Ludovic "Ludo" Bagman was a wizard and Ministry of Magic employee. During his career at the Ministry, Ludo rose to the post of Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports. His career at the Ministry ended in mid-1995, when he had to go on the run from goblins, against whom he had lost several bets. Before working at the Ministry, he was a Beater for the Quidditch team the Wimbourne Wasps and English national team. He has a brother named Otto. He also tends to play dirty when gambling and betting as he tries to find loop holes or even pay in fake money/gold.
First Wizarding War
After Lord Voldemort fell from power, Ludo was put on trial before the Council of Magical Law for giving information about the Ministry to the Death Eater Augustus Rookwood. According to Ludo, he did not know that Rookwood was a Death Eater. Rookwood had been a friend of Ludo's father and had persuaded Ludo into giving him the information by talking about getting Ludo a job at the Ministry. Barty Crouch attempted to place Bagman in Azkaban for this exchange of information for a certain amount of time, but much to Crouch's annoyance, Ludo was cleared of all charges, partly due to being a popular Quidditch player; one witch within the jury, in fact, stood up and congratulated Bagman for his impressive play in the previous Quidditch match, with the others cheering him. Ludo was never accused of allegiance with Death Eaters again.
Quidditch World Cup
Despite Mr. Crouch's low opinion of Ludo, Ludo soon got a job at the Ministry as head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports.
Ludo took part in organising the Quidditch World Cup of 1994. He was quite reckless in terms of security, and did not bother dressing in Muggle clothing for the event. Ludo's position with the Ministry only fuelled his serious addiction to gambling—he took bets, for instance, before the cup started with Fred and George for the result of the final, in the amount of thirty-seven Galleons, fifteen Sickles, and three Knuts plus a joke wand. He was bankrupt after the World Cup and tried to trick his creditors by paying them with leprechaun gold. The twins therefore stalked Bagman for the entire school year, trying to get their money, and later realised their attempts were unsuccessful. Ludo commentated during the World Cup using the spell Sonorus.
After the Cup ended, Ludo was cornered by a group of goblins in the forest near the stadium. Ludo had borrowed a large amount of gold from the goblins but never paid them back. The goblins stripped Ludo of all the money he had on him and left, not yet realising that the money wasn't enough to pay the debt. Ludo wandered around the forest, completely unaware that the camp was being terrorised by a group of Death Eaters.
The Triwizard Tournament
His position as head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports meant that, in 1994,[HP4] Ludo, along with Barty Crouch Sr., organised and judged the Triwizard Tournament. Together, they worked hard to ensure that none of the Champions would find themselves in "mortal danger".
When at Hogwarts, the Goblins tracked Ludo down to get the rest of the gold he owed them, but he could not pay them, as he had lost most of his money gambling.
Meanwhile, Fred and George thought that Bagman gave them the Leprechaun gold by mistake and tried gently prodding him throughout the year but Bagman ignored their letters and made up excuses. Eventually, Bagman "turned nasty" and told the Weasley twins that they're too young to gamble and that they won't get anything back. Fred and George found out about Bagman's debts through Lee Jordan, whose father had also been swindled. Fred considered informing the Ministry of Bagman's activities whereas George argued that it was blackmail.
When Harry Potter's name was drawn out of the Goblet of Fire, Ludo Bagman appeared delighted, and he was the first person to inform the other three champions that Harry was now a participant. Ludo planned to pay the Goblins by betting that Harry would win the Triwizard Tournament. Ludo thus did his best in helping Harry to win, but Harry always refused his "few pointers", as he thought taking advice from Ludo amounted to cheating.
Just before the first task, Bagman took Harry aside and asked him if he wanted "a few pointers" for getting past the Hungarian Horntail; however, Harry refused this information. During the task, Bagman took the role of commentator, and was very impressed at Harry's flying skills around the dragon. He gave Harry full ten points despite the champion being injured, and was furious at Karkaroff for being biased against Harry.
Later, in January of 1995 Bagman was again cornered by the Goblins, who looked "rather menacing", in Hogsmeade at The Three Broomsticks. When he saw Harry there, he offered him his help in the Triwizard Tournament, but Harry refused and asked Ludo what the Goblins were up to. Ludo made up a story about the Goblins searching for Barty Crouch Sr.
For the final task, Bagman had the sole responsibility of showing the champions the maze which had been constructed on the school Quidditch pitch (since Mr. Crouch was apparently "sick"). He attempted to offer Harry help for the third time, but was interrupted by Viktor Krum.
The Triwizard Tournament ended with Harry winning, but being tied with Cedric Diggory, who was killed. The Goblins refused to admit Ludo won the bet, saying that Harry did not win, but was tied with Cedric. Ludo went on the run shortly after the third task.
Life on the run
What happened to Bagman after that is unknown, but during Harry's hearing for using magic outside of school in the subsequent year, his name came up in reference. When Harry told them that he used magic to drive away Dementors that were attacking him at Magnolia Crescent, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge stated that "even Bagman wouldn't bet...". Also, due to Bagman cheating the goblins out of his debt and running away, the Order of the Phoenix had difficulty earning their trust. He probably went into exile for a while, and obviously lost his post at the ministry.
Personality and traits
Bagman was once accused of passing information to Death Eater Augustus Rookwood the first time Lord Voldemort was powerful. He was never convicted, and it is likely that if he did pass any information to Rookwood, he did so innocently, not knowing Rookwood was working for Voldemort.
It is worth mentioning, however, that at least two people in 1994 suspected him of foul play, or at least mistrusted him: both Rita Skeeter (unreliable though she is) and Barty Crouch Jr. (masquerading as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody) mentioned this in the presence of Harry, Ron and Hermione. Rita Skeeter says to Hermione: "I know things about Ludo Bagman that would make your hair curl - not that it needs it." This is likely a reference to the aforementioned accusation of passing information to Rookwood.
Bagman was seen as a genuinely nice person to all who knew him. However, he had a weakness for gambling which put a financial strain on him. (He might have originally borrowed off the Goblins to pay off gambling debts). As George Weasley stated: "He's lost everything gambling." He could also turn very nasty when it came to paying his losses, as he used worthless Leprechaun gold to pay, and refused to pay real money when the winners came to him. He also attempted to cheat at certain times when he was in a desperate situation, such as helping Harry during the Tournament, despite being forbidden to do so. Ludo gone as far as running away after losing his final bet against his goblin creditors, which resulted in them refusing to side with humans during the Second Wizarding War.
Magical abilities and skills
- Quidditch: Ludo was a famous beater for the Wimbourne Wasps, as he was said to be the best they ever had.
- Apparation: He was at least sufficient at apparating.
- Ludovic was a Latinised of the French royal name, Louis. Ludovic is from Gaelic for "devotee of the Lord." "Ludo" is Latin for "I play", part of the verb ludere.
- In British slang, a bagman is a travelling salesman. Ludo was a secret gambler who threw away his money.
- In American criminal slang, a bagman is a go-between who picks up or delivers money, usually bribes given by a crime family to the police. Ludo, of course, is constantly handling money as he makes his bets, and tries to fix the outcome of the Triwizard tournament with little offers of "help" in the right direction. This could also reflect his role as a (perhaps unknowing) go-between for the Death Eaters, passing information to Augustus Rookwood during the First Wizarding War.
Behind the scenes
- The part of Ludo Bagman was omitted from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and his announcing of the Quidditch World Cup of 1994 was done by the Minister for Magic at the time, which was Cornelius Fudge. The warnings and the directions for each task of the Triwizard Tournament were given to the champions by Dumbledore rather than Bagman.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup