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I am always thoroughly confused when reading the chapter Seen and Unforseen in Order of the Phoenix. It says Hufflepuff defeated Gryffindor, 240-230. It's known that each goal score is worth 10 points right? Aside from the snitch which is 150. Well it only mentions Ron missing 14 goals, but he must have missed 24...

The very best thing you could say about the match was that it was short; the Gryffindor spectators had to endure only twenty-two minutes of agony. It was hard to say what the worst thing was: Harry thought it was a close-run contest between Ron’s fourteenth failed save, Sloper missing the Bludger but hitting Angelina in the mouth with his bat, and Kirke shrieking and falling backwards off his broom when Zacharias Smith zoomed at him carrying the Quaffle. The miracle was that Gryffindor only lost by ten points: Ginny managed to snatch the Snitch from right under Hufflepuff Seeker Summerby’s nose, so that the final score was two hundred and forty versus two hundred and thirty.

And then a few paragraphs later Fred says,

‘I haven’t even got the heart to take the mickey out of him,’ said Fred, looking over at Ron’s crumpled figure. ‘Mind you … when he missed the fourteenth –’He made wild motions with his arms as though doing an upright doggy-paddle.

Are there other ways of scoring I'm not familiar with? Or is the scoring wrong and the number 14 should be 24? Can anyone clear this up?

  • 31
    JK Rowling is famously bad at math. Alternatively, maybe the fourteenth failed save was a particularly ridiculous one, above and beyond the other 23? – Arclite May 21 '18 at 7:19
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    Maybe the "fourtheenth failed save" is roughly equivalent to "the nth failed save". In other words, he failed a lot of goals, without looking too closely on the actual number. If not this, then yeah, you'd be right. Technically he missed 24 goals. – Neil May 21 '18 at 7:22
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    That is what I considered too, that the 14th was just a really bad non-save lol. But nobody mentions he missed 24. I'd say that would be the worse part of the match. If he would of saved just one goal they would have tied or even won. – Flitoangel May 21 '18 at 7:40
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    There'd be no reason to focus on the last Hufflepuff goal, particularly since at the time there was no way to know that it was the last. It seems clear that the 14th goal was just a particularly embarrassing one. – Harry Johnston May 21 '18 at 8:06
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    @Harry Johnston: Can you please turn that into an answer? – chirlu May 21 '18 at 8:35
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Ron conceded 24 goals.

It's correct to say that the only way you can score points in Quidditch is through scoring with the Quaffle or catching the Golden Snitch. Hufflepuff scored 240 points, therefore Ron conceded 24 goals.

The emphasis in the quoted passage was on what the worst part of the match was (from a Gryffindor perspective). Ron's fourteenth save is mentioned in this context, as a particularly low moment in the match. It doesn't mean that he only missed fourteen shots.

It was hard to say what the worst thing was: Harry thought it was a close-run contest between Ron’s fourteenth failed save, Sloper missing the Bludger but hitting Angelina in the mouth with his bat, and Kirke shrieking and falling backwards off his broom when Zacharias Smith zoomed at him carrying the Quaffle.
(Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26, Seen and Unforseen).

Ron's fourteenth miss was particularly noteworthy. It wasn't his final one.

  • The passage was clearly only relating the worst failed save. No matter which end you run the statistics from, its quite unlikely that would happen to be the last one. The scoreline just proves it wasn't. – T.E.D. May 21 '18 at 21:17
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    Also maybe the 14th failed save was some kind of record: No previous Gryffindor Keeper in the last hundred years had ever exceeded 13. So the 14th was embarrassing ... – davidbak May 21 '18 at 23:37
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    It's in the second quote in the question. "[...]He made wild motions with his arms as though doing an upright doggy-paddle[...]". – Philipp May 22 '18 at 13:38
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First, the text says the fourteenth failed save was embarrassing, but it doesn't say it was the last. Judging from the score, there were ten more after that, but they weren't worse.

If you don't like that explanation, consider the Muggle sport basketball. There are some shots that are contested, and some shots that cannot be contested. When a team runs a fast break, they often have two offensive players against one defender; if they pass the ball efficiently, the shot will be uncontested, because the defender will be out of position. Perhaps there were ten such shots by Hufflepuff that Ron was unable to defend; the other fourteen were far enough away from the goal that Ron had a chance to stop them, but failed.

Also not mentioned is the possibility that Ron did save some shots on goal. Recall that the narrator is not giving a play-by-play of the match, just listing the embarrassing things that occurred, likely as a way of understanding Harry's mood.

  • 1
    This seems especially likely to me because of how Quiddich has three goal-hoops. Seems like a lot of goals would be scored when the Keeper was busy guarding a different hoop. – DaaaahWhoosh May 21 '18 at 16:01
  • I think this is a plausible explination – jedicurt May 21 '18 at 16:36
  • Also the match was only 22 minutes long... So that means a more than one goal a minute. Just saying that's pretty fast for goal scoring. Unless there were only 14 goals scored which means it was 140 not 240. But good Quidditch players and a bad keeper can pull off 24 goals in 22 minutes. Interesting thought. – Flitoangel May 24 '18 at 19:44

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