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Week 2: Philosopher's Stone, Ch. 10 - 17

Discussion in 'Bookclub' started by Taure, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Week 1 surpassed my expectations for the amount of stuff we would find to talk about and I'm sure the discussion of those chapters will continue even as we move on to week 2. Feel free to continue discussions in the week 1 thread about the content of those chapters.

    Use this thread to discuss chapters 10 - 17 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2016
  2. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    More random observations on my part:

    Chapter 10

    You know all those stories out there, where Ron's the obvious prat and Harry and Hermione instantly become friends or something? Yeah, if canon's any indication, Hermione's not Harry's first choice in a friend.

    Pretty intimidating and it further cements just how incredibly brave both Harry and Ron are, at the age of 11, to take that thing on by choice once Hermione's in danger.

    This crops up again later on with the Devil's Snare scene, but in dangerous situations, for now, Ron's better at keeping his head in the game than Hermione.

    Chapter 11

    Snape doesn't appear to have gone to Pomfrey to get that injury fixed up. Also, it's interesting that the wound isn't trivial to take care of here. Possibly, wounds inflicted by magical creatures can be difficult to handle, similar to issues with dealing with injuries caused by Dark magic.

    I assume that was Dean's idea, seeing as it's unlikely that witches and wizards care about presidents and the like. Funny that it's Potter for President though; can anyone who has the UK edition check if it says "Potter for Prime Minister" instead?

    Wristwatches are a thing in the wizarding world apparently, not just pocket watches.

    The implication here being that, short of outright attempted murder, the only penalty likely present in Qudditich is just a foul shot.

    Hermione's been corrupted awfully quick. Just a couple of chapters ago, she seemed very concerned about respecting authority and the like--now, her response to a mere suspicion of foul play is not to inform another authority, but set the threat on fire.

    Nice bait and switch on Rowling's part. Quirrell is off-handedly mentioned here, so that first-time readers probably wouldn't even notice that Hermione equally prevented Quirrell from casting.

    Neville does seem to be quite the sensitive soul.

    Eye contact isn't just important to Legilimency.

    Chapter 12

    I laughed out loud when I read this again. I wonder if Harry ever told them later that they'd just spent a morning pelting snowballs at Voldemort's face?

    This seems to imply that Harry's mistreatment / emotional neglect by the Dursleys is more well-known than fanon suggests. Either that, or Malfoy's good at guessing.

    This seems to imply that Flamel hasn't been an active member of magical research for quite some time. It also hints at wizards and witches engaging in magical research on a level comparable to real-world scientific research, in terms of complexity, detail, scope, etc.

    Also, it suggests that Hogwarts doesn't have some magical equivalent of a search function through a library catalog, which surely would have been useful.

    For some reason, I had always envisioned Weasley sweaters as being some reddish color uniformly, but this shows that Mrs. Weasley doesn't stick to one color.

    Seems to suggest that the Lumos charm is taught later than typically thought, if Harry decided to use a physical lamp versus just lighting his wand.

    For me, this is easily one of the most poignant scenes in the entire series, alongside when Harry uses the Resurrection Stone in Deathly Hallows. This scene didn't really affect me when I read this when I was a kid, but growing older and having lost family myself along the way, it's easy to empathize with what Harry's feeling here. (Though it's obviously worse for Harry, who never got the chance to know his family at all)

    If there's one this re-read shows, it's how different of an experience reading Harry Potter is several years after the fact, as a very person from before, and it really displays a depth to Rowling's work that it can be appreciated from a wide range of ages and experiences.

    For all the stories out there that picture Ron as an idiot of some kind, notice that he's the one presented first in the story recognizing the danger of the Mirror. Ron's arguably more perceptive than others frequently give him credit for.

    Chapter 13

    Fanon Ron sees skiving off of Quidditch as a fate worse than death. Canon Ron recognizes that there are things more important than Quidditch.

    Again, clever bait and switch on Rowling's part. Snape's likely keeping an eye on Harry on Dumbledore's orders to keep him safe, though he comes off as the opposite here.

    Also, nice bit of foreshadowing for Legilimency much later on in the series.

    Interestingly, Rowling slips out of third-person limited view here, since we're viewing events outside of Harry's POV within the same chapter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  3. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion DLP Supporter

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    So I'm a bit behind due to miscellany, but here are a few thoughts.

    In Chapter 10, Oliver Wood tells Harry that due to the Snitch's importance, Seekers get fouled a lot. People love to point out the "plothole" of having a 150 point item in Quidditch, but it's always been my opinion that it's far more violent than Muggle sports, partially because wizards can handle a lot more punishment.

    Later, Wood throws golf balls in the air for practice; so... how did he get them there? Is he Muggleborn or are they a typical practice item? Golf does have its origins in Scotland around the 1400's, so conceivably it could just be something wizards sort of know about.

    In chapter 11, the Seeker thing is confirmed because it's noted that "the most serious accidents seem to happen to them". Another thing I noticed; Snape got injured by the dog and asks out loud to Filch "How are you supposed to keep your eyes on all three at once?" But why does he care?

    And of course, this chapter is unique in that it breaks from Harry's POV not once, but twice. The first when during the game, Ron and Hermione think Snape is hexing Harry, but the second is after the game:

    It's hard to think of any other times this has happened. In Book 4, we see something from the caretaker's POV until he dies, although it's also part of Harry's dream. And in Book 6, we get the Other Prime Minister. But otherwise I can't think of any time the book goes that direction.

    ---------- Post automerged at 07:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:44 PM ----------

    I have the UK edition. It's President.
     
  4. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    It might be that, or that magic is really good at healing in general. At one point in the series, Harry gets a cracked skull, which be enormously problematic for you or me, but just some time at the Hospital Wing for Harry. The human body can take a great deal of punishment anyway and so otherwise grievous injuries are dealt with in relatively short fashion.

    Or it could be both healing + wizard / witch hardiness I suppose which allows Bludgers to continue being a thing.

    He's not Muggleborn probably. In the US edition,

    Unlikely a Muggleborn would be unfamiliar with basketball.

    There's also Narcissa's POV in the Half-Blood Prince when she and Bellatrix have Snape take the Unbreakable Vow. There's also Snape's POV in the first chapter of Deathly Hallows at Malfoy Manor with Voldemort and the other Death Eaters. However, those aren't as unusual to me as the bit with Ron and Hermione and the part you quote: whereas those chapters break off from Harry's POV, they're self-contained to a single scene / chapter.

    Here, within the same scene and chapter, we switch POVs, so the result is a sort of amalgam perhaps between 3rd-person limited POV and 3rd-person omniscient POV.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  5. Jeram

    Jeram Elder of Zion DLP Supporter

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    Yes, good points, you're right on the two other opening chapters. I think what's really odd is that the chapter breaks POV inside itself. After book one, I don't think JKR does it again.
     
  6. BTT

    BTT Order Member

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    It is well-known, actually. We discussed this last thread, but here's the quotes again:
    and
     
  7. chaosattractor

    chaosattractor Groundskeeper

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    But Ron has to ask what they're like, which shows the way they treat him isn't necessarily common knowledge
     
  8. mort

    mort Groundskeeper

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    I don't think Malfoy knows about Harry's living conditions at home- rather he's knows that they're Muggles and has noticed that Harry gets little to no mail and doesn't want to go home for the holiday season. He also knows Harry is an orphan, so teasing him about family seems like one of the cruel and petty things children are unfortunately wont to do.
     
  9. Ananke

    Ananke Squib

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  10. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    It happens a few times in the first chapter - the first half is mostly Vernon, then shifting between McGonagall and Dumbledore, with the occasional moment of omniscient narrator. Probably just first book roughness.

    Re: Draco knowing about Harry's background, it could just be the infamous Hogwarts rumour mill. Harry isn't shy about telling people he doesn't really like the Dursleys - he tells Ron almost straight away that he's never had a proper birthday present, for example - so while I doubt Draco knows specifics, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that some of Harry's comments about them might have made their way around the castle.

    Hermione's response to the troll incident puzzles me a bit, on reflection. She immediately tells the professors that she'd sneaked off to take it on herself, and ok, she's trying to get Harry and Ron out of trouble as a thank you for saving her. But why not just say "I was feeling ill, so I wasn't at the feast, so I didn't know what was going on"? I guess you can put it down to her just going with the first thing that came to mind, or maybe thinking that she owes them a bit of penance by getting in trouble herself or something.

    Also, on a not wholly related note, the illustrated edition is absolutely gorgeous. It's the first time I've sat down and read it properly rather than just going through admiring the art.
     
  11. BTT

    BTT Order Member

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    Foreshadowing hooray.

    You'd think that'd come up more, wild dragons just fucking about.

    But all those fanfics (and WalkingDisaster) told me Ron would betray Harry at the first opportunity? Don't tell me they lied!

    She says that but all of the bottles could've contained poison. That's also a conclusion one could make, since there appears to be no reason the trials should ever let someone who isn't supposed to be there in. Or there exists a poison-revealing spell, for all we know. It's not very logical at all to take the puzzle at face value, really. I don't think JKR did this on purpose, though.

    Even the teachers don't like Snape.

    James must've pulled something really special to get a compliment from Voldemort of all people.

    Thinking about it, Voldemort could have just told Harry there was a prophecy. That'd shake up canon for sure.

    Very interesting little bit here, considering Manipulative Dumbledore fanfics.

    That didn't quite go to plan. Interesting it still comes up in quite a lot of fanfics, then.
     
  12. chaosattractor

    chaosattractor Groundskeeper

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    Ron is not an (academic) idiot. He isn't the idiot of the group either; he and Harry get similar marks.
     
  13. Rhaegar I

    Rhaegar I Unspeakable

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    I find the idea of Fred and George hitting Voldemort with snowballs a lot funnier than I should be.

    Also, about the Traps/Puzzles to the Stone: as I understand them, they aren't actually meant to keep Voldemort away from the Stone, but to delay him and eventually keep him trapped in the last room for Dumbledore to get him. The Mirror meant Voldemort was never going to get his hands on the Stone, and Harry's protection meant Voldemort was incapable of actually harming Harry.
     
  14. Xepheria

    Xepheria The Benefactor

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    I can confirm that the Philosopher's Stone also has the line 'Potter for President' - it flows better than 'Potter for Prime Minister' anyway. Too many syllables in the latter.

    I find it quite interesting that Lee Jordan is the commentator for the school's quidditch matches at the age of 13/14, rather than an older student - he's also shown to be pretty good at it, implying that he might've had the position in second year too.

    Almost feeling the urge to do a one-shot where his voice breaks in the middle of a match.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  15. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    It could also be referring to President of a club, although that's a bit thin and based on my old uni fencing club.
     
  16. Majube

    Majube Seventh Year

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    Older students are usually announcers, but it's likely that a Seventh year trained him up in his Second year. Wondering now, when Luna made her debut did she and Jordan co-announce. I don't think so, so thas a wee bit off.
    So, when I first read Harry Potter it took me somewhere around 2 hours to finish the first book. How long did it take you all? And how long did it take on the reread? Meaning did you speed through it more or spend more time trying to absorb it all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  17. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    A couple of things caught my eye in chapters 11 and 12.

    Rereading Lee's quidditch commentary makes me realise that I can't think of any fanfic that tries to mimic it in quidditch scenes - which might explain why such scenes are often so tedious.

    I don't quite know why, but I love this bit - there's just something about it that perfectly conveys tone of voice, expression...even the way he's standing. Not sure I could explain it, but there it is.

    This makes me wonder just how many students stay at Hogwarts over the holidays. Even if you assume that Hagrid eats more than most people - even if you assume he's eating five whole turkeys himself - that seems an excessive amount of food. It's not like turkeys are small birds.
     
  18. Skykes

    Skykes Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    You can probably chalk this one up to unreliable narrator. Harry was never given as much as he would have liked to eat, this is his first time experiencing a big feast. Maybe it was 10-20 Turkeys but it seemed like more to Harry.
     
  19. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    Reading it again, Snape refereeing the match seems a bit weird. Obviously, it's supposed to be suspicious, and then you're supposed to look back and realise he's just looking out for Harry - but then Rowling makes a big thing of Dumbledore being there, so nothing can happen. That suggests that Snape is acting independently, which is fair enough at this stage, but we know from DH that Dumbledore was telling Snape to keep an eye on Quirrell, which would seem to contradict that theory.

    Also, Neville is puzzled by Ron and Hermione bringing their wands to the match, suggesting that people don't habitually carry their wands. Interesting little snippet - on a related note, Ron keeps his in his sleeve, which I think various people on here have debunked as impractical.
     
  20. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Yep. I compared it to sticking the standard 30cm ruler up your sleeve -- without magical enhancements, it's uncomfortable and annoying as hell. Clearly, Rowling did not stick a ruler up her sleeve, experimentally.