Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Secret Link?

I was watching "This Is Spinal Tap" recently (OK now you know how I spent my Labor Day weekend), and in between laughing noticed something truly odd:

Two lines from that movie are the core of J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts concept.

Here's a scene early on, discussing the appalling mortality rate of Spinal Tap drummers (from the transcript here):

Nigel: And....it was tragic really...he exploded on stage.
Derek: Just like that...

David: He just went up...
Nigel: He just was like a flash of green light...and that was it, nothing was left...
David: Look at his face .... it's true, this really did happen.
Nigel: Well, there was a little green globule on his drum seat.

David: Like a stain, really.
Nigel: More of a stain than a globule, actually, and...
David: You know several...you know dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not really widely reported.
Nigel: Right.

There it is: the core idea of the Avada Kedavra curse -- green flash and that's it. Not to mention that it happens all the time "it's just not really widely reported" -- wizarding secrecy.

And near the end, discussing "where they are now" we learn:

Marty: Denis Eton-Hogg, the president of Polymer Records...
Ian: Yes.

Marty: ...was recently knighted, what were the circumstances surrounding his knighthood?
Ian: The specific reason why he was knighted was uh for
the founding of Hoggwood, which is um, a summer-camp for pale, young boys.

With only a little modification, that's the core, the nub, of Hogwarts. "Pale young boys" -- a perfect description of Draco Malfoy.

So this is how it started in 1982: J.K. Rowling watches "This Is Spinal Tap"; death by green flashes and Hoggwood and pale, young boys get thrown into a pot of bubbling fantasy. It percolates in the mind for years until in steps into her imagination Harry Potter, who like Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien's Silmarillion cycle proves the key to somehow turn the developing mythology in a new direction.

And don't you think Dudley would be a Taphead?

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