Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion


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Patronus inconsistencies?

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Erin I was just thinking about patronuses (patroni?) the other day and why certain characters had the patronus they did, and the fact that they can change (e.g., Tonks' patronus), mainly regarding the romantic-inspiration for a person's patronus.

For example, Hermione's patronus is an otter, which obviously is indicative of Ron. Snape is a prime example with his doe patronus, for Lily and Tonks' patronus even changes to a wolf for Lupin.

If people cast a patronus based on their love for someone presumably being their "happy thought", why weren't Lily and James's patronuses reversed? Lily's was a doe and James's was a stag. Wouldn't it make more sense given the above examples for them to be reversed?

I can see Harry's patronus being a stag for his father, because he never knew him and misses that kind of love.

I think it is interesting that Ron's patronus is a terrier (what resemblance does that have to Hermione?) and Ginny's is a horse (again, what resemblance is that to Harry?). If patronuses are based on what makes a witch or wizard most happy, doesn't it make sense for them to relate to the person they love most? And if that is so, why is Lupin's patronus a wolf when it so clearly does NOT make him happy to be a werewolf??

What's up with these inconsistencies?

Other forms of love that featured in Harr Potter could be interesting examples. I wonder what Salazar Slytherin or Merope's patronus would have been then, had they been capable of producing one?

So why aren't more patronuses related to a character's love interests especially between important pairs? What do you all think? I am not sure I am totally satisfied with Rowling's choices of patronuses! Especially Arthur Weasley's being a weasel...what a tackt thing to pick!


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I think if there is something important to them, even if it isn't love, that's their patronus. For the Ron and Hermione, that might have been how he saw Hermione. Just a guess, but Rowling probably has reasons.


Emily [image error]


Emily [image error]


message 5: by Channah (new) - added it

Channah I think Patronus's were really just whatever animal JKR thought belonged with the character. There's no reason why Hermione should have an otter or why Harry's dad should have a stag.


nekku Fake wrote: "I think Patronus's were really just whatever animal JKR thought belonged with the character. There's no reason why Hermione should have an otter or why Harry's dad should have a stag."

I'm thinking that too. Like the patronus reflected the the character was like or what the character loved or what the character is.


Carole Hermione's patronus is an otter simply because JKR likes the animal.

Do we ever see Lupin's patronus? On the train it's just a bright light.

In the books I don't recall that we ever know what Lily's and James's patronuses are (yes, JKR says that's the plural), though in a later interview she infers that their animagus forms are the same as their patronus.


message 8: by J (new) - rated it 5 stars

J Patronuses can also show internal characteristics that are frequently associated with that particular animal. Lions are brave, stags are proud, and anti-Ron people would be sure to point out that a lot of terriers are annoyingly hyper. A horse could probably represent free spirits (totally Ginny), and Lily and James' patronuses were almost like a matched set.


Carole Alisha wrote: "Patronus's were a reflection of each individuals personality, although a persons patronus form can change if the person is going through an emotional upheaval, including falling in love (like Snape..."

I believe you're confusing a patronus with an animagus form, which is a reflection of one's personality. And Severus's patronus was very likely always a silver doe since he'd always loved Lily.


Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* I think an individual's patronus were mere reflections of their true self. Otters are extremely good problem solvers. Terriers are stubborn and loyal and can be obnoxious when they want to. Stags have all of this power and majesty associated with them but they shed their antlers every year and are just as vulnerable as the female deer.


Charlie I agree with Brittain. I think the patronus can be an animal that has characteristics representative of the person like a Stag for James, Terrier for Ron. The fact that Tonk's patronus changed to a wolf, at least in my mind, shows how much a large part of her life Lupid had become.


message 12: by Blaise (new)

Blaise Haddow I specifically want to address the difference between Snape's patronus and Tonks' patronus, and how they related to the Lily/James pairing.

Snape's patronus is a doe not because he loved Lily but because he was obsessed with her. If it had been a stag instead, that would have implied love and a match of sorts.

Tonk's patronus is implied to be a female wolf, which would match with Lupin.

In the case of Lily and James, the patronus is, kind of, an extension of the person. The fact that their patronuses match up implies that they as people would as well.


Kaitlyn How on earth does an otter relate to Ron?

A patronus can be influenced by those a person loves, but that is not the sole factor. Its also tied to their personalities, etc. You're both over-simplifying and over-complicating it.


Anastasia I think the patronus are affected by something that is important to them or something that changed them. Often, this is love, but not always.


Julia I don't think it's always about love. It can also be about a caster's personality. In fact, I'm willing to bet that it's more often about the caster's personality than about who they love. Consider that most of these characters learn to cast a patronus before they ever fall in love.

In the case of Tonks, her love for Lupin caused her to suffer emotionally. Such a strong emotional overtake can cause somebody to change their patronus.

In the case of Snape, it's never discussed what his patronus was the first time he cast it. Has it always been a doe? Or did it become a doe after Lily died, causing major emotional turmoil and a serious change to how Snape defines himself?

James and Lily loved each other, but their love for each other didn't redefine them or cause major and sudden emotional upheaval. So their patronuses reflect who they are. The fact that they are stag and doe may just be a signal that they were meant for each other, as in whatever influenced their patronus form also influenced their falling in love. Not that their love influenced their patronus forms.

So, I don't think Hermione's otter relates to Ron, it relates to Hermione. Ron's terrier doesn't relate to Hermione, it relates to Ron. Harry's stag is most likely influenced by James, but only because Harry is so heavily influenced by James.

All together, I imagine patronuses to be very complex constructs, influenced by a large variety of factors (just as humans are very complex constructs).


Caroline Liberatore I think she made Arthur's a weasel because he loves his family most. Not just because it's his last name, but because it refers to his family and the people he loves.


Travelling Bookworm I seem to remember reading somewhere that terriers are known to chase otters (they are trained to do so, but the fact that it is for hunting makes this whole deal a bit less cute) :)


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