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Pottermore; Goblet of Fire, part two

10 Jul

LOTEN:

Starts at chapter 12, start of term feast. Nothing new yet, though we note that of the entries on the Four Founders, three of them follow the same template – X was the founder of X house after whom it is named, and together with three others X helped to found Hogwarts, etc etc – whereas Salazar’s entry just says Slytherin house was named after him. Good to see the racism hasn’t diminished.

We move on to the ferret scene, otherwise known as haha isn’t child abuse funny, or tell us again how it’s Snape who’s the evil teacher. Nothing new there either, though you can make the ferret panic and run around if you hover over it.

On to Moody teaching Dark spells to fourteen year olds in traumatic ways while still totally not being evil. You can click to watch the spiders dance, get tortured and die, which makes Ron scoot back in his chair. Nice touch. No new info though.

On to Hedwig delivering a letter from Dogbreath. Still no new info, not sure why this scene was even there.

On to Beauxbatons arriving in the pointless carriage of prettyness. Egad, actual new content. Beauxbatons is in the Pyrenees, mostly French students but also lots of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Luxembourgians and Belgians. It’s larger than Hogwarts. Nicolas Flamel went there (so it’s confirmed that the film is bollocks, it’s not a girl’s school. Though we knew that anyway, IIRC Parvati gets asked to dance by a boy from Beauxbatons). And we’re told Maxime is “brilliant, elegant and undeniably awe-inspiring” despite her being onscreen for about three scenes and playing no fucking part in the story. If she’s so wonderful, Rowling, maybe you should’ve used her. Nothing else new.

On to Durmstrang’s random pirate ship. More new content.

Durmstrang once had the darkest reputation of all eleven wizarding schools.

Solid numbers at last; there are eleven schools. Though naturally we’re not told what they are, where they are or how big they are. And Rowling’s record with numbers is well established. Previous headmasters include a guy named Harfang Munter… um, Rowling, ‘munter’ is rather unpleasant slang in parts of Britain, you should know not to use it as someone’s name even if they are evil… Anyway. It was founded by a witch. Visitors get mindraped so nobody knows where it is, how lovely. Grindelwald was totally super dangerous you guys isn’t Dumbles amazing for taking him down. That’s it.

On to champion selection. No new info, pretty goblet.

On to Harry meeting the other champions. Krum’s art is… really, really bad, lol. No new info.

On to Draco hexing Hermione. You get to collect a Potter Stinks badge; I shall treasure it. You can also make Hermione’s teeth grow by hovering over them, and make the boils on Goyle’s face burst. Not convinced either were necessary. Still no new info, this was an almost totally pointless update.

On to Skeeter interviewing Snowflake. New content about the Daily Prophet, which actually isn’t new at all and just says what we already know. It’s the only newspaper, it’s biased, the Ministry can influence it. But apparently that’s okay since according to Rowling the wizard community is so small that everyone’s interested in the same kind of stories (no really she actually says that). Oh, and wizards will keep their newspapers even though Muggles use the internet now. That couldn’t possibly be because THEY DON’T HAVE COMPUTERS, could it, Rowling? Also Skeeter’s art makes her look like Dame Edna Everage (famous British drag queen).

Onto Snowflake seeing where the dragons are being kept, we’re skipping a lot. The dragons are ugly, though one of them breathes blue fire, which is interesting. No new info.

Final scene of this update is Snowflake flying around his utterly ineffective dragon. Again, no new info.


MITCHELL:

Heh, this Pottermore update seems pretty boring and pointless, honestly. I’m not sure if the anti-Slytherin prejudice thing is even surprising any more, except for the casual and gratuitous way they seem to have done it; I don’t even know why, because honestly I think it’d have taken LESS work to just make them all the same! 😛

Oh joy, fake!Moody stuff. Figures they’d make a minigame where you get to join in the abuse of ferret Draco and laugh at his distress; let’s make the protagonist-centred morality more explicit, shall we?

Hmm, new content on the schools, except it doesn’t really tell us much (except more numbers fail, of course! I’ve no idea what to do with the figure of eleven schools). At least she confirmed Beauxbatons isn’t all-girls; I still have no idea why they did that in the film (except possibly extrapolating from Fleur+sister and Maxime because they’re the only people from Beauxbatons IIRC :P). I’ve never heard of munter before, what exactly does it mean?


LOTEN:

Yeah, it was noticeably very skimpy on the content this time around. I was expecting more on the Triwizard, maybe some background on Moody. Half the scenes were only included for pretty pictures, and some of them didn’t even have that going for them. The only extra content was three paragraphs on Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and the Daily Prophet, and the latter really wasn’t new. Still, from here onwards there’s the war, so hopefully it’ll be fractionally more interesting.

Eleven schools… Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, Durmstrang. Possibly Salem, I forget if that’s canon or fanon. The unnamed one in Brazil. Presumably at least one in Australia, at least one in Africa, at least one in Asia. Three others. That’s not far off our numbers, except that the numbers in wizarding Britain mean that system doesn’t work and if Britain’s the same average as worldwide there should be a lot more than eleven in the HP world. I think at this point we’re meant to assume that Britain has a much higher proportion of wizards to Muggles for whatever reason, which is why they get one school to themselves when the entirety of mainland Europe has to be divided between only two schools, and the rest of the world is similar to the statistics we worked out. Never mind that there’s no reason why Britain should be special, island population dynamics don’t apply when Apparition is a thing.

As for munter, it doesn’t have a specific meaning per se, it depends on the context; it’s almost always used to refer to a woman and usually means ugly and sometimes slut. Not a nice word, as I said. Tends to mostly be used in the north. It does mean other things in German and French apparently, I just looked it up, but given the UK meaning JK should’ve used a different name 😛 Then again we know from the Cho Chang rant that she didn’t bother researching any names unless they were going to be Symbolic and Meaningful…

 

[Another short post, it was a short update, as you can tell. This is the last canon-content Pottermore post, we’re still waiting for the next Goblet of Fire update; next week we’ll start some extra content stuff from the past few weeks.]

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11 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2014 in loten, mitchell

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Pottermore; Goblet of Fire, part two

  1. janach

    July 11, 2014 at 1:22 am

    I know why the film made Beauxbatons a girls’ school and Durmstrang a boys’ school. It’s for the same reason the starship Enterprise goes “whoosh” in outer space: dramatic impact. It’s the scene in an opera or musical in which the light, lovely, delicate entry of the women’s chorus is contrasted with the bold, strong, martial entry of the men’s chorus. Almost every Gilbert and Sullivan opera has that sort of thing, and it’s extremely effective. Sometimes Sullivan has the two choruses sing their contrasting music simultaneously, in counterpoint, and it’s a real knock-out.

    Perhaps it’s because I’m an opera nerd, but I have no objection to that. It’s not like it had the slightest impact on the story, since the only characters from the two schools who matter are Maxime and Fleur (both female), and Karkaroff and Krum (both male). So let’s have a small production number with the entry of the two choruses. It was pretty, it didn’t take long, and it didn’t hurt anything.

     
    • Number27

      July 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

      So your contention is that it is literally impossible for boys to dance gracefully and sprinkle perfume or for girls to participate in a badass firestaff routine?

       
      • janach

        July 12, 2014 at 6:26 am

        Not at all, only that the graceful-girls/martial-boys routine is a standard trope in musical theatre, and it’s standard because it’s effective. Reversing it is also effective; ever seen the Ride of the Valkyries? But a reversed trope takes more time than a couple of minutes to be developed properly.

        There are plenty of strong, badass women in opera. I just came back from opening night of a production of The Mikado in which Katisha descends from the flies amid thunder and lightening, sending the entire cast scurrying for cover. And don’t forget her second act duet with Ko-Ko: “There is beauty in the bellow of the blast, / There is grandeur in the growling of the gale, / There is eloquent outpouring when the lion is a-roaring / And the tiger is a-lashing of his tail!”

         
      • Number27

        July 16, 2014 at 2:18 am

        Is it martial/graceful that makes the trope work or is it girls/boys?

         
  2. All-I-need

    July 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I have stayed silent for a while but I just found this article JKR wrote in the voice of Rita Skeeter and I would love to hear your thought on it. http://www.today.com/books/read-j-k-rowlings-new-post-latest-harry-potter-gossip-1D79887288
    I mean: Security Warlocks??!?!
    You’re doing a brilliant job pointing out all the Slytherin discrimination going on, as well as all of JKR’s other screw-ups. Keep up the great work, guys!

     
    • Loten

      July 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Yes, don’t worry, all the recent Pottermore stuff is going to be covered in the next few posts 🙂 Including that. I’m glad at least one person from FFN has bothered to follow me here and is enjoying it!

       
      • All-I-need

        July 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        Yay! Of course I have – while waiting for your next gem (and re-reading Chasing the Sun for the sixth or so time), I may as well sit back and watch you pluck apart everything you haven’t had a go at in your stories so far 😉

         
  3. Sm

    July 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Late to the party here, but I just had to add: unless you’re going off some other canon information, it seems to me deeply weird to assume that all magic users have the same access to education that British children do. That is, I love the fact that you use that as your default assumption, because it shows that you’re better than the wizarding community, but everything I’ve seen in the wizarding community, to do with the complete lack of respect for muggle/non-European cultures and the deeply nepotistic and dynastic privileging of a few old families at every level of society, suggests otherwise.

    I would assume that there isn’t a school in Australasia. White British wizards would have been much more muggle-averse during colonisation, so not many would have gone travelling or been deported, and do you really think Dumbledore, Fudge, et al. think about native Australian magic users?

    For all we know, the ‘eleven wizarding schools’ could be all European (that would probably work fairly well in numbers, if Hogwarts was the smallest), or mostly European, and magic users elsewhere either have no access to magic education, a different type of magic education or, hell, even just have Hogwarts-style schools that AREN’T archaic falling-apart castles full of death traps and weird history, so therefore aren’t counted as ‘proper’ by the eleven that have a respectably distinguished past.

     
    • Loten

      July 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      That is a very good point. I can’t speak for Mitchell but mostly I assume it’s that way because the world would probably have ended by now if it weren’t – there has to be some sort of system in place to ensure that most of the strongest magic users get a half-decent education or they’d either kill themselves and anyone around them or grow up to be more Voldemorts, and his case is meant to be rare. I admit it’s hard to reconcile that with what we see of the wizarding world, but I’d rather think the non-British part of that world is at least vaguely sane than consider the alternatives!

       
    • mcbender

      July 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      That is a very good point. I think for my part I make that assumption because (outside of moral considerations) the books seem to do so more often than not – for example, she’s based quite a bit of the educational structure at Hogwarts on the British school system (e.g. GCSEs and A-Levels etc). Standardised testing really doesn’t make any kind of sense unless there is some kind of universal education, I think (granted, it can easily be argued that standardised testing doesn’t make sense in general, but that’s a discussion for another time). All of that said, applying Ockham’s Razor just gets me to the conclusion that Rowling didn’t put much thought into what she was describing, and makes use of tropes without considering the wider context.

      It’s really hard to figure out what to make of the canon, because one the one hand we have things that imply a very small wizarding population, or alternatively which imply that the society we see in the Potter books is only one subset of the magical community and that the vast majority of wizards are homeschooled etc rather than going to one of the small number of these schools (so Hogwarts et al might be a sort of equivalent of Eton, having name recognition and possibly undeserved prestige, but irrelevant to 99.9% of the population), and on the other hand, outside of the sheer number of things like Quidditch teams, the books operate on the assumption that the wizarding community is incredibly small and insular (how else do we get gang warfare elevated to the level of an international crisis, or things like “famous Harry Potter”?).

      And as Loten says, given how magic works in the Potterverse (at least sometimes; we all know it has one of the worst-defined magic systems ever and contradicts itself frequently) if the vast majority of people with magic aren’t receiving any training all sorts of things would be going wrong (and let’s face it, any kind of secrecy would be effectively impossible). That said, given the dubious quality of education they’re receiving at places like Hogwarts, I’m not sure that’s much of an argument because it couldn’t accomplish much!

       
  4. Ani J. Sharmin

    July 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I’m actually just about to start rereading Goblet of Fire.

    To be honest, I’ve never liked it when people compare the anti-Slytherin attitude with racism, especially considering that the main analogy for discrimination and racism in the series is the prejudice against Muggle-borns and Slytherin House was started by a guy of wanted to discriminate against Muggle-borns. I always saw Slytherin as a House with a suspect past (one that based admission on blood status). It’s not the fault of the kids currently in it, but I saw it as analogous to schools or school clubs that don’t accept people of certain races. It’s not the fault of the kids at the school, but it’s a history that should be addressed. She kind of tried to do that a little, but it would have been more effective to show some Slytherin members of the DA or Order to show progress in the House, etc.

    That being said, the very obvious pro-Gryffindor stuff always bothered me, because it just seemed too convenient that Gryffindor would win at everything, have the Head Boy and Head Girl, have the support of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff against Slytherin all the time, etc.

     

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