Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney

Sybill Trelawney with a crystal ball

Fact File

Born9 March sometime before 1962
HouseRavenclaw
WandHazel and unicorn hair, 9 ½ inches, very flexible
PatronusNon-corporeal

Eccentric

Okay, this is obvious, isn’t it? Sybill Trelawney is the epitome of what an eccentric looks like and behaves. Her appearance in itself is not specially weird, she is just very thin, which isn’t something to highlight really. But the fact that she wears a pair of glasses that magnify her eyes to a scary degree, we have a different picture altogether. And if you add the fact that she normally covers herself in shawls and al kinds of necklaces, bangles and rings makes her look as extravagant as you can get.

She also tends to modify her voice so it sounds soft and ethereal, which only adds to her aura of extravagance, though when she gets angry or upset, her tone magically changes and it becomes snappy, losing all its spirituality. So, this can be interpreted as Sybill purposely dressing and behaving to be seen as an eccentric. Maybe she thinks that will cover up for the fact that she is not a true seer. Or is she?

 

Sybill Trelawney with Minerva McGonagall and Dolores Umbridge at Hogwarts

 

Sensitive

Sybill, better known as Professor Trelawney, has shown over the years the sensitivity hidden under layers and layers of shawls. It seems as if nothing ever permeates her protective shield, but there are instances during her life that have shown how weak it is,and there is one specially that broke her almost to the point of no return.

During the 1995-96 school year, there was a new addition to the staff of Hogwarts, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge. She had been appointed by the Minister of Magic to be his eyes inside the school, and she was later made High Inquisitor, which gave her the power to inspect all teachers and make decisions about their futures.

When it came time for Trelawney’s class to be inspected, she was at first outraged about the fact that Umbridge seemed to want her to just drop predictions out of a hat. But then, when Umbridge made to leave,Sybill got anxious and tried to make a prediction to impress her. This didn’t seem to move the Inquisitor at all, and in fact Trelawney was put on probation.

This became the beginning of the downfall of Sybill, who felt terribly distressed about the whole ordeal and started drinking more. She also began to lose patience with her students, who were surprised to see how different she had become. But the worst moment of her life was when she finally was dismissed by the High Inquisitor and told that she had to leave the castle.That meant losing everything; her job, her friends, her home… But thankfully Professor Dumbledore, as Headmaster of the school, overrode Umbridge’s order of eviction and assured Sybill that she was always welcome at Hogwarts.

 

 

Accurate?

OK, so before yelling read this with an open mind and decide for yourself if this is all a bunch of nonsense. It is clear that there are two moments in which Sybill proves the fact that she truly has the ‘inner eye’. Those are the two prophecies that she doesn’t even remember making. The first is the one about Harry being the one destined to confront Voldemort, which we all know to be true, and the other is the one about Peter Pettigrew and Voldemort’s return. This one also proved to be accurate, and the fact that she is not aware of making them doesn’t take that away.

Buuut, if you truly have an open mind (which is highly probable if you are a Ravenclaw), those are not her only accurate predictions. She actually makes a fuss during Harry’s third year at Christmas regarding the fact that if she sits down at the table that would make 13 the number of people dining together.If you believe her, this means that the first one to stand would be the first one to die among everyone in the group. The issue with this is that when Trelawney arrives at the table she doesn’t know that sitting there, there is actually a 13th person already. This “person” is none other than Peter Pettigrew,posing as Ron’s rat Scabbers. Taking this into account, the first person to stand from the table was Dumbledore, when he was trying to convince Sybill to sit with them no matter the possible bad luck.

So, this means that Sybill was actually right, seeing as the first person to die from that precise group of people was none other than Albus Dumbledore himself. There is at least another example of her ‘accuracy’ in the books, but for now we will leave it as it is. If you are curious,I would advise you to check Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to know more.