Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Truth and Lies

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Truth and Lies

Sometimes the truth hurts. But it's a whole lot better than a lie that can get you killed.

At the end of Goblet of Fire, Harry told everyone that Voldemort is back, but in The Order of the Phoenix, the wizarding world doesn't quite believe him. Seems that the Ministry of Magic and The Daily Prophet have spent the summer sowing doubt about Harry's story. After all, the truth—that the most evil dark wizard of all time is alive and back in action—is almost too terrible to bear.

But, by telling falsehoods to the wizarding community, the government and the media are putting everyone in even more danger. Harry would not only like to be prepared for the community magical war, he'd also enjoy walking into the Gryffindor common room without being called a liar. Is that too much to ask?

Questions About Truth and Lies

  1. Lupin says that Fudge is lying out of fear. Do you think he's right? Or is there something else behind the Minister's refusal to see the truth?
  2. Snape is such a smooth liar. Why do you think that is? Do you think it ties into his ability to block people from reading his thoughts through Occlumency?
  3. How much did you love Harry's snap back to Umbridge in the Forbidden Forest—"Sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies." Great Harry Potter movie line? Or greatest Harry Potter movie line?

Chew on This

As a member of Slytherin house, Umbridge doesn't seem to care one way or another whether Voldemort is back. She just sees an opportunity to push Ministry lies and propaganda as a way to toot her own horn.

Harry's classmates aren't totally wrong to question his account. After all, their government and media are assuring them all is well. If they believe Harry is right, then they also have to believe there's incredible corruption throughout trusted wizarding world institutions. Bummer.

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