioned again.
No extra detail about Tonks, they just fell in love somehow while working for the Order, not sure why we were promised extra content because there’s just lots more emo wank about poor Remus struggling so hard with his conscience because he loves her so much but he’s such a terrible monster sob it’s so tragic, with no additional information. Quote from JK about how much she loved him and hated killing him, followed by stating that his lycanthropy was a metaphor for AIDS just in case nobody had got that already – those lines directly follow each other, which rather unfortunately implies she killed him off for being gay as well as to orphan his pointless son… Plus his Patronus is apparently a wolf and he hates it, which is just funny.
I seem to remember the Shrieking Shack thing having been canon, despite how stupid it is; I’m almost certain that was mentioned before and I think it was in the books themselves. I’m too lazy to look for it, though. When you think it through, though, it’s definitely about the stupidest plan possible – if he were going to build something special to contain Lupin, there are far better ways to go about it (not to mention YOU DON’T DIG A MILES LONG TUNNEL WHEN YOU CAN APPARATE OR FLY, and that’d be more secure anyway). Build a concrete bunker underground and apparate him in, then leave him and come back later. Even better, don’t give it any exits, just some ventilation so he doesn’t suffocate. It doesn’t matter if it’s a retcon, it’s idiotic either way.
Um, the silver and dittany thing actually makes this MUCH MUCH WORSE 😛 It means that the existence of werewolves as a problem at all is entirely wizards’ fault. Every single werewolf in the series (and there are apparently lots of them, if Greyback’s army is supposed to be a major threat) would have to have been effectively created intentionally by a wizard after being bitten. The sensible thing to do, of course, would be to let them die, especially given what terrible lives they are apparently doomed to lead (but I have no idea what Rowling’s ideas on euthanasia are, and I don’t want to presume to guess since she’s incoherent on everything death-related). Furthermore, you have to wonder how werewolves got started in the first place then, given that, and the only comprehensible solution is that the werewolf condition was intentionally created by some wizard. And it just figures she’d use this as an excuse to slip more anti-Muggle stuff in… because the possibility of Muggle werewolves could have been halfway interesting (though it does raise all sorts of worldbuilding questions) and of course we can’t have that.
OH GOD WHAT. WHAT. WHYYYYYYYYY?
Figures there’d be nothing new about anything actually interesting…
Well, that’s just a wonderful explanation. (I’m weirdly grateful she at least admitted to screwing up there, honestly, even if it isn’t much and doesn’t go nearly far enough).
Um, that makes no sense at all. Why is self-awareness such a terrible thing? (Oh, right, because Rowling has none) I’m not sure what else to say about any of the Patronus stuff, except that it’s interesting what she includes and what she leaves out (more slavish worship of Dumbles, I agree there’s no other way to read that “magical creatures are the speshulest” thing), yet no discussion of Snape at all (despite, objectively, his Patronus being one of the only actually interesting ones, even if I don’t like it), or of the weird messaging shit everyone uses them for later (which never made any sense considering what they were originally supposed to do). And of course it’s still super-hard despite everyone and anyone in canon being able to do it. You keep using that word, Rowling, I do not think it means what you think it means.
Uh, okay then. 😛
Wait, what. EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD IS AN IDIOT. I’m not sure what else there is to say, honestly…
Oh, that’s just lovely. So it is AIDS, despite Lupin being TOTALLY NOT GAY YOU GUYS (just vaguely ironic, even if technically it might be worth giving her points for not doing the “AIDS is a gay disease” thing). And there are tons of unfortunate implications where that’s concerned. Greyback the gay paedophile who gives children AIDS for fun? Lupin needs to go infiltrate the evil horde of AIDS-infected people who are going to invade and be a supposedly major threat? Either do lycanthropy as AIDS metaphor or lycanthropy as lycanthropy, Rowling, but you really can’t do both at the same time.
Haha, yes, this latest update was just full of terrible things, wasn’t it? Agreed about the Shack. The idea was that it would be a nice comfortable house for poor little Lupin, but they’ve overlooked the fact that poor little Lupin would only be aware of his surroundings for about an hour at the very most and it might be a bit more important to make it freaking monster-proof. (Also who do you suppose had the fun job of cleaning up the place after each full moon? I somehow doubt transformed werewolves are housebroken unless they’ve taken Wolfsbane, and I’ve had to clean out the indoor part of a wolf pen at the zoo I used to volunteer at and it’s not pleasant :P)
Ugh, you’re right about the werewolf treatment implications. This is also numbers-fail again – we’re told Greyback has ‘an army’. Lupin never says how many werewolves are in this mysterious place he’s infiltrating but there’s clearly quite a lot because JK doesn’t understand how wolf packs work and unless they’re blood relatives pack size is determined by what sort of prey is available and how many wolves are needed to hunt it vs how many wolves each successful hunt can feed, which wouldn’t affect anyone who’s a normal wizard all but a few nights a month. Anyway, there’s a lot of them. Lupin is (supposed to be) proof that werewolf does not always equal monster, ditto Bill’s slight wolf-ness and the random guy in St Mungo’s who didn’t seem particularly homicidal. So we can assume not all werewolves would be following Greyback, particularly since at least some of them must be less pathetic than Lupin and would go their own way, so there’s presumably another load of neutral werewolves. That all seems like a lot given the (apparent) size of the wizarding population. Also their numbers would theoretically be increasing every full moon; the neutral non-psycho werewolves will be trying to lock themselves up, and the rich ones get Wolfsbane, so aside from accidents they wouldn’t be making too many more werewolves, but all Greyback’s implausible pack should be merrily running through Diagon Alley every full moon snapping at everyone they can reach and their population should have exploded.
Anyway, there was a line in all the wank about how many victims beg to be allowed to die rather than live as werewolves, but JK declined to comment about whether that request is ever granted or not. Frankly given the wizarding world’s general attitude I doubt many get the choice; unless a friend or relative saves you I imagine the official healers let you die because thinly-veiled metaphor for racism.
And yes, naturally, nothing on the origins of lycanthropy. It just exists because werewolves, fuck it it’s magic.
I agree with your capslock. I can’t tell you why, though. Because JK is mad, apparently. 😛
Yeah, the Patronus stuff was mostly nonsense, and we’ll have to wait for later books for the stuff we actually want to know because NO SPOILERS UNLESS IT’S LUPIN’S HORRIFIC LOVE-LIFE. Though I suspect Snape’s Patronus really will be ‘it’s unrequited love, stfu and don’t question it’ since Tonks’ was mentioned and that was the only explanation.
I think EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD IS AN IDIOT about covers it, honestly, no need to say anything else 😛 Why would you create this kind of backstory and present it as a good thing for a character you like? Hey look everyone, Lupin’s awesome because he’s descended from a lying bastard who used emotional manipulation to get a helpless frail Muggle to fall in love with him, isn’t that just wonderful?
Oh, eurgh, I hadn’t thought about that aspect of the Shrieking Shack 😛 Bad enough someone has to repair all the damage he does to the interior while he’s rampaging, but that’s even worse. Then again, do any werewolf mythologies actually deal with biological functions on that level of detail? For all we know, werewolves don’t have anuses while transformed or something silly like that, because magic. (I cannot believe I just typed that)
lol, yes. “Oh, maths.” I never understood how it was possible for werewolves to simultaneously be such a huge threat and menace to society, and also be irrelevant enough that the narrative and the characters could completely ignore them whenever they felt like it. (Nor, for that matter, how they avoided turning all of Britain into werewolves fairly quickly; the ‘dittany and silver’ treatment solves that problem but just raises the question of why they haven’t wiped out humans yet).
Strangely, one of the things that pissed me off the most, aside from everything we’ve already said, is that Lupin’s parents apparently decorated their wedding cake with a boggart – um, Rowling, you’ve explicitly specified several times that NOBODY KNOWS WHAT A BOGGART ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE. *facepalm*
Lol, very good point about the Boggart! Though I don’t believe that either, really. Before anyone invented a spell to make it change into something funny for whatever warped reason, they’d have done the far more sensible thing and attacked the scary monster with fire and tried to actually kill it (seriously who the hell would bother with Riddikulus when they could just blow it up; I did once consider getting Severus to do that); surely once it’s dead it would obey the standard shapeshifter trope and turn back into its original form, because everything does. Or failing that, they can’t all live in cupboards and so on, there must have been instances where someone encountered one unexpectedly and saw its real shape before it had time to mind-read their greatest fear and change into it. Plus Moody looks at the one in Grimmauld Place through the ceiling when it doesn’t know he’s looking at it, he must see its true shape. Let’s assume that’s another instance of “Lupin is a moron who can’t teach and so is the author of whatever textbook he assigned them that Hermione read”.