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Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Author

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Genre

Fan-fiction, fantasy, science fiction

Published

28th Februrary 2010 - 14th March 2015

The first and best Harry Potter fan fiction I've read, available at http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2269863/Less_Wrong. "Petunia married a professor, and Harry grew up reading science and science fiction. Then came the Hogwarts letter..." [1].

LengthEdit

About 1874 standard pages, give or take a few edits.

First read (August 2010 - September 2011)Edit

10 09 26 Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Agent of Chaos (Sep 26th '10).

15 02 16 HPMOR, all readthroughs

See the skyblue line, near the beginning. Read up to the current chapter quickly, then followed the publication until the start of my second readthrough (red).

JournalEdit

Chapters 1-41

I came across it on the 19th of August 2010 when a guest blogger posted a few random sci-fi related links on one of my feeds. He linked to Chapter 25, I think, which I didn't realise and read first (being a non-chronological chapter itself this was very interesting!). I was immediately delighted, intrigued and soon hooked, and read from Chapter 1 to Chapter 41, the limit at the time, by the 26th.

I'd never read fanfiction before and couldn't imagine that even if there were good ones it's feasible (or worthwhile) to find them amongst the rubbish, so it was intriguing to find this elaborate yarn spun on the pretty basic premise of Harry Potter being fiendishly rational and scientific and how the fictional world of J. K. Rowling would look from that perspective. After reading as far as the author has written (up to Chapter 41) in a week I found myself scoffing at Gryffindor, thinking Rowling was a bit harsh on Slytherin, and of course that Ravenclaw is THE HOUSE for me (although I think I recall a quiz telling me that anyway once)! It was absolutely fantastic, enthralling, made me laugh aloud at times. I got incredibly frustrated at other times to be fair, when characters endorse points of view that seems foreign to me but by far on the whole it's been very refreshing.

Previous book: Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Next book: Geoffrey Robertson, The Case of the Pope

Chapters 42-46

By a week into September chapters up to 46 had been published. Chapters 43-46 (Humanism) was one awesome collection of chapters, in which Harry deconstructs the dementors and defeats one. "One of those tingly moments when you lose control of your facial muscles to a huge grin while you read it."

Chapter 47

I read Chapter 47 (Personhood Theory) when it was published on the 25th of September. It was very good, a long discussion between Harry and Draco.

Chapters 48-54

By the 26th of October up to Chapter 54 had been published. I was missing the joviality and lightness of the early chapters and felt the story was becoming rather focused and serious and not always clear. "What happened to Harry's determination to do science to magic, to figure it out? He's been using it for awhile without batting an eyelid, despite the implications that originally staggered him. Like what does the Bag of Holding look like to Quirrel when he's inside it? Just curious."

Chapters 55-56

On the 1st of November I wrote: "Chapters 55 and 56: Interesting. Amelia Bones is refreshing, Harry's escape from despair was good, Dumbledore was intriguing. The current plot thread is becoming worthwhile."

Chapters 57-58

On the 7th of November: "Chapters 57 and 58. I liked these ones, the drawing out of what Harry had transfigured was a bit cheesy :P but I liked seeing him working, and thinking, and Quirrel had some interesting things to say."

Chapters 59-61

On the 25th of November: "Chapters 59-61. I read chapter 59 a while ago, and 60 a few days ago. They were pretty crap, I just didn't know what was going on anymore and thought Harry and Quirrell's conversation was dire. 61 came out tonight and it was much better :)"

Chapters 62-63

On the 29th of November: "Chapters 62 and 63: Getting a bit heavy and depressing. I disagree with some of Harry's conclusions (regarding, for instance, the 3/40 people in the Milgram experiment) and with some of his preoccupations (for instance, getting all heavy and worried about identities). We'll see how it goes, but I miss the earlier on lightness and fun and clarity and science."

Chapters 64-67

On the 14th of January 2011: "Chapters 64 and 65 came out like a week ago, and 66 and 67 today. Nothing impressive, but not every chapter has to be. Quirrell's idea of Harry pretending to defeat a returned Voldemort was so neatly beyond the moral horizon that I thought it was stupid that Harry didn't reject it outright."

Chapters 68-69

On the 28th of January: "Chapter 68 came out a few days ago and 69 just now, quite liked where it ended up :) Bit more optimistic now about the brightness/silliness/light-heartedness of the series."

Chapters 70-72

These chapters came out at one- or two- month intervals. The unexpected pace-slackening meant I accrue enough stuff to feel justified in updating the wiki before forgetting what I'd thought :P

Chapters 73-75

At the end of August 2011 Yudkowsky posted several new chapters in quick succession, and explained that he'd decided to stop publishing chapters as he wrote them so that he could publish the rest of the current sequence at a quicker pace than his writing speed.

On the 1st of September 2011: "This Self-actualization sequence is really confusing me. I just don't know what the point of it is, where it's going, and why Yudkowsky is devoting so many chapters to it. It's kinda boring me in a way. The older, one-off chapters and shorter sequences worked better. Then again, it may be the phenomenon of reading a lot of fic that was written before you heard about it and reading each chapter as it's published, hungry for gold-dust. With that in mind, the rational thing to do would be to stop reading the fic for a few years :P"

I was happier, however, with the latest chapters and curious to see where it would go.

Chapter 76

On the 5th of September: "Chapter 76 was awesome! Apparently (reading his author notes) Chapter 74 was supposed to be some sort of Crowning Chapter of Awesome[2], but I really didn't get that at all. So he had a character do some ritual with as many secret references to other works as he could squeeze in. Lar dee dar... But this chapter (which apparently he doesn't think is that well written) was really awesome, Harry giving Dumbledore what for and standing up for his old philosophies again, and Hermione being harassed by some mysterious figure with Groundhog Day powers XD"

Chapter 77

On the 7th of September: "Chapter 77 out. Very interesting! Bit of insight into Snape, but more significantly the MoR!prophecy has been brought into some light."

Final thoughts

After the flurry of updates from Yudkowsky, and having reread Self-actualization and realising how little I remembered, I started reading the fic from the beginning again, so here endeth this read-through!

Second read (September 2011 - February 2015)Edit

15 02 16 HPMOR, all readthroughs

See the red line, this time. Reread first 77 chapters in a month, delayed the next arc until it was definitely complete, then followed the publication again for the next 3 years.

FormatEdit

Mix of kindle (from the pdf), online on my computer and phone, and printed booklets.

JournalEdit

Chapters 1-17

On the 21st of September: "I've been reading it again from the beginning, on-and-off, since Bromyard. Currently at Chapter 17. It's really good to read it again from the start, the early chapters have a nostalgia now, it's been so long and I've read so much of the fic! ... Major thoughts from rereading the early chapters: I miss the quotes at the beginning of the chapters (often quotes from the next, at-the-time-unpublished, chapter)!"

Chapter 18 (Dominance Hierarchies)

Read this one on the 25th of September (having given Bleak House a decent try :/).

I had complicated feelings about this chapter, even wondering whether I should deal out a new rating, one for how much I like something and one for how complicated my feelings are! I did feel, however, that I was still enjoying the fic (foreseeing that at some point I might not, so much).

Chapters 19-20

Read these in bed on the 25th of September. Felt that I understood the "learning how to lose" section more than the first time. However, I disliked Chapter 20, felt that it ended with a very hard to understand dynamic between Dumbledore, Harry and Quirrell.

Chapter 21 (Rationalization)

I started rating the chapters as I read them, on my Kindle - I'd been intending to review and rate each chapter but couldn't do so as fast as I read them. A rating is easier, and sufficient!

2

Chapter 22 (The Scientific Method)

3

Chapter 23 (Belief in Belief)

3

Chapter 24 (Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis)

3

Chapter 25 (Hold Off on Proposing Solutions)

3

Chapter 26 (Noticing Confusion)

2

Chapter 27 (Empathy)

3

Chapter 28 (Reductionism)

3

Chapter 29 (Egocentric Bias)

2

Chapter 30 (Working in Groups, Pt 1)

3

Chapter 31 (Working in Groups, Pt 2)

1

Chapter 32 (Interlude: Personal Finance Management)

2

Chapter 33 (Coordination Problems, Pt 1)

2

Chapter 34 (Coordination Problems, Pt 2)

0

Chapter 35 (Coordination Problems, Pt 3)

2

Chapter 36 (Status Differentials)

3

Chapter 37 (Interlude: Crossing the Boundary)

0

Chapter 38 (The Cardinal Sin)

2

Chapter 39 (Pretending to be Wise, Pt 1)

3

Chapter 40 (Pretending to be Wise, Pt 2)

1

Chapter 41 (Frontal Override)

3

Chapter 42 (Courage)

2

Chapter 43 (Humanism, Pt 1)

3

Chapter 44 (Humanism, Pt 2)

2

Chapter 45 (Humanism, Pt 3)

3* (3-star: amazing!)

Chapter 46 (Humanism, Pt 4)

2

Chapter 47 (Personhood Theory)

Read on the 3rd of October 2011.

3

Chapter 48 (Utilitarian Priorities)

2

Chapter 49 (Prior Information)

2

Chapter 50 (Self Centredness)

2

Chapter 51 (Title Redacted, Pt 1)

1

Chapter 52 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pt 2)

2

Chapter 53 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pt 3)

2

Chapter 54 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pt 4)

3

Chapter 55 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pt 5)

2/3

Chapter 56 (TSPE, Constrained Optimization, Pt 6)

3

Chapter 57 (TSPE, Constrained Optimization, Pt 7)

Low 3

Chapter 58 (TSPE, Constrained Optimization, Pt 8)

2

Chapter 59 (TSPE, Curiosity, Pt 9)

2

Chapter 60 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Pt 10)

1

Chapter 61 (TSPE, Secrecy and Openness, Pt 11)

2

Chapter 62 (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Final)

Read on the 7th of October.

3

Chapter 63 (TSPE, Aftermaths)

3

Chapter 64 (Omake Files 3, Alternate Parallels)

3

Chapter 65 (Contagious Lies)

3

Chapter 66 (Self-Actualization, Pt 1)

2

Chapter 67 (Self-Actualization, Pt 2)

3

Chapter 68 (Self-Actualization, Pt 3)

1

Chapter 69 (Self-Actualization, Pt 4)

2

Chapter 70 (Self-Actualization, Pt 5)

1

Chapter 71 (Self-Actualization, Pt 6)

Read on the 9th of October.

1

Chapter 72 (SA, Plausible Deniability, Pt 7)

1

Chapter 73 (SA, The Sacred and the Mundane, Pt 8)

3

Chapter 74 (SA, Escalation of Conflicts, Pt 9)

0

Chapter 75 (Self Actualization Final, Responsibility)

2

Chapter 76 (SA After, Surface Appearances, since swapped with Chapter 77 and changed to SA Aftermaths, Surface Appearances)

3

Chapter 77 (Interlude with the Confessor: Sunk Costs)

Read on the 12th of October.

3

Simultaneous books: Charles Dickens, Bleak House (first attempt)

Next book: Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Update 11/03/12

Rumours of the next sequence have been stirring recently. Indeed, in an author's note (not to be relied upon of course) he mentioned his intention to start it by today. It's been so long since the last chapter that I really feel I should put off reading any more for a year or something, so I can start from the beginning again and have a substantial amount more to read after Chapter 77. However, I'm sure I won't be able to resist reading anything he publishes while I'm on placement and looking for distractions of any kind.

Chapter 78 (Taboo Tradeoffs Prelude: Cheating)

Came out in the wee hours of 12/03/12 but I put off reading it until 28/04/12 when the entire arc had been completed.

Read it all on the 28th, on the way to work and in my break. It was fun, had another battle and some interesting tactics by all sides - having some of the children's parents secretly watching was fun - but I was not keen on Harry's unlocking the secrets of potion making in a bit of a handwave. I'm sceptical about the likelihood of this new found talent being added to Harry's pool of skills effectively. A strange conflict between Hermione and Draco has begun and we are yet to see where it shall lead!

2

Chapter 79 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Pt 1)

1

Chapter 80 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Pt 2, The Horns Effect)

1

Chapter 81 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Pt 3)

1

Chapter 82 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Final)

1

Chapter 83 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Aftermath 1)

1

Read Chapters 79-83 in bed on the 28th. Very puzzled about the significance, why Harry would show off so publicly, why a child would be sentenced to Azkaban, and generally what I'm supposed to be thinking right now. Hopefully the next two chapters will resolve some of these matters.

Chapter 84 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Aftermath 2)

2

Chapter 85 (Taboo Tradeoffs, Aftermath 3, Distance)

2

Chapter 86 (Multiple Hypothesis Testing)

Came out somewhat unexpectedly on the morning of December 17th, 8 months to the day since the previous update. The longest chapter yet by quite a wide margin, 61 standard pages in length (compared to Ch78's 48 which took 6 months to write).

Kinda reluctant to give this one a rating, since the fic is filling out in its complexity and it's plain I'm not catching all the threads being dangled around, and because it was so long, that it seems inconsistent to assign the whole thing a single rating.

Probably a 2 I guess.

Chapter 87 (Hedonic Awareness)

Came out on December 21st, but although I read it I can't remember when or what I thought particularly.

Chapter 88 and 89 (Time Pressure, Pts 1 and 2)

Came out together on June 30th 2013.

I had the main event spoiled by reading one too many comments on r/HPMOR, but that may well have shielded me from a boring contemplation of whether publishing chapters like these 6 months since the last update, and having only had 2 chapters in the last year and 2 months, was on any level a good idea, I instead could just enjoy them knowing what was coming. So it wasn't a 'wow' or 'holy shit' moment, but it also wasn't a 'are you serious?' one either.

I really think he needs to write this fic faster. I don't know what he's playing at. For the last 2 and a half years he's been writing at a snail's pace. I'd understand if he'd given it up. But this whole time he's had the whole fic in his head and the intention of writing it, and for the first year he wrote it at an absurdly higher pace than this. If he hadn't slowed down 11 months into starting the fic he could have gotten to this chapter 133 days later rather than 2 years and 5 months.

2

Chapter 90 (Roles, Pt 1)

Came out on July 2nd.

Not very eventful, but probably full of incredibly significant clues :P

1

Chapter 91 and 92 (Roles, Pts 2 and 3)

Came out on July 4th.

Interesting, seems Harry sat thinking for 6 hours outside the room where Hermione and went in to timeturn back and spend 6 hours in there doing...something.

1

Chapter 93 (Roles, Pt 4)

Came out on July 6th.

The sort of chapter designed to force that 1 tear out of you, after all the events of recent chapters. It worked ;)

2

Chapter 94-96 (Roles, Pts 5-7)

Came out on July 8th-25th.

Intriguing developments are afoot... The last chapter struck me as a bit similar to The Deathly Hallows - introducing unforeshadowed significant facts a bit late in the game to sit well. I'll probably like this better once it's got the context of a completed fic.

1

Chapter 97 (Roles, Pt 8)

Came out on August 15th.

A bit dense and not very interestingly written, and I think it's going to be a while until the next update, so meh. Probably important though.

0

Chapter 98 (Roles, Final)

Came out on the 28th of August. 8.9 pages long.

I dunno, interesting I guess, but I don't get it really. It wasn't 'wow', it was largely unbelievable, unconvincing, I think too much effort is being made in showing us the 'surprising' end results of stuff. Maybe that feeling is just a symptom of getting individual chapters in isolation.

0

Chapters 99-101 (Roles, Aftermath and Precautionary Measures)

Came out December 12th 2013. 26 total pages.

Awesome :)

2

Chapter 102 (Caring)

Came out July 26th 2014. 12 pages.

Pretty interesting, I wonder how much is manipulation...

1

Chapter 103 (Tests)

Came out January 29th 2015. 7 pages.

The Dark Lord will mark him as his equal!!! Ho ho ho!

1

Chapter 104 (The Truth, Pt 1, Riddles and Answers)

February 16th 2015. 30 pages.

The 'near-death' Quirrell makes a rather clumsy attempt at tricking Harry into getting the Philosopher's Stone for him, and Harry finally twigs. Quirrell reveals himself as Voldemort.

Busy night on the subreddit, with this being the first chapter of the final arc, due to finish in one month. Lots of people gibbering over this chapter, but I found it to be a rather strange way of getting Harry to the point of finally realising what we all know. Anyway, we're there and now to find out what happens!

0 (I might be being too harsh, but my honest emotional reaction was that I didn't really enjoy this chapter particularly)

Chapter 105 (The Truth, Pt 2)

February 17th 2015. 9 pages.

Voldemort makes his demands of Harry, and two semi-fringe r/HPMOR theories are revealed to be true!

1 (see previous chapter's disclaimer)

Final thoughts

Between Ch103 and Ch106 I completed a third reread, superceding this one for the final arc. See below!

Britpicking (June 2012)Edit

15 02 16 HPMOR, all readthroughs

The orange/yellow line in the middle.

FormatEdit

Strictly online only (to make sure it was the latest revision).

JournalEdit

Eliezer called for 'Britpicks', asking British readers to search the first 37 chapters for Americanisms, on reddit at the end of May 2012. I figured I could bash through those chapters in a weekend, picking out spelling mistakes without much difficulty. However, it emerged from the responses of other readers that there is a lot even I'm not sure on, and also that even just looking for spelling mistakes takes a long time. So, as I trawled through the sentences, I had plenty of time to reflect on the story itself, in particular in light of my recent discovery that Quirrell is not just supposed to be Voldemort, but it is supposed to be obvious[3].

I also started updating my individual chapter length analysis with single-sentence summaries of each chapter.

Part 1 (Introduction)Edit

The events leading up to Harry's arrival at Hogwarts. Harry's rationality is confronted by Wizarding Britain, and it is confronted back. Several significant introductions are made. (144 pages)

Chapter 1 (A Day of Very Low Probability)

Letter (7 pages)

3

Chapter 2 (Everything I Believe is False)

McGonagall (4 pages)

3

Chapter 3 (Comparing Reality to its Alternatives)

Leaky Cauldron to the bank (story of Voldemort) (5 pages)

3

Chapter 4 (The Efficient Market Hypothesis)

Gold in the bank vault (5 pages)

3


Chapter 5 (The Fundamental Attribution Error)

Mokeskin pouch and fitting robes with Malfoy (9 pages)

3

Chapter 6 (The Planning Fallacy)

Shopping - Harry and McGonagall get acquainted (29 pages)

3

Chapter 7 (Reciprocation)

Platform 9 3/4 - Harry and Draco get acquainted (32 pages)

3

Chapter 8 (Positive Bias)

On the train - Harry and Hermione get acquainted (16 pages)

3

Chapter 9 (Title Redacted, Part I)

The Sorting begins (Ghostbusters) (4 pages)

2

Chapter 10 (Self Awareness, Part II)

Harry and the Sorting Hat get acquainted (11 pages)

3

Chapter 11 (Omake Files 1 and 2)

Omake (4 pages)

3

Chapter 12 (Impulse Control)

Harry dwells on his conversation with the Hat, Dumbledore and Quirrell introduced (11 pages)

3

Part 2 (Hogwarts: Week 1 - Learning to Lose)Edit

Harry's first week at Hogwarts. Harry obtains the Time-Turner and Invisibility Cloak, uses them in ways which secure his reputation, but discovers the need to learn to lose after a conflict with Snape. (190 pages)

Chapter 13 (Asking the Wrong Questions)

The game (19 pages)

3

Chapter 14 (The Unknown and the Unknowable)

Getting the Time-Turner (14 pages)

3

Chapter 15 (Conscientiousness)

First Charms and Transfiguration lessons - Harry and Hermione's rivalry kicks off (10 pages)

2

Chapter 16 (Lateral Thinking)

First Defence lesson (19 pages)

2

Chapter 17 (Locating the Hypothesis)

Time-Turner antics - Harry and Dumbledore get acquainted (37 pages)

3

Chapter 18 (Dominance Hierarchies)

First Potions lesson: Harry and Snape get acquainted (27 pages)

3

Chapter 19 (Delayed Gratification)

Learning to lose (23 pages)

2

Chapter 20 (Bayes's Theorem)

Harry and Quirrell get acquainted (18 pages)

2

Chapter 21 (Rationalization)

Epilogue of Harry's first week at Hogwarts (18 pages)

2

Part 3 (The first term - experiments and armies)Edit

The first term at Hogwarts. Harry figures out partial transfiguration and undermines Draco's belief in blood purity, and the armies fight their first series of battles. (263 pages)

Chapter 22 (The Scientific Method)

Harry's projects with Hermione and Draco (25 pages)

2

Chapter 23 (Belief in Belief)

Draco's beliefs are sacrificed (29 pages)

2

Chapter 24 (Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis)

Draco pretends to forgive Harry (12 pages)

1

Chapter 25 (Hold Off on Proposing Solutions)

Harry commissions the Weasley Twins against Rita Skeeter (15 pages)

2

Chapter 26 (Noticing Confusion)

Rita Skeeter is tricked - and then murdered (17 pages)

1

Chapter 27 (Empathy)

Harry sabotages a potential friendship with Snape (27 pages)

1

Chapter 28 (Reductionism)

Harry and Hermione fail to make any magical discoveries, until Harry accomplishes partial transfiguration (23 pages)

2

Chapter 29 (Egocentric Bias)

Hermione is revealed as the third general (17 pages)

2

Chapter 30 (Working in Groups, Pt 1)

November brings the first army battle, and Sunshine prevails (22 pages)

2

Chapter 31 (Working in Groups, Pt 2)

General Granger's strategy is revealed (2 pages)

1

Chapter 32 (Interlude: Personal Financial Management)

Quirrell supervises Harry's Christmas shopping (4 pages)

1

Chapter 33 (Coordination Problems, Pt 1)

The final, traitor-ridden, battle, for Quirrell's Christmas wish (29 pages)

2

Chapter 34 (Coordination Problems, Pt 2)

Post-battle speeches (14 pages)

1

Chapter 35 (Coordination Problems, Pt 3)

Quirrell tries to drive a wedge between Harry and Dumbledore, and aftermaths (13 pages)

2

Chapter 36 (Status Differentials)

Harry returns home for Christmas, and meets Hermione's parents (13 pages)

3

Chapter 37 (Interlude: Crossing the Boundary)

Quirrell turns up at Harry's house and they cross over to Christmas Day in Quirrell's star-spell (2 pages)

2

Third read (January-March 2015)Edit

15 03 14 Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

Finished! (Mar 14th '15).

15 02 16 HPMOR, all readthroughs

The green line on the right. Started rereading after Ch103 came out, reaching the latest chapter in 2 and a half weeks.

FormatEdit

FF.net, phone or computer.

JournalEdit

Chapters 1-85

Ch103 came out on January 29th, and the final arc was set for Feb 15th - March 14th.

I wasn't sure if I could be bothered to reread the whole thing again before the final arc, but I found it quite easy to read the first 70/80 chapters.

I'm not sure if I started from the beginning before or after reading 103.

I know I read at least Ch21-29 on Feb 2nd.

I reached Ch70 on Feb 11th.

On February 15th, the eve of the first chapter of the final arc, I read from Ch77 to Ch85, but found it hard going, not as interesting or exciting as the story to that point, and I stumbled at 86. Now that could have been because I was rushing, or because I'd read and discussed these chapters far more recently, or a combination of both, but by the time Ch104 came out at 1am on the 16th, I was only a third of the way through Ch86.

I found it really interesting to read through this time around, with all of the accumulated wisdom of r/HPMOR fully settled and sorted in my brain. It seems totally clear that Quirrell is Voldemort and killed Hermione and is Hat&Cloak, and I'm pretty sure I have everyone's motivations and personalities sorted out. I'm not sure really what the final arc is going to deliver, besides Harry's victory over Quirrell. Hopefully something surprising and satisfying!


Chapters 86-96

Read during the 16th, between the publications of Chapters 104 and 105 (see second readthrough).

Kinda just trying to push through to the current chapter, to supercede readthrough 2 with this one. Good to get a fresh perspective of recent events though, I guess, so that the finale delivers the punches that have been set up (like Harry's family quest).

Chapters 97-105

Caught up to the latest chapter on the 17th, rereading 104 and 105 for the second time. The latest couple of arcs have a lot of stuff that's been left hanging, like Malfoy's take over of the school, which I hope will be relevant or else there seems to have been a lot of wasted time.

It's a very different experience reading everything all in one go, stuff moves a lot quicker (surprise surprise!).

Chapter 106 (The Truth, Pt 3)

February 18th 2015. 4 pages.

Harry and Quirrell begin their journey through the forbidden corridor.

1

Chapter 107 (The Truth, Pt 4)

February 19th 2015. 13 pages.

Quirrell shows off and teases Harry for no apparent reason as they make their way through the chambers, ending at Snape's tedious potion trial.

1

Chapter 108 (The Truth, Pt 5)

February 20th 2015. 44 pages.

Quirrell answers Harry's questions while brewing Snape's tedious potion.

Very interesting! I really enjoyed seeing Quirrell talking (apparently) openly about everything. It was very convincing.

2

Chapters 109-112 (Reflections and Failure)

Came out from February 23rd to 25th.

Well... I have to say I'm just completely lost. As in I have no idea whether to take these chapters seriously or not. Are we supposed to notice how bizarre they are and predict the upcoming twist that it's all in the mirror? Or is this just how Eliezer planned everything would go?

r/HPMOR (which I've been heavily involved with reading and moderating as the chapters come out) is of the same sentiment.

I fear that Eliezer just thought this would all be cool or make sense or whatever. I've felt this way before about HPMOR.

0

Chapters 113 (Final Exam)

Came out February 28th.

Eliezer played an interesting little game with the online HPMOR community here, tasking us with solving Harry's predicament before the next chapter would be released. The reactions were interesting, with a lot of griping and criticising, and absolutely tons of people throwing themselves at the task. Myself, I had absolutely no inclination to try and solve it, nor did I expect for a moment that Eliezer would end the fic prematurely as threatened. But I found it fascinating to see the reaction he got, how many solutions were offered and how thoroughly they were sorted and organised. It ended up being quite interesting.

0

Chapters 114-118 (Shut Up and Do The Impossible and Aftermath, Something to Protect)

Well the solution was well within our space of ideas; in fact, it was pretty much the most popular idea and seemed almost anticlimactic for its apparent predictability (given the manpower of r/HPMOR, which has surprised even Eliezer).

I still enjoyed it, and I wonder whether I would have thought it was totally awesome (or otherwise!!) if I hadn't been participating in r/HPMOR.

There's a great deal of unrest on r/HPMOR in general over these final chapters, as we all wonder who's bluffing, acting too suspiciously, and learning that apparently we're supposed to have taken stuff seriously that seemed improbable. And these last couple of chapters have been pretty low key. Personally I'm happy to have some 'coasting' chapters - it might be that in the grand scheme of things they fit nicely. Providing the last few chapters kick some ass.

0

Chapters 119-122 (Something to Protect)

Read as they came out, in the second week of March, finishing on 'Pi day' (March 14th). I met up with some other fans in Sheffield for the final chapter, which was fun.

I think this final arc I would have enjoyed more without the subreddit, but I can't decide whether that would go for the whole fic. I was frustrated a lot by it until I saw how r/HPMOR was reading it, but perhaps I would have gotten over that once the reveals had been made in the fic itself.

Anyway, I thought the ending was nice, in a tame way. Nothing like the scale of Following the Phoenix. No major answers to the 'bigger' mysteries, although answers were had for some. I think some people are disappointed. I'll have to wait until I read it again one day I think.

1

Reading recordEdit

Previous book: Following the Phoenix

Next book: none yet

Ratings, awards, mentions and recommendationsEdit

My overall rating: 2

Top Pick!

Links and referencesEdit

  1. http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2269863/Less_Wrong
  2. I wrote this based on the author's notes at the time, I think, but I just noticed he's mentioned it again - Sep 14th '11 authors notes, he's complaining that it's hard to write when he's always criticising himself and says: "I mean, there are parts that I know are good, like Ch. 74, I'm not dumb". Yeeaah...
  3. http://william-likes-reading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/found-out-quirrell-is-voldemort-in.html

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