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Author Topic: After All These Years...  (Read 4961 times)

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November 15, 2012, 06:26:53 PM

HealerOne

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After All These Years...
Still the Ah-HA Moments Come

Hello all you Potterheads! I know you are still out there just like me - re-reading the Harry Potter books or listening to the audiotapes as you do your morning exercises or driving in the car. Yes, I admit it, I still find the total immersion into the Potter world a kick and strangely comforting. Surely after all these years of reading the series and devouring all of John Granger's books and listening to Potter Podcasts ... Surely, there are no new insights to be gleaned from these books. Right? (Big Sigh)

Wrong! Indeed just the other day as I was listening to the sad events that unfold as Harry is digging Dobby's grave and Dean and Ron come to help, I realized another 'ah-ha' moment. I hadn't until then understood that the gifts of clothing the boys gave to Dobby before they lay him in his grave are very important and significant to who, not only Dobby was, but who the boys understood him to be. First of all we all know that the significance of giving clothing to a house elf indicates they are a free elf. So these gifts of clothing are symbolic of 'freeing Dobby from this world'. Secondly, this act of kindness shows that this new generation of Wizards are much more interested in elf rights than any generation before.

Then there are the gifts themselves. Dean gives a gift of a hat; Ron places his own shoes and socks on Dobby's feet; lastly Harry wraps him in his jacket. The gift of the hat brings back memories of Hermione's misguided attempts to free the elves of Hogwarts, but it also indicates that Dean was acknowledging Dobby's intelligence. Perhaps it is also a thanks for Dobby's smart plan to save them all. One wonders, since it is the hat he gives, if Dean is a 'stand-in' here for Hermione who as we all know is the 'Mind' of the Trio - thus emphasizing her finally understanding  Dobby's mind. Ron, as we know from long study of the Potter books, is the 'Body' part of the Trio,  therefore his gift of shoes and socks is significant to symbolically meet the physical needs of Dobby's  body. Of course the socks remind us of the first clothing gift engineered by Harry in order to free him from the Malfoys.  But the shoes are even a stronger statement of the fact that Dobby came to them in their hour of need. Lastly Harry's gift - the jacket that he wraps snugly around Dobby. - again a great gift of clothing that totally cements the fact that Harry considers him worthy of dressing his whole body. Again we also see that Harry, being the 'Spirit or Soul' of the Trio is giving Dobby the gift that will symbolically keep his heart warm. Such beauty in that passage but it is the depth of symbolism that makes the writing so amazing. After all these years, I was enlightened by the clarity of that passage.

I'm sure that others among us have come across passages that have wowed our senses in retrospect and you wanted to share your discovery with someone but had nowhere to turn to do that! But now you have a place to put those amazing insights! Right here!

So I invite you to share with us your 'ah-ha moments'! I know I will be thrilled to hear them. Also if you have comments about these new 'ah-ha's', feel free to discuss them!


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November 15, 2012, 09:54:53 PM
Reply #1

Dreamteam

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I think this also shows the change in Ron, from accepting the view that house elves existed merely to do the bidding of wizards and refusing to try to stop them working to treating them with respect and care.  This shows how much Ron has matured during the intervening years which leads him to remind Hermione that there are house elves down in the kitchen while they're preparing to fight the battle of Hogwarts and that they should tell them to leave - "we don't want any more Dobbys ... we can't order them to die for us".  Even Hermione had thought he meant them to join the fight and her reaction to the change in his attitude is one of my favourite moments in the series. 

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November 16, 2012, 09:02:57 PM
Reply #2

Evreka

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I think this also shows the change in Ron, from accepting the view that house elves existed merely to do the bidding of wizards and refusing to try to stop them working to treating them with respect and care.  This shows how much Ron has matured during the intervening years which leads him to remind Hermione that there are house elves down in the kitchen while they're preparing to fight the battle of Hogwarts and that they should tell them to leave - "we don't want any more Dobbys ... we can't order them to die for us".  Even Hermione had thought he meant them to join the fight and her reaction to the change in his attitude is one of my favourite moments in the series.
Very well put!

I think Kreacher might have something to do with Ron's changed view, as well. His story in early DH did a lot more to turn Ron's point of view than anything Hermione had said up to that point, I think.

Another aspect on the House-Elves and the Battle of Hogwarts is that they apparently decided to stand and fight, after all. As House-Elves can Apparate at Hogwarts, they could all just have left. Or stayed in the relative security of the kitchen. Yet they choose to join the fight of their own free will. Lead by Kreacher, which I think is such a nice touch by Jo's to let us see the change in him as well. :)
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November 17, 2012, 05:43:14 AM
Reply #3

Dreamteam

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Yes, I think that even Sirius would have changed his attitude to Kreacher if he'd heard his story and especially if he'd seen how Kreacher cared for Harry, Ron and Hermione.  I liked that the elves stayed to fight in the battle, it shows that they really did like working at Hogwarts and had been treated well by Dumbledore, they weren't just unwilling slaves.  I can't imagine that, had they been at the Malfoys' house and given permission to leave, they would have stayed to fight for them. 

I'm re-reading the whole series at the moment, just started PoA, which I haven't done since DH came out, so I'll look out for some other Aha! moments. 

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November 17, 2012, 11:33:55 AM
Reply #4

Evreka

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Yes, I think that even Sirius would have changed his attitude to Kreacher if he'd heard his story and especially if he'd seen how Kreacher cared for Harry, Ron and Hermione. 
Yes, I agree. If Sirius had ever known Kreacher's tale it would have changed his attitude as well. Also, we know that Sirius once tried to find out what happened to his brother. House-Elves are known to keep their masters secrets, wouldn't it have made sense to approach him to find out what he knew for another family member? What if Sirius had talked to Kreaher about his disappeared brother? Thing is, I don't think it ever would have crossed Sirius mind that Kreacher might know something, yet if he had seen him more like a fellow being he might have found out. And that's another, very interesting aspect of it, I think. If Sirius had seen Kreacher as a fellow being, Sirius - and therefore the Order - might have learned about the Horcruxes much sooner! Another moral tale of Jo's hidden deep in the text: You ought to treat your fellow "beings" as fellows... 

I liked that the elves stayed to fight in the battle, it shows that they really did like working at Hogwarts and had been treated well by Dumbledore, they weren't just unwilling slaves.  I can't imagine that, had they been at the Malfoys' house and given permission to leave, they would have stayed to fight for them. 
At the time of the Battle, the House-Elves have lived in the occupied Hogwarts for nearly a year, and the Death Eaters haven't done anything to befriend them (surely). And again, failing to see them as fellow beings leads to disaster, as they become even more enemies to fight for the Death Eaters. Whether it is linguering loyality to Albus, or the free Hogwarts or personal revenge - the House-Elves sure don't take the "current masters" side.
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December 03, 2012, 04:42:34 PM
Reply #5

HealerOne

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I totally agree that the elves story(ies) are brilliant and a part that was missed mostly in it's entirety in the movies which is a big slight in my book. Sigh, Oh well, what's done is done ... maybe next time?

So talking about ah-ha moments! I was listening to Book One again and the section about Harry telling the family about his motorcycle dream came up. I had forgotten how vehement Vernon's  reaction was. Now that we know a bit more about how much Vernon interacted with James and about how James and Sirius had used the flying bike to evade DE's/the police ( see What's your story?: The Postcard collection   Waterstone's  postcard collection for charity) - I am more than certain that Vernon had heard either from James or from Petunia that Sirius had a motorcycle that he had bewitched to fly. JKR cleverly makes the reader think that it is because Vernon hates imagination and anything that is odd - which is true - but now we know much more about why he gets so roaring angry at Harry for that innocent remark about his dream!
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January 28, 2013, 09:07:43 PM
Reply #6

Misssyblantsybil

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It occurred to me the other day (as I was posting on the site) that the title of the first chapter of the first book "The Boy Who Lived" kind of sums up the series, doesn't it?  I mean, seven books later after hours of reading, plot twists, red herrings, puzzles, humor, theme developments that just kept unfolding, and plenty of suspense, that is what we are left with, aren't we? The boy who lived, grew up, married his sweetheart, and has kids of his own.

Ah ha!  Only took me twelve years . . .
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January 29, 2013, 01:40:38 PM
Reply #7

Evreka

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Ah ha!  Only took me twelve years . . .
Well, there is another, very interesting line in PS/SS, which used to give me hope for Harry's destiny in the run up to DH release:
Quote from: PS/SS, Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor, first sentence
In years to come, Harry would never quite remember how he had managed to get through his exams when he half expected Voldemort to come bursting through the door at any moment.
(My colour.) Well... in every one of the books COS-HBP Harry has had far worse problems to deal with than fearing that some evil wizard who isn't quite alive would come back and come get him. So none of those years could possibly count as a year in which this could not be believed.

I used to reason that there were two ways to interpret this: It could be a literary trick in a book for kids to let the young audience know that Harry was going to be all right at the end of this book, OR it must mean that Harry has several years ahead after the final showdown with Voldemort... :) That Harry wouldn't face a real, alive, vindictive and powerful Voldemort at the end of DH, was something I ruled out completely, leaving just the two options above. So I used to call this little phrase "Harry's life line". ;)
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January 29, 2013, 07:50:19 PM
Reply #8

BillieMac

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Yes, I think that even Sirius would have changed his attitude to Kreacher if he'd heard his story
Sadly, for the safety of the family, including Sirius, Regulus had ensured that Sirius would never hear Kreacher's tale; not from Kreacher, anyway.
In OotP, Kreacher made himself so disliked, no-one thought to ask him anything. If Harry, one of the Weasleys, or any Order member had just asked him about Regulus, they would have found out first that Regulus was good to house elves, and maybe what happened to him. Also, the Blacks and the Malfoys were so close, anything Kreacher told them could have been confirmed by Dobby. Regulus would have treated Dobby as well as he did Kreacher when the families would visit.
Everybody, to a certain degree, followed Sirius's lead with Kreacher. Not only did Sirius run roughshod over the house, the Order just ignored him, and  Molly took over his kitchen, never thinking to ask Kreacher to assist. (Not that Kreacher had been doing a decent job of housekeeping, but I know where he's coming from there. The dump I'm renting is too depressing to care.)

Quote
I liked that the elves stayed to fight in the battle, it shows that they really did like working at Hogwarts and had been treated well by Dumbledore, they weren't just unwilling slaves.  I can't imagine that, had they been at the Malfoys' house and given permission to leave, they would have stayed to fight for them.
Hear, hear! They're born to serve, and deserve respect exactly for that. The treatment of house elves is also a good metaphor for real life. Sadly, in the real world, too many employers treat their employees like garbage, and can't (or won't) see that this is why they can't get "good help".
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:52:54 PM by BillieMac »
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January 29, 2013, 08:13:39 PM
Reply #9

Evreka

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Sadly, for the safety of the family, including Sirius, Regulus had ensured that Sirius would never hear Kreacher's tale; not from Kreacher, anyway.
In OotP, Kreacher made himself so disliked, no-one thought to ask him anything. If Harry, one of the Weasleys, or any Order member had just asked him about Regulus, they would have found out first that Regulus was good to house elves, and maybe what happened to him. Also, the Blacks and the Malfoys were so close, anything Kreacher told them could have been confirmed by Dobby. Regulus would have treated Dobby as well as he did Kreacher when the families would visit.
I'm not so sure I agree about this. I don't think Kreacher would have been keen to answer anyone's questions, after all the entire lot of them where "blood-traitors, scum, or mudbloods" as far as he was concerned.

The only reason Harry gets answers out of Kreacher in DH is because Harry is then his master. When his master orders him to spill his beans, Kreacher has no choice but to do so. However, as long as Sirius is alive he is the only one who can force the truth out of his elf.
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January 29, 2013, 11:00:35 PM
Reply #10

roonwit

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I'm not so sure I agree about this. I don't think Kreacher would have been keen to answer anyone's questions, after all the entire lot of them where "blood-traitors, scum, or mudbloods" as far as he was concerned.

The only reason Harry gets answers out of Kreacher in DH is because Harry is then his master. When his master orders him to spill his beans, Kreacher has no choice but to do so. However, as long as Sirius is alive he is the only one who can force the truth out of his elf.
I agree. Kreacher is not going to be at all helpful to Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys during OotP because they are inferior according to the view he had at the time, and whereas he might like talking about Regulus, he would refuse to be obstructive. He wouldn't talk about the cave anyway unless forced because he was told not to tell Mrs. Black what happened there by Regulus, and as Regulus wanted it kept secret it would take a direct order from a master (Sirius or later Harry) for him to reveal it. Also, until Harry worked out what the locket was, no-one knew that Kreacher might have anything useful to tell, or what the right questions to ask him were.
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March 27, 2013, 06:52:18 PM
Reply #11

Buckbeak 26

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I have read all seven books at times and we get our first mention of Aberforth Dumbledore (Professor Albus Dumbledore's brother) in Goblet Of Fire when Rita Skeeter wrote that piece about Hagrid. When the trio went to try to get Hagrid to come back and teach, Albus mentions him, and mentions that he did an inappropriate charm on a goat. Then we forget about him until the Trio and the other members of the DA have their first meeting at the Hog's Head bar in Order of the Phoenix. This is the description that Jo gives us (pg. 336) of him,
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The barman sidled toward them out of a back room. He  was a grumpy-looking old man with a great deal of long gray hair and beard. He was tall and thin and looked vaguely familiar to Harry.
(color emphasis mine)

Finally when the Trio are hunting horcruxes in Deathly Hallows Aberforth rescues the Trio from the Death Eaters in Hogsmeade and he talks to the Trio. This was an aha moment for me about a character that had been mentioned and now was revealed. :fredgeorge: :harryronbb: :heart:
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March 28, 2013, 08:36:28 PM
Reply #12

JaneMarple9

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I have read all seven books at times and we get our first mention of Aberforth Dumbledore (Professor Albus Dumbledore's brother) in Goblet Of Fire when Rita Skeeter wrote that piece about Hagrid. When the trio went to try to get Hagrid to come back and teach, Albus mentions him, and mentions that he did an inappropriate charm on a goat. Then we forget about him until the Trio and the other members of the DA have their first meeting at the Hog's Head bar in Order of the Phoenix. This is the description that Jo gives us (pg. 336) of him,  (color emphasis mine)

Finally when the Trio are hunting horcruxes in Deathly Hallows Aberforth rescues the Trio from the Death Eaters in Hogsmeade and he talks to the Trio. This was an aha moment for me about a character that had been mentioned and now was revealed. :fredgeorge: :harryronbb: :heart:
Aberforth is indeed a fascinating character. He was mentioned in Order of the Phoenix even before the DA was formed, when Moody was showing Harry a photo of the original Order ... "There's Dumbledore's brother Aberforth, only time I met him, strange bloke ... " (Chapter ten) :)
One of my favourite "aha" moments, surprisingly involves Aberforth and Mundungus. Back in Half Blood Prince (Silver and Opals) the Trio witness Mundungus passing something to Aberforth. I am pretty sure that 99.99 % of the "true Potter fans" all said "The locket from Grimmauld Place" (I know I did!). But clever, clever Jo had another trick up her sleeve ! :bravo:

"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with a really big library"
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March 28, 2013, 11:59:37 PM
Reply #13

Dreamteam

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One of my favourite "aha" moments, surprisingly involves Aberforth and Mundungus. Back in Half Blood Prince (Silver and Opals) the Trio witness Mundungus passing something to Aberforth. I am pretty sure that 99.99 % of the "true Potter fans" all said "The locket from Grimmauld Place" (I know I did!). But clever, clever Jo had another trick up her sleeve ! :bravo:
I did wonder, at the time, about what he'd passed to Aberforth but just assumed it was generally valuable stuff.  It was only when re-reading that I realised that what he'd passed to him was Sirius's mirror which is how he got it to be able to watch over Harry, although I'm not sure he knew to begin with what it could do but probably stumbled across that by accident (luckily for Harry).  I'd more or less forgotten about the locket until the trio started looking for it in DH and then Dung said that Umbridge had confiscated it from him. 

I think one of my first "aha" moments was after realising at the end of PoA that there were many twists and turns to this story and deciding to go back to the beginning of the series and start again.  That's when I saw that Sirius Black had been mentioned way back in Chapter One, Book One and I realised that if there was that clue to future plots there might be others - the speculation began ...

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March 29, 2013, 10:12:10 AM
Reply #14

Evreka

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One of my favourite "aha" moments, surprisingly involves Aberforth and Mundungus. Back in Half Blood Prince (Silver and Opals) the Trio witness Mundungus passing something to Aberforth. I am pretty sure that 99.99 % of the "true Potter fans" all said "The locket from Grimmauld Place" (I know I did!). But clever, clever Jo had another trick up her sleeve ! :bravo:
I am not sure what I at first made of this meeting between them, but it seemed very, very fishy as they were so keen not to be caught and we knew at the time that Dung had a permanent ban from going to the Hog's Head. (We're told as much when it is revealed by Black in OOP that Dung too learned about the DA at their first meeting in the pub, while covered in bandages not to be recognizable.) So this sudden wish to meet up in secret seemed very, very fishy. And yes, I love how Jo just gave us a possible new red herring of a possible way to trace the lockets movements.... ;)

Also, before the barman was named, Harry also noted that he had unusually long fingers and felt it was familiar, without making any further connections. It meant nothing to me, at the time, but I remember reading on fan boards how others associated to Albus hands and guessed that they were related.


I think one of my first "aha" moments was after realising at the end of PoA that there were many twists and turns to this story and deciding to go back to the beginning of the series and start again.  That's when I saw that Sirius Black had been mentioned way back in Chapter One, Book One and I realised that if there was that clue to future plots there might be others - the speculation began ...
I think my very first "aha" moment was when the bike owner from chapter one in PS/SS became the main character of POA!!!  :siriusbike: That's when I first started to relise the huge interlinking between the books and fell in hook, line and sink into this masterpiece story!  :hearts:

Some other HUGE revelations I remember were the awe I felt after GOF where I realised that the "amusing" Polyjuice Potion from COS could be used for such sinister means and the implications it held for troubles in the wizarding world... And my reaction as I reread COS for the first time after meeting Dung in the Order in OOP, when I stumbled upon the realisation that he is first mentioned at the Burrow as one who tries to stun Arthur from behind during one of his nine raids on the night Harry comes to the Burrow!  :mollyarthur: Ouch! Just to mention some of the trully stunning interlinkings and THIPS (Things Hidden In Plain Sight).  :harry:
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April 25, 2013, 05:42:57 AM
Reply #15

Buckbeak 26

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I think my very first "aha" moment was when the bike owner from chapter one in PS/SS became the main character of POA!!!  :siriusbike: That's when I first started to relise the huge interlinking between the books and fell in hook, line and sink into this masterpiece story!  :hearts:

Some other HUGE revelations I remember were the awe I felt after GOF where I realised that the "amusing" Polyjuice Potion from COS could be used for such sinister means and the implications it held for troubles in the wizarding world... And my reaction as I reread COS for the first time after meeting Dung in the Order in OOP, when I stumbled upon the realisation that he is first mentioned at the Burrow as one who tries to stun Arthur from behind during one of his nine raids on the night Harry comes to the Burrow!  :mollyarthur: Ouch! Just to mention some of the trully stunning interlinkings and THIPS (Things Hidden In Plain Sight).  :harry:

Evreka, I agree with you there on Sirius.   :siriusbike:  :) When I first read the first chapter of PS/SS, and Hagrid mentioned the motorcycle belonging to Sirius, there was no more mention of him until POA. That threw me off the trail. I haven't read PS/SS in awhile so when I do soon, I'll realize what that is all about.

The Polyjuice potion which the Trio use in :trio: COS is used by Barty Crouch Jr. In GOF for sinister motives. This is (at least for me) the third time I have read or heard about something that is used (like clothing or potions) normally for something that is harmless (like the trio using it to find out something) can be turned around and used for a sinister purpose and can cause problems. I think that this is a wonderful idea to show both sides to something that we use can be turned against us.
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May 23, 2013, 07:37:00 AM
Reply #16

varza

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Everyonce in awhile I come across something in the Potterverse I never realized before... thought it would be fun to see if anyone else caught things in rewatching the movies or rereading the books.

Such as - I did not know that the actor who played Bill in DH is Brendan Gleeson's son Dohmnall.
I am everywhere....
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June 04, 2013, 02:51:11 AM
Reply #17

ss19

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The Platform 9¾ Moderators have decided to merge two similar topics.  Please continue discussions of anything you've newly discovered in the Potter books and/or movies here.

 :hogwartsc:
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June 05, 2013, 10:07:55 PM
Reply #18

Evreka

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Everyonce in awhile I come across something in the Potterverse I never realized before... thought it would be fun to see if anyone else caught things in rewatching the movies or rereading the books.
When it comes to rereading the books, we might well find out soon enough:harry:  :hermioneread:  :neville:


As to the movies, one such fun(?) fact is that there's a reason why we only see Madam Hooch in the PS/SS movie. Zoë Wanamaker, who plays the part, refused as the only actor or actress to sign for both PS/SS and COS. She was publicly advocating that actors should never sign for a sequel before the first installment was made, because then any box office success of the first movie could be used as an argument for better pay on the second installment. Sticking to her point of view, she only signed for PS/SS. Of course, WB chose to not include her in the rest of the movies instead... The only thing is that I don't remember the source for this info, and it drives me mad... Do any of you remember this and know where we found out about it?  :ron:
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June 07, 2013, 03:35:38 AM
Reply #19

HealerOne

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Recently I was thinking about the women/girls that were most important in Harry's life. Of course his mother was like the sun - the center of his existence, the  person who gave him life and that all important center of LOVE, but the others were like the Four Elements. Molly was like the Earth, as was Hermione because she 'grounded Harry. But Ginny with her fiery red hair was Fire; Cho was like Water (The 'human hose pipe); and Luna was a like Air as she always had her head in the sky (Very much the opposite of grounding!) 

I was stumped though in thinking about Petunia and 'The Toad' Umbridge. Of course there is Trixie? What do you guys think? Any comments ?
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