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Mischief Managed... Not!

by David Haber

I believe there is a small mistake in the movie script of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The error is when Lupin says "Mischief managed" to the marauder's map just after saying goodbye to Harry at the end of the movie. Fred and George stole the map from Filch. They would have no way of knowing the original incantations used to operate it. But Lupin uses the same incantation in this scene.

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Reader Comments:

Lupin also says to Harry that the map makers would have wanted to draw harry into using it. I suppose the map might be sensitive to kindred spirits, and give instructions to new users. More Mac than PC... Never trust anything that thinks unless you can see where it keeps its brains.

Posted by Edward Zepeda from Austin on October 23, 2006 3:50 PM

I think the map instructs those who are new to using it. Recall Harry's first trip to Hogsmeade and the map showing a text bubble with the correct incantation to open the humped witch statue. When Fred and George first filched the map from Filch, the map probably showed them the correct incantations, so Lupin's use of "mischief managed" was correct as a maker of the map and to tidy up the movie scene.

Posted by Sharon from Lincoln on October 23, 2006 10:23 PM

Ok. I do not believe that this is an error, because Fred and George did not make up those incantations. The only incantations that work are the ones that Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs made up. I agree with Sharon that the map probably instructed Fred and George on how to use it. I always assumed that, much like with Snape, the map wrote to F&G;, except instead of insulting them, it figured out that they wanted to make mischief as well, and so told them or gave them hints on how to work it. Thats my 2 cents.

Posted by Kelly from Huntsville, AL on October 24, 2006 11:00 PM

As one of the marauders, I suppose Lupin has the right to know who used their map (by certain incantations or something). Afterwards, probably, he knew the incantations used by its former users and used the "Micschief Managed" incantation himself. Maybe he found it cute. 'Nuff said.

Or maybe not, maybe it's just an error on the script.

Posted by Michael from Manila, Philippines on October 25, 2006 03:54 AM

I am more inclined to believe Sharon's explanations. It is the only one that makes sense. The map gives those who are "up to no good" directions on how to access it.

Posted by Ann from Virginia on October 25, 2006 8:49 PM

I agree with Sharon completely. I also believe the map includes a part of each map maker, but acts on its own(it still works after james's and sirius's ). As the map knows Snape wouldn't support the map's intentions (if he would know the content)it doesn't show anything to Snape.

Posted by Anna from Germany on October 26, 2006 10:01 AM

All the more reason I was lead to my conclusions. The map has the ability to read the intentions of its user. So, the map would know Fred and George were worthy of its use. The map wouldn't have to tell Fred and George its original incatations, as Fred and George have already gained access to its use. Fred and George said "I solemnly swear I'm up to no good" and the map gave them access. Then they reckoned there must be a way to turn the map off to protect it from prying eyes, so they said "Mischeif managed" and the map understood. Fred and George repeat the use of these commands because the map responded to them. But they don't necessarily (and most likely don't) have anything to do with the original incantations the marauders used. See what I mean?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 26, 2006 10:07 AM

I figure that the map talked to F&G; just as it talked to Snape. Yes, the map probably did realize the intentions of F&G;, but I do not think that the incantation would change...just like if you want to open a locked door, you can't just make up a different incantation to unlock it, you need 'alohomora'. I've always thought that the map prompted them through the steps. I mean...if the map says 'Do you solemnly swear that you are up to no good?' and F&G; respond with 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good' voila...minimal effort. I have also assumed that the map dropped the hint about clearing it, because the marauders were up-to-no-gooders too, so they would relate with F&G; and protect the map and the user by informing how to shut it off. That is just what I have thought since the book, since Jo never told us...I think that my version seems more logical though, considering an incantation is an incantation and saying something else not have the same effect.

Posted by Steve Danison from Albany, NY on October 26, 2006 10:54 AM

But... if the map asked Snape, "Do you solemnly swear you are up to no good?" Snape would answer "Yes!" So, the words in the question don't matter. The map still has to have the ability to read intentions. The fact that the words don't matter is my whole point.

By the way, does anyone else think it's strange that so many Weasleys (Ginny, Fred and George) trust an object that thinks for itself when they can't see where it keeps its brain? Is Ron also guilty of this at some point in the books? Or perhaps does he get his chance to break this rule in book 7?

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 26, 2006 11:00 AM

I agree that the map can read the intent of its user. It can also recognize those who try to use it as it denys its information to Snape and then proceeds to insult him about his large nose. Therefore, it can probably ID the potential user also.

Also I think Ginny at least distrusts "objects that think for themselves when they can't see where it keeps its brain" as she reprimands Harry for blindly following the directions in the HBP's potion book.

Posted by bart from Denver, Colorado on October 26, 2006 2:02 PM

Well, she does NOW, but she didn't when she got involved with Tom Riddle's diary...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 26, 2006 2:08 PM

Sure, but wasn't she possessed by LV in order to get involved with the diary. Either way I get your point. I just figured that of the Weasleys heading into Book 7 she wouldn't be one to think that way.

Posted by bart from Denver, Colorado on October 26, 2006 3:10 PM

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