Professor Igor Karkaroff (d. 24 June – 31 July, 1996) was a wizard and Headmaster of Durmstrang Institute. During the First Wizarding War, he was a Death Eater who served Lord Voldemort. After being captured and briefly imprisoned in Azkaban following his master's defeat, Karkaroff turned in several of his fellow Death Eaters to the Wizengamot in exchange for his crimes being pardoned.
Karkaroff later went on to become Durmstrang's headmaster, leading the school's delegation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the 1994 Triwizard Tournament. There, Karkaroff did everything he could to get his school's champion (Viktor Krum) in the lead, and flew into a panic when his Dark Mark began to burn. When Voldemort returned, he fled. For his treachery, Karkaroff was hunted down and murdered by his former comrades in the summer of 1996.
First Wizarding War
- Karkaroff: "You must understand that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named operated always in the greatest secrecy…we never knew the names of every one of our fellows — He alone knew exactly who we all were —"
- Alastor Moody: "Which was a wise move, wasn't it, as it prevented someone like you, Karkaroff, from turning all of them in."
- — Karkaroff turns in his fellow Death Eaters[src]
In his younger days, Karkaroff was a Death Eater and acquaintance of Severus Snape. It was reported that Karkaroff helped Antonin Dolohov torture Muggles and non-supporters of Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. He was eventually captured by Auror Alastor Moody and spent a short period of time in Azkaban.
Shortly after Voldemort's first downfall, Karkaroff appeared before the Council of Magical Law, offering information in exchange for leniency. He claimed to to have felt great remorse for his crimes as a Death Eater, however Moody was sceptical. Among the names he gave were Dolohov, Evan Rosier, Travers, Mulciber, and Snape. He became increasingly desperate as it was revealed that these names were worthless; the Death Eaters he mentioned had already been captured, killed, or, in Snape’s case, had switched sides. However, Karkaroff was able to satisfy the Council when he submitted the name Augustus Rookwood, an Unspeakable who was spying on the Ministry of Magic for Voldemort. This information was new to the Ministry, and he was sent back to Azkaban for a review of his case. From Sirius Black's comment that Karkaroff "put a load of other people into Azkaban in his place", it can be assumed that he named other Death Eaters in addition to Rookwood after his initial hearing.
Between the Wars
Headmaster of Durmstrang
- Barty Crouch Jr: "The hell he is! The Goblet of Fire is an exceptionally powerful magical object. Only an exceptionally powerful Confundus Charm could have hoodwinked it! Magic way beyond the talents of a fourth year."
- Karkaroff: "You seem to have given this a fair bit of thought, Mad-Eye!"
- Barty Crouch Jr: "It was once my job to think as Dark Wizards do, Karkaroff. Perhaps you remember."
- — Discussion of the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter's mysterious entry into the tournament[src]
At some point after his release from Azkaban, Karkaroff became Headmaster of Durmstrang Institute. During his time as head of the school, Professor Karkaroff was seen by both students and parents alike as unprincipled and egotistical, leading many parents to withdraw their children from Durmstrang during his administration since he encouraged a environment dominated by fear and intimidation from his students. The school also became notorious for its detailed teaching of the Dark Arts; however, it is possible that this reputation existed to some extent even before his headmastership.
In the 1994–1995 school year, the Triwizard Tournament was held for the first time in many years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Karkaroff ventured to Hogwarts to supervise his students and to prepare Durmstrang’s champion for the Tournament, as well as to serve as one of the five judges. From the moment of his arrival at Hogwarts, it was obvious that Karkaroff was biassed towards the champion from his own school, Viktor Krum.
During Karkaroff's first evening at Hogwarts, he encountered former Auror Mad-Eye Moody (who was actually Barty Crouch Jr in disguise), who was Hogwarts’ new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. It was apparent that Karkaroff and Moody not only knew each other, but had an unpleasant history. Karkaroff unsuccessfully tried to avoid Moody after that first evening.
Like Madame Maxime, the Headmistress of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Karkaroff was outraged when Harry Potter’s name was chosen from the Goblet of Fire, giving Hogwarts two champions instead of one. While he had to accept Harry’s presence in the competition, he consistently gave Harry lower scores on the tasks and blatantly favoured Krum over the other champions. He also sneaked around to gather information on the tasks in hopes of giving Krum an advantage. He also ruthlessly insulted Dumbledore when Crouch attacked Krum in the shadows and accused him of foul-play, going as far as spitting on the ground at Dumbledore's feet. However, this nearly earned him significant physical injury at the hands of Rubeus Hagrid; Hagrid, fervently loyal to Dumbledore, lifted Karkaroff by the throat, smashed him against a tree and yelled at him to apologise for this disgusting display. Dumbledore, however, ordered Hagrid to let him go, to which he complied reluctantly.
About halfway through the school year, Karkaroff's actions became increasingly suspicious. At the Yule Ball, which he attended with Professor Aurora Sinistra, and again after a Potions lesson, he confronted Professor Snape about a secret matter. His agitated and increasingly apprehensive state aroused the suspicions of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, told him to be wary of Karkaroff because he was a former Death Eater.
Return of the Dark Lord and death
- Severus Snape: "Karkaroff’s Mark is becoming darker too. He is panicking, he fears retribution; you know how much help he gave the Ministry after the Dark Lord fell. Karkaroff intends to flee if the Mark burns... I am not such a coward."
- Albus Dumbledore: "No. You are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff."
- — Discussion of Karkaroff's cowardice and fear[src]
Karkaroff fled for his life on 24 June, 1995, the night of the Third Task of the Tournament, and the night of Lord Voldemort’s restoration to his body and power. Snape admitted that Karkaroff had come to him, concerned about the Dark Mark on his left forearm, a mark Snape also bore as a former Death Eater. The Mark had been growing darker throughout the school year, signalling Voldemort’s growing strength. Karkaroff feared Voldemort’s return because he had betrayed too many of the Dark Lord's servants to be allowed back into the fold, but Barty Crouch Jr doubted he would get far, as the Dark Lord had "ways of tracking his enemies".
Contrary to Crouch's belief, Karkaroff was able to stay alive for a whole year, fleeing to parts unknown, though a possible contribution is that Voldemort was trying to keep a low profile due to the Ministry's denial at the time. Inevitably, however, Karkaroff was finally tracked down to a shack in the north and killed by Death Eaters, the Dark Mark cast into the sky. This was revealed to the assembled guests of Harry Potter's sixteenth birthday party by Remus Lupin, who, among others, were surprised Karkaroff had survived for so long.
Karkaroff is described to be tall and thin like Albus Dumbledore, but with an unctuously cheerful demeanour, while his smile "didn't reach his eyes", which were blue and remained cold and unmoving. This made him slightly unnerving. His weak chin was not completely covered by his goatee, which ended with a small curl. His teeth were yellow and he liked to dress in sleek, silver furs. As a Death Eater, he bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm.
Personality and traits
Karkaroff was ruthless, having been a Death Eater in his youth and a turncoat when it suited him, as well as showing blatant favouritism as a judge of the Triwizard Tournament to increase the chances that his school's champion, Viktor Krum, would win. Karkaroff’s betrayal of his Death Eater comrades to avoid Azkaban, as well as his going into hiding following Lord Voldemort's return, indicate that he was not at all a brave nor loyal man, somewhat similar to Peter Pettigrew, who betrayed the Order of the Phoenix out of fear as well. During his trial, Igor feigned regret and flattery to the judges.
His membership in the Death Eater organization and implementation — or, at least, continuation — of a policy of refusing to admit Muggle-borns to Durmstrang indicate that Karkaroff was prejudiced against those of different blood status (though if so he had did not seem to have the level of sadistic hatred possessed by other Death Eaters such as Bellatrix Lestrange and Yaxley). Karkaroff was also (at least during his time with the Death Eaters), a sadist, as he was noted to have assisted Dolohov in torturing Muggles, and even after he "reformed" during his headship of Durmstrang, he encouraged an environment where intimidation and fear rule over the school, leading parents to see him as unprincipled and egotistical. Even his warm greeting to Albus Dumbledore when he came to Hogwarts was less proof of a civil nature and more proof of his ability to play at civility when it suited him.
Karkaroff seems to have been a reasonably skilled wizard, as it is mentioned that it was impressive he remained hidden from Voldemort for so long after the latter's rebirth, although Voldemort was keeping a low profile during the Ministry's denial, and that Karkaroff's death occurred shortly after the Ministry finally saw and accepted Voldemort's return further enforces this as a reason for his year-long survival. He was able to gain knowledge of a good number of Death Eaters' identities, despite Voldemort's tight secretive operations, including the otherwise undiscovered spy Augustus Rookwood, showing that he is at least skilled in intelligence gathering.
Magical Abilities and Skills
- Dark Arts: According to Alastor Moody, a veteran Auror, Karkaroff was proficient with the Unforgivable Curses. He was also able to evade Lord Voldemort himself for an entire year, presumably using various spells and enchantments (although whether these spells were Dark Magic is unknown) to make it harder for the Dark Lord to track him.
- wand: Igor Karkaroff owned a wand of unknown materials.
In his younger days, Karkaroff was a friend and comrade of Severus Snape. After Voldemort's first downfall, Karkaroff was caught by Aurors and briefly imprisoned in Azkaban. He betrayed many Death Eaters in order to avoid remaining in Azkaban. One of them was Snape, which might have indicated a strained relationship after Snape's betrayal. Karkaroff learned that Snape had abandoned the Death Eaters and become a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and therefore Karkaroff was dismayed to hear yet another one of his names was useless.
Karkaroff met Snape again in 1994, during the Triwizard Tournament. When his Dark Mark began to burn, Karkaroff told Snape about it, because he knew that Snape had felt it too. Snape told him that he himself had nothing to be afraid of, and asked him if he (Karkaroff) could say the same. Snape certainly seemed more and more irritated by Karkaroff's constant bombardment on the issue, and continued to evade him more and more. During the Yule Ball, Snape also told Dumbledore that Karkaroff was planning to escape if Voldemort returned. Snape added that he wasn't "such a coward", and Dumbledore replied that Snape was "a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff". After Voldemort's return, Karkaroff, unlike Snape, escaped Hogwarts and went into hiding. He was killed by Death Eaters some time in the next year. It is unknown how Severus Snape reacted when he learned of this.
- "Treachery! It is a plot! You and your Ministry of Magic have lured me here under false pretence, Dumbledore! This is not an equal competition! First you sneak Potter into the Tournament, though he is under-age! Now one of your Ministry friends attempts to put my champion out of action! I smell double-dealing and corruption in this whole affair, and you, Dumbledore, you with your talk of closer international wizarding links, of rebuilding old ties, of forgetting old differences — here's what I think of you!"
- —Karkaroff spitting at the ground of Albus Dumbledore's feet[src]
Albus Dumbledore was a participant of Karkaroff's trial. When Karkaroff stated that Severus Snape was a Death Eater, Dumbledore declared that Snape had changed sides before the downfall of Voldemort. However, when Alastor Moody told Dumbledore that it was a good idea to take information off Karkaroff and send him to the Dementors, Dumbledore disagreed.
Karkaroff and Dumbledore met again during the Triwizard Tournament, as they both were headmasters of their respective schools. It is possible that Karkaroff and Dumbledore knew each other better than they appeared to, as Karkaroff said "the good old Hogwarts" when he visited the school, and this may imply that Karkaroff had his education at Hogwarts. He and Dumbledore seemed happy to see each other as they laughed and hugged in greeting. However, beneath this civil greeting was Dumbledore's belief that Karkaroff was a coward, or at least weak. And despite their initial greetings, when Harry was selected to be the second champion of the Triwizard Tournament, Karkaroff's interactions towards Dumbledore became more hostile; when Krum was attacked by who they thought was Barty Crouch Snr, Karkaroff flew into a rage and spat at Dumbledore's feet. This resulted in Rubeus Hagrid, who was loyal to Dumbledore, brutally pinning Karkaroff against a tree and demanding an apology.
Karkaroff served Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War, but was one of the Death Eaters who attempted to avoid being imprisoned in Azkaban. In order to manage this, he betrayed many Death Eaters, such as Antonin Dolohov, Augustus Rookwood and Severus Snape. He was also one of the Death Eaters who didn't try to find Voldemort after his downfall. This made him fear the return of Voldemort and his loyal Death Eaters. After Lord Voldemort's rebirth, Karkaroff left Hogwarts and hid in a shack. However, Voldemort and the Death Eaters found him and killed him. Voldemort condemned Karkaroff as a coward who must pay for his refusal to return.
Karkaroff betrayed many Death Eaters during his attempt to avoid imprisonment in Azkaban. These Death Eaters included Antonin Dolohov, Evan Rosier, Travers, Mulciber and Augustus Rookwood; he became desperate when he heard some of these Death Eaters were already caught or killed, worried they did not contribute to his own pardon as opposed to actually mourning for his comrades, as he feigned congratulations for the judges for these arrests. It is most likely that he had betrayed many other Death Eaters, as Sirius Black stated that Karkaroff had "put a load of other people into Azkaban in his place". Bartemius Crouch Junior came to hate Igor for his disloyalty to Voldemort, and repeatedly intimidated him while disguised as Alastor Moody, even musing on how Voldemort would easily track down a fleeing Karkaroff. After Voldemort's rebirth, Karkaroff didn't return to Voldemort. He was eventually caught and killed by Death Eaters in 1996.
Alastor Moody was the Auror who captured Karkaroff after Voldemort's downfall, so naturally hated Karkaroff for being a Death Eater and a coward. He also participated in Karkaroff's trial, and told Dumbledore that they should take information from Karkaroff and then send him back to the Dementors. However, Dumbledore refused. Moody and Karkaroff met again in 1994, during the Triwizard Tournament. In fact, he wasn't the real Alastor Moody, but Barty Crouch Jr, a fellow Death Eater. After Harry Potter was chosen for the Tournament, Karkaroff got very angry, because Hogwarts had two champions. When Barty (disguised as Moody) told him how the Goblet of Fire might have been fooled, Karkaroff told him that he thought like a Dark Wizard. Barty answered that it was his job to capture Dark Wizards, as Karkaroff should know, implying that Moody was, in part at least, responsible for Karkaroff's capture. Not knowing it was really Crouch, who hated Karkaroff as much as the real Moody, though for very different reasons, Karkaroff was careful around him not to give Moody a solid pretext for attacking him, backing off when the Auror showed signs of readying for battle, and pointing out Moody's paranoia to others around.
- Karkaroff: "Viktor, how are you feeling? Did you eat enough? Should I send for some mulled wine from the kitchens?"
- Poliakoff: "Professor, I vood like some vine"
- Karkaroff: "I wasn't offering it to you, Poliakoff... I notice you have dribbled food all the way down the front of your robes again, disgusting boy --"
- — An example of how Karkaroff treated his students[src]
Karkaroff was the Headmaster of the Durmstrang Institute. He treated his students like servants, making them steer the Durmstrang Ship while he stayed in his cabin. He even encouraged an environment where intimidation and fear ruled over the institute, leading parents to see him as unprincipled and egotistical, and many of them withdrawing their children from the school as a result. The only student Karkaroff seemed to respect and care about was Viktor Krum, most likely because Krum was a famous professional Quidditch player prodigy, and Karkaroff thought that he would win the Triwizard Tournament for him. Karkaroff doted on Krum when he felt unwell after their journey to Hogwarts, although he expressed no such concern for his other students. Karkaroff also didn't allow Muggle-born students to study at Durmstrang, and seemed to disapprove of Krum's relationship with Muggle-born Hermione Granger.
Disregarding how much he desired Viktor win the Triwizard Tournament, Karkaroff felt his own life was far more important, as the moment he felt Voldemort summoning all Death Eaters, he abandoned his care for the tournament's results and his students and fled faraway. They didn't appear to miss him much after this.
Karkaroff was surprised when he met Harry Potter at Hogwarts. However, after Barty Crouch Jr put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry was chosen for the Triwizard Tournament. This made Karkaroff very angry, thinking that Harry and Dumbledore had cheated in order to win the Tournament. Harry, in turn, thought that Karkaroff was the one who put his name into the Goblet of Fire, and that he wanted to kill Harry.
Karkaroff, after failing to even things out due to Harry's selection, gave the fourth champion low scores while giving his own champion full marks, showing an incredible level of biassed judgement. Harry is warned by Sirius Black about Karkaroff, who reveals him to be a Death Eater and a good actor, noting his trial. After Voldemort's return, Harry learned that Karkaroff was innocent (of putting his name into the Goblet), and that the responsible party was Barty Crouch Jr Harry also learned that Karkaroff had left Hogwarts and fled into hiding. A year later, Harry heard from Remus Lupin that Karkaroff had been murdered by Death Eaters.
- Igor is a Slavic name derived from the Scandinavian name Ingvar, meaning "protected by Ing"; Ing the name of the norse goddess of fertility. Igor is also a stock character of horror literature and films, usually acting as a servant to the villain.
- "Kark" means "the unsettled" in Turkish, and "ar" means "are"; "off" is a common suffix in Russian surnames meaning "belonging to", and thus the full name may come to mean "the unsettled are belonging to Igor".
- Also, in several Slavic languages kar" is an onomatopoeia word, which represents the sound crows make (an equivalent to English "caw").
- Karkaroff is also an alternate name for Carcharoth the Werewolf from J.R.R Tolkien's The Silmarillion. It translates as "The Red Maw."
Behind the scenes
- Karkaroff was portrayed by Predrag Bjelac in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He was credited as "Pedja Bjelac" in the end credits. He worked with Warwick Davis in "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian", which he was also credited as "Pedja".
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Karkaroff also turned in Barty Crouch Jr for torturing Alice and Frank Longbottom.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Karkaroff cannot use Dark magic despite having once been a Death Eater. However, this may be because he had defected prior to when the game takes place. In the DS version of the sequel however, he can be able to use it.
- In the book Karkaroff's hair was silver, but in the film it was black and silver. His hair is shown to be black during his trial in 1980-81 in both the book and the film. In the book his eyes were also blue, but in the film they are brown.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (DS version)
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ While it is unknown exactly when Karkaroff was born, he would have to have been born by 1964, to have been of age for his trial in 1981.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour) - "And they’ve found Igor Karkaroff’s body in a shack up north. The Dark Mark had been set over it — well, frankly, I’m surprised he stayed alive for even a year after deserting the Death Eaters; Sirius’s brother, Regulus, only managed a few days as far as I can remember.”" He fled after the TriWizard Tournament's conclusion on 24 June 1995.
- ↑ Based on the fact that Durmstrang does not admit Muggle-borns as students, which makes it unlikely that they would admit them as professors or headmasters either. Karkaroff was also a member of the Death Eaters organisation, which was dedicated to eliminating Muggle-borns.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang) - "But the man who was leading them up to the castle was wearing furs of a different sort: sleek and silver, like his hair."
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - "Unlike Dumbledore, Karkaroff looked much younger; his hair and goatee were black."
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions) - "“I’d rather like to know that myself, Dumbledore,” said Professor Karkaroff. He was wearing a steely smile, and his blue eyes were like chips of ice."
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve) - "Harry could see him sweating in the torchlight, his white skin contrasting strongly with the black of his hair and beard."
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)
- ↑ Igor (fictional character) on Wikipedia