Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Ludovic Bagman

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Ludovic "Ludo" Bagman
Gender Male
Hair color Short blond
Eye color Blue
Related Family
Loyalty Ministry for Magic

Overview[edit]

Ludovic Bagman, head of the Division for Magical Games and Sports is a very flamboyant wizard, always bounding around and trying to look like he is having a lot of fun. He is relatively short, rather fat, and has the look of a powerful man rather gone to seed. He seems rather flighty, paying more attention to his entertainments than to his job.

Role in the Books[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Goblet of Fire[edit]

Ludo Bagman bounces around the campground at the Quidditch World Cup, talking up a storm and placing and taking bets. He is commentator for the match, but when the Snitch is finally caught, he seems rather shaken, and becomes rather hard to find; obviously, he has made a few bad bets. One of the bets that had been placed was with Fred and George Weasley, that the Bulgarian Seeker, Krum, would catch the Snitch but that Ireland would win, and they had won that bet.

During the riot at the campsite, Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet Ludo in the woods. Ludo seems preoccupied, and is unaware of the riot until told about it; he then Disapparates, possibly to the campground to see what is going on. Shortly after the Dark Mark appears, he Apparates back in, and is quite surprised to see all the wizards who have appeared to find the spell-caster. Throughout, Ludo appears preoccupied.

Ludo is present at Hogwarts for the selection of the Champions at the opening of the Triwizard Tournament. It turns out that he is to be one of the five judges, the others being Albus Dumbledore, Igor Karkaroff, Olympe Maxime, and Bartemius Crouch Sr.

He is present again when the names of the Champions are produced by the Goblet on the following day. While he is as shocked as anyone when Harry's name comes out of the Goblet as the fourth of the three Champions, once he is over his shock he seems to think it great fun. When the judges meet with the Champions after the selection is complete, Madame Maxime and Igor Karkaroff are angry, feeling that Hogwarts has unjustly managed to get itself two Champions; Dumbledore is more rational, trying to determine what courses of action are open to them now; Crouch is remote, only quoting rules at the other parties; and Bagman seems to be actively trying to get the other Judges to accept Harry as a fourth contestant.

Harry agrees to go to Hogsmeade with Hermione, though he insists on using his Invisibility Cloak. As they are walking in the street, they pass Rita Skeeter, who is saying something vaguely defamatory about Ludo to her photographer.

Bagman is present at the beginning of the First Task. The four Champions have been brought to a tent near the arena, and Ludo is there to provide each of the Champions with tokens representing the dragons that they will be facing, and the order in which they will be facing them. He then tells them that their task is to retrieve the golden egg, and that they will be entering the arena, one at a time, when the whistle sounds. He then takes Harry aside, out of the tent, for a private word. There, he asks Harry if he is feeling alright, and if he needs any help in managing the task. Harry says, no, he has a plan. Ludo persists in offering help until they hear a whistle; Ludo then belts off, saying he's late, and as Harry returns to the tent he sees Viktor Krum, the first-selected Champion, slouching off towards the dragon enclosure.

Bagman's voice is heard commentating Krum's, Cedric Diggory's, and Fleur Delacour's efforts, but Harry is tormented; Ludo is not revealing what is going on, and Harry has only his imagination to work with. Finally, though, it is his turn. Once he summons his Firebolt, however, all else fades; while Harry does still hear the occasional ecstatic comment from Ludo, he is largely oblivious. Once he has retrieved his egg, and received first aid for the injury he got from the dragon, he returns to the arena to receive his score, and finds that Ludo has awarded him a perfect ten. Ludo then rejoins the Champions in their tent, and tells them the date of the Second Task, and that the contents of the golden egg they have retrieved is the only clue they will get as to what their task is.

All of the judges, except Crouch who is "feeling ill" and has been replaced by Percy, are present for the Yule Ball. In the dancing after the dinner, Fred and George try to corner Ludo; he escapes, going over to talk to Harry. When asked, Ludo says that the Twins were looking for marketing advice.

On the first Hogsmeade weekend after Christmas, Harry sees Ludo in the Three Broomsticks, talking seriously with a number of Goblins. Seeing Harry, Ludo approaches to speak with him, asking him if he needs help with the clue of the Egg. Harry, who as yet has no idea what the Egg's caterwauling means, says he has a plan, and asks Ludo why he is offering to help him. Ludo says it is sympathy for the underdog; Harry, as the youngest, has the hardest job, and deserves some assistance for that reason. Fred and George now appear, offering to buy Ludo a drink; Ludo demurs, saying he has to be elsewhere, and leaves, followed by the goblins. Almost immediately, Rita Skeeter comes in, and takes a table near the Trio; Rita is again complaining about Ludo, saying that he wouldn't give her an interview. Confronted by Hermione, Rita says that she knows some things about Bagman that would curl Hermione's hair if she told them.

The next time we see Bagman, he is on the shore of the school lake, as one of the five judges for the Second Task. He has very little to say, however, until the task is ended, at which time he announces the scores to the assembled audience. He then tells the Champions that he will give them details of the Third Task on May 21st.

On 21 May, then, Ludo brings the four Champions down to the Quidditch pitch, which has evidently been planted with a maze of hedges. When harry arrives there, the hedges are only about eighteen inches high, but already they are an obstruction on the pitch. Ludo says they will be quite tall by the time the Task comes about, but that they will be removed afterwards; as an old Quidditch player himself, he does not want to see the pitch destroyed. He goes on to explain that the Triwizard Cup will be located in the center of the maze, and the first Champion to touch it will win outright. Harry and Cedric will enter the maze first, as they are tied in first place. He also mentions that there will be various obstacles in the maze, some of which will be provided by Hagrid as Care of Magical Creatures teacher, and some others imported for the purpose. As they depart the pitch, both Ludo and Krum want to have a word with Harry, but Harry, believing he knows what Ludo wants, chooses to talk with Krum.

Ludo is again present at the Third Task, and explains the rules and safety precautions. Presumably he is also commentating, but Harry cannot hear him, or anything much else, inside the maze.

It turns out that the Twins have been writing to, and trying to talk to, Ludo all year, and he has been avoiding them. It seems that he had paid off their bet with Leprechaun gold, which had vanished, and they had been trying to force him to make good on his bet ever since. Apparently he had also bet heavily on the World Cup with the Goblins, had lost, and had tried to pay them off with Leprechaun gold as well. In order to try and make good his losses there, Ludo had bet with the Goblins on Harry to win the Tournament. In his last letter to the Twins, Ludo had said that boys their age shouldn't be gambling anyway, and had not even returned their stake. Finally, as Harry and Cedric had touched the Cup at the same instant, the Goblins felt this was a draw, and that Ludo had lost his bet, and Ludo, not having any money to pay them, much less the Twins, had gone into hiding.

Order of the Phoenix[edit]

It is mentioned in passing that negotiations with the Goblins have been somewhat tense; Ludo had not helped their case by running.

Strengths[edit]

Ludo was a very good Quidditch player in his day, playing Beater for the Wimbourne Wasps, and on the English National Quidditch team. Arthur Weasley says he was the best beater the Wasps ever had, which would be impressive given that "Kennilworthy Whisp", in Quidditch Through the Ages, tells us that the Wasps team was founded in 1312.

Weaknesses[edit]

Ludovic has a very strong weakness to gambling, even trying to deny it when it is obvious to everyone. He also manages to build up a large amount of debts from goblins as well as Fred and George Weasley.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit]

Analysis[edit]

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. Why does Winky think Ludo is a bad wizard?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.