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HBP & Nicolas Flamel
Nellie - Jan 16, 2005 7:24 am
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 1:59 am
I put this under the HBP thread first, but then wondered if it was irrelevant there and needed a slot of it's own. Feel free to move if you wish....
Please hear me out, I am not sure if I have spotted something amazing, or whether I am talking complete rubbish, so I'd really like your thoughts.... Before we start I know that the contents of the book I am about to talk about do offend some people, I do not want to do that. I read the book out of curiosity not really knowing what it was about, and the actual stuff in it, well who can say what is true and what is myth, but what caught my eye was a reference to Nicolas Flamel on page 431.....
The book is the Da Vinci Code.... The book is supposedly fact intertwined with fictional characters to tell the story
The next part I have put in white. The text (and most likely the rest of the discussion in this thread) are spoilers for the DaVinci code. If you have not read it and wish to do so at some point: It is not the kind of book you want to be spoiled for, so it might be best to stay away from this thread... --Marè--
For those who have not read it, it is about the search for the Holy Grail and about the group that protect the contents - The Priory of Scion. Now according to the book, one of the Grand Masters of the Priory of Scion was Nicolas Flamel (1398 -1418). The Holy grail is not supposed to be the chalice that Christ drank from, but actually the last resting place of Mary Magdalene, buried with her are some documents which pre-date the Bible, which if you believe the book was cooked up by Emperor Constantine some 300 years after Christ's death to try and stop the collapse of Rome due to the rise of Christianity and the slow fall of paganism. The documents are supposed to detail the bloodline of Christ. Now those who know their Bible know that it says that Christ never married, let alone had a child. The Priory of Scion beg to differ, and state that in fact Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Quite a statement. The point of this is that Mary was pregnant with Christ's child when he was crucified and she escaped to France where she was hidden by the Jewish community. She had a baby girl called Sarah. The interesting thing to me is that Jesus was the King of the Jews, and had lineage back to King Solomon & Mary was also of royal blood, their marriage would have produced a royal baby.
Now, at any one time, so the legend goes, only 4 people know the location of the Holy Grail and they will guard it with their lives until the time comes to reveal Jesus' decedents to the world. Apparently this is a very well known theory amongst academics, although I knew nothing about the Knights Templar etc.
In no way am I suggesting that anyone in the HP books are related to Jesus, that's just daft, but I wondered whether we could draw any parallels from the story of the Priory of Scion given that JKR often uses myths and twists them to her own end.
We have a secret society with 4 members - Hogwarts founders? A secret Royal bloodline being protected by a secret group - the Half Blood Prince and the Order of the Phoenix?
Does anyone know anything more about these theories which might help us work out whether this is relevant?
Have I lost my way completely or is there some merit in the parallel? I'm not really sure how much merit there is in the Da Vinci Code..... but it is a good read just for the thriller element of the story.
P.S. The Priory of Scion also believe very strongly that men and women were equal and do not hold with the idea of original sin. They also believe that Christ left instructions with Mary on how to set up his Church and how to take things forward. Given that we have heard so little about Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, could those houses have a much bigger role to play in the next books?
Last edited by John Bumbledore on Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
Nellie - Jan 16, 2005 9:29 am (#1 of 58)
Someone on another thread has told me that some of the data in the Da Vinci Code is a bit "dodgy". Does anyone know anymore about the Holy Grail legend? Do they show any similarities to HP? I was so shcoked to see Flammel's name in the book, I wondered whether it was just coincidence....
Phelim Mcintyre - Jan 16, 2005 10:27 am (#2 of 58)
Newton - Da Vinci code is a great thriller but as history and theology it is completly off beam.
In Da Vinci code the Holy Grail is the bones of Mary Magdelene. Holy Grail comes from the word Sangrael. It is, according to legend, the challis in which Joseph of Aramathea captured the blood of Christ as he was crucified. He then brought it over to what is now England. The legends of King Arthur have the Knight of the Round Table searching for the Grail and only the pure of heart being able to find it.
The roots are even older, and do appear in Goblet of Fire. In Celtic Myth, as well as Greek and Nordic, there is a cauldron kept by Cerridwen, Hecate, Freya or whoever which warriors who have died in battle can be placed into and come out alive, but mute. This was probably the inspiration for Voldemorts rebirth from a cauldron. Beyond that I see no similarities to HP.
Weeny Owl - Jan 17, 2005 3:25 am (#3 of 58)
Oddly enough, I saw something on the History Channel tonight (although I suppose it's last night by now) on what's in The Da Vinci Code and what is possible, impossible, probable, and completely out of the ballpark.
When I read the book I did find it interesting that Flamel was alleged to be part of the Priory of Scion, and I wondered if JKR had ever heard that when she included him in the series.
Four founders protecting a bloodline isn't out of the realm of possibilities. JKR certainly does include a great deal about bloodlines. I'm just not sure it would fit completely since Salazar Slytherin left the school, so having four people around who would be protecting the bloodline sort of fizzles out a bit. Granted, each Head of House could take over that duty, but we don't know how long after Slytherin left that a new Head of House was found.
Loopy Lupin - Jan 18, 2005 6:24 am (#4 of 58)
I enjoyed The DaVinci Code very much and consider myself lucky to have read it prior to reading this thread. Had the order been reversed, I would be less inspired to read TDC since I would already know a key plot element. You should probably put some kind of warning in your title if you are going to give away the plot of a book and particularly if it is a "mystery/thriller" in which plot twists are half the fun.
As for the accuracy of TDC's "data" or research and the like, hasn't anyone noticed that the book is sold in the fiction section of the bookstore?
Choices - Jan 18, 2005 5:33 pm (#5 of 58)
Ah, but there are always elements of truth, even in fiction.
Elanor - Jan 19, 2005 12:11 am (#6 of 58)
I agree Choices but about the Priory of Sion I'm afraid he used what was already a trick from an historical point of view and altered it again.
The real Priory of Sion has nothing to do with what is described in the book. Actually, it was a rather dangerous organisation and his founder was non only an impostor and an inveterate liar, but also someone disreputable who just wanted fame. I have read recently an article in a very serious magazine (Le nouvel observateur) and it is proved that he just made it up the whole thing and it never existed before the 20th century.
It reminds me also of the poor priest who is in charge of the church of Paris mentioned in the book, fed up with people walking on all fours on the floor of his church, searching for details that only existed in the author's imagination...
So, IMO, the Da Vinci code is a great thriller but is not a book you can use for finding historical references.
Phelim Mcintyre - Jan 19, 2005 12:56 am (#7 of 58)
Is this becoming a discussion site of the Da Vinci Code? Most are agreed that it is fiction (though Dan Brown is convinced he has just created a story around the truth) so lets get back to Harry Potter!
Pinky - Jan 19, 2005 4:49 am (#8 of 58)
This discussion needs to turn specifically to the theory that the founders of Hogwarts may be protecting a royal blood line, not to how the Da Vinci Code relates. The Da Vinci Code has a lot of theology in it that could prove divisive, so an indepth exploration of it is out of line. Please take the opening post as a way to set up a discussion about Harry Potter, not as how it needs to continue. One of the other hosts may know of a better place for this thread, so I am not sure what the future of it will be.
popkin - Jan 19, 2005 7:59 am (#9 of 58)
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it looked like it might be quite interesting. As long as I've been reading the Forum, I can't remember much in depth discussion of Nicholas Flamel (or the sorcerer's stone) except a few posts here and there. I hope that a lively discussion about his part in the Harry Potter series takes off.
In an interview (sorry, don't remember which one), JKR was asked if she has dreams about Harry Potter that end up in the plot of her books. She said that she had never had a dream about Harry, but that before she began writing the series she had the most amazing dream about Nicholas Flamel. I assume that that's the reason she included him in the book. I have often wondered what was in that amazing dream, and if we will be hearing anything more about Flamel or the sorcerer's (philosopher's) stone in books six or seven. The stone was not used for much in the first book - just to prolong the life of Nicholas Flamel and his wife. It has other uses, such as turning less precious metals into gold.
According to his Chocolate Frog card, Dumbledore was supposed to have helped Flamel with his research. I'd like to know in exactly what way. Did his help pertain somehow to the twelve uses of dragon's blood? Did Dumbledore help Nicholas discover new uses for the sorcerer's stone?
In an unused plotline Lily and James had the the sorcerer's stone in their (now Harry's) bank vault. In that plotline, the trio assumes Lily and James stole the stone from Flamel. Since that would cause Flamel to die, I'm thinking its more likely Lily conjured her own sorcerer's stone - or maybe she and James stole it from the person (Peter/Voldemort/a DE)) who stole it from Flamel. Flamel was the only known producer of the stone - given what we know of animagi, that doesn't mean no one else has ever done it. Lily, being extraordinarily good with charms, might have come across a way to use the stone to protect Harry. If she did, I think she would have done whatever was necessary to get a stone she could use.
Now, JKR did share that discarded page with us on her official site, and I don't think she would ever give us a hint that would give away any big secrets that would ruin the story for us. So, Lily's (or James') connection to the stone or to Flamel is unlikely to be extremely important. That page might just be a completely rejected idea. Still, it seems natural to me that the "amazing" dream about Flamel would work its way into the story more intricately than it did in SS/PS, where he was just mentioned in passing, and the stone was not used for anything.
Choices - Jan 19, 2005 10:04 am (#10 of 58)
I have been wondering about Flammel and his wife - we were told at the end of SS that they had enough elixir to get their affairs in order, but as of book 5 we have not learned whether they have died or not. Just curious....Dumbledore was Flammel's friend and partner so surely he would mourn Flammel's passing. If he did, he must have kept it to himself.
Veritaserum - Jan 19, 2005 3:37 pm (#11 of 58)
It seems to me Dumbledore keeps quite a lot to himself, no?
lobelia - Jan 20, 2005 9:45 am (#12 of 58)
If the HP series were to parralled the Da Vinci Code,I could see Flammel or the Priory passing down the information to Dumbledore (being one of the wisest and well regarded wizards) and he be the next protector that would die before he gave up his secret,like the Art Museum Director. If this were the case I wonder who the other three would be. Marchbanks? Neville's grandmother? However, in the book, just like the HP series there is a network of allies and spies, which are already in place before the fatal events begin.
BTW: The argument above is speculation. I do not feel like this will parallel the series, but the debate is intriquing.
Matilda the Pygmy Puff - Jan 20, 2005 12:16 pm (#13 of 58)
Well, as much as I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, I don't think it parallels HP. Flammel was a real person, who was really trying to create the exlixer of eternal life, which is why he was in DVC. I believe that JKR used him because he was a well known alchemist at that time period and the sorcerers stone had the same purpose as the exlixer of life. Basically, there isn't a real connection there other than Flammel.
mindy blue - Jan 20, 2005 1:20 pm (#14 of 58)
Going back a few posts to popkin's: when i first read that page i thought that maybe somehow the Potters were tied to Flamel, not James and Lily, but one of James's grandparents. Maybe there was another "trio" back in the day consisting of Flamel, Dumbledore and a Potter family member, and since that stone can turn metal to gold, that's where James's inheritence came from. I also thought that maybe Flamel and his wife decided that it was time to move on, and decided to stop using the elixir, and gave the stone to a good friend's descendent to keep it safe, or else they made enough elixir to last them awhile and the stone was part of his inheritence, or maybe they had access to the vault and came and got it when they needed to use it. Those were just my first thoughts when i read that page, i have nothing to back anything up. But I don't think JKR would just show us that page for fun. I think there is some clue in it somewhere. If it's the connection to Flamel, then it could explain Harry's lineage and what his parents did and other stuff like that. And popkin, i like your idea of Lily obtaining a stone somehow to ensure Harry survived an attack. Maybe it has something to do with why Voldemort survived too? Thoughts?
popkin - Jan 20, 2005 4:20 pm (#15 of 58)
mindy blue, thanks. I like your ideas, too, especially the one about the inheritance coming from the stone and there being a trio of Flamel, Dumbldore and a Potter. Ever since I read that JKR had that dream, I've wondered when we are going to learn more about Flamel's connection to Harry's world.
Ydnam96 - Jan 22, 2005 8:48 am (#16 of 58)
I don't think that DD would mourn a whole lot at the passing of Flamel, as DD said himself "for the well organized mind death is but the next great adventure" (or something like that). I think he might be excited for his friends to finally rest of a while then get on adventuring. Plus, for some reason I have this feeling that DD probably has a way of interacting with those who have passed on. Maybe he has a portrait of the Flamels somewhere?
I have also wondered what it was that DD helped Flamel with. Flamel was much much older than DD. So any help DD could give him was late in his life. If he is that old then he must have created the stone before his was like 200 (I'm guessing about a normal lifespan of a wizard, isn't DD 150 now?). Anyway, so what would have been left for them to discover together? Unless there is more to Alchemy than I know. Maybe they were trying to find a way to combine the uses of dragon blood with the stone? Maybe they were trying to figure out if there was more to the stone than they already knew.
I like the idea of an ancient Potter having been friends with Flamel. I was thinking maybe Godric himself, but he predates Flamel by about 400 years or so I think. So that doesn't work.
Anyway, I have a feeling Flamel has indeed passed on. But he may have an influence still. I would be interested to hear just how you destroy the SS. Also, if Flamel had notes or whatever on how he created it. Is it possible that VM is searching for his notes to try and create one of his own?
Do we know if Flamel had children?
Hogs Head - Jan 22, 2005 10:35 am (#17 of 58)
The Holy Grail elements in the Da Vinci Code novel had actually appeared in at least one other novel about 10 years or 12 or so ago that dealt with the discovery of a "new" book of the New Testament that was later shown (to the reader) to have been a forgery. Now I can't recall the name, but it was nothing to recommend, so I'm not racking my brains to try to dredge it up.
The Mary Magdalene, child, France, etc. parts are nothing new but also have not the slightest historical thread upon which to hang -- that is if you're looking for evidence from the first through fourth century C.E. or A.D. (as you please).
The Code part of the Da Vinci Code novel exists outside of the fabric of the novel, and from the standpoint of ancient linguistics, mathematics, computer science, history, etc., I must say that it is total rubbish, in my humble opinion.
As to JKR's fictional characterization of Flamel reappearing in HP6 of HP7, live or by post-mortem reference, I think the chances of that are at least decent if not quite good. As for JKR trying to link up her story with the fictional Flamel in the Da Vinci Code, the chances of that, again in my humble opinion, are zero. The fictionalized appearance of the same historic character in two otherwise unconnected novels is at best coincidence and at worst might be considered laziness (not quite plagerism in the true sense) on the part of the author of the Da Vinci Code. There were, after all, other mysterious figures from that era of history that could have been used in the subsequent novel.
As to linking the "Half Blood Prince" with some supposed lineage of heirs of Jesus of Nazareth, I also think the chances of JKR taking that bait are -- how would you express -1 times infinity? That "just ain't gonna happen."
Norbert not a common welsh green - Jan 22, 2005 2:38 pm (#18 of 58)
Hogs head, Dan Brown got the name Nicolas Flamel from a (supposedly) historical document which is now keep in some libery in paris and is one of its most popular exhibits. I assume JKR got the name from the same source so it would be hard to accuse Brown as "lazy"
Elanor - Jan 22, 2005 3:00 pm (#19 of 58)
Actually, Nicolas Flamel really existed and his life is well known. He was a famous French alchemist (1330-1418) who was meant to have discovered the Philosopher's stone with the help of his wife Pernelle (who did exist too). The legend says that he found it exactly on the 25th of april 1382, at the St Jacques tower, in Paris. The only historical thing we really know is that he became very rich indeed.
The "historical" document you mention is in fact a forgery, there is no doubt that it was a treasure trove for Dan Brown but JKR didn't need that paper for finding things about Flamel. I agree with Hogs Head that we can't link the two books at all.
Ydnam96, I also think that we will hear from Flamel again, though he must have died. His work with DD may come to be useful before the end. It is very possible that Flamel left notes behind him but alchemists had their own language, made of symbols and codes, and (assuming JKR would make Flamel write as he should, being a "true pholosopher", an alchemist) even if Voldemort puts his hands on it, he won't be able to use them at once, if he ever finds how to read them, he, he ,he...
In fact, I have often wondered if he has not tried once to create his own stone but failed it. The making of the Philosopher's stone is supposed to be a spiritual quest as well and there is not enough humanity in Voldemort for such a quest.
Archangel - Jan 22, 2005 9:18 pm (#20 of 58)
Elanor, upon reading your post about Voldemort getting his pale hands on the manuscript, I suddenly formed this mental picture of him going through the list and ticking the requisites one by one until he comes to the last item, "Requires Humanity", and goes off screaming "DRAT! I WAS THIS CLOSE!".
IMHO, the two books are completely different and I would be quite disappointed if the whole series just turned out to be a "get the stone - destroy the royal lineage - protect the secret/royal lineage/stone" kind of story.
The DVC has to operate in the "real" world and required "real/historical" organizations and landmarks like Priory of Sion, Newton's burial place, etc. in order to make its story work. Although it does throw in "real/historical" references once in a while like Flamel, London, etc. to make it the series seem more familiar and grounded in reality, this is not a requisite in the HP series or is necessary to make the story work.
Chemyst - Jan 25, 2005 6:04 am (#21 of 58)
In fact, I have often wondered if he has not tried once to create his own stone but failed it. - Elanor
I have thought that small mentions of the real world, such as Flamel name-dropping or Salem witches attending the Quidditch World Cup are put into the HP books primarily to add a believability factor to a fictional world; not as clues to the main plot.
That said, I do think Elanor's guess is an excellent one. There is a lot of canon support for the idea that Voldemort has tried to discover the secret to immortality and actually came close enough to have survived the rebounding curse.
I've also wondered if JKR will wrap up all the book themes in a nice little package at the end; something like:
The OP meets in the CS to use the GF to identify the HBP but can't resurrect the PA because the PS/SS has been destroyed. Well, obviously it would have to make A LOT more sense than that scenario, but you get my drift- all the elements get tied together for an encore curtain call. (Veil call?)
Essidji - Jan 25, 2005 7:12 am (#22 of 58)
Lol Chemyst, I think you got the whole thing in a single sentence!
The giant squid - Jan 26, 2005 12:15 am (#23 of 58)
Chemyst: and it all happens in book 7--"Harry Potter and the Interconnected Abbreviations"!
TwinklingBlueEyes - Jan 26, 2005 12:53 am (#24 of 58)
I agree Chemyst that "Elanor's guess is an excellent one. There is a lot of canon support for the idea that Voldemort has tried to discover the secret to immortality and actually came close enough to have survived the rebounding curse."
PS: Thanks for the chuckle Mike! After trying to decode that one I needed a good laugh!
Elanor - Jan 26, 2005 2:22 pm (#25 of 58)
I always thought that if Voldemort wanted immortality, he had to try and make the Philosopher's stone for himself. As he had to try to steal Flamel's, then we can assume that he failed to create his own. When you read a little about alchemy, it is logical because the quest of the Philosopher's stone was far more than just "playing with a chemistry set". It was above all a spiritual quest, the one leading to a higher knowledge and the elevation of the soul.
That fits perfectly with DD, but Voldemort didn't stand a chance to succeed here, since he would have done it for the wrong reasons: eternal life and gold when real alchemists knew that the most important part of it was not the stone but the journey their spirits did to obtain it. Hence DD's words at the end of PS/SS: "After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing". (p.215) Flamel, who achieved the stone, understood this. Voldemort would never believe it.
josenegro - Feb 24, 2005 7:42 am (#26 of 58)
I don't think that the connection with the 'DaVinci Code' is that far off, after all- Harry Potter is mentioned in the Book. JKR herself said that Harry is patterned after 'Wart' in TH White's The Sword and the Stone series of books dealing with the Aurthurian Romances, which directly involve the 'Holy Grail'. Too JKR specifically chose the title 'Goblet of Fire' because of its 'Cup of Destiny' sound. Now, how does the philosopher's stone work in? Those familiar with Carl Jung the Swiss psychologist will know, that in an early work of the Grail Story the Grail was referred to as a magical incoruptable STONE! Also, for the Alchemists, Jesus was often identical with the stone as well. In Jungian Psychology the stone refers to the 'Self' that aspect of ourselves which is eternal and unchanging and is not specific to any religion. So the question is...Are we discussing the extraverted events such as blood line or destiny (The Half Blood Prince) or are we discussing the introverted work of being transformed into our most essential Self (To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure) or Both? I have a feeling that the books touch on both-but how? We will have to wait, for the HBP I am sure will have the majority of the answers. Also, the real Flamel travelled to Spain during the inquisition to seek out a man who could help him decipher some Alchemical Texts, book 5 includes an inquisition and for some unknown reason JKR uses spanish words with frequency...The mystery continues.
Gerald Costales - Feb 25, 2005 9:45 am (#27 of 58)
It never ceases to amaze me the high level and quality of many of the posts on the Lexicon. A truly excellent post. Bravo! ;-) GC
josenegro - Feb 26, 2005 8:22 am (#28 of 58)
Thank you Gerald, it was very nice of you to take the time to post a compliment. I am new to the site, but I look forward to 'running into you' on other posts. I think the Lexicon offers an amazing forum, so that anybody can let their mind go in so many directions in so many ways.
Solitaire - Feb 26, 2005 8:54 am (#29 of 58)
Josenegro, I do not know if you have visited the Use of Mythology in HP thread yet, but Round Pink Spider posted some very interesting ideas on the grail there last night. She even included a reference to her original post--the third of a trilogy--on a different thread, from which those ideas stemmed. I think you might enjoy reading that post and the two that precede it. You would probably also enjoy the Alchemy Symbols thread, if you have not already visited it ... LOTS of interesting ideas there!
josenegro - Feb 26, 2005 9:04 am (#30 of 58)
Thank you Solitaire, I will check them out now and thanks for the links to make it easy to find them!
Choices - Mar 11, 2005 9:42 am (#31 of 58)
Josenegro - I too enjoyed your post. Most interesting. Thanks for adding your ideas to this discussion.
josenegro - Mar 13, 2005 3:05 am (#32 of 58)
Thank you Choices, I haven't posted in awhile, but I was thinking that what was specific about the Alchemical text that Flamel needed help on, is that it was Jewish, written in Hebrew, specifically: Cabbalistic.
1945 is the year Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald, and in our world was the year WWII ended; a war that was marked by persecution of the Jews among others. Also, the Spanish Inquisition, was charactized by persecution of many including 'witches'. Remember the essay Harry had to write: 'Witch Burning in the Fourteenth Century...'? But again, it was also a time that Jews were forced to convert and leave Spain.
And in the Davinci code, what is made important, was that Jesus was specifically a Jewish rabbi and therefor he most likely took a wife which was the custom. It is also suggested that he and his wife might have been royalty and that they had a child and descendents (i.e., The Half Blood Prince).
Steve Newton - Mar 13, 2005 7:34 am (#33 of 58)
I thin that the inquisition actually started at the end of the 15 century. 1492 as I recall it. Wasn't that the same year that Nick had his little problem?
josenegro - Mar 13, 2005 7:51 am (#34 of 58)
Exactly, most history books say the Inquisition 'began' in 1492. I was only suggesting that his essay was an 'Inquisitional' hint as early as book three. And I forgot that about Nick. Curiously, Nick is a 'Sir' which points to an existing example of a royal heirarchy or some form of class titlement in the wizarding world,or perhaps a half-blood himself.
Ydnam96 - Mar 13, 2005 7:56 am (#35 of 58)
Hmmm...although can't "Sir" be appointed to someone by a royal without being royalty to begin with? I'm thinking Sir Elton John, Sir Ian McKellan...
josenegro - Mar 13, 2005 8:02 am (#36 of 58)
Yes, but it is still a titlement that elevates status, and makes one a royal subject. (I edited my previous post to make sure it was clear)
Steve Newton - Mar 13, 2005 8:07 am (#37 of 58)
I think that 'Sir' denotes some level of nobility but does not hint at royalty.
josenegro - Mar 13, 2005 8:14 am (#38 of 58)
Again, I was only suggesting that there is a precedent of heirarchy in HP books, by the use of the title 'Sir'. Generally, it is royalty who confers the status. Therefor making one a subject of royalty, not royalty itself.
Detail Seeker - Mar 13, 2005 1:29 pm (#39 of 58)
We do not know, if the title "Sir" is one within the Wizarding World (WW) or within the Muggle World(MW). 1492 was before the full separation of the worlds, so Sir Nicolas might have been a member of Muggle nobility as well as a member of the WW.A wizard would have had no difficult times in getting a position of power within the MW, if he wanted to, so his sir Nicolas´ ancestors could have been within the landed gentry.
Choices - Mar 13, 2005 5:15 pm (#40 of 58)
Since we have never heard tell of any "king" or "queen" of the wizarding world, I have always thought that Nick's title was from the Muggle world and that he probably lived in both worlds.
josenegro - Mar 14, 2005 4:27 am (#41 of 58)
I agree with you Choices, that's why I suggested that he might be half blood, though I didn't take in to consideration what Detail Seeker says about there wasn't a split between the two worlds.
However, if there was persecution of 'witches' as early as the 14th century, I would think that a split was well on its way or already magic folk were beginning to conceal their abilities, so that muggles couldn't distinguish between real witches and wizards and the ordinary muggles who they thought were 'witches'.
Therefor, Wendelin the Weird "ALLOWED herself to be caught no fewer than forty-seven times in various disguises." Page 7 English Edition POA.
Of course, all of this is irrelevant to my original post and also to the subject of Flamel.
Catherine - Mar 14, 2005 9:02 am (#42 of 58)
Of course, all of this is irrelevant to my original post and also to the subject of Flamel. --Josenegro
I'm glad you said that, Josenegro. I do think this thread needs to get back on topic!
So...HBP and Nicholas Flamel....
Aurora Gubbins - Mar 14, 2005 9:13 am (#43 of 58)
Just so you guys know - the only way you can be 'made into royalty' is by marrying a Royal person. The title 'Sir' means that one has been knighted by the Monarch - made into a Knight of the Realm. This is Aristocracy (of sorts) not Royalty...
josenegro - Mar 14, 2005 4:58 pm (#44 of 58)
First, sorry if my posts are confusing. I don't mean them to be. I think we were all agreeing on the essential facts, but misunderstanding each other.
Second, I think Flamel is difficult to discuss, but I think there are still interesting things to look into.
Forgive me if this has been discussed elsewhere,(I don't know if it has been)...
But, the Philosopher's Stone was kept in vault 713 at Gringotts, if I am correct. And the vault of Sirius Black is 711 (side note: in the English Edition he is killed between pages 711 and 712!)
Flamel is French and the Black family motto 'Toujours pur' is curiously French as well. For me, having a French motto is strange, when the last name is typical of Britian (Ireland, Scotland, Wales included).
Does anyone know what kind of connection there might be? Also Harry notes that the Black Family Tree goes back to the middle ages "(as far as Harry could tell)" page 103 English Edition OP.
I've always found it strange that the two vaults are so coincidentally close together, added by the fact of the 'French Connection'
Elanor - Mar 14, 2005 10:14 pm (#45 of 58)
I think I can answer that question. During the Middle-Ages, French was spoken by the English aristocracy (after the Normans conquered England in 1066). The present royal English Coat of Arms still wears two mottos, both in French and coming from the Middle-Ages: "Hon y soit qui mal y pense" (old French for "Shame to him who evil thinks") and "Dieu et mon droit" ("God and my right").
I think that the fact that the Black family has a French motto is a way for JKR to reinforce the idea that it is a very old family, powerful from the Middle-Ages (and possibly from noble origin).
As for Flamel and the vault 713 signification, you can check this great post from Pheonix song on the old alchemy thread: vault. There are also a lot of information about Flamel on both the old and present alchemy threads (you will find more details in the first posts of the new alchemy thread). I hope it helps!
septentrion - Mar 14, 2005 11:16 pm (#46 of 58)
Elanor beat me to it ! Well, you give more information than I could provide. I hope your presentation for Accio will dispense me of reading the alchemy thread I still couln't bend myself to do it (an I even don't know if my last sentence is correct).
Catherine - Mar 19, 2005 3:13 pm (#47 of 58)
I still couln't bend myself to do it (an I even don't know if my last sentence is correct). --Septentrion
Works for me! I knew just what you meant. The Alchemy thread is a real learning experience.
The Alchemy thread is more knowledge-specific than some of our other threads, but I always enjoy checking in and seeing what they're up to! Lately the discussion has been centered closely on specific HP quotes and references, and I have enjoyed seeing the "applied" knowledge of HP.
Of course, Elanor's knowledge of medieval history is a real plus for this Forum in general, so it's great that she chimes in on other threads to distill things for us.
TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 19, 2005 6:49 pm (#48 of 58)
to distill things for us. Catherine, I'm wondering what are you distilling, and is it drinkable? :-)
Topic, topic, oh yes ...hmm... I think it is really interesting that JKR chose to use the name of a real person in her world. And the way that the whole work fits with Alchemy is mind blowing. Is it July yet?
septentrion - Mar 20, 2005 2:05 am (#49 of 58)
Thanks Catherine. I sometimes try experiences with English and they might be ... interesting.
Elanor - Mar 20, 2005 9:48 am (#50 of 58)
Thank you so much for your kind words Catherine, you made me becoming bright red in front of my computer! I am so happy that you like the alchemy thread, it means a lot to those who post there.
Come on Sept, give it a try, it's not that hard...
septentrion - Mar 20, 2005 1:26 pm (#51 of 58)
OK, I've given it a try and it's really interesting. I've begun directly with the new thread and I can follow the discussion !
josenegro - May 2, 2005 8:55 am (#52 of 58)
Thanks for the info, and I agree that Phoenix song's post on the numbers is very interesting. I have read that the number 11 is a 'master' number and that one who has this in their chart must learn to be a 'Master of Light', but I wonder in what sense JKR is using it in the stories: one enters Hogwarts at the age of 11, Harry's wand is 11 inches as well, as pointed in the post his birthday sums to the number 11, and of course the vault of Flamel's stone. Thanks again.
Samantha9587 - May 4, 2005 4:27 pm (#53 of 58)
Hey guys I just came to this discussion cause I remember completely being blown away by the fact that Nicholas Flamel was named in the Da Vinci Code's list of Grand Masters...didn't really get back to pondering that until now. Not to get too personal or religious, i would say that who's read the DVC can see that Browns continuous assertion of Mary Magdalene's "red hair" can be found similar to Rowlingalot of JK Rowlings facts hold a significance to The Holy Grail Legend. Anybody s decription of Lily...sort of a martyr no?...well i thought it interesting. I never really thought about that stuff on the Order's similarity to Priory or The 4 houses. The GOF was similar to the holy grail chalice...The philosophers stone being the earliest interpretation of what the Holy Grail might be (a stone that can create immortality)...its just a thought...
Cuivienen - May 23, 2005 6:53 pm (#54 of 58)
Exactly, most history books say the Inquisition 'began' in 1492. I was only suggesting that his essay was an 'Inquisitional' hint as early as book three. And I forgot that about Nick. Curiously, Nick is a 'Sir' which points to an existing example of a royal heirarchy or some form of class titlement in the wizarding world,or perhaps a half-blood himself.
Witch-burning in the fourteenth century can still apply. The Spanish Inquisition began in 1492, but the Inquisition itself had been in place since the 12th century, after the Albigensian Crusade. (The Albigensians were Christian "heretics" living in southern France.)
Again, it all comes back to France and Flamel, who was French. A rather loose connection, I must admit, but it's still there.
Kip Carter - Aug 2, 2005 10:33 am (#55 of 58)
This thread was closed down during the sixteen day period surrounding the release of Book Six. It is now opened for posts.
RoseMorninStar - Aug 7, 2005 11:33 pm (#56 of 58)
Edited Aug 8, 2005 12:35 am
I thought some of you might find this information interesting. I found it in 'The Sorcerer's Companion' and what follows is the entry for Nicholas Flamel:
Nicholas Flamel is best known to Harry Potter fans as the medieval alchemist who created the Sorcerer's Stone-a miraculous substance that could change lead into gold and produce an elixir of immortality. At the time of Harry's first term at Hogwarts (where the Stone is hidden away guarded by spells and charms), Flamel is alive and well residing with his wife Perenelle in Devon, England, at the ripe old age of 656. That's just about how old the historical Nicholas Flamel would be were he alive today. For Flamel was indeed a real alchemist, he did have a wife named Perenelle, and if the writings he left behind are to be believed, he created the legendary Stone in his alchemical laboratory on January 17, 1382.
Much of what we know about Flamel comes from his book 'Heiroglyphica', in which he tells how, almost by accident, he became an alchemist. When he was born-around 1330 in the small town of Pontoise, France-alchemy was already being practiced throughout Western Europe. Based on the practices of ancient Greek and Egyptian metalworkers, the secrets of alchemy were passed along through the Arab world and became available in Europe in Latin books around 1200. These books described sophisticated procedures by which one could create the Sorcerer's Stone and acquire enormous wealth, not to mention the promise of everlasting life. ALchemy was also said to be a spiritual practice, so that with a humble attitude and devotion to the task, the alchemist himself might be elevated to the state of a new purity and nobility. While many people were skeptical of both claims, countless others set up homemade laboratories and devoted their lives to trying to manufacture the Stone.
As a young man, however, Flamel seemed to have no particular interest in alchemy, although he had no doubt heard of it. He was well educated for a man of his era, literate in both Latin and French, and when it was time to set off on his own, he moved to Paris and went into business as a professional copyist, notary, and book dealer. Many of Flamel's contemporaries could neither read nor write, and when they needed some important transaction recorded, they went to a professional scribe. Flamel also copied books and manuscripts (the printing press would not be invented for another hundred years), and earned additional income by giving writing lessons to the wealthy, teaching them, among other things, how to sign their names. His first shop was located in a tiny wood stall on the Street of Notaries, but as his successful business grew he hired a staff of apprentices, bought a nearby house, and relocated his store to the first floor. He also met and married Perenelle, an attractive and wealthy widow. Until this point the young scribe's life was ordinary enough. But all that changed when a stranger appeared in his shop and sold him a book that would change his life forever. "There fell into my hands," he wrote, "for the sum of two florins, a gilded book, very old and large. It was not of paper or parchment as other books are, but made only of thin bark. The cover was of copper, very delicate, and engraved all over with strange figures." Flamel studied the book and became convinced it contained the secret of making the Sorcerer's Stone-if only he could understand it. But like all alchemical books, much of it was written in a deliberately cryptic language. And the deepest secrets of all were contained not in words but in mysterious symbolic pictures. One drawing, for example, showed a painted desert filled with beautiful fountains overflowing with serpents. Another depicted a windblown bush atop a mountain surrounded by griffins and dragons.
Flamel copied the drawings (no one but Pernelle was ever allowed to see the actual book), showed them to his colleagues and hung them in his shop, hoping someone could explain what they meant. But on one could. It was possibly at this point that Nicholas set up an alchemical laboratory and began experimenting, basing his procedures on those parts of the book that he did understand. But nothing worked. The alchemical tradition required that those who would learn "the art" must first be initiated into its secrets by a master. And so, after many failed experiments, Flamel finally sought out and found such a teacher living in Spain. With the real secrets of the book at last at hand Flamel returned to Paris where, after three years of intensive labor, he achieved his goal. "I made projection of the red Stone upon a quanity of mercury," he wrote, "in the presence of Pernelle only, which I transmuted truly into almost as much pure gold."
Flamel created gold, he said, only three times. But it was far more than he ever needed. He and Perenelle lived modestly and they used their wealth to benefit others. During the remaining years of their lives they founded and supported fourteen hospitals, commissioned religious monuments, built chapels, paid for the upkeep of churches and church graveyards, and gave generously to poor widows and orphans. Perenelle died in 1397 and Flamel spent his last years writing about alchemy. He died on March 22, 1417, and was buried in the church of Saint-Jacques la Boucherie, near his home.
What are we to make of Flamel's story? Did he really make gold? Or did he make up everything-the ancient book, the journey to Spain, the Sorcerer's Stone? Our only source of information is Flamel himself. But some of the facts are beyond doubt. Nicholas Flamel was a real person; his gifts and good deeds were real ( some of the monuments he built lasted for centuries), and the story of his alchemical quest helped keep alive the belief that alchemy was a real science and that the Sorcerer's Stone could be made.
By the Seventeenth century Flamel's story had become the stuff of legend. It was widely reported that soon after his death looters broke into Flamel's home and ripped it apart looking for gold. Failing to find any they pried open the great alchemist's coffin, hopin to find a piece of the Stone. Instead they found the coffin empty-no Stone and no Flamel! The truth, some said, was that Flamel and Perenelle had never really died at all. They had used the stone to become immortal. A rash of Flamel sightings were reported. One account issued by an emissary of King Louis XIV had them residing in India. In 1761, they were reportedly seen attending a performance at the Paris Opera. And most recently, according to a rumour spread by none other than Albus Dumbledore, the couple was said to be contemplating giving up immortality in favor of a nice long rest.
*Nicholas Flamel was a person I had read about long before I had heard of him in Harry Potter. Long before I read the Da Vinci code. I don't even remember where. I suppose JKR had heard of this historic person who sounds like he would be the type of person Dumbledore might have known & been partners with and decided to add him to her story. It is very interesting!**
Eric Bailey - Oct 11, 2005 5:09 pm (#57 of 58)
I do think alchemy, and Flamel's legacy, could play a part in the final book. One of the three copyrighted titles (and thus potential titles for Book 7) is Harry Potter and the Alchemist's Cell.
If JKR uses the actual Flamel legend, then there should be another Philosopher's Stone either in existence, or in the process of being created. According to the legend, Flamel came into the possession of the Book of Abraham the Jew, which contained all this knowledge, because the previous master alchemist's time was coming. The knowledge HAD to be passed on to his successor, so the Book would find it's way to the right person.
So, that would mean, despite Dumbledore's efforts to have this knowledge vanish from the world, there's someone out there that the Book has found, who's currently taking up the Great Work.
Choices - Oct 11, 2005 5:18 pm (#58 of 58)
Edited Oct 11, 2005 6:21 pm
I may be wrong here, but it just seems a little late to be bringing a new Philosopher's Stone into the plot now. We have the horcruxes and the emphasis is on them and finding their locations so Harry can destroy them. I can't see what adding in a Philosopher's Stone will do at this late date. I think JKR has enough to be going on with in book 7 without adding that. The alchemy in book 7 is going to be more symbolic than real in my opinion.
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