Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Oliver Wood
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Loyalty||Dumbledore, probably, being a Gryffindor|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Oliver Wood is a member of Gryffindor House. He is described as "burly" and is fanatical about Quidditch. He captained the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, while playing Keeper, for Harry's first three years. After he graduated from Hogwarts, he signed with Puddlemere United Reserve team.
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
When Professor McGonagall sees Harry flying on his broomstick without permission, and making a truly spectacular catch, she takes him out of the courtyard. Looking in classrooms, she eventually finds Professor Flitwick's room, and asks Professor Flitwick if she could borrow "Wood". Harry is relieved to find out that Wood is not a wooden implement for punishment, but is in fact Oliver Wood, who turns out to be captain of the Quidditch team. She tells Wood that she has found him a Seeker, and they discuss Harry's natural flying abilities and the fact that they need to get him a new broom.
Wood, later, takes Harry down to the Quidditch pitch, explains the rules, demonstrates the Bludgers, and checks Harry's flight abilities by having him catch golf balls. Once Wood is satisfied that Harry is capable, he has Harry join the regular practices three evenings a week.
Wood does not play a large part in the story after this; he is there in the Quidditch practices and in the various Quidditch matches. He is Keeper for the Gryffindor team, and as such is responsible for some particularly spectacular saves.
Oliver is Quidditch Captain in Harry's second year. It also reveals that he has devised a new training schedule. He spends the first part of practice, explaining new Quidditch moves and is annoyed when he notices that none of his teammates are paying attention and instead dozing off. His plan to start practicing was cut short however by the arrival of the Slytherin Quidditch Team, who had been given permission to use the pitch by Professor Snape in order to train their new Seeker, Draco Malfoy. He is also very pleased when Gryffindor beats Slytherin in their first Quidditch Match and congratulates Harry, all though his bones have been broken because one of the bludgers was cursed to try to knock Harry off his broom due to Dobby jinxing the bludger. Much to his chagrin, the season is cut short when the Monster in the Chamber cannot be controlled.
With Quidditch having been interrupted in the previous year, and Oliver now in his seventh and final year at Hogwarts, he sees this as his only chance at winning the Quidditch Cup. As such, Oliver is driving the team hard, with new tactics, quidditch practices three times a week, and innumerable strategy sessions.
In Harry's first game, against Hufflepuff, Dementors flood the pitch and Harry loses consciousness, allowing Cedric Diggory to catch the Snitch and win the match. When Harry regains consciousness, he is in the Hospital Wing; with the exception of Oliver, the entire Quidditch team is present. They tell him that Oliver is still in the showers, and that Cedric had offered to void the game because of the Dementor attack, and had been turned down both by Oliver and by the teachers.
Harry's prized Nimbus 2000 is destroyed in that accident, and Oliver pressures Harry to select and purchase a new broom before the next match, loaning him a copy of Which Broomstick? over the Christmas break. He is overjoyed to learn that Harry has received a Firebolt for Christmas, then downcast when he learns that Professor Flitwick and Madam Hooch are examining it for hidden jinxes before allowing Harry to use it.
At one point, Oliver reports that he had asked Professor McGonagall to return the broom, telling her that he didn't mind if it did throw Harry off, if Harry only caught the Snitch first. He doesn't seem to understand why Professor McGonagall thought his request insensitive. We don't hear Harry's reaction, but believe that Harry is unsurprised by Oliver's priorities, though almost certainly preferring McGonagall's.
Oliver does have to remind Madam Hooch that they need to get some practice in, when Harry gets the Firebolt back; she has apparently spent some time rhapsodizing over its excellent styling and flying qualities. In preperation for the next Quidditch patch against Ravenclaw, he increases the number of Quidditch practices a week to five.
Gryffindor beats Ravenclaw 230-30 and Wood is shown to be very pleased that Harry caught the snitch. However, he is still working his team hard and keeps reminding Harry during practices, that in order for them to win the Quidditch Cup, Harry must catch the snitch only if Gryffindor is more than fifty points up.
In the last Quidditch Match against Slytherin, Wood participates in it and saves many goals. Harry ends up catching the snitch before Malfoy, making Gryffindor win the Quidditch Cup for the first time in eight years. Wood is shown to be so happy he is sobbing. uncontrollably.
We see Oliver in passing in the campground before the Quidditch World Cup, where we learn that he is playing for the Puddlemere United Quidditch team.
Harry thinks to himself that with Angelina Johnson as team Captain, pep talks are not likely to be as long as they were when Oliver Wood had been Captain.
When Harry gets detention from Professor Umbridge, Angelina is furious at him, deciding that it is his fault that he got detention, and orders him to do whatever he can to get out of detention and be there for practice. After she has gone, Ron comments that they should check with Puddlemere United and see if Oliver Wood is still alive, as Angelina seems to be channeling his spirit.
Angelina comments to Harry later that she knows now how Wood had felt as team captain, and why he had been as rough on them as he had.
When Ron is poisoned, Hagrid wonders if someone might be trying to kill off the Gryffindor Quidditch team: Katie Bell, one of the Chasers, had touched a cursed necklace and was now in St. Mungo's, and Ron was Keeper. George, who is there at the time, feels this is unlikely, but Fred suggests that Wood might have done that to the Slytherin team if he felt he could get away with it.
Oliver comes to Hogwarts to fight in the final battle. He is present in the Room of Requirement when Harry returns from Ravenclaw tower. When Harry is on his way out to the Forbidden Forest, after viewing the Prince's memories, Harry sees Oliver and Neville carrying the body of Colin Creevey back into the school from the grounds; Oliver tells Neville that he can handle it himself, Neville should head back out for another.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Oliver is a good Quidditch Keeper and he is extremely committed to the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He puts in a lot of time and effort to the team.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Oliver is often blinded by his love of Quidditch and cannot see how anything else is more important.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Not much is known about Oliver's close friends from the books. In the fan fiction world, he is a widely popular character who is close with all his Gryffindor House team mates, especially Katie Bell. There is a large amount of fan fiction which pairs these two, though there is nothing in the series to support this, and in fact it seems unlikely with Oliver being three years older than Katie. He is in the same year with Percy Weasley. However, his rival and enemy is the Slytherin Quidditch Captain, Marcus Flint as Wood is in Gryffindor. When he shakes hands with Flint before the Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch matches, he sends Flint threatening looks and grips Flint's hand harder than necessary and even tries to break his fingers. In the film adaption of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, he smirks at Flint after blocking a goal attempt made by Flint.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
Questions[edit | edit source]