Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"Granger, they're after Muggles. D'you want to be showing off your knickers in midair? Because if you do, hang around... they're moving this way, and it would give us all a laugh."
Draco Malfoy on the targets of the riot[src]

The Reappearance of the Dark Mark[1] was one of the most notable controversies in the history of the Quidditch World Cup,[1] occurring on 25 August, 1994 in Dartmoor, England.[1][2]

A riot broke out when a large group of Death Eaters stormed Mr Roberts's campsite, destroying everything in their wake, torturing Muggles and Muggle-borns alike. The Death Eaters were fought by Ministry of Magic personnel. It ended when Bartemius Crouch Junior fired the Dark Mark into the sky causing most of the Death Eaters to Disapparate in fear.[2]

Afterwards, Bartemius Crouch Snr's house-elf Winky was fired when she was found in possession of the wand that made the Mark,[2] and Rita Skeeter wrote a scathing report about the raid criticising the Ministry's security at the Cup.[4]


Background information

Rise and fall of the Death Eaters

Harry Potter: "Death Eaters? What are Death Eaters?"
Bill Weasley: "It's what You-Know-Who's supporters called themselves. I think we saw what's left of them tonight..."
— Harry and Bill discussing the mysterious crowd[src]

Death Eaters wearing their custom robes torturing Muggles

In the years prior to the First Wizarding War, Lord Voldemort gathered a following of like-minded Dark wizards and witches who wished to share in his power, thugs looking for an outlet for their brutality, and cowards who wished to avoid the Dark Lord's wrath.[5] This group coalesced into an organisation known as the Death Eaters. They shared the same beliefs in the supremacy of pure-blood and the inferiority of half-breeds, Muggle-borns, and Muggles.

He used this organisation to spread terror and enforce his will upon those who opposed him.[2] They did his bidding well, and many of them became nearly as feared as Lord Voldemort himself. A part of the Death Eater’s modus operandi was to cast the Dark Mark over a house or area they had murdered. This added to the sheer terror and fear of the organisation. On 31 October, 1981 one of his Death Eaters, Peter Pettigrew, directed him to the location of the Potter family.[6] Voldemort sought them out in order to prevent a prophecy from being fulfilled.[7] He met his downfall at their residence in Godric's Hollow,[8] which ended the First Wizarding War.

Because he created five Horcruxes, Lord Voldemort did not die that night in Godric's Hollow.[9] The fragment of his soul that remained in his living body was driven out when his Killing Curse backfired. It continued to exist in a spectral form, and he fled the scene.[10] In Albania, he knew of a quiet hiding place where he had found Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem years previous. There he went to hide hoping that one of his servants would come for him; none of them did. Many of the Death Eaters who could be identified were arrested by Aurors and sentenced to Azkaban. Some, such as Evan Rosier, decided to fight to the death rather than face prison.[11] Many, however, were able to reintegrate themselves into wizarding society claiming that they acted only under the Imperius Curse. There were some, among whom was Lucius Malfoy, who kept their beliefs but did not practise them openly, using a facade of respectability to protect themselves from suspicion.[10]

Pettigrew while in service of the Dark Lord

In 1991, an easily manipulated Hogwarts professor, Quirinus Quirrell, stumbled across Voldemort's hiding place in Albania.[12] The Dark Lord used his great power of persuasion to convince Quirrell to act for him, though they were thwarted by the very boy Voldemort had attempted to kill that fateful night in 1981, Harry Potter.[12] Following this defeat, Lord Voldemort returned to Albania, his morale at an all time low, thinking that no one was coming for him.[13] Then, in summer of 1994, Peter Pettigrew, otherwise known as Wormtail, who had faked his death and framed Sirius Black for his crimes, returned to Voldemort's service after being found out by his former friends, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. With Pettigrew's help, Voldemort was able to return to a rudimentary body that needed constant tending but allowed him to perform magic. In this form, he returned with Wormtail to Britain.[10]

Escape of Barty Crouch Jr

Bartemius Crouch Junior was the son of a prominent Ministry of Magic official. He was an excellent student in his time at Hogwarts, and he took the Dark Mark shortly after graduation.[14] He fought in the First Wizarding War with the Death Eaters. After Lord Voldemort's fall, he was among a group of Death Eaters seeking their master's location.[14] Believing the Aurors, Alice and Frank Longbottom, to have some information, they paid them a visit. Once there, these Death Eaters, Bellatrix, Rabastan, and Rodolphus Lestrange, with Crouch's help, subjected the Longbottoms to the Cruciatus Curse multiple times.[11]

In fact, they were driven to insanity by the torture they received, and subsequently became permanent residents of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries[11] For this crime, the Lestranges and Crouch were arrested and put on trial. In the face of insurmountable evidence, they were convicted and sentenced to life in Azkaban. Though Crouch tried to plead innocence, ignorance, and anything else that might have kept him out of prison, his pleas fell upon the deaf ears of his father, who was presiding over the trial and coldly sent his son to the Dementors.[11]


Soon after his arrival in Azkaban, Crouch Junior's mother became fatally ill. She asked her husband for one last favour; she wanted to trade her dying form for her son's in Azkaban. Just before her death, she and her husband visited Barty Junior in his cell, and by way of Polyjuice Potion, they swapped places. As dementors were blind, this went without notice. Once back in his home, Crouch Junior was kept a complete secret. He spent his days under an Invisibility cloak and was always under the Imperius Curse. However, at some point, he was discovered by Bertha Jorkins, a witch in his father's department at the Ministry.[3]

Eventually, he began fighting the Imperius Curse and there were times when he would suddenly become aware of his surroundings. His keeper, Winky the house-elf, would occasionally ask his father to grant him treats. One of these was a trip to the Quidditch World Cup in 1994.[3]

The Quidditch World Cup

"A hundred thousand witches and wizards were taking their places in the seats, which rose in levels around the long oval field. Everything was suffused with a mysterious golden light, which seemed to come from the stadium itself. The field looked smooth as velvet from their lofty position. At either end of the field stood three goal hoops, fifty feet high; right opposite them, almost at Harry's eye level, was a gigantic blackboard. Gold writing kept dashing across it as though an invisible giant's hand were scrawling upon the blackboard and then wiping it off again; watching it, Harry saw that it was flashing advertisements across the field."
— Description of the 1994 world cup[src]

The 1994 Quidditch World Cup campsite

In summer 1994, the Quidditch World Cup was held in Great Britain. On 25 August, the final was held between Ireland and Bulgaria. It was attended by witches and wizards from all around the world including many from Britain. Among these merrymakers were Arthur Weasley and his children Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny along with their friends Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.[15]

Quidditch World Cup

Also in attendance were many prominent wizards from the Ministry of Magic the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge and Head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation Bartemius Crouch Snr included. As he had done a favour for event organiser Ludo Bagman, Arthur Weasley and his family and friends had prime seats for the match in the Top Box. There, they met a few unfriendly faces. Lucius Malfoy, his son Draco, and his wife Narcissa were in the box as personal guests of the Minister.

Also, intriguingly, Barty Crouch had sent his elf, Winky, to save him a seat, but he never showed up. They all watched a very exciting game. The Irish Chasers were too much for the Bulgarians. They scored repeatedly, and even though the game became quite dirty, the Bulgarians could find no answer. They were spared an embarrassing defeat when their Seeker, Viktor Krum, caught the Golden Snitch causing them to lose by only ten points.[16]

The reappearance

"Your exploits at the Quidditch World Cup were fun, I daresay... but might not your energies have been better directed toward finding and aiding your master?"
Voldemort talking to Lucius Malfoy about the riot[src]

After the match was over, the surrounding area was afire with excitement. The Irish fans were partying loudly, and everyone was enjoying the festivities. Harry and his friends stayed up late into the night talking about the game. Finally, after numerous recaps and Quidditch stories, when Ginny fell asleep at the table, Mr Weasley ordered everyone to bed. Soon after, they were awoken by commotion outside. Originally, Fred thought it was the Irish celebrating, but then was disturbed to see masked men burning tents and causing much unwanted commotion. They became particularly horrified when they discovered the mob torturing a Muggle man, Roberts, and his family.[2]

The riot

"More wizards were joining the marching group, laughing and pointing up at the floating bodies. Tents crumpled and fell as the marching crowd swelled. Once or twice Harry saw one of the marchers blast a tent out of his way with his wand. Several caught fire. The screaming grew louder."
— The chaos erupting at the riot[src]

The Death Eaters levitate the Roberts family

Seeing the rioters approaching, Mr Weasley ordered his underage children and their friends to flee, while he and the older Weasleys attempted to help the Ministry. After Harry, Hermione, and the younger Weasleys reached the woods, Harry discovered that he had lost his wand, and Harry, Ron, and Hermione quickly became separated from Fred, George, and Ginny. Stumbling deeper into the forest, the trio happened upon Draco Malfoy, who was watching the proceedings with delight.

After dropping hints that his father was among the rioters, he pointedly warned Hermione to run for it, telling her that the crowd was after Muggles. This caused Ron and Harry to jump to Hermione's defence, but after Malfoy departed, Ron worriedly suggested that they move deeper into the woods, looking at Hermione.[2]

Crouch Junior casting the Dark Mark over the campsite

Minutes later, they were drawn to a clearing aglow with a silver light. There, they discovered some of the Veela mascots of the Bulgarian National Quidditch team, surrounded by men drawn in by their charms attempting to impress them, including Knight Bus conductor, Stan Shunpike. Shunpike claimed that he would one day be Minister of Magic. Even Ron, whom had shown a weakness for the Veelas' allure, was affected. He went as far as to claim that he created a broomstick that could travel to Jupiter, something that was very much impossible.

After Harry and Hermione dragged Ron from the clearing, the trio ventured deeper into the woods. Finding a quiet spot, they decided to wait there for the commotion to subside, only to be interrupted by a deep voice casting the spell "Morsmordre".[2]

The Dark Mark

"For a split second, Harry thought it was another leprechaun formation. Then he realised that it was a colossal skull, comprised of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue. As they watched, it rose higher and higher, blazing in a haze of greenish smoke, etched against the black sky like a new constellation."
— Harry witnessing the Dark Mark in the sky[src]

The Dark Mark over the camp ground, as seen by the trio

They turned to see a green form rising from the woods. It formed into a green skull with a snake coming from its mouth: the Dark Mark. Soon the trio heard the popping sounds of Ministry officials Apparating into the woods. Realising what was about to happen, Harry dragged his compatriots to the ground as the Ministry people fired off a round of Stunning Spells. Among the Ministry officials, Arthur Weasley saw that his son had almost been attacked and called them off.

Bartemius Crouch Snr, the most senior official present, stepped up and began to aggressively question Harry, Ron, and Hermione. When they pointed to the spot where they had heard the voice coming from, the officials found Winky, the Crouch family house-elf. When it was posited that the elf could not have cast the spell, Cedric Diggory's father, Amos presented a wand the elf had been carrying.[2]

Dark Mark reaction

Barty Crouch Senior: "Which of you did it? Which of you conjured the Dark Mark?"
Harry Potter: "We didn’t do that!"
Ron Weasley: "We didn’t do anything! What did you want to attack us for?"
Barty Crouch Senior: "Do not lie, sir! You have been discovered at the scene of the crime!"
Bartemius Crouch Senior accusing Harry, Ron and Hermione of having conjured the Dark Mark[src]

The decimated campsite

When Harry saw the wand, he quickly claimed it as his own, drawing accusations from Amos Diggory. Diggory came to his senses when challenged by Arthur Weasley and returned to questioning the house-elf. This questioning was quite harsh, and Diggory continually referred to Winky as "elf." Winky denied casting the Dark Mark, and Arthur Weasley supported her, stating that it was highly unlikely that the elf knew the incantation.

This caused Diggory to impulsively accuse Crouch, but this was quickly brushed aside with indignation. Harry, Hermione, and Ron corroborated Winky's denial claiming that a deeper, human voice cast the spell. At this, Crouch searched the woods, and when he returned he sacked Winky for failing to honour her family.[2]


"Ministry blunders... culprits not apprehended... lax security... Dark wizards running unchecked... national disgrace..."
Rita Skeeter's scathing commentary on the Ministry's handling of the riot[src]

Ministry officials were able to rescue the Roberts family, but the sudden appearance of the Dark Mark hampered their ability to apprehend the rioters who were frightened off at the sight of their former master's emblem. After the fiasco in the forest, Harry, Ron, and Hermione returned to their tent with Mr Weasley. Once there, Mr Weasley and his eldest son Bill explained to the younger wizards the significance of the Dark Mark, the Death Eaters, and their link to Lord Voldemort.[2]

Rumours spread like wildfire in the wake of the riot, and many concerned citizens were waiting at the edge of the woods with questions. These rumours were not quelled by Arthur Weasley's vague explanations when he, Harry, Ron, and Hermione exited the wood.[2]The morning edition of the Daily Prophet ran a scathing critique of the Ministry's security measures, written by Rita Skeeter. In the article, she insinuated that bodies had been removed from the woods, though this was untrue.[4]

Crouch Junior discovered after posing as "Mad-Eye" Moody for a year

Bartemius Crouch Junior would go on to play an integral role in the plot to revive Lord Voldemort, after the Dark Lord gained knowledge of his continued loyalty and relative freedom by torturing Bertha Jorkins.[3] The Death Eaters he scared away were all summoned to the Little Hangleton graveyard to witness his return and resurrection in the Little Hangleton graveyard,[13] and Crouch would later receive the Dementor's Kiss.

Harry Potter, who had been used as a tool in Voldemort's rebirth, would be among the witnesses, and he would survive the subsequent duel to return and tell the world of Voldemort's rebirth.[3] In response to the cruel treatment of house-elves that she had witnessed at the Quidditch World Cup, Hermione formed the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, or S.P.E.W., that fall.[17]

The International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee heavily criticised the Ministry of Magic for what they deemed to have been inadequate safety measures given the known existence of a violent pure-blood tendency throughout the United Kingdom; Royston Idlewind, former International Director of the ICWQC, emerged briefly from retirement to state that the wand control regulations he tried to implement back in the 1970s seemed not such a bad thing after all.[1]


Behind the scenes

  • In the book, Harry escapes with his friends, but in the film, he is kicked in the head and falls unconscious. Miraculously, he survives being trampled on, incinerated or suffocated by fire, or being located by a Death Eater and kidnapped, to be taken hostage to the Riddle House for his blood.
  • With the omission of the World Cup along with forest scene and Winky in the film, coupled with his meeting with Voldemort and Wormtail in the Riddle House sometime after his escape from Azkaban, Barty Crouch Junior's motive in casting Morsmordre at the campsite was changed; rather than to scare away the Death Eaters for disloyalty to Lord Voldemort, he conjured the Dark Mark after the attack to signify murder. Additionally, he cast the spell with a wand he stole from someone else instead of Harry's.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 History of the Quidditch World Cup from Pottermore (via The Internet Archive)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9 (The Dark Mark)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 10 (Mayhem at the Ministry)
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 (The Boy Who Lived)
  9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
  16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8 (The Quidditch World Cup)
  17. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)