Sirius Black’s Assault on Fat Lady, Finally Explained

Sirius Black’s Assault on Fat Lady, Finally Explained
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Remember when Sirius Black slashed the Fat Lady’s portrait trying to get into the Gryffindor dorms? That was out of character because he never intended to do it.


  • Sirius Black slashed the Fat Lady’s portrait while trying to get into the Gryffindor dorms which terrified the Lady.
  • However, he knew the Lady really well and was unlikely to have assaulted her on his whim or in a fit of blind rage.
  • Most likely, Sirius cut through the portrait to get to the door itself and unlock it with his magical knife he later gave to Harry.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black is presented as the main villain right until the final revelation, so when he slashes the Fat Lady’s portrait in frustration, trying to get into Gryffindor’s Common Room, we’re not surprised. But after we learn the truth about Sirius and get to know him better, such an assault seems like the most out-of-character thing for him to do, doesn’t it?

Sirius Would’ve Never Assaulted the Fat Lady

We’re not saying that Sirius Black was a perfect person without any anger management issues; he wasn’t. However, he used to be a Marauder once, and together with his friends, he spent countless hours sneaking in and out of the Gryffindor’s Common Room at night, and he had to know the Fat Lady pretty well.

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The Fat Lady was something of an unofficial Gryffindor mascot, and Sirius would have never assaulted her in a fit of rage. But the portrait was slashed, and it was undeniably slashed by him — so either Sirius Black wasn’t the person we think him to be… Or something entirely different happened that night in the Gryffindor tower.

Sirius Overestimated His Lockpicking Skills and Tool

What reason might have Sirius Black had to slash the Fat Lady’s portrait other than being frustrated with her not letting him into the Common Room? It’s pretty simple, really: he tried to get inside without the Lady’s help. Remember the enchanted knife that Sirius gifted Harry claiming it could unlock any door? Well, he had it on the run.

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Most likely, Sirius scared the Fat Lady away by his very arrival, and as she ran away, she saw and heard him slashing her portrait, which made her believe it was an attack on her. But what Harry’s godfather really tried to do was to get through the canvas and reach the door itself to use his knife on it — not to let his rage out.

Admittedly, that never worked, and Sirius was being somewhat sly when he told Harry the knife could open any door; after all, it later proved useless against the Love door in the Department of Mysteries, too.

Source: Reddit