Cormac McLaggen was a wizard and member of the McLaggen family, a family that's "big in the Ministry". He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1990 to 1997. He was Sorted into Gryffindor house and was one year above Harry Potter.
McLaggen lost the opportunity to try out for his house's Quidditch team in his sixth year after he ate poisonous Doxy eggs on a bet, but became the reserve Keeper in his seventh year. During the course of his last year at Hogwarts, he also became a member of the Slug Club, escorted Hermione Granger to the club's Christmas party, and was primarily responsible for the Gryffindor Quidditch team's embarrassing loss to Hufflepuff by hitting Harry Potter (seeker at the time) over the head with a beater's bat.
- Horace Slughorn: "Now, you, Cormac, I happen to know you see a lot of your Uncle Tiberius, because he has a rather splendid picture of the two of you hunting nogtails in, I think, Norfolk?"
- McLaggen: "Oh, yeah, that was fun, that was. We went with Bertie Higgs and Rufus Scrimgeour; this was before he became Minister, obviously —"
- — Professor Slughorn interviewing McLaggen on the Hogwarts Express with the Slug Club[src]
Little is known of McLaggen's early life, though it appears that he was born into a relatively influential wizarding family, as his uncle Tiberius was an important official in the Ministry of Magic and was friendly with the head of the Auror Office and later Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour. Tiberius took his nephew hunting nogtails on at least one occasion, with Scrimgeour and Bertie Higgs in Norfolk.
Education at Hogwarts
Cormac McLaggen started his education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1990 and was Sorted into Gryffindor, along with Katie Bell who also was a Sorted Gryffindor that year. Cormac was a skilled flyer on a broom and Quidditch player, specifically playing the position of Keeper.
In his sixth year at Hogwarts, McLaggen ate a pound of poisonous Doxy eggs on a bet to prove his bravery. This foolhardy decision kept him from joining the Gryffindor Quidditch team, something he cared a great deal about. With Oliver Wood's graduation at the end of the 1993–1994 school year and the Triwizard Tournament cancelling all Quidditch matches the following year, the Gryffindor team was in need of a Keeper at the beginning of the 1995–1996 school year. Unfortunately for McLaggen, he was in the Hospital Wing being treated for doxy egg poisoning at the time of the trials, and Ron Weasley was made Keeper instead.
Soon after his seventh year began, McLaggen tried out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, but he managed to make only four out of five saves. This was because Hermione Granger, who overheard McLaggen making rude remarks about Ron and Ginny Weasley, placed a Confundus Charm on him. McLaggen asked team captain Harry Potter for another try, but Harry refused, and Ron was given the position of Keeper again, as he beat McLaggen in saves.
In December, McLaggen attended Professor Slughorn's Christmas party with Hermione, who was also a member of the Slug Club. The evening did not go well for him, however, as Hermione only asked him out to get back at Ron dating Lavender Brown to spite her. McLaggen ended up driving her crazy by talking about himself excessively, boasting about his Quidditch abilities, and being too forward romantically. She avoided him for most of the night to talk to Harry and Luna Lovegood. McLaggen asked Harry if he had seen her later, which Harry denied, and was irritated to find that she had left. After eating a foul tasting dragon tartar, McLaggen vomited on Severus Snape's shoes, earning himself detention for the next month. When Ron later asked Harry about the pair, he was "slightly more cheerful" to learn that the date did not go well.
When Ron was hospitalised in March, before Gryffindor's second game against Hufflepuff, Harry Potter was forced to play McLaggen as his reserve Keeper. In the week leading up to the match, Harry had his doubts about his new team-mate. Although he was skilled, McLaggen was also bossy and repeatedly tried to advise Harry on game strategy and insulted the other players' abilities. The match was a no-holds-barred disaster, as McLaggen spent more time trying to tell the rest of the team how to play rather than watching the rings, resulting in several goals for the opponent. This culminated in him wrestling a Beater's bat away from Jimmy Peakes and attempting to show him how to hit a Bludger, only to knock Harry off his broomstick and crack his skull.The fiasco was possibly Gryffindor's worst and most embarrassing loss ever (a final score of 320-60), and Ron told Harry in the Hospital Wing that he thought "the rest of the team might've dealt with him before you get out of here, they're not happy..." When Ron recovered, he resumed the Keeper position.
Repeat year and Battle of Hogwarts
Cormac had to repeat his final year, for reasons unknown. When the Death Eaters boarded the train, he foolishly said that his father would hear about this, but Death Eaters completely ignored him. He joined the revived Dumbledore's Army to oppose the Death Eater teachers Alecto and Amycus Carrow. He later fought in the Battle of Hogwarts which he survived.
McLaggen was described as a large, wire-haired youth. His face went red whenever he became angry. At the Keeper tryouts in 1996, Harry Potter thought that McLaggen was large enough that he could block all three goal hoops without even moving.
Personality and traits
- "You should have heard the way he was talking about Ron and Ginny! He's got a nasty temper. You wouldn't want someone like that on the team."
- —Hermione Granger discussing McLaggen's behaviour with Harry Potter[src]
Aggressive and self-righteous, McLaggen epitomised the most negative aspects of the stereotypical Gryffindor characteristics. Though brave, he was foolhardy rather than self-sacrificing. He was also arrogant and pushy and felt a strong sense of entitlement. According to Hermione Granger, McLaggen was rude, insensitive, and over-assertive when making romantic advances. All he did was talk about himself and lacked manners and consideration. It was due to this that Hermione remarked that Grawp, Hagrid's giant half-brother, was more mannered than Cormac. McLaggen also had a bad temper; for example, Harry Potter thought he might punch him for refusing his demand to give him another Quidditch try-out, after giving him a brief glare. He also blamed others, for example Ginny Weasley for not properly shooting at her brother Ron during Keeper tryouts.
- "I've just escaped — I mean, I've just left Cormac. Under the mistletoe... Cormac hasn't asked me one single question about myself, no, I've just been treated to 'A Hundred Great Saves Made by Cormac McLaggen' non-stop ever since. Oh no, here he comes!"
- —Hermione Granger to Harry Potter on attending the Christmas Party with McLaggen[src]
In his seventh year, McLaggen became familiar with Hermione Granger below him, when they were both members of the Slug Club. Hermione seemed to think that McLaggen was arrogant and unpleasant, and when she overheard him insult Ron and Ginny Weasley during Quidditch try-outs, she hit him with a Confundus Charm, unbeknownst to him.
However, when Hermione and Ron later had a row over Ron’s romance with Lavender Brown, she tried to make him jealous by asking McLaggen to attend Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party with her, choosing the person she thought would annoy Ron the most. He accepted, but spent most of the evening boasting about himself, to her irritation. He was very forward with her under the mistletoe, prompting Hermione to abandon him to seek out Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood and to avoid him for the rest of the party. He was very annoyed when he was unable to find her. This indicates that while McLaggen was romantically interested in Hermione, she found him to be a rude braggart.
- McLaggen: "His sister didn’t really try. She gave him an easy save."
- Harry Potter: "Rubbish. That was the one he nearly missed."
- McLaggen: "Give me another go."
- Harry Potter: "No. You’ve had your go. You saved four. Ron saved five. Ron’s Keeper, he won it fair and square. Get out of my way."
- — McLaggen and Harry Potter arguing during Quidditch try-outs[src]
Although they were in the same House, Harry strongly disliked McLaggen. The two first met in 1996 when they were both questioned by Professor Slughorn. They met again when McLaggen tried out for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, of which Harry was the Captain. It seemed that McLaggen wrongly expected preferential treatment from Harry because the two were both in the Slug Club.
When Ron Weasley beat McLaggen in saves, he accused Ginny Weasley of purposely giving her brother an advantage. He angrily confronted Harry about it, who coldly refuted the accusations. Harry thought that McLaggen might punch him for a moment. Later in the year, when McLaggen temporarily replaced Ron, he annoyed Harry immensely by repeatedly offering advice on game strategy, and spent so much time ordering around his team-mates and hitting Harry in the head instead of blocking goals that Gryffindor ultimately lost the match.
Cormac also disliked Harry because he was best friends with Hermione Granger (whom Cormac fancied). Cormac and Harry also seemed to both represent different aspects of Gryffindor: with Cormac personifying the negative traits such as arrogance and self-righteousness, while Harry embodied the positive traits of chivalry, courage, and having a self-sacrificing nature. However, they both seemed to have nasty tempers.
- McLaggen: "I'll be trying out for Gryffindor Keeper too. Nothing personal."
- Ron Weasley: "Really? Big, strapping fellow like you? You look like you've got more of a Beater's build to me. I mean, to be Keeper, you've got to be a quick and agile sort..."
- McLaggen: "I like my chances. By the way, you wouldn't mind introducing me to your friend Granger, would you? Love to get on a first-name basis with her, if you know what I mean..."
- — McLaggen and Ron discussing Keeper try-outs[src]
McLaggen and Ron Weasley took an instant dislike to one another in 1996, when they competed over the Keeper position on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. McLaggen believed that the team Captain, Harry Potter, showed favouritism toward his friend, whereas Harry thought Ron was simply the better player and that McLaggen was far too arrogant to make a decent player.
Ron’s dislike of McLaggen prompted Hermione Granger to ask him to escort her to Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party, which he did, much to Ron’s displeasure. He was further annoyed when McLaggen took over his position as Keeper after he was poisoned, and relieved when it did not go well.
The name Cormac is borne by a number of figures from Irish legend and history, including Cormac mac Airt, a warrior king of Ireland, and Cormac Cond Longas, an exiled prince of Ulster. The name is most commonly translated as "charioteer", but can be also translated into "raven"- a bird strongly associated with warfare in Celtic mythology. This may allude to McLaggen's aggressive personality. The name can also be translated to mean "son of defilement", from the Gaelic corb, "defilement", and mac, "son".
Behind the scenes
- Cormac McLaggen was played by Freddie Stroma in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the two-part film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Cormac is seen on the Hogwarts Express returning to school for the 1997–1998 school year and he also appeared in the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, however, in the novel of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Cormac was in his seventh and final year (it wasn't mentioned in the film, though). Though, because he was constantly thinking up new Quidditch strategies in his final year, it's possible he was doing so bad in his studies, he had to stay back a year. Another possibility is that he was returning to Hogwarts to take his N.E.W.T.S, as all examinations were cancelled the previous year following the death of Albus Dumbledore.
- In the movies, Cormac takes part in the Battle of Hogwarts and appears as a member of Dumbledore's Army.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Cormac is given a month of detention for throwing up on Snape's shoes (an event that never occurred in the book) because Harry tricked him into believing that the dragon tartare he was eating was dragon testicles, or "dragon balls" as Harry called them.
- There was a scene with Ron confronting Cormac before Quidditch match in the movie, but it was later removed. This scene was never released.
- It is unknown if he is in the same year as Harry in the films; it is possible albeit rather unlikely.
- Due to his joining the DA, and seemingly being a fairly reasonable character, if a bit cocky, in the films, it is rather unclear to people who haven't read the books why Hermione is quite contemptuous of him and his feelings for her.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ 
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (The Slug Club)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 11 (Hermione's Helping Hand)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 19 (Elf Tails)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
- ↑ Behind the Name: Cormac
- ↑ Freddie Stroma to return for Deathly Hallows