"Rookwood: a spy. He gave valuable information through the Ministry to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!"
—Rookwood's loyalty revealed[src]

Augustus Rookwood was a wizard and a Death Eater loyal to Lord Voldemort. During the First Wizarding War he was a spy who worked as an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries. After the height of the first war he was named by his comrade Igor Karkaroff, Rookwood was arrested and imprisoned in Azkaban.

Rookwood escaped during the 1996 mass break-out and served as a Death Eater once more. He fought in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of the Department of Mysteries after which he was imprisoned again, but escaped in 1997. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Rookwood was defeated by Aberforth Dumbledore. His fate after Voldemort's final defeat is unknown. It is possible that he was imprisoned in Azkaban once again for his various crimes.


First Wizarding War

Rookwood worked as an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries, but became a Death Eater and spy for Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. He had an information network inside and outside of the Ministry of Magic with a number of well-connected wizards. Whether or not these wizards knew they were being used for information by Rookwood is unknown.

What is known is that Ludo Bagman gave Rookwood information. Bagman was likely ignorant of the fact of Rookwood's real affiliations, since Rookwood dangled the prospect of a Ministry position before him. Bagman's testimony revealed that Augustus Rookwood was friends with his father. He also referred to Rookwood rather affectionately as "Old Rookwood", despite the man being a Death Eater, during his own court case.[3] From that information, it can be deduced that Rookwood was outgoing and perhaps affable during his years as a spy, breaking the mould of so many other Death Eaters to serve as a cover.

In 1981, Rookwood was captured and convicted on testimony from Igor Karkaroff as to his Death Eater activities and imprisoned in Azkaban. This was one of many names that Karkaroff surrendered in order to achieve his own freedom, and the first one to be viable, as the ones before were already caught or killed.[3]

Second Wizarding War

Augustus Rookwood in Azkaban

Augustus Rookwood during his imprisonment in Azkaban

During the Second Wizarding War, Rookwood escaped Azkaban along with nine other Death Eaters in 1996, when the Dementors defected to the recently returned Lord Voldemort.[4] This was Azkaban's largest and most notorious breakout and helped set the stage for the Second Wizarding War.

Rookwood was responsible for getting Voldemort on track with stealing the prophecy which concerned the Dark Lord and Harry Potter, who saw Rookwood in one of his dreams. Obviously, his experience in the Department of Mysteries made him a valuable asset in this function.

Battle of the Department of Mysteries

After numerous attempts at stealing the prophecy failed, Voldemort lured Harry to the Ministry by sending him visions of his godfather being tortured there. Rookwood was one of twelve Death Eaters who participated in the ambush of Harry and his five friends, and in the battle which ensued when the teenagers resisted. He was the only one not assigned a partner as the Death Eaters pursued the six D.A. members. Rookwood's whereabouts for most of the battle were unknown.

What is known is that Rookwood was apparently uninjured when he entered the Veil Room, and was seen casting the Killing Curse at Kingsley Shacklebolt without his mask on. It is presumed that Rookwood, along with all the other Death Eaters aside from Bellatrix Lestrange, was captured and imprisoned in Azkaban after the battle.[4]

However, he was again at large the following year, after another Azkaban break-out.[5]

Battle of Hogwarts

—The Death Eater being chased[src]

Rookwood fought during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.[6] After Fred Weasley was killed in an explosion, Percy Weasley chased after Rookwood as he was attacking some of the other students who had stayed to fight rather than evacuate the school. Later in the battle, he was stunned by Aberforth Dumbledore.[5] It is unknown what happened to him after Voldemort was defeated, but if he survived, it is likely that he was captured and again sent to Azkaban.

Physical appearance

Rookwood is described, judging by his mugshot seen in the Daily Prophet, as a tall, pock-marked and grey greasy-haired man.[4] As a Death Eater, he bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm.

Personality and traits

Judging by his mugshot seen in the Daily Prophet, Rookwood seemed bored, contrasting from the other Death Eaters, who were sneering and glaring. He also appears being outgoing and perhaps affable, being a friend of Ludovic Bagman's father. This is further supported by everyone's surprise when Igor Karkaroff named him as a Death Eater. However, during the Battle of Hogwarts, Rookwood showed ruthlessness in combat, as he did not hesitate to attack students who remained in the battlefield.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Dark Arts: Rookwood was skilled with Dark Arts, being a Death Eater. During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, he attempted to kill Kingsley Shacklebolt with a Killing Curse. However, he was caught by Albus Dumbledore and the members of the Order of the Phoenix and sent to Azkaban. He participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, invading the school and attacking students. During the final battle, he was stunned by Aberforth Dumbledore.
  • Martial magic: Rookwood was proficient at duelling as he fought Kingsley Shacklebolt head on in 1996. He was however defeated during the final battle by Aberforth Dumbledore.
  • Magical Knowledge: Due to his past employment in the Department of Mysteries, Rookwood came to amass certain important information from the various research there, such as the consequence of an unauthorised person trying to remove a prophecy. He relayed these valuable information to Voldemort. This also indicated good spying skills, as he was convicted only when one of his colleagues betrayed him.


  • Rookwood was named as Algernon Rookwood in the first UK editions of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but his name reverted to Augustus again later on. This mistake was corrected in the U.S. edition of the text.
  • Augustus is Latin for "majestic" or "venerable", derived from the Latin augere, "to increase". It was the title given to the first emperor of Rome and subsequently to make other Roman emperors.
  • Rooks are known to be extremely sociable birds, and also have a kind of caw that sounds like a croak.[7] Rookwood is indicated to be a sociable wizard, and when he was seen speaking to Voldemort, he was hoarse and his tone was described as a croak.
  • The surname "Rookwood" may also come from Ambrose Rookwood, one of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
  • Rookwood is also a family in the 1834 romance of the same name written by William Harrison Ainsworth. In the novel, the Rookwood family are described quite negatively: No mate ever brook would a Rook of the Rookwood! A merry saying it is, and true. No woman ever stood in a Rookwood's way but she was speedily removed—that's certain.
  • Other possible references from Rookwood are the surname Turpin (Lisa Turpin), from the famous highwayman, and the Hand of Glory that is the subject of a poem within the book.[8]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. In 1981, Rookwood had to be at least of age (17) to be working at the Ministry. As Ludo Bagman says that Rookwood was friends with his father we can assume that he was, most likely, older than 17 at the time that Igor Karkaroff revealed his Death Eater status to the Ministry as he was a well known worker at the Ministry.
  2. J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat,, July 30, 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - (see this image) - fourth the right of Narcissa Malfoy
  7. "Rook - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds" from The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  8. "Rookwood by William Harrison Ainsworth" from The Project Gutenberg
  9. Spotlight - CV

Department of Mysteries employees
Broderick Bode · Saul Croaker · Augustus Rookwood
Other personnel
Unidentified intern
Death Eaters
Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 8.00.40 PM
Leader: Lord Voldemort
Death Eaters

Avery (I) | Avery (II) | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Crabbe | Barty Crouch Jr. (deceased) | Antonin Dolohov | Gibbon (deceased) | Goyle | Barnaby Lee's father | Barnaby Lee's mother | Jugson | Lestrange | Bellatrix Lestrange (deceased) | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Walden Macnair | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Pyrites (possibly) | Augustus Rookwood | Rosier | Evan Rosier (deceased) | Thorfinn Rowle | Selwyn | Merula Snyde's father | Merula Snyde's mother | Travers | Wilkes (deceased) | Corban Yaxley | Unidentified Death Eaters

Death Eater defectors

Regulus Black (deceased) | Igor Karkaroff (deceased) | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Peter Pettigrew (deceased) | Severus Snape (deceased)

Death Eater allies

Borgin | Vincent Crabbe | John Dawlish | Delphini | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | Fenrir Greyback | Mafalda Hopkirk | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) | Nagini | Pansy Parkinson | Quirinus Quirrell | Albert Runcorn | Scabior | Serpent of Slytherin | Dolores Umbridge | Blaise Zabini

Other affiliations

Acromantula | British Ministry of Magic (under Voldemort's control) | Daily Prophet (Under Voldemort's control) | Dementors | Draco Malfoy's gang | Tom Riddle's gang | Gang of Slytherins | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Inferius | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Theodore Nott (possibly) | Snatchers

Death Eater establishments

Borgin and Burkes | British Ministry of Magic Headquarters (under Voldemort's control) | Chamber of Secrets | Lestrange Vault | Little Hangleton graveyard | Malfoy Manor | Abandoned nuclear power plant | Riddle House | The Ruins | Spinner's End | The Cave | Gaunt Shack