Sorry if this has been asked before, my meagre google-fu skills fail to reveal it.

Chapter 55. When Harry cast his Patronus in Azkaban, he lost some of his "life" to sustain it:

Slowly the light died back down.

Part of Harry's life flowed back into him.

Part had been lost as radiation.


So Harry walked on, leaving a piece of himself behind. It would dwell in this place and time forever, he knew. Even after Harry came back someday with a company of other True Patronus casters and they destroyed all the Dementors here. Even if he melted the triangular building and burned the island low enough that the sea would wash over it, leaving no trace that such a place as this had ever once existed. Even then he wouldn't get it back.

If you taboo "life", what exactly did Harry lose there and why should he never be able to regain it? It seems unlikely that MoR of all things subscribes to the idea of living things having a life force in some vitalist or spiritualist sense...

Also, will this have any effect on anything in the story? Did Harry permanently weaken his own magical potential or something of that sort?

I was thinking the Patronus was fueled by HP (TVTropes warning). From the whole "magic makes you tired" effect, I had thought something like "life force" was a reasonable assumption.

5Eneasz8yI also view this as poetic language, not a literal loss of some substance, but a major change in the person that is called Harry. If enough change makes you a different person, than any major change can be seen as the fractional death of the previous person you were. Value drift is a pretty common subject around here. Harry has just been inside an active concentration camp for hours. I hear that many allied soldiers were massively altered when they first came upon & liberated the Nazi concentration camps. It's even possible that something similar to this was written by returning soldiers in memoirs. I think poetic language is to be expected when processing this sort of trauma.
3Locke8yIt means Harry will never be able to truly forget or move past that horrible day. A part of him will always be there, just as a part of Dumbledore will always be in the black room. I am reminded of Barney's "second that would last forever" from HIMYM.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

by Oscar_Cunningham 1 min read9th Sep 2011725 comments


(The HPMOR discussion thread after this one is here.)

The previous thread is over the 500-comment threshold, so let's start a new Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread.  This is the place to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic and anything related to it. The latest chapter as of 09/09/2011 is Ch. 77.

The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag.  Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system.  Also: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.  The author page is the central location for information about updates and links to HPMOR-related goodies, and AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author's Notes.

As a reminder, it's often useful to start your comment by indicating which chapter you are commenting on.

Spoiler Warning:  this thread is full of spoilers.  With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13.  More specifically:

You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it's fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that "Eliezer said X is true" unless you use rot13.