Episode 233: PoA 21 Revisit – Somewhere in Time

Snape’s vindictiveness reaches an all-time high as he tries to convince the Minister for Magic that Sirius Black is, indeed, a murderer. But Harry and Hermione know the truth, and so does Dumbledore. Three turns does it to send them back in time to make right what could have gone horribly wrong. Join hosts Beth, Eric, Katy and guest host Josh, as they try to understand the mechanics of “Hermione’s Secret,” chapter 21 of Prisoner of Azkaban.

On Episode 233 we discuss…

→ Vindicitive overload – Snape at his worst
→ At first I was afraid, I was petrified
→ Did Snape know about Sirius and Peter back in the day?
→ Time-Turner Apparition
→ Does your chain hang low? Does it wobble to and fro?
→ Laws (and lack thereof) of time travel in the Potterverse
→ Would they have been successful without omniscient Dumbledore?
→ Closed loop! Closed loop! Closed loop!
→ So how old actually is Hermione?
→ Buckbeak is THE BEST
→ White stags in mythology
→ Lunar lessons

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RECAP: EPISODE 232

On this recap we discuss…

→ Platonic and romantic balance
→ Platonic examples in fiction
→ Gay panic
→ Are Hinny really soul mates?
→ Is Ron good enough for Hermione?
→ The destruction of the trio


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  • daveybjones999 .

    Is there any proof that Snape is aware of Pettigrew being a Death Eater. I was under the impression that he didn’t know and that one of the reasons he’s so unreasonable in these chapters isn’t just because of their schoolyard hatred, but because he believes that Sirius betrayed the Potters. Also I was also under the impression that after Voldemort’s defeat the dark mark on the Death Eater’s arms had disappeared and didn’t reappear until after the Quidditch World Cup in book 4. I also don’t think that Voldemort would have told Snape who told him where the Potter’s were. Remember he asked Voldy not to kill Lily, so it’s possible that he wouldn’t tell Snape who told him where they were located, nor when he was going to go over in case Snape decided to try and stop him. As a semi Snape defender there are a lot of very good reasons to hate Snape, but I don’t think this is one of them. Also I do think that the person Snape blames the most for Lily’s death is himself, which is why he is so bitter. It’s just easier for Snape to put all of the blame on Sirius in order to alleviate his own guilt. He’s doing the same thing that Harry does in book 6 with putting the blame on Snape for Sirius’s death even though more of the fault lied with Harry than it did with Snape.

    • UmbridgeRage

      With you on the Dark Mark fading after Voldy’s first downfall as the same thing happens after his final defeat. Don’t think it was visible enough to identify anyone as a Death Eater

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      I agree that Snape didn’t know that Peter was the spy. Karkaroff says in his trial that Voldemort never let any one Death Eater know the identities of all the others, in case they were caught. If Snape knew that the person who caused Lily’s death was still at large, he would have tracked them down (although I suppose he could have thought Sirius did manage to kill him, and decided to let Sirius stay in Azkaban … I guess it depends on your personal idea of just how petty Snape could be).

      As for the Dark Marks, I highly doubt that they completely vanished after Voldemort’s downfall – it is a tattoo after all, and it doesn’t vanish even after Voldemort dies completely. My bet would be that it had faded since Voldemort’s first defeat and started becoming clearer when he began growing stronger (as Karkaroff says). Whether it was still clear enough to ID a Death Eater off of it … who knows?

  • daveybjones999 .

    I also didn’t notice the Time Turner transportation, which means that the movie actually fixed a writing flaw in the book because after going back in time they’re still in the Hospital. Also I’d like to talk about how perfectly the movie adapts this chapter, after the movie skipped a lot of details in the previous few chapters. One thing that I especially like about the movie’s version of this chapter is the pervasive ticking noise in the background that persists from the moment Harry and Hermione run out of the hospital wing until they watch themselves go into the Whomping Willow. I think that this is a 5-7 minute stretch where the ticking is present which really adds to the suspense. One of the best ways that movies have of getting the audience into the characters headspace and for setting tone is the music and sound editing and this movie in particular does it flawlessly.
    Also this has nothing to do with Harry Potter, but the discussion on the phases of the moon reminds me that Judaism uses the lunar calendar which is why sometimes Hannukah is near Christmas and why 4 years ago in 2013 it started on Thanksgiving, which is called Thangsgivukah. In case you’re wondering the next one will happen in 2070.

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    I loved the discussion the hosts had on time travel and all its complexities (also it was pretty funny to hear Katie’s head explode :P). When it comes to JKR’s Pottermore writing, I wouldn’t read too far into it in a technical way. After all, JKR is a fantasy writer, not a science fiction one, so I cut her a bit of slack there. I think her aim was to write an entertaining piece, and she definitely succeeded in that sense.

    On the topic of time travel – I can’t believe you guys brought up a bunch of other pop culture but failed to mention the Doctor Who episode Blink! It’s a wonderful example of closed-loop time travel, since things exist before they can exist. I think the concept is best summed up by the following quote from the episode’s main character: ‘Let me get my head around this: you’re reading aloud from a transcript of a conversation you’re still having?’

  • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

    Such a great episode. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Snape, I had not realized how nasty Snape is here at the end of this book, let alone in this chapter. My loathing of Snape usually comes from GoF when he says, “I see no difference.” to Hermione’s enlarging teeth. But here Snape is so vindictive and so petty. I never really picked up on how he was totally trying to get back at Sirius for happened to him with Shrieking Shack prank, along with trying to punish Harry for what the Marauders did to him years ago. It infuriates me just thinking about it.

    As to Snape hating Sirius more than James, it really is tough to tell. Perhaps James gets the edge because he ended up with Lily and had a child with her. Maybe Snape hates Sirius for entirely different reasons than James, I honestly don’t know. They just seem to mesh together and trying to separate them is too difficult.

    It makes me wonder when the prank happened and when Snape’s worst memory happened. Since Sirius is 16, the hosts did figure out that the prank occurred either in their 5th year or the very beginning of their sixth year. With Snape’s worst memory, that happened at the end of their 5th years since they just finished an O.W.L.s exam. If the Shrieking Shack prank happened before the memory, James and Sirius are basically toeing the line since the prank could’ve killed Snape. Or, the memory happened first and Snape wanted to get revenge on them at the beginning of their sixth year. It’s interesting to think about when both events might have occurred.

    • UmbridgeRage

      Thanks to the extended info we get in The Prince’s Tale we know that the memory is after the prank because Lily mentions something about James saving Snape.

      • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

        You are so right. I completely forgot about The Prince’s Tale and those memories. Looks like I need to brush up on my Deathly Hallows lol. For me it gives me a different perspective. I mean, I know they were all just 15-year-olds, but James and Sirius almost knew no bounds in terms of mischief. They don’t get punished for the prank (that we know of) and then they go and mess with Snape some more later on. But it doesn’t give Snape the right to needlessly punish Harry now for something that happened 18 years ago.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    the aspect of aging while time-travelling is fascinating. Between my knowledge about how time works, the laws of physics and the rules of Jo’s magical world there are different possibilities and I’m sure Hermione would have looked them up if there was something in the library.
    I’m wondering when the time-turner solution to Hermione’s busy time-table was brought up and if her parents were informed. Maybe they are not allowed to know, but I imagine that would have been a very funny and awkward conversation. “Mum, Dad, I want to study ALL the magic, so I’ll get a device that can alter time and potentially kill me if I use it wrong, but the latter is true for many things at school, so never mind.”