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Quirinus Quirrell Character Analysis: A Teacher Possessed

Quirinus Quirrell Character Analysis: A Teacher Possessed

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Quirinus Quirrell was a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He initially taught Muggle Studies but became the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in 1991.

Before taking up the post, Quirrell spent some time traveling and encountered Lord Voldemort in his weakened form following his failed attack on Harry Potter around 10 years earlier. He was possessed by the Dark Lord, who used him to try and steal the Philosopher’s Stone from Hogwarts in 1992.

About Quirinus Quirrell

Born26 September 1967 – 4 June 1992
Blood StatusHalf-blood
Wand9-inch Alder with Unicorn Hair
Zodiac SignLibra

Quirinus Quirrell Early Life

Quirinus Quirrell was a half-blood British born on 26 September 1967. Like most British witches and wizards, he attended Hogwarts for his magical education. He was sorted in Ravenclaw for his brilliant mind.

Before arriving at school be procured a wand from Garrick Ollivander, a nine-inch Alder wand with unicorn hair and a nice, bendy texture.

While Quirrell was a talented and gifted student, he was nervous and often picked on by other students. This may have fed his early interest in the dark arts, to gain power and respect.

Sometime after he graduated from Hogwarts, Quirrell returned to the school to teach Muggle Studies. This did little to enhance his reputation in the wizarding community, and Quirrell continued to feel like an outcast.

Quirrell Meets Lord Voldemort

In the 1990-1991 school year Quirrell decided to take some time off to get out of the school and gain some more first-hand experience of the world. He was planning a grand tour, similar to the trip that Elphias Doge took after graduating from Hogwarts almost a century earlier.

But Quirrell was also hoping to find what was left of Lord Voldemort. He had studied the Dark Lord through his interest in the dark arts and, as well as being curious about what might have happened to him, hoped that learning these secrets would gain him the respect that he lacked within the wizarding community.

Quirrell did indeed track down the Dark Lord, but his will was no match for that of Voldemort, even with him in a highly weakened state. Rather than capturing or dominating the Dark Lord, Lord Voldemort convinced Quirrell to take him back to England.

Lord Voldemort Possesses Quirrell

Lord Voldemort then proceeded to use Quirrell to help him restore his body. At first, he just watched and supervised the younger wizard, but soon he took to possessing his body on occasion as well.

Lord Voldemort wanted Quirrell to return to Hogwarts and convinced him to apply for the role of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, a position that Voldemort himself had applied for years earlier. He then latched onto the back of Quirrell’s head to be with him permanently.

Quirrell took to wearing a turban to hide the presence of the Dark Lord. He told his fellow teachers that it was a present from an African prince in compensation for dealing with a zombie.

Rumors spread that Quirrell had encountered vampires in the Black Forest in Albania and that this had unnerved him, explaining his jumpy behavior today. Of course, who he really found there was Lord Voldemort.

Oh, yeah. Poor bloke. Brilliant mind. He was fine while he was studyin’ outta books but then he took a year off ter get some firsthand experience…. They say he met vampires in the Black Forest, and there was a nasty bit o’ trouble with a hag — never been the same since. Scared of the students, scared of his own subject —

Hagrid on Quirrell, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Quirrell Infiltrates Gringotts

Lord Voldemort decided that he would be able to restore his body with the Philosopher’s Stone, an alchemical creation that offers immortality. He charged Quirrell with procuring it.

The only person known to have created the Philosopher’s Stone was the French wizard Nicolas Flamel. But by 1991, he had decided to move to England. He was storing the stone in Hogwarts vault at Gringotts for safekeeping. For some reason, Dumbledore realized that the Stone might not be safe there and sent Hagrid to retrieve the stone from the vault so that it could be transferred to Hogwarts where he would protect it.

While Quirrell, with Voldemort’s help, successfully infiltrated Gringotts, something considered unheard of in the wizarding world, the stone had already been removed by the time he accessed the vault.

Quirinus Quirrell and the Troll

With the Philosopher’s Stone at Hogwarts, Quirrell’s teaching position would give him various opportunities to try and steal the stone.

He made his first attempt on the stone on Halloween by letting a troll into the castle as a diversion. This allowed him to secretly enter the third-floor corridor where the stone was being kept. However, fellow teacher Severus Snape suspected that something was afoot and also went to the corridor. He did not get far as he was bitten by Hagrid’s guard dog Fluffy, but he did realize that Quirrell was after the stone.

Quirinus Quirrell Jinxes Harry Potter

While Quirrell’s main objective at Hogwarts was to retrieve the stone, Lord Voldemort was also interested to see the baby that had undone him, Harry Potter, there as a student. Lord Voldemort decided to use the opportunity to test Harry, and maybe even do away with him once and for all.

During a Quidditch game between Gryffindor and Slytherin, he jinxed Harry’s broomstick to try and throw him off. Snape realized what he was doing and chanted the counter curse.

Hermione, thinking that Snape was the one trying to hurt Harry, set Snape’s robes on fire to stop him. Fortunately, she also broke the eye contact between Quirrell and Harry that he needed for the jinx, saving Harry (and letting him catch the Snitch to win the game).

Snape Confronts Quirrell

After the Quidditch match, Snape confronted Quirrell. He already knew that the teacher was after the Philosopher’s Stone, but now also saw that he had an interest in Harry. These both signaled a connection with the Dark Lord. Snape, as a former Death Eater who had changed sides, wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on.

Quirrell and Voldemort shared no information with Snape. Lord Voldemort no longer trusted his old Death Eater, who changed sides and avoided Azkaban after his fall.

Quirrell Attacks Unicorns

Hosting the Dark Lord greatly weakened Quirrell, and his body became visibly weak as the year wore on. In order to maintain himself and the Dark Lord, Quirrell began to prey on Unicorns in the Forbidden Forest, killing them to drink their blood. This was considered a grave sin within the wizarding world.

Hagrid was aware that there was something in the forest hurting Unicorns and was determined to find and stop whatever it was. When Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Draco Malfoy were in detention with Hagrid, they entered the Forbidden Forest to try and find an injured Unicorn.

Harry and Draco, accompanied by Hagrid’s dog Fang, encountered the cloaked Quirrell in the Forbidden Forest. He was about to attack the boys when the Centaur Firenze appeared and saved them.

Quirrell in the Forbidden Forest

Final Attempt on the Philosopher’s Stone

On 4 June, Dumbledore left Hogwarts for London following a forged letter from Quirrell summoning him to the Ministry of Magic.

Quirrell knew that his best chance to get to the stone was when Dumbledore was not there, so made his attempt. Harry, Hermione, and Ron also realized this logic and decided to seek out the stone as well. They assumed that it was Professor Snape who was ahead of them on the magical obstacle course to find the stone, but it was, of course, Quirrell.

To get past the first obstacle, Hagrid’s three-headed dog Fluffy, earlier in the year Quirrell had disguised himself as a dealer in dragon’s eggs. He then got Hagrid quite drunk and got him to reveal that music would quickly put Fluffy to sleep.

Quirrell’s Confrontation with Harry Potter

Quirrell made his way through the maze of obstacles but became stuck at the final hurdle, the Mirror of Erised. The mirror shows the person their greatest desire. As a result, only the person who wanted to find the stone, but not use it, would be able to see its location.

Eventually, Harry made it to the same place and was surprised to see Quirrell rather than Snape. Quirrell agreed that Snape seemed like a more likely candidate.

Yes, Severus does seem the type, doesn’t he? So useful to have him swooping around like an overgrown bat. Next to him, who would suspect p-p-poor, st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?

Quirinus Quirrell, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Quirrell non-verbally bound Harry and summoned a wall of fire to stop him from escaping. Lord Voldemort’s voice then demanded that he place Harry in front of the mirror to see if he could divine the location of the stone.

Harry did indeed see his own reflection and seeking the stone to save it, it dropped into his pocket. Of course, Harry lied about what he saw in the mirror, instead claiming that he saw himself as head boy, repeating a vision that Ron Weasley had when he looked in the mirror earlier in the year.

Lord Voldemort realized that Harry was lying, and so demanded that Quirrell unwrap his turban so that he could reveal himself to Harry.

Quirrell reveals Lord Voldemort

The Death of Quirinus Quirrell

Now revealed, Lord Voldemort demanded that Quirrell seize Harry, which he dutifully did. However, when Quirrell touched Harry, his skin began to burn. This was because when Harry’s mother Lily died, she granted him protection against Lord Voldemort, which meant that the Dark Lord could not touch him.

Harry used this to his advantage, grabbing Quirrell’s face and burning him badly. He did this until the pain in the scar on his head, caused by contact with Lord Voldemort, caused him to pass out.

Quirrell, weakened by carrying Lord Voldemort, died. While the burns may have contributed to his death, it was the trauma of Lord Voldemort leaving his body that finally killed him.

Quirinus Quirrell Personality Type & Traits

Quirrell comes across as an intelligent person, but who struggled to find his place in the world. Desperate to fit in, the lack of acceptance he received from his fellow witches and wizards scarred him deeply.

He actively sought out Lord Voldemort as a way to prove himself and establish a name for himself in the wizarding world. However, he was too weak to resist his tempting words, and then the overpowering force, of the Dark Lord.

Quirinus Quirrell Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Quirrell was born on 26 September 1967, which means that his zodiac sign is Libra. People born under this air sign tend to be naturally intelligent. They also prioritize social status and care deeply about fitting in. While they are usually good at building communities around themselves, they can suffer greatly if they lack these.