Brief Harry Potter Interlude

This is a question I have for Joonna, but you're all welcome to listen in. My family and I have been speculating furiously about the next Harry Potter book, due out on a yet-to-be-announced date that is by definition far too long in the future.

Since we've been talking so much lately about what we think will happen in Book 7, I went back to look at some notes we took during the summer of 2005 when some seminary friends (including our own dear Jana) got together and we had a private symposium on HP. (To read those speculations, go here and scroll down to the post dated Sept. 5, 2005.)

So, Joonna, here's my question: Do you agree with Jana, who believes that the Malfoys are vampires??

All of you brilliant minds are free to comment on our speculations, some of which have already, I'm sorry to say, been declared false by J. K. Rowling in other venues.

Type the rest of your post here.


joonna said...

I have to confess to not enjoying literature written for children. Ah, don't throttle me! I even feel asleep during the second HP movie! But I am a long time listmember of H-Vampyres, a list devoted to the study of vampires. Let me post this question and see what they have to say. I did a quick internet search and found that there are many role players and fan fic pages which conflate the Malfoys with vampirism. I suspect that Jana is correct, and remember that any life or energy sucker (doesn't have to be a blood sucker) is a vampire or succubus of some kind. I'll write back with responses--I'm sure Margaret Carter and Elizabeth Miller will have opinions on this (two very well known vampirists).


joonna said...

Here's a comment from one of the most respected voices on the list:

"The main problem with answering this question is that, in six books so far, we are not given any information on the rules for vampires in Rowling's world. We've learned, more or less, the rules for werewolves, but not for vampires. She has changed ghouls from carrion-eaters to simply noisy occupants of attics; so we can only guess if she has changed vampires at all. The sweet shops stock blood-flavoured lollipops for them, so presumably they do drink blood. But we don't know if they can function in daylight, turn into bats or mist, have fangs, are forced to wear opera capes at all times, or can be photographed. There is a vampire in "Half-Blood Prince", but he only appears in about two paragraphs, has a give-away name like many of Rowling's characters (Sanguini--I ask you!)--and is told to stay put and keep away from girls by the person who brought him to the party.

If you go by the more or less standard accepted FICTIONAL vampire (we are talking about fiction, after all), then no, the Malfoys are not vampires. They appear in daylight. They eat regular food. They have ordinary magical powers, not the kind usually associated with vampires.

I have a friend who firmly believes that Draco has been turned INTO a vampire in Blood Prince, but I find her reasoning faulty. True, he's absent or ill for much of the book; but he does still appear in daylight, though looking rather grim and drawn. I contribute the changes in Draco's behaviour and appearance to the acquistion of the Dark Mark and his mission to kill Dumbledore rather than his having become a vampire. I don't think a vampire would have been as badly affected by the Sectumsempra spell as Draco was when Harry tried it on him.

I can't even find an argument for any of the Malfoys being energy-drainers. They are an exceedingly unpleasant family, and encounters with them seldom turn out well, but there's never been any mention of people feeling drained and listless after meeting a Malfoy."

Of course, Joonna speaking, there are plenty of vampire stories in which the characters can appear in daylight, though weakened. And in Octavia Butler's Fledgling, the new strain of vampire is a day-walker. And seems that I remember Le Fanu's Carmilla being around in daylight.

I'll post more comments as they come.


joonna said...

H-Vampyre has become obsessed with responding to the new BBC adaptation of Dracula that was aired last night--I don't think we'll get anymore posts about HP. But I thought I'd paste this in just in case any of you HP fans are interested.

The deadline for the Call for Proposals has been EXTENDED to FEBRUARY 15th,

Prophecy 2007: From Hero to Legend
August 2-5, 2007


Prophecy 2007 is an academic symposium about the Harry Potter series by J.K.
Rowling. We are seeking proposals for a variety of educational programming,
including presentations, discussion panels, round tables, workshops and
poster sessions addressing topics relevant to the books and/or the fan
community. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Character analyses, symbolism, and literary criticism; comparisons between
the Harry Potter books, their contemporaries and classic children's
literature. Critical responses to the Harry Potter franchise (books, movies,
music and merchandise) as a media and cultural phenomenon.

- SCIENCE Looking at the ways science manifests itself in the Harry Potter
series: the genetics of magic, the wizarding community's relation to
ecology, the physics of flying and Apparating, and the chemistry of potions
and alchemy.

- EDUCATION & CREATIVITY Exploring education within the books, and teaching
Harry Potter in the classroom. Learning about and experimenting with
creative writing and art.

- ARTS, HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES Examining philosophical and religious
themes, parallels and elements within the books. Examining the Wizarding
world and its culture, policies, worldview and behaviour through the
disciplines of psychology, political science and anthropology.

- FANDOM CULTURE & EXPERIENCE Looking at the fandom as a community with its
own jargon, jokes, news, activities and events; the past and future of the
Harry Potter fandom: how it has evolved and its future. Analyses of the
fanfiction and fanart phenomena: their value as creative fiction/art;
sexuality, romance and feminism within fanworks; intellectual
property/copyright issues.

All proposals must be submitted by February 15th, 2007. For more information
on submitting your proposal, please visit our page:

Looking for some more ideas? Please visit our programming prompts page:

For more information on presentation styles, please visit our programming
formats page:

Further questions? Please e-mail us at formalprogramming@prophecy2007.org