Tag Archives: Dumbledore

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Deathly Hallows

By Ashley

So, we’ve finally made it. There’s really nothing else to say! Here is my critique of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

1. The beginning of this book really reinforces my idea that J.K.R should really just stick to writing the action/war stuff. The first few chapters of this book (much like the previous book) are tight and tense, thrilling and really exciting. I have no real problems with the beginning of this book. But then once we get to The Burrow where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are together (and J.K.R. has to write about, like, people’s actions and feelings and interactions with one another rather than things happening) things start to get a little shaky. Most annoyingly, the frustrating, more-than-a-little sexist ideas about gender and relationships spill over to this book to. Ron gives Harry a book called Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches. Uhm, ew. Now, I hate real life equivalents to this kind of thing (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, shit like that). Ron is acting suspiciously nice towards Hermione but not because he’s finally realized that he’s a shit person and that he’s been treating her in particular like garbage for years but because a goddam book is telling him that that’s the way to get into her pants or some shit. It’s just so icky and insincere.

2. Why didn’t any of them, at any fucking point, stop and think “Hmm…you know maybe the fact that Dumbledore had stuff in his fucking will to aid us in this mission of ours means that he was, oh, I don’t know, expecting—perhaps planning—to die?” And on a related note, Dumbledore what the fuck is your problem? Why the hell did you make things so complicated? You couldn’t tell Harry that the death was planned? You couldn’t have let SOMEBODY know that the death was prearranged? My dick, Dumbledore, for all the stress you put on how “authentic” things had to be…just no. There was no reason for things to be this goddamn complicated.

Hit the jump to see my lengthy lament over Tonks and Lupin, the ultimate Ron douchebaggery, and more….

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About The Harry Potter Series: Half-Blood Prince Part 2

By Ashley

HBP: PART DEUX! ACTION!

1. I really hate the amount of girl-on-girl hate in this book. Whether it’s between Hermione/Ginny and Fleur, Lavender and Hermione, or Pansy and EVERY SINGLE OTHER GIRL IN THE CASTLE, it’s just so overwhelming and annoying. A lot of the “real-life teenager” aspects of JKR’s books are a little over-the-top and not that well-written. Add that to the fact that she has lingering resentment towards girls who were mean to her in school (which I’ll talk more about later during the epilogue of the 7th book) that colors the way she writes some of her teenaged female characters, and it’s just really, really fucking annoying to me. This is a magical fucking world; do you really need to keep perpetuating the same tired old gender stereotypes?

2. There has only ever been one thing in the entire series that has made Harry consider skipping a Quidditch match: Draco Malfoy. Seriously….between his epic bromance with Ron, the disturbing amount of times he thinks Tom Riddle is handsome, and his obsession with Draco Malfoy, can you really blame people like me for picking up on these totally fucking homoerotic undertone?  It’s not just wishful thinking; I’m practically drowning in gay subtext over here.

After the jump, read more about Dumbledore’s time-wasting, potentially awesome monsters, and stupid relationships…

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Chamber of Secrets

By Ashley

I hope everyone enjoyed my nitpicking and caterwauling about the first book and that you’re good and ready for the second entry in my series:

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Chamber of Secrets

1. Why did Ron and Harry take the Ford Anglia when they couldn’t get onto Platform 9 ¾? This is a complete lack of foresight and logical thinking on their part. I know they’re twelve and that the whole “taking the car and crashing into the Whomping Willow and getting into trouble for it” thing sets a lot of things in motion but it’s still really ridiculous. If they had just waited 10 more seconds, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would have come off the platform and, as responsible adults, figured out a better way to get them to school. Do they think that if you miss the train you’re just not allowed to get to Hogwarts any other way?

 2. Let’s play “What’s Going to Try to Knock Harry Off His Broom During the First Quidditch Match of the Season”! Rogue bludger, trying to pound the shit outta him. Hmm. This seems awfully familiar…heyyy, didn’t something similar happen in the previous book during the first match of the season? Quirrell cursing his broomstick, if I recall. And now, something else is trying to knock him off his broom. Can’t this kid just have a normal first match of the season?

3. In this book, we learn that Filch, the caretaker, is a Squib (someone born into a magical family who has no magical abilities). Filch spends a great deal of time complaining about all the messes the students make and how long it takes him to clean them. And then it hit me. Why the hell would they employ someone who cannot perform magic to clean an entire castle full of students, staff and ghosts? Throughout the series we see countless characters clean huge messes with a simple wave of a hand or wand. And yet the person who is employed to clean the entire school cannot perform such magic. What kind of sick, cruel joke is that, J.K. Rowling? I don’t blame Filch for being in such a shitty mood all the time.

4. Why in God’s name is an award that was given to Lord fucking Voldemort still hanging up in the trophy room at Hogwarts? Isn’t that a bit…fucked up? That’d be like going to a school in Germany and seeing a plaque there that said “Awarded to Adolf Hitler for Services Rendered.” I feel like for most people (who aren’t really young like Ron and Harry) it must be common knowledge that in his younger days Voldemort was Tom Riddle. Come to think of it, I feel like that’s the exact kind of knowledge that would be written down in wizard history books. Hermione devours wizard history books like it’s her job; why has she never come across this tidbit of information? I find it hard to believe that 1. No one at this time had ever made the connection between Tom Riddle and Voldemort (Dumbledore says that “hardly anyone” made the connection but…come on, SOMEONE ELSE MUST HAVE) and 2. That it would never have been recorded in a history book.

5. Furthermore, shouldn’t someone (i.e. Dumbledore) have revoked that goddamn award? Seeing as it’s the kid who grew up to be Voldemort and he fucking framed Hagrid and got him expelled? I mean, I know Dumbledore probably found out about this stuff way after the fact but still. It’s the principle of the matter.

6. Last year, Harry’s scar was bothering him for weeks because half of Voldemort’s face was under a turban on some guy’s head in the same building as him. In this book, he carries a piece of Voldemort’s soul around for a part of the book and doesn’t feel anything. The most he feels is an inexplicable need to not throw it away. What the fuck is up with that?

7. More irksome behavior from Dumbledore: at the end he awards Harry and Ron 200 points each for infiltrating the Chamber of Secrets and defeating the basilisk and Tom Riddle. But what about Hermione? She figured out what was in the chamber and how it was getting around the school, which enabled Harry and Ron to go down there without being completely unaware. You were all about the point-dishing-out at the end of last year, old man, what happened? What, just because it doesn’t humiliate an entire house of students, Hermione’s cleverness doesn’t need to be rewarded? YOUR METHODS ARE INCONSISTENT, DUMBLEDORE.

As always, please, feel free to leave any comments, disagreements, defenses, and arguments!

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Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Philosopher’s Stone

By Ashley

So I have seen the final Harry Potter movie. I laughed, I cried, I bitched about the epilogue. Harry Potter is and always will be a huge part of my life. But for me, loving the series also means seriously examining its many flaws and inconsistencies. With the end of the films, I’ve decided to reread the entire series. Reading the series through an adult lens makes the series’ plot holes, flaws and just plain weird moments all the more obvious to me. So, as I read each book I’ve decided to write and share my bitching and griping about the series! I’m writing these under the assumption that the people reading will have a more-than-cursory familiarity with the series; in other words, spoilers ahead! Also, know that this is strictly about the bookverse, no movieverse stuff (that would be a completely different series of blogs on its own).

Things That Confuse and Anger Me About the Harry Potter Series: Philosopher’s Stone

1. How could the Dursleys get away with that level of abuse? After Harry accidentally sets the Brazilian snake free, he gets his “longest ever punishment”—a month in his cupboard. Maybe I’m reading it too literally, but it makes it seem like he’s not allowed out for ANYTHING, even school; he has to sneak food in the middle of the night and by the time he’s allowed out, summer has started. No school officials noticed that this thin, scraggly, obviously abused young child is missing for the entire last month of school?

2. When Harry asks about Wizard banks, Hagrid replies that there’s “just the one—Gringotts”. Really, Hagrid? So, magical folk from Egypt, Africa, America or ANYWHERE else have to Apparate all the way to London to take money out of the bank? It’s little things like these that make me feel like J. K. Rowling loses grip on the absolute breadth of the world she’s created; she’s from Britain so it makes sense for things to be concentrated in Britain (and Scotland, where Hogwarts is). But even as the series progresses and the world expands and we’re even introduced to foreign witches and wizards we’re still lead to believe that the core of the entire magical community is Britain, specifically London, and Hogwarts. Is there really just ONE magical government, and one person is the leader of an entire world of people? And that person is Cornelius Fudge? (In book four, some of these issues with the government are, thankfully, addressed.)

3. When the little First Years are gathered outside the Great Hall, Harry and Ron are wondering about what kind of test they’ll have to pass to be sorted into their houses. Really, Ron? It’s unbelievable that this kid who has had five siblings and both parents go to Hogwarts before him has no idea about the Sorting Hat. And even if he didn’t, some other first years from Wizarding homes would know about it and would be talking about it with their peers. I get that it’s a device to create suspension for the readers but…come on.

4. This is something that’s always bothered me ever since I was a kid. When Harry and Ron save Hermione from the troll and she lies to McGonagall, saying that she went searching for the troll. What the hell, Hermione? Why not just tell the truth: you were in the bathroom, didn’t know about the troll and Harry and Ron helped you? Either way, Harry and Ron look like the saviors but in the lie she tells, it makes her look like a glory-seeking fool. I’ve never understood this lie and I don’t think it was necessary for Harry, Ron and Hermione to become friends.

5. This is a recurring theme in this book: Harry being unjustly rewarded and favored. The first major example is when Harry chases Malfoy down on his broomstick; McGonagall catches him and at first we’re led to believe she’s going to punish him (because she’s McGonagall and she doesn’t play favorites and she’s very straight-lace) but instead she rewards him with a spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and a high-end, expensive broomstick (even though the rule is that first years aren’t allowed their own brooms). The second is a less egregious example: when Harry has spent the past three nights roaming the halls after hours to sit in front of the Mirror of Erised. This one is a little more understandable; Dumbledore finds him and reprimands him in his kind, old-man way, teaching him a valuable lesson about dwelling on dreams. So, it’s not quite as bad but the first example in the series of Dumbledore’s obvious favoritism towards Harry. But then, the doozy of all favoritism doozies, perhaps in the entire series: the end-of-year feast in the Great Hall. Due to points lost for Harry and Hermione getting caught getting rid of Norbert the dragon, Gryffindor is in last place for the House Cup and Slytherin has won for the seventh year running. However, Dumbledore unloads a boat-load of last minute points on Gryffindor house for Harry, Ron and Hermione’s actions while going after the Philosopher’s Stone. He gives the three of them just enough points to be neck-in-neck with Slytherin and then awards Neville an extra 10 points for his courage, which pushes them ahead and then win the House Cup. All the green and silver decorations instantly turn to red and gold and the rest of the school celebrates Slytherin unexpected and humiliating loss.

What the fuck, Dumbledore?

This is a huge problem in the entire series, which I’ll probably touch a lot: it’s completely confusing in its sense of morality and right and wrong. The whole series is supposed to be about good vs. evil but save for a few complex characters (Snape, Dumbledore, the Malfoys), we’re stuck with this version of black and white morality. And in this instance, the headmaster of the entire school—who is supposed to care for all his students and foster inter-house civility and camaraderie—is basically saying to the entire school, “Yeah, fuck Slytherin.”  Why couldn’t Gryffindor have come in a triumphant but humble second and then actually won another year, like with the Quidditch Cup? But oh, no, Dumbledore had to restore the points and repair Harry’s damaged reputation within the school.  Do you think any of the Slytherin students, especially the ones who have just finished their first year of school and are really excited about having won the House Cup, will ever trust Dumbledore again? Man, I wonder if this could possibly come back to fuck them over, when like, a war starts or something.

If you have some plot holes, inconsistencies or just things that anger or confuse you about the Harry Potter series or you want to try to defend the things I’ve brought up here, please feel free to comment! I’m always up for some rousing Harry Potter discussion.

Read the rest of the series as well:

TTCaAMAtHPS: Chamber of Secrets

TTCaAMAtHPS: Prisoner of Azkaban

TTCaAMAtHPS: Goblet of Fire part 1 and part 2

TTCaAMAtHPS: Order of the Phoenix part 1, part 2 and part 3

TTCaAMAtHPS: Half-Blood Prince part 1 and part 2

TTCaAMAtHPS: Deathly Hallows and the Epilogue

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