Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Mirror of Erised

I've been absent for a week, and I apologize. I've come home from work exhausted all week, and I wanted to be able to give my full attention to this highly important chapter. Two events of obvious importance to the story occur in this chapter, and I will most certainly get to them, but one of the purposes of this blog is to give outlet to the random thoughts I have when reading and see if anyone else shares them, this time I wonder, do wizards have the internet?

Now, as this is happening in 1991, it's unlikely that they'd have anything comparable at this point, one would think if they did they'd use that to figure out who Nicholas Flamel is (apparently they don't even have a decent card catalog at Hogwarts), but by 1998, when the series ends, the internet was pretty well established in the Muggle world, and I wonder if the wizarding world had come up with anything comparable, not that it would have been all that helpful to the trio on the run either, it just seems like an ability they should have.

Okay, now the randomness is done, let's discuss events of importance shall we? As I said, there are two major plot points in this chapter, one more important to this story and one of vital importance to the series as a whole. I'll start with the former, the Mirror of Erised.

I find the mirror fascinating largely because I don't understand the reason for its existence. What is the overall point of the mirror? I suppose it might be handy for career or family planning, but then again, the heart's desire in those areas can be extremely fickle. It just seems like the risks outweigh any benefit that might come from the mirror (you know, unless some weird convergence of genius old wizard and strangely perceptive 11-year-old happened, but really, what's the chances of that?) Nope, I just don't get the point of it. Anyone feel differently? Share! Share!

The other major event in this chapter is Harry's receipt of the invisibility cloak. At this point, it seems like a handy way to skirt around rules and get Harry (and the others) out-of-bounds with little trouble, but of course it's much, much more than that. While I'm not going to discuss it's role as a Deathly Hallow now, I certainly couldn't let it's introduction go by without mention!

Big chapter, I do hope I've done it justice. Leave your thoughts in the comments!


  1. Haha - I love your random thoughts about whether or not the wizards had the internet! Of course one of the things I adore in the series is that they actually use the library for research. You just know JKR was a bibliophile like all of us.

    Oh and about the mirror... I never really thought too much about it's creation. I guess I kind of felt that it was designed almost as a trap for people that were able to let their dreams pull them away from reality. Not sure if it was an "evil" creation per se, but maybe something meant to distinguish the people who really were leading fulfilled lives from those who still held onto desire. I wonder if at the end of the series if Harry would see only himself in the mirror...

    Hmmm. Just my crazy thoughts. Great blog by the way!
    - lisa (aka elbakerone)

  2. Interesting idea about the mirror and it certainly makes more sense than anything I had come up with! And you're right, I like that they use the library too, I DON'T like that they never seem to use Madame Pince (though JKR does try to explain that away) or any sort of card catalog.

    Wouldn't it be awesome if they had their own version of an iPad? Like it looks like a slate from the early 20th century but they can say "iSlate, who is Nicholas Flamel" and all the information pops up.

    I should totally be a magic inventor.

  3. Good point about Madame Pince or a card catalog. Maybe Hermione just had the Dewey Decimal system memorized. That seems like her type of thing. But you're right, JKR could have done such cool things with a wizard card catalog too...

    I can't agree more - you totally should be a magic inventor! :)

  4. Hi, bib!

    This is littleshell from LibraryThing and I'm finally catching up on your blog. I've never thought about the "why" of things as you do, so you are giving me much to think about. As far as the mirror is concerned, it seems to me that many inventions in our mundane world seem to occur by accident, so I think it's possible that the mirror was not planned. Or someone realized that it could weed out posers, but then saw that it was too powerful. Just MHO.