Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Dumbledore's injury in HBP

I posted this on a forum in response to one person's continued assertion that Snape reveals his loyalty as a Death Eater because he told Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange that Dumbledore sustained the injury when he destroyed Voldemort's ring Horcrux.

. . . there is one flaw in your argument about Snape telling Voldemort that his ring Horcrux has been destroyed. First, there isn't any place in the book that tells us that anyone but Dumbledore and Harry (and Slughorn) know anything about Voldemort creating Horcruxes. Voldemort, of course, hinted at it in GOF when he told his Death Eaters that he had taken more steps than anyone towards trying to achieve immortality, but it doesn't sound to me like he has actually told any of them what the steps were--otherwise, Lucius would not have given away the diary. (And thinking about Voldemort and Dumbledore's description of him being a loner and not truly attached to any other person seems to back that up.)

Now, in Spinner's End, Snape goes through all the reasons Voldemort trusts him, Dumbledore trusts him, and why Bella isn't so trusted anymore. Yes, I agree Severus thoroughly enjoys pointing out to her that her once lofty position is severely diminished. However, Snape never mentions that it was the ring or the destruction of a Horcrux that caused the damage to Dumbledore's hand:

Chapter 2, p. 31 (US):
[Snape says]--"I am pleased to say, however, that Dumbledore is growing old. The duel with the Dark Lord last month shook him. He has since sustained a serious injury because his reactions are slower than they once were. But through all these years, he has never stopped trusting Severus Snape, and therein lies my great value to the Dark Lord."

There are a couple of interesting things in that passage. The first is that he is telling her that Dumbledore is growing weaker and that is what he has told Voldemort as well. Snape also acknowledges an additional injury to Dumbledore but misleads her into thinking it is just because he was shaken by the confrontation with Voldemort--there is no mention that it was due to a powerful curse placed on a ring that was a Horcrux. There is nothing in that bit of information that tells her anything about the real truth of Dumbledore's injury.

We don't even know if Severus actually knows what caused the injury to Dumbledore's hand. For that we need to look at the chapter where Dumbledore explains the concept of Horcruxes to Harry. In Chapter23, p. 503, Dumbledore is telling Harry that he destroyed the diary Horcrux and that he (Dumbledore) has destroyed another one.

"Yes, indeed," said Dumbledore, and he raised his blackened, burned-looking hand. "The ring, Harry. Marvolo's ring. And a terrible curse there was upon it too. Had it not been--forgive me the lack of seemly modesty--for my own prodigious skill, and for Professor Snape's timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale. However, a withered hand does not seem an unreasonable exchange for a seventh of Voldemort's soul. The ring is no longer a Horcrux."

The only thing that tells us is that Snape knows that some powerful curse caused Dumbledore's injury--it was the curse that caused it, not that the ring itself was a Horcrux. Dumbledore doesn't say that he told Severus anything at all about the Horcruxes. Until Harry got the memory from Slughorn, Dumbledore didn't mention them at all--so why would he tell Snape about them if he wasn't really sure what they were dealing with? I don't think he did. We know from past visits of students to Madame Pomfrey that she doesn't have to have all the details of an injury to heal it--(when Ron went to her with his injured hand when Norbert bit it and it was a nasty wound). All we learn is that Snape was responsible for saving Dumbledore's life--which isn't what he tells Bella either.

Now the other thing is--would he tell Bella something that is different than he had told Voldemort? Not likely. She'll run right to him to confirm Snape's story; he'd better be saying the same thing to both of them. So if he told Voldemort the same thing about Dumbledore that he told Bella, then Voldemort doesn't realize that it was a Horcrux destruction that injured (and nearly killed) Dumbledore either.

Goblet of Fire dvd

I managed to buy the two-disc version of Goblet of Fire yesterday after first being in such a hurry that I bought just the wide screen version of the movie, with none of the extras.

I went over to Fred Meyer Tuesday morning, made sure I got the Wide Screen not the Full Screen, got home, pulled off all the plastic, opened it and THEN realized that I only had the movie not the 2 disc set. Grrrr. So I called the store, and they had sold out of it. I did find it at Hollwood Video, but I couldn't return the other one since I had opened it. So, I gave it to Sarah. I watched it this morning and again this evening when Sarah came over to watch it with me. I really like it--well, I did in the theater as well.

But the things that bothered me then, bother me now. It was nice to see the deleted scenes, though. Wish they had shortened the dragon one and put in the one with Snape and Karkaroff when Harry overhears them at the ball (it really is a combination of the time he hears them in the classroom and the time he hears them outside of the ball, when Harry and Ron go outside to get away from Percy). And there is a scene with the trio discussing the death of Crouch Sr. Adding that in would have made a lot more sense of that sudden death that seemed so choppy.

I was less bothered by Dumbledore, except for the way he shoves Harry around in the trophy room after Harry's name comes out of the Goblet. But I was more bothered by Crouch Jr at the trial. That tongue thing is just annoying as all get out, and where was the begging, whining, crying son who makes you feel sorry for him--that's the set up for the end, when you find out that Jr really was a Death Eater and a slime ball, besides. The way they play Crouch Jr at that trial leaves the audience with no sympathy for him. But then they don't have to have his explanation of everything after he takes Harry back to his office after Cedric's death. In the book, that is when we really see the evil associated with Voldemort and his Death Eaters--the scheming and treachery. In the movie, Crouch Jr seems so demented that it's not surprising that his father disowns him.

And of course, missing still is the hospital scene, (or at least the information from it) about getting the old crowd together, Sirius and Snape needing to work together, Karkaroff being gone for good, Snape being sent off to do something, Hagrid and Maxime meeting with Dumbledore, the announcement that Barty Jr has been kissed by a dementor and is now useless for giving any information (the last we hear in the movie, he's going to be sent back to Azkaban)..... Do they just not realize how important all those set-ups are for the next two books--and probably the last one as well? Argh!

Well, OK--I do really like the movie, there are just a few little bits that I don't. But I'm finished ranting--at least for the moment.

I'm looking forward to the time when ABC shows this one on tv and puts back the deleted scenes like they did with the first two movies. A friend said that she thought that they deleted other scenes to manage it, but I didn't think they took anything else out. Guess I'll have to look. It seems to me that the running time was 3 and a half or 4 hours.

On the second disc, I particularly enjoyed the deleted scenes and some of the interviews with the cast--I haven't watched all of it yet. And the part about the creation of Voldemort was excellent. Ralph Fiennes was really the perfect actor for that part. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in Order of the Phoenix. But that's another discussion altogether.

Oh, and the pic at the top is my favorite scene in the movie--not in the book, but thank you, Alan Rickman, for giving us a great wordless portrayal of Severus Snape.