Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa

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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:48 am

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. It was copied/saved by Lady Arabella and reformatted/reposted by Potteraholic. ~Potteraholic


Madame Librarian - Jan 16, 2005 10:32 am
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 2:18 pm

I originally posted the following on the "Connections Between Voldemort and Harry" thread (#202), but felt a general discussion on snakes, specifically the three we have met so far, might generate some interesting discussion. I'm hoping this could be added as a thread to the Magical Creatures folder.

I wonder if Harry's sympathetic response to the boa at the zoo will come to be a factor in his winning the big battle (notice that I have huge hopes for a win here).

As I see it playing out (major speculation here, not ready to bet the farm), Voldie and Harry at various times have been inside Nagini's head. Don't take me to task on the terminology, I'm just going for the surface effect as it appeared to others. Sometimes they both seem to be there at the same time. I'm thinking here of when Arthur is attacked or the urge to bite DD incident. I imagine Nagini as being just a vessel, not a sentient participant. It's mostly Voldie controlling things with Harry being pulled along as both participant and observer. Very weird and hard to describe what I think is going on.

Anyway, what if Nagini at some crucial point, via some mysterious snake network of communication learns of Harry's past "rescue" of the boa? "Hey," he thinks, "Harry's a really great guy. And, what ho--he speaks my language! This Voldemort person is just using me. I'd really like to get outta here."

Well, you can see where I'm heading with this idea. Nagini somehow managers to let Harry run the show next time there's a joint possession. With Harry's ever improving magical skills and maybe a better grasp of Legilimency/Occlumency, the balance is tipped. One more major player now on Harry's side. A player who can do some serious damage to the Dark Lord's grip of power.

Ciao. Barb


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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa (posts #1 - #50)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:49 am

hells456 - Jan 16, 2005 4:35 pm (#1 of 184)

I like your thinking Barb, but I'm wondering if the boa itself will return somewhere.

Hells




Madame Librarian - Jan 16, 2005 5:29 pm (#2 of 184)

Hells, I'm not sure it would be necessary for the boa to actually reappear. It would be a workable idea even if he/she was just alluded to in the snake communication network idea.

Hey, do I remember correctly that we determined a long, long time ago that Nagini was a female? Of course, Voldie "milks" her venom. Also, doesn't Nagini in Sanskrit mean something like Queen of the Serpents or Constrictors? I can't remember. I shall Google, hang on...

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

There's one tidbit I found, but if you search on your own, you can find tons of stuff on nagas and naginis.

Now, do we know what kind of snake she is? Cobra? They do bite, I believe, when attacking. And their poison is deadly. Boas, on the other hand, usually squeeze and crush their prey, but some sources say they can bite, but it's not poisonous. So, it would be risky to make the great illogical leap that Nagini is indeed that very same boa that helped Harry. You'd think she'd recognize him right away then. But, it would be a lovely bit of irony and turn of events for Voldemort. Hmmm...

We do know that the zoo boa was born in captivity. Where did it go when freed from the zoo? Did it wander around the dark forests of England and perchance end up captured/possessed by a desperate half-alive wizard?

Fire away folks!

Ciao. Barb




vball man - Jan 16, 2005 9:31 pm (#3 of 184)

I'm pretty sure that "milking" of snakes, which is done in the Muggle world as well, involves getting them to expel their venom. This can be either male or female. Snakes are not mammals and do not produce milk for their young.

On to your theory - neat - I had wondered if perhaps the snake in the zoo was Nagini. I mean, Voldemort goes to Godric’s Hollow, turns to vapor - a snake is found and the zoo is called. He hangs out until Harry releases him. Just an idea.




Weeny Owl - Jan 17, 2005 3:13 am (#4 of 184)

I don't see how the snake in the zoo could be Nagini since it was a boa constrictor and Nagini is venomous.

I like your idea, Barb.




Ann - Jan 17, 2005 4:41 am (#5 of 184)

A good topic!

I think Voldemort refers to Nagini as "she" from time to time (beginning of GoF?). I would like to see her turn out to be the boa from the zoo. (Don't some boas have poison, too? or could he be milking her for something else?)

I'd like to add to the list of snakes for discussion the snake that rises inside Harry when he looks at Dumbledore in OotP. I wonder if this isn't Voldemort himself, not possessing a snake. If he's a snake Animagus (aaargh! Another unregistered Animagus! How repetitive!) the snake would be a part of his "persona" in the same way that a dog is part of Sirius's. And either that snake in Harry represents Voldemort possessing him for a moment, or it represents some residual Voldemortishness that remains inside him as a result of the Curse that Failed.




Snuffles - Jan 17, 2005 6:34 am (#6 of 184)

In searching the web i found a bit on Naga. It states 'In all Mythological language the snake is also an emblem of immortality. Its endless representation with its tail in its mouth, and the constant renewal of its skin and vigor, enliven the symbols of continued youth and eternity. The Naga also stands for one who is wise.

I posted a while back about Nagini being the snake at the zoo but as a lot pointed out the snake in the zoo was a Boa which isn’t poisonous.




Elanor - Jan 17, 2005 8:54 am (#7 of 184)

This topic is very interesting and Nagini was discussed a lot on the alchemy thread some times ago: here is a link Nagini. The information about Naga and the MÈlusine symbol are in the posts 593 to 603.




Kerrie-Louise - Jan 17, 2005 9:56 am (#8 of 184)

Snuffles I believe the mythological symbol you refer to is called 'Ouroboros'




Robert Dierken - Jan 17, 2005 2:36 pm (#9 of 184)

There is at least a fourth snake in the books so far -- the one that was present at the Dueling Club!




Madame Librarian - Jan 17, 2005 3:25 pm (#10 of 184)

Yes! Good catch, Robert. That was a cobra, wasn't it? But was it a real snake? Didn't Draco conjure that one with the "Serpensortia" spell? I wonder if a snake produced from a spell like that would really have any harmful power. Apparently it did, or everybody thought it did. (The explanation in the Lex is very terse, just saying it's a spell to produce a serpent to come from the end of one's wand.)

So, so far the number of snakes Harry has had to deal with is four, right? He rescues one and seems to make a friend, the other three attack him. Of those three he's able to control one which then gets zapped by Snape (reluctant teamwork here?), successfully battle and kill one, and seems to have a stand-off situation with the last (no win, no loss on either side). Two times he has his stuff together enough to speak in Parseltongue to manage the situation, but not for the basilisk or Nagini.

Does anyone see any pattern or significance here? I need to let this marinate a bit, but I wonder if there's something to Harry's Parseltongue ability that's not all there. It seems to be unconscious, not something he does at will. I wonder if one of the keys to ending that stand-off with Nagini is for Harry to learn to master his ability to speak Parseltongue, and for them to have nice little chat.

Ciao. Barb




Nearly Legless Mick - Jan 21, 2005 5:53 pm (#11 of 184)

I was thinking some more after posting about LV's "affection" for Nagini on the "connections" thread.

I'm not sure if this should be here or on that thread, or maybe on the Voldemort thread but the basilisk sort of comes into it too, so here we go:

As I said earlier, Nagini is just about the only creature we have seen that LV seems to care about. Now we can take that with some cynicism, because she is obviously very useful to him too, but then I thought he maybe was rather fond of the basilisk too, in his own rather sick way.

Anyway it dawned on me that the Parseltongue and the whole snake thing are a big part of LV's heritage from Salazar Slytherin, and knowing how much this means to him -(although even that may just be a convenient and respectable hook on which to hang his selfish, power-crazed ambition) - I wonder if he does genuinely prefer snakes because he identifies with them more than humans, and especially because this is something which sets him apart from pretty much the entire human race, and even the overwhelming majority of wizards.

The whole pure-blood thing is very snobbish after all, and what could have better snob value than being a Parselmouth which is so very rare. I know that snobs take huge pride in anything which sets them apart from others.

It's also another reason for him to hate Harry, because this snotty kid has just gate-crashed his exclusive club. And worst of all, he probably knows deep down that it's his own fault for transferring that power to Harry in the first place.

And for those reasons I agree it would be a nice twist if Harry's undeveloped ability with snakes did play a part in LV's downfall.




Ann - Jan 22, 2005 8:23 am (#12 of 184)

"And worst of all, he probably knows deep down that it's his own fault for transferring that power to Harry in the first place."

I don't think he knows that at all. Remember, he doesn't know the "And the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal" part of the prophecy--that's one of the things that Dumbledore and the Order are most desperate to keep him from finding out.

Does the resurrected Voldemort (as opposed to the 16-year-old in the diary) know that Harry is a Parseltongue? Surely Lucius and Wormtail do, but Voldemort has a habit of overlooking or forgetting such important details.

I'm sure you're right, though, that he's very proud of his talent with snakes.




GryffEndora - Jan 22, 2005 8:29 am (#13 of 184)

Ann

Rita Skeeter wrote about Harry's Parseltongue ability during the Quidditch World Cup. I think we must assume that Voldemort knows about it.




Nearly Legless Mick - Jan 23, 2005 4:36 am (#14 of 184)

In COS Riddle says that he and Harry have some things in common, and mentions that they may be the only two Parselmouths at Hogwarts since Slytherin himself.




Madame Librarian - Jan 23, 2005 7:34 am (#15 of 184)

That makes sense, NLM. After the dueling club incident where everyone at the school found out about Harry's...um, talent, Ginny would have written it up in the diary thereby keeping Diary Tom in the know.

Kids (think Draco) would have mentioned it to their parents many who may be DEs, so that's another source of info for Voldemort, though we're not sure if any of them really try to communicate with him since they all think he's dead and gone, or at least gone.

Then there's that rat...Wormtail. As soon as he escapes in PoA, the first few pieces of information he'd share with Lord V. would be really critical things such as Sirius is back, my cover is blown, oh, and, Harry Potter is a Parselmouth.

Ciao. Barb




Ann - Jan 23, 2005 8:39 am (#16 of 184)

Yes, 16-year-old Riddle knows it, but he was killed, remember, and the present day Voldemort does not have the benefit of his experiences.

Voldemort has quite likely been told that Harry is a Parse mouth, though we can't be absolutely certain about this, I think. Does he read the Daily Prophet? Do his DEs tell him stuff that he doesn't ask about, particularly stuff that is going to make him angry?

(DE: "Your Lordship, I know you pride yourself on your unique ability here, but did you know that Harry Potter speaks..."

Voldie: "Silence you fool! When I want to know about that foul half-blood's linguistic abilities, I'll ask you! I'm sure my French accent is far superior to that descendant of Muggle scum, who will never truly get the 'r' right!"

DE: "Of course it is, your lordship, of course it is! Pure Parisian!")

And Harry didn't use his Parseltongue abilities with Nagini when she was circling him threateningly at the end of GoF. If it wasn't important to keep Voldemort ignorant of his abilities, why wouldn't JKR have used that opportunity to have Harry say something to her and shock Voldemort, or to have him overhear a conversation between them?




MickeyCee3948 - Jan 23, 2005 11:11 am (#17 of 184)

I agree Ann. I think Harry will be able to use it to his advantage in a future battle.

Mikie




Elanor - Jan 23, 2005 12:41 pm (#18 of 184)

Oh Ann, the "Pure Parisian" made me cry with laughter: j'adore! Here we say "mort de rire" ("died of laughing" for "doubled up with laughter"), as the Riddikulus incantation in a way, come to think of it! Maybe this is the solution: to finish Voldemort off with laughter, difficult, but with the right potion...

Seriously, I think you're right and that Parseltongue will help him in the future, and maybe when confronted to Nagini again.




Paulus Maximus - Feb 2, 2005 7:48 am (#19 of 184)

"I don't think he knows that at all. Remember, he doesn't know the "And the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal" part of the prophecy--that's one of the things that Dumbledore and the Order are most desperate to keep him from finding out."

I'm afraid that, unless Harry learns Occlumency in a hurry, Voldemort WILL find out.

Harry knows the prophecy, and Voldemort can easily get the information from him...




Prefect Marcus - Feb 2, 2005 9:51 am (#20 of 184)

Paulus Maximus - Harry knows the prophecy, and Voldemort can easily get the information from him...

Not necessarily. Remember what Snape said. "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader."




Paulus Maximus - Feb 2, 2005 3:21 pm (#21 of 184)

He also said that the normal rules did not seem to apply to Harry.

I am quite certain that Voldemort can pry into Harry's thoughts as easily as Harry can pry into Voldemort's. (More easily, actually, given how good a Legilimens Voldemort is, and that Harry has never learned Legilimency.)




Prefect Marcus - Feb 2, 2005 4:44 pm (#22 of 184)

If Voldemort can "read" Harry's mind with ease, then why didn't he realize that Harry wasn't curious about the prophecy?




Wand Maker - Feb 2, 2005 6:19 pm (#23 of 184)

Occlumency as Snape defined it was "The magical defense of the mind against external penetration." However, most of the effort has been around Harry closing his mind to not see into Voldemort's. Does Voldemort have the same access to Harry as Harry does to Voldemort? I don't really think so. I think that Voldemort was conjuring things in his mind for Harry to see, for Harry to act on. Where we see Voldemort seeing into Harry is when he is in Harry's presence, where the normal 'rules' of Legilimency would apply.

Then again, we are only seeing the WW from Harry's point of view.




Paulus Maximus - Feb 3, 2005 11:09 am (#24 of 184)

"I think that Voldemort was conjuring things in his mind for Harry to see, for Harry to act on."

Voldemort did not intend Harry to see through Nagini's eyes when she bit Arthur.

According to Snape, at least... and nobody on DD's side knows more about Voldemort's thoughts than Snape does...




pottermom34 - Feb 5, 2005 10:21 pm (#25 of 184)

Of course Voldemort was conjuring things for Harry to see, he made Harry think Sirius was dying at the dept. of Mysteries to get him to come there. As for the snakes I think if Harry would've got to Nagini and the Basilisk first he would have had control on them instead of Voldemort. Voldemort didn't know about the other 2 snakes, and I don't think he would've been strong enough to control the boa yet anyway.

I saw an earlier post asking about boas being venomous, and no they aren't but I'm willing to bet they have enough bacteria in their mouths to kill someone if not hurt them badly




Blast - Feb 6, 2005 8:32 am (#26 of 184)

All snakes can inflict a painful bight, and your right mom they do carry germs etc. with their bights, like any wild animal. They have oral hygiene problems because they can't really brush their teeth with no arms Wink




Paulus Maximus - Feb 6, 2005 12:14 pm (#27 of 184)

"of course Voldemort was conjuring things for Harry to see, he made Harry think Sirius was dying at the dept. of Mysteries to get him to come there."

But not everything that Harry saw was conjured by Voldemort. Sirius dying was, but the snake biting Arthur wasn't.




GryffEndora - Feb 6, 2005 2:42 pm (#28 of 184)

But not everything that Harry saw was conjured by Voldemort. Sirius dying was, but the snake biting Arthur wasn't.

Because Voldemort was unaware of the link and his ability to put images into Harry's mind until Harry witnessed Arthur's attack. Now that Voldemort know of the connection, nothing Harry "sees" can be trusted as truth.




Madame Librarian - Feb 6, 2005 3:02 pm (#29 of 184)

The last two comments got me thinking about this 3-way connection going on with Voldemort--Nagini--Harry.

With the attack on Arthur is it possible that it went like this as far as links go?

Voldemort wants to get to whatever is being protected at the DoM. He "controls" Nagini to attack the guard, in this case, Arthur.

Nagini, though in an attack mode, is enslaved and only doing this under Voldemort's power. He (she?) would rather be free, and sees this as a good opportunity to sabotage Voldemort's plans. Having heard through the snake network (something I've totally made up) what a good guy Harry is ever since Harry released that poor boa at the zoo, Nagini gets into Harry's head.

Even though Harry responds to the snake's control as if he, too, were in attack mode (thanks to Lord Voldemort whose power over Nagini is huge) so he feels the hatred and evil Voldemort is feeling, there is at least the advantage that once the attack is over that Harry knows without a doubt something horrible has happened to Arthur and rushes to get help. For once, he doesn't just suck it up and keep it to himself, thank goodness.

The downside is that inadvertently the new link between Harry and Voldemort is created. Maybe it was always there, though, just as yet untriggered.

Did Nagini do the best he/she could under the circumstances, figuring that the attack was beyond either's control, but if Harry "shared" the experience, help would get there more quickly?

Too complex? Did I forget some critical thing that makes this no go?

Ciao. Barb




vball man - Feb 6, 2005 9:18 pm (#30 of 184)

The downside is that inadvertently the new link between Harry and Voldemort is created. Maybe it was always there, though, just as yet untriggered.

That's interesting - (well, the "snake network" sounds pretty cool, too!).

If a new connection was triggered, that would explain why Dumbledore gets out the silver instrument - he's verifying that it has been created.




Solitaire - Feb 7, 2005 3:21 pm (#31 of 184)

I thought Harry was simply entering Voldemort's mind at a time when Voldemort happened to be possessing Nagini. No? We know that Harry has experienced many of the things Voldemort has said, done, seen ... only Voldemort has not been aware of it up to this point. This time, however, Harry apparently entered farther, and Voldemort became aware that Harry was IN his head, so to speak.

Solitaire




GryffEndora - Feb 7, 2005 3:25 pm (#32 of 184)

Solitaire, that was my understanding as well. Thank you for saying it so clearly.




Madame Librarian - Feb 7, 2005 8:36 pm (#33 of 184)

Solitaire, wait, I'm confused. Does Harry enter Voldemort's mind? Or Voldemort enter Harry's? Who's doing what? I'm not kidding--I'm not clear on this and obviously it's a key difference. If it's Harry entering Voldemort, is it done involuntarily, unconsciously?

Anyway, the idea of Nagini doing the connecting to Harry is very out there. I just like the idea of the snake being the facilitator, as it were. It's probably not what's going to play out though.

Ciao. Barb




Solitaire - Feb 9, 2005 2:35 am (#34 of 184)

Barb, Dumbledore mentions it to Harry in Chapter 37, page 827 of OotP (US ed.): "... Sure enough, there came a time when you entered so far into his mind and thoughts that he sensed your presence. I am speaking, of course, of the night when you witnessed the attack on Mr. Weasley."

This sounds to me like Harry was definitely entering the mind of Voldemort. We know that he had been "picking up" Voldemort's thoughts up to that point. Weren't there some dreams when he felt he was Voldemort? Perhaps these were other such times.

Solitaire




Madame Librarian - Feb 9, 2005 11:01 am (#35 of 184)

Hmmm...at the risk of getting OT (off-topic), I must comment that it is astounding that we get no explanation of the reason or mechanism of Harry's entering Voldemort's mind. Is it just from the backfired AK? Why doesn't Harry ask what triggers the whole process. Is it just nearness?

In a lame attempt to keep this a bit on topic, I'll finish by stating that it looks as if the snake is just a handy conduit at that time, not a key player in the process.

Thanks, Solitaire, for good answers and the quote.

Ciao. Barb




Paulus Maximus - Feb 9, 2005 6:43 pm (#36 of 184)

"Weren't there some dreams when he felt he was Voldemort? Perhaps these were other such times."

Sounds an awful lot like the dream that he forgot in his first year, about having to change to Slytherin because it was his destiny...




Solitaire - Feb 10, 2005 2:24 am (#37 of 184)

Paulus, in retrospect, that dream was a lot more interesting than it was at the time he had it--at least to me. Why would he focus on Quirrell's turban like that, at that point in the story? Of course, at the end we know that the turban concealed Voldemort, so possibly he was "picking up" a conversation between Quirrell and Voldemort. Even if he was, why would Voldemort want him in Slytherin?

But I suppose that part of the dream could have just been a "normal" bad dream, like when I have dreams that mix up various (seemingly) unrelated things that have been bugging me during the day. So much weird stuff had happened to Harry that day--plus the fact that he had eaten a lot more than he usually had the opportunity to eat--that it naturally came out in his dreams. The Sorting Hat would have been strange enough to warrant an appearance in his dreams.

But I seem to have gone away from the topic ... I guess I'm easily distracted.

Solitaire




Amilia Smith - Feb 19, 2005 5:32 pm (#38 of 184)

I was listening to the "Eye of the Snake" chapter in my car the other day and noticed a few interesting details.

I think it is fairly safe to assume that Mr. Weasley was wearing an Invisibility Cloak as he guarded the door to the DOM. Sirius tells us that the Order "lost Moody's spare Invisibility Cloak when Sturgis was arrested." (Am I remembering correctly that Podmore was guarding the door when he was arrested? I can't seem to find the quote right now.) Also, in Harry's dream, as Mr. Weasley awakes, "a silvery cloak fell from his legs as he jumped to his feet." Yet Nagini has been able to see him the whole time. "At first glance, the corridor was empty . . . but no . . . a man was sitting on the floor ahead, his chin drooping onto his chest, his outline gleaming in the dark . . ." So, what do you think? Can Nagini see though Invisibility Cloaks, or had Mr. Weasley simple let the Cloak slide off him while he slept?

I'm kind of leaning towards the former. The passage gives another really interesting peak into Nagini's vision, and it does not seem to be like that of a human. "It was dark, yet he could see objects around him shimmering in strange, vibrant colors." Maybe Nagini can see a wider range on the light spectrum than we can? My first thought was that she had infrared vision, but the infrared technology we have only shows things in black and white, not "strange, vibrant colors." Anyway, what do you think?

Mills.




Choices - Feb 19, 2005 5:55 pm (#39 of 184)

Well, we have wondered if Mrs. Norris can see through Invisibility Cloaks, so now I guess we can also wonder if snakes - Nagini _ can too. It could be either way, the cloak could have simply slipped down while Arthur slept, or Nagini can see right through it. Which ever way, she saw him and got him.




Solitaire - Feb 19, 2005 8:05 pm (#40 of 184)

Interesting idea about Nagini having infrared vision and Voldemort's eyes being red. Hm ... something to ponder.

Solitaire




septentrion - Feb 21, 2005 1:33 am (#41 of 184)

It seems DD can see through invisibility cloaks, so why LV couldn't see through them too ?




Solitaire - Feb 21, 2005 7:40 pm (#42 of 184)

Scary thought, huh?




pottermom34 - Feb 21, 2005 9:12 pm (#43 of 184)

Do we even know what kind of snake Nagini? I have a bit of info about snakes that I found in Encarta online. "Some snakes (Pit vipers, Boas and Pythons) have an unusual adaptation for blooded prey & predators. Pits on the side of their heads allow the snake to detect warm blooded animals and strike accurately even in total darkness." Also it said something about snakes having very good vision.

So I think even if she can't see through the cloak she can still sense that someone is there.




timrew - Feb 22, 2005 4:27 pm (#44 of 184)

Well, Moody can see through an invisibility cloak..........




Choices - Feb 22, 2005 6:49 pm (#45 of 184)

I have always heard that snakes don't have very good vision, but they have heat sensors and that is how they track prey. Anyway, even if Nagini couldn't see Arthur, I'm sure she could feel his presence by sensing the heat radiating from him.




Amilia Smith - Feb 22, 2005 8:28 pm (#46 of 184)

I think Nagini could see Arthur. "A man was sitting on the floor ahead, his chin drooping onto his chest, his outline gleaming in the dark . . ." And later, "Harry saw his vibrant, blurred outline towering above him, saw a wand withdrawn from a belt. . . ."

However, she also uses her sense of smell. "Harry put out his tongue. . . . He tasted the man's scent on the air. . . . He was alive but drowsing . . . sitting in front of a door at the end of the corridor . . ."

And after typing all that, I suddenly had a thought. What if Nagini really doesn't have very good vision, that she is sensing all of this through her tongue, and the sight references are all from Harry? To Nagini, sensing the layout of the corridor and Arthur's presence and position through smell or heat or whatever would be perfectly normal and logical. But this wouldn't make any sense to Harry's brain, so it might replace the sensual messages with visual messages.

I promise that made more sense in my head. I hope that what I was able to put down is at least semi coherent.

Mills.




Paulus Maximus - Feb 22, 2005 9:51 pm (#47 of 184)

Do all snakes have the same senses? Nagini seemed to "taste" Arthur's scent in the air, but the Basilisk spoke of "smelling" blood.




pottermom34 - Feb 22, 2005 10:05 pm (#48 of 184)

I think it depends on what kind of snake Nagini is. I also think Nagini is a real snake whereas the Basilisk is more of a mythological creature. ( except in HP of course).




Choices - Feb 23, 2005 10:38 am (#49 of 184)

I like your thoughts Amilia - makes perfect sense.




Madame Librarian - Feb 23, 2005 7:00 pm (#50 of 184)

I've believe snakes have no real noses as we think of them. They "taste" and "smell" the world around them by flicking out their primary sensory organ--their tongue--and testing their surroundings. Some have poor vision, some have pretty good vision. It depends on the type of snake. They are quite sensitive to light and dark and to temperature changes (they are reptiles--cold blooded animals). All of these things go into the mix of how a snake interprets its world.

All that aside, I don't think JKR went to extremes in zoological exactness in creating her reptilian characters. She has them perform in whatever way makes the scene work, and she chooses the language to describe that in such a way as to lend a powerful and flowing prose to the story.

Ciao. Barb
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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa (posts #51 - #100)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:50 am

Blast - Feb 24, 2005 8:35 pm (#51 of 184)

Pit Vipers have sensory pits that help them distinguish different things by sensing the heat that it gives off. This helps them getting their prey but also lets them sense a danger as well.




Paulus Maximus - Feb 24, 2005 10:18 pm (#52 of 184)

So why didn't the basilisk say "I taste blood... I TASTE BLOOD!"

Maybe that would have been a bit TOO creepy...




Detail Seeker - Mar 6, 2005 5:39 am (#53 of 184)

We have learned, that snakes use different sensors (eye, tongue, infrared-sensors) to orient themselves and to find prey. We do not know, of course they combine this information to get a clear "Picture" of their surroundings. I guess, JKR constructed Nagini that way, that some optical picture of the surrounding is created.




Vulture - Mar 24, 2005 11:45 am (#54 of 184)

WARNING: DON'T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN'T READ "CHAMBER OF SECRETS" !!

Q.1 _ In "Chamber", why does the Basilisk spend most of the book slavering about smelling blood, yet never actually eats or bites anyone ? (Granted that Riddle didn't want so many killed that the school would close down before he got near Harry, you'd still expect that the Basilisk _ "ssoo hungry, for ssoo long ...", in its own words _ would take the odd bite or two.)

Q.2 _ Given that the Basilisk has been "ssoo hungry, for ssoo long ...", what has it fed on (apart from the odd rat) in the 50 years it has been waiting around for the Heir Of Slytherin to re-appear ?




Amilia Smith - Mar 25, 2005 10:17 am (#55 of 184)

Colm: This is one of the major problems I have with CoS. We have this big bad scary monster who is kept "ssoo hungry, for ssoo long," and its first time out in fifty years, it takes one look at the reflection of a cat and slithers back down its hidey hole. The only way I can explain this to myself is that the basilisk is under the complete control of Voldemort, who is more interested in the drama and power of a slow and gradual reign of terror than he is in simply wiping out as many people as possible.

As to your second question, I must admit that it is not one I have pondered as much as the first. I always just assumed that there were enough small animals running around the sewers of Hogwarts for the basilisk to get by with, although it would always be hungry. Now that you ask, though, I am wondering as well. And there's not just the 50 years it waited for the Heir to reappear, there's the 1000 years before that it waited for the Heir to appear in the first place. Surely after the first 100 years or so the rat supply would have been depleted?

Maybe the basilisk hibernated, waiting for the Heir to awaken it?

Maybe the basilisk is semi-immortal? As in, it can be killed, but it can't starve to death?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter.

Mills.




Hollywand - Mar 26, 2005 10:02 pm (#56 of 184)

Magical hibernation. The Basilisk awakens under magical temporal conditions. The Basilisk and Nagini are kept waiting for their blood meal by their masters....and then are often disappointed. Perhaps Harry will eventually point this out to the reptiles..... ;-)




Madame Pomfrey - Mar 30, 2005 2:14 pm (#57 of 184)

I find it odd that Harry didn't try to converse with Nagini. In GoF didn't Voldemort tell Harry not to use Parseltongue because the snake only obeys him? Or did I get this confused with CoS? Anyways why would Harry not try?




Solitaire - Mar 30, 2005 9:03 pm (#58 of 184)

Could it be because Harry was afraid that the snake could be possessed by Voldemort? If so, he may have been afraid to attempt to talk to it. Or not ... I do think Riddle told Harry in the Chamber that the basilisk would only obey him. But perhaps he did not want to risk that it might indeed obey Harry. It would be interesting for Harry to talk to Nagini.

Solitaire




Paulus Maximus - Mar 30, 2005 10:02 pm (#59 of 184)

"I find it odd that Harry didn't try to converse with Nagini."

It wouldn't be the first or the last time that something had slipped Harry's mind. I don't find it as odd as you do.




septentrion - Mar 31, 2005 1:36 am (#60 of 184)

Voldemort as a memory telling Harry the basilisk will only obey to him is a scene from the movie, but I'm not sure it is in the book.

In GF, Harry isn't in the mood for talking to snakes nor to anybody else : he's just seen Cedric die, he's hurt, he's bound to a grave and his scar hurts.




Snuffles - Mar 31, 2005 2:44 am (#61 of 184)

If I remember correctly, didn't Wormtail put a rag in Harry's mouth, so I don't think he could have spoken anyway.




pottermom34 - Apr 1, 2005 7:22 pm (#62 of 184)

Maybe he thought it would be useless to talk to Nagini because Voldy would understand him and try to kill him sooner.




pottermom34 - Apr 29, 2005 8:18 pm (#63 of 184)

That is a very good theory except for one thing if she were a basilisk Harry and Frank would've been killed instantly, They both looked at her didn't they, or she looked at them I think somehow they made eye contact with her, or she with them and others too.

You know you snakes, are you a herpetologist or just have a snake interest?




pottermom34 - Apr 29, 2005 8:52 pm (#64 of 184)

She (JKR) sure leaves things open for interpretation and imagination doesn't she. I know it isn't indicated she makes eye contact, I just assumed she did when reading it. For some reason it just comes across to me that way. And just because it isn't indicated she makes eye contact, doesn't mean she doesn't. Yes it does make sense about the potion. But I'm still skeptical.




dizzy lizzy - Apr 29, 2005 9:38 pm (#65 of 184)

And a pretty good, well organised observation at that. I like it, it gives my brain something to think about.

Lizzy




dizzy lizzy - Apr 29, 2005 11:34 pm (#66 of 184)

okey-dokey

Uh Oh lizzy now becomes very dizzy - in which direction were those threads again???

"Accio compass"

Lizzy




Choices - Apr 30, 2005 9:36 am (#67 of 184)

Good observation Andrew. May I add that perhaps Nagini is a very young basilisk and has not yet developed the "killing stare". The great yellow eyes may not develop until the snake is more advanced in age.




Eponine - Apr 30, 2005 10:02 am (#68 of 184)

But if Nagini was a basilisk, wouldn't it have killed Arthur?




Solitaire - Apr 30, 2005 5:23 pm (#69 of 184)

I was looking at sites about basilisks and found some interesting information on one of the sites: It suggested that a basilisk could be killed by looking at its reflection in a mirror. Given the number of mirrors that have been mentioned in HP, this sounds like it could be important.

This same site contains a reference that claims the venom of a weasel is fatal to a basilisk. ... the weasels kill them by their stench and die themselves at the same time, and nature’s battle is accomplished. If Nagini is indeed a basilisk, could this be a death knell for a Weasley? Or would the fact that Mr. Weasley and Nagini are both alive be an indicator that Nagini is NOT a basilisk? Just tossing out the information ...

Solitaire




Cuivienen - Jul 1, 2005 5:29 pm (#70 of 184)

Perhaps... except that I think we already have all of our information about Basilisks in Harry Potter from both Hermione and Fantastic Beasts. I don't think we'd suddenly hear in Book 6 that - oh wait - not only is the crowing of a rooster fatal to basilisks, but so is weasel venom!

Also, wouldn't a basilisk be Petrified by seeing itself in a mirror, not killed?




Solitaire - Jul 2, 2005 7:06 am (#71 of 184)

It isn't my information, Cuivienen (note the link). I just posted it for those who might find it interesting.




Ponine - Jul 3, 2005 4:58 pm (#72 of 184)

Hmmm - Could Harry use the mirror Sirius gave him to kill Nagini?




Madame Pomfrey - Jul 4, 2005 8:11 am (#73 of 184) Edited Jul 4, 2005 9:14 am

Harry has not had the opportunity to try and speak with Nagini. If he is ever in her presence again I wonder if he will even think about doing so since he tends to forget important things on occasion. If he talked to her maybe he could get info from her regarding Voldemort. Voldemort has possessed Nagini perhaps she hates it as Ginny did.




MickeyCee3948 - Jul 4, 2005 2:06 pm (#74 of 184)

Yeah and I doubt if she enjoyed being milked for several years?

Mickey




Madame Pomfrey - Jul 4, 2005 8:34 pm (#75 of 184) Edited Jul 4, 2005 9:44 pm

Lol Mickey, that would probably be hated more than being possessed.




Solitaire - Jul 6, 2005 9:42 am (#76 of 184)

Ponine, I'm not sure the mirror would work on a snake other than a basilisk. Isn't Nagini a cobra ... or have we been told what she is?




Paulus Maximus - Jul 7, 2005 11:51 am (#77 of 184)

All that I remember is that she's a huge snake... I don't remember what type, or even if we're told what type...




M A Grimmett - Jul 24, 2005 1:13 pm (#78 of 184)

I thought that Harry had broken the mirror Sirius gave him?

We're never told what kind of snake Nagini is. It drives me nuts, for some reason. There aren't a lot of snakes out there that have diamond patterns on them--the obvious one, rattlesnakes, seem to be out since she doesn't have a rattle. There's an adder in the British Isles that has a zig-zaggy pattern down its back that looks pretty diamond like. It's pretty small, though--there would have had to be some sort of engorgement charm done in addition to making it impervious to winter. Maybe she's a naga that LV picked up in his travels...




Choices - Jul 24, 2005 3:46 pm (#79 of 184)

Then again, maybe she is just a snake JKR created to inhabit her magical world. Nagini may have no basis in reality.




Pixie - Sep 27, 2005 11:48 am (#80 of 184) Edited Sep 27, 2005 12:50 pm

Wooooooooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo !

I just found some illuminating stuff about Nagini.

She is described in the books as a gigantic snake, white (I'm quite sure her colour is mentioned at some point, can't remember where), with a "diamond-patterned tail", and we know that Wormtail had a job "milking" her.

A white snake encrusted with gems, giving milk...Hmmm. This did not look like an ordinary cobra, nor a basilisk to me.

So I Googled. "Legendary white snake milk". Here's what I found on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] (I quoted the interesting bits):

-------------------------------------------------------------

Serpent Kings:

The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit meaning "serpent". Naga can also mean cobra. But the term also has come to refer to a group of serpent deities and demi-humans [...]The most powerful Nagas are at the very root of Hindu mythology [...]

The Nagas have three kings. The first and greatest is Sheshnaga [...] The second is Vasuki, who plays an important role in the Hindu cosmogenic tale of "the churning of the sea of milk".

It was a time when the Gods were weak and the Demons strong. The Gods were being driven out of their heavens. But Lord Vishnu suggested a plan - by churning the cosmic sea of milk, they could dredge up the elixir of immortality from the bottom, and so gain the strength to take back their heavens and defeat the Demons. But to churn the cosmic sea was too much for just the Gods alone to do, so a truce was called and the Demons assisted, hoping to gain the elixir for themselves. So they went about making the biggest milk-churn the world has ever known, using Mount Mandara as the churn/pivot and the Serpent King Vasuki as the rope. They wound Vasuki around the Mount and then the Gods grabbing the tail and the Demons grabbing his seven heads, proceeded to pull the great serpent back and forth, turning the mountain and churning the ocean. Needless to say, the whole thing made Vasuki a little bit nauseous and he kept belching fire into the Demons' faces while the Gods had partly cloudy skies and a nice breeze on their end. Finally Vasuki [...] vomited up a great poisonous cloud, threatening to kill everything and everyone [...] But Shiva popped down and swallowed the poison, saving the world and turning his throat blue at the same time. Eventually the Gods get their elixir, trick the Demons out of theirs and Vasuki heads out, waiting for the next time the Gods decide to use him for tug-of-war.

The third Naga king is Taksaka [and he's not that interesting for HP matters]...

Serpent Maidens and Mothers:

The Naga, a race of semi-divine snake people who inhabit the Naga-loka underworld with Taksaka as their king, have inspired and continue to inspire legends and stories. But it is especially the women of this race, the Nagini, who have captured the imagination the most. These serpent princesses are said to be strikingly beautiful but with the power to transform at will to a cobra or to half-snake, half-human figure. A precious gem is embedded in their skulls which give them magical powers.

These beautiful snake women are, apparently, the marrying kind.[...] There are all kinds of legends about snake maidens, down by the river, who fall in love with and marry human men who demonstrate some act of kindness.

---------------------------------------------------------

I don't reckon this is a coincidence. So...My conclusions are:

1) Nagini is a powerfully magical creature adapted by JKR from Hindu folklore

2) She could provide LV with an elixir to strengthen him and prolong his life

3) She probably didn't enjoy being milked (Ha! poor Wormtail)

4) She's either too magical to be made into a horcrux or long-lived enough to be eligible for it... (wouldn't it be stupid for LV to put his soul in an animal that would die a few years later? talk about a waste of soul... in a animal that can live centuries, though, why not?)

5) Harry's ability to talk to snakes and his NOT trying to kill Nagini at first sight thinking she's a horcrux might be essential to the plot - this lady snake needs kindness...




RoseMorninStar - Sep 27, 2005 2:42 pm (#81 of 184)

You know, I hadn't thought about what a conundrum Harry would be in when it comes to Nagini. I had posted somewhere (don't remember which thread it was on) a couple of weeks ago about the connection between Nagini & the Indian Royal race of snakes. If I come across it maybe I will paste it in here.

But getting back to Harry and Nagini. If Harry can talk to the snake Nagini he will definitely have a difficult time killing a living thing. It's not the same as piercing a diary with a Basilisk fang. Nagini could either lead Harry astray, beg for mercy, or be of help. It could go either way.




Choices - Sep 27, 2005 5:13 pm (#82 of 184)

That raises the question of whether a piece of soul can be extracted from a thing/object without destroying the thing/object itself?




Phlegm452 - Sep 28, 2005 3:44 am (#83 of 184)

Maybe someone can clear this up for me. Did VD find Nagini or did he make her, or do we not know?




Choices - Sep 28, 2005 7:57 am (#84 of 184) Edited Sep 28, 2005 9:18 am

I don't think we know.

Pixie - "She is described in the books as a gigantic snake, white (I'm quite sure her colour is mentioned at some point, can't remember where), with a "diamond-patterned tail"

I do not remember Nagini being described as white - I do remember her having the diamond pattern on her back. Can you, or anyone, find the description of Nagini and let us know what it says about her color? The mention of her diamond patter is in the first chapter of GoF, but there is nothing about her color that I can find.




Pixie - Sep 28, 2005 1:33 pm (#85 of 184) Edited Sep 28, 2005 2:33 pm

Gulpin' Gargoyles, I can't find this description. Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. I'll have to read GoF and OoP and HBP all over again.

suddenly realizes*

Weeeeeeee, I'm getting to read GoF and OoP and HBP all over again!




Finn BV - Sep 28, 2005 2:05 pm (#86 of 184)

The Lexicon says nothing about Nagini being white, while it does mention the diamond-shapes.




haymoni - Oct 7, 2005 12:14 pm (#87 of 184)

If Nagini is truly a Horcrux, I wonder if Harry will use Parseltongue to defeat her?

I'm sure Nagini knows Voldy's voice, so Harry couldn't pretend to be Voldy.

He could feign being injured and lure Nagini out of hiding.

Or maybe in the Final Battle, as Wormtail is choking Voldy with his silver "hand of the Other", Harry will kill Nagini as the last of the Horcruxes.




Muggle born - Oct 15, 2005 12:53 am (#88 of 184)

I wonder if Nagini could be the same snake that Harry set free at the zoo.




Choices - Oct 15, 2005 8:02 am (#89 of 184)

That has been discussed many times. The snake at the zoo was a boa - non-poisonous. Nagini is poisonous, so they are not the same snake.




Esther Rose - Oct 17, 2005 2:07 pm (#90 of 184) Edited Oct 17, 2005 3:10 pm

Hmmm... Boa returns to Hogwarts to return Harry's favor? hehehe Then again if Snakes can be just as chatty as Rats maybe the all know about the boy who set the Boa free.




Rob Weiss - Dec 13, 2005 10:49 pm (#91 of 184)

What kind of snake is Nagini?

Hey, we all like to have a little more detail when we're reading. More often than not, our minds fill in the gaps with whatever knowledge we've collected. So I thought this would make a fun little debate.

I say Nagini is a bushmaster. And here's why.... Based on the descriptions of Arthur's wounds in book 5, it would seem Nagini's venom is a haemotoxin----one that infects the blood and blood vessels, spreading to the other tissues and causing necrosis (as opposed to a neurotoxin, which attacks the central nervous system and paralyzes the victim before the necrosis sets in). Haemotoxins are used by viperine snakes (rattlers, puff adders, etc.), of which the bushmaster of South America is the largest, measuring up to 10 or 12 feet. So based on all the other references to Nagini, the bushmaster seems to fit the description best.




Choices - Dec 14, 2005 6:06 pm (#92 of 184)

I say Nagini is both poisonous and magical - a dangerous combination!




Rob Weiss - Dec 14, 2005 9:02 pm (#93 of 184)

I don't see Harry being cruel enough to kill Nagini outright. As far as being a snake goes, she hasn't done anything wrong. Anytime she has she had been under Voldemort’s control. Nagini might even turn into an ally. See my post in the predictions section for more on this




haymoni - Dec 15, 2005 5:15 am (#94 of 184)

From the Frank Bryce "dream", Harry knows that Voldy needed Nagini in order to stay alive. Maybe that's enough.




nschend - Dec 28, 2005 9:23 am (#95 of 184) Edited by Dec 28, 2005 9:23 am

I'm sorry if this has already been covered. But didn't LV tell Harry that trying to talk to the basilisk and Nagini would be inconsequential because they only obeyed LV?

Also, would LV really make Nagini a horcrux when she is a living creature and living creatures die?

Again sorry if this has all been covered already.




Solitaire - Dec 28, 2005 12:45 pm (#96 of 184)

What Voldemort may have said about the Basilisk and Nagini obeying only him may or may not have been the truth. Voldemort isn't exactly the most trustworthy Wizard. If Harry has not tried to talk to Nagini, we do not know whether--or how--she would respond to him. Even if she refused to obey him, Harry might be able to interfere with what Voldemort has asked her to do. Just a thought ...

Solitaire




nschend - Jan 1, 2006 7:47 pm (#97 of 184)

True. However, Professor Binns says:

"'The heir alone would be able to unseal the Chamber of Secrets, unleash the horror within, and use it to purge the school of all who were unworthy to study magic.'" pg. 151 American version

Harry may have LV's power, but Harry is not an heir of Slytherin.

I do still wonder if Nagini is the snake Harry rescued in SS or if the snake in SS will come back in book seven.




Weeny Owl - Jan 5, 2006 10:20 am (#98 of 184)

Nagini can't be the snake Harry rescued because Nagini is venomous and the boa constrictor wasn't.




Troels Forchhammer - Jan 5, 2006 12:59 pm (#99 of 184)

Yes, well . . . you are of course completely right, Weeny Owl, but I can't help but feel that that wouldn't stop Rowling if it were to serve her plot to make the two identical.

I can see several ways to handle the inconsistency, from retro-active correction of PS (new editions will make the snake venomous) to Voldemort making Nagini venomous through the magical equivalent of genetic engineering.

Rowling doesn't let such details of consistency stand in the way of a good story, and that's a good thing, I'd say (yes, she does have an overall plot structure that she sticks to, and I think many of the main issues have been planned for a long time, which makes the hints consistent, but the details are still open for change).

Regards,

Troels




Gina R Snape - Jan 18, 2006 8:26 am (#100 of 184)

I'm still hoping Nagini will be relieved to have been rescued by Harry for her years of forced service to the Dark Lord. He will set her up with the boa from the zoo and the two snakes will live happily ever after.

Seriously, though, I think JKR would be astonished to know we care so much about Nagini. Harry may not converse with her at all and he may have no qualms about killing her because she is an animal and not a human or house elf. We really don't know how Harry feels about the lives and rights of animals. Sure, he had fun with the boa, and he rescued Buckbeak. But I don't know how much true affection he has for animals. He's never seemed particularly partial to any of the pets (Scabbers before book 3, Crookshanks, Trevor) and hasn't exactly been overly kind to his own owl on every occasion.


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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa (posts #101 - #150)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:51 am

Choices - Jan 18, 2006 10:26 am (#101 of 184)

I agree Gina - Harry does not show the love for animals that Hagrid does. As for Hedwig, I think Harry considers her more "useful" than anything.




Solitaire - Jan 18, 2006 11:21 pm (#102 of 184)

How could Harry have learned affection for animals during his time with the Dursleys? He says Aunt Petunia hated animals, and his only childhood experience consisted of being tormented by Aunt Marge's dog--until he met the snake.

Childhood experiences with animals, for good or bad, often have a profound effect on how people deal with animals later in life. I have seen this in adult friends who are terrified even of little kittens and puppies. One neighbor across the street is terrified of my two gentle, friendly, older Shelties ... even though all the little toddlers on the street run up and pet them and put their faces against the soft, downy fur. She can't help it ... she is afraid.

Hagrid certainly loves animals and Harry has had him for a role model in that respect. But Hagrid's ideas of fun animals for pets are often scary and dangerous. I think Harry cares for Hedwig and Fang, and I also believe he cares for Fawkes. I'm not sure yet about Crookshanks. JM2K ...

Solitaire




Esther Rose - Jan 19, 2006 7:30 am (#103 of 184)

Well, Harry did let Crookshanks on his lap in HBP. And I would suspect he would have a special affection for an animal that wanted to eat Pettigrew alive. =) Then there is Buckbeak ... um I mean Witherwings.




Solitaire - Jan 19, 2006 11:16 am (#104 of 184)

Yes, I thought he might have ... but I didn't check, so I was not positive.




shepherdess - Mar 8, 2006 8:57 pm (#105 of 184)

Crookshanks wouldn't have wanted to be on Harry's lap if Harry had never been friendly to him before.




Die Zimtzicke - Mar 15, 2006 8:04 am (#106 of 184)

I agree with everyone who said Nagini could be an immature Basilisk. That would make more sense if Nagini IS a horcrux, because basilisks can live hundreds of years. I don't know why Voldemort would hide part of his soul in an ordinary mortal creature, no matter how much he cared for the animal.




haymoni - Mar 15, 2006 8:27 am (#107 of 184)

That is an excellent notion.

How long does that toad need to sit on the egg???

Can you just picture Voldy hovering over it like a mother hen?




Soul Search - Mar 15, 2006 2:37 pm (#108 of 184)

I don't think Nagini can be a Basilisk. Otherwise, Arthur would have been killed by its stare (OotP). A basilisk would not bite, when its look can kill.




haymoni - Mar 15, 2006 4:10 pm (#109 of 184)

Good point, Soul Search.

Although the venom from the basilisk did some damage to Harry.

Maybe Zucchini (still laughing!!!) is only a baby!




Choices - Mar 15, 2006 7:15 pm (#110 of 184)

Yes, perhaps immature Basilisks don't have the stare - maybe they only developed that later in their mature life.




Die Zimtzicke - Mar 15, 2006 9:00 pm (#111 of 184)

Yes, that's what I meant by immature. They might not have a deadly stare when they are young. We know unicorns change color as they get older. Maybe the eyes of the basilisk change.

And we know anyhow that it bit Arthur while he was asleep. Maybe he never looked it in the eye anyway.




Choices - Mar 16, 2006 11:39 am (#112 of 184)

Actually Arthur was sitting on the floor as the snake approached him. He had been under a silvery cloak (Invisibility cloak?) with his chin drooped down on his chest - he was sleeping. But, the cloak slipped off his legs as he stood up and pulled his wand, then the snake bit him. So he was awake when the snake attacked.




irish flutterby - Mar 17, 2006 4:09 pm (#113 of 184)

I agree Gina - Harry does not show the love for animals that Hagrid does. As for Hedwig, I think Harry considers her more "useful" than anything.

*tear* I disagree. I think, if nothing else, Hedwig's personality endears her to him. She cares about Harry as well. She seems a good deal like the other women in his life. She doesn't take a lot from anyone, and is viciously loyal, even when she's mad. I also think Harry cares about some animals. He may not be an "animal person", but I think it's in his nature to care about most things that live. Maybe wishful thinking

Nagini being a toddler basilisk might explain why the wounds didn't heal and kept reopening when Arthur was in St. Mungo's.

Also, I got the impression that Basilisks lived longer than a few hundred years. How long has Hogwarts been open? That's about how long they live. (at least)




Choices - Mar 17, 2006 5:59 pm (#114 of 184)

Hogwarts was founded over a 1000 years ago.

Some snakes have a substance in their venom that prevents blood from clotting. I think this was the case when Nagini bit Arthur.




Nathan Zimmermann - Mar 17, 2006 6:19 pm (#115 of 184)

Choices, I agree Nagini's venom is highly hemotoxic. The question I wonder about Harry is whether or not a bite from Nagini would be fatal to him.




Choices - Mar 17, 2006 6:22 pm (#116 of 184)

I don't know Nathan, but I have seen it discussed that Harry might have sort of a built-in resistance to poison, or at least some poisons.




irish flutterby - Mar 18, 2006 4:54 am (#117 of 184)

Interesting Choices. What evidence is that theory based on?




Steve Newton - Mar 18, 2006 5:27 am (#118 of 184)

I remember such speculation, and some of it is pretty convincing, but I will have to think of where.




Choices - Mar 18, 2006 10:13 am (#119 of 184)

It's been so long since I read that, but I vaguely remember something to do with the spider in the maze that either bit Harry or cut him with its pinchers and the venom didn't seem to affect Harry. Some argued that the spider had not injected any venom and others argued that it had and Harry was immune to it. Seems like it also had to do with the spiders in the cupboard Harry lived in for so long at the Dursleys. I'll have to try to find where I read the theory.




Die Zimtzicke - Mar 19, 2006 10:38 am (#120 of 184)

Not all spiders, of course, are poisonous to humans.




geauxtigers - Mar 19, 2006 11:31 pm (#121 of 184)

In chapter one of GoF, LV tells Wormtail that he needs to milk Nagini, because he needs "feeding" I'm not a snake expert, but is it normal to drink snake venom? That just seems odd to me and on a first read, it’s really easy to pass up. The fact that Mr. Weasley was indeed poisoned by Nagini, I think it’s a big clue here. I think it suggests or adds positive evidence to Nagini being a horcrux. If her venom can poison another and the healers have trouble finding an antidote (meaning they've never had this poison before), but Voldemort can apparently drink it, I think its like he is feeding off his soul so to speak. If it’s a horcrux he would be able to drink it right? I'm over-analyzing again sorry guys, but I just have this feeling that JKR didn't add that one little line in chapter one for no reason.




frogface - Mar 20, 2006 3:03 am (#122 of 184)

That’s an interesting idea. However, it is suggested that Voldemort made Nagini a horcrux when he killed Frank Bryce. Which is after he mentions milking Nagini.




TheSaint - Mar 20, 2006 4:42 am (#123 of 184)

Whole new meaning to Soul Food.




Die Zimtzicke - Mar 21, 2006 6:06 am (#124 of 184)

I've had snakes. You generally "milk" poisonous snakes by hooking their fangs over a container and squeezing out venom to use the venom to make an antidote to the snake's poison. It’s like using a weak strain of a disease to make a vaccination. If it was being used in a potion in the Potterverse, that would be similar but not the same.

The venom, which would normally kill, I suppose, was being used to make a life sustaining potion, perhaps?




geauxtigers - Mar 21, 2006 2:50 pm (#125 of 184)

Thanks Die Zimtzicke. I just thought it was kinda odd and possible foreshadowing, but I only noticed it after reading HBP so I thought it was worth mentioning. You never know, it could have something to do with Horcruxes, it could be completely insignificant. I think there’s more to Nagini than first meets the eye!




irish flutterby - Mar 24, 2006 1:28 pm (#126 of 184)

If this theory that Harry is "immune" to spider venom, would he be immune to the venom of the giant spiders in the forest? Surely that wouldn't need to come into play, though? Would it?




Choices - Mar 24, 2006 7:44 pm (#127 of 184)

I think the theory says Harry is just immune to poisons/venoms in general - perhaps not totally immune, but resistant to them.




frogface - Mar 25, 2006 11:38 am (#128 of 184)

Maybe Harry isn't resistant to venom, but it’s simply that an Acromantula's venom isn't used to kill. I remember Harry had trouble using his leg, maybe that wasn't due to the bite itself, but the venom stunning the muscles in his leg? Obviously the bite would add to the effect, but doesn't the giant spider in LOTR (can't remember her name!) sting its prey to incapacitate them but not kill? Maybe this is common to all spiders, I wouldn't know unfortunately.




irish flutterby - Mar 25, 2006 1:17 pm (#129 of 184)

Shelob does indeed petrify her prey before she consumes it. Perhaps the same goes for the Acromantulas in HP.




PeskyPixie - Jul 28, 2008 8:26 am (#130 of 184) Edited Jul 28, 2008 9:28 am

"I won't call Nagini a harmless thing, but I'm sure she was not originally evil in herself ... although the concept of serpents as evil does go back to the Bible." -Soli

I don't disagree with the Christian symbolism of serpents, but I'm not sure whether that was truly JKR's intention with Nagini.

Here's some history on Nagini: Naga is Sanskrit for snake, nagi or nagini refers to a female snake. In Buddhism and Hinduism Nagas are a race of semi-divine snakes (usually cobras) with great powers. The world rests on the many heads of a Naga named Ananta. The Naga king, Vasuki, was used to churn the ocean to create an elixir of immortality.

I think this final point is the one which JKR focused on when bringing Nagini into the act. The myth, in combination with the Slytherin connection, was probably a great find for her character Voldemort.

Apart from this connection, Nagini is just a wild animal being a wild animal (which Soli also states). In addition to that, she is the faithful pet of a madman who harnesses her natural predatory instincts for his own evil purposes.

Once again, this has nothing to do with religion. I am just stating my theory of why JKR may have included the character of Nagini as the mascot of her villain and how she is portrayed in the books.




Solitaire - Jul 28, 2008 11:21 am (#131 of 184)

I do remember thinking about Nag and Nagaina from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (one of my favorite stories to teach in our 7th grade anthology) when I saw Nagini's name. I wonder if Jo knew that a lot of readers would connect the characters in their minds.

I just love it when dormant threads become active again!




PeskyPixie - Jul 28, 2008 11:57 am (#132 of 184) Edited Jul 28, 2008 12:58 pm

I love it as well, Soli. There's so much to analyze and interpret apart from coming up with theories about future books, that it's great to get dormant threads active once again.

I love Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as well. I'm not sure whether JKR picked the name of Voldy's pet as a tribute to the snakes in that book. I mean, the legendary Nagas tend to have Muggle names (for the culture they belong to). Naga/Nagini simply means snake/cobra, so maybe JKR was playing on familiarity with the characters from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? She seems to love to make people think, then go and read up on new information and learn new things.




Orion - Jul 28, 2008 12:34 pm (#133 of 184)

Rowling's treatment of animals in the books is sometimes unfair and influences people's opinions about animals in a negative way.

Like for instances cats: There is the one "good" cat, Crookshanks, who is part Kneazle, that is, not an ordinary cat, but part magical creature and smart. But there is, on the other side, Mrs. Norris who sneaks on the students (a cat who's a sneak??? She must be part Kneazle, too. I only know cats who want food, drink and out.), the "evil" Persian cats of Umbridge (everybody seems to hate them most, much like everybody seems to hate tiny little dogs most, as if the animals could choose the way they were bred), or Mrs. Figg's cats, which are smelly.

To use an old stereotype about snakes, that they are connected to evil, provokes prejudices which should be stamped out of the collective unconscious. There are enough endangered kinds of snakes, and they are often mercilessly hunted down. A snake is essentially not much different from the cute lizards tanning themselves in the garden.

It reminds me of Hitchcock's movie about the attacks of birds (called "The Birds", maybe?). They only do that if their nests are in danger, but Hitchcock made a film about his own phobia. Directors should prevent stupid phobias and prejudices instead of putting them into people's minds.




Solitaire - Jul 28, 2008 1:05 pm (#134 of 184) Edited Jul 28, 2008 2:10 pm

Unfortunately, not all snakes are harmless. If you're talking a California King or a garter snake, fine. But I cannot want a rattlesnake (one of the inhabitants of my area) sunning itself in my back yard and helping itself to my dog ... or even the cats that live there!




PeskyPixie - Jul 28, 2008 1:14 pm (#135 of 184) Edited Jul 28, 2008 2:15 pm

Or Nagini, for that matter. Still, a large monitor lizard can be quite dangerous ... but a poisonous snake would be able to get into the house in the weirdest ways, so ...

However, Orion, I agree that we mustn't be prejudiced against dangerous animals and must do all we can to secure habitat for them as our human population explodes. We don't need to encroach on the forests where Nagini may well be taking a nap.

I wonder whether Voldy stole Nagini from a zoo as King Cobras are extremely rare.

Of course, Nagini doesn't necessarily have to be a King Cobra, but with her size, venom and the mythological connections, it seems like a connection JKR would make.

I wonder if any of the Death Eaters were afraid of her but wise enough to not show it!




TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 28, 2008 8:51 pm (#136 of 184) Edited Jul 28, 2008 9:57 pm

"Directors should prevent stupid phobias and prejudices instead of putting them into people's minds." Ah!, but you see, that's called "entertainment". Along with giant spiders, apes, sea creatures, etc... Ask anyone who is afraid of a spider or a cockroach, or a snake if their phobia is "stupid". But to see it in a movie, or on TV, and be able to tell the difference between reality and fiction, that's entertainment. Along with all the horror movies, they also edge into the realm of is it real, or make believe. There are some really twisted individuals out there. Most of us expect to see them in the movies, but it doesn't become horror until one encounters them in real life.

To try and avoid them, or "put them in peoples minds" is unrealistic. That's like trying to tell a child their nightmare is not "real". To them, it is...

"To use an old stereotype about snakes, that they are connected to evil, provokes prejudices which should be stamped out of the collective unconscious. There are enough endangered kinds of snakes, and they are often mercilessly hunted down. A snake is essentially not much different from the cute lizards tanning themselves in the garden." To connect them with just evil, you may have a point. But to paint them ALL with a broad brush, is not just dangerous, but irresponsible. I don't know where you live or what kind of snakes, if any you might encounter, but some of us deal with a lot of frequency DEADLY snakes, rattlers, adders, water moccasins, coral snakes. I have had one very good friend and one relative killed by the very "provokes prejudices which should be stamped out of the collective unconscious." of which you speak. By the way, I think the word you were looking for was consciousness. I doubt they would feel as if they were not much different than "A snake is essentially not much different from the cute lizards tanning themselves in the garden."

...toddles off wondering why a snake would need a tan in the first place...

"but a poisonous snake would be able to get into the house in the weirdest ways, so ...

"However, Orion, I agree that we mustn't be prejudiced against dangerous animals and must do all we can to secure habitat for them as our human population explodes." But you contradict yourself, they do live where we now live, and are a danger to us without out encroaching anymore upon their habitat. Are you suggesting we lock them all up in a "safe place", or never venture into the woods, national parks, or our own backyards?




Choices - Jul 29, 2008 6:44 am (#137 of 184)

We do not know for sure what kind of snake Nagini was - JKR never tells us. I seriously doubt she was a King Cobra as we never heard of her spreading her "hood" like a cobra would. (The snake in the COS movie that was at Lockhart's Dueling Club was definitely a cobra, but in the book it was simply described as a "long black snake".) I tend to believe she was either a young Basilisk or perhaps just a magical snake invented by JKR.




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 7:55 am (#138 of 184) Edited Jul 29, 2008 10:04 am

"However, Orion, I agree that we mustn't be prejudiced against dangerous animals and must do all we can to secure habitat for them as our human population explodes." -PeskyPixie

"But you contradict yourself, they do live where we now live, and are a danger to us without out encroaching anymore upon their habitat. Are you suggesting we lock them all up in a "safe place", or never venture into the woods, national parks, or our own backyards?" -TBE

I don't know where you're getting these ideas from, TBE. My post dealt with respecting snakes for the predators they are and not considering them to be evil based upon their depiction in fiction.

I wasn't talking about snakes which turn up in older communities as part of the wildlife, or nature trails in those areas. A world exists beyond our backyards. It is highly naive to believe that wild animals are not losing their homes and lives due to deforestation and urban sprawl. Some of these animals turn up in our yards, most perish.

BTW, our local rattler (the Eastern Massassauga rattlesnake) is now endangered due to "habitat destruction and human persecution" and a lot of effort is being put into saving the species from extinction. They are not killed when they are present in parks and woodlands. Rather, the visitors are made aware that they are visiting the animals' homes and are taught how to do so safely and respectfully. If I need to kill all dangerous snakes/animals in a wilderness reserve in order to enjoy myself then I clearly do not belong there.

Obviously, you can't want a dangerous snake in your backyard ... but, I never opposed that, did I? I have many friends and relatives who have had personal experiences with dangerous snakes (including the cobra and a ginormous python which ate someone's parrot without breaking open the parrot's cage ) which wandered into their homes/gardens, so I understand the danger associated with both highly venomous and non-venomous serpents. (Heck, I wouldn't want a snake literally in my backyard.) In fact, it is these pretty personal encounters with these deadly but beautiful animals which enforces my belief that we need to have specialized services to remove these animals in human populated areas, and also, we need to leave the environment untouched wherever possible so we don't encourage them to come on down to our neighbourhoods.

We all have different opinions and all are equally important as they each have strengths and weaknesses. I don't want to make an issue of this, TBE, as we may have highly different ideas about nature and wildlife, however, please do not accuse me of contradicting myself when I am not. (BTW, I think Orion was being cute when she wrote of a lizard tanning itself. She was referring to how reptiles bask in the sun to regulate their body temperature as they are cold-blooded animals.)

Choices, you're right that we don't see Nagini spreading her hood as cobras do when they feel anxious. She can't be a basilisk either as her stare would have killed the DEs ten times over. I guess she could be a magical snake, created completely by Voldy ... but she has to be real as it is her venom upon which Babymort is dependent. I really like the mythical connection though. Maybe she's just a really tough King Cobra who's too cool for hoods?

Seriously though, I really wonder whether some of the Death Eaters were scared wandless of her but were smart enough to never show it?




Orion - Jul 29, 2008 10:24 am (#139 of 184)

Thank you for coming to my rescue, Pesky. Living in a country with dangerous snakes is certainly no fun. I don't deny that some snakes are deadly, I just oppose to the term "evil" together with animals. Nagini is a normal snake with reptile brains. She is possessed by Voldie, just like Ginny was at some point. Nagini must be killed because she carries a Horcrux, but that's not her fault. She is not evil in herself, just Voldie's Horcrux in her, and the possession curse he cast on her.

Granted, Harry is prepared to let himself be killed because he carries a Horcrux which must be destroyed. So he doesn't treat himself differently. That is very noble indeed.

"Stupid phobia" was just a flippant expression. I meant to say "there are phobias, they can make people's lives a misery, and artist and teachers and parents must do anything to prevent more people from getting them."




Soul Search - Jul 29, 2008 11:10 am (#140 of 184) Edited Jul 29, 2008 12:14 pm

Snakes don't appear to be any more popular in the wizarding world as they are in the Muggle world. The boa Harry met in the zoo frightened everyone but Harry when it got loose, and he had been talking to it. Draco seems to have created the cobra in CoS, and he wanted it to attack Harry, so it may not have been a normal Snake. All the wizard students seemed frightened of it too, again except Harry who spoke Parseltongue to it.

Tom Riddle mentions he can talk to snakes and that they came to him when the orphans visited the country. Snakes seem to like the heir of Slytherin.

Voldemort was hiding out in Albania in spirit form and he tells us one of his only powers was to occupy the mind of an animal, but that was hard on them and they died soon. His preference was Snakes.

We first see Nagini in the opening chapter of GoF. The only hint of her origin is that she came with Voldemort and Wormtail from Albania. I am not much up on the fauna of Albania, but I don't think Cobras nor large boa constrictors come from there. At any rate, Nagini must be venomous since Wormtail had to "milk" her to gain an ingredient used to keep Baby-mort alive.

We saw Fake-Moody and Harry use Engorgio to make spiders larger. Even young Kevin made a slug much larger in GoF. It is not too much of a stretch that Voldemort used some venomous snake native to Albania and, once in Baby-mort form, used Engorge to make her larger. And then a horcrux.

Nagini is not presented as a very nice snake. Yes, she does Voldemort’s bidding, but the way she is presented it seems she really likes killing. She has killed an old Muggle Voldemort used to make a her a horcrux, she attacks Mr. Weasley, and is frequently used to threaten death eaters. In GoF she is disappointed that she doesn't get to eat Wormtail. And, Nagini kills our favorite potions master. Not a nice Snake.

This is all for a reason. JKR knew Nagini had to die in the end. Wouldn't want snake-lover readers to get too upset.




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 11:20 am (#141 of 184) Edited Jul 29, 2008 1:07 pm

No animal is nice if you are its prey. I doubt worms find robins sweet, although I happen to be quite fond of them. (BTW, I agree, Soul Search, that JKR makes Nagini not too likable to most readers as she has to die in the end. Can't risk another Hedwig moment.)

I have no problems with the way Nagini is portrayed because 1. she is a predatory animal, and 2. she is a pet to a homicidal maniac who has harnessed her natural inclination to do his bidding.

Also, I'm not really sold on the idea of a nice snake vs. a mean snake. Snakes naturally kill their prey, and this one has been trained by Voldy. I don't expect it to understand the situation it is in. If a dog can be trained to be vicious I have no doubt the same can be done with a snake (by a Parse mouth, of course. ). Similarly, why does Kreacher snitch on Sirius? Because he is faithful to those he views as his 'Master'.

"Tom Riddle mentions he can talk to snakes and that they came to him when the orphans visited the country. Snakes seem to like the heir of Slytherin." -Soul Search

Actually, in the Magical world, snakes seem to like those who understand their language. They communicate to Harry as well ... unless of course all they recognize in Harry is Voldy's soul bit.

EDIT: Not a problem, Orion. I agree that it is not accurate to use words such as 'evil' to describe an animal. Vicious, yes. Aggressive, yes. Territorial, yes. But evil, no.




Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 1:12 pm (#142 of 184)

They communicate to Harry as well ... unless of course all they recognize in Harry is Voldy's soul bit. Jo has said that Harry can no longer speak Parseltongue once the piece of Voldemort's soul has gone.




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 1:21 pm (#143 of 184) Edited Jul 29, 2008 2:22 pm

Ah, so the boa was using him to get to Voldy.




Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 4:19 pm (#144 of 184)

I don't think the snake was using him. Did Voldemort even know Harry could speak Parse mouth?




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 4:25 pm (#145 of 184)

It was a joke, Soli.




Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 4:38 pm (#146 of 184)

I'm serious ... did Voldemort know (at first, that is) that Harry could speak Parse mouth?




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 4:42 pm (#147 of 184)

Riddle seems aware of it by CoS.




Solitaire - Jul 29, 2008 4:46 pm (#148 of 184) Edited Jul 29, 2008 5:47 pm

But the Riddle of CoS got his info about Harry from Ginny, not from his own knowledge ... or so it seemed to me. I may need to take this to the CoS thread ... if there is still one open. Or perhaps I can go to the Riddle/Voldy thread. I don't want to take this thread off topic.




PeskyPixie - Jul 29, 2008 5:51 pm (#149 of 184)

I'm gonna need some time to think on this one as it has me going in Time-Turner circles! I guess we can take it to Voldy's thread.




Choices - Jul 30, 2008 8:30 am (#150 of 184) Edited Jul 30, 2008 9:32 am

PeskyPixie - "She can't be a basilisk either as her stare would have killed the DEs ten times over."

I think in one discussion of this, we concluded that Basilisks do not develop the deadly stare until they are older and perhaps Nagini was still too young to have the yellow eyes that kill.


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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa (posts #151 - #184)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:53 am

Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 9:23 am (#151 of 184)

I can't help thinking Nagini is not a Basilisk. They are very rare--born from a chicken's egg hatched by a toad--and there has been a ban on breeding them since Medieval times (not that this would make a difference). Where does it say that it does not develop its deadly stare until it is older? I don't remember reading that anywhere. In Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Kipling says of Nagaina's cobra eggs "the minute they were hatched they could each kill a man or a mongoose." I'm betting Jo's version of a Basilisk could do the same.




Choices - Jul 30, 2008 10:26 am (#152 of 184) Edited Jul 30, 2008 11:37 am

That it doesn't develop it's deadly stare until it is older is strictly theory - it is not canon. I thought we had discussed it on this forum a year or so ago, but perhaps I am wrong.

You know how snakes shed their skin and during the process they do not see well due to the dead skin covering their eyes? It was theorized that Nagini may not have gone through the shedding process yet and so her "stare" was not developed clearly yet.

Another possibility is that since the stare does not kill Voldemort, perhaps his DE's are also immune or know not to look the snake in the eyes or was ordered by Voldemort not to look them in the eye.

I think I prefer the theory that Nagini is just a magical snake, perhaps modified magically by Voldemort to serve him and do his biding.




PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 10:57 am (#153 of 184)

I like to think of her as a King Cobra, but you all understand that I'm a bit biased on this one.




Choices - Jul 30, 2008 4:37 pm (#154 of 184)

LOL Whatever floats your boat, Pesky. Since we are not specifically told, then I think we are free to use our imaginations. :-)




PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 3:15 pm (#155 of 184)

Someone once told me that Nagini is a python. Now that's imagination!




TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 1, 2008 8:26 pm (#156 of 184)

Our imaginations are the way we individually view JKR's world, that is the gift she has given us. To each his own; but oh , what a world!




PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 8:48 pm (#157 of 184) Edited Oct 31, 2008 8:00 pm

Pythons are non-venomous snakes. The person I was talking to had no idea about that and had issue with me telling him that you can't milk a python! (He said, "You can't milk snakes, period." ) Oh well.




Orion - Aug 2, 2008 4:38 am (#158 of 184)

Urgh, I wonder what image exactly he had in mind.




PeskyPixie - Aug 2, 2008 9:39 am (#159 of 184)

LOL, Orion, you are so bad!




Orion - Dec 15, 2008 2:37 pm (#160 of 184)

There was an interesting post that Snape is killed by the snake of the heir of Slytherin. That means that Snape is actually killed by his House or by his Slytherin-ness. Snake, DEs, Dark Lord, Slytherin, Slytherin's heir, dark magic. All huddled together in the Shrieking Shack to kill him off. JKR really makes it very clear that it is an extremely bad move to get sorted into Slytherin.

Does she have some personal issues with that subject? What can that be?

It is quite ironic that Snape doesn't have any typical Slytherin traits. It's unfair. Misplaced and killed for it.




Julia H. - Dec 17, 2008 12:15 am (#161 of 184)

I can see two symbolic interpretations for this. One is Snake versus Snape, Slytherin's old symbol killing a new kind of Slytherin, dividing the House for the future. Snape's death would break the usual Slytherin traditions and set a new example to future Slytherins: saving others instead of saving our own necks first, self-sacrifice and loyalty instead of selfish ambition, using any means to help others.

Another possible (symbolic) interpretation is Snape being disowned by everything Slytherin (the snake, the Heir, the DE's). Dumbledore said Snape had been sorted too soon. Then Snape became the person to guard Gryffindor's sword and then to take it to the Gryffindors who would use it to destroy Slytherin's locket (another symbol of Slytherin House and Slytherin tradition, corrupted by Voldemort, as everything else Slytherin). Then Snape ends up being killed by the snake of Slytherin's heir. And he is ultimately loyal to Gryffindors.




tandaradei - Dec 17, 2008 9:01 am (#162 of 184) Edited Dec 17, 2008 9:31 am

Here's another interpretation. Somewhere some while back, we had a lot of discussion on the Ouroboros or "tail-devouring snake." In this scenario, the snake is just doing what it does. Snape's "heresy" against Slytherin was unknown to the snake.

I do think it interesting that Gryffindor Harry kills the Basilisk; and another Gryffindor Neville kills Nagini.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 6:20 am (#163 of 184)

I'm catching up on threads, and I've chosen to address a point raised on a DH chapter thread, here.

"And I still stand by my opinion that JKR is extremely fortunate that no one has taken offence to casting Nagini as a villain." -myself

"Why would people be offended? Surely this isn't the first time a snake has been cast as a villain in literature. Truthfully, though, I never thought of Nagini as a villain, any more than I thought of the Diary, the Locket, the Diadem, or any of the other Horcruxes as villains. They are simply things (in Nagini's case, a living thing) which have been used as "containers" for the segments of Voldemort's evil soul. They can't help their fates--they didn't volunteer for those jobs. As a living thing, Nagini was, IMO, more like a victim under an Imperius curse--or like Ginny, who was possessed by Voldemort. We do not blame Ginny or other of Voldy's victims, do we? Perhaps others feel as I do." -Solitaire

***sigh*** That wasn't my point at all, Soli. I agree with you about Nagini as an HP character; I have posted similar posts several times. However, regarding the discussion you are quoting from, I had originally stated how the terms "Naga" and "Nagini" are highly sacred to many people and that JKR is lucky that a ruckus hasn't been raised over it as has been raised over other aspects of the series which are just as benign.




mona amon - Mar 29, 2009 8:28 am (#164 of 184)

I think there's nothing there for people to take offence to, Pesky. It's true that "Nagas" are powerful serpent-beings in Hindu mythology, and some of them are worshipped as deities. But the word "nag" just means "snake" in Sanskrit and in many Indian languages. I think that people here (in India) would consider 'Nagini' a very appropriate name for a female snake.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 9:01 am (#165 of 184)

I understand that the terms Naga and Nagaini may be sacred to many people; however, Kipling used the names Nag and Nagaina for his evil cobras in Rikki-tikki-tavi, so perhaps she felt a precedent had been set for its use. In fact, that is probably where she got the idea. I wonder ... was there an uproar over his use of the names?

Edit: BTW, Pesky ... I posted something over on the Horcrux thread (Magical Items ...it's hidden) that you might want to chew on for a bit.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 10:24 am (#166 of 184)

The range of beliefs are not quite as easily summarized as your post indicates, mona, but a detailed explanation may fall too close to a discussion on religion, so I'll have to leave it at that.

True, 'nag' also simply means 'snake' in Sanskrit, however, based on the myths that JKR has drawn from, our beloved Nagini's roots draw very closely to the religious/mythical connotations of the word. From personal experience, I feel a bit of a twinge whenever I see the names Naga or Nagini used for characters on the evil side of a story, however, I can easily see the rational side of things and it doesn't bother me. As many (including myself) have said, our Nagini is just a snake who is unfortunate enough to have crossed paths with Voldy. Most intelligent people feel this way. Then there are those who take offence very easily ...

I'm pretty sure that that small percentage of people would take offense to the term if they knew it existed (I've heard of rallies for far less). Fortunately, those folks are probably unaware of JKR's use of the name Nagini, perhaps even of Kipling's use of it, and thank goodness for that. When I first read GoF I was half-expecting to hear of a few groups calling for book banning and the like. I'm just grateful that it didn't happen.

I'm headed there, Soli.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 1:16 pm (#167 of 184)

Actually, Pesky, most of the 7th grade anthologies I've seen have Rikki-tikki-tavi. I just attended the new text adoption book fair a few weeks ago, and the story was also in all of the new 7th grade textbooks I saw. Friends who teach 7th language arts across the country tell me it is in their textbooks, too. This means that most kids in the US will have studied it by the time they finish 8th grade. Nearly all of my students mentioned having seen the Disney version of Jungle Book, as well.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 2:19 pm (#168 of 184) Edited Mar 29, 2009 3:14 pm

The groups I was talking about were not American ones, Soli. I was thinking more of rural folk in other parts of the world. It's so hard to discuss this without knowing if I'm breaking forum rules or not, so I'm trying to be as vague as possible while still getting my point across.

The fact remains that there are some people who would not appreciate seeing their sacred symbol portrayed as the pet of a story's villain. Kipling does not draw on the mythological aspect much; he calls cobras naga or naga-lok (i.e. 'snake-folk'), just as he calls an elephant Hathi and a tiger Shere. He uses local language in naming the animals of his stories, but he leaves them as animals (who communicate with one another in their own animal languages). We HP fans realize that our Nagini is similarly just a big snake. However, JKR actually draws on some pretty sacred myths in her use of Nagini and the elixir of immortality. The very symbol of a snake (especially a naga) is highly auspicious, probably in a way which is difficult to comprehend until one has a deeper understanding of Hinduism. It has to do with the spirituality in every living being on Earth, and from very early times (perhaps because they were so dangerous?) the serpent became an integral part of Hindu beliefs, a symbol of power, protection and the coiled up spiritual energy which exists in every person. In art and religious tales, serpents are portrayed alongside the Lord, and this is the reason that some people would be up in arms if they were aware that Nagini (whose poison aids in the creation of an elixir of immortality) was the pet of the Dark Lord.

Of course, most rational people understand where JKR is coming from. However, there is room for misinterpretation in her particular use of Nagini. I've read of certain groups (consisting of only a minority of the population, as is often the case) which take offence at whatever they consider to be a slight on their beliefs and rile up others (who in all honesty would not know Severus Snape from Sirius Black) and cause a lot of mischief in the process. Those are the types of Nagini-inspired backlashes I was worried of, and I am relieved that they did not happen. HP is such a controversial series of books as it is () that the last thing it needed was yet more controversy. It's actually banned from most Toronto schools' booklists.

If any of this is confusing, please ask me to clarify.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 4:51 pm (#169 of 184)

If I understand you properly, Pesky, your use of "coiled up spiritual energy" refers to Kundalini, or Serpent Power. But I do not believe the Forum is the proper place to discuss this issue.

As to the issue of people being offended by Jo's use of Nagini, I really don't think you need to worry anymore. The series is complete. The time for people to have been outraged over this particular issue would have been following the release of book 4, when Nagini makes her debut ... don't you think? I could also understand some upset after how she was used in OotP and, especially, DH, when she is beheaded. Backlashes and objections to anything in the books this long after the end of the series would seem kind of pointless, to me.

HP is such a controversial series of books as it is that the last thing it needed was yet more controversy. It's actually banned from most Toronto schools' booklists.

But has it had more controversy? I've only seen the same old stuff objected to in most of the lawsuits and hearings. I'm pleased that the HP series is not banned in our school, per se. The books are in the library, and any child is free to read them. I even have a set in my classroom. However, we are not allowed to teach the books, which would make them mandatory for everyone in class. It's unfortunate, too. I find the books a great way to teach about all of the elements of a story.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 5:30 pm (#170 of 184)

Yup, Soli, it's hard to get one's point across when tiptoeing around certain things.

I don't think there's any risk of trouble from it now, but around the time I first read GoF I read of something in the newspaper which made me go, "Oh dear, GoF had better not get anything started." I'm just glad it didn't.

And no, it hasn't had any more controversy, which is what my original post was about. I felt that there was potential for it and was grateful that it didn't happen. I've just heard of the same old, same old in lawsuits and complaints.

An acquaintance of mine had actually been a teensy bit peeved when she first learned of Nagini's part in the HP story, but I explained my point of view (that Nagini is as innocent as the unicorn in regards to Voldy's plans), and she seemed okay with it from then on.




TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 29, 2009 5:43 pm (#171 of 184)

"Oh dear, GoF had better not get anything started." I'm just glad it didn't.

ok, now inquiring minds want to know. A)What, B)Why should it matter?




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 5:49 pm (#172 of 184)

TBE, I don't think I can go into what I read in the paper, on the forum. Let's just say that certain trouble-causing groups were offended when their sacred symbols were used in art by "others". It was comparable at the time to JKR's use of Nagini, and many lovely pieces of art were destroyed in the process.

Of course, it wouldn't matter to the HP books if Nagini had started something, but goodness, I just get so mad when the books I love are misrepresented by those who don't understand them. Of course, nothing happened, but I was afraid at one time that it might have. Hence, my relief.




TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 29, 2009 6:50 pm (#173 of 184)

I'm sorry, we seem to be from two different worlds. I don't give squat about "certain trouble-causing groups". I state and stand up for what I believe in.

"I just get so mad when the books I love are misrepresented by those who don't understand them." By whose standards? I have my way of interpreting what these and other books mean to me, that is my freedom. So does everyone else. ‘Tis their right.

If they "start something", so what? That is freedom of expression. If they espouse ideas you don't believe in, then challenge those ideas. There is no need to fight, the battle is not won now by bullets, but by a war of words...




mona amon - Mar 29, 2009 7:06 pm (#174 of 184)

I'm pretty sure that that small percentage of people would take offense to the term if they knew it existed (I've heard of rallies for far less). Fortunately, those folks are probably unaware of JKR's use of the name Nagini, perhaps even of Kipling's use of it, and thank goodness for that. (Pesky)

It cannot be because they are not aware of it. While Harry Potter is not quite the phenomenon that it has been in other parts of the world, it is still quite popular, and there have been controversies like accusations of plagiarism and copyright issues. The books (except the last one) have been translated into Hindi. And the movies are dubbed into various Indian languages as soon as they are released.

Using sacred symbols in art is quite different, Pesky, because it is the actual symbol that is used. But Nagini is just a snake. I see no symbolism to link her to the anginas of myth, even if Voldy did use her venom as an ingredient in the potion to get his rudimentary Baby mort body. No one's going to be offended at a snake being called a snake.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 7:13 pm (#175 of 184)

Good explanation, Mona. It makes sense.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 10:24 am (#176 of 184) Edited Mar 30, 2009 1:08 pm

TBE, I think it's obvious by now that we are very different people, however, I have no idea what your issue with any of my posts is. Did I ever say that I was against a person's freedom of expression? Did I ever say that everyone doesn't have the right to interpret in their own way? If anything, I always try my best to present my opinions in a manner which is not offensive to others and I am very saddened to hear of how you have understood my posts.

Mona, perhaps you (and many others) do not see the mythological symbolism behind Nagini, but some of us do and our opinion is just as valid. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' to it, and it is rather simplistic to claim that 'no one' would be offended by it just because we are not. I've already told you that someone I know was slightly offended when she first heard of Nagini in GoF (and then I worked on her and she slowly became okay with it). Although I didn't agree with her, I can see why she was a bit apprehensive at first. If an intelligent, educated woman can be a bit wary of JKR's use of Nagini, then it is also possible that others may also share this view. Of course, when I thought that Nagini may have caused some sort of problem with a certain group, I wasn't referring to the majority of the population, of whom you speak. However, I can't go any further into it without potentially crossing forum rules, so there goes my point again.

Basic summary: I have no problems with Nagini. She is not evil; she is just an animal who was used by Voldy to achieve his means. However, I do see the mythological connection here as clearly as I see it with Fluffy.

I am getting very confused about this discussion as I'm no longer sure what exactly it is that I'm supposed to be defending. I don't think that I've said that I'm against freedom of expression; I don't think I've said that everyone in India would find reason to be upset over Nagini; I don't feel that I've said that I personally have any issues about the use of Nagini. However, these are the very things I've been defending myself from, which is just beyond silly. It kind of makes my head spin. So, I'll just wave my white flag and agree with you all that there was never any reason for me to be worried that anyone would ever make a mythological connection with JKR's Nagini and cause a commotion over it (although, if they wanted to it would be their right and I'd support them wholeheartedly ). Sometimes a snake is just a snake ... unless her name is Nagini.




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 6:29 pm (#177 of 184)

I was absolutely not saying that your interpretation was not valid, Pesky.

I would love to hear why that person that you know felt offended by the use of Nagini, but I realize that you can't go into it here.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 6:37 pm (#178 of 184)

What interpretation, mona? I have always been of the opinion that there is nothing anyone can misinterpret about our dear Nagini.

I may send you an e-mail about it once I finish the next bit of the Snapilogue. (I've set aside Wednesday for that!)




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 6:50 pm (#179 of 184)

I meant the interpretation of Nagini as being 'mythologically symbolic', Pesky. I do not see it that way, but I'm certainly not dismissing that view as invalid.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 7:06 pm (#180 of 184)

LOL, yes, mona, I understood you. Hence, the . I switched ships a few posts ago, remember? I'm one of you now!




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 7:26 pm (#181 of 184)

Ah! OK then!

Parting dig~ Looking forward to the Snapilogue on Wednesday!




PeskyPixie - Apr 1, 2009 11:37 am (#182 of 184)

back at you, mona. I said that I had set aside time for working on it today (and I have begun). I didn't say that I'd post it yet.

Enough about Nagini - on to Basil! Have we figured out whether Basil is Slytherin's original basilisk? As far as I know, if there is sufficient food, a basilisk can live for four hundred years or so. This would have been much longer.




Choices - Apr 1, 2009 5:42 pm (#183 of 184)

The Basilisk seemed to be even better than a cat at keeping down the small critter population in the castle. LOL




Orion - Apr 2, 2009 2:53 am (#184 of 184)

JKR would probably say, when pressed about the nourishing problem, that Basil (LOL!) was a magical being and could be enchanted to sleep for centuries without food or fresh air. (Another problem!) LOL for Choices - imagine a giant serpent chasing after mice and cockroaches!


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Snakes--Nagini, the basilisk and the boa (posts #151 - #184)

Post  Potteraholic on Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:21 am

Solitaire - Jul 30, 2008 9:23 am (#151 of 184)

I can't help thinking Nagini is not a Basilisk. They are very rare--born from a chicken's egg hatched by a toad--and there has been a ban on breeding them since Medieval times (not that this would make a difference). Where does it say that it does not develop its deadly stare until it is older? I don't remember reading that anywhere. In Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Kipling says of Nagaina's cobra eggs "the minute they were hatched they could each kill a man or a mongoose." I'm betting Jo's version of a Basilisk could do the same.




Choices - Jul 30, 2008 10:26 am (#152 of 184) Edited Jul 30, 2008 11:37 am

That it doesn't develop it's deadly stare until it is older is strictly theory - it is not canon. I thought we had discussed it on this forum a year or so ago, but perhaps I am wrong.

You know how snakes shed their skin and during the process they do not see well due to the dead skin covering their eyes? It was theorized that Nagini may not have gone through the shedding process yet and so her "stare" was not developed clearly yet.

Another possibility is that since the stare does not kill Voldemort, perhaps his DE's are also immune or know not to look the snake in the eyes or was ordered by Voldemort not to look them in the eye.

I think I prefer the theory that Nagini is just a magical snake, perhaps modified magically by Voldemort to serve him and do his biding.




PeskyPixie - Jul 30, 2008 10:57 am (#153 of 184)

I like to think of her as a King Cobra, but you all understand that I'm a bit biased on this one.




Choices - Jul 30, 2008 4:37 pm (#154 of 184)

LOL Whatever floats your boat, Pesky. Since we are not specifically told, then I think we are free to use our imaginations. :-)




PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 3:15 pm (#155 of 184)

Someone once told me that Nagini is a python. Now that's imagination!




TwinklingBlueEyes - Aug 1, 2008 8:26 pm (#156 of 184)

Our imaginations are the way we individually view JKR's world, that is the gift she has given us. To each his own; but oh , what a world!




PeskyPixie - Aug 1, 2008 8:48 pm (#157 of 184) Edited Oct 31, 2008 8:00 pm

Pythons are non-venomous snakes. The person I was talking to had no idea about that and had issue with me telling him that you can't milk a python! (He said, "You can't milk snakes, period." ) Oh well.




Orion - Aug 2, 2008 4:38 am (#158 of 184)

Urgh, I wonder what image exactly he had in mind.




PeskyPixie - Aug 2, 2008 9:39 am (#159 of 184)

LOL, Orion, you are so bad!




Orion - Dec 15, 2008 2:37 pm (#160 of 184)

There was an interesting post that Snape is killed by the snake of the heir of Slytherin. That means that Snape is actually killed by his House or by his Slytherin-ness. Snake, DEs, Dark Lord, Slytherin, Slytherin's heir, dark magic. All huddled together in the Shrieking Shack to kill him off. JKR really makes it very clear that it is an extremely bad move to get sorted into Slytherin.

Does she have some personal issues with that subject? What can that be?

It is quite ironic that Snape doesn't have any typical Slytherin traits. It's unfair. Misplaced and killed for it.




Julia H. - Dec 17, 2008 12:15 am (#161 of 184)

I can see two symbolic interpretations for this. One is Snake versus Snape, Slytherin's old symbol killing a new kind of Slytherin, dividing the House for the future. Snape's death would break the usual Slytherin traditions and set a new example to future Slytherins: saving others instead of saving our own necks first, self-sacrifice and loyalty instead of selfish ambition, using any means to help others.

Another possible (symbolic) interpretation is Snape being disowned by everything Slytherin (the snake, the Heir, the DE's). Dumbledore said Snape had been sorted too soon. Then Snape became the person to guard Gryffindor's sword and then to take it to the Gryffindors who would use it to destroy Slytherin's locket (another symbol of Slytherin House and Slytherin tradition, corrupted by Voldemort, as everything else Slytherin). Then Snape ends up being killed by the snake of Slytherin's heir. And he is ultimately loyal to Gryffindors.




tandaradei - Dec 17, 2008 9:01 am (#162 of 184) Edited Dec 17, 2008 9:31 am

Here's another interpretation. Somewhere some while back, we had a lot of discussion on the Ouroboros or "tail-devouring snake." In this scenario, the snake is just doing what it does. Snape's "heresy" against Slytherin was unknown to the snake.

I do think it interesting that Gryffindor Harry kills the Basilisk; and another Gryffindor Neville kills Nagini.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 6:20 am (#163 of 184)

I'm catching up on threads, and I've chosen to address a point raised on a DH chapter thread, here.

"And I still stand by my opinion that JKR is extremely fortunate that no one has taken offence to casting Nagini as a villain." -myself

"Why would people be offended? Surely this isn't the first time a snake has been cast as a villain in literature. Truthfully, though, I never thought of Nagini as a villain, any more than I thought of the Diary, the Locket, the Diadem, or any of the other Horcruxes as villains. They are simply things (in Nagini's case, a living thing) which have been used as "containers" for the segments of Voldemort's evil soul. They can't help their fates--they didn't volunteer for those jobs. As a living thing, Nagini was, IMO, more like a victim under an Imperius curse--or like Ginny, who was possessed by Voldemort. We do not blame Ginny or other of Voldy's victims, do we? Perhaps others feel as I do." -Solitaire

***sigh*** That wasn't my point at all, Soli. I agree with you about Nagini as an HP character; I have posted similar posts several times. However, regarding the discussion you are quoting from, I had originally stated how the terms "Naga" and "Nagini" are highly sacred to many people and that JKR is lucky that a ruckus hasn't been raised over it as has been raised over other aspects of the series which are just as benign.




mona amon - Mar 29, 2009 8:28 am (#164 of 184)

I think there's nothing there for people to take offence to, Pesky. It's true that "Nagas" are powerful serpent-beings in Hindu mythology, and some of them are worshipped as deities. But the word "nag" just means "snake" in Sanskrit and in many Indian languages. I think that people here (in India) would consider 'Nagini' a very appropriate name for a female snake.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 9:01 am (#165 of 184)

I understand that the terms Naga and Nagaini may be sacred to many people; however, Kipling used the names Nag and Nagaina for his evil cobras in Rikki-tikki-tavi, so perhaps she felt a precedent had been set for its use. In fact, that is probably where she got the idea. I wonder ... was there an uproar over his use of the names?

Edit: BTW, Pesky ... I posted something over on the Horcrux thread (Magical Items ...it's hidden) that you might want to chew on for a bit.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 10:24 am (#166 of 184)

The range of beliefs are not quite as easily summarized as your post indicates, mona, but a detailed explanation may fall too close to a discussion on religion, so I'll have to leave it at that.

True, 'nag' also simply means 'snake' in Sanskrit, however, based on the myths that JKR has drawn from, our beloved Nagini's roots draw very closely to the religious/mythical connotations of the word. From personal experience, I feel a bit of a twinge whenever I see the names Naga or Nagini used for characters on the evil side of a story, however, I can easily see the rational side of things and it doesn't bother me. As many (including myself) have said, our Nagini is just a snake who is unfortunate enough to have crossed paths with Voldy. Most intelligent people feel this way. Then there are those who take offence very easily ...

I'm pretty sure that that small percentage of people would take offense to the term if they knew it existed (I've heard of rallies for far less). Fortunately, those folks are probably unaware of JKR's use of the name Nagini, perhaps even of Kipling's use of it, and thank goodness for that. When I first read GoF I was half-expecting to hear of a few groups calling for book banning and the like. I'm just grateful that it didn't happen.

I'm headed there, Soli.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 1:16 pm (#167 of 184)

Actually, Pesky, most of the 7th grade anthologies I've seen have Rikki-tikki-tavi. I just attended the new text adoption book fair a few weeks ago, and the story was also in all of the new 7th grade textbooks I saw. Friends who teach 7th language arts across the country tell me it is in their textbooks, too. This means that most kids in the US will have studied it by the time they finish 8th grade. Nearly all of my students mentioned having seen the Disney version of Jungle Book, as well.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 2:19 pm (#168 of 184) Edited Mar 29, 2009 3:14 pm

The groups I was talking about were not American ones, Soli. I was thinking more of rural folk in other parts of the world. It's so hard to discuss this without knowing if I'm breaking forum rules or not, so I'm trying to be as vague as possible while still getting my point across.

The fact remains that there are some people who would not appreciate seeing their sacred symbol portrayed as the pet of a story's villain. Kipling does not draw on the mythological aspect much; he calls cobras naga or naga-lok (i.e. 'snake-folk'), just as he calls an elephant Hathi and a tiger Shere. He uses local language in naming the animals of his stories, but he leaves them as animals (who communicate with one another in their own animal languages). We HP fans realize that our Nagini is similarly just a big snake. However, JKR actually draws on some pretty sacred myths in her use of Nagini and the elixir of immortality. The very symbol of a snake (especially a naga) is highly auspicious, probably in a way which is difficult to comprehend until one has a deeper understanding of Hinduism. It has to do with the spirituality in every living being on Earth, and from very early times (perhaps because they were so dangerous?) the serpent became an integral part of Hindu beliefs, a symbol of power, protection and the coiled up spiritual energy which exists in every person. In art and religious tales, serpents are portrayed alongside the Lord, and this is the reason that some people would be up in arms if they were aware that Nagini (whose poison aids in the creation of an elixir of immortality) was the pet of the Dark Lord.

Of course, most rational people understand where JKR is coming from. However, there is room for misinterpretation in her particular use of Nagini. I've read of certain groups (consisting of only a minority of the population, as is often the case) which take offence at whatever they consider to be a slight on their beliefs and rile up others (who in all honesty would not know Severus Snape from Sirius Black) and cause a lot of mischief in the process. Those are the types of Nagini-inspired backlashes I was worried of, and I am relieved that they did not happen. HP is such a controversial series of books as it is () that the last thing it needed was yet more controversy. It's actually banned from most Toronto schools' booklists.

If any of this is confusing, please ask me to clarify.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 4:51 pm (#169 of 184)

If I understand you properly, Pesky, your use of "coiled up spiritual energy" refers to Kundalini, or Serpent Power. But I do not believe the Forum is the proper place to discuss this issue.

As to the issue of people being offended by Jo's use of Nagini, I really don't think you need to worry anymore. The series is complete. The time for people to have been outraged over this particular issue would have been following the release of book 4, when Nagini makes her debut ... don't you think? I could also understand some upset after how she was used in OotP and, especially, DH, when she is beheaded. Backlashes and objections to anything in the books this long after the end of the series would seem kind of pointless, to me.

HP is such a controversial series of books as it is that the last thing it needed was yet more controversy. It's actually banned from most Toronto schools' booklists.

But has it had more controversy? I've only seen the same old stuff objected to in most of the lawsuits and hearings. I'm pleased that the HP series is not banned in our school, per se. The books are in the library, and any child is free to read them. I even have a set in my classroom. However, we are not allowed to teach the books, which would make them mandatory for everyone in class. It's unfortunate, too. I find the books a great way to teach about all of the elements of a story.




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 5:30 pm (#170 of 184)

Yup, Soli, it's hard to get one's point across when tiptoeing around certain things.

I don't think there's any risk of trouble from it now, but around the time I first read GoF I read of something in the newspaper which made me go, "Oh dear, GoF had better not get anything started." I'm just glad it didn't.

And no, it hasn't had any more controversy, which is what my original post was about. I felt that there was potential for it and was grateful that it didn't happen. I've just heard of the same old, same old in lawsuits and complaints.

An acquaintance of mine had actually been a teensy bit peeved when she first learned of Nagini's part in the HP story, but I explained my point of view (that Nagini is as innocent as the unicorn in regards to Voldy's plans), and she seemed okay with it from then on.




TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 29, 2009 5:43 pm (#171 of 184)

"Oh dear, GoF had better not get anything started." I'm just glad it didn't.

ok, now inquiring minds want to know. A)What, B)Why should it matter?




PeskyPixie - Mar 29, 2009 5:49 pm (#172 of 184)

TBE, I don't think I can go into what I read in the paper, on the forum. Let's just say that certain trouble-causing groups were offended when their sacred symbols were used in art by "others". It was comparable at the time to JKR's use of Nagini, and many lovely pieces of art were destroyed in the process.

Of course, it wouldn't matter to the HP books if Nagini had started something, but goodness, I just get so mad when the books I love are misrepresented by those who don't understand them. Of course, nothing happened, but I was afraid at one time that it might have. Hence, my relief.




TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 29, 2009 6:50 pm (#173 of 184)

I'm sorry, we seem to be from two different worlds. I don't give squat about "certain trouble-causing groups". I state and stand up for what I believe in.

"I just get so mad when the books I love are misrepresented by those who don't understand them." By whose standards? I have my way of interpreting what these and other books mean to me, that is my freedom. So does everyone else. ‘Tis their right.

If they "start something", so what? That is freedom of expression. If they espouse ideas you don't believe in, then challenge those ideas. There is no need to fight, the battle is not won now by bullets, but by a war of words...




mona amon - Mar 29, 2009 7:06 pm (#174 of 184)

I'm pretty sure that that small percentage of people would take offense to the term if they knew it existed (I've heard of rallies for far less). Fortunately, those folks are probably unaware of JKR's use of the name Nagini, perhaps even of Kipling's use of it, and thank goodness for that. (Pesky)

It cannot be because they are not aware of it. While Harry Potter is not quite the phenomenon that it has been in other parts of the world, it is still quite popular, and there have been controversies like accusations of plagiarism and copyright issues. The books (except the last one) have been translated into Hindi. And the movies are dubbed into various Indian languages as soon as they are released.

Using sacred symbols in art is quite different, Pesky, because it is the actual symbol that is used. But Nagini is just a snake. I see no symbolism to link her to the anginas of myth, even if Voldy did use her venom as an ingredient in the potion to get his rudimentary Baby mort body. No one's going to be offended at a snake being called a snake.




Solitaire - Mar 29, 2009 7:13 pm (#175 of 184)

Good explanation, Mona. It makes sense.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 10:24 am (#176 of 184) Edited Mar 30, 2009 1:08 pm

TBE, I think it's obvious by now that we are very different people, however, I have no idea what your issue with any of my posts is. Did I ever say that I was against a person's freedom of expression? Did I ever say that everyone doesn't have the right to interpret in their own way? If anything, I always try my best to present my opinions in a manner which is not offensive to others and I am very saddened to hear of how you have understood my posts.

Mona, perhaps you (and many others) do not see the mythological symbolism behind Nagini, but some of us do and our opinion is just as valid. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' to it, and it is rather simplistic to claim that 'no one' would be offended by it just because we are not. I've already told you that someone I know was slightly offended when she first heard of Nagini in GoF (and then I worked on her and she slowly became okay with it). Although I didn't agree with her, I can see why she was a bit apprehensive at first. If an intelligent, educated woman can be a bit wary of JKR's use of Nagini, then it is also possible that others may also share this view. Of course, when I thought that Nagini may have caused some sort of problem with a certain group, I wasn't referring to the majority of the population, of whom you speak. However, I can't go any further into it without potentially crossing forum rules, so there goes my point again.

Basic summary: I have no problems with Nagini. She is not evil; she is just an animal who was used by Voldy to achieve his means. However, I do see the mythological connection here as clearly as I see it with Fluffy.

I am getting very confused about this discussion as I'm no longer sure what exactly it is that I'm supposed to be defending. I don't think that I've said that I'm against freedom of expression; I don't think I've said that everyone in India would find reason to be upset over Nagini; I don't feel that I've said that I personally have any issues about the use of Nagini. However, these are the very things I've been defending myself from, which is just beyond silly. It kind of makes my head spin. So, I'll just wave my white flag and agree with you all that there was never any reason for me to be worried that anyone would ever make a mythological connection with JKR's Nagini and cause a commotion over it (although, if they wanted to it would be their right and I'd support them wholeheartedly ). Sometimes a snake is just a snake ... unless her name is Nagini.




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 6:29 pm (#177 of 184)

I was absolutely not saying that your interpretation was not valid, Pesky.

I would love to hear why that person that you know felt offended by the use of Nagini, but I realize that you can't go into it here.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 6:37 pm (#178 of 184)

What interpretation, mona? I have always been of the opinion that there is nothing anyone can misinterpret about our dear Nagini.

I may send you an e-mail about it once I finish the next bit of the Snapilogue. (I've set aside Wednesday for that!)




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 6:50 pm (#179 of 184)

I meant the interpretation of Nagini as being 'mythologically symbolic', Pesky. I do not see it that way, but I'm certainly not dismissing that view as invalid.




PeskyPixie - Mar 30, 2009 7:06 pm (#180 of 184)

LOL, yes, mona, I understood you. Hence, the . I switched ships a few posts ago, remember? I'm one of you now!




mona amon - Mar 30, 2009 7:26 pm (#181 of 184)

Ah! OK then!

Parting dig~ Looking forward to the Snapilogue on Wednesday!




PeskyPixie - Apr 1, 2009 11:37 am (#182 of 184)

back at you, mona. I said that I had set aside time for working on it today (and I have begun). I didn't say that I'd post it yet.

Enough about Nagini - on to Basil! Have we figured out whether Basil is Slytherin's original basilisk? As far as I know, if there is sufficient food, a basilisk can live for four hundred years or so. This would have been much longer.




Choices - Apr 1, 2009 5:42 pm (#183 of 184)

The Basilisk seemed to be even better than a cat at keeping down the small critter population in the castle. LOL




Orion - Apr 2, 2009 2:53 am (#184 of 184)

JKR would probably say, when pressed about the nourishing problem, that Basil (LOL!) was a magical being and could be enchanted to sleep for centuries without food or fresh air. (Another problem!) LOL for Choices - imagine a giant serpent chasing after mice and cockroaches!
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