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Re: [mythsoc] O.W.L.'s in Harry Potter (spoiler at end)

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    ... Nor would Grace, I m sure. In fact, she isn t counting him out in _this_ hopeless-sounding scenario. There s a famous saying you ve no doubt heard of,
    Message 1 of 71 , Aug 3, 2005
      On Aug 3, 2005, at 1:28 AM, David Bratman wrote:

      > At 12:17 AM 8/3/2005 -0400, Grace Monk wrote:
      >> (And if he'd known Frodo was alive, what would he have done to
      >> escape the orcs? What could he have done?
      > What could he have done in the actual situation? Let me remind you
      > what it is:
      > "The gate was shut. Sam hurled himself against the bolted brazen
      > plates and fell senseless to the ground. He was out in the
      > darkness. Frodo was alive but taken by the Enemy."
      > Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn't it? Thousands of readers held
      > their breath when those words first appeared, because it wasn't yet
      > possible to go on, the third book not having been published yet.
      > And yet, Sam manages to rescue Frodo, through his own pluck and
      > determination and the mercy of God. I wouldn't count out Sam in
      > other hopeless-sounding scenarios either.

      Nor would Grace, I'm sure. In fact, she isn't counting him out in
      _this_ hopeless-sounding scenario. There's a famous saying you've no
      doubt heard of, David; in fact, it's been invoked already in this
      thread: "hindsight is 20/20". Yes, in the end things _did_ work out
      -- **precisely because of the _correct_ choices that Sam _did_ make**
      mind you -- but that outcome could not possibly have been foreseen by
      Sam _at the time and with the information that he had to make his
      decision(s)_. Now, you might claim that if Sam _had_ just stayed by
      Frodo, then things would have worked out the same as they did -- but
      _no one_ can know whether that is true or not,* and by _Sam's own
      evaluation_ at the time he made his decisions they _would not have_:
      _his_ expectation (and mine) is that he would have been taken with
      Frodo and the Ring and the Quest would have failed to the ruination
      of Middle-earth; and there is _nothing_ to indicate that that would
      _not_ have been precisely what happened.

      *This is all from the perspective of taking the story as actual
      history, of course. We're talking about a novel here, so yes,
      obviously, had Tolkien _not_ thought to have Sam leave Frodo with the
      Ring, and then had him decide to come back after Frodo's capture,
      then sure, Tolkien would have written some other scenario by which
      the Quest was saved despite it.
    • Larry Swain
      ONe tidbit I didn t see mentioned in the various takes on the theory: at the end Harry rather considers getting Snape as a possible by-product, but isn t
      Message 71 of 71 , Aug 14, 2005
        ONe tidbit I didn't see mentioned in the various takes on the theory: at the end Harry rather considers "getting Snape" as a possible by-product, but isn't overly concerned with Snape or Malfoy. One could counter that he is focused on Voldemort, but I'm not sure I buy that as just putting Snape out of mind.

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