HARRY POTTER XD (and some mindless wannabe-philosophical babbling)

Harry Potter is all kinds of win.  Jus’ sayin’.  It’s rare to find a series of books that is quite so popular, that brings people queuing at midnight for the next instalment dressed in robes with makeshift wands and drawn on lightning bolt scars, that sees families buying multiple copies of a book because no one can wait to read it, that makes kids turn off their games consoles in favour of reading.

I spent about three  hours the other day engaged in intense discussion about horcruxes and spells and prophesies and it was just so much fun.  The story of Harry Potter is gripping and accessible like very few other stories.  The Harry Potter books are also the source of some awesome quotes, and I love quotes so it’s all kinds of win.  Random discussion that occurred between myself and a nice gentleman from Zimbabwe whilst I was in Zambia:

Gentleman: *rambles about things not being perfect*
Me: Ahh, it does not do to dwell on dreams, but forget to live
Gentleman: Oooh, yes.  Shakespeare?
Me: Nah, Harry Potter
Gentleman and surrounding people: *chuckles* 

Other good Harry Potter quotes:

“You’re not a bad person. You’re a very good person, who bad things have happened to. Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” 

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. “

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”

“We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on”


Ok, so I’m no great philosopher, but watching the film tonight, a certain quote stood out at me and made me think deep philosophical thoughts.

Harry: “My mother’s patronus was a doe.  So was Professor Snape’s… Curious don’t you think?”

Dumbledore: “Actually, if you think about it, it doesn’t seem curious at all.”

Many people, my sister included, are in the I LOVE SEVERUS SNAPE camp, saying that he came out ‘good’ after all.  This was something I disputed.  He wasn’t ‘good’ so to speak.  He did the ‘good’ thing in the end out of devotion to Lily, not because he wanted to do the ‘good’ thing.  But now I’m thinking that maybe there’s no such thing as ‘good’.  Maybe there’s just people who are influenced and damaged by events, and do what they can to survive.  Dumbledore isn’t surprised that Snape and Lily have the same patronus. Presumably patronuses (cue discussion with housemate on the plural of patronus :p) take their form based on the wizard’s soul or personality, so it’s not like Snape just changed his to a doe because he liked Lily.  Dumbledore isn’t surprised that Snape and Lily have the same patronus, maybe because Snape and Lillie at their core, underneath how their experiences changed their personalities (for better or worse), were more similar than we realise.  And had circumstances been different, they would have been together.  

Maybe there’s no good and bad, just choices and adaptations that we make to our surroundings. But do we extend this argument to Voldemort?  Is he merely a product of his past?  There’s a slippery slope of blaming people’s experiences and defence mechanisms for doing truly awful things.    *ponders*