Contest!

So my waking up early this morning to check out Pottermore turned out to be kind of a dud, as I really didn’t learn anything substantive that I didn’t already know. I’m trying to stay optimistic but I’m nervous about it. I really don’t love the idea that a million folks get an extra 2-3 months to play with the site before everyone else. It just seems that the people most likely to be shut out for that time are the kids who live and die with these books, no? After all, they’re the ones who have never been to a convention, never been part of a fan site, don’t have any connections. It strikes me as going against everything Rowling once stood for in the way she guarded the books’ secrets before they were released. But, we don’t know how the million people will be selected. Maybe she’ll prove me wrong. I hope she does.

Anyway… MORE importantly! I’ve decided to have a little contest on this site, just for fun. As I’ve worked through the books I’ve always been fascinated to see which scenes artists choose to draw, and which they don’t. Some of the most dramatic scenes in the books, I can’t find a single quality depiction of. Other more mundane moments seem to be drawn by everyone. So my question is: Who can guess the ten Harry Potter chapters that feature most prominently in my collection?.

Here’s how it will work: You guess which are the ten most commonly-drawn chapters in the series (books 1-7 only). Then, tell me what you think they are in a comment on this page. Then, I will score each chapter you list based on the total number of drawings I have archived for it – so, for instance, if you list Deathly Hallows chapter 33, you’ll get 84 points (hint, hint!), whereas if you list Goblet of Fire chapter 3, you’ll get 2 points. The person with the highest score wins. If there’s a tie, I’ll break it by selecting the person who posted their list earliest. Less time to research and/or copy other folks’ answers, you know.

Keep in mind that this is highly, highly unscientific. My library has roughly 4,000 images in it, but it consists only of certain artists and certain pieces by each of those artists. So you might have to get inside my head a bit to do well. And while I don’t have a fancy expensive prize, I *will* let the winner choose the next character for whom they would like me to build a character page. And if they like, perhaps give a bit of help in choosing quotes and/or artwork for it as well.

Let’s call the deadline this Sunday, June 26. If you need a list of the chapters, there’s a very convenient one on this very site. ;) Have fun with it, and good luck!

~ by Josie on June 23, 2011.

24 Responses to “Contest!”

  1. Ugh, it was really difficult narrowing down the chapters, but here goes:

    Philosopher’s Stone: Chapter 16

    Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapter 17

    Goblet of Fire: Chapter 20, Chapter 23, Chapter 34

    Order of the Phoenix: Chapter 36

    Half Blood Prince: Chapter 24

    Deathly Hallows: Chapter 4, Chapter 31, Chapter 33 (I was thinking that chapter even before you said it)

  2. What a fun idea. I’m not going to enter, because a good answer would require more thought than I have time to give right now, but it’s very kind of you to make the offer.

    As much as I love your companion and am in awe of the wonderful art produced here, I do have to admit to being a little disappointed that overall, there were relatively few depictions of the older and teacher characters, except for Snape and Dumbledore.

    Now, of course this result reflects the focus of the books themselves; HP is the story of the Trio and their friends/family, so teachers are obviously going to occupy a decidedly secondary position in illustration. Yet there are many places in the books where teachers feature prominently, and I am a bit sorry that not many of the artists chose to render those scenes. I’m selfish about my OTC, but I would have loved to see more McGonagall art, especially in the Battle of Hogwarts section. (We did get the charging desks, but just speaking for myself, that’s one my least-favorite canon McGonagall moments; I think she’s made to look absurd while everyone else is being heroic. I do realize that I’m probably in the minority here, though; I know many people who like that scene.)

    Still, the Companion is a grand achievement, and I refer to it often. Thank you so much for your thoughtful work and your dedication.

  3. I hope I got these right. . .
    Prisoner of Azkaban chapters 14 and 15
    Order of the Phoenix chapters 28 and 35
    Half-Blood Prince chapters 14 and 24
    Deathly Hallows chapters 19, 31, 33 and 36

  4. Is it bad that my strategy consisted of looking for Snape-heavy chapters since he has so many fangirls? ;) And can’t you make it a Top Twenty? Please?

    SS: 1
    PoA: 21
    GoF: 23
    OotP: 28, 35
    HBP: chapters 2, 26
    DH: chapters 19, 31, 33 (ditto to Josiah’s comment :D)

  5. Yay Josiah, Anastacia Malfoy, and Natalia! You guys win the tiebreakers, if they come up. Anastacia, FYI, I edited your response so it didn’t give away your methodology quite so much. And if anybody is looking to copy, beware – I see some excellent answers and some not-excellent answers in those batches.

    Kelly, your comment really made me think about drawings of adult characters. I’m big on statistics in general, so I did a quick analysis of the ratio of drawings I’ve posted on the site to the number of times each character was mentioned in the text, for the sixteen most commonly mentioned characters (eight kids and eight adults). This bore out your instinct – six of the eight most “overdrawn” characters (characters who are drawn more than the number of references to them suggest they should be) were kids. The big exception, of course, was Snape. Ginny, Snape, and George were the top three. The three least drawn were Voldemort, Harry, and all the way at the bottom, Hagrid. McGonagall was right in the middle, about on par with Ron and Sirius.

    Two things I would consider, though. First is what scenes these characters are present for. Other than Snape and Dumbledore (who was also right in the middle), very few adults are present for action – their scenes tend to be more expository. This is especially true of McGonagall, who often is simply giving the Gryffindors information. Those scenes aren’t remotely interesting to draw. The second thing is that the adults just aren’t around that much. Ron has 33% as many references in the text as Harry, and Hermione has 29%. The most common adult is Dumbledore, with 12%. McGonagall is at 4%. She just isn’t in that many scenes. So while Harry is in 631 drawings that appear on this site, McGonagall *should* appear in around 26 – that’s only once every eight chapters. She actually appears 34 times, which is considerably more than that. So…. I think it’s just hard to say one way or another whether adults are underrepresented. Except that Snape most definitely is not. ;)

  6. Okay, I just spend the last 3 hours looking at every page in the companion, spread pink highlighter all over three pages of notes, and I think I have it.

    Deathly Hallows Chapter 33
    Deathly Hallows Chapter 36
    Deathly Hallows Chapter 19
    Half-Blood Prince Chapter 14
    Half-Blood Prince Chapter 24
    Half-Blood Prince Chapter 26
    Order of the Phoenix Chapter 28
    Order of the Phoenix Chapter 35
    Deathly Hallows Chapter 31
    Deathly Hallows Chapter 32

  7. Ah, well, I suppose “under-representation” is in the eye of the beholder. The teachers are my favorite characters, so I’m a bit biased toward them. I’m pleased to find out just how often McG does appear; thank you so much for the stats.

  8. DH 19, 33, 34

    HBP 26

    OP 28, 34

    GOF23

  9. oops I only posted 7 – here are the others:

    DH 31, 36

    HBP 24

  10. Thanks guys! I should just add a note: the contest is to see which chapters have the most artwork in my entire collection, not merely on this website. Several people have talked about counting art on this website (I’ve continued to edit out comments that discuss methodology for the sake of fairness, since anyone can read these comments), and that’s not an un-useful place to start, but simply posting the ten chapters with the most art posted to the HPC will still leave you a solid distance from the maximum possible score. I have some chapters where I only have fourteen drawings and used every one of them on this site; I have others where I might have thirty but only used twelve. So don’t put too much faith simply in numbers, as they can be deceiving….

  11. Hmmm… this is really tricky guessing because a good portion of the artwork used throughout the site are portraits that really could apply to more than one chapter. I wish I could spread out my guesses more evenly through the books… this isn’t too original…

    Philosopher’s Stone: 1 & 2
    Order of the Phoenix: 28, 36
    Half Blood Prince: 24, 26
    Deathly Hallows: 19, 31, 33, 36

    Josie, have you ever taken artwork down off the site? Maybe I’m misremembering a couple of things.

  12. Wait, never mind… I realized the pictures I was thinking of are on the Dumbledore character portrait page!

  13. Because my sleep schedule is so destroyed because of Pottermore, here are my guesses…without much to back them up except some gut feelings.

    SS5
    GF34
    OP18
    OP28
    OP34
    HBP27
    HBP28
    DH21
    DH31
    DH33

    In regards to Pottermore, I’m going to have to disagree with you Josie. If you think about it, 1 million is really a ridiculously high number. I would estimate there are roughly 100 thousand hardcore fans who really want to beta the site, and they should all be able to. It’s not like Jo demands you be a big name fan or anything to join.

    Also, I don’t begrudge the fansites their exclusive peeks. Am I jealous beyond belief? Hell yes. However, I believe they have earned it. They spend countless hours and resources working for the HP community, and deserve a perk or two. The MuggleCasters were up before 4am West Coast Time to broadcast live for us, so we could all share in the excitement and receive uptodate news.

    The feeling I get from all this Pottermore stuff is that it is, first and foremost, for the fans. This is Jo’s thank you to those of us who have stuck with her and are still passionate enough about the books to want to relive them with added information. And after feeling forgotten about for the last two years or so, I appreciate that beyond belief.

  14. Andrea, I have taken artwork off the site very occasionally, maybe five or six drawings total? Usually it’s because I find a more recent piece of artwork depicting an identical scene that I like much better. But not often. It sounds like you’ve found what you were looking for, but if you’re searching for anything else, feel free to ask. :)

    hpboy13, thanks for your thoughts. I didn’t mean to say that the fansite folks weren’t deserving of special access – I understand all the hard work they put in and the thousands of hours they’ve dedicated to the books (not to mention the excitement they’ve generated among thousands of other fans). I think it just bothers me that there’s an exclusive sneak peek at all, you know? I’ve worked in the community long enough that I’m fairly confident I will be able to find a way to at least see the site on July 31 or whenever it ends up being. But if I were sixteen years old, and had read the books a hundred times, I wouldn’t feel that confidence. And that’s what bothers me. It’s not the thought of people getting in who *don’t* deserve it, so much as people *not* getting in who *do*. Rowling’s people have claimed that Pottermore will be just as exciting as a new book, so why not let everyone access it the same way? Perhaps it’s simply the practical need for beta testers. The website certainly wasn’t equipped to handle all the requests it got yesterday.

    It dawned on me, though, what I bet they’re going to do, which would completely negate my fears. Trivia. Questions that people who really know the books would know, but are difficult to look up, and you have to answer within a short time limit. Oh man, do I hope that’s it.

  15. Also, an update (and my best attempt at not giving anything away that would give an advantage to anyone):
    –There are four chapters that have been widely guessed but which are not in the top ten (which is actually a top twelve, due to ties);
    –There is one chapter in the top ten that nobody has yet guessed, and several more which have been guessed by almost nobody;
    –The current leader has 362 points out of a possible 380.

  16. Okay it has took me like an hour and a half but I think that I have it now :)

    PS – 1, 12
    CS – 17
    GF – 20
    OP – 28
    HBP – 1, 28, 26
    DH – 33, 31

  17. PA-21
    OP-21, 36
    HBP- 2, 24
    DH- 4, 23, 31, 33, 36

  18. So, that’s my guess:
    GF: 23
    OP: 36
    HBP: 14, 24, 27
    DH: 7, 23, 31, 33, 36

  19. Josie, I would dearly love a trivia contest! Since I joined the NYC HP meetup, they have stopped playing trivia because of me. I want a challenge!!!

    I see where you’re coming from, but I believe that 1 million is a large enough number to accommodate all those sixteen-year-olds, should they want to join. I think that’s the reason the number was set so high, and not in the three of four digits (which is usually the number who gets exclusive sneak peeks).

  20. PS 1
    GF 23
    OP 28,35
    HBP 24
    DH 19, 23, 31, 33, 36

  21. Okay, I’m cutting it a little close here! (11:20 pm Sunday!). I’m guessing your contest is open till Midnight! So I’ll have to guess quick.

    OotP 28 – Snape’s Worst Memory
    DH 33 – The Prince’s Tale
    DH epilogue
    DH 19 – The Silver Doe
    DH 7 – The Will of Albus Dumbledore
    DH 32 – The Elder Wand
    HBP 24 – Sectumsempra
    PoA 21 – Hermione’s Secret
    GoF 23 – The Yule Ball
    OotP 10 – Luna Lovegood

  22. I’m not very confident in my choices, but I’ll give it a go.

    PS: The Boy Who Lived
    PS: The Mirror of Erised
    GoF: Priori Incatatum,
    OotP: Snape’s Worst Memory
    HBP: The Cave, Flight of the Prince
    DH: The Wedding, The Silver Doe, The Prince’s Tale, The Forest Again,

  23. About Pottermore…I have never been in the online Fandom, but I got in. The questions were purely based on the books. ;)

  24. Yes – I was impressed by the way they did it. Thought it worked out nicely. Though I still think that trivia would have been preferable. ;)

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