I have to pee. Discuss.Kidding! In actuality I've been ruminating over conventional gender-theory wisdom and trying to remember a good source for the traditional gender model (boys do X, girls do X). I remember reading something about "boys sit legs apart to take up space, girls sit legs crossed as a meek, submissive gesture"; really what I need is a good source for "boys are active, girls are passive" and a long list of characteristics for what that means so I can discuss some things on my blog. Anyone got anything like that bookmarked?
I have to pee. Discuss.I assume that's no longer true.In answer to your second topic, I don't have anything like a list of characteristics. However, your comment reminded me of my visit to a popular bookstore while vacationing in Chengdu and looking at the bestselling titles. There were two books in particular that stood out, both by the same author. One was pink, entitled something along the lines of "Why You Should Be Kind to Your Daughter." The other was blue, called "Why You Should Be Strict/Cruel to Your Son." Again, these were very popular books.
You are correct! Though my coworkers are very good at snagging me as I walk past and dragging me into long involved discussions, l did indeed successfully make it out of my area and to the bathroom >.>regarding books: Friggan lovely. @.@
Yikes, those book titles. Somewhere I recall seeing a kids' picture book.. the infamous one, you know, "boys are pilots, girls are stewardesses, girls break things, boys fix things..." Heck if I can remember the name of it, though.
"boys sit legs apart to take up space...I always chuckle when I read that explanation. In my opinion, a much simpler explanation is that boys sit legs apart because it is more comfortable (at least in my opinion) to sit that way."
That's certainly why I sit that way. But I've been cussed out for being "unladylike" for not sitting with my legs crossed... in jeans. WTF?
I'm on Pottermore. Usernames they offer wouldn't be out of place on Quizzilla or fanfiction.net, second book isn't up yet (and won't be for a long time), plus I fail at making potions and casting spells. Otherwise, I like it.
Hufflepuff, just like I wanted.
I'm a girl (but I definitely don't fit many of the usual gender stereotypes). I sit with my legs open unless I remember to close them (and even then, I only close my legs if they're not under a desk or something).In other news, I'm not feeling well today, but a friend cheered me up by sending me the most nerdy joke I've seen in a long time:"Three logicians walk into a bar, and the barman says, 'Y'all want a drink?' The first logician says, 'I don't know.' The second logician says, 'I don't know.' The third logician says, 'Yes!' "
Took me a moment but that's gloriously nerdy once I got it :D
I'm contemplating whether or not to download a whole bunch of Firefox books onto the Kindle. They're not expensive individually, but there are quite a few of them...
The mention of Houses caused a character to pop more or less fully formed into my head, not sure what to do with her since I gave up on Harry Potter long ago.She's a Slytherin who is not an asshole, in part simply because she's not, but also because she thinks it's stupid and counterproductive. She values cunning and ambition, and in her opinion making enemies is helpful to neither of those things. She tries to get along with members of the other Houses because she wants to be able to take away the best from all of them.* As a result she spends more time elsewhere than in her own common room, which translates to spending a lot of time in Ravenclaw's common room since that's the only one other than her own that she has access to (Ravenclaw is, I'm told, not password protected but instead riddle protected, thus it's theoretically open to anyone.)It'd be a place to increase her connections beyond the confines of her house and it'd be a place to learn more things (see previous thing about knowledge=power and ambitious people want power) and it'd be a place to hone her cunning. It'd, basically, be an ideal second home for a Slytherin student, especially if they needed to get away from the toxic environment that Slytherin-in-practice seems to be. Also, I figure her girlfriend would be Ravenclaw.Why is this in response to Susan B's post? Because I was then trying to think of what riddle you could have her answer to get in since it always seems to be the case that riddles used in fiction are too simple or too well known to actually realistically serve their purpose, I decided that the blue eyes on the island riddle would be something I'd use as a Ravenclaw riddle for her to solve if I were actually writing a story with said character in it. That operates on similar reasoning as the logicians in a bar joke.On the other hand, maybe that's also too well known, given that xkcd has apparently endorsed it as The Hardest Logic Puzzle in the World. (Spoiler alert: it's not.)Though I think hypothetical Slytherin girl would, after correctly answering the question, posit that after those people left everyone else would work out that the purpose of the rules had been served, and overturn the entire system so that people could come and go as they pleased because how much sense does it make to have a set of rigidly enforced arbitrary rules maintained long after their (objectively strange from a realistic perspective) purpose had been served?-Anyway, that's where my brain has been today.-* Because she's ambitious, and thus wants all of their strengths and none of their weaknesses. She want's know know everything that she can about everything so that it might serve her ends. Knowledge is power and power is neat.Seriously, if they value ambition and cunning Slytherin should be full of people who are ready to use anything, even kindness and honesty, to further their goals as a result of the ambition part, and on the cunning side you should have a crop of students who are shooting for an Odysseus-like standard.In the Harry Potter books I read we never get any of that.
-Slytherin kids using kindness and smarts to satisfy their ambition: YES. (A few years ago I was encouraged by my fanfic-writing friend to collaborate with her on a HP fanfic, and before I became too lazy to finish I got as far as inventing a character whose family had always been in Slytherin, but weren't evil. (Prideful and insufficiently nurturing to their youngest son, yes.) The family valued success above all else, but that's a wide range: the father was a banker, the mother was in magical law (like regular law, but magical-er!), but the older sister was a Quidditch star. Ambition can lead to bad behavior, but it doesn't have to involve killing people!-Babbage engine: That would be AWESOME! The principles of computing don't neccesarily require electricity at all (I recall someone once made a tic-tac-toe-playing computer out of Tinker Toys) and the potential problems with a purely mechanical device (friction against moving parts, wear and tear, possible limits to speed and efficiency) could probably be dealt with using magic. Although maybe the problems with electricity can be dealt with by other means: I recall reading a book (by Mercedes Lackey? maybe?) in which a dragon wanted to get a computer, but his own innate magic mucked with the electronics. His friends solved the problem by putting the computer inside a Faraday cage.
(I read this a lot, but don't comment very often... so hi everyone!) When you mentioned Faraday Cage, I thought of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjtzib0G9Rs&feature=relatedAdam Savage from mythbusters in a faraday cage as ArcAttack played Dr. Who's theme with Tesla Coils around him. : DSpeaking of arc Attack, they have a really cool suit you can wear to "play" the electricity from Tesla coils: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdrqdW4Miao&feature=related (also, Dr. Who theme). So with the computer in the faraday cage, how did the dragon use it? Did it have a wire coming out somehow that connected a mechanical keyboard to it? Or did the dragon just want to own a computer but not use it? I think I'm approaching that too much from a physics standpoint. Speaking of the Babbage Engine, there's this awesome computing device that was recovered in the Mediterranean: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism (and this link: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061129-ancient-greece.html ). It's from around the 1st century BC and was probably used to calculate astronomical information. It's wonderful complex and accurate, so I could see the people in Harry Potter creating something like that with just pure mechanical parts without the need for any electrical component at all. Maybe set the device to help calculate the parameters of various magical problems - sorta like a modeling computer except for magical spells and so forth.
Surprise benefits of being a Ramblite: improvements at Band Hero.Host: *provisionally selects "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence* So, are we all familiar enough with this song to manage it?Me and Brother, simultaneously: Oh! I know that one! *look at each other in surprise*Thanks, Yami!(He got it from a Runescape fanvid.)(We later discovered that not being familiar with a song doesn't actually pose that much of an impediment.)
All I can think of is…"Any note you can hold I can hold longer!""I can hold any note longer than you!""No you can't!""Yes I can!""No you can't!""Yes I can!""No you caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…""Yes I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…"
I've recently been enjoying the video game El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, which is basically the mutant anime baby of an acid trip and a piece of Biblical apocrypha. You play Enoch as he goes back to Earth to hunt down some fallen angels, with the help of "Lucifel" (obligatory HP connection - Lucifel is voiced by the guy who played Lucius Malfoy). No further explanation will do the glorious visuals of this game justice. One must see it for oneself.
Someone, probably in Hufflepuff, should make a Babbage engine. Electronics might not work near excessive magic, but it's long past time someone tried to bring computing power to wizardry. Not so much because of the good it might do but just because it would be awesome.Yeah, but that'd require for the wizards to collectively get past the 18th century and demonstrate some basic understanding of mechanical principles. Furthermore, they have already demonstrated the ability to magically (if somewhat erratically) imbue objects with complex computing ability... what purpose would a mechanical computer serve?It can't be checking your body because then simple spells could bypass it, but neither can it be checking what you really truly are because then it would out every female-born not-yet-open transkid.Maybe it checks both, or simply runs a 'deep level' scan that can bypass transfigurations. (Check if known result matches acceptable pattern. Check for known transfiguration/illusion countermeasures. Reverse-engineer transfigurations to base level. Check for compatibility...) So anyone who didn't fit all criteria would get kicked out, but, presumably, it ignores non-humans. It could also run a simple check on whether the target is 'human enough' to be included in the criteria. So something like a half-giant would be blocked, but an owl wouldn't. This might mean an animagus could get through, but maybe it can check for that transfiguration too?Or more likely, it can by bypassed by 'simple' spells (human transfiguration/polyjuice is actually quite difficult, by the way), because it's a safeguard against students engaging in late-night nookie, not a fortress designed to keep out an experienced wizard.You cannot create magical rules revolving around a gender binary without introducing a complex set of problems and possibilities.Nah. Magic just has to assume the gender binary is true, and be perfectly willing to screw over the edge cases (being an inanimate force, there's no reason it wouldn't be - natural forces do not give a rats behind about your feelings). For instance perhaps, in magical terms, what you were born as is 'what you truly are', and it has some way of sensing that through transfigurations. Alternatively, you just design your rules the way you say they should be, and go with it, damn the torpedoes. Given that it was installed on the girl's rooms and not the boys, I doubt the creators gave half a damn about any sort of 'gender binary'.Not entirely related to Faraday cages, but I recently saw a Modern Marvels program on Nikola Tesla, including the plans to build an amazingly massive system that I can only describe as basically Ar Tonelico - a gigantic, kilometers-tall Tesla coil that would charge the entire atmosphere with electricity - basically providing free, wireless power throughout the world.Nothing could possibly go wrong with this.
Given that it was installed on the girl's rooms and not the boys, I doubt the creators gave half a damn about any sort of 'gender binary'.You are aware that you just wrote, "Given that it was installed based on a gender binary, I doubt the creators gave half a damn about any sort of 'gender binary'," right?I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be some kind of a joke, or have some elusive deeper meaning I'm just missing.
A theory: trans* witches and wizards get their letters from the different magic school that was created specifically for them. Not all of them are happy about it, they feel othered and excluded, yet others prefer it that way - it's their safe space where they don't have to deal with transphobic bullying. Some former students of that school are also currently working on ways to defeat Deep Mag... sorry, wrong not-fandom - to rewrite the way Hogwarts' magic is working in those cases. When they will succeed, future generations of trans* potential students will start getting *two* letters and a chance to deside if they'd rather go to Hogwarts or to that other school.Not an ideal solution by any means, I know.
My personal impression that the magic world is extremely hostile to things outside of traditional gender roles.Consider, for example, something as simple as the language that they use. The only way for the characters to say "witches and wizards" and have it mean what it means is if someone at some point was so opposed to the idea that men and women could be described using the same terms that he, she or they took two completely gender neutral terms and bashed them into gendered meanings, forcefully changing the language in order to say that women are nothing like men, and boys are nothing like girls.Also note that after spending definition shifting effort to twist wizard in order to mean "male only" the term that's used throughout the wizarding word is "wizard". The International Confederation of Wizards, the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Wizarding Examinations Authority, Ordinary Wizarding Level, and so on.Given that the bar is set so incredibly low, Hogwarts actually seems to be remarkably progressive for being a school of witchcraft and wizardry. In its name it recognizes that being female isn't the same as not counting for anything* (probably because half of its founders, which is two thirds of its not-genocidal founders, happened to be female) and that's more than we can say for most of the world. And given that state of affairs, I don't think there's much in the way of accommodation, even something as broken as shuffling them off to a separate school so that the cis-kids don't have to see them, for trans students in magic-land.-* Or does it? Hogwarts was founded far to early for the witch-wizard gender based dichotomy to have arisen. If the "witchcraft and wizardry" thing dates back to its founding then we can say two things for sure, the first is that that name has since had to be translated. Hogwarts' date of founding falls within the range in which Beowulf was composed, which should give some idea how very much modern English did not exist at the time. (I'm having a bit of difficulty checking, but I think that the word "and" didn't exist when Hogwarts was founded.) The second is that, unless the translation to the present form happened very late**, witchcraft and wizardry were not being used as gendered terms.** The non-muggles were interacting pretty directly with the mundane world during the witch trials, in the most callous way possible, which means that they were coming into contact with the genderless word witch on a level that gets mentioned in their high school textbooks during the witch trial period. If we take the end of witchtrials in Brittan as a start date for the magic people's disconnection with that usage, then we're looking at the shift in definition having happened some time after 1735, well after modern English existed for the name to be translated into.Hogwarts is old, is I guess what I'm saying, and the division of the magic world into male wizards and female witches cannot possibly be as old as Hogwarts. It can't even be a third the age of Hogwarts. Maybe a quarter, but I think that's pushing it.
>>>shuffling them off to a separate school so that the cis-kids don't have to see themAs I said, yes, some of those students would see it exactly this way. As I *also* said, some won't. I might not be trans*, but I'm not exactly cis* either, and for me it'd be more like *me not having to deal with prejudiced bullies*, not the other way around.
I was talking about from the perspective of the power structure, not the students.When it comes to the student's perspective I think a much bigger deal than the rationale for setting a up a segregated school system would be the simple fact that they only way that they don't have to transfer schools midstream is if either they've already figured out that they're not cis before their 11th birthday or they don't become open until after graduation. Otherwise the realization of not-cis-ness is going to come with it the realization that doing anything about it other than keeping it a secret means being forced out of the school they know and away from any friends they might have made.
Sorry to jumping at you. I should go back to lurking mode, I only seem to trigger myself and attack people for what I think they say instead of what they do say I can't be logical, reasonable and sense-making right now. I'm sorry.
I should go back to lurking modeI hope you don't. If you feel like you can't contribute then obviously you should do what you think is right. I've definitely had time when the same thing happened to me and I had to step away from some places because everything I said there ended up coming out wrong, so it's not like I don't see the benefit, I've done it myself.But I like hearing from you and hope that it won't be necessary for you to stop contributing.You apology is accepted, please don't feel bad about it, and I hope that things work out well for you.
Sure, but it'd mean that the magical world would be responding to the existence of cissexist bullying by segregating the non-cis kids, and that's not really a good solution, even if some of the queer and trans* kids find it easier in the short term. I mean, yeah, given how culturally frozen the magical world seems to be, it's a reasonably canon-friendly explanation as to how queer and trans* kids would be dealt with, but that's kind of because it's just as problematic as world it would exist in. I mean, I really doubt such a school would get a similar level of funds and resources as Hogwarts, especially when Magical Britain is apparently only capable of supporting a single magic school as it is, thus creating a world where trans* and queer people are statistically less skilled than cis people. And presumably résumés exist in the magical world, and they would also state what kind of education you received. Not only would you be informing any potential employer than you had a markedly poorer education than the vast majority of people, you would also be informing them that you're not cis. This also carries over into regular interaction with people pretty heavily, considering how tribal magical people get over what houses they were in back at Hogwarts. I don't know if I can call that better than what is apparently Hogwart's current policy of aggressively refusing to acknowledge trans* people at all.
I find myself wondering how difficult a "turn my body from male into female" or vice-versa Transfiguration would be.
>>>you would also be informing them that you're not cisNot necessarily - official status most likely wouldn't be "the school for non-cis* people". And I did say that's not an ideal solution. (I also don't claim "that's how it should be!", only "that's one of the ways it possibly could be".)
And, Chris, thank you.
Hugs all around. I think, if I understand correctly, the "separate-not-equal" thing was proposed as the sort of thing that would realstically be proposed in the problematic HP world, which would continue to be problematic for some (not all) students, and which would ideally one day be dismantled? This should be interesting, reading HP, if there's all these gendered issues. I don't really like the sound of the "girls room" spell being discussed. For something like 4 reasons already.
Yes, exactly. Not "how I want it to be", but "how it could go". Probably needed more disclaimers.Thanks for the hug.
It would be significantly smaller than the transformations we do see (changing oneself into an animal, changing Draco into a ferret, changing into a different person) so, one would presume, it would be easier.So that would make one think that potentially, for someone who is precisely trans as opposed to genderqueer, the magic world would be a place where many of the problems facing such people in our world simply don't apply. If one can magically change their body, and we've seen transformations way more extreme than switching sex, then it should be possible to have a body that matches your gender regardless of accidents of birth.But then you come to things like the passage to the girl's dormitory, what does it actually do? Is it going to pull its life threatening knock-you-off-balance-so-you-fall-on-a-stone-surface thing while sending out an alarm so everyone can come and laugh at her* because the girl in question has been transfigured so her sex matches her gender? Or is it going to let her pass?Either way brings up some serious questions. If it doesn't let her pass then the question is, "What kind of an asshole designed this thing?"** If it does then the question is, "So what exactly are the rules?"Is it checking body, is it checking soul, is it checking for feelings of deception, is it checking against enrollment records, what? So far as I know this is never addressed.-* So Ron maintains his balance for a little while with arm waving and then falls over backward, the stairs having reformed themselves into what is called a stone slide. From this we learn a couple of things, one is that it's possible to have traction on said slide, otherwise his arm waving would have done nothing as his feet would have slipped out from under him. That means that it could be climbed by one expecting it and thus is only likely to be a hindrance to those operating from a position of ignorance, and they likely would have been turned back by the alarm alone. That's not what bugs me about it.What bugs me is that what the student is falling down on is stone. It has not changed into some other material, it is still stone. (If you're looking for the second of the couple things we learn, that was it.) Ron falls over backward, down the not-stairs-anymore, meaning that he falls more than his own height only to land on stone. If a student should hit head first, that could very well be deadly.It seems like in a place where the magic flows like ... flowing stuff, they could come up with a system less dangerous than using trick footing and gravity to, basically, knock a child down the stairs. Sure, the stairs are a smooth slope instead of stair shaped now, but they're still made out of stone.** I know that Hogwarts was founded in the late 10th Century (well, I didn't, but I looked it up earlier in the thread) but I think that the fact that we're talking about a world in which people can change their bodies in pretty severe ways (I'm looking at you Professor I-can-change-into-a-cat-at-will) sort of places it into a different context.Also, pulling out my classics stuff because I know not a damn thing about the late tenth century, we've definitely got some stuff that seems to indicate that there was an attitude where magically transforming into another sex meant being accepted as a member of that gender, at least theoretically, several centuries in advance of Hogwarts founding. This includes a story from Ovid in which the happy ending is a male-gendered female-bodied character being magicked by the gods into becoming male-bodied.So the idea of magically changing a body to match gender was definitely out there several centuries before Hogwarts was founded.
If I didn't believe the HP world to be deeply f-ed up and oozing with prejudice, I'd assume that magic would allow people to solve the problem of having the wrong body exactly that way. I'm not sure what all the implications of that kind of magic would be, but it strikes me as awesome.Then again, if I were a magic user in a world where such a spell existed, I would make much use of it. Even more if there were a "neither" option.(I might break a spell that relied on one's mental gender to keep out teh menz. A great deal of the time I don't think of myself as either gender, and when I do think of myself as a gender, my brain goes the "wrong" way more often than the right way. Guess I'd have to sleep in the male dorm.)
I think that I probably could have used more disclaimers too.First off, I think that it's probably very important to distinguish between trans and the broader category of not-cis.Speaking only of people who are mono-gendered such that that gender is either male or female, I can see the magic world in Harry Potter as either being very welcoming, or very hostile. That's one of the reasons that I'm interested in how the girls' dorm spell works, it would be an indicator of the broader trend.If it does what BDZ suggests where it's birth sex only, then I think we can expect the magic world to be hostile because here's one of the premier institutions in magic instituting a strictly enforced policy of judging you by your birth sex.If it does something meant to account for the fact that not all women were born with female genitalia, then I think that'd be a sign that whatever it problems it might have with gender, the magic world isn't a place that's hostile to transfolk in general.Of course, that only applies to people who are strictly male or strictly female. In either case I imagine that those who are not are treated as if they don't exist and thus forced to fit themselves into one of those categories.-I don't see a lot of middle ground though. Mostly because I don't see them addressing difficult questions about gender. Both of the things I described above involve sidestepping any real look at the topic, in each case there is an objective standard, it is applied, the matter of gender considered is settled, and one can move on secure in knowing whether the person is male or female and treating them as society deems appropriate.Neither one forces those in power to actually think about gender, it just says, "This is how we determine gender."Actually creating a school for those who don't fit into their notions of gender requires recognizing that those notions are not universal. I don't seem them doing that.I think that if they were going to try to tackle the complexities of having gender diverse students what you've described is probably how they'd go about doing it, but I really don't have the impression that they would try to do something to address it in the first place. I don't think they're really at that point.Very short version: I agree that that's how it could go, and indeed probably how it would go, if it did go, but I also have the impression that the setting is one where it going is unlikely because those who would make it go are avoiding addressing the things needed to start it going.If that makes any sense at all.-@AnaI don't know if the gender issues are nearly as pronounced as this thread makes them seem, and it's important to remember that a fair amount of this thread is based on speculation about how unexplained things work. Also you'll not encounter that spell until, I think, book 5.
You are aware that you just wrote, "Given that it was installed based on a gender binary, I doubt the creators gave half a damn about any sort of 'gender binary'," right?I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be some kind of a joke, or have some elusive deeper meaning I'm just missing.Yeah, pretty much. My point was that given the rationale for it's creation, I doubt the designer was particularly concerned with 21st century gender theory. They likely neither knew nor cared about things like 'gender presentation' or 'transsexuality'. In other words, yeah, it was built based on a gender binary (classic gender roles, at that)... one the designers more than likely accepted uncritically.See, that's precisely what I mean about creating a set of problems. If that's the case then Hogwarts is transphobia instituted on a level no real world transphobic individual or institution has ever managed, and done to children no less. To throw that out there and then not explore it seems a mistake.If it was engineered to be that way deliberately... that'd be awful, but unsurprising. If it's just an effect of how magic works, then... well, the gate is still a bad idea, My personal impression that the magic world is extremely hostile to things outside of traditional gender roles.Really unsurprising, considering how traditional they are in general...changing into a different person [is harder than changing gender]Not neccesarily. Depending on how close that person's physique is, it could be a *lot* easier... especially since you don't to create new organs from scratch.It could definently be done by a trained wizard... possibly NEWT class, but possibly not. The question is if transfigurations are permanent... there's a lot of evidence they are, but a bit that they aren't... more pressingly, they seem easy to reverse... essentially an active magic effect, rather than deep-level alteration. A simple counterspell could reverse it... (of course, that has an appeal of its own...)It's better than anything we're capable of, however.It seems like in a place where the magic flows like ... flowing stuff, they could come up with a system less dangerous than using trick footing and gravity to, basically, knock a child down the stairs. Sure, the stairs are a smooth slope instead of stair shaped now, but they're still made out of stone.Perhaps because of all of their magic, the wizarding community is extremely casual about safety. Injuries are extremely common at Hogwarts, it wouldn't be surprised if students get killed occasionally (falling off the moving stairs in a hundred-meter-tall tower, for instance...)Then again, if I were a magic user in a world where such a spell existed, I would make much use of it. Even more if there were a "neither" option.If I were a magic user in a world where such a spell existed, I too would probably make much (ab)use of it. And I'm not even anything that could realisitcally be described as 'transgender'.If it does what BDZ suggests where it's birth sex only, then I think we can expect the magic world to be hostile because here's one of the premier institutions in magic instituting a strictly enforced policy of judging you by your birth sex.Note that last one wasn't 'the magic world' so much as magic itself instituting a strictly enforced policy of judging you by your birth sex. Mostly for sheer badness. The first description was more guessing *how* a system that judges on birth sex might be implemented... what I actually expect is that it's based on current physical sex. I don't think it's supposed a Serious Business obstacle...
They likely neither knew nor cared about things like 'gender presentation' or 'transsexuality'. In other words, yeah, it was built based on a gender binary (classic gender roles, at that)... one the designers more than likely accepted uncritically.Hmm, if this means that it sorts by the body one currently has, then it could be defeated by a spell that changed one's physical sex (or changed one into a non-human, for that matter, since I don't remember there being a problem with people having familiars of a different sex). If this means that it's sorting people based on, in this case, very outdated gender images, then the dorms of Hogwarts are quite coed.
I think 'checking against enrollment forms' would make most sense. I imagine magic can detect 'identity' (so glamouring/polyjuicing/transforming into someone else wouldn't work), and then just going by what it's told about a certain person. Just like there's no way to detect whether someone's a Ravenclaw without going by what the Sorting Hat says. Or a more recursive way: the only people who are allowed in girls' dorms are the people who have previously been assigned a girls' dorm to sleep in.
I agree with Maartje. Hogwarts proves itself to be... fairly terrible as a school, really; they have serious problems with bullying, you get no real sense that they even *care* what students' home lives are like, and the physical space is about as far from welcoming as you can imagine. I would be totally unsurprised if the spell worked by checking identity against a list of names; it's a simple boolean, and it means the professors/parents are the ones deciding which list to put a student's name on. Maybe the Marauders' Map was partly made by copying the Establish Identity part of this spell.
And yet, polyjuice allowed Harry and Ron into the Slythern common room. Were they just avoiding detection by fellow students or magic? I don't remember.
They were avoiding not knowing the password or where the room was. The houses seem to be protected by the passwords (or in Ravenclaw's case, riddles) and the fact that the entrance location is secret rather than any house-membership-detecting magic. Neville wishes the Fat Lady just scanned you to see if you'd been placed in Gryffindor.
Oh dear, that rather leaves us with the spell checking bodies or minds then.
Could be as simple as a magical 'fingerprint' - unique to the person but doesn't say anything about them. It would establish me as ME without inferring anything about me, and that's why it's a better scan than something like body or mind, because that changes over time, especially in young school kids. Although some people probably practice 'magical palmistry' saying that that lefthand swirl MUST mean you're destined for greatness or an early grave.
Neville wishes the Fat Lady just scanned you to see if you'd been placed in Gryffindor. Then Sirius Black would be able to stroll in whenever he wanted.And for that matter, Sprout and Flitwick would be unable to go into the Gryffindor (or Slytherin) common room.
Checking against records would be the best solution for a variety of reasons, but it also seems to be the least realistic solution in terms of how Hogwarts works for the reason Rikalous mentions. Hogwarts emphatically does not use individualized detection of students when it would make sense to do so. Of the Houses, only Ravenclaw has a reason* not to use such a system when deciding whether or not to let students into the House exclusive rooms.For every house other than Ravenclaw it would make a good deal more sense to just check to see if the student who wanted the door opened was legitimately allowed to open said door. It completely eliminates problems like forgetting a password or having a password stolen. Given that both of those happened to Neville, I agree that he wishes they'd go to a detection based system.It would also make it much lower risk to let others into your area.Say Hermonie invites Luna to join her in her common room. In the system at Hogwarts that involves Luna being present when the password is spoken, giving her access to the Gryffindor areas for the rest of the day. Who knows what nefarious things she might do after all have gone to sleep. (Probably nothing, but it is the case that inviting someone over is like giving them the keys to your house.)Say the entrance worked on checking to see if the student was allowed to be there (detects who you are, compares to records of who is a Gryffindor), then Luna would only be able to enter when she was accompanied by a Gryffindor, which means that inviting her back to the common room is not the same as giving away the keys.-* I'm not convinced it's a good reason, mind you. Then again so few things in Hogwarts are. I imagine a student who was low on sleep at the beginning of the day coming back tired and brainfried at the end of a day only to be hit with a riddle that ze simply couldn't wrap zirs mind around.
Not really.If you were checking who someone was and then comparing them to a list of who is allowed in, which is what such scanning would involve, then that list would presumably be updated as time went on. Those who needed access (a category you consider to that apply to the heads of foreign houses) would be added to it, those who shouldn't have access (say, for example, escaped convicted murderers believed to want to kill one of the students) would be taken from it.
Then they'd hardly need to bother with the password of the day and all that. Unless they do that purely to be annoying, when, in fact they're perfectly capable of setting a spell that checks people against some list. But then Harry and Ron couldn't have gotten into the Slythern common room - unless anyone with a member of the house is assumed to be an okay guest.It really looks like the "keep boys out of the girl's dorm" spell has to be about the sex of the people. (Or the school is being a jerk with the passwords.)
unless anyone with a member of the house is assumed to be an okay guest.My guess is that if they had such spells, which they appear not to, that would be the assumption.I don't think that the idea is to make it so that no one from outside the house can ever come into the house areas, I think the idea is to make it so that they can't come without someone from the house wanting them to. Barring hostage situations, which would be a little extreme for even a school as toxic as Hogwarts, it probably makes sense to assume that if someone is present when a member of the house asks that the way be opened, then that person is an acceptable guest.Those in the magic world exist in a perpetual state of forgetting that polyjuice exists, can be brewed up by a second year student from one of the non-thinky houses, and is used by every imaginable faction at every conceivable point in time. Thus the idea of a polyjuiced impostor being the person a student brings in with them probably gets overlooked.The existence of invisibility cloaks is likewise under-appreciated (consider that Harry should be able to, with no difficulty, access any given common room just by donning his cloak, following a student, and listening to the password.) Thus the possibility of one using an invisibility cloak to be considered an okay guest when the person didn't know they had a guest would likewise be overlooked.So, if they made use of that kind of thing, which they emphatically do not*, I think that Harry and Ron still could have accessed the Slytherin common room the exact same way they did in the actual text.-* Try to imagine how different book four would have been if Hogwarts regularly made use of things to detect who people really were. Imagine what would happen the first time "Moody" tried to go into a teacher's only area. Recall that his disguise couldn't even fool a simple device (the map) made by some students.
The inadequacy of the House defenses can be explained by the fact that they're groups of schoolkids with different sports teams, not espionage agencies for warring countries. Invisibility cloaks are both expensively rare and, from what I recall, less useful than Harry's super-special model. Polyjuice is thought of as a tool of adults engaged in serious skullduggery, not kids playing pranks (or engaging in serious skullduggery, because they're too young to be investigating murder attempts or anything, right?). The risk that students might have access to an invisibility cloak or polyjuice* wouldn't have been considered high enough to go through the effort to prevent. Plus, I don't think the Map is "a simple device". It was made by a group that were able to pull off the tricky Animagus transformation when they were still in school. A lot of the magical feats we see in the series are being performed by some of the best students in the school, which can skew our impressions of what the average student is capable of. *and while Hermione may not have been placed in the thinky house, she easily could have. She got all As and one B on her OWLs a few years later.
I don't disagree with any of that*, in fact I think it supports the point I was making.-*Well, there is one thing. But it has nothing to do with gaining access to the Houses. The lack of thinking about polyjuice potion extends far beyond the House defenses and thus cannot be attributed to being dismissed because children are being dealt with. As such, the fact that it never seems to be considered is really inexcusable because it does seem to have been in widespread use by everyone.Consider: in book four, after three straight years of having his school infiltrated in connection to a genocidal manic with a particular animosity toward one of his students, Dumbledore switched into full on war thinking mode both calling in reinforcements in the form of a feared dark wizard hunter and devoting the entire school year to a dead competition in hopes that he might use it to strengthen international bonds in preparation for the battles to come. Yet at no point did he consider trying to set up any countermeasures for what appears to be the single most widely used means of infiltration in the magical world.Which is to say, the complete ignoring of polyjuice goes way beyond dismissing it as something kids can't do. It's dismissed as something no one can do in spite of perpetual evidence to the contrary.
Try to imagine how different book four would have been if Hogwarts regularly made use of things to detect who people really were. Imagine what would happen the first time "Moody" tried to go into a teacher's only area. Recall that his disguise couldn't even fool a simple device (the map) made by some students.Which begs the question why no one seems to use any variation of the Marauder's Map 'technology'. Yeah, presumably it wasn't *easy*, but it seems odd that a bunch of students could do something no one has ever approached as a lark...The inadequacy of the House defenses can be explained by the fact that they're groups of schoolkids with different sports teams, not espionage agencies for warring countries.I've basically been arguing this with the gender-line, but it's possible/sorta implied that they basically *were* warring countries at some points in the school's history...Which is to say, the complete ignoring of polyjuice goes way beyond dismissing it as something kids can't do. It's dismissed as something no one can do in spite of perpetual evidence to the contrary.Which brings us back to the core problem of the series: wizards are apparently kind of dumb.
Which brings us back to the core problem of the series: wizards are apparently kind of dumb.There is the theory, put forward by actual fans no less, that magic causes brain damage.
I definently remember reading the theory that dark magic causes brain damage. Well, soul damage. Sorta?I did personally guess that whatever portion of the brain that operates magic takes away from others... once. Mostly, though, I blame the author for being a fantasy writer. Fantasy (as opposed to science fantasy) is always nonsensical, because it does not follow reasonable rules, by definition.
Fantasy (as opposed to science fantasy) is always nonsensical, because it does not follow reasonable rules, by definition.Srsly?
Yes. In true fantasy 'because it is romantic' is a perfectly likely explanation for events, and it never needs be explained why the object detects if it's weilder has royal blood. It's royal blood, some people are just better than others, etc. It's mythical, not logical.
To contaminate the discussion with another source, according to the canon of the world of Final Fantasy VIII, the space of the brain that Guardian Forces (basically, summons) occupy are part of memory. So much so that the main characters that have become used to using Guardian Forces forget what turns out to be an important plot point, to be reminded of it when the one character who hasn't been using GFs tells them about it. Perhaps the magic of the Potter World has a similar effect on the brain.
That... sounds more like the characters becoming so used to practical applications that they've forgotten the theory behind it. Though without more familiarity with FF8, I can't be sure. The Harry Potter World actually seems to fit that, since students are taught to use wands from practically the first day, and not the concepts behind it or handling it safely, etc. (Somewhere between handing someone a car and a loaded gun when not telling them much else).Alternative theory: perhaps magic drives people slowly mad? They don't become stupid, but they start becoming very Knight Templar-ish in their ideas and losing common sense.About fantasy not needing logic? Eragon is probably an excellent example. After reading through all four books, I no longer have any idea how the magic system works. Or how dragons work. At all.
While I grok the point of discussing all the implications of the detection scheme on the girls' dorm entrance, it seems pretty clear that the simplest and least-problematic-given-the-circumstances answer is "If you're assigned to the boys' dorm, you're not allowed in the girls' dorm".On the subject of 'thinky houses', I believe there's a lot of canonical support (e.g., all of it) for the idea that you're sorted into the house that favours the virtue you believe to be most important, not the one that you personally are best at. Some Ravenclaws will be total polymaths, but plenty of them should also be ordinary kids who were taught that being smart is more important than being brave, or being dedicated.---Fantasy (as opposed to science fantasy) is always nonsensical, because it does not follow reasonable rules, by definition.[...]In true fantasy 'because it is romantic' is a perfectly likely explanation for events, and it never needs be explained why the object detects if it's weilder has royal blood. It's royal blood, some people are just better than others, etc. It's mythical, not logical.Bwaaaaaaah?Your categories: they are yours. Phrases like 'true fantasy' do little for the discourse, since 'true' is a broad, vague, and oft-fallaciously-applied adjective that carries with it a whole host of value connotations that are mostly useful for starting fights over what is or isn't True X.I am not quite sure where to begin on your use of 'logical' and 'reasonable' as synonyms, and 'nonsensical/romantic/mythical' as their antonyms, except to say that I think I disagree with most of your implications.
it seems pretty clear that the simplest and least-problematic-given-the-circumstances answer is "If you're assigned to the boys' dorm, you're not allowed in the girls' dorm".Do you mean least problematic in terms of what's best for the students, or least problematic in terms of plot, setting, and narrative consistency? If it's the first then I agree with you entirely, if it's the second then I disagree strongly because then that leads to the question, "If they could do that then in the name of Jesus' pan-fried archaeopteryx recipe, why did they not use it elsewhere?"Because if such a technology existed then it would make infinitely more sense to use it than what they did use on multiple things, for example controlling access to the house areas. Of course, as noted, that would throw a wrench in plot points of multiple books (though as I argued upthread, I don't think it would mess up the infiltration in book 2.) So if we assume that they can do that then it makes it seem like the entire school has been carrying the idiot ball for more than a thousand years just to allow the plot to function as it did in the books before said device was introduced.
And keeping students out of dangerous/restricted areas. I mean, if you have a list of enrolled students and a means to magically cross-check that list, it should be easy to keep students away from Fluffy, right? But, then, I don't understand why they don't do that for EVERYTHING. "You must be Dumbledore to enter this room. You are not Dumbledore. Goodbye. *teleport to cafeteria*"
That is an extremely good point. If you can just set up a thing that says either, "Your name is not on the list, go away," or, "Your name is on the 'Don't let through' list, go away," then not using one to guard the philosopher's stone wouldn't be like leaving the door unlocked, it would be like not even using a door. It would be massively unwise to the point of being silly.Now presumably such a thing could be bypassed, so Quirrellmort could get through, but Hermonie, Ron, and Harry weren't even checking for such a thing so they would have been caught off guard by it.
@Sol: Not quite. The bit in quesiton is (ROT13 for Spoilers, even though Final Fantasy VIII was a Playstation One game...) nyy bs gur znva cnegl punenpgref jrer ng gur fnzr becunantr gung jnf pbairavragyl eha ol gur Npg Bar ivyynva. (Orvat n WECT, gur Npg Bar ivyynva vf bs, pbhefr, abg gur Svany Obff, naq abg rira n ivyynva, ernyyl.) So, the spot of the memory taken up by the GFs isn't just forgetting how the mechanics are working. @Ana, chris the cynic, Will Wildman - I think they tried that kind of thing once, with the Age line and the Goblet of Fire - admittedly, Dumbledore said that it took some serious magic to befuddle the ancient artifact, but I wonder whether or not the magic type that is "You are not X, go away" is one that's fairly easy to break. Especially if you have a student that can polyjuice repeatedly. Might be that such magics are surface-level only, and could be defeated by someone simply changing the appropriate variable to the right value.
Bear in mind that it's been years since I read the book, I think you're remembering wrong.The serious magic to befuddle the artifact was about tricking it into thinking there were four schools involved. (Harry was chosen because he was the only name listed for the fictitious fourth school.) I think it was fake-Moody who pointed that out, and he should know since he was the one who did it.The age line was something else entirely, unrelated to the goblet. That seems to have been a relatively straightforward thing, it checks to see how old you are, if you're too young you shall not pass, if you've used magic to artificially age yourself not only shall you not pass, you shall be humiliated as well. It did not seem to involve checking identities against a list of who was allowed.If we assume that the girls dorm system is like the age line system then it would mean that it checks your body to see if you're female, and then checks to see if you've under gone any gender transformation spells. If the checks come back positive and negative (in that order*) then you'd be able to pass.Which brings us back to the question of what happens to transgirls. Even if transgirls from the magic world all stay closeted and live as males there's a steady influx of students from the muggle world so sooner or later it's going to come up. What happens then? Does the girl sleep in the common room? With the boys? Does she get kicked out of school/not invited in the first place? Do they send her off to a different school? Do they rework the magic to have an exception just for her (and if so, how)? All the same questions as before.-* Possibly also if they came back negative and positive since that would indicate a starting state of female just as much as postive and negative.
Curious. Did the goblet spell check to match Name On Paper to Identity Of Submitter? What would have stopped an adult or older student putting in someone else's name?
As I recall, nothing. That's how Harry's name got put in.It's been a while, but if memory serves it was initially assumed that Harry had just gotten an older student to put his name in, and that theory was shot down when someone pointed out that the magic required to trick the goblet into thinking there were four schools was way beyond anything a student would be able to do, older or not.
I... but... you... it...! What. "We have this totally dangerous tournament thing that, in the past, has sadly resulted in student casualties. Still, some of the students want to reinstate it because a fair number of them consider it an honor to participate. Haha, I'm just kidding! *I* want to reinstate it for nebulous political reasons that could surely be achieved by better means and less likely to result in the needless deaths of the innocent. I know! We'll do nothing whatsoever to prevent malicious factions putting in the names of students they don't like and which may not want to participate! And, just to be really thorough, we'll have a Compelled To Compete clause, such that anyone put in for the tournament HAS to compete or else.""Should we at least let them walk onto the field and get zero points rather than participate?" "No, how else will they die horribly? It's like you're not very LISTENING."Did I get that about right? o.O
I probably should have refreshed before I updated my post.My memory is that several people who should, in theory, not be idiots believed that Harry had just gotten someone else to do it for him, which seems to indicate that yes it should have been possible for people to put those they didn't like into the tournament, however the assumption was that being the competitor would be an awesome pie topped with awesome sauce, meaning that you didn't want your enemies to compete. You Slytherinian ambitions would be better served getting you or someone you like in because then you could feed off that fame and twist it to your ends.The only house that doesn't seem to have a house-psychology reason for people to want to be in it themselves is Ravenclaw.It would be sort of like putting your adversary's name in nomination for president in hopes they're crumble under the pressure. If your plan gains any traction then you're handing them a lot of good in hopes of an eventual bad outcome that is, at best, uncertain.
Huh. I dunno, it still seems like the whole school would end up in there, between petty grievances, pranks, and a desire to stuff the contest in favor of your house.But, then, I find a lot of this confusing. Slytherin value AMBITION?? Oh, yeah. It's just that I keep forgetting because they value ambition in precisely the same way as Dark Side Jedi in any KOTOR game I've played. Gather power while playing the polite good jedi until you're unstoppable? No way! There are rainbows to destroy! ;)
It's way beyond that. The houses are way to many characteristics mapped onto but four categories.Slytherin is ambition and cunning, maps onto the element of water, and appears to be composed largely aristocracy, big on hierarchy. And this makes sense how?Hufflepuff is the anti-Slytherin, hard work and loyalty, maps onto the element of earth, and some have described them as "practically an anarcho-syndicalist commune of equal members".Ravenclaw has intelligence and studiousness, maps to air, and I have no idea where their social status' fall.Gryffindor stands in opposition to the Ravenclaw's think and study method, instead rushing into action as they go for courage and heroism and map onto the element of fire. They're the ones who make a name for themselves, so you could consider them the new rich or rising middle class to Slytherin's aristocracy.Except ... the oppositions aren't opposites, this scheme has fire opposite air and water opposite earth. If anything the rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor seems to arise from them being so close they step on each others toes, yet their elements are as far apart as can be.And should ambition and cunning really be going with aristocracy? Wouldn't they be more at home with the hard worker or the social climber? I suppose you could see Slytherin as the people who trick others into painting the fence instead of doing it themselves, but they really don't seem to demonstrate a lot of cunning, they're the least ideal of anyone for having street smarts, and their ambition seems to be to shore up the old order before it completely collapses under the weight of a growing lack of bigotry. Maintaining the status quo is not really all that ambitious.The traits don't seem to divide up that well, Ambition could be given to anyone, the same with loyalty. (And the two go with each other pretty well too.) Why not loyal and intelligent, or loyal and brave? Hell, why not courageous and intelligent? And intelligent and cunning would go together very well. Imagine the smart girl who can actually put that intelligence to good use. Don't study and hard work seem like they belong together, or is study not considered hard?What, exactly, is watery about a house made up of racial purist aristocrats who want things to continue on as they have been? Doesn't that seem somewhat more... solid than the dynamic ever changing nature of water?I'm interested in the truly ambitious character, hence briefly mentioned character in my head upthread, because it seems like if you're really going to be ambitious being an ass is the last thing you'd want to do.Imagine the Slytherin who decided to step in and stop Draco's bullying, they'd earn friends and loyalty, and an ambitious character is going to want those things. Yet, as far as I know, that character doesn't exist in canon.-I'm also somewhat interested in the house system in general, why would one make such a thing? I'm wondering if maybe the houses were supposed to be separate schools. Each of the founders wanted to make their own school but lacked the resources, and by sharing teachers and classes they could make a school, so they had what amounted to four schools in one building, a thousand years later it seems like one school that's artificially divided into four sections.That's probably not the explanation, but I sort of like it.
Didn't they begin as separate schools, or at least have their traits based on the four founders (and former enemies)?Not, of course, that that helps with the houses not really matching their traits. Though, since the hat sorts you where you want to go, perhaps that's the explanation. Slitherns believe they value cunning and ambition, etc.
I like that idea. Are some courses traditionally only taught by teachers from a specific house? That could be a vestige of that original collaboration.
And keeping students out of dangerous/restricted areas. I mean, if you have a list of enrolled students and a means to magically cross-check that list, it should be easy to keep students away from Fluffy, right?I think in general the reason for not autoporting students out of dangerous areas is that, this being the magic world, the standards for danger are generally high and they intend to teach students caution, which makes sense to a certain degree. In the case of Fluffy et al, essentially every trap down there was definitely or potentially lethal, so putting a basic safeguard (even one that any graduate could easily hack) does seem like the obvious correct thing to do. But then, there are a lot of obviously superior hiding mechanisms than 'final exam puzzle dungeon'. For that matter, every indication is that if Harry hadn't shown up, Quirrellmort would still have been trying to figure out the Mirror when Dumbledore arrived with the smiting.Slytherin value AMBITION?? Oh, yeah. It's just that I keep forgetting because they value ambition in precisely the same way as Dark Side Jedi in any KOTOR game I've played. Gather power while playing the polite good jedi until you're unstoppable? No way! There are rainbows to destroy! ;)In fairness, I think this is because most Slytherins are just really bad at it. The last time someone played the nice charismatic guy until he had amassed unstoppable power, he named himself Lord Voldemort and pretty much took over the country single-handedly, twice, without even changing his MO. Maybe it's better for everyone if the Slytherins are collected together and told "Oh, yeah, we're all about power and ambition!" and then carefully taught to be entirely ineffectual. (Not nearly as good as if that ambition were actually channelled into something useful, but unfortunately all the senior Slytherins who could help with that have already gone through the system themselves.)I'm also somewhat interested in the house system in general, why would one make such a thing? I'm wondering if maybe the houses were supposed to be separate schools. Each of the founders wanted to make their own school but lacked the resources, and by sharing teachers and classes they could make a school, so they had what amounted to four schools in one building, a thousand years later it seems like one school that's artificially divided into four sections.I think it's implied in one of the Sorting Hat's songs that in the original Hogwarts, the four founders were the only four teachers, and the 'houses' were their personal students, who may or may not have interacted much. Somewhere along the millennium this transitioned into all teachers rotating teaching all students but still keeping the student body artificially divided in ways not especially undysfunctional.
Even Riddle seems to suck at it to a fair degree, he just made up for it via racism and sheer power. His rise seemed to be more in spite of himself than because of any talent. He was in the right place at the right time with the right emotional hangups.Left to his own devices he couldn't even figure out that letting out the basilisk was a less than ideal way to keep the school open. (Simple solution if you want to attend a school and unleash a genocidal monster on it: wait until you're about to leave the school to unleash the genocidal monster.)
I don't know, but it seems to me that muggle studies should definitely be a Ravenclaw thing just because it seems to be very much on the information for information's sake side of things, given how well the magic world has managed to get by without understanding a damn thing about muggles.Perhaps history classes would as well. Though even that might be going too far because history has lessons that could be used to teach cunning and applied to further ambitions, it has tales of courage and loyalty and heroism and hard work and I've just scored House bingo twice over.Beyond thing that non-applied stuff would go with Ravenclaw I'm not sure that there really is much that would go with only one house.
If his bigotry were pointed in another direction, he probably would have failed because he never looked outside of his own narrow worldview to see what else might be usefulAnd now you've got me thinking of an alternative HP in which Riddle's issue was sexism, not racism. The wizarding world seems, on the whole, to be mildly less sexist than our real-life Muggle world -- at least, it seems difficult to imagine anyone running for Minister of Magic on the slogan "all witches should stick to their cauldrons, and leave the wands to wizards!" without McGonagall (or even Molly) splinching something he'd be likely to miss....
What, exactly, is watery about a house made up of racial purist aristocrats who want things to continue on as they have been? This is not original, but one answer I've seen presented for that question is that water is associated with emotion. And the Slytherins, although they like to think of themselves as coldly cunning, are in fact strongly motivated by emotion-- it's just that it's negative emotion. Hatred, and under the hatred, fear. Fear of losing their status, fear of change, fear of the Other, fear of what might happen to them if the old order changes, fear of what Voldemort might do them if they fail to keep it from changing. And above all, in Voldemort's case, fear of death.Gryffindor prizes courage in the face of fear, Hufflepuff values doing what needs to be done regardless of what you feel, Ravenclaw values putting emotion, including fear, aside and facing facts. But Slytherin gives in to fear, and then tries to turn the fear outward, to inflict it on other people.
I think the ambition and cunning that's supposedly associated with Slytherins has to do with social climbing, cliques, and positional power-plays that things like aristocracy and social clubs make more...obvious? Slytherins are the cunning and ambitious for office politics. Which, as noted above, makes for emotions roiling underneath a supposedly serene surface. And that's the water element. It can be opposed to the cold logic of air that subjugates all emotion in the Vulcan way, that lives solely in the head and disconnects from the heart. I think, though, when you talk about someone being comfortable with multiple attributes, though, that Hermione is sort of there to point out that it's possible - she's got the studious habits and mental capacity to put the Ravenclaws to shame, but she's not pursuing this knowledge for its own sake - she's pursuing it to put it to use for causes (like SPEW) and to keep her friends from getting themselves hurt or worse (well, sort of). Which sort of makes her value loyalty above pure intellect, which makes her a Gryf. And it allows for Neville Longbottom to be the child of prophecy, since everyone's so focused on Harry Potter that they forget about him - after all, when it counts, he's the one with the sword. Then, back to the original point - I know that there have been books where magic is treated more like a mechanical program - input the correct symbols and words and such, output is the magic, but I don't get that feel from the Harry Potter magic. It just sort of...is. Which is too bad - I'd like to have seen some classes on the mechanics of magic as a disguise for an infodump, but alas, there appears to be no such class at Hogwarts. If there were, I have a suspicion it would be team-taught by Minerva and Severus.So, I guess the possibility of the Tri-Wizard tournament having had fatal results was the discouragement from having the unders put their names in. I still wonder, though, whether it would have been possible for an older to put in a younger's name and have it be chosen. Unless, that is, there were some restriction that said only the person themselves could put in their name? That seems like a sensible precaution along with the Age Line - and it fixes the problem of having the whole school put their names in, each for someone else.
Which sort of makes her value loyalty above pure intellect, which makes her a Gryf.Actually, that would make her a Huff. Hufflepuff is the loyalty house. Hermione is in Gryffindor because that wasn't at the top of her list, which makes a certain amount of sense. If you consider how she acted her first year loyalty wasn't really at the top of her list of things to be or do, she just sort of fell into it accidentally. Once she ended up loyal she stayed that way, of course, but it wasn't something she seemed to value on the way in.
I think, though, when you talk about someone being comfortable with multiple attributes, though, that Hermione is sort of there to point out that it's possibleI think the whole cast is. Hermione's a Gryffindor that most people would have expected to see in Ravenclaw, Ron's total focus on loyalty and sidekicking and support would generally make him a Hufflepuff, and Harry's whimsical approach to rules (and sometimes morality) in favour of cunning and I-do-what-I-want would, in other circumstances, make him Slytherin. Luna's a Ravenclaw who could have been Gryffindor, Neville is practically a Hufflepuff stereotype - really, of the core protagonists, Ginny is the only one who strikes me as being all Gryffindor all the time, and that may only be because she gets relatively little pagetime to define herself beyond 'love interest'.Unless, that is, there were some restriction that said only the person themselves could put in their name? Dumbledore specifically asks Harry if he asked someone else to put his name in the Goblet, which implies that he doesn't think it's outside the realm of possibility. Whether this would have been difficult (put in the other person's name while hopping backwards on one foot and incanting all three verses of the Identitatem Theftentio charm) is not elaborated upon.
"If they could do that then in the name of Jesus' pan-fried archaeopteryx recipe, why did they not use it elsewhere?"Because they don't use of any of their other technologies elsewhere.And keeping students out of dangerous/restricted areas. I mean, if you have a list of enrolled students and a means to magically cross-check that list, it should be easy to keep students away from Fluffy, right?The door was locked... we presume it was with a key, but we don't know that. Why it wasn't locked in a way Alohamora couldn't defeat (since all the doors *inside* the gauntlet were) is a good question, but it's possible that Alohamora would break the dorm's Gate too... we never really saw anyone throw down at that. Probably because we're reading entirely too much into what was, in fact, a one-line joke in a novel that treats consistency as a suggestion at best.As I recall, nothing. That's how Harry's name got put in.Remember the Age Line was not part of the goblet. Originally, the tournament admitted anyone of any age, so it wouldn't have any mechanism to detect age.Did I get that about right? o.OYeah, pretty much.Which is too bad - I'd like to have seen some classes on the mechanics of magic as a disguise for an infodump, but alas, there appears to be no such class at Hogwarts.That's probably because J.K. Rowling never thought of the mechanics of magic.As for fantasy being illogical... well, aside from the evidence demonstrated in this thread (look at the pretzels required to make the least bit of sense out of HP), I think its probably not the case that fantasy must be illogical, but that it can be. It's a fantasy, after all... whereas things like 'Science Fantasy' at least attempt a rational explanation for the trappings of Fantasy - there's magic and dragons, but they work in consistent ways that are explained. Magic A is Magic A, and remains Magic A, and a reader should be able to predict what Magic A can do. Similar attention is paid to the construction of the world, its creatures, and it's mechanisms (even if the explanation of 'How Does Dragon Work' involves 'Magic C'). Now, Harry Potter has a bit of that, but by and large, its fantastic aspects are just there, either completely random or influenced more by folklore than logic. How does the Marauder's Map work? Who knows? What other implications or applications does that magic have? Not a clue. Why do wizards seem to think pumpkin juice, of all things, is palatable? Because pumpkins = halloween = witchcraft.
The best fan-splanation I ever heard was that Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco all represent the four houses, with Harry as Gryf, Ron as Hufflepuff, Hermione as Ravenclaw, and Draco as Slytherin, but that the narrative as written demanded that Ron and Hermione share a house with Harry. Who knows if that was the original intent, but it's sort of head-canon for me now. So I'll just, um, assume that the Sorting Hat was playing a long game in assiging this Harry kid allies.
I think its probably not the case that fantasy must be illogical, but that it can be. It's a fantasy, after all... whereas things like 'Science Fantasy' at least attempt a rational explanation for the trappings of Fantasy - there's magic and dragons, but they work in consistent ways that are explained.That's one style of definition - conversely, there's a flavour-only definition wherein Star Wars (the first trilogy, none of this midichlorian stuff) is definitive 'science fantasy' because it has the appearance of science fiction (space travel, advanced tech, etc) but the signatures of fantasy (unexplained Force magic, pseudomedieval royalism and chivalrous orders).I would agree that in general, 'science fiction/etc' is expected to at least imply that everything can be fully and objectively explained, and 'fantasy/etc' can be vague and holistic about why things are, but people then muddle the issue so much that in any given conversation it's easier just to ask "How do you define science fantasy?" and use that until the conversation is over. Trying to apply the labels to genres as a whole seems doomed to failure.
The best fan-splanation I ever heard was that Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco all represent the four houses, with Harry as Gryf, Ron as Hufflepuff, Hermione as Ravenclaw, and Draco as Slytherin, but that the narrative as written demanded that Ron and Hermione share a house with Harry.I've heard this as well, but the Slytherin aspect bothers me, because while Ron and Hermione embody the best aspects of their secondary houses, Draco never does anything heroic - the best that can be said about him is that he's not as evil as he thought he wanted to be. Whereas if Harry's 'secondary' house is Slytherin (which is the most explicit almost-but-not-quite in the series) then Slytherin is subtextually presented as actually having a lot of heroic advantages, which are suppressed in the house proper because of its institutions.In shorter words, if Draco is the poster-Slytherin, then Slytherin really is just the Loser House of the four; if Harry is, then Slytherin is misunderstood and shackled.
And now perhaps we're back to the possibility that the Sorting Hat merely puts you where you want to be. Ron is Gryf because his family values Gryf. Harry is Not!Slytherin because he doesn't want to be in Slytherin; he's placed in Gryf because that's where his new friend has been placed (isn't Ron placed first?). Hermione is a tough one, but she's the first in her family to go to a magic school where at least some of the students and teachers will dislike her for her heritage and practically none of them will really understand her, so possibly the mantra "I am Brave, I can do this," is going through her head when she's being sorted......similarly, Longbottom is thinking HE will be brave through this. And clearly Luna, who would SEEM to be more loyal than studious, is hoping that Hogwarts will help her learn things, so off to Ravenclaw you go!
I don't know if it works textually, but it would at least give the students some agency. And I like agency.Well, is there any evidence that people ever get put in a house they don't want to be in? Slytherins are all pleased to be in the pureblood house, Ravenclaws are happy about being in the brainy house, Hufflepuffs dutifully accept their mantle*. Hermione explicitly declares on the train that she thinks Gryffindor sounds best, and Neville seems sort of shocked and honored to be placed among the heroes (he's constantly being told that he's not living up to his heroic parents' example). It seems very much focused on what the student wants, implicitly or explicitly, and not on some kind of personality test where you don't know what you're going to get in advance. The main purpose of the mind-reading hat would seem to be to help muggleborns who don't know what they're getting into (or those who don't feel like they know their own preferences).If everyone always ends up in the house they want to be in, I think it'd be hard to make a case that anything other than personal choice/preference is really at play. As an econometrician, I'm pretty sure our multivariate analysis would have an R-squared of 1 for any part of the population where 'Favourite House' is defined.And clearly Luna, who would SEEM to be more loyal than studious, is hoping that Hogwarts will help her learn things, so off to Ravenclaw you go! Luna is a bit sad(der) in retrospect, because she grows up without friends and doesn't really gain any until fifth year. Lacking anyone to whom she could show loyalty, and having grown up with a father who basically insists that the world is utterly controlled by forces and factors that even consider call absurd, the only thing it seems like she could possibly value is knowledge for knowledge's sake. Luna seems like a textbook example of someone who would have been happier in Hufflepuff but had no personal reason to believe so.
Luna is a bit sad(der) in retrospect, because she grows up without friends and doesn't really gain any until fifth year.When checking some or other fact on the Harry Potter wiki I came across this quote, "I enjoyed the meetings, too. It was like having friends," from Luna from after I stopped reading. Good fucking god I feel sorry for her, my life sucked and I'm pretty sure that I managed to have something that was more than like having friends by that age.
The only sorting where we're privy to the mechanics is Harry's, where the Hat specifically says that he'd do well in Slytherin, but since he doesn't want to be in it, Gryffindor should be a good fit. Dumbledore brings this up in Book 2 when Harry's worried about his similarities to Riddle, and states that our choices are what make us who we are. So there's your textual support for the agency thing, although it's kind of annoying that part of it is in the context of assuring Harry that he's not like those awful Slytherins. ---having grown up with a father who basically insists that the world is utterly controlled by forces and factors that even consider call absurd, the only thing it seems like she could possibly value is knowledge for knowledge's sake I don't think the Lovegoods consider the forces and factors any more absurd or arbitrary than the factors that really do control the world, so ambition and courage aren't any less valid in their worldview. I think her being sorted into Ravenclaw has more to do with Xenophilias's likely self-image of a Speaker Of Truth surrounded by Lemmings That Are Also Ostriches. Gaining knowledge and wisdom can help her prove the Crumple-Horned Something-or-other's existence to the skeptics, thus proving that her beloved father knew what he was talking about. ---One thing that just occurred to me about the whole Goblet thing: What was the point of the age restriction? I know that older students will be more likely to survive the challenges of the Tournament, but there won't be any challenges to survive for anyone except the student from each school that the Goblet favors. If there is some sixteen-year-old that will do better than any of the seventeen-year-olds, why not let the prodigy compete?
The first thought that popped into my head was, "Because you'd never get any of their parents to sign the permission slips."/Mom.And yeah, I know that Hogwarts seems to take a rather casual attitude about student safety, and that wizard parents seem to keep a hands-off attitude while their children are at Hogwarts. Still, you can't have minors competing in a potentially fatal game without the consent of their parents. Here in the Muggle world, they can't even play softball without that signed piece of paper.
@chris - Yep, that would have made her a Puff. Must be some other aspect that makes Hermione a Gryf. @Ana - Maybe these could be alternate explanations?1) It's Neville who would be the Gryf, as Dumbledore explicitly calls out his bravery in standing up to the terrible trio which puts Gryffindor over the top in the House Cup competition in their first year. That leaves Harry perfectly free to be the Slytherin. (Although, that plays into my pet theory that Neville is the real child of prophecy, and we're just looking at the wrong kid for seven books.) 2) Draco's heroic act is that, for as much as he looks down on Harry and his band from the aristocracy, he resists fully going over the brink and joining the racist's crew and participating in it fully. He doesn't kill Dumbledore, he walks away from the final battle, and he doesn't have the heart, really, for being a Death Eater. It doesn't seem like much when compared to Harry's active protagonist self, but the comparable situation might be of being a white anti-racist in the middle of KKK/WCC territory and Bull Connor as the sheriff in town.
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