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Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 6:58 pm
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Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

This has been nagging at me like a piece of steak caught between my teeth. I just keep digging at it, but just can't dig it out.

Why did JKR feel that we needed to be introduced to "The Other Minister"?

We already knew that some things of the Wizarding World, especially in times of turmoil, spill over to the Muggle World. But JKR devoted an entire chapter to introducing us to the leader of Muggle Britain, but after that, she has nothing to say about it.

If it was merely to introduce us to Scrimgeour, she could have done that another way, without introducing the Muggle World.

This maybe telling.

With all the speculation about Book 7 coming out and the title, are we looking in the wrong place?


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  #2  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:00 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

No, there wasn't really anything more to that chapter except to show us the murders of Bones? and introduce Scringemour, and also the Giants attack.


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  #3  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:11 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

JK always intended to write things like that...in fact, we're told that the wizard population is up in arms with Fudge because he'd made the Muggle Prime Minister aware of Black's escape. The chapter serves to enforce the fact that not all Muggles are unaware of Wizards and that the wizard war is having harmful effects to the Muggle population.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugglenet/TLC Interview
MA: Yeah, Chapter 1, and current world events, specifically in the last four years. Terrorism and the like - has it factored into your writing; has it shaped your writing?

JKR: No, never consciously, in the sense that I've never thought, "It's time for a post-9/11 Harry Potter book," no. But what Voldemort does, in many senses, is terrorism, and that was quite clear in my mind before 9/11 happened. I was going to read last night [ie, do the midnight reading at the castle] from Chapter 1. That was the reading until the 7th of July [bombings in London]. It then became quite clear to me that it was going to be grossly inappropriate for me to read a passage in which the Muggle Prime Minister is discussing a mass Muggle killing. It just wasn't appropriate, as there are touches of levity in there. It was totally inappropriate, so that's when I had to change, and I decided to go for the joke shop, which is all very symbolic because, of course, Harry said to Fred and George, "I've got a feeling we'll all be needing a few laughs before long." It all ties together nicely. So no, not consciously, but there are parallels, obviously. I think one of the times I felt the parallels was when I was writing about the arrest of Stan Shunpike, you know? I always planned that these kinds of things would happen, but these have very powerful resonances, given that I believe - and many people believe - that there have been instances of persecution of people who did not deserve to be persecuted, even while we're attempting to find the people who have committed utter atrocities. These things just happen, it's human nature. There were some very startling parallels at the time I was writing it.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:18 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Yes, I believe it shows us the connection of the two worlds and shows us how they can rely on each other because they really do affect each other. There is a balance that is needed and shows the importance of both.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:22 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

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Originally Posted by kingwidgit View Post
The chapter serves to enforce the fact that not all Muggles are unaware of Wizards and that the wizard war is having harmful effects to the Muggle population.
That was, of course, my first thought on the subject, but she really did not need to enforce that thought using the Prime Minister. We know it simply because the Dursleys are Muggles who...ahem...raised Harry with full knowledge of the existence of Wizards and that world.

I am of the mindset that her introduction of the Prime Minister, a man of huge influence in the Muggle World, foreshadows...pardon me for saying this...All Hell Breaking Loose in the Wizarding World, and it spilling uncontrollably over to the Muggle World.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:24 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Yes
Because wizards war in harming muggle world too.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:29 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
I am of the mindset that her introduction of the Prime Minister, a man of huge influence in the Muggle World, foreshadows...pardon me for saying this...All Hell Breaking Loose in the Wizarding World, and it spilling uncontrollably over to the Muggle World.
too late!

i think it was because then they could be on the lookout for DE's and target and attack them.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:32 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I agree with people here: because it shows that the wizard war is affecting the muggles' lives, too. I doubt the Prime Minister of Britain will play much of a role in the seventh book; perhaps he will help catch Death Eaters by making an announcement to the general public like he did when Sirius Black escaped, but I doubt that will be much help in capturing (or re-capturing) DEs.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:38 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I was wondering about this very subject last night - especially in terms of Kingsley's placement as his secretary. A few thoughts came into my mind while thinking about it:
1. We know that a muggle can be imperius'd...but can a muggle be impersonated with Polyjuice potion? Could Kingsley be forced to intercept a DE disguised as another minister on his / her way in to try to imperius or kill the PM?
2. Could some actions of the ministry or Harry need to be covered up by the PM?

The point that things were being noticed by the muggle world was well-made, and it was important to make...it just seemed a little strange that the subject dropped off the map entirely afterwards...


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:38 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

But it would keep people on the lookout and keep them reletivly safe.


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  #11  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 7:42 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I don't think that the war has spilled uncontrollably over to the Muggle World yet. It still isn't to the point of skirmishes in the streets of the Wizard World yet, just subversive, underworld cloak and dagger stuff. We haven't yet seen the battlelines being drawn yet.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:25 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I think it was just a good way for JKR to start off the book - give a brief summary of the major events in previous books, and describe (from a Muggle perspective, for once) how the war is going.
Personally, I think it is a brilliant first chapter, and I like it better every time I read it. Of course, that's the way it is for every other part of the book, too


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:30 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I think that he will have a bigger part in book 7. I think that Voldemort and his Death Eaters will try to do more harm to the muggles so I just think that he might not really have that great of a part, well I dont really no....lol


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:36 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
I was wondering about this very subject last night - especially in terms of Kingsley's placement as his secretary. A few thoughts came into my mind while thinking about it:
1. We know that a muggle can be imperius'd...but can a muggle be impersonated with Polyjuice potion? Could Kingsley be forced to intercept a DE disguised as another minister on his / her way in to try to imperius or kill the PM?
2. Could some actions of the ministry or Harry need to be covered up by the PM?

The point that things were being noticed by the muggle world was well-made, and it was important to make...it just seemed a little strange that the subject dropped off the map entirely afterwards...
That is possible. There is also the chance that the Other Minister's oponant, who is mentioned quite a few times in that chapter, could be a Death Eater trying to gain a position of power.


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  #15  
Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:50 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

As some have said, it was simply a way to start the book, and to show that the events of the Wizarding world are starting to affect the Muggle world. Could she have done this without introducing the Prime Minister? Of course. But she is a writer, and she is very creative, and I think this was a creative way to show what's been going on in the interim between books five and six. She could have had, like, Mrs. Weasley telling Harry everything that had gone on, or Ron and Hermione telling him, but that had been done before. I think it's creative, but I don't think the Prime Minister really plays any more part in the books, except perhaps as the comic relief that he played in that first chapter.

I think Kingsley has become the PM's "bodyguard," basically, because Voldemort craves power and sees anyone who has power as a rival. I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination to believe that Voldemort, once he had subdued the Wizarding world, would attempt to do the same thing in the Muggle world (there's never enough power for those who crave it). This would of course entail "taking out" the PM, either by killing him or by Imperiusing him. That is why the Ministry feels it necessary to post someone to keep an eye on things.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:11 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Yeah, I think it's just a good way of summarising the major events of the previous books and filling us in on what's been going on between books 5 and 6.

Actually, I only really twigged onto the fact that the Ministry of Magic connects to the British government at all because of that chapter! I thought it was a completely seperate entity whereas in fact it's kind of like the Department of Health or the Department of Trade and Industry but it connects to the wizarding world so us muggles don't know about it. (Lol, can you tell I don't know much about politics?! )


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:20 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahner13 View Post
I think Kingsley has become the PM's "bodyguard," basically, because Voldemort craves power and sees anyone who has power as a rival. I don't think it's a stretch of the imagination to believe that Voldemort, once he had subdued the Wizarding world, would attempt to do the same thing in the Muggle world (there's never enough power for those who crave it). This would of course entail "taking out" the PM, either by killing him or by Imperiusing him. That is why the Ministry feels it necessary to post someone to keep an eye on things.
About Kingsley I agree, but I think that since his introduction in OoTP he has only played peripheral parts. Now that he has been introduced as The Prime Minister's bodyguard it seems to suggest that the MoM does fear for his safety. Hence, since JKR made a point of us knowing this too, it could be that we will see a direct assault on the Muggle World, by trying to undermine the Muggle authorities, namely The Prime Minister.


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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:23 pm
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

She's trying to show the relationship between the Muggle and Wizarding worlds. I think it's a great chapter because it really gives us insight into the Muggle Minister's mind.


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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:00 am
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

Like others have said before me, I think Jo was trying to convey the parallels between the muggle and magical worlds. She was showing how they are connected, even if muggles don't know it. It made me think of today's terrorism and how that relates to LV tactics. It also made me wonder about the connection between Grindelwald and 1945 (when I read the TLC/MN interview I was glad they asked about that!).
I agree with Rahner13 that it probably foreshadowed LV trying to take over more than Hogwarts and the wizarding world!

It also served as an interesting way to 'bring us up to date', but I think that was besides the point. Didn't she say she orginally wanted to use that chapter at the beginning of CoS? I wonder if she wanted to use it in CoS because it related to the anti-muggle/mudblood attacks? The scene would have been totally different because LV wasn't back to destroy bridges and murder ministry witches. So, if she wanted to use it earlier, before LV was back, then does that mean the signifigance isn't the terrorism and murders, but something that relates to muggles and muggle-born witches and wizards?
Obviously, I think this chapter is very relavant. IMO, Jo wouldn't start the second to last book with a chapter that only served the purpose of catching us up in a new way. That would be too random, and as we know Jo is not random about what she includes. Yes, she uses red herrings, but not an entire chapter that is just fluff, especially to start the book!


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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:40 am
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Re: Why did JKR feel it was necessary for us to know the Prime Minister of Britain?

I think the answer is simple, that JKR wanted to stress that was Voldemort is back and active its spreads, and has far reaching consequences surpassing the wizarding world and spreads into the muggle world.


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