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The Five Exceptions to Gamp's Law (Revisited)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Taure, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. AgentSatan

    AgentSatan Second Year

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    @Sesc why not? Why can’t it be non-complex? This whole confusing canon transfiguration system leads to my original proposal of just making transfiguration temporary.
     
  2. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    ... you're starting to argue in circles. "Useful, functional robes are not easy to transfigure" is the (canon-compliant, if not explicitly mentioned) answer to "why doesn't everyone transfigure robes". Asking "why can't they be non-complex" in this context is nonsensical. If you start with the premise "robes are easy to transfigure" then sure, you have to think of other reasons why everyone doesn't transfigure them.

    I just don't see why you'd want to.

    (And what you consider "confusing" I consider magic -- and the most fun part of it at that.)


    That's the bottom line, really: We know tranfiguration can be permanent, and we know everyone doesn't transfigure robes (or furniture, or ...). Now make it work.
     
  3. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Perhaps in addition to the normal difficulty of the magic, one of the exceptions to Gamp is "style". So you can transfigure something into a robe, but like food you have to have something stylish already to transfigure.

    Or: it is a requirement of the magic that only snappy dressers are able to transfigure robes.
     
  4. AgentSatan

    AgentSatan Second Year

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    @Sesc let’s just agree to disagree on this. To be fair you’re right in that there is no reason that magic shouldn’t follow rules that make sense to me or don’t make sense in general, but I still feel that the interpretation I have is correct.
     
  5. Warlocke

    Warlocke Fourth Champion

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    Double coupons.

    No double coupons for transfigured objects. No returns. Warranty void if transfigured again after purchase.
     
  6. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Just for reference, because I realise I didn't source it: Besides from using the principle of least assumptions which leads to permanent transfiguration, we know it is permanent e.g. from the way Quintapeds are regarded.

    Of the things I just came up with, I'm actually most fond of the 'breezy' rule.

    Try this on for size:
    Most things we see transfigured are solid, sturdy, very tangible. The more airy something is, the harder it is to transfigure, because it approaches Nothing, and Nothing is one of the exceptions in Gamp's Law: You can't transfigure Nothing. Which is why vanished objects go into non-being, that is to say Everything, which is the antithesis of Nothing.

    Consequently, useful robes, being definitely on the more airy side of the spectrum, are quite hard to achieve. Much easier to simply magically sew or knit them, which is what Madam Malkin does; and her skill is an untold array of masterfully executed Charms (as well as creative talent), not Transfiguration.
     
  7. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    I think that clothes could be one of the exceptions to gamps law but that its still possible to transform one piece of clothes into another.

    When Hermione explains that you cant make food out of nothing, she mention that you can transform it.
    In the Script for the scene where Queenie and Tina transfigure their Robes they are also mentioned as trasforming.
    This is also interesting because when using regular transfiguaration spell the process is never really described as transform , transform its usually only used to describe things like alchemy, potions, Animagi, Metamorphmagi or the Werewolf transformation.

    It would also make sense that if wizards are unable to transfigure things like wool or cotton into clothes, that they would be forced to buy them. And once they own robes made by a professional the average wizards would struggle to turn them into something even better(although minor alterations are proably not uncommon ). Of course there would also be the occasional witch or wizards who learned how to do it(similar to how lots of muggles learn how to sew but that still doesent stop them from buying new clothes).

    I think about the process of making them that its also possible that someone like Madam Malkin creates adequate robes herself and then when she is finished continues to transform them into the best possible robes she can manage, which of coure would be better then most wizards could manage.

    But I also think its like the argument about good food where even though you couldnt transfigure things into Clothes you could transfigure yourself a recource which can be turned into clothes, like a shoemaker could transfigure a desk into a cow and then skin it to make leather boots.
     
  8. JuniorAL

    JuniorAL Second Year

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    Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but I've just thought of 5 good exceptions to gamps law and I do not wish to create yet another thread about it.

    Five Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration:

    1- Food
    2- Gold, Silver and Precious gems
    This exception does not apply to alchemy.
    - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone.

    3- This law regards human-to-animal transfigurations.
    Any Intelligent being that is transformed into an unintelligent animal, will lose its rational thought. Otherwise, a being's intelligence remains unaltered when transformed into non-animal creatures and objects. (Even if Dumbledore transformed Crabbe into himself, Crabbe would not become any smarter, despite having Dumbledore's brains).
    Ps: Intelligent beings transformed into objects will have their mind stuck in limbo (the same place Montague was stuck at when the Twins pushed him into the vanishing cabinet).

    4- The fourth law mentions the impossibility of creating living, non-animal species.
    No one can conjure living, non-animal species out of nothing. You can transform non-animal species into non-animal species (goblins into centaurs). You cannot transform inanimate things (tables, chairs, etc) and animals into living non-animal species.
    The definition of Living non-animal species can encompass everything from humans to house-elves and goblins, etc.
    This law does not apply to dead non-animal species, with Dark Magic you can conjure a dead human or even transfigure a chair into a dead goblin.
    Ps: I can imagine the creator of the Resurrection Stone, attempting to conjure a living body for his dead loved one in order to "put her soul back in place".

    5- Writings
    Transfiguration alone cannot conjure any form of writings. Books conjured with transfiguration will always have blank pages, and quills transformed into letters will also be blank, regardless of skill. Rita Skeeter could never forge fake letters with Dumbledore's handwriting.


    Okay, just remember that these exceptions only apply to Transfiguration Alone, and not charms, or alchemy or even the animagus transformations.

    Also, the Transfiguration branch of magic can only affect physical things, it cannot transform insubstantial or ethereal things such as the soul. For example, when Hermione used Human transfiguration to disguise Ron, his soul remained unaltered which is why he retained his mind, powers, and memories.
    Magic inhabits the soul and not the body, which is how Voldemort kept his magic even after he lost his body. When Fake-Moody transformed Draco into a ferret, Malfoy's soul remained unaltered, but because of the Third Law, he lost his rational thought until McGonagall untransfigured him.

    It took me quite some time to think of these 5 exceptions, I'm just not very good with transfiguration. Charms have always been my best subject and the one I find easiest to come up with new theories.

    Let me know what you think and if you have any questions or criticisms to make.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
  9. moribund_helix

    moribund_helix First Year

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    Why is everyone so stuck on clothes being an exception? There's really no indication this being true from the books or anything that suggests that. And while I could see some historical reasons for it being the case, meh it does not really fit.The four of the five exceptions are obvious:

    1. Food
    2. Drinks (wine, beer, etc)
    3. Noble metals
    4. Humans
    5.

    Knowledge is completely outside the scope of Transfiguration to necessitate being an exception. Like making magical creatures or anything magical or centaurs/goblins etc. Like duh, of course you don't do that with Transfiguration. Ditto for Intelligence, Souls etc.
     
  10. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    Because clothing is something with clear value in the wizarding world. Magical Brtain alone has a market for several clothing stores, and there would be no reason for poor powerful wizards such as the Weasleys or Lupin to have to make do with old/shabby second hand clothing, if they had the option to magically create them.
     
  11. Download

    Download Professor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I prefer the idea that wizards would prefer an enchanted but old piece of clothing over a new, non-enchanted one.
     
  12. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    While I assume this is true, you'd think someone like Arthur Weasley wouldn't struggle with enchanting clothes for himself and his family either.
     
  13. moribund_helix

    moribund_helix First Year

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    I think it's important to realise that JKR just wanted to make some characters look poor and took cues from the "muggle" society. And I think that's important to keep in mind when trying to go above and beyond trying to fill those gaps; if there's no other reasoning other than the holes left by JKR then that's not good enough for me. Of course you can make up anything you like, that's up to you.

    On the matter at hand, Dumbledore creates complex & stylish armchairs to sit in. That means cloth too. It's a bit strange then for clothing to be one of the five principal exceptions of transfiguration.

    Now for Lupin & the Weasleys, it could be reasoned that creating well adjusted robes is something that requires some skill and that also wearing transfigured clothing from something else you are always in risk of someone untransfiguring it and leaving you naked.

    And if you think this doesn't completely cover up this gaping hole, making clothing one of the principal exceptions of transfiguration doesn't close it either. Food is one of those exceptions and you can multiply it. You could therefore reasonably multiply cloth and then use charms to create clothing. A housewife like Mrs Weasley would have no reason to limit herself in wool sweaters. And yet she does solely because JKR wanted the Weasleys to look poor. At some point you have to stop looking for evermore complex ways to justify every mistake and just allow yourself to accept that there will be non coverable holes.
     
  14. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    It's hardly "going above and beyond" to assume that things valued by wizarding society cant easily be created by magic. Especially if we see even competent wizards valuing them.
    You're looking at it too technical, just because you can create something out of the same materials, doesen't mean it cant be an exception to gamp's law. Like we literally see that in the books, since you can use transfiguration to create animals, but not food made from those animals.
    They've been poor for decades, they had the talent and the time to hone their skill. Lupin especially, since he ahd to spend most of his life without any employment.
    Eh, it's been long established that items multiplied by magic spoil and wear down much faster. This doesen't matter much by food you have to consume anyway, but it's not really viable for clothing.
     
  15. Download

    Download Professor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    That's the same as going "why do muggles buy clothes instead of making them?"

    Polymaths are rare. Arthur being good at one type of magic does not make him an expert at all of them. A person who makes magical clothing is likely hyperspecialised at that magic and can do better than charms masters with those particular charms.
     
  16. moribund_helix

    moribund_helix First Year

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    I wasn't aware of this. Could you point me to this fact? I'm genuinely curious. It seems to run counter to being able to multiply food and then for that food to be viable for consuming if there's something inherently wrong with it.

    The point I'm driving towards (and perhaps failed to articulate) is that in the HP world there can't really be a justification for wearing threadbare robes. It can be that poorer people can't afford to buy acromantula silk or what have you, but for every magical obstacle you put there will be a workaround. For every step from farming to spinning & weaving to actually making clothes the magic of the HP world allows for extreme boosts in productivity and cuts in labor. It boggles the mind how food can be super cheap but textiles oh so very expensive.
     
  17. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    Magical clothing we know is limited to self-repairing and self ironing charms, those hardly seem above Arthur who is capable of creating stuff like creating flying cars. Hell, Arthur's Job is literally about dealing with enchanted Items.
    It's from the Wonder Book of spells, where the spell descriptions are by Rowling.
    Though I assume they're fairly safe to consume, since they are supposed to be initially identical. But personally I think when they use magic to increase the amount of food, they'd probably rather just enlarge it, as we see Hagrid do just that with his giant pumpkins.
    I am not really seeing the problem, even if magic makes the process much more efficient, you're still gonna have a specialist wizard spend time of his day for each and every piece they create. Skilled magical labour is pretty much the most valuable thing the wizarding economy has to offer, expecting it to reduce prices to nothing doesen't seem like it would follow.

    Food on the other hand can be much more easily be created in large quantities with magic.
     
  18. moribund_helix

    moribund_helix First Year

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    How, don't you need cooks? Is the only difference between the food and clothing that one can be multiplied and quickly digested?

    Nope you don't. Why assume that textile and clothing creation cannot be, in large part, streamlined when printing has? And Mrs Weasley certainly has plenty of time, she's the quintessential housewife. Muggle housewives do make clothes, hell, Mrs Weasley makes sweaters. When you try saving money so much that you hand down to your kids twice used wands, then it only makes sense to save in other stuff as well. And honestly, when I (a muggle) can make nice clothes (and I'm just a guy who has put in a bit of effort, it's not my job or anything) I just can't imagine any reason why a talented housewife witch like Mrs Weasley couldn't easily surpass me with results superior in quality as well as quantity in a hundredth of the time it takes me. Making clothes does not require some Muggle specialist, I fail to see why a magical specialist would be needed. For muggles to more easily make clothes, for me, kind of defeats the whole magical aspect.

    The HP magic points to a mostly post-scarcity society, but for JKR wanting to have people facing relatable difficulties. You want to make clothing an exception for transfiguration, go ahead, for me it still can't account for wizards wearing threadbare robes.
     
  19. Download

    Download Professor ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Citation needed.

    It's clearly more complicated that that. You could make the same argument for just about everything in the magical world. If it were "just charms" then anyone with basic competency would make their own things instead of buying, not just clothes.
     
  20. aAlouda

    aAlouda Professor

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    Maybe? We never really see cooked food(other than sweets) sold, pretty much all the meals we see prepared being done so by wizards and witches in private or house-elves. So we can't really estimate if its extremely cheap or not. I guess Harry did regularly eat out when he lived at the leaky cauldron in book 3, but he isn't exactly poor.
    I think it's more that food in general is grown in larger amounts at once, you dont see people preparing each piece individually like a magical seamistress would need to with clothing. Though yes, being able to enlarge and multiply your produce probably helps a ton.

    I really get where you're coming from, but I think we're just viewing the wizarding world differently.

    From the way I see things, the magical world lacks the ability of muggles to easily scale things up, as magic cant be easily automated. Like on every individual aspect I see a spell being superior to a machine designed to replicate its purpose, but you can much more easily reproduce those machines and have cheap workers staff them, than you can reproduce the spells, as all enchanted items designed to reproduce a spell, seem notably inferior to just casting the spells and usually wear off as well, which means you actually need an expert capable of doing all the necesarry magic themselves.

    Like take the history of the severing charm for example. It was invented by a seamistress witch who used magic to make dresses and clothes, making her one of the best dressmakers in london, and presumebly with notably greater ease. But in the end she is still a single witch specialized in her craft with only so many hours a day. Training more people like her, is a much more difficult task then just scaling up a muggle production line.

    Though you do have a point about Molly. I can think of a few reasons why she still wouldn't, but those would be pure speculation at this point.
    It was mentioned several times on Rowling's old website, most prominently on this ad
    .
    What? Enchanted Items by large are objects with charms on them, and in general just charms the buyer can't perform themselves. Like invisibility cloaks imbued with Disillusionment Charms or Hats with a shield charm on them. The only exception we see are more elaborate artifcats fulfiling purposes that aren't easily replicated by spells we know.

    The point is, a wizard capable of using those charms wouldn't need to buy them, but as most wizards aren't good at magic, they can sell a ton of them. As we see with Fred and George selling their shielded hats by the hundreds, if not thousands because an incredibly large number of adults cant use the shield charm.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021 at 11:36 AM
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