In the fourth Harry Potter movie, as well as in the fourth book, the magic ceiling of the Great Hall reacts strongly with a storm when Moody enters. But since the Ceiling reacts that way to evil, wouldn't we expect it to react the same way to professor Quirrell carrying Voldemort on the back of his head in the first film?

  • 5
    Where does it state that the ceiling reacts that way to evil?
    – Möoz
    Jan 20, 2016 at 2:58
  • Congratulations, this question is the winner of the corresponding topic challenge.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 25, 2016 at 0:17
  • This quection looks irrelevant as it is never implied that Ceiling reacts to evil ?
    – Panther
    Dec 13, 2016 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


In the books, there's absolutely no canon evidence that the ceiling of the Great Hall "reacts to evil". It's simply enchanted to mirror the actual sky outside (a point that is repeated throughout the series); there was a storm - totally unconnected to "Moody" (Barty Crouch Jr. using Polyjuice potion) - raging outside on the first day of term in Harry's fourth year.

If it did react to evil then it would have done so every single time "Moody" entered, which was not the case. He also would have been caught immediately, rather than being able to pass himself off as Moody (tricking even Dumbledore!) for an entire year.

In universe, it was essentially a coincidence that the storm was particularly fierce at that moment. Out of universe it was used for the effect to heighten the fierce appearance of the character.

For related reading, I've addressed a similar topic over on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange too.

As far as the movies are concerned, it could be that they wanted to hint that there was something "off" about the character, and decided that using the ceiling was a good way to do that. However, since the fourth movie was made later and presumably the workings of the ceiling were closer to what's described in the books (or ignored entirely) in the earlier films, this ended up introducing an inconsistency that isn't present in the books. As far as I'm aware there's no good in-universe explanation - using information from either the books or the movies - for why the ceiling wouldn't react to Quirrell during Harry's first year if it was enchanted to react to "evil" people entering the Great Hall.

  • In the movie, we can clearly see the ceiling turn storm as Moody enters, and hear him saying something like "Stupid ceiling". So you are telling me that this sequence is only intended to enforce the drama ? Isn't it a bit too much ?
    – dounyy
    Jan 19, 2016 at 13:40
  • 3
    I've edited my answer to make it clearer that I'm concentrating purely on what's established in the books, for which the answer is: that's not how the ceiling works. For the movies, I guess maybe they wanted to hint at there being something bad/off about Moody, and in the process created an inconsistency that isn't present in the world JKR actually created. Jan 19, 2016 at 13:46
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    When answering on movies.SE, I think it's only fair to focus on the movies first, whether you like them or not (totally agree with you on them).
    – KRyan
    Jan 19, 2016 at 16:58
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    @dounyy Saying "Stupid ceiling" sounds to me like a perfectly believable reaction to the ceiling making annoying storm noises.
    – Brilliand
    Jan 19, 2016 at 22:40
  • @Brilliand I agree, but usually in a movie, no element is introduced without any reason related to the plot. I assumed this rule could be valid for the ceiling too.
    – dounyy
    Jan 20, 2016 at 10:18

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