Before sometime in March 1996, he lived with the colony in the Forbidden Forest, on the borders of Hogwarts in Scotland. In 1992, Firenze saved Harry Potter in the forest from Quirinus Quirrell, who was possessed by Lord Voldemort, frightening Quirrell away and carrying Harry on his back to safety. Despite his heroics, his herd saw this as a dishonourable act, as they considered themselves too great to be ridden by humans.
About four years later, in March 1996, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hired him to teach Divination in Sybill Trelawney's stead, after she was sacked by Dolores Umbridge. But once again, the other centaurs saw this as servitude, and his colony attacked and banished him. They would have killed him were it not for the intervention of Rubeus Hagrid.
After Dumbledore was reinstated as headmaster, Trelawney was returned to her classroom. However, since Firenze was still estranged with his colony, Dumbledore allowed them both to continue teaching, though Trelawney was uncomfortable with sharing her classes with a centaur.
When Firenze was injured fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts, he returned to his colony later when the other centaurs had come to the opinion that his pro-human leanings were not so shameful. Despite this, he continued to share the post of Divination professor at Hogwarts with Sybill Trelawney.
Life with his herd
- "This is where I leave you. You are safe now. Good luck, Harry Potter. The planets have been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times."
- — Firenze bids Harry Potter goodbye after seeing him to safety[src]
In the 1989–1990 school year, Firenze was chosen as the centaur who decided whether Jacob's sibling was allowed to visit the Centaur Camp based on the three gifts offered by them. Firenze decided the student could stay, and helped them figure out what Professor Trelawney's prophecy meant. Jacob's sibling later spoke to Torvus and Firenze in the Centaur Camp to discuss Trelawney's prophecy and how Jacob's sibling would face the final Cursed Vault. Firenze told them that his prediction implied they would face a powerful decision, a powerful adversary and another loss, but that he could not be entirely certain his prediction was correct.
On the night of 26 May 1992, Hagrid took Harry, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Draco Malfoy to their detention in the forest. Their task was to find out why unicorns were turning up mauled and dead.
Harry and Draco later discovered a dead unicorn and a hooded figure (Quirinus Quirrell in disguise) drinking its blood. As Draco ran away, horrified, the hooded Quirrell turned to face Harry. The pain on his scar made him fall to his knees, but Firenze, coming across the scene, galloped forwards and charged at Quirrell, scaring him away. Harry found out afterwards, it was Lord Voldemort who, drinking the unicorns' blood while sharing Quirrell's body, tried to remain alive long enough so that he could drink the Elixir of Life and return to both his body and full strength.
Realising how dangerous it would be to let Harry stay in the Forest, he let him on his back so that he could take him to safety. Bane and Ronan, two other centaurs from the colony, arrived there and, while Ronan said he was sure Firenze thought he had been acting for the best, Bane started yelling at him because he regarded it as a despicable action, because a centaur is not for humans to ride. Firenze was angered and, leaving both centaurs behind, carried Harry on his back to safety where he was reunited with Hermione, Neville, Draco and Hagrid.
Life as Hogwarts professor
1995-1996 school year
- Parvati Patil: "Professor Trelawney did astrology with us! Mars causes accidents and burns and things like that, and when it makes an angle to Saturn, like now — that means people need to be extra careful when handling hot things— "
- Firenze: "That is human nonsense. Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents, these are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements."
- — Firenze teaching his first Divination lesson[src]
This resulted in Firenze being cast out of his colony, since agreeing to work for a human was considered a betrayal of their kind. His colony had even attacked him, and might have killed him if not for the intervention of Hagrid.
Dumbledore transformed the classroom into a forest-type state for Firenze, and students were requested to lie back and look at the stars on the small enchanted ceiling. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil found him very appealing and looked forward to his lessons, even though they liked Professor Trelawney as well.
1996-1997 school year
- Sybill Trelawney: "Good evening, my dear. I haven't seen you in my classes lately..."
- Luna Lovegood: "No, I've got Firenze this year."
- Sybill Trelawney: "Oh, of course. Or Dobbin, as I prefer to think of him. You would have thought, would you not, that now I am returned to the school Professor Dumbledore might have got rid of the horse? But no... we share classes... It’s an insult, frankly, an insult. Do you know..."
- — Discussion of Firenze at the Slug Club Christmas party[src]
With the departure of the headmistress Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts at the end of the school year, Professor Trelawney was reinstated by Dumbledore to her post of Divination Professor. Firenze, however, could not return to his still resentful colony, so Dumbledore let him continue teaching Divination alongside Trelawney.
Firenze taught the fifth-year Ravenclaws, though sharing classes with him caused Trelawney much consternation, as she considered it an insult to be sharing classes with a "horse". In turn, Firenze did not seem to think much of Trelawney, seeming to find her attempts at Cartomancy "almost comical."
After Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape atop the Astronomy Tower on the evening of 30 June 1997, Firenze attended Dumbledore's funeral. He stood "like a sentinel" by the shores of the Black Lake, paying his respects to the wizard who had welcomed him and given him a job and a home. Dolores Umbridge was startled by his appearance at the funeral, considering her previous experience with Centaurs.
1997-1998 school year and Battle of Hogwarts
- "Firenze was amongst the injured; his flank poured blood and he shook where he lay, unable to stand."
- — Description of his injury during the battle[src]
Minerva McGonagall talked to students about how the underage among them, and those who were not willing to fight, were going to be evacuated before the start of the battle that would soon ensue, as Voldemort and his Death Eaters were going to start their attack at midnight.
Firenze stayed to fight, and was seriously injured on his flank which poured copious amounts of blood. He was laid on the raised platform at the Great Hall during the hour-long fighting interregnum, and was shaking and unable to stand by himself. Given his state, it is most likely Firenze did not partake in the second half of the Battle. It is likely, however, that Firenze witnessed the duel between Harry and Voldemort in the Great Hall and Voldemort's final defeat.
After the Battle, Firenze was welcomed back into his colony, when they were forced to acknowledge that Firenze's pro-human leanings were not shameful, but honourable. Despite this, he still remained a Divination professor at Hogwarts, continuing to share the role with Sybill Trelawney.
In a winter between 2008 and 2015, Firenze greeted Robyn Thistlethwaite and her friend outside the Forbidden Forest and warned them not to go in despite their interest in investigating a case that possibly involved a Yeti.
During the Calamity, Firenze helped members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force who sought a Magizoologist profession by leading a week-long camp to enhance their physical attributes, while he offered a mind-over-matter seminar to those who sought a Professorship profession to increase their focus. He also offered an interactive overnight seminar in the Forbidden Forest regarding astronomical Divination, which was attended by a Calamity Investigator working for the Task Force.
Personality and traits
Firenze was a courageous centaur who was not as traditional or proud as most of his kind. Whereas most centaurs believed it was shameful to work alongside humans, Firenze was happy to allow Harry to ride him. and became a teacher at Hogwarts.
Firenze was willing to stand up for what he believed in even if it meant defying his colony; unfortunately this resulted in him nearly being stomped to death by the other centaurs. However, after the Battle of Hogwarts, his colony acknowledged his ways as being honourable and welcomed him back.
Like all centaurs, Firenze commonly tried to read the future in the stars, and Ron Weasley considered him to be a slightly better teacher than Sybill Trelawney, though he was still frustrated that Firenze seemed to be able to provide very little definite information.
Magical abilities and skills
- "Centaurs have unravelled the mysteries of these movements over centuries. Our findings teach us that the future may be glimpsed in the sky above us..."
- — Firenze's attitude towards Divination[src]
- Divination: Being a Centaur (and therefore a natural-born Seer), Firenze was naturally gifted in the magical art of divination, and even taught the subject at Hogwarts from 1996-1998. Being a centaur, Firenze performed divination through observing planets, moons and stars, and had a low opinion of human divination, viewing it as nonsensical.
- Combat: Firenze was also highly skilful in physical combat as he notably saved Harry Potter's life in the Forbidden Forest by charging at Quirinus Quirrell and forcing him to flee before he could attack Harry. This was especially notable as Quirrell was possessed by Voldemort at the time, which enhanced his magical powers, although Voldemort was also in a weakened form at the time. Despite getting injured in the first half of the battle, he also survived the Battle of Hogwarts with no fatal injury.
Behind the scenes
- He is portrayed by Ray Fearon in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but does not appear in any of the later films.
- In the books, Firenze is said to have silver-blond hair and is even considered handsome by some students. In the Philosopher's Stone film, however, he has dark hair. He doesn't stay with Harry or let him ride on his back either, because Hagrid and the others appear straight away.
- It is possible that Firenze is based on the legend of Chiron, a centaur from Greek mythology who left his "wild and lusty" brethren to instead tutor heroes.
- In the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Firenze is shown to have strikingly, almost glowing, amber eyes instead of blue eyes.
- Firenze is the fourth known professor to not be completely human, after Filius Flitwick (part-goblin), Remus Lupin (a werewolf), and Rubeus Hagrid (a half-giant).
- In addition, out of all the known professors at Hogwarts (including Cuthbert Binns, who was a wizard during his lifetime and is now a ghost), Firenze is the only one who is not a wizard.
- "Firenze" is the Italian name for the city of Florence. It is interesting to note that Galileo Galilei, one of history's greatest astronomers, lived out his final years there. Firenze's teaching of Divination deals with Astrology and Astronomy, as opposed to Trelawney's fortune-telling, hence this connection.
- The meaning of the name Firenze is Flower, Blossom.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "[...] he had white-blond hair and a palomino body."
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen) - "Through the mist came a face Harry had seen once before on a dark, dangerous night in the Forbidden Forest: white-blond hair and astonishingly blue eyes, the head and torso of a man joined to the palomino body of a horse.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "He had astonishingly blue eyes, like pale sapphires"
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - "An overnight seminar is hosted in the Forbidden Forest by Firenze, centaur and Divination teacher at Hogwarts."
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 4 (Friends in Low Places)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 25 (Written in the Stars)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- "J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007 (2.00-3.00pm BST)" on Accio Quote!
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - December 2021 special event (it's unclear in what in-universe year the event is set)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Camp Firenze
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Master Mind
|Professors: Sybill Trelawney · Firenze|
|Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Gellert Grindelwald · Inigo Imago · Johan Hoffman · Liz Tuttle's mother · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Susie Sooth · Tycho Dodonus · Unidentified Canadian Seer · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer|
|Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future|
|Methods: Astrology · Bibliomancy · Capnomancy · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Horoscope · Ichthyomancy · Myomancy · Ornithomancy · Orrery · Ovomancy · Palmistry · Personal chart · Phyllomancy · Prophecy · Rune stone · Scrying mirror · Tarot cards · Tessomancy · Xylomancy|
|Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom 11 · Xylomancy (class)|