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Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis



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  #1  
Old March 31st, 2012, 3:35 pm
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Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

The new Pottermore information gives us insight into Quirrell's past, his choices and his meeting with Voldemort. He actually reminds me a lot of Percy Weasley. Not so much in his manner, since Percy is full of confidence about what he wants. But both are very ambitious in wanting to make a name for themselves and end up making the wrong choices. Contrary to Percy, Quirrell's story doesn't end well.

Previous threads: Post-DH and Pre-DH

1. Quirrell actively goes in search of Voldemort, either to capture him or learn from him. This feels completely oppurtunistic. Was Quirrell really that naive to think he could capture Voldemort?

2. Voldemort took over Quirrell's mind and effectively turned him into a horcrux. Do you think Quirrell's experiences as a "horcrux" would have been similar to Harry's?

3. Quirrell had a brilliant mind, but was he responsible for solving the logic puzzle or was it Voldemort?

4. How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?



Last edited by Hes; March 31st, 2012 at 3:40 pm.
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Old April 15th, 2013, 2:42 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Skimming back through PS/SS and I noticed this:

Chapter 17: The Man With Two Faces"But Snape always seemed to hate me so much."

"Oh, he does," said Quirrell casually, "heavens, yes. He was at Hogwarts with your father, didn't you know?
They loathed each other. But he never wanted you dead."


So what do you guys make of this particular statement from Quirrell - that Snape never wanted Harry dead?

Could he mean "never", as in, going all the way back to the prophecy & Godric's Hollow? (*squee!*)

And how would Quirrell know about this? From Voldemort, right?


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Old April 17th, 2013, 9:04 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Interesting point you bring up there, Charlotte . And looking back on things, it probably meant that (in Snape's case at least) he wanted to keep him alive in order to defeat Voldemort; and in terms of Voldemort -- keep him alive long enough so Voldemort could kill him. As for Quirrell knowing it, it makes sense , especially if he's a horcrux like Harry was. He'd probably catch wind of Voldemort's thoughts and the like.


Quote:
1. Quirrell actively goes in search of Voldemort, either to capture him or learn from him. This feels completely oppurtunistic. Was Quirrell really that naive to think he could capture Voldemort?
Most likely. He should have figured that Voldemort wanted to find a vessel. So unless he truly wanted to learn from him or get powerful in any way he could, it just sounds as if he was being used.


Quote:
2. Voldemort took over Quirrell's mind and effectively turned him into a horcrux. Do you think Quirrell's experiences as a "horcrux" would have been similar to Harry's?
Probably. Never viewed it that way before. Only viewed his take over of Quirrell's body as a body take over kind of thing, and not as that. It probably wouldn't have been very comfortable for him.


Quote:
3. Quirrell had a brilliant mind, but was he responsible for solving the logic puzzle or was it Voldemort?
Good question. It probably was a combination of the two.


Quote:
4. How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?
Probably by acting the way he did behavior wise, acting all meek and such. Along with the turban, Dumbledore just probably didn't notice anything really off about him.


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Old April 19th, 2013, 1:28 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
Interesting point you bring up there, Charlotte . And looking back on things, it probably meant that (in Snape's case at least) he wanted to keep him alive in order to defeat Voldemort;
Maybe - except that it's highly contested how much Snape cared about the overall mission to defeat Voldemort during Harry's years at school. Analysis of the silver doe scene in DD's office from TPT suggests that Snape had not yet taken the greater mission to heart
("I thought ... all these years ... that we were protecting him for her. For Lily."~Snape, DH, Ch.33)

So Snape thought he was keeping Harry alive "all those years" (including first year) "for her... for Lily" (not in order to defeat Voldemort, as you suggest).

Quote:
and in terms of Voldemort -- keep him alive long enough so Voldemort could kill him.
Hmm.. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the whole nobody-kill-Harry-he's-mine rule had been established yet . I don't think that became an issue until after he failed to kill Harry in the graveyard duel.

Quote:
As for Quirrell knowing it, it makes sense , especially if he's a horcrux like Harry was. He'd probably catch wind of Voldemort's thoughts and the like.
Yeah. I can't think of how else Quirrell would know about James & Severus' mutual loathing. Maybe it came up in conversation w/Voldemort even before he implanted himself on the back of Quirrell's head? Who knows?

But what really intrigues me about Quirrell's statements is that "never" (in this particular context) apparently stretches all the way back to his schooldays with James. This suggests that Voldemort either sensed this from the beginning (from the time when Snape pleaded for Lily to be spared - that he also didn't want Harry to die), or that he may have reached this conclusion during first year (after noticing how often Snape intervened to save Harry - and deciding that it might have something to do with Lily).

This also reminds me of a post-DH quote from JK:

Quote:
But then you have people, I had people as early as Prisoner of Azkaban, the third book. I remember a woman saying to me : “I think Snape loves Lily”. I was “Oh my God what the hell did I give away ?”
I think for a reeeally perceptive reader, these two lines in PS/SS could've been enough to catch the gist of it:

Quote:
They loathed each other. But he never wanted you dead.
Snape loathed Harry's father, and yet, he never wanted Harry to die = it consequently points to some kind of respect/regard for Harry's mother (and events in PoA only reinforce that idea).


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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:20 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
Yeah. I can't think of how else Quirrell would know about James & Severus' mutual loathing. Maybe it came up in conversation w/Voldemort even before he implanted himself on the back of Quirrell's head? Who knows?
There is always the possibility that Quirrell attended Hogwarts during the same time as Severus and James, as he is decribed as a young man. From what we see in SWM, the animosity between James and Severus wasn't a secret, and was witnessed by anyone that happened to be around at the time.


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Old April 19th, 2013, 11:45 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
There is always the possibility that Quirrell attended Hogwarts during the same time as Severus and James, as he is decribed as a young man. From what we see in SWM, the animosity between James and Severus wasn't a secret, and was witnessed by anyone that happened to be around at the time.
Ah. You may be right about that He may well have been there to see it firsthand, and I suppose his second statement that Snape never wanted Harry dead could also refer specifically to that year (since Harry just remarked that Snape "always" seemed to hate him).

But I like my first theory better


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Old April 19th, 2013, 10:32 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
Maybe - except that it's highly contested how much Snape cared about the overall mission to defeat Voldemort during Harry's years at school. Analysis of the silver doe scene in DD's office from TPT suggests that Snape had not yet taken the greater mission to heart
("I thought ... all these years ... that we were protecting him for her. For Lily."~Snape, DH, Ch.33)

So Snape thought he was keeping Harry alive "all those years" (including first year) "for her... for Lily" (not in order to defeat Voldemort, as you suggest).



Hmm.. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the whole nobody-kill-Harry-he's-mine rule had been established yet . I don't think that became an issue until after he failed to kill Harry in the graveyard duel.



Yeah. I can't think of how else Quirrell would know about James & Severus' mutual loathing. Maybe it came up in conversation w/Voldemort even before he implanted himself on the back of Quirrell's head? Who knows?

But what really intrigues me about Quirrell's statements is that "never" (in this particular context) apparently stretches all the way back to his schooldays with James. This suggests that Voldemort either sensed this from the beginning (from the time when Snape pleaded for Lily to be spared - that he also didn't want Harry to die), or that he may have reached this conclusion during first year (after noticing how often Snape intervened to save Harry - and deciding that it might have something to do with Lily).

This also reminds me of a post-DH quote from JK:



I think for a reeeally perceptive reader, these two lines in PS/SS could've been enough to catch the gist of it:



Snape loathed Harry's father, and yet, he never wanted Harry to die = it consequently points to some kind of respect/regard for Harry's mother (and events in PoA only reinforce that idea).
Good points. Looks like he did it for Lily alone, out of respect towards her.

Another good point. Maybe he was somewhat aware, but was waiting to see what would happen in regards to whether Snape was really loyal to him.


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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:14 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hes View Post
The new Pottermore information gives us insight into Quirrell's past, his choices and his meeting with Voldemort. He actually reminds me a lot of Percy Weasley. Not so much in his manner, since Percy is full of confidence about what he wants. But both are very ambitious in wanting to make a name for themselves and end up making the wrong choices. Contrary to Percy, Quirrell's story doesn't end well.
I think there are similarities, in that they both wanted to be important. However, unlike Quirrell, Percy does not seem to have ever entertained the idea of using dark magic to hurt others in order to feel or be important. Percy, like Quirrell, resented being the butt of jokes, but he did not react to this in the disturbing way that Quirrell did. He made mistakes, but his mistakes were to put his trust in a corrupt government, rather than to pin his hopes on the help of a psychotic mass murderer.

Quote:
1. Quirrell actively goes in search of Voldemort, either to capture him or learn from him. This feels completely oppurtunistic. Was Quirrell really that naive to think he could capture Voldemort?
Honestly, I have less sympathy for Quirrell after reading the Pottermore information. From PS, it seemed that he had encountered Voldemort by chance and been manipulated and overtaken by him. But to actually seek out Voldemort, in order to learn dark magic from him strikes me as incredibly foolish and arrogant. Not to mention an extreme version of revenge, given that he planned to use it so that people wouldn't laugh at him. I find that quite a disturbing idea and attitude.
He may have considered capturing Voldemort as a possibility, but he was also considering the option of learning from him how to harm others. I don't think he really cared as long as it made him important/feel important.

Quote:
2. Voldemort took over Quirrell's mind and effectively turned him into a horcrux. Do you think Quirrell's experiences as a "horcrux" would have been similar to Harry's?
I don't think so. The horrux in Harry had broken off from the main sentient soul, whereas Quirrell was possessed by the main part of Voldemort's soul. Harry had his own thoughts, feelings, ideas and decisions. The horcrux within Harry seemed at times to strain to get back to the main soul - which may have been why it hurt when Voldemort was near. I don't think Quirrell would have experienced that as Voldemort was conscious and would have been unwilling to leave a live host before he had a body of his own.

Quote:
3. Quirrell had a brilliant mind, but was he responsible for solving the logic puzzle or was it Voldemort?
Hmm. Depends how Voldemort viewed the challenge. If he had viewed it as minion's work, he would have left it to Quirrell. He could also have viewed it as too important to leave to Quirrell and done it himself. It could also have been a matter of pride - it was a test, and Voldemort may have wanted to do it himself because of his ego.

Quote:
4. How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?
By behaving as though he were weak and helpless. By spreading the rumour that his nervousness was because of a bad encounter with a vampire or a hag while he was travelling. By keeping Voldemort hidden under the turban. It's not as if Voldemort glowed in the dark to let people know he was near, so all Quirrell had to do was not let on that he was now Voldemort's servant and host.

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
Skimming back through PS/SS and I noticed this:

So what do you guys make of this particular statement from Quirrell - that Snape never wanted Harry dead?

Could he mean "never", as in, going all the way back to the prophecy & Godric's Hollow? (*squee!*)

I think it simply means that year. Quirrell does not know enough to say that Snape "never" wanted Harry dead. And it cannot possibly go back as far as the prophecy, because Snape did not know or care who would die when he passed on the prophecy, and by the time the Potters were in hiding at Godric's Hollow, Snape would have preferred for Lily to survive and Harry to die. His reaction to being told by Dumbledore that Harry had survived instead of Lily certainly suggests to me that he resents the fact that Harry was still alive instead of Lily. IMO, Quirrell can only be referring to that year, and to the attempts on Harry's life.

Quote:
And how would Quirrell know about this? From Voldemort, right?

IMO, Quirrell was referring to the fact that it was he and Voldemort, rather than Snape, behind the attempt to murder Harry that year.

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
Most likely. He should have figured that Voldemort wanted to find a vessel. So unless he truly wanted to learn from him or get powerful in any way he could, it just sounds as if he was being used.
Of course he was being used - anyone who went to Voldemort to gain something was being used. All of his servants were being used. However, it was Quirrell's choice to seek out Voldemort Quirrell wanted to learn dark magic to cause harm. Like with the Death Eaters, Voldemort saw this inclination towards cruelty and selfishness as something he could use to his advantage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte_Snape View Post
But what really intrigues me about Quirrell's statements is that "never" (in this particular context) apparently stretches all the way back to his schooldays with James. This suggests that Voldemort either sensed this from the beginning (from the time when Snape pleaded for Lily to be spared - that he also didn't want Harry to die), or that he may have reached this conclusion during first year (after noticing how often Snape intervened to save Harry - and deciding that it might have something to do with Lily).

If Voldemort had sensed this, at all, he would not have allowed Snape back into the fold at the end of GoF, not by a long shot. IMO, this "never" of Quirrell's only refers to that year. I don't think it can truthfully be said that Snape never, ever, ever wanted Harry dead.

Quote:
This also reminds me of a post-DH quote from JK:
Personally, I think it may just have been because people shipped all kinds of characters together, and Lily/Snape shipping may have just been the Marauder-era version of Hermione/Draco shipping - the Muggleborn with the DE thing.
Or, if there were genuine reasons, it may have been based on the fact that a Death Eater, with no qualms about being cruel or hurtful, never insulted Harry's Muggleborn mother.

Quote:
Snape loathed Harry's father, and yet, he never wanted Harry to die = it consequently points to some kind of respect/regard for Harry's mother (and events in PoA only reinforce that idea).
I don't think that's quite enough to jump to the conclusion that Snape loved Lily. Not wanting an innocent child dead does not automatically mean that a person must love the child's mother. And I would sincerely hope that there are not many people at all who would wish an innocent child dead, murdered, just because they hated the child's father.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
There is always the possibility that Quirrell attended Hogwarts during the same time as Severus and James, as he is decribed as a young man. From what we see in SWM, the animosity between James and Severus wasn't a secret, and was witnessed by anyone that happened to be around at the time.
It's possible that they were at school at the same time. Or perhaps it was something Quirrell learned from the other teachers. Or perhaps Voldemort told him.


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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:27 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post

Of course he was being used - anyone who went to Voldemort to gain something was being used. All of his servants were being used. However, it was Quirrell's choice to seek out Voldemort Quirrell wanted to learn dark magic to cause harm. Like with the Death Eaters, Voldemort saw this inclination towards cruelty and selfishness as something he could use to his advantage.
Good point, and definitely the truth on that one . He didn't care about anyone else or anything else, he only wanted power and he was willing to get it no matter what he had to do in order to get it, in what ever way possible, good or evil. Seconded on that. He saw that as something he could use to help get him what he really wanted.


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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:52 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fawkesfan1 View Post
Good point, and definitely the truth on that one . He didn't care about anyone else or anything else, he only wanted power and he was willing to get it no matter what he had to do in order to get it, in what ever way possible, good or evil. Seconded on that. He saw that as something he could use to help get him what he really wanted.
Yes - perhaps he would have preferred the prestige and ego boost of capturing Voldemort, (right and wrong didn't come into it). However, he would have settled for learning how to harm people who bothered him. IMO, this tells quite a lot about the kind of person Quirrell was. It's why I lost sympathy for Quirrell after reading the Pottermore information.


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Old April 20th, 2013, 11:59 pm
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Yes - perhaps he would have preferred the prestige and ego boost of capturing Voldemort, (right and wrong didn't come into it). However, he would have settled for learning how to harm people who bothered him. IMO, this tells quite a lot about the kind of person Quirrell was. It's why I lost sympathy for Quirrell after reading the Pottermore information.
Definitely. He was kind of like Gilderoy Lockhart in that respect, imo. He didn't care if he hurt anyone, just as long as he got what he wanted. For him it was power, like Voldemort, and for Lockhart it was both power and glory.

What did the Pottermore information say about Quirrell? It's been awhile since I've been there. Don't want to get you into any trouble though, so a link would be good, so I can see for myself.


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Old April 21st, 2013, 1:21 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Definitely. He was kind of like Gilderoy Lockhart in that respect, imo. He didn't care if he hurt anyone, just as long as he got what he wanted. For him it was power, like Voldemort, and for Lockhart it was both power and glory.
I agree, that similarity is there. Both wanted recognition, both wanted to be important and did not care how that came about, or who they trampled on. They may have had different ideas of what constituted being important, but their own sense of ego and entitlement was more important to either of them than right and wrong, than basic conscience. And yet, Quirrell seems to get much more sympathy than Lockhart, even though Quirrell was trying to commit violent crimes, and to benefit from the evil of Voldemort. Lockhart, while malicious in his memory theft and though his nastiness is sometimes downplayed, did not stoop to the level of Voldemort's servants.


Quote:
What did the Pottermore information say about Quirrell? It's been awhile since I've been there. Don't want to get you into any trouble though, so a link would be good, so I can see for myself.

It pretty much says that Quirrell sought Voldemort out of a desire for importance. That he was hoping to be the man who tracked Voldemort down, or to learn skills that would ensure nobody laughed at him. (Which I doubt means learning how to look stern and be dour. Clearly, it means he wanted to learn dark magic to harm others.)
Here's the link:

http://www.pottermore.com/en/book1/c...essor-quirrell


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Old April 21st, 2013, 1:28 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I agree, that similarity is there. Both wanted recognition, both wanted to be important and did not care how that came about, or who they trampled on. They may have had different ideas of what constituted being important, but their own sense of ego and entitlement was more important to either of them than right and wrong, than basic conscience. And yet, Quirrell seems to get much more sympathy than Lockhart, even though Quirrell was trying to commit violent crimes, and to benefit from the evil of Voldemort. Lockhart, while malicious in his memory theft and though his nastiness is sometimes downplayed, did not stoop to the level of Voldemort's servants.





It pretty much says that Quirrell sought Voldemort out of a desire for importance. That he was hoping to be the man who tracked Voldemort down, or to learn skills that would ensure nobody laughed at him. (Which I doubt means learning how to look stern and be dour. Clearly, it means he wanted to learn dark magic to harm others.)
Here's the link:

http://www.pottermore.com/en/book1/c...essor-quirrell
Yep. He was nasty in his own right, but he didn't go to the lengths that Voldemort's followers did. As for Quirrell, he would have done almost anything to get what he wanted, so in that way, he was like Voldemort.

Thanks for the link, FurryDice! Now onto finding my password, since I've seemed to have misplaced my pottermore password . Hopefully I can find it, so I can view the information.

Edit: couldn't find it, so I went and changed it. Better to do that than to not be able to access the site at all.

And I just found out I can't view the page yet . Onto unlocking more chapters so I can read it.

Just unlocked it, didn't realize I was up to that point yet.


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Old June 5th, 2013, 1:42 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

1. Quirrell actively goes in search of Voldemort, either to capture him or learn from him. This feels completely oppurtunistic. Was Quirrell really that naive to think he could capture Voldemort?

I think it probable that Quirrell did not understand just how dangerous Voldemort could still be. As I understand it, Voldemort's ability to possess others was an uncommon ability.

2. Voldemort took over Quirrell's mind and effectively turned him into a horcrux. Do you think Quirrell's experiences as a "horcrux" would have been similar to Harry's?

I don't know. Harry's experience of being possessed seemed somewhat different than his usual experience of being a Horcrux. As far as I know, Quirrell was neither being possessed nor being used as a Horcrux until after Gringott's was robbed, despite what Pottermore says. He could shake Harry's hand without harm, and he gives a different story at the end than immediate possession. Once Voldemort did move into the back of his head, it seems like it was a physical attachment, rather than a strong mental one. Quirrell and Voldy talked out loud to one another, for example, instead of communicating silently through linked minds.

3. Quirrell had a brilliant mind, but was he responsible for solving the logic puzzle or was it Voldemort?

There was a bunch of puzzles they had to get through together.

Hagrid's required a calming lullaby in the face of slavering danger, rather than a direct assault. Hagrid's puzzle stumped them both, so they had to trick the answer out of him.

Sprout's required a cool head and plant trivia. I think Voldemort was the cool head and Quirrell could remember the plant details. Quirrell liked to press wildflowers, which suggests he might like plant lore, and Voldy has a habit of discounting details that he doesn't think will ever benefit him.

Flitwick's required deductive reasoning and athletic skill. Don't know much about Quirrell here, but Voldy still has to use Quirrell's body to do the flying, so Quirrell can't have been a total loss.

McGonagall's puzzle required tactical intelligence. Could have been either, if they learned chess at some point.

Quirrell's required brute force. Not much to it.

Snape's was the logic puzzle. The only "great" wizard who went down there who got stumped by that one was Harry Potter.

Dumbledore's puzzle was moral. Neither Quirrell nor Voldemort could solve that one, but Voldy figured out that he could use Harry to solve it for him.



4. How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?

Besides using concealing headgear, perhaps he was a good occlumens.


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Old August 18th, 2013, 3:24 am
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Re: Quirinus Quirrell: Character Analysis

1. Quirrell actively goes in search of Voldemort, either to capture him or learn from him. This feels completely oppurtunistic. Was Quirrell really that naive to think he could capture Voldemort?
I think he was. Quirrell is described as having a latent desire to prove himself, so I believe he wasn't thinking rationally. Rather, I believe he was thinking idealistically of what he wanted to accomplish. Also, I think he wanted to learn from Voldemort more than he wanted to capture him.

2. Voldemort took over Quirrell's mind and effectively turned him into a horcrux. Do you think Quirrell's experiences as a "horcrux" would have been similar to Harry's?
No, I think Voldemort had much greater control and influence over Quirrell than he did over Harry. For one thing, Voldemort essentially took over Quirrell's body with the main part of his soul, rather than just a piece of it. I believe the bio also says that Voldemort also took control of Quirrell's actions, and that he tried feebly to fight it unsuccessfully at times. Harry on the other hand was the horcrux Voldemort never intended to make. As such, Voldemort wasn't intentionally trying to control Harry like he was with Quirrell, but he still had a link with Harry that allowed him to affect Harry in various ways. Also, Voldemort can't physically possess Harry (at least for very long) due to the protection imparted to him by Lily, and due to his ability to love.

3. Quirrell had a brilliant mind, but was he responsible for solving the logic puzzle or was it Voldemort?
That's a good question. I think both of them were capable of solving it. I'm not sure who actually did though.

4. How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?
At first, I don't think Dumbledore would have had reason to suspect that anything was off with Quirrell. If I'm not mistaken, Dumbledore doesn't "feel" Voldemort's proximity the way Harry might (or to use an example from another fandom, the way a Jedi feels a disturbance in the Force when a Sith is nearby ). Later on, perhaps Quirrell (or Voldemort through Quirrell) used Legilimency to keep Dumbledore's suspicions off of Quirrell, or maybe Quirrell just avoided Dumbledore whenever he could.

As an aside, it's interesting that Quirrell is a Ravenclaw who turned to the "Dark Side". I like that he's not just another ambitious Slytherin.


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Last edited by RemusLupinFan; August 18th, 2013 at 3:26 am.
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