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Why doesn't anyone notice that Hagrid, in the Harry Potter

by Ziks511 / December 26, 2012 1:00 PM PST

stories and movies, never has his surname mentioned? I was listening to a panel on Charlie Rose discussing Dickens, and was thinking how remarkably well chosen and memorable the names in the Harry Potter series are, very like Dickens in that regard.

The panel which contained Simon Callow, the actor, and Salman Rushdie, and an Oxford don and Dickens biographer, and an American academic and a screenwriter who had been an academic all discussing Dickens. I was struck by how applicable much of the critical analysis was applicable to the Harry Potter series.

I suspect that Rowling will be as much of a touchstone for story-telling and for cultural impact as Dickens has been.


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(NT) what's up with the surname?
by James Denison / December 26, 2012 1:58 PM PST
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(NT) I've never read her works. That's my reason.
by Steven Haninger / December 26, 2012 6:18 PM PST
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They're surprisingly good, Steven. Quite Dickensian in fact
by Ziks511 / December 27, 2012 11:46 AM PST

Rowling was at one point a teacher, and the subtext to some of her books is concerned with the central government interfering in education (a local matter) which happened in the UK at the beginning of Tony Blair's regime, including the closing of Grammar Schools in many areas. Grammar Schools were the type of Secondary Education which produced virtually the entirety of Tony Blair's cabinet. Instead there was a body created called OffStEd, the Office for Standards in Education which went to various schools in poorer less well performing areas, bothering the teachers and threatening firings because the kids weren't performing well on standardized tests. Rowling uses the term OffWitch for some regulatory group in the Ministry for Magic.

In book 5, The Order of the Phoenix for example: the gloriously named Dolores Umbridge is appointed as the High Inquisitor at Hogwart's School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, evaluating all the teachers at the school and generally making life miserable for some of the staff and more of the students.

"dolor, doloris" is Latin for "Pain", and "umbrage" is English for "to find offence or insult in something said or done". The phrase is usually, "to take umbrage at" something said or done. Heaven knows Umbridge is a painful woman who likes inflicting pain on others.

The term malapropism, for a word that sounds like the one intended, but has another meaning is based on Mrs Malaprop, a character from Dickens famous for garbling her speech that way. "Like an allegory basking on the banks of the Nile." is one of hers, I believe. (Allegory substituted for Alligator. Alligators are native to the southern US and nowhere else. The rest are crocodiles and caymans of various species.)


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We bought
by Glenda. / December 30, 2012 2:57 AM PST

the first movie for some of thje grandkids and we watched it first to make sure what it was about. That thing was so full of the occult that we threw it in the trash! Our son said that's where it would have gone if we sent it to his kids! LOL

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(NT) so you also threw away The Wizard of Oz?
by Roger NC / December 30, 2012 3:04 AM PST
In reply to: We bought
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(NT) How do you relate the two?
by James Denison / December 30, 2012 3:42 AM PST
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both involve magic, witchcraft, as direct as it gets
by Roger NC / December 30, 2012 3:44 AM PST

nothing subtle about the connection.

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(NT) An excellen point.
by drpruner / January 20, 2013 5:02 AM PST
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(NT) never bought it
by Glenda. / December 30, 2012 3:55 AM PST
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That's because Hagrid is his surname....
by Tony Holmes / December 26, 2012 6:20 PM PST

his first name is Rubeus Happy

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(NT) give the man a cigar
by Roger NC / December 26, 2012 8:13 PM PST
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One of the benefits of nine grand kids......
by Tony Holmes / December 27, 2012 2:35 AM PST
In reply to: give the man a cigar

One of them is an expert on all things Potter. Grin

My grand daughter says Hagrid was a human/giant hybrid and although his exact size was never mentioned in the novels,she estimates him at around 11ft tall and a heavy drinker...lol....my kind of guy.

I'll take a Cuban Cohiba if you please...lol.

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(NT) right mother was a giant, father was human
by Roger NC / December 27, 2012 7:14 AM PST
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I suppose it would be silly calling a giant Ruby, or even
by Ziks511 / December 27, 2012 11:56 AM PST

Rubeus. Then again there's an English class reference there as well. The upper classes tended to call the servant class by their surnames only. Hence Jeeves for Bertie Wooster, or Bunter in the case of Lord Peter Wimsey Dorothy L. Sayers upper crust detective. Hagrid, as a game keeper would qualify as a servant, until he became a teacher of the Magical Beasts and Beings syllabus, at which point he became Professor Hagrid, which sort of cuts out his first name all over again.

Hagrid may come from "hagridden, to be tormented often by thoughts or regrets".

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Does everything have to be analyzed to death
by Roger NC / December 29, 2012 12:02 AM PST

not just you, but in general.

Sigh, it's a good yarn.

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Sorry Roger. John Hurt's line from the Big Chill: Can't you
by Ziks511 / January 20, 2013 5:24 PM PST

just let Art wash over you?" Well it's somethng like that.

From my perspective the information enriches the books, but as a man permanently studying everything, and a once upon a time teacher I feel compelled to share my learning, to the dismay of everyone.

I'll try to tone it down.


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(NT) Thanks, Tony, I forgot. I hate forgetting stuff like that.
by Ziks511 / December 27, 2012 11:13 AM PST
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Okay, has anyone figured out Albus Dumbeldore's age?
by Ziks511 / December 28, 2012 12:28 PM PST

In Book 7, The Deathly Hallows, at the Wedding of Bill Weasley, and Fleur Delacourt, Aunt Muriel "Give me your chair, I'm 107 years old." says that she overheard her mother discussing the brawl over Arianna Dumbledore's coffin. Dumbledore was 17 shortly to be 18, Aunt Muriel was about 8 to no more than 10 years of age which means that Dumbledore was at least 118, and apparently not at the end of his limits until he ran afoul of the Ring Horcrux.

And if the Ministry of Magic could detect magic at Number 4 Privet Drive, why didn't they detect all the magic done by Harry's guard taking him away to Number 12, Grimmauld Place. (Book 5, Order of the Phoenix)?

One of the successes of the books is that "howlers" like that don't even seem to enter into one's consideration of the whole.

Call it an extremely successful induction of the suspension of disbelief.


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you don't think the members of the Phonix
by Roger NC / December 29, 2012 12:04 AM PST

couldn't produce magical clocking or shielding to some degree for their action? They were pretty much masters after all.

Harry wouldn't know how, yet.

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I consulted my grand daughter and she says that Rowlings...
by Tony Holmes / December 29, 2012 1:26 AM PST

wrote that Dumbeldore was born in 1881 and that would put his age near 150yrs.

She also regards Dumbeldore as the most powerful wizard of all and the only one that the dark Voldemort actually feared. Grin

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sounds about right,
by Roger NC / December 29, 2012 2:08 AM PST

I admit, my late wife and I read the entire series more than once. She more than I even, I think she reread the entire series everytime a new book came out.

We actually read them as part of an online book club discussion, but we both enjoyed them. Now I don't know it that means I never grew up or not.

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(NT) Thanks, Tony. That certainly makes sense. Rob
by Ziks511 / January 20, 2013 5:26 PM PST
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Hagrid: Henpecked husband, I guess?
by drpruner / January 8, 2013 7:33 AM PST

If so, not original with her, at least as an adjective. LIterary for "hag-ridden".

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(NT) not married
by Roger NC / January 8, 2013 8:27 AM PST
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Thanks. Now I know something about a
by drpruner / January 20, 2013 5:06 AM PST
In reply to: not married

Harry Potter character- in trouble with my church.

BTW once I got to see Margaret Hamilton on stage in A Little Night Music. She was very good.

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