In honor of Slytherin Pride Day, and because I am a Slytherin (the best house btw), here is a fun little quiz to figure out which iconic Slytherin character you would be!
Fifteen years ago today, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out in theaters. Though this adaptation of the fourth book in Rowling’s Harry Potter series is wonderful, there are times, in both the book and movie, where Harry tends to strike a nerve. Let’s face it, Harry may be the chosen one, but he’s not the brightest wizard of his age. Here is a list of the five times Harry grinds our gears in Goblet.
1. Harry doesn’t study
You would think that procrastination is Harry’s favorite sport, rather than Quidditch, with how passionately he attempts to avoid studying at all costs. He and Ron rely on Hermione far too much to pass their exams, and, while it is a normal teenage endeavor to fall back on the notes of your most studious friend, preparing for the Triwizard Tournament is an entirely different monster. The stakes of the game are to win or to invite injury, as well as defeat, and yet Harry evades investigating the ins and outs of a successful trial by fire (Goblet of Fire, that is) at every turn. Thank goodness for his invaluable luck, where help seems to fall in his lap by way of Hagrid spilling secrets, the loyalty of Cedric Diggory, and the effort of friends: Dobby (in the book) or Neville (in the movie).
2. Harry critiques everyone’s outfit at the Yule Ball
Okay, so he does this silently in his mind, and that’s much different from telling someone to their face how ghastly their ensemble is, but still we have a window into his thoughts. Harry laughs at Ron’s dress robes, refers to Hagrid’s suit as “hairy and horrible,” McGonagall’s tartan as “ugly,” and Malfoy’s cronies as “two moss covered boulders.” Granted, the last one is quite satisfying and these observations bring some humor to the text, but we’re still not used to seeing such a blunt critique from Harry’s point of view.
3. Harry has shallow reasons for rejecting dates
Harry did have one special girl on his mind (Cho Chang), and though she was eventually unavailable, all other females in Harry’s eyes were dimmed by her light. Three girls ultimately asked him to the ball, yet he rejected them all on the grounds that he didn’t know them and he was holding out hope for Cho. When an unidentified fifth year asked Harry to the yule ball, he turned her down with the simple explanation, “She was a foot taller than me. Imagine what I’d look like trying to dance with her.” According to harrypotterfandom.com, “Harry also described her as looking as though she might knock him out if he refused her invitation.” He does later, in his final desperation, attend the dance with Parvati Patel, though he treats her as nothing more than a ticket to gawk at Cho dancing with Cedric.
4. Harry Shares the trophy with cedric
This one is no fault of his own, but it’s still the most cringe-worthy and painful regardless. Harry was doing a good deed and being fair by sharing the trophy with Cedric, something more akin to that of Hufflepuff than Gryffindor. And for someone who almost attacked his competitor, to assist him at the end like this is making a complete one-eighty. However, if there was one moment that we wish Harry had been selfish, it’s this one. There was no reason for Cedric to be there with Voldemort, and had he not touched the goblet at the same moment as Harry, it’s unlikely that the graveyard scene would have gone differently. The only thing worse than a literary character’s death is a senseless one. Harry couldn’t have known that the goblet was a portkey, yet each time we watch Harry decide to be benevolent at the worst possible moment, the good and light part of our literary soul dies along with Cedric.
5. “Harry! DID YAH PUT YAH NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!”
Alright, this one’s just for fun, but how could I not broach the moment when Harry is verbally assaulted by Dumbledore about “putting his name in the Goblet of Fire?” Though this one isn’t on Harry by a long shot, it’s the single most excruciating grind-your-gears moment in the film, and it’s actually pretty hilarious how contradicting Dumbledore’s on-screen presence is from his “calm” inquiry of Harry in the novel.
There you have it! The five ways in which Harry grinds our gears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Now, you can celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its premiere by diving into the movie once again, and procrastinating along with Harry throughout each of the Triwizard tasks!
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How well do you know your literary villains? Take this quiz to see if you can guess the villain after hearing the plot from their side of the story!
I know I know, half of you are scandalized, but today, on the eighteenth anniversary of the film release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, how am I supposed to bring sorcery into it? Apparently american children in 1997 thought philosophy was for nerds. You know what’s for nerds? Harry Potter. There are a lot of ways to reminisce about the only movie where they actually wear robes, but we’re internet people second, here at Bookstr. I think you know where this is going.
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Alright, I was the same age as Harry when I first read this book, and not much older when I saw the movie, but what was Dumbledore’s thinking here? I admit I don’t remember all the details, but you basically can’t get into Gringotts, and you certainly can’t get out. And that’s under normal circumstances! They couldn’t throw another dragon or two in front of the thing? And let me ask you this: did they ever try dragons against Voldemort in the first place? I don’t care how much of an evil badass you are or whatever, what are you really going to do with ten tonnes of angry fire lizard in front of you? I know they threw dragons at children in the fourth book, but without warning? Please. I just want to know they tried it. And I know Hogwarts is supposed to be pretty safe, but even without all the later counter-evidence, I’d wonder.
Actually, What Did He Do?
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This is a dazzling take, obviously, and there’s a lot to unpack, but really it just made me wonder what Malfoy’s dad like… does. Sure, he’s a Death Eater, but not every second, and how much Death Eater work is there to do while Voldemort’s presumed dead? I know he’s very busy being privileged and racist and hearing about things Potter does, but what does he do the rest of the time? Just sit around the house being angry about things and making house elves miserable? For real, it’s never mentioned that he works at the ministry or anything. We really don’t know anything about how the Malfoys got so powerful, or about what they do now. It never bothered me before, but now it’s driving me crazy. I also absolutely love the suggestion that he invented toaster strudel. Invented it! It’s so random and so muggle centric. Priceless.
More Great Ideas!
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Alright, so you’re not allowed to go into the forest, because it’s STUPID dangerous, and you’d definitely die. Also, it’s even more dangerous than usual because someone’s going around killing and eating unicorns. Never go there! Wait, out after dark, maybe risking their lives trying to relocate an illegal dragon for the groundskeeper? Well, why don’t you do something even more dangerous for that very same groundskeeper? It’s like, oh, you’re smoking? How about some meth? That’ll teach you. I mean, I guess they learn something, but it’s not their lesson, I think the rest of the story can attest. And the second they’re in the forest, Hagrid is like, you know what? Let’s split the party. Best witch with me! Here’s my dog, try not to die. And then, not only are they in danger, but it’s literal Voldemort, running around in the woods right by the school. Who’s keeping track of school safety around here?
We Don’t Judge. Or Use Judgement.
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Look, I know the twins are chill as it gets, but they really should have noticed this. Don’t judge, that’s great! But bring it up, please? Did they see it and go “aww, Ron has a friend” like, shouldn’t they know there’s noone named Peter in his year? They’re only a year or so above, and there are like five boys in his class, how would they not realise? Especially when this guy goes everywhere with Ron? I know what you’re going to say. Why would they ever actively check where Ron is? Well, if they want to sneak out of the tower, wouldn’t they need to know everyone else was asleep? And why weren’t they even a little worried any of the times Ron was just AWOL in the middle of the night? I know they support making poor discipline related choices, but he’s a baby, aren’t they worried? Have they ever walked right past him when he’s in the invisibility cloak? What did they think then, I beg of you?
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These nerds had their moments. We all like to talk about Harry, as we should. “No need to call me sir, Professor” was the line of a generation, and I like him telling Snape that Ron’s misspelled name is a nickname. They say a lot of stuff to Snape. But I don’t think Hermione gets enough credit. She has fewer moments, sure, but they’re absolutely metal. Remember when she bitch slapped Malfoy, muggle style? Your fave could never. And what’s Malfoy going to do, tell his father? Hi dad, today I was slapped at wizard school. It would never occur to someone who’s always had magic right there. I’m honestly just sad she never slapped him again. Oh, sure, she could outspell him too, she’s a much better caster, but there’s just such a big energy about hitting that dude in the face. Classic.
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Who are literature’s worst monsters, but aren’t actually all that bad? Who has a silver lining that we can look into? Who are the almost monsters of literature that are almost terrible but not quite?
Let’s find out!
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At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!
Not only did this pig in a human suit lie to Harry, but he abused him since he was a BABY. He’s not even magical.
Objectively, of all the characters from the Harry Potter series, Vernon Dursley is just the worse. He’s human, so we can judge him as much as we want, for keeping a baby in a closet under the stairs for ELEVEN YEARS. Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but Vernon just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents, and threw him under a closet for ELEVEN YEARS.
To make matters worse, no one called the cops. At least Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby.
At least Umbridge told Harry the truth! At least she told him that he shouldn’t lie!
Voldemort had the decency to try and kill Harry, Umbridge at least spoke in a nice voice, but this pig in a human suit just yelled at him, smacked him around, lied about his parents. At least Aunt Petunia kept the blanket Harry came in when he was a baby. Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, he’s not even magical, but he’s certainly one of the worse.
OR IS HE?
Horcruxes can influence those around them and Voldemort made one out of Harry. Thus the Dursleys’ dislike of him was exacerbated by Voldemort’s magic.
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James was amused by Vernon, and made the mistake of showing it. Vernon tried to patronise James, asking what car he drove. James described his racing broom.
Vernon supposed out loud that wizards had to live on unemployment benefit. James explained about Gringotts, and the fortune his parents had saved there, in solid gold.
Vernon could not tell whether he was being made fun of or not, and grew angry. The evening ended with Vernon and Petunia storming out of the restaurant, while Lily burst into tears and James (a little ashamed of himself) promised to make things up with Vernon at the earliest opportunity.
Either way, Vernon might not be as bad we thought he is (though he’s still pretty terrible)
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The titular character from Moby Dick, at the end of the day, is a WHALE. It has no concept of good of evil, it’s just a big whale.
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Captain Ahab is the rotten one here. Blame him, not the whale!
6-Alexandra Finch Hancock
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While not the worse character in To Kill a Mocking Bird (the real monster is Bob Ewell), Aunt Alexandra is a racist piece of crap. The formidable matriarch of the Finch family, Aunt Alexandra is the king of woman who wears a corset even under her bathrobe. Before she even comes onto the page, Scout compares her to Mount Everest: “throughout my early life, she was cold and there,” but when she comes on the page she far exceeds our expectations of her.
Bossy, hyper-critical, Aunt Alexandra likes thinks done her way or the highway. Imagine the pressure poor Atticus is under when she targets him, taking umbrage with his client, Tom Robinson, noting that the case might endanger the Finch reputation.
She forgoes human decency because of the family. To her, “what is the best for the family” is more important than the family itself.
Aunt Alexandra, in underlining the moral of young Sam Merriweather’s suicide, said it was caused by a morbid streak in the family. Let a sixteen-year-old girl giggle in the choir and Aunty would say, “It just goes to show you, all the Penfield women are flighty.” Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.
She’s obsessed with family streaks, hinting that she believes that the Finches are destined to be superior. In a book about racism, the real reason Aunt Alexandra doesn’t think Atticus should take the case are clear.
She also uses it to beat Scout over the head with.
Oh, yeah, Scout is in her line of sights as well. Scout is a tomboy, Aunt Alexandra is a proper lady, the pinnacle of the South. Thus, Alexandria sets to work trying to quash Scout’s tomboyish tendencies and forge a new identity for her.
Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life.
But it’s not just racism, Aunt Alexandra is also a classist. When Scout wants to play with Walter, a poor boy, Aunt Alexandra:
…took off her glasses and stared at me. “I’ll tell you why,” she said. “Because—he—is—trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. I’ll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what.”
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However, are we judging her too harshly? Is our picture of her incomplete?
After Tom is killed, family affection that looms largest for Aunt Alexandra, telling Miss Maudie:
“I can’t say I approve of everything he does, Maudie, but he’s my brother, and I just want to know when this will ever end. […] It tears him to pieces”
She’s concerned for her brother, standing by him even when she disagrees with him. Make of that what you will, but at least she’s not Bob Ewell, a man so terrible that I’ll bet when Boo Radley killed him no one in town even batted an eye. Not even his daughters.
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Depending on your translation of Beowulf, she is either called Grendel’s mother or Grendel’s dam, but I’d liked to call her Mother-whose-son-had-his-arm-ripped off.
I think we can all sit down and agree that Grendel is a monster. He terrorized a village and Beowulf was in the right in defending the town against that monster, but Grendel’s Mommy isn’t that bad. Her son was returned to their cave mortally wounded, one of his two arms (or claws) ripped from its shoulder socket and now hanging in a mead-hall as a grotesque trophy.
Of course she’s going to be mad. And you know what? Good for her for stealing her son’s arm back. Why’d they even want it so bad?
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But Beowulf just had to come, invading her home, and decapitating her.
Her motive is human and, from her point-of-view, she’s lived there over a hundred years and was never a problem. She just wanted her son’s arm, but they just had to kill her because she was a monster. As Tyrion once said, “I wish I was the monster you think I am!”
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Pecola Beedlove, a young black girl, is routinely mocked by other children for her physical appearance. The only person to find her desirable is her father.
Cholly Breedlove makes this list. To make a long story short, he abuses his wife, he burns down his family home, and repeatedly rapes his own daughter.
But he’s not quite the evilest character Toni Morrison has ever created. In his one and only appearance in The Bluest Eye, we learn quite enough about him that creates a picture of how abusive is cyclical.
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Abandoned in a junk heap as a baby, Cholly is taken in by two white men who force him to perform sexually for their amusement. When he finally meets his father, he shits his pants.
Thrown in a world where people abuse him, Cholly grows up into a man who doesn’t care about life. He’s free, but he cannot love or be loved. He does what he wants, uncaring for what happens him.
He rapes his daughter to remind himself that he is alive. He rapes her to feel the pain he felt as a child because that’s all he knows. He’s a monster made from monsters who tries to make his own daughter into a monster, all the time thinking ‘monster’ is synonymous with ‘human.’
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Snobbish, rude, Jaime Lannister is in a relationship with his twin sister, Cersei, making three bastards that are set to become Kings and Queens themselves without the actual King Robert none the wiser. He even throws Bran out a window when he catches him having sex with his sister, crippling the boy.
But do I even need to explain why this character from George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series just isn’t as bad as he sounds?
At the age of fifteen Jaime become the Kingsguard to the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen. He took an oath to defend the King no matter what, and he broke that oath.
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Yeah, he killed the king, but for two years he witnessed the Mad King’s growing insanity and tendency for burning men alive first hand. One night after burning someone alive, Aerys visited the chambers of his wife and raped her. During this time, Jaime was outside, telling his fellow Kinsguard that they were sworn to protect the queen as well, to which he was told, “but not from him.”
Later, during a rebellion, Aerys devised a plot to burn the entire city to the ground rather than lose it. Upon learning about this plan, the Hand to the King resigned and Aerys burned him alive. Jaime stood back.
When Aerys ordered the city to be burned, Jaime killed everyone involved, including the King, an action which saved the whole city and caused them to hate Jaime for breaking his oath. Even after he was pardoned, even Jon Snow, who “[knows] nothing,” notes that “[t]hey called him the Lion of Lannister to his face and whispered ‘Kingslayer’ behind his back.”
2-The Wicked Witch of the west
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Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a witch by their name. Plus, odds are this witch only chose the name because of the alliteration. Ignoring the film adaptation and the musical and book the musical is based on, the original Frank L Baum book introduced her only when some magician tells Dorothy to murder her.
Taking the film into consideration, however, the Wicked Witch is still sympathetic. Dorothy murdered her sister, dropping a house on her head, and then her sister’s body disintegrated. The last thing the Witch has to remember her sister by is a pair of shoes, which Dorothy can’t give her and Glinda refuses to take off her feet.
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Imagine if your sibling was murdered and the murderer had their prized heirloom on their feet, refusing to give it you because they didn’t like you. And why doesn’t Dorothy try to talk to the Witch? Is it because she’s Green?
The Witch was in the right. She might not have gone about it the right way, but Dorothy is a murderer hanging out with a discount iron man, a scarecrow (don’t give him any fear toxin), and a lion.
Plus, Wicked, both book and musical changed our minds about this Witch.
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The mayor should have closed the beaches. Blame him (or the mob), not the shark.
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