If Pictures Could Move

If Pictures Could Move

I’ve always thought the moving pictures of the wizarding world are one of the most interesting differences between Muggle and Wizard lives. When you think about it, we take pictures to capture a moment in time. Even our moving pictures taken on film or SD card have limitations. They are still a specific moment and the people within them can’t branch out of what has been recorded.

Wizard pictures are taken for the same reasons, I would imagine, to preserve memories, but they have the added benefit of being interactive. If you were missing someone and chose to keep their picture close, it wouldn’t just be a glance and a reminder of them, but rather a comfort of a conversation. To be able to talk to someone who is gone forever, to hear their voice and see their mannerisms, there is something completely priceless about that. If you were on a trip and weren’t able to see friends and family for a while, you could have pictures near to talk to.

Of course, a picture can never really take the place of someone, this much is made clear to us even in the wizarding world. Although seeing a lost loved one smiling and waving at you from a photograph may be comforting, it doesn’t make that person alive again. Pictures and portraits can carry shadows of the personality and knowledge of an individual, but nothing can really duplicate life.

I wonder if moving pictures could parallel the media dependency that we have in Muggle society? Social media and texting are beginning to replace face to face interaction, does the same happen with Wizards? Do they communicate through pictures instead of in person or have they figured out what our society hasn’t quite yet? Virtual life is much different then reality.

In the end, whether a picture moves or is stationary, it will always serve as a reminder of another time and place where it was taken.

  • Natasha K

    Except wizarding pictures didn’t really interact with you all that much. That might look at you or respond to your commands (such as when Mad-Eye told the different ones in the picture he showed to Harry to shift around so Harry could see each of them), but they don’t speak to you or, from what I could tell, respond to anything you said to them other than commands (such as when you greet them or ask them a yes or no question).

    Portraits were the only depictions that would actually interact with you. Portraits are also kind of mysterious to us – they aren’t really fully explained how they come into being (such as does it simply take a witch or wizard painting one for it to come to life, or if it’s a spell), nor are they said to really be the person in which they depict (and in-so-being have the memories and thoughts of said person), or if they simply draw from the memories of whoever paints them as to how they act and what they say, or possibly also draw upon the memories, feelings, and/or magic of whoever is conversing with them. So it could be up to interpretation whether there would actually be a piece of the one whom you love in that portrait or not.

    Personally, I’m not sure whether it would be good or bad to have interactive preserved memories or those we’ve lost. If you’re grieving someone, it’s hard enough looking at a still picture or a non-interactive video of that person. How much more difficult and heartbreaking would it be if you could actually interact with them? It may be difficult for a grieving person to distinguish truth from reality in this instance, and it could possibly be dangerous for their mental health. I have a feeling having an interactive version of a loved one with them after said loved one passes on would make it much more difficult for someone who’s grieving to move on in a healthy manner from the loss.