The Order of Merlin (abbreviated O.M.) was an award bestowed upon wizards and witches who had achieved great things. It had three different levels: First Class, Second Class, and Third Class.
An organisation called the Order of Merlin was founded by Merlin in the Middle Ages. Merlin believed that wizards and witches should help Muggles, and, thus, the Order of Merlin established rules against the use of magic on Muggles.
The award known as the Order of Merlin was created in commemoration of Merlin and was first given out by the Wizengamot in the 15th century. It is unknown whether this award was connected to the earlier organisation of the same name.
As often happens with such highly coveted awards, Ministry of Magic favourites seem to receive the Order of Merlin, especially the higher classes, more often than one might expect. Notable unworthy recipients are Cornelius Fudge, who gave it to himself despite his less-than-distinguishable career, and Arcturus Black III, who was widely believed to have bought it by loaning the Ministry a large amount of gold.
Appearance and classes
The Order of Merlin consisted of a "handsome" golden medal which hung on a coloured ribbon indicating its class.
There were three different classes of Order of Merlin that were awarded:
- First Class: Awarded for "acts of outstanding bravery or distinction" in magic. The colour of the ribbon for this class was green, which was believed to represent Merlin's Hogwarts house, Slytherin.
- Second Class: Awarded for "achievement or endeavour beyond the ordinary." The colour of the ribbon for this class was purple.
- Third Class: Awarded to individuals who "have made a contribution to our store of knowledge or entertainment." The colour of the ribbon for this class was white.
Order of Merlin, First Class
|Podric Batworthy||Unknown||Batworthy held, additionally, the title of Grand Sorcerer, which suggests he was particularly accomplished in magic.|
|Arcturus Black III||Between 1901 and 1991||Awarded for his "services to the Ministry", which, according to Sirius, was another way of saying that he had given them a lot of gold. Sirius threw the medal into the garbage when he was cleaning 12 Grimmauld Place.|
Minister Leonard Spencer-Moon
|Awarded for his defeat of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, effectively putting an end to the global wizarding war. During the campaign to discredit him, it was suggested by Remus Lupin that the Ministry would consider taking away the Order of Merlin from Dumbledore. Dumbledore claimed that he didn't care as long as he wasn't taken off of the Chocolate Frog Cards. However, when Dumbledore's credibility was restored, the Ministry's consideration to retract the medal was cancelled.|
|Cornelius Fudge||Between 1990 and 1995|
Minister Cornelius Fudge
|Presumably for his work as Minister for Magic; awarded by Fudge to himself, which caused controversy in the wizarding community.|
Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt
|Awarded posthumously for his role as a member of the Order of the Phoenix and for his death during the Battle of Hogwarts. Remus was the first werewolf ever to be accorded this honour.|
Minister Hesphaestus Gore
|Awarded for her use of the Mending Charm to repair the Colosseum after it was destroyed by an explosion that occurred when a fight broke out between supporters of two broom racers in 1754.|
Minister Millicent Bagnold
|Awarded posthumously (or so it was believed at the time) for a "heroic confrontation" with Sirius Black. The medal was given to Pettigrew's mother. Pettigrew, not Black, was later revealed to have been the one who betrayed the Potter family.|
|Tilly Toke and her family||1932|
Minister Hector Fawley
|Awarded for saving the lives of several Muggles during the Ilfracombe Incident in 1932.|
Minister Wilhelmina Tuft
|Awarded posthumously for saving the life of a Muggle child from a runaway manticore.|
Order of Merlin, Second Class
Minister Harold Minchum
|Awarded "in recognition of his services to the study of magical beasts, Magizoology".|
Order of Merlin, Third Class
|Gilderoy Lockhart||Between 1982 and 1992|
Minister Millicent Bagnold
Minister Cornelius Fudge
|He received this award for his encounters with many dark creatures and for penning his autobiographic works instructing people on how to repel them. In 1993, it was revealed that he had only taken credit for these deeds and had not really done any of them.|
Recipients of unknown class
|Cottismore Croyne||Unknown||May have been awarded for his tenure as Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards.|
|Albert Gibbering Stump||Between 1662 and 1700|
|For unknown reasons.|
|Damocles||Sometime after the mid-1970s||May have been awarded for his invention of the lycanthropy-treating Wolfsbane Potion.|
- Cornelius Fudge promised to give Severus Snape the Order of Merlin, First Class, for capturing Sirius Black, then assumed to be a fugitive murderer, but Black escaped before Fudge could follow through on his word. It was later stated that the loss of this Order of Merlin hit Snape hard, and allegedly was the reason that he let it slip that Remus Lupin was a werewolf.
Behind the scenes
- The "Muggle" counterpart to the Order of Merlin could include the Order of the British Empire, Victoria Cross, Medal of Honor, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or the Nobel Prize.
- Since 1966, the International Brotherhood of Magicians has been awarding its own Order of Merlin to long-standing members.
- Since Dumbledore was on the verge of losing his Order of Merlin during Fudge's campaign, it means that a certain level of disgrace is capable of causing a recipient to lose the Order of Merlin.
- As Fudge was heavily disgraced for his lack of actions against Lord Voldemort's return (not to mention that the worth of his award was heavily questioned to begin with), it's possible that his Order of Merlin has been retracted.
- Due to Lockhart being a fraudulent crook who stole credits from other wizards and witches to boost his own fame, it's most likely he earned his Order of Merlin with deceit and trickery. It's possible that it was retracted when his true colours were revealed.
- When Pettigrew's true actions of betrayal and frame-up of his friends are revealed, and his membership in the Death Eaters, it is possible his Order of Merlin was retracted from his mother's possession.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Mentioned on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Famous Wizard Card (Merlin)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Pottermore - New from J.K. Rowling: "Order of Merlin"
- ↑ Harry Potter Limited Edition - The Paintings of Hogwarts: Masterpieces from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Sets
- ↑ Pottermore - New From J.K. Rowling - "Remus Lupin"
- ↑ Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs), page 258 "The Potion that Professor Snape has been making is a very recent discovery...Before the Wolfsbane Potion was discovered, however, I became a fully fledged monster once a month [when I went to Hogwarts]"
- ↑ Horace Slughorn states in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7, "I was just telling young Marcus here that I had the pleasure of teaching his Uncle Damocles. Outstanding wizard, outstanding, and his Order of Merlin most well-deserved."