Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 105

Just before one of the most beloved quotes in the series, there is a curious moment which is the focus of this week’s Podcast Question of the Week.

In the final scene of the chapter, we see the confrontation between the Ministry and Dumbledore. Once Fudge orders Dawlish & Shacklebolt to seize Dumbledore, a flash of silver light flitters around the room, and they are knocked out cold. As Harry, McGonagall, and Marietta wake up, the text notes that “Fawkes the phoenix soared in wide circles above them, singing softly.” The four converse, Dumbledore takes hold of Fawkes’s tail feather, and they are off. The second they are gone – the rest awake. What kept them asleep? Was it the jinx? The presence of Dumbledore, as the spellcaster? Or even perhaps Fawkes’s song? Or all of them combined?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and tune in next week to see if your ideas are discussed on the show!

  • Kira Bond

    I think it was two of them. Albus is powerful enough to keep all of them asleep, but Fawkes’s song always makes people peaceful, so both of the ideas together would make them fall into a deep sleep, even though it didn’t last. The presence of Albus probally wouldn’t have kept them asleep because it isn’t even magically possible.

  • Kira Bond

    I think three of them are right. Dumbledore is powerful enough to put them all asleep and with the help of fawkes it was really easy. But when they left, the magic disappeared with them, though at first I didn’t think it was magically possible.

  • Snatch The Snitch

    I thnk the jinx simply knocked out Dawlish, Fudge, Shaklebolt, and Umbridge. McGonagall, Harry and Marietta were never knocked out; McGonagall had pulled them to the ground and out of harms way. I don’t think Dumbledore as the spellcaster had anything to do with it because he says “Now they will awake very soon”, and tells them some info quickly. And as far as Fawkes singing I’m not really sure. Can a phoenix’s song make one tired? I only remember that it strikes fear in the hearts of evil and gives courage to the good.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    I think Dumbledore cast a spell that would knock them all out for a specific amount of time, like 30s. And he took care to leave before that time limit elapsed.

  • DisKid

    I only don’t think it was Fawke’s song that kept the rest of them asleep because I remember Newt Scamander saying that for people who are “impure of heart”, which is definitely Umbridge, his song strikes great fear into them. I’m sure Umbridge was shocked, but I didn’t see anything to indicate she was really in much fear. I think if Fawke’s song had anything to do with it she would have woken up as if she had just had a night terror. I dare say she didn’t even know Fawke’s was singing.

    I’m more inclined to believe it was Dumbledore’s jinx.

    • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

      interesting point! I agree that if it was just Fawke’s song Umbridge wouldn’t have been knocked out either…

  • The_Potter_Dude

    Dumbledore’s jink knocked out only the Ministry people in the room only for a short period of time because he need a quick escape. I think Dumbledore can knock certain people out and keeps them knock out until he leaves because he has Fawkes and the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand is one of the most powerful wand in the world so I bet he can do the duration of the knockout or who get knocked out. The Elder Wand can do stuff that other wands can’t like when Harry mended his wand with the Elder Wand. Fawkes is a Phoenix! He can die and then recreate its himself. Its one of the most intelligence bird so it can disapperate in and out of the castle. It was Dumbledore being a spellcaster and it was a jink. But I don’t think it was Fawkes’s song. Thanks! Love listening, Big Fan!!!!! 🙂

  • Jake Potter

    I agree with Snatch the Snitch about the jinx knocking them out, but I think that Fawkes is a bit more magical than is let on. I think it was his song that kept them asleep and his flying and singing was part of a rhythmic pattern making sure they stay knocked out.

    I also think that Dumbledore and Fawkes are linked in some way. I think they have some weird connection with each other and perhaps the presence of Dumbledore aided Fawkes in his song, giving him somewhat of a boost and when they left, Fudge and crew woke up, kind of like when Harry was released from the freezing spell after Dumbledore was *spoiler* killed by Snape, because he has left the world, but in this case he had simply left Hogwarts. By Dumbledore and Fawkes leaving, the spell was lifted and they woke up. So in a way, I believe it was a combination of all three.

  • LeslieLovegood

    I think Dumbledore’s jinx knocked them out. I think he must not be able to cast it on certain poeple, which is why he needed to knock out the whole room, because really I don’t see a purpose in knocking out Harry and McGonagall.

    I’ve thought Fawkes part in it was waking up the select few. Fawkes can heal, so I’ve though that he awoke them on Dumbledore’s orders, possibly with his song, but more likely he dropped a tear on each of them. The rest remained knocked out until Dumbledore left and the spell was broken.

  • RoseLumos

    I agree with pretty much all the comments already here. I think Dumbledore’s spell was a little like anesthesia when you have a surgery. It knocks you out for a bit and then you wake up. I don’t think there was anything preventing them from waking up, just time and the power of the spell. Because of this, I am surprised McGonagall and him discussed so much before Dumbledore left. Considering they could wake up any time and listen in to Dumbledore’s plans, if I was him I would have just left and discussed the details later in a safe location with McGonagall.

  • SpinnersEnd

    I think it’s great timing on Dumbledore’s part. The jinx knocked out the people Dumbledore intended it to (and he is a competent enough wizard to make sure it only hits who he wants it to hit). I think he knew they wouldn’t be out for every long. Dumbledore passed on the information he needed to very quickly, and makes his escape.

    I think the jinx was like a magical punch. It knocked them out for a short, unspecified amount of time, and they all come to dazed and confused.

    Dumbledore is a master of making things happen the way he wants. And when he can’t make them happen that way, he makes it look like they happened that way. I don’t think Fawkes needed to be singing, I think it made a dramatic scene that would ensure people were talking about his escape.

  • nikigryff

    I feel that it was Fawkes’ song that knocked Harry and co out. We’ve obviously seen that phoenixes are very powerful creatures; the only remedy to the basilisk, capable of rebirth and are extremely hard to domesticate etc. Therefore, I don’t think it’s completely implausible that they are capable of making wizards insensate. In book 6 we see the true power of their song when Fawkes produces the lament; producing the effect that the song is inside the listeners head is very powerful magic, very similar to Voldemort’s methods – as fawkes is highly devout to Dumbledore, it would not surprise me that he (Fawkes) would go to any lengths to help out his master. Alternatively, a phoenix song is meant to increase the courage of the good – Dumbledore who is arguably the paradigm for ‘the greater good’ could have been so effected by this ‘increase in courage’ that when coupled with his already cogent powers, would have become so powerful for a fleeting moment that it knocked those around him out? Just a thought! x

  • Holly Norris

    I always thought that Dumbledore just jinxed them to sleep until he was away and safe. Later in OTP, we see that Dumbledore’s presence doesn’t effect the binding curses he’s put on the Death Eaters in the Ministry, as he tells the minister they’re still tied up. It’s not until Dumbledore dies in HBP that we see his magic actually stop working because of a lack of his physical presence, as shown with the petrifying spell he placed on Harry that then was broken.

  • Hufflepug

    It was probably all three. I imagine that Fawkes’s song and Dumbledore’s presence would have kept everyone asleep but there was something in the jinx itself that made it so it would just work for the Ministry workers. It’s interesting that he allowed Marietta to wake up. I guess he wanted her to see how the Ministry workers were treating such a powerful wizard so poorly.

    • MinervaLupin

      Marietta was never knocked out so she never had to wake up. McGonagall pulled her down out of the way along with Harry so they would not get hurt. McGonagall would never had allowed a student to get her intentionally and I am sure Dumbledore would not have wanted to hurt her either since he almost attacked Umbridge when she man-handled Marietta

      • Hufflepug

        Whoops, thank you! And you’re completely right about Dumbledore preventing his students from getting hurt.

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    I think it was a combination of everything. I think that it was Dumbledore’s magic that put people to sleep, but I also always imagined that Dumbledore had done some sort of nonverbal spell to protect Harry, McGonagall, and Marietta. I think it was Fawkes that kept the others in that sleep. But I also think it was tied to Dumbeldore being physically present. As soon as he left, everyone woke up. I think that Fawkes acted on Dumbeldore’s power/orders as well. His music kept them from waking from Dumbeldore’s spell, but when Dumbledore leaves with Fawkes, there is nothing left to keep them asleep.

  • MinervaLupin

    I would like to start of saying that Harry, McGonagall and Marietta were never knocked out. McGonagall threw herself on the floor, out of harm’s way and dragged Harry and Marietta along with her. So the three of them were never affected by the jinx that Dumbledore fired off. Also, just before Dumbledore grabs Fawkes’ tail feathers, Fudge and the others were starting already to slowly wake up, which would indicate that the jinx was wearing off even before Dumbledore had a chance to leave.

    Now back to the question of what kept them asleep. I do not think it was Dumbledore’s presence alone that kept them asleep for so long since, as mentioned before, he was still there when the jinx was starting to wear off and the ones knocked out beginning to wake. If his presence would have been a factor at all, then the Ministry members would not have been rousing before he left, which was not the case. Also, Dumbledore himself stated that that they did not have much time for talk because he knew the jinx would wear off even if he was in the room. If his presence affected the jinx, then he would have had all the time in the world to talk to Harry and McGonagall and not be in such a hurry.

    I believe that is was a combination of the jinx and the phoenix’s songs that was at play here. The jinx had the sole purpose of knocking out the people who were the chosen targets of the caster and lasting its usual amount of time before it wore off. Fawkes’ song had the purpose of extending the effects of the jinx a bit longer than usual, just long enough to give Dumbledore time for a very quick talk and the escape. This would explain why Dumbledore was in such a hurry because he had no idea how long the phoenix song would prolong the jinx’s affects

  • BlameitontheNargles

    I think that the purpose of the jinx was to knock a person out for a specific amount of time without the person realizing time has passed. The jinx is probably helpful in making a quick get away by allowing the caster a head-start. I feel like he used it to indeed give himself a little improvised planning session with McGonagall. Put all the ducks in a row so to say, but I think why Fawkes was singing, was less to do with keeping the victims down but more as a timer for Dumbledore. I know when I listen to certain songs while studying it keeps me in check so I know how long I’ve been doing a task. I’m sure Dumbledore knows a lot of the songs Fawkes sings on the daily and about how long they’ll last.