Sunday, November 16, 2008

Looking forward to another venture into the HP universe




Hat tip Peter Chattaway and Ken Brown for the above new trailer for the latest adaptation of the novels from the Harry Potter universe, The Half-Blood Prince. Interestingly, my 10-year-old daughter just gave a book report on this novel, and as part of that report, she made up her own version of The Quibbler, an alternative news source to The Daily Prophet and run by Luna Lovegood's father.

Luna is above all my favorite of all the HP characters. One of the reasons I enjoy film and novels is that every so often I will run across a character that I just adore—like Rick in Casablanca, Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird--and Atticus in Atticus, Karen von Blixon in Out of Africa, the peevish Lucy in Room with a View, Ellie in Contact and Graham in Signs. And I relish the scenes in both the HP novels and films that include Luna Lovegood.

If I could be one person in the HP world it would be Luna. Heh, it always makes my daughter laugh in disbelief when I say that (she herself is partial to Herminone). I love Luna, though. She like most everyone else in the Potter world (and the real one) is wounded, but she’s learned to live with that and grow from that in a way that’s left her honest, good and authentic--if a bit eccentric, heh.

Awhile back, I ran across something interesting on the Wikipedia site about Luna:
Rowling has often said that Luna is the "anti-Hermione", as Luna believes things on faith alone, while Hermione grounds her views on facts and logic.[5] Hermione repeatedly tries to convince Luna that her beliefs are nonsense, but to no avail. This is not to suggest that Luna is unintelligent; indeed, as a Ravenclaw, it is her belief that "wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure". Hermione sees Luna as gullible, whereas Luna views Hermione as narrow-minded. Although they have different views, Luna and Hermione eventually become friends.

Perhaps that's part of why I resonate so strongly with Luna, her comfort and immersion as an intelligent person in the world of things unseen and unacknowleged by most. Not that I'm all that intelligent, heh. But do I think the two--intelligence and faith--go hand in hand. There is a rationality to faith that seems to be divorced from today's definition of faith. Faith is often talked about as blind, but I don't think that's a biblical sense of faith. There's lots we can't see in this world but we know to be real--from an atom to wind to love. When Paul talks about walking by faith and not by sight, he's talking about a solid vision of what we know to be true and just as real as our fingers and toes.

Not that Herimione or some of the other Potter crew aren't both intelligent and immersed in a world of things unseen and unacknowledged by most. They are (though some more than others, heh). But each of us carry different gifts and strengths, and it is the acceptance and utilization of those gifts within the relationships and community formed by Harry Potter and his friends that ends up saving the world.

And that reminds me an awful lot of the relationships and communities we call the church.

(Image: Warner Bros)

5 comments:

Ken Brown said...

Interesting. Luna was never my favorite (I tended to share Hermione's opinion of her!), but I note that despite her quirkiness and "gullibility" she sometimes does see things that really exist but everyone else misses (like the Thestrals). On the other hand, she and her dad also illustrate the dangers of blind faith, for instance in the case of that giant exploding horn they mounted on their wall in book 7!

Anyway, I can't wait for the movie to come out, but I'm a bit nervous about it. I think Half-Blood Prince was the best written of the whole series and I really hope they don't screw it up!

Don Hendricks said...

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Carmen Andres said...

ken, luna definately has her blind spots, heh. but then so does HP and the rest of the crew (and us, for that matter). which is part of the reason i love the way it is by all of them trusting and accepting each other (in spite of their blind spots) that they save the world. also, i like how their strengths reveal the weaknesses in each other, and then serve to strengthen those.

but i think the reason i love Luna so much is that she loves others so well--even when they make fun of and dismiss her. that kind of simple strength and beauty is breath-taking to me.

heh, and it helps that she doesn't give a hoot what others think of her. i want to be more like that :)

Carmen Andres said...

don, thanks for the head's up! i'm downloading it now :)

Ken Brown said...

Carmen, I totally agree. And note that when I say "I tended to share Hermione's opinion," that includes the fact that she came around to appreciate her by the end, though (admittedly) both she and I should have recognized Luna's love and loyalty all along.