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Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread)

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Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread) Empty Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread)

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:19 am

Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread)

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

Kip Carter - Nov 20, 2003 3:54 pm
co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
Edited Jan 12, 2006 11:29 pm

Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story
I have tried to edit this thread to convey some of the thoughts provided. In the intro and the first three posts, 16 questions were offered for everyone's consideration. One thought that keeps occuring is the comparison of Grindelwald with Hitler. Most of the questions were not answered and maybe never be answered. In reality, more questions were asked than answers. The object of this thread was to have people think beyond what has been provided in the books and maybe interpret some of the ideas between the lines. - Kip 20 Nov 03
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Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread) Empty Dark Wizard Grindelwald and the Harry Potter story (Condensed Thread)

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:19 am

Kip Carter - Oct 12, 2002 4:53 am

"Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945..." was a part of two instances in SS: (1) when Harry gets his first Chocolate Frog on the train trip to Hogwarts (SS6) and (2) when Harry looked at Neville's Famous Wizard cards (SS13).

JKR is famous for little pieces of information to Harry later becoming an important part of the story. I feel this bit of info will be useful somewhere in the future books.

A few questions for each of you to ponder:

1. Why was it necessary for Dumbledore to defeat Grindelwald?

2. Was Grindelwald the precursor of Voldemort?

3. Was Grindelwald related to Voldemort?

4. Could Grindelwald be related to the Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle's mother?

5. When Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald, Tom Riddle would have either be just finishing Hogwarts or had just graduated and was starting his venture towards the dark arts. Would the news of Dumbledore's defeat of Grindelwald and, I sure, the following accolates given Dumbledore solidify Tom Riddle's ambition?

6. What happened to the supporters of Grindelwald? I sure Tom found them as he studied the dark arts.

7. Did any of Grindelwald's supporters become Death Eaters for Voldemort? Think about that point being we know very little about each of the Death Eaters.

I could continue to speculate and I could get your my thoughts. However I feel it best to give each of you a chance to participate. Now put your minds in gear and let everyone share your thoughts!

Kip Carter - Oct 12, 2002 7:23 am (#1 of 81)
More questions:

8. Once defeated, is Grindelwald shipped off to Azkaban or is he actually killed? Basically, what happens when someone is defeated?

9. Was Grindelwald actually brought in front of a "wizard court" like Harry observes in Dumbledore's Pensieve? If so, what happened?

10. If was shipped to Azkaban, is he still alive? Could he still of service to Voldemort if the Dementors switch to Voldemort?

11. Does the wizard world allow capital punishment?

12. Could Dumbledore have been "commissioned" as an Auror?

13. Could he have been the precursor to the Aurors sent out by the Ministry of Magic in the Voldemort years? Basically, the first Auror.

Just think about all of these questions and provide this forum with your thoughts.

diricawl - Oct 12, 2002 7:26 am (#2 of 81)
14. Grindelwald was defeated in 1945, the year Hitler died and the bomb was dropped on Japan. Could he be related to Hitler? It is known that Hitler had an interest in magic and the occult.

15. Voldemort and Hitler have similar views. Could Gridelwald have acted as a catylist for both? Or a bridge between them?

Kip Carter - Oct 12, 2002 8:03 am (#3 of 81)
I did not realize that this would turn into a question thread. I would love to see some thoughts to the questions. Diricawl, you added two more multi-part questions with some of your own answer thoughts. Thank you!

Now for another thought/question (I will continue where diricawl left off instead of my last!)

16. 1945 is one of the few "current" years that is confirmed in JKR's series' timeline. The date that we use around Harry's time evolves from Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday party. But 1945 is a definite date presented by JKR. How much of her plots are derived from the "changing" world order after 1945, the breakdown of the empires, and events that followed in the eighties and nineties? Remember there are a lot of social issues in her writings.

Kesesi - Oct 12, 2002 10:13 am (#4 of 81)
Tom Riddle would have been 18 and just graduated from Hogwarts in 1945. He may very well have met with Grindelwald before his defeat at the hands of Dumbledore. Tom Riddle was young and may have been given guidance by Grindelwald.

Chocolatelatte - Oct 12, 2002 12:52 pm (#5 of 81)
Hmm... I just ran an internet search, and it appears that Grindelwald is the name of a place in Switzerland.

The above questions are ones I've thought about myself. One thing I've noticed is the theme of "continuity" in JKR's books. Other threads have noted the similarities between the main characters and their parents, and between characters and historic figures. Maybe the whole story of Voldemort is an echo of an earlier, similar struggle between good and evil.

For example, in LOTR, Sauron was once a lesser evil, who gained power over time. In fact, LOTR has a lot of the continuity theme in it also, with the rise, fall, rebith, and eventual demise of an endless series of Dark Lords (how similar Voldemort is to Sauron in the near-death and rebirth issues!).

Perhaps it is an indication of the cosmic nature of the struggle between good and evil. It is everlasting, and mortals are but mere players who step across the stage for a brief act before vanishing into death. In a sense, in puts the individual into perspective with the greater scheme of things.

Gee... I think I went off on a tangent there. As it stands, I have no answers to the questions about Grindelwald. They may be answered later in the series, or may simply stand as an indication of the eternal struggle between good and evil that plagues not only our world but the wizard world as well; and indeed, perhaps the wizarding world stands symbolic of all such struggles, with evil condensed into a single man poised to consume the world.

Jimmy Bell - Oct 12, 2002 9:51 pm (#6 of 81)
I would hazard a wild guess (there is not much textual evidence except two sentences) that Grindelwald was the former Heir of Slytherin. Slytherin had a long line of descendants, one of which was Voldemort, but there must be many people in between. What if Grindelwald was the previous Heir of Slytherin, and possibly Voldemort's grandfather?

jessi - Oct 14, 2002 11:42 pm (#7 of 81)
Why can't Hitler and Grindelwald be the same person? Or Grindelwald may have worked for the German's Maybe mudbloods were also persecuted by the Germans, like the Jews, Gypsies, handicapped and homosexuals I think there definitely has to be a connection between WW2, Hitler and Grindelwald. Why else would JKR use such an important date in history if it was not going to be important?

Stupendous - Oct 15, 2002 11:47 am (#8 of 81)
I think that this line was just put in to show how great Dumbledore is. You would have to be powerful to defeat a dark lord (i'm not sure what they called him in the book).

And Binns said that only because a wizard doesn't use dark powers, it doesn't mean he doesn't know how to use them. Maybe this is implying that Dumbledore has dark powers, but doesn't choose to use them. He could have defeated Grindelwald with this dark powers if there was no other option.

Jimmy Bell - Nov 1, 2002 10:40 pm (#10 of 81)
I'll post my argument from 'Was Lord Voldemort instructed by Grindelwald?' I disown anything I have said previously on this thread.

In Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog card it says, "Dumbledore's most renowned accomplishment was his defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald in 1945." Dumbledore is widely acknowledged to be the greatest wizard of the age. It would make sense that his greatest accomplishment would be overcoming his rival, the most powerful Dark Wizard of the age. Nothing less would qualify as his greatest achievement. This, undoubtedly, was what led to Dumbledore's reputation of being the most powerful wizard of the age. By this reasoning Grindelwald was almost certainly the most powerful Dark Wizard of the Age.

Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts in 1944. According to Dumbledore, "He disappeared after leaving the school ... traveled far and wide ... sank so deeply into the Dark Arts, consorted with the very worst of our kind, underwent so many dangerous, magical transformations, that when he resurfaced as Lord Voldemort, he was barely recognizable." Now if Tom Riddle was seeking to empower himself in the Dark Arts it would make sense to seek out the most renowned Dark Wizard of the Age. Dumbledore says after he left Hogwarts he "traveled far and wide." Was he traveling to Grindelwald in his quest to master the Dark Arts? Dumbledore says he "consorted with the very worst of our kind." Grindelwald, as the most feared Dark Wizard of the times, would certainly qualify as "the very worst of our kind."

True, if Tom Riddle did seek out Grindelwald, he would only have had a year to learn from Grindelwald before his fall. Perhaps Grindelwald passed on to Voldemort some secret in his quest for immortality? Could the gleam in Dumbledore's eye have something to do with the way he defeated Grindelwald? Did he learn by defeating Grindelwald something that might help him to locate Lord Voldemort's vulnerability? Just a thought. Any comments?

Horace Marshall - Nov 2, 2002 2:36 am (#11 of 81)
It is doubtful that any supporters of Grindlewald are alive and with Voldy. Doubtful but not impossable. Voldy is over 60 which means the supporters of Grindy would be way over 100, most of them anyway. And I doubt Grindy is still alive. Even if Grindy was in Azkaban Prison He would have died when the Dementors took over the job as prison guards, after the fall of Valdy. As for Capitol Punishment I would say that the Dementor´s Kiss is as Capitl as it gets. As for Dumbley it is most likely he was an Auror. Dumbley has a lot of knowledge and alot of thinghs he uses from which we have no idea, except for his Glasses. Did anyone ever wonder why Dumbley glanced in the corner of Hagrids Hut where Ron and Harry were hiding in Book 2. "However’, said Dumbledore, speaking very slowly and clearly. So that none of them could miss a word, you will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it. ‘ Fore a second, Harry was almost sure Dumbledore eyes flickered towards the corner where he and Ron stood hidden."

Jimmy Bell - Nov 2, 2002 11:29 am (#12 of 81)
We know that Dumbledore was teaching at Hogwarts when Grindelwald fell. He was the Transfiguration Teacher. So how could he have been an Auror at that time?

finl@y - Nov 2, 2002 1:45 pm (#13 of 81)
Perhaps he was an Auror part-time, e.g. in the summer holidays. Or maybe he took long absences from school. But there isn't any evidence to suggest that there *were* Aurors in those days, so maybe he was called "Dumbledore the Dark wizard-catcher" or something long and drawn-out like that.

Kesesi - Nov 2, 2002 2:50 pm (#14 of 81)
The fact that Aurors defeat dark wizards and Dumbledore defeated a dark wizard does NOT imply that Dumbledore was an Auror. In order to draw the conclusion that Dumbledore was an Auror we need a statement that ALL dark wizards were defeated by Aurors or that ONLY Aurors have defeated dark wizards. I know of no such statement.

Slytherin Prefect - Nov 2, 2002 5:30 pm (#15 of 81)
Yeah, just because bounty hunters are all over the country looking for an escaped criminal, and a private citizen captures the guy in her basement does not make her a bounty hunter. ^_^

Carina - Nov 3, 2002 12:42 am (#16 of 81)
Why couldn't Grindy be alive? Wizards live much longer than muggles.

Maybe teaching was a second career for Dumbledore and he started out as an Auror and therefore has all of the skills needed to be one. He could have been an independent contractor or such after he joined the Hogwarts staff.

I think anyone who doesn't need an cloak to become invisible might also be able to recognize those who do.

Laura G - Nov 10, 2002 6:33 pm (#17 of 81)
Something to think about... Griffindor's animal is the Phoenix, which is constantly being reborn in a burst of flames... and Slytherin's symbol is the snake, also a symbol of rebirth...shedding its skin, or in the celtic symbol of the snake eating its own tail which was a symbol for the infinity of the universe feeding upon its own self. So, it is the contstant cycle of good and evil being reborn into the world.

Marè - Nov 10, 2002 6:35 pm (#18 of 81)
except for the fact that the gryffindor animal is a lion. the phoenix is just fawkes.

Laura G - Nov 10, 2002 6:40 pm (#19 of 81)
So maybe, Grindelwald transferred his power over to Voldemort and Dumbledore is transferring his power over to Harry... so if voldemort takes in some of Harry's blood into himself (GF) he is taking in the power of good which will eventually dilute his power for evil???? HArry already has some of Veoldemort in him from the attack on his parents... maybe this is going to in effect bring some sort of balance back to the wizarding world...

Makgraf - Nov 20, 2002 8:39 pm (#20 of 81)
I agree with jessi, Grindelwald is a symbol of Nazism. JK Rowling is an author that does nothing by fluke. Look at the evidence of the connection. 1) Grindelwald is a germanic sounding name. 2) Dumbledore defeated him in 1945, the same year that the allies defeated the Germans. 3) There are close proxaminities between the ideals of the Dark Wizards and the Nazis (They both believe that they are a master race and their "inferiors" should be killed or enslaved.) For these reasons, I would strongly doubt that Grindelwald was a hogworts student or an englishman.

I don't believe that Grindelwald WAS hitler though, just as I don't believe that Dumbledore was Churchhill. My guess is that he headed up the German equivelent of the Ministry of Magic.

Quintius Umfraville - Nov 21, 2002 9:18 am (#21 of 81)
I think that Grindelwald was the Wizarding equivalent to the muggles' Hitler, in both timeline and amount of terror. I think the JKR was simply trying to give the Wizards a WWII, so to speak, by having a major nemesis for the Wizarding world to conquer.

I would not be surprised if Grindelwald survived past 1945, Dumbledore just defeated him, he didn't kill him necessarily. That would have allowed Voldemort to glean tremendous amounts of knowledge and evil from Grindelwald before becoming powerful himself. If that is the case, then Voldemort can either be Grindelwald's hand-picked successor or some other form of heir (ie. Slytherin's) to the power Grindelwald had.

Or, Grindelwald may never be brought up again and JKR used that little tidbit just to show Dumbledore's greatness.

It could go either way.

W J - Nov 21, 2002 7:55 pm (#22 of 81)
What if muggle wars have cause and effect on wizard wars and vice versa. What I mean is, do wizards get caught up in a muggle war and choose sides? Do muggles mistake events during wizard wars as enemy attacks and start a parallel war? This could explain the WWII timeline for Grendelwald. 'Just a thought.

Carina - Nov 23, 2002 11:29 pm (#23 of 81)
Also, it's mentioned that the English govt. is aware of the MoM (they are working together to catch Sirius). What if Grindelwald and Hitler were allies?

cara - Nov 26, 2002 4:22 pm (#24 of 81)
Could Grindelwald have been converted to the good side?

I don't see Grindelwald having servants and supporters to the degree of Voldermort. Wouldn't we have heard from some of the Older Wizards refering to the old dark age? Maybe he just had a different ambition. Instead of World domination, destroying every lemon drop known to man?

Another Proposal--Dumbledore destroyed Grindelwald. What if, he only destroyed his personality? What i'm saying is Grindelwald is Dumbledore. Dumbledore is Grindelwald. He chose another pathway in life and changed his name.

CT Blink - Nov 26, 2002 5:53 pm (#25 of 81)
Oh, Cara, I was just thinking that and you had to go say it before me. ;-P.

All this muggle and wizard wars affecting each other brings up a good pt. Do wizards serve in the army. They must have a social secrutiy or something along those lines. the muggle-born at least. i think britain has a draft system like the USA does. Germany has something simlar (i've lived there.) so did a wizard get draft into Veitman or Korea, etc? then what do they do? do they pay muggle taxs? have public deaths? (meaning you can look up in articles to see who died and when.)

W J - Nov 26, 2002 7:16 pm (#26 of 81)
Dumbledore was the transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts at the time Grindelwald was defeated. How can he be Grindelwald?

Denise S. - Nov 27, 2002 11:08 am (#27 of 81)
Maybe it's just me, but I think it's really hard to speculate on someone that there isn't much information on. I don't know much about Grindelwald, but it seems to me like he at least wouldn't have been as bad as Voldemort. But maybe Voldemort did use him as a roll model...I dunno, I wouldn't have thought there was enuf info on him. Hmm....

CT Blink - Nov 27, 2002 11:56 am (#28 of 81)
as grindelwald was considered the darkest wizard until voldemort showed up, thats kind of like saying that hilter isn't that bad compared to Sadum Hassen.

dont see y DD can't be grindelwald. maybe nobody ever saw what he looked like. maybe DD used a time turner to go bad in time.

W J - Nov 27, 2002 6:26 pm (#29 of 81)
Please give any references that support your theory that Dumbledore is Grindelwald. Please point out anything in the books or in JKR interviews that supports this, then I can understand why you think it is possible.

Lenka - Dec 7, 2002 10:50 am (#30 of 81)
Well, that's just an idea... I've been thinking about it too...

But, my point is:

Since Grindelwald sounds german, i looked ip up in a german dictionary. Guess what? Grinde means "scab" in german.

Now, we have two things related to scab. The obvious one is Scabbers (not likelly, i think), but the other are the Dementors!!!

"There was a hand protruding from the cloak and it was glistening, greyish, slimy-looking and SCABBED, like something dead that had decayed in water..." (PoA)

Could Grindy be possibly the "Lord of the Dementors"? the one who awoke them, set them loose, and created great terror?

Marè - Dec 7, 2002 11:50 am (#31 of 81)
Edited by Dec 7, 2002 11:51 am Grindelwald is a village in suisse if I,m correct.

::runs to find atlas..... nope, no atlas here:: Can somebody check?

Because the funny thing is in all the WWII - grindelwald connections, that Suisse is the representation of neutrality. Or at least they want to be.

Denise S. - Dec 7, 2002 2:28 pm (#32 of 81)
Yes, Grindelwald is in Switzerland, I saw so on The Amazing Race:). As for the Dementors, I thought that they were OLD, like, before Grindelwald's time.

Anna Diaz - Dec 9, 2002 1:47 pm (#35 of 81)
Grindelwald is in Switzerland. But what does that have to do with it? It is a resort. A very pretty place in fact. What does that have to do with the evil wizard?

Slytherin Prefect - Dec 9, 2002 4:01 pm (#36 of 81)
Edited by Dec 9, 2002 4:01 pm Maybe he was a very pretty evil wizard. ^_^

Choco* - Dec 9, 2002 6:31 pm (#37 of 81)
Who GRIN'D as he did his evil work. ^_^

Sly Girl - Dec 22, 2002 7:42 pm (#39 of 81)
Not only would it be nice to know why it was important for Dumbledore to defeat Grindelwald, but also why it was important for US (the readers) to know he defeated Grindelwald. Jk could of stuck anything in there, really. Yes, you could argue she wanted to give a bit of history to establish that his character is definitely on the GOOD side, but I think there is more to it than that. Grindelwald being the precursor to Voldemort is a very interesting question. It would imply that perhaps Grindelwald, while a **bad** wizard, was perhaps not *as* bad as Voldy became. Which would lead to the idea that evil learns and becomes more evil, if in some way, Grindelwald did transfer knowledge or power to the young Lord V. I do see a lot of history repeating itself in this story- just today I realized that Harry looks like his father (remarkably so, except for the eyes) and that Ginny Weasely who now, may very well have parts of Voldemort in her, has striking red hair... just like someone else in Harry's life. Does this mean Ginny represents Lily, Harry represents James? Who knows. But within these stories we see patterns and threads connect when we thought there was nothing to connect them at all. So it might very well be that Grindelwald has a connection to Voldemort and that would explain why Voldemort feared Dumbledore, while fearing no one else.

Asktqa - Dec 23, 2002 5:18 am (#40 of 81)
Edited by Dec 23, 2002 5:19 am I was thinking about Grindelwald and the German connections, and I found another connection between the world of HP and the Nazis. It says in The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter that Durmstrang school probably gets its name from an art movement in Germany called Sturm und Drang. Apparently, the artists of that movement were favourites of the Nazi government in Germany. I'm not sure if that was actually relevant, but it made me think a bit. Perhaps Grindelwald attended Durmstrang, or was teacher or headmaster there at some point? Did he give it its Dark Arts reputation?

azi - Dec 26, 2002 6:48 am (#41 of 81)
A thought I have had for a long time.

Both Adolf Hitler and Grindelwald were defeated/killed in 1945. I thought about this when I first read the book and wondered if there was a connection. I'm not saying that Grindelwald and Hitler were the same person or anything, but maybe as there was a 'reign of terror' in the muggle world there was one in the wizarding world as well.

Just a thought. What do you think? I would really like to know what Grindelwald actually means.

According to a translation site, in German, it means 'standard forest'! I knew the forest bit but not the standard bit. 'Wald' is forest by the way.


MacGyverMagic - Feb 18, 2003 7:12 am (#43 of 81)
I used the Nearly Headless Nick Timeline to establish Riddle's age in 1945. He would've been 18 and just old enough to follow in Grindelwald's steps. I'm just wondering if this means there's supposed to be a huge bad guy to keep everything balanced. I think that if Harry defeats Voldie in year 7, Draco will replace him as he'll be 18 and so on and so on...

As for the name: what if JK just liked that place in Switzerland and used it. Could be that it doesn't even mean anything...

Mattew Bates - Feb 18, 2003 10:57 am (#44 of 81)
Reading through this topic again, it struck me that Riddle may have had a chance to study under Grindelwald for more than a year. It's pure speculation, of course - but maybe Riddle took a job as a guard at whatever prison Grindly ended up in, and secretly learned from him there.

There are also other fantastical stories dealing with a spirit of evil possessing successive wizards through the generations (Dragonlance & Raistlin come to mind), always on a quest for immortality - there could be some of Grindelwald in Voldemort. Not just an apprentice thing, but a dark spiritual merge, so Grindle's evil could live on in Voldie. If that's the case, then if Voldie is captured or is close to death (having failed in his quest for bodily immortality), he may look for a successor of like mind to Riddle. This would also be a reason for Dumbledore to try to stop Grindelwald - an attempt to put an end to this generational cycle of evil wizards.

Denise S. - Feb 18, 2003 11:22 am (#45 of 81)
As for the question of whether or not Grindelwald and Hitler knew of each other--I myself am not sure. I could imagine some sort of partnership thing where Hitler knew he couldn't control the wizard population so he had to have someone who would. Of course, I have no idea how Hitler would even discover that wizards existed and how/why he would come into contact with Grindelwald. But the date was picked for a specific purpose, it seems (I mean, why else would we remember 1945?), so I wonder if there's anything else concerning Grindelwald that will be referenced in future books.

Madam Poppy - Feb 18, 2003 2:13 pm (#46 of 81)
The Muggle Prime Minister was informed of the escape of Sirius Black in Prisoner of Azkaban. Fudge seemed to be in direct communication with him. As of Book 4 the loyalties of Fudge are under question. Could this become a problem?

Carina - Feb 18, 2003 6:23 pm (#47 of 81)
Edited by Feb 18, 2003 6:23 pm I agree with Mattew's idea that Riddle could have studied under Grindy for more than a year, but on the opposite side. Hitler had his Nazi youth programs, I don't see why Grindy couldn't do the same. Riddle may have been a devout follower of Grindelwald for many years as a teenager. Grindy may have even been the one to clue Riddle in on his bloodline and helped him find and open the chamber.

I think the Grindelwald-Hitler connection is more than a coincidence (how many people here believe that in all things JKR, there ARE no coincidences). I think the fact that the British PM and the MoM keep in contact is pretty good evidence of the fact that other countries' magical and muggle governments are aware of each other AND THAT leads to a pretty strong certainty that Hitler would know about Grindy. I have little doubt that they were working together to achieve the same end.

Just my humble opinion Smile

Olivia Wood - Feb 18, 2003 8:32 pm (#48 of 81)
It might be possible Hitler and Grindewald are the same person, and that the Muggle version of WWII was just something the Ministry cooked up to explain all the deaths. More probable, I think, is that they were allies. There are not coincedences. Wink

I don't think it's necessary that Voldemort had to know Grindewald, maybe he was just his inspiration. Voldy decided to pick up where Grindewald failed. Although the ressurected evil theory is intriguing.

Did anybody else see that movie, 'Being...(some actor's name, I don't remember)' where this puppeteer guy gets a job in an office on the 7 and 1/2 floor of an office building and finds a doorway into being that actor guy. Then he and this other girl try and charge people for getting to be him, and then towords the end you find out there's like this whole group of people who walk through the doorway and merge into someone else whenever they get old... It was pretty surrealistic. Anyway that's what Matthew's post made me think of. Just thought I would mention it. Smile

Carina - Feb 18, 2003 8:40 pm (#49 of 81)
"Being John Malkovich" Very interesting movie... Very cool theory.

Caitlin McCoy - Feb 18, 2003 8:41 pm (#50 of 81)
Grindelwald & Hitler...with my passions for history, I'm surprised it didn't dawn on me before. Well, this is interesting. Grindelwald using Hitler (and Hitler using Grindelwald's powers to achieve his meglomaniacal ends) to subdue the Wizarding world and the Muggle world simultaneously. It sends chills down my spine, mostly because in the world of HP/JKR, it isn't that fantastical.

dudley - Feb 18, 2003 10:40 pm (#51 of 81)
Assuming that Grindelwald (who obviosly is the ruler of the gridelows!) is Swiss. It is ammusing that the Swiss didnt take part in WW2 because they were dealing with their own problems...not acting as a huge money launderer for the Nazi govenment.

Claudia - Feb 19, 2003 2:26 am (#52 of 81)
As for the historic Hitler, he was very much into studying the occult, astrology, witchcraft et cetera. Some historians believe him to have been a satanist.

What always strikes me, when reading GOF is the black robes of the Death Eaters, their tattoo and the skull as their "trade mark". Hitler's Waffen-SS, his "elite"-troops wore black uniforms, they had a tattoo (stating their blood group) on the left upper arm and their sign was a skull. Just a few thoughts...

azi - Feb 19, 2003 4:11 am (#53 of 81)
Hitler wasn't 'into' the occult as such. Some people he was influenced by were leaders of cults. These people promoted things like the ariean (sp?) race and many of his personal beliefs were based on what these people had taught him. Yes the swastika was a powerful magical symbol and the SS sign is two 's' runes but anyone could use those.

Maybe Voldie liked the idea of having a skull like Hitler did. No one really knows the truth about Hitler's ways etc. but why, if he believed in the occult and was a satanist would he believe the holy grail existed and want it?

I don't want to start a disscussion on this but I really don't believe Hitler practised dark arts. Grindelwald could have been in touch with Hitler, but, and this is a very big but, would J.K Rowling mix up our history with her made up world? People who have been persecuted against in the war years won't be very happy if she does, nor would many other people who had survived the blitzes and battles.

Long post, sorry.

Olivia Wood - Feb 19, 2003 7:32 pm (#54 of 81)
So maybe she just made the dates the same to equate Grindewald to Hitler, without them having anything to do with each other... although that still kinda creeps me out... If Grindewald was as bad as Hitler, think how bad Voldy's got to be.

azi - Feb 20, 2003 8:17 am (#59 of 81)
ooooo I just found out that as well as meaning 'forest', WALD also means 'rule'. And Ronald (Ron) comes from Reynold (eventually) in which 'nold' is actually 'wald' just slightly different. Complicated to some , but not to me.

Could be interesting. Then again not.

rettoP yrraH - Feb 20, 2003 7:55 pm (#60 of 81)
VALD is how its pronuced VO(a)LDtimort eh?

Penny L. - Feb 22, 2003 7:39 am (#61 of 81)
Um okay, back to the whole Grindlewald thing. It was mentioned that JKR shouldn't mix up Muggle History with Wizard history, and my thought is, that it isn't possible to make a completly separate world. Any author will be influenced by the world as she or he has seen it. I don't think that Grindewald is Hitler, but i think he was used as a similar reign of terror.... Plus, we've all noticed that there seems to be a very small Wizard population. Couldn't it be possible that many Wizards were also taken away by The Nazis? Or if Voledmort is worse then Hitler ( just saying that if Hitler and Grindlewold were the same person) , couldn't that explain the extremly small wizarding population?

Denise S. - Feb 22, 2003 12:42 pm (#62 of 81)
I don't think that many wizards would have fallen victim to Hitler. Based on other discussions we've had, it seems like it would be hard to kill a wizard with a gun, and if they were captured or something they could disapparate to freedom. That's why Grindelwald came along to terrorize the wizarding world on wizarding terms.

azi - Feb 22, 2003 2:02 pm (#63 of 81)
Why should wizards and witches fall victim to Hitler when they didn't normally get caught to be burnt on the stake? They were even more into being a 'myth' by WW2 than in medieval times.

Jazzmaster - Feb 22, 2003 3:43 pm (#66 of 81)
Hello, Perhaps JKR just added the Grindelwald thing to stop people asking why the wizarding world didn't help out the Muggles in their fight to rid the world of one of their greatest threats, Hitler. If they were involved in their own crisis they wouldn't be able to help, even if they wanted to. Just a thought.

Olivia Wood - Feb 22, 2003 3:46 pm (#67 of 81)
Okay, now I feel stupid.

azi - Feb 23, 2003 3:29 am (#68 of 81)
I don't think they did. It wouldn't work. Hitler was a dictator and dictators don't exactly share power. Even if he knew about the magical world it wouldn't make any difference. Why would wizard help muggles when they had their own dark lord to deal with.

Sly Girl - Feb 23, 2003 6:34 am (#69 of 81)
The sense I get from the book is that wizards stay out of Muggle affairs. Period. I do think, when something like Black escaping happens, they do contact the Muggle world so as to have help in finding their quarry. But other than that, I think wizards pretty much keep to themselves.

Now here's an interesting idea- remember how Malfoy is always disparaging Dumbledore for being a Muggle lover? What if the Malfoy's and Voldemorts (ie- people who feel like they do) of the wizarding world are afraid of the two worlds interacting? What if some wizards want there to be a more open exchange between the two worlds? (Surely Arthur fits this category) What if that is behind all of the muggle hating and the pure-blood racism? What would really happen if the wizards were truthful about their magical selves? More witch trials? Scared Muggles? Think about it- if the wizarding world became known to the Muggles, it would put an end to some of the fear and distrust people like the Dursley's have. I don't think the two sides would live in harmony ever after or anything like that, but a society in which all of its people know about the other would definitely have to benefit from that, wouldn't it?

Nine - Feb 23, 2003 9:42 am (#70 of 81)
JKR can't have added the Grindlewald detail to forstall questions. When she wrote SS/PS, she had no idea it would be a bestseller, and therefore wouldn't have known we fans would nitpick so much, Jazzmaster.

Olivia Wood - Feb 23, 2003 9:55 am (#71 of 81)
So? She still could have wanted to do a thourough job. And if it bothered her why wizards didn't do anything during WWII, the Grindewald reference would have been a perfect explination, without seeming added on.

Nine - Feb 23, 2003 9:56 am (#72 of 81)
True. If she was forestalling her own questions...then that's a perfectly reasonable theory.

Sly Girl - Feb 23, 2003 3:25 pm (#73 of 81)
Am I talking to myself here?

W J - Feb 23, 2003 3:37 pm (#74 of 81)
I read your post, SG, but I'm not sure if it would be a good thing if Muggles were aware of the magical folks. The fear factor might escalate. Most Muggles don't believe in magic and if confronted with the fact that magic was real, they might become totally paranoid. Magical folks would never be left in peace either by those who feared them or by those who wanted a magic favor. I think wizards fear muggles and muggle reactions to magic with good reason. Peace. Smile

Denise S. - Feb 23, 2003 4:38 pm (#75 of 81)
In order for the Wizarding community to live "openly", there'd have to be a major evolution in the level of consciousness/collective maturity of humans on the whole. As it is, the muggle world is having a hard enough time coping with itself. Unless something miraculous happens, wizards should best keep to themselves, I think!

Carina - Feb 23, 2003 6:17 pm (#76 of 81)
I agree with WJ and Denise, but your post made me think, SG...

Could it be that the Malfoys and such don't hate Muggles as much as they are afraid of them? They may understand more than we give them credit for. They know the history of Wizard/Muggle relations and want as little to do with them as possible. These are very old Wizarding families who may feel that Muggles are responsible for all of the distrust and misunderstanding between the two groups. Their families were the ones who were persecuted just a few hundred years ago and they may not be ready to forgive and forget yet.

Unfortunately, they have turned their prejudices into bigotry and, while I do not in any way, shape or form agree with what they are doing, I feel a bit more sorry for them.

Sly Girl - Feb 23, 2003 7:18 pm (#77 of 81)
Yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at, Carina. I've been trying to understand why the purebloods hate the muggles and the mudbloods (I mean, for other than the obvious reasons, that is) and yes, all of this "keeping the blood pure" does remind one of Hitler and his ilk. (side note- go see The Pianist if you're interested in the holocaust at all)

Malfoy in particular seems most adamant about the non mixing of wizards and muggles. And yet he pledges his loyalty to a half-breed, Voldemort. I mean, you could argue Voldemort wouldn't be Voldemort if he hadn't been born of a Muggle father. It is his driving hatred of his father which pushes him down the dark path. I like your idea of "persecution" and the history between the two worlds, I hadn't thought of that.

Anyway thanks for the input, ladies. I was begginning to think I was invisible. Wink

Asktqa - Feb 24, 2003 3:27 am (#79 of 81)
Interesting ideas, Carina and SG. I think that they probably could be afraid of the Muggles, deep down, after all most prejudices are caused by fear. And the wizards really don't know much about the Muggle world, do they? Even Mr Weasley, who apparently studies Muggle things and is always eager to find out new information, consistently gets everything wrong. People like the Malfoys whose prejudices would prevent them finding out anything, probably know next to nothing about Muggles. I would find it quite believable that sub-consiously they might be afraid of them, along with the 'history of perseuction' idea.

Or H. - Apr 18, 2003 2:50 pm (#80 of 81)
This is a very interesting thread, and I believe Kip C, is quite right in his attempts at keeping it alive. I see Grindelwald, Dumbledore, and Voldemort, as representatives of consecutive 'eras': romanticism, modernism, and post-modernism. The three 'threads' have intermingled connections: romanticism and modernism both see history as a movement towards a utopian future; romanticism and post-modernism both (and of course I'm totally over simplifying things) see the rationalistic project as something that has reached its possible limits; etc,. A linear scheme would show a movement from romanticism towards modernism and then toward modernism.

I find it fairly reasonable to connect Grindelwald and romanticism/Nazism (the reference to 1945). Dumbledore, when first introduced, is described as "...greatest wizard in the modern era ... loves chamber music and ten-pin-bowling". Chamber Music is one of Joyce's poem book. Joyce being 'the' modernist writer clearly brings out the 'modernism' in Dumbledore. As for Voldemort, he is connected to post-modernism in more ways than one. Voldemort, which is 'flight of death' in french, refers us to the timelesness of postmodernism which is created by seeing time as purely phenomenological. The french name also heightens our awarness of post-modernism being mainly of "continental" roots. The connection of the continental philosophers to the (wholy unnecessarily fascist) romantic philosophy of Heideger, is shown by the german form of "Grindelwald", and the french form of "Voldemort". [I have much more to say about this but I dont want to bore you (anymore)]

As for symbolism - Grendel is the monster from Baewolf, and could easily be connected to the SturmandDrung artistic movement. She is also, in essence, a kind of a dragon. the dragon refers to the snake, and in many times is described as winged snake ('worm' is also commonly used). Both the snake and the dragon (as mentioned in some of the previous posts) are coneected to the eternal cycle which does not cease. Voldemort is clearly connected to snakes. Dumbledore on the other hand is symbolized mainly by the Phoenix. Now, the phoenix, though reprtesenting eternity, is all about death and rebirth, which is one of the main symbols of modernism (think of the snow in Joyce's The Dead).

Harry, as I see it, is the reappearence of modernism, and the rebirth of values, matched with the historic forebodings of being utterly self-confident in ones opinions. As such he is Dumbledore's Heir just as much as Voldemort is Grindelwald's. I see Harry 'symbol' as being the toad (remember that Dumledore is also mentioned in the connection of frogs). As such he is similar to another 'hero' of modernism - Graham's Mr. Toad.

What do you think? Does all this make sense? Am I just blubering?

Nine - Apr 19, 2003 6:12 am (#81 of 81)
Interesting theory, but I really don't think the Harry Potter series is a metaphor for any literary or artistic movement. I personally hate modernism, but really like Harry as a character. Of course, it could be that I link modernism with paintings of two stripes of color or Theater of the Absurd plays.
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