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Ludo Bagman: "Well, what d'you think? Growing nicely, aren't they? Give them a month and Hagrid'll have them twenty feet high. Don't worry, you'll have your Quidditch field back to normal once the task is over! Now, I imagine you can guess what we're making here?"
Viktor Krum: "Maze"
Ludo Bagman: "That's right! A maze. The third task's really very straightforward. The Triwizard Cup will be placed in the center of the maze. The first champion to touch it will receive full marks."
— Bagman introducing the four Champions to the maze[src]

On 24 June, 1995, the Triwizard Maze was grown on the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch for the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament for the four champions to navigate.[1]

The maze was populated by various obstacles and dangers that each Champion had to overcome.[1] Bartemius Crouch Junior, as Professor Moody, was entrusted with placing the Triwizard Cup at the centre of the maze. While doing this, he enchanted the Cup to become a Portkey that would be activated by touching the object.[2]



Harry Potter: "They're hedges!"
Ludo Bagman: "Growing nicely, aren't they? Give them a month and Hagrid'll have them twenty feet high."
— Harry Potter and Ludo Bagman regarding the hedges[src]

Exactly one month before the Third Task, the four Champions were brought to the Quidditch pitch, where they received a briefing on what the task was.[3] Cedric and Harry were dismayed to discover that the pitch had been planted with hedges, but Ludo Bagman was quick to reassure them that it would be restored to pristine condition once the Task was finished.[3] The Champions were informed that the object of the Task was to navigate the labyrinth, which would be seeded with various spells and creatures. Their objective was to reach the Triwizard Cup, located in the center of the maze. The first Champion to touch the Cup would be the outright winner.[3]

Immediately following this meeting, Viktor Krum asked Harry for a private conversation, to Bagman's apparent dismay. Bagman was about to offer Harry help once again. While Harry and Krum were speaking, Mr. Crouch appeared out of the Forbidden Forest.[3] While Harry ran to the school to get Professor Dumbledore, Crouch disappeared. Before disappearing Krum was stunned. Karkaroff (summoned to the scene) accused Dumbledore of interfering with his Champion, but retreated after a forceful response from Hagrid.[3]

Presumably, the Ministry checked Mr. Crouch's house and found it empty. Percy Weasley (who had been filling in for Mr. Crouch), was chastised for not being aware that his boss was in such dire shape, and was replaced as a judge for the Third Task by Minister Fudge.[1]

The maze

Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory in the maze

Harry and Cedric, tying for first place after two tasks, were to enter the maze first, followed by Viktor, and then Fleur. The first Champion to successfully navigate the maze and reach the Cup would be declared the winner. During the task, Cedric encountered a Blast-Ended Skrewt, which he barely escaped from. Harry had to deal with a Boggart in the form of a Dementor, and overcame an odd golden mist which turned things upside-down.[1]

Crouch Jnr, however, was leaving nothing to chance. Using Moody's magical eye, he watched events unfold in the maze, keeping the more dangerous obstacles out of Harry's path. He also Stunned Fleur, and placed the Imperius Curse on Viktor. He used Viktor to attack Cedric with the Cruciatus Curse in order to clear Harry's path to the Cup.[2]

Creatures within the maze

"It had the body of an over-large lion: great clawed paws and a long yellowish tail ending in a brown tuft. Its head, however, was that of a woman. She turned her long, almond-shaped eyes upon Harry as he approached."
— Harry Potter's description of the Sphinx in the maze[src]

The Sphinx within the maze

Harry encountered the Blast-Ended Skrewt that had attacked Cedric, then heard Cedric being tortured, and rescued him by Stunning Viktor. Cedric and Harry parted company, and Harry had to answer a riddle from a Sphinx to continue on into the maze.[1]

The Champion, encountering the Sphinx, could choose to try and solve the riddle. If they chose not to attempt it, they could proceed towards the center via an alternate route, if there was one. If they attempted the riddle, and answered wrong, they would be killed — or at least eliminated from the competition. Harry chose to answer the riddle, and answered it correctly.[1]

Conclusion of the Third Task

Cedric and Harry grasping the Triwizard Cup

Cedric and Harry joined forces to defeat an Acromantula, before they both arrived at the Cup together. After an argument over who deserved to win more, they decided to take the Cup together, since it would still be a Hogwarts victory. Touching the Cup at the same moment, they activated it as a Portkey, and were transported out of the maze.[1]

This led them to Little Hangleton where Harry witnessed the Return of the Dark Lord and participated in the Duel in Little Hangleton. Cedric was killed by Peter Pettigrew,[4] but Harry was able to escape by touching the cup again, and taking Cedric's body back. He appeared again at the start of the maze.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the maze lacks all of the obstacles in the book. Instead, the hedge maze itself is the obstacle, as it seems to be alive: it contracts and moves at random patterns, as well as reacting to and attacking the champions, especially if they stand still for too long. Also, the maze seems to occupy all the valley next to the Castle, instead of just the Quidditch Pitch.


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 32 (Flesh, Blood and Bone)
The Triwizard Tournament
Triwizard Cup.png
Objects & Locations: Goblet of FireCasketGolden eggHedge MazeTriwizard Cup
Schools: BeauxbatonsDurmstrangHogwarts
1994-1995 Triwizard Champions: Fleur DelacourViktor KrumCedric DiggoryHarry Potter