Sunday, August 31, 2003

Will Montague help unite the houses?

"Two households both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean."
(Romeo And Juliet, Prologue, 1-4)

There is no doubt in my mind that Montague is an important name in the Harry Potter books. After all, many names in Harry Potter reveal the role a character will play. Arthur Weasley is possibly taken from King Arthur, leading me to believe that Arthur will be the Minister of Magic at the end of the books. Voldemort is perhaps the most obvious use of etymology. His name means "escape (flight) from death", which I doubt anyone could say does not describe Tom Riddle. The character of Montague is likely named after Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Romeo was a Montague and therefore an enemy to the Capulet household. Romeo falls in love with Juliet, which leads to the deaths of Mercutio, Tybalt, and Paris. Romeo must then flee Verona and never return under pain of death. When Romeo does come back it is to Juliet's grave, where both lovers take their lives. Their deaths serve to unite the Montague and Capulet households, ending the feud.

If this is indeed where Montague received his name, many things are revealed about the coming books. Montague is a Slytherin and a member of the Inquisitorial Squad. When he made the mistake of trying to take points away from Fred and George, they put him in the Vanishing cabinet where Montague disappeared for a while before being found in a toilet. When Montague is found we are given the following quote:

"To cap matters, Montague had still not recovered from his sojourn in the toilet. He remained confused and disoriented..."
(Book V, pg. 678)

I do not think it is superfluous that this happened to Montague. We do not know what happened to him when he disappeared and we do not know how this might have changed the Quidditch Players outlook on life. His journey may be the first step to his wanting to unite the houses. It may not come from a love story, or even from death, but I believe Montague will prove an important piece in uniting the houses.

If the houses are to be united, some obstacles must be considered. I believe things will get worse before they get better. Remember the Sorting Hat's song. The house founders were originally united by friendship and a common goal, building the school. I think that both aspects must be found for the houses to truly unite (friendship coming at the very end after trust is earned). At the very least, the houses will have to have a common goal. This means that Slytherin will have to share the goal of trying to destroy Voldemort. Clearly, not all members in Slytherin will follow this idea, but all it takes is some of them for the uniting process to begin. Meanwhile, those in Slytherin that do not want to unite will likely persecute those who do. Remember from the song the houses were originally divided because of "feeding on our faults and fears." Right now there are faults and fears in each house that can hinder any attempt at uniting. After all, how likely is Ron to trust a Slytherin? Or Malfoy likely to trust Harry? (Malfoy may not even be among those willing to unite, he may be a persecutor. Still, it is worth thinking about.)

Therefore, I think that fighting and fears will escalate in book 6, but in the end I believe the houses will be united.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I'm for,
But this year I'll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it's wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether sorting
May not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we'll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you . . .
Let the Sorting now begin
Book Five, pgs. 206-207

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