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"This ...is the Golden Snitch, and it's the most important ball of the lot. It's very hard to catch because it's so fast and difficult to see. It's the Seeker's job to catch it."
— Description of a Golden Snitch[src]

The Golden Snitch, often simply called the Snitch, was the third and smallest ball used in Quidditch. It was a walnut-sized gold-coloured sphere with silver wings. It flew around the Quidditch field at high speeds, sometimes pausing and hovering in place. The Seeker's goal was to catch the Snitch before the other team's seeker, which was worth one-hundred and fifty points.

The game could only end when the Snitch had been caught, or by mutual agreement of the two teams' Captains; the latter was very rare, however, as one team would have had to have lost.[5] Going off of Ginny Weasley's statement, it would appear Snitches flew at varying speeds, or at least can wear out.

The Quidditch rule also stated that only the two team's Seeker had the right to catch (or touch) the Snitch, any player other than the Seeker to do so committed a foul called a Snitchnip.[5]


The Golden Snitch was originally not a ball, but a little magical bird called a Golden Snidget. It was introduced in 1269, when the Chief of the Wizards' Council, Barberus Bragge, unleashed a Golden Snidget during a Quidditch match, offering a reward of 150 Galleons to the player who caught the Snidget.[1]


Bowman Wright, creator of the Golden Snitch

Thereafter, it became customary to set frightened Snidgets loose during games. As a tribute to Bragge, 150 points were given to the team that caught the Snidget. This Snidget-catching craze naturally harmed the bird's population (as Snidgets are very fragile birds, and a simple human grip is enough to crush them to death), but the wizarding community was then unwilling to stop this barbaric activity and ceased to use Snidgets only when the bird was labelled as endangered.[1]

A replacement for the Golden Snidget was sought, and the skilled metal-charmer Bowman Wright invented the Golden Snitch to replace it. The Snitch weighed exactly the same as a Snidget, and its rotational wings imitated the bird's, allowing it to change direction and speed like its living counterpart.[1]

One tale concerning the Snitch is that, during a match on Bodmin Moor in 1884, it managed to avoid capture for six months until both teams finally gave up in disgust at the performance of their Seekers. Cornish wizards and witches insist to this day that the Snitch is still wild in the area, which is possible due to its magical properties.[1]

For Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday, in 1997, Molly Weasley made him a Golden Snitch-shaped birthday cake, which was commented on by the then-Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour.[4]

Flesh memory[]

Golden Snitches had Flesh Memories and remembered the touch of the first person who handled them, in case of a disputed capture. Everyone, including the maker, had to wear gloves when handling the snitch until releasing one for each game. Because of this, a new snitch had to be used for each game. In Harry Potter's very first match, which was against Slytherin, he caught the Snitch in his mouth during the 1991–1992 school year.[3]

Upon his death, Albus Dumbledore left Harry the first golden snitch he had caught. Dumbledore put enchanted writing on the snitch that could only be read when Harry touched it to his mouth; it read "I open at the close". Dumbledore had also enchanted the Snitch to hold the Resurrection Stone inside of it, and it would only open for Harry once he accepted the fact that he needed to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Lord Voldemort.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

  • It is unknown if Golden Snitches were made of pure gold or a gold alloy. When Alistair Fidgen gave Jacob's sibling a Golden Snitch, it was noted to have rust spots, which shouldn't have been possible if it was pure gold, as gold doesn't rust. However, as Alistair was a con-man, it is possible that there was something wrong with the Snitch, which may have been its composition.


  • Afrikaans: Goue Snip
  • Albanian: Topi i arte
  • Bulgarian: златен снич (zlaten snich)
  • Catalan: Papallona daurada ("Golden Butterfly")
  • Chinese (Simplified): 金色飞贼
  • Chinese (Traditional): 金探子
  • Croatian: zlatna zvrčka
  • Czech: Zlatonka (literally "Little Golden (One)")
  • Danish: Det Gyldne Lyn ("The Golden Lightning")
  • Dutch: Gouden Snaai (literal; snaaien "to snitch")
  • Estonian: kuldne kitu
  • Faroese: Gylta Kippan
  • Finnish: Kultasieppi
  • French: Vif d'or (vif "quick, brisk, vivid; idea of speed")
  • German: Goldener Schnatz
  • Greek, Ancient: φθαστέον
  • Greek, Modern: χρυσή μπάλα ("gold ball")
  • Hebrew: הסניץ' המוזהב
  • Hindi: सुनहरी गेंद sunaharī gēṃd
  • Hungarian: aranycikesz
  • Icelandic: gullna eldingin
  • Irish: Sneaitsín/Sneaitsín Óir
  • Italian: Boccino d'oro ("golden jack")
  • Japanese: スニッチ (sunicchi)
  • Latin: Aureum Raptum
  • Latvian: zelta zibsnis
  • Lithuanian: Aukso Šmaukštas
  • Norwegian: gullsnoppen
  • Polish: złoty znicz ("Golden Grave Candle")
  • Portuguese (Portugal): Snitch de Ouro/Snitch Dourada (literal)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): Pomo de Ouro ("golden apple")
  • Romanian: Hoţoaica Aurie (literal)
  • Russian: Золотой Снитч (literal)
  • Serbian: Златна скривалица (Zlatna skrivalica) (skrivati se "to hide", literally "The little gold hider")
  • Slovak: Ohnivá strela/Zlatá strela (Ohnivá "fire", Zlatá "golden")
  • Slovenian: zlati zviz
  • Spanish: la snitch dorada
  • Swedish: Kvicken (full name Den gyllene kvicken)
  • Turkish: Altın Snitch
  • Ukrainian: золотий снич (zolotiy snych)
  • Welsh: Snichyn Aur


The Harry Potter Wiki has 248 images related to Golden Snitch.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 4 (The Arrival of the Golden Snitch)
  2. The Golden Snitch wasn't invented yet a century after 1296, and as it was invented by Bowman Wright, it was created before he died.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11 (Quidditch)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 7 (The Will of Albus Dumbledore)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
Game of Quidditch
Quidditch pitch
Officials: Quidditch referee
Player positions: BeaterChaserKeeperSeeker
Playing equipment: Beater's batBludgerBroomstickGolden SnitchQuaffle