Search Beyond Hogwarts:
The Mystery of Aberforth
by David Haber
During the interview after the launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling said, "There is one member of the Order of the Phoenix that you have not yet met properly, but you will meet them in seven." Is this person Dumbledore's mysterious brother, Aberforth? What do we know about Aberforth, and how is he involved in the story?
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Reader Comments: (Page 3)
Thanks to all for complimenting my daughter. She is responsible for insisting I read these "cool" books in the first place, though she lays no claim to the obsession it turned into for me.
Kim, I think you're right. Aberforth would be ing to for the cause, but, as Sirius tells the twins when they are frantic about their dad in OOTP, so is everyone else in the Order, because "there are things ing to for".
I hope this doesn't stray off topic (if so, sorry all), but it still concerns Aberforth. Wonder how many names he has? There is something up with the amount of names Dumbledore has. I have a few theories, far-fetched to the point of emberassment, but some do involve Aberforth. I have said before I believe there is a Albus/Aberforth/Fawkes connection. The fact that Dumbledore can grab onto Fawkes and apparate out of the castle where we are constantly reminded (thanks, Hermione) that it can't be done, raises many questions for me. I am gonna stop here and wait for any responses that keep me from feeling too silly about my theory, and more confident about sharing.
Posted by Colleen from Winter Garden, Fl on February 19, 2007 3:21 PM
I had assumed that Slytherin's locket would either be with Mundungus or, more likely, with Kreacher, not Aberforth. On checking OotP I found that when Harry, Sirius and the Weasleys are clearing out Grimmauld Place (Pg. 116) they find "....; also a heavy locket that none of them could open".........
I would remind you of a similar incident. The vanishing cabinet that Nick pushes over to distract Filch on an earlier book, which resurfaces to fatal effect in HBP. How many people recall every incident involving a magical object all the time?
Now, I would assume, that Kreacher would have more immediate access to the locket (if it IS Slitherin's that is mentioned) than Mundungus, creeping around the property as he does. Mundungus, in the books, only appears to visit when others are there (as far as we are told - there appears to be someone there most of the time either an Order member working and/or Molly who seems to be generally in charge of getting the place into shape). I am sure he could pilfer it but that's note the point - it would not necessarily be an easy thing for him to do.
We are not told where the sacks of goods are disposed of but, surely, Kreacher would have more immediate access to them. Mundungus might get it (but how) and pass it on to Aberforth but, with his limited access to Grimmauld Place it seems more convoluted for his to access the Locket.
I always thought that the Hog's Head and Hogwarts were linked - and the talk about Aberforth confirmed this for me. I would love to know how they are linked. It would imply Aberforth is hugely important. Obviously he isn't someone who is already there but, but it would probaby make things a lot easier with someone to explain a lot of plot in a very short time.
Posted by Marjorie from New Zealand on February 19, 2007 4:03 PM
Dumbledore also says to Tom when he is seeking a job at
Hogwarts in HBP that he is "merely friendly with the local barmen" another clue that that is his brother.
Posted by sew on February 19, 2007 4:37 PM
I completely forgot about the comment Dumbledore made to Tom about "being friendly with the local barmen". Seems to be good evidence that it could be Aberforth.
I got to thinking about the other members of the order. I wonder if there is any chance that one of the Longbottoms could recover. If so, maybe we would meet one of them. Mrs. Longbottom was able to walk around, perhaps that is the first step towards recovery.
Posted by Kim from Manchester, MA on February 19, 2007 6:05 PM
Colleen, I've loved your posts! Also, I wanted to confess to being equally obsessed!
I know that many order members would for the cause, I was just hoping that perhaps Dumbledore is still alive.
I have just been struck by a thought. Do you think JK could have meant Snape? I know there is the whole Snape is good/evil debate. Perhaps she meant that we would be introduced to him properly...whose side he really is on, etc.
Posted by Kim from Manchester, MA on February 19, 2007 6:09 PM
In the U.K. the local barman in a country village often be the one person that everyone chats to, as the pub is often a social centre where the adults meet, so the barman (Aberforth?) would be ideally situated to have a finger on the local pulse and gather information. The local pub is often a well established institution so it would blend into the background of everyday life - an ideal 'hide out' for someone working for the Order, without them working too hard.
So Dumbledore's lightly spoken comment could have a double edge that Tom would not have picked up on.
Posted by Marjorie from New Zealand on February 19, 2007 6:22 PM
Really interesting discussion going on. I like the idea of the "Hog's Head" as in the "Headmaster of Hogwarts". I just didn't think that it would be very significant to the story but now I think that the Hog's Head might have been used as the old Order of the Phoenix Headquarters!
Posted by Javed from Vancouver, Canada on February 19, 2007 6:46 PM
What I wanted to post about is the anagram I found that Aberforth's name forms; "for the bar." Of course he is the barman; I myself thought Dumbledore did some moonlighting as the barman back when he looked, "vaguely familiar to Harry." That's no coincidence!
As for his not being able to read, I agree with both suggestions that Dumbledore is just being funny, trying to cheer up Hagrid, pick on his brother...and that he may have been using the past tense "could" read...(I don't think that they were children because the story was 'all over the papers') or, I might suggest that they were not close growing up. I know almost everything that my siblings know...and their birthdays, IQs...you get the idea.
Posted by Crash from Portland, Oregon on February 19, 2007 7:25 PM
Another thing; I don't know that the Hog's Head is that significant as a a name, really, or is meant to refer to Dumbledore specifically, because Hogwarts is about one thousand years old and I believe the village of Hogsmeade sprung up near it, named for it, and the name "the Hog's Head" is just sort of thematic to the village and castle. Like anyone who's ever been to a tourist town might know! And remember how the floor was covered with, I forget, how many year's accumulation of filth? Dumbledore had been headmaster for several decades.
Posted by Crash from Portland, Oregon on February 19, 2007 8:44 PM
I don't know if it was Dave's intention or not, but starting this discussion about Aberforth, in my opinion, has simply reinforced the entire concept of his site. Dumbledore is not , and he's gotten us around to discussing what is perhaps, part of the reason why-
Everyone is hitting on clues on it is all comming to the same end. (Thanks, Kim, you're sweet-you don't want to get me started on the Longbottoms! More, more theories.) Marjorie, I think you're conclusions about the Hog's Head being more than a pub are on. And, with Dave's permission I would share that theory that involves this discussion, including book clues to support it (crazy as I assure you it's gonna sound). And Chris, I agree with you. JK is on to "us". She learned books ago we were looking for clues and wrote accordingly. I wonder how many I have fallen for!
Posted by Colleen from WInter Garden, Fl on February 19, 2007 9:26 PM
My first time posting, love the site. Really gives ya alot to think about. I think everyone comes up with some really great ideas, it's like we're all trying to solve a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
A couple things I'd like to comment on in this thread, first, I agree with the person who feels Albus was joking about his brother being illiterate. I very definately took it as a joke, I mean we're talking about wizards here. If Crabbe, Goyle, and McLaggen can all read then I seriously doubt Aberforth couldn't.
As to the topic of this thread, obviously Aberforth COULD be the one Rowling is referring to as the member of the order we are meant to grow to know better in book 7, but we should also make a list of the other possibilities.
The name that came to me today was an interesting one, because he may be spoken of even less than our dear Aberforth. Though this person has not been listed by name as a member, or shown in the picture of the order, I think it highly likely that he would be affiliated with it...Charlie Weasley? The one Weasley we have yet to meet, the one who's been off training the dragons. He hasn't been mentioned alot, but he's been mentioned just often enough that it makes you wonder why Rowling would take the time to do so if she meant us not to meet him. Perhaps he's been working for the Order in training the dragons for some special task in the war that Dumbledore more than likely saw coming? Apparently the Eaters were succesful in coercing the giants and the werewolves onto their side, perhaps the Order counters with a squad of dragons trained by Charlie Weasley?
Mad Eye's another possibility, since we have had very limited exposure to him as he was impersonated throughout GoF by Crouch, Jr.
Any thoughts on Charlie possibly making a memorable appearance in book 7?
Posted by Beau from Brandon, FL on February 19, 2007 9:53 PM
While I acknowledge that, ture, the Hog's Head has been there a long time - I think JKR would greatly enjoy using the pun, and relating it to Dumbledore. However, I think that it would be subsidiary to the use of the Hog's Head as a link in the chain of (maybe) the OotP. A place for those passing through to leave messages, mumble and grumble at the 'barman', then move on - with anonymity. Just a thought.
Posted by Marjorie from New Zealand on February 20, 2007 12:47 AM
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