Monday, July 16, 2007

Order of the Phoenix Aha! moment

Just, absolutely just back from the fifth HP film and though post coming up tomorrow, there's one bit I'm so crowing over I have to post about it now.

You know how Azkaban's never described in the books? You know it's a terrible terrible place, but you've never seen it, right?

Well, in OotP you do. you see Azkaban when the news of the Death Eaters breaking out from Azkaban comes in, and you see Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) laughing maniacally (Azkaban appears to affect members of the Black family in similarly strange ways).

Then the camera whizzes off to do its aerial thing, see Azkaban is a triangle!!!

Erm, so? you will ask.

And I will explain, not a few things, but just one.

The Bloomsbury children's edition cover of Deathly Hallows has on its spine, a triangle with a circle, bisected by a line.

Not conspiratorial enough? Here, from a Mugglenet editorial by, you heard it right, Lady Lupin:

Symbols, odds and ends

The symbol that has a few obsessive fans chattering has also intrigued me – the circle within a triangle with a vertical line through both that appears on the spine of the U.K. children’s edition of DH. This symbol has also appeared on Bloomsbury’s website and, most intriguing, on J.K. Rowling’s site when she set the last W.O.M.B.A.T. exam. It surely has meaning, and could go in many directions. The symbols of triangles, lines and circles all have meanings in religion, alchemy, mythology and other traditions. It could be a representation of runes, Greek letters or some meaning specific to Harry’s universe.

Given the alchemical themes throughout the book, I am inclined to see some connection to transformation, completion and transcendence. If the inner circle, as alchemical texts suggest, symbolizes water, and the triangle symbolizes fire, it seems that the symbol indicates a final confrontation of Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. However, in this instance, what does the line down the center signify? Division?

If so, it hardly suggests the unity of Harry’s hoped for final stages of transformation through the completion of his alchemical quest. It may have to do with Dumbledore’s help and return – his phoenix symbol rising from the ashes in some mystical way to aid Harry – fire encasing water and rising through it. Does it reflect the symbols that Harry has seen over and over again on the rim of the Pensieve, or is it something he has yet to encounter? I have no idea, but something in me responds positively to it. I think it’s an encouraging symbol – something to bring hope and help.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just that I read that editorial this morning (I'm jobless, so sue me) and watched the film just now, so it kind of connected. Now induct me into the Order of the HP Nutters, someone.


??! said...

or, it could simply represent that HP and V are two parts of a whole - good vs evil, etc. They are supposed to be counterparts.

Space Bar said...

that too. actually, what iw as crowing over was the fact that the director had chosen to visualise azkaban as a triangular structure. it's an odd coincidence, don't you think?

??! said...

actually, somewhere in book 3, when Hagrid/Hermione are describing the prison, dont they say something about its structure?