Madame Maxime and Igor Karkaroff were the heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang Wizarding Schools, and yet they spent an entire year away from those schools at Hogwarts during the Triwizard tournament.

I can understand the students spending a year there, as it would be pretty much like a student exchange program where they just get taught their regular lessons in a different school abroad.

I can also understand that since there are a number of students from these schools, having a chaperone from their own school would make sense.

What I'm confused about is how and why those chaperones were the headmaster and headmistress of those schools. They would certainly attend the big events (such as the drawing of names, each Triwizard event, the Yule Ball etc.) but why were they the ones to stick around for the entire year?

Were their schools just run by someone else in that year? Would Dumbledore have been expected to spend a full year at a different school if the tournament was elsewhere?

  • 9
    Is there any evidence to say they were there all day every day? Transportation is fairly easy in the wizarding world!
    – Liath
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 10:11
  • 2
    @Liath That's a good point, they may not have been there 100% of the time, but there are definitely plenty of occasions where they are mentioned as being at Hogwarts outside of important occasions related to the tournament, implying that they stay there most of the time. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 10:19
  • 6
    It is reasonable to assume that they left a deputy to handle matters at home. This is a normal practice for a headmaster of any school.
    – TimSparrow
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 11:00
  • 3
    Hogwarts had a Deputy Headmistress, why could the the schools not have a similar position?
    – Skooba
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 11:58
  • 3
    As for Madame Maxime, I cannot say. But Igor did have a reason to stay. After the World Cup incident, Igor knew that there were some death eaters out and as he ratted them out, he could be in danger. And who can protect you from them? ding, ding, ding Dumbledore and the former Death-eater Severus Snape.
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


I am quite certain that both Madame Maxime and Igor Karkaroff stayed at Hogwarts throughout the year.

  1. They both must have had deputies just like Dumbledore who would take over in their absence. If something major have happened in their schools that would require their presence they would be summoned back and I am fairly certain that we would have been told so in the book.

    • Also and this is wildly theoretical based on a single question: At the end of the book Harry asked Krum if they have a new Headmaster and Krum just shrugs. A new Headmaster can be chosen extremely fast in the magical world as the replacement of Dumbledore shows on more than one occasion throughout the books. Which means that they may not just have left a deputy but an actual Headmaster/Mistress at their schools just for an year so they can accompany the chosen students for the tournament.
  2. Both of them had a big reason to stay. In the case of Karkaroff it was two reasons as he was probably scared of the Death Eaters from the Quiddich Championship and from his mark beginning to activate again after so many years. The second reason which Madame Maxime would have had as well was to learn as much about the challenges so they can help their champions in the tournament.

    • As (pretend) Moody asks Harry in one of the chapters, does Harry think that Maxime won't tell Fleur about the dragons or that Karkaroff is not helping Krum as well.
  • 3
    Not to mention that if they were needed back at their own schools for an emergency, they could simply have walked off the school grounds and apparited away, or gone to Hogsmeade and taken a flue. Then, they possibly could be back before dinner such that most people would never know they left.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 20:46

Harry at least seemed to assume that Karkaroff and Madame Maxime would be staying at Hogwarts the whole year:

"What d'you reckon'll happen to the ones who aren't chosen?" Ron muttered to Harry as the veela-girl dropped her parchment into the Goblet of Fire. "Reckon they'll go back to school, or hang around to watch the tournament?"

"Dunno," said Harry. "Hang around, I suppose.... Madame Maxime's staying to judge, isn't she?"

It would make sense that the heads would not constantly travel back and forth because there are various concealments and protections on Hogwarts that would presumably have to be adjusted each time they return.

Additionally, is it really that integral for the head of the school to be on campus? Going through the series, what has Dumbledore actually done in his capacity as headmaster? Not much, from what we see at least. And some of what he does do can probably be done remotely as well. Indeed, in Half-Blood Prince he apparently takes prolonged absences from the school, and the only problem that people seem to have is that the school is left less protected:

"What!" said Ron, goggling at Hermione. "But Hogwarts is safer than their homes, bound to be! We've got Aurors, and all those extra protective spells, and we've got Dumbledore!"

"I don't think we've got him all the time," said Hermione very quietly, glancing toward the staff table over the top of the Prophet. "Haven't you noticed? His seat's been empty as often as Hagrid's this past week."

Harry and Ron looked up at the staff table. The headmaster's chair was indeed empty. Now Harry came to think of it, he had not seen Dumbledore since their private lesson a week ago.

"You're leaving the school tonight and I'll bet you haven't even considered that Snape and Malfoy might decide to —"

"To what?" asked Dumbledore, his eyebrows raised. "What is it that you suspect them of doing, precisely?"

"I ... they're up to something!" said Harry and his hands curled into fists as he said it. "Professor Trelawney was just in the Room of Requirement, trying to hide her sherry bottles, and she heard Malfoy whooping, celebrating! He's trying to mend something dangerous in there and if you ask me he's fixed it at last and you're about to just walk out of school without —"

So it would probably not be so crazy for Madame Maxime and Karkaroff to leave their schools for an entire year (there was no imminent threat from Voldemort/Death Eaters at that point.)

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