Three Cheers For Evil

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Three Cheers For Evil

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:15 am

Three Cheers For Evil

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

Vulture - Sep 19, 2005 2:28 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 20, 2006 2:00 am
Fear not !! _ the title is just to get attention.

No, the issue I'm interested in here is _ I haven't seen anyone so far in the Lexicon who cheers on the evil side, or evil characters (or in Snape's case, evil-seeming-but-maybe-not), for the sake of evil.

Maybe I just haven't been in enough threads, but it strikes me that ye all are a very right-thinking bunch _ even when discussing evil characters, ye seem most interested in the problems that might have made them evil, and so on.

If this was a Tolkien discussion forum, there would be loads openly cheering Sauron.

Any thoughts ?
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Three Cheers For Evil (Post 1 to 50)

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:16 am

zelmia - Sep 19, 2005 2:20 pm (#1 of 136)
Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I think we see enough of what Evil does in real life to know that, even in Fantasy, Evil is Evil - full stop. Perhaps having seen the reality of Evil, people are simply choosing a different path.

However, I will say that, for my part, I have tried to give the "Evil" characters as fair a shake as I thought I could.
For example, there are those who proclaim the "abusive" parenting of Draco Malfoy. But his conversations about his parents, first in CS and later GF, clearly demonstrate otherwise.
Bellatrix Lestrange is another character who is never given credit for her unwavering loyalty and strict adherence to her own belief system, in spite of the fact that she is the only character to openly proclaim responsibility for the choices she has made. No other character has done this; no other character has stood proudly by his or her actions, regardless of the consequences (i.e. Azkaban). By this definition, she really is Voldemort's most loyal supporter.
But more than that: Bella has shown the more integrity than any other character. "When you have to choose between doing what is right and doing what is easy..." Bella chooses what is right - in her eyes - every time, even though it may not be easy. While we may disagree on what is "right", it is difficult to disagree on the fact that Bella is one of the few characters to have stuck to that maxim.

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Soul Search - Sep 19, 2005 4:42 pm (#2 of 136)

zelmia -- Very good about Bellatrix. Barty Crouch, Jr. had a similar blind loyalty to Voldemort.

Have we seen any on the "good" side just as devoted?

Strangely, Barty Crouch, Sr. may have been, before he rescued Jr. from Azkaban.

Maybe Moody, too.

I don't see Dumbledore quite like that. More calculating than blind loyalty to a cause.

I think Snape too. Not for altruistic reasons, of course, but he is blindly loyal, driven, for some reason, we just haven't seen what, yet. He certainly was loyal to Dumbledore.

Maybe Hagrid, although I don't think we have seen an example that would test his loyalty to Dumbledore.

Are Ron and Hermione that loyal to Harry? I think Ginny is, and Neville may be. Not sure of Luna, she is hard to figure.

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Choices - Sep 19, 2005 6:09 pm (#3 of 136)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Snape may have a kind of loyalty, but he is certainly not your typical loyal follower. He tends to chafe at being told what to do and he questions Dumbledore when Dumbledore doesn't take his suggestions or agree with him in some way. There are times when I have felt Snape resents Dumbledore, but he follows (reluctantly, it seems at times) orders. It would be interesting to see how he interacts with Voldemort. That might tell us a lot about his loyalty. and to whom he is loyal. I often think it is more to himself.

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T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 8:37 pm (#4 of 136)

Edited Sep 19, 2005 9:50 pm
vulture-If this was a Tolkien discussion forum, there would be loads openly cheering Sauron

I disagree. Sauron was totally evil. LV is totally evil. Has anyone defended LV?

I can't cut Bella any slack, being unwavering in the support of evil is still evil. Didn't she torture Neville's parents into insanity among other things? How hard was that? Right, IMHO, can't be dictated by the individual. There are some things that are clearly right and clearly wrong. Going to Azkaban may have been her version of brave and loyal, so she may have an evil step up on her fellow DEs, but there is nothing admirable in her character, once again, IMHO.

Snape seems to have returned to the good side. (I hope!)

Malfoy is a chicken, but too young to pass final judgement. I don't have much hope for him. Narcissa is only concerned for her son, what about the other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers out there who LV and the DEs have killed?

No cheers for evil, three cheers for second chances and redemption (Snape)....

Soul Search- Barty Crouch Jr. denied harming the Logbottoms at his trial and begged not to be sent back to Azkaban. Was he fiercely loyal to LV, or did his father's "abandonment" of him, and his weak mother's inability to protect him, push him clearly over to LV? Is it possible he wasn't guilty of this crime, and could have been saved from the DEs if given a second chance, like DD gives young Snape?

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zelmia - Sep 19, 2005 11:14 pm (#5 of 136)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I think the inherent problem with a discussion like this is that there are people who refuse to see that the "evil" "bad" or "villain" characters can be just as multi-dimensional as the "good guys". And that acknowledging it does not necessarily mean that anyone is championing these characters' cause.

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Phelim Mcintyre - Sep 20, 2005 4:48 am (#6 of 136)

Zelima - I agree. If we brought some of the reasons for mouldy Voldy being like he is (orphanage, etc.) we may be able to understand but not excuse. Because of some people wanting to avoid this we get cardboard cut outs. I actually think Voldemort is not much different from Hermione, let alone Harry. But as Dumbledore said, it's the choices they make that counts. Voldemort chose to take the path he has, and that would be what makes him multi-dimensional.

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T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 5:35 am (#7 of 136)

Edited Sep 20, 2005 6:11 am
zelmia and phelim - I think it a little early to declare this discussion a problem because of a differing view. It is a discussion, I hope.

My point isn't that the evil characters are not multi-dimensional, it is that their dimensions still all point in one direction. Bella may be loyal, but to a really evil guy. She does what she thinks is right, but that includes torturing people into insanity. There is nothing redeemable in her character. Other DEs have different dimensions, they are cowardly, where Bella was willing to go to Azkaban, they lied to stay free. Narcissa tries to protect her son, Bella says she wouldn't, so another difference. But I'm sure Narcissa has never lost a night's sleep for the innocents LV has killed.

So, I am not saying they are not multidimensional, and they are certainly not cardboard cut outs, but when all their choices are evil it is hard to use words like "integrity" to describe them.

It is about choices, and I see no conflict in any of the DEs, except Snape. So with him I can use words like honor and integrity. He has done very bad things, but he also seems to have tried to fix some of it. He's still nasty to his students, but in the end he protects them.

I don't see how LV, who has murdered enough people to make an army of inferi compares to Hermione or Harry. Could you explain?

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Soul Search - Sep 20, 2005 6:13 am (#8 of 136)

Edited Sep 20, 2005 7:02 am
Harry Potter is one episode in the never-ending good versus evil conflict.

We see this clearly from the Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest scene in SS. The Centaurs are reading the stars, which predict a change coming. The cycles of the stars predict the good versus evil conflict. Stars are never-ending.

Grindlewald was evil's previous champion. Dumbledore good's previous champion. It is the job of one champion for good to prepare the next. That's why Dumbledore has lived so long: he had to wait for Harry to come along.

Voldemort represents ultimate evil: he hurts children, innocent bunny rabbits, and has killed enough people to make an inferi army. Voldemort, the ultimate evil, even killed a unicorn, a creature that represents ultimate good.

Dumbledore represents ultimate good: he is kind to everyone and looks, first, for kindness in everyone (even Voldemort). He has never killed. He even died so that Draco, a bit evil himself, could live.

Harry, at the end of HBP, is mostly good, but still has a bit of evil in him. Harry, as the next champion for good, can drive off dementors, creatures that represent the ultimate evil. However, Harry wanted to kill Sirius in PoA, and wants to kill Voldemort, and Snape if he gets in the way. Harry still has a little ways to go, yet.

There can only be one champion on each side. Dumbledore had to die so Harry could take his place as the champion of good. Dumbledore died only when he was sure Harry was ready, willing, and able for the role.

Harry still has a little ways to go to become the ultimate good. Snape will help. Snape will show Harry that evil feelings towards anyone are wrong. Then Harry will become the ultimate good and will be able to "defeat" Voldemort.

And then, in the fullness of time, Harry will find and prepare the next champion of good.

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Round Pink Spider - Sep 20, 2005 9:16 am (#9 of 136)

Crazed Writer
Actually, I think it is evil itself that tends to make people, and characters, one-dimensional. The more utterly evil someone is, the more tawdry, small, and selfish he makes himself, until there's hardly anything left. I think that Voldemort steadily diminishing his soul to keep his body safe from death, and killing the innocent to do it, is a perfect illustration of this. What is more tawdry and repulsive than Voldemort's murdering some foolish old lady who dotes on him for a bauble like Hufflepuff's cup?

In some ways, I've always found Voldemort a rather unbelievable villain because of JKR's insistence that he's never loved anyone. I've had enough children to find that pretty hard to believe. Maybe if he hadn't loved anyone since he was, say, 4 or 5...

Some people seem to have the idea that there's a certain grandeur in utter evil. I prefer C.S. Lewis's idea that evil shrinks the soul in on itself until there's almost nothing left. People often speak of generous people as having "a big heart". Scrooge is an example of someone well on the way to being utterly evil -- shriveled in on himself, utterly focused on himself.

It is the elements of good, the lingering traces of nobility left in an evil character, that fascinate people. It is exactly that which makes Bellatrix interesting -- she isn't out just for herself. She really is devoted to Voldemort. And yet, look at the way he treated her!

That's why, when people discuss the evil characters, they're always debating about what made them that way. They're looking for traces of something besides evil in them. That's what makes Snape so intriguing -- he's such a mix of good and evil that we can't keep our eyes off him.

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zelmia - Sep 20, 2005 9:21 am (#10 of 136)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Yes, RPS. Very well stated!

Snape has done very bad things, but he also seems to have tried to fix some of it. - T Vrana
Really? In what way? Other than claiming to be loyal to both sides, depending on who he's talking to, what has he really done to make amends for his past? Wallowing in self-hate doesn't count.

I do think you have a very good point about "all their dimensions point in one direction". That is what is so interesting, to my mind. Why? Why are these characters, who are just as intelligent (or not so), just as loving to their families, etc - what could drive these characters to such brutal deeds?

In the case of Bellatrix and Narcissa, the answer is obviously that it was the way they were raised. But I think that may be too simple. Sirius was raised in the same environment, but he managed to "get out".
Draco has now had a bit of an epiphany. What might have happened had Snape not intervened?

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Weeny Owl - Sep 20, 2005 9:47 am (#11 of 136)

Much of how JKR characterizes people goes back to what she had Sirius say... the world isn't divided into good people and Death Eaters, or whatever the exact quote is.

There was a big discussion on the Umbridge thread about whether or not she was evil.

She's another one, just like Bella, who is loyal to a cause regardless of how much that cause hurts people. She was willing to use a horrible curse on Harry, she was willing to let Filch use whips on children, and she was willing to have two boys' souls sucked out just to protect her precious Fudge and the Ministry.

Draco couldn't kill Dumbledore, yet he stomped on Harry's face and was in the midst of using the Cruciatus Curse. He may not want to die, he may not want his parents to die, yet in the tower he sneered because he felt Snape wanted all the glory for himself. Draco wasn't concerned that what he was doing was wrong. He was only concerned that if he couldn't do what was ordered, he and his family would die. He didn't care who was hurt in the process.

Hermione always goes by the rules except when she doesn't. She freaked out over Harry giving Ron a luck potion, yet she cast a Confundus Curse on a Quidditch player so someone else could get the Keeper position. That doesn't make her evil, of course, but even the queen of rules has her moments when she isn't quite as upstanding as she could be.

Harry has major issues, and it disturbed me that he used the toenail hex on Goyle (or Crabbe? whichever). He used the Cruciatus Curse on Bella when he was fifteen, and even though he knew the consquences of the Sectumsempra, he still tried to cast in on Snape. His grief aside, using dark curses even while chasing someone who just killed the headmaster isn't good for his soul. He needs to be very careful or he'll become what he's fighting.

JKR has made her world realistic in that people have certain opinions they feel are the only ones worth having, and when someone comes along to disturb the status quo, turmoil begins. What's happening in her world could be applied to quite a few real-life events, both current and historical. She's very good at writing about flawed characters, which is what we all are. Even Dumbledore sometimes does what's easy instead of what's right.

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T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 9:54 am (#12 of 136)

Really? In what way? Other than claiming to be loyal to both sides, depending on who he's talking to, what has he really done to make amends for his past? Wallowing in self-hate doesn't count

I am making the assumption that he is working for DD. I think Snape as just another evil character is a waste. We have several evil characters already, but, with the exception of Regulus trying to leave, and he's dead, and Draco discovering he's not really a killer, we have no redemptive character.

If Snape is working for DD, he has put himself at great personal risk spying on LV, and now he has the WW and the ministry's aurors after him.

I realize this is based on an assumotion that may be proven wrong.

weeny owl- excellent points

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Paulus Maximus - Sep 20, 2005 10:39 am (#13 of 136)

I might also add that Snape arranged the capture of several Death Eaters, including his friend Lucius...

Had he not meant for the battle at the Depatrment of Mysteries to turn out that way, the least he would have done would be to warn the Death Eaters that the Order was coming, but the Death Eaters showed no sign of having been warned, by Snape or anyone else.

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Maddest Dragon - Sep 20, 2005 12:24 pm (#14 of 136)

Harry has major issues, and it disturbed me that he used the toenail hex on Goyle (or Crabbe? whichever). He used the Cruciatus Curse on Bella when he was fifteen, and even though he knew the consquences of the Sectumsempra, he still tried to cast in on Snape. His grief aside, using dark curses even while chasing someone who just killed the headmaster isn't good for his soul. He needs to be very careful or he'll become what he's fighting.

Seems that this is one of the most powerful underlying currents to the series: Harry has great potential to be a very powerful dark wizard. Snape tells Narcissa and Bellatrix, "...when Potter first arrived at Hogwarts there were still many stories circulating about him, rumors that he himself was a great Dark wizard, which was how he had survived the Dark Lord's attack. Indeed, many of the Dark Lord's old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we could rally once more." [HBP, p. 30-31] If this is true, it may explain why Draco tried to befriend Harry when--and only when--he realized who Harry was. And the Sorting Hat told Harry, "You could be great, you know... and Slytherin could help you on the way to greatness."

What keeps Harry from being a Dark wizard is his choices, and love. Dumbledore has pointed out that these are things he has that Voldemort does not. Love, certainly. Choices: Harry chose to be a Gryffindor instead of a Slytherin. Tied up in this are also the choices their mothers made: Harry's mother died to save him; Voldemort's wasn't motivated to live even by a baby who needed her. Of course, we could take that back even further: Lily had been loved and could love in return. Merope had not. Lily had her baby by a husband who loved her and the child; Merope's husband never truly loved her and never cared that there was a child, if he even knew (and, if he did not know, he didn't care to know).

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Weeny Owl - Sep 20, 2005 3:19 pm (#15 of 136)

Those are good points, Dragon, but Harry has to be careful not to let his hatred get the better of him. He couldn't kill Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, and I'm hoping his good nature will come through when he meets up with Snape again.

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Round Pink Spider - Sep 20, 2005 3:49 pm (#16 of 136)

Crazed Writer
In the case of Bellatrix and Narcissa, the answer is obviously that it was the way they were raised. But I think that may be too simple. Sirius was raised in the same environment, but he managed to "get out".

I agree that that is too simple. JKR is very emphatic: it is our choices, not just how we were raised, and I agree with that.

Harry was raised in a truly miserable way, in a loveless home where he was obviously emotionally abused. And yet he has chosen to be loving. I think it's not so amazing that Harry strikes out with violence at times, but more that he doesn't do it constantly. And remembering that he is a character and not a real person , I think JKR is communicating her feeling on the subject: that while a cruel background and abuse may help explain a person's behavior, they don't excuse that behavior. We choose how we respond.

There was a big discussion on the Umbridge thread about whether or not she was evil.

She's another one, just like Bella, who is loyal to a cause regardless of how much that cause hurts people. She was willing to use a horrible curse on Harry, she was willing to let Filch use whips on children, and she was willing to have two boys' souls sucked out just to protect her precious Fudge and the Ministry.

Actually, I disagree that Umbridge is loyal to a cause. I think the only cause Umbridge is loyal to is herself. She may have supported Fudge when he was Minister, but obviously she deserted him like a rat leaving a sinking ship when the tide of public opinion turned against him. And she's still there, supporting the next Minister, because being close to the seat of power gives her power.

Umbridge is, I think, a perfect example of the tawdry smallness of real evil. Probably, the only thing that has kept her from committing bigger atrocities is that it wouldn't gain her what she wants, power in the Ministry. (Although how much bigger do you need to get, than sending dementors after an innocent boy?) There isn't any nobility in Umbridge, any excuse, any redeeming quality. Frankly, I think she's just as bad as any of the DEs, and I have no doubt that she would join them if she felt there was anything in it for her. I can't feel anything for Umbridge except disgust. And again, I think she's an example of how one-dimensional completely evil characters are.

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timrew - Sep 20, 2005 3:52 pm (#17 of 136)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Weeny Owl:- There was a big discussion on the Umbridge thread about whether or not she was evil.

She was evil, all right, Weeny, I totally agree with you. I think anyone who uses their position in order to advance, with no consideration whatsoever for the plight of others, is truly evil.

And Umbridge was as nasty a piece of work as Fenrir Greyback, as much as they might despise each other.

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T Vrana - Sep 20, 2005 3:56 pm (#18 of 136)

This may not belong here, but didn't she confess to sending the Dementors after Harry? How is she still working at the MoM?

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timrew - Sep 20, 2005 4:27 pm (#19 of 136)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Yes, T Vrana, I agree. But I think JKR wants to show the MOM as (mostly) corrupt liars at heart.

I mean, look at Scrimgeour..........

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Maddest Dragon - Sep 20, 2005 4:54 pm (#20 of 136)

Weeny Owl: Those are good points, Dragon, but Harry has to be careful not to let his hatred get the better of him.

Exactly! Harry, for all his good, could be a dark wizard if his choices were just a little bit different. He's an example of the fine line between good and evil.

As for evil characters, what about Gilderoy Lockhart? When push comes to shove, he'd rather wipe Ron's and Harry's memories and leave them to die than take any risks himself. Sounds completely evil to me.

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zelmia - Sep 20, 2005 8:06 pm (#21 of 136)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Let me just clarify that when I said "that was the way [the Black sisters] were raised", I was referring to the sort of "Pure-Blood" mania that Sirius described in his family - especially his own mother.
Until they went to Hogwarts, the Blacks likely didn't know that there were other viewpoints to consider. But the fact that Sirius and also Andromeda were able to overcome this inherited prejudice exemplifies the theme of Choice being superior, as Round Pink Spider indicates.
I think we must also consider the case of Percy Weasley. Raised in the same household as Ron, Ginny, the Twins et al, he still made the Choice to dis-align himself with his own family because he believed they were making a colossal mistake in siding with Dumbledore. Obviously Percy didn't side with Voldemort. But Percy believed in the Ministry. He believed that the danger was a phantom because the Minister believed it.
Does this make him Evil? Does this put him on a par with Umbridge? Perhaps some might think so, but I don't. While Percy's aim is to be successful at the Ministry, he viewed Crouch Sr as his mentor. And in the end Barty Sr chose family - not even family, but his love for his wife - over what he believed to be Right. We can only speculate on Percy, but perhaps there is hope for our Percy yet.

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Phelim Mcintyre - Sep 21, 2005 5:15 am (#22 of 136)

T Vrana - I didn't mean that you saw evil characters as cardboard cutouts, just that is the way people treat them rather than engaging with the characters.

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Vulture - Sep 23, 2005 8:59 am (#23 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
vulture-If this was a Tolkien discussion forum, there would be loads openly cheering Sauron

I disagree. Sauron was totally evil. LV is totally evil. Has anyone defended LV?

(T Vrana - Sep 19, 2005 8:37 pm (#4))

No, you're actually agreeing with me !! (I think) _ my point was exactly that: "Has anyone defended LV?", you say, meaning they haven't, and that's exactly what I was saying. (Mind you, I should qualify that by saying that a few people do feel sorry for him due to his childhood, etc., but that's not my point.)

My whole point is that, for example, with Tolkien discussions or games, it's common enough to see people taking the evil "side" for the fun of it _ not in HP.

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wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 11:30 am (#24 of 136)

Vulture,

I used to hang out on Tolkien Online, so I've seen some of what you refer to. In Tolkien, you never really "see" Sauron. The sense of evil is more conveyed through those that serve him. But in Harry Potter, we get to really see LV, "hear" his voice, and so on. We get to see him in action, killing people with no concern at all. I think this creates a different feeling in the reader, producing a more active dislike for the character of LV than for Sauron.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Sep 23, 2005 6:21 pm (#25 of 136)

That is an interesting point, like Wynnleaf I use to post messages on Tolkien Online. In Tolkien the source of the evil is more removed and distant from the actions of actions of his minons. In the writings of Lewis LeGuin and Rowling the person that comprises the source of evil are more active in and participate actively in creating the evil.

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Hollywand - Sep 24, 2005 7:41 am (#26 of 136)

Gryffindor
Vulture, if you look on some other Potter sites where the fans can choose houses, a significantly larger number of readers align themselves with Slytherin house, and choose Slytherin related names. Even Rowling commented on her site that she was shocked at the number of people who identify with Slytherin house----and are moderators as well.

And, this site is very intelligently moderated, so people are restricted in how deeply they can delve into the depths, both in discussion content and behavior toward other dissicussants. On some other sites, the "trolling" is a major part of the dynamic.
Um, three cheers for the Lexicon.

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Phelim Mcintyre - Sep 25, 2005 6:38 am (#27 of 136)

Edited by Kip Carter Sep 25, 2005 8:50 am
Look at the reports from Accio. The number of Slytherin there was a major reason for the travesty of justice that was Snape's trial.

Hollywand, I'm not sure about how people being restricted in the depth of the discussion topic. If we want to, and are polite, we will find ways around prohibitions.

I removed two sentences from the second paragraph. - Kip

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Elanor - Sep 25, 2005 7:00 am (#28 of 136)

Edited by Kip Carter Sep 25, 2005 9:00 am
Phelim: "Look at the reports from Accio. The number of Slytherin there was a major reason for the travesty of justice that was Snape's trial."

Hem, hem... (as always said the Accio's chair before talking ). I voted for Snape's innocence at Accio and I am not a Slytherin at all (though I have nothing against Slytherins, I am for the harmony between the houses...). In fact, I voted innocent because the charges were:

"That he did with malice aforethought bring about the unlawful killing of Albus dumbledore within the realm, namely at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by the use of the Killing Curse, alternatively by causing the said Albus Dumbledore to fall from the Astronomy Tower, having previously attacked the said Albus Dumbledore with the intent of causing by magical means death or grievous bodily harm."

I didn't think that "with malice aforethought" (as it was explained there) was right, so I had to vote "not guilty"...

It is not the place to discuss this (Alchemy) but next time we meet and eat some Banoffee pie together, I promise I'll explain you everything about that subject!

Audrey **proud to be a Gryffindor who loves Banoffee pie and voted Snape's innocence**

I removed two sentences from the fifth paragraph and added (Alchemy) to the now fifth paragraph. - Kip

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wynnleaf - Sep 25, 2005 7:32 am (#29 of 136)

Edited by Kip Carter Sep 25, 2005 8:58 am
Look at the reports from Accio. The number of Slytherin there was a major reason for the travesty of justice that was Snape's trial.

The implication here is that those who feel the evidence strongly supports Snape acting on DD's orders are necessarily Slytherin types of people, whether or not they'd claim that as a house.

That is simply not true and the overwhelming evidence at least on the Lexicon forums is that those believing the evidence points toward Snape acting on DD's order are also very supportive of the good side -- the Order, DD, etc. You don't see these same people taking the side of LV, or DE's like Lucius, or Bellatrix, or others.

One thing is pretty clear. JKR uses alchemy symbols and references throughout the books. If that's going to be discussed, then allowances have to be made for that. And to do that, you've got to be able to address the historical aspects of all that influences alchemy as it relates to HP. Now if posters feel that inhibits only the religious connotations of alchemy, I can see that could be a problem. It's a fine line to draw, I admit, but I think (having only read, but not posted there) that the alchemy thread has done a fairly good job.

I removed a complete paragraph that had been in the fourth position. - Kip

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Solitaire - Sep 25, 2005 2:43 pm (#30 of 136)

"with malice aforethought"

If Snape knew that he would be required to kill Dumbledore, then he is certainly guilty of a premeditated killing, isn't he? (Notice I did not use the "M" word ... yet.) Whether or not there was malice involved seems to be the sticky wicket. Until it is known whether Snape was acting on Dumbledore's orders, simply fulfilling his bond to Narcissa, or doing what he has wanted to do for years ... we can't really know whether there was malice or not, can we? I say that grudgingly, too. I can't stand Snape.

Solitaire

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frogface - Sep 28, 2005 4:05 am (#31 of 136)

I don't like him either Solitaire, but for some reason alot of people do. It's really strange that isn't it? I mean I'm not going to say Snape is evil because this isn't the thread to discuss that, but he certainly has the bad boy vibe, and some readers really seem to dig that. Maybe it's because of Alan Rickman and Tom Felton that these characters have a popular following (I wouldn't know because I'm a boy :p) but it stretches over to other things as well. Ask any Star Wars fan who their favorite character's are and at least half are bound to say Darth Vader.

So the question begs, why is it that on this particular forum, people don't really seem to cheer for the "baddies"? I think its not to do so much with the characters themselves, but this forum. The reason I choose to post here is because this is one of the few places on the net where the rules are upheld by both moderator and user for the most part. You don't get silly discussions over how hot Ginny Weasley is, or "just why do Dobby and Dumbledore both love socks?!" (ooh maybe theres a conspiracy in that one...its probably been covered already). Here, we have a large group of dedicated readers, who want to discuss everything from the core themes of the story right down to those quirky little details that manage to amuse and make sense in their own right everytime.

So, if this forum were a more...silly (for lack of a better word) place, then you might get those occasional fans who say "I think Voldemort's got the right idea" just to irritate and stir because they have nothing better to do than annoy someone who lives on the other side of the world. But thankfully, we don't.

Ok, I've done enough sucking up to the lexicon now Smile

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Patrick Mullan - Sep 28, 2005 1:03 pm (#32 of 136)

"Actually, I think it is evil itself that tends to make people, and characters, one-dimensional. The more utterly evil someone is, the more tawdry, small, and selfish he makes himself, until there's hardly anything left"

Well, I have to agree with the RPS also.

And this is perhaps why there are very few people cheering for LV or any of his followers.

They all come across as spiteful, petty, whining individuals with very little substance.

Although it is clear that some of them have the capacity for love. Narcissa obviously loves her son Draco or she would have never debased herself before Severus.

Draco himself is not utterly consumed by evil. Draco was not willing to kill Dumbledore at the end and actually lowered his wand.

If I were to cheer for any evil character I suppose it would be Malfoy. He is the product of his upbringing and does not know any better. He might sing a different tune the first time LV puts a curse on him, or when he is forced to "make his bones" and actually whack someone.

oops sorry, I have been watching too many Sopranos re-runs lately.

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irish flutterby - Sep 28, 2005 6:04 pm (#33 of 136)

I think depending on which side of the Snape camp you sit on, you might think that some of us are "cheering" an evil character. However, those of us who "cheer" (or at least defend) for him usually actually believe he's not evil. Just really mean! There's a difference.

If referring to LOTR, I actually think Sauron not being a physical being made him more dangerous and frightening. LV we see as human. He can be defeated, and now that DD has told us about the Horcruxes, we pretty much know where to start to get that done. He can't be more than one place at once, and he's not really got that many spies left. Pretty much all of his followers are known, whether they like it or not.

I am really hard pressed to believe that anyone can honestly say "Yeah bad guy. You just murdered hundreds of people by making a bridge fall. Good for you." I think anyone who would say such a thing is either saying it for shock value, or seriously demented. I think there is a difference on analysing motives and the psycholigical cause and effect scenario that leads to evil characters' choices, and actually rooting for the bad guy. I agree with JKR. It is a bit disturbing to hear about girls who obsess over characters like Malfoy because they are "bad boys." But studying their past to understand what may happen in the future seems a wothwhile venture to me.

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Berty Bott - Sep 29, 2005 8:33 am (#34 of 136)

I wanted to respond to an earlier post that was comparing Harry and Tom's childhood. The poster mentioned that they found it hard to believe that Tom had never loved anyone. Then someone said that Harry had also lived in a non-loving home. Child psychiatry can explain the difference in these boy's reactions to later life. There is a theory called Reactive Attachment....it basicly says that kids need to form caring attachments very early in life....or they are major screwed up for the rest of their lives. They litteraly dont learn how to "love". Harry had a loving family for a whole 14 months which could be long enough for him to form a healthy attachment and ward off the effects of a bad family life later. Tom NEVER had that. He was born right into an orphanage. Check out eastern european orphanages and how the kids come out of there. Not good, usually. It is completely concievable that his upbringing along with his genetics (the Gaunts were nutso) and the pleasure he found torturing animals and children turned him into a psychopath.

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wynnleaf - Sep 29, 2005 8:51 am (#35 of 136)

Berty Bott,

That's an excellent observation! The studies basically show that babies learn empathy through the give and take of nurturing in infanthood. Baby cries, parent picks it up and gives care/nurture. Baby coos, gets smiling, kind words in response. The nurture that the baby gets teaches it how to empathize with others. If it's not learned as an infant or baby, it's not learned at all -- hence attachment disorders.

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Weeny Owl - Sep 29, 2005 9:24 am (#36 of 136)

I agree with JKR. It is a bit disturbing to hear about girls who obsess over characters like Malfoy because they are "bad boys."

Part of the problem is the actors who play the characters. Jason Isaacs looks great in a blond wig and carrying that cane, but in the books, Lucius Malfoy's description isn't like that at all.

The "bad boy" syndrome is a problem with some of the characters, but my definition of it is that bad boys are the ones who look dangerous, and are to a degree, but who are always on the side of goodness, compassion, and honor. They're dangerous only to the evil side.

The Malfoys, and Snape to a degree, are just plain old villains... period. They're not bad boys... they're on the side of evil, although Snape is questionable.

There are degrees of evil, at least in a way. There's a huge difference between a shoplifter and a serial killer. Both crimes are wrong, but shoplifters don't kill anyone.

I don't see Lockhart as being completely evil in the same way I see Umbridge. Lockhart was getting ready to sneak off, and if Ron and Harry hadn't encountered him, he would never have tried to hurt them physically. Lockhart's actions were borne of a desperation to save himself, while Umbridge's actions were more calculated and planned, and they weren't because she was in any danger herself. She wanted to silence Harry, and tried to do with with the quill, and later she wanted information she thought Harry had and was willing to use an Unforgivable Curse. Big differences in motives between Lockhart and Umbridge, although the outcomes could have both been tragic.

Is Draco consumed by evil? In some ways he is, or if he isn't completely, then he's headed down that road. He couldn't kill Dumbledore, but that doesn't make him a tragic, turned-to-the-good-side hero. It just makes him someone who hasn't gone far enough down the wrong path to take someone else's life in cold blood. He is responsible for everything that happened that night, whether or not he was the one who actually did anything. He's already threatened Borgin with a werewolf, stomped on someone's face, almost gotten two students killed, almost used an Unforgivable Curse, and brought Death Eaters into the castle where they could have killed anyone. He was willing to torture Harry with a nasty curse, but because he can't kill Dumbledore in cold blood doesn't make him any different than he's always been.

Draco wants his world to be pure. He doesn't seem too concerned with how it gets that way. He just doesn't realize what horrible acts have to happen in order for his pureblood world to be a reality. Sirius explained that others thought Voldemort had the right idea but weren't quite as supportive after they found out what was expected of them.

I still can't quite see Snape as evil, though. Dumbledore trusted him for a reason. Dumbledore trusted that he was truly on their side. Until he killed Dumbledore all we've seen of him is his unpleasant personality, and while he did become a Death Eater for whatever reasons, he also became a spy for the good side for whatever reasons.

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haymoni - Sep 29, 2005 12:08 pm (#37 of 136)

I wondered after we heard more about Tom Riddle's story if there would be any "Poor Voldy" sympathizers.

That poor orphaned child...growing up in that orphanage...so isolated...so alone...torturing other children without even really knowing why...stealing...demanding "the truth"...rejecting help...wanting to be alone...

Oh, forget it!

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wynnleaf - Sep 29, 2005 12:18 pm (#38 of 136)

I think, too, that there's a big difference between an inability to care about people, versus a kind of enjoyment from cruelty toward others. LV's past can explain the lack of ability to love, but that kind of past -- lacking in love -- doesn't necessarily mean the void must be filled with cruelty and evil.

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irish flutterby - Sep 29, 2005 12:22 pm (#39 of 136)

"...my definition of it is that bad boys are the ones who look dangerous, and are to a degree, but who are always on the side of goodness, compassion, and honor. They're dangerous only to the evil side."

You mean, like Sirius? To me he's the kind of "bad boy" that it's okay to think of in those ways.

I understand that a person's environment has great deal to do with their choices, but they are still choices. My mother grew up in an abusive home with at father who beat her and her mother and siblings, a mother who was to self absorbed to be very much help, and she practically had to raise her younger brother and sister. She could have used all of those things as excuses to be a seriously disturbed person, abusive, or simply mean. Instead, she chose to learn from those things to become a very nurturing mom and loving wife.

It's your choices that make you who you are. I'm sure there were plenty of kids in Tom's orphanage who came from similar circumstances, but might have grown up to be productive members of society. Yes, it's unfortunate. Yes, I pity his childhood, but I don't feel for a mass murdererous theiving psychopath.

No cheers for Tom from me. That's for certain.

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Madam Pince - Sep 29, 2005 1:08 pm (#40 of 136)

The eyes are the windows to the soul...
I was watching "Lost" on TV last night and thinking about the character of Sawyer. He fits into the "bad boy" category so well. We really shouldn't like him, should we? But ever since the episode that showed what happened when he was a little kid and was hiding under the bed, I have felt ... well, I guess sympathetic is the best word. He hasn't made very good choices in his life so far, that's for sure. But I think that when we're made aware of the "mitigating circumstances" in a bad boy's life, we have more of a tendency to relax the rules for them a bit. We know what others don't, so when people are automatically expecting the worst of Sawyer, and he then obliges them, we want to say "But wait!"

Same for Snape -- from the point of Snape's Worst Memory and the Pensieve scene with the cowering little boy and the yelling wizard, I felt differently about Snape. Sure he's nasty and made bad choices sometimes, but... We talked about this a bit on some other thread (Snape? or Sirius? I can't remember...) but we were discussing why Sirius' "bad boy" behavior is looked upon with more favor by readers (usually) than Snape's is. Charm has a lot to do with it, I think, and also (unfortunately) physical attractiveness and popularity.

Not to the extent of Tom Riddle -- I think once you cross the Murdering Psychopath threshold, there's no turning back, and not too many people are going to forgive that. And wynnleaf has a good point about the "getting enjoyment from cruelty" part -- that's pretty unforgivable, and a huge difference from just general nastiness. But we do tend to be more forgiving of a little "bad boy" behavior, or if the "murder" is questionable in motive (as in Snape and Sawyer -- Sawyer's face when he realized the mistake he'd made with the hot-dog stand guy was so telling.)

I guess it almost boils down to: the "bad boys" we are more forgiving of (cheer for?) on some level recognize their own nastiness/bitterness/mistakes, and despise themselves for it. The true "evildoers" actually revel in it, and elevate themselves because of it. Not too many will cheer for that.

Anyway, whatever. Just a thought I had!

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Weeny Owl - Sep 30, 2005 11:49 am (#41 of 136)

I guess it almost boils down to: the "bad boys" we are more forgiving of (cheer for?) on some level recognize their own nastiness/bitterness/mistakes, and despise themselves for it. The true "evildoers" actually revel in it, and elevate themselves because of it. Not too many will cheer for that.

That's an excellent way of putting it.

Tom Riddle didn't grow up in a loving environment, but at the same time, the orphanage did its best and he wasn't mistreated. When he realized he had power others didn't, he could have chosen to do something different with it, but he chose to hurt people.

I haven't always liked Sirius or some of his actions, but no matter what he may have done to Snape in school, through it all he always loved his friends and defended them. He loved Harry and died fighting to protect him. That isn't something Voldemort would ever do.

I do feel that what you said about evildoers reveling in what they do is significant.

Draco may not be at the level Voldemort is, but he enjoys causing pain, whether it's emotional or physical. Harry used a dark spell on Malfoy, but Harry felt guilt for his actions. He couldn't quite believe he'd done something so horrible, while Draco deliberately tried to use an Unforgivable that causes excruciating pain.

I really like your description of Sawyer. He's done some awful things, but he's just not quite the psycho he appears to be. He has a heart even if he doesn't show it.

The Malfoys, Bella, definitely Macnair, and even Umbridge seem to enjoy the pain they cause, and they don't care how much damage they do.

I think there is a definite difference between doing bad things and finding pleasure in them.

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Berty Bott - Oct 3, 2005 10:45 am (#42 of 136)

I hate to be someone who defends Voldemort but.....lets remember that he was a very young child when he started to make these "bad" choices you are talking about. No question that they were bad choices. No question that he became completely and totally evil with no redeeming qualities what so ever. The question that was being asked and debated was why he turned out this way. I brought up some of the newer theories of child psychology that state that if a child does not recieve LOVING care as a baby, it will not learn how to love. The orphanage took decent care of the children there, but did they provide them with 'loving care'? Maybe not. The children who came to the orphanage as toddlers or older may have experienced loving care with someone else, who knows.

I simply refuse to believe that any person is born evil. I also dont believe that it is all nurture that creates evil. I think it has to be a combination of genetics, predisposition and early life experience that will change an innocent child into an abuser and a psychopath. Some people are able to overcome abusive childhoods. Does that mean we shouldn't have some kind of understanding for people who are not able to? My boyfriend overcame, but I meet people every day that have not. I cant hold everyone to his standard because they are all different people with different experiences. Going through the same kinds of neglect can have very diverse consequences in different people, is what Im saying.

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irish flutterby - Oct 3, 2005 11:19 am (#43 of 136)

Okay everyone pull out your dung bombs Ready, Aim Fire. I'm just kidding Bertie Bott. I understand that people are different, and react differently to their environment. I also know (I have two little girls) that children often do things without understanding the consequences of their actions. On the other hand, the actions that I've seen in LV's youth (not childhood) were from one who, I believe, knew the impact that he had on other people, and enjoyed creating terror in the other children. Also, at any point in his life he could have decided to reform. He didn't. Too, I think there is a difference in not knowing how ot love because you've never seen it, and being cruel and hurting people because you enjoy it.

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Berty Bott - Oct 3, 2005 1:03 pm (#44 of 136)

I live for the dungbombs.

Certainly there is a distinction between not knowing how to love and cruelty. Yet the former can be the predicessor of the other, as we have seen from the case studies of many American serial killer.

I keep going back to the interview with the headmistress of the orphanage. It really sounded like Tom was odd, everyone thought so, and there was very little effort put into figuring out his "oddness". If he had someone to guide him with his powers, a Yoda if you will....things could have been different. Who taught him that it was wrong to use his power to harm others? That education needs to start much younger than 11 years old.

Muggle children respond to having consquences for their actions. It seems that since the orphanage staff couldnt figure out how he kept doing things......magic not being a viable answer......perhaps there werent any consequences. Cant punish him for what you cant prove he did. No consequences equals no discipline and no discipline sets up a child to grow into a selfish, pleasure-seeking, narcisisitic bully. There was no incentive for him to change. He got what he wanted and needed from that behavior. But cruelty is like an addiction, yesterdays fix is not enough for today and it snowballs.......Now add into the mix some genetics that make one prone to agressive and dominating behaviors.....instant moldy voldy. Society failed him as a child and now society needs to clean up their mess. Tricky part is that the "mess" is the most powerful dark wizard (probably) ever. Its just like every other great evil in history....people could have put a stop to it a long time ago if they had banded together and got their heads out of the sand. But they didnt and now the job is twice as hard (or more). People intictively want to place all the blame on him....he's evil....woe is us....but they brushed it under the carpet when they actually had the chance to defeat him. And now they are all looking to Harry to fix it for them. Thats just sad.

Excuse my rant.

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Detail Seeker - Oct 3, 2005 1:28 pm (#45 of 136)

Quod tempus non sanat, sanat ferrum,... so prepare
Berty Bott: ...Society failed him as a child and now society needs to clean up their mess. .. "

Who is society ? I think, you summed it up quite well n your last three sentences for this case. Normally people calling for "society" just say "Not me!"

As for the Sirius evil because of what "Snape´s worst memory" gave away: Remember, that Snape was jinxed by a spell, that he invented, that James and Sirius must have learned from him. Most certainly he did not tell them, but showed them.

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T Vrana - Oct 3, 2005 6:38 pm (#46 of 136)

Bit harsh on the orphanage folks. They couldn't punish Tom because they have no idea magic exists. No head in the sand, just confusion, and fear! I suppose it could be argued that magical society should have kept a better tab on young Tom, but the Muggles did their best, and despite finding him odd and scary, took care of him. Should they have punished him when they really could not prove he did anything? Bit tough to pull off. Guess they could have searched his room to find the toys. But if they had he would have learned to better hide his wrongdoing.

I can't support the idea that it is all society's fault. Where does personal responsibility come in? It is still about choices. He chose to be cruel from a very young age, and, perhaps, was not disciplined. But he knew what he was doing was wrong, because he hid it. He saw others acting kindly to each other and chose cruelty and power, instead. DD offered him a new start, DD said "No" to his bad behavior and let him know he had to make ammends. Tom chose to continue to pursue cruelty.

Mom has to take some responsibility here. She did not have the strength to go on for her own son and left him in a Muggle orphanage. She had a terrible childhood, but as an adult had the chance to make a better life, and didn't. Where Lily dies to save Harry, Merope would not live to save her son. Sad.

I have to believe that eleven is not too late to be redeemed as a human capable of decency, rather than cruelty. But one has to choose to change, to choose to be decent. Whatever society may have done to let Tom down, I just can't see him as a victim. He had chances and choices, at some point he had to decide what type of adult he would be, and his choice was horrifying.

EDIT- If eleven is too late, what were the options? Azkaban at eleven? St. Mungos? It would seem that DD saw a potential problem, but felt Tom deserved a chance to choose.

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Weeny Owl - Oct 4, 2005 8:08 am (#47 of 136)

Regardless of what Tom was like before Hogwarts, we know he was told by Dumbledore that certain behavior wasn't tolerated, we know he was told by Slughorn that Horcruxes weren't acceptable, and he has to know that setting a basilisk loose on a school and it killing someone is wrong, yet he kept doing these things. He continued down his chosen path.

As T said, he had choices along the way. He was still a teen when he killed his father and his grandparents and blamed someone else for it. He was still a teen when Myrtle was killed, and he blamed Hagrid for it.

Anywhere along the way he could have chosen not to commit deliberately evil acts. He didn't have to be a saint, he didn't have to champion noble causes... he could have been like most people are - a little bit bad, but trying to do the best they can.

No matter what society did to him or didn't do for him, he is now choosing to kill people who have never harmed him in any way whatsoever. The first chapter states that he threatened to kill a bunch of Muggles unless Fudge stepped down for him. He tried to kill a baby because someone overheard part of a prophecy about him. He killed an old lady and blamed a house-elf because he wanted a locket and a cup.

Even if I could understand him killing in revenge... his father and grandparents, the people involved with the locket that belonged to his mother, and any other act that harmed him... he's now sending out his minions to kill people who have no defense and who have never harmed him.

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Berty Bott - Oct 4, 2005 10:14 am (#48 of 136)

I guess I should clarify. I am not blaming the orphanage people. They did the best they could with what they knew. Im not suggesting that they should have punished him for actions they could not prove were him, but having consequences only when they could prove it TRAINED him to keep it hidden. Kids learn to lie to their parents when lying helps to keep them out of having consequences.

I absolutely think Meriope deserves some if not most of the responsibility. She made her choices as an adult, and those choices most certainly did contribute to Tom's downward spiral into evilness. She apparently had the ablilty to feel love, yet she didnt have enough for her son to stick around. That is very disappointing. After her death, that responsiblity is passed onto "society". Its what separates the humans from the animals....we take care of the orphans, the sick, the old and infirm.

Now, recognizing that even the most tolerant of wizards have some mild contempt for Muggles (think of Molly in PS/SS, "packed with Muggles, of course", or Hagrid "a great Muggle like yourself couldnt stop him"), I think its proposterous that the Wizarding community isnt more concerned about a muggle orphanage raising one of their own. It seems that Dumbledor kept in at least some contact with the Dursly's to monitor Harry, but no one did Tom that favor. My point is that there were several instances where the wizarding SOCIETY had the opportunity to either help Tom become a good person or put an end to Voldemort while he was not in full power. They didnt, so now here we are.

By the way, childhood neglect causes brain damage. The neural pathways in the brain get completely screwed up so that it is very, very difficult, even with intense professional intervention, to change the way a child views and reacts to their world even into adulthood.

So how old is old enough to be completely responsible for their behavior? In PS/SS, Dudley is a tantruming toddler when we first meet him. Is he responsible for chucking his cereal across the room, or is it Petunia for letting him get away with it? Is Draco, at 11 years old, responsible for his nasty attitude and bullying behavior or are his parents for training him that way? I think Draco is showing amazing character when he lowers his wand on Dumbledor because he is going against all his training from his parents. Up until this point they have trained him to think of Voldemort as always right.

There is a point in a persons life when, regardless of their "training" they need to take full responsiblity for their action. I have no answer for when that it. I just know that sometimes the damage done to a child's mental health is irreversable. I think its society's job to 1)Try to make sure the damage doesnt occur in the first place 2)Try to fix the damage if it does occur 3)If it isnt fixable, and the person is a danger, then remove that person from society swiftly and decidedly.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 4, 2005 12:31 pm (#49 of 136)

I absolutely think Meriope deserves some if not most of the responsibility. She made her choices as an adult, and those choices most certainly did contribute to Tom's downward spiral into evilness. She apparently had the ablilty to feel love, yet she didnt have enough for her son to stick around.

We don't know if Merope could feel love or not. She was attracted to Tom Riddle, Sr., and saw him as a way out--but did she really love him? Who knows?

And had she ever been loved herself? Not by her father, brother, or husband, evidently. She didn't go to school and was isolated from both the wizarding and Muggle communities, so no opportunities to make friends or find kind and caring adults who would substitute as parental figures. Perhaps her mother loved her--but it seems that her mother died while Merope was still a child. Or perhaps her mother deserted the family--certainly, if she had any self respect, she wouldn't have wanted to stay with Marvolo! If Merope's mother did run off, what a blow for Merope. And all the more evidence for lack of love.

...I think its proposterous that the Wizarding community isnt more concerned about a muggle orphanage raising one of their own.

Merope seems to have disappeared off the Wizarding community's radar during her pregnancy. It may have taken them quite some time to learn of Tom Junior's existence, let alone locate him. The magic quill presumably put his name down for Hogwarts when he was born--but are its records accessible before the child is old enough for Hogwarts? Does anyone check them over? The point is, no one even knew Merope was pregnant, and her family seems to have been outcast even within the Wizarding community--so who would have thought to check and see if she'd had a child? With Harry, on the other hand, everyone knew of his existence from the start. I agree, they had a responsibility to be more attentive to their own. And it does seem strange that they insisted that Tom return to the orphanage every summer. Couldn't special arrangements have been made for him to stay at Hogwarts, or somewhere within the wizarding community?

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Berty Bott - Oct 4, 2005 12:54 pm (#50 of 136)

I know you are saying they may not have known about Tom's existance. But he was doing underage magic surrounded by Muggles. Dumbledor said the ministry could track that. They had to know someone was in that orphanage that was doing magic. How can you keep magic a secret if you let that kind of thing happen? He cant be the first wizard to be raised by muggles and talented enough to discover and use his powers before his 11th birthday.
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Three Cheers For Evil (Post 51 to 100)

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:17 am

Maddest Dragon - Oct 4, 2005 1:15 pm (#51 of 136)
Tom's doing magic may have been how they found him. But it probably didn't happen when he was a baby. And it seems that, for whatever reason, kids with magic powers who are born to or raised by Muggles are not contacted by the WW until the summer before Hogwarts. Doesn't make much sense, but it seems to be one of the rules of Potterverse.

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T Vrana - Oct 4, 2005 1:24 pm (#52 of 136)

Would any of the things Tom did count as real magic? Harry grew his hair back, flew out of harms way and set a snake loose, but never really realized it was magic and didn't get a notice from the MoM.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 4, 2005 6:06 pm (#53 of 136)

Harry wouldn't have gotten a notice from the MoM because he wasn't a Hogwarts student yet, and not part of the WW. It seems that accidental magic coming from children too young for Hogwarts doesn't count--especially since they usually don't know that they're doing magic or that it's forbidden. That doesn't necessarily mean the MoM can't detect it.

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Paulus Maximus - Oct 4, 2005 6:24 pm (#54 of 136)

I'm quite sure that the Ministry didn't figure out that Harry had talked to a snake. If they had, it wouldn't have been such a surprise to Fudge at the end of book 4.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 4, 2005 6:31 pm (#55 of 136)

Speaking Parseltongue may not give off magical energy and probably isn't detectable by the MoM, so wouldn't count as working magic. However, making the glass disappear likely would.

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kingdolohov - Oct 4, 2005 8:16 pm (#56 of 136)

I must say that I am impressed by the ability of some of the death eaters, even if I don't like them. Dolohov, for example, is very powerful. He defeats Harry, Neville, and Hermione before the baby-faced DE distracted him. He also defeats Moody, one of the greatest ever aurors. And he certainly mastered that slashing purple fire spell. Maybe he created it?

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Weeny Owl - Oct 7, 2005 12:18 pm (#57 of 136)

Perhaps underage magic isn't detectable until the person in question gets his/her wand. After that, the house is put on an alarm system of some type, and then if magic is performed the Ministry knows. There would probably be too many instances of underage magic for the Ministry to investigate otherwise.

Im not suggesting that they should have punished him for actions they could not prove were him, but having consequences only when they could prove it TRAINED him to keep it hidden. Kids learn to lie to their parents when lying helps to keep them out of having consequences.

But that already shows that kids know what they're doing is wrong. If they thought their actions were okay, they wouldn't lie. If Tom felt the need to hide what he was doing, he already realized that some actions were not okay by society's standards. He already knew that there was a right and a wrong, yet he chose the wrong.

I can sympathise with an orphan Tom. I can understand him wanting to find a place where he felt he belonged, a place that was a home to him, but understanding and sympathising for a child has nothing to do with Tom's later decisions.

Same with Draco... poor kid, having only a ghost to talk to. Crying in a bathroom all alone. Draco didn't have it in him to commit murder, which is a good thing, but Draco hasn't changed a bit. None of that... the crying, the not killing... none of it changes his basic character.

Draco didn't care who was hurt, who was killed, what horrible things might have happened from his actions. His only concern was himself and perhaps his parents. He didn't want to die, he didn't want his family to die, but he didn't care about Katie or Ron or anyone else being killed. He didn't care if Dumbledore was killed.

Draco isn't quite as bad as Voldemort, but there aren't that many differences. Voldemort is willing to do his own dirty work and Draco isn't, but they both feel they're superior and both care only for themselves for the most part.

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T Vrana - Oct 7, 2005 12:36 pm (#58 of 136)

I would add that when DD offered to save Malfoy and his family, Malfoy did't say yes, he bragged about how far he was able to get. If he was just trying to save his family, DD gave him a chance and he didn't take it.

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wynnleaf - Oct 7, 2005 12:49 pm (#59 of 136)

Draco's an interesting example. He's of course been affected by his parent's opinions, attitudes, and the knowledge that his dad is a DE. But he's also been at Hogwarts for a long time, around many people who were opposed to LV and were presenting different viewpoints on life in general.

My guess is that he didn't get a pro-LV viewpoint from Snape either, or an anti-muggle attitude, although I do imagine Snape let anti-muggle remarks slide from the Slytherins. But still, it's not like teachers were really reinforcing these viewpoints, often just the opposite.

So Draco does have choices -- which side is he going to follow?

T Vrana has a point. When DD gave him a chance to come over to the good side, and DD would make sure his parents were saved, too, Draco not only doesn't take that chance, but says some pretty mocking things in response.

So Draco might not be as totally evil as LV -- in JKR's viewpoint, that maybe is because of Draco's ability to love his family. But that doesn't mean he's not quite capable of getting people killed (Katie and Ron). After all, it's no thanks to Draco that neither person died.

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irish flutterby - Oct 9, 2005 4:34 pm (#60 of 136)

I agree Draco's a snake (no pun intended). I think his reluctance to murder DD was more in realtion to fear of the consequences. He knows the punishment is Azkaban, and he is terrified of doing something that irreversible, but he's scared to death of LV, too. All out of his own sense of self-preservation.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 9, 2005 4:49 pm (#61 of 136)

Draco's actions that could have killed Katie and Ron (poisoning the mead and getting Katie to carry the necklace) were done at a distance. Most of us can take part in things with serious consequences if we don't see them up close and personal. After all, the majority of people who eat factory farmed meat never see a slaughterhouse or factory farm firsthand, and would be horrified if they did. Most of us buy goods made in sweatshops and contribute to ecological destruction, sometimes with little or no choice, usually unaware of what the distant effects are. Not the same as deliberately killing someone, to be sure--my point is that it's easier to do something bad if you don't have to look it in the face. Draco could kill Dumbledore if he didn't have to look his victim in the eye as he did it. When he's face to face with Dumbledore, it gives him pause. I interpret that scene as stirrings of conscience on Draco's part. Not to mention that Dumbledore is especially good at arousing conscience in people. His tactics are passive resistance to the hilt. Rather like Gandhi and his followers standing their ground, unarmed, in the face of British soldiers prepared to kill them all.

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Muggle Doctor - Oct 10, 2005 5:38 am (#62 of 136)

I would question that last sentence. Rather severely. Please check your facts. With the British, Gandhi was dealing with a civilised enemy who, by and large, could be trusted NOT to open fire (and the majority of "British" soldiers in India were in fact Indian by birth - I recall, vaguely, from the film that the soldiers who opened fire at Amritsar were Indian, not British. Amritsar was a terrible blunder, not the usual behaviour.)

Gandhi's tactics would never have worked against Hitler.

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Paulus Maximus - Oct 10, 2005 9:00 am (#63 of 136)

Yet Dumbledore's tactics have worked against Voldemort. And Voldemort is the Hitler of the Wizarding World.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 10, 2005 11:22 am (#64 of 136)

Muggle Doctor, everything I said stands. The point is, I'm comparing Dumbledore's tactics with Gandhi's, which holds true no matter who the soldiers were. Second, the British being a "civilized enemy" wouldn't have made them less likely to open fire. The biggest atrocities in the world have been committed (arguably) by "civilized enemies." The majority of the soldiers being Indian may have been a factor in arousing their consciences--could they really continue knowing that they were killing their own? Likewise, Draco is faced with the reality of killing the greatest wizard of the age, one of his own--whom everybody respects whether they like him or not.

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Neville Longbottom - Oct 11, 2005 2:46 am (#65 of 136)


Second, the British being a "civilized enemy" wouldn't have made them less likely to open fire. The biggest atrocities in the world have been committed (arguably) by "civilized enemies."


Indeed. Germany was a very civilized country for centuries, when Hitler came to power.

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Muggle Doctor - Oct 11, 2005 7:54 am (#66 of 136)

The difference is that the British would have held fire while the Germans of 1942, say (or maybe even 1914) would not have hesitated.

Dumbledore's tactics are not Gandhi's - Dumbledore counter-attacks the Death Eaters at the Ministry with aggressive power, disarming them and binding them from disapparating. He fights Voldemort to a standstill. He stuns, stupefies and otherwise evades MULTIPLE Aurors simultaneously. He launches gouts of flame at the Inferi. Those are not the tactics of passive resistance, even if he does refrain from killing.

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Detail Seeker - Oct 11, 2005 2:14 pm (#67 of 136)

Quod tempus non sanat, sanat ferrum,... so prepare
This is rather thin ice, you are on with your remark above- especially your remark about 1914. Please be sure of your facts, if state things, that might be taken as an insult. More by private mail, as this is not the place for discusing such issues.

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Maddest Dragon - Oct 11, 2005 8:03 pm (#68 of 136)

Dumbledore may fight when necessary, but he also uses passive resistance. That's certainly the tactic that he uses in the scene with Draco on top of the tower.

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wynnleaf - Oct 12, 2005 6:33 am (#69 of 136)

Dumbledore may fight when necessary, but he also uses passive resistance. That's certainly the tactic that he uses in the scene with Draco on top of the tower.

I suppose that depends on the point of view. It might look like passive resistance to Harry, Draco, and the DE's on the tower. Or it just might look like someone defenseless and cornered by the enemy. On the other hand, if DD actually meant for the events to work out more or less as they did, then in fact he wasn't resisting at all. He was already sure that Draco wouldn't kill him, so there was never any danger from Draco on the tower to resist. And if he wanted the rest of the events on the tower to go as they did, he wasn't resisting that either -- passively or otherwise.

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Vulture - Oct 16, 2005 2:11 pm (#70 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
Vulture, if you look on some other Potter sites where the fans can choose houses, a significantly larger number of readers align themselves with Slytherin house, and choose Slytherin related names. Even Rowling commented on her site that she was shocked at the number of people who identify with Slytherin house----and are moderators as well.

And, this site is very intelligently moderated, so people are restricted in how deeply they can delve into the depths, both in discussion content and behavior toward other dissicussants. On some other sites, the "trolling" is a major part of the dynamic.

Um, three cheers for the Lexicon. (Hollywand - Sep 24, 2005 7:41 am (#26))

Yes, I've come across that Rowling comment _ but what I notice about the Lexicon is that there are lots of people who seem keen on Slytherin House and/or some of its characters, particularly Snape and/or Draco Malfoy (not Lord V so much), but who are very emphatic about seeing the "good" in them.

I'm not expecting trolling, but I think it would be quite possible to deliberately take Voldemort's side "for the fun of it", while staying within Lexicon rules. (For example, on the "Effects of Dumbledore's Death" thread, I've mapped out what I would do next if I was Voldemort.) What I notice is that no-one (that I've so far seen) has even tried to do this. I've no problem with that, but I think it's worth remarking on.

I used to hang out on Tolkien Online, so I've seen some of what you refer to. In Tolkien, you never really "see" Sauron. The sense of evil is more conveyed through those that serve him. But in Harry Potter, we get to really see LV, "hear" his voice, and so on. We get to see him in action, killing people with no concern at all. I think this creates a different feeling in the reader, producing a more active dislike for the character of LV than for Sauron. (wynnleaf - Sep 23, 2005 11:30 am (#24))

Hmm. Yes, but you do see the Lord Of the Nazgul, though, and Saruman. And you get (or used to, when I was a big Tolkien fan) lots of people who are very into taking the side of Mordor, even though they know all about the misery it causes, and a perhaps lesser number, and different mentality, who were into Saruman. Since the films, my bet is that Saruman's fan club have had a boost _ the films really built on what the books had started.

I don't know about recent websites and games so much, but I know that, when I was younger, lots of people were into taking the side of Saruman in games, because it was more of an intellectual challenge _ his forces counted for less in war terms, so the whole game was to track down the Ring _ and fast.

But I think you're on to something, Wynnleaf _ in Harry Potter books, we're not (so far) talking about massive armies clashing against each other _ in Tolkien (and probably, with fans of C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles), we are. So a good percentage of those who are into Tolkien would have the mindset of the kind of strategy/wargamers who replay Napoleonic wars or World War 2. In other words (which I think follows from your point), it's harder to identify with The Forces Of Evil when it's one person being killed up close in detail, than it is when thousands are being killed far off in a battlefield like pawns on a chessboard. (Of course, that's a terrible indictment on human nature _ the key would be to be able to see each of those thousand individual scenes.)

In this regard, I'd be interested to see some discussion of comparisons between Tolkien's Saruman and Snape. Of course, it's not a perfect comparison, because we all accept that Saruman went over to evil, whereas some of ye still believe that the jury is out on Snape. But still, there must have been a point where Saruman, like Snape, was being pulled between the two. I feel that Snape, like Rowling's characters in general, is much more personal and closer to our sight than Saruman.

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wynnleaf - Oct 16, 2005 3:43 pm (#71 of 136)

Vulture,

Saruman has practically no "peers" on the good side Tolkein, except Gandalf and I think while readers like Gandalf a lot, it's pretty hard to identify with him. On the other hand, Severus is one amongst many wizards, a fair number of whom are or are almost his peers in magical terms. Further, he's written as a real human being, whose faults and failings find roots in his youth, his family, and his own choices. Saruman -- well, we don't really get to know him at all. We don't really know a lot of what makes him tick (except maybe Longbottom Leaf?). We don't have enough yet to definitely understand Severus, but we're being given more and more and so there's this appetite being whetted to understand him.

Further, while Saruman was supposed to have been on the good side at one time and, presumably done a lot of good, Severus is supposed to have started off highly interested in Dark Arts, went over to the DE's as a youth, and then supposedly left LV's side to join DD and the Order. So in the order of their connection with Darkness, it's just about the opposite.

Saruman was not used by Tolkein as a redemptive character and as you read the books, you get no hint that such a thing will occur. JKR has at least hinted that Severus is being used this way. The books hint the same thing. Obviously, that creates another expectation among readers to find evidence of his redemption.

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hawick girl - Oct 16, 2005 7:10 pm (#72 of 136)

I think that one of the difference between Saruman and Snape is that Saruman was white i.e. superior to Gandalf (the Gray), but then Gandalf became white i.e. was on the same level to Saruman while Snape has always been inferior to Dumbledore.

Also, Saruman was a leading Dark expert and for him to go over was a major setback, and even while he was double-crossing the side of Good by being a servant to Sauron, he was actually triple-crossing in that he wanted to be the ruler. The big cheese as it were. Whereas Snape's defection (if actually 'bad') will be a setback, but one in intel on the Order and stuff, but not in phyical things (troops for the cause). I don't think that he is looking to become the New Dark Lord and knock off Voldie. I imagine that he wants revenge against all who chose him last, those who humiliate him, and scorned love. I also feel that DD was in charge of the relationship and he set the goals for Snape like the overheard argument between where DD tells him that he is going to do something and even though Snape doesn't initally want to, he eventually agrees.

Also, in my mind, there is some imagery differences as well. Saruman was always dressed impeccably, while Snape is continually referred to as wearing black and being described as 'greasy'.

I think that Saruman is shown to be on one side clearly until his treachery is shown then he is clearly on the other, while Snape is shown to be on both sides simultaneously, and is described in a vague way as to which side he is really on.

I really need to finish reading LOTR, I'm about 2/3rds done and it has been so long that I can't remember exactly what I've read and what I haven't. (giggle) But the movies althoough different than the books were great!

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Muggle Doctor - Oct 17, 2005 12:44 am (#73 of 136)

I find it interesting that when Gandalf is reincarnated, he tells Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli "Indeed you might say I am Saruman; or Saruman as he should have been." He has quite clearly succeeded to Saruman's role as the senior wizard, but without Saruman's corruption; whereas Snape is so morally ambiguous (even without his Death Eater past) that he could never replace Dumbledore in the same way, even if he was shown at some stage to be equivalent in power.

Likewise, he can never aspire to Voldemort's level of power; just as Saruman was defeated by forces he thought beneath him, Snape will (I feel) eventually be brought low before he has a chance to supplant the Dark Lord; and that's even if he wants to.

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frogface - Oct 17, 2005 3:27 am (#74 of 136)

Vulture - Oct 16, 2005 2:11 pm ...but what I notice about the Lexicon is that there are lots of people who seem keen on Slytherin House and/or some of its characters, particularly Snape and/or Draco Malfoy (not Lord V so much), but who are very emphatic about seeing the "good" in them.

But there is an important distinction between looking for the "good" in these characters, and cheering on their "evil" acts, isn't there.

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irish flutterby - Oct 17, 2005 12:24 pm (#75 of 136)

I think it's human nature to want to believe, especially in Snape's case, that he is good. We've come to trust him to an extent. We feel a bit like he's an old aquaintance that we want to believe the best in. We may try to justify some of his actions because of that. Mostly because we don't want to believe that we (Or DD) are wrong. We need to believe that Dd was right, and we just don't know why yet. Notice, however, that I say some of his actions, not all of his actions. I have heard alot of people on the forum who love Snape as a character, think he's a good guy in the end, but don't agree with or approve of his treatment of the trio, Neville, or others.

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haymoni - Oct 17, 2005 12:55 pm (#76 of 136)

I think Snape is going to be a good guy in the end, but that he has been a DE all the way through - his explanations to Bella are supposed to be explanations for us.

Snape is like Lucius - he liked his comfortable existance. He was not going to expose himself until he absolutely had to. Now he has crossed the Rubicon - he has killed Dumbledore, there is no mistaking his loyalty - he may be regretting what he had to do - being a Death Eater is no easy life - so he gave some last minute instructions to Harry rather than tying him up and taking him to Voldy.

Or...maybe he made the classic villain mistake and just talked too much.

Whatever the case, he will redeem himself in the end. JKR liked the word "redemptive". It's only a matter of time.

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hawick girl - Oct 18, 2005 8:45 pm (#77 of 136)

this isn't exactly a "yeah evil!" post, but it brings up issues about how the good guys fight.

In a different thread they were talking about how the moral rock has been chipping away throughout the series. I thought that it would fit in here better. Wink

It reminds me of a sub-plot in Stephen King's Dark Tower Series where there is an "evil" Corporation (Sombra) attempting to wreck the infrastructure of the multiverse (and there by destroy the multiverse), and the heroes get together and make a "good" corporation (ka-tet corp. or Tet Corp.) Tet Corp's role is to thwart Sombra from monopolizing technology and wrecking the multiverse in any whay they can. This means that they can use any means to get what they want. I mean dirty tricks, bending/breaking the rules etc. If they don't screw Sombra, they will get screwwed and or killed by them. In these good vs. evil stories (i.e. LOTR, the Dark Tower, HP, Star Wars, etc.) I think that the 'good' guys often have to be like ten times as good as the evil ones if they can't use the shortcuts and dirty tricks. In this story (DT), they use the same methods and they get results. I like it because you can be morally right and lose the world, or you can be sneaky and keep fighting (and/or winning). You know what I mean? I guess either fight 'right' and lose or fight 'smart' and win.

thoughts on why good guys have to be great and evil guys can use any means necessary.

Edit: I hate Type-Os and my bad grammer etc.

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T Vrana - Oct 18, 2005 9:42 pm (#78 of 136)

Hawick- But if you become what you are fighting, to win, have you won? And once you have 'won', by doing evil, can you go back? When do you stop doing evil? When do you know you've won?

I am unfamiliar with the series you mention, but once you are lured to do evil to win, even if your intention was good, you have lost and become what you are fighting, IMHO.

This is why Gandalf would not touch the Ring.

I like Stephen King, but good is good and evil is evil.

Didn't DD say something about doing what is right vs doing what is easy? It is easy to do what is wrong and justify the end...

It is very hard to do what is right, and risk failure...

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hawick girl - Oct 18, 2005 10:20 pm (#79 of 136)

I think that these two things are quite different. The Ring turns all desires to evil. Like the gist of Galadriel's stetment that she would, in trying to do good (also Saruman's claims as well), be terrible in her power and it would be BAD for everyone, so she turns it down. Whereas Tet is trying to prevent the destruction of all. It was designed to protect a rose in a vacant lot in New York (lots of meanings throughout SK's works and especially the Dark Tower (DT).) It is the "White", and Sombra was pervasive in many worlds and lead to their (the world's) downfall.

The Ring was designed to corrupt, whereas the Tet Corp was designed to protect all that is good. Wouldn't a mother fight dirty (with ancient magic) to protect her child?

The Tet Corp was a small sub-plot to the story, but I always thought that it was an intriguing idea of a story on its own, on how to fight the battles w/o becoming what you fight.

By the way there are 7 books to the Dark Tower Series, lots of circles/wheels in the books (metaphorically and physically). I love that series.

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frogface - Oct 19, 2005 4:43 am (#80 of 136)

In my opinion its a question without an answer really. This sort of argument goes back years doesn't it? With hundreds of different view points being expressed in all kinds of ways, and frequently within stories from different kinds of media. I think both T Vrana and Hatwick Girl have good points. Sometimes it seems necessesary to take on strategies which in normal situations would be associated with evil. However, if you take this to far there is of course a major risk that the principles you were trying to fight for are lost along the way, and your cause becomes warped. In the end I suppose it comes down to how much you are willing to risk, and how much self control you can apply. Its certainly a conundrum anyway!

...Has this post of mine been a complete waste of time? I sort of feel like it has but by the time I'd finished I didn't just want to delete it all! Ah well, nevermind!

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T Vrana - Oct 19, 2005 5:49 am (#81 of 136)

frogface- not a waste of time.

Hawick girl- I disagree that the Ring was designed to corrupt. It was designed for power. Sauron's evil and malice were poured into into, but it was for power and domination that it was created. He did not intend others to ever have it. The fact that it is filled with evil and has this power is what corrupts those who see it, touch it and wear it. Note that Frodo who had no desire for power was not corrupted for a very long time.

The other rings were designed to give power, then enslave the wearers to the one Ring. They were designed to corrupt, in that power corrupts, and Sauron knew the leaders of men were weak.

I think the analogy stands. Though I do not know the series, as I mentioned, the basic idea, you can embrace evil if your intentions are good, is flawed. Gandalf and Galadriel, being very old and wise, realized they must not embrace the power of the ring because it is evil, and though their intentions would be good, evil, once embraced, would overwhelm good. They are able to use the power of the rings Sauron did not touch, because they are not evil. So power alone (in the right hands) is not corrupting, it is the evil Sauron put into the Ring, coupled with its power, that is corrupting.

The corporation protecting the rose can be compared to Boromir trying to protect his city. He is a good man, fighting the good battle. He wanted the Ring for all the right reasons. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of his fellow countrymen have died protecting Middle Earth from Sauron. His defenses are failing, all in his city will be killed, men, women, children, if he fails. Why not embrace evil (the Ring)and use it as a weapon against Sauron? He realizes too late that Gandalf was right.

The question is, can you ever embrace evil for the right reasons and then cast it away when you have 'won'. I think not, I think you become what you are fighting and you lose sight of what is good and what is evil.

Does this mean you can't lie to your enemy or trick your enemy? No. But I do think it means you can not commit evil acts, murdering innocents, for instance and justify the ends.

Just MHO...

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Paulus Maximus - Oct 19, 2005 8:45 am (#82 of 136)

I think Snape is going to be a good guy in the end, but that he has been a DE all the way through - his explanations to Bella are supposed to be explanations for us.

I disagree, because Snape never mentions his use of Occlumency to Bella, and he clearly used it to fool Dumbledore or Voldemort or both. Also, he contradicts Dumbledore's testimony from the Penseive scene, and personally, I'd take Dumbledore's word over Snape's any day.

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Weeny Owl - Oct 19, 2005 8:45 am (#83 of 136)

I tend to agree with T on this one.

Harry is coming a bit too close to becoming what he doesn't want to be.

He couldn't kill Sirius but he's getting older and more cynical, which isn't surprising. He could use the Cruciatus Curse on Bella, but it didn't work well because he didn't enjoy causing pain. He had no idea what spell he was using on Draco, and was horrified at what he did, fortunately, but he tried to use the same curse on Snape even knowing what that spell would do.

Part of the reason Harry has been watched so carefully over the years might have been partly to see if he had any tendencies to become a dark wizard.

At the end of OotP, Harry was disturbed at the thought of having to kill Voldemort because he thought that would make him a murderer. I felt that their final confrontation wouldn't result in murder since Harry would be defending himself, but his feelings about Snape are disturbing.

He has to be very careful not to cross the line. Doing what is easy instead of what is right isn't the way Harry needs to go. He needs to stick to what is right or he is in danger of becoming what he's fighting.

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wynnleaf - Oct 19, 2005 9:29 am (#84 of 136)

Well said, Wheeny Owl. I noticed that at the first part of the Sectumsempra chapter, Harry is planning to use the sectumsempra curse on McLaggen the next time his "back is turned." Yet Harry was bound to know even then that sectumsempra must be something stronger than the other more or less mild hexes noted by the HBP -- after all, it's "for enemies." Harry is willing to think of McLaggen as an "enemy" just over everyday school/teenage rivalries. Of course, he felt very, very badly over his use of the curse once he saw what it would do, but it concerns me that he was willing to use a curse "for enemies" on a mostly innocent student.

Several places in the book, he works hard to feed his hate of Severus, even when it's not highly warrented (like over Sirius' death). And he's quick to hope Severus will die as a result of taking the DADA position. Yes, this was a joke, but not the kind of joke Harry used to make and indicates a lot of hate.

Then, in Flight of the HBP, he tries the Crucio twice and then the sectumsempra on Severus. He knows what both of these curses do and uses them anyway.

As I said earlier, I think it's going to take some time for JKR to work Harry through to resolving this hate and conflict. I don't think it's going to happen in one scene.

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Paulus Maximus - Oct 19, 2005 7:43 pm (#85 of 136)

As I said earlier, I think it's going to take some time for JKR to work Harry through to resolving this hate and conflict. I don't think it's going to happen in one scene.

Personally, I begin to wonder if it will happen at all...

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T Vrana - Oct 19, 2005 8:33 pm (#86 of 136)

PM- It has to happen or Harry will not have arrived as the Chosen One, IMHO...

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wynnleaf - Oct 19, 2005 8:39 pm (#87 of 136)

I agree. Can anyone really picture an ending where Harry still hates Severus Snape? Or where he killed him off and good riddance? And where's the redemptive picture that JKR hinted we'd see?

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Weeny Owl - Oct 19, 2005 8:56 pm (#88 of 136)

I can picture an ending where Harry still dislikes Snape, but not to the point he reached in HBP.

Dumbledore said it was our choices that show what we truly are, and if Harry doesn't want to become the next Dark Lord, or close to it, his choices have to be kept with doing what is right.

I was thinking about comparisons to other published works and how it seems as if the end can justify the means, but there is still that line that can't be crossed... toed perhaps, but not crossed.

For the good of the Wizarding World, Harry can deceive people into helping him, he can mislead people, he can manipulate people, and while those may not be good things, they're a far cry from using torture (the Cruciatus Curse) or outright murder (the Avada Kedavra Curse) on people who disagree with a political view. Harry won't reach that level ever, at least in my opinion, and I can't see him becoming evil enough to do something like that in a cold and deliberate manner.

There many be a gray area where we disagree on what is good and what is evil, but there are definite actions that all of us would probably agree stepped over the line. I don't see Harry making that step, although he's going to have to rein in his emotions in order to be effective.

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hawick girl - Oct 20, 2005 12:10 pm (#89 of 136)

I agree, that Harry can toe the line, but will not step over.

In an aside, about the Dark Tower and Tet Corp. Tet was headed by two good, honorable, and tenacious older men (later their younger relatives also helped in the managing). I think that they would discuss the actions they would want to take, like out bidding Sombra on a sale of land, maneuvering deals with other business to shut out Sombra, etc. I don't think that they would 'whack' guys or stuff like that. One of them was killed by agents of Sombra as a warning to the rest of Tet to step out of the way, but they knew what would happen if they did. It seems like it was a committee type of thing and that one guy wouldn't decide and it goes to his head that he is the power to take control blah, blah, blah ...

I what I meant with the DT stuff was that I thought that they (Tet)would manipulate situations to the benefit of the "Good". Similar to Weeny Owl's perception of Harry:

For the good of the Wizarding World, Harry can deceive people into helping him, he can mislead people, he can manipulate people, and while those may not be good things, they're a far cry from using torture (the Cruciatus Curse) or outright murder (the Avada Kedavra Curse) on people who disagree with a political view.

It is these dirty tricks and short cuts that I was talking about.

On a scale, whats Evil? Obviously, the unforgivable curses, murder, domination, ??? There are things that are unpleasant, but are they Evil like lying, stealing, teasing, ??? Where does betrayal sit? If someone dies I would say Evil, but if no one is killed maybe just bad.

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irish flutterby - Oct 20, 2005 3:47 pm (#90 of 136)

"For the good of the Wizarding World, Harry can deceive people into helping him, he can mislead people, he can manipulate people..."

Isn't that what DD did with Harry to get Sluggy to teach. Then he (DD) basically encouraged Harry to do the same thing to get the memory.

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Weeny Owl - Oct 20, 2005 10:44 pm (#91 of 136)

I think that's an excellent example, irish.

Dumbledore manipulated Slughorn into teaching, but his methods still left the choice up to Slughorn. There was no force involved, no Imperius Curses, no threat of torture, no threat to friends or family (assuming Slughorn has family), no blackmail, etc. Slughorn was always free to make whatever choice he wanted. That's a far cry from what Voldemort and the Death Eaters do, and that's a prime example, in my opinion, of a huge difference between good and evil.

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Vulture - Nov 8, 2005 10:05 am (#92 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
"For the good of the Wizarding World, Harry can deceive people into helping him, he can mislead people, he can manipulate people, and while those may not be good things, they're a far cry from using torture (the Cruciatus Curse) or outright murder (the Avada Kedavra Curse) on people who disagree with a political view." (hawick girl - Oct 20, 2005 12:10 pm (#89))

Hi _ you quote this without saying whose lines it was, but anyway, it brings up an issue that made me uneasy in Book 6. Those of you who follow my ramblings elsewhere will know that I have a general feeling that, in Book 6, cracks seem to start appearing in the moral base behind the previous 5 books. Now, in the case of getting the memory from Slughorn, it didn't bother me that Harry was tricking Slughorn, etc., but it did bother me that he used the image of his mother for a little emotional blackmail in the process. Harry has always hated any hint that he would "trade" on his parents' fame _ but that's what he does here.

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me and my shadow 813 - Nov 8, 2005 11:54 am (#93 of 136)

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I see the "cracks" in morality -- or maybe a better word would be integrity -- as part of JKR's message about the blurred lines between who is "good" person and who is a "bad" person. People who claim to be only "good" and to only be looking out for others turn out like Umbridge.

I see what Harry did to retrieve the memory as a decision he made in order to achieve something for the "greater good" as they say. Same with DD "persuading" Slughorn to return to teaching. He's needed there for the greater good of the WW. And he chose to return.

But yes I have posted on another thread how DD and Harry mirror Vold's ability to influence people. Vold is "terrible but great" because of his immense power and ability to get others to do what he wishes.

Harry recognized their similarities that in the pensieve memory with Riddle and Slughorn. Again, underlining the importance of choosing what to do with your abilities.

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hawick girl - Nov 8, 2005 8:08 pm (#94 of 136)

the Quote was from Weeny Owl's post previous to my post. Post #88

How else would Harry have gotten the memory without using this 'emotional blackmail'. He was using the Felix Felicis, so he went with what he 'knew' would get results.

I also think that one reason for this change in integrity is that he is growing up. To kids, things are black and white. You are either good or bad, and with his coming of age, he sees that there are all sorts of shades of gray (sorry for the old cliché). But, I think that it works well, in that Snape is rather evil, but it may be as a double agent in that it is for the good. In DD, he is good, with the ability to be rather conniving to get the ends that he needs.

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Weeny Owl - Nov 8, 2005 11:14 pm (#95 of 136)

Yes, Harry is growing up, but if it were under normal circumstances some of his behavior might not go over well, but as it is, the entire Wizarding World's future depends on what one schoolboy does. That's a great deal of pressure for an adult, but for someone so young it's horrible.

Harry is expected to kill the most terrible wizard ever, yet he can't even get an Apparating license because he isn't of age. He's expected to kill the most terrible wizard ever, but when he discusses his concerns about Snape and Malfoy with his school friends, with adult wizards, and with the Headmaster, the same Headmaster who said at the beginning of school to report anything strange, Harry is told his concerns are wrong or that he's too obsessed with what Malfoy is doing or that Snape should be trusted with no explanations as to why.

I was really disappointed in everyone who ignored Harry's concerns, and he had valid reasons for those concerns.

The Headmaster chided him for not getting a memory, yet Harry is just a sixteen-year-old boy, and one who has had a huge amount of responsibiity dumped on his shoulders. Yes, he should have tried harder, perhaps, but he's still just a student.

Harry was horrified at what he had done to Malfoy, yet Malfoy was fully prepared to use the Cruciatus Curse on Harry, and for what? Harry went into a boys' restroom and saw Malfoy talking to a ghost and crying. So what? That hardly gives Malfoy the right to cause excruciating pain, but no matter what Malfoy was attempting to do, when Harry caused damage he felt guilt.

Harry may have to do things that are uncomfortable for him, and he may end up having moments of guilt, but the fate of an entire society lies on his shoulders and no one else's. He may have to do things he doesn't want to do in order for everyone, even people who hate him, to live a free life.

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me and my shadow 813 - Nov 9, 2005 9:57 am (#96 of 136)

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weeny owl -- great points.

At first, I tried to justify DD's actions with what he confessed to Harry at the end of OoP. That the flaw in his grand scheme was that he simply cared about Harry too much.

So with that in mind, I reread book 6 and yes, it does appear that DD steeled himself in many instances, in order to get Harry to prepare for the future. There's a quote in GoF by one of the old headmaster portraits to Harry. "Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up popinjay, that there might be an excellent reason why the Headmaster of Hogwarts is not confiding every tiny detail of his plans to you?"

This precludes DD's confession in OoP and I think it important. It's why DD doesn't want to get Harry involved with the Draco problems. He believed that Harry's knowing about Draco wouldn't have helped DD or Harry, that Harry had enough to concern himself with.

I believe that regarding Snape, DD has promised not to reveal why he trusts him. Period. DD was tempted in Seer Overheard to tell Harry but he didn't. And Harry asks so persistently that we've seen DD get stern about it a few times. We are led to believe DD has very good reasons not to tell Harry why he trusts him but if revealed to Harry prematurely Harry would not be able to understand.

I do agree with your post in that Harry is carrying a burden that no youngster should carry. But part of me feels that, just like the second task in GoF, this is all just an exercise which they are all taking so very seriously, but in the end Vold will be responsible for his own "finishing" without anyone's help.

If you look back at the "genre" JKR includes herself in, it is evident at the end of these tales (to me) that external circumstances always take over and make things "right", and the youth on the quest simply needed to take the steps in order to realize just that.

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Weeny Owl - Nov 9, 2005 11:38 am (#97 of 136)

I understand what you're saying, but from the perspective of Harry, or from just being an outsider watching what's happening, it's frustrating.

With Draco, all Dumbledore had to say was something such as, "Thank you for bringing this situation with Draco to my attention. I will discover what he's up to, but the steps I take will have to remain private. Just rest assured that I am investigating." Instead, Dumbledore just basically makes Harry feel that his concerns aren't being taken seriously.

Pretty much the same thing is going on with Snape. Harry has legitimate concerns, yet Dumbledore still won't truly explain much. If he's made promises to Snape, then I understand why he can't, but that doesn't help Harry.

I realize why some things had to work the way they did. Dumbledore has more than just Harry to consider, but if Harry is the one to save the world, he needs to be seen as more than just a kid.

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hawick girl - Nov 9, 2005 6:59 pm (#98 of 136)

I totally agree with you, Weeny Owl, especially in that Harry may have to do things that he will feel guilty or have some uncomfortable moments about. Any Hero will have to do those things. I also think that DD has those same doubts and demons about his actions. I think that this is the hallmark of the 'good'. Does Sauron or Voldie feel guilty for anything they did to gain power or keep it? Of course not--they feel justified and feel that they did nothing wrong or that the opponents are below them and not worthy of consideration.

I'm rambling hmmmmm.....

lol

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Weeny Owl - Nov 9, 2005 10:54 pm (#99 of 136)

I don't think you're rambling, hawick. It does goes back to why Voldemort couldn't possess Harry, though. Harry had feelings and emotions that were alien to Voldemort.

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hawick girl - Nov 10, 2005 11:25 pm (#100 of 136)

what is your avatar Weeny? I see a hand and some eyes, and it looks kinda like Jabba the Hut or an Owl. I suppose that it is a weeny owl and that you are Snapes Boggart. How wrong am I?

back to the thread...

yes, love, guilt, love... I see that these are feelings that Voldie would despise and avoid.

You mentioned in a previous post, that it (the lack of communication) is frustrating from Harry/Our perspective and I agree, but I have to remind myself that this moves the story along even though it is irritating to the nth degree.

Edit: I was just thinking about Harry's feelings towards Voldie and how Voldie feels about that. I think that Harry feels disgust, fear, loathing, maybe even pity and I'd bet a whole host of other things. What are Voldie's feelings on this development. I suppose the fear is appealing (since he equates fear to power), or does he care what Harry feels (I can't imagine him sitting up nights worrying how Harry or anyone else will percieve him)?
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Three Cheers For Evil (Post 101 to 136)

Post  Elanor on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:18 am

Weeny Owl - Nov 11, 2005 12:11 am (#101 of 136)
Hehehe, hawick... I said on the Snape thread ages ago that his boggart was a bottle of shampoo, so it's a picture of someone getting his hair washed.

I know Harry despises Snape for a lot of valid reasons, but I worry about him feeling so strongly when he doesn't detest Draco quite as much. Snape may be vile at times, and may have actually killed Dumbledore, but if Draco continues he might be killing people too. He's still a schoolboy, technically, but I don't see him doing anything except sinking lower and lower. I can't imagine Harry having sympathy for him.

We really don't know all that much about Harry's feelings for Voldemort, do we? Does Voldemort have feelings except anger?

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hawick girl - Nov 11, 2005 12:36 am (#102 of 136)

Now I see it, the head, and the hands scrubbing lol it took your mention and I saw it as clear as day. I think that it could be an optical illusion is it an owl being held, Jabba the Hut, or someone getting there head shampooed?

Voldie feels superior as well. That he is special in the orphanage by being a wizard. He was clever and a good student (Prefect, Head Boy, and award for special services). He is the Hier of Slytherin. He killed people and got away with it. He made Horcruxes (and 7 at that). I think that he feels superior for all of these things. I think that he also Hates (Is hate the same as anger? I guess I would say no.). He hated his Dad and his whole family, Mom and her whole family, rest of Kids in orphanage, muggles in general, Dumbledore (also fears DD), Harry (also a little fear IMO), I also think that he hates himself or parts of himself (the muggle side of him maybe). So in summary, he is angry, feels superior, hates, and with a small smackerel of fear added in. What a great guy! How can he sill be single? What a catch!

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Weeny Owl - Nov 11, 2005 1:16 pm (#103 of 136)

What a catch? I think there might be a problem with red-eye in the wedding photos.

I've often thought that while Voldemort's objectives to the Death Eaters are having a pureblood Wizarding World because of his hatred of his Muggle father, he's also still harboring negative feelings about his mother leaving him in a Muggle orphanage, and he lets those feelings out by making purebloods his servants.

He was brought up as a Muggle and had no knowledge of his wizard heritage, and he thought for ages that his mother couldn't have died if she had been the magical one. Yet he found out that it was the other way around, and even if he decided he hated Muggles because of his father, he still holds resentment toward his mother.

Making purebloods kneel down, crawl to him, and kiss his robes, having them call him "Lord" and "Master" might make up somewhat for his pureblood mother leaving him alone.

He doesn't care for anyone or anything, really, and that's his greatest weakness. He also fears what he doesn't understand, and that could be part of why Harry had him so discombobulated in the Ministry atrium. He just can't comprehend strong positive feelings.

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hawick girl - Nov 11, 2005 5:40 pm (#104 of 136)

I guess that Voldie needs lots of red-eye remover.

I agree with all of these things. Voldie is a baddie. He seems to be 'reactionarilly' evil character. Is there an evil character that is 'logically' evil? Is that even possible?

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hawick girl - Nov 30, 2005 6:36 pm (#105 of 136)

Hmmmm, If Snape has been duping DD all this time, and working both ends to the middle, then Killed him. I think that he would be the best choice for a logial evil person. Maybe Bella would also fit this bill as well.

But, all this is suppostion! lol

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TomProffitt - Dec 10, 2005 6:13 pm (#106 of 136)

Bullheaded empiricist
After having thought about this thread for a few days I'd like to offer my view as to why people aren't out there rooting for Lord Voldemort and clambering to climb onto the Death Eater Bandwagon.

Jo does something very well that many authors don't. She is able to show how hollow living the life of evil and selfishness can be.

Just look at Slughorn. A brilliant well connected man. And absolutely friendless and alone.

The good guys may have it rough, but so do the bad guys, and they are with out the love and support of friends and family.

Let us look again at the character foils Harry and Draco.

Draco's mission: You will go forth and kill the enemy leader, and even though it will probably mean your death, you are given this mission because I want revenge on your father.

Harry's mission: You will go forth and kill the enemy leader, and even though it will probably mean your death, we ask you to do this because you are our only hope, we would gladly die at your side to help you achieve this mission for the good of all.

I mean, who could possibly want to be in Draco's shoes and not Harry's?

And Lord Voldemort. We've seen enough of his sad pitiful existence that I think most of us would rather die than be forced to live an eternity in his place.

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 10, 2005 6:41 pm (#107 of 136)

Jo does something very well that many authors don't. She is able to show how hollow living the life of evil and selfishness can be. --TomProffitt

Yes, I agree. I especially like your comparison of Harry's and Draco's missions. Draco finds out the hard way that being evil isn't as fun or easy as he thought it would be.

I really do like that Rowling shows the heavy price there for being evil.

Slughorn is selfish of course (not evil). I think he is the sort of person Dumbledore's "choose what is right over what is easy" means when he refers to choosing the easy path, i.e., The Only Thing Needed For Evil To Triumph Is For Good Men To Do Nothing.

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TomProffitt - Dec 10, 2005 7:01 pm (#108 of 136)

Bullheaded empiricist
"Slughorn is selfish of course (not evil)." --- Mrs Brisbee

We're really running into fine distinctions here. Slughorn would most likely not be actively evil, but I can easily see him being passively evil. He's the type of man who would not be interested in the origin of his fortune. He doesn't want to know who had to be killed to get him his pineapple (or whatever).

Evil is just fine with Sluggy as long as he doesn't have to see it, smell it, or do it.

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 10, 2005 7:47 pm (#109 of 136)

I'm not sure if I'm the right person to saddle up the white charger and ride to Slughorn's rescue, because I really don't like the guy, but here goes...

I agree that one of the primary attributes of an evil person is selfishness. Slughorn is plenty selfish.

Does he qualify for passive evil because he chooses to be oblivious about the character of his collectees? I think he does bear some responsibilty, but I don't stick him in the evil category because he had definite feelings of remorse when he realized he aided Voldemort by discussing Horcruxes with him. He admitted (while drunk out of his skull) to being ashamed of what he did. He was in hiding from the Death Eaters.

He's happy to be oblivious about the origins of his boons, but if does find out he betrays a conscious. Not a particularly strong conscious, mind you, but there it is.

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Maddest Dragon - Dec 10, 2005 9:01 pm (#110 of 136)

Mrs Brisbee, you brought up an important point (assuming that by "conscious" you meant "conscience.") To a great extent, good or evil depends on conscience--and consciousness; it's not for nothing that both words come from the same recent roots. Slughorn chooses to ignore his conscience, even try to hide from it, but he can't. He takes the coward's way out and gives Dumbledore a doctored memory--but the reason why he does this is that he's so ashamed. He's forcing himself not to be conscious of it. Only when he's, as you put it, drunk out of his skull, and won't remember in the morning can he be persuaded to give the real memory. He could do evil things in an effort to silence his conscience--but, since it's there, could he be evil through and through?

Compare that with conscience in other characters: Tom Riddle never seems to have developed one at all. We never see any sign of conscience in Umbridge, either. Or Lockhart: he was ready to permanently wipe Ron's and Harry's memories rather than risk them revealing him as a fraud, and had already done the same to others. Sounds completely without a conscience to me (although we've never seen Lockhart drunk, so don't know what he would reveal).

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 10, 2005 9:21 pm (#111 of 136)

**smacks self on forehead** Yes, Maddest Dragon, I did mean "conscience". Thank you.

I think Rowling wanted to give us an extreme example of a character who instead of choosing to do what is good or what is evil, consistently chooses the third path, "what is easy".

With the war ramping up, a lot of people will need to decide how much action they are willing to take and at what cost. Slughorn is an example of someone with a conscience who is too cowardly to act.

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TomProffitt - Dec 11, 2005 5:17 am (#112 of 136)

Bullheaded empiricist
Mrs Brisbee, it's really a semantic argument, isn't it.

It doesn't matter if we brand Slughorn "Evil" or "Selfish," we know what we can realistically expect from him. He's a far cry from a Death Eater, but I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with him guarding my back, either.

Frankly, the world is probably filled with a lot more Slughorns than it is Death Eaters and I'm thankful for it.

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 11, 2005 6:47 am (#113 of 136)

TomProffitt, yes, I think it is just a question of semantics. I wouldn't trust Sluggy to watch my back either. Maddest Dragon's point about having consciousness of the evil effects of one's actions is a good one. I think intent matters.

Your point about the harm that comes from inaction (what you call being passively evil) is a good one too. Slughorn talks to Voldemort about Horcruxes, a mistake he wants to keep to himself. But he must know that the information he holds is explosive, and could be the key to defeating Voldemort. But he still won't do anything about it out of shame and fear.

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ex-FAHgeek - Dec 11, 2005 12:37 pm (#114 of 136)

Well, what follows is a very over-simplified view of evil, but here we go...

Evil is defined by two things: the the means and the goal (or whatever synonym you want to use for either.) If one or the other (or both) is evil, then the character is performing evil.

(Note that I don't include anything about side effects in the above definition. Bad things can happen as direct results of deeds that not evil in and of themselves.)

Lockhart is evil because he's particularly nasty in his means. His goals are not evil, however - there's nothing wrong with wanting fame and fortune.

Lucius Malfoy's public donations are an example of someone who does non-evil things for evil ends.

Voldemort is, of course, the epitome of using evil means for evil ends.

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Maddest Dragon - Dec 11, 2005 1:48 pm (#115 of 136)

Lockhart is evil because he's particularly nasty in his means. His goals are not evil, however - there's nothing wrong with wanting fame and fortune.

I'm not so sure about that. Wanting fame and fortune--not as the occasional daydream, but as a life's goal--requires a good degree of self centeredness. Which, one could argue, does not necessarily make one evil--but it does leave the door open to evil. I think that's the perfect example of what a Slytherin is: self centered, not necessarily evil, but their self centeredness leaves the door more open to evil than does other traits. And Lockhart not only wants fame and fortune, but fame and fortune at the expense of others (more likely, he doesn't think about others at all, except as a means to an end).

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Steve Newton - Dec 11, 2005 2:12 pm (#116 of 136)

Librarian
I think that Lockhart is one of the most evil characters that we have seen. If he can be believed, iffy I know, then he obliviated the memory of a cure for werewolfism so that he could take credit.

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me and my shadow 813 - Dec 11, 2005 2:46 pm (#117 of 136)

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I agree about Lockhart, and I'd bet he gets his memory back and tries to do more damage -- perhaps during Harry's trip to St. Mungo's.

MoM discussion reminded me of something. Cannot recall, but isn't there someone we know is DE-oriented who still works there?

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hawick girl - Dec 11, 2005 11:17 pm (#118 of 136)

Glory

I think it all boils down to showing that the Evil ::sounding like Dr. Evil:: side isn't glorious. I wonder what Wormtail did after the re-birthday party? Definitly not eating leftover cake! He's doing the dirty work (although the action is off screen).

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Maddest Dragon - Dec 17, 2005 1:59 am (#119 of 136)

I think Rowling wanted to give us an extreme example of a character who instead of choosing to do what is good or what is evil, consistently chooses the third path, "what is easy". - Mrs Brisbee

I know that posting was in reference to Slughorn, who's no Death Eater--but this struck me, especially since hawick girl mentioned Wormtail: the most noticeable thing about the Death Eaters is that they seem to need to be told what to do and not have to think for themselves. We see them in the graveyard scene in GoF grovelling before the resurrected LV. Other scenes involving Death Eaters also suggest this: Wormtail's constant grovelling before even a physically helpless Voldemort; Bellatrix showing herself to be motivated by pleasing Voldemort above everything else; Fake Moody's first question to Harry after Voldemort's resurrection is whether LV forgave the DE's.

Wormtail is an especially interesting case. Why does he go to such great lengths for the sake of existing as a servant? If he hadn't gone looking for Voldemort (who was then Vapormort), found him, nursed him, and gotten everything in order to make him a new body... well, then, Voldemort wouldn't have come back. Not then, anyway. He certainly couldn't have punished Wormtail for disloyalty, not having any substance of his own. So why does Wormtail give everything to bring back his master and make himself a slave?

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TomProffitt - Dec 17, 2005 3:53 am (#120 of 136)

Bullheaded empiricist
"So why does Wormtail give everything to bring back his master and make himself a slave?" --- Maddest Dragon

The desire to be accepted and valued is a great motivator.

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Vulture - Dec 17, 2005 6:58 am (#121 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
Wormtail is an especially interesting case. Why does he go to such great lengths for the sake of existing as a servant? If he hadn't gone looking for Voldemort (who was then Vapormort), found him, nursed him, and gotten everything in order to make him a new body... well, then, Voldemort wouldn't have come back. Not then, anyway. He certainly couldn't have punished Wormtail for disloyalty, not having any substance of his own. So why does Wormtail give everything to bring back his master and make himself a slave? (Maddest Dragon - Dec 17, 2005 12:59 am (#119))

Voldemort comments on Wormtail's reasons for finding and going back to him at the beginning of Book 4. Also, you should consult Sirius's answers when Wormtail himself poses, not quite this question, but something along the same lines, when he's being, as it were, 'put on trial' by Lupin and Sirius in Book 3.

The short answer is that Wormtail had no choice. He had been driven out of hiding by Lupin and Sirius, and they would have killed him if Harry hadn't stopped them _ even then, they made clear that they would still kill him, nevertheless, if he tried to escape. So, for Wormtail, the choice was _ either don't escape, and have to spend his life with the Dementors, or escape and be under constant threat of either being killed by Sirius and Lupin or being found by the Ministry and handed to the Dementors anyway. In short, Voldemort was his only chance of protection. Not a great choice, I agree _ and Wormtail put off that idea for 12 years, staying in rat-shape. As Sirius said in Book 3, Wormtail never did anything without calculating what was in it for him.

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Honour - Dec 17, 2005 4:55 pm (#122 of 136)

Did the sorting hat get it wrong with Wormtail or did he "do a Harry" "not Slytherin not Slytherin". I think Wormtail is truly evil, he manipulated circumstances, his friends and even killed because he desired ultimate power. The choices he made were calculated and cold-blooded and like Voldermort he too has no remorse. As demonstrated in GOF when ordered to "kill the spare", Wormtail didn't even miss a heart-beat, Cedric dead...

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Maddest Dragon - Dec 17, 2005 6:54 pm (#123 of 136)

Well, it's already been discussed at some length: not everyone who's evil is a Slytherin (Rowling has said that Lockhart was a Gryffindor), and not all Slytherins are evil. The crucial factor is the choices people make. Perhaps Pettigrew at age eleven had Gryffindor traits, most prominently, or perhaps he was a toss-up. And, as time wore on, the choices he made brought him to Voldemort.

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ex-FAHgeek - Dec 18, 2005 10:14 am (#124 of 136)

Edited by Dec 18, 2005 9:14 am
---quote--- (Rowling has said that Lockhart was a Gryffindor) ---end quote---

I don't think I've read that interview (certainly, it's news to me)... could someone direct me?

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Vulture - Dec 20, 2005 6:47 am (#125 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
Did the sorting hat get it wrong with Wormtail or did he "do a Harry" "not Slytherin not Slytherin". (Honour - Dec 17, 2005 3:55 pm (#122))

I don't think the Sorting Hat got it wrong _ at the time. On the other hand, I don't think Wormtail "did a Harry", as you put it, because I don't think he is (or, at 11, was) as independent-minded and strong-minded as Harry. The Hat chooses on the basis of what it sees _ but it doesn't seem to make judgements of simple good and evil. To go to Slytherin, he'd have to have their racial mindset.

I think Wormtail is truly evil, he manipulated circumstances, his friends and even killed because he desired ultimate power. The choices he made were calculated and cold-blooded and like Voldermort he too has no remorse. As demonstrated in GOF when ordered to "kill the spare", Wormtail didn't even miss a heart-beat, Cedric dead... (Honour - Dec 17, 2005 3:55 pm (#122))

"Truly evil" _ that's a judgement, so I won't go into it. But as for the rest, you (perhaps unwittingly) make Wormtail sound far more strong-minded than he is. He's a conformist _ blows with the strongest wind. Incidentally, when the Hat chose him, the strongest winds were probably Sirius and James.

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TomProffitt - Dec 20, 2005 1:17 pm (#126 of 136)

Bullheaded empiricist
Pettigrew, Riddle, and Lockhart all have the same utter disregard for life. None of them give value to the life and desires of other individuals.

There is little point in my mind of comparing their relative level of evil. They should each be locked up for the remainder of their natural (or unnatural, as the case may be) lives. (And no chance of parole.)

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Honour - Dec 20, 2005 9:33 pm (#127 of 136)

Peter is a coward. Like in Harry's case, I think the sorting Hat saw the potential (whether good or bad), but at that very moment in time Peter was perched on the line as it were, neither good nor bad, yet, but the potential to be either, and eventually, the choices became Peter's.

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Regan of Gong - Jan 19, 2006 8:12 pm (#128 of 136)

Self declared doctor of everything.
Don't you often find yourself cheering for the evil characters when you decide the the lead character is a complete berk? Some movies, I find myself wanting the "good" guy to die, because I really don't like them. But in the HP series, JKR has written the characters so well, that even though there is aspects or traits of a character that we don't like, we love the "good" characters overall. And the "evil" characters are just so hateable, why would anyone want to cheer for them? The crimes they commit aren't "Mwa-ha-ha, I'm going to steal all the gold in Gringotts" type of crimes, but they make 9 year old kids attempt to kill their grandparents and torture people into insanity.

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hawick girl - Jan 26, 2006 1:47 pm (#129 of 136)

I'd like to know what movie you've seen that demonstrates this? I'm interested.

What 9 year-old tries to kill their grandparents?

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haymoni - Jan 26, 2006 2:20 pm (#130 of 136)

hawick girl - I think that was in one of the Daily Prophet news articles that a young child had been Imperio'd.

The Death Eaters are pretty nasty folks, for sure!

I always liked Alan Rickman's role in "Robin Hood". I loved to hate him.

"And make the stiches small!!!"

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Choices - Jan 26, 2006 7:24 pm (#131 of 136)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Me too, haymoni. What a delicious villian he was in that!!!

"I'm going to cut out your heart with a spoon!"

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haymoni - Jan 27, 2006 7:38 am (#132 of 136)

"...and bring a friend!"

Sorry...

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Choices - Jan 27, 2006 2:46 pm (#133 of 136)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
So many great lines!!! LOL

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Berty Bott - Jan 30, 2006 7:45 am (#134 of 136)

That movie was the beginning of my love affair with Rickman. SS sealed the deal.

"And call off Christmas"

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Eric Bailey - Feb 19, 2006 4:15 am (#135 of 136)

I don't cheer for the evil characters, but I do find the characters that lurk in the grey areas more compelling than the straight ahead goody goody heroes. I suppose that's why I like the Buffy Golden Trio more than the HP version, because that group was ALL about the grey areas. So, the folks on the light side in HP that I've always been most interested in are the folks like Sirius, Remus, Snape, Tonks, and Luna, who all either have pronounced dark sides or are rather mysterious.

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Vulture - Aug 20, 2006 11:38 am (#136 of 136)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
Edited by Kip Carter Aug 20, 2006 12:01 pm
That movie was the beginning of my love affair with Rickman. SS sealed the deal. (Berty Bott - Jan 30, 2006 7:45 am (#134))

If you can track it down somehow, get hold of BBC's drama series of "Barchester Towers", of years and years ago. In what I think was his first TV role, Alan Rickman played Mr. Slope, one of the most deliciously repulsive characters ever _ a sort of combination of Snape and Umbridge (without Snape's redeeming qualities). (There are those who unkindly say that he's been playing the same role ever since, but never mind ...)

This is completely irrelevant, of course, but hell, I was the one who started the thread :-)

For this discussion to continue, it cannot revolve around Alan Rickman. There is a thread available for Discussions about the Cast of any HP movie; therefore this post does not count as one to move this thread back into the active Potter-pourri area.
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