Fun with Franchises: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Part IV — “You Just Looked Like a Motherfucker Who Likes Pineapple”
Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Part IV.
In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.
And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Harry Potter franchise, and today is the fourth part of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
We begin Part IV with a bit of a callback to the previous movie…
Oh, shit. The chick that helped out Harry is gone.
Dem’s my favorite.
Hermione’s like, “You have to realize who you are, Harry,” because she thinks it was dumb of him to go running out there like that.
He says, “I know who I am, Hermione!” And then he adds a “Sorry,” because he’s atoning for his dickish ways.
She lectures him about being conscious of who he is only minutes after she beats him over the head for making a joke about being the Chosen One. Mixed messages.
“Excuse me, I have to go vomit.”
You and us both, Hermione.
Ever notice how in movies and TV, school never really happens? People are walking around arbitrarily and whenever there’s a reason to leave, they just do. Hermione sees Ron and excuses herself in the other direction – shouldn’t they be headed to class, or something? When I was in high school, I was always rushing to my next class, and there weren’t even enough ways around the place to take detours around stuff like hood rat fights.
Hey guys, remember when they cut SPEW out of the movies?
Yeah, that’s right. That torch still burns.
Harry’s gonna check some memories again.
I love the subtle hints that it’s the 50s. They’re all men, they’re all in suits. This is a boy’s club.
The first time I watched this, I was waiting for Dumbledore to show up until I realized it was Slughorn’s memory. I get having a lot of your own memories, but collecting other peoples’ memories? That’s not even remotely okay. That’s Thought Police level stuff, literally. Probably got that shit back in Nineteen Eighty-Four. But remember how even the authoritarian Ministry of Magic wasn’t evil enough to take people’s memories for use in the justice system? Dumbledore just does whatever the fuck he wants, regardless of ethics.
At the party, Riddle gets Slughorn some pineapple candy, which is his favorite. Slughorn wonders how he knew this.
“You just…looked like a motherfucker that likes pineapple.”
This looks terrific.
Anyway, Riddle stays behind to talk to Slughorn. Slughorn tells him he doesn’t want to be caught out of bed after hours, as if that’s something that even matters.
Love the little flick of the head when Slughorn warns Tom about being caught out of bed after hours. He’s like, “I don’t get caught, you know this. Are we done with this silly formality?”
Riddle tells Slughorn that none of the other professors are like him — they won’t understand.
He was in the library — in the restricted section — and came across something about a rare form of magic.
He wants to know about hmmumumumum.
The sound is drowned out. But whatever it is — Slughorn isn’t happy to hear about it.
I thought this whole delivery was a bit much, though. I’m assuming it’s a combination of the writing and the directing, but how obviously manipulative is this kid being? We would have gotten that without quite so much coaching. I suppose it could be part of Slughorn’s revision, but it also kind of makes him look bad.
Well that was fucked up.
(Also, total Frodo face.)
Dumbledore needs to know what the drowned out sound is.
“This memory is everything. Without it we are blind. Without it, we leave the fate of our world to chance.”
(“The fate of our world.” Fuck you. You’re the only motherfucker with the actual power to defeat this son of a bitch.)
(Also — is Dumbledore an antiques collector? What’s with that settee?)
Laying it on a bit thick, though, aren’t you? Especially since you’ve already gotten rid of at least two of what you’re looking for.
By the way, do they ever say how he comes by these memories? Does he wait around in the toilet or something?
It’s hilarious to me that Dumbledore has procured these memories (*said in the Dumbledore voice from Goblet of Fire*) and yet offers no advice to Harry as to how he can go about getting this one. Maybe give the kid a fucking point in the right direction, motherfucker.
The blame is equally on Harry, as not once does he even try to ask Dumbledore how he got them. Kind of a strange thing to leave up to chance — and whatever the fuck tactics you’re about to attempt to use.
Anyway, Harry goes to see Slughorn, who is finishing up a first-year potions class. He casually drops the word bezoar, which will become magically important in about ten minutes.
Kids these days are going down the drain. They’re talking about bezoars in this class, after Christmas break. Back in the day, they covered those in the first class of the year.
I’d like to point out the “magically important” pun up there.
Don’t worry, folks. My back is not lonely. That one was purely for you.
He also uses Riddle’s exact same words, which is a nice play on the second movie.
He was in the library — in the restricted section…. you know the rest.
This is that moment where you’re talking to someone and they just casually mention that they’ve been reading Mein Kampf.
He also redirects Harry to Snape, on the grounds that he’s the Potions Master and Snape is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. I’d like to point out how bullshit that is. Snape was Potions Master all along, buddy. Title ain’t got shit to do with knowing about evil.
Yeah, but then he catches Harry using Riddle’s exact words, and fishing for the secret word…
“Dumbledore put you up to this, didn’t he?”
Good job, Harry. It’s called TACT.
(In America, I think that stands for Training Against Critical Thinking.)
What, so now you’re just stalking him? I’m sure that’ll help you get what you want.
(He wants his two dollars.)
Well that’s a horse of a different color.
A little hole in the door for checking to see who it is? What’s on the other side of that door, the village of Bree?
He’s gonna have to tickle Slughorn’s Underhill in order to get what he wants.
Damn, he got that good shit.
Talking about the moon and shit.
“Had ourselves a little late night snack, did we?”
(See? Got that OG Gilly, baby.)
Talking about how beautiful celestial bodies are? I think Ron’s saying he’s ready to retire. Get out the neuralyzer.
I think you see a universe where retirement is that easy. I’m saying break out the all-black sedan and the three “escorts” that’ll make sure he gets “home” all right.
Ron loves her.
Not Lavender. Romilda.
Why does Rowling think being head-over-heels makes you act like a gay cartoon? Or is that just Rupert Grint’s take on it?
Why would you not think it makes you act like a gay cartoon? I support people acting like gay cartoons for most scenes.
There’s a lock screen image for you.
Harry realizes what’s going on.
He’s gonna “introduce him to Romilda.”
That’s gotta be used as code for something from now on.
“Hey baby, let me introduce you to Romilda…”
I love how he’s leading Ron off to “meet Romilda,” but it’s actually like the last time that George tells Lenny about the rabbits.
How awesome would that be if the camera just stayed where it was and you just heard two shotgun blasts off-screen?
He brings him to Slughorn to undo the damage.
So all he needed to get in was the Ginger Slippers.
This is about the most Ron ever gets, this scene.
Attention people aiming to make comedy: wide shots. Wide shots and reaction shots.
I like that Slughorn can just whip up an antidote for anything. I trust a teacher like that. Who, within five minutes can fix shit. They know their stuff.
“What happened to me?”
“You banged a cat, Ron.”
“It wasn’t pretty. Had to put the poor thing down, I’m afraid.”
“There are pictures.”
“You might want to lay low for a few weeks.”
“We haven’t even told anyone about the gopher yet.”
Slughorn thinks he could use a pick-me-up.
Sluggie can’t do shit.
“I’m fucking dyin’, man!”
GAME OVER, MAN!
Bezoars! Of course! The thing they mentioned randomly not ten minutes ago!
“Come on, Ron. Eat the goat testicle. There you go.”
And that’s the end of Ron!
“These girls, they’re gonna kill me.”
That was actually the most life or death situation I’ve seen in these movies.
Ah, the hospital. How we’ve missed you.
Bringing down all the professors, huh?
(Hey, how come they cut Hagrid out of this? We only see him for literally a second.)
Dumbledore congratulates Harry on using a bezoar. (Yet not one house point. Apparently that doesn’t rate as much as wizard’s chess.)
House points went out with the ghosts. Which, you gotta feel bad for the kids who are just starting at Hogwarts now, cause they get NO fun whatsoever. And by the time they’re third years…Hogsmeade? No, how about getting taught by psychopaths and then watching a bunch of your friends get MURDERED? But at least they’ll all be able to see thestrals. So there’s a silver lining.
That’s the Hogwarts Life (Ghetto Anthem).
Let’s check out the bottle.
“It possesses remarkably subtle hints of licorice and cherry, when not polluted with poison.”
(Just like Lana Turner.)
Slughorn was gonna give it to him as a gift.
“Where’s my Won-Won?”
“What’s she doing here?”
“Oh, do you wanna go, bitch?”
“I happen to be his girlfriend.”
“I happen to be his wife!”
“You haven’t spoken in weeks! He loves me more than he loves you!”
“He’s been poisoned, you cunt!”
“See? He knows I’m here.”
He says, “Hermione.”
The flood gates are open.
“Oh, to be young, and to feel love’s keen sting.”
(This has to be the line that got the note about him being gay.)
This is amazing. “Ah, this silly female is running away in tears because of something a half-conscious boy just said. How cute.” I was just waiting for some bitch’s weave to get torn the fuck out.
“About time, don’t you think?”
(Really, Ginny? Really?)
(Or maybe: Really? Ginny? Really?)
“Oh, shut up.”
It’s these kinds of moments that make the franchise.
Time to follow Draco.
(Again, with the shots in this…)
Room of Requirement.
Borgin and Burke’s.
And… not so much.
Whoa. This cabinet eats apples AND kills birds.
(Just like Lana Turner.)
This thing is going to cause SO much trouble later on when Pansy Parkinson asks Dean Thomas to come into the Room of Requirement and bust it up for her.
This reference will never not be funny to me.
(She has a great relationship with the blacks.)
I can hear him crying (which is nice), but I have no idea where (if anywhere) he’s supposed to be in this frame.
“Tell me how I broke up with Lavender again.”
“You see… what had happened was…”
(Why not just tell him?)
“What? Broke up? No, it’s totally fine. You guys are totally cool.”
(That was like that moment in Scott Pilgrim when Knives is just at the window out of nowhere.)
“You don’t remember anything from that night? Anything at all?”
He remembers something from last night. “But it can’t be. I was completely boggled.”
Just as Ron says he was completely boggled, they cut back to Harry, and you can see in the background – Dean Thomas gets a roll passed to him, and he passes it to the guy next to him. And the way they pass it makes me think it’s full of drugs.
Harry Potter TV Series idea: Student drug deals
(I think that might be Cormac, too.)
(How come they’re sitting at a non-Gryffindor table? Apparently we have done away with house loyalty. People sit wherever the fuck they want now.)
“Right… completely boggled.”
Aww… it’s sad.
He doesn’t remember anything. He was unconscious, she was tending to him…oh wait. Did she World According to Garp him?
At first I was gonna continue with the joke, and then I was gonna point out how people probably didn’t know that reference (and probably should), and then I took a step back and went, “Wow, I knew what that was like it wasn’t weird for me to get that reference automatically.”
And I think about this.
(But that reference was fucking hilarious. If you don’t know what it means, you’re really missing out on the best parts of the articles.)
♫ Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a witches man, no time to talk. ♫
Katie don’t know who cursed her. (Or that she used to play Quidditch, apparently.)
Well gee golly. That’s not spicious.
Reverse tracking shot on Malfoy! Nice!
I feel so proud right now.
(Note: For those who want to know about a reverse tracking shot, watch this.)
Malfoy then quickly exits and Harry follows.
As we walk out of the Great Hall, how come we never see those ghosts who rode horses and laughed and threw severed heads around? Or any ghosts, for that matter? Have we seen a ghost in the last two or three films?
Not since Azkaban. They phased them out once the Tri-Wizard Tournament showed up.
This’ll end well.
I never got this. One person is walking briskly, and the other is following at the same pace. You know he’s looking for a confrontation, so why doesn’t he just run to catch up to Malfoy? Both of them know it’s a chase, but neither acts to break the equilibrium.
I only get it if this is also happening at the same time.
He’s got the Monster.
At least he’s feeling remorse. That’s something.
(Also, doesn’t he, in the book, confide to Moaning Myrtle about how torn he is about everything? It’s kind of a shame that they cut that part out, because it really builds empathy for Draco as a character, and we get more of a sense of him as a three-dimensional character. In the movies, we kind of see it in this one, but mostly we see him as a tool and a coward, who just goes along with evil and doesn’t have the spine for it, and runs away any chance he gets.)
Oh, but it’s on.
Just like how Lockhart taught them.
It’s a nice duel. I like how they’re moving toward realistic fighting. They cut out the sound and it’s just zaps and shit breaking and breathing and movement and shit. Big fan of these scenes.
Well, double shit.
Snape knows that spell.
Shit, he’s better than Madame Pomfrey.
So Harry’s free to go? He just gets to chill in the Gryffindor common room? And why’s he so shaken? So much for your convictions. You believe he’s working for Voldemort and doing evil shit left and right, but you wound him a little bit and get squeamish? He pulls a wand, you pull an Elder Wand. He sends one of yours to the hospital wing, you send one of his to the crypt. THAT’s the Hogwarts way. And that’s how you get Voldemort.
Here Endeth the Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson.
“You have to get rid of it.”
Which, actually fits with her character and history. So that’s good.
“Take my hand.”
Remind me again why he needs your strength to get him through this? It’s not exactly as if he’s going to his parents’ funer… maybe another example would be better. But still, you get the point.
I can’t hear her tell him to take her hand without hearing Dewey Cox.
I can’t hear it without thinking of this.
(Don’t be the person who hears that and thinks of Bon Jovi.)
(Don’t be that person.)
So that’s what it takes? Near murder?
WHY DOES THE ROOM OF REQUIREMENT LOOK EXACTLY THE WAY IT DOES WHEN DRACO WAS USING IT? (Isn’t is supposed to be specifically equipped for each user’s needs? What is this, its day off? “Oh, well, this’ll suffice for them too.”)
“The Room of Requirement.”
(Good job, Harry.)
“Tell me about it, stud.”
Time to go ramma lamma lamma ka-dingity ding de dong.
And the bird is alive.
(Which, presumably implies that Draco was finally successful in his attempts to transport shit from one place to another, and was going to the Great Hall for some breakfast, finally relieved and not under as much stress as he was previously, only to be confronted with Katie Bell, pursued by Harry and then almost killed. Man, Draco’s having a rough year.)
“You never know what you’ll find up here.”
I bet she has a pretty good idea, though, doesn’t she?
This shot is set up in such a way that you’re waiting for a hand to come out of the cabinet and grab his shoulder, like some fucked up Narnia shit.
(People got that, right?)
“Close your eyes.”
What the fuck is with this score? A harp, really?
Well, this is all very erotic for just hiding a book. And that’s not book-hiding music.
Oh god, now she’s talking in a breathy whisper. The kind usually reserved for, “I’m not wearing any underwear.”
I learned about this type of shot in our Westerns class while watching The Searchers. They put a character on one side of the screen, and you naturally want the other half to be filled by someone. It represents a romantic possibility without having to say anything. Only in this case, Harry doesn’t have to get with Dorothy Jordan. Or John Wayne, for that matter.
You know the Weasleys have a Mose Harper in their family.
And there’s the whale.
“I can stay hidden up here too, if you like.”
A HA HA HA HA HA HA.
Wouldn’t it be fucked up if he opened his eyes and he was in the cupboard under the stairs?
THEY HAVE A TURTLE IN THERE!
(Also, the harp is totally playing by itself over there. That’s almost what’s required right now All that’s missing is another chick showing up to deliver pizza.)
Dude, she just up and left you. That’s messed up. Why wouldn’t you just bang her?
Okay, now I’m genuinely concerned. Where the fuck did she go? Can you just do that? “I require to get the fuck out of here right now in a badass exit!”
Doesn’t change the fact that she’s a poor ginger. Your dowry’s gonna be two chipped tea cups and a three legged dog.
(Just like Lana Turner.)
That just made me realize, though – Harry’s rich as fuck. This is a Weasley that marries into money. We can assume that Ron and Hermione aren’t rolling in dough, since they both work for the Ministry. Percy works for the Ministry, so he’ll be average, but George has a successful business and doesn’t have to share anymore, so he’s probably rich. Then there’s Bill. There’s a possibility that Fleur is independently wealthy, but I don’t think there’s much money in working with dragons, and he’s got a significant outlay on werewolf meds. The moral of the story is that social mobility is nonexistent unless you marry rich or if you’re a Mark Zuckerberg-type apathetic entrepreneur whose business partner is murdered.
“So, did you and Ginny do it, then?”
Haha. “Do it.” Nike that ho!
“Ah, yes –”
This is me in life.
How does this happen? He just peaces. “Oh, I’ve forgotten the mortar for this mortarboard hat that I’m inexplicably wearing during the middle of a term!”
“Still no luck with Slughorn, then, I take it.”
So Ron exists to say the right thing at the right time. I figured it out.
I just got a great idea of how to make Christmas lights even better.
It’s a good thing he’s kept this potion, cause I woulda used that shit in a dice game.
If you don’t slam it down, it doesn’t count.
But you know that’s what that is, though, right? Dice game juice.
Harry Potter TV Series idea: Wizard dice
“And here comes dumbass Ludo Bagman…”
This is often how I drink, with people watching me, like, “What’s it like? How’s it taste? Is it really 160 proof? You know it’s 11 am, right?”
“Well? How do you feel?”
(He looks like the guy in those Viagra commercials.)
She gives him the deets on how to get to Slughorn.
“Right. I’m gonna go to Hagrid’s.”
“Nigga, were you listening?”
We like this shirt on her, by the way.
I like it better not on her.
WOCKA WOCKA WOCKA! RIM SHOT!
Come on! Give me five(-point palm exploding heart technique because that might have been the worst joke I’ve ever made).
(I think it’s a disorder. I really do think it’s a disorder.)
“I know, but I’ve got a really good feeling about Hagrid’s. I really feel as if it’s the place to be tonight.”
(Nice shot, by the way.)
(Also, that one up there might be my favorite joke that I’ve made in all of these articles. I laugh so hard every time I click that link.)
What Harry actually said before he left was that he had a really good feeling about Hagrid’s place. “Or rather, Felix does.”
Felix? Who’s Felix?
Oh, is this like how Hermione has an “Aunt Flo?”
(These comments are just padding, really.)
I loved this sequence in the books. Just the idea that he’s doing everything wrong and that’s what’s gonna get things to go right.
In Japan, this is considered foreplay.
Also of note, this is what Colin’s notes said about this moment:
“Are those tentacular leaves, sir? They’re very valuable, aren’t they?”
That’s awesome, he’s stealing shit to sell.
“Personally these plants have always kind of freaked me out…. Mmm.”
That’s great. The little “Mmm,” after considering them again. Harry’s pretty great during this sequence.
The way he’s acting makes one wonder if this potion wasn’t just liquefied crack.
So, like I said… dice game juice.
And then he just walks away. He’s supposed to get information out of Slughorn, but he’s just walking away. That’s why I loved this sequence.
“Wait, how did you get out of the castle?”
“Through the front door, sir.”
And he goes to walk away again.
“You know I can’t let you wander around by yourself, right?”
“Well then hurry the fuck up. We’re going to Hagrid’s.”
“Harry, I must insist you accompany back to the castle immediately.”
“That would be counterproductive, sir.”
Wait, so is this thing dead because Harry’s lucky? I’m a little hazy on how this works. Does taking the potion actually alter the course of events around him? Or does it just guide him in the right direction to take full advantage? Cause what if he got a good feeling about going somewhere to catch Slughorn, but there weren’t any other favorable circumstances to make things work out in the end? This is a lot of shit that happened [seemingly] at random, which leads me to believe that taking the potion actually alters events.
So this spider is dead. What if you were going somewhere, having taken the potion, and you make amazing time getting there because the person that would have been driving slowly in front of you had died in an accident instead? This whole potion thing doesn’t sound like it’s completely harmless. One minute into it and already one sentient being is confirmed dead.
Harry Potter TV series idea: The Twilight Zone
My favorite is that Slughorn thinks Hagrid killed it like a boss. And Hagrid’s like, “Killed it? He was my oldest friend, he was!” and Slughorn just kind of recoils in horror, like, “…oh.”
“Seriously misunderstood creatures, spiders are. It’s the eyes, I reckon.”
“Not to mention the pinsirs.”
This is like that Spider-Man 3 sequence, isn’t it?
He needs to be on this drug all the time. I’ve stopped calling it a potion and started calling it a drug. Cause look at him. I don’t care about the collateral damage, either. This is the only way Harry’s guaranteed to be interesting.
“Yeah, I reckon that too.”
One should consider that as strong as this drug is and how much potential it has to alter the fate of your endeavors, it would be highly coveted by just about ANYONE for literally anything, especially during a war. How hard is it to make? Either they’re overlooking an obvious way to improve their chances against Voldemort (and his chances against them, for that matter), or Slughorn wasted an IMMENSELY valuable and powerful potion (drug) on an arbitrary and inconsequential classroom contest between 16 year olds. Granted, he said that he’d only had to award it a few times in all the years he was at Hogwarts, but still. Either keep it for emergencies, or brew it around the clock to luck yourself up.
You have to expect that Voldemort would have people brewing it for him, too. That there would be worries about a “Luck Gap” with the Death Eaters.
Harry Potter TV Series idea: Wizarding Cold War weapon stockpiling.
Slughorn wants to get some of that venom. Strictly for academic purposes, of course.
He just keeps phials (I assume they use the ‘auld’ spelling, cause fuck them) on his person at all time, just in case there are random bodily fluids to be collected. No big thing.
How did they get their hands on my dick pic?
This is great. He just breaks off a piece of him and is like, “Uhh… this is awkward,” and no one knows what to do, so they just move on.” Great moment.
“Would you like me to say a few words?”
“He had a family, I trust?”
Great line reading.
The way he delivers this is awesome. “You body… will decay. But your spirit… lingers on.”
“Yes, we’ll gather at the ri-ver, the beautiful, the beautiful ri-ver…”
♫ “Oh, show me the way to go home / I’m tired and I wanna go to bed.” ♫
“Ya, ya, ya, YA!”
Wow. Slughorn outdrank Hagrid?
Slughorn tells a story about how he got a fish from Harry’s mother.
The day the fish disappeared was the day she died.
Wait, so his fish died because it was enchanted and the enchanter had died? That’s fucked up. That’s like pulling the plug on someone in the Matrix.
“I know why you’re here. But I can’t help you. It would ruin me.”
“Do you know why I survived, Professor?”
Harry says he is the Chosen One. He’s the only one who can defeat Voldemort and in order to do so, he needs to know what Riddle asked him.
“Be brave, Professor. Be brave like my mother.”
“Otherwise, you disgrace her.”
Holy SHIT, Harry.
This is like Catholic guilt plus Jewish guilt plus Asian guilt. All stitched together in one big guilt quilt.
Guilt Quilt. What a wonderful phrase. It’s like Hakuna Matata for neurotics.
“Don’t think badly of me when you see it.”
If I were Slughorn, I’d act exactly like this, but actually give Harry some random memory, like the first time I ever beat off or something. And then by the time Harry goes back and sees the memory, I’m over the border.
And here we go.
Horcrux is the secret word.
It’s when one hides ones soul in objects. You split your soul and put it into the object. You’re then protected if your body is destroyed. You cannot die.
You split your soul with murder.
Killing rips the soul apart? There’s an extra component to making the horcrux, which involves casting a spell, but the soul-ripping bit is just because of killing? Cause then wouldn’t everyone who ever killed someone have a shredded soul? Good guys, too? And what about killing is a “violation of nature?” Somebody clearly didn’t think this through. Killing is the BASIS of a shit ton of nature. Like, most of it. David Attenborough says so, so I believe it.
But it brings us back to the thing about the thestrals and who can see them. The Harry Potter universe has a seemingly infinite number of sentient, intelligent species, but we’re unclear on how their deaths are viewed ethically. Can a goblin that’s witnessed a human death see thestrals, or only when they witness a goblin death? Goblins aren’t allowed wands, but they are magical; if they kill someone magically, can they have horcruxes? What about wizards with partial goblin lineage, like Flitwick? What about sentient life like Aragog, that has some magical properties, is intelligent, and kills REGULARLY? Could he have a horcrux?
Even assuming that there’s a separate magical process to making a horcrux (which isn’t ever explained, by the way), Slughorn is insinuating, during this exposition, that killing itself rends your soul. And later, we find out that the more horcruxes you’ve made, the worse off you are. But is it the murder and soul-ripping that fucks you up, or the horcrux making? Cause what if you’ve killed people without making horcruxes and only start making them later? Then you’re even MORE fucked up.
My next point is a minor one, but it’s a matter of mathematics. We know that horcruxes contain part of your soul that’s ripped apart from the soul that resides within your physical body. Either it’s a pre-determined amount of soul, or it’s a half of your existing soul. If it’s the first case, there’s a very real limit on how many horcruxes can be produced before you’re out of juice. We don’t know how many is the maximum, if there is a limit. But if it just tears your soul in half, then the first horcrux would have half of your soul, and the second would have a quarter, then an eighth, and so forth. The soul inhabiting your body would continue to shrink, as would the size of each subsequent horcrux. This implies, however, that the first ones would be the most powerful, or the most evil. So was the diary the most powerful or the most evil? Or are they all equal?
Finally, we later find out that Voldemort doesn’t even have any soul in his new body. He dies with the last horcrux, not with an attack on his body. So you don’t have to have a soul in your body when you come back from the dead? And coming back doesn’t use up one of the horcruxes you made? I guess he’s connected to the horcruxes wirelessly or something. They’re like routers, and he’s alive in the cloud, is that it? But ultimately, the whole thing about having less soul in your physical body messing you up is bullshit because he has none now in this body, but he’s clearly fine.
If you soldiered through that, good for you. As you can see, this is one of many things that Rowling just threw at us without covering at length. Whenever we get specifics, it’s always at her convenience, and most things are just left ambiguous, with gaping holes.
Presumably the idea is that your soul is only torn apart with an act of murder. Not necessarily killing, but murder in cold blood. That’s when you lose a piece of your soul. So right there, that limits the number of people who can create horcruxes to only those who actively go out and kill someone. And then the idea is that you can use a really dark spell (so dark that all the magical books would only mention it in passing but not say specifically how it’s done or anything) to put the part of your soul that’s lost into the object. But there definitely is a magical spell involved, which is kept from almost all people, to the point where an extremely limited amount of people know about them (I’m pretty sure this is why Harry never explains why he’s going anywhere to anyone and what he’s doing. When he shows up at Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows (Part 2, for the movies), all he tells McGonagall is that he needs time, but never explains what he needs it for.) So I think you’d need all those circumstances — an act of cold-blooded murder that rends a piece of the soul plus the knowledge of horcruxes and how to make them and the desire to do so in order to make one. I’m pretty sure there are only like three people in history who have ever made them. The first guy, Voldemort, and one other person. And Voldemort’s the only person to make several of them.
A good question is — if you kill a dog just for the sake of killing it, does that Kit-Kat (break off a piece of — to save time. Normally I’d just say it without explanation and make you Summer Sanders) your soul the way it does for killing a human?
Also — Filius Flitwick can have whatever he wants.
I think it’s the murder that fucks up the soul more than the horcruxes. I’m sure the act of making horcruxes makes it doubly worse, but the murder is still the first and foremost soul-killing activity. I think Slughorn was saying — the more you kill, the more fucked up your soul is. Which — yeah.
I’m curious to know if you can kill people and then make horcruxes later. I always thought of it as you having to make the horcrux at the site of the murder, with the specific intent of killing someone and making the horcrux, as a kind of ritual or something. The murder is just the whisking part of the recipe and the horcrux is when shit actually goes in the oven. I think the spell has to be spoken right after a deliberate murder. Pre-meditated, if you will. Murder One. Since I know they said that Moaning Myrtle’s death led to the creation of the diary. So it’s definitely that you have to make the horcrux at the time of the murder, and can’t store up murders for future use.
I’m also wondering what happens to the piece of the soul that’s ripped apart from the murder — does it just hang out in the body, or is it just gone for good?
The mathematics point is a good one. You said it was a minor one, but I actually think it’s the hor-crux of your argument. (It really is a disorder. I ask that you all support me during this dark time.) I really don’t know the answer to that. Or rather — I feel like I know the answer from one side of the equation, but not the other. I don’t think any one horcrux is stronger than the others. That seems obvious, and I feel like most people would agree with that. But on the other hand — I’m not really sure how much of the soul is ripped apart with each murder. I don’t think it’s a halves thing, but I also don’t think it’s a pre-determined amount. I feel like there is no answer, because there aren’t enough test cases to really know. Since only like two or three people have ever done it, and only Voldemort has done it more than once. I feel like that’s why they’re so shocked at the end of this memory — they can’t believe Voldemort split his soul seven times. I guess it’s just the kind of thing where it just depends on how cold-blooded you are and how much soul-ripping you can stand. Since presumably after the eighth horcrux was made, Voldemort lost his physical form. I guess there’s only so much the body can take.
Then again, I’m also pretty sure Nagini wasn’t turned into a horcrux until after Harry became one. Technically Nagini is the eighth horcrux, right? Wasn’t Frank Bryce the murder that led to Nagini being one? Or do I have that wrong? Either way, I think you can just sort of keep going until you can’t handle it anymore. It all depends on how little soul you want left.
I love how you end with “Finally…”; it’s so academic. I enjoy it and loathe it at the same time. I enjoy it because the whole thing is written like an essay, and the fact that it’s about horcruxes is hilarious, and I loathe it because it’s academic, and my entire life revolves around striving to be as non-academic as possible.
Anyway — the dying with the last horcrux thing is tricky, since in the book, he dies with a rebounded killing curse. The horcruxes are dead, he’s human, he uses Avada Kedavra, the Elder Wand refuses to kill the person to whom it holds allegiance, and it rebounds and kills Voldemort. But the movie does that soul thing, and I can’t really call them out for a logic fault on that, since the movie has done a few things like that, where they’ve made definitive choices as to how they want to interpret shit. With all the murder, clearly Voldemort has no soul left, but on the other hand — he could have kept making horcruxes. The movies just chose to be like, “That’s it, there’s no more soul — kill the soul, and the body will die,” to quote Coach.
I also think the horcrux “Cloud” is basically what it is.
And I also think that it’s one of those things that Rowling never really fully explains, so we just have to extrapolate based on what we have.
But everything’s like that. I think it makes sense for the most part. I never really saw anything too crazy to go on about.
Oh, but where were we?
Right… Slughorn has just told Riddle how to make horcruxes.
Subtle. Real subtle.
That was some fucked up shit.
So Voldemort succeeded. Bad part – horcruxes can be absolutely anything.
Like a ring.
Or a book.
Dumbledore knew it was some wild shit when Harry brought it to him, but he didn’t know quite what it was until tonight.
Okay, so this was more than Dumbledore had ever imagined? So this whole year as he’s been fondling the diary that contained an imprint of Tom Riddle as a teenager and was able to possess a girl and generally cause mayhem, what ELSE did he think it was? That sounds exactly like a horcrux to me, so if I was Dumbledore – who must know all about them, being a genius – I’d probably have IMAGINED that’s what it was at some point.
Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but in terms of powers and characteristics, don’t horcruxes sound an awful lot like the Ring of Power? I always forget, did the Lord of the Rings books come out after Harry Potter? Or am I just being a sarcastic douche?
Oh, I guess he did sorta know they were horcruxes, then? He just never imagined how many there’d be? Well, it’s either three or seven. Those are the magic numbers. Any asshole knows that.
I feel like Dumbledore says he pretty much knew they were horcruxes, but didn’t know the extent to which Voldemort went with them. I think that’s what made things so worse.
But you’re right, that did seem weird. I almost (or I might have — I forget at this point) brought up how Dumbledore was reacting to this, as if he didn’t already know what they were and didn’t destroy two of them already. If I didn’t already go off about that, I think it’s because I figured, “Well, now he has confirmation, and he knows it’s seven, which is terrifying to him because he knows how little time he has left, and he only knows about like three of them, and they can be anything, and they can be anywhere.” So I gave it a pass.
Since, right? All he knows about at this point are the diary, the ring and Harry. He doesn’t know about the locket (though he does have a location on it), he doesn’t know about the cup or the diadem (both of which are found through sheer luck and “Hey, this seems like something important might be here, let’s go check it out” (and the luck allows them to magically find it)), he doesn’t know about Nagini (which they only really find out about because of Harry’s connection to Voldemort), and not once does anyone mention Quirrell, so I don’t know how the fuck they know he was a horcrux and that it was destroyed.
I sound like Maude Flanders at this point — “Will somebody PLEASE think of Quirrell?!!!” Because seriously — Harry says with complete conviction at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2 — “Kill the snake. Kill the snake and then it’s just him.” That’s an entire horcrux that you’re just assuming is taken care of already. They don’t mention that he was one in the movies, and they don’t mention that they know it’s destroyed already. I don’t get it. That’s my real logic problem with this. We only actually see them destroy seven horcruxes. Which would be fine if they didn’t also say that Harry was the “horcrux he didn’t intend to make.”
So that’s my whole beef with this. At least mention that Quirrell was one, so we can at least cross it off the list.
The ring belonged to Voldemort’s mother. Difficult to find.
“Even more difficult to destroy.”
And of course touching them makes him flash to important information.
Destroy the horcuxes, destroy Voldemort.
(Gee, you think?)
Dumbledore thinks he’s found another one. He needs Harry’s help.
“Once again, I must ask too much of you, Harry.”
This is what I sounded like when was with my high school girlfriends. “Once again, I must ask too much of you…”
People overvalue my kindness.
“Have you ever considered that you ask too much, that you take too much for granted?”
“Has it ever crossed your brilliant mind that I don’t want to do this anymore?”
“Whether it has or hasn’t is irrelevant. I will not negotiate with you, Severus. You agreed. Nothing more to discuss.”
“You need a shave, my friend.”
“You know, at times, I forget how much you’ve grown. At times I still see the small boy from the cupboard. Forgive my mawkishness, Harry. I’m an old man.”
“You still look the same to me, sir.”
No he doesn’t. He’s not Richard Harris.
“I thought you couldn’t apparate within Hogwarts.”
“Being me has its privileges.”
This is where, “You can if you’re a badass.” works.
And there they go. Thus beginning the best sequence of the film.
And that’s where we’ll END PART IV.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow we finish the film with one of the best sequences in the franchise. Don’t believe me? Severus please.
(Which… we should start using…)