Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 147

“Harry is the best hope we have. Trust him.”

In this chapter, we see multiple characters admitting to Harry that he was right about nearly all of his theories throughout the year, and that everyone is now facing the dire consequences for not having listened to him. While Harry has been correct about his suspicions in previous years, he is particularly vindicated in this chapter, with multiple characters conceding guilt and regret. At the end of Order of the Phoenix, Harry’s suspicions are catastrophically incorrect, and as we’ve discussed in this book, that seems to have affected how seriously the characters take Harry in Half-Blood Prince. With this new found vindication, how does this affect the other characters’ belief in Harry in Deathly Hallows? Will their trust in Harry prove worthwhile?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or send us an AudioBoom using the little green button on the right!

  • daveybjones999 .

    I haven’t commented in the past few weeks mostly because the hosts and other posters have pretty much covered all of the bases of what I wanted to say, but this podcast question of the week is very interesting. No one else wavers in their loyalty to Harry or trust in his words with the exception of a few small moments. Molly not wanting the trio to leave on their trip, Lupin criticizing Harry for not using stunning spells in the Flight of the Seven Potters, and Mundungus, but he’s a special case in that he’s solely in the Order for his own benefit. Despite Ron leaving for several weeks, or is it months I’m a bit shaky on the time frame here, he immediately after leaving realizes that he was wrong, and Hermione was emphatic on the Deathly Hallows not existing and that his suspicions about Dumbledore being completely off base.

    In the sense of having Voldemort being defeated their trust in Harry does end up being completely worthwhile. Without this trust, they wouldn’t have let Harry go on his mission or follow his lead during the Battle of Hogwarts, which would have definitely lead to Harry not being able to find all of the Horcruxes. However, some peoples trusts in Harry end up directly leading to their own demise. For example Moody is killed flying to the safe house and Lupin and Tonks’ belief in Harry leads them to fight in the final battle and lose their lives. Those are my current thoughts but I’ll probably have more to say on this matter later.

  • I do not believe that Harry was catastrophically wrong. There were plenty of factors working against Harry finding any help with his situation and though he was wrong about his vision of Sirius, he was right that Voldemort was after something in the Department of Mysteries. Nobody wanted to include Harry however, so he had to take drastic action. I cannot blame Harry for anything, he was just trying to do the right thing when nobody else would let him.

    Continuing into Deathly Hallows, we see Ron lose faith in Harry and we even see Hermione waiver a bit, unless that is a movie-ism… However, both Ron and Hermione will not let Harry go alone and are there to back him from the start. We see significantly less doubt in Harry. Harry was also the one who spent Dumbledore spent his final hours with. Nobody ever would have doubted Dumbledore, so perhaps that faith has transfered towards Harry.

    • ISeeThestrals

      Whereas ‘Order’ was concerned, much of Harry’s responses were emotional, and when your first reaction is emotion, chances are you’re not going to think before you act and that leads to things possibly going wrong. So the way things played out there I think were somewhat reasonable. What makes Harry appear catastrophically wrong is him jumping to conclusions and already having his mind set on certain ideas.
      I think it’s natural for Ron and Hermione to have moments of doubting Harry considering Harry was not left a map on where to find all those Horcruxes.

  • DisKid

    This is an especially interesting question with a lot of ironies. What I think is ironic is nobody believed Harry in the 6th book, not only because of his mistakes in the 5th book, it was also because they put more trust in Dumbledore than Harry. Then it turns out, Harry was correct and they now think Dumbledore was wrong in some of his beliefs not realizing that Dumbledore was just not forthcoming with the truth. Even more ironic is I think a big reason why many characters trusted Harry in the 7th book doesn’t have as much to do with him being correct about his suspicions in the 6th book as it has to do with Dumbledore’s trust in Harry. It was not secret, even to people not in the order, that Dumbledore had a more special relationship with Harry and many people assume that Dumbledore has told Harry top secret information. Since Dumbledore is not here anymore, Harry would be the next one to trust believing he knows what Dumbledore wanted. For example: When McGonagall sees Harry at Hogwarts in the 7th book, all he has to do is tell her he is acting on Dumbledore’s orders then POOF! she instantly wants to do whatever she can to help Harry trusting not only him, but Dumbledore as well. Then after this battle is over and the whole truth comes out it turns out both Dumbledore and Harry were correct so they were not wrong to trust Dumbledore in the 6th book, but should have also trusted Harry. Oh the irony.

  • This makes me wonder if there was ever a sequel to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” or in Harry’s case, “The Boy Who Cried Malfoy.” At the end of the tale the wolf attacks and the boy is vindicated, much like Harry. But in future attacks, did people immediately believe the boy? I think there are always going to be overly cautious people, or people who tend to trust more freely, who will believe someone after they’ve been proven without a doubt to be truthful. But there will also always be those who continue to doubt, holding a persons past “wolf cries” against them.

  • ISeeThestrals

    Is the Order aware of Dumbledore’s training sessions with Harry? If so, it might make an impact on their trust in Harry.

    • SocksAreImportant

      That’s interesting. I think they do know but they don’t know what they are about. I don’t know if there is anything written in the text that says if they know about them or not.

  • DoraNympha

    I think it definitely boosts trust and belief in Harry, in a sort of ‘he knew all along and we were fools not to believe him’ way, which will allow for Lupin not asking about the trio’s mission too much at Grimmauld Place, or the same with Bill at Shell Cottage, and without this perhaps Ron and Hermione’s trust in Harry wouldn’t have lasted so long when they were camping, maybe Ron would have left sooner, too. Hermione still doesn’t believe in the Hallows, though, with or without Harry having proven himself trustworthy in his theories and instincts. I still think it was a major mistake in Dumbledore’s plan, not to have the trio trust in some more members of the Order, if not about every fact about their mission but about some parts of it. We get only snippets of other’s stance on Harry while he’s in hiding, e.g. overhearing Dean, Ted Tonks and others at the riverbank, or Potterwatch, but what we do hear is firm belief and trust that Harry is out there working on defeating Voldemort.

    But what if we turn the question around and imagine Harry hadn’t been wrong about his theories and vision in Order: would he have been more believed now in HBP about Malfoy if he hadn’t made that mistake a year before?

  • Hufflepug

    I feel like focusing on Molly because her reaction is interesting. On one hand, she needs to trust Harry and she recognizes that. He’s an adult, he has never lied to her about anything serious before, and Dumbledore has told the Order to trust him, so she knows she needs to listen to that. But on the other hand, she’s a mother and Harry is like her son. She is almost unable to trust him because she doesn’t want him to have to go out on such a dangerous mission. It is incredibly unfair that he has been tasked with this, and he has trouble convincing her that that’s just the way it is because she is certain that there should be another way to do this. Although her reaction to the newfound trust in Harry can be kind of annoying to the trio and to the readers who know the truth about his mission, I love reading it because it’s REAL. Like the hosts said today, J.K. Rowling is a very honest writer and I wonder if when she was writing this she thought of how she would feel if one of her children had to go out on a dangerous mission and couldn’t tell her anything about it. Molly’s reaction is interesting because we usually see her supporting Harry but now we see her struggling to let him go even though she knows she has to. I think that’s a feeling that is natural for mothers when their children grow up – this is just amplified by 100 because of the situation. I think it makes it even more powerful and satisfying when we see her and her entire family fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts.

  • ISeeThestrals

    I would say a lot of this faith in Harry harkens all the way back to book 1,
    where Harry was given the title as ‘The Boy Who Lived’. I think it would
    be hard to forget that Harry defeated Voldemort once. And even though
    he was a baby at the time and unaware, witches and wizards took great
    notice of him as we all know. I would imagine the Order keeps track of
    the things that went wrong around Harry each year at Hogwarts and how
    he was able to overcome it. Though Harry’s officially declared the ‘Chosen
    One’ in this book, the others would need to have seen some growth in Harry
    in order to put faith in him. Still I feel a lot of it may rely on the fact that they
    know Harry’s been working closely with Dumbledore and that he’s the only
    person, as far as they know, that can do something about Voldemort. By
    this point, Harry has faced so many hardships, they know how serious Harry
    is about handling the upcoming war, and that mistakes cannot afford to be

  • ChocolateFrogRavenclaw

    I believe that faith in Harry stems from the Order. We don’t get to see a lot of the inner workings of the Order (unfortunately) but we do know that Lupin and Kingsley were told, by Dumbledore, to trust Harry – and they do. I assume this ripples out through the entire Order. People trusted Dumbledore, and while he had his flaws, many were blind to them or accepted what he said despite his flaws so when he put his trust in Harry and made sure that others were aware, he was setting them up to believe and trust Harry once he was gone. McGonagall knew that Harry was on some sort of mission, obviously Snape knew, the Order knew to trust him – all because they trusted Dumbledore and knew that he trusted and set Harry on a mission (ironic side note – it is kind of similar to the way many of these people trusted Snape: because Dumbledore did. The difference is that Harry works to actively gain their trust and is a nice person….). As for the general public, he is the Boy Who Lived. He took down You-Know-Who once and despite the lies in the Daily prophet (which the majority of the public now seems to realize were not true) he is a popular and (mostly) liked person. People need something to get behind in Deathly Hallows and Harry seems trustworthy to the public. Students that knew him (with the exception of the few students who didn’t like him and those who are close with Death Eaters) would trust him and that would probably ripple out to their families. The fact that Harry was right about things in this book is more important to cancel out that he was so wrong in Order, rather than gain peoples’ trust in my opinion. Harry’s character is bigger than just the end of this book and while I think it would have taken a little more convincing, I think that people would still trust and believe Harry if he was wrong here.

  • 934always

    I’m not so sure the Order members had complete trust in Harry. Dumbledore told Kingsley and Lupin to trust Harry but I think both of them probably had misgivings about trusting a 16 year old boy, who could be pretty unreasonable at times. I think they may have questioned this more after Dumbledore’s death because if trusting Snape was a mistake then maybe Dumbledore’s trust in Harry was too. Then, in the 7th book, both Lupin and Mr. Weasley try to get information out of Ron and Hermione but give up once Ron and Hermione say that Dumbledore said not to tell anyone. I think Lupin and Arthur realized that the trio were not children anymore and that there was no way of talking them out of their plan. Molly, on the other hand, still sees them as children especially when tries to play the “parents have the right to know” card. So of course she doesn’t trust her kids to go chase Voldmort. Overall, the Order seemed more resigned to not knowing what was going between Dumbledore and Harry and not being able to do anything about it. In the end, McGonagall is the only one who really shows her trust in Harry by jumping into action when he says that he is acting on Dumbledore’s orders. I think this is because she knew Albus the best and even though he didn’t keep her in the loop, she knew that he must have made a plan. Harry saying that he was following Dumbledore’s orders was a confirmation of that belief.

  • ccmoundshroud

    I believe that the faith placed in Harry is based more on a combination of all of the things he’s done, from surviving the killing curse when he was only a baby, to defeating Voldemort, death eaters, and various dark creatures from the time he was only eleven years old. No one can deny that there is something special about Harry. I think him being correct about Malfoy in this book would be the very least of things to affect others belief in him. The champion of good, Albus Dumbledore, has just died. everybody needs a new hero and Harry’s past actions make him the next likely candidate.

  • TheTicklishPear

    In a nutshell I really feel like everyone’s hang up with Harry’s suspicions are based on what they know about his prejudice towards Snape and Malfoy.

    While no one blames Harry for Sirius’ death, the situation at the Ministry made it clear that Harry’s choices were rooted in his emotions rather than hard evidence.That knowledge, coupled with Harry’s “Laundry List of Grievances Against Malfoy & Snape” leads everyone to take his suspicions with a grain of salt, and they unintentionally overlook the fact that he had evidence this time!

    I think Harry proves to The Order and Ron and Hermione that he has matured and is not completely blinded by emotion when it comes to his decisions. In Deathly Hallows we do see moments when some folks (including Harry himself) are a little weary of his snap decisions. One that comes to mind, is Harry wanting to infiltrate the Ministry with less than 24 hours notice…

    I feel like Dumbledore’s trust in Harry proved the most worthwhile. He only ever told Snape the eventual end for Harry and Voldemort. He trusted that Harry would not only open the snitch, and destroy the remaining horcurxes but that he would also greet death for the benefit of everyone he loved.

  • RoseLumos

    The “mishap” at the Ministry last year had to do with trust – the Order knew that Voldemort might try to break into Harry’s mind, but Dumbledore didn’t trust Harry with that information, and the rest of the Order followed. It would be hard to say what Harry would have done with the information if he knew it, but it is safe to say that when he had the vision about Sirius he probably wouldn’t have taken it as seriously (pun not intended). At the end of Order, Dumbledore finally trusts Harry enough to give him (most of) the information about the prophecy, and later (most of) the information about the Horocruxes. And, for the most part, Harry is pretty responsible with this information*. He doesn’t freak out and break down, and he keeps his promise to tell no one but Ron and Hermione. I think at the point when Dumbledore died, he did trust Harry and knew he would be responsible with the information. And because the Order seems to do what Dumbledore says, they too trust Harry. Or, they at least do a good job pretending to. In the end, does it really matter if anyone but Ron or Hermione trusts Harry with defeating Voldemort? He does it anyway and it’s not like anyone can stop him.

    *Harry does tell Slughorn a lot about the prophecy, but he is drunk so that doesn’t count, does it?

  • SocksAreImportant

    I think at this point in the war trust is something everyone struggles with. Everyone said they trusted Dumbledore’s judgment and then he gets killed by Snape. This puts Dumbledore’s trust into doubt because he kept telling everyone in the order to trust Snape. I wonder if Dumbledore had thought about how the order’s trust in him might falter if Snape is the one to kill him. Dumbledore’s last words to Kingsley and Lupin are to put their trust in Harry because he is their best hope. But it makes me wonder if the order is slightly suspicious to put their trust in Harry because Dumbledore told them to trust Snape. I am not trying to imply that they think Harry would betray the order in the same way that Snape did. I am just implying that their trust in Dumbledore’s judgment or Harry’s judgment might not be as strong because of Dumbledore’s failed trust in Snape.

  • Prongs_begone

    Honestly I think that, though they (the other characters, mostly the Order members) now have a comfirmation that Harry has pretty good judgement, him being right (about Snape) doesn’t really affect how much they trust him because deep down most of them already believed him. Think about it: at almost every point in OOP and HBP where someone questioned Snapes loyalty the answer was always ‘well Dumbledore trusts him so I do too’ it was never ‘I trust him because he did this and this and this to earn my trust’. Almost no one ever really trusted him personally, they trusted dumbledore’s trust in Snape (or at least said they did).

  • ScarletGhost

    I think this may actually be for the reader’s benefit as much as it is for the character’s. Harry is our hero, protagonist, and the one we follow in the stories. We’ve seen him get things right and wrong before in the mysteries of the previous years. However, as the questions says the end of Order of the Phoenix was truly awful for Harry. Everything went horribly wrong and Sirius died. I think that stopped the characters (specifically Ron and Hermione) from totally trusting him this year, as we saw with Malfoy. I think that we are supposed to live through the other main characters ho need to put their trust into Harry. I think Rowling needed a way for us to see that Harry actually is smart, creative, and good at deduction in order for us the readers (as well as the characters) when we take the plunge to follow him on the horcrux mission in Deathly Hallows. We need a reason to trust Harry after Order because if there wasn’t anything in Half-Blood we probably wouldn’t believe Harry is clever enough to pull off his mission.

  • RavenPaw

    In regards to Hermione, I don’t think that she necessarily sees the ‘issue’ as Harry being right. I think it’s more that she was wrong. She knows that the clues were laid out in front of her, and that Harry picked them up, but she was just too close minded to accept that Draco and Snape were up to no good. She knows that Harry doesn’t get it right often, so I don’t think this alters her trust in him. But in Deathly Hallows, I sensed that she was trying to be more open about the hallows, particularly when wanting to see Xenophilius Lovegood, and pays more attention to the obvious clues, but just couldn’t see sense in them, which is just the way she thinks. But once again she is wrong in not believing Harry, and I think this will permanently change how she thinks in the future.

  • RavenPaw

    As for Lupin, he definitely trusts Harry more in DH. We see him ask Harry about what he is up to, and overall seems to treat Harry more seriously and more as an adult. However I don’t believe that this is just because of the incident at the end of HBP- I think that was just the definitive icing on the cake. Harry is nearly of age, and Lupin probably recognises this, and him (Harry) finally correctly suspecting someone just proves that he isn’t the 15 year old believer from the last book. It’s fair to say that after Dumbledore’s death many people’s (particularly the Order’s) trust in Harry changes, and Dumbledore’s last words to Lupin and Kingsley help this, but I think it is a combination of other things as well. Perhaps this was just when the lightbulb went off in their heads that “Oh, Harry’s seventeen now, he’s an adult and he’s our only hope in defeating Voldemort, we’d better stop doubting him”.

  • Yo Rufus On Fire

    When Harry goes to save Sirius in book five he takes a few members of the DA with him. They see that he is completely wrong about his suspicions. The DA isn’t a part of book six. They don’t hold any meetings. Luna is the only one that asks if there are going to be more. After book six and in the start of the new year they bring the DA back. Neville takes charge along with Luna and Ginny and revitalizes it. They even spayed painted the hallways one evening saying “Dumbledore’s Army, still recruiting”. When Harry comes back with Ron and Hermione, they are so happy and think that he’s come to fight. They start round the others up, but that’s when Harry says, “Nope. We’re just here to find something and then we’re leaving.” They are crushed. they trusted Harry to come back and fight with them, but he doesn’t, at least he doesn’t intend to. Once he does ask them for help, their trust is proven worthwhile because they stuck with him when he was there in the 5th year, when he wasn’t there in the 7th year and is with him until the end of the battle.

    • SlytherinKnight

      I think Harry suspected that the vision was a trap but he couldn’t take the chance that his only remaining family member was in danger. Ron, Hermione and Ginny all had never felt the pain of loss, so they couldn’t see the dilemma that Harry was facing. Neville and Luna had both lost close family members so they could see Harry’s dilemma much clearer but they also had family still alive to live with. Harry had no one, the Dursleys are not family and wouldn’t care a rot if Harry died, as long as it wasn’t on their watch, Sirius was Harry’s first and last chance at finding a semblance of a normal family. Harry was desperate to get away from the Dursleys and Sirius was his chance.

      But you are right in how the fact that the DA didn’t continue probably made Neville, Luna and the others’ trust in Harry take a major hit. It is a big reason that I dislike Half-Blood Prince, as much as I can dislike a Harry Potter book, because it cements Harry reverting back to pre-PoA Harry, a person who pretty much has to have everything handed to him and doesn’t continue working toward becoming a stronger wizard.

  • SlytherinKnight

    That’s a loaded question for sure. I think that it is more their faith in Harry (and Dumbledore) rather than their trust in Harry that proves worthwhile. I don’t honestly believe that the Order trusts Harry, at least to the extent that Dumbledore wants them too. They all still Harry as just a child who wants to do something rather than the young man who has fought the Darkness more in his sixteen years than a good majority of the Order has done in their lifetimes. Dumbledore certainly doesn’t trust Harry as much as he claims since he constantly kept vital information from Harry throughout his life. Even when he tells Harry that he will be told everything, Dumbledore holds the vital things back. He doesn’t tell Harry how to destroy the Horcruxes, he doesn’t show Harry how he got the ring Horcrux (which would have shown Harry the magic that would be needed) and obviously he doesn’t tell Harry that the endgame is for Harry to sacrifice himself like a ‘pig for slaughter’ and hope that luck lets Harry come back to life. The Order doesn’t trust Harry as shown by the fact that they all hold him at arms length, or don’t even think to ask him about a different plan to get away from Privet Drive in seventh year.