Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Bartemius Crouch Sr.
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Bartemius Crouch Senior|
|Related Family||son Barty Crouch Jr., wife Mrs. Crouch|
|Loyalty||Ministry of Magic|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Bartemius "Barty" Crouch, Sr. led the Department of Magical Law Enforcement during Lord Voldemort's first rise to power (apparently in the 1960s). During this period he became a ruthless leader, doing things such as giving Aurors the power to kill. He later became the head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation after losing status in the Wizarding world, due to the common belief that he drove his son to joining the Death Eaters.
Role in the books[edit | edit source]
Mr. Crouch is first mentioned as being Percy Weasley's boss at the Ministry. Mr. Crouch is apparently the head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation, and Percy is writing a report on substandard cauldrons being imported from Europe for him.
We first see Mr. Crouch at the Quidditch World Cup, where he is apparently in charge of organizing the international aspects of the competition. He stops at the Weasley campsite when Arthur Weasley calls him over; Percy scrambles to make him a cup of tea, which Mr. Crouch accepts, calling Percy "Weatherby". He then corrals Ludo Bagman, and they apparate off to attend to some detail.
After the appearance of the Dark Mark, Mr. Crouch is in the team of wizards that attempt to Stun the wizard who produced the Mark. Mr. Crouch is suspicious of everyone there present, and is shocked when Amos Diggory discovers his House-elf, Winky, at the apparent source of the incantation. Arthur Weasley, another of the wizards in that group, points out that Mr. Crouch has accused the two people there present least likely to be involved with the Death Eaters: Harry Potter, and his own house-elf. Mr. Crouch goes off into the woods to search for other evidence, and on his return, fires Winky.
We next see Mr. Crouch when he arrives at the school on 30 October to be introduced as one of the five judges in the upcoming Triwizard Tournament, and again on the following night when the Goblet of Fire selects the Champions of each school who will take part in the Tournament. Surprisingly, the Goblet selects a fourth wizard, Harry Potter. Called upon to interpret the rule book, Crouch says that if the wizard's name comes out of the Goblet, then he is required to compete. With this settled, though to nobody's satisfaction, Crouch goes on to explain that he will not be telling them what they will face in the First Task of the Tournament, because ability to think quickly and bravely is necessary to a wizard, but he does give them the date when it will occur.
As he steps into the firelight, Harry notices that Mr. Crouch seems ill; apparently Professor Dumbledore sees this as well, because he asks Crouch to stay the night. Crouch refuses, saying he has to get back.
Crouch is then present to the Weighing of the Wands ceremony, in which Mr. Ollivander checks the wands of the four Champions to see that they are in full working order. Harry thinks he still looks a bit ill.
Crouch is present again during the First Task, and he awards Harry 9 out of 10 points for retrieving the golden egg from his dragon.
At the Yule Ball, Crouch is absent; Percy Weasley has taken his place, saying that Mr. Crouch is tired and is staying at home. He is sending instructions by Owl Post, and Percy is just glad that Crouch has an assistant that he can trust enough that he can get the rest he needs. Hermione suggests that he wouldn't be so tired if he hadn't summarily and unjustly fired his Elf; Percy tries to defend Crouch's actions.
Percy is again substituting for Mr. Crouch at the Second Task. Shortly afterwards, Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Sirius Black, who is living in a cave near Hogsmeade with Buckbeak. Sirius says that it is very unusual for Mr. Crouch to be taking a vacation; he was always very dedicated to his work at the Ministry. Sirius also says that it was at Mr. Crouch's direction that he was kept in Azkaban Prison for twelve years without a trial.
In late May, Harry is taken aside by Viktor Krum for a private conversation under the eaves of the Forbidden Forest. As they finish their conversation, a disheveled Mr. Crouch appears, talking to the trees, and in apparent sane moments demanding to see Dumbledore. Leaving Krum to guard him, Harry runs off to collect Dumbledore, an action which is delayed by Professor Snape. By the time Dumbledore and Harry return to the Forbidden Forest, Krum has been Stunned and Mr. Crouch is gone.
Shortly after this, Harry is left alone in Dumbledore's office as Professor Dumbledore, Professor Moody, and Cornelius Fudge go to investigate the place where Crouch was found. Harry discovers Dumbledore's Pensieve, and ends up viewing three trials at the Wizengamot in which Crouch presided. We see Crouch considering whether to release Igor Karkaroff from Azkaban based on the names of supposedly uncaught Death Eaters he has given them; presiding over the session where Ludo Bagman was released; and the session where Bellatrix Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, and Barty Crouch Jr., his own son, were sentenced for the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom.
Fudge apparently shortly opens an inquiry into how Crouch could have been apparently so very ill without anyone in the Ministry knowing. Percy is evidently called in as part of this inquiry; as a result, Fudge himself ends up judging the Third Task.
Following the Third Task, when Barty Crouch Jr. is revealed, we are given some additional information. When Crouch went off into the forest after the discovery of Winky under the Dark Mark, he had found Barty Stunned under his Invisibility Cloak and sent him home. He had fired Winky, not for being associated with the Dark Mark, but for allowing Barty to escape and get himself a wand. Shortly afterwards Lord Voldemort and Wormtail had managed to put Crouch under the Imperius curse, and he had been under the Imperius Curse during the selection of the Champions and during the First Task. As Wormtail's control started getting tenuous, Crouch was confined to his home, where Voldemort and Wormtail were also staying. He had managed to escape, had made his way to the Forbidden Forest where Harry had seen him, and had then been killed by Barty, and his body hidden.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Although it is hard to say what Mr. Crouch Senior would be like, due to his presence in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire being almost entirely while under the Imperius Curse, what little we see of him in the Pensieve, at the Quidditch world cup, and from Dumbledore's and Sirius' comments on him, it appears that Mr. Crouch Senior was truly a man of the law. He prosecuted Karkaroff, and gave him no favours, and against his own will let Bagman go when the vote of the jury went against him. It is with his son, though, that we start to see his compassion. Although he does not pardon his son, in fact, harshly convicts him with other Death Eaters, Mr. Crouch accedes to his wife's dying request to remove his son from Azkaban, at her own request allowing her to replace him there. This act demonstrates Mr. Crouch Senior's ability to love, and perhaps to forgive.
Mr. Crouch does seem to eventually be able to throw off the Imperius Curse, partially or completely, though it seems that either that, or some other restraint applied to him, resulted in his being driven at least partially insane.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
While, as mentioned above, Mr. Crouch does free his son from Azkaban at his late wife's request, he cannot forgive Barty to the extent of allowing him any freedom; though removed from the Dementors, Barty remains restrained by the Imperius curse placed on him by Mr. Crouch and by the efforts of the House-elf Winky. Mr. Crouch's love of his wife in this case could be seen as a weakness, as it impels Crouch to act against his own interests. Compassion also causes Mr. Crouch to allow Barty to attend the Quidditch World Cup, a choice which results in Mr. Crouch's capture and eventual death at his son's hand.
Mr. Crouch's severity and officiousness could also be seen as a weakness, as it prevents his showing mercy to any accused. It also leads him, presumably, to preside over the trial of his son, where a more just prosecutor would recuse himself to avoid even the appearance of partiality.
Relationships With Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Mr. Crouch's severity extends to his own family, where he is seen to prosecute his own son, being instrumental in committing him to Azkaban. Yet he loves his wife enough to accede to her dying wish that Barty should be freed from Azkaban. Placed in an untenable conflict, being aware that Barty is guilty and unrepentant, Crouch resorts to keeping Barty under house arrest, using the Imperius Curse and the actions of the house-elf Winky. When this is discovered by Bertha Jorkins, Mr. Crouch destroys her memory of the event, possibly rendering her memory permanently unreliable.
Mr. Crouch's severity and officiousness is seen here as the dominant part of his personality, preventing him from getting close to anyone – he addresses Percy Weasley, his own assistant, as "Weatherby". We have no idea whether this is a defence mechanism intended to prevent further revelations of Barty's existence, or whether this is the way he has always been; but it would seem that if it is a conscious defence mechanism, it is simply an increase in degree from his normal personality.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
Questions[edit | edit source]