Monday 4 May 2020

Norbert's Teddy

I've been anticlimactixorcised, or that's the way it feels . . .Yes I know that's not a word but it precisely describes my reaction to finishing Harry Potter Book One, so it is a word now!.

I've spent the whole book, (which is after all called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone), waiting so see what Harry or Dumbledore do with the Philosopher's stone, when they inevitably triumph over the many adversaries standing in their way after getting past Fluffy and gaining entrance to the trapdoor. 

By the way - am I alone in thinking that playing music (any music - even Harry on flute!), is a pretty soppy way of defeating the fearsome Fluffy!  Not very magical or wizardly, was it?

Sorry - got side-tracked there, as I was saying - Hagrid gets drunk and accepts a dragon's egg from a stranger in an Inn because he always wanted a dragon, and then hatches a Norwegian Ridgeback egg in his hut with a flame thrower. 

The dragon bit was very amusing - Hagrid found out that Dragons don't stay cute for long, and raising a fire breathing mischievous infant (Norbert), in a wooden hut may not have been his greatest idea! 

Hagrid's short spell (groan), as Norbert's Mummy comes to a sensible end, when Ron's Brother Charlie from Romania, (who is conveniently studying dragons) agrees to collect Norbert, and the baby dragon is crated up for shipment.  This leads to my very favourite bit in all of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

"He's got lots o' rats an' some brandy fer the journey,' said Hagrid in a muffled voice.  'An' I've packed his teddy bear in case he gets lonely.'   From inside the crate came ripping noises that sounded to Harry as though teddy was having his head torn off.

Pure inventive genius! firstly giving a (presumably furry and slightly inflammable?) teddy to a dragon is just brilliant - and Hagrid's poignant parting words to Norbert - "Mummy will never forget you!"


Norbert's Teddy.
Either way - that's it - I've finished a whole Harry Potter Book.

The anti-climax? - well, having spent the entire book leading up to capturing the mystical and powerful Philosopher's stone, (apparently the book was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone in America). - I'm not sure if the stone got renamed throughout the american edition. 

Either way - Harry got the stone from the mirror of Erised, and just managed to keep it out of the clutches of the evil Quirrell, - who turned out to be the REAL villain!!! - that was well hidden! - (I might even have to say sorry to Professor Snape, who I had previously been mentally booing throughout the book). 

Then all we learn about the stone, is that when Harry comes round after the struggle with Quirrell and Voldemort, with Dumbledore looking after him in the infirmary, it turns out that Dumbledore had discussed the stone's future with the mysterious Nicolas Flamel while Harry was unconscious.

Dumbledore just said "As for the Stone, it has been destroyed".

What? - that's it? and anyway - with all these Wizards and dark arts practitioners around - what does 'Destroyed' actually mean - has it REALLY been destroyed? or will it return?


  1. Apparently publishers thought American kids wouldn't read a book with philosopher in the title, so it was renamed. Probably accurate.

  2. In response to your comment about playing music to subdue Fluffy not being particularly magical, I'd just like to point out one of my favourite (and in my opinion, most underrated) Dumbledore quotes. I believe this occurs in the first book? After everyone sings the school song, Dumbledore says that music is "magic beyond anything we do here" or something along those lines. So lulling Fluffy with music, one could argue, is quite magical indeed! I'm loving these entries. As someone who does annual re-readings of the HP series, it's lovely to experience it for the first time again vicariously through someone else :)

  3. Your thoughts on Hagrid's irrationality made me laugh so hard, I had to read them to my husband (who's only seen the movie). XD
    I understand about the Philosopher's stone, but I can tell you that you won't expect most plot twists, and especially the final ones. Voldemort won't be easy to defeat, and for very interesting reasons. ;)


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