Sunday, April 11, 2004

Slytherin Loyalty

I'm not going to do a full post tonight, but I feel the need to post some of my thoughts on Slytherin loyalty. Maybe later I will come back and make this a long, well-thought out post.

I believe that the movies have some hints that the books don't contain. I don't know where, but I believe Rowling has even made this clear in one of her interviews. The reason I mention this is because the end of the second movie always keeps me wondering about Slytherin loyalty. At the end banquet, when everyone is clapping for Hagrid, Crabbe stands up along with everyone else. Malfoy, annoyed, forces Crabbe to sit down. As I see it, there are two ways to interpret this information.

First, Crabbe is just stupid and wasn't thinking. I believe this is the explanation that Rowling expects us to believe. After all, we haven't exactly seen Crabbe exercise many intelligent moves. I admit, that this probably has more credibility than what I am about to say, but it lacks an interesting element to it. I still have a hard time believing people can be as one sided as most of the Slytherins are. Draco and his goonies have proven static throughout the books, and I prefer to hope that this will change in book six.

The other view is that, while Crabbe may have just been being stupid, Rowling was actually forshadowing dissension in the Slytherin ranks. Draco Malfoy is more than a bully to all non-Slytherins, he is a bully to Slytherins as well! Look at how he treats Crabbe and Goyle. When Harry and Ron take the PolyJuice Potion, they feel first hand Draco's iron fist. If one tells the wrong joke, or says the wrong thing, they get a harsh stare and or are ridiculed. If at any time Crabbe or Goyle started to grow any brains, I'm sure Draco would never have allowed them to really use it. Especially if any of their thinking was contrary to Draco's. How long can Draco hold them in this tight fist? Clearly, Lucius has strived on holding others in such a way, but I wonder if Draco is as strong or smart as Lucius Malfoy? But that is another story.

What I'm trying to say is that Crabbe's point of view may be very different than anything Harry can see. Will he be brought to a breaking point at some point? We know that the houses have to unite, so someone in Slytherin has to be a key to letting this happen. Why not one of Draco's top two cronies?

The books offer us some evidence of this as well, though be it highly interpretive and weak. The main reason I have been thinking so much about Crabbe and loyalty, is I still want to understand what Voldemort meant at the end of book four.

"'And here'--Voldemort moved on to the two largest hooded figures-'we have Crabbe... you will do better this time, will you not, Crabbe? And you, Goyle?'" (Page 651, Us Edition)

Again, this scene can have similar interpretations. Were Crabbe and Goyle stupid and they simply messed up one of Voldemorts plans, a plan which I also should investigate sometime, or was their loyalty questionable? Something tells me it is not as clear cut as the prior nor as clear as the latter. Whatever the two did, the address seeming to be aimed mainly at Crabbe Sr., I think perhaps a combination of the above had to come into play. As I have already stated, lineage is a big issue in Rowling's books. We can learn a lot about the sons by looking at the actions of their parents. Whatever happened between Voldemort and Crabbe may easily mirror whatever happens between Malfoy and Crabbe Jr.

As I said, this is not a full, well thought out post, but it is something to think about.