The Quidditch World Cup

chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry and the Weasleys attend the Quidditch World Cup, sitting in the top box. There they meet Winky, Fudge, and the Malfoys, and watch as, amidst displays of veela and leprechauns, Ireland defeats Bulgaria despite Viktor Krum catching the Snitch.

Winky, by Tealin Raintree

“Ah, sir,” said Winky, shaking her head, “ah, sir, meaning no disrespect, sir, but I is not sure you did Dobby a favor, sir, when you is setting him free.”


Lucius Belittling Arthur, by Heather Campbell

“Good lord, Arthur,” he said softly. “What did you have to sell to get seats in the Top Box? Surely your house wouldn’t have fetched this much?”


Wow, by Becky Roberts

The veela had started to dance, and Harry’s mind had gone completely and blissfully blank. All that mattered in the world was that he kept watching the veela, because if they stopped dancing, terrible things would happen….


Omnioculars at the World Cup, by NicoPony

It was Quidditch as Harry had never seen it played before.


Viktor Krum, by Laurence Peguy

Harry had never seen anyone fly like that; Krum hardly looked as though he was using a broomstick at all.


Veela, by gerre

At this, the veela lost control…. Watching through his Omnioculars, Harry saw that they didn’t look remotely beautiful now.

(by gerre)


World Cup, by reallycorking

“He’s got it – Krum’s got it – it’s all over!”


about the chapter


I’ve always wondered why Krum didn’t wait to get the Snitch until Ireland was a little further ahead – with his team only 160 points down, surely he could have waited a bit on the off-chance that his team managed to get the next goal or two? I realize it’s not that simple, but this is winning the Quidditch World Cup we’re talking about. Surely it’d be worth taking the chance?

The Wizarding World

So, in order to build and charm the stadium, a Ministry task force of five hundred has been working on it all year? What the heck do those people do the rest of the time? And for that matter, are there any wizards in Britain who don’t work for the Ministry? Rowling does have a tendency to get a bit carried away with the size of the Ministry, and given how little we know about other wizarding professions (Charlie seems to be the only person we ever meet who doesn’t work for the Ministry, teach at Hogwarts, work for a place in Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, or play Quidditch), sometimes it seems like the Ministry really does employ just about everyone. Wizards must have to pay some incredible taxes to support a government like that.

The Power of Magic

The way Harry, Ron, and Hermione each react to the veela is hilarious; however, it seems Arthur’s reaction isn’t quite as extreme as the boys’. Perhaps it’s because he’s seen veela before and knows what to expect, but I suspect it might have more to do with their respective ages. It would make sense to me for the veela’s charms to be stronger for those males who have, er, less experience with the opposite sex, and whose hormones are a bit less under control.

Something to Remember

Reading back through this chapter again, I find it rather remarkable how many plot elements and characters are introduced here, under the guise of a fun excursion to the Quidditch World Cup. Virtually everything here happens for a reason – between Krum, Winky, Ludo Bagman, the veela, and Fudge walking in with the Malfoys, it’s a chapter that bears paying close attention.

The Final Word

(When asked, “How on earth did Fred and George know that Ireland would win and Bulgaria would get the Snitch?”)
“It was a risk. They risked everything on it. That is Fred and George, isn’t it? They are the risk-takers in the family. You’ve got Percy at one end of the family — conform, do everything correctly — and you’ve got Fred and George, who just take a totally different life path and were prepared to risk everything. They risked all they had, which is as much as anyone can do.”–J.K. Rowling, July 2005

33 Responses to “The Quidditch World Cup”

  1. This seems like a lot of work to build/hide the stadium and to attend the game if it only lasts for 40 minutes or so, tops. I’d feel a little let down.
    Is the Quidditch pitch larger than the one at Hogwarts? (I know “ten cathedrals” can fit in the stadium, but…) Do students not play on a regulation field?

  2. I think the size of the field is standard, but this seems to be speaking to the size of the stadium around the field, seating for more people than typically show up for a Hogwarts match. Think of it like an American High School Football stadium compared to, for example, the Super Dome.

  3. Bill works for Gringotts, stationed in Egypt for quite a while. Or does Gringotts still count as a place in Diagon Alley because their main branch is there?

  4. Concerning the Veela I would be interested to know how they affect gays (male and female). They might be a way to tell if someone was gay.
    And is there a male version of the Veela?

  5. Concerning the working force in the Wizarding World, you must also remember the people who work at St. Mungos Hospital. Because Diagon Ally and Hogsmead are the two largest Wizarding places in the UK, I would expect most Wizards and Witches to work there. But, there is very little in the books that talk about Wizarding jobs outside of the Ministry though.

  6. Jacob – brilliant! I totally forgot about St. Mungo’s.

    And the more I think about it, it does make sense that there would be offices above the shops in Diagon Alley – meaning there are likely wizards who work there but not specifically in retail. For instance, we know there’s a travel agency there, and a publisher’s office, and the offices of the Daily Prophet. So perhaps it’s not as small a working world as I’d originally thought.

    Kit Kendrick, I should also add – I admit I was thinking of Gringotts as being in Diagon Alley, but you’re right that that isn’t really fair either, at least as far as Bill goes.

  7. Kim, maybe you’re right, and Veela IS a way of finding out if someone is gay. I doubt there would be a male version of the Veela though…

  8. This is another one of my favourite Harry Potter chapters. Not because any of my favourite characters make an appearance, but solely because Ireland won the Quidditch World Cup of 1994! Since I am from Ireland that chapter always makes me smile, especially as we’re not a very good sporting country, like Rowling said in the previous chapter. Yay, Ireland :D !!

    And interesting thought about how veelas would effect gay people. For gay men I say they would have little or no effect whatsoever. But for a lesbian or a bisexual, the veelas would effect them the same as everyone else probably.

  9. Go Maggie!!! I’m from Ireland too and I always get so much joy from Jo allowing Ireland to win the Quidditch World Cup even though it probably would have made it easier for her to have Bulgaria win (it would probably paint Krum in a better light)!

  10. There should be male Veela — how else would a female one even have or need the (ahem) ability to be Fleur’s grandmother? Now that I think of it, that whole idea is creepy in itself — was Fleur’s grandfather bewitched, or was his wife a ‘fallen’ Veela of some sort — like one who wasn’t scary, could control her beauty, and wanted to fall in love with a good man rather than cause teenagers to leap off balconies.

  11. How about Stan and Ernie from the Knight Bus? They don’t work for the Ministry, unless the bus is public transport!

  12. It always seems a bit weird to me that the Ministry were sending 500 wizards off to work on the stadium a year earlier…just as they were pulling people like Arthur off their normal (relatively important) jobs to search for Sirius!

  13. Maybe the veelas don’t effect Arthur in the same way because he loves Molly so much.

  14. Or maybe Arthur was shielding his ears, only Harry was too occupied to notice? Because it wasn’t the Veelas’ beauty, but their singing that was bewitching.

  15. There are the Weird Sisters who have a career that differs from others.

    Also I was wondering if there were any known wizards or witches who decided to work in the Muggle world.

  16. Off the top of my head, I’m wondering if the 500 wizards worked on it full time for a year, or if that’s the total who had a hand in it, over all?

  17. In our world when a government builds something like a stadium it isn’t actual government workers who complete the work, but people contracted to. Surely when it says a Ministry taskforce it refers to people under their employ to complete the task. Magical builders, engineers, architects, painters, greensmen, security specialists and all that jazz? Surely those aren’t all officially Ministry works…

  18. Perhaps at least some of those who worked on the stadium were contract workers (people hired just to build the stadium)?

  19. Personally, I think it is just JK’s common problem with numbers. It seems like the places in the books where there are the greatest discrepancies and difficulties have to do with numbers. For example, 100 tables for the Yule Ball that seat 12 each, and 100 horseless carriages, are both hard to reconcile with the small class sizes and with other things we know about life at Hogwarts. Even she says she has no head for figures. I think it is just a way of saying it took a huge, huge effort to host the world cup. Imagine doing it every year…

  20. The Shetland Islands have a population of 22,000, of which at least 4,000 are employed by the local council. Here there is an example, then, of a small community within which many of its members work for the community’s government. Since wizarding Britain supposedly consists of around 12,000 people spread out among a nation of 5,000 times as many Muggles, I wouldn’t be surprised if many or even most of them worked for the Ministry in some capacity.

  21. I think Krum already knew that the Irish keepers were absolutely brilliant and the bulagrians keepers weren’t that good.So catching the Snitch would atleast mean they won by a decent margin.

  22. I don’t get how Winky knows Dobby in this chapter, ‘But Dobby talks of you all the time, sir!’. It’s not as though house elves get out that much (Ron had never seen one). Any ideas?

  23. to Snape-ftw, I think that house-elves have to talk to each other, or get together some how, if for nothing else than to procreate. I have always wondered about that. Maybe Dobby came by the Crouch’s looking for work and stopped to talk to Winky.

  24. I like how Harry here is affected by the veela once, its a big clue to his will power because though he sticks his fingers in his ears the second time and see’s them later become their bird counterparts, in the forest in the next chapter he is no longer affected by them or by Fleur. An echoe or precursor of his ability to fight the Imperius curse? I think so

  25. I think maybe there are male veelas, because otherwise there could not be regular veelas vs half veelas like fleur. Maybe they are the same species but do not have super-sex powers, like how male and female versions of some animals are totally different. take peacocks for example. the males have the great tail feathers so they can attract a mate, but the females are ugly.

  26. Has anyone noticed how when Harry see’s Winky for the first time he recognises her ears and then she seems to know Dobby well, most people in stories put them together as a couple who get together when Winky gets better but I think from this that they’re actually siblings, with similar features and its not just Harry thinking all house-elves look the same because he describes Kreacher in the next book much differently. Has J.K.R. ever said anything about this?

  27. Emma, I’m fairly sure Rowling hasn’t said anything about this. But the way Winky reacts when Harry calls her Dobby – “But Winky knows Dobby, sir!” implies pretty strongly to me that they’re friends, not siblings. I feel like she’d say “But Dobby is Winky’s brother, sir!” I think the likenesses are meant to just be traits of house-elves in general, rather than a family resemblance.

  28. It says here that Harry had never seen anything like the Wronski Feint, but isn’t that basically what he did in one of his games last year to distract the other seeker? Cho or Malfoy. I can’t remember.

  29. Looks like it! “He dived again, and Cho, thinking he’d seen the Snitch, tried to follow; Harry pulled out of the dive very sharply; she hurtled downward;”

    The quote from this book is “Harry had never seen anyone fly like that; Krum hardly looked as though he was using a broomstick at all;” so maybe that’s a reference to Krum’s flying ability rather than the idea of feinting.

  30. On wizarding careers…

    (1) St Mungo’s and Hogwarts would be funded by the wizarding taxpayer; they are effectively branches of the MoM.

    (2) There are also wizards who make their careers in music, literature and art.

    (3) However, it seems the majority of secondary industry is indeed the shopkeepers and craftsmen of Diagon Alley. To support the MoM, there must be a lot of them.

    (4) We don’t hear much about primary industry. Gringotts is probably a primary industry, since the way they haul up treasure seems to be the equivalent of mining. (Wizards don’t seem to dig literal mines.) I suppose a few of them could be farmers, but I do wonder what wizards’ basic raw materials are.

  31. Josie, if I’m not mistaken, Krum chases the Snitch after Lynch goes for it. As (I think it was Harry) said, he wanted to end the match on his terms. I think he felt the end of the match was inevitable at that point. He probably was waiting for the score to get better until he saw Lynch initiate the chase. Then all bets were off.

    I just wanted to point one thing out about the size of the stadium. Nobody actually tells Harry that ten cathedrals would fit inside it. I’m thinking this is an exaggeration on his part. I’m sure from his point of view, it looked that large. Maybe five cathedrals, give or take a few depending on the size of them and how they’re laid out? But anyway, Harry does a lot of these exaggerations throughout the stories. I don’t think it’s just Jo’s problem with numbers. Kids will often say “there must have been a hundred carriages” or something like that. Even adults do this sometimes.

    As for the veela affecting those who are “experienced” less, I don’t think so, unless that old Egyptian referee hasn’t any of that “experience”. Although, I think they were all focusing their powers on him at that point, but still. I’m thinking it has more to do with experience in seeing them for what they really are, and mental willpower. As most of us know, Harry has very strong mental willpower, as he’s the only one in his class that can throw off the Imperius. Although I have to wonder, is this solely because of his own power, or he’s getting a little help from something else inside of him? Hmmm…

    And I agree, I was watching this chapter very closely, as lots of things happen here. Something that struck me a little was the Top Box being filled with light, and Harry seeing “thousands and thousands of Omiocular lenses flashing and winking in their direction”, as well as the Malfoys being there. Perhaps some Death Eaters could see Harry Potter in the box, and then Malfoy and his pals got to drinking and cursing Harry Potter’s name, and that’s what started their little “party” next chapter? I don’t know, just a thought…

  32. Casey, I was wondering about your last thought also. You would think that with everyone looking into the top box that some of them would have seen Harry there. I never connected it to the Death Eaters though some of them would have seen Harry there I’m sure but it’s fun to imagine all the people looking up there and seeing Harry Potter. I bet there was some talk about him across the sites before the attack.

  33. As far as the Wronski Feint is concerned, yes, Harry was most impressed by Krum’s flying ability. Of course, we learn later that feeling is reciprocated. High praise, indeed. He learned what the tactic was called, but he surely recognized the maneuver he pulled against Cho and the Ravenclaw team, and actually worked the score before getting the snitch.

    As for employment opportunities in the Wizarding World. While the Burrow bears plenty of the marks of the British hobby of do-it-yourself work, do you think Lucius Malfoy is likeley to engage in the same activity while improving Malfoy Manor? No, I don’t either. So there have to be folk in all the building trades for wizards of means to employ. We know at least about plumbing, so there must be wizard plumbers.

    Quality Quidditch Supplies, I presume, is a purveyor, not a maker. At least the Firebolt is made somewhere else. And there are Comets, Cleansweeps, and Nimbuses. There must be some broom makers, along with makers of quaffles, bludgers, snitches, goal hoops and posts.

    Charlie certainly isn’t the only wizard employed in work with dragons. And there are other important magical beasts. Hagrid seems to find lots of interesting things, but none of the children had seen a Hippogriff until Hagrid showed off Buckbeak. And there are all the post owls to train, and kneazles and cats to breed. And there’s the food, the treatments for the ailing creatures. So husbandry and ancillary industries should be employing some wizards and witches.

    Someone makes furniture. I can’t imagine it’s all homemade stuff or Muggle-made. Would the Malfoys buy anything from Muggles; can you imagine Lucius tinkering in a wood shop? Other articles need making, as well. We know Ollivander isn’t the only one making wands. And cauldrons! And gatherers of potion ingredients. There are at least two robes makers, but who is making the fabrics for those robes?

    While I presume some of the food comes from Muggle shops, wizards and elves have to be getting ingredients and food-stuffs from somewhere. When you consider how poorly many wizard families manage to disguise themselves as muggles when needed (men in flowered housedresses, anyone?), there must be purveyors to the wizarding world out there. I will remind folk that you can’t make edibles out of nothing. You can add to it, do magical things to it. But as good in the kitchen as Molly Weasley is, she can’t create potatoes and carrots, meat, flour or sugar, or the other ingredients she cooks with. And they aren’t raising all the eggs and chickens themselves, or cows for milk.

    Seems to me that a lot of the infrastructure of wizarding Britain has to have some wizards and witches supporting it. All of this is apart from Muggle things that can be augmented, like cars, buses and motorcycles. So I think there are plenty of employment opportunities outside Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, or the Ministry.

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