Blue Flames?

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
While doing my Chapter by Chapter I came across the following ...

Candles - Long thin jet black tapers, all burning bright blue
A chandelier over head blazed Midnight Blue with a thousand black candles
Nick goes to the podium to try his speech again, climbing with an icy-blue spotlight


This is from the Chapter : The Deathday Party - and is all taking place in a dungoen for Sir Nick's Deathday party ...

What strikes me is that in OoTP - The Department of Mysteries ...

They were standing in a large circular room ....
... interspersed with brances if candles whose flames burned blue ....

...the place became so dark that for a moment the only things they could see where the bunches of shivering blue flames on the walls and their ghostly reflections in the floor

... the ghostly shapes of the brains were now swimming before Harry's eyes instead of the blue candle flames.

.... but now there was a great red-gold blur in amoungst the faint blue ...


Now - I wonder if there is any link?
I noticed JKR liked to use the words black and ghostly in and around those pieces of text - also it was Sir Nick's Deathday Party ...
In OoTP - that circular room seemed to lead them into various places where you might think death Lurked as well - brains, veil etc ...

Any thoughts etc on this 'blue light' concept?
 

Boing

Pops in randomly
I have no immediate thoughts except to add that in PS/SS, Hermione is shown several times conjuring a blue flame in a bell jar . . .

If you are correct in associating the blue flames with things ghostly and death-related, that could make an interesting connection. Also, remember how Hermione reacted when they were getting close to the veil . . . interesting!
 
I like the idea of death being associated with blue or other dark colors.

Here is a thought that occured to me when thinking about this, what gives fire it's orange/yellow color? Oxygen. But JKR's fire is blue, same color was a person without oxygen. And dead people don't need oxygen. So it's lack of air makes it a death fire.
 

Tinkerbell

Time Turners
Wow, Meredith, that is a good point!

Also, when you often see ghosts or apparitions portrayed in movies or on TV, they have a bluish tinge, whether this is to do with how white conveys on TV I don't know, but I also think it has to do with the fact that death and dying has a coldness, i.e., blue lips??

Good thread Blaise!!
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
The point about Hermione and the Blue Flames - then the way she is acting in the DoM makes you wonder how much she reallly does know ...
Anyone familiar with that chapter will tell you - Hermione has a great deal of fear and then anger in there - and for no real reason ...
But if the link between her - the blue flames and locations we have seen - then that post about her maybe being more that meets the eyes looks more viable ...
 
Blaise said:
Anyone familiar with that chapter will tell you - Hermione has a great deal of fear and then anger in there - and for no real reason ...

For no real reason? They are in an umframiliar place being chased by Death Eaters, I think it's a valid reason for fear and anger. I would have a great deal of fear if I were in the Department of Mysteries with the DEs!

Tink- Yeah, I didn't think of the blue lips. And I like your point about the way television portrays death and ghosts.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Meredith said:
For no real reason? They are in an umframiliar place being chased by Death Eaters, I think it's a valid reason for fear and anger. I would have a great deal of fear if I were in the Department of Mysteries with the DEs!

Tink- Yeah, I didn't think of the blue lips. And I like your point about the way television portrays death and ghosts.
At the time all of this takes place - there is no DE's chasing them ...
Harry is manic with worry over Sirius - the rest are reacting to what they see ...
They dont come across the DE's and all the events that play out till later on ...
You talk of an unfamiliar place - it would seem if you read that chapter again - there is at least 2 people you can easily question that over ... exactly how unfamilair they were with what they were seeing ...
 

Boing

Pops in randomly
I have to agree about Hermione acting quite strangely around the veil the first time. Granted, they are in an "unfamiliar" place, and there are lots of weird things around, but even JKR put in there that Hermione sounded angrier than the occasion warranted . . . like she wanted to make a point that Hermione was terrified of the veil and of Harry getting any closer to it . . .

As for the bluish color - you guys have made great points about the color of death - blue lips, etc. It is making me feel more and more that there is something really strange about Hermione . . .
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I think the fact Hermione can conjure up the blue flames - and her reaction to being in that place suggests that we might not go to far wrong to make the link ...
The question is - she didn't seem that upset about the blue flames it CoS - but I suppose the circumstances were different and her reaction in DoM is just bugging me - JKR went over the top to emphasise that Hermione was detecting something or even sensitive to something the other just didn't seem to get.
 

Nagini

Time Turners
What a good detailed spot about the blue flamed candles Blaise - well done! :)

First impressions for me is that the blue flamed candles appeared first of all down in the dungeons. Was this where Nick and the other ghosts occupied (was going to say lived lol) or hung out? If so, then its possible that the candles are symbolic for ghosts or spirits or that they are attracted to the blue flames.

We know the Ministry of Magic is experimenting with a lot of things, death may be one of those things. It might be that the second lot of blue flamed candles were in the Ministry because they have ghosts and or spirits who work or occupy that particular part.

I agree with what others have said about the reactions of Hermione during her time in the MoM. The girl may not have been there before but she had, i believe a basic understanding of what may be down there. She tried to stop Harry from going in the first place, she was geniuely afraid of the veil and recognised time when she saw it. No one else made the connection about time - it could be because it was explained to her throughly when she had the time turner and Hermione may prove to be a valuable source of information in future books when or if time becomes relevant again.
 

Padma Patil

Dumbledore's Girl
You are all making very good points, associating darkcolors with death.

About Hermione, is there more to her than we've seen? Why did JKR stress the fact of her being scared down there? Perhaps it was just forshadowing when Sirius would fall through the veil.

Perhaps there is more that we just don't know yet.
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I dont suppose there was any references to blue flames in HBP?
I know we had white flames when Dumbledore's tomb sealed ...
I think there is something quite eerie about black and blue flames and the references we have had to date - I just wondered if I missed any in HBP?
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
I did notice that the 'unspoken' spell that the DE attacked Hermione with was a purple flame ... and the effects seem to nearly kill her and I am sure it was said if the DE could have spoken the words it would have been more serious.
Her treatment from the attack involved drinking lots of different potions daily - what the heck did he hit her with!
I just wonder if AK really is the only killing curse - seems that spell could have had more dangerous ending ...
Sorry if that was a little OT - just interesting based on the description of the spell!
 

SnarkologyMajor

Time Turners
Can't recall blue flame in 6 of the top of my head-I will check on that though:D It seems Hermione was busy doing things w/yellow canaries verses her blue flame in a jar:D :D Since you brought the blue flame thread up, I noticed something strange about it in Book 1-remember when Hermione set Snape's robes on fire and he was frantically trying to put them out. Well when Snape wasn't looking she scooped up the blue flame in her hands and put it in her pocket-Why on earth would Snape be frantic to put out a fire that doesn't burn? We know what a genius the man is-it doesn't make any sense that he wouldn't know about the properties of blue flame(even if we don't)-unless blue flame is particularly dangerous to him for some reason...hmm. This sure has me wondering since blue flame seems to have connections to space, time, and death. As for the purple light that hits Hermione-I still haven't figured out what that was exactly...since it caused internal damage and was non-verbal I had thought it might be Sectumsempra, but when I checked I don't think I found any reference to purple light although there did seem to be "a flash of light". I always associate purple with royalty and purple seems to be a color often associated w/Dumbledore-and that probably didn't help much did it:D :D
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
Madam Pomfrey said that the purple fire spell caused Hermione 'quite enough damage to be getting along with'.
She was taking 10 different potions daily to cure the damage.
When it hit her it was almost like it killed her - first time reading it did seem like it - but it was also said that the spell wasn't as strong because it was done Non verbal instead of verbally - I know it isn't too relevant but I just wonder if that spell can also be fatal? We know that the same DE was going to use it on Harry later.

Colours of candles and flames have cropped up - same as Dumbledore with fire in book 6 - while that was more traditional fire it was still fire used in a very powerful way.
I still believe the blues flames are important in some way - it just seems really weird when you have something crop up in 2 or 3 different books and not sequentially!
 

SnarkologyMajor

Time Turners
Upon reading Book 1 again it finally hit me that the three times Blue Flames are mentioned-Snape is also mentioned. The first is on pg. 181-

..."and she had conjured them up a bright blue fire that could be carried around in a jam jar (or a bell-jar;) .They were standing with their backs to it, getting warm, when Snape crossed the yard."

This goes on to mention that they were attempting to hide it from Snape. The second mention is when Hermione places the blue flame on Snape at the Quidditch match and as I noted in previous post, his reaction is odd to say the least (The HBP actually fearful of fire-hmmm).

The third time is in Ch. 16-

pg. 278 "Oh, right!" said Hermione, and she whipped out her wand, waved it, muttered something, and sent a jet of the same bluebell flames she had used on Snape at the plant."

It's intriguing that the same blue flames work on both Snape and Devil's Snare no? Devil's Snare likes the dark and the damp and obviously dislikes fire-sounds like the inferi. Book 2 made a direct correlation between the blue flames and death and one could argue the same holds true at the MoM in Book 5. And doesn't this picture look an awful lot like Dumbledore's ring of fire?-

OoTP pg. 772- "She drew her wand in midair and a fiery X appeared on the door. ....and once again the wall began to revolve very fast, but now there was a red-gold blur in amongst the faint blue..."

I could be picking the wrong clues up here-but I think these hint at Snape's use of the DoLD, any thoughts?
 

Alz

Administrator
Staff member
DoLD? Sorry I might be missing something blatently obvious :eek:

Interesting once again - I never saw that link before!
If you are right - perhaps Snape wasnt a stranger to the DoM's - and if so, what was he doing when he was sneaking around there?
Notice he didnt go to MoM in OoTP - he claims because it would expose him but maybe there is a clue in all of this?
The blue flames just seemed a little wierd and anything that is a repeating theme would suggest relevance or at list a little more investigation!
Thanks for the theory there SM - you could be right on the money!
 

SnarkologyMajor

Time Turners
Sorry Alz:eek: I was thinking about the Draught of Living Death-too lazy to write it out:D I forgot to add something else I came across-Blue Flames are associated with the Will-o-the-Wisp. These are definately linked to the dead, thought to be spirits of the dead that hang around bogs. Sometimes called corpse-candles and funnily enough Wikapedia listed Tolkien as a literary source, but also JKR:D They're referring to her hinkypunk that Ron couldn't get past in POA;)
 

Sirius Potter Fan

Night Patroll
How had I missed this one!

I Love this! definately a connection with Snape here I would say. Not so certain that the blue flame doesn't "burn" everyone though, it says that the trio used it to warm up, and even though Hermionie "scooped it up" she could have been using the bell jar . . .(and a flame in a jar would have no oxygen would it?) WOW! so many possibilities . . .

Did Hermionie perhaps have to go to the DoM to get her time turner? perhaps why she may have been so familiar with the candles, time, veil . . .?

My guess with the DoM is that they were studying the "existance"/"life" of ghosts. It seems to go along with "time" and "death", and "prophesy" all are "otherworldly" mysterious concepts.

The connection with Snape does somehow seem relevant, and I would put money that we will see a blue flame being usefull in #7. perhaps . . . the Hogwarts ghosts using the candles to prevent Voldemort from becoming a ghost when he is ultimately killed? Perhaps Hermionie will make that conclusion?
 

SnarkologyMajor

Time Turners
A pattern seems to be developing to be sure:D I posted some other links on the Possible Timeline thread, but should make a mention here too since you mention the ghost link SPF. The blue flames at Nick's Deathday party was on Halloween and the blue flames in the GoF were also on Halloween-still working on how these all tie together....
 
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