3

I'm just re-watching The Order of the Phoenix and Cornelius Fudge makes a brief but interesting comment on the Azkaban prison break where 10 prisoners make an escape. Fudge says:

"And of course the muggle prime minister has been alerted to the danger"

Why would the muggle prime minister even know about Azkaban let alone magical affairs in general? What's the point in alerting a muggle if they shouldn't even have knowledge of the magical world at all?

  • 2
    From your question, it seems like you haven't seen/read the 6th or 7th ones. Just a warning, answering your question will spoil a minor, but interesting scene you haven't gotten to yet :) – Alarion Aug 7 '15 at 2:54
  • 1
    Cooperation is everything, and requires knowledge. – Matt Gutting Aug 7 '15 at 2:54
  • 1
    @Alarion, I've read them. But it's been over 8 years. Harry Potter knowledge hasn't exactly been the most pressing matter since then. – Broots Waymb Aug 7 '15 at 3:02
  • 7
    I didn't DV, but there's a difference between "legitimate" and "good". Some people downvote questions that they feel lack research effort; considering the first Google result for "harry potter prime minister" is the Prime Minister page of the wiki, which contains the same information as my answer, I can see why someone would – Jason Baker Aug 7 '15 at 3:09
  • @JasonBaker, thanks. I guess I just never thought he would be included in the wiki. In the movie the comment didn't seem to really be all that important. It was mostly a curiosity. Apparently I should give the books another read-through as well, considering it's something that I should have remembered. – Broots Waymb Aug 7 '15 at 3:14
16

Half-Blood Prince (the book) opens by revealing that the Prime Minister is among the Muggles who are permitted to know about the Wizarding world; he's kept abreast of relevant developments, like escaped murderers, by the Minister of Magic (emphasis mine):

[I]t had been like this from his very first meeting with Fudge on his very first evening as Prime Minister. He remembered it as though it were yesterday and knew it would haunt him until his dying day.

He had been standing alone in this very office, savoring the triumph that was his after so many years of dreaming and scheming, when he had heard a cough behind him, just like tonight, and turned to find that ugly little portrait talking to him, announcing that the Minister of Magic was about to arrive and introduce himself.

Naturally, he had thought that the long campaign and the strain of the election had caused him to go mad. He had been utterly terrified to find a portrait talking to him, though this had been nothing to how he felt when a self-proclaimed wizard had bounced out of the fireplace and shaken his hand. He had remained speechless throughout Fudge's kindly explanation that there were witches and wizards still living in secret all over the world and his reassurances that he was not to bother his head about them as the Ministry of Magic took responsibility for the whole Wizarding community and prevented the non-magical population from getting wind of them. It was, said Fudge, a difficult job that encompassed everything from regulations on responsible use of broomsticks to keeping the dragon population under control (the Prime Minister remembered clutching the desk for support at this point). Fudge had then patted the shoulder of the still-dumbstruck Prime Minister in a fatherly sort of way.

"Not to worry," he had said, "it's odds-on you'll never see me again. I'll only bother you if there's something really serious going on our end, something that's likely to affect the muggles - the non-magical population, I should say. Otherwise, it's live and let live.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Chapter 1: "The Other Minister"

Although the Prime Minister's ability to react to these threats is pretty limited, being able to at least warn the general population is an important way to help mitigate muggle casualties. This is, presumably, why the muggle press was reporting on Sirius' escape at the beginning of Prisoner of Azkaban.

Since Half-Blood Prince was released in 2005, and the Order of the Phoenix film in 2007, the filmmakers likely presumably assumed that anyone watching was familiar with the text.

  • 1
    the mighty hammer wielding frog strikes again.. +1 – RicoRicochet Aug 7 '15 at 3:13
  • 2
    What, muggle papers reported a jailbreak of an undocumented person from a non-existent jail? – Jesvin Jose Aug 7 '15 at 11:44
  • 2
    @aitchnyu: Muggle TV did, at least, and Vernon Dursley explicitly pointed out that they didn't state where he had escaped from. – jwodder Aug 7 '15 at 12:36
  • 1
    The Daily Prophet has this to say about the muggle news (Prisoner of Azkaban, chapter The Knight Bus): Fudge has been criticised by some members of the International Federation of Warlocks for informing the Muggle Prime Minister about the crisis. ‘Well, really, I had to, don’t you know,’ said an irritable Fudge. ‘Black is mad. He’s a danger to anybody who crosses him, magic or Muggle. I have the Prime Minister’s assurance that he will not breathe a word of Black’s true identity to anyone. And let’s face it – who’d believe him if he did?’ (cont.) – chirlu Aug 7 '15 at 16:23
  • 1
    While Muggles have been told that Black is carrying a gun (a kind of metal wand which Muggles use to kill each other), the magical community lives in fear of a massacre like that of twelve years ago, when Black murdered thirteen people with a single curse. – chirlu Aug 7 '15 at 16:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.