7 thoughts on “Episode 9: The Cleansing Fire”

  1. I would suggest that in relation to Harry not seeing the thestrals until book five, that the importance is not simply in having seen death, but also in having understood it. As an infant Harry could not possible have understood his mothers death, and so this death may not count for the thestrals. And Harry passed out before Quirrel dies in the first book, because when he wakes up in the hospital wing he still thinks that Dumbledore needs to go after Quirrel, so he is not aware of this death until he is told, thus he did not see it. Cedric is the first death that Harry not only sees, but also fully understands the consequences of, and the real impact of death.

    1. I think you might actually be onto something here — technically seeing death is really not the same as coming to terms with its reality. I still suspect there may have been a little retconning happening here, though, with him not seeing the thestrals on his way TO the Hogwarts Express.

      1. I was going to bring up the point that at the end of book 4, it is mentioned that the carriages are coming to pick them up, and I believe, it mentions the fact that they are horse-less, per usual. I can’t confirm this because I don’t own a copy of book four, but I recall it from the last time I listened to the audio book earlier this year because it stood out as a continuity error.

        1. Thank you, Justin. I was going to mention this, it specifically does say horseless carriages taking them to the Hogwarts Express at the end of book 4. Going on Emma’s point, maybe Harry hasn’t had time to process Cedric’s death until he gets back to the dursleys and that’s why? But, at any rate it bothered me he didn’t see the threstrals until order of the Phoenix.

  2. I can’t see Umbridge’s teaching style as anything other than an extension of her evil, rather than just ineffectually benign. She works so hard to suppress all free thought and critical thinking, and to instil unquestioning obedience. If she were successful she would raise a generation of young people that would sleepwalk in to the kind of passive evil the ministry enacts in later novels. Her brand of evil is the kind that arises when powerful people close their eyes to injustice and privilege – I think her teaching reinforces and encourages that.

  3. Hi,
    I recently started listening to your brilliant podcast!
    I just had to make a comment because I had to laugh really hard at one specific point: My last name is the same as Anthony’s and though I am not, a lot of people think I am jewish.
    I am from and living in Germany, so people tend to be especially courious and excited to “see a real jew for once in their lives” (due to historic reasons, very complex and complicated topic) and sometimes I feel like an impostor and have this weird feeling of disappointing other people. It’s getting even more awkward when they move away again in obvious disappointment, a very strange feeling. So I think it is so nice of you to point out that not every person having a popular jewish name is actually jewish! Although I have to admit, that it is kind of flattering that Rowling chose to name a character in Harry Potter and the female protagonist in Fantastic Beasts like that.
    I like my name!
    Thank you for talking about that topic and for all your fantastic discussions! I am a huge fan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *