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"The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities — until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued."
Albus Dumbledore explaining the tournament[src]

The Triwizard Tournament was a magical contest held between the three largest wizarding schools of Europe: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, each school being represented by one champion. Selected champions compete in three tasks — traditionally judged by the Headmasters or Headmistresses of the competing schools — designed to test magical ability, intelligence, and courage. Champions competed for the honour and glory of winning the Tournament, for the Triwizard Cup, and a monetary prize. The first Tournament was held sometime around the late 13th century.[1][3]

The Tournament was notorious for being extremely dangerous: many champions died while competing, and it was discontinued at some point in or after 1792, due to the high death toll.[1]

In 1994, the Tournament was revived with restrictions in place in an attempt to stop potential deaths.[1] One of these restrictions was that all applicants had to be over the wizarding age of majority (which is 17), or else they would not be allowed to apply to be champion.[2] The 1994 Triwizard Tournament is famous for having had four competing champions instead of three, [2] and for also having ended in tragedy with the death of Cedric Diggory and for the Rebirth of Lord Voldemort.[4] No subsequent tournaments were held following Cedric's death.[5]

Tournament history

The Triwizard Tournament was established approximately seven-hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the wizarding schools the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, and the Durmstrang Institute. Held every five years, the competition would be hosted by each school in turn, the judges for the Tournament comprising the headmasters or headmistresses of the schools.[1]

There had been at least 125 editions of the Tournament: Hogwarts had 63 wins, and Beauxbatons had 62.[3]

Due to the risks involved in overcoming the extremely dangerous tasks, and an increasing number of deaths, the Tournament was eventually discontinued at some point in or after the 1790s. Multiple attempts had been made to revive the Tournament, but none succeeded until the 1994–1995 school year, when it was held at Hogwarts Castle.[1] Despite a new set of rules imposed to prevent any more deaths, a champion nevertheless died at the end, though this only occurred due to the tournament being sabotaged.[4] Due to this, the tournament had been permanently discontinued.[5]

1792 Triwizard Tournament

"Well, the Heads of the participating schools are always on the panel, because all three of them were injured during the Tournament of 1792, when a cockatrice the champions were supposed to be catching went on the rampage. It's all in Hogwarts: A History."
— A description of the Tournament[src]

The Triwizard Tournament was held in 1792, and one of the tasks involved catching a cockatrice. However, the beast went on a rampage and injured three of the judges, the Heads of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The event was recorded in the book Hogwarts, A History, indicating that the 1792 Tournament was possibly held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Tournament was cancelled after this incident, but several unsuccessful attempts were made to resurrect it.[6]

1994 Triwizard Tournament

"Oh, details! They've signed, haven't they? They've agreed haven't they? I bet you anything these kids'll know soon enough anyway. I mean it's happening at Hogwarts —"
Ludo Bagman regarding the tournament[src]

Barty Crouch Snr, Head of the Department of International Magical Co-operation

A revival of the Tournament occurred in 1994. Barty Crouch Snr, Head of the Ministry of Magic's Department of International Magical Co-operation, in conjunction with Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, worked with their opposite numbers in other countries to revive the Tournament. However, due to the dangerous nature of the Tournament, it was decided that some changes were to be made to the rules, with the main one being that no student under the age of seventeen was allowed to enter or compete (some students did try to).[2] The Tournament preparations were shrouded in secrecy, although Cornelius Fudge was obliged to inform the Muggle Prime Minister that the Ministry would be importing several dragons from Romania, as well as a sphinx from Egypt, for use in the competition.[7]

School Durmstrang Beauxbatons Hogwarts
Headmaster Igor Karkaroff Olympe Maxime Albus Dumbledore
Champion[2] Viktor Krum Fleur Delacour Cedric Diggory Harry Potter
First Task (24 November, 1994[8])
Order of participation[8] 3 2 1 4
Opponent[8] Chinese Fireball Common Welsh Green Swedish Short-Snout Hungarian Horntail
Method[8] Conjunctivitis Curse Bewitched sleep Rock to dog spell Flying (Summoning Charm bringing his Firebolt)
Placement[8] 1 3 2 1
Yull Ball (25 December, 1994)
Date Hermione Granger Roger Davies Cho Chang Parvati Patil
Second Task (24 February, 1995[9])
Hostage[9] Hermione Granger Gabrielle Delacour Cho Chang Ronald Weasley
Method[9] Partial-human to shark spell Bubble-Head Charm Gillyweed
Score[9] 40 25 47 45
Placement[9] 2 3 1
Third Task (24 June, 1995[10])
Order of participation[10] 2 3 1

End of the Tournament

"Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort... The Ministry of Magic does not wish me to tell you this... It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory."
— Dumbledore speaking to all of the students[src]

The Beauxbatons carriage and the Durmstrang ship leaving Hogwarts at the end of the year, side by side

Returning to Hogwarts with Cedric's body, Harry was promptly whisked away from the crowds by Crouch Jnr, still in the disguise of Professor Moody. As the assembled crowd learned that Cedric was dead, Dumbledore realised that something was amiss with Moody, since the real Moody would never have taken Harry away from the tragic scene.[4]

In Moody's office, Crouch Jnr started to question Harry about what had happened, and how it felt to stand in the Dark Lord's presence. Harry, unnerved by Moody's seeming adoration of Voldemort — something that went against everything he knew about Moody — was shortly rescued by Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape. Soon the effects of Crouch Jnr's Polyjuice Potion wore off, since, in the excitement, he had neglected to take it at the proper time to maintain his cover, and his duplicity was revealed. Under the effects of Veritaserum provided by Professor Snape, Crouch described Lord Voldemort's plan to resurrect himself and Crouch Jnr's own involvement in getting Harry to the graveyard.[4]

Dumbledore passed the information of Lord Voldemort's return to Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, who had been acting as a judge for the Third Task. Because he had been reading Rita Skeeter's slanderous reports, Fudge insisted that he could not be back. Meanwhile, Fudge had a Dementor Kiss Crouch Jnr, effectively eliminating any corroborating testimony of the Dark Lord's return. In the face of the Ministry's refusal to accept the truth, Dumbledore reconstituted the Order of the Phoenix to stand against Voldemort.[11]

Memorial for the deceased Cedric Diggory

Despite Cedric's death, Harry was recorded as the official winner of the Tournament and given the thousand Galleons prize money; there was originally supposed to be an award ceremony, which was cancelled due to the circumstances. He attempted to give it to Cedric's parents, but they refused it.[12] In the end, he gave the money to Fred and George Weasley,[12] who used it to establish Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.[12][13]

Right after Harry's victory, two judges of the Tournament fled far away immediately. Karkaroff felt Voldemort's return and summoning all Death Eaters, and being one who sold out many of his comrades, he abandoned the tournament's results for the sake of his life. Bagman made a bet against his goblin creditors that Harry would win the tournament, but they accounted that Harry and Cedric won together. Therefore not what Bagman wagered on, Ludo fled to avoid paying a highly increased debt that he could not afford to.[12]

Because of the Ministry's denials that Lord Voldemort had returned, Cedric's death was labelled a tragic accident,[14] and it was not until a year later when Fudge saw with his own eyes that the Dark Lord had returned, that the true cause of Cedric's death was made public.[15]

As a result of a champion's death despite the new safety regulations imposed, the Triwizard Tournament was discontinued permanently, and no further plans were made to reinstate it.[5]

Rules and customs

Each competing school was allowed one champion to represent them during the Tournament. Students wishing to participate wrote their names and the school they attended on a piece of parchment and entered it into the Goblet of Fire. The Goblet was an impartial judge, and selected what it considered to be the best student from each school. At the appointed time, the Goblet ejected the names, making each selected student the official champion for their school. Each selected champion was then bound by a magical contract to see the Tournament through to the end.[2]

Each Tournament consisted of three tasks designed to test the champions' courage, intelligence, resourcefulness, and magical ability.[16] These tasks were exceedingly dangerous and differ from year to year.[1]

Champions received marks in each of the tasks from a panel of judges, consisting of the headmasters or headmistresses of the competing schools.[8][9]

Each champion was supposed to stand alone during the Tournament, receiving no outside help from anyone, including friends and teachers. Cheating was frowned upon, though it had been known to take place several times during the history of the Tournament, and some people believed it to have been a traditional part of the event.[8]

The Yule Ball, held on Christmas Day night, was a traditional part of the Tournament.[17][18] The Ball included a feast, and a formal dance where the champions and their partners led the host school in dancing.[18] Students old enough to attend were allowed to bring a friend. Students that were too young to attend might attend if invited by a student old enough to attend the ball.[17][18]

During the 1994 Tournament, new rules were added in counter to the previous death tolls, hoping to keep the participants safe. One such rule was that no student under the age of 17 may participate in the tournament.[2] It was due to Cedric Diggory's death despite these new safety measures that led the tournament to be cancelled permanently.[5]

Behind the scenes

  • It is likely that the Triwizard Tournament could be viewed as the Wizarding equivalent to the Olympic Games. Champions, all representing their respective schools/nations, compete for honour and glory in games designed to test their abilities, with each Champion's respective school supporting that champion even if they do not like the individual student (shades of the fans of the Olympics supporting their home countries athletes, with no regard for personal favour of any one athlete). Even the judges of the Triwizard Tournament sit in booths and hover their scores over their heads like Olympic judges.
  • The likely date for the first Triwizard Tournament differs depending on the source. From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament) "The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago ..." 1994 - 700 = 1294 (or so). However, Pottermore notes that Hogwarts has 63 wins, Beauxbaton has 62, so a minimum of 125 tournaments have been held (if Durmstrang has no wins). 125 tournaments *5 years = 625 years. Taking the last traditional Triwizard Tournament in 1794 - 625 = 1169. Even if some of the wins accounted for on Pottermore are from modern-day tournaments (1994 and after) the latest date possible for the first tournament is around 1194. Of course, it is possible that on some occasions, the Tournaments were held more often than every five years, for unknown reasons.
  • During the 1994-1995 tournament, the prize was 1000 Galleons. It is not stated if the prize value has been consistent throughout the tournament's history. According to Quidditch Through the Ages, 1000 Galleons in the 13th century would have amounted to several million in modern currency.
  • J. K. Rowling revealed that at some point during the writing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard Tournament went by the name of "Doomspell Tournament".[19]
  • Hagrid says in the book that he never thought he'd live to see the Triwizard Tournament played again. However, the Tournament was supposed to be cancelled in 1792. This can be assumed to be another unsuccessful attempt to resurrect it.
  • The Dutch translation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire erroneously states that the incident at the 1792 tournament was caused by a basilisk, rather than a cockatrice. This is an error, as the breeding of basilisks was banned since medieval times, and using one in the Triwizard Tournament would be far too dangerous since its gaze alone could kill the entire audience. This error is probably caused by the fact that the mythology behind cockatrices and basilisks is so similar that many people use their names interchangeably.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Beauxbatons Academy of Magic" at Wizarding World
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 1 (The Other Minister)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 20 (The First Task)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 26 (The Second Task)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr Crouch)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 6 (The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black)
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 12 (Professor Umbridge)
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
  16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 22 (The Unexpected Task)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 23 (The Yule Ball)
  19. Comic Relief live chat transcript, March 2001
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