The Marauders - Harry Potter and history of medicine
Now, I know I promised several detailed posts about the week I spent in London, but due to problems with computer, I'm unable to upload photos. It would be very dull indeed to write about the museums and not include any photos. Please, be patient.
As quite a lot of time has passed since my last post - here goes a theory that I thought of while in London. And please, be warned that the text below contains many plot details from the Harry Potter series and you would be well advised to STOP reading NOW, if you haven't finished the series (or even started reading it) yet. Thank you.
While strolling about Welcome's History of Medicine (a museum) I found out that body-snatchers also used to be called (hold your breath) marauders. Actually, it was the first word on the screen - and only afterwards they were called resurrectionists. Instantly I thought of HP and how this relates to the books. (A final proof of my dedication -- obsession is such an ugly word -- to the series, I presume.)
In the old times dissection on cadavers was prohibited by law as people believed that removing organs and mutilating the body in other ways will prevent the soul from entering the Heaven. Many decades later dissection was again allowed, but the old prejudice was so fixed in the minds of the people that aspiring doctors had great difficulties in finding a sufficient number of cadavers. So certain people started digging out graves and stealing corpses to be later sold to students of medicine. In a span of time this practice was so wide-spead that many families decided to keep a watch over the graves even after the funeral had taken place! Iron coffins were also very fashionable.
Now, the link with the series. When Harry first activates the Marauders' Map, he sees names of four (supposedly long deceased) people appear on the parchment. They were Moony, Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail. The first surprize and an (almost) actual resurrection takes place at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban (PoA), when we learn that Wormtail never actually died. The second resurrection takes place when -- at the end of Goblet of Fire (GoF) -- Prongs comes out of Voldemort's wand to warn Harry and help him escape. Moony is more difficult, but I think one could reasonably explain his monthly "furry little problem" as a form of resurrection, when at the end of full moon, he comes back to the realm of the living.
Padfoot, I hope, is yet to make his resurrection. No, he isn't alive, he's as dead as he can be, but I have a feeling that JKR didn't lead us into the Ministry of Magic and into the underground corridors just so Padfoot could die in a fancy manner or so we would know that people study death there. I think Ministry will make a reappearance, we'll go back and that veil was certainly too curious an object to serve a single purpose. There have been theories that the veil serves as a portal for communication between the worlds of the living and the dead. If indeed death is being studied there, one needs a portal of some sort to be able to go to the world beyond and come back to tell about the experience or at least a portal through which one can glimpse or listen to the voices from the other side (surely you remember that Luna and Harry, the only ones in the DA who've felt the weight of death could hear voices emanating from beyond the veil). Padfoot fell through the veil, so why wouldn't he be the person to help Harry or give him some important information from the world beyond? (Although, admittedly, what that piece of information could be is beyond me. Some have suggested that horcruxes and/or Voldemort will be destroyed by pushing them through the veil, which is a very plausible explanation.)
Then there is the case of the Two-Way Mirror, which was a present from Padfoot. JKR had this to say on the matter: "The mirror might not have helped as much as you think, but on the other hand, will help more than you think. You’ll have to read the final books to understand that!" Now know that this mirror will make a reappearance and our only (seems simple enough) task is to figue out what the connection is. I bet you anything (OK, not anything) that the mirror is a connection to a certain pure-blood wizarding house. I firmly believe that Harry will use it for communication with either Padfoot or his brother, who is (am almost certain) R.A.B.
So, in conclusion, I think that the name "marauders" suggests what happens with the characters in the books. And if my theory is correct, we'll see a reappearance of our favourite godfather.
Labels: Harry Potter