In Chamber of Secrets, Oliver Wood mentions that the Gryffindor team lost the game and the Quidditch cup all because Harry, the team Seeker, was in the hospital wing, recovering from saving the day. It seems to imply that without Harry, there was no Seeker, which would be ridiculous. I don't know much about sports, but I think they usually have players ready to step in as a replacement should someone become injured or something.

Does Gryffindor have a backup Seeker, and if not, why not?

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    Related, possible duplicate: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/133445/51379 – Adamant Jul 2 '16 at 21:29
  • The question of who the backup seeker is is on-topic. The other 90% of the question is a direct dupe – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 21:38
  • @Valorum - the question is specifically about Gryffindor's team. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 2 '16 at 21:47
  • @DVK-in-exile - Hmm. Edited to remove the chatter then – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 21:49
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    I see no reason why Wood's comment can't be taken as meaning that Gryffindor lost because they didn't have their regular seeker and the replacement was not as talented as Harry. – Blackwood Jul 2 '16 at 23:29

Apparently, they didn't have any seekers worth putting on the field (and a random Joe on a broomstick is rather useless as a Seeker - it's a very specialized role) after Charlie Weasley graduated the year before.

"Woods, I have found you a seeker"
Professor McGonagall, upon discovering Harry's mad skillz.

She wouldn't have been so excited (she dragged Harry out of a flying lesson) if the Seeker situation in Gryffindor wasn't wholly disastrous.

And there was no mention of Ginny trying out for a seeker for a couple more years.

  • Fielding an inexperienced seeker probably goes beyond useless. Based on what we see in the books, the role is downright dangerous, even for talented fliers. For an incompetent, it would be suicidal – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 21:55
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    @Valorum - They can fix anything </Alex Murphy> – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 2 '16 at 21:56
  • I'm reasonably sure that ploughing into the ground at 100mph is liable to lead to injuries that even Poppy Pomfrey would struggle with. – Valorum Jul 2 '16 at 21:57
  • @Valorum - that sort of plowing tends to be a result of being a GOOD seeker - e.g. ability to spot a Snitch and almost get it :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 2 '16 at 21:58
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    @Valorum - given JKR's in-universe details, magical intelligence seems grossly overrated </snark> – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jul 2 '16 at 22:09

No, Gryffindor didn’t have a backup Seeker in Harry’s first year.

When Harry gets suspicious because Snape would be the referee for his upcoming Quidditch match, and he, Ron, and Hermione, are trying to figure out what to do, Harry says he can’t drop out because Gryffindor doesn’t have a reserve Seeker and can’t play without him.

Really break your leg,’ said Ron.

‘I can’t,’ said Harry. ‘There isn’t a reserve Seeker. If I back out, Gryffindor can’t play at all.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 13 (Nicolas Flamel)

While someone probably did play Seeker in the final match, it would have been another player, leaving one of the other less-important positions open. It’s never explained why they didn’t have any replacement Seekers, but there might have just not have been anyone competent enough.

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