Hey everybody, Ultimate Oddball here. Today I’m going to discuss why I believe Sybill Trelawney, Professor of Divination at Hogwarts, is the character most responsible for the downfall of Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. This may seem like a strange assertion to make. After all, the series is called Harry Potter, and anyone who has seen the films or read the books knows that Harry is the primary protagonist. ‘The Boy Who Lived’, as he would come to be called, was also called the ‘Chosen One’ by some due to a prophecy which many, including Voldemort himself, believed foretold of Harry’s victory over Voldemort. But where did this prophecy come from?
Ardent fans of the series will tell you that the prophecy was foretold by none other than Professor Trelawney during her interview with Albus Dumbledore for the position of Divination professor at Hogwarts. This may confuse some, as Trelawney is almost always presented as someone who invents her prophecies. Due to her family lineage, having descended from a noteworthy seer, many do not question the validity of her claims. Despite often seemingly inventing prophecies, there have been at least two examples of her actually predicting future events. The first known example of this is the prophecy which many believe referred to Harry defeating Voldemort. It’s important to note that the prophecy said the Chosen One would have the power to defeat Voldemort, a power he knew not, but it did not say that the Chosen One would actually defeat him.
Whether the prophecy refers to Harry is also a matter of debate. Many theories online have gone over the fact that Neville Longbottom fits every requirement for the Chosen One. One could even argue that Neville may have better fit, though Voldemort ultimately chose to pursue young Harry, and thus set into stone the details. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that it ultimately does not matter who the prophecy is about. The prophecy itself resulted in him acting in a manner which caused his defeat. The timeline here is important to understanding why the prophecy is the driving force for everything which happens after.
Trelawney made the prediction in front of Albus Dumbledore. Snape, who had been spying on them, heard part of their conversation before being thrown out by Aberforth Dumbledore. The prophecy was logged and sent to the Hall of Prophecy to be kept. Simultaneously, Snape informed Voldemort of it, sparking fear which Voldemort acted on, killing Lily and James Potter and failing to kill Harry, the act of which cemented the prophecy in everyone’s mind and also caused Snape to secretly switch sides. It’s unlikely anything other than an official prophecy, especially one from Trelawney, who claimed to be the first seer with the “Second Sight” in her family since the well known and celebrated seer Cassandra Trelawney, would have motivated Voldemort in this way. Had Trelawney not faked her way into that interview Dumbledore would not have been present to hear the prophecy. Without the prophecy Voldemort doesn’t seek out Harry and lose his power after being defeated by the magic of love. Snape never changes sides and things keep getting worse for the wizarding world.
The series makes it clear that ultimately Voldemort was the one who caused his own destruction. It’s stated that not all prophecies come true, and that he had a hand in creating the eventual outcome. None of this, however, would have happened the way it did without Trelawney making her prediction. Dumbledore played his part before and after Voldemort lost power but, alongside everyone else in the wizarding world, struggled to keep Voldemort and the Deatheaters contained. The Chosen One could have just as easily been Neville as it was Harry. Everyone helped contribute to the defeat of Voldemort, but all of it was the direct result of the prophecy of Sybill Trelawney. The vast majority of the series, and the eventual outcome, never happen without her.
Well, thanks for coming by and have a good day.