Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

The Mirror of Erised

Go down

The Mirror of Erised Empty The Mirror of Erised

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:10 pm

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

Mrs. Sirius - Jul 7, 2007 10:38 pm Edited by Kip Carter Sep 26, 2007 3:55 am

Generally I don’t let my kids watch television. The videos they watch are supervised and limited. Because of rain last night I let them watch Spy Kids 3-D. This movie is essentially a video game in 3D. I was not entirely enjoying the movie but I asked my son for his 3D glasses. It was really incredible. 3D is far more successful today than the 3D of my youth. However I was still really annoyed by the one-eyed monster time. I was watching my kids watch the show. They were just staring at the screen.

That started me thinking about the Mirror of Erised. I have read and enjoyed the PS/SS numerous times, and gotten so much out of it. JKR has invented so many things for her books and used some things or ideas and that ready existed. The mirror of Erised I never quite got. I thought it was just a devise for her to show us Harry’s heart without other explanation. It wasn’t until this reading that I finally got what the Mirror really was.

Here is what Dumbledore says:

"This mirror will give us neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

What do you think? I searched the old book discussion thread and no one seemed to mention this analogy. Did you see this connection or did you miss this too?
Ravenclaw Prefect
Ravenclaw Prefect

Posts : 4241
Join date : 2011-02-18
Location : USA

Back to top Go down

The Mirror of Erised Empty The Mirror of Erised (posts #1 - #40)

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 pm

Choices - Jul 8, 2007 9:08 am (#1 of 78)

Television! LOL

shepherdess - Jul 8, 2007 9:27 am (#2 of 78) Edited Jul 8, 2007 10:30 am

There's a difference between understanding the words someone says, and truly grasping the meaning or significance of the words. (That's why re-reading these books over and over causes us to gain a deeper understanding of Jo's messages.)

When I originally read the quote you cited, I understood what she was saying on the surface. Then in re-reads, it occurred to me that the effect of the mirror on Harry was almost like a drug addiction. Harry was more than just mildly curious about the mirror and what he saw in it. He felt driven to keep going back for more. It was like he couldn't get enough of it. And the more he saw, the more he wanted to see.

He even got defensive and angry with Ron when he became concerned about Harry and tried to suggest (for Harry's own good) that maybe Harry shouldn't visit the mirror any more. That's the same type of reaction that one might get if they suggest to a drug user that they should stop.

Drugs, and apparently the Mirror of Erised, can have a tremendous hold on a person. I think it's because they both feed a person's strongest desires and, therefore, feelings.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Just as it doesn't do to exist in a drugged up state all the time, and never really live a full and healthy life.

Note: I'm not trying to use this thread as a soapbox for my opinion on drugs. Nor am I attempting to turn this into a debate about whether drugs are good or bad, etc. This is just my analogy, my understanding, of the Mirror of Erised.

Solitaire - Jul 8, 2007 10:22 pm (#3 of 78)

Anything that steals one's time and causes one to neglect other important activities, duties, and relationships might be said to be an addiction of sorts. Some of us may have been accused by our near and dear of being addicted to the Net at one point or another ... especially when it was "the new toy." Harry's responses, listed above, apply perfectly to this kind of addiction. Back in 1999-2000, I knew of a couple of people who had to go into therapy because they became addicted to spending time online ... to the point where it affected personal relationships and job performances. Many colleges even set up counseling for just this problem.

I can see Jo's words applying not only to Harry but to many different kinds of addictions.


Madam Pince - Jul 9, 2007 5:55 am (#4 of 78) Edited Jul 9, 2007 6:55 am

***Looks around at unfolded laundry and un-unloaded dishwasher***

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Madame Pomfrey - Jul 9, 2007 7:57 am (#5 of 78)

Lol, Madame Pince! I too, resemble that remark! It's not the net, it's the Lexicon:)

journeymom - Jul 9, 2007 9:07 am (#6 of 78)

Mrs. Sirius, great catch! Yes, I think Dumbledore's words apply to television viewing, as well. Isn't it in SS/PS that we learn that Dudley can tell time by what show would be on the telly?

Gerald Costales - Jul 10, 2007 10:01 pm (#7 of 78) Edited Jul 10, 2007 11:14 pm

. . . Dudley can tell time by what show would be on the telly?

I believe that there are more people than just Dudley that can tell the time by what's on the telly.

The Mirror has always fascinated me. For instance, it’s never really stated in the Books who owns the Mirror. You can’t assume that Dumbledore owned it or always owned the Mirror. Look at the Horcruxes for example. The ownership of most of the Horcruxes have changed many times,

I’ve suggested that the Mirror belonged to Grindelwald. The Mirror does appear to be 'Dark Magic'. But, then again the two-way mirrors that Sirius and James shared seem more like playthings brought at Zonko's.

The Mirror hasn’t been seen since Book 1. But, I’ve always thought the Mirror could resurface in the Series. Since Book 7 is the last book in the Series, then if the Mirror has some hidden importance then one should see the Mirror again in Book 7.

The cabinets that transported the Death Eaters into Hogwarts didn’t seem important when you first read about one of them in B&Bs. Even Dumbledore complimented Draco on finding the connection between the broken cabinet at Hogwarts and the other cabinet at B&Bs.

It was a while back, but I did suggest that the Mirror not only belonged to Grindelwald, but somehow the Mirror could have been used to destroy Grindelwald. Spells bounce about all the time. (The most important time of course was when Voldemort’s AK rebounded off the infant Harry’s forehead and the rest so to speak is history. No rebounding AK, no Harry, no Story, no Series of 7 Books, no Movies, etc.)

And let’s not forget that Hermione was spared from death by using a mirror. I don’t see Voldemort destroying himself from a rebounding AK from a mirror. But, the trance like visions that come from the mirror could at least lead Harry to another Horcrux.

Hey, Harry will be needing anything from a trail of spiders leading into the Forbidden Forest, to another Prophecy from Sybill. Though probably not intentional, Sybill did seem to predict the coming of the Grim/Sirius and of course the return of Wormtail to Voldemort.

PS My older sister is taking me and the kids and a nephew to see the 5th Movie on Wednesday. What a great month for us Pottermaniacs - a new Movie and (sigh) the Final Book.

PPS My son was looking for the DVD of the 4th Movie and couldn’t find one. But, the store clerk said a special 4-disc set of the first 4 movies will be coming out soon. This maybe old news about the DVDs, but it was news to me. GC

Mrs. Sirius - Jul 10, 2007 10:51 pm (#8 of 78) Edited Jul 10, 2007 11:54 pm

Yes I too think the Mirror will be seen again. Perhaps harry will have a chance to look at it one more time and really face himself and his true hearts desire now that he has information.

But I am captivated by how astute JK is with how we face how ultimate challenges. Those lucky enough to know their hearts desire may find it daunting.

The idea of pursuing that which we want ultimately, can seem an insurmountable or minimally highly challenging task. To spend time in front of the mirror (television, drug, video game) that shows us achieving that is so much more rewarding. It's instant and successful without all the work required to get there.

So many children are just like Dudley. They get in front of the TV, (video game, etc) and they go blank. You can't carry a conversation with them, can't get original thought. They go blank.

This also relates, I think to what JK says about the abuse the Dursleys have perpetrated on Dudley. They didn't require him to succeed. He was permitted to languish in front of the media devise.

Veritaserum - Jul 11, 2007 12:05 am (#9 of 78)

I hope the Mirror makes another appearance too! It's such an interesting invention and plot device. I would love to see it used again somehow in the last book, that would bring it around in a nice circle, eh?

shepherdess - Jul 11, 2007 8:21 am (#10 of 78) Edited Jul 11, 2007 9:27 am

"permitted to languish in front of the media devise" LOL. I love that phrasing!

If Harry's heart's desire is to...

..know what the horcruxes are; the mirror might show him Hufflepuff's Cup, etc.

..know where the horcruxes are; the mirror might show him the locations where they're hidden.

..know how to reach them; the mirror might reveal how to get past the magical protections

..know how to destroy them; the mirror might show him how to do that without injuring himself.

..find Voldemort; the mirror might show him where LV's hiding. (Hey, surely, it wouldn't make LV come out of the mirror?! That's a scary thought! And, yet powerful, in a way--Harry could just bring LV to him whenever he's ready! Lol! Imagine LV's surprise!)

..kill LV; maybe he can see how to do that without dying in the process.

Yeah, the mirror could be very helpful to Harry. But do we really think any of it is going to be that easy? Eh, I doubt it.

And what effect would the mirror have on Harry now if he tried to use it again?

Veritaserum - Jul 11, 2007 8:57 am (#11 of 78)

Well now Harry has a lot more on his mind, but I think he's still (almost) as pure of heart as he was originally. I think the mirror could still help him in the way it did in SS/PS, but then again, maybe he just sees himself as a normal wizarding kid with the Weasleys, his family, Sirius, and Dumbledore all together in the mirror.

Gerald Costales - Jul 11, 2007 9:00 am (#12 of 78) Edited Jul 11, 2007 10:14 am

"Yeah, the mirror could be very helpful to Harry. But do we really think any of it is going to be that easy? Eh, I doubt it."

" . . .this mirror will give us neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible." "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live . . ."

I think this is the key thought in the above quote, " . . . not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible."

I do agree it will not be that easy for Harry. But, the Mirror could be like Sirius, Hagrid, maybe Dobby , the Order, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, . . . - a means to aid Harry to destroy the remaining Horcruxes & ultimately Voldemort.

Harry will not solve the challenge of finding Horcruxes & Voldemort alone. Even Dumbledore had his share of "Magical Devises" to aid him - the Pensieve, that silver device in his office, and the Mirror. The Sorting Hat had its part in Series, but Harry chose Gryffindor despite the Hat's inclination to place Harry in Slytherin. Items like Tom Riddle's Diary & the Mirror act as Arthur said have "brains". That is to say the Mirror works independently of the user as did the Diary.

Rear view mirrors show things that are behind you as you drive. The Mirror may reveal a glimpse of things that are coming at Harry or before him.

PS I'm seeing the 5th Movie, today. GC

Choices - Jul 11, 2007 9:02 am (#13 of 78)

I hope we see the mirror again also. It is an interesting magical object. I think it has always been at Hogwarts. Just as in a regular Muggle school, you would find all sorts of teaching aids and objects, I believe at Hogwarts you find all sorts of magical objects that help teach the kids about magical things they might encounter in their world.

TwinklingBlueEyes - Jul 11, 2007 11:45 am (#14 of 78)

"I hope we see the mirror again also." I wonder?

"The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."

shepherdess - Jul 11, 2007 12:31 pm (#15 of 78)

Exactly, TBE. Of course the mirror could be of tremendous help to Harry, but are we really sure we want him to find it considering the profound effect it had on him before? Seems to me it could be detrimental to his quest just as easily as it could be helpful.

Solitaire - Jul 11, 2007 2:49 pm (#16 of 78)

When Harry first saw the Mirror of Erised, he was still focused on his parents, because (I think) for the first time he was in a place where they'd spent so many years of their own lives and among people who had actually known and loved them. This is the first time in his memory that he has met people who are willing to talk about his mother and father.

By the end of PS/SS--when Harry needed to find the Philosopher's Stone--he was able to focus on what he really needed at that time ... the stone!

Harry will soon be a legal adult in the Wizarding World, and he understands that its future may well rest in his hands. I think we saw a glimpse of Harry setting boundaries (with Scrimgeour) at Dumbledore's funeral. He now knows he is on his own. His friends can advise him and stand by him, but in the end, it will come down to him and Voldemort. He has known this since the end of OotP and has had a year to come to terms with it. He is probably as ready as he ever will be.

I hope he will think back and remember all of the various people and magical devices that have helped him in the past ... and look at them again. If Harry is truly focused on finding those Horcruxes, I think the Mirror may well be the thing that helps him find them all ... including the one within himself.


Choices - Jul 12, 2007 10:22 am (#17 of 78)

I really think the Mirror of Erised has pretty much served it purpose. I do not think the mirror could help Harry find the Horcruxes because it only shows us our hearts desire - it does not give us truth or knowledge. I think it can only show us what is already in ourselves - in our hearts. Since Harry doesn't know where the Horcruxes are, I don't think he could project that information into the mirror. He saw his family in the mirror because he held them in his heart and his desire to know/see them was projected into the mirror. When he wanted the stone, he saw himself and he saw the stone going into his pocket. He knew about the stone ahead of time and Dumbledore had charmed the mirror to allow this to happen. Only someone who wanted to find the stone, find it but not use it, could find it. Harry fit this description. The mirror might show Harry getting the Horcrux if he knows what it is (like the locket), but I don't think it would show him where it is or what it is unless he already had this information. Whew, does this make any sense at all? LOL

Solitaire - Jul 12, 2007 11:07 am (#18 of 78)

Yes, it does make sense ... but I can't help wonder if Harry might give it one more go. Something as amazing as the Mirror of Erised surely needs to make at least one more appearance ... I hope! Then again, I am wrong a lot!


Paul Potter - Jul 12, 2007 11:14 am (#19 of 78)

I find it interesting that in PS that what Ron sees in the Mirror of Erised is that he is Quidditch Captain and Head Boy. I was wondering if Ron would be a little upset if Harry got Head Boy and as he is already Quidditch Captain, Harry would have got what Ron always wanted.

Solitaire - Jul 12, 2007 11:18 am (#20 of 78)

I do not think Harry is going to have time to be Head Boy or Quidditch Captain this year, so Ron may well get the honors. Unfortunately, I am not sure either Ron or Hermione will have any more time than Harry ... if they are working with him.


Paul Potter - Jul 12, 2007 11:21 am (#21 of 78)

I just thought that maybe Harry will get Head Boy as a way to get him to come back to school. At the end of HBP Harry takes the lead in saying that the students should stay until after the funeral.

Allison R - Jul 12, 2007 11:52 am (#22 of 78)

Certainly the hopes we wish for ourselves and our goals change as we get older-- I am quite sure that the present-day Ronald would see very different things in the mirror should he look again today.

My goals for myself at 11 bear no resemblance at all to the ones I hold in my heart today = )

Gerald Costales - Jul 12, 2007 8:21 pm (#23 of 78) Edited Jul 12, 2007 9:31 pm

In less than a week, we'll know for sure if the Mirror of Erised is in Book 7.

I've been more wrong in my predictions than right. Probably the only correct prediction that I've made was that Neville would get a new wand and not another hand me down wand. But, the wand for Neville prediction was probably a no brainer. GC

Mrs. Sirius - Jul 12, 2007 10:56 pm (#24 of 78)

I can't remember who just suggested it but that is interesting Harry getting to Godric's Hallow by looking in the Mirror.

Columbine Fairy - Aug 20, 2007 8:55 pm (#25 of 78)

Has anyone else ever noticed this? I was re-reading PS and read the inscription on the mirror, if you read it backwards it says "I show not your face but your hearts desire." Am I just years behind everyone else??

Denise P. - Aug 21, 2007 6:39 am (#26 of 78)

Oh, I am sure you are not alone in just now noticing it. It took me a few reads to catch it as well.

Choices - Aug 21, 2007 11:18 am (#27 of 78)

Mirror of Erised - Erised is Desire backwards.

Columbine Fairy - Aug 21, 2007 5:52 pm (#28 of 78)

yeah, I was rereading one day and I suddenly realised, hey, that's desire backwards! then i thought, what if the whole sentence meant something? but then a while before i checked, and I thought, hey, that's really cool!

zelmia - Aug 27, 2007 7:56 pm (#29 of 78) Edited Aug 27, 2007 8:56 pm

I was curious as to how they would handle this on the audio version. I'm pretty sure Jim Dale reads the inscription "forwards" on the audio book, just out of interest.

Mediwitch - Dec 29, 2007 7:00 pm (#30 of 78)

Well, better late than never I suppose, but I just popped back into this thread. Jim Dale reads it the way it is written in the book, so that is one of the things you miss out on if you only "listen" to the books instead of "reading" them. Other things do stand out more in listening, like the Kreacher/Creature pun.

PeskyPixie - Oct 5, 2008 5:34 pm (#31 of 78) Edited Oct 5, 2008 6:35 pm

Discussion on the PS/SS movie thread has lead me to wonder how exactly the mirror works. I had assumed that the first time Harry glimpses his family in the mirror he is really seeing them (as they were) for the first time in his life. However, others have presented the idea that Harry sees them as he imagines them to be. What do you all think?

Mrs. Sirius - Oct 5, 2008 9:20 pm (#32 of 78)

Well, he gets to see his parents later as they really are but there is no mention that they looked significantly different from what they did in the mirror.

Dryleaves - Oct 6, 2008 12:40 am (#33 of 78) Edited Oct 6, 2008 1:40 am

Interesting question, Pesky. The mirror shows one's heart's desire, and a desire is not what really is , but what you very much wish were true, still it is like Mrs. Sirius writes, that when Harry later sees his parents "for real" it is never mentioned that they look significantly different from the way they looked in the mirror.

I imagine that the mirror shows something else than just Harry's fantasy, how he imagines things to be, so I think it would show him how his parents in fact look. The mirror image is more "real" than your imagination, I think. But it is possible, I guess, that if Harry's innermost desire was that his parent's were still alive, the mirror would have shown them as ten years older. Maybe...?

Julia H. - Oct 6, 2008 1:30 am (#34 of 78)

That sounds logical. Interesting...

Choices - Oct 6, 2008 7:46 am (#35 of 78)

Perhaps Harry has a picture of his parents - I know they show one on his bedside table in the movies - and he sees them as they are in his picture of them. Dumbledore tells Harry that the mirror gives neither knowledge or truth - shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, more desperate desire of our hearts. That says to me that the mirror shows "reality" only as we imagine it to be in our hearts.

rambkowalczyk - Oct 6, 2008 8:10 am (#36 of 78)

Dumbledore tells Harry that the mirror gives neither knowledge or truth - shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, more desperate desire of our hearts. Choices

This is a good statement proving that it's possible that the mirror may not be showing the parents as they really look.

On the other hand, Harry's desire is only to have his family alive, be together with them and share love. It doesn't matter to him, whether they are ugly, pretty or what they look like. Another words Harry's desire is for his parents to be who they are, more than what he thinks they look like.

If in reality, Harry's parents were more like Snape's parents, then Harry would see them as he wanted them to be because he is under the impression that his parents love him. Because his parents do love him he is able to see them not only as he wants to but also as they are.

Barbara J - Oct 6, 2008 3:27 pm (#37 of 78)

I don't think Harry had any pictures of his parents until the very end of PS/SS, when Hagrid gave him an album. Didn't that happen when he was leaving for the summer? Anyway, without going too far into something that belongs on the movie thread, I think Harry sees his parents as he wants them to be, which might mean he sees them as being as old as they would be if they were still alive -- he does not necessarily see them exactly as they were. (That does not explain why they are the wrong ages in the album Hagrid gives him in the movie, but I'm pretty sure they are -- at that point I suppose they were just going for consistency within the movie rather than consistency with the overall story, especially since we still didn't know a whole lot about James and Lily.)

Solitaire - Oct 6, 2008 6:17 pm (#38 of 78) Edited Oct 6, 2008 7:19 pm

This is a good statement proving that it's possible that the mirror may not be showing the parents as they really look.

I do not think that statement has anything to do with how Harry's parents look. I believe Dumbledore is cautioning Harry not to become so obsessed with this illusion of something that can never be that he neglects to live in the here and now. For Harry, this is a tough directive. He has only just begun to know who his parents were since entering the magical world. Then, one night he sees them, with the rest of a loving family, looking back at him from the mirror! Perhaps Dumbledore understands the ache Harry must be feeling, because (as we now know) he has felt those same longings himself. Perhaps he was one of those who nearly wasted away looking into the Mirror of Erised, longing for what he had lost.

Dumbledore's directive, however, is important in a different way. Harry has a long and difficult journey ahead of him. Like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, he has a heavy weight on his back. (In fact, when Ron leaves in DH, I was reminded a bit of Pliable's exit from Christian as he was struggling in the Slough of Despond and not making much progress.) Dumbledore knows Harry has a formidable task ahead of him, and Harry can't fall victim to dreaming away his life or wallowing in fantasies that can never be.


Julia H. - Oct 6, 2008 11:16 pm (#39 of 78)

Perhaps he was one of those who nearly wasted away looking into the Mirror of Erised, longing for what he had lost. (Solitaire)

Yes, it is quite possible. Perhaps Dumbledore already had the Mirror when Grindelwald was powerful and when Dumbledore's feelings of guilt and mourning about Ariana were still fresh. That would explain what Dumbledore was doing while Grindelwald was killing people and he did not stop him: Perhaps he was wasting his years in front of the Mirror. It is quite clear that DD understands Harry: After all, he lets him look at the Mirror a couple of times before telling him to stop.

Harry can't fall victim to dreaming away his life or wallowing in fantasies that can never be.

Wallowing in fantasies, you say... Snape mentions "wallowing in sad memories". I wonder if he, too, was one of those who had a chance to look into the Mirror and wallow in fantasies that could never be... (at least until Dumbledore stopped him).

Soul Search - Oct 7, 2008 4:49 am (#40 of 78)

I have been trying to recall when we readers got enough of a timeline to know how old Harry's parents were. Best I can recall are the dates on their tombstones we saw in Deathly Hallows.
Ravenclaw Prefect
Ravenclaw Prefect

Posts : 4241
Join date : 2011-02-18
Location : USA

Back to top Go down

The Mirror of Erised Empty The Mirror of Erised (posts #41 - #78)

Post  Potteraholic on Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:15 pm

legolas returns - Oct 8, 2008 9:08 am (#41 of 78)

At the end of the Deathly Hallows I could imagine Harry seeing all the people that died for him in the mirror of Erised if he looked.

What do you think Harry would see if he looked in the mirror after the epilogue as he has got the Wife and loving family and a good job?

Orion - Oct 8, 2008 11:29 am (#42 of 78)

Harry sees his parents as loving, although he was only one year old when they died so he can't have a conscious memory of them. Does that mean that the Mirror would have shown him loving parents whatever his real parents would have been like? Is it only by pure chance that his parents were really loving parents? I think it is like that because if Harry's wish is a pair of loving parents then the Mirror will show exactly that.

On the other hand, the Mirror is a powerful magical object. It knows exactly how Harry's parents looked like and how they would have looked had they lived. So IMO the Mirror showed Harry's parents in their real looks, but as loving parents regardless of their real personalities. We know that their looks are spot-on because of the photo album Hagrid gives to Harry and because of the Resurrection Stone.

rambkowalczyk - Oct 11, 2008 6:18 am (#43 of 78)

So IMO the Mirror showed Harry's parents in their real looks, but as loving parents regardless of their real personalities.

I agree but if for some reason Harry wanted his parents to both be redheads they would have been but all Harry wanted was their presence.

I think, generally speaking, what Harry would wish for as an older man would be for his parents to be there with his family so they could all be together. However in instances where there is a pressing need, it would be for the health and well being of his friends and family.

Steve Newton - Oct 11, 2008 6:58 am (#44 of 78)

I don't know. If he truly wanted to see his parents wouldn't his real parents be what he way?

shepherdess - Oct 11, 2008 10:14 pm (#45 of 78)

I think the mirror's abilities are pretty straight forward--to show your heart's deepest desire.

The question is--what was Harry's deepest desire?

If he just wanted to see a family, it wouldn't matter what they looked like.

If he knew what his parents looked like and had that image in his head and wanted to see those people, then they would have appeared the way he knew them, i.e. young.

If his desire was to have his parents today (like Ron does), he might expect them to be older (like the parents of other kids his age), and that's what the mirror would show him.

Of course, these are just ideas off the top of my head, and Harry's deepest desire may not have been exactly like any of these. But my point is, it's not so much the qualities of the mirror that makes the difference, as precisely what it was that Harry desired.

It's late; did that make any sense? I should go to bed.

tandaradei - Oct 13, 2008 5:25 pm (#46 of 78)

Excellent stuff, shepherdess. The point, I think, is that Erised's vision could easily be idealized, and therefore unreal regardless. I rather think the mirror would not represent James to Harry, for example, as the bully he appears to have been while at Hogwarts. One thing about living with living folks for a long time; you grow used to their burps and hiccups, and accept them anyway. I rather think the mirror is not set up to provide such a realistic portrait.

Madam Pince - Oct 28, 2008 10:04 am (#47 of 78)

Good point, tandaradei. The "desires of our hearts" are quite frequently not realistic.

I took it as Harry's desire was that he had parents (a family)-- in which case James and Lily would be the age that they would be right now, with Harry standing beside them at his corresponding age. Since Harry didn't know what they looked like, the mirror was magical enough to make James and Lily look like James and Lily. It made perfect sense to me that they had "aged" in the mirror from what they looked like when they died. If they had lived, they would've aged, right? So the mirror was reflecting how things would've looked if they hadn't died -- if Harry still had a family.

PeskyPixie - Oct 31, 2008 10:28 am (#48 of 78)

Funny, I felt that Harry actually looks at members of his family as they had been in life. He desires his family and the mirror shows it to him. I don't think that Harry creates all sorts of weird relatives who look like him out of his imagination. The mirror (which is a powerful magical object) shows him the people who have passed over that he wants alive and around him.

legolas returns - Oct 31, 2008 10:58 am (#49 of 78)

They had his eyes, knobby knees and unruly hair. The people were shown as real.

Madam Pince - Oct 31, 2008 3:27 pm (#50 of 78)

Right, but the question is still "Real as they were, or real as they would be if they were standing in front of you in "real time?" I think it's just a matter of personal interpretation -- it could be either. Some of us thought of it one way and some another...

PeskyPixie - Oct 31, 2008 7:58 pm (#51 of 78)

I agree, Madam Pince. I just never assumed that it could be interpreted differently, so this different perspective surprises me is all.

Solitaire - Oct 31, 2008 8:56 pm (#52 of 78)

OMG! I agree with Pesky on this one, too! It's how I've always thought of the Mirror, as well. We know that the people in the mirror do look like the Potters, because Harry recognizes them instantly in the photos Hagrid gives him at the end of his first year, and he recognizes them again in the photo Moody shows him in OotP.


(This is getting spooky, Pesky! )

PeskyPixie - Oct 31, 2008 9:03 pm (#53 of 78)

Eek! Soli and I are in agreement? I like your explanation, Soli.

Chemyst - Nov 1, 2008 8:28 pm (#54 of 78)

His desire was to fill-in-the-blanks with a glimpse of the truth that Petunia had been hiding for over a decade. That would reflect a realistic image. I'd always assumed he saw the family that "would have been" when he was eleven years old.

Julia H. - Nov 2, 2008 2:09 am (#55 of 78)

I know we have no information on this but I wonder how you imagine it: Does Harry only see the Potter family in the mirror or does he see his maternal grandparents as well? (I'm sure he does not see any of the Dursleys. ) Another question: Harry has never seen any pictures of his parents and the Potters but are we sure he does not know anything about his maternal grandparents? Did Petunia get rid of the photos of her own parents as well? While they never talked about the Potters, did they never talk to Dudley about the parents of his mother either? Was Petunia's entire childhood a total secret, too?

Dryleaves - Nov 2, 2008 2:57 am (#56 of 78)

Good question, Julia. Maybe Petunia was so bitter at her parents because they were excited about Lily being a witch, that she never spoke of them. And maybe Vernon felt uneasy about them for a similar reason as well. And as they were dead, they could not give Dudley any presents, so maybe he was not too interested either?

It seems strange to me if Harry only saw the Potter family in the mirror and not his relatives on his mother's side, but it seems quite natural that the Dursleys stayed out of the picture.

legolas returns - Nov 2, 2008 3:48 am (#57 of 78)

It just describes the people he sees in the mirror as the "Potters" but Harry saw people with his eyes. This must mean that there were some maternal relations in the mirror.

Madam Pince - Nov 2, 2008 9:41 am (#58 of 78)

That always bothered me that JKR described the people in the mirror as the "Potters." I thought then (and still do) "But what about Lily's side of the family???" Surely there must be someone magical somewhere on that side of the family for Lily to have had magic, right? Maybe the mirror only shows magical people? But that doesn't seem right somehow...

Julia H. - Nov 2, 2008 9:53 am (#59 of 78)

"Someone magical" could have been generations ago. But I agree if the Mirror shows your heart's desire, it should not matter whether the people you want to see are magical or not.

Madam Pince - Nov 2, 2008 12:02 pm (#60 of 78)

Oh definitely I would expect it to have been someone from generations ago. I agree that the mirror should show everyone, magical or not, but I was just throwing that out there as a possibility why she only said "Potters." Unsatisfactory answer, though, I admit!

PeskyPixie - Nov 2, 2008 1:09 pm (#61 of 78)

Good point, legolas. The mirror shows people with Harry's eyes, which means that he glimpses some of his Evans relatives as well. I think JKR just writes 'Potters' because it's only the first book and she wants to keep things as simple as possible.

Solitaire - Nov 2, 2008 1:51 pm (#62 of 78)

Surely there must be someone magical somewhere on that side of the family for Lily to have had magic, right?

Lily is, after all, a Muggle-born. We do not know if there was ever magic in her family or not. Jo would have to give us a family tree on the Evans side to show any magical relatives. I do not think you can apply Muggle genetics to the situation, since we are in a magical, made-up universe.


legolas returns - Nov 2, 2008 2:00 pm (#63 of 78)

Didn’t JKR say somewhere that if they searched far enough back in the family tree there would be somebody of magical ability?

Orion - Nov 2, 2008 2:06 pm (#64 of 78)

There are magical genetics, JKR said. The magical genes are recessive and only pop up ever so often so that's why the purebloods are so mad about being pureblood because they are mortally afraid to get squids.

Anna L. Black - Nov 2, 2008 2:25 pm (#65 of 78)

Giant squids, Orion? (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist )

But yes, I think she said that there was some wizarding ancestry way back in Lily's family. So who knows, maybe Dudley's kid will be magical

legolas returns - Nov 2, 2008 2:29 pm (#66 of 78)

She also said that any magicalness would be destroyed by coming into contact with Vernon Dursleys gene pool.

PeskyPixie - Nov 2, 2008 2:55 pm (#67 of 78)

I also remember reading somewhere that the Magical gene is recessive, so Muggle-borns are created when two heterozygous Muggles both pass the rare, recessive Magic gene to their child.

Julia H. - Nov 2, 2008 3:22 pm (#68 of 78)

Yes, I also remember reading something like that. It is not mentioned in the books though. Hm... perhaps all Muggles are the descendants of Squibs (is that the correct word? ) so the magical gene is hiding in each if us. (With the exception of those unfortunate enough to come from Vernon Dursley's gene pool... )

Solitaire - Nov 2, 2008 6:02 pm (#69 of 78)

Giant squids, Orion?

LOL @ Anna! I laughed so hard at that one, I nearly fell off my chair! BTW, can you imagine the look on Uncle Vernon's face if Dudley were to give him a magical grandchild? heheheheheheeeee

Madam Pince - Nov 2, 2008 8:56 pm (#70 of 78)

It was one of the greatest disappointments of my life that in the final chapter of DH, she didn't have Dudley there at Platform 9 3/4 seeing his child off onto the Hogwarts Express. Golden opportunity squandered, in my humble opinion. I was so sure about that one!

legolas returns - Nov 2, 2008 11:45 pm (#71 of 78)

There is always Dudley Grandchildren .

Dryleaves - Nov 2, 2008 11:48 pm (#72 of 78)

BTW, can you imagine the look on Uncle Vernon's face if Dudley were to give him a magical grandchild? (Solitaire)

Yes I can! That's why I am sorry that it's not in the books. But we can always, as you say, imagine it.

BTW, I really hope the Mirror shows Harry's non-magical ancestors as well. If you want to learn about your family they ought to be important too. Obviously his maternal grandparents were more open-minded than Petunia, and she was mostly bitter about not being a witch, I think.

Swedish Short-Snout - Nov 3, 2008 6:29 am (#73 of 78)

I also remember reading somewhere that the Magical gene is recessive, so Muggle-borns are created when two heterozygous Muggles both pass the rare, recessive Magic gene to their child. - Pesky

But it can't be that simple, because then there wouldn't be any Squibs. I have a few theories about magic genes, but I guess it's a bit off topic. Is there a thread where we can discuss magical genetics? (If anyone is interested, that is.)

Julia H. - Nov 3, 2008 7:54 am (#74 of 78) Edited Nov 3, 2008 10:36 am


What about the non-magical child of a Muggle and a witch/wizard? Would that child count as a Squib?

I think a thread on magical genetics would be interesting. I'd like to read your theories, SSS.

Orion - Nov 3, 2008 9:07 am (#75 of 78)

Oh yes, SSS, great idea. We can also discuss it here because there's really not so much more to be said about that stupid mirror. I most definitely read that the magical genes are recessive and very rare. But also recessive genes pop up in the generation after the next. I have forgotten the Mendel mechanics of it, but they can definitely survive even if a pureblood marries a Muggle, just like two dark-haired folks can have blonde children.

Swedish Short-Snout - Nov 3, 2008 9:41 am (#76 of 78)

So, should I start a new topic or do we continue the discussion here?

Anna L. Black - Nov 3, 2008 11:32 am (#77 of 78)

I'm pretty sure there was a thread on Wizard genetics somewhere... I'll try to find it

EDIT: OK, I failed miserably. The only thing I found was that: Vertex, "-- Muggle Genetics" #, 8 Oct 2003 12:40 am. So I think we can open a new thread.

Solitaire - Nov 6, 2008 8:21 pm (#78 of 78)

Anna, it is probably in those long-archived threads from years ago. Or perhaps it was one of the threads that got caught in the thrasher, back in the days when the inactive ones bit the dust.

Ravenclaw Prefect
Ravenclaw Prefect

Posts : 4241
Join date : 2011-02-18
Location : USA

Back to top Go down

The Mirror of Erised Empty Re: The Mirror of Erised

Post  Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum