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"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.[1] 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.[7]


Early 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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

The portrait of Sir Cadogan liked to retell the story of his defeat of the Wyvern of Wye, which would take three and a quarter hours.[9]



Sir Cadogan in his usual portrait with his fat pony

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.[1]

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.[7] In the 1890s, he was thought to have started a rumour that a wyvern atop a fountain in the Transfiguration Courtyard was the Wyvern of Wye that he had slain. This rumour was untrue.[10]

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.[11] Sir Cadogan also gave Jacob's sibling a knightly trial and awarded them a suit of armour after they completed it.[9]

When Jacob's sibling, on Peeves's order, tried to cause chaos at the Grand Staircase, he tried to credit Merlin the glory of defeating the Wyvern of Wye and this started an argument between Merlin and Sir Cadogan. In this argument, it was shown that the knight valued the glory of defeating the beast very much.[12]


Sir Cadogan: "Fred and George Weasley delight in tormenting Merlin and me whenever they pass through, and this time was no different. They even have the nerve to call Merin overrated! He's outraged! Isn't that right friend?"
Merlin: "It is a fool's pastime to pay mind to those who only wish to get a rise out of you."
Sir Cadogan: "He's putting on a brave face, but, I assure you, he is quite upset!"
— Sir Cadogan on how Fred and George Weasley insulted his and Merlin's paintings[src]

During the return of William Weasley to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, George and Fred went missing, and during Jacob's sibling and Charles Weasley's searches, they come to Sir Cadogan's painting. At first he pretended to be unwilling to help them because of the twins' rude personality and insulting him and Merlin, but after asking Jacob's sibling that would have they helped if they were in his shoes, he admitted that a knight must help others in need, no matter what. While helping, he also admitted that he challenged the twins into a duel but they just had laughed and left.[13]

Also during this school year, Sir Cadogan's portrait conversed with Jacob's sibling on the Grand Staircase, where he informed them that Beatrice Haywood often came to the staircase to observe the canvas she had been prior trapped in. He compared her to a Wyvern observing a flock of sheep.[14]


Sir Cadogan: "Farewell, comrades. If ever you have the need of a noble heart and steely sinew call upon Sir... Cadogan."
Ronald Weasley: "Yeah, we'll call you... if we ever need anyone mental."
— Cadogan and Ronald Weasley in 1993[src]
Sir cadogan1

Sir Cadogan leading the trio to the Divination class room

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.[7] 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.[4] At Christmas that year, Cadogan was enjoying a Christmas party with a couple of monks, several previous Headmasters and his pony in his portrait.[15] After Sir Cadogan allowed Sirius Black (who had gained possession of Neville Longbottom's list of passwords for the week) to enter Gryffindor Tower,[5] 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.[6]


In the 1995–1996 school year, Harry Potter passed by his portrait 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.[16]


In the 1996–1997 school year, Damara Dodderidge seemed to have developed a crush on Sir Cadogan, calling him "dashing".[17]


Sir cadogan2

Sir Cadogan running through portraits alongside Harry Potter

On 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".[8]

The Calamity[]

During the Calamity in the late 2010s or early 2020s, a Calamity Investigator working for the Statute of Secrecy Task Force accidentally fell asleep while reading Hogwarts: A History and dreamed of an undiscovered secret passage hidden behind Sir Cadogan's portrait. After waking up, the Calamity Investigator attempted to determine if the passage was actually real and attempted to search behind the portrait, with Sir Cadogan fiercely berating them for looking. In the end, the passage was revealed to have been a figment of the investigator's imagination.[18]


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 appears in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and is portrayed by Paul Whitehouse. He also appears in the video game adaptation of the same book, and subsequently 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 in those. Sir Cadogan also makes an appearance in Hogwarts Legacy, in which he is voiced by Scottish actor Enn Reitel.[19]
  • 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.[20] 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.
    • However, it is likely he is Irish, as his wand, said to be that of Blackthorn wood, is made of the same wood as a shillelagh, which is seen as a symbol of Irishness.
  • 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.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 23 images related to Cadogan.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Sir Cadogan" at Wizarding World
  2. Both his parents were wizards, so he was not Muggle-born.
  3. "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 6 (Talons and Tea Leaves)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Side Quest "Call to Knighthood"
  10. Hogwarts Legacy
  11. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 2 (Grave Danger)
  12. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 22 (Agent of Chaos)
  13. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 5 (Wherefore Art Thou, Weasleys?)
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 26 (Unfinished Business)
  15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  17. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
  18. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  19. IMDb favicon Enn Reitel at the Internet Movie Database
  20. "Cadogan" at Behind the Name
Seventh-floor of Hogwarts Castle
Disused bathroom
Classroom 7B · Classroom 7C · Divination Classroom · Seventh-floor classroom
Common rooms
Gryffindor Boys' Dormitory · Gryffindor common room · Gryffindor Girls' Dormitory
Divination corridor · Fat Lady's Corridor · Hall of Hexes · Porticus Olidus · Pungent Passage · Runic Corridor · Seventh-floor corridor
Halls and rooms
Bean Challenge rooms · Gryffindor Tower reading room · Knights' Room · North Wing
Filius Flitwick's office · Sybill Trelawney's office
Other locations
Dark Tower topmost cell · Room of Requirement · Vivarium
Portraits, statues, and other artwork
A Young Professor McGonagall · Bridget Wenlock · Sir Cadogan · Caged monkey · Edward Rabnott · Elephant · Elizabeth Burke · Fat Lady · Flowering almond trees · George von Rheticus · Giraffe · Godric Gryffindor · Healers · Hippopotamus · Journeying wizards · Lachlan the Lanky · Man in a chair · Mother and baby · Oraclitus Spheer · Staring Portrait · The Lady and the Unicorn · Three young ladies · Tiger · Troll Tapestry · Two lovers in a graveyard · Valeria Myriadd · Wailing Egyptians · Witch flying to the moon · Wizard in black flowing robes · Wizard in blue · Wizard with a broomstick · Wolfhound
Detention Escape Route · Divination Stairwell · Grand Staircase · Grumpy Staircase · Ravenclaw Tower staircase · Secret stairway to the fourth floor · Slughorn's Staircase · Staircase to the sixth-floor corridor · Turris Magnus staircase
Hogwarts Castle
Astronomy Tower · Bell towers · Boathouse Bell Tower · Central Tower · Clock Tower · Dark Tower · Faculty Tower · Founders' Tower · Greenhouse tower · Gryffindor Tower · Headmaster's Tower · Hospital tower · Hufflepuff Duelling Turrets · Lookout Tower · Marble Staircase Tower · Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom tower · North battlements · North Tower · Octagon Tower · Pepperpot · Quidditch tower · Ravenclaw Tower · Right Long Gallery tower · Small Locked Tower · South Tower · Suspension Bridge towers · The Quad battlements · The Tower · Training Grounds tower · Turris Magnus · Turris Medius · Upper Hall tower · Viaduct Courtyard Gatehouses · West Tower · West Tower battlements
Portraits, statues and other artwork located in the towers
Albus Dumbledore · Armando Dippet · Affpuddle of the Cheerful Countenance · Valeria Myriadd · Dexter Fortescue · Dilys Derwent · Oraclitus Spheer · Fat Lady · Niamh Fitzgerald · Sir Cadogan · Slytherin knight · Hufflepuff lady · Heliotrope Wilkins · Severus Snape · Phineas Nigellus Black · Vulpus · Quentin Trimble · Limebert · Ravenclaw bust · Ravenclaw lady · Rowena Ravenclaw · Walter Aragon · Quidditch player · Professor · Female etiquette teacher · Gryffindor lady · Gryffindor man · Gryffindor man · Gryffindor man · Gryffindor seeker · Red-haired witch · Young maiden · Vase with flowers · Group of women in crinolines · Pangur Donn · Sinister-looking monks · Winged horse