Category Archives: The Order of the Phoenix

Final Thoughts

New Harry Potter

Note from Ashley: My post about the Epilogue is still to come next week, which is why I’ve abstained from writing final notes, myself. I get an entire post to wax poetic about the end of this series and the end of this project, so it’s only fair everyone else gets a space, too.

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JENNIE

I’ve had so much fun with this, not only writing my own posts, but getting to read what everyone else thinks about Harry Potter (SPOILER ALERT: you all love it). I’ve enjoyed all the insights everyone has had that I’ve never, ever had in all of my rereads, and the discussions that followed, but my very most favorite thing was getting to see new GIFs I’d never seen before. You guys are good at GIFs, is what I’m saying.

Also, I can’t believe it’s over. Again. Sads. Don’t mind me, I’m just going to be over here in the corner, rereading all the books and pretending Harry Potter is never going to end ever ever. Continue reading

The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 37-38: Someone Punched Me in the Grief Bone

The battle is over. The war is just beginning. Harry Potter has survived, but only to be thrown into grief once again.

I love so much about what JK Rowling gets right about children (and, you know, people in general), but one of the things I love most is that she lets children grieve.

So many people think children don’t really grieve, or their feelings of grief aren’t as real as those of adults, because children don’t or can’t understand what’s going on, or because some think children unable to experience that depth of feeling. I challenge anyone to meet or, hell, BE, a child in grief and still hold onto that belief. Children feel all the same feelings adults do when it comes to grieving, and usually find these feelings more confusing because A) they’ve never felt them before or B) the adults in their lives don’t feel comfortable talking about them.

Unfortunately, Harry Potter has become all too accustomed to grieving. But there’s a fortunate flip-side to this coin. The adults in Harry’s life don’t always shy away from sharing their own feelings or explaining things to Harry that he may not yet understand. Think back to Lupin and Sirius explaining away Harry’s upset when he discovers that his father might not have exhibited perfect qualities as a teenager (WHAT). They could have easily brushed Harry’s feelings aside. Instead, they laughed, remembering the boastful youth their friend once was, and gave Harry some means to understand.

Harry’s feelings of grief are complicated. He grieves his parents, of course, but it’s the grief of a child who never knew them, an empty hollow feeling, a sharp stab, I’d expect, when he sees his friends being so well-cared for by their own parents. And now Harry Potter must grieve for his godfather, another parental figure taken too soon, and before he’s really even gotten a chance to know him.

Because Sirius Black is dead.

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The Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 34-36: Surving The Battle of the Department of Mysteries

Who needs an intro when there’s heartache in your future?

CHAPTER 34: THE DEPARTMENT OF MYSTERIES

There are times when you want to tell Harry he’s an idiot. That he’s too wrapped in his own twisted relationship with Voldemort, that he has a hard time taking advice objectively, that he can be kind of obsessive. Those things are true. He’s an idiot. Harry has to save Sirius and he believes there’s no one else for the job. They can ask for no help, there’s no time to do anything but get on the flying death horses and go. But the noble thing about Harry is that in a choice between his life and the life of someone else, the someone else wins every time. He will sacrifice himself to save the people he cares about. His entire life has been touched by death and he will do anything to stop any more of it. It’s both beautiful and broken – and it sometimes leads to terrible consequences.

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The Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 32-33: Divide the House

Hello again, dearest everyones! I have missed you quite a bit. And I’m going to try and make this one very quick because, well, these are two very short chapters, and I’m behind on my reading of Half-Blood Prince and I gotta get to it and other things.

So. Let’s escape from Hogwarts.

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The Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 30-31: Everybody Knows ‘T’ Stands for ‘Troll’

Once upon a time, JK Rowling sat down to write the longest, most saddest and depressing book in the universe. She had it all planned out. First, she would isolate her hero to the breaking point. Then she would introduce the world’s most evil villain. She would have her hero overcome only to be stepped on and pushed down into the ground even further. The end of the book, well, that was going to be heartbreaking and intense and difficult, and not unlike a rollercoaster careening out of control and threatening to kill everyone aboard. But first before she did all that, she wanted to write about some kids taking some tests. It turned out pretty good, I think.

c30--grawpCHAPTER 30: GRAWP

Oh, Hagrid. Hagrid, Hagrid, Hagrid, Hagrid. WHY.

I mean, I know why. Maybe it’s just because I’m watching Battlestar Galactica right now, and it’s the episode where they introduce the concept of ‘projection,’ but I can’t help but feel that Hagrid lives his life in a constant state of his own type of projection.

For those of you not familiar with BSG (and shame on you!), projection is an ability the Cylons have to influence directly their perception of the world around them. They want to see a lush forest surrounding them instead of the drab gray walls of their spaceship? Boom. The forest is there. They literally see it as if it were real. This of course is in itself a metaphor for the way that all people allow their beliefs and assumptions and wishes and desires to influence the way they interpret the world around them. I say that Hagrid projects not because I think he willfully deludes himself or because he is refusing to believe something deep down he already knows, but rather because his deeply ingrained belief in the goodness and beauty of dangerous creatures — and perhaps moreso his personal identification with their “misunderstood” and “monstrous” natures — leads him to see things differently than other people. He wants to believe Skrewts are harmless, that raising a baby dragon in a wooden hut is possible, that he can teach a giant to speak English and live among humans. He wants to believe it so badly that his mind interprets the evidence to fit into his worldview. And yes, this optimism is the sign of a kind heart, but it’s also the thing allows him to ignore real signs of danger.

And don’t think I’m passing judgment on Hagrid, because I’m not. First of all, because like I said above, we all project the world somewhat based on our wants and expectations, and depending on the person and the situation, that’s either good, bad, or somewhere in between. It’s called ‘perspective.’ But also: because we need kind fools like Hagrid (and Firenze and Dumbledore) to project versions of the world that are better than reality, because maybe one day reality will live up to their expectations.

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