Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Question: There is said to be a curse on the Defence Against The Dark Arts teaching job, something like the professor will die within one year of teaching that subject. In a previous question somebody stated that Professor Quirrell was only starting to teach that subject the year that Harry started Hogwarts. But during the feast after the first years have been housed, Harry asks Percy Weasley who "that man" (Snape) is. He tells him that it is Snape, Professor of potions and then goes on to say "Everyone knows Defence Against The Dark Arts is what he really wants. He's been after Quirrell's job for years" This implies that Professor Quirrell has been teaching that subject for years. How is Quirrell an exception to the curse?

jess-shaw

Chosen answer: Firstly, yes, there is said to be a curse on the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching position, but the teachers do not "die within one year of teaching that subject" as a result of it. You see, Voldemort applied for the DADA position twice, once after Tom Riddle's graduation from Hogwarts and was refused, then years later as Lord Voldemort, and was refused again by Dumbledore. After Voldemort's second refusal to the Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching post, no DADA teacher held the position for more than a year due to a curse that Voldemort placed on the position. Dumbledore stated "You see, we have not been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor for more than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort." When Snape first became a teacher at Hogwarts, he requested the Defence Against the Dark Arts position, but was denied it and made the Potions Master. Then every year, as each of the subsequent DADA teachers left the school, Snape reapplied for that position, but was denied year after year. By the time Harry came to Hogwarts, Professor Quirrell, who held the position of the Muggle Studies teacher for some years, had been made the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor after his year off (traveling to Europe, where Voldemort got hold of him). So when Percy says, "He's been after Quirrell's job for years" it means that for many years Snape has been after the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, which is Quirrell's new teaching position that term.

Super Grover Premium member

Question: Did Dumbledore and other Hogwarts staff know that Voldemort would try to return with the help of the Philosopher's Stone this year, so they transferred it from the bank to Hogwarts, and put such a big protection as the three headed dog etc.? Because I think it's a very big coincidence that after all this years that stone has spent in the bank, they decided to put the stone in school, and the very next day someone tried to steal the stone from the bank. It's like they knew that Voldemort would try to use the stone to return. And if they did, why didn't they figure it out and put protection on over the last 10 years, maybe the very next day when Voldemort was defeated by little Harry? It's really like Dumbledore knew that Voldemort will try to use it, and more important, like he knew that he will try to do it NOW, not in last decade when he was "half alive."

Feather

Chosen answer: Dumbledore did probably have an idea that Voldemort might be looking for the stone, but he knew he would never be able to find it as he wanted to use it (Dumbledore's own spell upon it). But the stone gave Dumbledore an opportunity to lure Voldemort to him. So, in order to lure Voldemort out Dumbledore hid it at Hogwarts, closer to him, telling the staff what was going on. Of course then Quirrell knew too and thus Voldemort as well which caused a dangerous situation right the next day, but the general idea was to lure Voldemort out of hiding and into the hands of the Hogwarts teachers. They didn't know yet that Voldemort was already inside Hogwarts as a parasite of Quirrell.

lionhead

Question: Did Rupert Grint truly get nicked in the face by debris during the wizard's chess match? All google searches come back with blogs of personal opinions.

Driftr

Chosen answer: Only people who know for sure, ie. cast and crew, have neither confirmed nor denied him really getting hit. As of right now it's up to speculation.

Question: There is a Nicholas Flamel mentioned in "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. He's on the list of the Grand Masters of the Priory of Sion (he's the 8th one, 1398-1418). I was just wondering if Nicholas Flamel was a real person and, if so, who was he? If he was alive at the end of the 14th century, then, if he were still alive today because of the magic of the Sorceror's Stone, he would be about as old as Hermione says he is.

Answer: Nicholas Flamel was, indeed, a real person, he did indeed research the Philosopher's Stone and his wife (as mentioned in the Potter story) was indeed called Perenelle. He travelled widely in his research, supposedly seeking the understanding of a mysterious book that he had acquired. On his return, he used his unsurpassed knowledge of alchemy to become very wealthy and became known as a philanthropist, donating large sums to hospitals and churches. As an interesting aside, his tomb in Paris is empty. One theory is that it was ransacked by people in search of his alchemical secrets. Of course, if he did manage to create the Philosopher's Stone, and it was widely believed at the time that he had, then there may be a far more interesting reason why his tomb remains unoccupied.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Why weren't scenes of this movie filmed in chronological order? It is evident when Vernon grabs Harry who wanted to escape into his cupboard with his letter. When Harry shouted at Vernon, his voice sounded much deeper than in all other scenes, indicating that Daniel Radcliffe's voice started changing, thus confirming it to be one of the last, possibly the last scene to be shot. But this scene happens early in the movie, it is one of the first scenes. So why was it shot as one of the last scenes?

Answer: Because almost every film is shot entirely out of order, depending on schedules, availability, efficiency, etc. No point setting up a classroom set for one scene, then taking it all down, then a week later setting it all up again. All related scenes will likely be filmed at the same time. No doubt the likelihood of voices changes wasn't deemed as important as other factors, not least because lines could always be re-recorded and dubbed later.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: One thing I've never got is why Snape is so rude to Harry when he first meets him in Potions class in this movie. I get that he hates Harry because he looks like James, and James and his friends made fun of him when they were younger, and Lily chose James over him, but if his love for Lily is so strong that he's willing to protect Harry (along with the other teachers and other people throughout the movies and books) for her, then why is he so horrid to him?

Answer: I always figured it boils down to doing the right thing in terms of the big picture, but that doesn't mean he has to like it, or be nice about it.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Answer: Snape was a complicated and conflicted man. His hatred for James Potter was so irreparably deep, it made him uncivil to Harry. Harry's strong resemblance and similar personality and temperament to his father didn't help. When Snape looked at Harry, he saw James. It wasn't fair or right, but it was a personality flaw Snape never overcame. Snape's undying love for Lily and his commitment to defeating Voldemort propelled him to protect Harry. Also, Snape's hatred toward Harry may seem extreme, but it is used as a literary device to create conflict and tension within the story. If Snape had acted kindly to Harry, it could have revealed his true intent and allegiance. Readers are deliberately kept in the dark about his motives and anti-hero character until the end.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Harry knows Voldemort killed his parents and wants to kill him. He's smart enough to recognize Voldemort is trying to trick him.

Question: Why is it that Nearly-Headless Nick and some other ghosts can visit the Hogwarts students, but other deceased people - such as Harry's parents - can't?

Answer: Nearly-Headless Nick explains this to Harry in the book, Order of the Phoenix. After Sirius has died, Harry thinks he might come back as a ghost, but Sir Nicholas tells Harry that a person becomes a ghost because they were afraid to move on to the next world after dying and now are trapped on Earth. That is why Sir Nicholas and the other ghosts are at Hogwarts. He tells Harry that Sirius was not a man who feared death and that he has crossed over to the other side.

raywest Premium member

Chosen answer: This is a joke in that Hermione thinks it's worse to be expelled from Hogwarts than it is to die.

Ssiscool Premium member

Question: Snape informed Voldemort that there was a prophecy that a wizard would cause the end of his reign. What made Voldemort believe that it was Harry, when it could have actually been any wizard at any time?

Answer: It couldn't have been any wizard. The prophecy was very specific. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches" - so it was someone who was going to be born soon. "Born to those who have thrice defied him" - his parents must have escaped Voldemort three times. "Born as the seventh month dies" - and they must be born at the end of July. At this point, it could only have been Harry or Neville, as only they fit the requirements. "And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal" - Voldemort chose Harry because they were both half-bloods. "But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not" - this refers to Harry's amazing capacity to love.

Greg Dwyer

Question: The Harry Potter Wiki website says that Hermione was born in 1979, if this is true then why is she starting school at age 12 instead of 11, especially with her being such a good student?

Answer: The Harry Potter Wiki says Hermione was born on September 19, 1979, the Hogwarts year begins in August which would make Hermione still 11 years old when she begins Hogwarts, she would then become 12 years old the following month. She still began Hogwarts at the same age as all of the other students, not a year later.

Casual Person

Question: I am confused as to why Voldemort went to James and Lily's house the night he murdered them. Hagrid says that he was gathering followers, but why was he particularly interested in making the Potters join him? Why confront them at their house and not just kill them later in a battle or something?

Answer: As explained in later movies, Voldemort heard that baby Harry was the focus of the prophecy that said he would defeat Voldemort. He went to the Potter's house to kill Harry and anyone who stood in his way.

Brad Premium member

Question: I don't quite understand the moving portraits. Are they alive, are they Horcruxes or pieces of the subject's souls, or do they just say previously-recorded things?

Answer: They are not alive, nor are do they carry any piece of the subject's soul (or anyone else's for that matter) Neither are they just playing out some manner of magical-programming. They are normal paint-and-canvas paintings that have been charmed with sentience and to behave exactly as the subject of the portrait would have behaved.

Phixius Premium member

Question: Forgive me, I haven't read the books yet. Do they explain how new Hogwarts students are able stop going to regular school in the Muggle "world"? It seems unlikely that several children, year after year, could suddenly miss school at age eleven (when they start going to Hogwarts) without the Muggles noticing.

Answer: In the UK, the age of eleven marks the point where children leave primary school and move on to secondary school. They do not all go together; children from a single primary school will end up separating and going to several different secondary schools located in their general area or even further afield in some cases. As such, the age of eleven is a very good point for children to surreptitiously drop out of their local system to attend Hogwarts, which could be explained to Muggle relatives and friends as a boarding school or other special educational facility without touching on its true nature. Hogwarts draws its pupils from all over the country, with only a hundred or so per school year. Given that a large proportion of these will be the children of wizarding families, who are generally home-schooled, then we're likely only talking about at most one or two children from any given area, which would be highly unlikely to be noticed. In the event that somebody does somehow pick up on it, it would be a relatively simple matter for the Ministry of Magic to make them forget all about it.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Why doesn't Ron get off the knight on the last move of chess before getting attacked by the queen? Does he have to stay on it?

Joel Sheffield

Chosen answer: Unfortunately, he has to stay on. By the rules of the game, he IS the knight, he's not just riding it, so, when he allows himself to get taken in a sacrifice play, he has to take the consequences.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: The sorting hat considered putting Harry in Slytherin. But if your parents or a past generation was put in Gryffindor, then wouldn't he have to be in Gryffindor? If not, then is it by luck that the Weasleys have been in the same house for so long?

moviefan2345

Chosen answer: No, there's no specific requirement that any individual has to be in the same house as their paren'ts or siblings. It's not uncommon that that's the case, admittedly, particularly as character plays a major part in the sorting process, so individuals brought up in the same household might end up in the same house simply by virtue of bearing similar character traits, but there are a considerable number of examples of family members being in different houses. Sirius Black, for example, was sorted into Gryffindor, despite his family's traditional presence in Slytherin. The Patil twins, who one might reasonably expect to end up in the same house, ended up being sorted differently, Parvati into Gryffindor and Padma in Ravenclaw (in the book, in the movie they are both in Gryffindor). So while it's quite common that house assignment runs in families, it's by no means a certainty.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: In the end of the movie just after Ron sacrifices himself to the Queen to win the chess game, he falls to the floor unconscious. But before the scene cuts, a rock flies past his head, he winces, and it leaves a red mark. Did he really get it by a rock during filming or was it added in later?

Answer: The debris from the exploding chess piece was not real; this looks like a combination of computer-generated special effect (CGI) as well some type of a light-weight material (such as Styrofoam) made to appear real and is tossed at Rupert Grint (Ron) from off-screen. Considering the stringent safety standards and precautions that are employed in today’s film industry, particularly regarding child actors, and also the multiple times that scenes are shot to get it right, it is unlikely that this was anything that actually could have hurt him.

raywest Premium member

Question: In Book 6, Dumbledore mentions that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Job is cursed, and that no one has had it for more than a year since he refused it to Voldemort. But in Movie/Book 1, it seems that Quirell has been at the school for a while (Hagrid knows him, and knows that he's the DADA teacher; all the older students seem to know him and there is no mention that this is Quirells first year of teaching). Explain.

Blibbetyblip

Chosen answer: According to Rowling, Quirrell was the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts (which is why all the older students know him) before moving to teach Defence Against The Dark Arts in the year that Harry started there. Immediately after meeting Quirrell in the Leaky Cauldron, Hagrid makes a reference to Quirrell having taken a year off from teaching to "get some first-hand experience", encountering such dark creatures as vampires and hags along the way, which would strongly support the idea that he's not previously been the teacher in that subject.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: On the second DVD for Special Features, how do you buy your owl in Eeylops? The narrator tells you to pick an owl and that you'll need it for communication. How do you buy it? I've clicked on all three of them and nothing happened. None of my friends can figure it out either.

Answer: Those owls are not essential. Just follow these instructions to view the deleted scenes: 1) In the Main Menu click the Owl - Diagon Alley. 2) To enter, choose the bricks in clockwise order from the left. If you make 4 mistakes, it will open anyway. 3) Once in Diagon Alley, hit the Key, located at the bottom of the Gringotts sign. 4) Click on the Coins. Then hit the Arrow to go back to Diagon Alley. 5) Click on the Ollivanders sign. 6) Pick a Wand Box, until the wand chooses you and then you'll be sent back to Diagon Alley. 7) Click on the Arrow to go back to the Main Menu. 8) Click the Wand on the table - Classrooms. 9) Place the cursor over the word- Transfigurations under the Cat and hit DOWN Arrow (or simply move the cursor directly to the *H* under the fire and skip to 12). 10) The two Owls under the fire will be highlighted. Hit Enter. 11) The *H* above the Owls is highlighted. Hit Enter. 12) Click on the Flute, above Fluffy's three heads. 13) Click on the tiny key with the bent wing tip at the door. Or pick any key. When you miss four times the correct key will be shown in the center of the screen, much much larger than the others. Click it. 14) Click on the short, round, yellow bottle in the back. Do this fast or you'll land in the Hospital Wing anyway. 15) In the Mirror of Erised click on the Stone.

Super Grover Premium member

Answer: It was sent to Harry by Professor McGonagall. She was able to persuade Dumbledore to bend the rule regarding first years and broomsticks, so Harry would be allowed to play on the Gryffindor Qudditch team.

Cubs Fan

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: At the Quidditch match, after Hermione sets Snape's cloak on fire and someone shouts, "Fire! You're on fire!" there is a close-up of Harry with his hands gripping the Nimbus 2000. In this shot, the wire rods which are attached/taped to the broomstick, near Harry's fingers, that lead under both of his red sleeves, are entirely visible. (01:21:35)

Super Grover Premium member

More mistakes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Dumbledore: It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

More quotes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Trivia: The Hogwarts motto, 'Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titilandus', is Latin, and means 'Never tickle a sleeping dragon.'

More trivia for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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