Episode 74 – GoF 36: Shake Your Phoenix Feathers

Here comes the fallout from the Triwizard Tournament and the discovery of Barty Crouch, Jr. Join hosts Eric, Michael, and Rosie, with guest host Kevin, as they discuss Chapter 36 of Goblet of Fire, “The Parting of the Ways.”

On Episode 74 we discuss…

→ Episode 73 Recap: Foe-glass ownership; Layered Portkeys; Postmortem Polyjuice Potion
→ PQOTW Responses
→ Different Dumbledores
→ Fawkes the feather donor
→ Eyes glimmering with ghosts and triumph
Question of the Week
→ Check out the Alohomora! Store

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  • AccioPotassium!

    Does anybody suppose that Dumbledore may have expected Harry to have the same phoenix feathers core as Voldemort since the very beginning? This may explain why Garrick Ollivander gave the information about the phoenix wands to Dumbledore immediately after Harry left his shop. Could it be that Mr. Ollivander was under orders from Dumbledore to notify him at once if this event took place? I find this could also explain why Dumbledore knew about the effects of priori incantatem in such great detail in this chapter.

    • Lalita W

      Definitely, as, like you say, Dumbledore knew all about priori incantatem. Also, Dumbledore’s pet is the donater of Harry’s wands’ core, so could falkes/Dumbledore have purposefully given ollivander two cores from the same Phoenix, or if the wands were made at different times, had Dumbledore, knowing voldemorts wands core, and knowing the connection harry wold have with voldemort after his mum sacrificed herself sent ollivander another of falkes’ tail feathers so ollivander could make a wand, that would almost certainly take a liking to harry. Maybe Harry’s wand was only attracted to him due to the Phoenix feather having a connection with the piece of voldemorts soul within Harry.

      • AccioPotassium!

        I kind of agree with you on Dumbledore sending an extra one of his Fawkes tail feathers to Mr. Ollivander because of Harry & Voldemort connections. Do you think Dumbledore may have wanted priori incantatem effects to happen? Maybe Dumbledore wanted an extra level of protection for Harry?

        • Lalita W

          Definitely, as when Harry is telling his story to Dumbledore, he sees a glimpse of something, triumph in dumbledores eyes.

          • Mysterium Scriptor

            I for one do not think this was pre-medicated (or would like to think so as I do not like the idea of one man controlling so much! – as pointed earlier Dumbledore made the best of the situation that already existed – i.e Harry and Voldermort sharing twin cores, the idea that Dumbledore sent an extra one of Fawkes tail feathers to Mr Ollivander because of Harry and Voldemort’s connections seems a bit far fetched as Voldermort did get his want a good 50 years before Harry, also this theory completely goes against the ‘the wand chooses the wizard’ that Rowling gave us. Harry and Voldemort were intertwined by destiny and this was fate’s way of giving Harry a equal footing to be able to fight the most evil wizard ever!
            Just my thoughts :)

          • Lalita W

            but, harry has a piece of Voldemorts soul in him, so Falkes’s feather, and his wand recognised that part of harry. Therefore, the wand chooses the wizard still comes into play. Dumbledore had plans and suspicions about voldemort for ages, before harry was possibly born, so there is still a high possibility of Dumbledore having sent in Falkes’ feather, even as a precaution. he would, after all, know who had the wand containing his pet’s feather.

          • Mysterium Scriptor

            If that was the case and Ollivander was aware of this, then he would not have made Harry try a large number of wands. Dumbledore would have known about Voldemort’s wand and when Fawkes second feather was used in a wand, he probably just told Ollivander – when this wand chooses a wizard could you please let me know – I do not think he had intended for Harry to have it. Even Dumbledore doesn’t have that much control over things

          • ArchdukeSeverus

            I agree with you. I believe that Olivanders got the two phoenix feathers at the same time. We see Harry go through a lot of wands before he gets the phoenix feather wand. If Dumbledore had indicated that the wand may favor Harry or had set the whole thing up I think that Olivanders would not have gone through so many wands when trying one for Harry. I think that Olivanders sent a letter to Dumbledore about the wand link because he sensed the significance not because Dumbledore asked him to do so.

          • Lalita W

            Most definitely!

          • thegiantsquid

            I agree. Even for Dumbledore, that amount of forethought seems unlikely. Who is to say that both wands were not made at the same time? Ollivander has tons of wands in his shop, so it’s likely that one could sit around there for a while until it met its proper owner.

  • Lalita W

    When does harry get the marauders map back? Harry never collects it at the end of this book. – this is a somewhat pointless question, but things like that bug me in books. Whilst I guess that Harry might have collected it from moody/crouch’ office, or Dumbledore gives it to him, is there clarification anywhere?

    • AccioPotassium!

      JKR mentions on her website, that Harry simply took the marauders map from the fake Moody’s office some time before the end of the school year.

      • Lalita W

        That makes sense, thanks

  • AccioPotassium!

    In this chapter Professor Snape shows us his moral fiber & his complete loyalty to Dumbledore. Not only does Snape show his Death Eater’s mark to the minister of magic himself, but also explain some of the hidden properties of the interworking of the Dark Lord. However judging by the Minister Fudge’s reaction to the effects of the dark mark, it seems as though the ministry of magic doesn’t even know about Voldemort’s dark mark tattoo on his minions. I find this could explain why the ministry of magic has so many free Death eaters working in their system. Supposedly the dark mark must have disappeared after the downfall of Voldemort’s power, because the ministry of magic must have seen the tattoo on their arms.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      I totally agree. One particular piece of evidence that shows that the mark disappears when not in use is that Snape says: “You can still see it now, it was clearer a few hours ago” or something along the lines of this. This seems to indicate by saying “you can still see it” that sometimes you can’t.

    • thegiantsquid

      I think the Ministry must know about the Marks. Fudge doesn’t say, “Whoa, Snape, what’s the deal with that creepy tattoo?” He knows what it is and I think the reason he reacts the way he does is because he’s horrified. Fudge refuses to acknowledge facts and deal with Voldemort’s return, so something so blatant would only cause him to retract into his shell of “ignorance.” Plus, the Dark Mark was a huge symbol of terror and destruction. Everyone goes crazy when they see it at the World Cup, so Fudge’s reaction here, I think, is just a smaller-scale version of that.
      As for why the Ministry continues to hire Death Eaters… well… it’s the Ministry, and we all know how inept they are. I think they will believe any lies well fabricated enough and attached to a large Galleon donation.
      Totally agree with your Snape comments though. This chapter does prove his unwavering loyalty.

      • AccioPotassium!

        Yesterday I was reading through an old 2007 Bloomsbury web chat interview with JKR. In this interview someone named Finchburg asks, if the Dark mark tattoo disappeared after the final down fall of Lord Voldemort? Her response was “My pleasure, Finchburg! The Dark Mark would fade to a scar, not dissimilar to the lightning scar on Harry’s forehead.” This information seems to falsify my previous hypothesis that the Dark mark tattoo completely disappeared after the first Voldemort downfall. I’m still not sure if the Ministry of Magic knows about the Dark Mark tattoo on the Death Eater’s arms. I agree that the Ministry should know about it. However
        there seems to be no information in the books & past interviews to confirm that they do.

        • thegiantsquid

          That’s interesting that it becomes a scar. I wonder why they were designed that way, or if that’s just simply how the spell works?
          And you’re absolutely right, I can’t think of anywhere where it explicitly confirms that the Ministry knows about the scars… but I just hope they aren’t truly that dumb that they didn’t notice a pattern. Hmmm, all of these people have a tattoo/scar-thing in exactly the same place of exactly the same thing, which happens to look exactly like the Dark Mark that gets put up in the sky over homes that are attacked by Lord Voldemort… maybe that means something?

  • SpectacularlyHypothetical

    The discussion about Dumbledore’s character in this episode got me thinking quite a lot, as it’s a topic I’ve had a few issues with myself.

    The best explanation I can give for it is that as the books go on the readers perspectives grows with Harry’s. In the first few books Harry is very much a child and sees the world in very binary terms, good/evil etc. However, as we know, pure good and pure evil don’t really exist in the real world. As the series progresses, Harry’s perspective (and the reader’s) grows to understand the different nuances of character. Half-Blood Prince shows us that Voldemort is not some evil incarnate (like Sauron in LOTR) but a human being, albeit a deeply damaged and psychopathic one.

    Similarly, Dumbledore is seen in the early books as the incarnation of all that is good, but as the series progresses we see that he to is just a man, perhaps a cut-above the average but still human, and prone to all the failings the rest of us are. Ultimately Dumbledore is a man with a very difficult job to do, couldn’t anyone else have done as well as he did?

    • Dan Sharp

      Agreed. Harry experiences the classic stages of the parent/child dynamic with Dumbledore throughout the seven books. In the first three he is still a child and sees DD as purely good and able to fix any problem. In this book he is a becoming a teenager and sees for the first time that DD can’t protect/save him from everything in the world, which leads into full rebellious teenager in OotP. Then in the final two books, as Harry becomes an adult himself, he understands that DD was just a man who made mistakes but tried to do the best he could.

      • ArchdukeSeverus

        The way that Dumbledore uses Harry is particularly apparent in HBP when we see him becoming increasingly snappy with Harry and guilt trips Harry into doing stuff especially in the case of Slughorn. I can understand why he does this but surely there are much nicer ways to do these things.

        • Dan Sharp

          Examples? Remember no one can know what you are up to or even guess how much you really know. Dumbledore couldn’t risk telling Harry too much in case it got out or Harry guessed too soon that he was a horcrux and would have to die. Dumbledore walked a very fine line.

        • thegiantsquid

          While I entirely agree with your point, it is important to remember that Dumbledore knows he is dying soon and can’t tell anyone besides Snape. He knows there is so much left to do and tell Harry before his death, and I think he gets a little impatient because he is concerned that he won’t be able to accomplish all he needs to accomplish. Let’s be fair, Harry does tend to procrastinate, and Dumbledore, instead of being honest about the situation, uses these techniques to motivate Harry a bit. Trying to put myself in Dumbledore’s shoes, I realized that I might react similarly if I thought I couldn’t tell Harry the full story.

          • ArchdukeSeverus

            That’s a good point. I totally agree.

  • DolphinPatronus

    On the topic of the Dementor “attacking” Little Crouch…I think it all happened very quickly which is why McGonagall didn’t have time to react. I’d say the Dementor could feel that trapped feeling Little Crouch must’ve had & went straight for him. I think there is a possibility that it knew before it got there that it was coming for Little Crouch so that could also explain why it acted so quickly. I’m sure the Dementors felt very slighted when they found out another prisoner escaped them (even tho this escape was technically the first) & I don’t doubt they would have wanted what they felt was justice.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      Also there is a chance that Fudge knew what was coming and planned ahead. He may have called up the dementor intentionally so that the evidence of Voldemort’s return was removed. I’m not sure if Fudge was that capable of thinking that far ahead in this situation but there is a chance this is what could have happened. We have to remember that Fudge is quite politically smart in a lot of situations.

      • DolphinPatronus

        That is a possibility but I don’t think he planned on things happening as quickly as he did. I think he did want to hear what little crouch had to say but wasn’t given a chance & real wouldn’t have done anything with the info anyway.

  • AccioPotassium!

    During the podcast the hosts were discussing the possible solutions to an eyewitness account to Barty Crouch’s confession. The hosts seem to agree that Minster Fudge could have extracted the memories from one of the people present during little Crouch’s confession, and place the memory inside a portable Pensieve. I agreed with their hypothesis, however why not take it a step further, and extracted Harry’s terrible memories of the rebirth of the Dark Lord?

    • Dan Sharp

      How common is the Pensive? Did Dumbledore invent it and thus the only one? Would the wizarding world accept what was shown in a Pensive as truth?

      • AccioPotassium!

        I’m assuming the wizarding community would accept pensieve evidence similar to how muggles trust lie detectors. So pensieves are probably not a high form of evidence, because someone like Horace Slughorn could have changed their past memories to fit their false stories.

        • Dan Sharp

          Lie detectors are no longer allowed as evidence in muggle courts as it’s been proven that they can be fooled. I guess that the same would apply in the wizarding world as well. Just because Slughorn did a bad job of “editing” his memory doesn’t mean that a skilled wizard (like Dumbledore) couldn’t make a perfect “fake” memory.

          • AccioPotassium!

            The same could be said about Veritaserum. The potion will make someone tell nothing but the truth, however if someone was memory charmed, their truth would be false in a wizarding courtroom. It seems the wizarding community is no greater in deducting criminals compared to the muggles legal system.

          • ArchdukeSeverus

            I don’t think that veritaserum or pensieves are used in wizard courts at all. Both these methods are quite easy to trick.

          • AccioPotassium!

            Not to mention the size of the pensieve would prevent a jury to view past memories, and veritaserum would be rather difficult potion to manufacture for most hearings. However veritaserum is monitored by the ministry of magic, so it seems conceivable for wizarding courtroom to use truth potion on rare occasions.

          • ArchdukeSeverus

            Though the thing we have to remember is that these methods can be fooled by memory charms and things of that likeness. Pensieves are particularly easy to fool.

          • AccioPotassium!

            I was able to find some information about veritaserum from JKR.

            “Veritaserum works best upon the unsuspecting, the vulnerable and those insufficiently skilled (in one way or another) to protect themselves against it. Barty Crouch had been attacked before the potion was given to him and was still very groggy, otherwise he could have employed a range of measures against the Potion – he might have sealed his own throat and faked a declaration of innocence, transformed the Potion into something else before it touched his lips, or employed Occlumency against its effects. In other words, just like every other kind of magic within the books, Veritaserum is not infallible. As some wizards can prevent themselves being affected, and others cannot, it is an unfair and unreliable tool to use at a trial.”

            “Sirius might have volunteered to take the potion had he been given the chance, but he was never offered it. Mr. Crouch senior, power mad and increasingly unjust in the way he was treating suspects, threw him into Azkaban on the (admittedly rather convincing) testimony of many eyewitnesses. The sad fact is that even if Sirius had told the truth under the influence of the Potion, Mr. Crouch could still have insisted that he was using trickery to render himself immune to it.”

          • Lalita W

            Maybe pensieve’s are not very well known or common. Dumbledore seems not to have invented the pensieve, and the ministry seems quite… ‘Stick with the old ways’ ish

  • Niki Torch

    About the whole phoenix feathers, maybe once a phoenix has a burning and thus restarts their life again, the feathers shed from this new phoenix aren’t considered to be the same as the old phoenix. Thus, when Harry and Voldemort’s wands are said to be brothers, their feathers came from the same phoenix (Fawkes) and the same burning period. I don’t think we were ever told how long Phoenixes live for until they burn, but we are told that they take only several days to grow back to full size, so therefore it could be that a phoenix doesn’t live for a prolonged period until they burn again, making it more likely that the feathers taken from Fawkes for Harry and Voldemort’s wand were unique rather than taking a bunch of feathers from Fawkes. Just a thought!

    • DolphinPatronus

      That’s a good idea & one I had never really considered.

    • Mysterium Scriptor

      I had not considered that! That is a good thought! and makes more sense as it is hard to believe the Fawkes gave only two feathers!

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      In this way Fawkes could have given many feathers over time.

      • nikigryff

        Yes exactly! :) this would allow Fawkes to keep shedding feathers, but my theory also suggests that not all these feathers will be unique as with each resurrection of the Phoenix signals a new family of feathers if you like. Meaning that although Fawkes can produce a lot of feathers, the ones provided in Harry and LV’s wands are unique to one resurrection/burning.

    • Guest

      I should start reading the previous comments before I give my opinion! I didn’t steal your idea I promise ;) nice to hear our shared opinion on the show though!

    • HinkyPuff

      I should start reading the previous comments before I give my opinion! I didn’t steal your idea I promise ;) Nice to hear our shared opinion on the show though :)

  • Mysterium Scriptor

    Regarding Dumbledore hiding things – I think the fandom is quite unfair to him – this is the highest authority in the only wizarding school in Britian and the chief of the resistance against the most evil wizard ever – he must have a million things on his mind – so many people he must have to deal with and collect knowledge and intelligence from wherever he can. He cannot possibly tell all to a kid who is not of age – especially if he himself is not sure of it. I do not see it is as being different to a parent not telling their young child the truth about a pet dying and saying it was sent to live on a farm – there is a an age and time to tell certain truths and the fact that Dumbledore loves Harry like his own son makes it all the more harder for him to tell him the truth!

    • nikigryff

      I agree! I also think that if Dumbledore had come clean to Harry and revealed all, it would only have hindered Harry in the long run. It would have made his inevitable job much harder; with Dumbledore only revealing what was necessary he didn’t bombard Harry with a myriad of information and thus avoided Harry reading too much into things which could have put his actions in book 7 into jeopardy.I think part of what makes Harry’s story so captivating is that he learns with the reader through the book – if Rowling had revealed all, it wouldn’t have made Harry such a bildungsroman character.

  • http://about.me/erinwhite Erin White

    The phoenix does not die. It resurrects in a continuous loop. Both Voldemort and Harry have phoenix feather wand cores, and they both escape death. Admittedly, Voldemort’s horcruxes had a great deal to do with his failure to die when the Avada Kedavra backfired on him. Nevertheless, he and Harry both have wands containing the feathers of a bird that does not die, and they both escaped what should have been certain death.

    We are told repeatedly throughout the entire 7-book epic that the wand chooses the wizard. Dumbledore knew from the first meeting that the boy Tom Riddle was both powerful and disturbed. My theory is that as soon as Tom Riddle’s wand selected him, Dumbledore quizzed Olivander and discovered that Fawkes’ feather was at the core. At that point, he had Olivander fashion a second wand with another one of Fawkes’ feathers – and then they put it on the shelf, and waited. Dumbledore knew about priori incantatem. He also knew that someday, the second wand would select someone. At that point, the world would at least have one secret weapon, one person who might have an edge fighting against Riddle.

    When the priori incantatem happened in the graveyard, Harry had never killed anyone, so there weren’t any “ghosts” to come spilling out of his wand. I think it’s natural for a wizard’s prior victims to side
    against him when they emerge during priori incantatem. It’s doubly natural if they happen to be related to the owner of the other “brother” wand. I also think that a wizard who was previously unaware of the
    phenomenon would be rather taken aback by the experience of seeing his victims emerge from his own wand. These factors combined with the reluctance of the “brother” wands to fight one another may have
    conspired to assist Harry in the graveyard.

    At the time that the child Riddle first got his wand, I don’t think Dumbledore dreamed that it would all play out precisely as epically as it did. Riddle was only 11 when the first wand selected him, and many years from becoming the eternal-life-obsessed Dark Lord. The prophecy had not happened yet, and indeed, James and Lily weren’t even born yet, never mind Harry. But Dumbledore’s powers of observation were keen, his instincts were excellent, and his vision was long. It would appear that since Fawkes was his pet, he’s the one who stacked the wand lore decks in favor of ensuring that that there would be at least one wizard in the world who had a chance against Riddle. It could have worked with two unicorn hair wands, or two dragon heart string wands, too. However, we would not have had the resurrection symbolism of the phoenix with either of those cores.

    Once the prophecy was made and Voldemort had “marked” Harry, all that remained was wait and see if the second wand selected him. It must have been a long decade for both Dumbledore and Olivander, but it all played out according to the prophecy. Dumbledore DID make sure that the right weapon was available, but he cannot be credited for machinating the entire thing. Ultimately, it was magic that conspired to select Harry – via the prophecy, and via the magical law by which the wand selects the wizard. And ultimately, it was magic, wand magic, that saved Harry, both in the graveyard and at the end of the series.

    • Silverdoe25

      Emma, you make some terrific points!

  • Maureen

    To me it seems that Dumbledore just happening to own the phoenix that the wand cores came from is too much of a coincidence. I therefore think that Dumbledore may have adopted Fawkes as a pet because Voldemort’s wand came from him. It seems possible that, during Voldemort’s first rise to power, Dumbledore decided to find and keep the phoenix that had given the feather for Voldemort’s wand. He was then able to send a second feather to Ollivander to be made into a wand that could match Voldemort’s.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      It’s fascinating how much of Dumbledore’s later life revolved around Voldemort especially if this is true. Personally I feel that Dumbledore already had Fawkes when he gave the feathers and the reason that Harry and Voldemort ended up with the feathers is the result of the significant connections between them and Dumbledore.

  • PhoenixFeathered1

    There is something that I was reminded of in the last few episodes that has always confused me about the Polyjuice Potion and Moody-Crouch .

    Why doesn’t Little Crouch look progressively ill throughout GOF?

    It seems like the potion allows the user to transform into their targets appearance according to what they looked like when the essence of them was extracted. This makes sense from how Little Crouch turns into Moody with all of his scars and his missing leg and eyeball, age, etc. What I don’t understand is how Little Crouch continues to look the same throughout the book. It seems like Moody is being kept prisoner, at least partly, to provide constant hair for the potion. Moody however is getting more and more ill as the book goes on, so why isn’t this reflected in Little Crouch?

    • Dan Sharp

      Because… Ummm…. That’s a really good question. You would assume that if you wanted to look like someone who is sick you could but maybe you transform into the person at their peak health available at that time. So Moody’s scars still appear because they can never be undone but you wouldn’t get the flu because he had it. Does that make sense?

      • PhoenixFeathered1

        Maybe only permanent physical changes show up?

        • Dan Sharp

          That’s what I thought but PumpkinFireSoul has taken it to a whole new level.

    • PumpkinFireSoul

      It’s interesting you brought that up because Barty actually DOES get progressively ill throughout the book. After he kills his father the trio basically ambush him to play detective and Harry notes Moody looks weirdly drained and tired – I don’t have exact quotes or page numbers off-hand, but this continues as we see Barty’s gradual downward spiral into, as JKR said on her website, being too groggy to even try and fight the potion or resist interrogation when he’s caught.

      However, I think it isn’t Moody’s body that’s going sour – it’s *Barty’s*. This is heavily implied by the text in several ways: a) We know for a fact Mrs. Crouch was deathly ill before her son was even accused. She was a wisp of a women at his trial after all. b) Barty didn’t even last A YEAR in Azkaban – he was already on his deathbed, which is why his parents even got the chance to visit and make the switch in the first place. c) Sirius notes that he watched Barty brought in, fresh from the outside world, and that he *already* looked super sickly.

      Drawing from this we can reasonably assume Barty inherited his mother’s constitution – which might explain why he was so happy to go along with what is, in effect, a suicide mission – and why he made no attempt to escape or continue to drink his potion after or during the third task: basically, he has the wizard cancer. He’s already on the way out, bro. His enchanted house arrest and his use of Moody’s body might have actually been what’s kept him ALIVE this whole time. I mean, I realize that’s some deep down tinfoil hat level analysis and I also realize this in no way answers the essence of your initial question so…..yup.

      • Dan Sharp

        I thought he looked “lop-sided” because the potion was wearing off and the trio caught him before he could take a swig of potion. Interesting analysis even if it is “unprovable”.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    I just realized Winky was in the room when the dementor administered the kiss to Little Crouch. :O No wonder she was traumatized at least for the next couple of years.

  • SpectacularlyHypothetical

    A few thoughts on Fawkes.
    I think there are three possible explanations for why it’s uncommon for wands to share Phoenix feathers.

    Option 1: Whilst domesticated phoenixes might be rare, phoenixes themselves aren’t. There might by hundreds of them in different parts of the world. In this case getting feathers for cores would be no more onerous than getting tail hairs from unicorns. Note pottermore states that Phoenix is the rarest type of wand, so it wouldn’t take too many to fill this demand.

    Option 2: Phoenixes do give more than one feather often BUT not within the same lifetime. Perhaps there is something qualitatively different about each body a Phoenix has and that a feather from one incarnation doesn’t see a feather from a different incarnation as it’s brother. What was uncommon about Fawkes was that he have two feathers in one existence.

    Option 3: Phoenixes only ever GIVE one feather. Perhaps due to the nature of phoenixes you can’t ever take a feather (like taking a unicorn hair) but you have to petition it for one. That’s the only one they’ll ever give. Fawkes was just being uncommonly generous when Olivander asked.

    It could be one or all of these explanations.

  • PumpkinFireSoul

    Leave it to me to emerge from lurking now – but hello, yes, enormous Crouch family fangirl here – and I’d love to pop in and stress the narrative brilliance of the Dementor’s Kiss.

    If you think about it, Barty Crouch’s entire life is one big metaphor for Bipolar Disorder. It’s not a coincidence whatsoever that Barty is the only character we see receive the Kiss. Being literally consumed by a creature who JK has said is a physical embodiment of mental illness. His life is one big parade of manic activity and brazen, impulsive acts followed by fateful encounters with Dementors, suffocating curses and invisibility cloaks. His character is again and again stressed to be this contradicting mass of genius, hyper-competence and misplaced bravery mingled with constant self-sabotage, suicidal stupidity and unrestrained hysterics. I think it’s a real shame that JKR’s really nuanced and pathos-heavy depiction of the Crouch’s as a fundamentally mad family is never really addressed in much detail by anyone – possibly because it is more difficult to unpack than say, Harry’s emo summer.

    Moreover, the Dementor wasn’t just shoehorned in as a device to Fudge’s jerkitude, but rather it’s the only possible thematic end to the larger Crouch family arc which is ALL ABOUT identity. Obviously we have Barty transforming into Moody, but on a more subtle level, the Crouches trade places, faces and statuses with each other constantly – and it’s a process that is deeply destructive. We have the physical switch between Barty and his mother, followed by both of their “deaths” and more importantly and figuratively, we have the switch between Crouch, Sr. and Barty, which is heralded by JKR’s use of “bulging eyes” as a descriptor. She literally drops that line every single scene Crouch, Sr. is in before being imperiused. It’s practically his meta catchphrase. If you say “bulging eyes” in front of a mirror three times, Crouch, Sr. appears. Anyway, Crouch, Sr. becomes everything Barty once was, the cursed, scraggly madman-in-the-attic. Meanwhile, Barty becomes like his father – a calculated and megalomaniacal chessmaster. In that final scene JKR describes Barty’s eyes as “bulging”. They’ve become each other – and again, boom. Both dead.

    It’s THIS switch that’s ultimately really important because it underlines the conclusion of Barty’s lifelong struggle – to assert his own autonomy and identity – separate from the father whose name he bears. He’s Sirius Black on opposite day, he wants to be the absolute antithesis of his family rather than a product of it. Likewise it was Crouch, Sr.’s goal to turn Barty into a perfect mirror of himself, to hollow Barty out, to make him into an extended limb. Nothing but a means to a reputation. And when that failed, the next best method was simply to erase him, by keeping him under imperius and a cloak for *twelve years*. So when in the end Barty DOES transform into a twisted parody of his father, he’s lost the game, the last scraps of his already brutalized identity are gone. In effect, he loses his soul long before the Dementor gets to him.

    Essentially, GoF is the story of how Barty Crouch was slowly deconstructed as an individual.

    • Elvis Gaunt

      That is one scary analysis. I realized it has enough story for a separate novelette/movie by itself. But then most of Harry Potter sub-plots do.

  • Subjective Unicorn

    I was wondering where and how the phoenix begins. From the metaphysical point of view. it is clear that, as Luna had so nicely frased it – a circle has no begining, but it is just one of the good answers. Any others ideas out there?

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      The whole idea of the phoenix being the circle with no beginning of end is quite important in both mythological and alchemical symbolism. It would be interesting to see would this has to say about Dumbledore’s character.

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    In a way Voldemort makes himself into a horcrux for Harry by taking Harry’s blood into him. By doing so he tethers Harry to life in later books. Whether he could be defined as a horcrux though I don’t know.

  • HedwigsTheme

    A potential answer to the question about why Ollivander only took two of Fawkes’s feathers – Mr. Ollivander would know about Priori Incantatem and would therefore try to minimize the chances of this occurring among his customers. Had Ollivander taken several feathers from one phoenix, there would be a much higher chance of two wizards with brother wands meeting.

    • ArchdukeSeverus

      This would support the idea that Olivander wants his wands to be capable of duelling any wizard the owner likes as the hosts joked about during the show. : )

      • HedwigsTheme

        Oops, was I just reiterating something that was already said? My apologies :/ I’ll pay closer attention next time!

        • ArchdukeSeverus

          No what you came up was mainly new, it just supported the joke.

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    Something I noticed in this chapter was that when Harry mentions that he knows the names of the death eaters at the graveyard. Why he flinched at this though I found curious.
    One possible explanation I think is that he may have been slightly worried that he was going to be dobbed in. I don’t think this is the case though because Snape could probably guess that Voldemort would have said something against him because of him not turning up. So Harry wouldn’t have any reason to suspect Snape.
    What I thought was that it is possible that Snape regards some of the death eaters as friends still after he became a spy and doesn’t want them to go to Azkaban. One particular death eater I thought that he may be friends with is Lucius as he was one of the people that supported him in hos youth as seen just after Snape’s sorting.

    • PixieDragon137

      Interesting. Yes it seems totally possible that he reacted the way he did because Harry openly named one of his friends. Just because he switched sides doesn’t mean he has suddenly stopped being friends with Lucius and the others. It could be that for the sake of keeping up his role as double agent he has to keep his former relationship with the deatheaters unchanged. But he has never held back from showing his contempt towards people he disliked, even for the sake of appearances.

      I have a question though. We know he switched loyalties only and only because of Lily’s death. But did he really shed all his ideas and belief’s that made him join the dark side in the first place? The chapter says Snape’s eyes glittered strangely’ and that Dumbledore ‘watched with a trace of apprehension on his face as Snape left’. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but I feel that although Dumbledore says he trusts Snape completely he, at this moment, is a atleast a tiny bit worried about Snape rejoining his former master.

      • ArchdukeSeverus

        That is very possible what you are suggesting. It is clearly stated that Snape isn’t too much of a pureblood maniac, and that wasn’t his original intentions when joining the death eaters. But it could be very possible that he had other motivations he didn’t forget.

  • HinkyPuff

    Perhaps that specific phoenix did give only 1 other feather, but maybe, despite being essentially still Fawkes, the new plumage from every phoenix rebirth is slightly different and so Fawke’s feathers from one ‘life’ are different to the next. Perhaps those 2 twin feathers simply came from the same cycle of Fawkes’ life. ..?
    Therefore, Olivander may still be able to receive a supply of feathers from Fawkes and Dumbledore once every life cycle, without causing Priori Incantatem all over the place.

  • Bill White

    About the Change in Dumbledore, If Harris had lived do you think they would have recast because of the change of the environment for Dumbledore. As to the wand cores, does anyone think that maybe Dumbledore heard a prophecy about Voldemort that allowed them to be linked. I was going to mention that Fudge could have pulled a copy of Harry’s memory and BCJR’s memory and mesh the two. Also, I think that if Fudge thought that Dumbledore was a fear monger, then he could have chosen a neutral pensieve and a person from the ministry so that they would know that it wasn’t biased.

  • Silverdoe25

    I always thought that Fudge had the dementor go for Little Crouch intentionally. He was standing right there when Harry told Dumbledore that Voldemort was back. I also assume that when Snape went to fetch Fudge to question Crouch, he probably gave Fudge a condensed version of what was going on. Fudge claims he brought the dementor for protection, but I believe it was his intent to eliminate the evidence, in the form of Crouch’s testimony. That made it much easier to discredit Harry and Dumbledore.

  • GobblingFire

    1. Maybe Snape influenced Fudge regarding the dementor as part of the plan to keep his ‘right hand man’ status with the big V.
    2. I myself didnt really take the gleam in Dumbledors eye as sinister but more as a respect for Voldermorts genius. This is not the first time Voldermorts Genius is given high respect (think of how Olyvander talks about him to name one example). Also Dumbledor did have a history of being interested and attracted to power thinking of his relationship with Grindlewald. Was he reliving what could be if he was still young? Did he know that this was the equal he had craved for?

    • thegiantsquid

      I always thought Dumbledore had a triumphant gleam because his thoughts and suspicions were being confirmed. Even though the circumstances were awful, he still enjoyed being right.

  • AccioPotassium!

    During Dumbledore’s orders, he commanded Sirius Black to contact the old members of the Order of the Phoenix. I’m not sure this is a good idea. Imagine answering your front door to a supposed mass murderer, who is telling you to come with him because the Dark Lord is back. This would probably send some red flags with most of the old members.

    • thegiantsquid

      This is an extremely good point. We don’t see Dumbledore speaking to people and explaining Sirius’s innocence. Unless, behind the scenes, Dumbledore did a lot of letter-writing and explaining, selecting Sirius for this task is a poor choice. Actually, the people he mentions in general are strange choices: Sirius, a convicted though innocent murderer, Remus Lupin, werewolf (and though we know he’s a nice guy, even good guys like Ron can have poor reactions to that fact, which shows that just because people are good doesn’t mean they’ll immediately accept him), Arabella Figg, a squib, and Mundungus Fletcher, a drunken thief. I wonder why Dumbledore decided to name these people specifically, given that each has a “negative” attached to them.

      • PixieDragon137

        I can’t say about Mrs. Figg, but Lupin and Mundungus would be able to blend in better with the ‘negatives’ as you call them. Voldemort is more likely to have the corrupt crowd under his command, people he can manipulate easily, and what’s better than to send a thief and a werewolf to be the eyes and ears for the Order amongst these kinds of people. Atleast that’s what we learn from the later books.

        • thegiantsquid

          I hesitated to use the word “negative,” because I didn’t mean to imply bad things about some of the characters. I just couldn’t think of a better word at the time. I do not mean to suggest they are bad people by any means, but some wizards will have less than polite opinions about some of them due to those qualities.
          Anyway,
          I entirely agree with your point. I did not mean to imply that they were unhelpful (because they’re super helpful!) but only that I was curious as to why Dumbledore chose to mention these particular people at this particular moment. Sorry for the confusion!

          • PixieDragon137

            No no I totally understood the context in which you used the word. I couldn’t think of a better word myself at that moment which is why I quoted you. Because you are right, he does mention those three names specifically so I liked that you pointed it out, about Dumbledore naming a certain category of people. I never thought about it until you mentioned it, so it got me thinking :)

    • BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts

      Maybe Dumbledore had previously told them of Sirius’s innocence. Sirius was in the order previously, maybe some were close and would’ve liked to know

      • PixieDragon137

        I agree with this. I think Dumbledore must have contacted the Order members after Wormtail escaped, to keep their eyes and ears open for any suspicious news or activity, especially since Trelawny’s prophecy stated that the dark lord would rise again because his servant will return to him.
        Also I think Molly was not in the Order the last time, which explains her reaction to Sirius’s sudden appearance.

  • ifHedwigwasaPhoenix

    I feel that Dumbledore’s gleam of triumph could have a few more implications, since in hindsight it didn’t pan out into a master contingency plan.

    Gleam of triumph = I told you so

    Dumbledore may view this as a concession by Voldemort to the powerful magic of love. Not saying that Voldy’s cold heart has been melted, far from it, but he has at least finally acknowledged an aspect of magic that he’s previously ignored — something that has brought him to ruin in the past. In this way he is giving some credence to Dumbledore’s magical philosophies.

    Gleam of triumph = grudging respect

    Having the knowledge of book seven, we know that Dumbledore could have taken the plunge into being power hungry megalomaniac — different flavor than Voldemort’s — but I’d bet that little bad boy buried inside our wise old headmaster was pretty impressed.

    However, it disappears so quickly because both of these quick feelings would still mean that his old enemy is back — and back with even more power because he has defeated Lily’s protection and begun to acknowledge a deeper emotional side to magic.