What Readers Learned from “The Other Minister”

One of the many debated and discussed topics among fans of Harry Potter is what parts of the books the movies left out that we missed the most. What did we learn from those moments that the movies didn’t allow us to be privy to? What changes do we wish would have stayed the same? One of those book moments that did not make the cut for the movies is the very first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, titled “The Other Minister.” Let’s explore seven things readers learned in the chapter that moviegoers missed out on.

In this chapter, readers are introduced to the Muggle Prime Minister, who reflects on his encounters with what he terms the “Other Minister,” otherwise known as the Minister of Magic. He recounts their first meeting when he learned about the existence of the magical community. His recollections span from learning about the existence of Azkaban and its breakouts to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, dragons, and a sphinx. The chapter concludes as the Prime Minister learns from the “Other Minister,” Cornelius Fudge, that the recent disturbances in his community are caused by wizards and that there is now a new “Other Minister.” 



Permanent Coughing Correspondence

Located in the far corner of the Prime Minister’s room is a painting depicting a “froglike little man wearing a long silver wig” (HBP 1). This painting, presumably stuck to the wall with a Permanent Sticking Charm, is used to correspond and to arrange and announce meetings between the Muggle Prime Minister and the Minister of Magic.



Readers discover that the Ministry of Magic has the ability to rearrange the schedule of the Muggle Prime Minister. This is revealed when the portrait informs the Muggle Prime Minister that a phone call will be rearranged for the following night instead.



The Muggle Prime Minister’s fireplace is connected to the Floo Network, allowing wizards to travel through it. At times, the wizards emerging from the fire are described as doing so in a manner of bouncing, erupting, and materializing.


A Magical Briefing

Upon assuming the position of Prime Minister, the holder of office will soon find themselves unexpectedly meeting with the Minister of Magic, who promptly briefs them on the existence of the wizarding world and its associated elements. As Fudge, the Minister of Magic in this chapter, points out, the Muggle Prime Minister would be hesitant to disclose anything for fear of not being believed.


A Cup of Rodent

The gerbil belonging to the Prime Minister’s niece was in fact once a teacup belonging to him.


Import Notifications

The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures mandates that the Muggle Prime Minister be informed in the event that creatures considered highly dangerous, such as dragons or sphinxes, are imported into the country.


The Truth

The Muggle Prime Minister will, on occasion, become aware of events caused by the wizarding world that affect the Muggle population. These events often appear different or are presented through an altered lens to the Muggle population. Despite knowing the true nature of the events, the Muggle Prime Minister is unable to convey the truth to the public. In one instance, a bridge collapsed, leading the Muggle population to blame their government, when in reality, the collapse occurred as a result of a targeted attack by Dark wizards on Muggles.


With the Harry Potter TV show in the works, one can hope that this enlightening chapter from the book will be included and brought to life on screen. Until then, let’s discuss your favorite moment or piece of information from the chapter. Alternatively, share with us your casting choices for the roles of the Muggle Prime Minister or Herbert Chorley.

Brooke Schmitz

The magic of the Wizarding World enchanted me at an early age. Since then I have read the books more times than I can count. I love to inspire and connect with others through the Wizarding World.