Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
* FAQ    * Search   * Register   * Login 
Want to support this site? Click

Quote of the Week: "A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." - Barnett Cocks, British political writer (1907-)


All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 135 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 09:46am
Offline
Official SD.Net Teller of Tales
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-08 12:06pm
Posts: 12806
Location: NYC
I finished watching Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1 this weekend and something that's been bothering me about the series came to the fore again. I have to warn you I have not read any of the books and am unlikely to in the near future so all my info re the Potterverse comes from the movies.

There seems to be some connection between the Ministry of Magic and the Muggle Government of England. However it is not really fleshed out in the movies very much and I have to ask if there is any clarrification in the books? For instance, the Ministry is overthrown by Voldemort so you have a coup in place. If there is a close relationship between the MoM and the Muggle English Government wouldn't the British Government be on high alert, perhaps even try to restore the old MoM with some well placed military pressure? If that's not feasible would they not now have an antagonistic relationship with the puppet MoM that Voldy establishes?

It seems to me that the movies are trying to pretend that these are indeed two separate worlds, the wizard and muggle world, but that defies logic to me. How can you have a whole subculture wielding the kind of power that wizards do and not have conflict or even out right war with each other? If not war, then one might be controlling the other for example in the opening scene of the movie Hermione erases all evidence of her existence from her parent's minds with the wave of a wand. She is just a student wizard, imagine the mindfucks someone like Dumbledore or Voldemort can cause. So with that in mind perhaps the wizarding world controls the muggle world subtly or not so subtly and that is why there is no conflict. If so what a sad little world to live in.

Also we naturally only see an English perspective, is there an American Dept of Magic that acts in the shadows in the US? With 9/11 I can't imagine a shadowy organization with members like Voldemort would be seen in any way positivly by the US Administration. DeathEaters commit terrorist acts throughout the last few movies such as knocking down Milenium bridge or firing off death bolts on a highway. Sounds like the potential target for drone attacks in the making.



Wherever you go, there you are.

Ripped Shirt Monkey - BOTMWriter's Guild Cybertron's Finest Justice League
This updated sig brought to you by JME2
Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 10:40am
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Stravo wrote:
There seems to be some connection between the Ministry of Magic and the Muggle Government of England. However it is not really fleshed out in the movies very much and I have to ask if there is any clarrification in the books? For instance, the Ministry is overthrown by Voldemort so you have a coup in place. If there is a close relationship between the MoM and the Muggle English Government wouldn't the British Government be on high alert, perhaps even try to restore the old MoM with some well placed military pressure? If that's not feasible would they not now have an antagonistic relationship with the puppet MoM that Voldy establishes?


The direct contact between the Muggle Government and the Ministry of Magic in the books basically consists of the Minister of Magic briefing the Prime Minister once during his term of office, most of the time. In the books' timeline, he actually gets briefed about four times due to various crisises and events (such as the importation of dragons into the country in book 4, which apparently requires the Ministry of Magic to notify the Prime Minister). In any case, it's a one-sided contact, since the Prime Minister has no idea about the details of the magical government, including where it is. That would tend to make military pressure rather difficult.

As for the puppet Ministry of Magic, I suspect they just didn't bother to keep in touch with the muggle government - or worse. In Book Six, the Prime Minister gets briefed by the new Minister of Magic, and the Death Eaters had been trying to get one of the mind-control "Imperius Curses" on his officials (the Prime Minister gets assigned a wizard to shadow him).

Stravo wrote:
It seems to me that the movies are trying to pretend that these are indeed two separate worlds, the wizard and muggle world, but that defies logic to me. How can you have a whole subculture wielding the kind of power that wizards do and not have conflict or even out right war with each other? If not war, then one might be controlling the other for example in the opening scene of the movie Hermione erases all evidence of her existence from her parent's minds with the wave of a wand. She is just a student wizard, imagine the mindfucks someone like Dumbledore or Voldemort can cause. So with that in mind perhaps the wizarding world controls the muggle world subtly or not so subtly and that is why there is no conflict. If so what a sad little world to live in.


Most of the wizarding world seems rather segregated from the muggle world, even when they're living amongst each other (to the point where wizards tend to look bizarre when they're trying to wear "muggle clothes" and the like). There seems to be a general apathy to what's going on with muggles, with some exceptions for good (Mr. Weasely) and bad (Grindelwald).

Stravo wrote:
Also we naturally only see an English perspective, is there an American Dept of Magic that acts in the shadows in the US? With 9/11 I can't imagine a shadowy organization with members like Voldemort would be seen in any way positivly by the US Administration. DeathEaters commit terrorist acts throughout the last few movies such as knocking down Milenium bridge or firing off death bolts on a highway. Sounds like the potential target for drone attacks in the making.


There is presumably an American equivalent to the Ministry of Magic, but it's hard to speculate on their interaction with the US government since we have no information. Keep in mind that in the British case, though, only the Prime Minister gets briefed - and only once. They don't talk it about for obvious reasons (like the risk of being labeled insane). The arrangement with the American President might be something similar.



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 10:59am
Offline
Jedi Council Member

Joined: 2003-12-10 06:29am
Posts: 2355
Stravo wrote:
There seems to be some connection between the Ministry of Magic and the Muggle Government of England.


There is some minimal interaction, but the Ministry of Magic functions as a de facto independent government that isn't answerable to the muggle British government.

Quote:
However it is not really fleshed out in the movies very much and I have to ask if there is any clarrification in the books?


Apparently, Ministers for Magic are supposed to meet with the Prime Minister and keep him informed about magical affairs that could affect the muggle populace, but canonically the extent of this informing was for Fudge first and Scrimgeour next to walk out of a fireplace, explain in the most obnoxious/patronizing form possible that yes, magic is real and walk out after commenting that there is a dangerous terrorist warlock running around.

Quote:
For instance, the Ministry is overthrown by Voldemort so you have a coup in place. If there is a close relationship between the MoM and the Muggle English Government wouldn't the British Government be on high alert, perhaps even try to restore the old MoM with some well placed military pressure?


Prior to Voldemort taking over, the MoM was protecting the muggle goverment from Voldemort with infiltrated Aurors (including one acting as the Prime Minister's secretary), since some Death Eater got the bright idea to try to take over the muggles but botched the Imperius casting in the one minister they managed to get to. After the collapse of the legitimate wizarding goverment, it is a good bet that all relevant authorities were mind controlled into submission.

Quote:
If not war, then one might be controlling the other for example in the opening scene of the movie Hermione erases all evidence of her existence from her parent's minds with the wave of a wand.


That's only in the movies.

In the books, she completely rewrites their personalities and sends them to Australia to keep them out of Voldemort's hands, happily unaware of the fact that they ever had had a daughter.

Quote:
So with that in mind perhaps the wizarding world controls the muggle world subtly or not so subtly and that is why there is no conflict. If so what a sad little world to live in.


Pretty much. Canon: Fudge arranged for the muggle president of a foreign country to be mind-fucked so he could have his fifteen minutes with the British Prime Minister.

Quote:
Also we naturally only see an English perspective, is there an American Dept of Magic that acts in the shadows in the US?


At least, Bulgaria and New Zealand have Ministries of Magic, as well. The government of other international parts of the wizarding world is unknown.

Quote:
DeathEaters commit terrorist acts throughout the last few movies such as knocking down Milenium bridge or firing off death bolts on a highway. Sounds like the potential target for drone attacks in the making.


Thing is that while the "offensive firepower" of Potterverse wizards kind of sucks, they have excellent concealment magic, personal teleportation that cannot be tracked as the equivalent of a driving license and easy peachy magic mindfuckery. Regardless of who wins (and lets not open that can of worms, please), total or open war between mundanes and wizards would result in absolutely horrific damage all over the place.



Reference webpages for fanfic writers.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 11:19am
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
The minister pops up once to brief the PM on the magical world, in case anything comes up that needs a good cover-up. Then once more each for the escape of Sirius Black, the importation of dragons and sphinxes for the Tri-Wizard tournament, and the publically acknowledged return of Voldermort. One final time, in book 6 to announce that there is a new minister.

The PM cannot contact the minister, except for telling the magical portrait in his office something important and hoping it gets passed on. The PM has no idea whether or not the portrait repots on everything that happens in his office. No muggle tools can remove or destroy the portrait. Which says a lot about the level of consideration the magicals have for the muggle government.

In book 6, Kingsley Shacklebolt is assigned by the Ministry as a bodyguard for the PM. However, they don't tell the PM this until he starts freaking out about security. Rather he is inserted undercover as one of the PM's secretaries. He foiled the attempts to Imperio the government heads.

It is unknown to what extent the puppet government of Voldermort interacted with its muggle counterpart.



"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 01:37pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am
Posts: 3975
Location: Victoria, Canada
Some examples of interactions with the Muggle world:

It is noted, I think, in both books three and six, that the Muggle Prime Minister was alerted to the breakout of Sirius Black from Azkaban. In fact, in the third book I believe it is mentioned that the Muggles were looking for him as well (presumably once they caught him the Ministry of Magic would take custody of him) and that the Muggles were told he was carrying a gun, not a wand. I also vaguely recall a reference in book three to the Minister being criticized for informing his Muggle counterpart.

It is also heavily implied by Grindlewald's backstory that he played some sort of role in WWII but I don't recall anything ever being specifically confirmed so its more fan speculation at this point.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 04:09pm
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Rowling said that muggle and wizarding wars "feed off each other". It's probably not a coincidence that Grindelwald was defeated in 1945 (and although you don't get this in the film, in the books Grindelwald was promoting a new order with the wizards openly dominating the muggles).



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 05:07pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-03-04 02:15am
Posts: 6842
Location: small U in Georgia, USA
While Rowling writes basically nothing in depth on the magical governments of any country other than Britain, I think it's a fairly safe assumption that most magical governments seem quite insular to a large degree. We see no mention of ambassadors or any equivalent liaison, for example, and the only time we see non-English wizards are at the Triwizard Tournament and the Quidditch World Cup (sporting events).

Part of what we need to remember though is that the books are largely written from Harry Potter's perspective-- a young boy growing up cut off from society, and then enclosed in a private school environment for most of the rest of his life. He doesn't seem to particularly care about anything outside that sphere of experience-- witness his boredom with History of Magic, which is a course that could inform us considerably about the rest of the wizarding world although of course it would probably be biased towards British wizarding history.

Voldemort also seems primarily concerned with dominating the English wizarding world; I think he's quite aware that while he's powerful, he couldn't resist an attack from a united front of magicians from all over the world.

As to how all this relates to the muggles... a.) the wizards don't particularly give a shit about what the muggles do, and b.) it's none of the muggles' business and if they butt in they'll darn well forget about it with the help of a convenient memory charm or two. Wizards tend to believe Muggles are better off not knowing-- if they knew, they wouldn't be able to do anything with magic, so what's the point of that? See their discrimination against (can't remember their term) low-class magic users like Filch and Harry's elderly neighbor. To wizards, if you can't do magic... you don't count.

The thing about magical wars corresponding to Muggle wars is interesting, though-- I wonder if there's some sort of human gestalt that gives direction to the way magical powers or even fate work in the HP-verse? Now there's a thought...



Avatar by Vanas; In Memoriam
The Cleric of the Matrix Updated 03/19/05
8) Receipent of the Kuja Award of Fanfiction, 06/01/04 8)
Heretics' Redemption
The Angels' Hymn

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 05:27pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am
Posts: 3975
Location: Victoria, Canada
I don't think the wizards are as insular as you make them out to be. Wasn't there a Department of International Magical Cooperation or something like that mentioned in book four? I thought that was Barty Crouch's department. And we know there was at least one international conflict (Grindlewald). Voldemort also engaged in operations in mainland Europe on a number of occasions.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 05:28pm
Offline
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 2002-09-05 03:35am
Posts: 997
Like Grindelwald before him, Voldemort was planning to end the Statute of Secrecy and establish total domination of wizards over Muggles, but it seems that he never got around to it before his defeat. He was probably waiting until Harry Potter's death at his hands before taking that final step.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 07:07pm
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-03-04 02:15am
Posts: 6842
Location: small U in Georgia, USA
There's that department, true-- I'd forgotten about that-- but we see nothing of what it does at all, not even a "hey guys need help?" kind of move from anybody else. The most official thing Bartimaeus Crouch does is allow for Harry's presence in the Triwizard Tournament, and try his own son; neither have anything to do with 'international magical cooperation'. That suggests one of two options: either Harry is unaware of any kind of offer to help from other countries due to the Ministry suppressing rumours of their own weaknesses (plausible), or most wizards tend to keep their own business contained to their own countries.

Voldemort in Europe was mainly more along the lines of researching the Dark Arts and hunting the Deathly Hallows, or so I gathered... if there's evidence that he was doing more, go ahead. It's been a while since I read the books.



Avatar by Vanas; In Memoriam
The Cleric of the Matrix Updated 03/19/05
8) Receipent of the Kuja Award of Fanfiction, 06/01/04 8)
Heretics' Redemption
The Angels' Hymn

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 07:15pm
Offline
Sith Marauder

Joined: 2008-10-23 11:36am
Posts: 4750
Elheru Aran wrote:
Voldemort in Europe was mainly more along the lines of researching the Dark Arts and hunting the Deathly Hallows, or so I gathered... if there's evidence that he was doing more, go ahead. It's been a while since I read the books.


I remember the giants being on the continent, but that is probably the only thing you missed.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-10 10:32pm
Offline
Sith Marauder
User avatar

Joined: 2011-04-22 11:04pm
Posts: 4343
Location: Ocularis Terribus.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
I don't think the wizards are as insular as you make them out to be. Wasn't there a Department of International Magical Cooperation or something like that mentioned in book four? I thought that was Barty Crouch's department. And we know there was at least one international conflict (Grindlewald). Voldemort also engaged in operations in mainland Europe on a number of occasions.


And it was clearly an unimportant Department to stick a failed politician in. There's also a centaur liason office, but I doubt the Ministry does much working to build better relations with the centaurs. Or if they do, they really suck at it.

Murazor wrote:
Thing is that while the "offensive firepower" of Potterverse wizards kind of sucks, they have excellent concealment magic, personal teleportation that cannot be tracked as the equivalent of a driving license and easy peachy magic mindfuckery. Regardless of who wins (and lets not open that can of worms, please), total or open war between mundanes and wizards would result in absolutely horrific damage all over the place.


I usually see 3 broad interpretations of HP muggles vs. wizards:

1.) Wizards are like unto gods on the battlefield, bringing devastation and death with every flick of their wands. Their magical shields are proof against even thousands of bullets, and they can casually intercept, redirect or teleport away from artillery/missile strikes. Tanks can be blasted apart or flipped over. Invisible spies with mind control curses, memory charms or behavior altering potions can neutralize even the most skilled of leaders. And anyway, their warder locations like Hogwarts can withstand any non-nuclear strike.

In more extreme cases, you have epic magics we never see in the series, like meteor shower or recreating the Plagues of Egypt.

2.) Wizards are insular semi-medieval dumbasses who know nothing of modern capabilities. A sniper could easily take out Voldemort, there are no magical protections against bullets, because most wizards don't know what bullets are. They have no history of real warfare or knowledge of tactics. A wand is shit for hitting anything at much more than a few meters distance, and you could never say a three-syllable incantation as quickly as a man can pull a trigger.

3.) Rarest of all. Magical medicine is truly miraculous, their stealth and rapid transportation highly useful, but they don't really have the means to subjugate the muggles. Basically, both the muggle and magical approachs are different but vaguely equal, with respective strengths and weaknesses. Wizards have never put a man on the moon, but muggles have never spoken to the dead. Muggles cannot awaken Cthulu, but wizards would have no idea where to begin to make or disarm a nuke.



"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-11 01:03pm
Offline
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 2002-09-05 03:35am
Posts: 997
4. Wizards have limited numbers and magic has offensive and defensive disadvantages against modern firearms, but wizards can do things like instantly teleporting wherever they want to cast mind control on all world leaders at once.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-11 01:15pm
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
That's what I think as well. A muggle with a gun would kill a wizard with a wand in a fight, but you would first need to corner the wizard. It's not easy to do that, particularly since wizards don't have to speak their spells out loud, and can do stuff like teleporting away.*

* There's an interesting comment about that in the Tales of Beedle the Bard book that Rowling wrote for charity, which has fictional in-universe commentary from Dumbledore. Dumbledore mentions that during the witch hunts, adult wizards and witches could usually evade witch-hunters very well - but young wizarding folk were not so lucky on occasion.



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 09:33am
Offline
Jedi Council Member
User avatar

Joined: 2010-09-02 09:08am
Posts: 2394
Location: Little Korea in Big Germany
If the wizarding world put some effort behind it they could easily control the muggle world or at least keep the muggles from harassing them too much. Their biggest advantages are:

1.Mind control (Imperius)
2.The ability to rearrange memories and to read minds (memory charm and legilimency)
3.Perfect disguises (Polyjuice potion) and stealth (unplottable and fidelius charmed locations)
4.Instant teleportation
5.Anti hi-tech fields (an enchantment of Hogwarts)

Their offensive and defensive capabilities on an open battlefield might be limited but if they played their cards right they wouldn't have to fight even a single battle.



People at birth are naturally good. Their natures are similar, but their habits make them different from each other.
-Sanzi Jing (Three Character Classic)

Saddam’s crime was so bad we literally spent decades looking for our dropped monocles before we could harumph up the gumption to address it
-User Indigo Jump on Pharyngula

O God, please don't let me die today, tomorrow would be so much better!
-Traditional Spathi morning prayer

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 10:01am
Offline
Official SD.Net Teller of Tales
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-08 12:06pm
Posts: 12806
Location: NYC
Metahive wrote:
If the wizarding world put some effort behind it they could easily control the muggle world or at least keep the muggles from harassing them too much. Their biggest advantages are:

1.Mind control (Imperius)
2.The ability to rearrange memories and to read minds (memory charm and legilimency)
3.Perfect disguises (Polyjuice potion) and stealth (unplottable and fidelius charmed locations)
4.Instant teleportation
5.Anti hi-tech fields (an enchantment of Hogwarts)

Their offensive and defensive capabilities on an open battlefield might be limited but if they played their cards right they wouldn't have to fight even a single battle.


The huge advantage the wizards have over muggles in regard to mind fucks and other forms of control is that they have had it for centuries so for all we know they have indeed been exerting this level of control on muggles for a long time, explaining perhaps the free hand they have in waging their private little wars and doing as they please.

One thing I am not clear on from the films is that Voldemort and his lot clearly believe that they are a separate race. My belief was that all wizards are human and that to be a wizard you have to possess some sort of genetic quirk (since the magic runs in families) and this quirk allows you to tap into the magic force - I realize the irony of trying to explain magic use in scientific terms but that's the frame of reference we all share in the real world.

If I'm correct that wizarding is a simple matter of genetics then are they really a separate race or just humans who could have just as easily inherited hemophilia as opposed to magic? Or does Rowling actually hold that they are a separate race? Is it Voldemort indulging in Hitler like delusions of Aryanism?



Wherever you go, there you are.

Ripped Shirt Monkey - BOTMWriter's Guild Cybertron's Finest Justice League
This updated sig brought to you by JME2
Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 10:17am
Offline
Castellan
User avatar

Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5379
Location: Bound in a nutshell
As far as I can recall it was always implied to be a genetic thing, passed down through familes, although not always; you get muggle-born wizards and witches like Hermione and Dean Thomas and also wizard-born muggles, like Filch and Mrs Figg, who are called squibs.

There is a certain group of wizards who believe it's a special thing, and that you can only be a truemagic-use if you are born into a wizard familes. Hence, they only let their children marry other wizard born magicians, hence the "pure blood" families.

Interestingly, the MoM doesn't care about you if you are a Squib, even if you're born into a pure-blood family. Case in point, they believed no magical folk lived anywhere near Harry, totally ignoring Arabella Figg until she turns up at Harry's hearing.

As for Voldemort's ideas, I think they are rather like Magneto's from the x-men films: he believes wizards to be a step above muggles and therefore muggles are there to be exploited at best and tortured/hunted/murdered for sport at worst.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 02:36pm
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Stravo wrote:
Is it Voldemort indulging in Hitler like delusions of Aryanism?


That's actually not far off the mark. Voldemort and his supporters think that their wizarding blood makes them superior to muggles, and that wizards who interbreed with muggles are engaging a kind of "racial pollution" with an inferior race (sort of like how racist whites feared the prospect of inter-breeding with blacks in real life). They even use a standard for "pure blood" that's similar to what the Nazis did for determining if someone was Jewish (i.e. if you have even just one grand-parent that was a muggle, then you're a "half-breed").

Of course, it's only possible because there's a kind of casual racism against muggles and muggle-born wizards in much of the Wizarding Society, and particularly among the older, politically connected "pure"-blood families. That's much more prominent in the books than in the movies.

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Interestingly, the MoM doesn't care about you if you are a Squib, even if you're born into a pure-blood family. Case in point, they believed no magical folk lived anywhere near Harry, totally ignoring Arabella Figg until she turns up at Harry's hearing.


I agree. The last book mentioned that most families push their squibs into muggle schools and encourage them to join muggle society - at which point, the Ministry ignores them unless they do something that impacts wizards/witches.



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 05:14pm
Offline
Jedi Council Member

Joined: 2003-12-10 06:29am
Posts: 2355
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
As far as I can recall it was always implied to be a genetic thing, passed down through familes, although not always; you get muggle-born wizards and witches like Hermione and Dean Thomas and also wizard-born muggles, like Filch and Mrs Figg, who are called squibs.


Magic ability is explicitly inherited genetically and Rowling states as much in her official site, in a FAQ about squibs. Magic is a dominant and resilient gene is the specific wording used.



Reference webpages for fanfic writers.

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-12 06:57pm
Offline
Castellan
User avatar

Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5379
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Ah, I didn't know of that, I was going from what I recalled of the books.

On the matter of Voldemort having Hitler-esque delusions, we must also consider that whilst he professes that pure-blood wizards are the only kind worth being or knowing, he himself is a half-blood like Harry. I can't recall if this was ever said in the films, they dropped a lot of the backstory IIRC. In the books at least it is explained that Voldemort considered his witch mother to be unworthy of magic because she succumbed to the weakness of death.

Ultimately, that is what Voldemort was. A man terrified of death and what comes after, willing to go to any length to avoid this inevitable fate. Witness his discussion with Dumbledore whilst duelling in the MoM:

"There are things much worse than death, Tom."
"Nothing is worse than death!"

And his obsession with immortality; his willingness to drink unicorn blood to survive, despite it making him live a cursed life, shattering his soul to make multiple horcruxes and so on.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-13 09:59am
Offline
Official SD.Net Teller of Tales
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-08 12:06pm
Posts: 12806
Location: NYC
Good points about Voldemort and his fear of death. That definitely comes through in the movies and in a way I can tell that Rowling wants us to pity him on some level. In that same scene in the MoM when he is trying to possess Harry doesn't Harry say something to the effect that he is not like Riddle because unlike him he has friends, family, people he loves and who love him while Voldemort was essentially alone most of his life leading him to become the monster he was.

My main gripe concerning his portrayal in the movies is that he comes off as a bad seed right from the start. He is this cold emotionless little boy and we never see him laughing or smiling. He didn't have to be portrayed like Anakin in TPM (Ugh) but there is something to be said about showing something human about the villain, I mean even Hitler liked to paint and dance you know. I got the sense that there was more depth to his portrayal in the books.

Also in terms of his magical power/skill he seems to be easily one of the most powerful wizards out there, able to go toe to toe with luminaries of his time like Dumbledore. My impression was that wizards get more powerful with age and perhaps even have an edge as pure bloods. How is it that Voldemort, considerably younger than Dumbledore can wield power the way he does? Is it like Jedi and the Midichlorians where some wizards are just naturally stronger or is there a component like willpower and maybe Voldemort has it in spades. Has that ever been explained?



Wherever you go, there you are.

Ripped Shirt Monkey - BOTMWriter's Guild Cybertron's Finest Justice League
This updated sig brought to you by JME2
Image

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-13 10:22am
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Stravo wrote:
My main gripe concerning his portrayal in the movies is that he comes off as a bad seed right from the start. He is this cold emotionless little boy and we never see him laughing or smiling. He didn't have to be portrayed like Anakin in TPM (Ugh) but there is something to be said about showing something human about the villain, I mean even Hitler liked to paint and dance you know. I got the sense that there was more depth to his portrayal in the books.


You get a lot more of his back-story in the books. He was apparently always a sociopath (even before going to Hogwarts, he had developed some crude control over his magic powers, and was using them for sadistic and manipulative purposes on the other children in the orphanage), but the books shows him as being handsome, brilliant at magic, and charming in his youth. Most of the teachers and students at Hogwarts admired him (he was Head Boy), except for Dumbledore (who didn't trust him).

He's more like the Voldemort we see in the Chamber of Secrets movie (or rather, the Diary Horcrux that possesses a fragment of Voldemort's soul), as opposed to the weird, emotionless kid in the Half Blood Prince movie.

Stravo wrote:
Also in terms of his magical power/skill he seems to be easily one of the most powerful wizards out there, able to go toe to toe with luminaries of his time like Dumbledore. My impression was that wizards get more powerful with age and perhaps even have an edge as pure bloods. How is it that Voldemort, considerably younger than Dumbledore can wield power the way he does? Is it like Jedi and the Midichlorians where some wizards are just naturally stronger or is there a component like willpower and maybe Voldemort has it in spades. Has that ever been explained?


Rowling has said that there aren't varying degrees of in-born magical talent (aside from some specific abilities, like being a Parselmouth) - you either have the ability or you don't. However, different degrees of intelligence, confidence, and willpower mean that some wizards end up more powerful than others. Neville Longbottom, for example, was a bit of a buffoon with little talent for magic in the first book, but he's grown out of that by the final book.

Voldemort is powerful because he's apparently quite brilliant (and well-learned), extremely confident in his abilities, and very determined. Same for Dumbledore, who has the advantage of a long life spent studying and practicing magic as well.



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-13 10:57am
Offline
Emperor's Hand
User avatar

Joined: 2004-03-04 02:15am
Posts: 6842
Location: small U in Georgia, USA
There's sort of a placebo effect going on. If you're repeatedly told that you have great power, that you have great abilities like Harry, you're going to buy into that and come out with some chops. On the other hand, if you're clumsy and kind of not the brightest like Neville, the teachers keep coming down on you and you don't think you can do much.

Knowing that you can do x, and that you can apply your power towards that, and being determined to pull it off, is going to make x happen with great potency.

This is probably why a lot of Squibs fail out of Hogwarts (if they're allowed to go at all)-- they keep getting told they can't do magic, and start believing it.



Avatar by Vanas; In Memoriam
The Cleric of the Matrix Updated 03/19/05
8) Receipent of the Kuja Award of Fanfiction, 06/01/04 8)
Heretics' Redemption
The Angels' Hymn

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-13 11:10am
Offline
Cowardly Codfish
User avatar

Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8586
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Squibs can't do magic because they don't have the in-born magical ability, although it's probably difficult to tell when someone is a squib versus someone like Neville (who didn't do magic accidentally as a child except under extreme duress). It's kind of strange that they don't have a more reliable way to separate them in-universe.



"You can't hammer tin into iron, no matter how hard you beat it, but that doesn't mean that tin is worthless."
-Jon Snow, A Game of Thrones

"I prefer my history dead. The dead sort is written in ink, the living in blood."
-Rodrik Greyjoy, A Song of Ice and Fire

Top
 Profile  
 Post subject: Re: Harry Potter and the Muggle World PostPosted: 2011-10-13 11:38am
Offline
Castellan
User avatar

Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5379
Location: Bound in a nutshell
It would also seem to depend on the wand as well. Some wands are described as being unusually powerful. Voldemort's original wand was said by Ollicvander to be "powerful, very powerful" as well as being the twin to Harry's. Dumbledore's (the Elder Wand of mythology) was apparently "unbeatable."

Also, in Neville's case his initial ineptitude may have been because he was using his father's old wand, as stated in i]Order of the Phoenix[/i]. He gets a new one and by the end of book seven he is far more competent, although confidence no doubt plays a large role in that.

It was stated from the very start that "the wand chooses the wozard." Most likely, if the wizard doesn't have the right wand for them they won't be as effective. Indeed, using other's wands has been shown as less than effective, unless you have "won" their allegiance in a duel.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

Top
 Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 135 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group