Find the Hidden References in Our Chapter Titles!


Bet you’ll never guess how The Beatles are related to Harry Potter and the Art of Spying…

Check out the last of our sneaky chapter titles! The Beatles, Milton, and (of course) Shakespeare feature prominently in these chapters exploring the very end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Chapter 33 Into the Forbidden Forest—How to Turn Friends (or Neutrals) into Enemies—A Little Help from a Really Big Friend

With a Little Help from My Friends” (originally titled “A Little Help from My Friends”) is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, released on the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. The song was written for and sung by the Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr as the character “Billy Shears“.

Chapter 34 The Flight of the Thestrals—The Magic of Code Breaking—My Kingdom for a Map!—Leaving Magic Breadcrumbs (on Doors!)—A Prophecy (and Curiosity) Kills the Dog, and Maybe Harry’s Friends, Too!

The Flight of the Phoenix is a 1964 novel by Elleston Trevor. The plot involves the crash of a transport aircraft in the middle of a desert and the survivors’ desperate attempt to save themselves. The book was the basis for the 1965 film The Flight of the Phoenix starring James Stewart and the 2004 remake entitled Flight of the Phoenix.

“My kingdom for a horse” comes from Richard III, a historical play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in approximately 1592. Richard the III is the King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485at the Battle of Bosworth Field, after Lord Stanley and his followers desert Richard’s side, Richard is soon unhorsed on the field at the climax of the battle, and cries out, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”  This exact language is taken from Richard III, Act V, Sc. 4, line 13  The play depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England.

Leaving a trail of bread crumbsrefers to”Hansel and Gretel” is a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister whose parents try to abandon them in the woods.  The second time this occurs, Hansel takes a slice of bread and leaves a trail of bread crumbs to follow home. However, after they are once again abandoned, the children find that birds have eaten the crumbs and they are lost in the woods. The children are threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery. The two children save their lives by outwitting her.

Curiosity killed the cat” is a metaphor used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. The original form of the metaphor, now little used, was “Care killed the cat”. In this instance, “care” was defined as “worry” or “sorrow.” The earliest printed reference to the original metaphor is attributed to the BritishplaywrightBen Jonson in his 1598 play, Every Man in His Humour, which was performed first by William Shakespeare.  By 1902 there are printed references to the transformed phrase, “curiosity killed the cat.”


Chapter 35 The Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters Do Battle—The Consequences of Mistaken Intelligence Analysis and Hubris—A Prophecy Lost (But Perhaps Regained)

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, is considered by critics to be Milton’s major work, and helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time. The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angelSatan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton’s purpose, stated in Book I, is to “justify the ways of God to men.”

Paradise Regained is a later poem by English poet John Milton, first published in 1671. Paradise Regained is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poemParadise Lost, with which it shares similar theological themes; indeed, its title, its use of blank verse, and its progression through Christian history recall the earlier work. However, this effort deals primarily with the temptation of Christ as recounted in the Gospel of Luke.

Chapter 38 The Press Finally Prints the Truth—Dumbledore Returns—Death Be Not Proud

Death Be Not Proud” is a poem by English metaphysical poet John Donne, written around 1610 and first published posthumously in 1633.  The 14 lined sonnet asserts that death is conquered by eternity:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,

. . .

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more, death thou shalt die!

Chapter 54The Value of Spies and Spying: A World Worth Saving

A world worth saving is the title of an essay by Edward Hoagland (born December 21, 1932 in New York) best known for his nature and travel writing.   His essay “A World Worth Saving” appeared in Life magazine in the Oct. 1989 edition which “includes a richly nostalgic essay by Edward Hoagland deploring the havoc that change, speed and greed are working in our daily lives; the loss of space, of privacy, of innocence, of the sense of home.”  (Jack Smith LA Times 9-27-89)  His love of nature and solitude may be in part due to his difficulty in speaking (he has a sever stammer).

Click here if you liked these and missed our earlier Hidden References posts. 

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