- "Aha! What villains are these, that trespass upon my private lands! Come to scorn at my fall, perchance? Draw, you knaves, you dogs!"
- — Sir Cadogan's eccentric and forceful personality[src]
Sir Cadogan was a wizard and sworn Knight of the Round Table, albeit not a very well known one, being only included in wizarding versions of the tales of King Arthur. He is most famous for his defeat of the Wyvern of Wye at great personal risk. Sometime after his death, he was immortalised with a portrait at the end of the Divination corridor in Hogwarts Castle, which displayed the same "insane bravery" as Cadogan did in life.
Cadogan was born in the British Isles to a wizarding family sometime in the Middle Ages. Like most British wizarding children, he attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where his extreme bravery got him sorted into Gryffindor. It is possible that he was taught by Godric Gryffindor himself, given the time period Cadogan lived in. He also obtained a wand, which is believed by modern wizards to have been made of blackthorn with a troll whisker core.
According to wizarding belief, at some point in his life, he struck up a friendship with Merlin, which would eventually secure him a prestigious position on the Knights of the Round Table. According to legend, he was married three times, each time the woman in question leaving him, and fathered seventeen known children.
Fighting the Wyvern of Wye
Eventually, Sir Cadogan was appointed the task of defeating the Wyvern of Wye, which was terrorising the West Country. Cadogan's first attempt to combat the creature ended with his original horse killed and his wand, sword, and visor destroyed. Cadogan barely managed to escape alive. Unlike most would in such a scenario, however, Cadogan refused to give up. At the very least wanting to accept a valiant death, he seized a fat pony from a nearby meadow and charged towards the Wyvern, brandishing his broken wand. Though he was eaten, the broken wand pierced through the Wyvern's tongue and caused the fumes from its stomach to ignite, causing the beast to explode. Cadogan and the pony survived the encounter.
The story of Sir Cadogan is included in wizarding versions of the tales of King Arthur, though Muggle variations do not include him. Even among wizards, he is a lesser known figure, though the wizarding phrase "I'll take Cadogan's pony", meaning to salvage the best one can from a bad situation, was coined in his honour.
A magical portrait of Sir Cadogan, painted during his life by a "poor wizard" and depicting him with his oversized sword and fat pony, was hung on a seventh-floor landing near the Divination corridor at Hogwarts Castle.
Harry Potter would have a number of encounters with this portrait during his years there.
During the 1988–1989 school year, Beatrice Haywood was stuck in an adjacent portrait. When her friends went to see her, Sir Cadogan would often communicate with them. Sir Cadogan also gave Jacob's sibling a trial of knight and awarded them a suit of armour after they completed it.
In 1993, Cadogan first met Harry while looking for the Divination Classroom. At first thinking him and his friends intruders to be vanquished, Cadogan perked up instantly upon them requesting directions to Divination. Glad of the 'quest', Sir Cadogan led the way to the classroom through various paintings, startling a number of women in crinolines as he dashed through their portrait, before bidding them farewell. Later, after Sirius Black attacked the Fat Lady's portrait in an attempt to enter Gryffindor Tower, Sir Cadogan was appointed to be the guardian of Gryffindor Tower until Black was caught, mainly because nobody else wanted the job. Several students complained about how he constantly challenged students to duels and his changing of the passwords - he was known for thinking up ridiculously complicated passwords, and changing them several times a day, but Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House, ignored this as there was no other option. At Christmas that year, Cadogan was enjoying a Christmas party with a couple of monks, several previous Headmasters and his pony in his portrait. After Sir Cadogan allowed Sirius Black (who had gained possession of Neville Longbottom's list of passwords for the week) to enter Gryffindor Tower, he was promptly fired as a door guard and returned to the seventh floor. The Fat Lady's portrait was restored by this time and she returned to her job on the grounds that she gets some protection. As a result, several trained Security trolls were hired to patrol her corridor.
In the 1995–1996 school year, Harry Potter had met him, but he merely walked on and when Sir Cadogan attempted to follow him by running into a neighbouring picture. He was rebuffed by its inhabitant, a large and angry-looking wolfhound.
Battle of Hogwarts
Later, in 2 May 1998, during the Battle of Hogwarts, Sir Cadogan shouted encouragement to Harry and the Hogwarts defenders, as he ran through the castle, telling Harry to drive out the Death Eaters, to whom he referred as "dogs", "scoundrels", "braggarts" and "rogues".
Name "Cadogan" means "glory in battle" from Welsh cad, "battle" and gwogawn, "glory", "honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
A street called Cadogan Road exists in the Liberton area of Rowling's home city of Edinburgh.
Behind the scenes
- Sir Cadogan has, up to now, only appeared in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and was portrayed by Paul Whitehouse. He also appeared in the video game adaptation of the same book. Paul Whitehouse has subsequently appeared as Sir Cadogan in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix video game and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game, although he does not speak.
- On the DVD version of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban there is a game called The Quest of Sir Cadogan, which focuses on him travelling through portraits to get to the Gryffindor Common Room to take the place of the Fat Lady as guardian of the tower, having various misadventures en route. The player must guide Sir Cadogan through the portraits by choosing between two paths at certain points, in which choosing the right path will help him save time, and choosing the wrong path will result in him performing a time wasting and usually comical action. For example, when Sir Cadogan runs toward the top of a spiral staircase, the right path will send him sliding down the banister (before proceeding to fall off and tumble down the stair and sliding to a stop), and the wrong one will make him vault over the banister, plummet towards the floor, make a large, knight-shaped hole on impact, stagger around, then pass out. The player will also have to play a selection of mini-games, such as throwing Quaffles in Quidditch, or selecting the order in which a series of potions bubble. During the quest, the player can grab clocks, to save time, or Time-Turners, to redo a certain section they did badly on. At the end of the game the player will be awarded one of three different ranks: Page, Squire, or Knight of the Realm. The rank achieved depends on the route the player took, how well they did in the mini-games and how many clocks they grabbed.
- Cadogan is a family name of Welsh and Irish origin. This could mean that Sir Cadogan's family — at least on the paternal side — hailed from Wales or Ireland. Whether Sir Cadogan himself was Welsh or Irish is unconfirmed.
- During the scene, in which the Fat Lady is missing in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sir Cadogan can be seen in portraits on the background. When the Fat Lady attempts to shatter the glass by screaming, he draws the sword and looks around wildly, apparently thinking he's under attack.
- While Sir Cadogan's role as Gryffindor's portrait was omitted from the theatrical release of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it was filmed and included as a deleted scene. He is also asked by Professor McGonagall if he let Sirius Black in whilst roaming the portraits in the common room; whilst responding, he does questionable things to a woman (ironically, the painting depicts a younger Minerva McGonagall and seems a little flattered by his attention) before handing her cat back to her, then checkmates a game of chess by scattering the pieces and in a final glorious gesture, accidentally knocks a bewigged witch out an open window.
- The Portrait of Damara Dodderidge appears to have a soft spot for him, as she often calls him "dashing".
- Inter-house friendships in Hogwarts are not uncommon, but (as mentioned above) Sir Cadogan struck a friendship with Merlin despite the former being in Gryffindor and the latter being in Slytherin. This inter-house pairing is quite significant because for many years afterwards Gryffindor and Slytherin students were almost rivals. However, it could be that this was before Salazar Slytherin left Hogwarts.
- The glossary on the Scholastic official website incorrectly claims that Sir Cadogan's portrait is hung in the North Tower, a confusion perhaps arising from the fact that this is where he led Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their first meeting.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Appears in portrait(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Appears in portrait(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears in portrait(s))
- Pottermore (Appears in portrait(s))
- Wizarding World (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Sir Cadogan" at Wizarding World
- Both his parents were wizards, so he was not Muggle-born.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 6 (Talons and Tea Leaves)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 2 (Grave Danger)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, "The Trials of Sir Cadogan" Achievement
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- "Cadogan" at Behind the Name