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Villain Overview
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?
~ Professor Quirrell revealing his true colors to Harry Potter.
I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.
~ Professor Quirrell talking to Harry Potter about Lord Voldemort.

Professor Quirinus Quirrell, simply known as Quirinus Quirrell (b. 26 September 1970 or earlier d. 4 June 1992), is the main antagonist of the 1997 book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) and its 2001 adaptation of the same name and a posthumous antagonist in its later books and films.

He was a half-blood wizard and the Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts. He became the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher during Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts in 1991. He was the host of Lord Voldemort's non-corporeal form, scheming to steal the Philosopher's Stone and use it give Voldemort a new physical body while using Severus Snape as a scapegoat to keep any suspicions away from himself.

He was portrayed by Ian Hart, who also portrayed Voldemort in the same film as well as Franklin Hall in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ryan McGregor in the BBC adaptation of Noughts & Crosses.

Powers and Abilities

Quirrell was known to have a brilliant mind and had an excellent aptitude for theoretical learning, particularly when it came to Defensive Magic (though was less competent in the application of that knowledge). Whilst this made him a highly intelligent student, it did not make him a great wizard, his practical aspect severely hampered by his timid nature. However, given Rubeus Hagrid had a high opinion of him and his position as the Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, it can be deduced that while he may not be a great wizard, he eventually still gained just sufficient ability and power as a wizard to be appointed as a teacher to many young wizards and witches by the time he became an adult, although most of his great success as a teacher was due to his exemplary knowledge, experience and skill in the theory of magic acquired from his journeys rather than practical skill. It appears that only upon being possessed by Voldemort, with his magical powers dramatically augmented, was he able to perform feats that required a considerable amount of magical power.

  • Charms: Whilst the true extent of Quirrell's expertise in this area is unknown, he was able to conjure an incorporeal Patronus, a very advanced piece of magic, which means he must possess a considerable amount of ability in Charms. He also was able to skillfully perform many other charms such as Verdimillious Uno (red form) and Lumos and displayed sufficient knowledge in their use to thoroughly explain how to use them to his students in his Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. Quirell was also capable of animating objects, such as a gargoyle statue and several suits of armor, and conjuring a barrier around himself.
  • Dark Arts: Quirell had at least sufficiently adequate knowledge and ability in Dark Magic to adequately use jinxes, hexes and curses, such as the Knockback Jinx and Curse of Bogies, both of which he displayed sufficiently thorough knowledge to teach his first years how to use them effectively and quickly deduce Harry Potter was affected by the Curse of Bogies. While possessed by Voldemort, Quirrell's dark magic was dramatically enhanced, enough that he was able to curse Harry Potter's Nimbus 2000 to go out of control in an attempt to kill him, something that Hagrid noted required an exceptional amount of ability in the Dark Arts. He nearly succeeded - even Severus Snape was unable to counter the curse completely - and was only thwarted when Hermione Granger indirectly made him lose focus. He was also capable of casting such a powerful curse that it could collapse an entire room, doing so to send Harry to the Troll Storage Room, and locking the exit to the Dungeons with four set of curses, making so that the only way to exit the Dungeons were to undo all the curses. During his duel with Harry Potter, he displayed the ability to shoot out balls of green energy at Harry and cast an unknown curse that he charges in his wand before unleashing it.
  • Transfiguration: Quirrell was apparently proficient in Transfiguration, as he displayed a rather high amount of skill in conjuration, a difficult branch of Transfiguration. He could conjure ropes, both non-verbally and verbally. He could also cast a spell which conjured green Gytrashes to attack opponents. 
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts: Quirrell was noted to be particularly gifted in the theory of Defensive Magic and would gain an extensive amount of knowledge and experience on how to defend from the Dark Arts, some of which were attributed from his journeys, enough that Ministry of Magic considered him to be a good teacher and he was notably the only teacher to pass the Ministry Inspection. This is exemplified by his ability to effectively teach his First Year class how to use the spells Verdimillious Uno (red form) and Lumos to defend from the Dark Forces. He also taught the Curse of the Bogies and could quickly deduce that Harry Potter was under the aforementioned curse's influence immediately upon seeing him entering his class coughing and he also was able to thoroughly explain to his class how to use the Knockback Jinx. However, whilst all this made him a great teacher of D.A.D.A. it still did not make him a good practitioner. In addition, his teaching skills were very diminished by his nervous nature, leading students to take his classes as a joke, giving him very little respect in return. He has also been shown to cast a protective magical barrier around himself when Harry fights his green Gytrashes however he must dispel it when attempting to summon them back.
  • Non-verbal magic and Wandless magic: Quirrell was capable of effectively performing intricate magic nonverbally and wandlessly, conjuring ropes without a wand. Whilst this could easily have been the result of his power boost received from Voldemort's possession, Quirinus was the possessor of an alder wand (which emphasizes nonverbal magic) and hence it is likely that he was already truly proficient in this area of magic prior to his meeting with the Dark Lord. He could also conjure fire just by raising his hands while possessed by Voldemort.
  • Magizoology: He was known to be experienced and capable in handling dangerous magical creatures, but had a particular uncommon gift with trolls, being able to bring one into Hogwarts on Halloween. He was somehow able to acquire a Norwegian Ridgeback dragon egg to give to Hagrid. Being a Professor of DADA, he was also highly knowledgeable with many dark creatures which he would have taught his classes about; furthermore, he was known to have a strong interest in vampires, meaning he likely understood them very well.
  • Muggle Studies: Quirinus had considerable knowledge of muggles and muggle devices considering that he was a professor of Muggle Studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he probably achieved a good score in his N.E.W.T. on the subject.
  • Herbology: Quirrell was said to enjoy pressing wild flowers in his spare time, meaning he had at least some interest and skill in the field of Herbology, the study of magical plants and fungi. He was also able to pass through the Devil's Snare in the Underground Chambers with seemingly relative ease as well.
  • Intelligence: Quirrell was always known for having a brilliantly intelligent mind, which made him a highly clever student, deemed to be one of the most intelligent students in Hogwarts's history, as acknowledged despite his timidness. His intelligence was great enough to locate Voldemort's hiding place, which the Ministry has failed to do. After being possessed by Voldemort, Quirell displayed his excellent cunningly deceptive skills and exceptional prowess in manipulation and conniving by being able to hide his true nature from all the staff apart from Dumbledore and Snape. He also proved to be an excellent actor, able to easily completely fool Hagrid into believing him as a stranger while disguised and succeeding in getting him to tell him how to handle Fluffy despite Hagrid's adamance on not to do so.

Appearance

Quirrell was a young man with very pale skin. When Quirrell returned from his sabbatical in Albania, one of his eyes developed a twitch and his skin became quite pale. At the start of the term, he wore a purple turban. Near the end of his life, it was revealed under his turban that he had allowed Voldemort's fledging body to grow a face at the back of his own head and joined forces with him.

Gallery

Trivia

  • J. K. Rowling stated in Pottermore that Professor Quirinus Quirrell served as a temporary Horcrux when Voldemort's soul possessed his body during Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts. A notable difference, however, is that the piece of soul within Quirrell was able to exist without its container, as it abandoned Quirrell and left him to die in the Underground Chambers. This is due to it being the "master" soul that serves as the awareness and consciousness of Voldemort's psyche.
    • Based on this, the animals that Voldemort inhabited during his years of exile, such as rats and snakes, can also be considered as temporary Horcruxes.
  • In the movie, Quirrell has no part in the protection of the Philosopher's Stone. The part with the knocked out troll is missing.
  • In the books Harry is able to shake Quirrell's hand at the Leaky Cauldron as Quirrell was not currently filled with the hatred that Voldemort had for Harry. However, in the movie Quirrell refuses to shake Harry's hand.
  • Archive footage of Quirrell sitting next to Snape in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. This footage continues with Quirrell turning into black smoke and disappearing to create the effects that this scene is a memory of Snape.
  • The name "Quirinus" is possibly derived from the Sabine word quiris meaning "spear". Quirinus was a Sabine and Roman god who was later identified with Mars. The name was also borne by several early saints.
  • Professor Quirrell was the second-to-final boss in the Gameboy color adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Voldemort uses Quirrell's body to fight Harry as the final boss.
    • He is also the only boss who can use level 3 magic (tria magic).
      • In this version, Harry meets Quirrell at Diagon Alley twice, while the latter is wearing his hooded dark robe to disguise himself. He owns Vault 998 in the new vault area of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. He possessed various belongings, including Circe's Chocolate Frog Card that was given by Professor Cuthbert Binns (History of Magic's teacher) to James Potter before Quirrell came into possession of it. Besides Gringotts' defenses, Quirrell secretly keeps his own monsters in his vault.
  • In the PS1 video game of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Quirrell makes several appearances in his hooded robe and a mask. He tries to kill Harry different times, by transfiguring stone gargoyles and armors or sending Harry to trolls in the school's dungeons. He is also presumably the dark wizard who blocks Harry in the dungeons, by putting a curse, though it is never confirmed in the game.
  • In the video game of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for Xbox, Gamecube & PS2, Quirrell summons green Gytrashes, who are large, vicious, nocturnal and possibly ghosts, to kill Harry. The Gytrashes follow Quirrell's commands. They are much stronger than the standard white ones fought at previous points in the game plus if at least one of them is defeated Quirrell will attempt to summon them back. However he can be stopped if Flipendo is used on him while his protective barrier is down as he's attempting to bring them back.
  • Harry was in his cot when his mother died, but he would not remember this due to his age at the time. So Harry has no memory of deaths until he sees Professor Quirrell die in the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, unlike the novelization in which Harry passes out before he sees Quirrell dying. However Harry is unable to see the Thestrals until the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, after witnessing Cedric Diggory's death. This was likely a mistake from the movie directors of the first film, and possibly even from J.K. Rowling not informing them, as the fifth book was not released at the time. However, it is also possible that after passing out, Harry could no longer remember seeing Quirrell dying, though it seems highly unlikely, as Harry never asks Dumbledore what happened in the dungeons, like his book counterpart does and seems to know that Quirrell passed away. However, it can be surmised that, being only eleven at the time of Professor Quirrell's death, Harry was still too young to comprehend the true aspect of death, and when he finally matured at fifteen, he was finally able to comprehend and accept the brutality of death. Thus, Harry could finally see Thestrals because he could finally grasp the nature of humanity's short life. Therefore this may not be a plot hole at all but a real grasp on Harry's nature. 
    • Furthermore, while Cedric's death is the first death Harry witnesses in the book series, Harry is still unable to see the Thestrals until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, because the reality of Cedric's death has not fully sunk in. Technically, however, Harry did not witness the event at all in the books, as he was described to have his eyes closed with agony during Cedric's actual death.
  • In Jimmy Neutron, Carl played a character based on Quirrell and Tom Riddle from the Chamber of Secrets (with the former being a vessel for Voldemort and the later being an Incarnation of Voldemort).

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           HarryPotter Villains

Death Eaters
Lord Voldemort | Severus Snape | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Peter Pettigrew | Barty Crouch Jr. | Bellatrix Lestrange | Corban Yaxley | Alecto Carrow | Antonin Dolohov | Augustus Rookwood | Walden Macnair | Thorfinn Rowle | Evan Rosier | Cedric Diggory | Fenrir Greyback | Stan Shunpike

Death Eater Supporters
Quirinus Quirrell | Dolores Umbridge | Snatchers (Scabior) | Gregory Goyle | Vincent Crabbe | John Dawlish | Kreacher

Muggle-Born Registration Commission
Dolores Umbridge | Corban Yaxley | Albert Runcorn | Mafalda Hopkirk

Gellert Grindelwald's Alliance
Gellert Grindelwald | Credence Barebone | Vinda Rosier | Queenie Goldstein | Gunnar Grimmson | Abernathy | Krall | Carrow | Nagel | Krafft | MacDuff

Other Dark Wizards & Witches
Salazar Slytherin | Morfin Gaunt | Marvolo Gaunt | Merope Gaunt | Gilderoy Lockhart | Cornelius Fudge | Herpo the Foul | Merwyn the Malicious | Ekrizdis | Delphini | R | Patricia Rakepick | Merula Snyde | Ismelda Murk | Emily Tyler | Erika Rath

New Salem Philanthropic Society
Mary Lou Barebone | Credence Barebone

Creatures
Basilisk | Acromantula (Aragog & Acromantula Colony) | Dementors | Centaurs | Giants | Inferi | Nagini | Mountain Troll | Gnarlak

Tales of Beedle the Bard
Charlatan | Death | Warlock

Other
Marge Dursley

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