In Goblet of Fire:

Mad-Eye Moody was captured by Barty Crouch, Jr. and wasn't really teaching the Defense Against Dark Arts class at Hogwarts during Harry's Fourth year. Crouch impersonated him and taught in his place during that time.

With that in mind, and considering that Crouch was a Death Eater...

Was any of what the students learned or what Mad-Eye Moody said during that time reliable? Were the students given much in terms of misinformation?

  • I had a class like this back in high school. The teacher thought it would be absolutely hilarious to purposely teach a foreign language poorly the whole year. So we would think we were learning polite phrases which turned out to be rude. That sort of thing. I similarly worked under someone when I first started working in a laboratory who turned out to be clueless. You do eventually figure these things out, and a competent leader will usually track and pick these things up (maybe not with the foreign language) and especially in a place like a boarding school, take pains to correct them.
    – Broklynite
    Jan 6, 2017 at 11:10
  • 2
    @Broklynite: Wow. I hope that teacher was disciplined or fired for that. How did the students find out what he was doing?
    – Tango
    Jan 6, 2017 at 14:38
  • I found out by practicing on a native speaker who was a friend of mine. It has proven a great party joke in the years since, as I am friends with many native speakers, and I will demonstrate some of my remembered phrases to their delight and hilarity. I think the favorite is always the "pardon me, I need to use the bathroom" was actually " I gotta sh*t".
    – Broklynite
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:38
  • @Broklynite: I can't believe a certified teacher did that and got away with it. I do remember when we were staying in an Austrian hotel, they were teaching one of the innocent and young staff members English. She thought she was saying something like, "Hello, it's a nice day" to my Father but she was saying, "I love you."
    – Tango
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:45
  • we had a teacher exchange program so after a year he would go home to his native country anyway. Guess he didn't really GAF. But yea, it's that sort of thing.
    – Broklynite
    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


IIRC, there is no direct evidence for that happening. But circumstantially, there are 3 reasons against:

  1. I'm fairly certain that Dumbledore - once he found out the truth - would have considered this to be a fairly important topic, and referred to Hermione's [presumably absolutely perfect and detailed] class notes and addressed any of the misinformation found.

    As no such addressing was mentioned, that's strike one against the theory.

  2. It would be an absolutely marvelous plot device to use for later books. The fact that it wasn't used is strike 2 - if JKR thought this was indeed plausible to have happened, I can't imagine she wouldn't have set it up.

  3. Barty's main objective was to deliver Harry to Voldemort.

    Anything that would have jeopardized that objective for the dubious benefit of teaching some inconsequential fourth-year kids incorrect info at the risk of being exposed by some know-it-all who finds discrepancy between your teaching and the books is inconceivable[1].

[1] And I know what that word means

  • So if it wasn't direct misinformation, could a lot of it be just purely useless or made-up?
    – Tango
    Jan 19, 2012 at 3:19
  • 4
    See point #3. You do NOT spray-paint the walls of the trench when you are going for thermal exaust port. Jan 19, 2012 at 3:24
  • But after going to all the trouble of capturing Moody, brewing polyjuice potion and committing to being a teacher for at least a year (as the portkey trick was at the end of the Triwizard tournament), wouldn't he (or Voldemort) have seen it as a good oppotunity to plant misinformation? Seems like a missed chance.
    – NiceOrc
    Jan 19, 2012 at 3:58
  • 2
    @NiceOrc - Voldemort was smart enough to see it the way I see it - as a good opportunity to get caught and ruin a great plan Jan 19, 2012 at 4:03
  • 7
    I think as a corollary, Hermione would have spoken up if it looked like the lessons were wrong...
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 19, 2012 at 9:17

I think its very important to note, that Voldemort finds the education of Wizards to be extremely important, and he holds the teachers in high regard. It would go against his principles to do anything but teach the truth in regards towards magic. Muggle Studies on the other hand he could careless.

“Your efforts are futile. You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood.”


I think B. C. Jr. has a very twisted sense of honor, which compels him to do things that are against his interests.

As I understand it, the better his enemies are, the more glory he finds in defeating them.

We can, I think, see this aspect of his personality clearly during the Imperius Curse class: he seems disappointed when the students are controlled easily, and pleased when Harry fights it successfully. He even trains Harry to completely resist its effects (and says something like, "They will not have you so easily, Potter"), and without this training it is unlikely that Harry would have had a chance to fight Voldemort at the end of the book.

(If someone can find citations from the book to back me up, I would be grateful.)

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