One thing that I found interesting but that I haven't noticed anyone else mention.

In chapter 76, we have:

But, as Hermione had explained to Millicent, prophesying wasn't controllable, there was no way to ask for a prophecy about anything in particular. Instead (the books had said) there was a sort of pressure that built up in Time, when some huge event was trying to happen, or stop itself from happening. And seers were like weak points that let out the pressure, when the right listener was nearby. So prophecies were only about big, important things, because only that generated enough pressure; and you almost never got more than one seer saying the same thing, because afterward the pressure was gone. And, as Hermione had further explained to Millicent, the seers themselves didn't remember their prophecies, because the message wasn't for them. And the messages would come out in riddles, and only someone who heard the prophecy in the seer's original voice would hear all the meaning that was in the riddle. There was no possible way that Millicent could just give out a prophecy any time she wanted, about school bullies, and then remember it, and if she had it would've come out as 'the skeleton is the key' and not 'Susan Bones has to be there'.

But in chapter 63, we have:

Final Aftermath:

She came awake with a gasp of horror, a disruption of her breathing that left her feeling deprived of air and yet her lungs didn't move, she woke up with an unvoiced scream on her lips and no words, no words came forth, for she could not understand what she had seen, she could not understand what she had seen, it was too large for her to encompass and still taking shape, she could not put words to that formless shape and so she could not discharge it, could not discharge it and become innocent and unknowing once more.

"What time is it?" she whispered.

Her golden jeweled alarm clock, the beautiful and magical and expensive alarm clock that the Headmaster had given her as a gift upon her employment at Hogwarts, whispered back, "Around two in the morning. Go back to sleep."

Her sheets were soaked in sweat, her nightclothes soaked in sweat, she took her wand from beside the pillow and cleaned herself up before she tried to go back to sleep, she tried to go back to sleep and eventually succeeded.

Sybill Trelawney went back to sleep.

This aftermath was widely considered to have been Trelawney giving a prophesy. However, as we just found out (assuming that the information Harry and Hermione gathered is accurate) that prophesies aren't given, the pressure doesn't get released, unless the right person is nearby. However, Trelawney appeared to be alone in that aftermath. This opens a number of different options.

  • The information from the books is wrong.
  • Trelawney was not as alone as she appeared.
  • The speculated recording spells count as being the right nearby listener. Interestingly, this could mean that Dumbledore isn't the right listener, if others also have recording or listening spells around Trelawney.
  • Trelawney wasn't actually giving a prophesy. The first time I read it, I thought that she "couldn't discharge it," and then it did discharge but didn't realize, because she could never remember her prophesies. But with this new information, that suggests to me that perhaps all of the pressure was building and building, but it was unable to vent itself at that time because the right person wasn't there. If this prophesy is similar to the one in canon, then that means it won't express itself until she's near Harry Potter.

Does anyone else see anything that I missed?

Showing 3 of 4 replies (Click to show all)

I think it's pretty clear she didn't give it:

she could not put words to that formless shape and so she could not discharge it, could not discharge it and become innocent and unknowing once more.

So, the question is whether Trelawney has been carrying a headache since chapter 63 and has been within earshot of Harry. Doing a quick search on her name, 'prophecy', and one or two other terms, as far as I can tell there has been zero mention of Trelawney since.

3[anonymous]9yThe official explanation for prophecy was presented alongside a character who exploits other people's belief in destiny in order to mislead them. It appeared in a chapter called "Surface Appearances". It might not be safe to take it at face value. I think there were already (extratextual) reasons to doubt that Eliezer would implement prophecy that way, but there's another one.
3Jonathan_Elmer9yBack in chapter 21 Trelawney started giving a prophecy in the middle of lunch and Dumbledore used the phoenix to teleport her away. If the books are correct this probably made the prophecy useless as anyone in the room could have been the intended recipient, but the true meaning would probably be lost among that large an audience anyway. As a side note if the he-who-is-coming in the prophecy is Mr. hat-and-cloak then that would rule out Snape and Quirrell. Though I don't think manipulating first year army battles and messing with Granger's head would count as "tearing apart" anything worth prophesying about.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

by Oscar_Cunningham 1 min read9th Sep 2011725 comments


(The HPMOR discussion thread after this one is here.)

The previous thread is over the 500-comment threshold, so let's start a new Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread.  This is the place to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic and anything related to it. The latest chapter as of 09/09/2011 is Ch. 77.

The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag.  Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system.  Also: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.  The author page is the central location for information about updates and links to HPMOR-related goodies, and AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author's Notes.

As a reminder, it's often useful to start your comment by indicating which chapter you are commenting on.

Spoiler Warning:  this thread is full of spoilers.  With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13.  More specifically:

You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it's fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that "Eliezer said X is true" unless you use rot13.