At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Spoilers will be present within the article.
Ludovic "Ludo" Bagman (fl. 1981-2014) was an English wizard and Ministry of Magic employee. During his career at the Ministry, Ludo rose to the post of Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports. His career at the Ministry ended in mid-1995, when he had to go on the run from goblins, against whom he had lost several bets.
Before working at the Ministry, he was a Beater for both the Wimbourne Wasps and the English National Quidditch team. He had a brother named Otto. He also tended to play dirty when gambling and betting as he tried to find loopholes or even pay in fake money/gold.
First Wizarding War
After Lord Voldemort fell from power, Ludovic Bagman was put on trial before the Council of Magical Law for giving information about the Ministry to the Death Eater Augustus Rookwood. According to Ludo, he did not know that Rookwood was a Death Eater. Rookwood had been a friend of Ludo's father and had persuaded Ludo into giving him the information by talking about getting Ludo a job at the Ministry.
Barty Crouch attempted to place Bagman in Azkaban for this exchange of information for a certain amount of time, but to Crouch's extreme annoyance, Ludo was cleared of all charges. This was partly due to him being a popular Quidditch player. One witch within the jury stood up and congratulated Bagman for his rather impressive play in the previous Quidditch match, with the others cheering him. Ludo was never accused of allegiance with the Death Eaters again.
Quidditch World Cup
Despite Mr Crouch's low opinion of Ludo, Ludo soon got a job at the Ministry as head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
Ludo took part in organising the1994 Quidditch World Cup. He was quite reckless in terms of security, and did not bother dressing in Muggle clothing for the event, and even discussed Quidditch in their presence. Ludo's position with the Ministry only fuelled his serious addiction to gambling — he took bets, for instance, before the cup started with Fred and George for the result of the final, in the amount of thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, and three Knuts plus a joke wand.
Ludo also came to owe some money to Mr Jordan. He was bankrupt after the World Cup and tried to trick his creditors by paying them with leprechaun gold. The twins therefore stalked Bagman for the entire school year, trying to get their money, and later realised their attempts were unsuccessful. Ludo commentated during the World Cup using the Amplifying Charm.
After the Cup ended, Ludo was cornered by a group of goblins in the forest near the stadium. Ludo had borrowed a large amount of gold from the goblins but never paid them back. The goblins stripped Ludo of all the money he had on him and left, not yet realising that the money was not enough to pay the debt. Ludo wandered around the forest, completely unaware that the camp was being terrorised by a group of Death Eaters.
The Triwizard Tournament
His position as head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports meant that, in 1994, Ludo, along with Barty Crouch Snr, organised and judged the Triwizard Tournament. Together, they worked hard to ensure that none of the Champions would find themselves in "mortal danger".
Meanwhile, Fred and George thought that Bagman gave them the Leprechaun gold by mistake and tried gently prodding him throughout the year but Bagman ignored their letters and made up excuses. Eventually, Bagman "turned nasty" (according to the Weasley twins) and told the Weasley twins that they were too young to gamble and that they would not get anything back. Fred and George found out about Bagman's debts through Lee Jordan, whose father had also been swindled considerably. Fred considered informing the Ministry of Bagman's activities, whereas George argued that it was blackmail.
When Harry Potter's name was drawn out of the Goblet of Fire, Ludo Bagman appeared delighted, and he was the first person to inform the other three champions that Harry was now a participant. Ludo planned to pay the goblins by betting that Harry would win the Triwizard Tournament.
Just before the first task, Bagman took Harry aside and asked him if he wanted "a few pointers" for getting past the Hungarian Horntail; however, Harry refused this information, as he thought taking advice from Ludo amounted to cheating. During the task, Bagman took the role of commentator, and was very impressed at Harry's flying skills around the Dragon. He gave Harry full ten points despite the champion being injured, and was furious at Karkaroff for being biased against Harry.
Later, in January of 1995 Bagman was again cornered by the goblins, who looked "rather menacing", in Hogsmeade at The Three Broomsticks. When he saw Harry there, he offered him his help in the Triwizard Tournament, but Harry declined and asked Ludo what the goblins were up to. Ludo fabricated a story about the goblins searching for Barty Crouch Snr.
For the final task, Bagman had the sole responsibility of showing the champions the maze which had been constructed on the school Quidditch pitch (since Mr Crouch was apparently "sick"). He attempted to offer Harry help for the third time, but was interrupted by Viktor Krum.
The Triwizard Tournament ended with Harry winning, but being tied with Cedric Diggory, who was killed. The goblins refused to admit Ludo won the bet, saying that Harry did not win, but was tied with Cedric. Ludo went on the run shortly after the third task.
Life on the run
What happened to Bagman after that is unknown, but during Harry's hearing for using magic outside of school in the subsequent year, his name came up in reference. When Harry told them that he used magic to drive away Dementors that were attacking him at Magnolia Crescent, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge stated that "even Bagman wouldn't bet...". Also, due to Bagman cheating the goblins out of his debt and running away, the Order of the Phoenix had difficulty earning their trust.
Though it is likely that he lost both his credibility in the eyes of the wizarding world, and his post at the Ministry, he was suspected by a great number of wizards to be coming out of retirement to play in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. This, however, proved untrue, as it was the Bulgarian Seeker Viktor Krum who returned to the pitch, not Bagman. However, Bagman did produce a Daily Prophet article rating the semi-finalist teams of the Cup.
Personality and traits
Bagman was seen by many as being a foolish and reckless man, who seemed to casually disregard his responsibilities as a Ministry official. During the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, he did not bother to wear Muggle clothing despite being in the presence of them, and even discussed Quidditch openly near them, showing a very careless attitude with wizarding security. He was even once accused of passing information to Death Eater Augustus Rookwood the first time Lord Voldemort was powerful. He was never convicted, and it is likely that if he did pass any information to Rookwood, he did so innocently, not knowing Rookwood was working for Voldemort.
It is worth mentioning, however, that at least two people in 1994 suspected him of foul play, or at least mistrusted him: both Rita Skeeter (unreliable though she was) and Barty Crouch Jnr (masquerading as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody) mentioned this in the presence of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Rita Skeeter said to Hermione: "I know things about Ludo Bagman that would make your hair curl - not that it needs it." This is likely a reference to the aforementioned accusation of passing information to Rookwood.
Bagman was seen as a genuinely pleasant and good-natured individual to all who knew him. However, he had a weakness for gambling which put a financial strain on him. (He might have originally borrowed off the goblins to pay off gambling debts). As George Weasley stated: "He's lost everything gambling." He could also turn very nasty when it came to paying his losses, as he used worthless Leprechaun gold to pay, and refused to pay real money when the winners came to him. He also attempted to cheat at certain times when he was in a desperate situation, such as helping Harry during the Tournament, despite being forbidden to do so. Ludo went as far as running away after losing his final bet against his goblin creditors, which resulted in them refusing to side with humans during the Second Wizarding War.
Magical abilities and skills
- Flying: Ludo was a very talented and accomplished broomstick flyer and Quidditch player, having famously played as Beater for the Wimbourne Wasps. He was said to have been the best Beater the team had ever had, which is a clear indication of his excellent flying skills.
- Apparition: Ludo was capable of apparating successfully, as shown when he disapparated during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup to attend the riots that were besieging the event. He was describes as apparating with only a "small pop"; wizards who create little noise whilst apparating are usually highly accomplished with this skill.
- Charms: Ludo appeared to be proficient with charm-work, as he was able of successfully using the Amplifying Charm to amplify the sound of his own voice whilst commentating for the 1994 Quidditch World Cup as well as during the 1994-1995 Triwizard Tournament.
- Ludovic was a Latinised of the French royal name, Louis. Ludovic is from Gaelic for "devotee of the Lord." "Ludo" is Latin for "I play", part of the verb ludere.
- Ludo is also a Serbian word meaning "Crazy". Ludović can also be a Serbian last name meaning "Son of Crazy"
- In British slang, a bagman is a travelling salesman. Ludo was a secret gambler who threw away his money.
- In American criminal slang, a bagman is a go-between who picks up or delivers money, usually bribes given by a crime family to the police. Ludo, of course, is constantly handling money as he makes his bets, and tries to fix the outcome of the Triwizard tournament with little offers of "help" in the right direction. This could also reflect his role as a (perhaps unknowing) go-between for the Death Eaters, passing information to Augustus Rookwood during the First Wizarding War.
Behind the scenes
- The part of Ludo Bagman was omitted from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and his announcing of the Quidditch World Cup of 1994 was done by the Minister for Magic at the time, which was Cornelius Fudge. The warnings and the directions for each task of the Triwizard Tournament were given to the champions by Dumbledore and Crouch rather than Bagman. He was however meant to appear in the film in an early draft, and it was stated that actor Martin Landham would have been a candidate to portray him had he appeared in the film.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Appears in alternate realities)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play) (Appears in alternate realities)
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Ludo's father was a wizard who was friends with Augustus Rookwood, so he was not Muggle-born.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch) - "His nose was squashed (probably broken by a stray Bludger, Harry thought), but his round blue eyes, short blond hair, and rosy complexion made him look like a very overgrown schoolboy."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 24 (Rita Skeeter's Scoop) - "Harry stared up into Bagman's round, rosy face and his wide, baby-blue eyes."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - ""But I've told you, I had no idea!" Bagman called earnestly over the crowd's babble, his round blue eyes widening."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Pottermore - PLACE YOUR BETS WITH LUDO BAGMAN (archived)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - At his trial, a juror congratulated him on his splendid performance for England against the Turkish National Quidditch team.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 21 (The House-Elf Liberation Front)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 24 (Rita Skeeter's Scoop)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 (The Hearing)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - "This was not, however, a Ludo Bagman gone to seed, but a Ludo Bagman who was clearly at the height of his Quidditch-playing fitness. His nose wasn’t broken now; he was tall and lean and muscular."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)