Slytherin. Snake People. Eaters of Death! One could safely assume that being in The House of S would automatically make you the villain in any story…
But Chris has never thought things out the easy way, now has he? This week, he defends Slytherin and on top of that… well, thanks to the reminder of Alan Rickman, we would like to take the time to personally thank any and every body who has helped inspire us along the way.
If there was a name that popped up at the end that you weren’t aware of, down here in the description you can find links to just about everyone we listed.
Kevin Smith: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfDoPEgiYTMmraXj8HS7s4g
Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am Chris Taylor and I am the Advocate of the Devil!
There are a lot of great Fantasy novels out there. Lord of the Rings, if you can get past the insufferable detail of literally everything that doesn’t matter. Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series as well, despite the fact that the main character’s written as if he knows everything, right down to the fact that that’s exactly how his magic works.
It sounds weird, but it strangely works. Read Terry Goodkind’s books, they’re pretty good.
One of the biggest Fantasy series’ to come out in recent history is JK Rowlings Harry Potter series. A school filled with children who can preform magic spells! Who wouldn’t want to be there, even right now?
For those who have not read these books themselves, each student is divided into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. Each one focusing on the different aspects of what kind of positive potential the children has… well, except for that last one.
The Death Eaters, the wizarding worlds resident Nazi parable, all started out as Slytherin students! Some of them can talk to snakes, some of them torture and murder people, magical and non magical alike! In fact, it’s pretty safe to assume that if you wind up in House Slytherin, you’re going to end up being a pretty bad guy…
… Buuuut here’s the thing: In my opinion, Slytherin get’s a bad rap just because of a few bad apples, and today, I’m proud to explain why I think the big S is actually good.
There’s one big thing about the Harry Potter universe that I’ve noticed: Hogwarts is pretty much like High School. You have your classes and you have your cliques. Like most groups in High School, you kind of lump yourself into a group that, even if you don’t agree with everything that they do, you become associated with ALL of their deeds, for good or for ill.
This is where I see Slytherin getting the most hate. Almost everyone hates them simply because the leader is the main antagonist for the main character. picture of Professor Snape No, not him. Picture of Draco Malfoy Not quite, but getting there… Picture of Voldemort THERE we go.
The entire house is being lumped in because Rowling’s version of Biff from Back to the Future is a right bastard! He was a Slytherin, and thus ALL Slytherin’s are human pieces of filth.
It’s hard to argue. After all, every single Death Eater started out in this house. The problem is, it is a very ignorant outlook.
Let’s look at reality for a moment. Recently, a misogynistic racist ignorant AssClown was voted as the president of the united states. Not by the popular vote mind you, but by the electoral college, but I digress.
It would be easy to lump all of the people who voted for that man as the same as he: But that wouldn’t be fair. The fact is, there are many reason’s why people voted for him, that have absolutely nothing to do with people being LIKE him. Just because I don’t understand it, doesn’t make it invalid.
And that’s no fault of the house of Slytherin either. One man does not make the entire institution unfit.
Besides, I actually have some hard evidence that there’s at least ONE character who ends up being good, who probably should have ended up in that house: The Main Character Himself, Harry Potter.
The master of ceremonies WANTED to put the legendary scarred one there! The only thing that actually saved him was the fact that he didn’t want to be in it. Choice, free will! We are led to believe that the hat knows all, that he can peer inside your soul and place you where you truly belong. But here, and quite possibly for the first and last time, since we’ve never seen an example of the student choosing his house before OR since, we have a student essentially choosing for himself.
Now, the big defense against this is the fact that by the end, we learn that Harry is a horcrux! There’s a piece of “you know who” stuck inside of him. Quite frankly… I don’t think that’s the only reason why the hat wanted him in Slytherin though.
Think about it. What are some of the key traits to the House of S? Cunning, deviousness, the will and capability to do what must be done regardless of the rules. The ends justify the means. That describes HP to a T!
Seriously. Will and capability to do what must be done. Throughout each and every single one of those books, you have an underage wizard taking out trolls, competing in the Tri Wizard tournament, coming face to face with the ghost of The Dark Lord, coming face to face with the ACTUAL he who must not be named! And most of the time, he had to sneak out at night, disobeying direct rules and regulations to accomplish what needed to get done.
By the end, the school system couldn’t help him anymore, and he quits to go on a suicide mission to fulfill his end of a prophecy. He needed to kill The Dark Lord, by any means necessary.
But okay, he’s the protagonist. He needs to be portrayed in a positive light. Thankfully, he had help. Someone who was watching his back throughout the entire series, and made sure he survived long enough to fulfill his destiny.
A few episodes ago, I posited a question: Severus Snape, brilliant double agent or repugnant toe rag? Allow me to state my side for once and for all: Double Agent.
From the very beginning, book one, Snape is seen protecting Harry from the dastardly mechanations of Professor Quirrel and the piece of The Dark Lord that has attached itself to him. He’s a member of the Order of the Pheonix, he tries to get Harry to close his mind to He Who Must Not Be Named.
It’s not just Harry either. He protects Malfoy from having to commit murder, essentially saving an innocent. Even after killing the headmaster himself, and being chased by Potter, he doesn’t kill the boy. No, he disarms him, and tells him some valuable information that, as per usual, goes largly ignored by our hero. Stop speaking and start casting your spells mentally.
At first, did he join with Wizard Hitler for real? Yes, of course he did! He was angry, bitter, downtrodden and abused all throughout his childhood. He had the woman of his dreams stolen from him by his biggest antagonist in James Potter, Harry’s father! No wonder there was so much tension between the two of them at every turn.
But who amongst us can truly say we have NOT done something stupid out of pain and desperation?
insert scene from Thank you for Smoking, “Who truly believes smoking is good for you?”, I’ll find the proper timestamp
We all have. It’s not only our collective pasts which dictate who we are, but how we deal with loss, how we make amends for those things that we’ve done wrong.
Snape knows that he screwed up, and continually makes mistakes along the way as well. But he learns from them, grows because of them, and puts his own personal animosity aside to protect the child of the woman that got away thanks to his own foolishness.
He kept Hogwarts from falling into enemy hands! He guided Harry to one of the horcruxes… and even sacrificed himself for the kid he seemingly loathed. A Slytherin, as said by Harry himself at the end of it all, was arguably the bravest of them all.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I do hope I managed to shed some light into the superiority of Slytherin. Whether it be the fact that you can’t blame an entire group for one man’s complete and total evil, or even the very true fact that our hero could very well have ended up IN the house in the first place. There are many aspects of those people within Slytherin that are actually positive traits.
Gryfindor is not the sole house of bravery either, with Professor Snape having the single hardest job in the entire series, having to protect the students after the death of Dumbledore AND with convincing You Know Who that he was on his side in the first place.
As always, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button for a new piece of my mind every Wednesday, and some good ole fashioned gaming every Sunday, both at Noon. And by all means, let us know in the comments below if you agree, if you disagree, or somewhere in between. Bring up all of your points against my own… so that I may proceed to prove you wrong.
But for now, in the case of Slytherin…. You know what? No, I’m not quite done here.
Bringing up Alan Rickman in this has reminded me of just how much loss there was in 2016. It seemed like we couldn’t go a week without someone that I looked up to, or was inspired by, just… gone forever.
Prince, Gene Wilder, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher… the list goes on.
We started working on this around this time last year. I was sitting down, writing scripts, brainstorming ideas, all in the hopes that we’d have enough idea’s to move forward with … well, what you’re all watching.
I don’t normally do the new years resolutions, I’ve always thought that if you needed a specific day to convince you to change… well, you’re not going to change for long. But I was tired of not doing anything in my life.
I had grown up seeing all these people go out and do great things, things that made me think or laugh or … react in some way. They had all inspired me in some way, and … I wanted to do the same.
So I didn’t have a resolution, I had a motto of sorts: Don’t just be inspired, be an inspiration.
I’m not arrogant enough to think that this is anything but a sometimes funny, hopefully entertaining bit of Internet programming. But at the same time, I want to thank all those people who have inspired me and continue to inspire me.
This one’s for you mom…
For the Kevin Smith’s, for the Max Landis’s, to Mat Pat from Game and Film Theory, Philip Defranco, Jim Sterling, to the Screen Junkies crew, to anyone who has ever TRIED, even if you failed at it… Thank you.
And to anybody who’s watching this, or watching other people doing things and thinking to yourself “Man, wouldn’t it be great to do something like that?” Honestly, what are you waiting for? They all tried, and eventually they succeeded.
Don’t just be inspired… Do something about it. Take whatever it is that’s inside you and let it out, in a non-harmful to others kind of way. If you fail, at least you can say that you tried and you won’t be wondering what if. And if you succeed, what a wonderful gift you just gave to yourself! Take that chance, while you still can.
Don’t just be inspired… Be an inspiration, even if only to yourself.