Monday, August 01, 2005

A beautiful rainy weekend!

I was so happy that this weekend was gray and damp. We really needed some rain and a break from the heat. But more importantly, it gave me an opportunity to sit around and read a lot because exterior house painting is not advisable when it is raining or about to rain. I did a little painting on Saturday, but I wasn't feeling well and when I started getting downright nauseated I stopped. Sunday was even better because it kept spitting rain on and off all day, so after taking the dogs for a nice long walk I pretty much played the layabout all day. It was wonderful.

I'm re-re-re-reading all the Harry Potter Books (in reverse order), plus trying to keep up with the flabbergastingly huge amount of discussion on one of the HP fan lists. (I found one where just about everyone uses not just whole words, but entire sentences complete with subjects and verbs. Lots of misplaced modifiers, of course, but we try not to get too picky ...) There a few things that get a little tiresome about the HP list I'm on (and from what I've seen of the others, all of them). For one thing, there are the "shippers," who seem to care most of all about who's going to end up with whom (i.e., the relationships, hence the name "shippers.") For example, one recent post lamented the fact that Neville didn't seem likely to hook up with anyone. Several people actually went to the trouble of replying to the post ... meanwhile I'm thinking who the hell cares? As far as I can tell, the only purpose of the love-interest side stories is that any story about teenagers would fall completely flat if you didn't show them having crushes on each other and whatnot. In fact, I suspect the reason JKR pulled the really clumsy and formulaic hero-on-a-mission-dumps-his-girlfriend-because-he's-got-to-go-it-alone scene between Ginny and Harry at the end of HBP is because there's just going to be too much going on in the next book without having to write in the complications of Harry having a girlfriend. In other words, it doesn't really matter who hooks up with who (OK, I can predict a Harry-and-Ginny-hug-and-kiss scene in the end when Harry vanquishes Voldemort once and for all, but otherwise, it's just not important.)

Another thing that can be a little annoying on the list are all the people who are going to great lengths to come up with reasons that Dumbledore (Ok, spoiler here folks!) can't be dead. Of course he's dead!! It's the classic hero-must-lose-his-mentor-and-be-on-his-own storyline. Dumbledore had to die, otherwise we would have had yet another book in which Harry is a pupil and Dumbledore a teacher. At some point Harry has to kick some evil wizard ass once and for all, and since the next book is the last, he needs to be getting on with it. (BTW, I've heard at least one prediction that Harry will die at the end of Book 7. I don't think so--there's going to be lots of dying, but not by Harry. Maybe he'll get his hand cut off by a light saber but ... oh, wait, wrong hero ...)

But as I mentioned before, the big question is Severus Snape: Good or Evil? JKR called him a "truly horrid person" or something like that in on of the interviews, but then Sirius (or was it McGonagall? I pretty sure it was Sirius) said in Order Of the Phoenix that the world is not divided into good people and Death Eaters. Anyway, I'm seriously leaning right now toward the "Snape is good" camp.

But there's no way in hell that Harry is a horcrux, okay?

14 comments:

Elizabeth said...

In my household, I'm of the Snape=good and Henry (age 14, is of the Snape=bad. He's usually more right than I am about HP stuff, so its good to know other people agree with me. He convinced me that the sorting hat is a Horcrux though. It originally belonged to Gryffindor...

georg said...

The sorting hat = horcrux theory has a certain resonance, esp. if you imagine what a post-hat Hogwarts might be like. That is, no separation into Houses, which would address the "Slytherin is just a Death Eater branch office" problem, among other things.

andrew said...

You might consider putting spolier warning a little bit further befor ethe spoiler itself (although, thanks - you just saved me $25)

lisa said...

i saw my brother tonight. he's 20 and grew up with the books. he comes down on the snape = evil side, and said that he's never liked him.

i realized then that i'm distracted by the fact that snape is SEXY, which is something that my young and presumably straight brother is not going to be distracted by.

so maybe he's right.

Sarah said...

I want to believe Snape is ultimately good because Snape being evil means you really can judge a book by its cover, which makes the series (at least its approach to good and evil) much less complex and interesting. I've always liked that she had a character who's a jerk, hates the hero, is the villain of many subplots, but is still on the right side of the larger story arc. Taking that away really lessens the series in my eyes.

Lisa B. said...

Andrew--sorry! But, I didn't tell you who killed him, did I? Believe me, the book is still worth reading even if you know who dies (I knew it before I read it because of all the rumors flying about, plus I thought it was just the most logical thing in terms of plot development). I just love the world that JKR has made so much that the actual plot is almost secondary!

I think the sorting hat might be a horcrux ... but honestly I haven't given it so much thought because I've been busy mulling other questions (Snape: good or evil?, why Harry is not a horcrux, and will he or won't he return to Hogwarts next year?)

As for Snape=sexy, I think in my mind that has a lot to do with Alan Rickman! But knowing what we know about him, I really want him to have some sort of redemption. I'm with Sarah--I think Snape is the most interesting character because he's so ambiguous.

andrew said...

That's okay. I had decided not to buy this latest book (and am in two minds still about borrowing it from the library) after reading the last book. I found it much worse than the others and very misogynistic to the point that I could only just finish it. It has really put me off reading this one.

Lisa B. said...

Misogynistic? In what way?

andrew said...

Just the whole way he treated Cho like she was dirt. I preseumed the whole way thorugh the book that there was some reason for it, but at the end it was never resolved. I felt really shocked that JK Rowling would portray the treatment of a teenage girl like that without and retribution against Harry for it.

lisa said...

it has everything to do with Alan Rickman!

however, i do agree with you and sarah. snape is an excellent character, and i know i have other reasons for thinking he's not evil.

Lisa B. said...

Andrew--I completely interpreted the Harry-Cho thing differently. He was a bumbling clod of a teenager as far as romance goes, and he had no idea how to relate to a girl he liked. I think the point of the Cho scenes was to sort of show that Harry wasn't really "boyfriend material" at the time, because he had no idea he was being caddish. And on Cho's part, it did seem that she was still fixated on Cedric and just "rebounding" with Harry. Plus, commenting about Roger Davies to get back at Harry was pretty mean. Not to mention that I would have been royally ticked off at her (and probably never spoken to her again) for bringing in the ratfink who outed the DA to Umbridge ...

Lisa--Poor Alan Rickman probably gets stalked all the time by the Snape-obsessed!

andrew said...

He came acrossas not knowing how to deal with members of the opposite sex, true, but he was so unkind that i just assumed he would be made to see the error of his ways before the end of the order of the phoenix; instead he is never punished for it. I don't think that is a very good example to set. Perhaps he gets his ass kicked for it in the latest book but it should have been in the same book.

Lisa B. said...

Well, from my experiences in real life, people are rarely punished for being unkind. But I saw Harry as being more insensitive than unkind, and I never once thought he should get his ass kicked for it.

At any rate, he and Cho avoid all eye contact through the latest book ...

Vicky said...

I don't know anyone here >_> Hi all. I was just searching for support of Snape being good; I'm making a list. But uh... I agree that Harry was just a bumbling clod. Silly boy. And Sirius dies... that's punishment, if he deserves any O_o It's not like he deserves all the suffering he's had all his live. So what if he's a . . . bit awkward?

Uh, yeah, I feel like leaving a link to my Xanga Post about Snape so ya'll have a fair chance to stalk me back and whatnot! Bye!

~Vicky

http://www.xanga.com/item.aspx?user=FaeriesTwilight&tab=weblogs&uid=326950492