What were the original Triwizard Tournaments like in the world of Harry Potter?


Before Harry Potter competed in the Triwizard Tournament, it was an event that was banned because of how dangerous it was. But how bad was it exactly?

In his inaugural speech regarding the Triwizard Tournament, Professor Dumbledore makes it clear that the “death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued”. This then prompts Harry Potter fans to think about what dangers the Triwizard Tournament must have featured to have had such routine and excessive deaths!

The beasts that feature in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Triwizard Tournament include Dragons, Merpeople, and even a Sphinx and Spiders which are in the book but not the film. These are highly fearsome creatures. The Merpeople are listed in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them as a being that “requires specialist knowledge” to confront, and the Dragon is grouped in the most dangerous category by the Ministry of Magic. The Sphinx poses deadly questions to Harry at the end of the maze and it is apparent, that had he failed to answer them correctly, he would have been killed in a terrible way.

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If one considers how dangerous the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire was, you would have to amplify it several times and remove the restraining and wise influence of Professor Dumbledore, to get a sense of the original Tournaments danger.

In the Goblet of Fire, participants in the Triwizard tournament are shown some mercy. Fleur Delacour is allowed to progress to the final task despite failing in the second task of the lake and during the final Maze, participants are rescued when they “fire red sparks into the air”.

The original Tournaments might not have had even these safety measures. The mention of the high rates of casualties by Dumbledore implies that it was a fight to the death, where participants could rely only upon themselves. It was also in a time period less regulated than in the era of Dumbledore who had the wisdom and power to keep students safe.

With this in mind, it is worth considering what sort of creatures the original Tournaments might have had. This was in an environment before magical creatures were respected within the wizarding world. Given the presence of Centaurs in the Forbidden Forrest and their fearsome nature at times, it is possible that some of these creatures may have attacked Triwizard participants when their territory was encroached upon.

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There may have been even more dangerous creatures than these in the Tournament. Hogwarts is located in the Scottish Highlands and perhaps past Tournaments involved dangerous creatures here. One particular “carnivorous” beast that comes to mind the “Quintaped”, which as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them explains, resides on the Scottish “Isle of Drear”.

This region is noted as “unplottable” because of the untamed “Quintapeds”. Given these creatures being put in the most dangerous category by the Ministry of Magic and their mysterious nature, possibly past Tournaments might have seen them as a deadly challenge to put participants through.

Monsters aside, the vicious nature of the Triwizard tournaments was maybe enhanced by its rewards. The Goblet of Fire states the bounty to be “a thousand galleons personal prize money”. This, combined with past headmasters being less concerned about student safety than Dumbledore, might have encouraged an atmosphere of underhanded tactics.

Durmstrang’s Professor Igor Karkaroff certainly tries to get an unfair edge in the tournament. This attitude might have been more common in the wizarding past. The fact that the Triwizard Tournament could be rigged by Voldemort and Barty Crouch Jr also means that perhaps past Tournaments also had such problems.

The Triwizard Tournaments were certainly exciting but they also created huge division and competition. The Tournament might have had the vaunted aim of “International Magical Cooperation” but in actuality, it encouraged suspicion and paranoia. However, it wasn’t all bad, the Tournament might not have achieved its ends but it certainly gave Harry Potter a trial through fire that helped him later on.

Next. What happened to expelled Wizards and Witches in the world of Harry Potter?. dark

What are your thoughts on what the original Triwizard Tournament was like before Harry Potter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.