At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery & Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells & Harry Potter: Magic Awakened.
Rita Skeeter (b. 1951) was a British witch and journalist who specialised in writing poison-pen stories. These stories tended to be based on false information and misreported interviews. She wrote articles for the Daily Prophet, as well as a few 'tell-all' biographies. Skeeter preferred writing for the sake of publicity and wrote what she thought people would "like to read" and what was lies rather than what they "ought to read" and which was the truth.
Notable stories Rita covered include the trials of various Death Eaters after the First Wizarding War, the Triwizard Tournament, and (albeit reluctantly) Harry Potter's account of Lord Voldemort's return to power in 1995 for The Quibbler. She also wrote biographies of Armando Dippet, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Harry Potter.
Rita's writing tended to be sensationalist and sometimes outright dishonest, paralleling her beliefs about writing what people "like to read". Her biography of Harry Potter, for instance, was described as being only one-quarter factual with the remaining three-quarters being pure fabrication and general dislike for Harry Potter being made into fake stories. Her ability to acquire information was assisted by her status as an unregistered beetle Animagus.
Early life (1951-1970s)
Skeeter spent time training to become an Animagus and, at some point prior to 1986, she was finally able to transform into a beetle at will. Skeeter aspired to be a journalist and an author, and used this ability to spy and eavesdrop as a beetle for her articles.
During her early days as an author, Skeeter wrote a biography on Armando Dippet, entitled Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?. It, based on many of her later books, was presumably also an exaggerated history of him to gain controversy and by extension, popularity and fame. This book turned out to be a best-seller, with numerous copies sold. Also sometime in her early career, Skeeter provided a quote for the critical acclaim for Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, when she wrote "I've read worse." as a review.
First Wizarding War
Skeeter was a journalist at the time of the First Wizarding War when Lord Voldemort was in power. In 1981, at the fall of Voldemort and end of the War, Skeeter reported on the Death Eater trials before the Council of Magical Law; people such as Igor Karkaroff and Ludovic Bagman.
Guest speaker at Hogwarts
Rita was a guest speaker at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the 1986–1987 school year. Prior to the reveal, the identity of the speaker generated quite a buzz throughout the school, with Rowan Khanna's guess being an Auror, the Minister for Magic, or a random Arithmancer, while Jacob's sibling thought to perhaps be the person Albus Dumbledore had been searching for throughout the school year. Professor Minerva McGonagall introduced her to the school in the Great Hall, with Rita adding a bit more detail, stating herself to be "a widely popular writer for the Daily Prophet".
She then gave a speech about the general wizarding world being curious about the happenings within Hogwarts; Cursed Vaults aside, there apparently were talks about Hogwarts having the most promising assemblage of students in years, and that, in order to find out who the brightest student was, Professor Dumbledore had given the Prophet permission to observe and conduct a friendly competition, with the winner featuring on a front page article in the Prophet to start. Rita then observed Potions, Transfiguration, Flying, and Charms classes, much to most of the instructors' annoyance.
Subsequent to her guest speaker role, Rita returned to Hogwarts to interview the staff as research for a book she was writing. She was particularly interested in uncovering Hogwarts's dark and dangerous secrets in the hopes her book would force the headmaster, who she had a dislike for, to step down. Jacob's sibling was assigned as a chaperone while she interviewed Hagrid, Torvus the Centaur, Silvanus Kettleburn, and inspected the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library.
Jacob's sibling reported her questions and motivations to Albus Dumbledore, who revealed to him that Rita was an unregistered Animagus who was using her abilities to eavesdrop at the time. Dumbledore convinced her to return to human form and they all came to an agreement to not expose Rita's abilities in exchange for her not publishing her book critical of Hogwarts.
International Confederation of Wizard's Conference
Rita covered the International Confederation of Wizards' Conference during the summer of 1994, describing Albus Dumbledore as an "obsolete dingbat".
1994 Quidditch World Cup
Following the Reappearance of the Dark Mark after the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, Skeeter penned a scathing report of the British Ministry of Magic's handling over the riots, accusing the Ministry of incompetence over their failure to catch any of the culprits.
These articles particularly angered Arthur Weasley for her obviously biased reporting, and he along with his son and fellow Ministry employee Percy Weasley had to head to the Ministry to help sort out the controversy, as she had mentioned Arthur in her article.
- Harry Potter: "I didn't. I don’t know how my name got into the Goblet of Fire. I didn’t put it in there."
- Rita: "Come now, Harry, there’s no need to be scared of getting into trouble. We all know you shouldn’t really have entered at all. But don’t worry about that. Our readers love a rebel."
- Harry Potter: "But I didn’t enter. I don’t know who —"
- Rita: "How do you feel about the tasks ahead? Excited? Nervous?"
- — Rita Skeeter interviewing Harry Potter[src]
That year, Rita was given the opportunity to interview the Triwizard Tournament contestants for an article in the Daily Prophet. Under the guise of interviewing all four champions, she confronted Harry Potter in a broom cupboard where she took his "um"s and "er"s and used them as material to make her own quotes where Harry had said them. Eventually, her "interview of the contestants" turned out to be a highly falsified story of Harry himself.
The article's falseness painted Harry as a tragic hero who cried himself to sleep over his late parents and who had a romantic relationship with Hermione Granger. The article was mostly taken negatively by Harry's schoolmates, who assumed he was craving attention, although Molly Weasley seemed to take it very seriously, to the point that she was particularly cool towards Hermione for a time until Harry assured her that the article was lying and he and Hermione had never dated. At some point after the first task, Albus Dumbledore had banned Rita from entering Hogwarts Castle, though.
- Rita Skeeter: "What are these fascinating creatures called?"
- Rubeus Hagrid: "Blast-Ended Skrewts."
- Rita Skeeter: "Really? I’ve never heard of them before... where do they come from?"
- — Rita Skeeter interviewing Hagrid about his strange creatures[src]
Rita then interviewed Rubeus Hagrid, asking many questions about Harry that Hagrid refused to answer. Her subsequent article described Hagrid as a ferocious-looking man who used his authority to terrify his students, but this interview's quote information was otherwise mostly true and unchanged. The article also revealed to the world that Hagrid was actually half-giant, which prompted letters from parents frightened by the idea of having a dangerous giant teaching their children and greatly upset Hagrid, subjecting him to ridicule and fear.
However, his mood was rallied when Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore visited him and assured him that they didn't care about his family being the vicious monsters everyone believed them to be. Giants really were vicious and brutal, but Hagrid obviously wasn't, so Professor Dumbledore insisted Hagrid deny any insults and return to work, as Harry and his friends didn't care about Hagrid's family due to their knowledge of him as a person.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione overheard her discussing the possibility of writing an embarrassing story about Ludo Bagman, head of Magical Games and Sports.
When Rita encountered Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Hogsmeade, Hermione insulted her for her libel. Rita, in retaliation, then wrote a nasty story about the "devious Miss Granger" based on false rumours provided by Pansy Parkinson, making her out to be a plain but skilled witch who used Love Potions to satisfy her "taste for famous wizards". Rita implied that Hermione was toying with the affections of both Harry and Krum. Although Hermione was more disdainful than upset about the article, she unfortunately started receiving angry mail from people who believed Rita's lies. Some of the hate mail even came with jinxes and curses; even Molly Weasley was upset with Hermione until Harry set her straight.
Rita's last defaming article stated that Harry was "disturbed and dangerous", and used comments from Draco and his fellow Slytherin best friends as its basis. Ultimately, Hermione discovered the means by which Rita spied on others and forced her to "keep her quill to herself for a full year" by catching her in her beetle form while she was perched on the Hospital Wing window and trapping her in a jar imbued with an Unbreakable Charm so she couldn't transform.
Hermione blackmailed Rita by threatening to report her to the authorities as an illegal Animagus to the Ministry of Magic, which would have severe legal consequences. Rita was forced to comply, and suffered financial strain as a result. Unfortunately her last article would discredit Harry and serve as the basis for Cornelius Fudge to refuse to believe Harry's story about Voldemort's return that would start the Ministry's smear campaign against Harry and Dumbledore.
- Rita: "But of course, Little Miss Perfect wouldn't want that story out there, would she?"
- Hermione Granger: "As a matter of fact, that's exactly what Little Miss Perfect does want."
- Rita: "You want me to report what he says about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?"
- — Discussion of Rita reporting Voldemort's return[src]
In 1995, Harry Potter's story that Lord Voldemort had returned was not believed by much of the wizarding world. Articles about his claims in the Daily Prophet portrayed him as either a delusional boy or an attention-seeking liar. Hermione Granger wanted to get the truth to the public, and thus instructed Rita to meet her and Luna Lovegood in Hogsmeade on 14 February 1996, in the Three Broomsticks Inn. As it was Rita who laid the foundation for the Prophet's defamation of Harry, with her initial stories about him, Hermione wanted her to also be the one to set the record straight. They were joined by Harry after his date with Cho Chang. Harry thought that Hermione and Rita were "the unlikeliest pair of drinking mates he could ever have imagined".
Rita was initially taken aback that Hermione wanted her to interview Harry, and then resentful, since Hermione demanded that she only write exactly what Harry said and not portray him and all he said in a negative way as the rest of the press was. Rita claimed the Prophet would not buy the story, reluctantly admitting that the Ministry of Magic was influencing it. Hermione told her that the interview would be printed in The Quibbler, which Luna's father edited, and although Rita responded with disdain, she "eyed Hermione shrewdly" for a few moments and then agreed. However, when she learned she was expected to conduct the interview free of charge, she was furious. Because Hermione was able to blackmail Rita with the threat of reporting her unregistered Animagus status to the Ministry, Rita grudgingly complied and wrote the article.
The interview was subsequently printed in The Quibbler, and became its best-selling issue of all time. It was banned at Hogwarts by High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge, which seemed to only increase its popularity. Editor Xenophilius Lovegood sold the article to the Prophet after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when Voldemort's return became public, and he and his daughter Luna used the money to travel to Sweden in search of the Crumple-Horned Snorkack.
The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore (1997)
- "Harry next recognised Rita Skeeter, who, he was infuriated to see, had a notebook clutched in her red-takmed hand."
- — Rita makes an appearance at Dumbledore's funeral[src]
Rita made a brief appearance at the end of the 1996–1997 school year, where Harry was infuriated to notice her clutching a notebook at Dumbledore's funeral in June 1997. It was, perhaps, her being present at the funeral that prompted her to write a biography of Albus Dumbledore, as within four weeks, she wrote a 900-page biography about him, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, which also included authentic old photos of the famed Hogwarts headmaster. Rita was interviewed by Betty Braithwaite, a fellow Daily Prophet reporter in her home, whom she treated very warmly, serving her tea and Pound cake and informing her of much gossip surrounding the book's release.
The book depicted the former headmaster in an extremely negative light but was mostly based on truth, much to Harry's horror. It was implied that she got some of her information in unethical or illegal ways, as much of the book's content was obtained through an interview Rita conducted with Bathilda Bagshot, a very elderly historian, where Skeeter used Veritaserum to gain information about Dumbledore's childhood. Skeeter stole photographs from Bagshot as well, and the subsequent novel sensationalised everything, implying that Dumbledore had dabbled in the Dark Arts and contributed to the death of his sister.
It turned out that Rita got at least some of her facts straight for once, but had no idea of the true story behind certain fabrications, such as her claiming that Ariana Dumbledore was a Squib, and that her mother was ashamed of her, when in reality she suffered from uncontrollable bursts of magic due to a highly traumatic experience when she was around six.
Later life (1997-2017)
- "Naturally, what could stop Rita [from still reporting]? I imagine she immediately dashed off a biography of Harry after he defeated Voldemort. One quarter truth to three quarters rubbish."
- — J. K. Rowling regarding Rita's later life
Following Voldemort's death, Skeeter wrote a biography of Harry Potter that was known for being only about one-quarter true, as well as one about Severus Snape titled Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?. The latter added to her series of hatchet jobs on former headmasters of Hogwarts, along with The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore and Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?
Skeeter visited Hogwarts with Linderina Crane during the 2010–2011 school year and attempted to interview Daniel Page, but gave up when he didn't feel like divulging anything. However, this didn't stop her from writing an article that exposed the criminal identity of Daniel's family members. She also wrote about Crane's failure to capture NOTME, which put an end to her investigations and might have even cost her her career at the Ministry.
In April 2014, just before the opening matches of the 427th Quidditch World Cup, Brazilian manager José Barboza called the Welsh Chasers "talentless hags" over drinks with Rita Skeeter. These remarks became public, and Welsh manager Gwenog Jones promptly threatened to "curse [his] face off". This created a large tension between Jones and Barboza, culminating in a brawl between the two following the Brazil vs. Wales match of the quarter-finals, on 4 June: Gwenog Jones attempted to keep her promise to curse off Barboza's face in full view of the packed stadium — the Welsh manager was dragged from the pitch by her own Beaters, and was later put in custody; and the Daily Prophet later reported that Healers confirmed Barboza's skin had almost regrown.
Rita Skeeter wrote a gossip column in The Daily Prophet about the Quidditch World Cup on 8 July, 2014, in which she mentioned that she was about to publish a new book about Dumbledore's Army on 31 July called Dumbledore's Army: The Dark Side of the Demob.
Rita Skeeter reported live from the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup in the Patagonian Desert, on 11 July 2014. Instead of focusing on the players, she spent the match spying on VIP Box Two in which the most prominent members of Dumbledore's Army were watching the game. Ginny Potter, with Rita at the journalists' enclosure, repeatedly made corrections to her reports, until, shortly after the match ended, Rita remarked that her husband Harry Potter was "publicity-hungry" — just as Ginny was approaching, Rita was taken "unaccountably ill" with what some called "a jinx to the solar plexus".
In 2017, Rita published a new book: Man or Monster? The TRUTH about Newt Scamander; like the rest of her books, most of it was rubbish-- one claim even stated that Newt Scamander broke Seraphina Picquery's heart in 1926, something which he revealed was untrue in his own book.
Skeeter was described as having blonde hair set in elaborate curls that contrasted oddly with her heavy-jawed face. She wore jewelled spectacles studded with rhinestones, and had thick fingers ending in two-inch nails, painted crimson. Her blonde curls were curiously rigid, suggesting it was styled with the magical equivalent of hairspray. In addition, she had pencilled-on eyebrows and three gold teeth, as well as large, masculine hands. Her bright scarlet painted fingernails and toenails were usually likened to claws or talons.
She was known to carry with her a crocodile-skin handbag, inside of which she carried her acid green Quick-Quotes Quill. She usually wore magenta-coloured robes but also wore clothes of green leather with maroon furs at the collar and sleeves.
Apparently, unemployment did not serve Rita well, as when she showed up during the year she was blackmailed by Hermione not to write, Rita's nails were chipped, she was missing fake stones in her glasses, and her hair was lank and unkempt. As in her unregistered Animagus beetle form, her antennas were curled to resemble her curls in her hair and she had marking around her antennas resembling her jewelled glasses.
Personality and traits
Rita was an unregistered Animagus, wherein she took the form of a beetle and was able to slip around undetected and spy on unsuspecting company so she could obtain gossip for her articles which she later exaggerated and exploited to gain the attention of the masses. Her ability to turn into a beetle also reflected how irritating and bothersome she was to other people, particularly Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, and it also displayed her dishonest and cunning characteristics. Rita also wrote primarily for the Daily Prophet, though some of her articles have also appeared in other sources, such as Witch Weekly and The Quibbler. Skeeter worked closely alongside Bozo, her photographer.
Rita was extremely nosy and willing to do anything for a good story — from spying on people in her Animagus form of a beetle to sensationalising or outright inventing stories. She also took advantage of elderly Bathilda Bagshot's possibly fragile state of mind (even giving her Veritaserum) in order to dig up dirt on the late Albus Dumbledore for her extremely critical biography. She did this despite the use of such a powerful truth serum being heavily controlled by the Ministry. Rita tended to portray the people she wrote about poorly, presumably because it sold more stories.
- "I wonder if I could have a little word with Harry before we start? The youngest champion, you know... to add a bit of colour?"
- — Rita Skeeter requesting she interview Harry Potter, showing her desire to create interesting stories[src]
However, she could also be very vindictive and spiteful towards those she disliked. For example, after Hermione Granger insulted her, Rita printed a completely false story about Hermione using love potions to toy with the hearts of both Harry Potter and Viktor Krum. This resulted in Hermione receiving hate mail, but she eventually got her revenge and blackmailed Rita into refraining from writing for a year. After this time period was up, Rita returned to her writing with as much gusto and as little scruples as before.
Rita also appeared to be highly prejudiced against half-giants and wizards who spoke Parseltongue. She had no qualms in writing a hurtful and slanderous article about Rubeus Hagrid just because he was a half-giant, and another similarly slanderous article about Harry just because of his ability to speak Parseltongue, even though he was not a dark wizard. Rita seemed to take great pleasure in writing malicious articles about those she wished to slander and ridicule.
Despite her inaccuracies and biased articles, Rita seemed to be a fast writer and researcher, as she managed to finish a nine-hundred-page book in four weeks.
Rita seemed to have a somewhat low opinion of the intelligence of her average reader, based on her style of reporting. In a previous article she once referred to Hermione Granger as being "stunningly pretty," only to then describe her in an article published just a few months later as "a plain, but ambitious girl." She also stated regarding the Daily Prophet that it "exists to sell itself."
While she had a huge disregard for her interviewee's reputations and journalistic integrity, Rita deeply feared her own status as an unregistered animagus being revealed to the world. She gave up a year's worth of article writing when blackmailed by Hermione Granger (her main means of making a living) as she knew the alternate consequences would be a sentence in Azkaban. However, while Hermione thought this one year of abstinence would curb Skeeter's ill-habit of writing hurtful articles, she was wrong, as once the deal has reached its end, she swiftly and shamelessly returned to her old ways of writing sensationalist and dishonest journalism.
Magical abilities and skills
- Animagus: Rita had mastered an incredibly complex branch of Transfiguration, becoming an unregistered beetle Animagus. She did this to get information and gossip without being detected. However, Dumbledore has caught her when she, in her Animagus form, was eavesdropping on Dumbledore and Jacob's sibling's conversation.
- Potions: Being an unregistered Animagus, she would have needed to have successfully brewed an Animagus potion, in order to gain the ability to transform, a highly advanced and complex potion which requires a high level of skill to concoct correctly. Rita was also likely capable of brewing Veritaserum, which she once used on Bathilda Bagshot.
- Charms: Rita had the ability to conjure at least a non-corporeal Patronus, a highly advanced and powerful protective charm and a mark of superior magical skill. She could also effortlessly cast simple charms, such as the Fire-Making Spell and Levitation Charm, which she also could cast non-verbally.
- "She unsnapped her crocodile-skin handbag and pulled out a handful of candles, which she lit with a wave of her wand and magicked into midair, so that they could see what they were doing."
- — Rita using non-verbal magic[src]
- Nonverbal magic: Skeeter lit several candles from her handbag and levitated them into the air, with her wand without saying the incantation. This implies she was a powerful witch, given the difficulty of casting nonverbal spells. Dumbledore had acknowledged her skills in Nonverbal magic as 'ironic' given her irritatingly talkative personality.
- Journalistic skills: As one of the main editors for the Daily Prophet, she was a very talented journalist and had years of experience in the field, having taken part in assessing the Death Eater trials after the first Wizarding War ended. Her primary work, the Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, was mostly based on true information, much to the disdain of many such as Harry Potter, showing her to be a skilled researcher and writer as well.
- "You won’t mind, Harry, if I use a Quick-Quotes Quill? It leaves me free to talk to you normally...."
- — Rita's preference for her Quick-Quotes Quill[src]
- Wand: Rita owned a wand of an unknown length, wand wood and core material.
- Quick-Quotes Quill: Rita owned a Quick Quotes Quill, for which she used for writing her sensationalist and fabricated newspaper articles.
- House: Rita owned a house in which she resided in her as her home, which was described as being cosy.
- Candles: Rita owned some candles for lighting dark places, which she kept in her handbag.
- Glasses: Rita wore a pair of spectacles that were adorned with rhinestones, which she wore for daily use.
- Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?
- Biography of Harry Potter with unknown title (1998)
- Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?
- Man or Monster? The TRUTH about Newt Scamander
- A piece about the International Confederation of Wizards' Conference, describing Albus Dumbledore as an "obsolete dingbat".
- A piece about Gringotts Curse-Breaker in which she referred to Bill Weasley as a "long-haired pillock."
- One about the Quidditch World Cup aftermath.
- One about the mistakes made by the Ministry of Magic concerning the disappearance of Bertha Jorkins as well as the attack on Alastor Moody.
- One about Harry Potter being a Triwizard Champion who supposedly cried himself to sleep over his late parents.
- One about Rubeus Hagrid, portraying him as a ferocious half-giant.
- One about Hermione Granger allegedly dating both Harry Potter and Viktor Krum.
- One about Harry Potter supposedly being dangerous (before the Third Task).
- An interview with Harry Potter in which he described Lord Voldemort's return. This was likely Skeeter's most accurate article, since Hermione Granger arranged it and would have informed the Ministry of Skeeter's status as an unregistered Animagus had she lied.
- One about the reunion of some Dumbledore's Army members at the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, telling what they become along with false insinuations about them.
- Rita Skeeter: "Congratulations, Harry! I wonder if you could give me a quick word? How you felt facing that dragon? How do you feel now about the fairness of the scoring?"
- Harry Potter: "Yeah you can have a word, Goodbye."
- — Rita trying to get an interview with Harry Potter after defeating a dragon in the First Task[src]
Rita Skeeter first met Harry Potter in 1994 when Hogwarts was housing the Triwizard Tournament, which Harry's name shot surprising from the Goblet of Fire. She immediately tried to get an interview with Harry Potter, but did not get the chance until the the Weighing of the Wands, which she did inside a small broom cupboard. After the interview she dedicated a whole page of the Daily Prophet for his interview, which greatly annoyed Amos Diggory, the father of Cedric, another Hogwarts champion.
Shortly before the First Task she tried to get another interview but was interrupted by Viktor Krum and Hermione Granger and was told to leave, Skeeter ended up getting her revenge on Hermione several times after this in Witch Weekly and the Daily Prophet. After Harry defeated the Hungarian Horntail and retrieved his egg, Rita tried to get another interview to which Harry refused. Harry did not see Rita Skeeter again until the next year where he gave her an interview for The Quibbler announcing the return of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, which she did bitterly.
- Rita Skeeter: "I'm supposed to do this for free?"
- Hermione Granger: "Well yes. Other as you very well know, I will inform the authorities that you are an unregistered Animagus. Of course, the Prophet might give you rather a lot for an insider's account of life in Azkaban"
- — Hermione forcing Rita to do an interview of Harry Potter about the return of Lord Voldemort[src]
Rita Skeeter clashed with Hermione several times during both The Triwizard Tournament, and during the denial of Lord Voldemort's return. She publicly shamed Hermione for her relationship with Viktor Krum and her supposed relationship with Harry Potter. When Hermione confronted and insulted Rita for having written horrible untruths about her friends, Rita vindictively responded by writing an article that painted Hermione as a "scarlet woman" who used her intellect and charm to toy with the affections of famous wizards. This caused Hermione to receive a large amount of hate mail, at least two of which were intended to cause significant harm to her, and be treated coldly by Molly Weasley who otherwise was very nice to her.
In return, Hermione furiously vowed to get revenge on Rita if it was the last thing she ever did. After researching for half a year about how Rita could possibly be getting her information despite being nowhere near, and an unintentionally helpful hint from Harry, Hermione deduced that she was an unregistered Anigmagus and blackmailed her into keeping quiet for a whole year under threat of being exposed, which would otherwise land her in severe trouble. Hermione used this as leverage to get Rita to do an interview with Harry for The Quibbler without any charge. She called Hermione "Miss Prissy" and "Little Miss Perfect" due to her dislike of her.
- "Dear Batty, Thanks for your help. Here's a copy of the book; hope you like it. You said everything, even if you don't remember it. Rita."
- — Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda[src]
In 1997 Rita Skeeter travelled to Godric's Hollow to meet Bagshot and used Veritaserum to get vital information for her book on Albus Dumbledore, after her little interview she left a small note and her own copy of the Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. Which was later taken by Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, and it is unknown to whether Harry or Hermione kept the book, and it is unlikely that they did.
- Rita is a short form of the name Margarita, a Latinate form of the name Margaret. The name is derived from the Greek μαργαρίτης, margarites, meaning "pearl."
- Skeeter is a slang term for a "mosquito". This could be a reference to her Animagus form, which is an insect, her irritating personality, or to her career in tabloid journalism. The word paparazzi is derived from an Italian word for "mosquito". "Skeet" is also an Anglo-Manx colloquialism for gossip or an act of nosiness. Skeeter could also be a pun off of how annoying Skeeter's lies tend to be, as people tend to find mosquitoes annoying and attempt to swat them away.
- The character is similar to the "poison pen" biographer Kitty Kelley. Both have a semi-rhyming name with an animal reference, and each is known for writing scandalous unauthorised biographies that largely consist of publishing every available, unsubstantiated rumour about an individual. There is an interesting similarity in phrases used to describe the two authors. Skeeter was called "enchantingly nasty" by Albus Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire, and Kelley was called "encyclopedically vicious", by the New York Times while reviewing her biography of Nancy Reagan.
Behind the scenes
- According to Skeeter herself, the British Ministry of Magic have told her exactly 514 times that it does not comment on the top-secret work of the Auror Office. Whether this is just under Kingsley Shacklebolt or throughout Skeeter's entire career is unknown.
- Rita may have been a classmate of Bellatrix Lestrange, as both witches were born in 1951, as well as Arthur and Molly Weasley, who were a year ahead of her. But even if they both went to Hogwarts, it cannot be guaranteed they were in the same year because of their unspecified birth months. It was also never confirmed if Rita attended Hogwarts.
- As of the end of the Second Wizarding War, Rita is the only known living unregistered Animagus.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rita is shown to be particularly friendly towards several Slytherin students at Hogwarts, such as Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson, whom she received slanderous information from regarding individuals she intended to slander in her writings. This could imply that Rita was a member of Slytherin house herself, if she attended Hogwarts in her youth, which was likely.
- During an interview on BBC Radio 4, Rowling admitted that Rita was originally called Bridget and appeared in the first draft of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, trying to interview Harry Potter in the Leaky Cauldron on his 11th birthday. She later cut the character from the final draft, wanting Rita to appear in Harry's fourth year, just when his fame starts to oppress him.
- In the German audio books, Rita speaks with an American accent.
- Rita's tendency to write sensationalised and untrue stories about high profile members of the wizarding community is similar to (and may be a direct parody of) tabloid magazines stirring up stories about celebrities, politicians, and the economic elite. This can be seen in her shock-jock style of writing and purposeful misrepresentation of people's character in order to garner readership that prove to be consistently untrue and slanderous, with her interview with Harry about Voldemort's return being the only verified and totally accurate publication of hers to date.
- Rita is voiced by Annette Badland in the audiobook version of Quidditch Through the Ages.
- In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Rita appears as the side quest Daily Prophet cover competition, where she set competition in Potions, Transfiguration, Charms and duelling. As Jacob's sibling's house has been trailing in the House competition for some time, despite carrying the house all year, it is a good chance to praise the professors after the lesson to gain points in Charms and Transfiguration. In the duelling portion, you can choose to duel against Merula again, or against Penny Haywood (the second-weakest Charms student after Rowan when they were in Year 3) or Bill Weasley, the strongest duellist of the three.
- Rita Skeeter was portrayed by English actress Miranda Richardson in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, who portrayed Mrs Melisha Tweedy in Chicken Run, Queen Elizabeth I in Blackadder, Mrs Rose Arbutnot in Enchanted April, Lady Mary Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow (who is also a witch, albeit an evil one), and Madame Giry in The Phantom Of The Opera.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Rita uses a spiral-bound Muggle legal pad to conduct Harry's "interview." She is also seen using a Muggle ink pen during Igor Karkaroff's trial. It is established in the literary canon that the wizarding world uses loose parchment and quills for writing.
- Skeeter was not revealed to be an animagus in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and thus it did not include Hermione's later blackmailing of her.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when Harry points out that they're in a broom cupboard, Rita points out that he should "feel right at home", referring to the fact that Harry in his earlier life lived in the cupboard under the stairs at the Dursley house, hinting she knew about his childhood. Alternatively, she could have been alerting to the fact that it contained brooms, referring to his love of flying and quidditch; or otherwise hinting that Harry, like a number of students before him, is used to spending time kissing in broom cupboards, despite the fact that he didn't have his first kiss until his fifth year in the Room of Requirement.
- Although Rita has three gold teeth in the books, she does not in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Miranda Richardson and director Mike Newell both felt that they were not right for Rita, with Miranda pointing out that gold teeth would make Rita appear 'unapproachable'. Instead, she chose to have a diamond in one of her teeth, saying that it was "the perfect embellishment for... an amalgam of sparkling brilliance and total hardness".
- Rita does not appear in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- In Harry Potter Limited Edition, it is described that in the films, it was conceived by Jany Temime that Rita would always dress for the story that she was reporting on.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game) (Appears on the collectable card)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Appears in photographs)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017 edition) (Mentioned in forward)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only) (Appears in audiobook version)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter Limited Edition
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Notes and references
- As Rita was not imprisoned in Azkaban by the Muggle-Born Registration Commission in 1997, it is most likely that she was not a Muggle-born witch.
- Newt Scamander refered to Rita as Miss Skeeter in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017 edition).
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - see this picture.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 10 (Mayhem at the Ministry)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - "She had short blonde hair, was wearing magenta robes, and was sucking the end of an acid-green quill. It was, unmistakably, a younger Rita Skeeter."
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 18 (The Weighing of the Wands)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Pottermore - DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY REUNITES AT QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP FINAL (Archived)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 25 (The Beetle at Bay)
- 30 July, 2007 chat transcription at The Leaky Cauldron
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Wizarding World Famous"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Side Quest "Rita Returns"
- 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 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 38 (The Second War Begins)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2 (In Memoriam)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
- 30 July, 2007 chat transcription at Bloomsbury site
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
- Pottermore - BRAZIL VERSUS WALES (Archived)
- Pottermore - Quidditch World Cup 1990 - 2014 (Archived)
- Pottermore - 2014 Quidditch World Cup final (Archived)
- Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter 1 (Minerva McGonagall)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 13 (Mad-Eye Moody)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 19 (The Hungarian Horntail)
- Behind the Name: Rita
- Behind the Name: Margaret
- Paparazzi on Wikipedia
- Manx loanwords on Wikipedia
- Desert Island Discs Podcast
- "J.K.Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival (15/08/2004)" at Accio Quote
- News: "Andrew Lincoln will narrate new digital audiobook of Quidditch Through the Ages" at Pottermore
- Miranda Richardson - IMDb
- Miranda Richardson to reprise Rita Skeeter role in Deathly Hallows - Snitchseeker
|Before registration system|
|Falco Aesalon (Falcon) · Cliodna (Sea Bird) · Morgan le Fay (Bird) · Morrigan (Crow)|
|Minerva McGonagall (Cat) · Adrian Tutley (Gerbil) · Talbott Winger's mother (White Swan) · Unidentified witch (Black cat) · Five unidentified individuals (Unknown)|
|Sirius Black (Black dog) · Olivier Kikkert (Frog) · Peter Pettigrew (Rat) · James Potter (Stag) · Rita Skeeter (Beetle) · Talbott Winger (Eagle)|
|Unknown registry status|
|Bly (Lemur) · Jacob's sibling (Brown dog, Black and white cat or Eagle) · Lottie Turner's father (Butterfly)|
|Babbitty Rabbity (Rabbit)|
|Daily Prophet employees|
|Editor-in-chief||Barnabas Cuffe||Reporters||A. Fenetre · Andy Smudgley · Betty Braithwaite · Chief sports writer · Eduardus Lima · E. Limaria · E. Limus · Emma Squiggle · Kikis Trecus · L. Limuria · Miras Phlaras · M. Amerinus · M. Carneirus · Peter Blotting · R. Almeidas · Rita Skeeter|
|Security Editor||R. Amorim|
|Correspondents||Rita Skeeter (Gossip) · Ginny Potter (Quidditch)||Columnists||D. Shaman · Dempster Wiggleswade · E. Limus · Grizel Hurtz · Helbert Spleen · Limunus · Dr. Medusa · Winkus Oddpick · Zamira Gulch|
|Photographers||Adrian · Bozo|
|Chief Consulting Magizoologist||Rolf Scamander||Newspaper vendors||Paper-owls · Ministry of Magic newspaper vendor|