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I rarely introduce movie canon into a question, but I'm watching Goblet of Fire and there's the scene where Moody/Crouch Jr is helping Harry figure out how to solve the first task (dragons), where he says, "Krum's head may be filled with sawdust, but Karkaroff's is not; you can bet he's got a plan."

Is there a basis in canon that Viktor Krum's head is "filled with sawdust", i.e. he's kind of dopey? Or is this just a characterization choice used in the movie? I didn't get the vibe off Viktor in canon that he's a "dumb jock" or not a talented wizard. So what gives about Viktor Krum? Is he daft or is he a smart and capable wizard who happens to be the best Quidditch Seeker in the world?

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    Being chosen as school champion and getting to second place in the Triwizard tournament should count for something I would imagine. – NominSim Jun 14 '12 at 21:33
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    Come on, he did quite well on the second task, performing an advanced Transfiguration spell. – b_jonas Jun 14 '12 at 22:05
  • Personally, I think that Crouch Jr. was like a lot of kids with low self esteem in high school - not in the popular crowd, and probably picked on by the jocks. He wasn't portrayed as particularly strong in his own self-worth (More so than Wormtail, but less than Professor Snape and Bellatrix). As such in my mind, he'd resent the jocks. How often have you heard the stereotype of "Dumb Jocks"? It would make perfect sense for someone who wasn't particularly popular, loved, etc to lash out at those he sees as threatening. It's how we nerds kept ourselves from feeling inadequate in high school. – David Stratton Jun 15 '12 at 4:15
  • Head "filled with sawdust" means he doesn't think, or is not cautious or careful, and unlikely to resort to a plan instead of direct action. Not so much that he's a dope. – Gorchestopher H Jun 15 '12 at 16:31
  • @b_jonas Although, in the book it says he used the advanced Transfiguration spell despite it being a bit botched up. – morganpdx Jul 20 '12 at 19:07
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Krum is definitely NOT a very bad wizard.

  • As Nominsim noted in the comment, he performed a self-transfiguration charm for the second task (1/2 way done but fully effective - it got him where he needed AND he didn't damage himself) by turning half of himself into a shark. As we saw mentioned elsewhere in canon, transfiguring living things is one of the hardest of configurations, and doing so on humans is even harder.

  • He was chosen as his school's champion. Somehow I doubt that being a dumb jock with good reflexes and flying skills would be enough to be chosen. (Then again, Harry was a champion... *DVK ducks and hides*)

  • Hermione liked him enough to actually go out with him somewhat seriously. Since this is NOT a hollywood romantic comedy, I'm going to make an assumption that Hermione's personality is that of a typical nerdy know-it-all girl; and nearly 100% of those that I have known (and I've known plenty) were almost exclusively into guys who had intelligence.

  • He said that he and the others on the TriWizard team were the ones who were steering their magical boat to Hogwarts (when questioned how they would get back home without just-eloped Karkaroff). Presumably, that's not a fully trivial skill.

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    I'd point out that Hermione was pretty tired of him by the end of GoF. He was a "dreadful bore" if I recall right. – Gabe Willard Jun 15 '12 at 5:06
  • @GabeWillard A valid point, but not definitive proof either way. Being boring doesn't prevent you from being intelligent, or vice versa. Also note that Hermione did keep in contact with him, so he can't have been that boring. – Anthony Grist Jun 15 '12 at 8:20
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    "Hermione's personality is that of a typical nerdy know-it-all girl [...] were almost exclusively into guys who had intelligence." But she end up with Ron Weasley. – DavRob60 Jun 15 '12 at 12:13
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    DavRob60: Ron isn't a bookworm but he is intelligent. – b_jonas Jun 15 '12 at 14:48
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    @DavRob60 - Ron is the best Wizard Chess player in the entire series. Just because he was a lazy student, don't make him not intelligent. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 15 '12 at 15:17

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