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Thread: Moody's Order Photograph

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    Moody's Order Photograph

    I just re-read OP9, checked out HPL and HPW, and went through the filing cabinet, so hopefully I'm not repeating something that's already been discussed. My question is about the photograph of the Order that Moody shows Harry in OotP. I can't find anything about when it was taken. Any thoughts?

    There is lots on what happened afterwards - who died and such. Obviously it was taken before Oct. 1981, and since there is no mention of Lily appearing pregnant, I'd say it was taken before Harry was born, before March 1980 (she'd be about four months pregnant at that point and starting to show, imho.)

    According to the HPL, the Mauraders graduated in June 1977 (I would have pegged June 1978 based on birthdates, but I'll use their dates.) So my best guess is July 1978 - March 1980. Think it's open to any time during those 20 months or so?

    Really, it's not a big deal as I probably can't use it for what I want to use it for, but it does set the base timeline for those few years and thus something I hope to write.

    Gosh, how I wish for a Maurader prequel! Or just an encyclopedia!
    Thanks!
    ~Gina

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    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Moody says that Marlene McKinnon died two weeks after the photograph was taken, and Lily mentions Marlene dying in her letter to Sirius thanking him for Harry's birthday present. I can't remember all the details, but it probably places Marlene's death after Harry's birthday (31st July 1981). So Lily in the photo wouldn't be pregnant as Harry had been born.

    However, I'm fairly sure I remember a conversation about this on the board, and there's a timeline error surrounding Caradoc Dearborn who vanished 6 months after the photo was taken which would be Jan/Feb 1982 3-4 months after Voldemort had gone. Unless there were still DE's on the rampage (and Bellatrix was around - we know the Longbottoms were attacked after Voldy disappeared) - it's a bit of an anomoly.

    Carole
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    Thanks for pointing out the letter - I knew there had to be something to nail it down a bit more! So that would probably place the photo being taken in either July or August 1981. I can't use it whatsoever, nor can I even use the bad news about all the deaths afterwards, since my story will be set in 1978 or 1979. At least I have lots of living characters to pick from, I guess.
    Thanks again! And I won't forget: no cheese.
    ~Gina

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    It was me who pointed out the inconsistancy with Caradoc Dearbon, and for that reason, in my story, I've disregarded the letter somewhat (or sort of interpreted it differently) and had the picture taken in March of 1980. This leaves time for Caradoc to disappear within the time of Voldemort and still have been six months after the photo was taken. However, I'm quite a stickler for canon and so I still wanted Marlene McKinnon to have died two weeks later, so I've had her do that, and the McKinnons Lily talk about in her letter are her family, as Moody did say that the Death Eaters killed them too. It's a bit loose as it's implied that her famiy died with her, but it's the best I can do to fit everything in. So there is a way you can fit the photo into your story if you wanted it to be there, but it takes some twiddling with canon.

    Sarah x


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  5. #5
    Iguanarwhal
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    Yeah, I've noticed that error too. I'd say it's best to use your own discretion. If your story requires a clear timeline, definitely choose one or the other to tweak (Well, you have to, really.). It might be interesting to go with the July 1981 date, as that would mean that a lot of members of the Order were dying within a short period of time, making things very bleak in the months leading up to Voldemort's defeat. I've written a very short story about Benjy and Dorcas discussing Caradoc's disappearance (I originally wanted some Caradoc/Dorcas, but Dorcas just wasn't cooperating with me.), and I just chose to leave the exact timing of my story unclear, as it was just a little one-shot.

    Here are a couple other questions for you:

    Is Fabian Prewett in the photo? Here are Moody's exact words: "Gideon Prewett, it took five Death Eaters to kill him and his brother Fabian, they fought like heroes..." It seems to me that he would have said something like "Gideon and Fabian Prewett, it took five death eaters to kill them, they fought like heroes" if Fabian were actually in the picture. Or maybe he would have pointed Fabian out as he said his name? I'm not sure. I've read one story that actually makes this a plot point, but I'd love to hear your opinions on it. I should also mention that on the Harry Potter wiki there's a picture from the movies of the photo and it appears to include both Gideon and Fabian.

    And while I'm at it, I have a few questions about the first Order not specifically about the photo, if you don't mind my asking them.

    The Prewetts. Are they older or younger than Molly? Is one older and one younger? Are they twins (It ought to be noted that, according to the Harry Potter wiki, they were portrayed in the movie by James and Oliver Phelps.) like Fred and George? That might explain why both the Weasley twins and the Prewett brothers have 'F' and 'G' first names, as if Molly was indirectly naming them after her brothers.

    Now I have a question about the ages of the Order members. While there are some older members, like Dumbledore, Aberforth and Elphias Doge, I'm noticed that many fanfiction writers love to make all the others rather young, near Lily and James's age, possibly even their contemporaries. Do you like to do this? Do you agree with this? Here's what we have about the ages of Order. Obviously the Potters and Longbottoms are quite young. Gideon and Fabian are somewhere nearly Molly's age. I'd guess that at the earliest one was born in 1939 (Ten years before Molly.) and at the latest 1959, setting their ages in 1981 somewhere from 22-42, a rather large range. We know Sturgis Podmore was probably pretty young, as Moody exclaims "blimey, he looks young." I'd say Edgar Bones is Molly's age or older, since he has children whose ages are unknown. We don't know anything about the ages of Caradoc Dearborn, Dorcas Meadowes, Benjy Fenwick, Emmeline Vance and Marlene McKinnon. How do you like to portray them? I don't think that making all of them young would be accurate, but it's very hard for me to resist. I just love how tragic the Marauders are, being torn apart so young, and the rest of the Order seems like a beautiful place to write more about the tragic youth, who dye bravely fighting evil. Thoughts?

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    The Prewetts. Are they older or younger than Molly? Is one older and one younger? Are they twins (It ought to be noted that, according to the Harry Potter wiki, they were portrayed in the movie by James and Oliver Phelps.) like Fred and George? That might explain why both the Weasley twins and the Prewett brothers have 'F' and 'G' first names, as if Molly was indirectly naming them after her brothers.
    According to the Lexicon they are younger than Molly, however JK Rowling has not made this clear anywhere so it may just be a bit of Lexicon mythology.

    I've had them older in one story of mine, but in another (where I feature only Fabian) he's probably younger (I say probably because I haven't quite aged him yet). It isn't clear if they're twins either. I like the idea that they are, but if Molly really wanted to honour her dead twin brothers, then she'd have called Fred and George Fabian and Gideon, wouldn't she?

    I think the Marauders and Lily are likely to be the youngest Order members, but I guess some could have just joined from Hogwarts. I think you can justify any ages as we know so little about them.

    Frank and Alice need to be older though. They're both qualified Aurors, (three years training) and Alice had a baby (take a year out probably) So, Alice, at least, has to be a year older than Lily. To be safe I think she's probably older say five six years.

    ~Carole~
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    Is Fabian Prewett in the photo? Here are Moody's exact words: "Gideon Prewett, it took five Death Eaters to kill him and his brother Fabian, they fought like heroes..." It seems to me that he would have said something like "Gideon and Fabian Prewett, it took five death eaters to kill them, they fought like heroes" if Fabian were actually in the picture. Or maybe he would have pointed Fabian out as he said his name? I'm not sure.
    I was thinking this exact same thing the other day when I re-read that part of OoTP. I'd never noticed before that it didn't explicitly say Fabian was there too. I think an author can have a free rein with this. It can be inturpreted that by the absence of Fabian's name that he wasn't in the Order, or it could just be that Fabian wasn't standing near his brother in the photo and Moody just didn't want to find him and point him out to Harry because he wanted to show him his parents. I think it could go either way.

    I personally don't like the idea that almost every Order member was Lily and James's age. Who would set up a movement fighting an incredibly dark wizard composed of mostly untried teenagers? We've got canon evidence that at least five members joined up when they were eighteen/ninteen, but I think that they would be the youngest. In OoTP, Emmeline Vance is described as being 'stately', which to me suggests no younger than forty-five, but I imagine it to be older, perhaps into her fifties. She'd have been in her thirties or forties when the first war was being fought. As for Frank and Alice, like Carole said, I think they're about five or six years older than Lily and James, simply because they were Aurors with a decent reputation and a son by 1981. I think that reputation would have taken a few years to build.


    Sarah x


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    So I found something interesting yesterday that messes with the dates again.

    Dumbledore tells Harry at the end of DH that James had shown him the cloak just a few days before the Potters died:
    "You have guessed, I know, why the Cloak was in my possession on the
    night your parents died. James had showed it to me just a few days previously."


    So that would be mid to late October.

    In her letter to Sirius, Lily says:
    "James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell – also Dumbledore’s still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions."

    Which means the same time frame - mid to late October.

    If you ask me, that's pretty late for a thank-you note after Harry's 1st birthday. But it does push back the deaths of the McKinnons, since Lily also says:
    "Wormy was here last weekend. I thought he seemed down, but that was probably the news about the McKinnons; I cried all evening when I heard."

    Now, I read their deaths as being early October at best, since it sounds fairly recent from the tone of the letter. So it looks something like this: the McKinnons were killed, Wormtail visits the Potters, James gives Dumbledore the cloak, Lily writes to Sirius about it, and then they are killed a few days later.

    Which means that picture was taken sometime in September, 1981, since Moody tells Harry the McKinnons were killed two weeks after the photograph. Apparently loads of Order members were killed in a short time. And if James and Lily were in hiding, why were they taking pictures with the Order? Who had Harry?

    Frankly, I don't think JKR checked herself with these dates, but there it is. Does that make sense? Or did I miss something?

    ~Gina

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