In honor of the 2015 Harry Potter Read-A-Thon, every Monday, I’ll be posting an update here at Brewing Up Books as to my own reading progress, as well as a discussion that you’re more than welcome to continue onto your blog.
Before jumping into this week’s discussion, here is a potential schedule that you can follow that will help you stay on track and finish up the Read-A-Thon by May 31st:
- Feb. 1 – Sorcerer’s Stone
- Feb. 18 – Chamber of Secrets
- Mar. 1 – Prisoner of Azkaban
- Mar. 20 – Goblet of Fire
- April 13 – Order of the Phoenix
- April 28 – Half-Blood Prince
- May 1 – Deathly Hallows
Discussion – Occlumency – Helpful or Hoax?
Occlumency, Potter. The magical defense of the mind against external penetration. An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.
-Professor Snape, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
After his vivid dream about Mr. Weasley’s snake attack at the Ministry of Magic, Harry finds himself in Dumbledore’s office under the critical stares of the headmaster and headmistress. When his dream is proven to be an actual occurance, Dumbledore is alarmed, revealing the mental connection that exists between Harry and Lord Voldemort. In an attempt to close this connection, to prevent the Dark Lord from controlling Harry, Dumbledore requests that he take Occlumency lessons from Professor Snape.
Throughout the course of their studies, Harry remains unable to repel Snape’s attacks, constantly finding himself in the midst of personal or embarrassing memories. Harry quickly grows frustrated, ultimately giving up entirely.
After several unsuccessful sessions, the two have a slight falling out and Harry is not invited to return. In later books, it is revealed that Harry was unable to close his connection to Lord Voldemort – he retained his ability to see things through the Dark Lord’s eyes, experience his thoughts and emotions, and view his memories. This comes in handy, particularly in the final book, allowing Harry to predict Voldemort’s next move.
There are several Occlumens mentioned throughout the series. For example, Draco Malfoy was trained in the subject by Bellatrix Lestrange in order to keep his plot to kill Dumbledore a secret, particularly from Professor Snape. Snape himself employed Occlumency to hide his alliance with the Order of the Phoenix from Lord Voldemort, who was also highly skilled in this field. Other known Occlumens were Barty Crouch, Jr. and Professor Dumbledore.
Do you think Occlumency is beneficial (or even a real field of magic)? Or is it simply a hoax?
This week’s trivia game is an unscramble puzzle related to the magical creatures mentioned throughout the series. To complete the puzzle, unscramble each of the names of magical creatures (below) and fill in the corresponding letters in the final statement at the end of the puzzle. Each week, along with a discussion, there will be a trivia/puzzle component of our post, giving participants (and non participants) an opportunity to pit their Harry Potter knowledge against one another. When you think you’ve solved one of the weekly puzzles, type out your answers (or scan/take a picture of them) and email them to email@example.com
The first person to email us all of the correct answers will be featured in next week’s post, along with his/her blog and Goodreads account. Ready to test your luck?
Click to enlarge:
Last Week’s Winners
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any winners from last week. If you submit your answers to this week’s puzzle, however, you may be featured in our post next week!
Answers to Last Week’s Puzzle
Before I post the answers, I wanted to apologize for the weird set-up of last week’s puzzle. For some reason, separate words were divided up when I tried to make the puzzle: only the first word of a given phrase appeared in the crossword boxes. There also happened to be a slight…erm…error regarding the spelling of Hogsmeade.
Once again, I’m sorry for the mistakes in last week’s puzzle! Hopefully it won’t happen again.