11 thoughts on “Episode 9B: The Tears of Age”

  1. Hi Marcelle and Hannah 🙂

    I’ve got an inquiry regarding the school robes discussion. At the beginning of this episode Hannah points out that they probably only wore underwear under there, but upon re-reading the books I stumbled on these passages that state that the students change into their school robes on the train ride to Hogwarts : “He and Ron took off their jackets and put on their long black robes” (HP1, Chapter 6), “He didn’t talk much as they changed into their school robes” (HP4, Chap. 11), “‘We’d better change’, said Hermione at last” (HP5, Chap. 10) and “We’d better get our robes on” (HP6, Chap. 7)

    It seems to me that it would be rather strange for the students to strip down to their undies in front of the people they were sharing compartments with (because they don’t seem to leave their compartments for the process), so I’d guess they’d put them on over their clothes and so then do wear clothes under their robes (or at least on their first day back at least?).

    Would love to hear your input on this 🙂

    Maud (a belgian listener)

    PS : I hope you’ll see this comment, I know you prefer to have discussions on twitter but I don’t have an account on there and really wanted to contact you both.

    1. This has got to be one of our top twitter conversations, actually; everyone loves #robegate! People have presented your evidence before, and while it potentially implies trousers under robes, I personally think there’s too much evidence to the contrary supporting a trouserless uniform, including student supply shopping lists, that wizard who likes breeze on his junk, and of course Snape being hung upside down. Also if the robes are pulled on over your head and go all the way down, then you could easily put on your robe and then take your trousers off underneath. (I’ve obviously thought about this A LOT.)

      1. The idea that the students aren’t wearing trousers or skirts or *something* under their robes is absurd to me. What about breezes and Quidditch and boners? Maybe Snapes’ humiliation upon being turned upside down was exacerbated by the shocking revelation that he wasn’t wearing trousers like the other students. Maybe his is the trouserlessness of poverty. Like, maybe he had a growth spurt, and his old trousers didn’t fit anymore, and he couldn’t yet afford new ones.

        Anyway, this podcast is my new favorite thing. You witches rock.

  2. Hi witches, I am weirdly touched by what you pointed out about Dumbledore – that his true power and his being a human being with flaws are both shown to us for the first time in this very book. I’d never looked at the way these two relevalations work together here. So thank you for this wonderful insight 🙂
    If I may, I have a comment about your interpretation of Sirius’ death: You were (I think) refering to a green jet of light hitting him in the chest, which would imply a killing curse – but Bellatrix’ first spell that misses him is described as red. With the one that then hits him, there’s no colour mentioned, but I think the text implies that it would be the same spell. Based on that, I wouldn’t think that Sirius was dead by the time he disappeared through that veil because the red is usually just a stunning curse or something, right? I’d be really interested in what you guys think about that because that would allow for such a different reading of Sirius’ death and the part that this doorway plays in it. Sorry for the long weirdo comment, you guys are awesome and I am a just a little bit obsessed with your podcast. Thanks for all the fun!

    1. One day I’ll go back and relisten to what we say in the episodes, but for the moment, possibly contradicting past-me, I agree that it’s ambiguous. The surprised look on Sirius’ face as he falls backwards implies he might still be alive. The movie is WAY clearer than the book, which leaves the entire thing decidedly open to interpretation. So rather than deciding for sure one way or the other, I’d be inclined to ask why the text makes it so ambiguous, and what that says about death and loss.

  3. Hey Witches,

    Love the podcast. I am unapologetically saddened that I started listening to you late, I started about a week ago. But I am loving this scholarly look at the series. I have never considered this angle, and I am finding it incredibly interesting. 👏

    Randomly – I love that you are Canadian (it’s been ingrained in me to appreciate this). In one of the first episodes you were discussing the amount of food the kids are described having access to, and the ramifications if SO many chickens were dying so they could have access to unlimited drumsticks…it’s probably been pointed out to you by now, and is no longer really relevant, but in the WW you can not magic food to appear however you can multiple it once you have it…so maybe only one chicken had to die.
    Also, no longer relevant/someone may have told you…you were discussing Lupin looking unappealing /disheveled. It is supposed to be because werewolves are seen as LOW class citizens and he often couldn’t find work/a place to live /food and is somewhat sickly because of it. Also why he is so thankful to Dumbledore for the job.

    Now I can stop thinking about that! 😀 Anyway, great job. I am interested to see how you keep this up! 😉

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this episode’s Granger Danger! It is great! <3<3<3<3<3<3

    I also love your comment about this being the book where Harry is angry pretty much all the time. I've so far only managed to read the book once because of this, I get so tired of him. Also, Sirius gave Harry that mirror if Harry ever wanted to contact him and Harry completely forgot about it but had to run off to the ministry instead. I know, he's a troubled teenager and we can all forget things but still, this was pretty important and it breaks my heart that he forgot about it.

    Again, thank you so much for this wonderful pod!

  5. Hey, I’m really enjoying your podcast and I’m up to this point and I agree with a lot that you’re saying, but I admit I am totally lost with regards to your take on what happened to Umbridge when the Centaurs take her away.

    I even went back and read that part and I guess I always took it as them punishing her but my mind never really went there, I just assumed that they scared her some other way. Or that her fear of them as half breeds was the cause of her being so traumatized.

    I guess I also didn’t expect that to happen in a book geared towards young adults. Granted the books are getting dark but I didn’t expect it would go that dark!

    I do think that it’s possible that the kids didn’t know what happened to Umbridge after she was taken so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when they are amused by her condition.

    Enlighten me please?

  6. hi marcelle and hannah,
    thank you for this wonderful podcast!
    i’ve listened to the episodes about book 5 and as one of the commenters above, i was wondering about the death/veil thing. because of its architecture i always understood the room with the veil to be the execution chamber of the ministry of magic: a circular room with descending rows of seats with a platform in the middle with a veil on it that lets people disappear? sounds like public executions to me.
    so now i’m wondering how this would fit into the legal system of the wizarding world. how does the death penalty compare to a dementor’s kiss? if the death penalty was abolished, why hasn’t the ministry dismantled its execution chamber?
    i haven’t caught up with all the episodes yet, so i’m sorry if you’ve already discussed this issue in a later episode.
    thanks again, and all the best from berlin/germany,

  7. I am assuming that Wizardig OWLs (ordinary wizarding levels) are modelled on the British O Levels (ordinary level) exams, which was the name for the exams taken at the end of 5th year at secondary school at age 16. They’ve been called GCSEs [General certificate of secondary education] since 1987, but whatever; we already know that Hogwarts is behind the times.
    They take OWLs at the same age as I took my GCSEs. I also had to make some subject choices and had to take others as core subjects at the end of my third year at secondary school to focus on for the next two years; we generally do roughly 10 GCSEs subjects.
    GCSEs are seen as a big deal: if you leave school after that, they’re the only qualifications. If you go on to do A Levels [Advanced levels] (after 2 years at sixth form, often in the same school as the secondary), then your GSCE predictions will be part of the information used by the sixth form to predict grades, and your results are evidence that universities may take into account when they’re making courses.
    Of course, after their fifth year, HH&R only did one year of what would have been sixth form, and didn’t take their NEWTS/A-Levels. But those two years tend to be focussing on just 3 subjects, or 4 and perhaps 5 for exceptional students. Hogwarts students seemed to do 5 (or 7 in Hermione’s case), so I guess they’re a little wider spread.
    This may be too much boring information, but I thought you might be curious!
    I have listened to so much of this podcast in the space of a couple of days. Thank you 🙂

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