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Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

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Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-07-01, 08:48

Welcome to the opening salvo of the Deathly Hallows discussion. You know the drill. Smile

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Here we see a meeting of the Chairman of the Board and his Death Eaters, plus a kidnapped Hogwarts Professor (Muggle Studies) named Charity Burbage floating midair. We see the arrival of Snape and Yaxley, and the ongoing discussions about the Boy Who Lived. The two offer their own, conflicting special reports about Harry Potter and his pending removal from Privet Drive but the Dark Lord shows support for Snape's assertion that the Order of the Phoenix will move Harry Potter
from his home "on Saturday next, at nightfall" (there was an uncomfortable eye-to-eye contact between the two suggesting legilimency at work).

There's the humbled and broken Malfoys on one side of table, with Lucius being asked to surrender his own wand for the Dark Lord's personal use. There's also Bellatrix Lestrange professing her undying loyalty to Lord Voldemort, in return being rebuked by the Dark Lord for her kinship with Nymphadora Tonks who married the werewolf Remus Lupin. There also seems to be another guest somewhere at the Malfoy Manor, wailing. Voldemort dispatches Wormtail to keep the prisoner quiet. The whimpering, betraying rat seems to have been relegated to do menial work for the household.

Voldemort then speaks of Burbage's betrayal of her own kind by teaching acceptance of Muggle-borns. As she continues to float away, she pleads to Snape, unsuccessfully. Voldemort casts the Avada Kevada and Burbage falls on the table. The Dark Lord invites Nagini to dine on the corpse.

Questions:

1. On your first reading of Deathly Hallows, who did you think might be the person hanging unconscious above the table (before Burbage's identity was revealed)?
1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.
1.2 Think of another Hogwarts faculty or staff who might be ideal to replace Burbage. Defend your choice.

2. Voldemort gives Snape the seat of honor at his right hand. Is this because Snape is his "right-hand man"? Or is Voldemort "keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer"?

3. Wormtail is described as sitting so low that his chair looks unoccupied. Is this further sign of his physical deterioration as seen in HBP? Is this because he would rather not be there? Is it
just that he is a small man? Or is it symbolic in some way?

4. Why does Voldemort praise Bellatrix, then humiliate her?

5. Voldemort refers to "Mudbloods" as "thieves" of the Wizarding World's "knowledge and magic." This charge is repeated later in the book. Is it possible for a witch or wizard to have her or his magic stolen? Is it possible to steal knowledge without leaving that knowledge for others as well?

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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by doc_ardyey on 2011-07-01, 10:45

1. On your first reading of Deathly Hallows, who did you think might be the person hanging unconscious above the table (before Burbage's identity was revealed)?

It was not who that first came into my mind, but what did that person do to receive such treatment from the Dark Lord. Voldemort have a handful of enemies at stake including Professors from Hogwarts, Harry himself, friends of Harry, need I say more. But the act itself was very traumatic for me.

1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.

Having Professor McGonaggal or even Flitwick take the place of Professor Burbage would have its ups and down. It would have been a pro as it would have given the readers or us wizards and witches the anger, the pain and the why, however it would have brought the deaths of these people insignificant. Why insignificant, because they have power, power not feared by Voldemort, but yes they are powerful, and if they are killed in such a manner or placed in such a manner, where would other wizards and witches draw their strengths from.

1.2 Think of another Hogwarts faculty or staff who might be ideal to replace Burbage. Defend your choice.

Trelawney would be one that I think would have been better. She was the one that prophesied and started the mess. And it will make Voldemort have her at stake. Voldemort can persuade Trewlawney for the prophecy, etc. Then kill her. That would be nice (evil laugh)

2. Voldemort gives Snape the seat of honor at his right hand. Is this because Snape is his "right-hand man"? Or is Voldemort "keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer"?

I don't think Voldemort thinks of Snape as an enemy. Voldemort may have suspected Snape one way or another, but with the loyalty he has shown him by killing Dumbledore sealed the deal. Snape was Voldemort's man, in the Dark Lord's eyes.

3. Wormtail is described as sitting so low that his chair looks unoccupied. Is this further sign of his physical deterioration as seen in HBP? Is this because he would rather not be there? Is it just that he is a small man? Or is it symbolic in some way?

Wormtail has never been strong in his alliance with Voldemort. We can see that he is just someone who thinks shallowly. He thinks and feel that Voldemort will win this Second War and he wants to be at par with everybody else. Not with power, but not as a slave still. It's just like going with the flow. However, he had one flaw in his plan. He never thought the way Snape did. Snape was indeed a middleman, as he can fit both worlds as to who will win the war.

4. Why does Voldemort praise Bellatrix, then humiliate her?

Just like a child, you can never praise continually someone as they will have over confidence in themselves. It's can be likened to a parent giving someone a chocolate for doing something good but then spanking or having him stay in the corner for misbehaving.

5. Voldemort refers to "Mudbloods" as "thieves" of the Wizarding World's "knowledge and magic." This charge is repeated later in the book. Is it possible for a witch or wizard to have her or his magic stolen? Is it possible to steal knowledge without leaving that knowledge for others as well?

I have to reread on this one as I haven't read the book in ages. But with speculative thinking, the wand will never work in the hands of a non-trained magical folk. The wand chooses the wizard. It is not likely that muggles can steal a wand and wave it and, voila, she can create spells like a trained wizard. Regarding the knowledge stealing, I think it's actually not stealing but muggle's creative mind on how to adapt to changes created by the wizarding world. I think Voldemort used stealing as opposed to a two-way relationship, because of the hatred he have for "mudbloods".
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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-07-02, 08:56

doc_ardyey wrote:
Having Professor McGonaggal or even Flitwick take the place of Professor Burbage would have its ups and down. It would have been a pro as it would have given the readers or us wizards and witches the anger, the pain and the why, however it would have brought the deaths of these people insignificant. Why insignificant, because they have power, power not feared by Voldemort, but yes they are powerful, and if they are killed in such a manner or placed in such a manner, where would other wizards and witches draw their strengths from.

Insignificant to the battle against Voldemort, perhaps. But see, you're looking at it from the perspective of somebody who is an "ally" of Harry and the good guys. The pro is for you as a sympathetic reader, not as simply a reader without biases. What you want is to to give our heroes a sense of respite and comfort (hence giving them strong allies such as McG and Flitwick), but narrative-wise, if we eliminate all the sources of the hero's comfort, then Harry's heroism and triumph later on will be more significant because he would have done it on his own.



Trelawney would be one that I think would have been better. She was the one that prophesied and started the mess. And it will make Voldemort have her at stake. Voldemort can persuade Trewlawney for the prophecy, etc. Then kill her. That would be nice (evil laugh)

Given your evil laugh towards the end and the comment "that would be nice", I'm assuming you would want Trelawney as sacrificial lamb since she's not somebody you like at all. Again, it works for you as a reader with biases. But killing off Trelawney, I think, would contribute very less to the scene since she is, as we all know, an unsympathetic character. Readers wouldn't mind seeing her eliminated; there's no emotional impact for there is no value in her death. So what's it's value then to the narrative? Some readers might even rejoice in her elimination (like you), if some would even feel anything at all. At most, we'd probably say "aw, too bad" and then we move on. Ni walang kurot sa dibdib, 'ika nga.

Just like a child, you can never praise continually someone as they will have over confidence in themselves. It's can be likened to a parent giving someone a chocolate for doing something good but then spanking or having him stay in the corner for misbehaving.

But in one go??? The chocolate and the spanking in one breath??
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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by pensieve on 2011-07-02, 12:09

1. On your first reading of Deathly Hallows, who did you think might be the person hanging unconscious above the table (before Burbage's identity was revealed)?
my initial guess was someone from the order of the phoenix... i imagined it to be mad-eye moody (he got caught before, right?) ... and i was scared out of my wits...

1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.
if it were the gryff HoH, there would be no one left to "manage" hogwarts... the students already lost dumbledore... i have high respect for the other faculty members... but after the late headmaster, no one has the best administrative skills and the most dedication to the students than minerva...

1.2 Think of another Hogwarts faculty or staff who might be ideal to replace Burbage. Defend your choice.
flitwick (i pressume he is half wizard, half goblin)... it would be really show that voldemort's lot looks down to all non-pure bloods... readers know who he is and therefore would leave a greater emotional impact.

2. Voldemort gives Snape the seat of honor at his right hand. Is this because Snape is his "right-hand man"? Or is Voldemort "keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer"?
the seat of honor was given to snape because voldemort thought of him as his best man... all of voldemort's suspicion of snape playing for the other team ended when snape AKed dumbledore, methinks!... i don't think voldie knew dumbledore was poisoned...

3. Wormtail is described as sitting so low that his chair looks unoccupied. Is this further sign of his physical deterioration as seen in HBP? Is this because he would rather not be there? Is it
just that he is a small man? Or is it symbolic in some way?
it would be symbolic of how death eaters (and voldemort too) see him... i don't think he was ever accepted in their circle that was why he was made to do the "menial" jobs... if there are house elves, he would be their "house wizard"...

4. Why does Voldemort praise Bellatrix, then humiliate her?
to show that he has full control of his death eaters... he says when they should laugh, wince, or cry... it was good for his self-esteem... and he needed that because deep within he still knows that he is half-blood...

5. Voldemort refers to "Mudbloods" as "thieves" of the Wizarding World's "knowledge and magic." This charge is repeated later in the book. Is it possible for a witch or wizard to have her or his magic stolen? Is it possible to steal knowledge without leaving that knowledge for others as well?
i don't think it was possible to steal magic... i think voldemort meant muggles don't have the right to use magic because they are non-magical people... their being allowed to use magic is likened to "stealing"...

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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by geewitch on 2011-07-02, 13:51

DADAProfAE wrote:
1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.

I think it made perfect sense for the character to be Burbage for these two reasons: 1) being Muggle Studies professor and 2) for not being any of the "main characters". I think it made it all the more frightening that it's not just the witches and wizards in the forefront that were in grave danger. Any "regular" witch or wizard could be a potential target and it also magnifies the fact that if you associate or are seen to be a muggle-tolerant, you are automatically considered an enemy that needs to be exterminated.
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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by DADAProfAE on 2011-07-02, 16:05

geewitch wrote:

I think it made perfect sense for the character to be Burbage for these two reasons: 1) being Muggle Studies professor and 2) for not being any of the "main characters". I think it made it all the more frightening that it's not just the witches and wizards in the forefront that were in grave danger. Any "regular" witch or wizard could be a potential target and it also magnifies the fact that if you associate or are seen to be a muggle-tolerant, you are automatically considered an enemy that needs to be exterminated.

I don't think I'd have minded that much if Burbage was introduced to us early on. My problem with Prof. Burbage is that there was no prior mention of her in the previous books. Since there was no introduction, there was no emotional investment on my part toward the character. Sure there was a tinge of pity, something I would naturally feel regardless of who the victim was, but it was superficial. My anxiety prior to the great identity revelation was greater than what I felt after her identity was made known. I was all, "alright, then. Let's move on."

Now if it had been Mad-Eye (and keeping in mind the later chapters). . . study

But I totally agree with Prefect Argie re: Flitwick. There's emotional investment, there's great loss, and him being half-and-half works within the narrative. Not to mention the fact that his strength in magic could equally be illustrated by Prof. McG in the battle against the Death Eaters. But yes, it would be very very harrowing indeed. Sad I could imagine it working.

But I have to quote Prefect Argie when she said:

to show that he has full control of his death eaters... he says when they should laugh, wince, or cry... it was good for his self-esteem... and he needed that because deep within he still knows that he is half-blood...

I never thought of that that way. Very insightful. If I may piggyback on what you said, that the Dark Lord is half-blood and her loyal minion Bellatrix is pureblood makes for an interesting dynamic. That a pureblood is under the command of this half-and-half Dark Lord (and perhaps in his mind it makes his persona even more powerful) practically negates the Dark Lord's philosophy when it comes to his pureblood mania. Of course I don't think the Dark Lord will think of it that way. In fact, if we further this line of thinking, let's wonder at this point who among his Death Eaters were in the loop regarding his blood status. . . hmm. . .
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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by lianne on 2011-07-03, 03:21

DADAProfAE wrote:I don't think I'd have minded that much if Burbage was introduced to us early on. My problem with Prof. Burbage is that there was no prior mention of her in the previous books. Since there was no introduction, there was no emotional investment on my part toward the character. Sure there was a tinge of pity, something I would naturally feel regardless of who the victim was, but it was superficial. My anxiety prior to the great identity revelation was greater than what I felt after her identity was made known. I was all, "alright, then. Let's move on."

Hmm...maybe that's exactly what JK wanted us to feel. (thinking)
Oh...she killed someone na, whew! Thank Godric it wasn't someone I care about.
And then BAM! BAM! BAM! She started killing people off.
We're caught unawares. O_O

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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by Aze on 2011-07-03, 11:31

1. On your first reading of Deathly Hallows, who did you think might be the person hanging unconscious above the table (before Burbage's identity was revealed)?

--> First thing came to mind, Snape. Sorry! When i was reading it i was still bitter at why he killed Dumbledore. Lolz. So i was thinking that Voldie has seen the error of his ways or something that Snape had done probably. But i regretted it when i reached the last parts of the novel... Hehe...

1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.

--> It would make such a scene if it were one of the major characters i should say.. But if it were one of the major characters, it would somehow give me the impression that the war is already won by the dark side... I mean thats what i felt when Dumbledore was killed off in HBP... Besides that

1.2 Think of another Hogwarts faculty or staff who might be ideal to replace Burbage. Defend your choice.

--> Snape. I mean he could do it for Voldie... at the same time give hints to the students to prepare for war and stand united and all those things... But not with the Slytherin Students i think but to the other houses... Teach it in a very cryptic manner which i know Snape is capable of doing cause he is smart... Smile Well just my thoughts. Hehe.

2. Voldemort gives Snape the seat of honor at his right hand. Is this because Snape is his "right-hand man"? Or is Voldemort "keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer"?

--> I would say enemies closer... Voldie is clever, very clever. I would not think that Voldie doesn't have any ideas of Snape's plan at all... Voldie might know that Snape is skilled at Occlumens or not but it would still be a good idea that you have someone with connection to the Order close by... Smile

3. Wormtail is described as sitting so low that his chair looks unoccupied. Is this further sign of his physical deterioration as seen in HBP? Is this because he would rather not be there? Is it
just that he is a small man? Or is it symbolic in some way?


--> He is small i know Razz , but could also be symbolizing position within the group. The lower or the farther you from Voldemort signifies the rank he is in.

4. Why does Voldemort praise Bellatrix, then humiliate her?

--> Possibly testing her, on how far she would go in praising him. Will Bellatrix turn her back on him if he humiliates her? Probably a way of testing who is his ally through and through.


5. Voldemort refers to "Mudbloods" as "thieves" of the Wizarding World's "knowledge and magic." This charge is repeated later in the book. Is it possible for a witch or wizard to have her or his magic stolen? Is it possible to steal knowledge without leaving that knowledge for others as well? Razz Razz Razz

-->It would be cruel to say steal because muggleborn learns magic because somehow in their distant past they are related to a witch or a wizard... With this i don't think magic can be stolen... I would put it as learned, the harder way.
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Re: Chapter 1 - The Dark Lord Ascending

Post by tanglewood14 on 2011-07-03, 14:23

1. On your first reading of Deathly Hallows, who did you think might be the person hanging unconscious above the table (before Burbage's identity was revealed)?

- I thought it was an unfortunate person Voldemort picked to meet an unfortunate fate, so no, I had no certain idea who it was. It could've been anyone, knowing how sinister the Dark Lord is.

1.1 Would it have been better if another character was used in this scene? While Burbage being there is significant since she teaches Muggle Studies (in a manner offensive to the Dark Lord's pure blood mania), Steve Vander Ark was adamant on the scene being better if it had been Prof. McGonagall (personally, I go for Prof. Flitwick).What are the merits and weaknesses of Vander Ark's claim? Discuss.

- Prof. McGonagall would've been a more sinister choice, knowing she is in a high place in the Hogwarts faculty and is a known member in the Order, but then again Burbage teaches Muggle studies and would've been an easier choice for Voldemort.

A merit to Vander Ark's claim: Prof. McGonagall is more... valuable... than Burbage. Weakness: Would Jo kill of Prof. McGonagall so easily and early on? (assuming that Prof. McGonagall would meet the same fate as Burbage)

2. Voldemort gives Snape the seat of honor at his right hand. Is this because Snape is his "right-hand man"? Or is Voldemort "keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer"?

I think Voldemort was trying to keep his "enemy closer". Voldemort is not the "trusting" kind of guy. He may have devoted followers, but I don't think he had complete faith and trust in them. They were nothing more to him than followers, people who did his bidding and backed him up in his evil plans. And judging by the way Snape gets killed, I don't think Voldemort trusted him more than the other Death Eaters.

3. Wormtail is described as sitting so low that his chair looks unoccupied. Is this further sign of his physical deterioration as seen in HBP? Is this because he would rather not be there? Is it
just that he is a small man? Or is it symbolic in some way?


For a symbolic standpoint, perhaps Wormtail was at the bottom of the Death Eaters echelon. Maybe he was sitting so low because he's a coward, a man who wouldn't dare stay in the same place as the other Death Eaters.


4. Why does Voldemort praise Bellatrix, then humiliate her?
He's evil that way. Very Happy Very Happy I jest, of course.


5. Voldemort refers to "Mudbloods" as "thieves" of the Wizarding World's "knowledge and magic." This charge is repeated later in the book. Is it possible for a witch or wizard to have her or his magic stolen? Is it possible to steal knowledge without leaving that knowledge for others as well?

I think it's arrogant for Voldemort to say that Mudbloods are thieves of Wizarding Knowledge. You can't really "steal" knowledge, you learn it.
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