Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Pius Thicknesse
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Loyalty||Lord Voldemort (under Imperius curse)|
Pius Thicknesse is a fairly high-ranking civil servant who rises through the ranks in the Ministry of Magic, eventually becoming Minister.
Role in the Books
While Pius is never named in this book, he is apparently promoted to head the Department of Magical Law Enforcement upon the death of Amelia Bones.
In the first mention of Pius Thicknesse by name, Yaxley reports that he has placed an Imperius curse on the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Lord Voldemort says that this is good, but Thicknesse is only one man; in order to take over the Ministry, Rufus Scrimgeour must be surrounded by those loyal to Voldemort.
Thicknesse apparently is the source of the set of regulations regarding Portkeys, Apparition, and use of the Floo network in the houses on Privet Drive. Ostensibly designed to protect Harry from Dark wizards dropping in, the actual purpose seems to be to enable monitoring of Harry's movements. It is because of these regulations that Harry must leave Privet Drive by means of Sirius Black's flying motorcycle.
After the death of Rufus Scrimgeour, Pius Thicknesse is appointed Minister for Magic.
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione enter the Ministry to try and retrieve the locket Horcrux, Harry and Hermione are on the lift (elevator) as it reaches the first level, which is dedicated to the Ministry and support staff. Pius Thicknesse is there talking with Dolores Umbridge, who is waiting for the lift.
While Harry is searching Umbridge's office for the locket, Thicknesse comes in to leave a note for her; luckily, Harry has just completed his search, and is hiding under the Invisibility Cloak so Thicknesse does not see him.
Thicknesse takes part in the battle at Hogwarts at the end of the book. Fighting on the side of the Death Eaters, he is incapacitated by a hex from Percy Weasley. Percy tells him that the hex constitutes his resignation.
Seen in passing in the second battle, Pius was being 'floored' by Percy and Arthur Weasley.
Relationships with Other Characters
There has been some controversy about the name, with a few Catholics reading into it a jab at Pope Pius. However, there is no real ecclesiastical echo to lend credibility to this reading, and the name is more likely simply a suggested phrase in the two words. The Potter lore uses such phrased names frequently, or even in generally twinned ideas as with Rubeus Hagrid or Remus Lupin. At least one Catholic commentator has mentioned the church type that would be described as a "pious thickness", the member of the congregation who believes what he is told to believe, but is unable to understand why. Similarly the phrase could simply suggest more broadly one well regarded but unintelligent or obtuse to a looming danger. In either case such a character would be a natural enabler for a type such as Umbridge, laughing on Umbridge's cue, following Umbridge's lead, though also never quite able to explain why. Such a person would be uniquely susceptible to the Imperius curse, or not even need to be cursed to be made an unquestioningly obedient tool.