Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Xenophilius Lovegood
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
|Harry Potter, Crumple-Horned Snorkacks
Role in the Books edit
Luna Lovegood tells Hermione that her father is the publisher of The Quibbler, but we do not meet him or learn his name.
Xenophilius attends the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour wearing stunningly bright robes and a large device consisting of a triangle, with a circle and line inscribed in it. Viktor Krum, who is at the wedding, tells a disguised Harry that that symbol was used by the evil magician Grindelwald for his movement.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione, while they are on the run later, hear that The Quibbler is printing stories supportive of Harry. They go to visit Xenophilius; he seems reluctant to invite them in, but eventually does so, saying that he has to send an owl to fetch Luna, who is down past the bridge catching Plimpies for soup. Explaining that the symbol he had worn was the sigil of the three Deathly Hallows, he asks Hermione to read the story of the Three Brothers from her copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard. The three brothers receive items from Death, because they have tricked him: one asks for a wand more powerful than any other, one asks for a stone that can return people from death, and one asks for Death's own invisibility cloak. Xenophilius explains that these are the three Hallows, and the symbols of them are the triangle for the invisibility cloak, the circle for the resurrection stone, and the line for the wand.
Xenophilius then departs to make some soup, and Harry investigates an upstairs room, finding what is evidently Luna's room, with painted portraits of himself and other members of Dumbledore's Army. He discovers that it has apparently not been used for some time, which is odd; Luna should be home for Christmas break. When Xenophilius returns, Harry asks him again where Luna is; the printing press, which has been making copies of the Quibbler all this time, suddenly spits an entire stack of papers over the floor, and Harry finds that the Quibbler has suddenly taken up the official Ministry line, that Harry is "Undesirable Number One" and should be arrested.
Xenophilius admits that he has sent an owl to the Ministry; Luna is being held captive to force him to toe the party line. As the Ministry wizards arrive, Xenophilius attempts to Stun Harry, but misses and causes an Erumpent horn (which he had purchased believing it to be the horn of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack) to explode. Hermione, Ron, and Harry make their escape in the confusion, making sure that the Death Eaters see Harry and Hermione so that Xenophilius will not be punished for lying about Harry being there.
We hear later that Xenophilius has been arrested, though we don't hear details.
It is never made clear whether it is strength of character or inability to perceive his own difference, but Xeno steadfastly marches to the beat of his own drummer, no matter what the Wizarding population in general thinks of him.
Xeno's love of the strange and willingness to experiment has left him open to accepting an almost astounding number of crackpot theories, many of which we hear at second hand from his daughter Luna. It is these crackpot theories which have made his publication, The Quibbler, something of a laughing stock.
Relationships with Other Characters edit
The only thing that apparently can make Xeno toe the "party line" seems to be the capturing of his daughter. He is willing to go to extreme lengths, abandoning his own principles and turning Harry over to the Ministry, in order to regain Luna's freedom. This is possibly because, since his wife died, Luna is his only family.
"Xenophilius" is accurately named, as it translates to "love of the strange" or "love of strange things."
The seventh book requires that Harry be taught the nature of the Deathly Hallows, and the plot line requires that it be fairly late in the story, so that he may understand their nature more gradually than Dumbledore did. Dumbledore knew that he was seen as being authoritative. While he knew that the Hallows existed, and where they were, he also knew that if he passed that information on to Harry, it would cause Harry to pursue them, rather than seeking and destroying Horcruxes. While Dumbledore did leave a few hints to the nature of the Hallows for Harry to find, there are many which he could not have planted or predicted; however, no matter where they came from, in the end the hints led Harry and Hermione to Xeno. Xeno's extreme eccentricity decreases the immediacy of the Hallows; his evident belief in Snorkacks and other impossible creatures makes his belief in the Hallows equally suspect. This suspicion is all that prevents Harry from abandoning the search for Horcruxes, in the hope that possession of the three Hallows will allow him to "conquer Death" and thus avoid being killed by Voldemort.
Given the requirement that the information about the Hallows be provided by a friendly but untrustworthy source, it is clear that the publisher of the Wizarding world's equivalent of The Weekly World News would be a leading candidate for that role. It is uncertain whether the author had this role in mind for Xeno when The Quibbler was introduced in book 5, but we can see that he fits the requirements perfectly.
Greater Picture edit
One of the things Harry finds while looking through Xeno's messy workroom is an attempt to recreate Rowena Ravenclaw's lost diadem. While Xeno's attempt, using the strange mock-magical artifacts that he is so fond of, is doomed to failure, this is our first exposure to a potential artifact of the fourth Founder. To date, we have been made aware of Slytherin's locket, Gryffindor's sword, and Hufflepuff's cup; the reader likely expects that a fourth artifact will surface, for the sake of symmetry, and may in fact believe that it will be found to be a Horcrux, as two of the other three have been. It will turn out that the Diadem has been found and made into a Horcrux, and that Harry has already unknowingly handled it; the Trio will have to return to Hogwarts to recover it.