Ludo Bagman first appears in the Harry Potter series in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys attend the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. Ludo Bagman is then the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports. It is revealed that he used to play Quidditch as a beater for the Wimbourne Wasps and later for the English Quidditch team.
He is present at Hogwarts along with Barty Crouch Sr to inaugurate the Triwizard Tournament and is also a Triwizard Tournament judge for the three tasks. It is eventually revealed that Bagman is an avid gambler, and his gambling addiction eventually strips him of his dignity in the magical community as he owes gold to a lot of people, especially a group of goblins. This prompts him to go on the run, and he almost never resurfaces in the community.
Background And Early Life
Ludo Bagman is believed to have been born in or before the year 1965 into the Bagman family. He had a brother named Otto Bagman. It is most likely that the Bagman family was either Pure-blooded or Half-blooded as Ludo Bagman had dealings with the likes of Augustus Rookwood, a Death Eater who would probably not be as forthcoming with someone who was Muggle-born. Ludo Bagman is said to have had blond hair, a rosy complexion, and round blue eyes.
Rita Skeeter claimed to know mysterious details about Ludo Bagman’s past, which is most likely the account of how Ludo Bagman was once accused of being a Death Eater and was later released after only being accused of helping Augustus Rookwood with information. Harry came across this event when he accidentally looked into Dumbledore’s Pensieve, and he had seen Rita Skeeter in that venue as well. Therefore, Ludo Bagman was almost sent to Azkaban and was only saved when most fans of his time as a Quidditch player requested his release.
Ludovic Bagman’s Quidditch Career
He used to be very fit and athletic in the 80s, which is when he played Quidditch as a beater for the English National Quidditch Team. Ludo’s first stint as a Quidditch player was in the Wimbourne Wasps. However, he soon graduated from the Quidditch team in England and became a very popular figure. However, when Harry saw him in 1994 during the Quidditch World Cup, he didn’t look as athletic. He was still very jovial in nature and had high energy and spirit throughout the event. Arthur Weasley claimed that he was the best beater the Wimbourne Wasps ever had.
Ministry Work, Two Controversies
Ludo Bagman was appointed the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports somewhere around the early 1990s. Bagman is believed to have gained this position more through favours than qualifications, as he was once accused of giving information to Augustus Rookwood, the infamous Death Eater, in return for a job at the Ministry. The 1994 Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament were held during his time as the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
The Ministry also had two major controversies, one of which Bagman was directly responsible for. While one involved the disappearance of a ministry official named Bertha Jorkins, the other was of Bagman’s incessant gambling and eventually turning fugitive after being unable to pay back his clients.
Appearance in the Harry Potter Series
Ludo Bagman was introduced in the Harry Potter series when he appeared as the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. He was accused of being very careless with maintaining the secrecy needed to interact when Muggles were around, as he was seen casually talking about Quidditch in the open at the campsite when Muggles were around. He also refused to wear Muggle clothing as most of the other officials present did. Arthur Weasley claimed that Ludo Bagman was the best beater that the Wimbourne Wasps ever had.
Ludo Bagman was taking bets for who would win the World Cup, to which Fred and George Weasley, the Weasley Twins, claimed that Ireland would win, but Viktor Krum would catch the Golden Snitch. They bet all their savings, 37 Galleons, 15 Sickles, 3 Knuts, and a joke wand for this. Ludo Bagman was thrilled with this bet and promised to pay back if they won the bet. However, he would go on to evade them throughout the year even after the exact outcome they predicted turned out to be a reality. Bagman was hiding from the goblins in the forest when the Death Eaters created a ruckus in the venue, and the Dark Mark was conjured.
Bagman was later seen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the inauguration of the Triwizard Tournament. He was one of the two important Ministry officials who were in attendance for this event. The other was Barty Crouch Sr. Bagman was the first to announce the selection of Harry Potter as the fourth champion to the other three champions.
During the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, Bagman tries to help Harry by giving him clues. However, Harry declined Bagman’s offer. Bagman’s motivations were later revealed as since he was in heavy debt, especially with the goblins, and had also paid them in Leprechaun gold which vanished, his final resort to repay was betting that Harry would win first place in the tournament. Bagman was the judge for the tasks of the tournament alongside Albus Dumbledore, Igor Karkaroff, Madame Maxime and Barty Crouch Sr.
Bagman could not repay his debts to the goblins as Cedric Diggory died on Voldemort’s orders during the third task that took place in the maze, and the goblins argued that Harry alone had not won the tournament. Bagman went on the run during that time and only made a few reappearances much later in the wizarding community, one of which was for the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. He is believed to have written an article in the Daily Prophet rating the semi-finalists of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup.
Ludo Bagman and the 2008 Housing Market Crisis
Ludo Bagman is the wizarding world’s equivalent of the 2008 US Housing market crisis in that both these problems were majorly caused by incessant greed and an addiction to gambling money to make more money. It came at the cost of hurting the livelihoods of common people who have to do a lot just to earn a livelihood. In the Harry Potter universe, Fred and George had bet their entire life’s savings on the outcome of the Quidditch World Cup, just so that they could spend the expanded amount if they won on their dream joke shop.
However, Bagman duped them of their money as he did with the goblins and caused a major ruckus, only to eventually be on the run and never pay for his crimes. The most he did was pay them back in Leprechaun gold which eventually vanished. Something similar happened with several wealthy investors when they started dumping valueless stocks on retail investors who were unaware that it would soon be of no value.
Is Ludo Bagman a Death Eater?
No, Ludo Bagman is not a Death Eater. However, he was almost sent to Azkaban prison for conceding sensitive information to the Death Eater Augustus Rookwood, which is where the rumour of Ludo Bagman being a Death Eater originated. Ludo was later brought in for a trial in front of the Wizengamot and was considered to be sent to Azkaban by Barty Crouch. However, all charges against Ludo were dropped after it was proved that the major reason for his betrayal was the promise of a job in the Ministry.
Did Ludo Bagman ever pay Fred and George?
No, Ludo Bagman never paid Fred and George despite their winning the bet they placed on the outcome of the Quidditch World Cup they attended. Bagman was an incessant gambler and was already in heavy debt. He, therefore, evaded the Weasley twins whenever they approached him and eventually went on the run when it was revealed that he cheated the goblins with Leprechaun gold.
What happened to Ludo Bagman after the Triwizard Tournament?
Very little is known of what happened to Ludo Bagman after the Triwizard Tournament. He is believed to have been on the run from authorities, goblins, and several others to whom he owed a significant amount of money. However, he resurfaced in the year 2014 when initial rumours claimed that he would be playing in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup out of retirement. However, this turned out to be a hoax, as it was Viktor Krum who returned.