- "Centaurs are not the servants or playthings of humans."
- —Firenze regarding all magical creatures[src]
Before sometime in March 1996, he lived with the colony in the Forbidden Forest, on the borders of Hogwarts in Scotland. In 1992, Firenze saved Harry Potter in the forest from Lord Voldemort, frightening Voldemort away and carrying Harry on his back to safety. Despite his heroics, his herd saw this as a dishonourable act, as they considered themselves too great to be ridden by humans.
About four years later, in March 1996, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hired him to teach Divination in Sybill Trelawney's stead, after she was sacked by Dolores Umbridge. But once again, the other centaurs saw this as servitude, and his colony attacked and banished him. They would have killed him were it not for the intervention of Rubeus Hagrid.
After Dumbledore was reinstated as headmaster, Trelawney was returned to her classroom. However, since Firenze was still estranged with his colony, Dumbledore allowed them both to continue teaching, though Trelawney was uncomfortable with sharing her classes with a centaur.
When Firenze was injured fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts, he returned to his colony later when the other centaurs had come to the opinion that his pro-human leanings were not so shameful.
Life with his herd
- "This is where I leave you. You are safe now. Good luck, Harry Potter. The planets have been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times."
- —Firenze bids Harry Potter goodbye after seeing him to safety[src]
Firenze was, presumably, born to the centaur colony in the Forbidden Forest, and lived part of his life there.
On the night of 26 May, 1992, Hagrid took Harry, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Draco Malfoy to their detention in the forest. Their task was to find out why unicorns were turning up mauled and dead.
Harry found out, it was Voldemort who, drinking the unicorns' blood, tried to remain alive long enough so that he could drink the Elixir of Life and achieve immortality. As Draco ran away, horrified, the hooded Voldemort turned to face Harry. The pain on his scar made him fall to his knees, but Firenze, coming across the scene, galloped forwards and charged at Voldemort, scaring him away.
Realising how dangerous it would be to let Harry stay in the Forest, he let him on his back so that he could take him to safety. Bane and Ronan, two other centaurs from the colony, arrived there and, while Ronan said he was sure Firenze thought he had been acting for the best, Bane started yelling at him because he regarded it as a despicable action, because a centaur is not for humans to ride. Firenze was angered and, leaving both centaurs behind, carried Harry on his back to safety where he was reunited with Hermione, Neville, Draco and Hagrid.
Life as Hogwarts professor
1995-1996 school year
- Parvati Patil: "Professor Trelawney did astrology with us! Mars causes accidents and burns and things like that, and when it makes an angle to Saturn, like now — that means people need to be extra careful when handling hot things— "
- Firenze: "That is human nonsense. Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents, these are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements."
- — Firenze teaching his first Divination lesson[src]
This resulted in Firenze being cast out of his colony, since agreeing to work for a human was considered a betrayal of their kind. His colony had even attacked him, and might have killed him if not for the intervention of Hagrid.
Dumbledore transformed the classroom into a forest-type state for Firenze, and students were requested to lie back and look at the stars on the small enchanted ceiling. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil found him very appealing and looked forward to his lessons, even though they liked Professor Trelawney as well.
1996-1997 school year
- Sybill Trelawney: "Good evening, my dear. I haven't seen you in my classes lately…"
- Luna Lovegood: "No, I've got Firenze this year."
- — Discussion of Firenze at the Slug Club Christmas party[src]
With the departure of the headmistress Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts at the end of the school year, Professor Trelawney was reinstated by Dumbledore to her post of Divination Professor. Firenze, however, could not return to his still resentful colony, so Dumbledore let him continue teaching Divination alongside Trelawney.
Firenze taught the fifth-year Ravenclaws, though sharing classes with him caused Trelawney much consternation, as she considered it an insult to be sharing classes with a "horse". In turn, Firenze did not seem to think much of Trelawney, seeming to find her attempts at Cartomancy "almost comical."
After Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape atop the Astronomy Tower on the evening of 30 June, 1997, Firenze attended Dumbledore's funeral. He stood "like a sentinel" by the shores of the Black Lake, paying his respects to the wizard who had welcomed him and given him a job and a home. Dolores Umbridge was startled by his appearance at the funeral, considering her previous experience with Centaurs.
1997-1998 school year and Battle of Hogwarts
- "Firenze was amongst the injured; his flank poured blood and he shook where he lay, unable to stand."
- —Description of his injury during the battle[src]
In the evening of 1 May, 1998, Firenze stood with the remaining teachers and members of the Order of the Phoenix who had arrived to fight after Snape's ousting.
Minerva McGonagall talked to students about how the underage among them, and those who were not willing to fight, were going to be evacuated before the start of the battle that would soon ensue, as Voldemort and his Death Eaters were going to start their attack at midnight.
Firenze stayed to fight, and was seriously injured on his flank which poured copious amounts of blood. He was laid on the raised platform at the Great Hall during the hour-long fighting interregnum, and was shaking and unable to stand by himself. Given his state, it is most likely Firenze did not partake in the second half of the Battle. It is likely, however, that Firenze witnessed the duel between Harry and Voldemort in the Great Hall and Voldemort's final defeat.
After the Battle, Firenze was welcomed back into his colony, when they were forced to acknowledge that Firenze's pro-human leanings were not shameful, but honourable.
Personality and traits
Firenze was a courageous centaur who was not as traditional or proud as most of his kind. Whereas most centaurs believed it was shameful to work alongside humans, Firenze was happy to allow Harry to ride him and became a teacher in Hogwarts.
Firenze was willing to stand up for what he believed in even if it meant defying his colony; unfortunately this resulted in him nearly being stomped to death by the other centaurs.
He was friendly with Hagrid, and seemed to get on quite well with Harry, who was on speaking terms with him unlike most students, who found him intimidating.
Like all centaurs, Firenze commonly tried to read the future in the stars, and Ron considered him to be a slightly better teacher than Sybill Trelawney, though he was still frustrated that Firenze seemed to be able to provide very little definite information.
Behind the scenes
- He is portrayed by Ray Fearon in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but does not appear in any of the later films.
- In the books, Firenze is said to have silver-blond hair and is even considered handsome by some students. In the Philosopher's Stone film, however, he has dark hair. He doesn't stay with Harry or let him ride on his back either, because Hagrid and the others appear straight away.
- It is possible that Firenze is based on the legend of Chiron, a centaur from Greek mythology who left his "wild and lusty" brethren to instead tutor heroes.
- In the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Firenze is shown to have strikingly and almost glowing amber eyes instead of blue.
- He is the fourth known professor to not be completely human, after Filius Flitwick (part goblin), Remus Lupin (a werewolf), Rubeus Hagrid (half giant).
- "Firenze" is the Italian name for the city of Florence. It is interesting to note that Galileo Galilei, one of history's greatest astronomers, lived out his final years there. Firenze's teaching of Divination deals with Astrology and Astronomy, as opposed to Trelawney's fortune-telling, hence this connection.
- The meaning of the name Firenze is Flower, Blossom.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "he had white-blond hair and a palomino body."
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "He had astonishingly blue eyes, like pale sapphires"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007 (2.00-3.00pm BST)" on Accio Quote!
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
|Professors: Sybill Trelawney · Firenze|
|Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Inigo Imago · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer|
|Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future|
|Methods: Astrology · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Ichthyomancy · Palmistry · Ornithomancy · Tarot cards · Tessomancy|
|Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom 11|