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Pottermore: Quidditch World Cup, end.

14 Aug

LOTEN:

Continuing with the quarter finals, USA vs Liechtenstein. USA won and their fans are psychotic gloating weirdos who have kidnapped the Liechtenstein mascot for some reason. But the real gem this update is the opening paragraph:

“If Muggles haven’t noticed the celebrations currently piercing the Patagonian night, we must assume that in addition to being non-magical they are also remarkably stupid.”

Rowling, fuck off. Everyone in your world has always assumed Muggles were remarkably stupid. As have you, much of the time, since you seem to forget you are one. It’s the wizards who are too stupid to ward their camps so Muggles can’t notice them.


MITCHELL:

Mascot kidnappings. Right. Lovely. As for the comment about the ‘remarkably stupid’ Muggles… do you know, I honestly think her sentiment is sincere. She must think her readers are remarkably stupid to not notice that that’s an insult aimed directly at them (after all, the readers are ‘Muggles’ and could not have possibly seen these imaginary events, therefore they fit the precise description she just gave). I’m beginning to think Rowling’s belief that Muggles are ‘remarkably stupid’ must be some form of projection; fuck you, lady, we are not all copies of you. Some of us have brains. (And this is even before considering that, if we take her canon seriously, even if they did notice THEY WOULDN’T KNOW THAT BECAUSE SOMEONE WOULD COME ERASE THEIR BRAINS.) Maybe it’s just due to proximity but I’m seriously reminded of those awful Stephenie Meyer quotes they’re dissecting now at Das Sporking, where she goes on and on about how useless humans are and it’s really not so bad if vampires eat them. God, that’s depressing.


LOTEN:

The mascot has been returned. But apparently it took owls communicating between the Liechtenstein Minister of Magic and the President of the Magical Congress of the United States to make it happen. Oh dear me there are so many things wrong with this.

One, OWLS CAN’T FLY THAT FAST ACROSS THE FUCKING ATLANTIC AND BACK. An owl from Patagonia to Liechtenstein to tell their Minister the mascot’s missing. An owl from Liechtenstein to the US complaining about it. A response back to Liechtenstein and an owl to Patagonia telling the fans to give it back. That’s three trans-Atlantic flights and a flight right down the length of the Americas, in less than 24 hours, not including the time spent arguing about what to do and then writing these letters. You’d be hard pressed to do that in a bloody jet, let alone by owl.

Two, if sports fans are misbehaving in a country, that country’s law enforcement deal with it, something on this scale is not going to become a major diplomatic incident requiring direct intervention from the rulers of several countries. (Particularly since the Patagonian authorities were apparently not involved in this.)

Ugh, you’re right that she’s quite possibly just insulting everyone. Lovely. I agree with the Meyer comparison too, it is unfortunately timed to point out just how similar they are. And of course you’re dead right about the brain-erasing, today’s update also includes the information that they’ve performed memory charms on at least two thousand local Muggles and an undisclosed number of passing planes. Because mindwiping someone who’s flying a fucking plane is really sensible and not at all dangerous, well done wizardkind! Rowling, for once in your life, please THINK before writing something. Plane crashes aren’t funny.


MITCHELL:

What. I have no idea what to say about that. (Never mind the fact my first question is why the US apparently has a Magical Congress; hasn’t she previously established that there are only 11 Wizarding schools in the entire world? Just how large is the supposed magical population of the States and how many elected officials do they have? Never mind the fact that apparently the magical governments all just happen to be carbon copies of the Muggle versions with ‘Magical’ tacked in front; clearly Rowling is a font of creativity as she’s so often praised). We’ve talked about how ridiculous the owls are before, but that really is quite absurd and I think significantly moreso than anything there’s been in canon (I don’t recall trans-Atlantic flights at least). And, as you say, there’s no sensible reason that a missing sports mascot would require diplomatic negotiations.

…they performed memory charms on planes. Even disregarding the danger, how the fuck does that work? I certainly don’t recall any suggestion in canon that the spell could be cast at range; it leads me to wonder about all sorts of logistical things – do they automatically put a wizard on every flight just in case emergency brain erasure is needed? (Or alternatively, do they have someone attempt to apparate onto a moving plane?) Do they have wizards stationed in airports to brainwash everyone as they disembark? It’s especially weird when as far as I know canon wizards don’t even know what the fuck planes are, so I’m not sure why they’d even think to check if the brainwashing were needed. And, of course, all of this is disregarding the fact that as you say it could easily cause a crash. I don’t even.


LOTEN:

Yeah, I side-eyed the numbers fail there too. I don’t know how many officials constitutes a Congress but I think she means it as the Ministry and includes everyone who works for them down to the office tea-girl, and she just misused the word because congress=government. And lol, why would there be trans-Atlantic owl flights in canon, nowhere across the Atlantic exists. You’re right it’s the biggest owl-fail we’ve seen though, and all she had to do to avoid it was say Floo call or Apparition/Portkey visit. When you have multiple instantaneous bits of magic at your disposal, do not go and pick a different one that won’t actually work.

That’s a good point. I assume they chased the plane on brooms? That’s not remotely sensible either, of course, and still very dangerous. Also maybe impossible, the slipstream etc from a 747 must be powerful enough to send a stick flying. And lol yes, there’s no reason any of them would know what planes are, it’s not as if any of them ever look at the sky or as if the heart of wizarding Britain is in a city with six international airports and a bunch of smaller ones. I give up.


MITCHELL:

I hadn’t even considered chasing the plane on brooms, but I suppose that could have been what she’d been thinking (though as you say there are plenty of logistical issues there too!). I agree with you, at this point I give up. I’ll just go off somewhere and bash my head against a wall.


LOTEN:

Today’s wankery is the last quarter-final match, so we’ll get a week or two before enduring any more of it, I assume. Japan vs Nigeria. Boring match, an attempt to pretend Beaters are useful, the Nigerians lost when a Bludger smashed their Seeker’s broom and now there’s an inquiry because professional brooms are meant to be able to survive Bludger attacks.

Rowling.

Harry’s broom was smashed to pieces, remember? He cried over it. Because he’s weird. I doubt a willow tree managed to hit harder than a flying cannonball.

Also if the Bludgers can’t damage brooms, then they are there solely to damage other human beings, and that’s appalling. Go home.


MITCHELL:

I really don’t have anything to say about Bludgers at this point. (The only possible way to salvage her comment about “professional brooms” is to suggest that Harry’s oh-so-amazing Nimbus 2000 was actually below professional standards, but that contradicts canon so bleh. Or maybe the inquiry is about why the Bludger attacked a broom instead of people like a good sentient cannonball.) Also, let’s not ignore the fact that if Bludgers are destroying the brooms it’s probably not much better when they’re hitting human bones.


LOTEN:

I don’t think she can get away with that handwave, not after all the emphasis she put on how the new Nimbus was the bestest most specialist bunch of twigs ever. And no, it does state the inquiry is into why the Nigerian team were using unsafe brooms, and if that’s not an oxymoron I don’t know what is. Might also be inquiring into why the company behind them made unsafe brooms – couldn’t possibly be because CANNONBALL BEATS STICK, could it? Seriously, if you want indestructible brooms, stop being so fucking lazy and put some of your own charms on them.

New shit is meant to start today with the first semi-final. I’m sure you’re looking forward to it. Really. ๐Ÿ˜›


MITCHELL:

Oh joy. Well, at least we’ll have more content for the blog ๐Ÿ˜›


LOTEN:

Not as much as you’d think, she really has lost interest ๐Ÿ˜› this match went on for almost 24 hours and took two posts, and all that happened was one of the US players started hitting her head repeatedly on her own broom for some reason and it was a close finish. Woo.


MITCHELL:

Well, I suppose it’s only natural; it never really was interesting in the first place! If the person writing it has lost interest, though, how can they expect any of the followers to give a fuck? I don’t think she’d thought this out very far at all when she decided to do it, honestly. I really don’t understand this thing about the player hitting her head on a broom, either; it really gave no explanation at all?


LOTEN:

Haha, very true ๐Ÿ˜› Er, not really, it was sort of presented as a combination of stress and exhaustion but mostly it was just ‘and then this happened, and then another thing happened, and then this…’ Today’s entry for the second semi-final was a colossal heap of shite as well, Bulgaria were playing again and the whole thing is just how amazing Krum is, how one of his team mates jumped in front of a Bludger to save him and how when the other Seeker broke off chasing the Snitch to help the guy who’d just been knocked out Krum was amazing enough to stop and wait until she was ready to chase it again and how he deliberately didn’t catch the Snitch at one point because in his amazingness he believed his team could catch up the points and good grief I nearly vomited.

Unsurprisingly, they won. If there’s anyone left on the site who doesn’t believe they’re going to win the final as well I’ll eat my Crookshanks plushie. This despite the fact that apparently six of the seven (I assume the one who wasn’t was Krum because he’s amazing, though it doesn’t actually say) were bleeding from the head in the first hour after “Quaffle-off” – yes, apparently the start of the match is actually called that, I facepalmed hard enough to hurt.

Incidentally there was one post in the downtime between the quarter finals and the semi finals, it was meant to be something from Ludo Bagman (who still has a job because…?) about the betting odds and his tips for who to bet on and whatever. I didn’t bother mentioning it because it really wasn’t worth mentioning, it was duller than ditchwater and contained no content whatsoever ๐Ÿ˜›


MITCHELL:

I really don’t know what to say about any of this, lol. Even saying it’s horrible might be giving it too much credit, it mostly just sounds banal (well, until she gets into Sueifying – I doubt that’s a word but fuck it, it is now – Krum even more than she’d already been doing, which deserves all the scorn). I really do think she’s building up Krum so much simply because he’s the only name the audience are guaranteed to recognise, lol (or, less charitably, he’s the only one she recognises? I’m not sure if that makes sense…). Bleeding from the head, seriously? I remain utterly impressed with Rowling’s level of seriousness and sensitivity when addressing physical violence and injury. And ‘Quaffle-off’, seriously? Facepalm is right, I really can’t think of what to say. She isn’t even trying.

Yeah, the Ludo Bagman thing isn’t really interesting except insofar as it’s natural to wonder why he’s still employed (and, for that matter, hasn’t been arrested, if I remember canon correctly)… once again, I think Rowling’s falling back on using names people recognise from canon in an attempt to keep them interested. I’ll admit to being at least a little curious whether that works on anyone.


LOTEN:

Yeah, it really is just banal, and I strongly suspect just something that was thrown out to make us forget that the next Goblet of Fire update is long overdue. This Quidditch crap is the equivalent of jingling shiny keys at us ๐Ÿ˜› You could be right about Krum though, I suppose it saves her hurting herself trying to develop one of her three-second character names into a candidate for whatever the Quidditch equivalent of Sports Personality of the Year is (sadly that’s actually a real thing here…). And yes, six people bleeding from the head. At least it was serious enough to stop the game and fetch Healers, which is more than you might expect from wizards, though given their sensible and caring natures I expect the Healers just stopped the bleeding and sent them back out because concussions don’t exist in Fantasyland.

Arrested, or possibly assassinated by goblins. I don’t really care, honestly ๐Ÿ˜› Right now they’ve got us trying to guess which famous person is going to join Ginny for the report of the winner’s ceremony after the final at the end of this week. I’ll save you the suspense, out of the possible options it’s OBVIOUSLY going to be Harry, goddamnit. Apparently the final is going to be reported ‘live’ too, which I assume means a sentence or two every hour until whoever’s doing it (honestly I doubt it’s Rowling) gets bored. Unless they do something sad like make a Twitter account for it, in which case you’ll be deprived of the experience since I don’t use Twitter ๐Ÿ˜›


MITCHELL:

Hmm, you could be right ๐Ÿ˜› Though I think it’s probably also an attempt to capitalise on the popularity of the World Cup, which would be fair enough if it weren’t so stupid. lol, yes, good point that Krum saves her quite a bit of effort…

Oh god, really? That’s just asinine. I’ll be utterly shocked if it isn’t Harry also, even without knowing what all of the other options are; haha, now watch us be wrong and they do something actually surprising for once. I’m not on Twitter either, so if the “live reporting” does end up meaning that I suppose we’ll just have to content ourselves with not seeing it. Oh dear; however will we possibly manage? (Admittedly, losing out on the opportunity to mock it would actually be at least a tad disappointing…)


LOTEN:

Oh, this latest post is a real doozy. Random gossip column interlude from Rita Skeeter, inevitably. It’s meant to tie in with the Quidditch World Cup shit, but it’s just a clumsy way to update everyone on what the survivors of Dumbledore’s Army are now doing in 2014. Also oh look I was right, Harry’s showed up. Shock.

For some reason there’s nearly a riot because fans are so desperate to get close to Harry. No seriously he’s not still going to be that popular sixteen years later, shut up. Anyway, Snowflake takes his sons to meet Krum. But not his daughter, because sport isn’t for girls (seriously there’s no mention that they have a daughter, despite the fact she clearly exists by now). He’s apparently starting to go grey and he has a slight cut on his face so for some reason Rita starts speculating that Ginny hexed him before she buggered off to Patagonia and left her family to fend for themselves. Blah blah blah. I’m kind of amused there’s even a hint that their marriage isn’t perfect, wish anyone but Skeeter had said it. Also a hint that Harry and Krum are gay because they hugged each other when they met… oh, shut up.

Sadly Ron and Hermione are still married (well, we knew that since the Epilogue That Must Not Be Named takes place three years after this but I can hope) but the shine has really worn off Ron apparently. He’s going bald and apparently only lasted a couple of years as a fellow Auror before dropping out to run the joke shop with George. Rowling really has realised he’s a terrible character; first her admission that Ron and Hermione would never have worked, and now her admission that actually he never did much with his life. I approve of this, at least.

Despite being married, Hermione gets to keep her own surname here, at least, which is nice (if unlikely; almost all UK brides take their husband’s name, it’s very rare not to, and there’s no indication that witches get that choice). Skeeter’s snarking a bit, but does say she’s now Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Good for her, she can avoid her useless husband and the children she was clearly forced at wandpoint to have.

Neville’s Herbology teacher, his wife Hannah Abbott is applying to take over as Matron. Apparently they’re both alcoholics. I’m going to interpret Skeeter’s bitching and Rowling’s lack of understanding of alcoholism as them actually suffering a bit of PTSD, because fuck knows someone needs to.

Luna’s still Luna. Married to the magizoologist guy and with twin sons. No mention of the Quibbler sadly. A bit of general bitching about the other Weasley boys, trying too hard to be funny – Charlie might be gay because he’s still single, Bill clearly used love potions to get Fleur to marry him, blah blah blah. Their parents aren’t here apparently, guess Snowflake doesn’t love them any more. Nor are any of the older generation. Finally a couple of lengthy paragraphs about Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley because in JK’s weird universe a national newspaper believes that the whole world is extremely interested in two teenagers snogging.

So, mostly a lot of irrelevant crap just confirming the direness of the epilogue, a couple of semi-interesting points.


MITCHELL:

I’m honestly not sure what to say about most of this, heh.

I continue to be baffled by the ridiculous level of celebrity she believes Harry would have, especially this long after the events; as we’ve noticed before, it doesn’t even really make sense for him to have been that overwhelmingly famous in the stories themselves. The rest is just stupid, but as you say it’s vaguely amusing to have the hint that all may not be well ๐Ÿ˜› (too bad it’s clearly intended to be read as bullshit because she’s put it in the mouth of Skeeter-strawman).

*facepalm* ugh at the sport-is-for-boys thing. Especially when canon has established it blatantly ISN’T in the Wizarding World, women play Quidditch right alongside the men in every instance we’ve seen and FFS, Ginny was a Quidditch player it’s highly unlikely her daughter would be left out of sport by default. (Rowling, this is a good example of how not to do worldbuilding: don’t import your own default stereotypes into a culture where they wouldn’t belong!)

I think at least a few of those things about Ron had been previously established in extracanonical comments she made (e.g. dropping out of Aurory to run the joke shop, though I actually suspect that one was a hasty patch to reconcile two conflicting versions of the future she’d previously mentioned). But as you say, it’s at least interesting that she’s no longer whitewashing him as much.

Hermione keeping her surname is interesting (I’ve always thought changing it would be OOC for her). I’m tempted to speculate whether it’s just Rowling wanting to retain the character’s name for recognition purposes – “Hermione Granger” is much more deeply embedded in whatever cultural consciousness of Potter things exists than Hermione with any other surname, after all. Then again, as far as I recall the dreadful epilogue never did mention her name one way or the other, just that she was married to Ron (and actually even that may have been implied more than stated), so it’s not an inconsistency.

…alcoholics. Really. I don’t even know what to say at this point, except that it’s apparent she continues to treat that issue with her characteristic sensitivity. Of course people who happen to own a pub would be alcoholics, why the fuck wouldn’t they be? Rowling, you need sensitivity training. STAT.

Love potions. Of course. Because we can’t have any discussion of someone marrying a person prettier than them (“out of their league”, how I loathe this phrase and concept) without the insinuation that no pretty person would condescend to do that out of free will; adding mind-altering substances just makes it oh-so-funny.

Lovely. Just lovely. What a pleasant surprise ๐Ÿ˜›


LOTEN:

Yeah, especially since the British fans would only form a very small percentage of the crowd and there’s no reason why anyone outside Britain would have heard of him. As we discussed with the Bulgarian ambassador at the canon World Cup. (And actually Krum and Fleur never seemed to care who he was, did they? Nor did any of the Beauxbatons or Durmstrang lot. That was nice.)

I know, it’s ghastly. I’m glad not to have the Lily-clone onscreen, of course, but the James-clone was still there and so was the most unfortunately named boy in existence, so leaving her out is impossible to explain except with sexism. On the heels of all the misogyny in Cuckoo, it’s not looking good for Rowling right now, honestly.

Hm, really? I clearly stopped paying attention as soon as his name came up ๐Ÿ˜›

Changing it would be OOC for her if she was American, certainly, it seems much more of a conscious choice over there. Here it simply wouldn’t occur to most women not to change their surname if they get married, it’s just one of those things that happens. I don’t remember exactly what the epilogue says either, and I refuse to ever read it again except once more when we finish our re-read so I’m not going to look, but from now on my headcanon is that they married young and she had children because peer pressure etc and then she came to her senses and they’re now divorced ๐Ÿ˜›

Yeah, pretty much. It’s also phrased because plausible deniability, since if anyone objects Rowling can just blame it on Skeeter-strawman. Ditto with the love potion thing, it’s phrased as poisonous tabloid bitchiness so it can’t be easily challenged as a horrible thing. Never mind that she’s just stated he’s a rapist.

I thought you’d enjoy it ๐Ÿ˜›


MITCHELL:

Yes, that’s a good point. We’ve definitely discussed that before; even if we were to grant Rowling the absurd level of popularity she gave him in the book *within Britain*, it’s still utterly absurd to expect it to extend beyond there (especially to e.g. people like the Bulgarian ambassador). Though as you say, at least Krum and Fleur didn’t seem to know or care; actually, come to think of it, neither did the foreign headmasters, did they? (And come to think of it, Karkaroff probably should have by dint of being a Death Eater, even if he wouldn’t have otherwise… this really is a tangled mess :P).

Agreed.

As far as I know, yes. I’m only going off things I’ve seen discussed at deathtocapslock and the like, I don’t think I’ve seen the actual interview quotes myself…

I don’t know that that’s the case, per se – I think it’s more of a conscious choice within certain circles (e.g. educated feminist women), but otherwise changing to the husband’s name is still the default choice. A lot of the bureaucratic systems and such also assume by default that the name is going to be changed, which makes things difficult for people who want to do other things. I think it’s probably pretty similar on both sides of the pond, honestly. I wasn’t planning to look it up in the epilogue either, lol; we can cross that bridge when we come to it. I don’t bother with headcanons for epilogue-related things, and I’m surprised you do: aren’t you the one who spent so long convincing me that it never happened? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh yes, I also assumed that having Skeeter be the one to say it (as with so many of these things) was for plausible deniability purposes, and for that matter that Rowling doesn’t intend the love potion thing to be taken seriously per se. It’s a bit more than plausible deniability, because as far as I can tell the intent is not for the reader to believe that love potions were actually involved. That said, I don’t think that matters; it’s enough that she thinks it’s an appropriate thing to casually joke about. (What would be a comparable real world circumstance? I can’t really imagine a tabloid cover saying something like “Famous Woman X is pregnant! Did Famous Man Y rape her?” and getting away with it…)


LOTEN:

Good point. Nobody ever speaks to Maxime about anything except Hagrid’s gruesome attempt at flirting so there’s no knowing what she thinks, but she certainly didn’t seem anything except annoyed that Hogwarts were getting two entrants. And Karkaroff’s existence makes no sense anyway except as the single token foreigner, lol. Plus of course neither of them should have been there anyway because hello they have schools to run and it actually is a full time job. Like everything else in this series, Harry is famous when the plot requires it and mysteriously unrecognisable the rest of the time.

Hm, fair enough then. And LOL, touchรฉ! Of course the entire epilogue doesn’t exist ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if it somehow did and wasn’t just an unfortunate mass hallucination, then I imagine that would be the explanation.

Sad but true. Just replace ‘love potion’ with ‘rohypnol’ and see how funny it is then.

No report on the oh so dramatic final until tomorrow, it doesn’t start until I go offline for dinner etc lol. I have this odd feeling that it’s just possible Bulgaria might win. Can’t imagine what makes me think that…


MITCHELL:

Heh, yes. That’s partially my point – they shouldn’t just have objected to Hogwarts having an extra contestant, but the fact that the local celebrity was apparently being given special treatment. Very good point that they shouldn’t have been there at all, too! Rowling never really does seem to have wrapped her mind around the fact that school administrators actually have real work to do.

I actually wouldn’t be completely surprised if she pulled another stupid stunt like she did in the book actually – remember, Krum catches the snitch for no reason to end the game before the point disparity gets worse (which still makes no bloody sense, lol). Maybe he’ll sabotage the game again and show himself to be a colossal troll? ๐Ÿ˜› (I wish.)


LOTEN:

You somehow managed to still give her too much credit, lol. Bulgaria won. And won purely because Krum was amazing and caught the Snitch, because this game is ridiculously broken and the position of Seeker is stupid. The updates were apparently in real time every few minutes (which must have been annoying as fuck to follow, honestly) as posts from both Ginny and Rita. Ginny’s were your standard sports commentary, people scoring goals, people saving goals, people doing fancy moves, bla bla bla. Rita’s additions were completely pointless, she was literally describing Dumbledore’s Army members watching a sports match – this person applauded, this person (Hermione) understandably yawned, this person’s child supports a different team to their parents. It was unbelievably dull. It also ended with Ginny hexing Rita mid sentence, because all Gryffindors know that it’s perfectly acceptable to physically assault people in public as long as they choose someone unpopular.


MITCHELL:

Of course. Of course the win’s due to the Snitch, because the bloody Seeker is the only thing that matters. The updates sound just thrilling also, lol – real-time gossip about people nobody would care about in-universe except for the fact they’re characters familiar to the readers? There’s almost something meta going on there, I think, but I can’t put my finger on it exactly… Well, props to Rowling for finally writing Ginny in-character, I suppose? ๐Ÿ˜‰ That behaviour is consistent with at least one of her canon multiple personalities…


LOTEN:

Haha, yes. I agree, it is rather meta on some level, isn’t it? And lol, yes, finally something that sounds like it was actually Ginny. This whole Quidditch thing was a total waste of time, honestly. I haven’t bothered looking around the site to see how many people actually care.


MITCHELL:

I obviously agree with you that it was a complete waste of time, but when have we not said that about anything Quidditch-related? I would be curious to know if anyone actually cares, there might be some interesting insights into the fanbase and/or the people on Pottermore to be gained from it, but I don’t blame you for avoiding them.


LOTEN:

Haha, true. But even those interested in Quidditch would probably have been disappointed, obviously most of what I picked out for you was non-game content but there wasn’t much else in all honesty. None of the entries were very long and you got a few sentences about the gameplay plus the random shite I pulled out to tell you. It really was all just filler to stop people fretting over when the next canon update will be released, I think, lol. I could have understood if it had gone into more depth about each match and talked more technically about the sport, but there was just no substance to any of it.

Wasn’t that fun, boys and girls? Next week’s post will cover the most recent canon Pottermore update of the Goblet of Fire content. After that I’ll be starting something new that’s been hinted at before, so watch this space.

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9 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2014 in loten, mitchell

 

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9 responses to “Pottermore: Quidditch World Cup, end.

  1. All-I-need

    August 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Oh my god are you serious? No, let me re-phrase that: Is Rowling serious?!
    I mean, it is at least slightly possible that what she meant by “professional brooms” was “brooms owned by professional Quidditch players” which still doesn’t explain why the spells (which are apparently supposed to be standard) weren’t in place. Probably another dig against Nigeria as the poor African country that just can’t afford brooms of the same quality as the rest of the world…

    The thing with Bill having used a love potion on Fleur is simply ridiculous AND goes against canon, since it is explicitly stated (several times) in Goblet of Fire just how cool Bill looks and how all the girls adore him and that Fleur herself was making eyes at him from across the room. Not to mention that obviously a part-Veela girl totally doesn’t have any powers of compulsion over men, as demonstrated by how completely unimpressed Ron was with her in the books… oh wait, he wasn’t! Oops, must have ignored canon again.

    As far as planes are concerned, wizards seem to be at least aware of helicopters, seeing as Malfoy brags about narrowly escaping Muggles in helicopters while out flying in Book One. I’m not sure if that means that wizards are aware of airplanes, though. Then again, I’m still trying to understand how they got radio but neither TV nor computers (or anything else).

    No comment on the trans-atlantic owls, except maybe owls can apparate? Seeing as they instinctively seem to know every address on the planet, even if you don’t use the recipient’s real name (see “Snuffles”), I bet they’re just … Owl Sues and capable of flying at warp-drive or something.

     
    • mcbender

      August 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I know; it’s just awful. You have a very good point about the racist implications of Nigeria being the country with inadequate brooms.

      About the love potion thing: I hate to defend Rowling at all, but as I said to Loten earlier, I don’t think it’s contradicting canon per se because I don’t think the reader is intended to believe it (rather, we’re supposed to take it as invented slander by Skeeter). It’s still incredibly problematic for a variety of reasons, some of which I think I already covered – the main one obviously being that this is considered an acceptable thing to speculate about in a mainstream Wizarding newspaper… basically my issue with the love potion isn’t so much whether or not it’s consistent with canon, but the fact that Rowling thinks it’s the kind of thing she can casually joke about (hello there rape culture).

       
      • All-I-need

        August 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        To be honest, I’m not sure I trust Rowling to be cunning enough to wrap a questionable statement in the words of a despicable character just so she can use it as an insurance against any potential backlash. I therefore just assumed she wasn’t really thinking about what she was saying. Or maybe Rita Skeeter is J.K’s accidental self-insert…
        And you are right that the speculation is definitely problematic no matter what her intention was. But then again, the entire Prophet is problematic.

         
    • janach

      August 15, 2014 at 1:27 am

      Nigeria is not a poor African country. It has oil; it’s a rich African country. That doesn’t mean the people are rich, but the country as a whole has plenty of dough to outfit their national Quidditch team with the best brooms available.

      It is another one of the inconsistencies of canon that Draco, pureblood snob who has no reason to pay attention to muggles, knows what a helicopter is, while Arthur Weasley, who is a nerd about muggle technology, is not capable of finding how how airplanes stay up. It’s the shape of the airfoil, Arthur. I read all about it back in the Seventies when I was taking private pilot’s lessons. Or, to quote Sister Bertrille: when lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag, anything will fly.

       
  2. Gowan

    August 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    About the love potion thing, I am certain that Rowling didn’t intend the reader to believe that. She made a lot of effort to establish Fleur’s feelings for Bill as true love, especially when Bill was wounded and everyone expected Fleur to break off the engagement. The same with the alcoholism; I’m sure we are expected to see that as Rita’s usual lies.

    “(What would be a comparable real world circumstance? I canโ€™t really imagine a tabloid cover saying something like โ€œFamous Woman X is pregnant! Did Famous Man Y rape her?โ€ and getting away with itโ€ฆ)”

    As a matter of fact, I can imagine that quite well.

    A rather famous actor cracked a “joke” about how he uses roofies for “seduction”, and I wouldn’t put it past some tabloids to write something like “Famous partygoer X is pregnant – does she remember who the father is or was she too drunk to remember his face?”

    Of course they wouldn’t use the word “rape”, but I think they could get away with something that implies rape.

    (Sometimes I wonder how aware Rowling is of the rapeyness of love potions. I mean, Voldemort was born due to use of a love potion and he’s super-evil – it somehow hints that she knows it was rape, what with circumstances of birth being very important in magic and superstition.)

    If Rowling had proven herself to be a somewhat more competent author, I’d suspect that the rape joke is part of Rika Skeeter as a tabloid journalist caricature. Still; I don’t think it’s appropriate to do that with children as your intended audience.

    As for the aforementioned “joke”, I’ll put a WARNING here, because some might not want to know who the guy is, for it might lessen their enjoyment of the Hobbit – movie.

    Here is the quote:

    “Interviewer: And the height difference doesnโ€™t matter?
    Freeman: Not at all. Iโ€™ve got a ladder. Itโ€™s fine. And Iโ€™ve got drugs. I could just make them [here he makes a hand motion that looks to me like the elf would be falling over] โ€”yโ€™know. Slip them something in their goblet. Some will get offended by that now. Cause theyโ€™ll call it *insert actual air quotes, eye roll* โ€˜rapeโ€™ or whatever. But, um, you know. For me, itโ€™s a helping hand. Maybe I should stop talking.”

    Link to source: http://www.themarysue.com/martin-freeman-rape-joke/

     
    • Loten

      August 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Well. I’ve just lost all respect for Martin Freeman. I wouldn’t have thought he was the type to make ‘jokes’ like that. Damn.

      Anyway, Rowling definitely doesn’t see them as rapey. Romilda Vane never gets into trouble for using them on Ron/trying to use them on Harry, nobody bothers to report it and Slughorn never asks how Ron ended up drinking love potions, it’s treated as a hilarious mishap (and apparently fourteen year olds can get hold of this stuff very easily). The kiddies get to see Amortentia in the classroom, it’s not a banned substance. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes sell watered-down versions. Even with Voldy’s parents, the narrative condemns Merope for being female and poor and depressed but there’s no emphasis on the love potion, it’s just part of her status as a negative character and there’s no attempt to sympathise with Tom Riddle Senior for being a victim of it.

       
  3. Gowan

    August 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Maybe I’m giving Rowling too much credit then – I always understood it as part of the magic world’s overall carelessness when it comes to safety. Or ethics. Slughorn is a rather morally grey character, and the Weasley twins likewise, with their testing their inventions on students and all that.
    I think love potions are banned in Howarts – don’t the Weasleys slip them in disguised as perfume? That, and the fact that Hogwarts is about the only place where house elves are treated relatively well, made me think that the magic world is intentionally portrayed as somewhat ethically questionable, with some exceptions such as Dumbledore.
    (I don’t remember … did they actually brew Amortentia, or did Slughorn just show it to them and tell them how dangerous it is?)
    I remember that Merope was pitied for her hopeless life, and I thought there was some line of dialogue about Voldemort being the child of a loveless marriage … could have hallucinated some of it, though – it is always surprising to me how horrible some books turn out to be once a thourough reader looks closely at what’s actually written there.I did sympathise with Tom Riddle Senior once I understood the implications, but yes, I don’t think that was in the book.

     
  4. slightlymetaphysical

    August 27, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    re. Hermione’s name. It has always been my most ardent HP headcanon that Hermione keeps her name after marriage. Not especially through any feminist/gender egalitarian feelings, but simply because she knows she’s going to spend her life pushing through reforms which will explicitly empower non-human and unempowered members of the magical community at the expense of the privilege of Lucius and his ex-death eater cronies. She knows that they could handle being thwarted by a Weasley, because they’re an old and established wizarding house, but they are never going to get over the indignity of being bested by someone with a name as muggle as Granger. Which is why she wears it proudly and defiantly throughout her life.

    Basically, Hermione Granger, Department of Magical Law Enforcement perfectly fits my headcanon.

     
    • Loten

      August 28, 2014 at 7:53 am

      That works for me, and it does perfectly fit her character, though my personal headcanon is that she never married Ron in the first place ๐Ÿ˜›

       

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