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Comparing objects that can think for themselves



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 1st, 2005, 9:17 am
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Comparing objects that can think for themselves

In the HP books, there are various objects that can think for themselves:

The Marauder's Map
The Sorting Hat
The Pensieve
The Foe Glass
The Mirror of Erised
Magical Paintings
Magical Photos
Tom Riddle's Diary
The Pocket Sneakoscope
The Quick Quotes Quill

There are other threads about each of these objects, but this thread is for comparing how these objects work, and contrast them to one another.

Arthur Weasley warns his children about objects that can think for themselves, when you "can't see where it keeps its brain". Tom Riddle's diary was clearly dangerous. But how about the sorting hat? Is it harmless? Or is it potentially dangerous too?

And how do these objects work? In some of them, a person has left an imprint of themselves. This is the case with the Marauders Map, the paintings, the diary, and the sorting hat. How true to the creator are these objects?

A quote from JKR might shed some light on this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKR
When the Marauder's Map is insulting Snape, how did Prongs write his insult as he's dead?

Wizards have ways of making sure their voices are heard after their death - think of Bertha Jorkins rising out of the Pensieve in 'Goblet of Fire', the Sorting Hat continuing to spout the wisdom of the Founders hundreds of years after their deaths, the ghosts walking around Hogwarts, the portraits of dead headmasters and mistresses in Dumbledore's office, not to mention Mrs. Black's portrait in number twelve, Grimmauld Place... there are other examples, too, of which the Marauder's Map is merely one. It is not really Prongs writing the insult to Snape, it is as though he left a magical recording of his voice within the map.
From http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/faq_view.cfm?id=103

I got the idea for this thread after some discussion about the Map and the Hat at Deconstructing the Marauders. So I would like to start off the discussion with some quotes from there, that I thought were particularly good and thought provoking:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan
I agree, in the hands of a Death Eater, the Marauders Map is a map to Hogwarts that can show someone a lot of inside information about the castle. Though this was clearly not the intention of the Marauders when they created it, this application of the Map is certainly plausible.

You know, even though the Map shares some similarities with Tom Riddle's diary, it does have several differences. For instance, the personalities on the Map are incapable of becoming real, like Riddle was able to get out of the pages of the diary and become real rather than a mere memory (which is in fact what the diary was designed to do). In this respect, the Map is much less malicious than the diary. Another difference between the Map and the diary is that the Map doesn't have any enchanting quality about it, ie it doesn't entrap the user the way the diary does when Tom Riddle pours his soul into the user. The Map may encourage the user to cause mischief, but it doesn't force them to. I think what Lupin meant when he said the mapmakers would have wanted to lure Harry out of the castle refers to the fact that they would have wanted Harry to follow in their footsteps. Later on, Lupin tells Harry that James would have been highly disappointed if his son hadn't found any of the secret passages out of the castle, so I think Lupin's statement reflects the fact that the Marauders probably wanted Harry to continue their legacy. I also think he probably meant that it would have been highly amusing to them to watch someone else using their creation to get into trouble and avoid being caught (the most amusing part would likely be Filch's frustration when he is unable to catch a student using the map because they can easily evade Filch).

Something that struck me as interesting is the similarities between the Marauders Map and the Sorting Hat. Both items don't have a 'brain' where you can see it, like the diary; both were made by four people, one of which turned bad (Salazar Slytherin and Peter). True, the Sorting Hat was Gryffindor's hat originally, but it must have some bit of the other three founders in its 'brains' in order to correctly sort the students based on what things the other three founders were looking for. Another superficial similarity is that both items are judgmental: in a way, the Map is judgmental in its insults, and of course the Sorting Hat has to judge students' characteristics. Finally, I believe that the Map and the Sorting Hat may have more to them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingBard
I think the two have more in common with each other than either does with Riddle's diary. One of the dangers of the diary is that it has just one personality within it. Neither the hat nor the map have that same sense of purpose which comes from an individual. While one of the founders might want the hat to do more, its actions are limited by the need for unanimity between its four personas. The same is true for the map. It would be interesting if Harry could talk with the map. What would teenage Wormtail say?
two quotes
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subtle Science
It seems to me that Voldmeort sucked in the majority of his supporters and followers. They weren't idiots--how much easier it would be to defeat them and him if only they were a pack of dimwits. Instead, various people took the baits offered, custom tailored to tempt them--whether it was a belief in pureblood supremacy or a desire to be protected or cowardice or a chance to pursue forbidden knowledge. There is an air of the serpent in the Garden to Voldemort's covert operation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Ink Pot
I highlighted a great point you made, subtle. When I read that, what came into my mind suddenly was the "Mirror of Erised," another object with a mind of its own that shows people what they want - not the truth, but what they want the truth to be, "custom tailored," as you so aptly put it! The fact that Voldemort is a Legillimens means he sees people desires as clearly as he sees their fears, and as Snape tells Harry, that is "handing him weapons."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagarundi
The Marauder's Map: The idea that Dark Magic or even "iffy" magic was used in the creation of the Map has never appealed to me. In fact I don't believe Dark Magic was used in the creation of Riddle's Diary (unless I've forgotten something). Both the Map and especially the Dairy seem to be adaptations of the Pensieve magic (so unless Dumbledore regularly uses Dark Magic). They preserve some of a person(s) within themselves and allow that information to be used/manipulated/etc. Riddle's Diary and the Map behave according to the intentions of there creators...the Dairy seduced a young girl and used her to free the memories within while the Map helps Harry get up to mischief and insults Snape (which seems consistent given what the Marauders thought of Snape).

I've always toyed with the theory that the Map was actually a clever way of tapping into Hogwarts's existing security system. This is assuming there some sort of security beyond the teachers...isn't Flitwick said to teach the Front Doors to recognize Sirius in PoA, doesn't Dumbledore say that he's watched Harry closely, and the Headmaster's office can clearly make choices (it locks Umbridge out).

I think that the main threat from the Map comes from the fact that certain people (Dumbledore, McGonagall, and maybe Snape) don't know about or in Snape's case doesn't understand/can't function with the Map. If Sirius Black, the Death Eaters, Dumbledore, and Lord Voldemort can all hide from the full might of the Ministry of Magic, at some time or another, then I doubt it would be that hard to create a method to "cloak" (to use the Sci-Fi term) yourself from the Map (unless the Marauders were even smarter then we are led to believe).
Thanks to Silver Ink Pot for helping me start this thread.


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  #2  
Old June 1st, 2005, 9:39 am
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I think the paintings are an interesting example.

In most other cases the personality that the creator builds into the object is his or her own (e.g. Riddle's Diary, the Marauder's Map). In the case of the paintings the creator is imbuing them with the personality of the sitter which, unless it is a self portrait, is someone else.

Would it be easier to use someone else like this than to create an object that is a likeness of yourself?

Does the sitter have to be a willing participant in this process? Or can the painter trap part of the sitter without his permission or even without his knowledge? This reminds me of the fear that some peoples had of photographs because they felt that an image trapped part of their soul.

Does the personality of the painting then reflect the personality of the sitter or the painter's perception of the personality of the sitter? If the sitter is unhappy about being painted or sitting still is that feeling of unease forever reflected in the personality of the painting?


Perhaps I am too focuesed on one ides for this thread. If I am I appologise.

Roz.


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  #3  
Old June 1st, 2005, 10:09 am
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Quote:
The Marauder's Map
The Sorting Hat
The Pensieve
The Foe Glass
The Mirror of Erised
Magical Paintings
Magical Photos
Tom Riddle's Diary
The Pocket Sneakoscope
okay, I'm gonna take this step by step, otherwise I'm going to get confused.

Now from the above items only few have actual 'brains'. These items, in my opinion, are the Sorting Hat, Tom Riddle's Diary, The Magical Photos and The Paintings. Here I take the defenition of having a brain to mean 'having a will or choice to do something'. that is, these items are acting out their actions on their own. In the case of Riddle's Diary, this proved very dangerous. But when Mr. Weasley told Ginny not to trust objects which can think for themselves I think he should have been a bit more specific. I think objects with brains are only dangerous when their creators have made tham for evil. Tom put a part of himself in his diary, to complete the work of Slytherin after he (Tom) left the school. The making of the diary had evil purposes. However other 'with-brain' items like the Sorting Hat were not formed for evil. The Sorting Hat was made to Sort and only to Sort.
From my above theories, I'm guessing that the 'brains' that the objects are supplied with do not give the objects full will over their actions. They are made to do a duty and they have to stick to that. The Diary was made to get rid of Muggle-Borns and so that is what it did. Under no circumstances could it have an attack of consiounce (Spelling?) and change its ways to good. Same with the Hat; it cannot turn evil since it was not made to be evil. These objects may be able to communicate but their communication is like a shodow of those who made them. Diary-Tom was like Tom Riddle except for the fact that he had no choice in his doings. The Hat takes on the characteristics of Gryffindor and the other Founders except that it can only Sort.
The Magical Photos and Paintings are similar but different at the same time. While the paintings seem to take on the characteristics that they were painted to have, the Photos seem to take on the characteristics of the Thoughts of their members. For example, in the Harry-Lockhart photo taken by Colin Creevey, Harry is trying his best to get out of the picture, reflecting the thoughts of real Harry while the picture was being taken. Also for paintings the Fat Lady is the best example. She was painted to be kindly but firm. No matter what, she was not to allow anyone to enter the Common Room without the password, and she never has. She did not even allow Sirius to enter when he pulled out a knife. Now compare her to Sir Codagon, who was not painted for Common-Room guarding. He allowed Sirius to enter with the passwords even though it was quite obvious that he was not to be allowed in. I am sure this would not have been the course of action the Fat Lady would have taken.
So, what I've been saying, in short, is that although these objects seem to have brains they do not have full will that should come with a brain. They have been made for one task and theyhave to follow that task, no matter what.


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Old June 1st, 2005, 11:52 am
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I don't think the sorting hat is evil, or the things which deffinatly have a known root, it's when you don't know the root that I think you should be careful, I think... the painting of real people I think could be good or bad, depending on the peron they were off, I guess the same is true of paintings of fictional characters.

You forgot Rita Skeeter's quik quotes quill by the way, that's poison!


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Old June 1st, 2005, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucybird
You forgot Rita Skeeter's quik quotes quill by the way, that's poison!
Good point! I'll edit my first post and add the quick quotes quill to the list! Thanks!

Glad to see that people are responding to my thread, by the way.


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  #6  
Old June 1st, 2005, 12:14 pm
James Macca  Male.gif James Macca is offline
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hmm
very interesting thread. nice one!!
umm..
im kind of with what mimble wimble says..
although i think that the marauders map also has a brain, it can react spontaneously to situations as well.. as we see when it pays snape out..
what i would love to know, is how it knows who each person.. i mean, it can even identify people who werent born when it was made, that seems pretty amazing and as if it would require some kind of thought in order to do so. either that or it taps into some form of security measure hogwarts uses..
i also think it can be hoodwinked, for example, everytime dumbledore is seen with it, he is pacing in his office, how often do we actually see dumbledore pace when we come face to face with him in the books?
off the top of my head, i cant remember any instances of this behaviour from him, there could be some that i may have forgotten however..
i also think, that all objects whos "brains you can't see" have an inherent purpose and desire which is stimulated by this purpose.. i.e, riddles diary, stamps out mudbloods. paintings dumbledores office serve the headmaster.. marayders map, gets its owner into mischief, or at least promotes the love of mischief of the owner.. sorting hat, sorts the students and holds the wisdom of the four..

so, i also dont think that the sorting hat, or any of the other "magically thinking" objects, other than the diary of course, have either the will, or the strength (for lack of a better word) to do evil..
thats just what i think.. feel free to shoot me down haha


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Old June 1st, 2005, 12:39 pm
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Yeah, I've been wondering how some objects function. Take the Foe Glass for instance. It shows the enemies of it's owner. Like for Barty Crouch Jr. it showed Dumbledore, since he was his enemy. But I'm sure for Harry it'd show LV or DeathEaters or something. How exactly can the Foe Glass know who its owners enemies are?


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Old June 1st, 2005, 12:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
Yeah, I've been wondering how some objects function. Take the Foe Glass for instance. It shows the enemies of it's owner. Like for Barty Crouch Jr. it showed Dumbledore, since he was his enemy. But I'm sure for Harry it'd show LV or DeathEaters or something. How exactly can the Foe Glass know who its owners enemies are?
Yes, good point. And does it show the enemies of the owner, or the enemies of the one looking into it? We discussed this a few days ago in the thread "The development of Snape's character through OoTP". In the scene where McGonagall, Dumbledore and Snape burst into FakeMoody's office (end of GoF), everybody in the rooms sees the images of those three in the mirror. They were Fake Moody's enemies, so it makes sense that if the Foe Glass shows the owner's enemies only, it would show McGonagall, Dumbledore and Snape to everyone in the room. Later on in the scene, Snape looks in the Foe Glass. Severa78 suggested that Snape does this to see if he sees himself, in order to check his own true loyality. If he sees himself, it means that he is an enemy of Crouch jr, and thus an enemy of Voldemort.

But this means that the Foe Glass can't be lent or re-sold. Or does it get tuned in with each new owner? If you borrow somebody else's Foe Glass, would you only see the owner's enemies still, and not your own? Is a borrowed Foe Glass useless, unless you and the owner share enemies? The Foe Glass turns up in the Room of Requirement. Why would the DA group require a Foe Glass that only shows enemies of Crouch Jr., that is, themselves?


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  #9  
Old June 1st, 2005, 1:03 pm
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Hmmm. Well, if the Foe Glass does only show its owners enemies it'd be a great way to check whether a person is loyal to LV or not. Give them a Foe Glass and wait for the enemies to appear!
Anyway, Harry does say in OotP that the Foe Glass should not be trusted, which for some time really confused me. Why should it not be trusted? Seems to me that it's told the truth every time we've heard of it.


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Old June 1st, 2005, 1:03 pm
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Hi Norbertha !!!
Great idea , starting this thread !!
I thought a lot about the Pensieve and the Diary , but before I begin posting , I want you to think about this - The Room of Requirement .
Does it have a brain of its own , can it think for itself ? I believe so . OK , it is the person who requires it who decides what to use it for , but the Room comes up with whatever it thinks will be of most requirement to the users . For instance , Harry , in OOTP , only thought of getting a place where they can practise spells , where they cannot be found , but the Room provided books and a Foe - glass , neither of which he specifically asked for , and I doubt if Ron and Hermione , the fellow pacers with Harry , asked for all that they found inside.

There , I've made my case , and it's your turn to decide . I feel that the Room also holds good potential as a topic of discussion and can improve this thread , that's all .

CHEERS !


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Old June 1st, 2005, 1:08 pm
Mimble_Wimble  Female.gif Mimble_Wimble is offline
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Yeah, the ROR should be added although its not an object. It has a wierd way of functioning. It actually can tap into the pacer's mind, even when they are outside the room.
Boy, Hogwarts sure is strange...


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Old June 1st, 2005, 1:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
She was painted to be kindly but firm. No matter what, she was not to allow anyone to enter the Common Room without the password, and she never has. She did not even allow Sirius to enter when he pulled out a knife. Now compare her to Sir Codagon, who was not painted for Common-Room guarding. He allowed Sirius to enter with the passwords even though it was quite obvious that he was not to be allowed in. I am sure this would not have been the course of action the Fat Lady would have taken.
So, what I've been saying, in short, is that although these objects seem to have brains they do not have full will that should come with a brain. They have been made for one task and theyhave to follow that task, no matter what.
I don't think the paintings were created for guarding purposes. I think they were painted for whatever reason muggles paint, and later picked for the job depending on their "personality". We've seen even unfinished paintings having the ability to think and talk
(Nigellus in 12GP),and I doubt the empty canvas was intended to be Dumbledore's spy inside Black Manor.

As for having full will.. I agree, they don't. There's a limit to what a painting or a picture can "think", and that is the personality of the subject. Same goes for the "personalities" inside the Map or the Hat. Obviously, there's also a limit in what the objects can do. Gryffindor would have gone hunting for the basilisk himself, but the hat can't do that..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbertha
But this means that the Foe Glass can't be lent or re-sold. Or does it get tuned in with each new owner? If you borrow somebody else's Foe Glass, would you only see the owner's enemies still, and not your own? Is a borrowed Foe Glass useless, unless you and the owner share enemies? The Foe Glass turns up in the Room of Requirement. Why would the DA group require a Foe Glass that only shows enemies of Crouch Jr., that is, themselves?
I noticed for the first time the FoeGlass works much differently from the Mirror of Erised (even though they may look alike at first). The Mirror doesn't work if more than one person is standing in front of it, the FoeGlass, instead, shows the "foes" to anyone watching. Interesting difference. Wasn't the purpose of the thread to compare them?


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  #13  
Old June 1st, 2005, 1:18 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albie
Hi Norbertha !!!
Great idea , starting this thread !!
I thought a lot about the Pensieve and the Diary , but before I begin posting , I want you to think about this - The Room of Requirement .
Does it have a brain of its own , can it think for itself ? I believe so . OK , it is the person who requires it who decides what to use it for , but the Room comes up with whatever it thinks will be of most requirement to the users . For instance , Harry , in OOTP , only thought of getting a place where they can practise spells , where they cannot be found , but the Room provided books and a Foe - glass , neither of which he specifically asked for , and I doubt if Ron and Hermione , the fellow pacers with Harry , asked for all that they found inside.

There , I've made my case , and it's your turn to decide . I feel that the Room also holds good potential as a topic of discussion and can improve this thread , that's all .

CHEERS !
Hi, Albie.

Yes, the Room of Requirement seems to know what the person needs in a greater detail than the person actually asks for. It also seems to pull objects from other parts of the castle. Remember when Dumbledore found it full of chamber pots?

Perhaps we should make a distinction between objects that have a voice, and those who have brains, but no voice? (As opposed to those that have a voice, but no brains, such as the Weasley's mirror, which says "tuck your shirt in, Scruffy!" and the poster of Harry that says "eat dung, Umbridge").

Have a voice:

The Marauder's Map
The Sorting Hat
Magical Paintings
Tom Riddle's Diary
The Quick Quotes Quill

Don't have a voice:

The Pensieve
The Foe Glass
The Mirror of Erised
Magical Photos
The Pocket Sneakoscope
The Room of Requirement


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  #14  
Old June 1st, 2005, 1:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
Also for paintings the Fat Lady is the best example. She was painted to be kindly but firm. No matter what, she was not to allow anyone to enter the Common Room without the password, and she never has. She did not even allow Sirius to enter when he pulled out a knife. Now compare her to Sir Codagon, who was not painted for Common-Room guarding. He allowed Sirius to enter with the passwords even though it was quite obvious that he was not to be allowed in. I am sure this would not have been the course of action the Fat Lady would have taken.
Was the Fat Lady painted to be kindly but firm (as you said) or was she chosen for door duty because that was the personality of the Fat Lady? I think it was the latter. Sir Cadogan was told that he was to let no one in without the password. I don't believe he was given any further instruction than that. He let Sirius in because he had the password. Sir Cadogan may have seen Sirius pass by his portrait many times while he was a student at Hogwarts, but may not have known who he was. The Fat Lady, having let Sirius into Gryffindor Tower all throughout his student years, recognized him.

But that brings us to how much leeway the Fat Lady had; how much was she allowed to "think" in performing her duties? If she was told under no circumstances to let Sirius Black in, even if he had the password, obviously she wouldn't have done it. If he had the password, I think she would have had no choice but to let him in. I think her original enchantment allowed her to make that one choice only. Password (enter); no password (no entry).

I also think that Sir Cadogan was under the same enchantment because no one thought that Sirius would ever get the passwords. Neville lost them, but I'm sure he never reported it to McGonnagall or there would have been a new password or additional security measures taken.

DD's office: This might be another case of the portraits taking action. Is it his office that sealed itself against Umbridge or did the portraits do that? I'm inclined to think it was the portraits. They are obligated to help the current headmaster, and they certainly knew that DD was the rightful headmaster. They would have been appalled at any Ministry interference during their tenure as headmaster and I think they took action immediately to protect the office and keep it safe for DD's return.


  #15  
Old June 1st, 2005, 3:02 pm
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Great Thread, Norbertha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
The Sorting Hat was made to Sort and only to Sort.
Hi, Mimble-Wimble! Great name, lol.

The Sorting Hat considers itself a "thinking hat," as it says in one of it's songs. It gives a warning in Book 5, and Hermione wonders aloud if it has ever given warnings before. That seems like a very interactive thing for the Hat to do, if all it does is sort. It also seems to rather be sorry for its role, and I'm unsure whether this is the "voice" of the founders or the Hat itself:

"Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting
May not bring the end I fear."

The words I highlighted imply some sort of conscience in the hat, perhaps put there by the good intentions of the original founders who wanted to protect the school. I can easily compare that to the Marauder's Map, which "wants" to lure students out of the school to do mischief, and seems to have no conscience about the danger to the student, or the insults to "teachers," Snape especially.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
These objects may be able to communicate but their communication is like a shodow of those who made them. Diary-Tom was like Tom Riddle except for the fact that he had no choice in his doings.
Actually, if you read the scenes at the end of CoS, it is clear that Tom in the Diary lured Ginny in and systematically broke her down, in spite of "boredom" with an "eleven-year-old-girl." The Diary seems incredibly aware, being happy when Harry finds it after Ginny tries to flush it. It is alot like the Marauder's Map, interacting with person whom it "wants" to read it. Hermione tried all sorts of spells on it to no avail, which is like Snape and the Marauder's Map. The object didn't "want" Hermione, it wanted Harry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimble_Wimble
Yeah, I've been wondering how some objects function. Take the Foe Glass for instance. It shows the enemies of it's owner. Like for Barty Crouch Jr. it showed Dumbledore, since he was his enemy. But I'm sure for Harry it'd show LV or DeathEaters or something. How exactly can the Foe Glass know who its owners enemies are?
Those are very good questions! Even though Barty Crouch was a DE, thought to have died long ago, when Harry looks into the Glass while Barty is Fake Moody, he sees only shadows. Does it see Moody's foes? Or Barty Crouch's Foes? Hmmmmm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbertha
But this means that the Foe Glass can't be lent or re-sold. Or does it get tuned in with each new owner? If you borrow somebody else's Foe Glass, would you only see the owner's enemies still, and not your own? Is a borrowed Foe Glass useless, unless you and the owner share enemies? The Foe Glass turns up in the Room of Requirement. Why would the DA group require a Foe Glass that only shows enemies of Crouch Jr., that is, themselves?
The Foe Glass doesn't help the DA at all! Dobby still has to warn them, doesn't he?
Quote:
Originally Posted by albie
The Room of Requirement .
Does it have a brain of its own , can it think for itself ? I believe so . OK , it is the person who requires it who decides what to use it for , but the Room comes up with whatever it thinks will be of most requirement to the users . For instance , Harry , in OOTP , only thought of getting a place where they can practise spells , where they cannot be found , but the Room provided books and a Foe - glass , neither of which he specifically asked for , and I doubt if Ron and Hermione , the fellow pacers with Harry , asked for all that they found inside.

There , I've made my case , and it's your turn to decide . I feel that the Room also holds good potential as a topic of discussion and can improve this thread , that's all .
I totally agree, Albie. And on the other thread we had included the RoR, which "knows" what a person "needs," which is in contrast to the the Mirror of Erised, which "knows" what a person "wants." The two things are not the same, obviously.

I fantasize sometimes about what would be in a RoR for myself, lol. JKR for one thing, with the last chapter of Book 7! Lots of Chocolate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbertha
Perhaps we should make a distinction between objects that have a voice, and those who have brains, but no voice? (As opposed to those that have a voice, but no brains, such as the Weasley's mirror, which says "tuck your shirt in, Scruffy!" and the poster of Harry that says "eat dung, Umbridge").
That is a great idea! I'll try to think of some others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desraelda
But that brings us to how much leeway the Fat Lady had; how much was she allowed to "think" in performing her duties? If she was told under no circumstances to let Sirius Black in, even if he had the password, obviously she wouldn't have done it. If he had the password, I think she would have had no choice but to let him in. I think her original enchantment allowed her to make that one choice only. Password (enter); no password (no entry).
I think the paintings have "jobs," according to the abilities of the subjects in the paintings. A picture of a child wouldn't be given a protective job like the Fat Lady's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desraelda
DD's office: This might be another case of the portraits taking action. Is it his office that sealed itself against Umbridge or did the portraits do that? I'm inclined to think it was the portraits. They are obligated to help the current headmaster, and they certainly knew that DD was the rightful headmaster. They would have been appalled at any Ministry interference during their tenure as headmaster and I think they took action immediately to protect the office and keep it safe for DD's return.
Right - in some ways, all the Headmasters are the same because they can remember what it is like to run the school, so they back Dumbledore even if they don't always agree with him, like Phineas Nigellus. There is a sense of comaraderie and friendship with the current Headmaster.

Desraelda's post made me think of another example: the gargoyles outside McGonagall's office - the one who calls Harry, "Sunny Jim." Perhaps sculpture has properties of the object it represents? A gargoyle is a protective element of architecture, used to "frighten evil spirits" away from Cathedrals, and also used as water spouts. (That is interesting because Snape is compared to a gargoyle - "twice as ugly" - in GoF when Crouch Sr. is in the forest and Snape keeps Harry from running into Dumbledore's office.)


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  #16  
Old June 1st, 2005, 3:13 pm
killmyidols  Female.gif killmyidols is offline
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Okay so one of my pet ideas is that Harry will be able somehow to communicate with his family.
We know that he has a number of wizard photographs of his parents and that judging by their waving and smiling they do recognise Harry but characters in photographs have never been able to talk. So we move on
Paintings can talk so in theory if Harry were to find a painting of his parents they could have a conversation. With Hogwarts castle being full of paintings of old prefects and Head boys/girls I'd say this is more than likely.
Also I'm interested in the Marauders Map. when Snape touched it the marauders could answer back, theoretically could Harry touch it and communicate with them. Would the map know who he was or would it automatically insult him too. are the marauders who speak through the map forever their 14/15/16.. year old selves therefor even if they knew it was Harry potter they would not know that this was James' son because the 15 year old James had no son. Hmm, just some ideas of mine.


  #17  
Old June 1st, 2005, 4:44 pm
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clkginny  Female.gif clkginny is offline
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On another thread I once discussed the apparent dissimilarity between certain portraits. It was noted that The Fat Lady and the headmaster portraits seemed fairly well developed whereas Sir Cadogan and Mrs. Black didn't. My theory on the whole thing is that the developmental level of the portraits is directly related to the amount of interaction they have with living beings.

Pictures are interesting because they seem to keep the characteristics or emotions of the parties involved at the time the picture was taken in some cases and in others they take on the current emotions of the subject. For example, in the picture of the order Moody shows Harry, no one seems bothered by the presence of Wormtail, questionable if they have current knowledge. But then, the picture Percy has of his girlfriend hides when "she" gets blotchy and Percy walks out of the family photograph, questionable if the emotions at the time of the picture are the defining moment.


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  #18  
Old June 1st, 2005, 8:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killmyidols
Paintings can talk so in theory if Harry were to find a painting of his parents they could have a conversation. With Hogwarts castle being full of paintings of old prefects and Head boys/girls I'd say this is more than likely.
Welcome, killmyidols!

I had often wondered if a painting would help Harry understand his parents better, too, until JKR said this in an interview:

http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/art...4/0804-ebf.htm

Quote:
All the paintings we have seen at Hogwarts are of dead people. They seem to be living through their portraits. How is this so? If there was a painting of Harry’s parents, would he be able to obtain advice from them?

That is a very good question. They are all of dead people; they are not as fully realised as ghosts, as you have probably noticed. The place where you see them really talk is in Dumbledore’s office, primarily; the idea is that the previous headmasters and headmistresses leave behind a faint imprint of themselves. They leave their aura, almost, in the office and they can give some counsel to the present occupant, but it is not like being a ghost. They repeat catchphrases, almost. The portrait of Sirius’ mother is not a very 3D personality; she is not very fully realised. She repeats catchphrases that she had when she was alive. If Harry had a portrait of his parents it would not help him a great deal. If he could meet them as ghosts, that would be a much more meaningful interaction, but as Nick explained at the end of Phoenix—I am straying into dangerous territory, but I think you probably know what he explained—there are some people who would not come back as ghosts because they are unafraid, or less afraid, of death.
It doesn't sound like she is planning to put them in a painting, I think because it would give away alot of the plot of the next two books. If Harry could just ask a painting questions, then he wouldn't need to search for answers among living people. I think that is the point of Harry's questioning of Nick at the end of OotP - he doesn't have the answers Harry needs. Luna is much more comforting to him than the ghost, because she gives him hope about living and a way to cope with his grief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killmyidols
Also I'm interested in the Marauders Map. when Snape touched it the marauders could answer back, theoretically could Harry touch it and communicate with them. Would the map know who he was or would it automatically insult him too. are the marauders who speak through the map forever their 14/15/16.. year old selves therefor even if they knew it was Harry potter they would not know that this was James' son because the 15 year old James had no son. Hmm, just some ideas of mine.
I think if the Map wanted to "talk" to Harry, it would have done it long before now, but who knows? However, that would make it even more like Tom Riddle's Diary, which would be pretty freaky.


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  #19  
Old June 1st, 2005, 9:12 pm
Abak  Female.gif Abak is offline
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I think the quote provided by JKR about a potrait of Harry's parents shows that the portraits may not really think for themselves at all. If Mrs. Black's portrait is only repeating catchphrases, it seems that it is more like an imprint similar to a digital recording with more complex computer programming alerting it when to throw out the phrase. Phineus Nigellus, on the other hand, seems to be interacting with more sophistication. People were discussing this same topic on the layers thread today. Someone suggested that there may be different "levels" of portraits.
The quick quotes quills don't seem to be doing much thinking either.


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Last edited by Abak; June 1st, 2005 at 10:42 pm.
  #20  
Old June 1st, 2005, 9:22 pm
mlp36  Undisclosed.gif mlp36 is offline
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I'd be willing to bet that the quick-quotes quill cannot think for itself. I think that it is able to write what Rita is thinking as she interviews someone, and the quill itself wouldn't write if Rita wasn't nearby and telling it what to write. It may not write exactly what she is thinking (meaning it may have been bewitched to embelish on what she is thinking) but I believe she must be present and sending it mental messages in order to work.


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