Episode 230: Sirius Black – He Gives the Best Gifts

It’s time to discuss Potter’s favorite “bad boy,” Sirius Black. Join hosts Eric, Kat, Katy, and guest host Jaye as they examine the brightest star in the sky and why he burned out too soon.

On Episode 230 we discuss…

→ Not Snape 2.0
→ Get your learning on – Padfoot and the Pup
→ Does Jo hate Sirius?
→ Who’s the leader of the pack?
→ Loyal AF
→ Day to day dog transformations
→ Is Harry his mate or his godson?
→ Sirius gives the best gifts
→ Killed by a curtain
→ Scorpio poster child
→ He seriously needed a good therapist
→ A 36er in the 27 club

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 229

On this recap we discuss…

→ Diffindo cuts all the things
→ Overacheiving O.W.L.s
→ Nonverbal spells
→ Quidditch pitch protection please?
→ Hypocrite Hermione

Listen Now: | Download

  • MartinMiggs

    Still listening right now but i just have to say that Kat is totally wrong about Voldemort going after the weak and targeting Peter first. In the 7 Potters chapter Voldemort targets the Aurors (the strongest) first. He is basically fooled by the same deceptive tactic again.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Yes, as far as I understand it, Peter was already a Death Eater by the time he was approached by James and Sirius to become the secret keeper. And I always thought Peter had willingly switched sides, because he thought the Order was losing and wanted to be on the winning team. Am I just making this up?

      • Sounds about right.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        “Sirius, Sirius, what could I have done? The Dark Lord… you have no idea … he has weapons you can’t imagine … I was scared, Sirius, I was never brave like you and Remus and James. I never meant it to happen … He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named forced me –”

        “DON’T LIE!” bellowed Black. “YOU’D BEEN PASSING INFORMATION TO HIM FOR A YEAR BEFORE LILY AND JAMES DIED! YOU WERE HIS SPY!”

        “He — he was taking over everywhere!” gasped Pettigrew. “Wh — what was there to be gained by refusing him?”

        • travellinginabluebox

          Thanks for digging out the quote, that is exactly what I meant.

        • DoraNympha

          Yup exactly. It’s not like Voldemort just read Pettigrew’s mind. Peter actuvely and over a long period of time willingly spied for Voldemort, and even turned best friend against best friend, which is why the last minute Secret Keeper change happened. I think the foulest thing Peter did wasn’t even giving up the location of the Potter house but manipulating Sirius and Remus to distrust each other – that weight was on them for 12 years after that. How can you recover from that?

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I literally can’t even understand why Sirius or James EVER thought having Peter as the secret keeper was a good idea. Even if it went according to plan and Voldemort went after Sirius, he would have learnt eventually that Sirius was not the secret keeper and would’ve started picking off anyone close to the potters. Peter would be found out eventually, and would’ve given them up. So I’m not sure how they expected that to play out…

          • DoraNympha

            I think it’s safer to make the Secret Keeper a weaker person, actually, because of the succession in the event of their death. Listen, James would never have assumed with his naive Gryffindorness that Peter would ever willingly give up the secret. Sirius thought it was a good ruse and he had been manipulated by Peter into suspecting Remus of being the spy they knew there was around. Vice versa, Remus suspected Sirius. But in addition to all that, by making Peter the Secret Keeper, someone who’s not notorious for being an amazing duellist, in case he dies (which he should have if he had had any spine) only strong people are left being the next Secret Keepers.

            But why even befriend him in the first place let alone entrust him with something as important as this???

          • Ashlee Pradella

            But what happens if Voldemort were to use the Cruciatus curse on Peter. He would crack straight away, if you used someone like Sirius he would die before giving up information.

            But yeah 100% agree with you on not understanding why they were even friends with him to start with.

            I feel like the friendship they had with Peter is a lot deeper than people realise.
            James wasn’t stupid, he wouldn’t have trusted Peter with his life if he didn’t 100% trust Peter. People think the mauraders treated Peter horribly and weren’t really his friend, but that’s going off 1 piece of text from Snapes memory. I feel like they were all good friends and even though Peter may have been the “loser” of the group they were still all good friends. Maybe that’s an unpopular opinion but I just feel like people are too easy on Peter and what he’s done because they think the mauraders bullied Peter, and I’m not sure that’s the case.

          • DoraNympha

            Yes but if Sirius dies as SK, all the other people he told the address would become the next SKs, including Peter so there we are again… But I totally agree, as uncomfortable as it is to think about it, they were all real friends once.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            The way to get around that is for Sirius to never tell anyone else where they are. But then if Sirius dies does their location stay secret, or are they no longer protected? I know this was semi-covered in DH I just can’t remember the outcome.

            Also in PoA when Sirius retells the story in the shrieking shack he says something along the lines of going to check on Peter in his hiding place the night the Potters were killed, but he was gone and there was no sign of a struggle. It would be funny if someone was secret keeper for Peters location also… it’s like secret keeper inception.

          • DoraNympha

            secret keeper inception? woah [mind blown]

            No but I think that would have been amazingly difficult to make SIrius the secret keeper and have him not tell anyone the secret. No one but Sirius could have visited the Potters’ house in that case. And what if the secret dies with him? Do Lily, James, Harry and their cat just stay invisible to the rest of the world from then on? D:

          • Ashlee Pradella

            That is actually a good point LOL!! Could this whole secret keeper thing backfire and none of your friends/ family could ever see you again? Whoa!!!
            I guess technically if you left the house it would be OK

          • DoraNympha

            How many secrets are out there, unattainable, unknown, that died with their keepers? o.0

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Now THAT would have kept Voldy’s horcruxes secret! Place the Fidelius Charm on them, make someone the secret keeper, and then immediately kill them. LOL

          • DoraNympha

            [mind blown gif]

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I love the secret keeper inception concept too!! That’s amazing 😀

            I feel like it must be a stipulation of being a secret keeper that you must tell at least one other person the secret in case you die. But there is nothing in canon that says as much. All we have are examples of SKs that did tell others. Then again, since James and Lily were under the protection of the charm, I guess they could have told someone else if Sirius died? Hmmmm.

          • MartinMiggs

            this is why I think the opposite. A stronger person like Dumbledore would be impossible to kill or capture so there would be no danger of the secret getting out or the secret keeper dying and putting more ppl in the line of fire

          • MartinMiggs

            This Fidelius charm stuff is pretty confusing but this is what I believe: Assuming either Sirius knew occlumency or the identity of the secret keeper (sk) can’t be divulged Voldemort would be unable to figure out if Sirius was actually the sk. If Sirius is captured and is still the sk he would never give up the information and Voldemort would be forced to kill him. If Sirius wasn’t the sk he would be physically unable to give up the information but Voldemort would just think he’s lying and kill him anyways. In both situations Sirius is killed but only in the first situation the Potters’ safety is put at more risk because now there are multiple sks and multiple targets for Voldemort to go after. Yes Voldemort could just attack everyone the Potters knew but the Order members accepted the risks when they joined not to mention Dumbledore would have interfered and made the task of killing everyone impossible, James and Sirius made Peter the sk because they thought Voldemort would not think such a weak person would be trusted with such an important job.

          • MartinMiggs

            I’d also like to add I think making Dumbledore would’ve made more sense

          • Ashlee Pradella

            You make a good point, but when Voldemort did eventually catch up with Peter, even if it were years down the track, he would get the information out of him straight away… so the potters would still be found eventually? Idk I’m just not seeing the long term plan here

          • MartinMiggs

            Dumbledore would not let Voldemort kill every single person the Potters knew. Also at some point Dumbledore would be on the list of potential SKs and of course capturing and killing him would be impossible because he’s a better wizard than Voldemort

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            I agree with MartinMiggs – if Sirius was SK, he would have died without giving the Potters up (and let’s remember that a SK cannot be forced or coerced into giving up the secret; it MUST be done willingly). Subsequently, everyone who knew where the Potters were would have become SKs in turn – including the Traitor (Pettigrew, though no one knew who it was at the time). So if someone other than Sirius was SK, and Sirius was captured and killed, the Potters would still be safe because the Traitor would have still been bound by the Fidelius Charm. Basically, if necessary, Sirius would have died a very smug man because he’d successfully tricked Voldemort and the Potters would still be safe.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            “Subsequently, everyone who knew where the Potters were would have become SKs in turn”

            I don’t believe that’s how the charm works. Even though many people knew James and Lily’s address, they would not be able to divulge it or see/enter it unless an actual secret keeper told them the address. It’s a bit problematic but I believe the secret would have died with Sirius if he had been SK and subsequently killed. I touched on this just a few minutes ago in another comment thread but I believe at that point, Lily or James would have had to make someone else the SK.

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Isn’t that what happens with Grimmauld Place in the seventh book, though? Dumbledore was SK, and he died, which made everyone who was in on the secret SKs themselves. That’s why they had to move headquarters to the Burrow, as Grimmauld Place now had about twenty SKs and it wasn’t safe any more. That’s also how Hermione brought Yaxley to Grimmauld Place – she was a SK, and she brought him right to the doorstep.

            I don’t think there’s a way for a secret to ‘die’ with a SK. If Sirius had been SK for the Potters, then he and maybe ten others (Dumbledore, Wormtail, maybe some Order members) knew the secret, but wouldn’t have been able to share it; if Sirius had then died, the ten other people who knew where the Potters were would have all been SKs, and then the traitor would have been able to betray the secret. That’s why they decided to go with Peter as SK, because Peter was less likely to be targeted, and if Sirius had died, they would have got the wrong person and the Potters would still have been safe.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            This is assuming that there were multiple Secret Keepers for the Potters, which the canon doesn’t seem to support. It appears to keep driving home that there was only one (Peter). But if I’m forgetting something, please remind me 🙂

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Ohhhh, I was talking about the hypothetical situation where Sirius was Secret Keeper lol! I know there can only be one SK, at least at the beginning of the charm (‘a secret is concealed inside a single, living soul’ as Flitwick puts it) – if that SK dies, then everyone who knows the secret may then tell it. Hypothetically, if Sirius was SK, and he was targeted and killed by death eaters, everyone who knew where the Potters were – including the spy, whose identity no one knew – could have told Voldy.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            In the point I’m trying to make, it doesn’t matter who the Secret Keeper is…sorry for the confusion…lol. What I’m trying to say is this: What if the Potters had made one person (regardless of who) the Secret Keeper and that individual never shared the address with anyone? Then, if that person were killed, the secret would die with them, yes? I’m not so sure that the Order members or even Dumbledore were let in on the secret (because otherwise, why wouldn’t they just make DD the SK?). Is there evidence that Peter told the address to any of the good guys?

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Oh, I see your point. I don’t think that the secret would die, though, because the people being protected by it (James and Lily) would still know it, wouldn’t they? So they would become their own secret keepers, like Bill with Shell Cottage. As for who knew the secret, we know Dumbledore knew, because he offered to be the SK, but James insisted on using Sirius (but really Peter). I don’t think many Order members knew, because they were aware they had a spy and they didn’t want them to pass on that info. I’m betting Remus didn’t know, because Sirius suspected him of being the spy. I’m fairly certain Dumbledore knew, though, since he was the one who told the Potters they were being hunted.

            As for a secret dying with a SK, I think it could if the secret in question was something that didn’t involve other people, like a random fact. But the whole point of the Fidelius Charm is to make it impossible for most people who know the secret to be able to tell it, so there wouldn’t be a point in casting a Fidelius Charm if it didn’t involve other people. Then it would be like any other secret that’s only known by one person. One person would know the secret, and only that person could tell it, so it becomes a moot point.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Yes, James and Lily would still know the secret in that example, so they could make someone else SK. I had forgotten about Bill being the SK for Shell Cottage but that would seem to support that assumption.

            But just because Dumbledore knew that the Potters were going to use the charm and knew where they lived before the charm was performed does not automatically make him a SK. As I understand it, the moment the charm was performed, nobody other than those under the charm and the named SK would be able to know the secret and every thing/person hidden within the secret would be invisible and untouchable to everyone else.

            So, like the example I used elsewhere in this episode’s comments, what if Voldemort had hidden his horcruxes under the Fidelium Charm, made one person the SK and then immediately killed them? Wouldn’t the horcruxes stay invisible because the secret died with the SK?

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            I think that’s where our understandings of the Charm’s mechanics differ – I thought that at the moment the charm was performed, nobody other than the SK would be able to *tell* the secret, and everything protected by the charm would be invisible to everyone else. If someone had knowledge of the secret before the charm was performed, then they would still know it, but they wouldn’t be able to tell anyone else.

            In your example, I think that would only work if Voldemort himself didn’t know where the horcruxes were, and the person he made SK had hidden them themselves. If that were the case then … I have no idea what would happen. If the charm stayed in effect, then the secret would have to be kept, right? Which would mean that no one knew the secret and the horcruxes would be magically invisible to everyone on the planet. But what if the charm faded out because there was no person keeping the charm going? When Dumbeldore dies, the responsibility of the SK passed on to other people; if there was no one left to keep the secret, then would the charm just … end? Personally I think this would be the case (I don’t know why), but there’s no canon evidence either way, so until we get further info … idk?

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            “If someone had knowledge of the secret before the charm was performed, then they would still know it, but they wouldn’t be able to tell anyone else.”

            I agree that they wouldn’t be able to tell anyone else but I also believe they would no longer be able to see the thing that was now being hidden by the charm unless they were re-told the information by a SK. Otherwise, Voldemort could have strode into the Potters’ house at any time. He almost definitely knew the Potters’ address before the charm was performed (thanks to Peter if nothing else). We see many examples of Death Eaters attacking/killing people in their homes so I don’t think wizards keep their dwellings a secret. And Godric’s Hollow wasn’t exactly off the beaten path 🙂

            In my hypothetical example, I see Voldemort keeping the knowledge too. But then again, maybe he wouldn’t have had to use a second person. Since Bill seems to be SK of his own home, then I suppose Voldemort could be sole SK of his Horcruxes. And as long as he was alive, the charm would not break.

          • MartinMiggs

            Great points but I think it would be quite easy to recover from that. Their distrust for each other would have turned into hatred of Peter for manipulating them.

          • DeadAsADumbledoreNail

            Could the Fidelius Charm be compounded by Obliviating the SK? How can they divulge a secret they don’t know they are carrying? I’m sure they could have Modified Peter’s memory so that if he didnt even know their location.

          • BloodCharm

            Yep, that’s totally accurate- Pettigrew was after more power and more protection and the deaths of so many in the Order and Voldemort’s rising power made him decide to join him- He wants protection, but in reality, is much more power hungry and more of an opportunist then a coward- he enjoys the status of being with the big and the powerful and feels powerful and revered individually. The Order’s mission of destroying Voldemort in secret and being with his old friends may have pleased him for a time, but it’s a much different environment when you and your friends who previously walked around the school like they owned it are now soldiers united towards a common goal and are losing at it. There just really isn’t the same kind of allure of status and power of when he was at Hogwarts and the structure of the Death Eaters. So he jumped the shark, probably because Voldemort approached him and bullied him into it, but he still made a conscious choice that he thought would benefit him in the long run.

  • Greg O’Sullivan

    Saying that loyalty is one of the biggest Slytherin traits sounds slightly reductive to me. Many of the HP characters come across as extremely loyal because of the circumstances we see them in: grouped into houses, armies and orders. Perhaps, upon closer inspection, Slytherins are only really loyal as a facet of their pride and cunning. When you look at their individual motivations, I’m not sure that loyalty is truly a major driving force in their choices.

    Generally speaking, as soon as someone is no longer useful or lets a Slytherin down, we see their loyalty falter. For example, after Lucius returned from Azkaban, he fell to the bottom of the pecking order amongst the Death Eaters. However, you could argue that his rescue and the fact that he’s even breathing are evidence of Voldemort’s loyalty to him and his family. Although, perhaps Voldemort is too extreme an example (being a psychopath and all…) but you get my point, right?

    Think about the way Voldemort’s followers behaved after his first downfall – mostly they weren’t loyal at all and mostly they were Slytherins.

    • MartinMiggs

      Agreed but I think Voldemort breaking his death eaters out of prison was done purely for strategy not loyalty.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Yes, I don’t see Voldemort to be loyal at all. Loyalty comes with love, something Voldemort is not capable of.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I agree with you. I don’t think Slytherines are very loyal at all. I can’t think of any examples where we see true loyalty from Slytherines unless you count Bellatrix… but to me that wasn’t loyalty that was worship.

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      I think the difference between a Slytherin’s loyalty and a Hufflepuff’s loyalty is where it comes from. A Hufflepuff is loyal to their friends because it’s the right thing to do and they care about their friends – it comes from a sense of morality and justice, which are Puff traits. A Slytherin is loyal because Slytherins tend to look out for themselves and their own first, and everyone else second. This is why Slytherins look out for each other – it’s a sense of ‘if someone messes with you, they mess with me’. It’s the difference between “hey, you hurt my FRIEND!” and “hey, you hurt MY friend!”.

      Practically, I think it makes little difference, except that maybe the number of people a Slytherin cares about enough to protect would be a bit smaller than a Hufflepuff’s.

  • MartinMiggs

    I have a feeling this will be a super controversial episode with hundreds of posts in the comments section

    • travellinginabluebox

      #TeamKat

      Also welcome back, Eric!

  • MartinMiggs

    Sirius goes to Azkaban/hell for a crime he doesn’t commit.
    Eric: I feel sorry for him.
    Kat: Why?
    *insert Jackie Chan looking confused meme*

  • MartinMiggs

    You can’t spend 12 years in a hell hole like Azkaban let alone a normal prison and not have it change you, especially when those 12 years are during a crucial growing up stage of your life

    • DoraNympha

      I’ve always thought it a good thing for this reason precisely that Sirius has never really matured. Azkaban did leave its mark on it but this youthful energy that he had had a lot of and still retained some of after breaking out may be part of why he even survived that place, even if it’s frustrating recklessness or immaturity that’s odd for his actual age now.

  • MartinMiggs

    Kids do stupid things and teenage boys even more so. Put yourself in the shoes of a teenaged Sirius Black Kat. Why did he not think about Lupin when he put Snape’s life in danger? Because he’s a dumb teenage boy who doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions. Snape is not just some innocent victim of bullying. He’s using dark magic and practicing it on others, inventing new spells to seriously hurt people and he’s actively trying to expose Remus’ secret and get the rest of the Marauders expelled. Had Snape minded his own business Sirius would not have tricked him.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Well, it always takes two people to fight. I am neither a Snape or Sirius fan, but let’s just put this out there: James, also a jokster and rather irresponsible teenager, did not pull that prank, plus even prevented it. Not to put James on a pedestal here.

      • DoraNympha

        insert popular tumblr post saying “theres always that one weak b**** in the group that isn’t down with murder”

        No but seriously, this is not such a simple thing to pass a moral judgment on. If we are horrified that Harry used Sectumsempra, we should be horrified that Sirius wouldn’t have minded if Snape got mangled by a werewolf. The thing that’s unforgivable about this isn’t necessarily the intention to trick Snape into possible bodily harm but that Sirius would have used Lupin’s condition to do so, Lupin who is so terrified he would ever hurt anyone while transformed… That Sirius didn’t consider this was the worst thing about this.

        However, Sirius didn’t exactly force Snape into going there. It’s not like the prank was that Sirius pushed Snape through the Shrieking Shack’s door and locked it and left him in there unable to escape. Sirius just caught onto Snape figuring out Lupin’s a werewolf and suggested to Snape that he may find out whether he was right or not if he went to the shack at full moon. It was entirely up to Snape from that point on to judge whether it would be too dangerous or worth it or whatever to actually go there OF HIS OWN ACCORD, driven not by something like he had a relative/friend to save but by his own malicious noseyness. He wasn’t manipulated into going there in the same way Harry was manipulated and tricked into going to the Ministry to save Sirius by Voldemort.

        So while Sirius’s inconsideration for bringing about Lupin’s worst fear IF Snape had turned out to be such a colossal idiot to actually show up at the shack just to get dirt on the Marauders was crappy, it was entierly down to Snape to make the call whether or not to go.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          Wow I had not considered this

          I guess the moral implications on this one are a bit tricky… I personally never even thought much about this whole situation, and always did think it was a bit of a prank and just Sirius being silly. After listening to this episode I’m definitely more aware that it was a pretty horrible thing for Sirius to do, but for some reason I just can’t feel too bothered by it. I think you’re right in saying that the worst part about the “prank” were the consequences that it could have had on Lupin, and that’s the hardest thing to get past. But I honestly don’t think Sirius ever had ill intentions with this prank, and was just a stupid teenage boy not really thinking about the full implications of what he was doing, does that make it any better…not really, but it does change how I see his character. I don’t think for a minute that he hoped by pulling this prank Snape would be killed.
          I think you’re right about the fact that Sirius just told Snape about it, but it was Snape’s decision to go to the shrieking shack, and therefore not all the blame and responsibility can fall on Sirius. Snape made the decision to go there, with a fairly good idea of what he’d be facing, and that’s on Snape… like Kat said it’s out choices that define us and that’s a big theme in HP, and it was Snapes choice to go there.

        • MartinMiggs

          I’m not so sure that the Sectemsempra attack and werewolf prank are the same. Malfoy attacked Harry with an Unforgivable Curse and he didn’t know that Sectemsempra could kill.

          • DoraNympha

            That’s true – although, there are also people defending Malfoy there, who’s just a victim of circumstance etc etc …

        • BloodCharm

          I’ve said it before, but I’ll never understand why everyone is so certain Snape would have been killed by Lupin- from what we know, he was already a talented wizard who would be capable of defending himself against a werewolf(at least to a degree)and plus Ron says that Werewolves only sometimes kill if they lose it on someone. Most likely outcome is Snape gets turned into a werewolf.

    • Lisa

      I think the point was why didn’t he think about Lupin not so much about why he didn’t consider Snape. Lupin was one of his best friends and Sirius put him into a situation where he could have killed someone. I don’t dislike Sirius for this but I can see why others would find it off-putting.

      • MartinMiggs

        I was explaining his mindset. Sirius was just a teenager and teenaged boys make terrible choices all the time without thinking about the consequences. He was motivated by his hatred of that git Snivellus and didn’t think about how his actions would hurt his friend.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I couldn’t agree more, teenage boys just do stupid things! And I doubt Sirius was very tuned into Lupins emotions on the whole werewolf thing, so I doubt he even considered Lupins feelings. Does this make it any better? Of course not, but teenage boys can be inconsiderate, not aware of other people’s emotions, and foolish. I just think Sirius needs to be cut a bit of slack on this situation. I’m sure there are many people out there who would hate to be judged on some things they did when they were a teenager. It seems like Lupin has forgiven Sirius too, and obviously Sirius regrets the whole situation.

    • MarsIsBrightTonight

      I never interpreted Sirius’ action as intended to murder or injure Snape. Having been so close with Lupin for many years, and having spent time with him in his werewolf state, I believe Sirius simply became desensitized to the danger of the situation. I believe that he simply meant to lure Snape into the Shrieking Shack and give him a good fright, before taking control of the situation. If anything, Sirius overestimated his own control of the situation.
      What I find more problematic is that he didn’t consider the additional risk to Lupin, not only from the exposure perspective, but also from the fact that Snape could have potentially killed him in a panic. Sirius assumed that if the two were to meet, werewolf Lupin would scare the grease off Snape’s hair, and then the marauders would have a laugh together. However, Snape was already an accomplished dark wizard with an arsenal of combat spells, and instead of getting incapacitated by his fear may have gone on the offensive and killed the werewolf charging at him.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I sooooooo agree with this!! I think it’s also important to remember that the idea of danger and getting hurt in the magical world doesn’t seem to be a big deal. For example who cares if you break your arm playing quidditch or get burnt by a blast ended skrewt in care of magical creatures, it can be healed so quickly so danger just isn’t an issue for wizards. I totally understand that this is a different situation (and was potentially life or death), I just think Sirius’ idea of danger and what could physically hurt someone is very desensitised, and I think many wizards feel the same way.

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I agree with that to an extent but Sirius knew full well that there are no cures for werewolf bites.

      • travellinginabluebox

        This is everything: “werewolf Lupin would scare the grease off Snape’s hair”
        Just made my day!

      • ASiriusPotterhead

        I never thought about the fact that Sirius would’ve been desensitized to this whole situation but that is so like him. And as a teenager I bet he didn’t think about Remus’ perspective because Sirius would’ve fully believed that Snape deserved it; in his mind because Snape deserves it, Remus has nothing to be guilty about.

        What he did was still wrong but it does explain his decision without condensing his motive into “he’s an awful human.”

        • Ashlee Pradella

          Yeah I agree with you! I honestly just think that Sirius didn’t think about the implications of this prank, and to a certain extent thought that if anything bad happened to Snape he deserved it, so who cares. I think that’s as far as his thought process would have gone, if that haha.
          Theoretically if Lupin had bitten Snape, it would have likely resulted in Lupin being expelled (and potentially snape too? Because I doubt parents would want any werewolfs at the school), and that’s really the last thing Sirius would have wanted.
          Whats interesting is what motivated James to save Snape. Was it just because he was a good guy and wanted to save Snape? Was it because he didn’t want Lupin to be in a situation where he may hurt someone else. Or did he do it to save himself and his friends, and keep all his friends together and at school?

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            If I remember correctly I think this prank happened in their later years at Hogwarts and as we know, James grows up eventually. I get the sense that James finally matured a little, he was much more level headed than Sirius. And forgiving and kinder as Harry tends to be (probably Lily’s influence amongst other things). So I would like to believe that James just understood that this wasn’t a line to be crossed. In this way I think Sirius’ moral compass was always more extreme and questionable than James’ ever was lol.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Yeah Sirius was definitely not thinking about Lupin at all. He’s very extreme when it comes to people he hates. I guess that kind of black-and-white thinking is common when you’re a kid, but Sirius doesn’t seem to even try to think more complexly until he’s an adult.

        What I though was that Lupin probably looked back on this “prank” after Sirius was arrested as a warning sign that Sirius was really evil all along.

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          “What I though was that Lupin probably looked back on this “prank” after Sirius was arrested as a warning sign that Sirius was really evil all along.”

          Oh that’s an interesting thought. We struggle to understand how Lupin could possibly believe that Sirius was the traitor but this could definitely be one of the reasons for his suspicion! Especially if it happened late in their schooling (like 7th year) and they didn’t have much time to reconcile afterwards.

  • SlytherinKnight

    Interesting how the hosts forgot probably the biggest reason (or plot hole) that Dumbledore never went to Azkaban to visit Sirius, or pushed for a trial: If he had found out that Sirius was innocent, Sirius most likely would have been given custody of Harry, taking Harry away from the Dursleys. And Dumbledore can’t have his secret weapon taken away from an abusive home where he would grow up w/o love or happiness in order to create the martyr complex that Dumbledore needed to complete the plan.

    That would be an interesting conundrum for Dumbledore: Do you let an innocent man rot in essentially hell for a crime he didn’t commit all to keep Harry at the Dursleys?

    • travellinginabluebox

      I don’t think Dumbledore contiusly chose an abusive home, but the best possible security option for Harry. He didn’t want Harry to be raised by wizards, because they might treat him differently, turning Harry in an arrogant brat. However, I do not think that he would have minded the Dursleys to treat Harry like a proper part of their family. He even says so, when he comes to visit in HBP.

      Harry’s upbringing didn’t make him a martyr, his stongest power, love, ulitmately made him able to face Voldemort to die. He had lots of ties to the world at that point. Hermione and Ron, who had been with him from the beginning, for example. But he chose to leave them behind, to give them the opportunity to rid the world of Voldemort. His love for others was what made him able to do that.

    • Lisa

      I don’t think Dumbledore would have such a conundrum because he could always explain to Sirius why Harry needs to stay with his aunt and uncle, right? If Sirius hadn’t been forced to run into hiding in PoA, Dumbledore would have probably have put his foot down regarding Harry’s plans to move in with Sirius. And I’m sure Sirius would have understood.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I agree with Lisa, and furthermore to the discussion, I think Eric mentioned this in the episode… but how and why is it Dumbledores choice to make who Harry stays with? It should be upto the person that was left in charge of Harry by his parents – who is Sirius in this case (that is the godfather role). If Sirius was given the option and recommendation from Dumbledore that Harry should stay with the Dursleys then that would have been more appropriate, but it really wasn’t Dumbledore’s decision to make.

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          As far as Dumbledore knew, Sirius had betrayed the Potters. I expect that’s why he didn’t ask Sirius’ opinion. But now that I think about it, isn’t it odd that Dumbledore doesn’t react at all when Hagrid arrives on Privet Drive with Harry and says he encountered Sirius at the Potters’ house?

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            I think even in an ideal situation where people knew that Sirius wasn’t the traitor, Dumbledore would’ve still had the final say on Harry because… Wizarding World reasons lol. Even if Sirius had been given the final say he would’ve likely listened to Dumbledore regardless.

            I also did think it odd that Dumbledore never reacted to Hagrid’s mention of Sirius in Philosopher’s Stone but that’s probably just due to JKR not having had figured out all the details.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            Yeah I guess that’s my point. In an ideal world I would have liked to think Dumbledore went and visited Sirius in Azkaban and realized he wasn’t guilty. He would have given custody of Harry to Sirius, and potentially told him that his recommendation was for Harry to live with the Dursleys, and maybe Sirius would have agreed with him.
            I guess this didn’t happen though, the question is: did Dumbledore never visit Sirius in Azkaban or push for a trial (that SlytherineKnight originally brought up), purely because of his larger plan.
            It makes me sooooo sad to think that Harry could have grown up with a loving and supportive family, instead of horrible people like the Dursleys, and Dumbledore took that away from him. Who’s to say how Harry would have turned out if he did live with Sirius… no one knows.

            Yeah I agree it’s weird Dumbledore didn’t react to Hagrids mention of Sirius… I agree with ASiriusPotterhead, JK mustn’t have fleshed out all the details at this time. I guess it’s possible he also didn’t want to spread around info about the security situation regarding the potters.

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            Yeah this is why I am not the biggest fan of Dumbledore. His decisions were morally questionable and really screwed up a loooot of lives. It’s funny cuz when I was younger I thought he was the kindest man ever and then you read Deathly Hallows or read the books from a more mature perspective and you start to see his faults a lot more clearly. Still need to listen to the special episode on him!

          • Ashlee Pradella

            Yeah I was actually the same with Dumbledore, but I didn’t realize how flawed and manipulative his character was until I started listening to Alohomora.

    • DoraNympha

      Whether or not it would have been worse for the whole world’s future, it’s not up to Dumbldore to decide this. That’s what’s so frustrating to me about Dumbledore’s character: instead of a good guy he’s still a Greater Good guy through and through till the end… :/

      Had he known about Sirius’ innocence, though, there would simply have been a different strategy needed to make Harry understand he had to learn to protect himself and had to expect to sacrifice himself when it was time. He would have grown up rather a daredevil early on under Sirius’ care, maybe that’s even better for the whole big plan at the end of which Harry had to die?

    • DoraNympha

      Harry had to live with Petunia because of the blood protection… I suppose Sirius could always have moved in with them, however. Imagine, the Dursleys, Harry, and Sirius in one happy suburban home. He would have been like that oddball uncle who lives above the garage, buys you broomsticks and gives you your first can of beer. Everybody needs a pet, Sirius could have even stayed a dog.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        This whole blood protection thing is actually a joke in my opinion. Here me out on this, but I just don’t think it’s a relevant or worthy excuse for why Dumbledore left Harry with the Dursleys.

        Firstly there are plenty of other security measures that could have been taken, the fidelius charm for instance, and Dumbledore himself could have been secret keeper.

        Secondly, if anyone actually wanted to kill Harry while he was at the Dursleys it would not have been hard. In Harry’s first 11 years of his life he left the house plenty of times (school, rare trips like the zoo, walking around the neighbourhood), and he had zero magical protection as far as I’m aware. When Harry came back to the Dursleys for Summer he would wander around the neighbourhood all day, and again had zero magical protection (until at least book 5 where he had order members watching him).

        Now maybe I am completely not understanding the way blood protection works, but to me there are other options, and Dumbledore left harry unprotected for majority of his childhood. As far as I understand the blood protection only works inside the actual house?

        Also what makes me super sad about this whole situation, if roles were reversed I feel pretty confident that James and Lily would have cared for Dudley and treated him well.

        • DoraNympha

          I believe the charm isn’t a cool and complicated burglar alarm, it’s protecting Harry in its own way wherever he goes as long as Harry consider’s his blood relative’s home his own home and as long as he is underage. You’re right in that Harry could always have been run over by a car in Privet Drive but what he would not have been able to do is be found and harmed by Voldemort. What would have happened is exactly what we saw when Harry’s wand acted of his own accord: when all else failed, still there was this to make sure he wasn’t hit by a deadly curse by this particular evil bloke. Should a car hit Harry before all the Horcruxes are out of the way, he would simply have taken a trip to the limbo and come back with the babyVoldy still attached to his own soul. It doesn’t protect him from stray Dementors, though, so yeah, you’re right, there’s just not enough logic in this to justify Harry’s growing up in an abusive home.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I know so little about the blood protection but according to the HP wiki it’s only protection specifically from Voldemort and only in the actual house:

            “If the victim was related to the beneficiary, then a powerful charm known as the bond of blood can be cast upon the beneficiary to give them additional protection (although it is unknown how closely the two must be related for this charm to work). This charm prevents any harm from coming to the beneficiary from the murderer while they are in a blood-related relative’s home.[1]”

            Also in regards to Harrys wand working on its own, I thought this was specifically about wandlore and nothin to do with blood protection. This is also from the HP wiki:

            “It was later explained to Harry that the reason his wand had acted the way it did was due to the unique connection between himself and Voldemort. His wand had sensed Voldemort’s presence both as “brother” and “mortal enemy” and reacted, despite the fact that Voldemort was using another wand at the time.”

            So the idea of the blood protection just seems pretty useless to me. It actually seems like a fidelius charm is much more useful because it protects against everyone, not just Voldemort. The only problem with that is it would affect the Dursleys lives too much… they wouldn’t be able to have visitors to the house etc.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            The Wiki does a pretty good job but I think they’re dead wrong about the beneficiary only being protected while they are in the blood-relative’s home. If that were the case, Harry would never be permitted to leave during the summers but we know he does. The caveat is that he has to return to the place at least once a year and be able to call it home, which he can.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I always thought of the blood protection as almost like a fidelius charm… in the sense that when Harry is at the Dursleys he could never be hurt. I didn’t realise that protection extended to outside of the house.
            So does that mean the blood protection only works during the summer? Because Voldermort comes after harry plenty of times during the school year and the blood protection doesn’t seem to stop him.
            Also if the blood protection does protect him outside of the house then why did Dumbledore have Order members watching Harry in OotP whenever he left the house. Im so confused haha.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            It works year-round. He just has to go there at least once per year and still be able to call it home. Dumbledore explains it better in the first few chapters of HBP when he goes to pick up Harry from Privet Drive. He says something about them “granting him house space.” I don’t pretend to understand it completely but in SS, Quirrelmort couldn’t even touch him because of the blood protection. When Voldemort regains a body, he makes sure to use Harry’s blood so that he would be able to touch him – but it ended up doing more than that. It tethered both Harry and Voldemort to life in some way. That’s why Dumbledore had the “gleam of triumph.” But Harry was still vulnerable to other attacks (such as Dementors). I believe that’s why the Order was guarding him. Dumbledore couldn’t risk Harry dying in some other way before the final showdown with Voldy, because it had to be Voldy killing him for the entire plan to work. Is that at all helpful? lol

          • Ashlee Pradella

            OK wow haha you have really taught me something here, thanks Katy!! I actually thought that the blood protection was only applicable at Privet Drive. I also thought that Voldemort couldn’t touch Harry because he was the embodiment of love (for lack of a better term lol) I didn’t realise it had anything to do with Lily’s blood protection.
            So just for arguments sake doesn’t this still mean that Voldemort could turn upto Privet Drive or wherever and AK him… he doesn’t need to touch him to kill him right? Or is the idea that the curse would just rebound again?

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I believe you’ve just asked one of the “we don’t actually know” questions 😀 If you only read the Bond of Blood Charm article on the wiki, I would recommend this one as well:
            http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Sacrificial_protection
            It does still mention the point you made about having to be in the house and now I see the source they’re using for that assumption – it’s this quote from OoTP:

            “While you can still call home the place where your mother’s blood dwells, there you cannot be touched or harmed by Voldemort. He shed her blood, but it lives on in you and her sister. Her blood became your refuge. You need return there only once a year, but as long as you can still call it home, there he cannot hurt you. Your aunt knows this. I explained what I had done in the letter I left, with you, on her doorstep. She knows that allowing you houseroom may well have kept you alive for the past fifteen years.”

            Though, to me, that quote contradicts itself. It both says he only has to return there once a year and call it home, AND “there he cannot hurt you.” But since they never tell Harry he must remain housebound when not at Hogwarts, I don’t believe that second part is true…or at least, that that’s not the only place Voldemort cannot hurt Harry. I believe that the blood protection is one of the reasons Harry doesn’t snuff it at the end of the series.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            My understanding of why Harry doesn’t snuff it at the end was because he killed the horcrux inside Harry, not Harry’s actual soul… I didn’t realise it had anything to do with blood protection. I can’t believe I didn’t realise or know this haha!!! Thank you for explaining it to me 🙂

        • daveybjones999 .

          I could be wrong about this, but I think that theres a radius around Private Drive that Harry is protected within because of the Blood Charm. I’m not completely sure, but I think I remember during the 7 Potters Chapter, one of the characters mentions once Harry leaves the range of the area he’ll no longer be protected. I don’t have the time to try and find that quote now, but that led me to believe that there is a range of distance that Harry has to leave before the blood protection stops working.

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            That’s in DH, I think, where they talk about ‘leaving the boundaries’ of the charm. Also, when Harry’s in the Muggle world, he’s most vulnerable, as there are no magical people around to protect him. So during the first ten years, Harry would have been protected from Voldemort’s Dark magic year-round (presumably the protection holds up while he’s at school). Once he comes to Hogwarts, he might be less protected, but they have Dumbledore, so as if Voldemort is going to attack Hogwarts (obviously he still does – but Dumbledore doesn’t see these attacks coming).

          • BloodCharm

            I think the charm works when he is in the custody of the Dursley’s, which extends to the whole area of Little Whinging(since Moody doesn’t decide to just walk out of the house and eventually apparate with Harry; he knows the Ministry is tracking the location or maybe this is just a plot conveniance thing) and also protects him from any Death Eater attacks, since Dumbledore says the main reason is because Voldemort’s supporters are still highly dangerous and Harry must be protected from them at all costs. I think the charm is different and is somewhat more powerful then Lily’s direct sacrificial protection in some ways since Voldemort cannot attempt to attack Harry even after he has taken his blood and also works against his Death Eaters, although not Dementors or Muggles lol.

      • MartinMiggs

        That would’ve made for an excellent sitcom lol

  • daveybjones999 .

    Personally I think the re-establishment of the Order of the Phoenix, was the absolute worst thing that ever could have happened to Sirius and is the biggest part of why he doesn’t act as a very good godfather for Harry. In Goblet, despite being a fugitive, he’s a pretty good parental figure for Harry, and gives really good advice, but forcing him to go back to Grimmauld Place just makes everything worse. It not only stops the growth that Sirius was going through during the previous year, but actually regresses him back to how he was as a teenager. It’s like being freed from prison and being able to live life for a year, but then being put into essentially house arrest. I also think that Sirius’s story is also all too common in real life. To go slightly off topic for a second I’d like to talk about something else.

    The reason I’m about to make this comparison is because of an episode of 60 Minutes I remember watching where they did a piece on Guantanamo about the prisoners who are still there, with an interview with one who wasn’t actually a terrorist (note I don’t remember if the interview was with a former prisoner or by one who is still there). In the interview he mentions reading Harry Potter during his stay in Guantanamo as an escape, and he directly states that Azkaban is exactly the same as Guantanamo Bay. The whole plot line in Goblet of Fire about what happened near the end of the first war with Voldemort was oddly prescient of events that would happen not even a year after the book was released with 9/11. This’ll tie into my point about Sirius in a second. Order was being written directly during this time period, and Half-Blood was being written right when the Iraq War started, and the Ministry of Magic plot line can be read as direct criticisms of how the United States Government acted in the wake of these events, (but could also be attributed to its actions during the Cold War after WWII as well).

    Terrorists, and people suspected of being terrorists, would be sent to prison, specifically places like Guantanamo Bay, without a trial, imprisoned, degraded, and tortured. Sometimes the people they subjected to this are in the same position that Sirius Black was in. Innocent of the crime, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time, captured and sent to these conditions without a trial.
    That’s the type of experience that Sirius went through, so it isn’t surprising that he ends up the way he does. I don’t think that anyone can go through an experience like that, and be expected to act like a level headed adult. Going to Azkaban, escaping and being free for a year, before being contained again, albeit this time by people who care for and want to help you 100% lead Sirius to act the way he does in Order of the Phoenix. On another note after writing this comment I now really want a topic episode about how the Harry Potter series directly ties into the events that occurred at the turn of the century with regards to the War on Terror, so I’m going to submit it for a topic episode.

  • daveybjones999 .

    Original Comment Detected as Spam so reposting.
    Personally I think the re-establishment of the Order of the Phoenix, was the absolute worst thing that ever could have happened to Sirius and is the biggest part of why he doesn’t act as a very good godfather for Harry. In Goblet, despite being a fugitive, he’s a pretty good parental figure for Harry, and gives really good advice, but forcing him to go back to Grimmauld Place just makes everything worse. It not only stops the growth that Sirius was going through during the previous year, but actually regresses him back to how he was as a teenager. It’s like being freed from prison and being able to live life for a year, but then being put into essentially house arrest. I also think that Sirius’s story is also all too common in real life. To go slightly off topic for a second I’d like to talk about something else.

    The reason I’m about to make this comparison is because of an episode of 60 Minutes I remember watching where they did a piece on Guantanamo about the prisoners who are still there, with an interview with one who wasn’t actually a terrorist (note I don’t remember if the interview was with a former prisoner or by one who is still there). In the interview he mentions reading Harry Potter during his stay in Guantanamo as an escape, and he directly states that Azkaban is exactly the same as Guantanamo Bay. The whole plot line in Goblet of Fire about what happened near the end of the first war with Voldemort was oddly prescient of events that would happen not even a year after the book was released with 9/11. This’ll tie into my point about Sirius in a second. Order was being written directly during this time period, and Half-Blood was being written right when the Iraq War started, and the Ministry of Magic plot line can be read as direct criticisms of how the United States Government acted in the wake of these events, (but could also be attributed to its actions during the Cold War after WWII as well).

    Terrorists, and people suspected of being terrorists, would be sent to prison, specifically places like Guantanamo Bay, without a trial, imprisoned, degraded, and tortured. Sometimes the people they subjected to this are in the same position that Sirius Black was in. Innocent of the crime, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time, captured and sent to these conditions without a trial.
    That’s the type of experience that Sirius went through, so it isn’t surprising that he ends up the way he does. I don’t think that anyone can go through an experience like that, and be expected to act like a level headed adult. Going to Azkaban, escaping and being free for a year, before being contained again, albeit this time by people who care for and want to help you 100% lead Sirius to act the way he does in Order of the Phoenix.

  • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

    Such a great episode to listen to. I always thought that Snape was the only truly “grey” character in the series. I loved hearing both sides of the “is Sirius redeemable” discussion. Being an INFJ, I see both sides of the argument, the logical as well as the emotional. However, for me, I do in fact believe that Sirius is redeemable. He never got the chance to live, mature, and grow into the wonderful character most of us believe he already is. Being stuck in Azkaban for 12 years didn’t do him any favors, as well as living with the Black family members he grew up with. Sirius isn’t my favorite character in the series, but I do believe he deserved better than what he received in the end.

    The whole werewolf prank on Lupin when they were kids, wasn’t one of Sirius’ finer moments. However, just like the many fanfic writers out there, I think that Sirius did feel some sort of remorse for that incident. Not necessarily that he did it to Snape, but because of how it affected his relationship with the Marauders, especially James and Lupin, since you all agreed in the episode that James’ friendship meant everything to Sirius. There had to be some blow-back from that incident; James Potter wouldn’t be that selfish to save Snape just because he didn’t want to get into trouble, or how that might’ve hurt his chances with Lily. Even though the first comments from Sirius about Snape are not pleasant ones, we never truly know how that incident affected the Marauders as a group, which would have been interesting to see since we don’t really hear about any conflicts within the group itself.

    • DoraNympha

      Also maybe this was the learning experience that Sirius needed in order to know better afterwards? Nobody is born hateful but no one is born with a perfect moral logic at the same time. Just like Ron used to be dead terrified of werewolves and Hermione thought it perfectly okay to out Lupin in the Shack, once they heard the story they were educated and would not have reacted the same way to someone being a werewolf anymore. We don’t know which year Sirius pulled that prank on Snape. Maybe he made this mistake because he didn’t know better yet but after this and after Lupin explaining to him why it was so horrific, Sirius learned and would never have wanted to pull the same kind of thing again. In order to learn from your mistakes, you have to make a mistake in the first place.

      • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

        I totally think was a HUGE learning experience for Sirius! Maybe this was the one big event that brought them closer together as a group of friends. Sirius didn’t realize there was a line to be crossed here, and perhaps afterwards there was a discussion about the repercussions of what could’ve happened and how that would’ve affected Lupin in he did hurt Snape. Sirius didn’t have the best role models growing up, but that doesn’t mean he a perfect moral compass either. It’s definitely a maturity thing, and although he doesn’t grow out of certain habits, this Shrieking Shack prank is something that he does in fact regret and has learned from. No one’s perfect, and I do think that Sirius felt bad after what happened, and maybe James’ and Lupin’s capacities to forgive him for that strengthened their friendship even more.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I wonder which year it did happen in, do we have any idea? It must have been at least fifth year because that’s when they learn to be animagus right?
        It would be interesting to know if it did happen while James was dating Lily, and how that could have affected their relationship.

        • DoraNympha

          They figured out Lupin was a werewolf in year 2, and they all managed to become animagi by the end of year 4 I believe?

          Also, the joke is that nothing would have happened if Snape had really seen Remus transformed. His plan was to go running to the staff and it’s like…. they know, kid…. and they’re helping him finish his studies…. also, Obliviate…. woooo magic……nothing happened, Snivellus.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            LMAO!!!!

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Snape says it in POA – ‘Are you forgetting that Sirius Black proved himself capable of murder at the age of sixteen?’ So it must have been at least their fifth year, possibly their sixth.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            OMG thank you!! I couldn’t for the life of me figure out when the prank happened! Yay!! 😀

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          Snape didn’t know about the Marauders’ animagus forms, which leads me to believe that James saved Snape as himself – not as Prongs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t narrow down the time frame for when the prank happened. It really could have been any time.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            Yeah James must have saved Snape in human form because when Lupin retells the story he specifically says James risked his own life to save Snape, but if James was in his Stag form Lupin wouldn’t have been a danger to him. I guess James stayed in human form to not make things worse with Snape… like if he knew they were unregistered animagus I’m sure Snape would report that straight away and then they’d probably all get expelled.

  • daveybjones999 .

    Keeps getting reposted as spam breaking down into multiple comments hopefully this time it sticks.
    Personally I think the re-establishment of the Order of the Phoenix, was the absolute worst thing that ever could have happened to Sirius and is the biggest part of why he doesn’t act as a very good godfather for Harry. In Goblet, despite being a fugitive, he’s a pretty good parental figure for Harry, and gives really good advice, but forcing him to go back to Grimmauld Place just makes everything worse. It not only stops the growth that Sirius was going through during the previous year, but actually regresses him back to how he was as a teenager. It’s like being freed from prison and being able to live life for a year, but then being put into essentially house arrest. I also think that Sirius’s story is also all too common in real life. To go slightly off topic for a second I’d like to talk about something else.

    • daveybjones999 .

      The reason I’m about to make this comparison is because of an episode of 60 Minutes I remember watching where they did a piece on Guantanamo about the prisoners who are still there, with an interview with one who wasn’t actually a terrorist (note I don’t remember if the interview was with a former prisoner or by one who is still there). In the interview he mentions reading Harry Potter during his stay in Guantanamo as an escape, and he directly states that Azkaban is exactly the same as Guantanamo Bay. The whole plot line in Goblet of Fire about what happened near the end of the first war with Voldemort was oddly prescient of events that would happen not even a year after the book was released with 9/11. This’ll tie into my point about Sirius in a second. Order was being written directly during this time period, and Half-Blood was being written right when the Iraq War started, and the Ministry of Magic plot line can be read as direct criticisms of how the United States Government acted in the wake of these events, (but could also be attributed to its actions during the Cold War after WWII as well).

      • daveybjones999 .

        Terrorists, and people suspected of being terrorists, would be sent to prison, specifically places like Guantanamo Bay, without a trial, imprisoned, degraded, and tortured. Sometimes the people they subjected to this are in the same position that Sirius Black was in. Innocent of the crime, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time, captured and sent to these conditions without a trial.

        • daveybjones999 .

          That’s the type of experience that Sirius went through, so it isn’t surprising that he ends up the way he does. I don’t think that anyone can go through an experience like that, and be expected to act like a level headed adult. Going to Azkaban, escaping and being free for a year, before being contained again, albeit this time by people who care for and want to help you 100% lead Sirius to act the way he does in Order of the Phoenix. On another note after writing this comment I now really want a topic episode about how the Harry Potter series directly ties into the events that occurred at the turn of the century with regards to the War on Terror, so I’m going to submit it for a topic episode.

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            Yes, thank you for mentioning Guantanamo and how Sirius not getting a trial isn’t all that abnormal by real word standards. And even before Guantanamo this happened in war times so ther was precedent even before. Remember that Sirius was locked up in the aftermath of a war so are we really surprised that this happened?

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            I love this whole comment so much. I also wanted to say that Azkaban doesn’t just trap and isolate you, it makes a prison of your mind. Sirius was utterly incapable of conjuring a single positive thought for twelve years of his life, so although he still knew who he was, the suffering he went through was almost inconceivable. Like Kat mentioned on the episode, people do a lot of growing in their 20s, and Sirius missed out on all of that because he was being emotionally tortured. To judge him by the same standard used to judge people like Snape or Lupin or literally anyone else from that era wouldn’t be logical, as they had the capability of emotional growth where Sirius didn’t.

            Also, I don’t get how Dumbledore thought locking a dog up in a house and not taking him for walks was a GOOD idea.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            “To judge him by the same standard used to judge people like Snape or Lupin or literally anyone else from that era wouldn’t be logical, as they had the capability of emotional growth where Sirius didn’t.

            Also, I don’t get how Dumbledore thought locking a dog up in a house and not taking him for walks was a GOOD idea.”

            ALL OF THIS!! ^^^

            And really, the fact that Sirius was still capable of such love and loyalty after 12 years in Azkaban is just more evidence for how special he was. And now I like him even more…lol

    • BloodCharm

      It was technically Sirius’s own fault since he suggested it as Headquarters- Yes, he didn’t think he’d have to be hardly at all since he likes being on the front lines, but he fricking ran away from home! Why under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE would want to come back at all? I think locking him up 24/7 went way too far though. Giving him a polyjuice potion disguise would be the perfect solution, but nope, Dumbledore decides to keep him jailed again after nearly 13 years of imprisonment in the worst place in the world.

  • daveybjones999 .

    Time for another comment. I’m actually currently reading Order again, and just finished the chapter Career Advice, and was struck by the amount of growth that Sirius displayed in the chapter. When Harry confronts them about their actions in Snape’s memory he seems to regret the actions that he took. In this scene it seems like he is able to recognize that what he and James did was wrong. He even seems to feel a little bit guilty about how they treated Snape. It feels like when Sirius isn’t in the presence of Snape, he’s able to put aside his hatred of him, and act more reasonably.

    • Paigers

      Oooh, you know what I find interesting about this scene? Lupin’s reaction:

      (from the American OotP)
      “‘I’m not proud of it,” said Sirius quickly.
      Lupin looked sideways at Sirius and then said, ‘Look, Harry…'”

      I’ve thought a lot about the point of mentioning that sidewise look, and I have come to think that he is genuinely surprised to hear Sirius show any remorse. Even in Prisoner, Sirius shows absolutely no regret for the Whomping Willow incident. And yet here, when his godson calls him out directly to his face and asks for an explanation, he relents and acknowledges that his behavior toward Snape was bad. . There’s something borderline parental in this, like he doesn’t feel shame until his kid puts him on the spot and makes him face up to it. I agree with you — there is some growth here, which I don’t think Lupin expects.

      • ASiriusPotterhead

        I think the side look might also be young Remus’ insecurities flaring up again. Remember that Remus desperately wanted to belong with his friends and he says as much that this is the reason he never really stopped James and Sirius when they were at Hogwarts. It was probably an indication of him “feeling” Sirius’ vibe before he criticized their younger selves.

        • Paigers

          Oh, I really like this interpretation too! Like maybe he’s checking to make sure Sirius is in the right state of mind to hear James criticized. Awesome, thank you.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I mean to be fair Snape is basically the reason the Potters are dead… I can’t blame Sirius for hating Snape so much as an adult, for this reason. As far as I can tell Sirius regrets his actions as a teenager, and isn’t proud of it, which shows personal growth. Snape on the other hand doesn’t seem to have grown at all and is consistently antagonising Sirius. I find this passage from their conversation interesting:

      ““Yeah,” said Harry, “but he just attacked Snape for no good reason, just because — well, just because yousaid you were bored,” he finished with a slightly apologetic note in his voice.”

      I guess the question is why is Harry apologetic? To me it’s because he can see that Sirius is no longer the arrogant teenage boy from the memory, and feels bad putting that on him. I feel this proves Sirius has made considerable personal growth.

      • daveybjones999 .

        I think it’s one of those things where, when you’re not in the presence of someone, you can look at your actions more objectively, for want of a better term, with regards to how you treat them, but the moment they come back into contact he finds himself unable to let go of his hatred for Snape. So while I agree that Sirius has had some personal growth, it’s also important to remember that none of the Order knows that Snape is the reason why the Potters are dead. It’s not until Harry tells them at the end of Half-Blood Prince, that anyone other than the Dumbledore’s and Death Eaters are privy to this information.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          You’re right, I’d forgotten that Sirius wouldn’t have known Snape was the one that overheard the prophecy. That changes things a bit haha.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          I agree that it’s more to do with Snape’s presence bringing up visceral hatred in Sirius. It reminds me of that How I Met Your Mother episode that talks about ‘revertigo’ – when you’re around someone from your past, you turn into the version of you that you were at that time. When Snape’s around, Sirius turns back into a teenager. And with Sirius’ stunted emotional growth, it comes out a bit more.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Great reference!! And YES!!! I completely agree!

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Not many people know that Snape was the one who overheard part of the prophecy and passed that intel on to Voldemort. If Dumbledore hadn’t kept that to himself, Snape never would have been able to teach at Hogwarts. The other teachers would have asked for his head on a platter. My interpretation of why Harry says that line apologetically is because he idolizes Sirius and that’s why he doesn’t want to make him feel bad. But perhaps you’re right that Harry has also recognized the personal growth Sirius has made in this moment. What’s funny is that he doesn’t recognize the growth his own father must have also made in the years after that memory.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I guess I feel like Harry wouldn’t idolize Sirius in the first place if he was the same person that Harry saw in Snapes memory. Harry specifically is upset by the memory of James because he has nothing else to go off, whereas he sees Sirius is a complete twat in the memory, but knows he’s changed and is a good person now. That’s how I interpret it 🙂

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Yes, I agree with that 🙂

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        I think the apologetic tone was because Harry felt like he was criticising Sirius but didn’t want to offend him. Harry definitely thinks Sirius was acting like a prat, but didn’t want Sirius to get angry or defensive. I use that tone when I have to tell people that they’re doing something wrong, because I hate conflict and I don’t want an argument.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          haha ohhhh gosh I do that too… maybe you’re right, but I still like to think that Harry meant he saw personal growth in Sirius 😉

  • Paigers

    This discussion reminded me of JKR quote about those Sirius and Snape which that I don’t hear tossed around very often. It’s from her interview for Melissa Anelli’s book (quoting from my Kindle edition):

    “He’s got so many faults, Sirius, and I tried to say that, He and Snape are much, much, much, much closer than some fans are prepared to credit. He — you know — they both exist in a shades-of-grey area and Harry absolutely adored and worshipped one and absolutely detested the other.”

    Like the hosts, I do personally prefer Sirius to Snape, but it fascinates me that she sees to sort of regard him as on par with Snape as far as morality goes. I see the more apparent parallels: they both can’t let go of the past, they’re both a bit cruel, they’re both extremely bitter about where their choices have landed them in life, they both confuse Harry with James.

    But the discussion about Sirius’s possibly codependent relationship with James also reminded me of Snape’s with Lily. I don’t mean to say that there are romantic overtones to it (though that is of course up to interpretation). I just think that James and Lily were the two people who brought Sirius and Snape respectively out of the darkness of their terrible childhoods, whose goodness (or honor, maybe, in James’s case) that they fed off of. And when they die, Sirius & Snape’s worlds are both destroyed. We can debate for eternity about the healthiness of it, but I think that those two saw their salvation in James and Lily. And when they died, they both transferred that salvation onto a determination to protect Harry, for better or for worse.

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      I’m so in love with this comment. It wasn’t until this podcast episode that I truly saw how grey Sirius was. Not that I saw him as a saint, though, for he makes plenty of questionable choices throughout the books to be sure. But it gives me a clearer picture of who he was, and how he can be compared to Snape in terms of transferring certain emotions onto Harry for who he looks like, whether they are good or bad. I guess I see Snape’s faults more unforgivable than Sirius’ since Snape’s actions/choices affected other students and characters undeserving of such hate (not that what Sirus’ treatment of Kreacher was fair either) for years and years. Such a great comparison and analysis overall.

    • MarsIsBrightTonight

      What a fantastic analysis! I never thought about it this way, but it completely makes sense! Leads me to think what would have happened in J.K. had killed off Ron as she initially intended to, and whether Harry would have shown any of the same signs of inability to deal with the loss.

      • Paigers

        Ok, I read this comment this morning, and have thought about it one and off all day, because wow, that would have been dark.

        I’ve never thought about the logistics of how a Ron-death would have gone, but I guess Harry couldn’t have gone quite as far off the deep end as Sirius did when James died because he would have still had to get himself together enough to kill Voldemort. It would have helped that he also had Hermione, Ginny, and the rest of the Weasleys — a larger support system that Sirius would probably have had.

        It would have been so hard to read, though. And it would have changed Harry so fundamentally as a character. I just really can’t imagine how JKR would have pulled it off and still come out hopeful. Then again, maybe she couldn’t either, since she didn’t do it.

        • MarsIsBrightTonight

          Agreed! Harry’s support system would have helped him cope. For some reason, I don’t feel like dementors would have had the strongest resources to deal with grief.

          At the same time, Ron’s death could have acted as a separating factor. In a way that a child’s death can sometimes divide parents. Hermione would have likely remained close with Harry, but for the Weasleys, Ron’s death would have 100% been a result of his friendship with Harry, so would they be able to be there for him to help him process it? Anyway, this is a rabbit hole.

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            Ya I remember reading some interview that while JKR considered killing off Ron, that was during a very dark period for her (mentally). And she also said that it couldn’t happen because he’s the glue and heart of the trio and it would break both Hermione and Harry too much for it to work. I’m sure it would’ve been poetic but I think she wanted a “happier” ending for Harry where he could actually recover from the war.

          • Paigers

            Hey now, let’s not be quick to judge all the dementors’ empathy levels by the ones we meet.
            #NotAllDementors (but lol, excellent point).

            I was going to reply that Harry would have still been super tight with Ginny, but now that I think about it, he would have totally pushed her away, wouldn’t he have? He would just feel so much guilt toward this family who had given him so much, and whose son whose death he would have seen as a result of their friendship. I’m sure there is some of this feeling, even with Fred, but Ron, oh man…

            Yeah, you’re right. Bad rabbit hole. Intriguing, but BAD BAD.

    • Lisa

      Interesting. While there are definitely paralells between Snape and Sirius I wouldn’t put them on the same level in regards to morality or lack thereof. Sirius was a bully, yes, but Snape joined a genocidal cult and even in school hung out with people who tormented other students. While we never see him kill or torture anyone, I think it’s safe to assume he did so because it’s impossible to be a Death Eater and never be put in that situation.

      I never really thought of Sirius as grey. Grey for me were Dumbledore and Snape. Sirius never flirted with darkness in the same way.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I definitely see your points but Sirius wasn’t wholly light. He fully intended to murder Peter on several occasions. We tend to give him a pass because it feels like righteous anger deserving of such a fate. But even Harry, whose parents are dead because of Peter, knows that murder is wrong.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          Maybe I am terrible for saying this, so I apologize if this offends anyone. But IF Sirius has murdered Pettigrew I don’t think I’d have a problem with it, at least morally. I would feel the murder was somewhat justified.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I was just listening to the audio book and what I’d completely forgotten is that Sirius and Lupin were going to kill Peter together before Harry stops them. I’m not saying either are right but everyone is giving Sirius a hard time about wanting to commit murder when lupin had the same intention too.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Thank you for reminding us. I couldn’t remember if that was a movieism or not. Though I still have to agree with Harry here:

            “Get off me,” Harry spat, throwing Pettigrew’s hands off him in disgust. “I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing it because — I don’t reckon my dad would’ve wanted them to become killers — just for you.”

            I know a lot of people idolize Lupin but he made his share of mistakes too.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            Agreed, Harry made the right decision 🙂 I’m just saying morally I feel like I can’t fully blame Sirius (or lupin really) for wanting to kill Petigrew after what he’d done, and for me this isn’t a mark against his character. I guess I’m just surprised people are using this against Sirius, when I feel he’s at least somewhat justified/ has a reasonable motive. It’s not like he recklessly tried to kill someone for doing nothing, Pettigrew murdered his best friend, left his godson orphaned, and framed him for murder which resulted in 13 years of Azkaban.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I definitely empathize with his hatred towards Peter and I agree that he had every right to want Peter dead. That’s the “righteous anger” I mentioned previously. But there’s a difference between wanting someone dead and actually killing them (unless it’s self defense and you have no choice). In Potter, murder splits your soul. From what we know of horcruxes, I believe remorse can mend a broken soul, but Sirius would not have felt remorse from that murder. So it would have done permanent damage to him. Plus, with Peter alive to give testimony, Sirius could have been a free man. It would have been better for the Ministry to arrest him, even if in the end they gave him the death penalty (ie. the Dementor’s Kiss).

            I guess my point is, I don’t hold the desire for Peter’s death against Sirius. What I hold against him in that instance is a reckless disregard for his soul and a selfish wish for revenge that could have put him straight back into Azkaban. He certainly was not acting like a godfather in those scenes. He was acting like the madman they were making him out to be.

            (Also, to be clear, I don’t hold this against him forever. I think it’s forgivable. I just don’t like it…lol)

        • MartinMiggs

          The hero can’t kill someone because it’s morally wrong trope is so corny and overused. Not killing Peter means he is able to help Voldemort gain his body and kill many more people.

      • MartinMiggs

        why would Snape care about his soul being split by killing Dumbledore if he had already killed before?

        • Lisa

          Good point! I guess I see his statement there more like sarcastically pointing out that Dumbledore doesn’t care about Snape’s soul, only about Draco’s. But even if it’s true that Snape never killed anyone himself he still endorsed a regime which committed heinous crimes. That’s just not something I see Sirius ever doing.

      • Paigers

        Oh man, it’s so hard for me to properly criticize Sirius because he just loves Harry so unconditionally, and I just love him so much for that. The James confusion thing complicates that a bit, yeah, but ultimately he’s devoted to Harry and Harry alone, and that really matters to me. So take this with a grain of salt.

        I don’t really disagree with JKR’s (or the hosts’) analysis of him as “grey.” Certainly he was very young when the Whomping Willow thing happened, but that’s still just two years younger than Snape is when he decides to join Voldemort. That would have been murder. And I think Katy makes a good point about him being willing to murder Pettigrew, however sympathetic his motives may be.

        I think that where I agree with you (and where my Sirius:James::Snape:Lily allusion fails) is that he does stick by that more noble path. I would have to imagine that he faced a certain amount of pressure from his parents and his brother and his cousins at the very least, but he never wavered from James’s beliefs, and he chose the objectively morally superior path of the Order.

        • Lisa

          About the James confusion: it’s just in the movies that Sirius calls Harry James, for the record. In the books, Molly accuses of him of thinking Harry is James and Sirius replies with “I know who Harry is, thank you”. He definitely compares Harry to James many times (and sometimes he’s disappointed Harry isn’t more like his father and embraces danger and adventure) but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s confusing the two.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            Maybe ‘confusing’ isn’t the right term for the reasons you stated. Perhaps it’s more that Snape expects the worst of Harry because of James and Sirius expects his version of the best of Harry because of James. And both are disappointed that he doesn’t live up to their expectations.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            Poor Harry haha, either way he looses 🙁

          • Paigers

            Yeah, I’ll cosign Katy’s response. “Confusion” is probably too strong a word, but I think he unconsciously expects Harry to behave live James sometimes, and is disappointed when he doesn’t. “You’re not as much like your father as I thought,” or whatever the line is. That’s beyond inappropriate and unfair to say to Harry, and I think he would regret it if he thought about it for any length of time. Also worth noting that he doesn’t behave like this at all in Goblet. Being locked up doesn’t help his state of mind one bit.

            (I actually really, really hate that movie scene. I know a lot of people think it’s really sweet and poignant, and I get that, but to me it always seems like they were trying to shoehorn in a really important, nuanced plot point into a sloppy five seconds).

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I think you just articulated the way I feel about Sirius perfectly, and I didn’t even realize I felt that way. The absolute loyalty and unconditional love Sirius shows to Harry is what makes his character so amazing to me, and really puts him on a pedestal.

  • Huffleclaw

    I wanted to start off with a wonderful Potter moment I had the day I listened to the episode (yesterday). I currently work as a substitute teacher and one of the students I have a strong relationship with was reading Half-Blood Prince! I asked him about it and found out he was reading through the series for the first time. I’m jealous he gets to experience Potter for the first time!

    On to my comments.
    I appreciate Kat’s stance on the Shrieking Shack incident, but I disagree that it is unforgivable. Yes, it is a big mistake with terrible consequences, but as a teenager we must consider that he was immature and should not hold that against who he is as an adult.
    I feel that Sirius is who James would have been without Lily and James in his life. Both were bullies. Both made Snape’s life miserable, just because he was a Slytherin who dared to sit in their compartment on their first train ride to Hogwarts.
    What separates Sirius and James is James got to know what it mean to have a family, to have someone dependent on you. Sadly, Sirius never got to have the opportunity to know that. He lost it due to the war. We saw hints of what Sirius could be as a member of a family, even as a father. He deserves some credit for that.

    • Gryffindork

      On the subject of Sirius’ prank, I respectfully disagree. I felt the same as you did until I listened to the recent Bonus Mugglecast episode where they discuss this in detail and Sirius, even as an adult (albeit a stunted one), shows ZERO remorse. I don’t have the book in front of me at the moment, but I believe that once Lupin describes the prank, Sirius replies with something to the effect of “Serves him right for always sneaking around and trying to find out what we were up to.” I love Sirius, but this reaction and lack of guilt is a serious character flaw.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I loved MuggleCast’s take on the subject but I disagree that he showed zero remorse. We discuss this in the recap that will be coming out this weekend but daveybjones999 left a comment several days ago that I would encourage you to read and here is some text from Order of the Phoenix that helps his case IMO:

        “Yeah,” said Harry, “but he just attacked Snape for no good reason, just because — well, just because you said you were bored,” he finished with a slightly apologetic note in his voice.
        “I’m not proud of it,” said Sirius quickly.
        Lupin looked sideways at Sirius and then said, “Look, Harry, what you’ve got to understand is that your father and Sirius were the best in school at whatever they did — everyone thought they were the height of cool — if they sometimes got a bit carried away –”
        “If we were sometimes arrogant little berks, you mean,” said Sirius.
        [snip]
        “Of course he was a bit of an idiot!” said Sirius bracingly. “We were all idiots! — not Moony so much,” he said fairly, looking at Lupin, but Lupin shook his head.
        “Did I ever tell you to lay off Snape?” he said. “Did I ever have the guts to tell you I thought you were out of order?”
        “Yeah, well,” said Sirius, “you made us feel ashamed of ourselves sometimes … That was something …”

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      I think another big difference between Sirius and James is that James grew up as a beloved only son of doting parents, while Sirius grew up being taught (and rebelling against) the idea that he’s better than everyone else because he has pure blood. James probably had a great relationship with his parents; Sirius’ family disowned him for standing up for what he believed. Sirius’ home life probably impacted him way more than people think about – I think that’s where he gets his black-and-white view of the world (even if he tells Harry that the world isn’t split into good people and death eaters). Anyone who is good is always good, and anyone who is bad is evil and deserves what’s coming to them.

  • I so wish the Marauders generation had been cast age appropriately for the films. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t know that anyone could have played Snape better than Alan Rickman, and I love Gary Oldman and think he would have made a perfect middle aged Sirius – but I think some gravity was lost in aging up Harry’s parents and their friends. Not that being murdered by a powerful dark wizard is any less horrifying if it happens when you’re 21 versus 31…but in some ways, it kind of is? There’s a lot of discussion in this episode about adolescent brain development and how your age impacts your ability to make sound decisions, as well as how your twenties are often the time people really grow and mature into their adult selves. Portraying these characters as older in the films really changes the context of their situations, I think. It gives a false sense of maturity. I’m having a hard time articulating why this change bothers me so much. Maybe just because it seems like an unnecessary misrepresentation of the canon text that alters the way we perceive fairly major characters like Snape and Sirius. And think about it…Pettigrew wouldn’t even be 40 in Deathly Hallows. I’m sure spending over a decade as a rat will take its toll on a person’s appearance…but yeesh.

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      When the films came out, we had no sense of how old these characters were until 2007 when Deathly Hallows came out and we see Lily & James’ gravestone. It is then we get a sense of what years they were at Hogwarts as well as how old Sirius, Lupin, and Snape are currently. The filmmakers at the time didn’t know how old to make the Marauders because the information wasn’t readily available, even though they could’ve asked JKR. I don’t think it was a conscious decision to age up Harry’s parents and friends; it was just a lack of information about their ages.

      Seeing an older Lily and James in the films does weird me out a little bit, but as for Gary Oldman and David Thewlis (even Timothy Spall), I don’t have a problem with those casting choices. As far I can see, both men have lived tough lives in those past twelve years when you first encounter them in POA, Lupin being a werewolf and Sirius being in Azkaban (and Pettigrew living as a rat). Having those actors being older than the characters they portray plays up the haggard aspect of those men who are supposed to be in their early 30s. In my opinion it gives them more of a worn down look as opposed to a false sense of maturity. That’s just my opinion though.

      • This is an incredibly valid point, and I agree that it wasn’t a conscious decision to age these characters.

        That said, as a Ravenclaw I could not resist researching whether or not we had a clue about the Marauder era characters’ ages before book seven, because I seem to remember having a general sense that they were young, and Deathly Hallows confirming that. Per this Comic Relief chat that I found via the HP Lexicon, JKR said in 2001 that Snape was “35 or 36”. This was right before OotP came out, which begins in 1995, so she was spot on there with him being born in 1960. https://www.hp-lexicon.org/source/interviews/cr/

        …not that I would have expected the filmmakers to do this digging, and ultimately, it really doesn’t matter that much. The superfan in me is just bothered because thanks to the films, I have a hard time picturing James, Lily, Snape, etc as their true ages when I read.

        • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

          Excellent research skills! I wasn’t aware of that JKR chat, so thank you for that piece of information. I always thought that their ages weren’t confirmed for sure until DH was released.

          And to be honest, it does bother me a little bit that the images of the Marauders, Lily, and Snape in my mind are skewed because of the films, even though I don’t regret the casting choices made, because who doesn’t love Alan Rickman as Snape?? I wish I could somehow separate the books and films, but once you’ve seen the movies, that’s how those characters appear in your imagination and they stick there, whether that’s how you pictured them or not. So I understand how that’s irksome.

          • travellinginabluebox

            And Rowling was definitely allowed to have her say in the casting. So if she really cared that much about the age difference, she could have probably stopped it.

          • “No, no, I definitely don’t want Alan Rickman for the role. Too old.” 😛

            I take your point, though.

        • Lisa

          I guess the age thing doesn’t bother me that much because it fits that these characters should look much older than Harry and his friends. It would just look weird for teenage-Harry’s parents to be played by actors who were 21. I get that they died when they were very young but in a movie it would just look weird for them to be only slightly than their son. It would just seem like they were his older siblings instead of his parents. Same with Sirius and Lupin (and Snape). The age difference should be clear IMO.

          Besides, I’m not really sure why their age is so relevant? Book-to-movie adaptations always mean plenty of changes as you can never find actors which fit the characters 100%. It’s unrealistic to expect perfection from every single actor. The important thing is that they capture the essence of the character they’re playing (which IMO Gary Oldman and a few others don’t really succeed in and not because their looks don’t fit).

    • Lisa

      Sirius should have been played by the guy who plays Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones. But alas, instead of choosing actors which actually look like the characters, the casting team decided to go for having as many famous names as possible in the movies, regardless of whether they suit the characters or not.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Sadly enough, I kind of agree. I mean it is definitely cool, that the who is who of British actors have been part of this franchise. But that should not have limited other and maybe better suited actors to get the part.
        I am kind of alright with Lupin, although the mustache doesn’t suit him. But I never liked Harry’s parents.

    • Paigers

      This bothers me too, though i think I would be 90% more forgiving if they hadn’t decided to give both Sirius and Lupin mustaches. Heck, I could maybe overlook that, but then they went and put Sirius a smoking jacket. Nah.

      • Immediately after the Prisoner of Azkaban film came out, I made a “good, bad, ugly” list of my initial reactions to the movie, and the very first bullet on my “ugly” list just said “Lupin’s moustache. Ergh…”

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          LOL!!!

    • I realized when reading OotP last night that Mary GrandPré’s depiction of Lupin also makes him ancient. He looks at least 60 in her illustrations. Again, I’m sure being a werewolf will age a person, so that’s fine. Her Sirius, Snape, et al. don’t appear quite as old. Just an observation.

  • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

    What a fab episode and brilliant contributing comments! Alohomora is simply fantastic!
    This may not be the right place to ask this question but why oh why was Pettigrew sorted into Gryffindor?? He is so clearly a self-preserving Slytherin..

    • ASiriusPotterhead

      While Pettigrew is certainly self-preserving I don’t think he has ambition in the way that Slytherins do. He wants glory which is different. Gryffindors want to show off and be on top as much as Slytherins but they seek different forms of “greatness”. In school Pettigrew surrounded themselves with the powerful, which was. Marauders. In adulthood, in his view he got glory and safety from association with Voldemort. He always served the most powerful.
      People talk about the parallels with Neville and Pettigrew. If Peter had friends like Harry Ron and Hermione who protected people from bullies rather than the Marauders were the ones going around bullying the weak/unpopular, I wonder if he would’ve made different decisions in adulthood. For Pettigrew he never stopped being a coward whereas in Deathly Hallows we see Neville stepping up to hero status, and he explicitly says he was following in Harry’s footsteps from OotP.

      • ASiriusPotterhead

        Plus, JKR has explicitly said that the sorting hat did not make a mistake. So you can argue with her but you’ll still be wrong because she’s the queen and the creator lol.

        • Rosmerta’s Turquoise Shoes

          I know but ratty has so few of the Gryffindor traits that we associate with the lion house. Perhaps my question ought to be why to the Marauders tolerate him? There’s really is an interesting dynamic and story never to be told!

          • ASiriusPotterhead

            I think as far as why the Marauders tolerate him.. Don’t forget that Sirius and James were “arrogant toe rags” as kids and they basked in wormtail’s attention. They probably thought they were better than him and they probably pitied him while also boosting their ego for this reason. Lupin just felt bad for the guy and they probably never saw his true malicious side. If anything they probably taught him the wrong lessons growing up and fed into his selfish character traits. Also one thing that just popped into my head was that he was 21 when he betrayed Lily and James and that’s awfully young. I know a ton of friends that have made poor life decisions and selfish choices that screwed over others.. While this didn’t lead to ppl’s cold blood murders who is to say that Voldemort tricked him the same way as Snape and he perhaps thought only Harry would die in the end. (Which is still awful and I must also note that I hate Wormtail with a passion lol.)
            I also think there’s this misconception that all Gryffindors are so Good and wonderful because of Harry’s pov but I think that’s misleading. There’s selfish characters in each of the houses (admittedly many more in slytherin) and Gryffindor traits are not wholly great (and I say this as a proud Gryffindor). Look at characters like Percy or even lavender and Parvati. These characters end up making the right decisions in the end but theyre still so selfish and superficial and not necessarily brave either.
            Thanks for the welcome! I’m really enjoying this podcast so far! I think it might be my fave too out of the three I’ve been listening to. Hehe.

          • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

            I’m not sure which app you use to listen to your podcasts but Reading, Writing, Rowling should now be available on most platforms 🙂

            And awwwwww!! We truly appreciate the kind words 😀

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I actually 100% agree with you and don’t understand why he ended up in Gryffindor.
      I’ve basically come to the conclusion that the houses don’t really make sense.

      I found this comment on reddit and think there’s something to this theory:

      “I’ve kind of had a theory that the hat also puts you into a house whose traits you wish to grow in yourself. Take Neville for example, he has always been fiercely loyal, but he was put into Gryffindor so he could learn how to be brave. At least that’s how I like to think about it. I’m a ravenclaw, not because I am particularly smart, but because I strive to be smarter and to learn more.”

      I like the idea that the hat puts you in the house with the traits you value most. It kind of also fits with this quote from Hermione:

      “Books and cleverness. There are more important things: friendship and bravery.”

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        I also want to point out that Neville wanted to be in Hufflepuff because he was intimidated by Gryffindor’s reputation, but the Hat insisted. AND, Neville is much, much braver than he gets credit for – he faces his very worst fear every single potions class for five years straight, way before he becomes ‘brave’ in the combative sense. Basically, Neville is the bravest of them all.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I kind of feel like Neville is a rare case of someone who grew into his Gryffindor traits, and his Gryffindor continued to develop over the whole series, whereas majority of people don’t seem to fit this.
          You could argue that someone like Cedric should have been in Gryffindor because entering the Triwizard Tournament was brave, and to compete you had to be exceedingly brave… the cup would not have chosen a cowardly champion.

          Idk I’m so torn on sorting because so many people just don’t seem to fit. I like the theory that the house places you into the house who’s traits you admire most. And I feel most people who admire a certain trait strive to be that way in themselves, so it naturally develops. Not sure if that makes sense haha, I just like the idea of it 🙂

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            Nah I totally get what you mean 🙂 Still, just because you *have* a certain trait – even to a large degree – doesn’t mean you should be in the corresponding house. Cedric was incredibly brave, yes, but I think he values the Hufflepuff traits more than he values bravery. He’s always so determined to do the right thing and make sure everyone has an even playing field (even in POA, he asks for a rematch when he realises the Dementors made Harry pass out). Hermione is another example – she could so easily be in Ravenclaw since she is very intelligent and does value knowledge. She just places a higher value on bravery, so she’s a Gryffindor.

  • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    Welcome!! (And great username btw.) Have you listened to MuggleCast’s recent Sirius discussion on Patreon? I thought it was fantastic 🙂 After recording this episode, listening to their take on “the prank” and reading comments here, I’d say my opinion of Sirius is rising 🙂

    • ASiriusPotterhead

      Thank you! Unfortunately I am not a patreon yet as I only recently started listening to podcasts! (I am currently bingeing multiple hp podcasts lol.) Plus, I am a very broke student so I’m hoping I can start contributing to patreon later down the road and will be hungrily be looking for more content on Sirius, so thanks for the suggestion!

    • Ashlee Pradella

      Damn I would love to hear that but I’m not a patreon 🙁

  • DoraNympha

    Can I just point out that Sirius’s birthday is November 3, just a few days after Halloween when Lily andJames were killed? Happy birthday, I guess……? D:

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      Once I realized that he spent his birthday in Azkaban after losing his friends and finding out another one was a traitor…I just lost it :'(

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      :'( :'( :'(

    • DisKid

      Now I am even sadder about the whole thing than I was before :'(

    • Ashlee Pradella

      This is just tragic… Poor Sirius 🙁

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      Oh my god that’s awful! As if I needed to feel MORE sad about Marauders …

  • DoraNympha

    Okay, I have a few questions about how much people around Harry really know about Sirius’ innocence.

    Only, once the whole thing goes down in PoA, Lupin is outed, we get a sense people somehow get a gossip-chain open-secret version of stuff that tends to go down with Harry Potter… and then you get this:

    “Percy Weasley, meanwhile, had much to say on thesubject of Sirius’s escape.
    “If I manage to get into the Ministry, I’ll have a lot of proposals to make about Magical Law Enforcement!” he told the only person who would listen — his girlfriend, Penelope.”

    Okay but Percy then goes on to work for Crouch and he rejects the Order even though he MUST KNOW about all the things the group holds true… was he talking about the lack of a fair trial here at the end of PoA that was shocking to him or was he talking about the lax security of the wizarding world that continues to be unable to catch notorious mass murdered Sirius Black? I mean, does Percy (even though he is ROn’s brother) know about Sirius’s innocence or not? What is he talking about so loudly at the breakfast table, then? Do some peope just kinda know Sirius might be innocent or are peripheral people like him not told at all about it? If Percy knows through Ron that Sirius was innocent but Crouch denied him a fair trial, what do peope like Penelope know or think about this whole thing? Aren’t they spreading the word that Black might be innocent? This is all so plot holey and confusing, I’m sorry.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I feel like the point with Percy (and the whole wizarding world to be fair), is that it all depends on if you trust Harry’s word… because there was no actual proof that Pettigrew was even still alive. Fudge tried very hard to discredit Harry’s story, and since Percy’s loyalties lied with the ministry he was almost forced to accept Fudges version of the facts. This quote sums it up pretty well:

      “’But Percy must know Voldemort’s back,’ said Harry slowly. ‘He’s not stupid, he must know your mum and dad wouldn’t risk everything without proof.’
      ‘Yeah, well, your name got dragged into the row,’ said Ron, shooting Harry a furtive look. ‘Percy said the only evidence was your word and: I dunno: he didn’t think it was good enough.’
      ‘Percy takes the Daily Prophet seriously,’ said Hermione tartly, and the others all nodded.”

      In terms of who actually knew Sirius was innocent, I feel everyone in the order knew. The extended Weasley family doesn’t find out until end of GoF (so the quote you mention is before they find out I think). I’m not sure people in the general public knew, although I am sure once Harry started working for the Ministry he would have set the record straight.

      • DoraNympha

        Yeah, Percy’s kind of the voice of the average wizard of the street, who’s ignorant about a lot of inside info the Order knows, which he nopes out of before it even reorganizes….

        But then…. Percy at the end of PoA wasn’t like “Oh well, this is preposterous, if I get into the Ministry, I’ll have a few changes to make, how could they NOT have given this poor man a fair trial???” but he was probably like “How can they have let this murderer slip away again? I’ll make sure he’s caught and rots in prison.”

        Sirius’s presence comes as a surprise to even McGonagall in GoF. Did Ron just kinda forget to fill Percy in on the story between the shack events and the end of the school year? And then he starts working for the guy that didn’t give Sirius a trial…. Umm…. guys….. GUYS

        • Ashlee Pradella

          As far as we know, the Weasleys only find out about Sirius at the end of GoF. When Harry arrives at the burrow at the start of GoF Ron is about to ask him if he’s heard from Sirius, but Ginny interrupts them, so I don’t believe Ron ever told Percy about what happened in the shrieking shack. I believe the only people who knew about Sirius’ innocence were the trio, Lupin, Snape and Dumbledore.
          In regards to McGonagall being surprised about Sirius in GoF, it’s further proof that Dumbledore keeps information very close and doesn’t even tell his most trusted friends all the information which is quite upsetting and disssapointing, but not surprising.
          The comment about Law Enforcement that Percy makes in PoA is just Percy commenting on how Black escaped yet again, and how he thinks the Ministry is to blame.

          • DoraNympha

            I think you may be right – excuse me while I fly into the Sun and burst into a billion atoms out of sheer frustration. (Bonus points for the Ron=Dumbledore theory here, too, with all the secretiveness.)

  • Some of the hosts put a lot of blame on Dumbledore for making bad decisions. I’d like to recommend a book for them to read. It’s called HARRY POTTER AND THR DEATHLY HALLOWS. In this book we learn all about how HUMAN Dumbledore is. Humans make mistakes. It sounds like the hosts expect perfection from Dumbledore but no human is perfect. The 7th book is all about how a character previously perceived as flawless is actually full of flaws and that’s ok because he is human like the rest of us.

    Malloy gets an excuse because he changes a bit. Why can’t we just accept that Dumbledore makes mistakes? We need to learn to accept that he is human and nothing more.

    • Lily Davis

      I want to point out something really important about Albus’ past. Dumbledore’s mother keeps Ariana locked up ‘to keep her safe’ from a world that would fear her and maybe hurt her. In a similar way, isn’t that what Dumbledore does to Sirius? I wonder where he learned to think like that? Also, relying on magic to mask Sirius’ appearance just seems like allowing a handicapped soldier to fight in a war. What if he runs out of potion? Can he even perform a disillusionment charm (its very complicated magic) and if so, that restricts him and wastes magical energy doesn’t it? It isn’t fair on Sirius, the order members or those who rely on the order. It puts them all in danger.

      • No, it isn’t fair for Sirius. But what was the central theme of this episode? “Sirius is reckless!” Sirius would have been more of a danger to have out and about on missions. This just tells us that Sirius is a dangerous person all around.

        I don’t think Sirius being locked up was a good thing either. But things could have been much easier on him if the Ministry wasn’t so “anti-Dumbledore.” The school fired could have been free for Sirius to use to visit Harry. Hell, Harry might have even been able to keep Sirius as a pet at school. But with Umbridge around that wasn’t a possibility and Sirius died before it could have become one.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          I think I disagree that Sirius would have been dangerous to have on a mission, although I suppose it depends on what the mission is. Yes, he is reckless, but actually doing something would work off some of that restless energy and help him follow orders when out in the field. Being stuck inside the house of his horrible parents made him feel useless and trapped; not being able to help the Order, or Harry, or to do anything productive made his recklessness worse. Remember he was much more clear-headed in GOF when he was hiding in a cave outside of Hogsmeade.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I feel like people can’t accept Dumbledore’s mistakes as much as other characters, because he makes some really really big mistakes that affect so many people.

      • MartinMiggs

        Dumbledore was put in a difficult situation many times like forcing Sirius to hide and have him become reckless or give him work to do for the Order and possibly get arrested again

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I can definitely agree that Dumbledore had to make some very hard choices and decisions and majority of characters weren’t put into that situation so it’s hard to compare, but he also made some very big mistakes. I think some are forgivable and some aren’t.
          In the case of Sirius, I think I completely agree with what Eric said, especially in book 5 that Dumbledore is Sirius’s greatest enemy and he completely removes his choice.

          • I can understand that point of view but I cannot agree with it.

            Harry is the one who makes a huge mistake and gets Sirius killed. Dumbledore takes blame as he does have fault in the situation, but Harry is the one who drives Sirius out of his home and to his death.

            This, I suppose, is just a matter of opinion at this point, but letting Sirius help out was too risky. He is reckless, as we all agree. The man is filled with a rage or something fierce like that. He has a lust to harm or destroy dark wizards. We saw him be this way in his school years and it’s an addiction he never lost.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I completely agree with you that Harry had a part in Sirius’ death, and Dumbledore is not entirely to blame. I guess it’s just more that Dumbledore made choices for Sirius that resulted in his death… so I don’t think Dumbledore is blameless here.

          • SlytherinKnight

            Harry does have some blame in Sirius’ death but I think Dumbledore has more fault in it than Harry. Harry was tricked by Voldemort in the vision because Harry didn’t know that Voldemort could send fake visions through the link. All Dumbledore had to do was sit Harry down and tell him that he could not believe what he saw in those visions. But no, Dumbledore ran off to do who knows what (probably search for the Horcruxes/memories) instead, and have Harry ‘learn’ Occulmency from his most hated teacher in Snape. Did he really think that Harry would learn anything from Snape, considering how much the pair hated one another?

            Also, Harry did all he could to try and make sure that Sirius was still at Grimmauld Place after the vision, except for using the mirror, though that fault could be laid at Sirius’ feet because he didn’t tell Harry directly about the mirror.

          • This is true, Harry did his best and I believe he did the right thing, no matter how much of a mistake it was. But it was still a mistake that directly lead to Sirius’s death.

            I don’t think there is much to blaming somebody for their mistakes. A person only does the best they can and they can never know the outcome of thier actions. After the matter, sure, we can see how things could have been better. But that’s simply speculation.

          • MartinMiggs

            This is just not true. Sirius had the choice not to listen to Dumbledore’s advice which is why he left the house to take Harry to Platform 9 3/4.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            You’re right but I guess Sirius going outside for a day to say goodbye to Harry is a little different to actually helping out with the order doing things to contribute to the war efforts. Combine that with Snape constantly telling him he’s doing nothing to help and it was always going to lead to trouble.

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            It’s probably counterproductive to blame people when bad things happen that are outside their control. Both Harry and Dumbledore made mistakes, and the consequences of those mistakes was Sirius’ death. Both Harry and Dumbledore both wanted to protect Sirius, and Sirius didn’t want to be protected. But overall, the person we should really be blaming for Sirius’ death is Bellatrix.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Dumbledore says it himself – ‘in being – forgive me – rather cleverer than other men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger’. Also, he has a lot more life experience than the Marauders, he’s smarter, and he’s supposed to be wiser. I think part of the reason people judge Dumbledore harshly is because all his actions are for the purpose of the Greater Cause, whereas Sirius’ first priority is Harry’s welfare. It’s easier to forgive a mistake when the person is emotionally motivated; Dumbledore’s motivation is all logic and cunning, and it’s harder to empathise with that than if his purpose was protecting Sirius or Harry’s mental health.

    • MartinMiggs

      Agreed 110% ppl expect Dumbledore to have a plan that will fix everything and have no negative outcomes

  • Jeeze, Eric talks about some of these characters as if they are supposed to be some sort of flawless gods! Harry is no longer 15 after seeing Cedric die?!? That’s it? He doesn’t get to be a teenager after that? Experienceing death makes you an adult? What does that even mean? Look at how much Sirius suffers after losing his best friend at 21. He never grows up, he never becomes an “adult.”

    Harry might have experienced some emotions that other kids did not at his age, but why should he lose his childhood? Look at Neville and the loss he suffers. He still interacts directly with his loss at least once a year. Should he lose his childhood as well?

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      I can’t speak for Eric, but personally I see it as a loss of innocence, not a loss of childhood/teenagerhood. Some young people are more resilient than others and can go on to have normal lives after a traumatic event in their younger years. But it’s definitely something that sticks with them for the rest of their lives in some form or another. The kids I more associate with those who “had to grow up too quickly” are ones who lost a parent (or had abusive parents) and had to work/steal/etc to help keep their family or themselves afloat.

      I think Sirius being kicked out of his parents house, living with the Potters for awhile and then buying his own house at the age of 17 indicate that he became an adult. But his adult growth was stunted after the Potters’ deaths. Those of us past the age of 30 would probably all agree that we were/are very different people at 30 than we were at 20. But Sirius didn’t get to experience his 20s like a normal person would.

      • I think we use the term “adult” as if it means a person who makes only good and correct decisions and never makes mistakes. People can spend decades in prison, be locked up at 15 and released at 25 (something which unfortunately happens in the states) but they can still become stable members of society. Their age indicates they are “adult” but who knows where they are mentally. Dumbledore and Snape are both characters we learn are still growing, even st their older “adult” ages. I really hate the word “adult.”

        That was off topic. Whoopsies…

        • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

          I certainly don’t believe that adults are incapable of making mistakes. I’ve made plenty of them in my adult years 😀 And so did many of the adult characters in Potter.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I feel like the point that Eric was arguing here is not whether or not Harry is still a child, but more why he deserves to know more than what the adults are telling him. Personally I agree with Eric and think Harry has the right to know, maybe not everything, but certainly more than what he gets told.

      • Yea but, tell Harry everything at a young age and then we are having an entirely different discussion. “Who does Dumbledore think he is to tell Harry such horrible things about his fate? Let the Boy have a childhood!”

        Dumbledore allows Harry to grow, to learn to love, to make friends and find inner strength. It is all these things that lead to Harry’s success. Training Harry for war would not have taught Harry the necessities he learned through not knowing everything. It’s what Harry himself comes to realize and why he names a child after Dumbledore.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I completely agree with the point you’re making. I don’t think Dumbledore should have told Harry “everything” about the fact that he had to die etc. (although I think if Harry had found out, he would have handled it a lot better than the hosts thought). All I’m saying is that I believe Dumbledore should have let Harry in on more information about the general goings on of the Order. Harry is not a child, and he’s been through more than most of the members of the order.
          Also back to the original point, I agree with Eric that it’s unforgivable that Dumbledore tells Harry that hes “going to tell him everything” and doesn’t.

          • But he IS a child! Sure, Harry could have used some information. It would have eased his mind. But Dumbledore just wanted to give the kid the chance to be a kid!!! Harry was born a marked man and was fortunate in the most unfortunate of ways to be able to continue to live after being attacked by Voldee. He was never supposed to have a childhood, but he was given one and he loved Dumbledore for it.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I would agree with you if Harry was the kind of person to just sit in Hogwarts and let the adults be adults and handle the situation (It’s what I would do!!) but at this point Harry has made it pretty clear that’s not the kind of person he is. If Dumbledore thinks for a second that Harry is just going to sit on the sidelines then he’s a fool. It’s all well and good to say Dumbledore had the best intentions of giving Harry a childhood, but for Harry to do nothing and want to know nothing is just not in his character. All Dumbledore did was force Harry to find the “truth” through other means which meant he had a jumbled and incomplete (and even wrong) idea of the facts, which was always going to create problems.

  • DisKid

    I can relate to Sirius in extreme loyalty (that’s why I’m a Hufflepuff!) and selfless love towards my closest friends…perhaps a little too much of it. Like Sirius, I’m also the type where if my best friend needs something, I’ll be there in 2 seconds even if it’s asking for a lot out of me. I’d be lying if I said it has never gotten me in trouble before. My best friend is not exactly like this. They’re great, they care deeply for me, and there’s more they’ll do for me than they’ll do for their other friends. But I do know there is more I’d do for them than they’d do for me. Once upon a time, before I had a chance to mature and learn about myself, this would have really bothered me.

    I’m very intelligent, but one area I’ve always had trouble is with people. More specifically, understanding and relating to them. Which is one of the reasons why I’ve studied so much in psychology and sociology. I had a desperate want to see if I could figure out why my closest friends were not as intensely loyal and selfless with me as much as I was with them. I used to get very hurt by them not being the same way as me and used to wonder what I was doing wrong; convinced the problem must be with me for why they weren’t like that.

    It wasn’t until I matured, learned about the world, and figured things out about myself (which I’m behind Kat 100% the key years for that is in your 20s) that this changed. I was finally able to figure out my fierce loyalty and selfless love towards my friends is a very unique trait. While most people would do many things for their close friends, it’s not usually as intense with them as it is for me or Sirius.

    I don’t think Sirius ever figured this out. He never had a chance to mature and learn about the world. He spent too many years in Azkaban, then when he got out of it he had to stay hidden from the world as he was a fugitive. To Sirius, being fiercely loyal is something everybody should do and if they’re not like that; there’s automatically something wrong with them. That is where Sirius and I differ. I always thought the problem was with me, he thought the problem was with everybody else.

    I feel bad that Sirius never got a chance to realize what a unique quality this is of himself and
    appreciate that he is like this as it is not a quality to be ashamed of. It’s one to be proud of and probably Sirius’ best quality just like myself.

  • Lily Davis

    In regards to magic masking Sirius ‘ appearance, allowing him to be useful in the order. This is war, its dangerous work. If he needs to drink something constantly or hold a charm in place, wasting magical energy, to mask his appearance he is putting himself and others in danger. What if he runs out of potion or has to do some complex magic and cannot do so properly while keeping his mask in place? I mean there is a reason soldiers have to be in prime physical condition to fight. Doesn’t this make him a liability in the war effort? Is it then ethical, given what could go wrong, to allow Sirius to do something for the order?

    • Lisa

      I don’t really understand the logic behind many of the Order’s fighting decisions, to be honest. Like, does it make sense to have someone like Arthur and Molly guarding the Prophecy knowing (or at least strongly suspecting) that either Voldemort himself or plenty of Death Eaters would come after it. In such a situation as Harry and his pals faced in OotP what could any single member of the Order had done?

      • Lily Davis

        I think they didn’t suspect that multiple deatheaters and Voldemort himself would be bold enough to enter the ministry like that so didn’t plan for it. I think they were expecting a more ‘sneaky’ method to be honest. This is more evidence that this is dangerous work and Sirius, having to use magic to mask his appearance just makes him vulnerable. Plus we all know how reckless Sirius can be. I still think it put too many people in danger for Sirius to do anything for the order. Plus there are plenty of other things the order had to do that we didnt know and they might have needed complicated magic or days out and about to accomplish, making potions (taking a month to brew) and complicated magic to mask appearance a major hindrance.

      • Lily Davis

        I think they didn’t suspect that multiple deatheaters and Voldemort himself would be bold enough to enter the ministry like that so didn’t plan for it. I think they were expecting a more ‘sneaky’ method to be honest. I mean think about it, multiple deatheaters and voldemort himself walking into the one place that doesn’t believe they are back which could expose them all and end their advantage. It was a silly risk to take from Voldemort’s point of view therefore, hard to foresee.

        This is more evidence that this is dangerous work and Sirius, having to use magic to mask his appearance just makes him vulnerable. Plus we all know how reckless Sirius can be. I still think it put too many people in danger for Sirius to do anything for the order. Plus there are plenty of other things the order had to do that we didnt know and they might have needed complicated magic or days out and about to accomplish, making potions (taking a month to brew) and complicated magic to mask appearance a major hindrance.

      • This is exactly why I believe Dumbledore did what he had to do with Sirius, even if it was a bad idea.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        Molly did kill Bellatrix so I think shes a more powerful wizard then people give her credit for… but yeah I feel it was probably more appropriate to have someone else guarding the prophecy.

        • Lisa

          She had a burst of maternal energy or whatever but it’s not like she would have had that if someone attempted to steal the prophecy. But I didn’t use the Weasleys as an example because I think they’re weak but rather because they have so many children who will be orphans if anything happened to them. That’s why it was an irresponsible decision from Dumbledore. I think he didn’t put much thought into who was sent in which missions which is why I doubt he gave a lot of thought to the possibility of Sirius being in disguise while doing Order business.

  • DoraNympha

    What has always fascinated me about Sirius Black is where he gets his moral fibre from.

    He gets on the Hogwarts Express already disagreeing very strongly with his family’s values. Where did he get this from? I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact that he lived in London as a child. He would not have been isolated from the rest of the world – he may even have had friendships with Muggle kids in the city when Walburga wasn’t looking – unlike Draco, for example, who grew up in a country mansion. However, why didn’t Regulus turn out to be the same, then? Did Uncle Alphard have something to do with this? Maybe he and Sirius always had a peripheral sort of relationship where Sirius was already exposed to non-purebloodist views through his uncle who would similarly be outcast fromt he family later on?

    I’d like to know more about the internal workings of that whole family – what were Christmas parties like in the Black House? (Sirius as the #relatable “christmas dinners? you mean racist relatives” feel.)

    And while we’re at different relationships of Sirius’s: let’s talk about him and McGonagall. The cat and the dog person. The Marauder and the strictest Head of House. I want more of that. What were they like at school and as Order members?

    Also, since Sirius could pass for a Muggle (a leather-jacket-wearing, motorbike-riding, long-haired, punkrocker one at that) what should we think about him in the big wide world during that one year hiding in apparently tropical locations? Do we think he was lounging on a beach in the shade of palm trees? If only Rita Skeeter had found him there, I can already see the cover of her next book: Sirius Black: from Prison to Paradise. As for the bird messaging: I think we get a sense that Sirius always had a knack for animals in general – he could get Crookshanks, Buckbeak, Pig, and those tropical birds to do his bidding and get along with him, not to mention he learned how to control an actual werewolf.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I’ve often wondered how Sirius turned out the way he did having the family that he did. I would be very surprised if he ever had anything to do with muggles, I couldn’t see his mother allowing it to happen before he went to Hogwarts. Maybe it’s something to do with his extended family and his uncle having a positive influence on him. I’d completely understand if Sirius changed his opinions when he went to Hogwarts and had a broader of view of the wizarding world, but to do so before Hogwarts where his likely influences were only other pure blood families is so strange. Either something must have happened to him in his childhood that we don’t know about, or he developed this sense of morality on his own… which seems unlikely?

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        I’m all about @DoraNympha:disqus’s Uncle Alphard theory personally 😀 And now I REALLY want to know more about that man.

      • DoraNympha

        Not sure if it ‘s unlikely, I mean we can delve into Ancient Greek philosophy about whether morality is innate or not… but I think I’ve left some lengthy comments on Alohomora before lol

  • DoraNympha

    *cough* if sirius isn’t redeemable for the shrieking shack prank then nor are fred and george for shoving montague in the broken cabinet potentially killing him or forcing him into eternal limbo *cough*

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      SICK BURN!! I love it 😀

    • Yes! I don’t LOVE the twins for the same reasons I don’t LOVE Sirius and James.

      They are all just a bunch of Malfoys from the right point of view.

      • MartinMiggs

        yuck and there are some very fine people on both sides from the (alt) right point of view

        • Ok, that is true. Fred and George at least knew respect to a certain degree. They were not anti-anybody which makes them immensely better than Malfoy.

        • MarsIsBrightTonight

          I need a mashup meme of this VoldeTrump moment ASAP.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      hahaa is it because Fred and George did this to Montague during the Umbridge Reign… maybe people are more forgiving because in this situation they were doing it to rebel against Umbridge, whereas Sirius was just doing it for a joke. Sooooooooooo true though, despite motivations behind their actions, both situations could have been potentially dangerous.
      The Weasley Twins are my favorite characters 🙂

  • DoraNympha

    Anyone else think it’s a shame we never got to have a face to face meeting between Sirius and the Dursleys? We can assume they met at the wedding… (?) Albeit, Sirius did go to Privet Drive so I’d like to think he at least peed on Petunia’s flowerbeds.

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Bwahahahaha 😀

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      That’s assuming Petunia actually attended Lily and James’ wedding. We don’t know if it was a big affair, or if it was kept quiet due to the first wizarding war, or the sisters were even on speaking terms since James’ introduction to Vernon didn’t go very well.

      Oh, if Sirius knew how the Dursleys actually treated Harry all those years…he would’ve done more than just pee on Petunia’s flowers lol.

    • daveybjones999 .

      Unfortunately it seems like the Dursley’s never met Sirius. On J.K. Rowling’s writings on the Dursley’s from Pottermore, she said that they didn’t attend James and Lily’s wedding, and the last time they met was at the Dursley’s wedding. Here’s the quote “Petunia did not want Lily as a bridesmaid, because she was tired of being overshadowed; Lily was hurt. Vernon refused to speak to James at the reception, but described him, within James’ earshot, as ‘some kind of amateur magician’… She and Vernon chose not to attend Lily and James’ wedding.” I really wish that they had met, but maybe someone can write a fanfiction where they decide to go to Lily’s wedding and meet Sirius.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        That just makes me sooooo sad.

      • Lily mentions “Petunia’s Vase” in her letter to Sirius on book 7. She doesn’t explain what Petunia is so we can assume Sirius knows who she is. To be able to call her just Petinia and not “my sister Petunia” could imply that he may have interacted or at least met Petunia before, to be on such fort name basis like that.

    • Paigers

      hahaha.

      I like to think that that final scene at King’s Cross in OotP where the Order members stand up for Harry to Vernon was, at least in part, a way of them to pay homage to Sirius, who would have surely wanted to do something similar but could no longer do so.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        OMG YES!!!!

      • Ashlee Pradella

        This is AMAZING!! <3

  • ThanksHermione

    Something that has always struck me about Sirius is how he contrasts with Lupin. Obviously, I love their relationship, but I find it really interesting how they handle grief differently, especially as it relates to their individual relationships with Harry. Sirius spent 12 years completely focused on avenging James and Lily’s deaths and protecting Harry. I feel like Harry was always Sirius’s number one priority, even if he showed it in odd ways. Honestly, I hate that Lupin never reached out to Harry or tried to help him before 3rd year. And even after that, Remus remains pretty distant to Harry, whereas Sirius ALWAYS makes sure Harry is doing ok. I know that a lot of that stems from Remus’s own self-loathing, but I don’t think that forgives his absence in Harry’s life. As soon as Sirius had the means, he tried to get in contact with Harry and help him. Even in his final moments, he is completely focused on protecting Harry. As flawed as he is, Sirius has always been one of my favorite characters because of his fierce loyalty to James and Harry and how he would do anything for them.

    • Ashlee Pradella

      I have never thought about this before but you are so right!! Obviously Sirius and James had a very close friendship but I feel we are lead to believe that Remus is still a very very close friend! So close to the point that Sirius would have died for Lupin and vice versa (As he says when interrogating Peter in the shrieking shack). It’s pretty upsetting and disappointing that Lupin never reached out to Harry before PoA. I wonder if Dumbledore had anything to do with it, and asked Lupin to stay away?

      • It’s because Lupin is sort of a coward. He is afraid of letting people be close to him due to his, you know, “being.” It’s a tough life, but it’s why he never tries to make a relationship with anyone, not even Harry.

        • Ashlee Pradella

          I guess you could be right, but it doesn’t excuse Lupins behavior. I guess this is the same situation with Tonks, I feel bad for Lupin.

          • I still don’t get why these characters can’t be flawed or be human. Lupin doesn’t need an excuse for his behaviors. HE IS A WEREEOLF! That is an awful burden to put on anybody and if he is afraid of harming people in his life, why do we need to find an excuse for that?

          • Ashlee Pradella

            He can be flawed, and maybe the way I’m feeling is more of a disappointment in Lupins character because he’s someone I expect a lot from. Probably the two major things that upset me about his character are that:

            1 – he never reached out to harry, both before PoA and after
            2 – that he wanted to leave Tonks and the baby in DH

            Despite these flaws I still think of him as one of my favourite characters and still love him.

        • DoraNympha

          I don’t think it’s cowardice to keep away from others, I think it’s extreme low self-worth and the ever-present assumption that people are better off and safer without someoene like him around. That’s not cowardice, that’s depression.

          • It’s cowardice. Harry calls Lupin a coward in book 7 and Lupin physically attacks Harry for it. He wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t know it to be true.

          • Lisa

            Well in that case Snape was a coward too since he also reacts violently to that insult. Or it could be just a guy thing. Men aren’t very fond of being called cowards or accused of not doing something because they’re afraid.

          • DoraNympha

            Or Gryffindors aren’t, rather.

          • Which scene is this?

          • Lisa

            It’s in HBP I think when Harry chases him after he’s killed Dumbledore.

          • Unfortunately we live in a world where men have to look brave and strong or die. Weakness has been engrained in our heads as extremely unappealing. But this is a society thing. I don’t think Lupin gets mad about being called a Coward because of how society will view him. He gets mad because the truth hurts.

          • DoraNympha

            And I believe Harry was wrong there and just as biased and blindsided by his own issues as Lupin. I actually meant the 12 years between the wars mostly, though, and when he volunteers on the missions during HBP. It’s the opposite of cowardice, he’s suicidal. He thinks his son and wife have a better chance of surviving and thriving without him – obviously he would prefer to be with the people he loves but thinks it’s better if he deprives himself of that for the sake of those loved ones. He’s wrong,of course, but he’s anything but a coward there. Harry doesn’t know shit about the world btw, he’s a loudmouth teenager who hasn’t seen a world in which he’s not the centre of everything that ever happens, he should sit down and talk to people like a grown up in that scene.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I don’t agree, I know this has been debated quite a bit on the podcast but I think Harry was 100% in the right to call Lupin out in DH. Maybe he could have been a little nicer about it, but I think Harry was justified to tell Lupin off.

          • DoraNympha

            I believe it was just the kind of slap Lupin needed to see sense mroe quickly than he would have otherwise but at the same time Harry is not thinking objectively.

          • A person can be brave in action yet still be afraid of heights. Just because somebody is brave in war does not mean they are braved everywhere else. Lupin was willing to do dangerous things because he is a good person but he is still afraid of plenty else in the world. Harry is not wrong to call him a coward. Lupin even understands later on that he was being exactly that.

          • DoraNympha

            Sure, but I don’t think so – it’s not exactly like he was about to go down an easier path to run away from something harder. He was about to jump into something way more difficult and dangerous than staying with his family. I don’t think he was being a coward, he was just wrong about what he ought to choose. I suppose what I disagree with here is Jo’s attempt to make us think he was a coward is all, in the same way that the narration/Jo is trying to make us look at Ollivander as a morally dubious character but I judge that so differently regardless of where Jo’s steering our opinion. I think Lupin had done cowardly things in the past, like most characters, but this one I don’t think of as an act of cowardice.

          • Ashlee Pradella

            I just re-read the shrieking shack scene in PoA and Lupin states he is a coward and hadn’t told Dumbledore about Sirius and the fact that he’s an animagus because hes a coward, so I guess I agree with you. Lupin obviously has some pretty dark demons.

    • I don’t think this is a mystery. I mean, we see Lupin attempt to abandon his own unborn child! He sees himself as such a danger and a curse on those around him. He would never want to out the child of Lily and James in any danger and so he never tried to get into Harry’s life. It was always safer for Harry this way.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I just can’t believe he would think like this, it’s so sad. He knew that Lily and James loved him and accepted who he was, why would he think he’d put Harry in danger.

  • Ashlee Pradella

    I thought Dumbledore and Snape were “good guys” before I listened to Alohomora and actually started thinking about their characters. Theres a lot of discussion on this topic so I think you’re in for a treat with these Alohomora episodes 🙂 Enjoy

    • ASiriusPotterhead

      Thanks! I’ve caught up on the Snape episode (there was not enough of Snape hate imo lol!) and have Dumbledore’s ep (among many other) to go! 🙂

      • Ashlee Pradella

        hahaaaa don’t worry there is plenty of Snape hate in almost every other episode to make up for it. Most of the hosts are not fans

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Be sure to listen to episode 184 if you’re looking for some Snape hate 😉

  • At some point during the episode i had s thought. James and Sirius are basically brothers, but where did Lily and Sirius’s relationship come from? She was writing the guy letters about her life with James and baby Harry! Was that just a thank you card for the broom stick or was she legit pen pals with Sirius?

    Lily is bright right? She knows how horrible James and Sirius were in school. I can swallow for now that “James changed” and she had the hots for him or whatever, but did Sirius change too? When did she get friendly with Sirius? Is it only because of James? They died at 21 years old. There were only 4ish years for Lily to come around on Sirius and begin penning him letters.

    They sound like besties in the way she wrote that letter!

    • Ashlee Pradella

      With the extreme closeness of Sirius and James’ friendship I believe it wouldn’t be possible for Lily to have not formed a close relationship with Sirius, he was probably around all the time. Combine that with the close bonds formed through the horror of war, and I believe that Lily and Sirius would have become very close friends. I can speak from personal experience, my husband has a very close best friend and I’ve become great friends with him myself.

  • Ashlee Pradella

    I wanted to further discuss something that the hosts bring up and have very different opinion on – whether or not Harry should have been told things (specifically in OotP). On this topic I completely agree with Eric, that Sirius was in the right and Harry deserved to know more information about the Order and what was going on with Voldemort. I know so many people don’t like OotP because of angsty Harry, but I 100% empathise with Harry in this situation and can completely feel his frustration, I also really appreciate the fact that Sirius was willing to give Harry information and that he had the right to know. In my opinion Harry should be let in on wayyyyyy more information, and not completely left in the dark. I don’t know how I feel about Dumbledore telling him the whole truth about everything, I think that’s a different discussion, but just being let in on general information and not being treated as a child – I feel pretty strongly that Sirius was in the right here.
    Very keen to hear other people’s opinions on this topic, just because I was shocked to hear Kat sided with Molly and Dumbledore in this situation and I’m curious to know if more people feel the same way.

    • DoraNympha

      As a Ravenclaw, I am wholeheartedly for Harry being in possession of all the information there was. Only then could he have made informed decisions, which he bloody didn’t did he. Especially from a teacher, I think it’s just unforgiveable that Dumbledore didn’t tell Harry anything more. Even with the mindreading danger, it would have been wiser to let Harry in on not just a bit more but everything. Sure, love is power, but so is knowledge.

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I agree because even if you argue about the mind reading, Harry still had heaps of information coming from other places!! So instead of giving Harry the proper facts, Dumbledore just let harry find out bits and pieces causing Harry to make decisions based off incomplete or incorrect info.

    • Voldemort was in Harry’s head. I don’t know if it was safe for Harry to know anything.

      But I agree with you in some ways. I think Harry should have been filled in. He had more in this fight than anybody else.

      I am able to understand why decisions to leave him out were made and I don’t think these decisions were entirely wrong.

    • frumpybutsupersmart

      I agree that Harry had the right to be told more information than he got; whether or not that was a good plan is up for debate. Wheezy’s right, Voldemort was able to get inside Harry’s head (though Voldemort himself doesn’t know that until Christmas), so telling Harry ‘oh, here’s how we’re keeping the prophecy safe’ was not a good idea. Telling him any more information may not have been a good idea, but dismissing it as ‘you’re not old enough to know’ was also not a good idea. Dumbledore needed to have a sit-down with Harry, lay out as much of the truth as he could have, and had a talk about how Harry needed to let adults handle things sometimes. Being left out wouldn’t have sat well with Harry, but if Harry and Dumbledore had a relationship more like the one they had in HBP, with communication and trust, OOTP would have turned out way differently.

      On a similar note, I agree with Kat that there’s no way Harry could have been told that he eventually had to die. I don’t think there are many people, let alone fifteen-year-olds, who are comfortable knowing their own mortality like that. And if I’ve learned anything from Greek mythology, it’s that knowing your future is NEVER a good idea. That’s Voldemort’s initial mistake – he acts to try and prevent a prophecy, and causes his own downfall, just like so many other characters in the history of fiction.

      • SlytherinKnight

        I think at the very least Harry should have been told that Voldemort had the ability to send Harry false images, or at least the possibility existed. Harry is told that learning Occulmency is the most important thing in Order but is never actually told why. If Dumbledore or whoever had told Harry that Voldemort, if he discovered the link, could send Harry false images/visions/etc, then Harry would have probably been more cautious when it came to seeing Sirius being tortured. Again, if Sirius had actually told Harry what the mirror was, then Harry might have not gone to the Ministry in the first place. Also, if Dumbledore, Molly and the other members of the Order had actually let Harry have a somewhat normal relationship with Sirius, reinforcing the fact that Harry had someone he could rely on as a parent (i.e. at the beginning of Goblet when Harry writes the letter to Sirius about his dream of Frank Bryce.)

        Harry never really finds someone he can confide in, or ask advice from like a child would from a parent aside from Sirius in Goblet, Dumbledore and Remus ignore him for the most part, Molly just coddles and tries to wrap him in bubblewrap, and Vernon and Petunia hate him. Because of that, Harry has no way to vent all the bad emotions that he is bombarded with and is feeling later in the series, and internalizes it all which is a very unhealthy thing to do (and I think that’s why he goes all angsty and shouty in Order).

      • Ashlee Pradella

        I mentioned this in another comment but will quickly relay here, basically I just don’t think Harry is the kind of person to sit back and let the adults handle everything, and his actions in books 1-4 are proof of that. Dumbledore made a HUGE mistake by not fundamentally understanding Harry as a person, and how he feels and would act. I agree he shouldn’t have known everything, but Dumbledore should have sat him down and had words with him, OR let Sirius or Lupin or someone else do that.
        I love Sirius for the fact that he stood up for Harry in this moment and wanted to tell him information. Some people may argue this was just Sirius being reckless, or more of a friend than a father figure, but I honestly think at the end of the day he had Harry’s best interests at heart here.

        I agree with Kat that harry shouldn’t have been told “everything”, but I also agree with Eric that its unforgivable that Dumbledore said he told Harry everything when he didn’t… he shouldn’t have lied to Harry about that.

        • frumpybutsupersmart

          I agree with both of you on this. Communication is key!!! Harry would never have enjoyed sitting on his butt while the adults handled all the problems, but if he’d known that they actually knew what they were doing he would have been much less likely to act without thinking things through. This is where the adults fail: they assume that just because Harry is younger, he’ll trust the adults, when they have four years’ worth of proof that he won’t.

  • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

    And then after you’ve finished ep 184, this is a must watch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKxhVWPif2o
    Hope you didn’t want to do anything else with your free time…lol 😀

    • ASiriusPotterhead

      Oh Merlin’s Beard….. Lol.

      Also thanks for up voting so many of my comments! You’re making me feel very welcome 🙂

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        You’re welcome! Thank you for contributing so many fantastic comments! 😀

  • MarsIsBrightTonight

    Amen

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    I wanted to comment on the discussion about how the magical world immediately believed Sirius was a death eater. It definitely seems to have shocked people at the time; Rosmerta says that she would never, ever have believed it if someone had told her that Sirius was secretly a death eater. But then again, Sirius himself says that that era was fraught with mistrust – ‘you don’t know who his supporters are, you don’t know who’s working for him and who isn’t; you know he can control people so that they do terrible things without being able to stop themselves’. Sirius was caught in highly incriminating circumstances (and half-mad with grief to boot), and since he didn’t get a trial, he never had the chance to defend himself – AND none of the details would have been on public record. It also wouldn’t have helped that he came from a family of pure-blood fanatics, or that his brother actually was a death eater.

    I also wanted to say something about the apparent divide between Sirius and Lupin that came up in the year or so before the Potters’ deaths. By that time, they knew that there was a spy, Sirius (and presumably the Potters, and possibly some other Order members) thought it was Lupin. I think it’s likely that their latent mistrust of werewolves would have contributed to this, which is an incredibly depressing example of how bigotry can exist even in those who fight the good fight. It’s also possible that Sirius’ family legacy helped convince people like Lupin, who knew him personally, that *he* was a traitor.

    Sidenote: who else thinks that Sirius would get along really well with Clone Wars-era Anakin??

    • Ashlee Pradella

      Yeah it really does suck for Sirius how everyone was so quick to assume he was a death eater. I can completely agree with Kat on this one, when someone thinks you’ve done something you’d never do it’s incredibly hurtful and also maddening. I guess like you said it was a time of war and everyone was just so scared, and jumped to conclusions. I feel like it’s incredibly unfair that Sirius never got a trial… what if he was being controlled via imperius or something? I can’t remember if this was covered in the episode, but if someone either imperius’s or makes the secret keeper drink veritiserum surely they would be forced to divulge the location?

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Pottermore did a bit on the Fidelius Charm (which honestly made things slightly more confusing) and JKR specified that the secret MUST be given up voluntarily. Veritaserum, the Imperius Curse, straight-up torture – none of those things will work. So since Dumbledore believed Sirius to be the Potters’ SK, logically it followed that Sirius willingly gave them up to Voldemort.

        The fact that he never got a trail is down to the desperation of the Ministry to do something, and to Barty Crouch’s fervour for hunting Dark wizards and witches. Like I said, Sirius was caught in an incriminating position, and Dumbledore himself gave his word that Sirius betrayed the Potters, and that was all that Crouch needed to throw him in prison. He didn’t care what Sirius had to say – look how he treated the people he had on trial in the Pensieve memories. He always seemed convinced that he was right.

  • Paigers

    I know this is like a week late, but I just remembered another amazing JKR quote about Sirius from the Melissa Anelli book I mentioned in another comment. Think you guys will like this one. It’s about his relationship with Molly. (Copied from Kindle version of Harry, a History)

    “JKR: (Laughs) I love that, I really love that. But it [Molly killing Bellatrix] was so satisfying on so many levels—sorry I’m going off at a tangent—but it was also satisfying, because there was so much friction between Molly and Sirius, representing the protective, sometimes overcautious but really nurturing and strong female principle and the reckless, take the chance, push the envelope male energy of Sirius. He was ultimately irresponsible but it didn’t mean he loved Harry any the less. So it was important to show the friction between those two there, because it’s two halves of what Harry craves, isn’t it—getting his father back and getting the mother he never had and then that much more satisfying, that she is the one who avenges Sirius’s death. And for her to come through to do that and I really felt that Sirius was cheering her on when she did that.”

    Everything about this is fascinating, but that last sentence is just my favorite thing in the world right now.

    • MartinMiggs

      better late than never

    • Ashlee Pradella

      Agree that last sentence is amazing!!

    • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      OMG!!! *tears*

    • Lisa

      It’s so hilarous how much Rowling gloats over killing Bellatrix. She even managed to work that into an interview about Casual Vacancy, lol, wrong book! All these quotes are quite disturbing if you read them with CC in mind but I digress…

      I was surprised no one brought up Sirius’s fight with Molly before because that’s when many Sirius fans started hating Molly’s guts, haha. I don’t personally blame Molly that much but her mocking Sirius for being locked up in Azkaban was a bit below the belt. Not to mention how she was always giving orders in _his_ house.

      • Katy – Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        More proof that SHE never had CC in mind…lol

    • YoureJustAsSaneAsIAm

      This is my new favorite thing from JKR!! Somehow in my mind I never connected Molly killing Bellatrix to avenging Sirius’ death. And the part about him cheering her on…words can’t describe the feels I’m feeling right now :’)

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Sirius would have benefitted from counselling or therapy at several times in his life, if counselling or therapy were a thing in the magical world. That much is true for a lot of characters, and regarding Sirius I believe it would have made a big difference on how he makes choices and deals with his feelings. For example when he gets sorted into Gryffindor and his pureblood-supremacist family blames him for being not like they want him to be. Or when he leaves Grimmauld Place and goes to live with the Potters, which is so much better than staying in an abusive household. But especially during the war when he is fighting against Death Eaters, being still teenaged and hardly out of school. When his group of friends is changing and they don’t know whom they can trust. That’s the time when he should have had a place to go where he can try to figure out how to cope. It might not have prevented his meltdown over Peter’s betrayal and Lily’s and James’s death. But Sirius could have picked up something to help him through the worst.
    Later when he’s escaped from the torture-prison that didn’t manage to break him entirely like so many others, he has to stay hidden at first and is confined to the house in the end. So much time for sessions with a competent person, but no. He only gets “animal therapy” with his likewise housebound Hippogriff friend.

  • BloodCharm

    Kat, how in the world can you ask why you would feel bad for Sirius? He was indirectly responsible for his best friend’s death and then was framed for outright betraying them and sent to prison for it and for killing twelve people and then has to spend almost 13 years in the care of evil creatures who suck all the happiness out of the world. Then, he gets put back into being locked up again when there were other alternatives available. Someone with that past is not someone that one does not sympathize or empathize with.

  • BloodCharm

    Loyalty is certainly not the Slytherin number one trait, not even a hardcore trait. They’re loyal to themselves.

    Why someone does something directly comes from their intentions which dictates their choices so analyzing one’s conduct based on intentions is certainly not a bad strategy. Any choice comes from some intention no matter how non direct it is.

    I don’t think Snape is really a bully in his school years either, he didn’t have enough clout to bully someone and become a prevalent full on bully because he is too unpopular.