Tom (fl. 1938—1990s) was the landlord, innkeeper, and barman of the Leaky Cauldron, and was friendly with many wizards and witches that passed through the pub to get to Diagon Alley. He had run the Leaky Cauldron for a long time, and had had the pleasure of meeting Harry Potter and former Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge on more than one occasion. It is likely he had met other celebrities and political figures in the wizarding world, such as Albus Dumbledore, since his pub leads directly into Diagon Alley. He was very old by the time Harry Potter knew him, as he was mentioned by Dumbledore in the late 1930s to Tom Riddle.
Tom was likely a pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and studied there from the age of eleven until he left, and eventually became barman/landlord of the Leaky Cauldron some time before 1938. It is possible that Tom encountered Tom Marvolo Riddle (later to be known as Lord Voldemort) on his way to Diagon Alley for the first time, as Albus Dumbledore had told Tom Riddle to ask for him to get there. Riddle's profound distaste for his given name was, in part, due to it being so common, and meeting the landlord would not have negated this opinion in any way.
In 1991, when Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid passed through the Leaky Cauldron on their way to Diagon Alley, Tom greeted Hagrid like an old friend, or, at the very least, a regular. Other witches and wizards who were there at the time (including Doris Crockford, Dedalus Diggle, and Quirinus Quirrell) began introducing themselves to Harry, before Hagrid managed to get him away from all of them.
In 1998, Tom was greeted by Bellatrix Lestrange (who was really Hermione Granger using Polyjuice Potion) while on her way to Gringotts in Diagon Alley, and was surprised by how polite she was towards him.
Post-Second Wizarding War
Tom is described by Harry Potter upon sight as old, "quite bald" and resembling a toothless walnut.
Magical abilities and skills
- Wandless Magic: Tom was capable of performing simple wandless spells such as lighting a fireplace.
- Non-verbal Magic: On 7 August, 1993, Tom was able to turn off a car alarm using non-verbal magic.
Tom is diminutive of the name "Thomas" which means infidel or unfaithful. It was used as a formal male given name. It also means "twin."
It is also quite likely that J. K. Rowling intentionally gave him the same first name as Tom Riddle, as the fact was commented on by Albus Dumbledore. While it is unknown if Riddle ever met the Tom who managed the Leaky Cauldron, he was annoyed by being pointed out they had the same forename. Tom Riddle disliked the fact that "Tom" was a common men's name, being those of of his father, and his grandfather, and desired to be known more independently.
Behind the scenes
- Tom appears in the Game Boy and GBA versions of the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the GBA version when Harry and Ron Weasley missed the train Harry asks him for any Floo Powder so he and Ron could get to the Burrow and take the car.
- Tom was played by Derek Deadman in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, while he was portrayed by Jim Tavaré in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.There is a difference between the two portrayals: in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, he is shown to work as the inn's bartender and is straight-backed, but in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he is clearly the innkeeper, as in the books, and appears to be a hunchback. From the in-universe part of it, one can argue that they may simply be separate characters who happen to be namesakes.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, if one plays as Tom, and jumps while standing still, Tom will stumble upon landing and go forward several steps.
- In the Lego video game, Tom can be unlocked in the first level of Year 1. First, you have to have unlocked Reducto. Then, in Gringotts, after you unlock the doors in the mainroom, use Reducto on the chest on the right. The one on the left holds Mr Ollivander.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when the Death Eaters pass their way from the Leaky Cauldron to Diagon Alley to kidnap Garrick Ollivander, it is unknown if Tom or a different associate was at the Leaky Cauldron.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (GBC and GBA versions only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
Notes and references