Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 67

In a conversation between Dumbledore, Moody, and Fudge, the Minister for Magic brings up a potentially problematic judgment. But is he so wrong in his concern? That’s what we want to know from you!

We see a bit of prejudice on the part of Fudge with Madame Maxime, and then Hagrid, because of their giant heritage. We may be quick to call him out – but is he perhaps a bit justified? Giants allied with Voldemort in the first war, so doesn’t it make sense for the Minister for Magic to be cautious and wary about those with giant blood? Or does he have no right to feel so concerned and judgmental?

Leave us your response below & we just might read them on the next episode of Alohomora!

  • Bill White

    I think judgement on Fudge must first be delineated by his past. If anyone in Fudge’s past was killed during the first war by giant or You Know Who, then he has reason to be prejudiced. That’s not to say that he’s right in judging all giants as bad. Also, Hagrid does have the history of being accused of opening the CoS. I know that he was acquitted but he was never given back a proper wand and that might be why Fudge is judgmental. I don’t think he understands that if Hagrid or Maxime had ever said anything Voldy worth then Dumbledore wouldn’t stand behind them. He fails to fall under the axiom that we are stronger united then divided and if Maxime and Hagrid pledge to the non-voldy cause then there should be no question.

  • James Mahoney

    Yeah, GhostHeart from the forums, yada yada.

    Yes, giants joined with Voldemort during the first war, but from their point of view, it was probably justified. I’m guessing Voldemort had an emissary tell the giants that under Voldemort’s rule, they wouldn’t have to hide away in the mountains, and could be more public. He also probably promised them recognition. From what we see of Fudge’s time as Minister, I’ll extrapolate that the previous Minister never tried to connect to the giants, so really, I’m kind of with the giants on this one. As Voldemort probably actually promised them something (even if it was a lie, it’s a start), and the Ministry wouldn’t have bothered, it makes sense that they’d back-up Voldemort.

    That being said, it’s completely not okay with how judgmental Fudge is. Both Maxime and Hagrid are half-giants, and even Hagrid is much more ‘civilized’ than full-blooded giants. Plus, I’m guessing that Maxime’s giant parent (whichever one it was), wasn’t even living in the United Kingdom, so that giant wouldn’t even have taken sides. Until one of them actually murders someone (and I could almost imagine Hagrid doing this while in a drunken rage), it’s not justified to assume they’re automatically bad people. You have to judge people on their own merits, not the merits (even if justified) of their ancestors.

  • Moony&Padfoot&Prongs

    The way I think, it would really depend on who hes judging and when its happening. If hes talking about Hagrid, well, he doesnt exactly put people with giant blood in a good light. I mean he literally has many “pets” that can kill you in about 5 seconds. Hagrid also was expelled and went to Azkaban and yes I know hes innocent but for people to actually believe he could do something like what he was blamed for it wouldnt seem like he was the nicest guy if people thought he “raised” a murderer. I dont have much thought on other half-giants so maybe you can give some insight on others. For my when part of the answer before Voldemort was even suggested to have returned (1-4 year) they shouldnt have judged to much since there wasnt anyway for them to join Voldemort until the end of 4th. In the 5th I can get it a bit more because Fudge has always trusted Dumbledore so possibly in his subconscious he actually believed Voldmort was back but he just couldnt accept it and it would be more likely for the giants to join him. The end of 5th to the end of Fudges term in office he is paranoid like OMG giants and half-giants most likely will join Voldemort because ive treated them like crap.

  • LeslieLovegood

    Fudge is perpetuating a stereotype. That’s simply it. Some giants allied with Voldemort in the first war, so he takes that and projects in on their entire race. It’s no different than when after 9/11, many Americans mistakenly viewed all Muslims as terrorists. That claim wasn’t true, and as we know, it’s not true for giants (or those with giant blood) either.

    It’s common that people think this was, it happens all the time. When several members of a group/religion/race are involved in something bad, it gets projected on the whole group. That doesn’t make it right, it’s actually a very scary mentality.

    • Hadas

      Wonder if I’m in the minority here that accepts it as a suitable precaution. I’m not muslim, but I am brown skinned and I get stopped at the airport for extra checks all the time and don’t mind it at all. Re: Fudge I think he’s for sure ignorant and prejudiced and a little bit too scared about his power, I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s wary of giants bec of Voldie.

  • Pigwidgeon

    It’s like saying that it’s legitimate to be fearful of all German people because the Nazi’s were a terrible group of people that were feared. Yes, all giants were dangerous and their motives to NOT join Voldemort were probably selfish and not at all thinking about the welfare of wizards, but that still doesn’t excuse his behavior. Both of these characters are HALF giant, which also means they are half human, with human feelings and live in the wizarding community. They are very different from full blooded giants. Plus, just because one person from a race or group of people does something bad, does that mean it’s okay to hate all of them or treat them badly? Of course not. One persons actions do not reflect the actions of many.

    • HinkyPuff

      There was a very interesting documentary about the point you have brought up, following those descended from high up Nazis (can’t remember if they were sons/daughters, or grandkids). Although they were made up only partly of ‘Nazi blood’, they carried guilt and responsibility around with them all their lives because of what their ancestors did to others in the war. They faced constant prejudice from select groups of people. Many people were able to distinguish them from their ancestor’s behaviours, but many, particularly those who had lost their own ancestors in concentration camps and such, actually cried when addressing them, angrily, to which the descendant would apologise for their ancestors actions – as though it had anything to do with them. It left them broken in many ways.

      It’s very interesting and is very similar to the situation Hagrid and Maxime are in, and explains why both were very unwilling to reveal who they actually descended from.

      • Olivia Underwood

        This is a very interesting point!! When you look at the Malfoys, and in particular Draco, you see that he ends up becoming the victim of this preconception (RAB also suffered from this). Should you take all the responsibility (both good and bad) handed down to you because of your ancestry and where you come from? Or should you follow your own principles? Hagrid, I think, is a very good example of following his own path. He doesn’t reject who he is, unlike Maxime, but knows also that it is not all that he is (thanks to Harry, Dumbledore etc). He lives with it and I think that takes enormous courage and mental strength. I think it’s important to actually let go of your past and roots, even as you embrace it, to celebrate what ought to be celebrated and acknowledge, apologize what ought to be apologized for. Fudge, and other minsters at the time, did not understand this concept (which really started with Dumbledore) and it’s really after the Ministry is reformed that things started to change. I think Draco Malfoy in the epilogue is the final product of the reformed Ministry of Magic. Dumbledore was ahead of his time, I think.

  • http://hogwartsblog.strategiq.co.nz/ CrumpleHornedUnicorn

    I think fudge was being prejudiced in assuming that all giants, half-giants or not- are bad business, I believe, based on what we have seen from Madam Maxine and Hagrid, that Half-Giants have more of a human mind, and looking at grawp, we can grasp that giants can be harsh and perhaps a bit clumsy, (I’m thinking of when he picks up hermione) but not all of them are ‘evil’. Some of them, based on reports from Hagrid, seem to be extremes of this. Half-giants seem to have a more human mind to control this, aswe see when Hagrid throws Karkaroff into the tree. They can lose it sometimes, but only really when you anger them to the extremes. Fudge was just being narrow-minded and prejudiced. As usual.

  • DolphinPatronus

    Fudge is doing the same thing most people do & playing into sterotypes. While it’s true that sterotypes exist for a reason it’s also true that not everyone falls into those sterotypes. In SOME cases his feelings may be justified but we know with Madame Maxime & Hagrid they aren’t. Personally I’ve always prefered to let individuals show me who they really are before I decide what I think of them. If I dislike you it will have NOTHING to do with your race, religion, culture, gender, sexual preference or anything like that. It will because you haven’t proven yourself to me on a personal level. I would absolutely love Hagrid & after Maxime makes up with him I’d be ok with her as well. The only way their half giant status would effect me is if I need something of a high shelf. lol

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    I do not think that all of Fudges prejudice against giant blood is to do with the giants fighting for Voldemort. A lot of the prejudice would have been around before the first wizarding war. This is part of the reason why the giants were such an effective weapon for Voldemort. The wizarding world would have seen them as a very dangerous race the are violent and destructive, so when they hear that they are allied with Voldemort they would be quite scared. For this reason it is understandable why Fudge would be prejudiced against those with giant blood but not acceptable as he has to remember that they have human blood as well.

  • PixieDragon137

    Fudge’s argument is not totally unreasonable because it is perfectly possible that people who have giant blood are likely to inherit some of the barbaric traits associated with their kind. Although we don’t see this first hand from Madame Maxime, we do see Hagrid react brutally when his loved ones are threatened or disrespected in any way.

    But…this does not excuse Fudge for making implications about a person based on what they are. He is wrong, not because his reasoning isn’t legitimate, but for using the general idea about the nature of giants to justify his prejudice against them. Umbridge had helped pass a law making it hard for people like Lupin to find work, and this was when Fudge was Minister, which shows that he perhaps shares her prejudice against half-breeds in general and views them as a social stigma.

    I think he has no right to feel so wary and judgmental about half-giants if he can freely associate with ‘reformed’ deatheaters like Lucius Malfoy. I’m sure he hasn’t forgotten that even the wizards allied with Voldemort during the first war.

    • Elvis Gaunt

      Fudge is like most regular politicians. He is narrow-minded and corrupt.

  • HinkyPuff

    Fudge has no right to be judgmental about part Giants just because full giants were allied with Voldemort, in the same way he should have no prejudice towards werewolves just because there is one of those also allied with Voldemort.

    There is no doubt werewolves are dangerous when turned, but that’s what the potion is for. There’s no real risk where these two part giants are concerned, as is proven in the fact that they have both taken up positions in a school for a long time and have caused no harm. Any harm caused in Hagrid’s classes are usually the fault of the students (I’m looking at you Draco), and the fact that he is basically too soft to stand up to any misbehaviour; and Madam Maxime has so far restrained herself from killing all of her students.

    Fudge is just plain ignorant. The full extent of which will become apparent at the end of this book and into the next. He will not accept the views of others – probably out of fear – but this can and will cause more harm to the Wizarding world than a couple of half giants ever did.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    Fudge is a part of the society he was bought up in. The wizarding world is prejudiced against Giants, Werewolves, House-Elves etc, and so is Fudge. It is not easy to rid oneself of the ideas passively fed into them from the time of birth. And, since Fudge does not, he is not a great wizard, just an ordinary, irritating politician. We see that in our world too. Lawmakers needed to be convinced about women’s right in the past and now they have to be convinced about gay rights. It maybe due to personal beliefs or due to the fear of loosing popular support. Fudge too fears loosing support. That is the principle reason why he pretends not to believe Harry/Dumbledore later in the series. Dumbledore even tells Fudge that he has the chance of acting quickly and effectively and going down in history as one of the greatest Ministers for Magic. But, as I said before Fudge is not a great wizard and he takes easier decision against the right one.
    There don’t seem to be a lot half-giants and in fact it looks like Hagrid and Madame Maxime are the only known ones. Therefore not much is known about the nature of half-giants in general. Fudge does not know either of them very well and Hagrid certainly does not come across as the gentle person that he is to an outsider. And, Ron is not very comfortable immediately after learning about Hagrid in spite of being friends with him for more than three years. Fortunately, though Ron outgrows them.
    I am not saying Fudge was right but merely pointing out that he represents the wizard society of Britain.

  • Pig-desk

    I think the simple answer is NO! If Hargid or Maxime were full blood giants then he would have some justification for his prejudice, but since they have both show to be ideal contributors to the wizarding community I think his opinion is purely based of prejudice for anyone with giant heritage.

  • Harrison

    I believe fudge is in no way justified for his actions. We see him walking around, being good. We see him teaching classes, and interacting with the students. He might have fierce pets, but what does that matter in the long run anyway? All I’m saying is that he’s a giant teddybear, who has some wild passions. I do not think he would ever willingly hurt a student. I think Fudge is doing some plain ol’ stereotyping, and that’s not good.

  • Guest

    I suppose it is justified that the Minister be wary of giants due to their allegiance to Voldemort in the past. However that rule should ONLY apply to giants Real or full giants are not as intelligent as witches and wizards so Voldemort can persuade them with promises of power , however half giants are far more intelligent as proben by Madame Maxime (she is headmistress after all).
    Fudge should have enough common sense to realize that just because Madame Maxime and Hagrid are related to giants, it does not make them evil or power hungry.
    Think about it in muggle terms: If someones father or mother were a serial killer. Does that automatically make their child a serial killer too?

  • HallowsMaster97

    I suppose it is justified that the Minister be wary of giants due to their allegiance to Voldemort in the past. However that rule should ONLY apply to giants.Real or full giants are not as intelligent as witches and wizards so Voldemort can persuade them with promises of power , however half giants are far more intelligent as proben by Madame Maxime (she is headmistress after all).

    Fudge should have enough common sense to realize that just because Madame Maxime and Hagrid are related to giants, it does not make them evil or power hungry.

    Think about it in muggle terms: If someones father or mother were a serial killer. Does that automatically make their child a serial killer too?

    • LunasLovechild

      I dont know that giants are really any less intelligent. They have different culture and a different way of communicating, but I don’t think that that makes them any less intelligent.

      • HallowsMaster97

        I read it on the Potter Wiki but I don’t know where they obtained that fact. I’ve tried looking for references other than the wiki but can’t seem to find any.

    • Victoria Kirby

      Ah but see Harry, Hermione, Ron, and even the centaurs thought Hargrid was crazy for trying to civilize Grawp but by the end of the sixth booth Grawp was able to attend a funeral, proving that not all giants are evil.

      • HallowsMaster97

        Right but I didn’t necessarily say ALL giants are evil.I was approaching this from Fudge’s point of view and isn’t that what he is trying to say? That giants or anyone with giant blood is not trustworthy.
        Also, Grawp is a special case. He had to be taught to be civilized. That’s quite rare. Real giants are not civilized like humans, they have their own culture and traditions.

  • Al Armstrong

    Anyone can find reasons to be prejudiced, but the mark of a leader is to act justly even when justice is unpopular, or even dangerous.

  • Claire Marie

    Other than Hagrid’s love for scary creatures, we really see no evidence that half-giants are threatening. Although there is merit in being aware of your surroundings, I think that someone that is as well known as Madam Maxime should not be subject to snap judgements. Not only is she well known within the community of European wizards, she is also entrusted with the education and care of a large number of French students. I highly doubt that the parents of those children would trust her with their children if she had been deemed reckless or vicious. In this case, we see that is not Maxime’s blood that causes her to act, it is the way she was brought up – this would be a case of nurture over nature. Again, Fudge is not wrong to entertain these thoughts, but it seems fairly foolish and undiplomatic of him – this wouldn’t look good for his foreign relations policy.

  • LunasLovechild

    I do think that Fudges judgement is a bit, well, judgemental. He doesn’t know Hagrid or Madame Maxime on a personal level as far as we know. If he had taken the time to recognize that they are not only not defined by their half giant status but in fact seem to be the opposite of the stereotypical giant. Perhaps the wizard blood cancels out the anger and violent tendencies of the giants. I think that if Fudge were more open he would not be so quick to assume the worst of Hagrid and Maxime.

  • Victoria Kirby

    I may have given Fudge a little more leeway in his initial prejudice if he hadn’t later shown himself to be a pretty judgemental person. He goes from acting like a kindly grandfather to Harry to all of a sudden not trusting him because of his ability to speak parseltongue and all the other things Rita has written about him. That shows that Fudge is not simply cautious about past experience with giants but rather showing more of his less than genial nature. We are getting a glimpse of the Fudge that we will see by the end of the book.

    • wrackspurtsgotme

      I totally agree with this comment. He’s very judgmental, which leads me to believe that he is not concerned with regards for safety or some dangerous aspect of Mme Maxime or Hagrid’s personalities that only he knows about. It almost seems like Fudge is looking for someone to blame a thus-far unexplainable phenomenon.

  • Dwayne Roberts

    i think that at this point fudge isnt just being judgemental about hagrid and madame maxime but at the same time is also questioning dumbledores acceptance of these half breeds … prisoner of azkaban had a werewolf teaching which i still dont understand how that was allowed by the ministry …i think after that fudge completely gave up on dumbledores views and his valuable advice and was simply looking for any reason to distrust him … which is what leads to umbridge in the next book …. so in a way yes fudge may not like giants but both hagrid and maxime have proven to be more human than giant especially maxime considering shes headmistress but i think this is just fudge suspecting dumbledore of trying to gather an army very similar to voldemorts and overthrowing fudge …or atleast this is where it begins because remember we learn later that some1 was sent to tail hagrid and maxime on the mission and it was definitely some1 from the ministry

    • James Mahoney

      I think the answer of how Lupin taught is easy: Dumbledore didn’t inform the Ministry that he was a werewolf. Plus, Dumbledore didn’t need the Ministry’s approval on who he hired. I think it’s completely up to him who he hires, and the Ministry doesn’t have any say (for now).

  • madame_lestrange

    Many of the arguments presented focus on the fact that Fudge is stereotyping all Giants based on the actions of certain Giants. Although I agree wholeheartedly with this being part of the problem (& I especially appreciate the links to WWII that have been made), I think another aspect of this is having the current generation of Giants having to pay the price for the allegiance of their ancestors. Why should children/grandchildren be held responsible for decisions made by their parents & their parents generation? Until when do children have to keep atoning for the mistakes of their parents?

  • Outspoken1

    I suspect Fudge is not only operating from stereotypes, but also from the need to keep the position he has (MoM) and the power that accompanies the job. Remember in CoS when Hagrid is ‘detained’ at Azkaban because (parapharased) Fudge to Dumbledore to justify the detaining of Hagrid, “Ugly business, here. The ministry must be seen as doing something. Blah, blah, blah” Fudge’s treatment of Hagrid may be colored by his stereotype of giants (since he feels no remorse at sending Hagrid to be guarded by the Dementors), but his real unwritten concern is that HE may be removed as Minister of Magic for not tackling the problem at the school. Fudge is most driven by his love of power and position…stereotypes just make decisions easier to placate the wizarding community and keep his MoM job. Fudge proves this point in upcoming books.