The Fearful Spy: Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew Transforms

The next type of spy is motivated by fear. Our example, of course, is Peter Pettigrew.

As we all know, Peter Pettigrew was brought into James Potter’s circle despite the fact that the other three (James, Sirius, and Lupin) would not automatically or normally have included him in their group. James and Sirius were good-looking and popular, as well as egotistical. Lupin, as a werewolf, was an outsider; that at least indicates that James and Sirius were not so full of themselves that they would be unwilling to befriend and assist somebody strange or different. Peter Pettigrew was certainly in need of friends, but we wonder why the other three allowed him into their midst…

Whatever the reason, Peter Pettigrew became one of the foursome, but unfortunately not one who could be trusted in the end. For, as we all know, Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper who told Voldemort where James and Lily Potter, and their toddler son, Harry, lived.

When we meet Peter Pettigrew as an adult, he seems like a weak and spineless rat (and, of course, he can turn into a rat!). He seems to fear Voldemort, but is thrilled by the prospect of receiving power through Voldemort. He is willing to give Voldemort not merely the shirt off his back, but, literally, his right hand. Now that’s really a right-hand man! (Sorry about that!)

Keep in mind, spies whose main motivation is fear are not the most reliable. All you have to do is find a stronger motivator or find someone who inspires more fear to convince them to switch sides!

For example, thanks to Harry’s refusal to allow Sirius and Lupin to kill Peter at the Shrieking Shack (after the rat returned to human form and confessed to his betrayal of James and Lily Potter), Peter Pettigrew is indebted to Harry (PA 375). This pays off in the long run because it gives Peter another motivator –the desire to repay the favor.

As Dumbledore explains to Harry, “The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed. . . . Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt. When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them . . .” (PA 426–27).

Harry understandably wants no connection to Peter Pettigrew, but Dumbledore wisely opines, “the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life” (PA 427). And, to Peter Pettigrew’s great surprise, he does falter for a moment when coming to check on Harry and the others imprisoned in the dungeon of Malfoy Manor—and the new hand that Voldemort gave Pettigrew immediately turns on him and kills him (DH 470)!

Peter Pettigrew Analysis

Recruitment by: A Death Eater or Voldemort as they searched for James, Lily, and toddler Harry Potter

Incentive Used: Desire for power and fear of Voldemort

Handler: Probably Voldemort himself

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quotes:

Sirius: But you, Peter—I’ll never understand why I didn’t see you were the spy from the start. You always liked big friends who’d look after you, didn’t you? It used to be us . . . me and Remus . . . and James. . . .” (PA 369).

Voldemort: “You returned to me, not out of loyalty, but out of fear of your old friends” (GF 649).

Narrative: “The silver tool that Voldemort had given his most cowardly servant had turned upon its disarmed and useless owner; Pettigrew was reaping his reward for his hesitation, his moment of pity; he was being strangled before their eyes” (DH 470).

Answers: Recruitment and Handling

Slughorn and Dumbledore

How much do you know about recruitment and handling in the Harry Potter series? Check your answers from yesterday’s quiz to find out! Be sure to tell us how you did in the comments!

1. How did Grindelwald nearly recruit Dumbledore? What ultimately made his recruitment efforts fail?

Grindelwald’s charisma and intellect was attractive to Dumbledore and Grindelwald appealed to Dumbledore’s desire for power. However, when Arianna, Dumbledore’s sister, died, Dumbledore rejected the attempted recruitment and learned humility.

2. Why does Hagrid’s attempt to bribe the giants fail?

The giants are interesting in two things: payment and power. Hagrid’s attempt to bribe them almost works until  a different giant becomes the leader of the group and is more attracted to the power the Death Eaters offer him.

3. Why is Dumbledore successful in recruiting Slughorn to teach at Hogwarts in Book 6?

Using psychological analysis, Dumbledore understand that Slughorn loves to take credit for his students’ accomplishments and to take advantage of his connection to them as they gain power and prestige later in life. Dumbledore counts on Slughorn’s need to feel important when he offers the old professor the chance to mentor Hogwarts most notable student – Harry Potter.

4. What device does Mrs. Weasley have to “handle” her large family when they are out of her sight?

A clock that tells her where they are and even whether or not they’re in danger!

5. How does Voldemort ensure that his followers do what he wants them to?

He recruits people who fear and admire him. 

Can’t wait to learn more about spies in Harry Potter? Stop back here on Thursday for another spy profile!

Recruitment and Handling: Spy Craft in Harry Potter

Dumbledore's Army

If you’ve ever seen a James Bond film, you know that Bond takes orders from someone. He doesn’t not always follow those orders, but someone gives them nonetheless. The same is true of real spies and spy craft. A spy always has a handler who tells him or her what to do and who sends the information the spy gathers to the right place.

Handlers often recruit new spies as well. Dumbledore, for example, never passes up an opportunity to convince someone to spy for him.

How much do you know about spy recruitment and handling in Harry Potter? Test your knowledge with this quiz!

1. How did Grindelwald nearly recruit Dumbledore? What ultimately made his recruitment efforts fail?

2. Why does Hagrid’s attempt to bribe the giants fail?

3. Why is Dumbledore successful in recruiting Slughorn to teach at Hogwarts in Book 6?

4. What device does Mrs. Weasley have to “handle” her large family when they are out of her sight?

5. How does Voldemort ensure that his followers do what he wants them to?

Here’s an example of Dumbledore’s EXCELLENT recruitment tactics. Check out how he uses some serious psychological analysis to get Slughorn to do what he wants!

Answers: The Daily Prophet and the Deathly Hallows

potterwatch

Ready for the answers to yesterday’s bonus quiz? Here we go!

Guess the man behind the curtain…er, I mean, code name:

Royal= Kingsley Shacklebolt

Rapier= Fred Weasley (although Ron isn’t entirely sure)

River= Lee Jordan

Romulus= Remus Lupin

What password do Ron, Harry, and Hermione use to listen to their first Potterwatch?

Albus!

More trivia on Monday! Be sure to stop back then or follow us on Twitter @artofspying for trivia updates and Potterhead fun!

The Daily Prophet and the Deathly Hallows

dh.c22--the-deathly-hallows

Going Underground:

The Daily Prophet under Ministry control, Potterwatch Begins, and The Quibbler Quibbles

In the final book, the Daily Prophet serves many uses, depending on who is in control of the paper at the time. For example, Professor Charity Burbage successfully publishes a spirited defense of half-bloods. However, she is then captured, tortured, and murdered at Voldemort’s hands in the Malfoys’ home (DH 12).

The paper also contains a positive obituary of Dumbledore written by a longtime friend (DH 15–20) and an interview with Rita Skeeter about her forthcoming negative book on Dumbledore (DH 22–28). Both perspectives become integral aspects of Harry’s rocky journey toward making his own choices and mistakes.

We also learn from the Daily Prophet that Harry is now “sought for questioning” about Dumbledore’s death (DH 207). The Daily Prophet announces the “Muggle-born Register” (DH 208) and that Professor Snape has been selected as Hogwarts’s new Headmaster (DH 225). In addition, the Daily Prophet informs our three good friends, who are on the run, that Hermione is “on the list of Muggle-borns who didn’t present themselves for interrogation” (DH 231). A picture from the Daily Prophet of Harry, Ron, and Hermione escaping from Gringotts on the back of a dragon is later used by the Snatchers to determine that they have just captured Hermione and Harry (DH 451).Without access to other forms of information, the Daily Prophet, no matter how corrupt and biased, provides vital open source intelligence to the Trio.

Once again, Harry is personally attacked as “Undesirable Number One” (DH 252, 315, 525), complete with wanted posters bearing his picture. Once Voldemort is in control of the Ministry of Magic, nothing in the Daily Prophet can be considered credible. Once again, the alternative newspaper, The Quibbler, attempts to describe what is really going on (DH 299). But once Luna is taken by a group of Death Eaters, Mr. Lovegood is forced to attack Harry publicly in his paper (DH 419).

So another means is adopted to get the truth out— and Potterwatch, a radio program, is born (DH 437). This underground source of intelligence deserves more attention that we typically give it. Complete with code names, secret locations, and magical passwords, the makers of Potterwatch used every spy craft tool at their disposal to counteract Voldemort’s Daily Prophet propaganda.

Guess the man behind the curtain…er, I mean, code name:

Royal

Rapier

River

Romulus

What password do Ron, Harry, and Hermione use to listen to their first Potterwatch?*

Potterwatch Quotes (Courtesy of the Harry Potter Lexicon):

“. . . [we] apologize for our temporary absence from the airwaves, which was due to a number of house calls in our area by those charming Death Eaters.”

“ . . .  it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters.’ . . . We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.”
Royal

“I suppose it helps, when escaping from Death Eaters, if you’ve got a sixteen-foot-high half brother?” . . .
“It would tend to give you an edge . . . ”
River and Romulus discussing Hagrid’s escape from arrest

 

*Answers will be revealed on tomorrow’s blog!

Answers: Types of Spies

Harry Potter characters
Yesterday, we asked you to name Harry Potter characters that fit into the five Types of Spies that 4th century theorist Sun Tzu devised. Here are our answers!

1) Local Inhabitants – i.e. people who are in the right places at the right times to observe what’s happening and report back to their handlers.

Mrs. Figg – She used her location near the Dursleys to keep an eye on Harry Potter for Dumbledore

Tom – The innkeeper at the Leaky Cauldron, Tom often spied on Harry and his friends for Cornelius Fudge

Mrs. Norris – Ok, so a cat is not typically a spy, but Mrs. Norris made a point of nosing around Hogwarts to report back to Fudge

2) Government Officials who can be persuaded to switch their loyalties

Pius Thicknius – He’s not the most well-known character, but thanks to an Imperius Curse, he became Voldemort’s puppet as the Prime Minister.

Kingsley Shacklebolt – Once it was clear that the Ministry of Magic had lost its way, Kingsley Shacklebolt quickly affirmed his loyalty to Dumbledore.

3) Enemy Spies who can be persuaded to become double agents

Severus Snape – Snape is the most obvious example of a double agent in Harry Potter. Lily’s death was more than enough to persuade him to work as a double agent.

4) Spies who conduct acts of espionage to deceive the enemy

Severus Snape – Once again, Snape proves himself to be an EXCELLENT spy by deceiving Voldemort every step of the way.

Peeves – Peeves helps Fred and George Weasley wreak havoc in the Order of the Phoenix in order to combat Umbridge’s horrible regime.

5) Spies sent behind enemy lines that return with information

Remus Lupin- Although the task was distasteful, Lupin went to spy among the werewolves.

Hagrid – Similarly, Hagrid used his half-giant status to try to get information and support from the giants.

Did you come up with better answers? Tell us in the comments! 

Quiz: Types of Spies

Order of the Phoenix still

Well, we’ve done it. We’ve made it through ORDER OF THE PHOENIX in its entirety using weekly quizzes. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where they came from! For now, however, we’re going to focus more closely on the SPIES, SPYCRAFT, and SPY GADGETS in the Harry Potter series. If you’ve already purchased the book, the upcoming quizzes will align with Part II: The Art of Spying in the Wizarding and Muggle Worlds.

Sit tight, grab a broomstick, and follow us on another wild ride through Harry Potter and the Art of Spying!

Sun-Tzu Quote

According to a famous 4th century Chinese general named Sun-Tzu, there are five types of spies. Can you name a Harry Potter character for each?

1) Local Inhabitants – i.e. people who are in the right places at the right times to observe what’s happening and report back to their handlers.

2) Government Officials who can be persuaded to switch their loyalties

3) Enemy Spies who can be persuaded to become double agents

4) Spies who conduct acts of espionage to deceive the enemy

5) Spies sent behind enemy lines that return with information

Tomorrow, we’ll reveal which characters we think fit into each category. Stop back to see if you could name them all!