Wednesday, July 21, 2010


We're getting to the end now, if I blog on Saturday I'll finish this week! This being my least favorite book in the series, I'm really looking forward to finishing up! This chapter, at least, is pretty straight forward!

Harry and Ron spend some time pondering Dumbledore and Hagrid's last statements. While their lost as to Dumbldore's meaning, Hagrid's "follow the spiders" is quite clear, they just can't seem to find any. Finally, Harry spots a couple spiders heading toward the Forbidden Forest, and the boys decide to follow them that night. They get Fang and head into the forest, following the path of the spiders until they come across Mr. Weasley's car, which has "gone wild". As they discuss this interesting turn of events, they're seized by giant spiders and brought to Aragog, the patriarch of the giant spider clan. He tells them he is not the monster in the Chamber (obviously, as he's not in a chamber), that the girl who died was killed in a bathroom he never saw, and that while he knows what is in the Chamber, he will not say its name, it is his enemy. Then he politely invites the boys to stay for dinner...okay, as dinner and the car swoops in to rescue them. When they get back to the dormitory, Harry realizes that the girl who died might just be Moaning Myrtle.

I'm now going to once again prove my extreme nerdiness* via math.

Math? What are you talking about? Are you going to count spider legs or something?

No, of course not, we have no idea how many spiders there are. Silly fictional reader of my blog! We're going to count Hogwarts staff. There are 12 classes offered at Hogwarts and therefore 12 teachers. There are 6 other staff members for a total of 18 adults. However, at this point in time, both Hagrid and Dumbledore are gone, so 16 adults. Even if you exclude N.E.W.T. students and O.W.L. courses, there are not enough adults to ensure that every class is escorted everywhere. When Snape escorts the Gryffindor second years to Herbology, who is escorting the Slytherins to their next class? And then when Sprout escorts the Gryffindors to Defense Against the Dark Arts, who is escorting the Hufflepuffs to their next class? For a while I argued (with myself) that the teacher for their next class must come get them, but that doesn't work because there still simply aren't enough staff! Perhaps Prefects and the Head Boy and Head Girl assume escorting duties, but then how do they (the N.E.W.T. students in particular) get to their next class? It simply doesn't add up.

In the end of course, none of that is all that important. It's not a key plot point and it gets the point of the terror the school is in across. At the same time, I can't help the way my brain works, and it does the math every time. Do you have any of these reading idiosychrasies? Something you know doesn't really matter but that you can't help but find annoying when it happens? Share your thoughts in the comments!

*Spell check does not like the word "nerdiness".


  1. I don't suppose it will come as a shock to you when I say I have the same problem. Whenever i read this book and get to the part about being escorted by teachers to every class I have to stop and think about it...How is this possible? I get the point of it but is still drives me crazy trying to figure out exactly how that works. It just couldn't possibly work. So I eventually give up and force myself to read on and stop thinking about it. I blame daddy.

  2. Maybe the ghosts act as escorters too? Or super responsible house elves? Or else Hogwarts hires substitute teachers and temp staff too? Eh, probably still not enough...

  3. And thank you for discussing this chapter without making me confront my arachnophobia. ;)