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View Full Version : "long fingers"... not just a random comment?


numenor_maiden
June 16th, 2004, 10:24 pm
I used to be so sick of JKR constantly stating stuff about Dumbledore's long fingers. She managed to sneak it in every book about 100 times! Then from the time Voldemort came back she's been going on and on about his long fingers. Snape's long fingers have also been heavily mentioned. AND NEVER ANYONE ELSE'S!

So, what's the connection between these 3? They're all occlumens. :eyebrows:

Barbara Kennedy
June 16th, 2004, 10:29 pm
It has more to do with the fact that they are all tall and lean than with the fact that they are occlumens.
There aren't too many tall and lean characters other than these three.

numenor_maiden
June 16th, 2004, 10:31 pm
Yes, but even if they are tall and lean, why on earth would she so heavily stress the fact that they have long fingers? And is it just a coincidence that those 3 are the only people that we know so far who are occlumens?

jasper
June 16th, 2004, 10:34 pm
She describes Umbridge's fingers as stubby. I think that makes her an anti-occlumens.

Olivander has long fingers, too.

Barbara Kennedy
June 16th, 2004, 10:34 pm
Tall and lean people tend to have long fingers, that simple.

Saol
June 16th, 2004, 10:36 pm
It's just to describe them, I bet. I mean, she is always going on about Harry's green eyes.. his scar.. things like that. There's other examples.. I'm sure.. but I'm a bit too tired to look them up right now. But do you get what I'm saying? I think she's just trying to get you to imagine what they look like..

numenor_maiden
June 16th, 2004, 10:37 pm
But she doesn't just DESCRIBE them... she won't give up on it. It's rather annoying, actually! lol

Whatever... it's probably nothing but I'm just looking for a reason for the constant "long finger" business.

jasper
June 16th, 2004, 10:40 pm
repetition- it's a literary device. For instance, Charles Dickens uses the heck out of it, hitting you with the characters' key traits over and over. It just makes the characters resonate a little.

Vequihellin
June 17th, 2004, 6:53 pm
When you imagine long fingers don't you automatically imagine someone sitting there with their fingers steepled saying "Exxxxxcellent" and drumming them together evilly? LOL I certainly do when I think aobut Voldemort and Snape (but I know Snape isn't evil but he has that 'Overgrown bat' effect going on) and when I think of Dumbledore, I think the same thing, steepled fingers but he is contemplating or leaning his chin on them (I a waaaaaaaaaay too vivid imagination, I guess that might be a side effect of having a photographic memory but there you go), It seems almost to me as though the long fingers thing is demonstrative of a frailty almost, since long thin fingers appear brittle (As opposed to my horrible short fat fingers).

Veq.

Polychrome
June 17th, 2004, 8:45 pm
Doesn't Harry also have long fingers? Think that was in the first book...

Actually, I think JKR uses bodily features to compare characters to each other. This might be just another way of comparing Harry to various other characters.

Or maybe they just all play piano.

moscovita
June 17th, 2004, 8:53 pm
When you imagine long fingers don't you automatically imagine someone sitting there with their fingers steepled saying "Exxxxxcellent" and drumming them together evilly?

HAHA!! I always imagine that!

Dominor4
June 17th, 2004, 9:38 pm
Vequihellin and moscovita are on the right track. It's a thematic description, nothing more. It not only emphasizes the fact that Dumbledore and Voldemort are tall and thin (which is usually associated with good health or power), but also the fact that they're very powerful wizards. Subconciously, most people probably associate long fingers with magicans. I've never seen a (good) magician with baby-like hands. They all have long, flexible fingers from years of slight of hand work. Long fingers = good dexterity, thus better slight of hand, thus more tricks up their sleeves. That's probably the emphasis of the description right there (more tricks up their sleeves). Notice that Umbridge, who has short stubby fingers and a short, thick wand, is a weak wizard.

Allan2
June 17th, 2004, 9:45 pm
anyone read the odyssey
homer mustve described odysseus 1000s of times
now thats annoying
as for rowling, i think she creates a more vivid description
notice that with every book, she always re-emphasizes things such as quidditch, explaining them for new readers

Weasley24
June 17th, 2004, 9:50 pm
Dobby is described as having long fingers as well.

I don't remember where I read this, but somewhere along the line I heard something about long fingers meaning more power. You know, the longer the fingers, the more powerful the wizard. Anyone else hear this somewhere too?

numenor_maiden
June 18th, 2004, 12:32 am
Yeah- more power, hence the occlumens thingy. So how is Snape one of the most powerful wizards? Whatever. My theory doesn't work :P

dcgurl013189
June 18th, 2004, 1:36 am
Dobby is described as having long fingers as well.

I don't remember where I read this, but somewhere along the line I heard something about long fingers meaning more power. You know, the longer the fingers, the more powerful the wizard. Anyone else hear this somewhere too?


yeah...i saw this on mugglenet somewhere... i can't seem to find it now but i'm almost certain i have seen it... get back to you after a more thorough search

Stephie
June 18th, 2004, 1:37 am
It's mentioned too many times to be random.

dcgurl013189
June 18th, 2004, 1:45 am
ok Weasly24, i think i found it under "oddities and coincidences" below all the blue links... but i thought there was more to it than that... or i could have gone crazy, either way. was this what you were thinking of?

Weasley24
June 18th, 2004, 2:00 am
Could've been. Maybe I did read it on Mugglenet. Thanks for digging around for it though :).

CicadaInvasion
June 18th, 2004, 2:48 am
Sometimes writers have favorite descriptions of characters, for example one writer's fans commented he wrote too many women with red hair and chests that rose and fell too fast. Perhaps long fingers is JKR's way of telling us that the charachter had something in common with others of the same description, or it could just be that in her mind they are somehow connected.

Hogwarts4evr
June 18th, 2004, 10:30 pm
I think that the long fingers comment in this series point in the dirrection of meaning powerful. The source of power/magic comes form within and having long fingers just represent how powerful you are. It may also have some connection to the wand too.The wand is used to concentrate magic and direct it to a pecific target rather than.The wand also contains a source of magic,but could become stronger when it's combined with a powerful person. Isn't there supposed to be some type of connection or relationship between a person and his wand? That's probably why DD's so strong.

OH,well. I probably rambled and didn't make any sense.

CicadaInvasion
June 21st, 2004, 12:47 am
While the idea of long fingers = power is quite possible, there are loopholes...
Harry is supposed to be a powerful wizard (it takes a powerful wizard to produce a patronus, and Hermione has stated her belief in Harry's power several times), yet Ms. Rowling has never mentioned him as having long fingers. Also this would tend to suggest that magical power is in the fingers, and is not part of the mind or soul.

Layla
June 21st, 2004, 10:13 am
You know what... I noticed the references to long fingers and I can't shake off the feeling that they must mean something...

Slightly off topic... another thing I also noticed is that some of the major bad/evil characters were described as having "watery" eyes: Uncle Vernon, Pettigrow, Umbridge and there was someone else but I can't remember who now

offca
June 21st, 2004, 10:47 am
for me long fingers are kind of symbol of artist - piano players always have long fingers. and for me someone with long fingers is more on the side of spirituality, arts, mistery, philosophy... and small, fat fingers - earthy, low to the ground thoughts.

Morgan LeFay
June 21st, 2004, 10:58 am
I also have long fingers so I'm propably evil. Well, could be.
For me long fingers connect with spiders, and spiders are Ron's worst fear. Maybe we should look for the reason here?

Nephel
June 21st, 2004, 11:03 am
Long fingers = Tall and Lean

In the HP Story, Tall and Lean = Powerful Wizard / Witch.

I would say Dumbledore, Voldemort and Snape are all powerful

Umbridge, who is short and stubby, would therefore be inferior to those above, if you conform to this theory.

Ron Weasley is pretty tall, he will have long fingers, is he going to be a powerful wizard?

Morgan LeFay
June 21st, 2004, 12:34 pm
I think you can write also Sirius down on that list.

I really hope Ron'll become powerful wizard. He's worth that. Well - why wouldn't he? He comes from a family which every member is really master in his/her thing. Weasleys are really underestimated. Wait for the battles and you'll see their strengh.

HarryPotter
June 21st, 2004, 1:25 pm
I have very long fingers as well... once, when looking through my Quiromancy books, in a pathetic attempt for reading the lines of my hand, I found the meaning of long fingers... they represent the artistic side of the person, the creativity, the intelligence, spirituallity, the look for the inner self...

offca
June 21st, 2004, 1:27 pm
I was right :) my inner eye works very well :)))

Cat
June 21st, 2004, 8:56 pm
In the HP Story, Tall and Lean = Powerful Wizard / Witch.


Er... if you say so.

How tall is Hermione? Do we even know? Is Flitwick doomed to uselessness in the series because of he isn't tall? Nope, he's a school Head and, supposedly, a master dueller. Neville is round and, unless I'm mistaken, small but he seems to be quite powerful, magically, when he's not disabled with nervousness. Mrs Weasley is an Order member, which must count for something. Your rule is apparently not very strict.

I think you're hyperbolizing, numenor_maiden :D. I don't think his fingers are described so dramatically often. I agree that physical features seem to be described repeatedly and it is probably just Jo's writing style. It's not a fault in the slightest and nor do I think it jarring in any way. If it was just this one instance (which I didn't even notice) I might have thought bells were ringing, but it seems common throughout to me.

Scarlet Tears
June 21st, 2004, 11:00 pm
Originally posted by Weasley24
I don't remember where I read this, but somewhere along the line I heard something about long fingers meaning more power. You know, the longer the fingers, the more powerful the wizard. Anyone else hear this somewhere too?

I'm not sure if you've ever read The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by Galadriel Waters, but long fingers are mentioned relating to powerful magical ability when referring to goblins. On page 22 it states, "Now, here is the first mention of long fingers on creatures with powerful magic, and it's far from the last." So this idea could apply to creatures as well.

Originally posted by Cat
How tall is Hermione? Do we even know? Is Flitwick doomed to uselessness in the series because of he isn't tall? Nope, he's a school Head and, supposedly, a master dueller. Neville is round and, unless I'm mistaken, small but he seems to be quite powerful, magically, when he's not disabled with nervousness. Mrs Weasley is an Order member, which must count for something. Your rule is apparently not very strict.

Hehe, I doubt Nephel was implying that there is a rule stating all powerful wizards are lean and tall and all weaker ones are short and stubby, but it does seem to be a recurring theme. I agree, however, that descriptions of the physical features of characters are just part of JK Rowling's style, and don't really suggest some sort of mysterious connection. Many authors tend to use physical descriptions to enhance the personality traits of characters, and we as humans tend to associate certain physical features with distinct personalities. For example, you would hardly believe that a person with a warm, infectious smile, rosy cheeks, and sparkling blue eyes was evil. But then again, looks can be deceiving...

Cat
June 22nd, 2004, 1:16 am
For example, you would hardly believe that a person with a warm, infectious smile, rosy cheeks, and sparkling blue eyes was evil. But then again, looks can be deceiving...

Ah, but Jo goes a step further than that. Both Hagrid and Snape have black-coloured eyes, both emphasised in the books, one pair full of warmth and jollity, the other cold and stern.

I think various parts of the body and face are useful for setting the tone of just about anything.

Anyway, I don't think that tall and lean = powerful equation is either a rule or a definite trend. I think it's more of a coincidence. The physiques of the characters tend to be described repeatedly and used to their own advantage, whatever that may be.

With something like fingers, perhaps the descriptions are drawing attention to the hands and what they're doing? Or the fact that, for whatever reason, Harry is not looking the character in the face?

MajorBarcalow
June 22nd, 2004, 1:19 am
I'm not sure if you've ever read The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to the Mysteries of Harry Potter by Galadriel Waters, but long fingers are mentioned relating to powerful magical ability when referring to goblins. On page 22 it states, "Now, here is the first mention of long fingers on creatures with powerful magic, and it's far from the last." So this idea could apply to creatures as well.

Tempting though it be to dismiss this theory based on that source, I am forced to agree with the long fingers = large powers theory, considering that long fingers are associated with

- Dumbledore,
- Voldemort,
- Potter,
- Snape,
- Goblins, and
- Houseelves

and all of these guys either can or we suspect can do way cool tricks. Voldemort, Dumbledore and house elves can Dis/Apparate without making any noise (another sign of mightyness). Potter can pull off the Patronus Charm which is mighty magic indeed. We know something is up Snape's sleeve and we've read all about Goblins and their mad powers. Looks pretty conclusive to me.

Glustin
June 22nd, 2004, 1:24 am
I would think long fingers lead you to be more skilled in handling a wand. Like piano players, or typewriters. It was really scary though, what happened last night. I was watching tv with my mom and she grabbed my hand and said "your fingers are so long". I immediately remembered Voldemort's hands. That, added to the fact that ive always been paper-white and skinny, is really getting to scare me. :sad:

KingsleysCool67
June 22nd, 2004, 7:34 pm
I htink it has alot to do with the fact that she uses long fingers to describe "significant" roles in her stories

Scarlet Tears
June 22nd, 2004, 10:55 pm
Originally posted by Cat
Ah, but Jo goes a step further than that. Both Hagrid and Snape have black-coloured eyes, both emphasised in the books, one pair full of warmth and jollity, the other cold and stern.

Oh, I love how Rowling uses that description to compare the two characters! She is such a wonderful writer.

Originally posted by MajorBarcalow
Tempting though it be to dismiss this theory based on that source, I am forced to agree with the long fingers = large powers theory,

I think you misunderstood me. I was using the source to support the theory that long fingers are an indication of great power, since Weasley24 remembered reading it somewhere. Sorry if I didn't make that very clear :blush:

Originally posted by Glustin
It was really scary though, what happened last night. I was watching tv with my mom and she grabbed my hand and said "your fingers are so long". I immediately remembered Voldemort's hands. That, added to the fact that ive always been paper-white and skinny, is really getting to scare me.

Don't worry, Glustin. I have pretty long, skeletal fingers too, but I'm not evil. Or not that I'm aware of, anyway :scared:

Lestrange
July 15th, 2004, 6:40 am
Actually it's stated that Sirius is taller than Snape, in the scene where dear old Sirius tries to intimidate dear old Snape. Which was strange to read because I personally think of them having quite alike characteristics, a bit like how Snape and Hagrid both have black eyes, but suggest completely opposite imagery as Scarlet Tears and Cat said.

Oh, and I believe its house elves that have quite a loud disapparation sound, like a loud snap or crack, suggesting it might not be apparation at all, and then most likely just related to the powers of house elves.

I'm not sure if this has already been suggested in someone else's posts, but, perhaps JK associates being tall and lean with magical power herself, or perhaps with the elegance with which one composes magic?

I mean, the imagery one derives from it is quite impressive in itself. A wizard, tall, skinny and possibly lanky with large hands, twirling a long thin wand between his long fingers, thinking up some obscure piece of magic from some trivial book or other.

As opposed to Umbridge doing magic, the squat little thing, with her chubby fingers and stubby wand, in contemplation of using the Cruciatus Curse, "choosing spots". :p

Tearbear
July 15th, 2004, 7:06 am
Because you know JKR, she always reminds you what a person looks like basically in every book.

filius
July 15th, 2004, 8:43 am
It might make sense if Ollivanders is an occlumens. He knows what sort of wand they might need. Thats why he likes a chalenge :)

red_fairy
July 16th, 2004, 4:37 am
Ollivander had long fingers too, right?

I also wonder if long fingers are used to show wandsize. Umbridge's is tiny and she has short stubby fingers. But I doubt that she is a great wizard.

Remus Black
July 19th, 2004, 12:26 am
Maybe it just means they are very, very old.
Just a thought. :p