Golden Snitch

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The Golden Snitch or Snitch, is one of the three kinds of balls used in the game of Quidditch. A Quidditch match only ends once the Snitch has been caught.[1]


[edit] History

Originally, back in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the role of a Seeker and the existence of the Golden Snitch, or indeed any fourth ball, was omitted from the game of Quidditch. The idea of the Golden Snitch came about in the thirteenth century, through the Golden Snidget.[2]

[edit] The Golden Snidget

The Golden Snidget is a small, peace loving bird that can fly very fast and change direction with lightning speeds. Snidget-hunting was a popular sport with wizards from the 1100s until the middle of the 14th century when their numbers became dangerously low.

During a Quidditch match in 1269, Barberus Bragge the Chief of the Wizards' Council brought a caged Snidget and said he would award 150 Galleons to the player that caught the Snidget during the game. As a result all the players ignored the other balls and hunted the Snidget. The crowd used repelling charms to stop the Snidget from leaving the field.

One witch, Modesty Rabnott, protested at the cruelty to the Snidget and Summoned the bird, stuffed it down her robes and ran. She was able to release it before she was caught, but the idea of one player on each side's job being to find and kill the Golden Snidget during a match developed and became popular. The 150 points awarded to the team of the player who killed the Snidget was in memory of the 150 Galleon prize offered by Bragge.[3]

[edit] The Snitch

The first Snitch was forged by Bowman Wright at Godric's Hollow.[4] Following the outlawing of killing Golden Snidgets and using them in Quidditch games by a new Chief of the Wizards' Council, Elfrida Clagg, in the 14th century, there was a need for a replacement for the bird. Wright was a skilled metal-charmer and was able to create a ball the same weight as a Snidget, with rotating wing joints that could change direction in the same way as the bird. The Snitch quickly became a popular replacement for the protected Snidget.[3]

[edit] Properties

[edit] Physical

The Snitch is a small, bright gold, walnut-sized ball with two silver wings.[1] It is extremely fast, which, added to its size, makes it very difficult to see.

[edit] Magical

  • The Snitch is bewitched to remain within the boundaries of the pitch.[3]
  • The Snitch is bewitched to evade capture as long as possible.[5]
  • They also have flesh memories; they remember the touch of the first human to touch them, thus preventing confusion when the catch is disputed. Consequently, no person is allowed to touch a Snitch before a game, and even the makers wear gloves.[6]

[edit] Role in Quidditch

The Snitch is released at the start of a Quidditch game by the referee. It then flies around the pitch very fast, making it difficult to be seen. The Seeker on each team then tries to catch the Snitch. The Seeker that catches the Snitch first earns their team 150 points, and ends the game. A game of Quidditch cannot end until the Snitch is caught.[1]

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J. K. Rowling, PS 10
  2. J. K. Rowling, QA 3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J. K. Rowling, QA 4
  4. J. K. Rowling, DH 16
  5. J. K. Rowling, QA 6
  6. J. K. Rowling, DH 7