Monthly Archives: September 2009

Hogwarts as Gothic Castle

hogwarts-castleApart from Jane Eyre, Dracula, and the lighthearted mockery that is Northanger Abbey, I have read little Gothic-inspired fiction–even Heathcliff and Cathy are still on my I-suppose-I-ought-to-read-that list. The sense I get, however, from Jonathan Harker’s fearful stay at Dracula’s, and even more so from Jane Eyre’s haunting descriptions of the loved-and-feared Thornfield Hall, is that a good Gothic novel has to have its mysterious ancient building full of secrets.

Hogwarts, with its turrets and tapestries and hidden passages and (talking) suits of armor, seems to fit right into that trope. It comes complete with ghosts, Peeves the poltergeist, and the Chamber of Secrets with its monster, not to mention the Slytherin dungeon with its green glow and skulls or the Potions dungeon with strange slimy things in jars and Byronic hero. Continue reading

A Very Sturgis Halloween

Amy H. Sturgis’s blog has been in my RSS reader for years. The tagline of her blog is “Always Halloween and Never Thanksgiving.” And October is always a great time at Redecorating Middle-Earth in Early Lovecraft, because Amy does a new post on a different piece of Gothic literature every day throughout October.

Now is a great time to subscribe to her blog, so you don’t miss a single post!

On a related note, Amy joined the Potter Pundits for a great discussion on Gothic elements of Potter, which you’ll be able to hear on PotterCast episodes in October.

Rowling’s Vivid Characters

JKSFconversationCDPat has a really interesting post on the Harry Potter audiobooks. She’s a big Stephen Fry fan, and she gives really good reasons for her preference; so in my mind, it’s already an awesome post.

But she also makes some interesting observations which had crossed my mind before, but I’d never reflected on the reason, and Pat might just be on to something. She notes that there is an uncanny amount of similarity between the voices Fry chooses for the characters, and the way their actors speak in the films:

One of the most interesting things about the first four Harry Potter books is that he recorded them before the first movie came out, and before any of the characters were cast.

So I was thinking that all of that is due to the writing. Rowling apparently wrote all of those characters (including all the Weasleys, parents as well as the children) in such a way that whoever is reading will have such a vivid image of the characters that the voice will just be natural.

Who’s Bitten You?

As part of our continuing vampire theme for week one of our Halloween festivities, I’d thought I’d open things up to you all to share your favorite vampire loves, whether book or movie or TV show or comic or whatever.  Let us know what you like and, if you feel like it, why you like it.  There’s a lot of stuff out there on vampires and variations of them, so I expect lots of chatter!

September Support – Final Push!

We’re in the last two days of September, and The Hog’s Head is in need of just a bit more support – only another $150 to go! Thank you once again to all who’ve donated.

So, to inspire the final amount, I’ll open up another giveaway: Everyone who donates $10 or more to The Hog’s Head by midnight on September 30 (tomorrow) will be entered into a drawing to win one of two books – a signed copy of Harry Potter & Imagination, or a signed copy of Hog’s Head Conversations.

Thanks for your support, and good luck!


Chapter 10: Kreacher’s Tale

The chapter title (“Kreacher’s Tale”) implies that something will be revealed, not least the identity of R.A.B. Before we get into that, Harry wakes up and after seeing Ron and Hermione sleeping, his thoughts go to Dumbledore. His conversation with Aunt Muriel, along with Rita Skeeter’s interview regarding her new book about Dumbledore, are the catalyst for his growing doubt over Dumbledore. Seven questions instantly enter his mind: Continue reading