What We Do (and Don’t) Know About McClaggan
Editors’ note: “Lion-Man” refers to this excerpt released by JKR.
In her Q&A session after the reading of OotP at the Edinburgh Book Festival, JKR gave away that there will be a new character in Book 6 with the last name McClaggan. There are some things that we don’t yet know about this character, but there are some we can assume by working out the clues.
For instance, there are the actual linguistics and roots of the name. McCglaggan is a Scottish name. My mum and stepdad’s last name is McCamish, and they confirmed that names ending in “McC” are almost always Scottish names. For instance, McDonald or McDougal. The Irish names are ones that end in O: O’Connor, O’Neil, etc. As an example of how this works in the HP books, take Seamus Finnigan. Finnigan, though not one of the “O” names, is still an Irish-sounding surname. And Professor Binns calls Seamus “O’flattery” during CoS when the class is asking him about the Chamber of Secrets. That’s not to mention that Seamus and his mum were supporting Ireland at the Quidditch World Cup. Therefore, we can safely assume that Seamus is Irish. Using the same logic, we can also assume that this mysterious McClaggan is Scottish, as opposed to having roots in Ireland or England. What is most important, however, is his role in Books 6-7.
Listed below are possible roles McCglaggan plays in HBP:
The New Minister of Magic. J.K. Rowling has confirmed that there will be a new MoM in Book 6. Now, I know many people were fans of Arthur Weasley taking this post, due to the joke Ron made – “We’ve got about as much chance of winning the cup as dad has of becoming Minister of Magic”. And they do win the cup. Not to mention Ron is usually right when he jokes about something. But, on the FAQ of her official website, JKR said (and I quote) “Alas, no,” when she answers the question of whether Mr. Weasley will take the post of new MoM. Thus, we can safely scratch him off the list. There are other possible candidates (Lucius Malfoy through the use of bribery and blackmail, Dumbledore if he finally decides to accept, etc), but I think McCglaggan is as good a person as any other. We know nothing about him/her other than the name, so it can’t yet be disproved.
The new DADA teacher. So far, all of the DADA teachers have been new characters. We haven’t had somebody last more than a year, and we haven’t met any of them before the book where they were the DADA teacher. There has not been one mention of McCglaggan up to the end of OotP, and there wasn’t a mention of Lupin, Moody, Lockhart, or Umbridge before they came on to the scene either. It would break tradition for Lupin or Moody to come back (I know the DADA teacher Moody wasn’t the real Moody, but the logic still applies). There are candidates for the post that we’ve met before (Fleur Delacour, Tonks, etc) but again, McCglaggan is as good a person as any to fill it.
An Order member. We met most of the Order members of any importance during Book 5, but Ron and Hermione said that there were Order members that they had not met. Perhaps (fill in the first name of your choice here) McCglaggan has an assignment that brings him/her into a bit higher profile, thus we meet him/her in Book 6. It’s certainly possible.
A Death Eater/dark wizard. Somehow, I don’t think so on this one. We already have enough named death eaters, and it just makes more sense for this new character to fill a different role. It’s possible but unlikely in my opinion.
A nobody character. This one I extremely doubt. JKR wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of finding a surname she actually really liked (read her Q&A session where she mentions McCglaggan and you’ll understand what I mean) if the name was just a filler for a passerby or nobody student. I think McCglaggan actually has some sort of role that is at least semi-important.
The Half-Blood Prince. Contrary to the identity of the new DADA teacher, I think the HBP will be somebody who we’ve met or heard of before. It would be unlike JKR to have a character that is so important as to share the title with Harry (like Sirius did) suddenly come out of nowhere when he/she had never been mentioned or hinted at before (if you look carefully, Sirius was). I do have two favorite candidates as to who the HBP is, but that would be the subject of a different editorial. Thus, I will not go any further into the topic here.
So, to end all this guessing, let’s recap what we do and don’t know about McCglaggan, and what we should and shouldn’t assume.
First name: unknown
Ancestry: most likely Scottish
Age: unknown (though I doubt he/she will be a baby or very elderly)
Most likely job/role: DADA teacher, Minister of Magic or Order member
Importance to plot: most likely average to high
That doesn’t give us much, but it’s better than nothing. Cheers to Book 6, where we will find out the identity and role of the mysterious McCglaggan!