After Hogwarts, he fell in love with Helena Ravenclaw, but she did not love him in return. He was sent by Rowena Ravenclaw to find Helena in Albania, but Helena refused to return with him and so he killed her in a rage. When he realised what he had done, the Baron stabbed himself with the same knife and died by suicide.
After his death, he became one of the ghosts that haunts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the ghost of Slytherin House. Covered in Helena Ravenclaw's blood to this day, he earned himself the moniker of "Bloody Baron".
At the age of eleven, the Baron became part of one of the first generations of students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland, which, at that time, was still being run by its original Founders. He was sorted into Slytherin House and was educated in the magical arts by Salazar Slytherin for the seven years that followed.
- "He tracked me to the forest where I was hiding. When I refused to return with him, he became violent. The baron was always a hot-tempered man. Furious at my refusal, jealous of my freedom, he stabbed me... When he saw what he had done, he was overcome with remorse. He took the weapon that had claimed my life, and used it to kill himself. All these centuries later, he wears his chains as an act of penitence... as he should."
- — Helena tells Harry the story of her and the Baron's death[src]
Later on in his life, Helena, after stealing a diadem belonging to her mother that increased the intelligence of the wearer, ran away to Albania. Around this same time, Rowena fell fatally ill, although legend has it that it was a broken heart, possibly caused by her daughter abandoning her. Rowena ordered the Baron to go after her, which he did, eventually finding her hiding in a forest.
After he had found her, the Baron tried to compel her to return with him, but she refused, and, in a fit of rage, he killed her. Overcome with grief, he proceeded to take his own life with the same weapon he used to stab Helena.
- "Harry looked over at the Slytherin table and saw a horrible ghost sitting there, with blank staring eyes, a gaunt face, and robes stained with silver blood."
- — Description of the Baron[src]
The Baron, as well as Helena, now known as the Grey Lady, both returned from the dead as ghosts, and returned to Hogwarts Castle, where they became the house ghosts of their former Houses, Slytherin and Ravenclaw respectively.
The Baron had been remorseful of his actions ever since, and carried heavy chains as a sign of penance. Nobody else seemed to know why he was covered in blood, not even the other two Hogwarts ghosts. For unspecified reasons, presumably related to his apparently violent, dangerous nature, the Baron had gained Peeves's respect and was the only one, besides Professor Dumbledore, who could give him orders.
According to Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, groaning and clanking in the Astronomy Tower was a favourite pastime of the Baron's. Also according to Sir Nicholas, the Bloody Baron had many times frightened a young Slytherin student in the Slytherin Common Room.
In their search for the Marauder's Map, Jacob's sibling, along with Slytherin students Merula Snyde, Ismelda Murk, Barnaby Lee and Liz Tuttle, went to the Potions Classroom to ask the Bloody Baron about Duncan Ashe. The Baron revealed that Duncan was a ghost.
Later during the year, Merula and Jacob's sibling spoke to him in the Slytherin Common Room to ask if he had seen Peeves. However, he refused to part with any information about Peeves and was not much help to them.
- "So — new Gryffindors! I hope you're going to help us win the house championship this year? Gryffindors have never gone so long without winning. Slytherins have got the cup six years in a row! The Bloody Baron's becoming almost unbearable — he's the Slytherin ghost."
- — Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington regarding the Bloody Baron's house pride[src]
A while before midnight on 12 September 1991, the Bloody Baron passed twice by the Fat Lady's Corridor, frightening Neville Longbottom, who was sleeping in the corridor because he had forgotten the new password to get into Gryffindor Tower.
In the evening of 4 June during their quest to save the Philosopher's Stone from Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger, all under the Cloak of Invisibility, were intercepted by Peeves who threatened to call Argus Filch if whoever that was there did not show themselves. Harry Potter, in a hoarse whisper, proceeded to impersonate the Baron.
- "They passed a group of gloomy nuns, a ragged man wearing chains, and the Fat Friar, a cheerful Hufflepuff ghost, who was talking to a knight with an arrow sticking out of his forehead. Harry wasn't surprised to see that the Bloody Baron, a gaunt, staring Slytherin ghost covered in silver bloodstains, was being given a wide berth by the other ghosts."
- — Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington's five-hundredth Deathday Party[src]
It can be assumed that the Baron attended the Start-of-Term Feast with the other ghosts, as they seem to do every year.
On the evening of 31 October 1992, the Baron attended Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington's five-hundredth Deathday Party. The other ghosts appeared to avoid him during the celebration. This was most likely due to his ghoulish blood-stained appearance and the shackles he wore.
- "Peeves, of course. The usual argument, you know. He wanted to attend the feast — well, it's quite out of the question, you know what he's like, utterly uncivilised, can't see a plate of food without throwing it. We held a ghost's council — the Fat Friar was all for giving him the chance — but most wisely, in my opinion, the Bloody Baron put his foot down."
- — The ghost council and their issues with Peeves[src]
In the afternoon of 1 September 1994, the Hogwarts ghosts gathered to decide whether Peeves should be allowed to attend the Start-of-Term Feast. The Fat Friar wanted to give him another chance, but both Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington and the Bloody Baron decided against it. As a result, Peeves wreaked havoc in the kitchens, spilling soup all over the place and scattering pots and pans everywhere.
Second Wizarding War
- Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington: "I would not go that way if I were you. Peeves is planning an amusing joke on the next person to pass the bust of Paracelsus halfway down the corridor."
- Harry Potter: "Does it involve Paracelsus falling on top of the person's head?"
- Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington: "Funnily enough, it does. Subtlety has never been Peeves's strong point. I'm off to try and find the Bloody Baron... he might be able to put a stop to it... see you, Harry."
- — The Bloody Baron is the only one Peeves is scared of[src]
During the Start-of-Term Feast, on 1 September 1995, Ronald Weasley managed to inadvertently insult Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, by saying the ghost was afraid of the Bloody Baron when he said he would never dream of seeking an argument with the Baron.
A week later, on 7 September, Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington looked for the Baron to see if he could dissuade Peeves from dropping a bust of Paracelsus on top of anyone who passed the corridor in which the bust stood.
- Harry Potter: "Where is he?"
- Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington: "Oh, groaning and clanking up on the Astronomy Tower, it's a favourite pastime of his —"
- — A gloomy favourite pastime of the Baron[src]
In the early hours of 22 April, 1997, the Bloody Baron saw Albus Dumbledore return to the Castle from one of his missions to find Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, and reported it to Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington. He later retreated to the Astronomy Tower where he liked to groan and clank.
On 2 May 1998, the Battle of Hogwarts ensued after Lord Voldemort learned Harry Potter was in the premises. The ghosts, likely including the Baron, attended a gathering in the Great Hall, in which Professor McGonagall gave instructions on evacuation of underage students and Kingsley Shacklebolt organised the participants for battle.
- "The Bloody Baron was the Slytherin ghost, a gaunt and silent spectre covered in silver bloodstains."
- — Description[src]
As a ghost, the Baron was very pale, pearly-white and slightly transparent. He had wide, staring, black eyes and a gaunt face. He dressed in robes covered in silver bloodstains, and carried chains in a final act of penitence for having murdered Helena Ravenclaw.
Personality and traits
- Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington: "Well, now, you shouldn't take that attitude. Peaceful cooperation, that's the key. We ghosts, though we belong to separate houses, maintain links of friendship. In spite of the competitiveness between Gryffindor and Slytherin, I would never dream of seeking an argument with the Bloody Baron."
- Ronald Weasley: "Only because you're terrified of him."
- — An exchange between Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington and Ronald Weasley[src]
During his lifetime, the Baron was described by Helena Ravenclaw as a "hot-tempered man". He insisted on having his way in interactions, responding with violent uncontrolled anger when contradicted. As a ghost, he was frightening and most people did not seem to enjoy his presence, not even his fellow ghosts.
However, he seemed to have a cordial, if not friendly, relationship with the ghost of Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington, despite Ronald Weasley's allegations of the latter being "terrified" of him. The Baron seemed to be intolerant towards Peeves, who was scared of him, and could not bear his lack of civilisation, putting "his foot down" over the Poltergeist's potential presence at the 1994 Start-of-Term Feast.
He also seemed to have a great deal of House pride; before Harry Potter's arrival at Hogwarts, Slytherin had won the House Cup for six years in a row, and the Baron had become "unbearable" according to Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.
Behind the scenes
- In the Welsh translation, the Baron's name is given as Waldo.
- Though the Bloody Baron committed suicide, it did not stop him from returning as a ghost.
- The Bloody Baron is the only Hogwarts house ghost in the books without any on-'screen' dialogue.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the Bloody Baron is portrayed by Terence Bayler.
- In the films, the Baron is depicted as being quite mirthful, in stark contrast to the solemn and quite terrifying character in the books. In the video games, however, the Baron resumes his "book" persona. Another notable change in the films is that the bloodstains are made red instead of silver, likely so that it would be visually noticeable and immediately identifiable (rather than having to differentiate silver on a pearly-white ghost).
- In all of his media appearances, the Bloody Baron appears in late seventeenth century attire. This wardrobe was chosen for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when the Baron's death date was uncertain. This, of course, is not consistent with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in which he is revealed to have died in the eleventh century.
- His epithet, the Bloody Baron, is also an anachronism, as feudalism was not introduced in the British Isles until after the Norman conquest in 1066, and therefore there were no barons until this time (unless he died shortly after the conquest). This is probably explained by it, along with Helena Ravenclaw's title of 'the Grey Lady', and the Fat Friar, being a nickname he acquired later on.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the Bloody Baron resembles Captain James Hook (as played by Dustin Hoffman) in the film Hook. Coincidentally, that film features Maggie Smith, who plays Professor McGonagall, as well as a music score by John Williams.
- The Baron is encountered in the PC/Mac version of Philosopher's Stone walking the labyrinthine dungeon corridors where Professor Snape sends Harry Potter to find four crucial potion ingredients. In the next generation version of Chamber of Secrets, the Baron can be seen walking the path from the dungeons through the entrance hall to the teacher's lounge corridor, every night, the chilling sound of his footsteps echoing through the hall each time as he approaches.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it is mentioned he cannot speak.
- In the credits of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, his name is misspelt as "Bloody Barron".
- In the PS2 version of the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a large statue of the Bloody Baron on the North Wing.
- In chapter 19 of year 6 of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the Bloody Baron will attend the memorial ceremony for Rowan Khanna in the Great Hall, if Rowan Khanna was chosen as a Slytherin in the game.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears as statue)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Wizarding World (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears as a ghost or a spirit) (Consoles and PC versions)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Appears as a ghost or a spirit)
Notes and references
- Given Hogwarts was founded in around 993 A.D. and that the Baron attended it within Rowena Ravenclaw's lifetime, he must have been eleven by or after the school's founding. So, the earliest date he could have possibly been born is 982.
- He killed himself after his seven years at Hogwarts, and given the earliest he could have started at the school is 993, his earliest possible death year is 1000.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
- "If a teacher is head of a house, can we assume that they were sorted into those houses when they were students at Hogwarts? Is that also true for the house ghosts? So was Snape a Slytherin?" on J. K. Rowling's official site
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- J. K. Rowling's official site - Wizard of the Month
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Nearly Headless Nick"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 6 (The Ghosts of Hogwarts)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 21 (The Search for Peeves)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) - PC version
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16 (Through the Trapdoor)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 8 (The Deathday Party)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - PC version
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11 (The Sorting Hat's New Song)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) - Chapter 13 (Nick and Other Residents)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 19 (A Farewell To A Friend)