2020 Vision: 16 of the Funniest Divination Quotes
The Harry Potter series has its fair share of humorous moments, but the subject of Divination is, in my opinion, pure comedy gold. From Professor Trelawney’s ridiculous predictions to Ron’s snide responses and Professor McGonagall’s cutting disapproval, Divination scenes might be my favorite ones to read. In honor of the New Year and the predictions that we all hope to make with our new 2020 vision, here are some of the funniest Divination quotes:
‘Right, you’ve got a crooked sort of cross…’ [Harry] consulted Unfogging the Future. ‘That means you’re going to have ‘trials and suffering’ – sorry about that – but there’s a thing that could be the sun… hang on… that means ‘great happiness’… so you’re going to suffer but be very happy….’
‘You need your Inner Eye tested, if you ask me,’ said Ron […].” (PoA 105)
Divination class gets off to a great start with this failed prophecy. This is one of the few funny Divination moments that makes it into the movies, and although Ron is given this line instead of Harry, Rupert Grint delivers it perfectly.
‘You look in excellent health to me, Potter, so you will excuse me if I don’t let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in.” (PoA 109)
Sassy Professor McGonagall rises to the occasion, reassuring a worried Harry that Professor Trelawney commonly predicts her students’ deaths, and so far none of her predictions have come true. Professor McGonagall always knows exactly how to cut down her colleagues without openly defying them.
‘There was nothing woolly about the Grim in that cup,’ said Ron hotly.
‘You didn’t seem quite so confident when you were telling Harry it was a sheep,’ said Hermione coolly.” (PoA 111)
This little wordplay is one of my favorite sassy Hermione moments and one that is often under-appreciated. Hermione always knows exactly how to point out Ron’s flip-flopping opinions.
‘My dears, which one of you left his seat first? Which?’
‘Dunno,’ said Ron, looking uneasily at Harry.
‘I doubt it will make much difference,’ said Professor McGonagall coldly, ‘unless a mad axe-man is waiting outside the doors to slaughter the first into the entrance hall.'” (PoA 230)
Sassy McGonagall strikes again! Some clever fans, however, have pointed out that Professor Trelawney’s prediction that the first person to rise at a table of 13 will be the first to die actually comes true: she didn’t know it, but Peter Pettigrew was actually at the table the whole time, and Dumbledore, who rose at Trelawney’s entrance, is the first to die.
‘Would anyone like me to help them interpret the shadowy portents within their Orb?’ [Trelawney] murmured over the clinking of her bangles.
‘I don’t need help,’ Ron whispered. ‘It’s obvious what this means. There’s going to be loads of fog tonight.'” (PoA 297)
It’s hard not to love this moment when Ron, who has previously been taking Trelawney’s word as gospel, starts pulling out the sass in Divination class. We all know he never goes back after this.
‘I was saying that Saturn was surely in a position of power in the heavens at the moment of your birth…. Your dark hair… your mean stature… tragic losses so young in life… I think I am right in saying, my dear, that you were born in midwinter?’
‘No,’ said Harry, ‘I was born in July.’
Ron hastily turned his laugh into a hacking cough.” (GoF 201)
Although this moment is hilarious, Trelawney is actually partially correct in believing that Harry was born in midwinter. Tom Riddle was born on December 31, and a piece of his soul is inside Harry.
‘I’ve got two Neptunes here,’ said Harry after a while, frowning down at his piece of parchment, ‘that can’t be right, can it?’
‘Aaaaah,’ said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney’s mystical whisper, ‘when two Neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry….'” (GoF 201)
Ron responds to Trelawney’s midwinter comment with this jibe at both Harry and Trelawney’s ability to read star charts.
‘Oh, Professor, look! I think I’ve got an unaspected planet! Oooh, which one’s that, Professor?’
‘It’s Uranus, my dear,’ said Professor Trelawney, peering down at the chart.
‘Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?’ said Ron.” (GoF 201)
I have to admit, I didn’t understand this joke at all when I first read the books as a child. I just couldn’t understand why Professor Trelawney was so annoyed at Ron for asking to see Uranus.
‘You seem to be drowning twice,’ said Hermione.
‘Oh am I?’ said Ron, peering down at his predictions. ‘I’d better change one of them to getting trampled by a rampaging hippogriff.’ (GoF 223)
Some fans believe that Harry and Ron’s predictions actually come true within the course of the book. Harry is in danger of burns from the dragons in the Triwizard Tournament and is stabbed in the back by someone he thinks is a friend when Mad-Eye Moody tries to kill him. Ron, meanwhile, is kept at the bottom of the lake during the second task, which may explain why he is so convinced that he will drown. Not all of the predictions fit perfectly, but it’s still funny to watch how excited Harry and Ron get about predicting their own deaths.
‘I arose, I settled myself before [the orb], and I gazed into its crystalline depths… and what do you think I saw gazing back at me?’
‘An ugly old bat in outsize specs?’ Ron muttered under his breath.
Harry fought hard to keep his face straight.
‘Death, my dears.'” (GoF 372)
This comment comes back to bite Ron later when he thinks that an ugly reflection he sees in a crystal ball is actually a prediction of the future… See number 14.
‘Well I had [a dream] that I was playing Quidditch the other night,’ said Ron, screwing up his face in an effort to remember. ‘What d’you reckon that means?’
‘Probably that you’re going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something,’ said Harry […].” (OotP 238)
Honestly, Harry and Ron’s predictions of death are far more interesting than Trelawney’s. I would like to see some fan art of Ron being eaten by a giant marshmallow.
[…] Professor Trelawney broke into hysterical sobs during Divination and announced to the startled class, and a very disapproving Umbridge, that Harry was not going to suffer an early death after all, but would live to a ripe old age, become Minister of Magic, and have twelve children.” (OotP 582-3)
All the teachers have their little ways of showing Harry their appreciation for his Quibbler article about Voldemort’s return, but Trelawney’s is by far my favorite. She must be really proud of him if she is predicting he’ll live past the next year.
[Harry] lost his head completely during tea-leaf reading, saying it looked to him as though Professor Marchbanks would shortly be meeting a round, dark, soggy stranger, and rounded off the whole fiasco by mixing up the life and head lines on her palm and informing her that she ought to have died the previous Tuesday.” (OotP 717)
The Divination OWLs are my favorite comedic moments in the whole series. I laugh out loud every time I read them.
[Ron] had just made Harry feel rather better by telling him how he told the examiner in detail about the ugly man with a wart on his nose in his crystal ball, only to look up and realize he had been describing his examiner’s reflection.” (OotP 717-8)
Ron’s examination is, if possible, even better than Harry’s. I can just imagine his horror in that moment…
‘No more pretending we care what happens when Jupiter and Uranus get too friendly…’
‘And from now on, I don’t care if my tea leaves spell die, Ron, die – I’m just chucking them in the bin where they belong.'” (OotP 718)
This may be one of the only times that two people are happy to fail an exam. Fortunately for Harry and Ron, and unfortunately for readers, they get to drop Divination after their disastrous OWLs.
‘Two of spades: conflict,’ [Trelawney] murmured, as she passed the place where Harry crouched, hidden. ‘Seven of spades: an ill omen. Ten of spades: violence. Knave of spades: a dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner – ‘
She stopped dead, right on the other side of Harry’s statue.
‘Well, that can’t be right,’ she said, annoyed […]” (HBP 195-6)
Poor Professor Trelawney… So many of her predictions are right and she has no idea.
Do you have any favorite Divination moments that I missed?