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Showing posts from September, 2018

Essay: Love and Wargames

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In the sixth book of the Harry Potter series, the focus veers back and forth between love—the power of unity and wholeness—and war—the result of splintering and division. Quidditch is treated even more metaphorically than in the previous book, though the three matches that Gryffindor plays are actually important to the plot, despite only half of them including Harry, who leaves halfway through the second match and doesn’t play at all in the third, despite being the captain.

Sometimes a match in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is linked to winning in love, sometimes to winning in war, and sometimes it’s a combination. It’s inevitable that literal Quidditch should recede in importance as literal war grows more prominent, though the matches in the book are all connected to war. And, in the book with the most emphasis on romance, it’s fitting that Quidditch is linked to love more than in any of the other books. War is fodder for games and competitions in the previous books, from Nevi…

Episode 25: The Wand Game

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Why does Harry’s wand act on its own to attack Voldemort? If Draco hadn’t disarmed Dumbledore, would Snape have been the Elder Wand’s master? And how does Harry’s instinct for fair-play figure in his final duel with Voldemort?

Episode 25: The Wand Game

Watch the Episode 25 video on YouTube.

Related Essay:

The Wand Chooses the Wizard

EPISODE GUIDE

Quantum Harry Discussion Group

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Join the new Quantum Harry discussion group on FaceBook! General HP discussion also welcome.

QUANTUM HARRY DISCUSSION GROUP

Essay: Quidditch Interruptus

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Despite Order of the Phoenix being JK Rowling’s version of an historical event, a victory over rebels that is distinguished by fun and games in the contemporary celebrations of it, she doesn’t neglect her usual pattern of games and play segueing into war in the fifth book, as well as giving us battles that take on game-like overtones. (See Quantum Harry, the Podcast, Episode 20: The Order of the Rebel and Episode 21: Remember, Remember.) This first occurs early in the book, without a specific game being involved. Harry is brooding, just hanging out on a playground, sitting on the only swing left undamaged by Dudley and his gang, quickly establishing that this setting for children to play can be a dangerous place. The sidelined metaphorical soldier—Harry—hangs about on a metaphorical abandoned battlefield.

Harry isn’t alone for long; Dudley and his gang soon show up. Like Harry, Dudley has been training as a metaphorical soldier; he’s taken up boxing and has racked up an impressive numbe…