Mallory Twiddle was a wizard who wrote to the Daily Prophet in July 1998 to complain about how Gringotts was using sphinxes to guard its high security vaults. According to Twiddle, he ran into one of these sphinxes and spent an hour trying to solve its riddles, and was eventually chased out of the bank.
The name "Mallory" comes from an English surname which meant "unfortunate" in Norman French.
Behind the scenes
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a dragon is shown guarding the high security vaults at Gringotts, contradicting the earlier revelation that sphinxes were used as guards in the Daily Prophet Newsletters. However, this dragon escaped during the Gringotts break-in on 1 May, 1998, causing substantial damage to the bank in the process. Twiddle's letter was published in the 31 July, 1998 issue of the Daily Prophet Newsletters, so it's possible that Gringotts decided to switch to using sphinxes to guard its high security vaults after the break-in, in the hope of preventing further such incidents from occurring.