- "What villains are these that trespass upon my private lands? Who dares challenge Sir Cadogan? Back, you scurvy braggarts, you rogues!"
- —Sir Cadogan[src]
Sir Cadogan was a believed Knight of the Round Table included in wizarding versions of the tales of King Arthur. He is most famous for his defeat of the Wyvern of Wye at great personal risk. Sometime after his death, he was immortalized with a portrait on the seventh floor of Hogwarts Castle, which displayed the same "insane bravery" as Cadogan did in life.
Cadogan was born in the British Isles to a wizarding family sometime in the medieval ages. Like many British wizarding children, he would attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where his extreme bravery got him sorted into Gryffindor. He also obtained a wand, which is believed by modern wizards to have been made of blackthorn with a troll whisker core.
At some point in his life, he struck up a friendship with Merlin, which would eventually lead to him being appointed to the prestigious position of a Knight of the Round Table. According to legend, he was married three times, each time the woman in question leaving him, and fathered seventeen known children.
Fighting the Wyvern of Wye
Eventually, Sir Cadogan was appointed the task of defeating the Wyvern of Wye, which was terrorizing the West Country. Cadogan's first attempt to combat the creature ended with his original horse killed and his wand, sword, and visor destroyed. Cadogan barely managed to escape alive. Unlike most would in such a scenario, however, Cadogan refused to give up. At the very least wanting to accept a valiant death, he seized a fat pony from a nearby meadow and charged towards the Wyvern, brandishing his broken wand. Though he was eaten, the broken wand pierced through the Wyvern's tongue and caused the fumes from its stomach to ignite, causing the beast to explode. Cadogan and the pony apparently survived the encounter.
The story of Sir Cadogan is included in wizarding versions of the tales of King Arthur, though Muggle variations do not include him. Even among wizards, he is a lesser known figure, though the wizarding phrase "I'll take Cadogan's pony", meaning to salvage the best one can from a bad situation, was coined in his honour.
A magical portrait of Sir Cadogan, painted during his life by a "poor wizard" and depicting him with his oversized sword and fat pony, was hung on the seventh floor landing at Hogwarts Castle. Harry Potter would have a number of encounters with this portrait during his years there.
In 1993, Cadogan first met Harry while looking for the Divination Classroom. Cadogan pointed Harry in the right direction. Later, after Sirius Black attacked the Fat Lady in an attempt to enter Gryffindor Tower, Sir Cadogan was appointed the guardian of the tower until the Fat Lady's portrait was repaired, mainly because all other portraits were too scared to do it, as Cadogan was the only one brave enough for the job. Several students complained about his constant challenging students to duels, and his changing of the passwords - he was known for thinking up extremely complicated passwords, and changing them several times a day, but Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House, ignored this. However, when Sir Cadogan allowed Sirius Black (who had gained possession of Neville Longbottom's list of passwords for the week) to enter Gryffindor Tower, he was promptly fired and the Fat Lady returned to her job (on the grounds that she had several trained security trolls patrolling her portrait).
In the 1995-1996 school year, Harry Potter had met him, but Harry merely walked on and when Sir Cadogan attempted to follow him by running into a neighbouring picture, he was rebuffed by its inhabitant, a large and angry-looking wolfhound.
The Battle of Hogwarts
Later, in 2 May 1998, during the Battle of Hogwarts, Sir Cadogan shouted encouragement to Harry and the Hogwarts defenders, as he ran through the castle, telling Harry to drive out the Death Eaters, to whom he referred as "dogs", "scoundrels", "braggarts" and "rogues".
Name "Cadogan" means "glory in battle" from Welsh cad, "battle" and gwogawn, "glory", "honour". In the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, this name is briefly mentioned as the son of Iddon.
A street called Cadogan Road exists in the Liberton area of Rowling's home city of Edinburgh.
Behind the scenes
- Sir Cadogan has, up to now, only appeared in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and was portrayed by Paul Whitehouse. He also appeared in the video game adaptation of the same book. Paul Whitehouse has subsequently appeared as Sir Cadogan in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix video game and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game, although he does not speak.
- On the DVD version of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban there is a game called The Quest of Sir Cadogan, which focuses on him travelling through portraits to get to the Gryffindor Common Room to take the place of the Fat Lady as guardian of the tower, having various misadventures en route. The player must guide Sir Cadogan through the portraits by choosing between two paths at certain points, in which choosing the right path will help him save time, and choosing the wrong path will result in him performing a time wasting and usually comical action. For example, when Sir Cadogan runs toward the top of a spiral staircase, the right path will send him sliding down the banister (before proceeding to fall off and tumble down the stair and sliding to a stop), and the wrong one will make him vault over the banister, plummet towards the floor, make a large, knight-shaped hole on impact, stagger around, then pass out. The player will also have to play a selection of mini-games, such as throwing Quaffles in Quidditch, or selecting the order in which a series of potions bubble. During the quest, the player can grab clocks, to save time, or Time-Turners, to redo a certain section they did badly on. At the end of the game the player will be awarded one of three different ranks: Page, Squire, or Knight of the Realm. The rank achieved depends on the route the player took, how well they did in the mini-games and how many clocks they grabbed.
- Cadogan is a family name of Welsh and Irish origin. This could mean that Sir Cadogan's family — at least on the paternal side — hailed from Wales or Ireland. Whether Sir Cadogan himself was Welsh or Irish is unconfirmed.
- During the scene, in which the Fat Lady is missing in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sir Cadogan can be seen in portraits on the background, at one point doing questionable things to a Lady in a ball gown, and in another, popping up randomly brandishing his sword in others.
- While Sir Cadogan's role as Gryffindor's portrait was omitted from the theatrical release of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it was filmed and included as a deleted scene.
- The glossary on the Scholastic official website incorrectly claims that Sir Cadogan's portrait is hung in the North Tower, a confusion perhaps arising from the fact that this is where he led Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their first meeting.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (First appearance) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Appears in portrait(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Appears in portrait(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears in portrait(s))
- Pottermore (Appears in portrait(s))
Notes and references