(( OOC: I want to say this because it’s been a recurring thought of mine recently - but some of you guys are just amazingly creative.
There’s way too many people in this community for me to follow and actively track but I totally stalk all your blogs when they pop up and I just want to say… I dig it?? Because even though the rp community has kinda exploded over the last number of months with so many new people, there’s still so much originality and creativity and it makes me hella happy.
Not only that, the support and encouragement you all give each other is so cool. I haven’t seen any real negativity in a long time, and it’s so nice to witness such a safe, non-judgemental space.
I have an awful lot of appreciation for this community, and the majority of that is down the the people in it. So keep doing all the things. You’re all great.
People on Tumblr describing Ravenclaws: Ah yes it is i a CEREBRAL ravenclaw please excuse me for my COLD HAUGHTY personality it is because I AM SO WISE. I must spend the greater part of my existence in IMPECCABLY ORGANISED, intimidatingly beautiful scholarly or minimalist locales so as to ease the machinations of my INCREDIBLE LOGICAL MIND please excuse me my minute-by-minute daily plan says it’s time to draw up tomorrow’s minute-by-minute daily plan.
p. much the only Ravenclaw that the books actually tell us anything about: hi I wear vegetable-themed jewellery and draw on my own ceiling
Is there anything that bothers you about anti posts?
I aim not to read them, so as a general rule, no - there’s not much.
Of the ones posted in the general tags, I suppose it’s the lack of critical thinking that surprises me the most. I don’t have a problem with people disliking Snape, but I suppose I find it a little disappointing when people appear to blindly accept things on face value, or don’t attempt to factor in any context.
For instance, we discussed the firework scene in CoS the other day, and that’s a great canon example where the reader is given context for Harry’s behaviour whilst the characters are not. Harry throws a firework into Goyle’s cauldron, temporarily disfiguring some of the kids in the class. His actions are explicitly explained and justified within the text: he doesn’t intend to hurt others - his aim is to cause a distraction, enabling Hermione to steal from Snape’s stores.
The reader knows that Harry’s ultimate goal was altruistic - to save the school - but Goyle, and the other kids, and Snape have absolutely no way of discovering this; they can’t see Harry as a kid trying to save the school because they aren’t privy to the pieces of information which would help them to draw that conclusion.
Furthermore, Harry’s actions don’t occur in isolation. He doesn’t hop, skip and jump away from the consequences, even if he appears to escape any punishment. I think it’s fair that Goyle might’ve retaliated the next time he saw a Gryffindor. I think it’s fair that Harry’s actions added fuel to the Gryffindor vs Slytherin animosity. I think it’s probably also fair to say that Snape appraised the situation, and decided that his previous conclusions were correct; that Harry was just like James - an arrogant and nasty bully…and therefore, Snape escalated his hatred of Harry.
Stepping away from Harry, when it comes to reading Snape, I think it’s much more interesting if you apply similar rules to him. Canon provides Harry’s internal logic, whereas the reader is rarely privy to Snape’s. Consequently, you have to fill in the gaps - you have to mull on his actions, and both the immediate context and wider context for his behaviour. You have to think about the things that he would credibly know, and the things he might not know - and then you have to decide why you think he behaved in the way he did.
So it’s not that I have a problem with people disliking Snape, but I suppose I find it an incredibly boring critique of his character when people merely say, “I don’t like Snape because he was mean to Harry / Neville / Hermione.” It’s not that it’s not true - because yes, at times, he was mean to them…but that it’s not the only truth, and presenting it as such is a demonstration of a very shallow reading.
I suppose I have rather higher expectations for people participating in a twenty year old fandom. Perhaps that is unfair of me. After all, I am beyond certain that the majority of the arguments we’re making have all been made countless times before… It’s just, if your argument is something so cursory that a seven year old could’ve concluded on their first read, then it’s probably not particularly insightful - and you’d probably benefit from looking at the text a little more deeply.
And the real reason that bothers me? Well, it’s got nothing to do with Snape, or Harry Potter…it’s because I fear that some people lack those critical thinking skills when it comes to appraising other media in their life. It’s not remotely important when it’s Potter, but when it’s a news article that you’re failing to sufficiently interrogate and are happy to blindly accept on face value, it is rather more serious.
y’all wanted highlights of my D&D game, I believe:
I had this fantasy that it would take 3-4 hours. It took almost exactly 6. Which isn’t that bad, really. I’ve heard of one-shots that accidentally ran far longer.
I was unreasonably stressed out when it started, in part because one player bowed out last minute (she realized she did, in fact, have to get sleep), and partly just because I’ve never DMed before
some of them described themselves as I’d been picturing them, some did not. Highlights were a greasy soulpatch for the Rogue and the Cleric looking like a “crazy great-aunt”
the Ranger got knocked unconscious four times, twice in the first fight. Awakened trees deal a lot of damage, you guys.
the first time was when she tried to attack the cleric for hitting her with Thunderwave, and the Tree got an attack of opportunity.
me, a voice from the heavens, to the Sorceress: cough chromatic orb can cause fire cough
the Rogue tried to flirt with a dryad. The dryad was not impressed.
the Warlock tried to play Feywild politics with a dryad. The dryad was not impressed.
when they got to a village of forest gnomes and were offered food and drink, they spent fifteen minutes debating the lactation of various mammals and whether you could make cheese from it, and the taxonomic classification of platypi
they got to roll for random loot - well, they got to roll for which magical items table I would roll for random loot on, because these villagers have been collecting the loot of fallen strangers for centuries - and then we all spent ten minutes furiously googling to figure out whether Universal Solvent could dissolve the magical barrier (coughWall of Forcecough) keeping everyone trapped in this forest.
the Wall of Force, and great deal of ambient magic (which gave rise to a great many dangerous monsters and sentient plantlife, etc.) which was, by the way, created by/as a result of a lich in a ruined old tower. Who they tried to fight.
emphasis: the party of lv3 PCs tried to fight a lv21-monster lich.
in absolute fairness, I did not tell them it was a lich.
I did, however, say it was “very, VERY undead” and “very powerful and dark” and “there’s plant life growing over the whole tower, vines and a couple flowers and even a tree, and it’s very alive but it’s also, like, rotting. It’s not living-alive. It’s like…the Feywild is a very lifey place, everything is very full of life and that’s why it’s all trying to attack you half the time. This place is kind of like that but…fucked up. And there are still moving shadows in the trees.”
This resulted in the fourth time the Ranger got knocked out, as well as the rest of the party. The lich had two very good opportunities to kill them and forebore both times. She used Cloudkill both times and knocked them the fuck out.
I GOT TO USE THE DWARF FIGHTER’S GEAS TO KNOCK HIM OUT, ACTUALLY, AND IT WAS GREAT. See, he was actually ensorcelled by the duergar girl’s evil wizard father to protect her, in a war between dwarves and duergar years ago, so I decreed that if she dropped below half her HP, the spell would interpret that as him not doing his job and he would take the psychic damage penalty. It’s not exactly the best solution because he gets knocked out and can’t do jackshit to protect her then, but hey, the evil wizard was under stress at the time, and the spell just follows the rules. Gosh, it was FUN.
Then some rebellious teenagers from the village found them again, would-be adventurers, and gave them a few HP each and helped them figure out that the lich couldn’t maintain the Wall while also protecting the village from the fiercest monsters and, say, a forest fire…
I swear I’d been hinting this when they were in the village earlier. I made the teens a little more explicit, though, but I think it’s also that earlier, the players were thinking more ‘fight/reason with the source of the Wall’ than the slightly twisty situation that was actually required.
I would’ve let them reason with the lich - they did try a bit - but she’s a bit mad and it would’ve required some absolutely HELLA Persuasion rolls. Like, a nat20. And it’s not purely that she kidnaps adventurers for help in keeping monsters away from the gnome village she protects - they’re entertaining, too, as they fight for their lives. :)c
So they talked the villagers into building a bit of a firebreak, just so they wouldn’t all die instantly, and then they set half the forest on fire and waited for the lich to be distracted enough to let the barrier flicker.
Me: You see a dark, hooded figure atop the wave, with her hand raised up, and then she brings it down just like the statue and the water crashes down all over the fire. It doesn’t go out, though, so she raises her hands again, the water following her movement - and for a moment, she looks right at you, right in the eye you can’t see, and you can feel this hatred, and rage, and the tiniest bit of disappointment- Ranger: I give her the middle finger.
Overall, I think it went pretty well! Two people had to duck out before it was over, but time zones and schedules are hard. I do feel more confident about doing this again. I’m kinda tempted to actually buy books, because PDFs are convenient but I have to keep flipping between screens…I’m probably going to run a campaign this summer, and going longer, of an all-bard party traveling down totally-not-the-American-West-Coast to totally-not-LA for a Battle of the Bards.
Thanks for your wonderful posts about Snapes background and class system in Great Britain, which seems very singular in the way that it has so much impact. I am not saying that social class does not exist else where , but it seems to matter more in Great Britain (Same goes for networking). It is very illuminating for people who are not from Britain. Also one question: How do you think about J.Ks decision for Lily to chose James, does not it actually go against her intentions?
Social class exists
elsewhere, but it permeates British society in a way that is very hard to
describe adequately; I am never quite sure I do it justice, so I am glad it was
of interest to you.
I mulled on your
question for a good couple of hours.
I feel that no author
can ever intend everything that the audience reads into a piece of work,
because each reader draws - both consciously and subconsciously - on their own
experiences when they interpret text. Potter
is curious, because the films have caused many of us to agree a consensus on
many aspects of the series – but even so, the characters and locations I see in
my head when I read do not necessarily match up on screen, and will differ to
Secondly, I do not
necessarily believe that authors always deliberately intend some of what is
said in their work. For instance, I have
complained at length in the past about JK’s stance on Dumbledore’s sexuality,
but whilst I am unhappy about it, I do not think her intent was negative. On the contrary, I personally believe she
intended the revelation to be positive and the wider context and insinuations
of her own text simply hadn’t occurred to her.
When answering this
question, I originally wrote quite a lot about James and Lily and agency and
character function…but really, when it comes down to it, I think the answer is
that JK was writing a rather simple story – Harry and his parents were the good
guys, there were some bad guys fighting against them, and one of the bad guys
turned out to be good all along because he loved one of the good guys.
The problem is, as with
any media, unless your story is instantly wrapped up in one instalment, the
original story starts to spin off lots of other stories – lots of unintentional
stories. You write a scene because it
serves one narrative purpose, and the actions in that scene influence something
else. Sometimes, as an author, you
realise this and address it. Sometimes,
as an author, it simply doesn’t occur to you that the scene would imply x or y or z, and you might be surprised when the audience finds it and gives credence
Personally, I find the
implication of some aspects of Potter rather…concerning – but I think that’s
partly because it’s of its time, partly because it’s being consumed in a way
other than it was originally designed (i.e. it was a junior series which was
meant to be read, loved and forgotten – not analysed to its zenith two decades
later), and partly because I do not think that some of the implications were
considered by the author with the gravity they deserved. I feel this is most clearly seen with the
crude parallels to both Nazism and HIV, which I do not believe hold up under
scrutiny, and yet are sometimes mentioned outside of the text as if they are cast iron.
I also believe that this
is where some of the friction comes between author and audience, where the
author believes they have written one tale, and the audience walks away with
another. I think this has been
exacerbated by the films – we saw this rather clearly when JK bemoaned some of the
audience’s love for Draco, as if her writing had nothing to do with his character’s
appeal, and the attraction was all at the door of Tom Felton – and also with
the rise of the internet. JK has
experienced a continued interaction with her audience, and the etiquette of
such interactions is still – even now – being decided.
So to answer your
specific question, although I think the broad strokes of the Severus/Lily/James
triangle can be read through the prism of class, I do not think JK set out to
write a working class / middle class / upper class triangle – and I think that’s
why sometimes, what JK says externally from the text doesn’t always seem to marry with
what she wrote, because occasionally, she didn’t see - or she chose not to give credence to - an alternative implication.
Okay, believe it or not, this is like super condensed. Like I forgot a LOT of important people on here, I wanted to keep it short (shut up). I know this is like just marauders but these are super cool blogs.
This is kind of random but I love how flexible you are with you headcanons and interpretations. A lot of fans get so angry when someone disagrees with their reading of the text, like they think they know The Ultimate Truth and everyone who has a different opinion is Wrong and also probably evil, and every disagreement is *obviously* a personal attack. Having headcanons that you believe in very strongly is fine ofc but that still doesn't make them canon. Some fans need to chill just a little.
I’m glad it works for you! I do sometimes wonder if my stance of saying, “Well yes, possibly but also, maybe not,” might get a little wearing for some people - especially if they’ve followed me on the basis of a headcanon, and then a week later, I’m arguing the exact opposite.
I find reading other people’s headcanons to be one of the most interesting things in fandom. I can see how people can become attached to certain interpretations, especially if they’ve drawn that conclusion due to personal experience - but what I always think is interesting is how one headcanon can cause another one to appear…a certain reading of the text will inevitably affect every other aspect of the story.
But yes, more chill is often required: live and let live, headcanon and let headcanon, ship and let ship. I love a well reasoned headcanon, even if I don’t necessarily add it to my personal reading; I love to see how other people draw conclusions about the same passage.
Ok so I get so many asks involving this… I take a more flexible interpretation of the “1HP” thing, even though Undertale is very meta about its mechanics. I interpret HP as an amount of damage they can absorb before they don’t want to fight anymore, moreso than “if he got a papercut he would literally die” because that’s…… not……..very fun…………. narratively. I also think that his 1HP status comes about post-resets. The resets drain him of his will to fight.