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"This state-of-the-art racing broom sports a streamlined superfine handle of ash, treated with a diamond-hard polish and hand-numbered with its own registration number. Each individually selected birch twig in the broomtail has been honed to aerodynamic perfection, giving the Firebolt unsurpassable balance and pinpoint precision. The firebolt has an acceleration of 150 miles an hour in ten seconds and incorporates an unbreakable Braking Charm. Price on request."
— Advert at Quality Quidditch Supplies[src]

The Firebolt was a world-class broomstick. It was the fastest at the time of its production, and was released in 1993. In time, the Firebolt broomstick was used by the Bulgarian and Irish International Quidditch Teams. The teams played on Firebolts during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.

By 2014, the Firebolt had been superseded by the Firebolt Supreme, apparently manufactured by the same makers.[2]

The Firebolt was a costly broom and Harry Potter was one of the first to own one. It continued to be made in relatively small quantities, partly because the goblin workers involved in the patented ironwork were prone to strikes and walkouts at the smallest provocation.

History

"Irish International side's just put in an order for seven of these beauties! And they're favourites for the World Cup!'"
— The proprieter of Quality Quidditch Supplies talking to the crowd outside his shop[src]

The Firebolt was first developed by Randolph Spudmore around 1993, at a time when brooms made by the Nimbus Racing Broom Company dominated the market. Twelve months after its release, the Firebolt was the highest-selling racing broom of that time, beating out the Nimbus 2000 and 2001.[1]

The Firebolt was used by both the Irish and Bulgarian teams during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.[3]

Harry Potter riding his Firebolt wearing his Quidditch gear

Harry Potter first saw a prototype Firebolt broom in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies in the summer before his third year. He wanted one, but he already had a Nimbus 2000 and had to remind himself of that to keep himself from going in and asking what the price was. It was said that he would have to empty his vault in Gringotts, should he actually purchase the Firebolt.

Every day that he was in Diagon Alley, before his third year at Hogwarts, he made sure that he passed the window so that he could stare in awe at the amazing and magnificent broom. He received a Firebolt as an anonymous present from his godfather, Sirius Black at Christmas 1993, after his Nimbus 2000 was destroyed by the Whomping Willow during a Quidditch match against Hufflepuff team. Miniature models were also produced as gifts.[4] In 1995, Harry's Firebolt was confiscated by Dolores Umbridge as punishment.

Umbridge kept it in her office until Fred and George Weasley destroyed her office door during their exit from Hogwarts. It was then said to have been taken to one of the Dungeons where it was guarded by a Security troll at all times. Harry presumably was given back his Firebolt after Umbridge was fired. Harry was the only person in Hogwarts that owned a Firebolt, until losing it in the Battle of the Seven Potters.[5]

Firebolts continued to be made in small quantities in the modern day, though their development was hindered by frequent strikes and walkouts on the part of the goblins who manufactured the iron parts.[1]

Known owners

Owners Date obtained Date broken
Harry Potter 25 December 1993 27 July 1997

A Firebolt broomstick

Description

The Firebolt was capable of going from nought to one hundred and fifty miles per hour in ten seconds. This broomstick also boasted an unbreakable Braking Charm, superb balance and precision, and hovered at reasonable mounting height when let go. By 1994, the Firebolt was the fastest broomstick in the whole world.[6]

Even though the competitor Thunderbolt VII could attain speeds that rivalled that of the Firebolt series, many experts felt that it had sacrificed safety for speed — indeed, during the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, even though professional broomsticks were supposed to withstand all Bludger hits, the tail of Nigerian Seeker Samuel Equiano's Thunderbolt was smashed off by a Bludger shot hit by Japanese Beater Masaki Hongo.[7]

The handle was made of polished ebony (once mistakenly listed as ash in a Quality Quidditch Supplies advertisement), and the twigs could be made of either birch or hazel depending on customer preference. Birch twigs offerred more "oomph" when ascending, while hazel provided more precision in turning. The metal parts of the broom were goblin-made ironwork, a first for a broomstick, which increased stability and power in adverse conditions and prevented slippage on the foot grips.[1]

Every Firebolt included a golden registration number.[8]

Behind the scenes

  • Because Firebolt broomsticks hover at convenient mounting height when not in use, the usefulness of the apparently undetachable bipod is questionable, except for display, such as in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley. One possibility is that it may be used as a foot-rest when one is on the broom; this was shown in many occasions in the films where the characters half stand on the bipods and also rest their feet on them.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Firebolt's handle is stated to be made of superfine ash. Pottermore, however, lists it as having an ebony handle. It is possible, however, that the person who wrote the advertisement that stated it to be ash was mistaken.
  • The Firebolt is mentioned in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery during the first Flying Class. This is anachronistic as Hogwarts Mystery is set during the 1980s.

Appearances

Notes and references

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