"Bad news, Harry. I've just been to see Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt. She — er — got a bit shirty with me. Told me I'd got my priorities wrong. Seemed to think I cared more about winning the Cup than I do about you staying alive. Just because I told her I didn't care if it threw you off, as long as you caught the Snitch on it first. Honestly, the way she was yelling at me... you'd think I'd said something terrible. Then I asked her how much longer she was going to keep it [...] "
—Oliver Wood[src]

Oliver Wood (born c.1975 or 1976) was a Scottish wizard who was the Keeper and Captain for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1987 to 1994. Oliver was known for his determination and skill on the playing field, and his long lectures before practises. He led the Gryffindor team to victory in the Quidditch Cup in his seventh year.

After leaving school Oliver joined Puddlemere United as a reserve player (presumably as Keeper). In 1998, Oliver returned to Hogwarts to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside his former school friends and teammates.


Early life

Oliver was born in Great Britain or Ireland in 1975 or 1976, into a wizarding family. He probably grew up in Scotland, as he spoke with a Scottish accent.

Hogwarts years (1987-1994)

Early years

Oliver Wood attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1987 to 1994. He was sorted into Gryffindor and presumably shared a dormitory with Percy Weasley. He joined the Gryffindor Quidditch team as a Keeper[3], and during his first game, he took a Bludger to the head two minutes in, and woke up a week later in the hospital wing; he mentioned this to Harry Potter when Oliver was in his fifth year, as Harry was nervous for his first Quidditch match. Oliver also mentioned that he didn't really remember his match. He attended Hogwarts with Hufflepuff Nymphadora Tonks for four years before she graduated. Before he graduated, Oliver attended Hogwarts with fellow Gryffindor Harry Potter for three years.[4]

Fifth year

Fred Weasley: "We know Oliver's speech by heart. We were in the team last year."
Oliver Wood: "Shut up, you two. This is the best team Gryffindor's had in years. We're going to win. I know it."
Fred Weasley and Oliver Wood[src]
In 1990, his fourth year, he became Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

In the 1991–1992 school year, despite assembling a good team, he was unable to find anyone skilled enough to play as Seeker for the team after the departure of Charles Weasley in the previous year. However, his search was ended when his Head of House, Professor McGonagall, observed Harry Potter catch a Remembrall on a broomstick from a fifty foot dive. McGonagall claimed that it was a move that even Charlie Weasley couldn't have pulled off, convincing Oliver that Harry was indeed something special. He immediately saw that Harry's build was perfect for a Seeker, and impressed upon McGonagall the need for Harry to have a decent broom to fly.

Oliver gave Harry his first Quidditch lesson in private, immediately seeing that Harry was a natural flier on a broomstick. Wanting to use Harry as a secret weapon during the first match of the season against Slytherin, Oliver tried to keep his presence on the team under wraps. Despite his best efforts, however, word got out about Harry's presence, although his skill level was a secret from everyone outside the team.


Oliver Wood and Harry Potter

Captaining the side against their nemeses, Slytherin, in the first game of the season, Oliver was delighted when Harry captured the Golden Snitch in his first match, winning the game for Gryffindor. However, the second game of the season, against Hufflepuff, gave Oliver cause for concern, when he found out that Professor Snape would be refereeing the match in place of Madam Hooch. Fearing that Snape would not be fair to Gryffindor following their defeat of Slytherin, he urged Harry to catch the Snitch as soon as possible. When he caught it within five minutes, Oliver was overjoyed. If Gryffindor could beat Ravenclaw in the final match of the season, then they would surely capture the Quidditch Cup.

Shortly after, Gryffindor House lost one hundred and fifty house points due to the actions of three first year students, including Harry Potter. Harry offered his resignation to Oliver, who declined it, his reasoning being that if they didn't win at Quidditch, they had no chance to recoup the lost points. Despite this, Oliver likely felt somewhat irked towards Harry, as, during team practice sessions, his angry teammates simply referred to Harry as "the Seeker".

The final match of the season against Ravenclaw was a disaster. Harry was in the hospital wing after facing Professor Quirrell and Lord Voldemort, and recovering the Philosopher's Stone. Forced to play with only six players, the Gryffindor team lost[3], and suffered its biggest defeat in three hundred years.[5]

Sixth year

"It'll be down to you, Harry, to show them that a Seeker has to have something more than a rich father. Get to that Snitch before Malfoy or die trying, Harry, because we've got to win today, we've got to."
—Oliver Wood[src]
File:Tumblr lvfsavJF9d1qgt0vro2 250.gif

Oliver spent the summer of 1992 devising an entirely new training schedule that included early morning practice sessions. He was determined to win the Cup, and his enthusiasm for regular training sessions knew no limits. He was annoyed, however, that his team didn't seem to be taking it as seriously as he was, but that may have been a result of getting them all up earlier than they expected on the day of their first training session. On the first Saturday back at school, he booked the Quidditch pitch to begin training earlier than the other teams. His plan was cut short by the arrival of the Slytherin team, who had been given permission to use the pitch by Professor Snape in order to train their new Seeker, Draco Malfoy.

Gryffindor won their first match of the season against Slytherin, but the unexplained attacks on Muggle-born students (later found to be caused by the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets and the freeing of a Basilisk) forced the cancellation of the year's remaining matches. When Minerva McGonagall announced the good news that the school would not be closing, many students shouted "Dumbledore's back" or "The heir of Slytherin has been caught". Wood instead showed his love for Quidditch by shouting "Quidditch matches are back on."[5]

Seventh year

"This is our last chance — my last chance — to win the Quidditch Cup. I'll be leaving at the end of this year. I'll never get another shot at it."
—Oliver Wood[src]
Bad weather

Gryffindor vs Hufflepuff playing in bad weather

In his final year, Oliver Wood was especially desperate to win the Quidditch Cup. He knew that he had the best team in the whole school, and he felt that the Cup would have been Gryffindor's for the past two years if events hadn't so conspired against them. Training his team hard for the first match against Slytherin, he was shocked to find out that Slytherin had indeed managed to postpone the match owing to an injury to their Seeker, Draco Malfoy. Malfoy, injured by a hippogriff during a Care of Magical Creatures lesson, was overplaying his injury to get out of playing the match during such extremely bad weather. Gryffindor were to then play Hufflepuff instead.

During the match, Harry was overcome by Dementors, who were attracted to the large gathering. He fell from his broom while chasing the Golden Snitch, and it was captured by the Hufflepuff Seeker, Cedric Diggory. When he realised what had happened, Cedric immediately offered Oliver a rematch, but Oliver declined it, knowing that Cedric had caught the Snitch fair and square, and assuring Harry that he didn't blame him for failing to catch the Snitch despite his previously impeccable record.


Oliver before a Quidditch match

However, Oliver knew they still had a chance to win the Cup if they won their remaining matches and other results went their way. He urged Harry to buy a new broom, since his had been destroyed by the Whomping Willow after the last match, and was also worried about the Dementors appearing again and affecting Harry. Harry assured him that Professor Lupin was teaching him to deal with Dementors, and that he had received a Firebolt broomstick for Christmas. Oliver was amazed, then disappointed to learn that Professor McGonagall had confiscated it to check for signs of tampering or sabotage, as she feared that Sirius Black may have sent it to harm Harry. Oliver tried to appeal to McGonagall, telling her that having the Firebolt would greatly enhanced their chances of winning the Quidditch Cup. McGonagall, however, accused Oliver of placing victory above Harry's life in his order of priorities. Finally, though, the Firebolt was given a clean bill of health, and returned to Harry, much to Oliver's joy.

In the run up to the second match of the season against Ravenclaw, Oliver upped the training sessions to five times a week, and monitored the status of the Ravenclaw Seeker, Cho Chang. Knowing that she had a lot of trouble with injuries, he hoped that she would not be fit to play, and was disappointed to learn that she was able to. During the match, Oliver told Harry to stop being a gentleman and knock Cho off her broom if he had to.

Gryffindor beat Ravenclaw, and other results went their way, meaning that, in the final game of the season against Slytherin, if they could win by two hundred and ten points, they would win the Cup. Oliver took to constantly reminding Harry that he must not catch the Snitch unless they were ahead by at least sixty points, and ordering that Harry should be accompanied everywhere he went, to prevent anyone from harming him before the game, which numerous Slytherins made it clear was a clear and present danger.

During the match against Slytherin, Oliver took two Bludgers to the stomach early in the game. Harry, though, managed to capture the Snitch when Gryffindor were ahead by at least sixty points, resulting in Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup. Oliver, overjoyed and ecstatic, lifted the Cup aloft, finally achieving his dream.[6]

Later life (1994-1998)

"Come on!"
—Oliver in the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
DH2 Oliver Wood Battle of Hogwarts

Oliver Wood during the Battle of Hogwarts, leading a group of students on broomsticks to battle

After leaving Hogwarts, Oliver became a Quidditch player for Puddlemere United's reserve team. In the summer of 1994, he attended the Quidditch World Cup, where he saw Harry and introduced him to his parents and told Harry of his new career.[7]

In 1998, Oliver returned to Hogwarts along with former Gryffindor Quidditch players Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, and Alicia Spinnet to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts against Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters. During a lull in the battle, which was granted to them by Lord Voldemort as time to gather the dead, he assisted Neville Longbottom in carrying the dead bodies of Colin Creevey and others into the Great Hall.[8]

Physical appearance

Oliver was well built and burly, and had a commanding presence, especially to those in his team. He was known to get a maniacal look in his eyes when he was enthusing about Quidditch.

Personality and traits

"I think we'd better check with Puddlemere United whether Oliver Wood's been killed during a training session, because Angelina seems to be channelling his spirit."
Harry Potter[src]

Oliver in the Gryffindor common room after all Quidditch games were cancelled in his 6th year

Wood was described as an intensely driven, competitive personality. He was singularly focused and determined to creating the best Quidditch team in the school. His ambition and dedication to the sport was such that he forced his players to train relentlessly, including early morning starts and all-weather training. Wood's obsession with winning occasionally became somewhat maniacal. In 1992 he told Harry to "catch the Snitch or die trying" and in 1993, Fred and George Weasley declared, with only mild exaggeration, that Wood was attempting to drown himself in the showers after a defeat as he refused to come out when they did. They also said in 1996 that "Wood might have done the Slytherins if he could have," after someone asked who would try to kill off a Quidditch team. He regularly scheduled three practice sessions a week, rising to five a week before an important match. His overriding ambition was to win the Quidditch cup before he graduated, a dream which he finally achieved in 1994.[3][5][6]

Despite this, Wood was remarkably humble concerning his own skill, putting the team's success down to the other members of the team. He would often be more concerned about his teammates than himself, like urging them to eat breakfast before a match, yet touching nothing himself. He was also extremely loyal to Gryffindor and saw the success of the Gryffindor team as Gryffindor House's success as a whole. He was also very fair and did not accept a replay after Harry fell off his broom against Cedric Diggory in 1993 since he knew that Diggory had caught the Snitch fairly, also assuring Harry that he didn't blame him for the loss as he respected that there had to be at least one game where Harry wouldn't win.[3][6]

Magical abilities and skills

George: "We think you're very good too, Oliver."
Fred: "Spanking good Keeper,"
Fred and George about Oliver's Keeping skills[src]
  • Quidditch: Oliver was captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team during his fourth year onwards. He later became a Quidditch player for Puddlemere United's reserve team.
  • Dueling: though not much is known about his skills on the battle field he is an exceptional Duelist to be able to survive the Battle of Hogwarts.



Oliver's wand


The olive branch often is a symbol of peace. The olive tree's symbolism also includes a great harvest and long life. Wood is a place name (like Brooks or Field) and suggests ancestors who lived near or in a forest, or who were woodcutters. It is possible that Wood was meant to be the opposite of the name Flint, the name of the Slytherin Quidditch team captain and Wood's rival.

Oliver as a Lego minifigure

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, when Oliver was explaining Quidditch to Harry Potter, he said that the team that catches the Snitch will win the game. This is inaccurate as in the World Cup in 1994, Viktor Krum caught the snitch, but Ireland won as they were ahead by more than 15 goals (150 points). However, he could have meant that the team would usually win the game due to the amount of points that the Snitch is worth (Incidentally, in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it is not revealed that Ireland won in this way).


The Harry Potter Wiki has 60 images related to Oliver Wood.

Notes and references

Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust
Albus Dumbledore
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Buckbeak | Dobby | Fawkes | Filius Flitwick | Firenze | Garrick Ollivander | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Helena Ravenclaw | Horace Slughorn | Karkus | Karkus's wife | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | McKinnon family | Mr Westenberg | Mrs Westenberg | Muriel | Nearly-Headless Nick | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | Peeves | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Poppy Pomfrey | Sybill Trelawney | Ted Tonks | The Fallen Fifty | Westenberg family | Winky | Xenophilius Lovegood
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)

Quidditch Positions at Hogwarts
Astrix Alixan · Filemina Alchin · Orion Amari · Angelina Appleby · Oona Ballington · Hugh Biggs · Richard Carter · Angelica Cole · Concepta Battista · Stuart Craggy · Winky Crockett · Roger Davies · Cedric Diggory · Marcus Flint · Hamish Frater · Stephen Gould · David Hamblin · Natalie Holkham · Jody Jacknife · Angelina Johnson · Jo King · Neil Lament · Steve Laughalot · Graham Montague · Mark Overcliff · Andrew Snowy Owl · Harry Potter · Isobel Ross · Ashley Sanders · Lucinda Talkalot · Urquhart · Emma Vanity · Charlie Weasley · Rufus Winickus · Oliver Wood
Kevin Bletchley · Miles Bletchley · Brennan Doyle · Andre Egwu · Herbert Fleet · Geoffrey Hooper · Cormac McLaggen · Grant Page · Ron Weasley · Oliver Wood · Unidentified Gryffindor Keeper · Unidentified Keeper · Unidentified Slytherin Keeper
Tamsin Applebee · Katie Bell · Bradley · Randolph Burrow · Cadwallader · Chambers · Roger Davies · Eekins · Marcus Flint · Jarrett · Angelina Johnson · Heidi Macavoy · Graham Montague · Skye Parkin · James Potter · Malcolm Preece · Adrian Pucey · Demelza Robins · Zacharias Smith · Alicia Spinnet · Jeremy Stretton · Dean Thomas · Urquhart · Vaisey · Cassius Warrington · Ginny Weasley · Rose Granger-Weasley · Blaise Zabini · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (I) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (II) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (III) · Unidentified Gryffindor chaser (IV) · Unidentified Chaser · Unidentified fourth year Chaser
Bean · Lucian Bole · Ritchie Coote · Vincent Crabbe · Peregrine Derrick · Dobbin · Gregory Goyle · Duncan Inglebee · Andrew Kirke · Michael McManus · Maxine O'Flaherty · Jimmy Peakes · Erika Rath · Anthony Rickett · Jason Samuels · Jack Sloper · Fred Weasley · George Weasley · Unidentified Beater · Unidentified Gryffindor beater · Unidentified Slytherin Beater · Unidentified Slytherin Beater (II)
Regulus Black · Cho Chang · Cedric Diggory · Harper · Terence Higgs · Gilderoy Lockhart · Draco Malfoy · Harry Potter · Summerby · Charlie Weasley · Ginny Weasley · Unidentified Gryffindor seeker · Unidentified Ravenclaw Seeker · Unidentified Ravenclaw Substitute Seeker · Unidentified Hufflepuff Seeker · Unidentified Seeker
Unknown Positions
Vicky Bishopper · Angelica Cole · Robin Higgy · R. King · M. G. McGonagall · Katie Rayknolls
Possible Players
Christian Alexander · Brandon Angel · Jada Angela · Owen Anthony · Tanner Van Burm · Haley Dakota · Jennifer Dawn · Fay Dunbar · Riley Frazer · Ethan Gerard · Ryan Henry · Erica J. · Ella Jo · Timothy Justin · Sage Kelleen · Luisa · Trinity Lynn · Trev Mallory · Alexis Marie · Gianna Grace Marie · Abigail Nicola · Amber Noel · Phelan Noel · Remy Olivier · Jackson Sheppard · Richard Sky · Emily Taylor · Alexander William
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