Harry Potter Theory: Why Filch doesn’t sleep. Ever.

Argus Filch is a mysterious dude. There are certain aspects of his persona and job that are just plain weird. He doesn’t seem to sleep, for instance. Like, ever. Why is that? Today we will be discussing Argus Filch, the Hogwarts caretaker and his mysterious existence…

Argus Filch and his cat Mrs. Norris are quite notorious during Harry’s time at Hogwarts. Skulking around the castle about 24/7, trying to catch students doing things they shouldn’t and constantly complaining about everything. Filch is allegedly a Squib, because Harry finds a Kwikspell course in his office once. So he hates everything and he can’t do magic. This is one unhappy guy. A question that comes to mind is: why doesn’t he leave? Why doesn’t he simply quit his abysmal job? We’ll get to that.

Mysteries of Filch’s job

Filch has a pet cat named Mrs. Norris, about whom J. K. Rowling says is just a regular cat. Not a magical creature, like a Kneazle. Yet Filch has an almost supernatural connection to this animal. When she catches students doing something wrong, Filch is said to turn up immediately. Yet, being a Squib, apparating would be impossible for him. In fact, anything magical is impossible for him. He complains about dirt and mud in the school on multiple occasions, while one of his collegues would be able to remove every drop of dirt with the wave of a wand. Ever heard of Evanesco? Why would Argus Filch have to do a menial job that could have been handled by a witch or wizard (or even a student) in next to no time? Or house elves! Hogwarts employs an army of House Elves, who’s job it is to clean stuff. His job in itself is a mystery. He doesn’t even like kids, which isn’t really handy when you’re working at a magical high school. Basically Filch has to do manual labour during the day, while staying up all night to make sure there aren’t students out of bed. He seems to never sleep. Actually, his whole existence within Hogwarts makes no sense. Or does it?

Filch the Poltergeist

We think the answer may be clear: Argus Filch is a poltergeist. Of course we know about Peeves. This floating menace wreaks havoc in Hogwarts and turns Filch’s life into even more of a nightmare. Poltergeists are quite the opposite of ghosts. While ghosts are transparent and can’t touch physical objects, a poltergeist is quite solid. Peeves destroys a Vanishing cabinet, for example. According to Rowling he is a physical manifestation of all of the wrongdoings and misschieve of the adolescent witches and wizards in the castle. Peeves wants to have fun by breaking rules. Filch is the exact opposite. He is a stickler for rules and he hates everything that makes life fun. You could call them Yin and Yang in this view. It would explain why he doesn’t need to sleep and why he can turn up as suddenly as one of the ghosts. Perhaps Mrs. Norris is so linked to Filch because they are two parts of the very same manifestation! Filch’s first name is Argus, the many eyed entity who never sleeps from Greek mythology. This Argus’ worst enemy was Hermes; the divine trickster.

There have been other caretakers at Hogwarts in the past of course, like Appollion Pringle, when Molly and Arthur Weasley were students. This guy sounded about the same as Filch; bitter and hell-bent on following rules. Perhaps he was a poltergeist as well and he was regenerated as Filch. Why Filch can’t float and do magic is probably because both those things are in itself breaking the rules! The rule of gravity and casting spells to accomplish impossible things. This theory solves all the mysteries of Argus Filch. It explains why he can’t quit his job. He is bound to the castle. It also explains why he never seems to sleep: he doesn’t have to. He is a manifestation of enforcing the rules, the way Peeves is a manifestation of breaking the rules. In that way there is balance.

This theory was discussed by the SuperCarlin Brothers on YouTube. Click here for the video.


Scary: Black Mirror episode Nosedive vs. social ratings irl

Netflix Original series Black Mirror is definitely a must see. Social media and advanced technology play a big role in this dark, yet surprisingly gripping series. Today we’ll take a look at one of the best episodes: Nosedive. SPOILER ALERT.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Lacie Pound, a thirty-something woman in a very pastel looking futuristic version of the US. In the first shot we see the slightly overweight Lacie run at dawn, with something like a smartphone in her hand. We hear a sad piano melody play as backgroundmusic. As Lacie passes a group of other joggers, a guy says: “Hi, Lacie.” She squeels: “Hi!” and appears to send something with her phone to the guy. Soon we see what is it.

A five-star rating

Apparently in the reality of Nosedive, everyone is on a kind of Facebook, slash Instagram-hybrid, rating each other with one to five stars. We cut to a scene of Lacie in her bathroom, practicing smiling and laughing at her mirror. In her eye is a kind of lens which projects information on the mirror about herself: Lacie, 4.243. This is her social score, as we discover soon after. Lacie lives with her brother in a small apartment, but her heart is on a new place. At a coffeeshop Lacie is still looking at the picture perfect posts of people she knows, rating them. The barista JJ offers her a free cookie, so Lacie replies with a high-pitched: “Sounds awesome!”, after which she and JJ send 5 star-reviews to each other. A picture of Lacie’s cup of coffee with a half eaten cookie next to it (she spits out the bite) gets her a number of 5 star ratings. They make her smile. Interacting with a disgraced co-worker, result in a few one-star ratings. To counteract this, she posts a picture of a toy she made with her childhood friend Naomi. Naomi, incidentally, has a 4.8 rating and a seemingly perfect life.

Real life rating

In real life we sort of seem to do everything for that kind of social rating as well. On social media we ‘like’ each others posts and we enjoy getting likes on our own. The more likes you get, the better it feels. Our succes is visible in the amount of followers on social media. This kind of social rating system is starting to take hold in other parts of life. In China there is a social rating system active already. With a lower rating, people have more difficulty to get loans, for instance. At the end of 2018 statistics say that already 17 million flights have been denied to people based on their rating and 4,5 million weren’t allowed to get a train ticket. It’s pretty scary that the world in Nosedive is closer than we think. The pretty lives people show on social media are not as pastel in reality. People choose to show the beautiful parts, like in this eposide. It’s not yet the daily task we see here, but life does seem to get more ‘online’ and fake, like Lacie’s disgusting coffee. How does it play out for her?

Fake everthing

Lacie wants to opt for a nice apartment, but she needs a 4.5 star rating to apply. That evening Naomi asks her to be her maid of honor because of her post. This will be great for her rating, so she applies for the house and transfers the deposit. “She fucked Greg!” Lacie’s brother incredulously exclaims. Lacie starts practicing the perfect speech for the wedding, including a forced tear at the end. A fight with her brother about the fakeness of her life makes Lacie late for her cab to the airport and after she bumps into someone, her rating starts going down. From this point on the episode shows Lacie trying to make it to the wedding, all the while losing more points and getting increasingly more agitated.

Losing everything

At the airport she is denied a ticket because her rating isn’t high enough, so she has to rent a car. Things go from bad to worse. It becomes painfully clear that having a lower rating means that everything is more difficult and that the people around Lacie even rate her based on her lower rating alone. As it turns out, Naomi only invited her to the wedding because of her rating. “When I asked you to speak, you were a 4.2, okay?” Naomi says on the phone, “And the authenticity of a vintage bond low four at a gathering of this caliber played fantastically on all the simulations we ran.” She says Lacie isn’t allowed to come to the wedding anymore with a 2.6 rating.

In a world where it looks like everyone has a big social network, Lacie turns out to be totally alone. Breaking down completely and sneaking into the wedding, Lacie ends up loses all her points. (Roll credits: Nosedive.) When she’s arrested and put in a cell without her smartphone, she suddenly seems to experience… freedom. There is nobody to impress for a 5 star rating and there is no one to give a rating to. Losing everything she worked and faked so hard for, Lacie is finally free.

We wonder if we will ever be freed again of the social rating systems that imbedded themselves in our daily lives. We’ll just have to wait and see.


Kingsday in the Netherlands: a traditional garage sale

The Netherlands are celebrating Kingsday, a national holiday. It’s the birthday of king Willem-Alexander, who turned 50 today, so all kinds of festivities are scheduled. One of the main courses on every Kingsday is the market, a kind of a garage sale, but without garages. People put a blanket or something on the floor in the street, and sell their stuff.

Imagine everyone cleaning out their attic and selling the mess they found for peanuts. It’s a Kingsday tradition and even the day before you can see chalk on the street with words like ‘taken’ or ‘occupied’. It means someone wants to sell his or her stuff in that spot. Funnily enough the Dutch honour those chalkwords and put their own blankets and crap somewhere else.


For over 30 years it was ‘Queensday’ on April 30th, the birthday of the Queen Mother, but since the coronation in 2013, Kingsday is celebrated on April 27th. Traditionally, the King and his family visit a random city or town somewhere in the Netherlands, waving, smiling and generally functioning as pet monkeys for the crowd. The function of the King and Queen is mostly ceremonial and days like this prove that. Most Dutchies enjoy the festivities and the fact that they have a day off work…