At one point Harry runs into Igor Karkaroff on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest as Karkaroff heads in the direction of the dragons. Harry and Madame Maxime (and, consequently, Fleur Delacour) found out about the dragons via Hagrid. Yet Hagrid had no reason to tip Karkaroff off about the dragons.

The very existence of the dragons was supposed to be a closely guarded secret and the organisers of the Tournament would've taken pains to ensure that the arrival of the dragons at Hogwarts was as quiet and inconspicuous as possible. Nobody, as far as I can tell, intended that Karkaroff should know about the dragons. And yet he was somehow confident enough to take a night-time excursion in the Forbidden Forest in search of them (even if he didn't know he'd find dragons when he set out). It seems unlikely that it was a coincidence that he was in the right place at the right time.

How did he know to go looking for the dragons that night?

  • 3
    Well... Hagrid knew, and he's head master of loose lips... it's a wonder the whole school didn't know. (alternately, Karkaroff just kept an eye on Maxine).
    – Radhil
    Mar 25, 2017 at 19:20
  • 1
    @Radhil You think Karkaroff went for the old 'hooked figure in a bar offers to buy Hagrid a drink' trick? Mar 25, 2017 at 19:23
  • he appeared to just be following hagrid and maxine
    – Himarm
    Mar 25, 2017 at 19:23
  • @Himarm Why would he be following Hagrid, though? He had no reason to think Hagrid knew any more about the 1st task than he did. Mar 25, 2017 at 19:24
  • 6
    @TheDarkLord - the snarkier half of me thinks "for info, buy Hagrid drinks" is written on the bathroom walls at the Hog's Head. As for the other part, it's not hard to notice Hagrid and Maxine setting off into the forest at night and wondering what's up, even if he didn't know exactly what he'd find.
    – Radhil
    Mar 25, 2017 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


This may not answer the question, but the books have a theory:

“He had no doubt whatsoever what Karkaroff was up to. He had sneaked off his ship to try and find out what the first task was going to be. He might even have spotted Hagrid and Madame Maxime heading off around the forest together - they were hardly difficult to spot at a distance…and now all Karkaroff had to do was follow the sound of voices, and he, like Madame Maxime, would know what was in store for the champions.”

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 19, The Hungarian Horntail

He might have been looking for clues, when he would have spotted Hagrid and Madame Maxime together and decided to follow them.

Generally there is a hint on where the event would take place and what it would be.

“Well, what d'you think?” said Bagman happily as Harry and Cedric climbed over the last hedge. “Growing nicely, aren't they? Give them a month and Hagrid'll have them twenty feet high. Don't worry,” he added, grinning, spotting the less-than-happy expressions on Harry's and Cedric's faces, “you'll have your Quidditch field back to normal once the task is over! Now, I imagine you can guess what we're making here?”

“No one spoke for a moment. Then -

“Maze,” grunted Krum.

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Chapter 28, “The Madness of Mr Crouch

So I think Karkaroff was looking around saw Hagrid and Madame Maxime walking together and decided to investigate.

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