Monday, July 23, 2007

my Patronus

In the Harry Potter books, there is a thing called a Patronus. You conjure it by casting a spell. To do this, you think happy thoughts and shout Expecto Patronum! ("spit out the Patronus!"). What happens next is that a shape will leap from the end of your magic wand-- silvery, ghostly, and able to do your bidding. You need this spell if you ever find yourself surrounded by Dementors, which are floating, soul-sucking creatures that smell like zombies but dress like the Grim Reaper. Everyone's Patronus is different, and a Patronus can change shape depending on what's happening in one's life. Harry Potter's Patronus is shaped like a stag. Hermione Granger's Patronus is an otter. Albus Dumbledore's Patronus is-- no surprise-- a phoenix.

I'm pretty sure that, if I were a Harry Potter character, my Patronus would be a huge, talking penis. It would chase down and fuck every Dementor in sight, then crawl contentedly back into my wand.



Anonymous said...

Hmm... so is this like a familiar or is it some sort of spirit avatar?

One of these days I will have to read me some Harry Potter

Elisson said...

"Expecto Penetronum!"

Kevin Kim said...


The Patronus has some familiar-like traits, but isn't really a familiar. I normally think of a familiar as a kind of servant or informant, seeing constant use in the aid of a sorcerer/sorceress. The Patronus is brought out only in case of emergency, either to attack Dementors and chase them away, or to send important messages to the desired recipient. It fades away once a task has been completed.


Sounds like a good Scottish battle cry.


Anonymous said...

(Spoiler Alert for anyone who hasn't read any of the previous Harry Potter books)

My wife and I saw one of the Harry Potter movies on television (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Something-or-Other), and Harry and his uncle were nearly killed by Dementors. I seem to remember Harry using a spell to fight them off, but the spell eventually wore off and Harry himself was in danger of being killed. He was actually saved by himself, though (due to the whole time travel thingy).

However, I don't remember Harry summoning his Patronus to fight off the Dementors. Is my memory faulty? Or was it left out of the movie? Or did Harry just not know the spell yet? If the last, why the heck didn't Harry's professor teach it to him? He knew Harry was being plagued by Dementors and trained him specifically to combat them. You would think he would include a spell like that.

Or maybe I just need to read the books, huh? Trying to understand the Harry Potter world based on one viewing of one film is probably futile.