Harry Potter questions

I have been re-watching the movies (in reverse … strange, I know), and I have just a few questions.  Now, granted, some of these are probably addressed in the books and I’ve just forgotten.  I know that movies have to condense things so much that a lot is lost, but still …

* Do you really think that the Gryffindor commons room would be empty by 1am on a Saturday night?  It was in Goblet of Fire.  I think of my freshman year of college (all of college actually) and how my usual bedtime was 2am.  Would unsupervised teenagers really go to bed so early?  Were there lights-out rules in the books?

* How did Barty Crouch, Jr. (disguised as Moody) manage to finagle Harry out of the tournament arena after Cedric died?  Didn’t people have some pretty major questions to ask Harry at that time, being he was the only eye-witness to the death?

* Rowling herself has said there are about a thousand students at Hogwarts.  That doesn’t add up to me.  There are 5 Gryffindor boys in Harry’s year (Harry, Ron, Neville, Dean, Seamus) and five girls (Hermione, Lavendar, Parvati, and two unnamed Gryffindor girls).  That’s 10.  If there are 10 in each year, that’s 70 in the house.  That means 280 total in all four houses.  Is Harry’s year just an unusually small sampling?

* Where does Grawp live, even beyond OOTP?  Does he just stay in the forest?

* Why in the world did they have deatheaters burn the Burrow down in Half-Blood Prince?  How did they rebuild it in time for Bill and Fleur’s wedding?

* How much does it suck that they left out the Percy storyline and the Teddy Lupin storyline?

* I thought I saw George’s ear in both parts of Hallows, even though it was supposed to be cursed off.  Does that seem like an easy CGI move?

* In Hallows, when there are the seven Harry Potters, doesn’t it seem like a giant oversight of the Order to not have had them all (including the aurors) use polyjuice potion to transform into, say, some unknown muggles?  Seems far less dangerous.  And more confusing for the deatheaters.

* Why didn’t Voldemort kill Harry when he was standing over him at the Ministry in OOTP?  “Avada Kedava” doesn’t take that long to say.  Although Dumbledore was there, so …

* If it was THAT easy to kill someone (waving a wand and saying two words), isn’t it hard to imagine that there wouldn’t have been far more deaths in the wizarding community?  When you think of the stupid things that muggles fight over, it seems to me like the death toll would have been much higher.  And even in OOTP, the deatheaters are still shouting “stupify”– why wouldn’t they just go for the kill?

* Same thing as far as polyjuice potion: don’t you think it would have been much more common for people to sneak around as someone else?  Maybe it’s because it took so long to brew.

* They were going to shut down Hogwarts simply because the chamber of secrets was opened … but they didn’t shut it down after Cedric died or after Voldemort returned or after Snape and the Carrows took over?  Really?

I’m sure I have more questions.  I love that Jo Rowling made the wizarding world so real to us that we can even have these kinds of questions and discussions.  Would love to hear your thoughts, answers, or additional questions, friends!!

Christian media

Last Friday I had an adventure with my former writing professor Judy.  We went to Macalester College to meet Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, one of my favorite books, and watch a special pre-screening of Blue Like Jazz: The Movie.

The movie was very well done, a fictionalized account of Miller’s time at Reed College in Portland, Oregon– a story about a young Christian who is stepping away from his faith and trying his hand at life.  I loved that it didn’t shy away from any tough issues.  The movie was gritty and raw and real, and I encourage everyone to go see it on April 13th.

Steve Taylor, the movie’s director, was at the event as well, and he introduced the film by saying, “Since when did ‘Christian’ come to mean ‘family-friendly’?”  He pointed out that the Bible itself contained stories that kids might not be old enough to hear.

When I think of Christian movies, I think of cheesy, overdone movies with bad acting and fairytale endings.  When I think of Christian books, I think of poorly written, G-rated romance novels with unbelievable, over-the-top conversion scenes and lots of scenes where the protagonist “happens to” come across a Bible verse directly suited to her situation.  No thanks.

Writing about Jesus is tricky, let me tell you.  How do you write about an eternal God who supernaturally reaches into people’s chests and grips their hearts without sounding insane?  How do you write about spiritual experiences in a way that people who do not love God can come along for the ride?

I think this movie is going to be a big step in the right direction.  Check out the trailer hereLet me know your thoughts on all this!