Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 51

This week’s question is a tricky one and something that’s worth watching out for in the chapters to come.

We want to know how much of the Mad-Eye Moody we see in Goblet of Fire is based on Moody’s characteristics and how much is actually Barty Crouch Jnr shining through? Obviously every time we see him it is actually Barty Crouch, so do we ever get to know the real Mad-Eye at all?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments and they could be read out on the show next week!

  • Sarah Van Herck

    I think we always see Barty Crouch. He’s just imitating the behaviour of Mad-Eye Moody, with fals intentions. His intentions of helping Harry are of course very bad, that’s the difference with the real Moody I guess. Although it’s always Crouch we see, we do get a very nice idea of Mad-Eye, because he’s totally imitating him. In book 5 we also see that Mad-Eye has nearly the same character as the fake Mad-Eye.

    ps: This is a very good question, it’s my first time I comment on something, I hope this was a good answer.
    Sarah (Belgium)

  • FeatherSickle7662

    I honestly believe that Little Crouch studied Mad-Eye to a great extent to be able to impersonate him. He also had tons of information available to him since his father worked for the ministry. I think about 95% of the book we see real characteristics of Mad-Eye just acted out by Little Crouch. The only instances where I see Little Crouch give away or drive away from Mad-Eye’s character is 1) when he removes Harry from the pitch after Voldemort’s very gross return and 2) when he turns Draco into a ferret. The first is obviously explained by Dumbledore in the book. The second, I think this was a lot to do with keeping Harry out of harms way to ensure Little Crouch’s Master’s return, but also a way of getting at Draco’s father for roaming free and denouncing Voldemort to the public to save his own behind. Unlike Mr. Malfoy, Little Crouch did not denounce his master and therefore feels justified in messing with his son for a little fun. It can’t be easy walking around with a wooden peg for a leg mind you! I would also like to mention that I recently married a man with the name Crouch which I find ironic since both Big and Little Crouch are characters I can’t stand lol.

    • FeatherSickle7662

      I would like to further my comment by mentioning of course that Mad-Eye was also kept in a trunk in the office of Little Crouch and therefore could be tortured into giving information. There is a great possibility I believe that the starved and trapped Mad-Eye could have endured Crucio and still not given information. Little Crouch could ask why he wouldn’t give information and I can see the real Mad-Eye smile up at Little Crouch and say, “Constant Vigilance!”

      • DolphinPatronus

        I think the only way Moody would give up any information would be if he was forced (or tricked) to take Veritaserum.

        • FeatherSickle7662

          This could also be a possibility. Though I would expect that Moody would be very suspicious of anything that Little Crouch tried to give him. He would probably starve or thirst to avoid being given Veritaserum. Therefore, Little Crouch would have to use another means to get the information from Mad-Eye.

          • DolphinPatronus

            good point tho it’s also possible he could’ve Imperiused Moody & made him eat &/or drink something…Moody had to have had some amount of nourishment over the course of his imprisonment or they’d have never found him alive
            I suppose another possibility is that since Moody was so weak Jr was able to use Legilimency against him.

          • FeatherSickle7662

            Both of those make sense yes I agree. Regardless though of how Little Crouch came across the information, he had Moody’s real actions down to where people would believe it really was him. I mean he fooled Dumbledore for months. Another point I would like to bring up is the possibility of Little Crouch using Winky in some of his scheming at Hogwarts. He probably didn’t tell Winky it was really him but I could see something like that happening too

          • DolphinPatronus

            according to chapter 35 Moody was stunned & under the Imperius Curse
            When Dumbledore finds Moody in the trunk he says “Stunned—controlled by the Imperius Curse—very weak,”
            Crouch says “I kept him alive, under the Imperius Curse. I wanted to be able to question him. To find out about his past, learn his habits, so that I could fool even Dumbledore.”

  • BeTheLeaf453

    I think about 70% of what we see is what madeye would actually do. Barty Crouch Jr. had madeye locked in that chest for the whole year so he could always get information from him and ask him questions on how he would act in certain situations. He also probabky studied him meticulously for weeks before he attacked madeye. He would know exactly what kind of reputation madeye has among the wizarding community, so he would already know what parts of his perconality to exaggerate and what not to do. I would guess that madeye would always say “constant vigilence” and thats why he says it so much

  • DolphinPatronus

    I think it is very plausible that Barty Jr. has been using his Invisibility Cloak for more than sneaking around the Quidditch World Cup. He very well could’ve managed to find a way to do some type of survailence (magical or otherwise) on Moody for any legnth of time once he shook off his father’s Imperius Curse. He likely had months to learn how to “become” Moody. He is obviously a very intelligent skilled wizard (he did get 12 O.W.L.S.) & he can clearly act. So while we physically see Barty Jr. in his Polyjuice induced disguise I believe he most likely was able to perfect his Moody impersonation. How else would he be able to fool Dumbledore for so many months?

  • Maureen

    I think that Barty Crouch Jr. was almost always acting like Moody, because if he hadn’t been Dumbledore would have noticed and figured out that he wasn’t the real Moody. The genius in the way that Jo writes him, though, is that there are many things that Crouch says or does as Moody that are true for both Crouch and Moody (for example, the “Death Eater who walked free” line). I think that Crouch did a ton of research so that he knew exactly how to act like Moody, and spent the entire year focusing on not breaking character for a single second. Removing Harry from Dumbledore’s sight after he came back from the graveyard was, in my opinion, the first thing he did all year that Moody would not have done (besides for tampering with the GoF, Portkey, etc., obviously). By that point it was worth it to take that risk, because Voldemort needed Harry dead and Crouch was about to leave to rejoin him anyway.

    I agree with Laura that the real Moody’s personality in the last three books does seem a little different from the fake Moody’s personality in this book, and I’m also not really sure why that is. My best explanation is that, even though Crouch acts exactly like Moody, he does not have Moody’s true personality, and therefore always has to focus on acting exactly like Moody. For example, Crouch wouldn’t just start talking about elementary wand safety the way Moody does at the beginning of OotP, because it would be hard for him to know if Moody would talk about that and what he would say. However, the real Moody is free to say whatever he wants because he doesn’t have to worry about sounding like himself.

  • While I agree that Crouch Jnr. is (in most respects) an extremely skilled impersonator, he did make one potentially fatal mistake. Tragically, it was not enough to thwart his plan.

    Harry is privy to an extraordinary conversation in GOF25 when Snape accuses the false Moody of breaking into his office. Moody/Crouch does not deny it, instead claiming to be acting on behalf of Dumbledore: ‘”Dumbledore happens to trust me,” said Snape, through clenched teeth. “I refuse to believe that he gave your orders to search my office!”‘ (GOF25).

    At the end of the book, after being forced to drink Veritaserum, Crouch Jnr. reveals that he needed to obtain ingredients to continue making the Polyjuice Potion: ‘”When the Potions master found me in his office, I said I was under orders to search it'” (GOF35).

    Clearly, Crouch Jnr. has underestimated Dumbledore’s trust in Snape. Sadly, it would appear that Snape (for all his bravado) does not really believe it either since (as far as we know) he never confronts the Headmaster on this point. Perhaps, deep down, Snape believes himself to be unworthy of Dumbledore’s trust; he is certainly unwilling to put it to the test. (Harry, at this stage, is simply relieved to think that someone else is keeping an eye on Snape.)

    I think the real Alastor Moody would have known better than to take Dumbledore’s name in vain and that Dumbledore would have known this – if only Snape had gone to Dumbledore to complain! Crouch’s deception might have been uncovered and Voldemort might not have returned (or not yet, anyway).

    Another painful footnote in the story of the Half Blood Prince…

    • DolphinPatronus

      Actually Snape doesn’t accuse Moody of breaking into his office.
      “‘Did I hear that correctly, Snape?” he (Crouch as Moody) asked slowly. “Someone broke into your office?”
      “It is unimportant,” said Snapemcoldly.
      “On the contrary,” growled Moody, “it is very important. Who’d want to break into your office?”
      “A student, I daresay,” said Snape.”

      • The accusation comes later…

        “You know I’m hiding nothing, Moody,” [Snape] said in a soft and dangerous voice, “as you’ve searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself.”

        Moody’s face twisted into a smile. “Auror’s privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -”

        “Dumbledore happens to trust me,” said Snape through clenched teeth. “I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!” (GOF25)

        • DolphinPatronus

          this part of the exchange implies that the search was done prior to this incident

          • Yes, I agree – this has already happened. Interesting though, isn’t it? ‘”When the Potions master found me in his office, I said I was under orders to search it'” (GOF35). Crouch Jnr. is taking a bit of a risk here, imho. He does not seem to know Dumbledore as well as he should – Dumbledore trusts Snape and would not ask an ex-Auror to search Snape’s office behind Snape’s back. The real Moody would not have done so. (All the members of the Order have to accept, however reluctantly, that Dumbledore trusts Snape.) But maybe Crouch knows Snape well enough to play upon his insecurity since it seems that Snape never confronts Dumbledore about this search…

          • DolphinPatronus

            I agree the statement seems off especially since in chapter 25 Snape & Moody meet in the hall. The first never actually catches the second in the office. Unless that refers to the inital search. It’s possible the orders could’ve also come from the ministry once Harry’s name came from the goblet…they may have wanted all offices searched & Snape’s comment about Dumbledore trusting him was in reaction to the comment Moody never finished. As for memebers of the order trusting Snape we need to keep in mind that the order is not reassembled yet. Also as an ex-Auror Moody would still be suspect of anyone that had any ties to the Death Eaters regardless of what Dumbldore had to say. It was after all his job to mistrust bad people.

  • Linda Krol

    I think Barty Crouch just watched Mad Eye for a while and copied his behaviour, the things he does and say come close to how Mad eye would do, so we can say that Barty is a hell of a copycat. So we do get to see a bit of Mad eye’s characteristics because Barty can imitate him well

  • Kaitlyn K.

    At the end of the book, we find out that Crouch kept Moody alive and under the influence of the Imperius Curse in order to “find out about his past, learn his habits so that I [Crouch] could fool even Dumbledore.” I think that Dumbledore would know how Moody operates – how he thinks. So Crouch would have to reenact every little habit of Moody’s to perfection. I also think, since Pettigrew’s escape and Trelawney’s prediction of the Dark Lord’s return, Dumbledore has some kind of inkling as to what is going on, but he doesn’t exactly know how or what will come of it. So it will cause him to grow more watchful. Snape, I think, would’ve known
    something hinky was going on as well, because wouldn’t his Mark have been
    burning off and on, or even growing darker since the end of Third Year? Knowing
    both men are at Hogwarts, Crouch would have to take his embodiment of Moody
    very seriously and therefore act just like him. Also, being a Death Eater,
    wouldn’t Snape have recognized his old “colleague” merely by his ways
    of speaking or moving? So Crouch would’ve had to be exactly like Moody in order
    to fool both Snape and Dumbledore. I think the only thing of Crouch in Moody is
    his wanting to use the Unforgivable Curses.

  • Usman Asaf

    An excellent comment from Maureen above me and i completely agree with what they wrote. but i just think that its not necessary that Crouch Jr was in character every waking moment. I sometimes think that he was more in character around Dumbledore than anyone else. i mean why would he need to be in complete character for anyone else? Dumbledore knew him best, there would never have been any need to do it in front of the rest of the staff. like lets take the scene where he invites Neville to drink tea with him after the first lesson. i know its part of the plan so that the book about gillyweed could be planted in Harrys dorm, but i cant imagine the real Moody doing this. and the small intense where snape caught him in his office as the other comments have mentioned.

    • Maureen

      My thinking about Crouch Jr. Being in character pretty much 100% of the time is that if he ever breaks character, he runs that much more risk of being discovered, regardless of whether the person he is talking to had known the real Moody. For example, say Crouch said something extremely uncharacteristic of Moody while he was having tea with Neville. What if Neville just happened to mention that comment to someone else, who mentioned it to Dumbledore? Then Dumbledore would know that something was up. I just think Crouch minimizes risk by acting like Moody all of the time.

      • Usman Asaf

        thats very true, but what about the time when Jr got caught in snapes office. saying that he was under orders of dumbledore to search his office, we all know that dumbledore would never authorize that. i suspect that jr is very good at reading ppl and figuring out who he could lie, i.e. convincing hagrid to show harry the dragons, trusting cedric will return the favor by telling harry about the egg. there are several other scenes where he trusts the good in ppl to help harry out and then not throwing him under the bus. i dont think the real moody would ever do that, as an auror he would believe in fair play, that would include figuring out the clues of the competition on their own

        • Maureen

          Okay, I guess I’ll revise my earlier statement and say that Crouch acts like Moody whenever possible. He had no choice but to lie to Snape, and as several people said, Snape would never have told Dumbledore (or anyone else) about Crouch searching his office. Similarly, he needed to manipulate people like Cedric and Hagrid to ensure that Harry won the tournament. I think that if he could have accomplished these same goals without breaking character, he would have, but in those instances there was no other way.

          • Usman Asaf

            I agree with u on that as i do with almost all of ur original comment… the plot required those lapses of character. i was just answering the QotW about how much we see of the real moody and of jr. as u said, moody’s personality is different in GoF compared to the later books, i was just providing an alternate to that of ur explanation.

  • the-one-wholocks

    A lot of what we saw in Goblet could have been Junior’s personality.
    In previous chapters we see the Weasleys talking about Moody as if he
    had gone insane. If Mad-Eye had seemed particularly odd that year it
    could all be attributed to his mental-state.

  • the-one-wholocks

    A lot of what we saw in Goblet could have been Junior’s personality.
    In previous chapters we see the Weasleys talking about Moody as if he
    had gone insane. If Mad-Eye had seemed particularly odd that year it
    could all be attributed to his madness.

  • StoneHallows

    I think it’s a mixture of both. For one, we know that the real Moody was kept alive so that Crouch Jr. could study him and learn his habits. Back before he was sent to Azkaban, he would have had to have been a great actor to fool his father and those around him into thinking that he was not a Death Eater. He was only discovered because Karkaroff gave him up, not because he himself made a mistake. We know from that that he is good at fooling people, so as long as he was able to learn from Moody how he should act and certain things he should say, I would think it would have been easier than for most people (and, much as I love Moody, he’s not very complicated as far as people go). He would have had to do some research to find out how he would act in private versus in the classroom or wherever, but I don’t think with the full force of Voldemort behind him that it would have been very difficult. Not to mention that he probably already knew a lot of his personal habits and such from the times they would have spent fighting in the war. “Know your enemy” and all that.

    Secondly, I believe they are actually very similar personalities. I would venture that, had Crouch Jr. not gone to the Dark Side, they would have gotten along well. They are intelligent, resourceful, magically talented, and driven, regardless of what goals they have. They are strong individuals and fighters whom you would not want to come up against in battle. They believe whole-heartedly in what they are fighting for and give it their everything. They are willing to suffer and die for their cause. I would think they would have the same values as well, for the most part; valuing bravery and strength and loyalty, and honesty when it suited them, and despising weakness, cravity and desertion from the cause. They are both of the military mind, so to speak. Soldiers. Regardless of being on the opposite side of the war, I think Barty Jr. would have found it easy to identify with that, and thus easy to impersonate Moody.

    • DolphinPatronus

      ” Back before he was sent to Azkaban, he would have had to have been a great actor to fool his father and those around him into thinking that he was not a Death Eater. He was only discovered because Karkaroff gave him up, not because he himself made a mistake.”

      • StoneHallows

        Why thank you!

  • Bill White

    I’m not sure how much of Barty Crouch Jr. we see but seeing as he is against people who got away. I think that might be a 50/50 because they have a lot of similiarities just on different sides of the lines. I think that if we knew more about Barty Crouch Jr. on pottermore or other places because with out knowing what he was like prior to the incorporating of mad-eye’s mannerisms. We have a vague idea that he was popular based on the “Madness of Mr. Crouch”

  • David Beaton

    You raised the question last episode of where Barty Jr gets his morals from, after we see him abusing Malfoy for sneaking up behind Harry. However, I think it’s wrong to attribute these morals to Barty. He is under enormous pressure to do a good Moody performance, and we hear at the end of the book that he kept Moody conscious to quiz him, and get all his mannerisms copied perfectly. But how do we think that real Moody would react to this? We know that Barty & Wormtail just captured Moody, so perhaps this is a good indicator of the manner in which Moody was caught – I.e. from behind, when he wasn’t looking, or perhaps sleeping. You’d bet that real Moody would constantly be calling Barty all manner of names while he’s been imprisoned, and focus on how he was caught; perhaps trying to cajole him into a fight, e.g. “Only a coward attacks with their enemy’s back’s turned, you never would have caught me if we were face to face, you whimpering flobberworm!” The majority of their interaction would probably be a variant of this, and so Barty’s use of that particular moral “Don’t attack from behind”, is because Moody has said it to him a hundred times, and Barty’s trying desperately to mimic him.

  • Rita

    I don’t think there was any Alastor Moody there. At no point in the series we are told that Polyjuice Potion affects the impersonator at a psychological level. Harry is clearly still “Harry” when he physically turns into Goyle; Polyjuiced Hermione doesn’t display any of Bellatrix Lestrange’s muderous and violent instincts; Mundungus Flecther is still a coward when he transforms into Harry. In contrast, we clearly see how Animagi do assume some animalistic traits when they transform (Dog-Sirius waving his tail when he’s happy, for example).

    I feel that Barty Crouch’s Moody is a kind of excellent method acting. Method actors, in order to achieve a realistic, “natural” performance, can immerse themselves so deeply into their acting that they refuse to “break character” for long periods of time. It’s easy to imagine Crouch going to great efforts to study every gesture, expression, memory, and feeling of Moody’s — up to the point where, somewhere in his mind, he does sort of become Moody. Crouch can’t afford not to stay in character, lest he be discovered, so he always tries to act like the real Moody would act, supressing his own personality.

    So, the “Real” Moody would help Neville with his school work; he would hate Malfoy for cowardly attacking Harry behind his back and Snape for his past as a Death Eater. Crouch must stay coherent — which doesn’t mean that his own motivations and feelings don’t come up, sometimes — so he does all of
    these things. That’s the whole point! (In addition, Crouch is so mentally unstable that it isn’t that hard to imagine him “forgetting” where his real self ends and the “fictional” Moody begins.)

    We do get to know “the real Moody” in the same way you know “the real Margaret Thatcher” when you watch Meryl Streep in the Iron Lady. You would recognise the main personality traits, the mannerisms, the catchphrases. That’s why when we meet Alastor Moody he is so familiar — we’ve spent ages with a very, very good imitation.

  • justin

    I think we can know for sure of 2 instances where Crouch breaks character and reveals himself. They are the two moments where he directly disobeys Dumbledore. Dumbledore was present for the second occurence when Crouch/Moody takes Harry away from Dumbledore’s side immediately after being told not to. The first time though happens when Crouch transfigures Draco into a ferret. Professor McGonnogal gets Crouch/Moody to admit that Dumbledore had told him transfiguring students was against the rules but he does it anyways. From the little that we see of Moody in the following three books I think it is clear that he is a man who would respect the word of Albus Dumbledore. Crouch reveals himself in these 2 moments when he does the opposite.

    • DolphinPatronus

      I agree with this for the most part & the thing is I don’t really disagree with the one sticking point I have with your comment. That is…if Dumbledore had to tell Moody not to transfigure the students it implies that he thought Moody might actually transfigure them.

      • justin

        That implication seems clear. I can certainly see Moody using old school tactics that were once perhaps used as discipline within the school but I will hold to the assertion that if the real Moody had been told not to use transfiguration on students he would not have. Crouch on the other hand clearly cannot help himself and relishes the opportunity to humiliate a member of the Malfoy family.

  • Leah McCurdy

    Barry Jr. Is a great actor and likely earned his acting stripes all those years living as the good son of Barty Sr. With the secret allegiance to Voldemort. Before he was unmasked by Karkarof, I imagine he played a role for his father and family all the time.
    Also, I’m a bit confused about the timeline, Barty Jr is under the imperius (but learning to beat it slowly) at the Quidditch World Cup and then breaks it, does the Dark Mark, and then is recaptured by his father and reimprisoned in the house. After the World Cup, Voldemort and Wormtail show up on the Crouch’s doorstep and end up breaking the imperius and imperiusing Crouch Sr. So then imagine they have to take some time to develop the plan, or is it already planned and ready to go when the get Barty Jr? And then we hear about the attack on Moody the day the kids go on the train so this can’t have been much time for Barty Jr. TO regain his strength for one … after being imprisoned and imperiused, and then to overpower a very powerful wizard and effectively become him. I think this fast paced situation could indicate the prowess and ability of Barty Jr, not to mention his devotion. In my reading, he didn’t have long at all the learn how to Moody in the beginning, i.e. for his first meeting with Dumbledore in the Great Hall and had to rely on his previous interactions or experiences with Moody or perhaps the stories he heard. But with the real Moody in the trunk, he gained more and more insight.
    Though thinking about all the things Moody did to help Harry along in the tournament (giving Neville the book, telling Hagrid about the Dragons, hinting to Cedric about the egg, ensuring privacy for the trio as they practice for the third task, and playing on the goodness of others (Neville, Cedric, Hagrid) to ensure that they would inform Harry) … these things don’t seem to jive with the real Moody. He is a stickler for the rules and when we meet him in OoP doesn’t play around or attempt congeniality, and doesn’t seem like a person that would go out of their way to help someone when it is strictly forbidden by whatever authority. So I think that the ‘Moody’ we see helping Harry and scheming to get him to the cup in the maze is fully Barty Jr cloaked in good intentions but obviously motivated by the horrible plan for Voldemort’s rebirth. Barty Jr may put on a show in mannerisms and catch phrases but overall, his actions as a character reflect Barty Jr much more than the Moody he is impersonating.
    Also, in terms of his teaching style, do you think the real Moody would have been that dramatic? I have a feeling he would have been more prosaic and matter of fact, rather than show-boaty. I realize its interesting for the plot but the real Moody is sort of a buzzkill when we meet him in later books so I think his classes might not have been as interesting or engaging as Barty Jr makes them. Barty Jr appears to be putting on a bit of a show in class. I’m not entirely sure why … I would’ve thought he wouldn’t want to bring attention to himself but he certainly becomes the talk of the students (as we see from Fred, George, and Lee). I think thi flair for the dramatic comes from Barty Jr and what he ‘brings to the character’ as they say in acting.

    • DolphinPatronus

      With regard to the timeline…I don’t recall them being very specific about
      the times so I always assumed Jr had broken the Imperius Curse somewhere around the time Harry “dreamt” of him meeting with Voldemort & Wormtail. At that time they came up with a general plan based on the info both Jr & Wormtail had about the tournament & the world cup. Jr could’ve easily overheard his father talking about both as he was probably still acting like his father’s curse was still working. I also don’t think Jr was ever recaptured. Sr would never admit what he did where his son was concerned. So in the aftermath of the World Cup Jr puts the Imperius Curse on dear old dad then a week later (“Neither Mr. Weasley nor Percy was at home much over the following week” from chapter 10) he & Wormtail kidnap Moody during the night before the kids go back to school. I’m sure the real Moody was Imperius (we learn he was Imperiused later) & questioned all night. Jr probably got just enough from Moody overnight & used what he already knew to pass as Moody from afar which could
      explain why he was late. He may have been trying to avoid one on one contact with Dumbledore to limit the possibility of being “found out” too soon.
      So it seems like it all happened over a couple of days but it was really a
      little over a week at the least because Jr could’ve shaken the curse months
      before he finally found the Dark Lord. Obviously a lot of this is assumption but I think they’re all fairly safe assumptions.