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Order of the Phoenix – a review - moonspinner
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Order of the Phoenix – a review
a.k.a. Why What Makes Book 5 Good Ultimately Condemns It

I started replying vanimy here and LJ told me that my reply was too rantish long for one comment. Apparently, I do have time to write one Harry Potter meta after all.


So this was vanimy’s statement:
Admittedly I loved Book 5 so can't agree with you on that one, if only because it made me sob at the end and because I loved Harry in this one, and of course Hermione.
which was in response to my earlier comment that Book 4 was the last good Harry Potter book. In the process of typing out a response, I started thinking about why exactly Book 5 at the time of its publication was a good book, and now in retrospect became the first of the bad trilogy that ended the series. Hence this meta.

It is long. Bathroom breaks are not optional.



The bad but not the deal-breakers

These are the flaws in Book 5 that one could have lived with. It’s not the Cho Chang-ification of Ginny Weasley. It’s not the host of new characters that contribute zilch to the story – Hello token non-white character Shacklebolt. Nice to meet you. Hi, Tonks. Between you and me, it would have been better for Remus Lupin to die somewhere anonymous in the middle of Book 7 and for Fleur/Bill/unknown Veela-Weasley hybrid baby to be the next generation of Potters for all the relevance you and your mythical mother added to the story. Michael Corner, you know Cedric Diggory already did the same job, only with a great deal more relevance and while looking much better, don’t you? Hestia who?

And these are the names I even remember.

The most relevant new character was Regulus Black and he was dead.

It’s not the lack of variation of certain elements of the story – wow, Gryffindor wins the House Cup and Quidditch Cup again and still remain the underdogs! – or - isn’t it considerate of Voldemort to always attack Harry at the end of the school year? He must have learnt some kind of lesson from Book 2.

It’s something else. Something I can’t really explain without a lot of rambling but it began with the universal pearl of wisdom – “don’t make promises you can’t deliver on” and the press releases that heralded the advent of Book 5.



It was the darker tale that really wasn’t

Words like ‘darker’, ‘more mature’, ‘grimmer’ were used a lot in those press releases. I didn’t have the skepticism that I do now towards Harry Potter but I remember thinking that if the whole world and its brother already knew that somebody was going to die at the end of the Book, it would really take a lot of the bite from the darkness of the story.

Then Book 5 finally came out and funny enough, it wasn’t even dark. It was grey.

It wasn’t the pyrrhic victory at the end of the book that marked it grey. That was better done with Book 3 when Harry saves Sirius’s life but not his freedom and a dangerous enemy escapes free. Or perhaps even nearer in Book 4 when Harry escapes from his own death but only after the death of a fellow student and the resurrection of Voldemort.

It was marked grey because of a statement that Sirius Black made, a statement that (at the time) I thought was going to be the over-arching theme of the rest of the series:



The world isn’t divided into good people and Death Eaters.

Unlike the previous books, where (with the exception of Snape), the good guys were unfailingly good and nice, and the bad guys were unfailingly evil, mean and unattractive, Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys not always doing the right thing, doing out-and-out evil things now and then; and bad guys being even more humane and sympathetic than the good guys. Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys and bad guys being a great deal more alike than they (or at leas the good guys) think they are.





Harry Voldemort, Hermione Umbridge & the two faces of Godric’s heirs

This was the book that really told us why Voldemort chose the half-blood baby as his nemesis but more importantly, this was the book that showed us why he chose Harry Potter.

Harry Potter starts the book by trying to pick a fight with Dudley and threatening him with magic, and it goes down hill from there. He exhibits megalomania to rival Voldemort: begrudging and belittling Ron for his prefect’s badge (his best friend who Harry knows has an inferiority complex), turning against friends who refuse to give him 100% unconditional loyalty (Seamus, Cho), a serious temper problem that gets him so frequently into trouble with Umbridge that after a while, he stops being a martyr and becomes an attention seeker; his blind refusal to learn Occlumency, and finally the arrogance of his decision to rescue Sirius (instead of say, using the Floo to alert the Order or even speaking to a member of the Order still in the school) which led to Sirius Black’s death.

Then there was the arc of Hermione Granger and all the parallels (I thought) Rowling was drawing between her actions and loyalty to Harry and Dolores Umbridge’s actions and loyalty to Fudge. Neither of them was above using violence (unleashing dementors, disfiguring traitors) or blackmail (Fletcher, Rita Skeeter) to further and protect their respective hero’s causes. And to remove all ambiguity from this, we have the scene in the Forbidden Forest where both women arrogantly attempt to manipulate the centaurs – Hermione with a great deal more success – and the centaurs turn against both of them for this. (And though this happens in Book 7, it’s interesting to compare Umbridge who is clinging so desperately to a false pureblood ancestry to Hermione Granger whose Muggle parents have no first names, and who after her first year, spends all her Christmases and Summer holidays with magical people, and has had her heart set on marrying into a pureblood family since she was eleven).

Then the rest of the Gryffindors – the Weasley twins and their dangerous ‘tricks’ who defend themselves against the loss of House points by attacking another student two to one and nearly cause his death by shock and near-starvation. The older Gryffindors are no better. The rest of the Order barely ‘tolerating’ Severus Snape who as a spy is probably the most valuable asset that they have. They are quick to forget that the only known traitor of the Order was a Gryffindor. Then you have Sirius Black acting like an irresponsible teenager, and the worst kind of bully to his family’s house-elf. And to show us (or so I thought at the time) that there is a lesson in all this, Sirius Black is the scapegoat who gets punished for his wrongdoings. Dumbledore himself has never had a greyer moment (yes, even his posthumous love affair with Grindelwald included) than the scene in his office where in a heartbeat he ‘defends’ his student from being physically assaulted and then personally assists an Auror in mentally crippling her. “Only I may harm my children”, is what I believe he indeed thought. And as usual, there’s Hagrid – the only Professor who never completed his own magic training but got his job for being loyal to Dumbledore – who brings in a wild giant to a school for children. Even the usually sane McGonogall & Flitwick encourage open rebellion in the school, and cheer on Peeves as he lays potentially fatal traps.



Slytherins, Marauders and what really makes the bad guys the bad guys anyway?

The Sorting Hat sang a new song, a song about House Unity. Harry thinks mockingly to himself that there would never be a day when there’s unity between Gryffindor and Slytherin and the reader believes that those are words to rue by as they say.

The first Quidditch match ends with a cliché of a fight: Good vs. Evil, two physically imposing opponents – one is older – against one scrawny kid. The tag team throwing the first punch, one boy sitting on the kid while the other one punches him with a ball. But the kid is not an underdog Gryffindor, and the thugs are not cheating Slytherins. It’s the other way around.

Before then, we find out that Sirius Black was almost a Slytherin, that he turned his back on his family when he was sorted into Gryffindor to the extent that his younger brother was left without guidance and ended up as a Death Eater. We find out that there’s a blood connection between the Gryffindor Weasleys and the Slytherin Malfoys and that sometimes it’s not a question of choosing to be good or evil but of being born into a particular family. And though the majority of the Inquisitor Squad are Slytherins, it’s the not the Gryffindors and the rest of the school who are admitted into the hospital wing with cases horns, boils and death from shock and near-starvation.

Then there is the Pensieve scene where Harry and the readers’s four years perception of James and his generaton is shattered. We find out that the Marauders were not heroes but rather the villains that their name really means. James Potter is not an icon, but a vain, bullying braggart who picks one-sided fights to show his best side. (Harry is so horrified at his father that he wonders if he was conceived in the same way he will later discover that Voldemort was.) Sirius Black is not an amiable trickster but a manipulative sociopath and James’s leash-holder. Remus Lupin is a coward who unlike the much-mocked Neville Longbottom, doesn’t have the courage to stand up to his friends. Pettigrew is a sycophant the likes of whom Harry himself would never have tolerated. And Severus Snape is not the jealous, cowardly troublemaker that Harry had cast him as, but a friendless half-blood with a background uncannily like Harry, who was their punching bag and turned to Dark Arts to defend himself in a school where a bully like James Potter becomes a Head Boy.







Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on

So after all that build-up, what happens in Books 6 & 7? Does the Boy Who Live ever realize that it takes more than Parseltongue to become the next Tom Riddle and that he has what it takes? Does he make a conscious effort to, to put it crudely, get over himself? Does Hermione Granger curb her ruthlessness, reconcile with her Muggle heritage or at the very least shows some remorse for what she did to Marietta? Do we find out why James Potter is a good man? Do the Slytherins and Gryffindors bury their long-standing hatchet and form a united front against Voldemort?

You would think that that would have happened, right?

Wrong.

Harry is universally acclaimed the Chosen One and every single not-good action he’s ever done, down to the Sorting Hat considering him fit for Slytherin, boils down to a piece of Voldemort residing in his soul. (Except when he uses an Unforgivable Torture Curse to retaliate against spitting because then it’s gallantry.) He and Hermione have a good laugh over Marietta’s scars, Hermione violently attacks a boy for not liking her, and she Obliviates her Muggle parents and goes on to marry into wizarding royalty. James Potter was really the first generation Draco Malfoy right down to being Sorted into the House of his Fathers. And the only good Slytherin is a dead Slytherin who was in love with a perfect Gryffindor and should really have been sorted Gryffindor in the first place.






So in a nutshell, this is why Order of the Phoenix succeeded as the 5th book at the time of its release, and ultimately began the first of the failed trilogy that ended the series. It showed us a many-colored Potterverse, forced us to scratch beneath the surface of our characters and really ‘see’ them and judge them for their actions and not just the perceptions of good/evil we had had before. It introduced themes of loyalty, and questioning authority and being careful not to become the dragons we slay.

And it dashed them.

The books following Book 5 did not deliver on the promise of Book 5 and thus, the Order of the Phoenix became a cheat. The Potterverse is divided into good people and Death Eaters: you are either Dumbledore’s man – the Supreme Authority’s man – or you are evil. The good guys are never, ever wrong. Eighteen years into the future, grown men will point at the children of Slytherins and instruct their children on the Fine Art of Social Ostracizing.

And all these will be Good Things.

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

43 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: June 5th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this rant. I totally agree that the final three books of the series were just one big mess. You were much more eloquent about it than I, though. ;)

Edited at 2008-06-05 12:39 am (UTC)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 6th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I know it's an unpopular opinion - to a lot of fandom Rowling is infallible - so it's cool to know I'm not the only one. :p

emavalexis From: emavalexis Date: June 5th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I have this bookmarked to read and respond to tomorrow. :)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 6th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
*g* Looking forward to it.
emavalexis From: emavalexis Date: June 9th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. I wanted to read through it thoroughly.

You make some really compelling points I hadn't thought about. You're absolutely right, in many ways, that there is so much almost beautifully=nuanced set-up in OotP that gets largely ignored in the follow-through of HBP and DH. I'd have to reread the last three books to remember most specifics, but this:

Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys not always doing the right thing, doing out-and-out evil things now and then; and bad guys being even more humane and sympathetic than the good guys. Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys and bad guys being a great deal more alike than they (or at leas the good guys) think they are.

was SO on the money. In the context of that one book: a wonderful and mature way to paint the characters. As the precursor to the series' final two installments: not so much. I still enjoyed books six and seven immensely, but that's probably because I didn't think too much about how they related to the books before them beyond a particular chain of key events, if that makes some sort of crazy sense.

You've definitely given me something to mull over. Given that my memory of book five and six, especially, is a little muddied, I can't say whether I entirely agree with your assessment here or not. Perhaps I'll use this as a good excuse to reread the series, or at the very least, books five-seven so we can discuss more. :)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 11th, 2008 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
You make some really compelling points I hadn't thought about. You're absolutely right, in many ways, that there is so much almost beautifully=nuanced set-up in OotP that gets largely ignored in the follow-through of HBP and DH.

Most of my thoughts started crystallizing in Book 7 which I finished with such a sense of profound disappointment that the Slytherins were made out - with the one exception of Severus Snape - to be unmitigated backstabbing cowards-in-training. And I read it and wondered why I expected any differently. Then something recalled to me the Sorting Hat's song from Book 5 and I remembered why I had those expectations. Then I started thinking about Marauders and Malfoys and even Snape from the Half-blood Prince...

As I said, I never planned on writing this meta. It just exploded out of me. :p

I still enjoyed books six and seven immensely, but that's probably because I didn't think too much about how they related to the books before them beyond a particular chain of key events, if that makes some sort of crazy sense.

I enjoyed Book 7 more than I did Book 6 because by the time the last book rolled out, I had no high expectations and I wasn't disappointed - or surprised - by their being dashed. From the first few chapters of the book wherein the wise, omniscient Dumbledore attacked the Dursleys with wine glasses and Harry smirked at Marietta's balaclava, the downhill spiral didn't stop.


Given that my memory of book five and six, especially, is a little muddied, I can't say whether I entirely agree with your assessment here or not. Perhaps I'll use this as a good excuse to reread the series, or at the very least, books five-seven so we can discuss more. :)

I'll be looking forward to it!
fialleril From: fialleril Date: June 7th, 2008 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I've never read Harry Potter (and don't really plan to), but I still love this rant/meta.

I can has ambiguity in my good/evil characters, plz?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 11th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can has ambiguity in my good/evil characters, plz?

Word, word and thank you. See this icon (points upwards). That's my ode to what could have been a great moral story about reconciliation being the ultimate victory. That's why Star Wars has & will always trump every wannabe fantasy epic of this day and age.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: June 12th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL. Word on that. Reconciliation is often the only way that victory is really possible. Without it, you just have a bunch of people killing each other, and eventually one side wins.

But when the ambiguity in characters is never addressed, it's even worse. At least, I think so. Particularly if it's the ambiguity in the "good" characters...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 13th, 2008 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Reconciliation is often the only way that victory is really possible. Without it, you just have a bunch of people killing each other, and eventually one side wins.

You know, the HP stories would have made greater sense if Harry had defeated Voldemorte and gone ahead and used his popularity to become the next Dark Lord - a better-looking, more popular tyrant, who's championing the masses of half-bloods, half-breeds and mudbloods and persecuting the pureblood elite - but still a Dark Lord. Then you could argue that all the clues were leading somewhere.

Instead, we have a "victory" that only succeeds because one manipulative old man was smarter - not better - than another manipulative old man. The happy-ever-after-ending for the good guys is creepy because they "saved" the world but didn't change it, and you just know that given time, the same factors that led to the first Dark Lord will create another one.

The more I think of it, this is exactly why Star Wars works as a two-part story: the prequel shows the first heroes - Anakin & the Jedi - who try to save the world without changing it (beginning with themselves), whose sense of moral superiority and abstract good intentions is the only difference between them and the dragons they are slaying and who ultimately fail. In fact, the Chosen One becomes the monster at the end of the story.

Then the original shows another Chosen One, who with slight (though actually very important differences) follows the path of the first, but at a crucial point, veers from that path, and makes the decision not to continue the cycle of violence. He becomes superior because he refuses to win with strength alone. He changes the terms of victory and ultimately saves the world. And the world is changed. We don't know what happens after the victory dance at Endor, but we know nothing will ever be the same again.


Gosh, that was so random and probably incoherent. /blush

fialleril From: fialleril Date: June 16th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
veriond said something similar about the HP books the other day. We decided that Harry's son Scorpius should become a Slytherin and ultimately end up as a Dark Lord, because nothing has happened to change the persecution of the Slytherins. So it's only logical. ;)

Except that you said it a lot more coherently than I did. But I think you get the idea.

On the subject of Star Wars, I can only say that I agree completely with what you say here. Actually, the second paragraph gave me chills (in a good way). *blushes* Apparently I'm sentimental like that? But this is why I love Star Wars. Because there's ambiguity in all the characters, good and bad (except maybe Palpatine), but that doesn't prevent it from also being a redemption story. And not just the redemption of Anakin. It's also the redemption of the entire galaxy, in a sense, and the creation of something new. You don't know what that new thing will be, but you do know that it will be genuinely new, not the old resurrected and refurbished. And you need something new in order for there to be any real redemption or victory.

So yes. Your words. They move me. :)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 18th, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
We decided that Harry's son Scorpius should become a Slytherin and ultimately end up as a Dark Lord, because nothing has happened to change the persecution of the Slytherins. So it's only logical. ;)

I won't be surprised if several people haven't already written fanfiction about that because, really, it's the only thing that makes sense. There has to be balance, you know. (BTW: The son of Harry that I guess veriond is talking about is called Albus Severus. It's Draco Malfoy's son of approx the same age that is called Scorpius.)

Actually, the second paragraph gave me chills (in a good way). *blushes* Apparently I'm sentimental like that?

That makes two of us. :P

It's also the redemption of the entire galaxy, in a sense, and the creation of something new. You don't know what that new thing will be, but you do know that it will be genuinely new, not the old resurrected and refurbished. And you need something new in order for there to be any real redemption or victory.

I have to say it back: your words. They move me.



fialleril From: fialleril Date: June 19th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
If I cared enough about Harry Potter, I would probably read fics like that. :D But alas, I don't. ;) Which is further proven by my fail at getting the kids' names right. *facepalm* Sadly, I knew that. It must have been a Freudian slip.

Perhaps we were separated at birth? ;)
sunlit_music From: sunlit_music Date: June 11th, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Word. This is so true. I hated how Snape is the only decent Slytherin and how Dumbledore said he thought Snape should have been in Gryffindor. What a horrible thing to say.

The way Hermione never felt any guilt over scarring Marietta was simply disgusting. Scarring someone is a traumatising thing to do. I remember someone saying at deathtocapslock that JKR worked at amnesty international, so it's very likely she worked with women who were scarred. That makes JKR's treatment of Marietta seem worse.

At the lj community deathtocapslock, you previously asked for a link to a HP fic I mentioned where James cheats on Lily. I'm sorry I'm replying to your post so late. (If you saw my post at deathtocapslock which replied to your post, then you can ignore the following part of this post).

The link is here:
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3680950/1/Wrong_Kind_of_Hero

Hope you enjoy the fic! (The author artemismuse has also written other good HP fanfics too).

I've also friended you, as your journal seemed interesting and we share a few interests (like Austen, Agatha Christie and Star Wars). I hope you don't mind.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 11th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Word. This is so true. I hated how Snape is the only decent Slytherin and how Dumbledore said he thought Snape should have been in Gryffindor. What a horrible thing to say.

Exactly. It's such a backhanded compliment. It's like saying that Peter Pettigrew should have been Sorted into Slytherin from the first. What a way to dismiss and condemn a quarter of the wizarding population.

The funny thing is that Dumbledore's statement in and of itself is not totally wrong. It shows his prejudice and should be an indication that the old man is far from infallible. But everything points to Authorial authority vindicating that opinion. Which is where it all goes pear-shaped, as they say.

The way Hermione never felt any guilt over scarring Marietta was simply disgusting. Scarring someone is a traumatising thing to do. I remember someone saying at deathtocapslock that JKR worked at amnesty international, so it's very likely she worked with women who were scarred. That makes JKR's treatment of Marietta seem worse.

I remember that discussion & I remembering being even more horrified with that information. :(

Thanks for the link. I'll go over there soon.

I've also friended you, as your journal seemed interesting and we share a few interests (like Austen, Agatha Christie and Star Wars). I hope you don't mind.
As long as you don't mind me friending you right back. :P
sunlit_music From: sunlit_music Date: June 12th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
The funny thing is that Dumbledore's statement in and of itself is not totally wrong. It shows his prejudice and should be an indication that the old man is far from infallible. But everything points to Authorial authority vindicating that opinion. Which is where it all goes pear-shaped, as they say.

I know. If JKR had knowingly written Dumbledore as being very flawed and portrayed his prejudice against Slytherin as being wrong, I would have enjoyed the books more.

As long as you don't mind me friending you right back. :P
I don't mind you friending me at all! Friend away.:)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 13th, 2008 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I know. If JKR had knowingly written Dumbledore as being very flawed and portrayed his prejudice against Slytherin as being wrong, I would have enjoyed the books more.

I think that's the saddest thing about the HP books in the end. There is so much potential for them to have been much more than the stories they became. And JKR led us to believe that she was really trying to Say Something Important. Guess what? In the end, a video game has more philosophical amd moral profoundness than the Harry Potter books. *le sigh*
vanimy From: vanimy Date: June 11th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you wrote this meta! :)

I agreed with almost everything you've said and I like how you made me realize what went wrong after ootp... Sometimes things bother you and you just can't pinpoint why exactly...

Anyway, will come back for a more detailed (and hopefully more interesting ;)) response...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 13th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll be looking forward to it. I got your chapter, btw. Great stuff! I'll be sending the beta back ASAP.
vanimy From: vanimy Date: June 24th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh thank you! :) I'm looking forward to it...

Now onto the review, lol:

It’s not the Cho Chang-ification of Ginny Weasley.

Oh yes, but at the time I thought it didn't mean anything because the Cho fiasco was supposed to teach Harry a lesson, right?

It’s not the host of new characters that contribute zilch to the story – Hello token non-white character Shacklebolt. Nice to meet you. Hi, Tonks.

LOL! Now I think about it, they were completely irrelevant to the story... Even Luna was not that important. JKR kept hinting at something big about Luna and Neville and the ending was really disappointing in that respect.

It’s not the lack of variation of certain elements of the story – wow, Gryffindor wins the House Cup and Quidditch Cup again and still remain the underdogs! – or - isn’t it considerate of Voldemort to always attack Harry at the end of the school year? He must have learnt some kind of lesson from Book 2.

LOL! You do make a point here. But I was always willing to look past that if only for a good plot...

“don’t make promises you can’t deliver on” and the press releases that heralded the advent of Book 5.

Exactly! The prime example of that is the whole Voldemort history. A lot of stress was put on choices from the very first book. We thought we would get to see Voldemort make that choice, fall to the dark side, so-to-speak, because of the Dumbledore hints, because of JKR saying no one was born evil, because we should've confronted to the fact Harry was different from Voldy because he made the choice to be. Just like his dad was originally a jerk but then redeemed himself.

But no... all that talk went right out of the window when the big revelation of Voldie's past was only him being a psycho from early childhood, his parents being awful one-dimensional characters and him being just the BIG eviiiil guy. There was no subtlety here and really, apart from the Horcrux story, Voldemort's past being unveiled brought NOTHING to the whole story. Harry is a good guy. Voldie is a bad guy. That's all, nothing to see here... Given the fact all this was unveiled barely a month after ROTS opened... it only brought the big flaws of this story to the forefront. JKR chose the way too easy path.

That's one of my main complaints about HBP and its sequel.

It was marked grey because of a statement that Sirius Black made, a statement that (at the time) I thought was going to be the over-arching theme of the rest of the series:



The world isn’t divided into good people and Death Eaters.


So you agree that Book 5 was darker at the beginning, right? It was supposed to be so, anyway. Only the sequels ruined its darkness. I agree that now, it doesn't seem dark anymore, but at the time, all lines were blurred between good and evil. Harry's own choices had led to Sirius' demise, there was a whole mystery surrounding Harry and Voldie's alikeness...

And then, it just fell flat. But that's not Ootp's flaw, that's the sequels'.

Unlike the previous books, where (with the exception of Snape), the good guys were unfailingly good and nice, and the bad guys were unfailingly evil, mean and unattractive, Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys not always doing the right thing, doing out-and-out evil things now and then; and bad guys being even more humane and sympathetic than the good guys. Book 5 introduced the concept of good guys and bad guys being a great deal more alike than they (or at leas the good guys) think they are.

Word!

vanimy From: vanimy Date: June 24th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harry Potter starts the book by trying to pick a fight with Dudley and threatening him with magic, and it goes down hill from there. He exhibits megalomania to rival Voldemort: begrudging and belittling Ron for his prefect’s badge (his best friend who Harry knows has an inferiority complex), turning against friends who refuse to give him 100% unconditional loyalty (Seamus, Cho), a serious temper problem that gets him so frequently into trouble with Umbridge that after a while, he stops being a martyr and becomes an attention seeker; his blind refusal to learn Occlumency, and finally the arrogance of his decision to rescue Sirius (instead of say, using the Floo to alert the Order or even speaking to a member of the Order still in the school) which led to Sirius Black’s death.

Amen to that. This is why Harry was so hated after Ootp, but that's what made me like him more actually, his flaws, and his darkness. Ootp did a fine job depicting his dark side. It made him more human and it did show him and Voldemort being more alike than we thought...

Then there was the arc of Hermione Granger and all the parallels (I thought) Rowling was drawing between her actions and loyalty to Harry and Dolores Umbridge’s actions and loyalty to Fudge.

Oh I didn't see it that way but I guess you're right, it did make sense...

Hermione exhibited some weird behavior but I guess she always had it in her, that darkness, I mean. She compromised with her principles before, all for Harry (and Ron for that matter...). So seeing her exhibiting such loyalty in that book didn't surprise me.

As for her relationship with her parents, I never viewed it as her ignoring her origins but rather as JKR just being lazy and always writing things from Harry's POV, since he didn't have any contact with Hermione's family, they didn't exist. Just lazy writing.

Now as for marrying into a pureblood family, don't even get me started about that... Harry can only marry a pure blood, same as Hermione marrying a pureblood and all is well in the world, right? But that also ties in with Harry marrying a beautiful girl, ignoring the fact he and Ginny don't really know each other, because god forbid the hero actually ended up with the not-so-beautiful, bookwormish girl... But that's for another rant, I guess... :P

Then the rest of the Gryffindors – the Weasley twins and their dangerous ‘tricks’ who defend themselves against the loss of House points by attacking another student two to one and nearly cause his death by shock and near-starvation.

Oh no, see, we obviously got it all wrong. The Weasleys have always been meant to be cool guys. No matter what they did to other students, they were always the cool ones. Exactly the same with their dear sister who spent her time going from one boyfriend to another at the tender age of 14 and spoke so meanly to her brother I was absolutely disgusted. But no, that's being cool, you know....


Then there is the Pensieve scene where Harry and the readers’s four years perception of James and his generaton is shattered.

Yeah, I LOVED that! But in the end it was as quickly forgotten as it was in the movie... There was no consequence whatsoever.

Harry is universally acclaimed the Chosen One and every single not-good action he’s ever done, down to the Sorting Hat considering him fit for Slytherin, boils down to a piece of Voldemort residing in his soul. (Except when he uses an Unforgivable Torture Curse to retaliate against spitting because then it’s gallantry.)

Oh, please don't even get me started on that... *shudders* I love McGonagall to pieces but this, this was just so wrong. And I really wonder where JKR was going with this... Is it good to do that because Harry does it and Harry never does any wrong?? Had Voldemort done that, even for Mc Gonagall, lol, no one would be sayin 'oh it's gallantry!' it would be disgusting as it should be.

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vanimy From: vanimy Date: June 24th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
He and Hermione have a good laugh over Marietta’s scars, Hermione violently attacks a boy for not liking her, and she Obliviates her Muggle parents and goes on to marry into wizarding royalty.

Oh, please... *shudders* I didn't want to remember that, lol. And TW HBP completely ruined Hermione for me. You also forgot the way she reacted to Hagrid (she and Harry and Ron too...). When he lost his spider (can't remember the name of his giant spider! :o) they were all so insensitive to his pain you thought they weren't the same characters...

And the only good Slytherin is a dead Slytherin who was in love with a perfect Gryffindor and should really have been sorted Gryffindor in the first place.

LOL and don't forget he was ugly and had unrequited love for the woman he did it all for, because, come on, he was a Slytherin, could never have happened in the first place, right? ;)

You know, I believe you showed why Ootp was great at the time of his release and why it had so much potential. But for those reasons, I still maintain it wasn't a wrong book, only what followed fell short and ruined it. To me, it all went wrong with HBP. It was so subpar to what went before... And then the last book only continued this. This is where she failed to me. The whole ending, she just wasn't able to go the difficult route and give a satisfying, thought-provoking finale it deserved. And that's why HP is forever ruined to me, just like the Matrix Trilogy in another context. ;)
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moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 26th, 2008 09:37 am (UTC) (Link)

----1

Oh yes, but at the time I thought it didn't mean anything because the Cho fiasco was supposed to teach Harry a lesson, right?

That's the problem, isn't it?

LOL! You do make a point here. But I was always willing to look past that if only for a good plot...

After a while it became too formulaic to ignore. Sirius' death blinds us all to the fact that at the end of Book 5, there was no great weapon that Voldemorte desperately needed from the Ministry; and all he needed to get the Prophecy was ask a Death Eater to smash the glass and listen to what comes out of it.


Voldemort's past being unveiled brought NOTHING to the whole story. Harry is a good guy. Voldie is a bad guy. That's all, nothing to see here...

Word. Word. Word. There's a lot of talk about the Calvinism of Harry Potter: regardless of your own actions, you're born good or evil and you never change. Being Sorted into Gryffindor or Slytherin is proof that innate goodness/evilness and nothing you ever do changes that fact. James never redeemed himself. He kept hexing Snape behind Lily's back after he had overwhelmed her with his masculine charms and gor her to marry him. But he didn't need to *redeem* himself - he was already *good*: After all, he was a Gryffindor and Gryffindors are always good. /sarcasm.

And then, it just fell flat. But that's not Ootp's flaw, that's the sequels'.

But they're all by the same writer, aren't they? (Unless you subscribe to the theory that the first 4 books were written by someone else who died and let her *public face* Rowling to continue the work... a theory that has a lot of merit, if you ask me. :P) OotP was a good book but it set up something that the sequels didn't deliver so that makes it, in retrospect, bad. If she had removed all the ambiguity and kept the black/white morality in Book 5, then Books 6&7 won't have been such big letdowns.

It's like the kid who comes 1st in Class 1 and ends up flunking out of school. It's nastier for the parents than the one who always struggled.

This is why Harry was so hated after Ootp, but that's what made me like him more actually, his flaws, and his darkness. Ootp did a fine job depicting his dark side. It made him more human and it did show him and Voldemort being more alike than we thought...

I agree. He was not so much a better but a stronger, more Real character for going CAPSLOCK!mode in Book 5. I think the problem people started having with him was the author forcing it down our throats that Harry was perfect, even when he goes into CAPSLOCK!mode. It's the whole violence is unavoidable, but never justified moral dilemna and Rowling was too in love with her main character to do it properly.



Hermione exhibited some weird behavior but I guess she always had it in her, that darkness, I mean. She compromised with her principles before, all for Harry (and Ron for that matter...).

Remember in Book 1 how Hermione becomes their friend when she lies to McGonogall on their behalf about the troll without needing to do so? Her rarely mentioning her parents could be lazy writing on Rowling's part (in fact, I think Rowling means us to believe that Hermione really loves the Muggle aspect of her life including her family) but in the hands of a better writer who was 100% in control of her story, that meant that Hermione - the Muggleborn girl who took 13 subjects in 3rd year and had a nervous breakdown - who has only ever spent one Christmas out of 7 with her own family - that Hermione was desperately trying to fit into the wizarding world and was eagerly trying to leave her Muggle connections behind.

But only in the hands of a better writer.



Edited at 2008-06-26 09:44 am (UTC)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: June 26th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

----2

Harry can only marry a pure blood, same as Hermione marrying a pureblood and all is well in the world, right? But that also ties in with Harry marrying a beautiful girl, ignoring the fact he and Ginny don't really know each other, because god forbid the hero actually ended up with the not-so-beautiful, bookwormish girl... But that's for another rant, I guess... :P

For someone who claims the books are about tolerance, it's funny, isn't it that the heroes all end up marrying into old Pureblood families, don't they? (Harry, Hermione, Lily) I still don't get how we can see Lily choosing the rich, pureblooded version of Dudley Dursely over the poor, half-blood nerdish version of pre-Hogwarts Harry as anything but social climbing.

Remember what I said about the Cho-Changification of Ginny? Even Harry marrying the old Ginny would have been better. At least, he knew that Ginny. She was sweet, and kindhearted, and stuck up for her friends and didn't think mocking people was cool. And she wasn't a Quidditch goddess and probably thought the game was dangerous. I like that Ginny.

In the hands of a better writer (you're going to hear me say that a lot! :P) Ginny's personality transplant, right on the heels of the return of the man who had possessed her as a child would have meant something more profound than Rowling finally deciding to get her One Big Happy Weasley Family.


Is it good to do that because Harry does it and Harry never does any wrong??

Yes. :P

You also forgot the way she reacted to Hagrid (she and Harry and Ron too...). When he lost his spider (can't remember the name of his giant spider! :o) they were all so insensitive to his pain you thought they weren't the same characters...

What bugged me the most was that if Draco Malfoy or Pansy Parkinson or anything Slytherin had reacted that way, they'd have been written as totally insensitive prats.

LOL and don't forget he was ugly and had unrequited love for the woman he did it all for, because, come on, he was a Slytherin, could never have happened in the first place, right? ;)

Exactly. As soon as they are Sorted into different Houses, he heaves a big sigh because he knows that in Potter-land, nobody outside Slytherin ever loves a Slytherin while everyone wants a Gryffindor.


You know, I believe you showed why Ootp was great at the time of his release and why it had so much potential. But for those reasons, I still maintain it wasn't a wrong book, only what followed fell short and ruined it.

I agree. I guess I'm just looking at it from the glass half-full perspective. :D

The whole ending, she just wasn't able to go the difficult route and give a satisfying, thought-provoking finale it deserved.

She fell too in love with her fandom and the OBHWF fanfiction so she stopped telling a story and started writing bad meta to argue her shipping & Calvinistic preferences.
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: July 8th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow... that was a lot more entertaining than the book! Great job, you really hit the nail... ummm there, umm, what was that expression again? with the hammer and the nailing?... nevermind.

Anyway you are so right and you really wrote down some of the major reasons why i was so dissapointed with Harry Potter and how it ended. I have no idea what JKR was thinking, i really really resented the whole thing with Slytherin, the Marauders were obviously bastards and then what? Slytherins are still all evil? I hated that comment about how Snape should have been Gryffindor. And you are so right about Hermione and her muggle-ness, though i never did make the connection between her and Umbridge... i haven't read the book in a long time, who was Marietta again? I've only reread the first 4 books, the last 3 i read once and that was it for me. And urgh! I just hate that they killed off Snape (Snape is my favourite character), and i'm not a fan of the Snape/Lilly thing either... i mean, ok, i don't mind Snape/Lilly, it's just i didn't like that Snape's whole redemption seemed to be all about her, i mean, ok, killing the women he loves will make him switch sides but i was hoping for something deeper than that going on as well which i didn't feel like i got... am i making sense?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 10th, 2008 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow... that was a lot more entertaining than the book! Great job, you really hit the nail... ummm there, umm, what was that expression again? with the hammer and the nailing?... nevermind.

The nail on the head. :D


Anyway you are so right and you really wrote down some of the major reasons why i was so dissapointed with Harry Potter and how it ended. I have no idea what JKR was thinking, i really really resented the whole thing with Slytherin, the Marauders were obviously bastards and then what? Slytherins are still all evil?

Word. Word. Word. One of the things I love about Avatar - it's my new show and I have it on the brain - is that apart from the Airbenders (who are all dead and mostly canonized), no single nation is either good or evil. Sure the Fire Nation is the 'Slytherin House' as they are the ones who started the war: but we see sexism in the Water Nation and vindictiveness in some characters, even in the heroine of the show; we see corruption in the Earth Kingdom, from the bullying soldiers who are supposed to protect the town but just terrorize the women & children, to the Gestapo-like Culture Police who keep the city of Bai Sing Sei in a forced utopia and eventually betray it to the Fire Nation just to keep their power. In fact, even the Airbenders aren't that great because their paranoia caused the Avatar to run away in the first place.



But in Potterverse, everything is so simple it's heartbreaking: Gryffindor = good even if you are a bullying, vain sociopath; Slytherin = evil even though you spent your whole life making up for the death of a woman who was never really a good friend to you.


you are so right about Hermione and her muggle-ness, though i never did make the connection between her and Umbridge... i haven't read the book in a long time, who was Marietta again?

It seemed so obvious to me in Book 5, and it's emphasized in Book 7 when you see that Umbridge's wizardry ancestry is not as pure as she makes it seem. I'm still in shock that Rowling wasn't trying to make a point there.

Marietta was Cho Chang's friend who ratted out the Dumbledore Army to Umbridge. Hermione had cast a spell on the members that caused a traitor to have "SNEAK" written on their foreheads with very bad acne. The scar could not be removed. Marietta was reduced to wearing a balaclva. It was something that gave our hero, Harry, a lot of laughs. ::shudders::


Re: Snape/Lily.

I get what you mean. I actually wasn't too surprised that Snape died. In fact, his death was the only death that meant anything in that book. But I disliked the way/manner of his death. It was really lucky for him, wasn't it, that Harry was eavesdropping on Voldemorte at that moment otherwise he'd never have passed on Dumbledore's great scheme to Harry. I also disliked the whole Snape/Lily relationship for alot of technical/moral issues. No. 1: there was zero build-up to it. There was no indication whatsoever that Snape and Lily had ever been friends, that Snape and Petunia had shared a childhood together. Then there's the fact that the friendship was so one-sided. The chapter is written so that we see Snape's interest in Lily as creepy: he keeps giving her "hungry" looks. But I don't see what's so creepy about a boy!wizard being interested in the first wizard/witch of his own age he's ever seen. I certainly don't see how that's more creepy than James Potter's "I'll stop beating up on your friend if you go out with me, Lily".


The narration of the whole Snape/Lily/James dynamic just makes Lily look like a greedy little social climber who trades in the poor, half-blood for the rich, pureblooded big man on campus. It doesn't show any merit on Lily and it makes Snape look like a fool for ever caring about her. And we know that's not the message JKR is trying to pass across. She wants Lily made out as a saint and Snape as "blessed" for loving her. Instead, she just makes everyone out to be a jerk, only Snape a great deal less.
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: July 10th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
What is this Avatar show? And why haven't I heard of it before? Could you tell me more? Sounds awesome.

And thanks, sometimes expressions in English just escapes me.

Yeah, I think with Potterverse you really should just stick to fanfic. Canon is just depressingly bad past book 4. And the way JKR reacts to fanfic... i think she just knows that there are so many fanfic writers who write Harry Potter better than she does :p Actually, especially in book 7 the book itself felt like a fanfic, stylistically i mean, and not a particularly good one.

You know i always try to read pro Slytherin fics, and I love Gryffindor/Slytherin pairings. When i read harry potter i always hoped that we'd finally get some pro slytherin stuff. In book 7, Draco couldn't get himself to kill Dumbledore and i thought maybe that would have been a turning point for him as a person but well...

When harry started into the wizarding world, all he got was told that Slytherin was bad, and he met one that was bratty but still it's like everyone was guiding him towards being anti-slytherin. He was a vulnerable kid who had never been loved and the people around him who started to become his friends, first thing they did was ostracize slytherins and he just sort of followed their lead without ever getting to know any slytherin, only briefly met one. Harry wasn't slytherin because he was scared and desperate for love, that's why he asked to not be slytherin to the hat, and that whole thing... it was just kinda disturbing, especially the blind trust in Dumbledore thing, i always felt like Dumbledore was manipulating and using an eleven year old kid who had just come out of an abusive home, which HE put him in... it was almost like he planned the whole thing, harry's whole life...

Anyway Snape rocks no matter what anyone says. I love love love love Snape, to me he's the only real hero in the whole series and JKR sucks for how she wrote him... though yeah, i saw his death coming too.

Wow, i didn't even remember that.. well i vaguely did but i didn't remember it wasn't removable... that's like, back in ancient times in China where criminals were tattooed on the forehead or something like that anyway...so yeah, some hero!

I agree on Snape/Lilly, there was no hint that they even knew each other before. And i hate that it was one-sided too, Snape is a much better person than James and really, that's not saying much.

"I'll stop beating up on your friend if you go out with me, Lily"

*laughs* Oh yeah, that was SO creepy!! If it was me i would never even go near that guy, I would have just decked him! And then grab my friend, and then run! And then maybe see about getting a magical restraining order and literally means he can't come within a hundred feet of me or something.

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 10th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
What is this Avatar show? And why haven't I heard of it before? Could you tell me more? Sounds awesome.

Avatar is totally awesome. You'll love it.

And the way JKR reacts to fanfic... i think she just knows that there are so many fanfic writers who write Harry Potter better than she does :p Actually, especially in book 7 the book itself felt like a fanfic, stylistically i mean, and not a particularly good one.

You know, what? That makes a scary amount of sense.


When harry started into the wizarding world, all he got was told that Slytherin was bad, and he met one that was bratty but still it's like everyone was guiding him towards being anti-slytherin. He was a vulnerable kid who had never been loved and the people around him who started to become his friends, first thing they did was ostracize slytherins and he just sort of followed their lead without ever getting to know any slytherin, only briefly met one. Harry wasn't slytherin because he was scared and desperate for love, that's why he asked to not be slytherin to the hat, and that whole thing... it was just kinda disturbing


Exactly. Why did Harry hate Slytherin? Because Hagrid said Slytherin was bad. This was even more a deciding factor than Voldemorte having been in Slytherin.

Have you ever thought of how Hagrid becomes Harry's best friend by giving Dudley a pig's tail? Hagrid does it out of *anger* at Uncle Dursley but even when I read the book at the first time, I always thought it was strange and a bit creepy that Hagrid attacked Uncle Dursley's son in retaliation to Uncle Dursley himself. Books down the line, I expected some sort of pay off there.

Little did we know, right?

And I won't begin to rant about Dumbledore. At the end of Book 7, we do see that Dumbledore conditioned Harry to be his drone: right to sacrificing his own life for Dumbledore's war. But for some strange, creepy reason, this doesn't affect Harry's opinion of Dumbledore. Harry never says to himself: Ok, you're a brilliant wizard who won the war for us and everything, but you're not a really nice person and I resent you for playing God with my life. No, Harry adores Dumbledore even more for his faults and name his kid after him.

Oh-kay.


"I'll stop beating up on your friend if you go out with me, Lily"

*laughs* Oh yeah, that was SO creepy!! If it was me i would never even go near that guy, I would have just decked him! And then grab my friend, and then run! And then maybe see about getting a magical restraining order and literally means he can't come within a hundred feet of me or something.


This is one of the reasons why I put up that poll/discussion on strong female characters. The actions you would have taken in that position are exactly the actions that I would normally think make a woman strong. But Lily does the exact opposite. She abandons her friend the nerd to be humiliated. Eventually dumps him because he's hanging around with a bunch of kids that can protect him. And then turns around and marries the jock, throwing a blind eye to the fact that he's still a bullying jock. And I honestly believe that JK Rowling thinks that this makes Lily Potter a strong woman.

::brain fails::
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: July 10th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, what? That makes a scary amount of sense.

Yeah, it does doesn't it?...

You know i never noticed that about Hagrid before... you're right, he attacks the son for what the father did! OMG! How did i not notice that? Wow!... well that completely changed my opinion of Hagrid...

At the end of Book 7, we do see that Dumbledore conditioned Harry to be his drone: right to sacrificing his own life for Dumbledore's war.But for some strange, creepy reason, this doesn't affect Harry's opinion of Dumbledore. Harry never says to himself: Ok, you're a brilliant wizard who won the war for us and everything, but you're not a really nice person and I resent you for playing God with my life. No, Harry adores Dumbledore even more for his faults and name his kid after him.

Exactly!!! So totally disturbing!... ofcourse the conditioning thing, been feeling that since book 2... The whole sword thing and that, you'll be saved if only you believe in Dumbledore stuff... again, disturbing!


This is one of the reasons why I put up that poll/discussion on strong female characters. The actions you would have taken in that position are exactly the actions that I would normally think make a woman strong.


Aww thanks :) *blushes*

Yeah, i really can't stand bullies... I was ostracized myself in grade school and back then, well, i just kinda took it. I mean, I had the cooties... but it was specifically my cooties, and well, people literally treated me like i had a disease and one boy actually hit me because I stood too close to him... actually he did it a few times... and the worse thing was i just took it and told myself that I can take it, and that it doesnt hurt but i never fought back...now though, I've grown up and I have learnt that you have to stand up for yourself, and for the people you love... The ostracize thing is difficult though, i mean, in high school I was class representative on the student council (somewhere between grade school and high school, i changed from someone people ostracize to someone who's actually sort of popular... not sure how that happened... did i tell you this already, or was that someone else?...) and there were a couple of people who were always the target for social ostracism and i'd try to get it to stop but it just doesn't and sometimes it'd just makes things worse... And the teachers do there best to help too (i still think my teachers from my highschool are the awesomest people in the world) but well... it's like, this guy was totally the outcast and people were mean to him but when i try to stop it, they changed their tune and they were all like, oh we're all just friends here, just joking around right? And the guy who was getting bullied, he'd just totally go along with it... makes it really difficult to help.

And yeah, I agree with you on Lilly and how she was with Sevy (my beloved Sevy! :p ) And yeah, i agree with you, the other Slytherins can protect Snape. I mean, ok, Lilly is mad that Severus is with muggleborn haters, that's understandable but still... What James did, how he was, that was just...
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: July 10th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
BTW, about your strong female character discussion, I tried to answer it, i really did, but i wrote a paragraph and then got totally stuck so sorry about that :p
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: July 11th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey that's OK, dear. ::hugs:: Whenever you feel like. It's not a poll with a deadline. :D
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: July 11th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool :)
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 2nd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, wasn't sure where to post but well, i think I need some help, remember that immortal Lana fic I was telling you about before? Well i haven't started, as i said, i'm terrible at finishing fics but usually i never have a storyline planned out, i only have beginnings and ends and i think maybe i need someone to bounce ideas off of so i could make a storyline for it. So can you please help me out?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure, dear. I'm willing to help.
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 4th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I think i always have problem with fics that i can come up with cool sounding concepts but no storyline :p anyway as you may remember, i have the mythos all thought out, and i know the beggining will be a scene in ancient times, like maybe after the steel age or something with Genevieve and Jason (as teenagers and not related) as members of a tribe that the kryptonian visits. The kryptonian needs two humans to be the guardians of the map to the stones of power, and they will live forever so that one day they will give the map to the last son of krypton. Jason and Genevieve were somehow the only ones who could handle the gifts so they were chosen. End flashback,and then go into introducing her within the context of the fic, where Lana left Smallville after season 4 and became a movie star. My problem is that's all i got, as far as storylines go, that and the ending, where Lana realises she's Isobel, and sees Genevieve and Jason's spirit begging her to join them, and to do that she jumps off a building and dies, so that they will be reborn together. And then there's a scene where Clark sends his and Lois' kid off to school and sees a girl that looks exactly like young Lana playing with a red haired girl and a blond boy.

Anyway, what's in between is the problem cause i need Lana to slowly realise who she was and have flashbacks and such but i still don't know how to get it into a storyline. I kinda picture it being a bit of a ghost story with her maybe seeing Genevieve and Jason arond and hallucinating and stuff. Also she's filming a movie in an old castle, a horror movie. I'm thinking mayber her start seeing ghost might have people thinking she's faking it or something like she's promoting the movie with new media, but it's still not a coherant storyline and i do want Clark to drop in too though i don't know his part yet.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well to start with, you have to give present-day! Lana a starting point, right? So what is she doing when she starts seeing visions, or having memories of her other life? What triggers the dreams/memories? What is the thing that gets the ball rolling in this middle part of the story? She’s a movie star. Is she in between jobs? Promoting, as you suggested, or filming? Is the ‘trigger’ something from work (this is easier) like a period piece that brings memories or is it something else?

If Clark is sticking to canon, then he can be brought in simply by being a reporter covering Lana’s new film, etc.

hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 4th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah ok, starting point. So she's filming a horror movie, it's in a castle in Europe (still undecided on the country). The castle is a place that she, Jason and Genevieved have lived in in another life (though i'm not sure what happens in that life yet) and the familiarity is what triggers it since the memory spell she cast on herself 400 years ago is weakening.

I might start with her in the US talking about leaving for Europe and maybe just dreams before that that she doesn't remember in the morning, but still feels it and the castle just triggers it and makes it stronger...

Ooo that's a good idea about Clark... though if Lana is in another country, do they really send reporters on trips like that? I figured Clark will be superman, and since Lana recognises his face, she knows the secret now, just from looking at the news, Clark never told her cause she left at the end of season 4, and the clana relationship would be kind of awkward and Lana is a little bit resentful that he never trusted her... and Lois not realising it's Clark, well, i don't think anyone can explain that one even with canon SV so i have no idea but Lois won't be in the story anyway, as much as i love her, this story takes place in Europe, i just figured with Clark, he can just fly in for a bit.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 5th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Your ideas for the castle are very solid. Excellent.

I like your ideas for Clark coming in as Superman.
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 5th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks....ok so, intro, Lana as actress, she comes into the castle, there's a flashback...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 5th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC) (Link)
... a flashback of her past life with Genevieve & Teague...

she comes back... freaks out...
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 5th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, maybe the castle is her original life, the one where she met them and the flashback is initially of her first meeting. Though that means there's got to be another scene from the past before that, because then it wouldn't be chronological and it'd be really confusing to me who's never written this kind of fic before... so there should be a bit before that... maybe her talking to her agents about something, and more about her life as a movie star. And then she goes to the castle the first moment she steps foot in it there's a flashback, and maybe she faints ot something
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 5th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
… and when she wakes up, she starts remembering things as if she’s lived here, before like in the Mummy…


Word of advice though: As much as planning is fun, it’s important not to over-plan too much. You don’t want to completely lose interest in the story by knowing so much about it already.
hollywood_r_bin From: hollywood_r_bin Date: August 5th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok thanks. Still, i think i want to have a framework, and i think i need more for that, i need more than just the flashbacks i think...

And i don't actually remember the mummy.
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