The Forbidden Forest
Synopsis by William Silvester
Notes and links by Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
US hardcover edition: pages 242 - 261
UK hardcover edition: pages 177 - 190
UK paperback edition: pages 262 - 282
In which Harry's popularity
slips when his escapades lose his house 150 points, he overhears
another conversation, and they serve detention with Hagrid who takes
them to the Forbidden Forest in search of a wounded unicorn, which they
find dead. Harry is rescued from Voldemort by a centaur.
Interesting facts and notes about the text of this chapter:
Commentary on the text written by Steve Vander Ark and Michele Worley
This is the first chapter in which we encounter centaurs. From their
description in FB, they appear to be
based on the Greek legends of centaurs, but that in itself isn't
a sufficient description - there are actually two types of centaurs
in Greek mythology.
The common sort of centaur in Greek mythology was a violent, rather
crude character, very prone to losing control (particularly when
alcohol was involved). The other, rarer type of centaur was the
type seen here - very learned creatures (the most famous was a noted
tutor of various Greek heroes, including the greatest healer of
Greek legend). This latter type of centaur is also the type on which
the centaurs of Narnia in C.S. Lewis' works appear to have been based.
He couldn't see how they were going to get out of trouble this time
Fifty points each...
Gryffindors passing the giant hourglasses that recorded the house points
Harry swore to himself not to meddle in things that weren't his business...
about a week before exams were due to start...
"No -- no -- not again, please --"
"All right -- all right --"
Anti-Dark Force spell
it's dangerous, what we're gonna do tonight
There's nothin' that lives in the forest that'll hurt yeh if yer with me or Fang
Mars is bright tonight
Always the innocent are the first victims
He had a nasty feeling they were being watched.
Red sparks! The others are in trouble!
"Stay on the path."
It got to its feet and came swiftly towards Harry
A centaur was standing over him...
"Just in case."
Characters introduced in this chapter:
Characters returning in this chapter:
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Settings and locations introduced or returning in this chapter:
Settings and locations mentioned in this chapter:
Exceptional character moments:
Links and Resources:
"It is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn. Only one who has
nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a
crime. The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you
are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain
something pure and defenseless to save yourself, and you will have a
half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips."
"Good luck, Harry Potter," said Firenze. "The planets have
been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is
one of those times."
The chapter starts in the middle of the night, just after Harry and
Hermione have been caught out of bed. After McGonagall punishes
them, the time meanders quickly through a couple of weeks, and then
spends the focus of the chapter on the night Harry, Hermione, Neville,
and Malfoy serve their detention in the forest, which occurs "about a
week before exams were due to start." Why the detention is served weeks after it is given is a bit of a mystery.