Harry Potter Wiki
Advertisement
Harry Potter Wiki

The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts was the chief administrator of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, by appointment of the school's Board of Governors.[1] They were responsible for major decisions regarding the safety and the day-to-day functioning of the school, and acted as the school's primary authority on the school grounds.[2] The occupant of this post also had one or multiple Deputy Heads that assisted the Head in his duties and who, in the event of their unavailability, would serve as acting head of the school until their return or a new one was appointed.

Resources

Following their appointment by the Hogwarts Board of Governors, the incumbent headteacher was provided a tried and tested support mechanism for the decisions they had to make while running the prestigious institution in the form of a large gallery of portraits mounted on the walls of their new study, each of which depicted a predecessors in office and trained specifically by their once living counterpart to offer prudent advise for the current head of the school.[3] In addition, a long line of heads of the school have also had access to and contributed to a vast library of reference for their successors in office.[4]

Power and rights

Over the castle

The Headteacher's Tower, which housed the private study and personal residence of the current headmaster or headmistress of the school, like so many things in Hogwarts, seemed to have a will of its own, as the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, a previous Headmasters of Hogwarts, once explained that under certain circumstances, the tower would be "barred to all but the rightful headmaster", and at least partially subject to their will as well, as Dumbledore on at least one occasion was able to decide if his office door could be opened or not by force of will alone.[5] It was unknown if they could exercise similar abilities throughout the castle

Over the staff

The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts was tasked with interviewing, evaluating and had the final decision on the appointment of new teachers and other faculty members, all of whom was answerable to them upon assuming their position. Accordingly, the head of the school had the power to not only award them for good service to the school by bestowing on them additional positions on the staff, such as promote them to the post of "Head" of their respective academic department and thus grant them seniority of any other professors that taught the same subject, such as those held by the Head of Herbology[6] and Head of Transfiguration.[7] Presumably, they were also in charge of selecting the new Head of House for Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, which were similarly seen as a promotion,[8] and also had disciplinary powers over the staff, such as the right to terminate their employment and put teachers on probation[9]

Over the students

The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts could not only invoke the same disciplinary actions as their fellow Professors, they could also change and overturn any punishments, sanctions and removal of privileges handed out by other staff members (with the likely exception of those handed out by the High Inquisitor during the period that Educational Decree Number 25 was in effect).[10] Misbehaving students, such as Bertha Jorkins, would also sometimes be sent to the Headteacher's office.[11] Apparently, any expulsion needed to be confirmed by the head of the school, who had also the power to revoke the expulsion after the fact if he or she had reason to believe there were mitigating circumstances previously unknown to them, or otherwise found that they had made a mistake.[12]

Over the grounds

In addition to being the only one with the power to banish people from the grounds,[13] which were noted to function partly as a nature reserve for magical creatures that had difficulty existing in the Muggle world, they also had the final say on what creatures resided there.[14]

School security

Chiefly responsible for the security of the school and the safety of the students, Professors Dippet, Dumbledore and McGonagall all got personally involved during their respective stewardships of the school when one or more students were at risk,[15][16][17] and though other people, such as the professors at the school, could help to increase the security by contributing to the existing defences,[18][19] it was implied that the many ancient spells and charms that had guarded the walls and grounds of Hogwarts dating back centuries, as described in the pages of Hogwarts: A History, were in some ways tethered to and therefore subject to the exclusive control of the rightful headteacher of Hogwarts: For example, it had always been impossible to Apparate and Disapparate within the school grounds,[20] and even though Albus Dumbledore, in his capacity as headmaster, could open a window in the Anti-Disapparition Jinx for such mundane a reason as teaching purposes,[21] other members of the faculty could not do the same when they needed to evacuate the school in an emergency situation,[18] thus highlighting the key role that the head of the school played in controlling the magical defences surrounding Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even though they served an important role in the institution's adherence to the International Statute of Secrecy, the headteacher of the school could also lift the Muggle-Repelling Charms around the school to allow non-magical people to enter, such as when Armando Dippet invited the parents of Myrtle Warren to the school to collect their daughter's body after she fell victim to the monster in the Chamber of Secrets.[22]

Headmasters

Identified Headmasters of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office or period)
Notes
1st Headmaster.jpg First Headmaster of Hogwarts

(Early 11th century)

In addition to being the first official headteacher of the school, he was also the first to ever carry the title of "Headmaster", as neither of the four founders ever held the position before him.[23]
BrianGagwilde.png Brian Gagwilde
Heliotrope Wilkins.jpg Heliotrope Wilkins[24]
PhyllidaSpore2.jpg Phyllida Spore

(c. 1408)[25]

Eoessa.jpg Edessa Sakndenberg

(c. 1503)[24]

FytherleyUndercliffe.JPG Fytherley Undercliffe

(c. 1531)[26]

AntoniaCreaseworthy2.jpg Antonia Creaseworthy

(c. 1624)[26]

Elizabeth Burke full.jpg Elizabeth Burke[27]
GiffardAbbott2.jpg Giffard Abbott[27]
Vulpus.JPG Vulpus[24]
VindictusViridian3.jpg Vindictus Viridian

(c. 1703)[28]

Amberose.jpg Amrose Swott

(c. 1724)[26]

Dilys Derwent HM.png Dilys Derwent

(17411768)

One of the most celebrated heads in the history of Hogwarts.[29]
Everard 1.jpg Everard

(18th/19th century)[30]

One of the most celebrated heads in the history of Hogwarts.[29]
Eupraxia Mole

(1876)

Professor Quentin Trimble.jpg Quentin Trimble[28]
Limebert.jpg Limebert[24]
Dexter Fortescue
Basil Fronsac Old.png Basil Fronsac[24]
Walter Aragon.JPG Walter Aragon[31]
MordicusEggOlder.jpg Mordicus Egg
Brutus Scrimgeour crop.png Brutus Scrimgeour
PhineasNBlack.jpg Phineas Nigellus Black

(–1925)

Dippet Portrait.jpg Armando Dippet

(Sometime after 1925 to between 1965 and 1971)[32]

Famously accomplished headmaster.
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore

(Between 1965–1971 or before[32] to 1993)

Suspended in 1993, later reinstated.
PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall

(1993)

Acting
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore

(1993–1996)

Assumed to have been sacked in 1996 after escaping a Ministry attempt to arrest him, reinstated later that year.
Dolores Umbridge.PNG Dolores Umbridge

(1996)

Though Umbridge was proclaimed headmistress, she was not acknowledged as such by the headmaster's office, which shut her out for the remainder of the year.
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore

(1996–1997)

PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall

(1997)

Acting
Severus Snape.jpg Severus Snape

(1997–1998)

PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall

(1998 to at least 2021)

Inspirational headmistress.[33]
Dolores Umbridge.PNG Dolores Umbridge

(At least 2020) (alternate timeline)

Unidentified Headmasters

[24]

Unknown name and portrait:

Behind the scenes

Albus Dumbledore's portrait

  • Hogwarts is the only school confirmed to have Deputy Headmasters and Headmistresses. It's unknown if this position exists in other wizarding schools.
  • Dolores Umbridge was not considered an official Hogwarts Headmistress by most. The headmaster's office did not open to her. Also, Phineas Nigellus Black told Severus Snape that he was the first Headmaster from Slytherin since himself, although Professor Umbridge was also a Slytherin.
  • Phineas Nigellus Black was considered to be the least popular Headmaster of Hogwarts if one discounts the unofficial Headmistress Umbridge.
  • It's unknown if there can be more than one Hogwarts Headmaster at a time, however, a portrait seen in the Headmaster's office depicting a couple wizards playing Wizard's Chess together, suggesting that it may be possible. The Carrow siblings were also both Deputy Headmaster and Headmistress.
  • When Dumbledore was suspended in 1993 for the second opening of the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy suggested that Snape applies for Headmaster due to his liking for the teacher at the time. Eventually, Snape indeed became Headmaster, five years after the suggestion, though at that time Draco lost his liking for Severus.
  • In Jack Thorne's original version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Headmaster of Hogwarts was a professor named Marazion, but after reading it Rowling sent him an e-mail saying she doesn't think Marazion fits and that they need McGonagall.[34]

Appearances

See also

Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  3. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Hogwarts Portraits" at Wizarding World
  4. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Pensieve" at Wizarding World
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  6. Pottermore - Hufflepuff introductory message
  7. Pottermore
  8. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, Chapter 3 (Horace Slughorn)
  9. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - "The Fountain of Fair Fortune"
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 19 (The Lion and the Serpent)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  12. Dumbledore was a young teacher at the time Newt was expelled. He wasn't able to revoke expulsions. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
  14. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 8 (Snape Victorious)
  17. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 30 (The Sacking of Severus Snape)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  20. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Hogwarts Express" at Wizarding World
  21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  22. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  23. Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening June 18: Details About Hogwarts Emerge at The Leaky Cauldron
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) DVD (Disc 2 - Dumbledore's Office)
  25. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 21 (The Pensieve)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Harry Potter Limited Edition - The Paintings of Hogwarts: Masterpieces from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Sets
  27. 27.0 27.1 This portrait has only appeared in the Headmaster's Office in the opening to the game Harry Potter for Kinect
  28. 28.0 28.1 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  29. 29.0 29.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  30. Assumption based on clothing.
  31. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  32. 32.0 32.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs) - Remus Lupin says "I was a very small boy when I received the bite...But then Dumbledore became Headmaster, and he was sympathetic." Lupin was attacked shortly before his fifth birthday and visited by Headmaster Dumbledore shortly before his eleventh birthday. This makes the date Dippet left and Dumbledore became Headmaster between March 1965 - March 1971 or before.
  33. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Professor McGonagall" at Wizarding World
  34. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey
Hogwarts faculty
Hogwartscrest.png
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Edessa Sakndenberg | Amrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Neville Longbottom | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Brindlemore | Charity Burbage | Camelia | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) | Albus Dumbledore | Eleazar Fig | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Jakub Gorski | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Mazoni | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Prendergast | Quirinus Quirrell | Patricia Rakepick | Concordia Rowle | Arif Sikander | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Dolores Umbridge | Septima Vector | Unidentified Potions professor (16th century) | Unidentified Charms professor (19th century) | Unidentified Herbology professor (19th century) | Unidentified Potions professor (19th century) | 19th-century DADA professor | Unidentified DADA professor (1984–1985) | Unidentified DADA professor (1985–1986) | Unidentified DADA professor (1986–1987) | Unidentified DADA professor (1987–1988) | Unidentified DADA professor (1989–1990) | Unidentified Muggle Studies professor (1990s) | Unidentified DADA professor (1998–?) | Unidentified Potions professor (21st century) | Unidentified Charms professor (?th century)
Hogwarts house-elves Bilm | Boil-ridden house-elf | Deek | Dobby | Filk | Gimkey | Krafty | Kreacher | Pitts | Retch | Vekey | Wigby | Winky
Support staff Rancorous Carpe | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Ogg | Irma Pince | Poppy Pomfrey | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Wainscott | Unidentified Healers | Unidentified Flying Instructor (19th century)
Advertisement