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Dumbledore's speech at the Great Hall in 1996

Hogwarts' Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stands in front of the students at the Great Hall during the Welcoming Feast in 1996.

A Headmaster or Headmistress is the chief administrator of a School of Magic. They make all major decisions regarding the safety and the day-to-day functioning of the school, and have the power to override any decision made by any other authoritative facilitator at the school, with the possible exception of the Board of Governors (and during a brief period in 1996, the "High Inquisitor"), in Hogwarts. A Headmaster also controls the protective spells surrounding the school and the ability for certain individuals to enter or exit the grounds at will. The four founders of Hogwarts (Helga Hufflepuff, Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, and Rowena Ravenclaw ) are not considered heads, despite leading the school during their time.

Hogwarts also has a Deputy Headmaster or Deputy Headmistress (depending on gender) that assists the headmaster in his duties. In the event of a headmaster's incapacitation, the deputy headmaster serves as temporary headmaster until the Board of Governors can elect a new, permanent one. There can also be more than one deputy headmaster, as the Carrow siblings served under Severus Snape when Voldemort took over Hogwarts.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


Identified Headmasters of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office or period)
1st Headmaster First Headmaster of Hogwarts
Early 11th century
BrianGagwilde Brian Gagwilde
Heliotrope Wilkins Heliotrope Wilkins


PhyllidaSpore2 Phyllida Spore
c. 1408[2]
Eoessa Edessa Sakndenberg
c. 1503[1]
FytherleyUndercliffe Fytherley Undercliffe
c. 1531[3]
AntoniaCreaseworthy2 Antonia Creaseworthy
c. 1624[3]
Elizabeth Burke full Elizabeth Burke[4]
Brutus Scrimgeour crop Brutus Scrimgeour
Vulpus Vulpus


Everard 1 Everard
18th/19th century[5]
VindictusViridian3 Vindictus Veridian
c. 1703[6]
Amberose Amrose Swott
c. 1724[3]
Dilys Derwent
Eupraxia Mole
Professor Quentin Trimble Quentin Trimble


Limebert Limebert


Basil Fronsac Old Basil Fronsac


Walter Aragon Walter Aragon


MordicusEggOlder Mordicus Egg
Dexter Fortescue
PhineasNBlack Phineas Nigellus Black
Dippet Portrait Armando Dippet
unknown - c. 1957
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1 Albus Dumbledore
Suspended in 1993, later reinstated; assumed to have been sacked in 1996 after escaping a Ministry attempt to arrest him, reinstated later that year
Mcgonagall headshot Minerva McGonagall (Acting)
Dolores Umbridge Dolores Umbridge
Though Umbridge was proclaimed headmistress, she was not acknowledged as such by the headmaster's office, which shut her out for the remainder of the year.
Mcgonagall headshot Minerva McGonagall (Acting)
Severus Snape Severus Snape
Mcgonagall headshot Minerva McGonagall
1998 to sometime between 2011 and 2017
Minerva McGonagall's successor
sometime between 2011 and 2017

Unidentified Headmasters

Unknown name and portrait:

Deputy Headmasters

Known Deputy Headmasters of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Portrait Deputy Headmaster
(term of office)
Mcgonagall headshot Minerva McGonagall
after 1956-1 September, 1997
Alecto-DH2 Alecto Carrow
1 September, 1997-2 May, 1998
AmycusCarrow Amycus Carrow
1 September, 1997-2 May, 1998

Durmstrang Institute

Known Headmasters of Durmstrang Institute:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Nerida Vulchanova
Harfang Munter
Unidentified Professor
IgorKarkaroff Igor Karkaroff

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic

Known Headmasters of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Unidentified individual
Maxime Olympe Maxime


Known Headmasters of Castelobruxo:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office)
Benedita Dourado
(c. 1940s/50s)

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore refers to Karkaroff's title as "Highmaster." Pottermore, however, confirms that the title of Headmaster is used at Durmstrang as well.
  • Hogwarts is the only school confirmed to have Deputy headmasters and headmistresses. It's unknown if this position exists in other wizarding schools.
  • Dolores Umbridge was not considered an official Hogwarts Headmistress by most. The headmaster's office did not open to her. Also, Phineas Nigellus Black told Severus Snape that he was the first Headmaster from Slytherin since himself, although Professor Umbridge was also a Slytherin.
  • It's unknown if there can be more than one headmaster at a time, however, a Portrait seen in the Headmaster's Office depicting a couple wizards playing Wizard's Chess together, suggesting that it may be possible. The Carrow sibblings were also both Deputy Headmaster and Headmistress.


Notes and references

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