Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Firenze

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Firenze
Gender Male
Hair color White-blond and Palomino
Eye color Blue
Related Family Unknown
Loyalty Albus Dumbledore

Overview[edit]

Firenze is a Centaur who lives in the Forbidden Forest with the other Centaurs. Although they generally avoid humans, Firenze, the least aloof member in his herd, frequently interacts with Hagrid.

The author has said that Firenze's name is pronounced similarly to that of the Italian city.

Role in the Books[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Philosopher's Stone[edit]

When Harry is serving detention with Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest, Firenze rescues him from an unknown presence. Firenze also helps Harry figure out who is trying to steal the Philosopher's Stone and why. He is roundly criticized for helping Harry by Bane, a member of his herd, who believes Centaurs should remain aloof from puny Human problems.

Order of the Phoenix[edit]

At Albus Dumbledore's request, Firenze agrees to teach Divination at Hogwarts when Sybill Trelawney is sacked by Dolores Umbridge. This causes enormous turmoil between Firenze and the other centaurs, and Firenze is ejected from the herd.

Firenze teaches the Centaur method of divination, which is different from those used by Professor Trelawney. Instead it emphasizes divination's inexactness. Firenze also calls Harry aside to pass on a message to Hagrid saying that his (Hagrid's) attempt is not working. Although this is left unexplained, it is shortly learned that Hagrid is attempting to civilize his giant half-brother, Grawp.

Half-Blood Prince[edit]

Although Firenze continues teaching Divination at Hogwarts, alternating with Professor Trelawney, Harry is no longer taking the class and does not interact with him.

Deathly Hallows[edit]

Firenze is still at Hogwarts. During the battle at Hogwarts, he receives a fairly major injury and is unable to stand. Apparently he is later fully healed.

In an interview after the seventh book was finished, the author stated that, as events had proven him, if not right, at least not wrong in helping the Humans, he was allowed to rejoin his herd in the Forbidden Forest.

Strengths[edit]

Firenze is skilled in the ancient Centaurian divination techniques involving smoke and stars. He demonstrates great patience with these strange Human foals that he has been called upon to teach.

Weaknesses[edit]

Like all centaurs, he tends to discount the cosmic importance of any non-Centaur race, including humans.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit]

Firenze is more sympathetic to Humans than other Centaurs, but that is not saying much; he remains aloof and supercilious. He evidently shares the opinion that Humans are a lesser breed unable to understand the subtleties apparent to Centaurs or possess their deeper understanding of the universe. He is more open to discussion with Professor Dumbledore and Harry, perhaps because he sees them as pivotal characters in the unfolding events in their personal corner of the universe. However, even with Harry, there is a reserve, an apparent belief that he cannot fully understand the Centaur way. It seems Firenze believes Dumbledore is the one Human who can understand Centaurs. Dolores Umbridge, however, hates and fears him, as she does all intelligent non-human or partly-human creatures. She is furious when Dumbledore appoints Firenze as the new Divination teacher after she sacks Professor Trelawney.

Firenze's sympathy for humans causes trouble, and he clashes with the herd's elders. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, he is banished from the herd and is now a lone Centaur.

Analysis[edit]

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. Why did Firenze choose to abandon the other centaurs and teach at Hogwarts?
  2. In Firenze's first lesson, he seems unconcerned that none of his students succeed. What does this say about accepting things like control and fate?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.