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Author Topic: Pureblood vs MugBlood  (Read 584 times)

Nicholas

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Pureblood vs MugBlood
« on: December 30, 2004, 02:54:29 PM »

Wotcher, All;

I was wondering if some might shed some light on a question that is throwing me for a loop regarding the fifth book.  I'm re-reading it now for pleasure's sake, and the question just creeped in (my guess it evolved from a lack of sleep and too much coffee, but that's just my take on matters)....

Why did Voldemort mark Harry as his equal rather than the other child (not saying-- don't want to spoil anything)... Both of the children (Harry and the other student) are purebloods as both sets of parents were wizards.  Harry was supposedly chosen for being like Voldemorte-- a half blood, if you will.

Any ideas on this?  Or am I simply reading in too deeply?
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Morrin Midnight

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2004, 02:56:25 PM »

Just a correction ...Harry's a half-blood
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Nicholas

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2004, 03:13:22 PM »

But how is he a half blood when both his mother and his father were wizards-- they met at Hogwarts.  And his aunt is, of course, a muggle-- so his mother must have been a mugblood, so.....  Isn't deductive reasoning wonderful?  :-)

Thanks for helping with the mental block i was having.  Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge or just throwing the thought out publicly.   ;D
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SeaShelly3

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2004, 06:16:06 PM »

That threw me for a loop as well, but JKR explained that since Lily wasn't a pure-blood, that makes Harry a half-blood. In other words, even though Lily was a witch, any of her children, and likewise, that her children's children and so on, will be considered "half-blood."
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Heather

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2004, 08:13:24 PM »

It is an interesting question as to why YKW marked Harry as opposed to Neville.  I suspect we will find out more in the next book as to why.  I have a feeling it is very much tied to Harry's parents and their abilities.  The prophecy mentioned that the parents thrice defied YKW.  I suspect Lily was one of the most powerful witches out there, as was James.  While Neville's parents were aurors, I imagine the Potters may have possessed superior magical abilities.  That is a great question, though - I want to think more about it.
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 06:43:38 PM »

It is indeed a great question, Nicholas.  I believe that the explanation that Shelly gave is the one that JKR gave:  to those for whom blood matters at all, being descended from a mudblood makes you a mudblood.  You know, once blood is tainted, there's no purifying it or something like that.

So, according to Dumbledore, the reason LV marks Harry and not Neville is because he identifies with Harry more:  both half-bloods.  But that's the only reason Dumbledore seems to give in Book 5.  So perhaps there is more reason than Dumbledore tells in book 5.  Perhaps it does indeed have to do with James and Lily.  We know, after all, that James was extremely talented magically.  But if the Longbottoms had really thrice defied LV, then they must have been at least as talented and, in his eyes, dangerous.
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Nicholas

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2005, 11:01:42 AM »

Thank you, Ladies for your insight.  I think perhaps I was analyzing myself into a corner there-- it happens.  ;D

I read on one of the interviews with JKRowling that there is something important about Harry having his mother's eyes that will be revealed in time.  Yes, his father was incredibly talented, but it was mentioned in several books and in the movies as well that there's something special, something pertinent about his having his mother's eyes.

Additionally, I think it's wonderfully ironic that Voldemort hates mudbloods but yet he himself is a mudblood as well-- Harry told Bellatrix that in book 5 when the DeathEaters were after the prophecy and she flew into a rage.  That similarity was also a deciding factor in marking Harry rather than Neville.

Personally, I think Neville is going to REALLY shine in the next two books, really grow into himself and tap into a power that the others would not imagine him capable of possessing.  They mentioned quite a bit throughout the books that he's... well, he's "off" magically, his skills lacking.  I think he is going to suprise people, and it wouldn't shock me one bit if he became one of Harry's STRONGEST allies.  He's already proven himself loyal and brave beyond compare in OOTP.

P.S.  Hi, Cho-- it's so reassuring to see others around my age (32) on the boards.  My wife gives me quite a bit of grief being a die-hard Harry Potter fan.  :)
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2005, 07:06:24 PM »

[That's nothing, Nicholas.  Some others on this board are even older than both of us! Right, Ju?  ;) ]

Yes, I agree with you about Neville. 

You know, the thing about "halfblood" being transferred down the line makes me wonder:  would that be true even if the muggle/muggle-born got into your ancestry 12 generations ago and everyone since was a wizard/witch?  If so, that's just plain stupid.  In Harry's case, of course, it's a lot closer than that, but it's the same logic, nonetheless.

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SeaShelly3

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2005, 09:39:09 PM »

It just reminds me of something one of the Hufflepuffs said in CoS. I think it was Ernie. He said something along the lines of; "And in case you're getting ideas, I can tell you that I can trace my family back through sixteen generations of witches and wizards and my blood's as pure as anyone's."

This makes me think that maybe after the muggle in you being thinned out that severely, that maybe it would be so insignificant that it wouldn't matter. But I think there are always the die-hard purebloods out there that even then, such a person might be rejected. The tapestry in Grimmauld place is evidence of that, I think. It goes back what, a thousand years? And only purebloods are included on it, everyone else got blasted off, correct?
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2005, 01:14:03 PM »

Everyone else who either was not pureblood or who wasn't acting "properly" pureblooded, I believe ... like the Weasleys and Tonks' mother who married a muggle.
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juwannajedi

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2005, 03:31:46 PM »

Quote
Some others on this board are even older than both of us! Right, Ju?
  Hrmmm.  You must remember, my young Cho-ling, that some of us are even older today than they were yesterday.


And on that philosophical note...//chases after cho with cane.
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Ping

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2005, 09:12:53 AM »

Going back to the question of why Voldemort marked Harry instead of Neville and the "thrice defy" thing... We are told that the Potters were working against Voldemort, I think. Yes? Maybe they had had more success than Neville's parents?
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SeaShelly3

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2005, 08:33:25 PM »

Well, relating to that topic, I think that had YKW succeeded in destroying the Potters, it wouldn't have been long before he targeted the Longbottoms. Likely that very same day. He (YKW) doesn't seem the type to gamble on that sort of thing, and I'm betting that the Potters were simply the first ones he marked. Bad choice for him.  ;D

In other words, I'm slightly skeptical that it had anything to do with who was a pureblood and who was of mixed heritage. Maybe it's a coincidence?
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2005, 09:35:22 PM »

Interesting thought.  Which would mean that, at least as far as this is concerned, Dumbledore is wrong (with regard to LV's motives/thoughts/choices) and that LV did not in fact mark Harry as his equal; he just started with Harry and didn't get past him? 
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SeaShelly3

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2005, 10:10:23 PM »

Yeah, that's more or less what I was thinking. I think YKW isn't nearly as maniacal about the pureblood thing as his followers are. I could be totally and completely wrong, but I don't think it matters very much to him one way or another if you're pureblood or not. Obviously he would have to keep up an image of thinking otherwise.
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2005, 10:35:19 PM »

Intriguing.  How do you arrive at that opinion?  Doesn't Tom Riddle/LV say in one of the books (either 2 or 4) something about his filthy mudblood father?

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SeaShelly3

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2005, 10:47:43 PM »

Yes, in book 2, but he's a teenager then, and I would imagine, more easily influenced by his house and the popular beliefs of people like him.

I arrive at the opinion because it kind of a conundrum, isn't it? I mean, if he hates all muggles and half-bloods, then he hates himself, or he's in very extreme denial. But he has been lying to his followers about his heritage for many years in order to keep up the facade, simply because of that conundrum. Okay, now I'm confusing myself. Basically, either YKW hates himself, which I'll admit, is a distinct possibility, or he doesn't place as much importance as the rest of his group in purity of blood. I'm leaning toward door number two.
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Ping

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2005, 07:59:06 AM »

I would not be surprised if he hated his father, who rejected his witch mother, which meant that he ended up being raised in an orphanage. Orphanages at that time would not have been particularly nice places. That hatred could easily be transfered to all muggles, and those who associate or are children of muggles. He might either hate that half of himself, or he might figure that, since he rejected that half of himself, it doesn't count for him. Hitler's grandmother was Jewish, but he targeted Jews. Was this because he hated them himself, or because they were a common and popular target for his Aryan soldiers? Maybe both.

Don't forget, though, that LV knew there was a prophecy about a child who would be born who would destroy him. He might not have known more, but he knew at least that much. Harry and Neville were both born, but he picked Harry as his first target. That would seem to mean that he thought Harry would be the biggest threat.
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Xan

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2005, 11:07:21 AM »

Shelly, that reasoning makes a lot of sense. I like that. It could be that Voldemort initially hated Muggles because of his dear father - wanted to punish them all for what his father did - and somehow decided that the best way to do that would be to wrap it up in pureblood mania to gain followers. Because I don't think Lucius Malfoy et al would have responded as well to "let's kill all Muggles, they suck" as they did to "purebloods are better than everyone else. We should cleanse the world of all those Muggles so we have the world to ourselves." In that sense Voldie's just using the Death Eaters.

Or it could be that he's as bit on purebloodedness as they are, and that's why he looks like a snake. Trying to replace his muggle side, or something.

As for picking Harry first, it could have been anything - maybe Godric's Hollow was closer. Maybe he flipped a coin. *shrugs*

That reminds me, though - the Lestranges got put away for torturing Neville's parents. I don't think it's a coincidence that Neville was the other boy in the prophecy. The Longbottoms were probably fairly prominent mages too, hence the Lestranges went to them for answers. So ... I don't think it was James and Lily vs. Frank and Alice that made Voldie's decision ...
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2005, 11:43:26 AM »

That's very intriguing.  The only thing about it that bothers me is this:  if it's really true that by choosing to go after Harry first (because Godric's Hollow is closer, or whatever) LV fulfilled the prophecy by marking Harry as his equal, then it seems to make all of Harry's life up to this point a total matter of bum luck.  If LV had gone after Neville first, then we would be reading about Neville and not Harry.  Does that make any sense?   

I guess I'm going to have to disagree because that makes the entire story kind of unfulfilling, to me.  I think Harry's life and the suffering that he has endured because of his parents' death and his "mark" have to be more meaningful than that.  Otherwise, this is a bummer of a story.

Am I missing something?
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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2005, 12:15:26 PM »

I can see your point, Cho. Personally, the whole prophecy thing seems rather unfulfilling to me, because it makes it feel like everything Harry has been through has been predestined, and he has no chance of escaping it. I've always been leery of using prophecies in fiction, because it often takes out the element of agency that I find more compelling. A person doing something because they think it's right is more interesting than a person doing something because they think it's what the prophecy wants. At least, it is to me.

Personally, I can't imagine that LV chose to go after Harry for some basic reason, such as him being closer or easier to get to than the Longbottoms. It took him at least a year to get to Harry. That sort of dedication doesn't come just from choosing to go after one baby instead of another. Both the Longbottoms and the Potters defied LV, but he put more stock in what James and Lily did. Perhaps J&L worked not for the Ministry but for Dumbledore. Therefore, their interference was not part of their job, but something they did as a personal thing, which made it more galling for him, particularly since James came from an old wizarding family and yet had married a muggleborn.

In short, the reasons LV chose to go after Harry were likely much more complex than a simple matter of distance or alphabet or something.
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Nicholas

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2005, 12:20:17 PM »

Like Cho-Chung, I think that his parent's being killed by Voldie and his mark...  there has to be meaning behind it.  I agree with Dumbledore-- he said that LV chose Harry.  I feel that since LV has a serious ego and feels he is so powerful, he perhaps "felt" that the Potter family might have that something special as well.  Perhaps in LV's fights with the Potters and the Longbottoms, he felt the Potters were a stronger threat.

I don't personally think it was coincidence that Harry was chosen.  Then again, I don't believe in coincidences.
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Cho Chung

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2005, 01:20:32 PM »

Both the Longbottoms and the Potters defied LV, but he put more stock in what James and Lily did. Perhaps J&L worked not for the Ministry but for Dumbledore. Therefore, their interference was not part of their job, but something they did as a personal thing, which made it more galling for him, particularly since James came from an old wizarding family and yet had married a muggleborn.

Weren't the Longbottoms in the Order as well, though?  I can't remember anymore, and I don't really feel like re-reading book 5 to find out. 

Also, I agree with you, Ping, about agency being far more interesting than predestination.  Of course, the twist here is that LV didn't "know" he was fulfilling the prophecy by choosing Harry.  So, in a sense, the agency is still there.  Sort of.  There's also agency with regard to Harry's responses to LV.  The prophecy only says that he is the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord.  It does not say he will. 

To be on-topic, however, this entire topic brings up once again a hole in the entire story that I'd love to see filled in someday:  why/how LV went bad.  I mean, okay, so he hated his dad and projected that onto all muggles and mudbloods.  But that hatred had to have been intensified by some other things/events in his life, I would think.  Or at least a character trait--something, anything, really, more than "I hate my dad."  I think he's supposed to be a more powerful and deep character than that.  Even Hitler had some other preceding causes than his hatred of the Jews before he launched his rampage against the entire Jewish nation.  And, of course, Hitler was just a sick-o.    >:D

And then there's LV's pursuit of immortality and power. 

That's it!  I've got it:  perhaps Shelly and Xan are right and it really isn't his hatred of muggles and mudbloods that drives him at all.  That's only part of what makes up LV altogether, which is his insatiable thirst for power and dominion of all things, even death itself.  I guess that doesn't really answer why LV would choose to go after Harry instead of Neville, but ... it was an interesting thought. 

Er, I guess it wasn't as on-topic as I thought.

Okay, here's one:  I suspect we'll learn more about James and Lily that will shed light on why specifically LV chose Harry over Neville.


 ^-^


[BTW:  this has been a good conversation so far.  Points--
10 to Nicholas, Shelly and Ping (to her house of choice)
7 to Xan
5 to Heather
3 to Morrin.

Carry on.] 
« Last Edit: January 12, 2005, 01:29:22 PM by Cho Chung »
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Nicholas

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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2005, 01:50:16 PM »

Cho, yes, the Longbottoms were also part of the Order.  I recently finished re-reading book #5 in anticipation of book #6 coming out.

As for the hole in the story about howLV went bad:  my theory looks at his childhood.  Yes, he hated his father.  With a passion.  Perhaps there's more to it than that-- was his father abusive, neglectful,...?

Having grown up with a seriously abusive mother, I can see how different things of that nature may shape your life.  Some people chose to survive, to live; some people chose the role of the eternal victim.  And some people use a troubled past to blame everyone else for the choices they make eg murderers, rapists, etc.  LV made the (immature) decision to re-enforce his hatreds, to embrace his shortcomings rather than to see them as building blocks in his life, in himself.

THIS is a very long, philosophical discussion... perhaps another time.

My point being this: Dumbledore explained to Harry in book 2 regarding being sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytheran,... it's not what we are capable of that makes us who we are but rather the choices we make in our lives.
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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2005, 03:56:27 PM »

Excellent point, Nicholas.  That highlights the fact that I think JKR still does want to leave a lot of room for choice (or agency, as Ping referred to it earlier) in her story.  So the prophecy doesn't dictate what anyone actually does; it simply describes some events in the future without tying anyone to doing anything in particular.  Even the part about Harry and LV not being able to live with the other survives does not require a response.  It merely states a fact.

In that way, JKR reminds me of Tolkien:  you have a sense of some larger, overarching "plan" at work in LOTR, but the story is riddled through with real choices and real consequences to those choices.

But I digress.... :-\
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Re: Pureblood vs MugBlood
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2005, 06:53:44 PM »

Man I have missed these types of discussions with you all.  Course now it's making my head hurt.
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