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Sybill Patricia Trelawney
Biographical information

c. 1963 or earlier[1]

Blood status

Pure-blood or half-blood[2]

Physical information




Hair colour
  • Brown
  • Blonde (previously[3])
Eye colour

Dark green

Skin colour


Family information
Family members

Cassandra Trelawney (great-great-grandmother) †

Magical characteristics

Lord Voldemort[4]


Unknown length, core and wood



Sybill Trelawney: "Certainly I knew, Minerva. But one does not parade the fact that one is All-Knowing. I frequently act as though I am not possessed of the Inner Eye, so as not to make others nervous."
Minerva McGonagall: "That explains a great deal."
— Professor Trelawney and Minerva McGonagall.[src]

Professor Sybill Patricia[6] Trelawney (b. before 1963[1]) was a witch and professor of Divination, alongside Firenze[7], at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The great-great-granddaughter of the celebrated Cassandra Trelawney[8], she was also a seer.

It was Trelawney herself who made the Prophecy concerning Voldemort during her job interview with Albus Dumbledore[7]. At the end of the 1993–1994 school year, she accurately predicted the escape of Peter Pettigrew and return of Voldemort[9]. Two school years later, Trelawney was greatly distressed by Dolores Umbridge, who dismissed her and attempted to banish her from Hogwarts Castle, though Dumbledore allowed her to remain at the school[8]. She was greatly offended when she later had to teach alongside Professor Firenze[7], and participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, dropping crystal balls on Death Eaters heads[10] and tending to the wounded with Padma Patil[11].

Professor Trelawney's later life is unknown. She presumably continued to teach, though, since Firenze was welcomed back to his herd[12], it is possible that she taught Divination on her own again.


Early life

Dolores Umbridge: "And you are a great-great-granddaughter of the celebrated seer Cassandra Trelawney?"
Trelawney: "Yes."
Dolores Umbridge: "But I think – correct me if I am mistaken – that you are the first in your family since Cassandra to be possessed of the Second Sight?"
Trelawney: "These things often skip – er – three generations."
— Sybill Trelawney being questioned by Dolores Umbridge.[src]

Sybill was born into the half or pure-blood Trelawney family[2], with three generations between her and Cassandra Trelawney, who was a renowned seer. No one in the family, since Cassandra, had possessed the Second Sight.

Presumably purchasing or inheriting her wand at the age of eleven, it is likely that Sybill attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which she referred to as her home. Being sorted in 1975 at the latest, she may have been a member of the Slug Club[5] because of her ancestry. In her third year, Sybill presumably took Divination as one of her elective subjects, and achieved high grades in her O.W.L and N.E.W.T.

Job application

Hp 2010-11-28 14-14-13-25

A magical recounting of Sybill making the prophecy at the Hog's Head.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives..."
—Sybill's prophecy which secured her job.[src]

In 1980, Sybill, who, by this point, had begun making false predictions, arranged a meeting with Albus Dumbledore in the Hog's Head in the hopes of acquiring the position of professor of Divination at Hogwarts School. Dumbledore agreed to give her a chance because of her ancestry.

Sybill displayed none of Cassandra's divinatory skills, which disappointed Dumbledore, who was planning on discontinuing the subject anyway. After courteously telling her she was not fit for the position, Sybill entered a trance and made a prophecy about Voldemort's defeat. It so happened that the Death Eater Severus Snape was eavesdropping at the door. Hoping to protect Sybill, Dumbledore hired her.

Career at Hogwarts

Trelawny poa

Trelawney teaching a class.

Early years (1980 - 1990)

"Sybill Trelawney has predicted the death of a student every year since she came to this school. None of them have died yet."
Minerva McGonagall on Trelawney.[src]

As a professor, Trelawney taught in the Divination Classroom on the seventh floor of the North Tower[9]. She presumably also ran the Divination Workshop. Minerva McGonagall, claimed that she predicted the death of one of one of her students every year.

"My name is Professor Trelawney. You may not have seen me before. I find that descending too often into the hustle and bustle of the main school clouds my Inner Eye."
—Trelawney introducing herself to her class.[src]

Professor Trelawney very rarely attended meals in the Great Hall with the rest of the school, preferring to remain in her tower. She appeared to be acquainted with a certain colleague of hers (possibly Bathsheda Babbling), but frequently clashed with Professor McGonagall[9].

1991-1992 school year

Divination professor

Trelawney with a crystal ball.

"Do not disturb, crystal gazing"
—Trelawney's notice.[src]

At some point in the 1991–1992 school year, Professor Trelawney locked her classroom door, with a notice saying "Do not disturb, crystal gazing". Harry Potter, who had just joined the school, attempted to open it without realising it was locked[13].

1993-1994 school year

"So you may have chosen to study Divination, the most difficult of all magical arts. I must warn you at the outset that if you do not have the Sight, there is very little I will be able to teach you. Books can take you only so far in this field..."
—Trelawney meeting her new third year class.[src]

During the 1993–1994 school year, Professor Trelawney gained Harry Potter as a student, who had only chosen to take Divination because his friend, Ronald Weasley, had[14]. She opened her lesson with normal fortune-teller practices and vague predictions, including that Neville Longbottom would break at least one teacup, that something Lavender Brown was dreading would happen on 16 October, and that, around Easter, one of her students would drop the subject.


Trelawney offending Hermione Granger.

During a class on tea leaves, Trelawney saw the Grim - a well-known omen of death - in Harry Potter's cup. This visibly disturbed the class, who went rather shaken to Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall.

After Neville broke two teacups, Lavender's rabbit Binky was killed, and Hermione Granger, after being greatly insulted by Professor Trelawney, stormed out of a lesson, Lavender and Parvati and Padma Patil[15] became great supporters of Trelawney.

"It will happen tonight. The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight... the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight... before midnight... the servant... will set out... to rejoin... his master..."
—Professor Trelawney's prophecy.[src]

Trelawney making her second prophecy.

While doing the third year exams with the Gryffindors, Professor Trelawney, while invigilating Harry Potter, entered a trance and made a prediction that the Voldemort's servant would be freed, returning to him that night. When she returned to normal seconds later, she could not remember anything happening.

Harry later told this to Professor Dumbledore, who said that he should offer her a pay rise for making a total of two real prophecies.

1994-1995 school year

"You are preoccupied, my dear. My Inner Eye sees past your brave face to the troubled soul within. And I regret to say that your worries are not baseless. I see difficult times ahead for you, alas... most difficult... I fear the thing you dread will indeed come to pass... and perhaps sooner than you think..."
—Professor Trelawney to Harry Potter.[src]
Professor Trelawney

Professor Trelawney teaching Harry Potter and his class.

The following year, the Triwizard Tournament took place at Hogwarts and Harry Potter was one of the champions. Trelawney continued to annoy him with her predictions of his death. She guessed that Harry had lost his parents because he was born during the winter. However, Harry told her he was born in July.

Furthermore, when Ronald Weasley asked Lavender Brown to show him Uranus, Professor Trelawney gave them much more homework.

Once, Rita Skeeter in the form of a beetle, eavesdropped upon Harry during Trelawney's lesson, when Harry had a crisis. Trelawney believed that it had to do with Harry's scar.

At the end of the year, Trelawney learned about the death of Cedric Diggory and the return of Lord Voldemort. The Second Wizarding War had begun.

1995-1996 school year

Dolores Umbridge: "I'd like you to make a prediction for me."
Professor Trelawney: "The Inner Eye does not See upon command!"
Dolores Umbridge: "I see."
Professor Trelawney: "I – but – but – wait! I... I think I do see something... something that concerns you... why, I sense something... something dark... some grave peril... I am afraid... I am afraid that you are in grave danger!"
Dolores Umbridge: "Right. Well, if that's really the best you can do."
— Trelawney and Dolores Umbridge during her inspection.[src]
Kinopoisk ru-Harry-Potter-and-the-Order-of-the-Phoenix-568906

Professor Trelawney predicting danger for Professor Umbridge.

Early on in the 1995–1996 school year, Dolores Umbridge was made Hogwarts High Inquisitor by Ministry edict, and appeared in Trelawney's classroom with a clipboard, making notes. Trelawney saw this as an intrusion, and was most upset and angered by it. Umbridge asked Trelawney to justify her teaching techniques and required a prediction from her; but was unimpressed with the results.

During free time that year, Professor Trelawney was visited in her tower by Parvati and Padma Patil, who had additional sessions of Divination with her[15].

Parvati Patil: "Professor? Professor, is there anything – er – wrong?"
Professor Trelawney: "Wrong! Certainly not! I have been insulted, certainly... insinuations have been made against me... unfounded accusations levelled... but no, there is nothing wrong, certainly not! I say nothing of sixteen years of devoted service... it has passed, apparently, unnoticed... but I shall not be insulted, no, I shall not!"
— Trelawney and Parvati Patil after being put on probation.[src]
Professor Trelawney and McGonagall closeup

McGonagall comforting Trelawney.

Umbridge later put Professor Trelawney on probation, which greatly distressed and insulted her. She became uncharacteristically brisk and started drinking a large amount of cooking sherry, which she hid in the Room of Requirement[7]. Harry Potter noted that Trelawney became more harassed and bedraggled in appearance.

After Harry Potter stood up to Professor Umbridge by giving an interview to The Quibbler, edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, Trelawney broke her usual pattern of predicting horrible death for Harry, instead predicting long life, many children, and election as Minister of Magic.

Professor Dumbledore: "It is my wish that Professor Trelawney continue to live at Hogwarts."
Professor Trelawney: "No – no, I'll g – go, Dumbledore! I sh – shall leave Hogwarts and s – seek my fortune elsewhere -"
Professor Dumbledore: "No. It is my wish that you remain, Sybill."
— Dumbledore demanding that Trelawney stays at Hogwarts.[src]
Umbridge sacks Trelawney 1996

Umbridge presenting Trelawney's Order of Dismissal.

Eventually, Trelawney was dismissed by Umbridge, who, in her great dislike for Trelawney, almost threw her bodily from the castle, ignoring the fact that Trelawney was in paroxysms of grief over her dismissal. Before she could be chased off the premises, Dumbledore came to her aid and insisted that she stay at Hogwarts, as Umbridge had no authority to banish her from the school grounds. McGonagall, despite not having much respect for Trelawney, also came to her aid, and Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout helped her get back to her tower.

Trelawney was replaced by the centaur Firenze, who taught in Classroom 11 rather than North Tower, where Trelawney remained living.

She was finally reinstated to her teaching position after Umbridge was suspended. This meant that, since Dumbledore could not ask him to return to the herd that tried to kill him, she had to share classes with Professor Firenze.

1996-1997 school year

"He [Firenze] and Professor Trelawney are dividing classes between them this year. The sixth year is being taken by Professor Trelawney."
McGonagall talking to Parvati Patil.[src]
Trelawney feast

Professor Trelawney at the Start-of-Term Feast.

During the 1996–1997 school year, Professor Trelawney attended the Start-of-Term Feast, and sat next to Professor Rubeus Hagrid, who taught Care of Magical Creatures. That year, Trelawney and Firenze split the years up and divided them between them. Trelawney taught the fifth[16] and sixth years.

That year, she continued drinking, due to her humiliation of working with a "horse", as she referred to Firenze. She hid her cooking sherry in the Room of Requirement.

At Horace Slughorn's Christmas party, Trelawney was morosely drunk. She spent the night listening to Luna Lovegood's speeches on the "Rotfang Conspiracy" and that Rufus Scrimgeour was a vampire. She seemed rather interested.

In mid-March, Professor Trelawney demanded, quite unsuccessfully, that Professor Dumbledore fire Firenze. Their meeting was cut short when Harry Potter arrived for one of his private lessons with the headmaster.

Later, Trelawney attempted to enter the Room of Requirement, but was thrown out by Draco Malfoy, who apparently used Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder to conceal his identity. Harry Potter found her sprawled on the floor, and helped her up. He asked her to accompany him to Dumbledore's office, to tell Dumbledore what she had heard. On the way, she started talking about the day she was hired. When Trelawney mentioned that the eavesdropper had been Severus Snape, Harry left her standing in the corridor and ran off to confront Dumbledore with this information.

1997-1998 school year


Trelawney with a crystal ball.

During the 1997–1998 school year, Voldemort had taken over Hogwarts and made Snape headmaster, while Alecto Carrow replaced the murdered Muggle Studies teacher, Charity Burbage, and Amycus Carrow took Snape's position as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, which became simply Dark Arts.

Professor Trelawney, being either half-blood or pure-blood, was permitted to remain teaching at the school. It is unknown why Voldemort did not attempt to capture her, which was presumably why Dumbledore wished her to remain at the school in 1996.

"I have more! More for any who want them! Here -"
—Trelawney launching crystal balls during the battle.[src]
Deathly Hallows Part 2. Professor Trelawney and Padma Patil

Professor Trelawney with Padma Patil.

Like the rest of the school, Professor Trelawney participated in the Battle of Hogwarts. She fought by dropping crystal balls on enemies' heads, successfully knocking out Fenrir Greyback in this manner and possibly saving Lavender Brown's life. Eventually, the Death Eaters were all defeated, along with Voldemort.

Later life

Providing Professor Trelawney survived the end of the Second Wizarding War, she presumably continued teaching at Hogwarts under Minerva McGonagall.

It is possible that Trelawney continued her career without Firenze, as he was welcomed back into the Forbidden Forest Centaur colony[12].

Physical description


Trelawney in her usual garb.

"She looked as odd as ever, glittering with beads and trailing shawls, her eyes magnified to enormous size by her spectacles."
—Trelawney at the 1996 Start-of-Term Feast.[src]

Professor Trelawney usually wore gauzy shawls, cloaks and bangles, all covered with shining sequins. She had thick glasses, which caused her eyes to appear about ten times their normal size.

She had blonde hair in her youth[3], which was later brown sixteen years after. She also had dark green eyes and white skin.

Personality and traits

Trelawney believed that she was a great Seer, although most of her prophecies failed to come true. Furthermore, she liked talking in ethereal and misty tones. Much like Gilderoy Lockhart, Trelawney was sometimes unable to understand who liked and who disliked her, as she did with Harry Potter in 1997.

Dismissal of Trelawny

An upset Professor Trelawney after being dismissed by Umbridge.

According to Professor McGonagall, seeing death omens is a favourite way for Trelawney to greet her class, something that annoyed Harry for his three years with her. She could also be angered when she believed that the students were not interested in her subject, such as Ronald Weasley.

She was also very sensitive, as she cried when Dolores Umbridge sacked her. Trelawney was, however, loyal to Hogwarts and defended it during the Battle of Hogwarts, apparently saving the life of her student and friend Lavender Brown.

Magical abilities and skills


"That brings her total of real predictions to two. I should offer her a pay rise."
Albus Dumbledore on Trelawney's second prediction.[src]

The Chosen One

The first prediction was made in the presence of Albus Dumbledore at the Hog's Head inn[17]. Trelawney was in the middle of an interview for a teaching job at Hogwarts when it happened. Dumbledore reported that he had decided not to give Trelawney the job, but changed his mind when he heard the prophecy. Trelawney herself is not aware that she made the prophecy, merely remembering that she came over faint, which she attributed to not having eaten that day.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches.…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not.…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"

This prediction is believed to refer to Voldemort ("the Dark Lord") and Harry Potter, who was born on 31 July. At the time of its prophesying the identity of the approaching one could not be known as he had not been born. The time of year the prophecy was made is unknown, but it was described as 'dark and stormy', so it is possible that the prediction was made at the time of conception of the child foretold, at around Halloween.

It later became apparent that the prophecy could have applied either to Harry, or to Neville Longbottom, who was also born at the end of the seventh month on 30 July. Part of the prediction came to pass on the night of 31 October, 1981, when Lord Voldemort's body was destroyed after Harry survived an attack from him, reputedly using the killing curse Avada Kedavra. The attack left Harry with an ability to speak Parseltongue, a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, and a mental connection to Voldemort. It was Dumbledore's view that it was Voldemort's choice of Harry as his target from the two possible boys which made Harry the one foretold. Had Voldemort chosen Neville, who was also born at the end of July, then he would have had a different adversary. Both boys had parents who had defied the dark lord thrice.

The prophecy as interpreted by Dumbledore to Harry in June 1996 would read: "Someone (Harry or Neville) with the power to vanquish Voldemort is coming...born to those who have defied Voldemort three times (the Potters or the Longbottoms), born at the end of July...and Voldemort will attempt to kill Harry, but Harry will unexpectedly survive...either Harry or Voldemort must be killed by the other because one of them must die...Harry will be born at the end of July..."

When Harry and the others arrive in the hall of prophacies, Ron found a prophecy that had a tag which read:

S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D.
Dark Lord
and (?) Harry Potter

S.P.T. stands for Sybill Patricia Trelawney and A.P.W.B.D. stands for Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. This can be confirmed due to Dumbledore telling Harry that Professor Trelawney made this prophecy to him.

The Servant Rejoins His Master

"It will happen tonight. The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight... the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight... before midnight...the servant...will set rejoin...his master...."
—Sybill Trelawney[src]

Professor Trelawney prophecised this occurrence subconsciously to Harry Potter in 1994, in her classroom. This prophecy came to pass when Peter Pettigrew's true identity was revealed and he escaped to help bring Lord Voldemort back to health.

Other predictions

Professor Trelawney has made other predictions, too, some of which happened, though they may coincidental. It is unknown if the rest of them are true.

  • She told Neville Longbottom to take a blue cup after breaking his first one, because she likes the pink ones. Neville immediately took a cup, broke it, and then later broke his second cup too.
  • She also asked Neville about his grandmother, saying she may have been ill.
  • And that he will be late for his next divination class.
  • She told Parvati Patil to beware of red headed men. Parvati immediately suspected Ron. At the Yule Ball, Harry and Ron, Parvati's and her sister Padma's dates, ignored her and her sister. Two years later, Ron started going out with Parvati's best friend Lavender Brown, who started to ignore Parvati.
  • She predicted a bout of flu in February, and that she will lose her voice.
  • That what Lavender was dreading would happen on 16 October. On that day, Lavender got a note that her pet rabbit had been eaten by a fox. Hermione was sceptical, indicating that Lavender could hardly have dreaded her new rabbit dying, and that the death could not have happened on the day the news arrived.
  • On the beginning of 1993–1994 school year, She told in the whole class that, near Easter, one of their number will leave them forever. It seems that her prediction had happened when Hermione quit the class in disgust near Easter holidays.
  • At the Christmas lunch, Trelawney at first refused to join the table, since when thirteen dine together, the first to rise will be the first to die. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley got up from the table first together, but Albus Dumbledore was the first among those at the table to die. Also, she did not take into account of Peter Pettigrew, who was at the time disguised as Scabbers the rat, which would in fact count as fourteen people. However, she was right : before getting seated, there were thirteen people at the table (counting Scabbers) and Albus Dumbledore rose to greet her, which confirms that he was the first person to die.
    • In 1995, thirteen members of the order dined together, and the first to rise was Sirius, who later died.
    • Also, you could count this prediction as true - if you count Peter Pettigrew, when there were thirteen at the table, Dumbledore ROSE to greet her when she entered the room.
    • When McGonagall and her were arguing Dumbledore raised his voice and out of the people dining he was the first to die
    • Also, after the Battle over Little Whinging, 13 people (Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Fleur, Fred, George, Ron, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Lupin, Tonks and Hagrid) gathered in The Burrow to mourn the death of Alastor Moody. Afterwards, Lupin stood up and offered to look for Moody's dead body. Later in the Battle of Hogwarts, Lupin was killed by Antonin Dolohov.

When Dolores Umbridge was appointed Hogwarts High Inquisitor during Harry's fifth year, she insisted that Trelawney demonstrate her abilities by prophesying something. Trelawney replied that she saw dark events ahead for Umbridge, which Umbridge immediately dismissed as nonsense. Later, Umbridge was dragged off and imprisoned by centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.

  • In Harry's sixth year he saw Trelawney coming, and hid from her. As she passed, he saw that she was examining a pack of cards and muttered, "A dark young man, possibly troubled, one who dislikes the questioner". She dismissed her own words as nonsense, unaware of Harry's presence or his dislike of her. Later in the year, Harry saw Draco arguing with Snape when he questioned Draco on the progress of his mission for Voldemort. Later Trelawney again met Harry in the corridors, and this time complains that Dumbledore had been repeatedly dismissing her warnings of impending disaster. She looked at some Tarot cards and saw, "... the lightning-struck tower... Calamity. Disaster. Coming nearer all the time...". This seems to predict the events of Dumbledore's death on the Astronomy Tower. The Lightning-Struck Tower tarot card (The Tower) is generally considered representative of disaster or life-altering change.



Trelawney's wand.


Lavender Brown and the Patils

"She says I've got all the makings of a true Seer. I saw loads of stuff..."
Parvati Patil on Professor Trelawney.[src]
Divination class

The Patil twins in Divination.

Lavender Brown and Parvati and Padma Patil seemed to have an exceptionally close relationship with Sybill Trelawney; they had an unwavering faith in the reliability of Trelawney's predictions, and were often seen comforting or supporting her when she was experiencing difficult times. Both of them even became offended on the Professor's behalf when Hermione made her disdain for Trelawney and the subject she taught clear in 1993.

Lavender divination

Lavender Brown in Divination.

When she was temporarily sacked by Dolores Umbridge, Lavender and Parvati brought Trelawney some daffodils to cheer her up. On a more vengeful note, the Patil twins, with the help of Harry Potter, used Babbling Beverage to ruin Umbridge's loudspeakers[15].

On her part, Trelawney seemed to return their genuine affection for her with equal fervor. For instance, she told Parvati that she had the makings of a true Seer[9], and helped to save Lavender from Fenrir Greyback by dropping a crystal ball on his head during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Minerva McGonagall

Professor Trelawney: "If you must know, Minerva, I have seen that poor Professor Lupin will not be with us for very long. He seems aware, himself, that his time is short. He positively fled when I offered to crystal-gaze for him –"
Minerva McGonagall: "Imagine that."
— Trelawney and McGonagall at Christmas.[src]
Minerva and Sybill

McGonagall comforting Trelawney after her dismissal.

Professor Trelawney and Minerva McGonagall were not the best of friends, and barely maintained civility between them. Minerva had no use for Sybill's subject, Divination, and believed that Trelawney was a fraud[9].

Despite her dislike for Trelawney and her teachings, however, Minerva and Sybill would grow to understand one another through their shared hatred of Dolores Umbridge during the woman's tenure as Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. When Dolores used her powers to sack Sybill, Minerva was there as a literal shoulder for Sybill to cry on, and she spoke out against Dolores and told her what she thought after the events[8].

In many ways, McGonagall's relationship with Trelawney was similar to Hermione Granger's relationship with Luna Lovegood.

Albus Dumbledore

"I cannot ask Firenze to return to the Forest, where he is now an outcast, nor can I ask Sybill Trelawney to leave. Between ourselves, she has no idea of the danger she would be in outside the castle. She does not know - and I think it would be unwise to enlighten her - that she made the prophecy about you and Voldemort, you see."
—Professor Dumbledore to Harry Potter on Professor Trelawney.[src]
Trelawney and Dumbledore

Trelawney thanking Dumbledore.

Upon their first meeting, Albus Dumbledore initially believed that she was a fraud, but when he heard her prophecy about Harry Potter and Voldemort, he hired her, as he wanted to protect her from the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters.

During 1997, Trelawney predicted Dumbledore's death at the Astronomy Tower several times without realising it. When Dolores Umbridge sacked Trelawney, Dumbledore defended her, and let her stay at Hogwarts, without teaching.

However, in 1996, Trelawney was angry with Dumbledore, as he allowed Firenze to continue teaching Divination alongside her following her reinstation. This made Trelawney think that Dumbledore disliked her, as she asked him several times to fire him.


Professor Trelawney: "Good evening, my dear. I haven't seen you in my classes lately..."
Luna Lovegood: "No, I've got Firenze this year."
Professor Trelawney: "Oh, of course. Or Dobbin, as I prefer to think of him. You would have thought, would you not, that now I am returned to the school Professor Dumbledore might have got rid of the horse? But no... we share classes... it's an insult, frankly, an insult."
— Trelawney speaking about Firenze to Luna Lovegood.[src]

Professor Firenze.

After Professor Trelawney was dismissed, Dumbledore hired the centaur Firenze to replace the vacant spot of Divination teacher. After Umbridge left Hogwarts and Trelawney was reinstated, Dumbledore refused to fire Firenze, as his herd had once tried to kill him. This greatly angered Trelawney.

Co-teaching with him, she called him names, such as "the Nag", "Dobbin", and others. She believed that the headmaster preferred Firenze to herself. However, after the Second Wizarding War, she might have changed her opinion.

Dolores Umbridge

Umbridge and Trelawney

Trelawney and Umbridge.

Sybill Trelawney strongly disliked Dolores Umbridge, the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and later High Inquisitor. Umbridge was a sadistic woman who tortured the students. She believed that Trelawney was a fraud and she sacked her. When Dumbledore defended Trelawney and let her stay at Hogwarts, Umbridge was angry with Dumbledore. Umbridge left Hogwarts in 1996, by the end of the school year.

Hogwarts staff

Charms Master Filius Flitwick and Herbology teacher Pomona Sprout were kind enough to escort Professor Trelawney back to the North Tower after her dismissal, with Flitwick magically carrying her trunks and possessions.

She disliked the Potions master and former-Death Eater Severus Snape, most likely because he rudely eavesdropped on her job interview with Albus Dumbledore in the Hog's Head.

Professor Trelawney appeared to be friendly with a colleague of hers, who taught either Study of Ancient Runes, Earth magic, Ghoul Studies, Music, Muggle Music, Art, Muggle Art, Ancient Studies, Advanced Arithmancy Studies, or some other elective subject. She tended to her during the Battle of Hogwarts, but it is uncertain whether she was dead or not[11].


Both her name and her surname are related to her future telling ability. "Sibyl" was a priestess in ancient Greek mythology. A sibyl (one "l") is a woman who could look into the future. A sibyl also can be any female prophet. The name is from the Latin sibylla, seer. While "Trelawney" may come from the occultist and seer Dr. Trelawney, from Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. Alternatively, it may be derived from from a famous cry of defiance from the southwest of England, where Rowling grew up, often shouted at football matches:

And shall Trelawney live? And shall Trelawney die? Here's ten thousand Cornishmen who ask the reason why!

The cry is a line from The Song of the Western Men, written in 1833 by the poet and parson Robert Stephens Hawker and the unofficial Cornish national anthem. It concerns the march to London in 1688 in protest at the incarceration in the Tower of Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of Bristol. This could be a reference to Trelawney predicting the death of one of her students every year.

The name "Trelawney" comes from the Cornish phrase tre-lonow, homestead of groves, or tre-launow, farm in clearning.

Behind the scenes


Emma Thompson in the role of Trelawney

  • In the fifth book, Trelawney's first name is misspelled as Sibyll.
  • Trelawney is portrayed by Emma Thompson in the film adaptations, of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Thompson doesn't appear in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because she was filming for Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, despite the fact that Harry Potter co-stars Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes also appear in the movie (although, as supporting cast, so they don't have as many scenes as Thompson did).
  • J. K. Rowling has stated that she does not believe in magic, and does not intend that her readers should believe in it either. She has hinted that the portrayal of Trelawney (a mystic and fortune-teller, perhaps the kind of "magic" that children are most likely to come across) as something of an ineffectual old fraud may be related to this. However, her name and the reference to a grandmother named Cassandra somewhat contradicts this. In Greek Legends, Cassandra was a seer granted true sight by one god, but later cursed by his wrath that she would never be believed. This suggests that perhaps some of Trelawney's pronouncements may be more accurate than is often believed.

    Sybill as a LEGO minifigure.

  • Trelawney told Lavender Brown that the worst thing for her would come true on Friday, 16 October. However, 16 October, 1993 was a Saturday.
  • Emma Thompson had originally stated that she would not return as Trelawney in the last movies[18]. However, she has since confirmed that she will reprise her role as Trelawney and has already filmed her scenes.[19]
  • Emma Thompson has appeared in several movies with Imelda Staunton; Much Ado About Nothing, Peters Friends, Sense and Sensibility and Nanny McPhee. Alan Rickman, Robert Hardy, Gemma Jones and Elizabeth Spriggs also starred in Sense and Sensibility. Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes also appear in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.
  • Professor Trelawney was also referenced in the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by a locked door on the seventh floor that states if Harry trys to open it "Do not disturb , crystal gazing".
  • Oddly enough, many of the predictions made by Trelawney and others during the third year come true. Ron does in fact go through trials and suffering during the hunt for the Horcruxes, and ends up happy from the experience since he becomes closer to Hermione. Harry does come into a great sum of unexpected gold; his inheritance from Sirius after his death. Harry also ends up working for the Ministry of Magic, although it is unknown if he ever became Minister. Though Trelawney seems to have been making it up at the time, seeing a death omen in Harry's cup, Harry did face his own death in 1998, although he did not actually die.
  • There is a character in The Aenead, named Sybill. Sybill is a seer in that particular epic.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Trelawney applied for a teaching post in 1980, implying that she was of age by then.
  2. 2.0 2.1 As Trelawney is descended from a famous witch, she must be from a wizarding family, meaning that she is pure or half-blood.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Trelawney that came out of the Prophecy in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) had blonde hair. As she was sixteen years younger when she made the Prophecy, this is not entirely impossible.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  5. 5.0 5.1 Trelawney attended the Slug Club Christmas party, implying she may have been a member. Being descended from Cassandra Trelawney, Horace Slughorn would have presumably liked to "collect" her aswell.
  6. 4 March, 2004 World Book Day Chat
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat,, 30 July, 2007
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
  14. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
  16. Luna Lovegood mentioned to Trelawney that she had Firenze instead of her during the Slug Club Christmas party.
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter, "The Lost Prophecy".
  18. Thompson will not return for Deathly Hallows
  19. Emma Thompson confirms she filmed scenes for Deathly Hallows

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

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