In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during the Quidditch Match against Ravenclaw, Cho Chang:

decided to mark him [Harry] rather than search for the Snitch herself...All right then, if she wanted to tail him, she'd have to take the consequences. He dived again, and Cho, thinking he'd seen the Snitch, tried to follow; Harry pulled out of the dive very sharply; she hurtled downward.....

While Harry may not have known the name of the tactic, his move in his third year is almost certainly a Wronski Feint, yet, after Harry sees Krumm perform the same maneuver for the same reason (a diversionary tactic) a year later in the Quidditch World Cup, Harry thinks to himself that he is:

itching to get back on his own Firebolt and try out the Wronski Feint.....Somehow Oliver Wood had never managed to convey with all his wriggling diagrams what the move was supposed to look like

Why do Harry and Wood not recognize that he, Harry, had already successfully executed the maneuver?

The Feint appears to be a fake play to the Snitch, a sudden dive and then pull up out of the dive to draw the other Seeker's attention and direction. At the very least, of course, there are differences between a third-year player's ability vs a national team level Seeker, but Harry should have at least recognized something along the lines of "oh! I've done that, not as well or cleanly". It just seems odd that the Feint is portrayed as a move that Harry was completed confused by until he witnessed it, when he had in fact, already performed at least a close approximation of one.

  • 30
    The real question is how hard is it to just explain "fly toward the ground, pull up at the last second, hope the other seeker crashes." That makes Wood look pretty terrible as a team captain.
    – Alarion
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 20:22
  • @Alarion - I'm assuming it's harder with broomsticks
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


Harry didn't do a Wronski Feint, he just did a normal feint.

My feeling is that the key element of the famed Wronkski Feint is that it's basically a game of chicken with your opponent (and the ground). You pretend to have seen the snitch, you hurtle groundwards and, if you're lucky, your opponent will misjudge the pull-out and slam into the floor. Even if they don't hit the ground, pulling out early puts them at a very severe speed advantage and gives you breathing room to spot the snitch while they re-orient themselves.

Wronski Feint

The Seeker hurtles towards the ground pretending to have seen the Snitch far below, but pulls out of the dive just before hitting the pitch. Intended to make the opposing Seeker copy him and crash. Named after the Polish Seeker Josef Wronski.

Quidditch Through the Ages

By comparison, Harry tries a feint against Cho in HP3 (diving, then rising again sharply) but never in a way that puts himself or Cho in danger. There's a great big difference between doing a fake-out move at a few hundred feet up and throwing yourself groundwards at hundreds of miles per hour, finishing up a few feet off the ground.

He dived again, and Cho, thinking he’d seen the Snitch, tried to follow. Harry pulled out of the dive very sharply, she hurtled downwards; he rose fast as a bullet once more, and then saw it, for the third time: the Snitch was glittering way above the pitch at the Ravenclaw end.

  • 2
    right, but, the next sentences in that paragraph indicate essentially the same effect, through a combination of the dive and the capabilities of the Firebolt vs Cho's broom, she's as good as grounded as Harry rockets towards the Snitch
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:25
  • 24
    @NKCampbell - Winning himself a height advantage because of her misjudgement doesn't make what he did a Wronski Feint.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:26
  • 8
    Awesome answer! Clears it up since Harry wasn't trying to put Cho in the ground but just evade her, love the Quidditch Through the Ages reference.
    – the_SJC
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 16:11
  • 8
    I still don't get why Harry was so flabbergasted, and how Oliver failed to explain what that was. It seems risky and requires some temerity, reflexes, and dexterity, but the whole thingy looks quite straightforward from a theoretical point of view.
    – Clement C.
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:27
  • 18
    If Harry wants a name for what he did, I hear "Wonky Faint" isn't taken! :P
    – Obsidia
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 17:58

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