Rita Skeeter’s Scoop

chapter twenty-four of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The Christmas holidays wind down, and back at class, Harry discovers Hagrid gone thanks to a dirty Rita Skeeter article. After a Hogsmeade trip where Ludo Bagman offers Harry help, the trio decides to confront Hagrid and finds Dumbledore already there, convincing him to return to work.

Three Broomsticks, by Marta T

The pub was quite as crowded as ever.

(by Marta T)


Rita Skeeter, by Helene Sirois

Rita Skeeter’s smile flickered very slightly, but she hitched it back almost at once; she snapped open her crocodile-skin handbag, pulled out her Quick-Quotes Quill, and said, “How about giving me an interview about the Hagrid you know, Harry? The man behind the muscles?”


Albus Dumbledore, by Michael Greenholt

Hermione… stopped, very suddenly, because she had found herself face-to-face, not with Hagrid, but with Albus Dumbledore.


Temporarily Deaf, by TomScribble

“I have gone temporarily deaf and haven’t any idea what you said, Harry,” said Dumbledore, twiddling his thumbs and staring at the ceiling.


Hagrid and Son, by Drew Graham

Hagrid…pulled out a picture of a short wizard with Hagrid’s crinkled black eyes, beaming as he sat on top of Hagrid’s shoulder. Hagrid… looked hardly older than eleven.


about the chapter


Something You May Not Have Noticed

So Hagrid admits – to a reporter – that he has illegally bred two species of magical creatures to make Blast-Ended Skrewts. If you don’t remember the entries for these two creatures in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,, they’re worth another look. Fire Crabs aren’t too extraordinarily awful, although a “special license” is required to own one. But a manticore?! It has the most dangerous rating available – the same as dragons and acromantulas, which Hagrid hasn’t exactly had the best luck with. With most of Hagrid’s creatures, I can at least begrudgingly see the appeal. But in this case, what the heck was he thinking?

The Wizarding World

Malfoy takes great pride in telling Rita Skeeter he was attacked by a hippogriff, and Crabbe by a flobberworm. But even if the latter story were true (or possible), surely most Hogwarts parents know enough to realize that if these are the only incidents Malfoy can come up with from a year and a half’s worth of classes, Hagrid’s classes really aren’t all that dangerous. There have certainly been far more incidents in the same span of time in Quidditch matches, not to mention in the school’s corridors between lessons. But this way of blowing things out of proportion tends to happen in the real world, too: when people are determined to hate someone, they tend to use all evidence available in their case against them – even if that same evidence would be completely ignored if it applied to someone else.

The Final Word

“Hagrid is one of my favourite characters…. Hagrid is also – is [an] old English word, meaning – if you were hagrid – it’s a dialect word – you’d had a bad night. Hagrid is a big drinker – he has a lot of bad nights.”–J.K. Rowling, October 1999

“My sister said to me in a moment of frustration… ‘Why didn’t Dumbledore go down earlier, why didn’t Dumbledore go down earlier?’ I said he really had to let Hagrid stew for a while and see if he was going to come out of this on his own because if he had come out on his own he really would have been better. ‘Well he’s too detached, he’s too cold, it’s like you,’ she said! By which she meant that where she would immediately rush in and I would maybe stand back a little bit and say, ‘Let’s wait and see if he can work this out.’ I wouldn’t leave him a week. I’d leave him maybe an afternoon. But she would chase him into the hut.”–J.K. Rowling, July 2005

19 Responses to “Rita Skeeter’s Scoop”

  1. Hagrid is so weird and funny. But if it wasn’t for him, Harry, Ron and Hermione wouldn’t have found everything out about the Philosopher’s Stone, so he’s a very significant character.
    I like the picture of Rita Skeeter by Helene Sirois. All drawings of Rita really capture her because she’s so unique.

  2. Since the screwts show up in the maze, I wondered if Hagrid hadn’t been asked to breed the screwts purposely for the triwizard tournament, but didn’t want to give that away before the 3rd task. Great site, by the way!

  3. I always figured that because the students seemed to struggle with the Blast-Ended Skrewts that they became a ‘random’ addition to the maze; just another challenge. :)

  4. I always figured that Rita made Hagrid drunk, which made him admit that he had bred another species. Seeing as what she did to Bathilda, I reckon it’s really Rita’s style…
    Love the final word from JK!

  5. I think half of it would have to be Hagrid wanting, for once, to be seen as an intelligent wizard instead of a bumbling half giant idiot. Say what you want about it being a bad idea, it can’t have been easy making a new species out of creatures as diverse as Fire Crabs and Manticores.

  6. Hagrid himself is a cross-breed between one very dangerous species (giants) and one which is a bit less dangerous (human). I think the obsession with dangerous animals in general has a lot to do with his feelings of loss for his mother. Breeding the skrewts seems like the evolution of reaching out toward his mother’s memory. There are parallels to be drawn between Hagrid and the skrewts, particularly in the way people view them.

  7. This chapter really brings out how much prejudice exists in the wizarding community regarding half-human or near human creatures. I love the character of Hagrid and the contrast with Mme. Maxime, but, I have always wondered why a wizard would even be interested in a giant as a friend, let alone form a relationship with one. If they are all as unattractive, unintelligent, and potentially violent as we are led to believe, why would anyone go near them?

  8. I think you missed a lot of things to discuss in this chapter – particularly the mentioning of Dumbledore’s brother (something that links to the final book) and the subtle hints about how Dumbledore (and Harry) have had their fair share of “bad press”.

    My one question is how on earth a wizard and giant could mate. Ok, so the movies may have exaggerated them and made them uglier and dumber than the books suggest them to be, but 5 star dangerous creatures? Are they even creatures? Or people who are just massive? It’s one of those mysteries… How Hagrid’s parents “fell in love”

  9. Samantha, some things I left out intentionally to avoid spoilers – in the case of Aberforth, the mere fact of mentioning him would be a spoiler, since it points out that he will be prominent later on, so that was a deliberate decision. I suppose I could have mentioned the bad press though….

  10. I love TomScribble’s picture!

  11. I know this is a little late, but in rereading GoF I noticed that maybe Viktor Krum diving into the lake off of the ship isn’t so much him going for a nice swim in February, but maybe he had already figured out his egg and wanted to see what he could about the lake.

    Im sure some people had this already figured out, but it was just something I noticed….

  12. I was thinking maybe he is taking the egg into the lake with him to try to figure out the clue.

  13. Something that’s always bugged me about Hagrid’s description of his father. He talks about how he used to prop Dad on his shoulder when he was a kid. But as an adult, Hagrid is at most maybe 12 feet tall (consider that in the next book he has to look way up at his 16 foot brother), which would make him twice the height of the average grown man. Now consider that Hagrid was probably quite a bit shorter at age 11, perhaps somewhere around 8 or 9 feet. In that case, we seem to be expected t believe that Hagrid carried a man of about 5 or 6 feet tall on his 8 or 9 foot frame. Not impossible considering Hagrid’s build, but it would still be awkward. The only way he would be able to do it comfortably is if his father was much smaller than average. This is entirely possible, because Hagrid does describe him as tiny. My guess would be, based on this information, that Hagrid’s Dad was a little person. If he were under 4 ft tall, then it would be no problem for pre-adolescent Hagrid to carry him on his shoulder. But then this begs the question, how does a little person mate with a giant?!

  14. I always thought the accusations leveled at Hagrid were, at best, inaccurate. Rita said his love for dangerous creatures stemmed from his mother’s violent ways, but I disagree. Surely Hagrid inherited his love for dangerous critters from his father? Yes giants are violent, but that little wizard fell in love (and mated) with a dangerous monster. Plus, if she was ‘typical’ she would have moved on, pregnant or not, but Mister Hagrid probably followed her out of love for her and his unborn son. Also probably in the company of the rest of her giant clan. Brave, crazy (or both).

  15. Ian, I think it can also be said that Hagrid gets his love of dangerous creatures because he feels they’re misunderstood, because he himself is misunderstood. He’s always talking about connecting with outsiders and is always saying those creatures are misunderstood. Rita plainly shows in this chapter that is true, because of how she thinks people will take the fact that he’s half-giant. I think you’re partly right, because Hagrid definitely gets his kindness from his father, but I think the main reason that he loves dangerous creatures, besides his overall kindness, are those reasons I mentioned above.

  16. I wonder what country Karkaroff and Krum and the other Durmstrangs really are from. It’s hardly Bulgaria considering how much colder it seems to be in the country they’re from… but I guess the school could be located up in mountains or something. Judging by the school name, however, they would be from Germany. This book was the reason for me thinking about Harry Potter the entire time we were reading “The Sorrows of Young Werther” during my Literature studies… ;)
    Any thoughts on this?

  17. Ah, well, now I’ve finsihed the book I see that the were probably from Bulgaria, since they, well, talk Bulgarian ;) I guess the school is located really high up in the mountains ;)

  18. @Amanda: I always thought it was Bulgaria, based solely on the fact that Krum was on the Bulgarian Quidditch team. :)

  19. @Amanda& Natalia, i read somewhere on the internet that the school is located in northern scandinavia:)

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