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20 July 2005 @ 06:38 pm
Salazar Slytherin  
Yesterday while I was trying to watch my CoS DVD and read GoF at the same time, I kinda had one of those epiphany thingies.

In the movie, McG explains, in a quite dramatic fashion, that the chamber is the home to a MONSTER! But in the book, Binns, who is probably much more older than Minnie, doesn't put much stock on those stories.
We are also told Salazar didn't want muggleborns in Hogwarts, and later on he had a fight with Godric and left the school.

But was Salazar Slytherin really a racist? Or were his ideas based on strategic reasons?

The most reliable source of those days is the Sorting Hat, as he was there and he has an echo of the founders' brains in it.

"For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?"

Fact #1: Godric and Salazar were something like best friends.

"So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears."

Possibility: It was an outsider force that caused troubles, it is possible Salazar maynot be the source of the problem, as later the Sorting Hat draws a parallel to the current situation:

"Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes"

Fact #2: Salazar left. Nobody else but Salazar...
Strong Possibility: All of the founders were isolationers. They had no arguments about the need to hide wizards and witches from muggles. Hogwarts is built in a far off land, and was built in a time that muggle transportation was not advanced, broomsticks didnot exist or very slow, floo powder and Aparation maynot have been invented yet.

Here comes the theory: All four founders agreed that the existince of the muggle world should be hidden from wizards. In my opinnion, the reason Salazar didn't want muggleborns in Hogwarts is because it would risc the exposure of the wizard world. When you accept a muggleborn wizard to Hogwarts, that wizard's parents, siblings and maybe close friends will have the knowladge of the existence of magic. Then it makes sense not to let muggleborns attend. A counter point can be made by telling; by accepting muggleborns to Hogwarts, you can train them and there won't be any accidental magic going around. Not accepting them could be just as dangerous. If you accept them, at least you have some control over the situations.

So what was the fight about? I believe, even at the time, there were wizards who didn't want muggleborns, and not because of their bloodline. From a political point of view; when you pull people from their world and train them in the ways of another, you take most of their chances at functioning at their previous nature. So, that meant muggleborns would have to take a piece of the wizard cake. Some didn't like it. They used Salazar's logical ideas to convince people. And somewhere along the lines, things got awry. Then after Salazar left, the logical argument was gone and all that was left was the terror. Salazar, by leaving, made a statement: "I do not approve of your violant ways." Pay attention: fights ended when Salazar left, Sorting Hat makes that pretty clear. This was a man once best friend of Godric. What he did was noble. Hogwarts was his baby, it was an ideal of his. If he really was a dark wizard who saw he was losing, don't you think the other three would have destroyed everything that resembled his dark ideologies? After all, that's what the winning nations did through history. On contrary, the others are heartbroken because of his departure.

So where does the Basilisk fit in? Simple. It was one of the ways to protect the school. That's why it was caged. The giant spiders didn't come near it, did they? "The chamber can be opened only by the heir of Slytherin" comment is horsecrap; Harry opened it. All it took was a parselmouth. If Salazar intended to kill muggleborns, why take so many precautions to keep the basilisk away, and make it wait for a heir for a thousand years who may or maynot want to use it?

I don't believe Salazar Slytherin, the best friend of Godric Gryffindor, was a dark wizard who wanted to kill innocent people just because of their bloodlines. He was a man who other dark wizards tried to manipulate by using his logical reasoning to back their war plans. And Salazar's answer to those men was very loud and clear.
Pharnabazuspharnabazus on July 20th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC)
I've wondered for some time if Salazar's Basilisk might originally have been a rather dangerous and "slytherin-like" way to "protect" the school. I suggested as much in my essay here early last year, with some theories about Slytherin's probable motivations in one of the later chapters - although of course the whole essay needs to be revised in the light of Half-Blood Prince.

It's not just the acromantulas that would have been afraid of the Basilisk. Harry found the caverns near the chamber full of the bones of the creatures it had eaten. What sort of creatures "was" it eating? What exactly lives down there, in the subterranean caves below Hogwarts? There are hints in the books that there's a whole Underworld below Wizarding Britain, with Gringotts tucked away in its southern corner.

Actually, I suspect that (horrible as he was) Aragog was a restraining influence on all the other giant spiders. With him gone, there's every chance that they might now attack the school, and all the "fresh meat" inside - especially if the enemy is also sending giants, inhumi, Dark Wizards and Dementors - and if there are traitors within as well.
Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connieconuly on July 20th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
I agree. I've never thought Salazar was actually a racist - or, at least, that if he was, this wasn't what motivated him.

He thought muggle-borns were less trustworthy? Well, yeah. Because they were less trustworthy, torn like that between their families (who probably didn't like magic) and the wizarding world.
safakus on July 20th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
I did read your essay P, a few months ago. I haven't yet read the HBP as of yet (I live in Turkey and Amazon hasn't delivered it yet) so i don't know if it touches the issue of Founders. About Aragog, i would think Dumbledore would put wards keeping them out of school, especially after the basilisk died. The question is were there any giant spiders before Aragog as he calls the others his children...

On another note, we don't exactly know how parseltounge works. Is it the ability to talk to snakes or is it the ability to command snakes? And Harry didnot try talking to the basilisk, either. In the movie, Tom tells him parseltounge wouldn't help him with his Basilisk, but i don't trust anything Tom or Voldemort says. This is important because in what ways would a basilisk protect the school other than eating dangerous beasts and scaring away spiders? For instance, if Hogwarts was under attack, how would a basilisk react? You can't depend on a parseltounge with it because they are very rare. But it's also far-fetched to think this is Salazar's master plan to wipe out muggle-borns.

By the way, i've been a fan of your thories for some time and i based some of my essays on IMDb HBP board on your theories. I of course credited you and gave your link along with it. Hope you don't mind. About this essay, i honestly didn't remember about it, i was more focused on your ideas about patronages and Barty Crouch and Lucius Malfoy.
Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connieconuly on July 20th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
The ability to speak to snakes. Remember, Harry spoke a whole conversation with a snake in book 1, and Voldie's family apparently uses Parseltongue to each other all the time.
safakus on July 20th, 2005 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sure. Of course it's the ability to talk to snakes. But when Harry tells the snake not to attack Justin, he is pretty sure the snake got the massage. If that's the case, i wonder whot would happen if two different parseltounges told the same snake to do different things.
The basilisk certainly seemed he was taking orders from possesed Ginny and Tom himself. And Nagini is unusually loyal to Voldemort, but Harry doesn't try parseltounge in the grave yard, either, which is a little suspicious on JKR's part. Was she trying to cover something?
PS: I haven't read the HBP yet so if you know something i don't, please, don't share.
Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connieconuly on July 21st, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
Whoops! It was a minor spoiler, I'm sorry. I assumed that since you were reading this entry, you had read it.
Grand High Supreme and Mighty Empress Connieconuly on July 21st, 2005 06:55 am (UTC)
Well, that makes no sense. I realized after the fact that you posted this. I'm sorry. I guess I just fell into the bad habit of assuming that all HP-related posts were by people who'd read book 6.
safakus on July 21st, 2005 08:35 am (UTC)
Well i had written this essay a month ago and just re-posted here. Don't fret it though. I'm not that spoiled. And probably while you were typing your last reply, i finally got my HBP and 3/4 through with it.

kiki: lv--o_chan made this.beyond_pale on July 22nd, 2005 01:11 am (UTC)
thanks for the essay; I've also suspected that Slytherin's message has been distorted by history.

As to the basilisk in the Chamber, I'm pretty sure that it obeys only the Heir of Slytherin (i.e. Slytherin and his heirs); Harry's Parseltonugue abilities are of no use here, because it will only obey commands set to it by its master.
purebastardx on May 21st, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)
I think Salazar was just misunderstood. He was afraid that Muggleborns would expose the magical world and that was justified. Wizards and witches were haunted back then, Muggles were dangerous. I don't agree that Muggleborns shouldn't attend Hogwarts, but I do understand the logic behind his theory.