“Every statue I’d seen [Medusa] was just a woman with a pretty face and had snakes in her hair. Well, that wasn’t very dramatic, so I gave her a rather demonic look. We gave her a rattlesnake’s tail, so that she could be a menace from the sound effect point-of-view. It was a shock to see her come out from behind the wall crawling on her hands because that was the only way she could propel herself.” - Ray Harryhausen
Rereading this scene from CS and it kind of blew me away.
Next moment, [Harry] was standing alone, gazing at a solid wall of broken rock.
“Ron!” he shouted. “Are you okay? Ron!”
“I’m here!“ came Ron’s muffled voice from behind the rockfall. "I’m okay — this git’s not, though — he got blasted by the wand —”
There was a dull thud and a loud “ow!” It sounded as though Ron had just kicked Lockhart in the shins.
“What now?” Ron’s voice said, sounding desperate. “We can’t get through — it’ll take ages…”
Harry looked up at the tunnel ceiling. Huge cracks had appeared in it. He had never tried to break apart anything as large as these rocks by magic, and now didn’t seem a good moment to try — what if the whole tunnel caved in?
There was another thud and another “ow!” from behind the rocks. They were wasting time. Ginny had already been in the Chamber of Secrets for hours…Harry knew there was only one thing to do.
“Wait there,” he called to Ron. “Wait with Lockhart. I’ll go on… If I’m not back in an hour…”
There was a very pregnant pause.
“I’ll try and shift some of this rock,” said Ron, who seemed to be trying to keep his voice steady. “So you can — can get back through. And, Harry —”
“See you in a bit,” said Harry, trying to inject some confidence into his shaking voice.
And he set off alone past the giant snake skin.
That’s pretty heavy for a pair of 12-year-olds.
Both of them know that Ginny is probably dead.
Earlier in the scene, Ron had asked Harry if he thought there was “any chance at all she’s not — you know—,” and Harry privately couldn’t see how she could be alive.
Obviously, Harry is being extraordinarily brave. He knows what needs to be done, and he knows that he’s the only one who can do it. He can’t not try, not when there’s the “faintest wildest chance” that Ginny is still alive. And while it’s not the last time Harry will have to go it alone or confront the reality that he might not come back, I think it’s the closest he comes to actually having the “if I don’t come back” conversation.
But Ron deserves credit too.
There’s no question in my mind that Ron wanted to be on the other side of that barrier with his best friend. He was the one who suggested they stop moping in the common room and go to Lockhart’s office to tell him what they know.
For a Gryffindor like Ron, fighting the basilisk is infinitely preferable to playing the waiting game. If Harry and Ginny had died, imagine how Ron would have felt. He would have spent the rest of his life grieving for them and feeling guilty that he didn’t go along with them. *If I had gone with them, maybe Harry and I could have fought off the basilisk. Maybe we would have been able to save Ginny.* In some ways, I think he would prefer to die along with them then be the only man left standing.
So he could have said, “No, let’s try to move some of this rock so I can come too!” He could have refused to let Harry go alone or argued for his right to come because Ginny was his sister.
But Ron knows as well as Harry that the clock is ticking. Delaying might give Ron peace of mind and allow him to be part of the action, but every minute they spend trying to free Ron lowers Ginny’s chances. It would be selfish of Ron to try to come with Harry.
He knows they don’t have time to find a way through the rocks right then, he doesn’t have a working wand, and they’ve got Lockhart to worry about. He knows that if Harry/Ginny make it back, they’re going to need to get through to the other side.
So he stays behind. Ron’s going to spend an indeterminate amount of time heaving rocks out of the way, babysitting a lunatic professor, and praying that his sister and his best friend aren’t dead. It’s not exciting, cool, or heroic as Harry’s actions. But in some ways, it’s just as brave.
TL;DR: Ron/Harry are so fucking amazing, and the most Gryffindor Gryffindors there ever were.
278. Remember the little silver snakes all the slytherins have pinned to their ties? (it’s visible for example in the prisoner of azkaban during the hippogriff scene or in the half-blood prince in the harry&Draco bathroom scene) i have a headcanon they’re inspired (like hermione’s galleons) by the dark mark, but work a bit differently - when someone from the house needs help the snake starts vibrating/pulsating and
the place when the person needing help is appears on the snake. it pretty much solves the problem with bullying slytherin students and proves that the whole house always has the members back
Cryptic Commander #9: Why Did it Have to Be Snakes
Don’t you just love it when a new
Legendary Creature gets spoiled and you know it was meant to be? I got to
experience that yesterday when a certain Commander-to-be got spoiled over
Twitter, and man am I head-over-heels for this card. Let’s cut to the chase:
(You see what I did there? The card was
spoiled by Elaine Chase over on Twitter. You know what? It isn’t funny anymore. I had to explain it. Forget I said anything.)
So, brief personal aside on my
experience with BG in Commander. I’ve tried to build a couple of different
decks with the color combo, and I ultimately end up with what feels like
the same deck. Graveyard Shenanigans.dek. There’s nothing wrong with graveyard
decks, I’m just really tired of how the BG ones play out. Jarad and Meren did
their best, but I could not be convinced to play BG after I finally took them
apart. None of the other BG generals really appealed to me, from Nath of the
Gilt Leaf to Sapling of Colfenor. Then they spoiled Hapatra, and the gears
started turning immediately. I started playing Magic just before Scars of
Mirrodin came out, so -1/-1 counters were part of my formative Magic
experience. It has been too long since we had -1/-1 counters, and now they’re
giving us a Commander in BG that cares about -1/-1 counters. Thank you based Wizards for bestowing this gift upon me and all the other lovers of -1/-1
counters in this game. We are truly #blessed.
So, what sort of things can you do with
Hapatra? I suppose you could attack with her, suiting her up with a Whispersilk
Cloak so she can get in unopposed and slowly build up counters and snakes for
you. You could do that, and it’s probably a decent thing to include in whatever
deck you build, just to have a back-up plan; but, I like to dream big. There
are a handful of very playable Commander cards that like to throw -1/-1
counters around to every creature. Thanks to the wording on Hapatra, you won’t
be rewarded for placing a bunch of -1/-1 counters on a single creature as part of the same affect
(see “Whenever one or more” wording), but putting one counter on a bunch creatures
means an army of snakes in the making. The following are some of the best at
Black Sun’s Zenith for one has never
been so rewarding! Paying three mana to weaken the entire board and make a
bunch of snakes seems like a great plan. You could also just wrath the board
and be the only one left with creatures at the end of it. Even if Hapatra dies
in the process, you’ll still get all the snakes because she’ll see the counters
placed on everything before hitting the bin. Carnifex Demon gives you another
good, recurring source of -1/-1 counters. If you have a way to get counters on
it besides the ones it comes into play with (like Hapatra’s ability or
something like Gnarled Effigy), the demon can be a real problem. Contagion Engine kind of speaks for itself. Putting
a counter on each of an opponent’s creatures and then proliferating twice will
get you three separate triggers from Hapatra for three times the snakes. But,
this is just the tip of the iceberg, the most obvious thing you can do.
Alright, we’re starting to get
somewhere now. Crumbling Ashes insures that you never have to commit too many
counters to the same creature. It’ll die sooner or later anyway. Blowfly
Infestation lets you recycle some of the counters from dying creatures for
another Hapatra trigger and more value. Necroskitter makes those sweet
creatures your opponents have work for you after they die with a counter on them.
It’s finally time for Necroskitter’s day in the sun! However, you don’t just
have to put counters on your opponents’ creatures. Have you considered putting
counters on your own creatures?
There are a couple of
creatures that like to have -1/-1 counters on them for utility purposes. Blow
up more artifacts by keeping your Wickerbough Elder fully stocked. Beat down
hard with a resilient threat in the form of Deity of Scars. Grim Poppet lets
you pinpoint the counters you want to disseminate and take out problematic
creatures. You also have the option of throwing Quillspike into the deck for
what can only be described as shenanigans. Quillspike will let you remove
counters from any of your creatures, which means Persist creatures are gonna
get to come back for multiple go-arounds. Puppeteer Clique and Woodfall Primus
say hi! And that’s only the fair thing you can do with Quillspike. Turns out
Quillspike goes infinite with Devoted Druid. Put a counter on Devoted Druid to
untap it, tap it for a Green mana, use the Green mana to remove the counter
with Quillspike’s ability, repeat ad infinitum. If you have Hapatra in play,
this means infinite snakes. Seems pretty good to me, but treat infinite combos
with care. It isn’t fun to lose to them, or win with them, all the time. Be
nice about, huh?
Considering how few sets have featured
-1/-1 counters in the history of Magic, there are certainly a lot of cool
things you can do with them. There’s even an Enchantment that basically has
Hapatra’s ability, except it makes Elves instead. Flourishing Defenses. There’s
all sorts of things you can do with a Hapatra deck, and I am really excited to try
So, what do you think of the newest BG
Legendary? New hotness or soon to be forgotten? Let me know what you think! Any
cool interactions I might not have noticed? I would love to see them! Until
then, enjoy the rest of spoiler season for Amonkhet and hopefully there will be
even more Commander goodies to discuss.