Is Harry Potter really good at Quidditch? OK, so Harry is the youngest seeker in a century. We all know that. Great. Well done, Potter. But we’re forced to question whether he actually lived up to his potential on a broomstick. After all, he had quite a lot of other stuff going on at school.
Harry Potter was a busy dude. If you watch the Harry Potter movies in order again, you’ll see just how many plates he had spinning, even before he started looking for Horcruxes to take down Voldemort. But before the best Harry Potter characters turned their attention to saving humanity, they really liked zooming around in the air trying to catch balls, throw balls, and hit balls towards each other. What do you mean the stakes were lower?
But we found ourselves asking some questions about all this. We know Harry did heroic work in the franchise’s best movies, but is Harry Potter really good at Quidditch? Did bringing in an 11-year-old actually make Gryffindor better? Let’s get our sports pundit hat on and find out.
What is Harry Potter’s Quidditch record?
Harry Potter only played in nine Quidditch matches for Gryffindor over six years. He won seven of those games and lost two of them.
With the help of an exhaustive and well-researched Medium post, we can see that Harry Potter has a disappointing Quidditch record, which is a shame. House Quidditch teams are supposed to play three matches each year and Harry spent six years at Hogwarts, so he should have played 18 times.
Let’s look at the games he missed, first of all. He was in the hospital wing for the final match of his first year, while two of his three second-year games were canceled due to the attacks on Muggle-borns. He managed all three matches in the third year, while Quidditch was abandoned in his fourth year due to the Triwizard Tournament. We can’t hold Harry responsible for that one.
Dolores Umbridge suspended Harry in his fifth year, so he only played one of the three games, while bad discipline (nearly killing Draco Malfoy with Sectumsempra, one of the best Harry Potter spells) again landed him in detention for the final match of his sixth year.
Of the Quidditch matches Harry actually played, Gryffindor won seven and lost two. During his time at school, the four games he missed for various reasons ended with two wins and two defeats for Gryffindor.
Is Harry Potter really good at Quidditch?
Gryffindor won 78% of the matches Harry played and just 50% of their games without him, which suggests Harry was actually a good Quidditch player. However, there’s no doubt he was helped by the fact he had the best brooms on the market.
Harry was often distracted by various things (Dementors, Malfoy, his love for Cho Chang) during Quidditch matches, so it’s frankly a miracle that he didn’t lose more often. Had he not been such a naturally talented flier, he’d never have stood a chance out there.
But Gryffindor’s run of near-misses during the late ’80s and early ’90s changed with Harry on board and they recorded three Quidditch Cup wins in a row.
It’s also impossible to have this conversation without acknowledging Harry’s enormous privilege when it came to the brooms he was competing on. McGonagall gifted him a top-of-the-range Nimbus 2000 in his first year and, when that was ruined in a collision with the Whomping Willow, Sirius Black sent him the ultra-fast Firebolt.
Given that few other Hogwarts students – with Malfoy as the exception – could afford such luxurious brooms, Harry had an edge that always put him ahead. It’s a lot like in motor racing, in which having the right car is every bit as important as the talent of the person behind the wheel, and arguably even moreso.
In conclusion, while we can say that Harry made the Gryffindor Quidditch team better while he was there, it’s no surprise that he never made it on to the broom professionally after Voldemort’s downfall. His wife Ginny, meanwhile, played for the Holyhead Harpies and later served as sports editor for the Daily Prophet. She was the real Quidditch sensation in the family.
We’ve got plenty more for you from the Wizarding World, including the best Harry Potter villains and the reason the most heart-breaking Harry Potter scene isn’t in the movies. Meanwhile, we wrote about why we still can’t forgive the Harry Potter finale for one particular book change.
Elsewhere, look ahead to new movies and TV with our guides to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date, the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date, and the Harry Potter TV series release date. Or, change fantasy tack completely and read about House of the Dragon season 2.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US and Mermaids in the UK.