The Six Most Interesting Questions I Missed

For each of my previous posts, I primarily answered questions from Quora.com. I’m getting daily requests for new questions to answer, and I haven’t been able to keep up with them all. So, for this blog post, I’m going to make it my goal to address some of those questions…the most interesting ones, that is.

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Q #1: In Harry Potter, what do you think would happen if a young wizard couldn’t afford a wand?

A: They would probably be provided for. Remember how Harry got his wand? Olivander went about, trying each and every wand to see exactly which one was the best fit. There was no discussion of cost. For a wizard, a wand is so important that I don’t think cost would be taken into account, and Hogwarts wouldn’t have anyone attending who didn’t get the best wand for their needs, or at least have the opportunity to get the best wand for their needs.

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Q #2: A lot of dystopian books have the world splitting up into factions (Divergent), districts (The Hunger Games), or something similar in the future. How likely is this to actually happen far in the future?

A: I would say there’s two parts to this question. First, we have to consider whether it’s likely that the world will be ruled by one government in the future. If there’s not a single ruling entity, the whole world could not be split up into factions/districts. Second, we have to consider whether it’s likely that this one government would create a system of factions/districts. I think that it’s not particularly likely that the world would be ruled by one government in the future, so I don’t think we can even get to the second part of this question. The reason being is that in all of history the world has never been ruled by one government. Powerful countries have risen, like Rome, but they always fall, and never conquer the whole world. Plus, there is much more communication throughout the world nowadays, and more of an effort to keep super-countries from forming. Imperialism has even largely died out. If anything, there will be more countries in the far future, as people venture into and colonize space. However, it could still be that perhaps these factions/districts will form in a single country, and not the rest of the world. If this happens, that single country would have to either be aware of other countries where the districts/factions did not exist, or else they would have to be living a life with technology way behind their time, since I do not think the other countries could be hidden from that world with the technology we have nowadays, there is simply too much communication. I would say that one country developing the faction/district system is a much more likely scenario than the world adopting it, since there is such a wide array of ways a country could be run, though I think it unlikely the country running themselves this way could keep the rest of the world a secret.

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Q #3: What is the Avatar the Last Airbender Live action show going to be about?

A: As far as I’m aware, it’s just going to be a retelling of the animated show.

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Q #4: Who would win in a fight Percy Jackson or Optimus Prime?

A: I think it depends on where they’re fighting. On land or in the sky, Optimus Prime wins. In or near the water so that Percy can force the fight to the sea, he’d win.

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Q #5: What 3 unrelated books would make a weird but workable trilogy?

A: Fun question! I think my theme for answering this question will be riches-to-rags. So for the first book we have The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, because obviously Arthur Dent has to find a cool planet for the trilogy to take place on. Once he’s there, he’ll inevitably screw things up, and that’s how we get to Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. The second book takes place about 1000 years after the first, and Arthur Dent is probably The Chosen One talked about so much in that book. Finally, after Mistborn, book three would be Holes by Louis Sachar, since by this time I imagine that’s what the day-to-day life on this planet would be like.

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Q #6: Why can only portraits in Harry Potter speak? Why not photographs?

A: Because of the way that wizarding magic works. I suspect there’s some sort of magic used to give portraits life, whereas with photographs that type of magic is not generally used. There are probably portraits that can’t speak, especially in muggle homes, it’s just that the ones we do see can speak. Photographs, likewise, I suspect could speak, if the witch or wizard who created them wanted them to, but the creator elects not to give them that power most of the time, so they don’t have the ability to speak. It all comes down to what magic is used.

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Six Most Interesting Questions about The Divergent Series

But in reality the choice has already been made for them, and the choice isn’t the choice of what faction to be in; it’s the choice of whether to accept a world in which everyone is divided into different factions.

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Q #1: Which series should I read first: The Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner, or Divergent?

A: It depends on what you like to read and who you are! I myself have read all of them except for The Maze Runner and they were all great. I would recommend Percy Jackson to anyone who’s in middle-school or approaching middle-school. It is probably the most relatable and interesting for that age-range. On the other hand, I’d recommend The Lord of the Rings for older readers – anyone who loves complex worlds especially. If you’re in college or beyond, or an advanced reader in high school, and love fantasy that’d probably be the best read. If you like Game of Thrones it’s probably the most similar of any of these to that. Divergent is quite a bit different – I would probably recommend it to high school or college kids, and I would especially recommend it to anyone who loves romance – it has some pretty heavy romance in it, and would be great for any readers who enjoyed books like The Hunger Games or Twilight.

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Q #2: In Divergent, what is the point of an aptitude test if you choose your faction anyway?

A: This is up to interpretation I think, but here’s my interpretation. I think that the aptitude test is there to reinforce the idea of factions, and to reinforce factions as the right thing. By having everyone take an aptitude test, kids are basically being prepared for the fact that they fit in better with some people and in some places than in other places and with other people. The aptitude test is one of the first ways in which people are divided and separate and put into different buckets. It starts the narrowing down, and then I think that the choice is given about what faction to be in as a way for the people in control to trick those choosing their factions into thinking they are making the choice. But in reality the choice has already been made for them, and the choice isn’t the choice of what faction to be in; it’s the choice of whether to accept a world in which everyone is divided into different factions.

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Q #3: What would the Dauntless faction think of space travel?

A: The Dauntless would love space travel! As the most adventurous and daring of the factions, I think they’d probably be the ones to be astronauts, or go up in space first, even though the technology would have to be something that Erudite developed. I think that if space travel did progress to the point where things were like Star Trek in the Divergent universe, then the Dauntless would probably be the dominant faction due to their bravery and willingness to venture into the unknown and make discoveries.

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Q #4: Why do authors of novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent prefer not to spend time and effort on detailed world-building?

A: I know it may seem like they don’t, but I would argue they do. As a writer myself, I know there is a lot of preparation and work that is done before even putting pen to paper. One thing to keep in mind is that Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins likely chose not to include every single detail about their worlds because it would be too much, slow down the story, and not make for as interesting as a narrative. Part of being a writer is to know how much worldbuilding to show in your story and how much to withhold. One thing that is often used is the metaphor of an iceberg. Icebergs are huge, but we only see the small portion that is above the water when we encounter them. Worldbuilding is like that too. The best stories show you only a small portion of the world, while promising that there is a whole lot more underneath the surface waiting to be seen later.

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Q #5: If Tris and Four from Divergent went to Hogwarts, what house would they be in?

A: I think they’d be in Gryffindor! The reason why is because they are brave, but they are not cruel, like some of the Dauntless. I think that all Dauntless would probably be in either Gryffindor or Slytherin. The Erudites on the other hand could be in either Ravenclaw or Slytherin, the Candor in either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, and Amity I would say are probably usually in Hufflepuff while the Abnegation are probably either Gryffindor or Hufflepuff.

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Q #6: Something similar to Divergent?

A: The most similar thing I can think of is The Hunger Games! They both came out around the same time too. I would say that Twilight could be something that most readers of Divergent might enjoy also. Another lesser known series I would suggest is called The Guardians of Time by Marianne Curley. It isn’t a dystopian story, but it does deliver a similarly heavy dose of romance. Here’s a link to the Amazon page for the first book: The Named.

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