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Golden Snitch

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Golden Snitch
Object information
Manufacturer

Bowman Wright

Usage

Quidditch

"Get the Snitch or die trying."
Oliver Wood to team Seeker, Harry Potter[src]

The Golden Snitch, often called simply the Snitch, is the third and smallest ball used in Quidditch. It is a walnut-sized gold-coloured sphere with silver wings. It flies around the Quidditch field at high speeds, sometimes pausing and hovering in place. The Seeker's goal is to catch the Snitch before the other team's seeker, which is worth one-hundred and fifty points. The game can only end when the Snitch has been caught, or by mutual agreement of the two teams' Captains; the latter is very rare, however, as one team would have to lose.

The Quidditch rule also stated that only the two team's Seeker has the right to catch (or touch) the snitch, any player other than the Seeker to do so commits a Snitchnip, which is a common foul in Qudditch.

History of the Golden Snitch

Seeker

Seeker Harry Potter in pursuit of the Golden Snitch in 1993.

The Golden Snitch was originally not a ball, but a little bird called a Golden Snidget. It was introduced in 1269, when the Chief of the Wizards' Council, Barberus Bragge, unleashed a Golden Snidget during a Quidditch match, offering a reward of 150 Galleons to the player who caught the Snidget.

Thereafter, it became customary to set frightened Snidgets loose during games. As a tribute to Bragge, 150 points were given to the team that caught the Snidget. This Snidget-catching craze naturally harmed the bird's population (as Snidgets are very fragile birds, and a simple human grip is enough to crush them to death), but the wizarding community was then unwilling to stop this barbaric activity and ceased to use Snidgets only when the bird was labeled as endangered.

Golden Snitch

The Golden Snitch in Harry's hand.

A replacement for the Golden Snidget was sought, and the skilled metal-charmer Bowman Wright invented the Golden Snitch to replace it. The Snitch weighed exactly the same as a Snidget, and its rotational wings imitated the bird's, allowing it to change direction and speed like its living counterpart.

One tale concerning the Snitch is that, during a match on Bodmin Moor in 1884, it managed to avoid capture for six months until both teams finally gave up in disgust at the performance of their Seekers. Cornish wizards and witches insist to this day that the Snitch is still wild in the area, which is possible due to its magical properties.

Flesh Memory

The Snitches have flesh memories and remember the touch of the first person who handled them in case of a disputed capture. Everyone, including the maker, has to wear gloves when handling the snitch until releasing one for each game. Because of this a new snitch must be used for each game. In Harry Potter's very first match, which was against Slytherin, he caught the Snitch in his mouth during the 1991–1992 school year.

Quidditch gameplay

Quidditch, the sport in which Golden Snitches are used.

Albus Dumbledore upon his death, left Harry the first golden snitch he had caught. Dumbledore put enchanted writing on the snitch that could only be read when Harry touched it to his mouth. It read, "I open at the close". Dumbledore had also enchanted the Snitch to hold the Resurrection Stone inside of it, and it would only open for Harry once he accepted the fact that he needed to sacrifice himself in order to defeat Lord Voldemort.

Trivia

Etymology

8

by Clare Melinsky.

The Golden Snitch moves as fast as a lightning bolt, which coincidentally is its name in Danish: Det Gyldne Lyn, which means The Golden Lightning.

Appearances

Golden Snitch From The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Golden Snitch From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


Game of Quidditch
Harry Potter and Snitch
Officials: Quidditch referee
Player positions: BeaterChaserKeeperSeeker
Playing equipment: Beater's batBludgerBroomstickGolden SnitchQuaffle

References

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