Based on these

Why did Griphook betray Harry in Deathly Hallows?

Did Griphook double-cross Harry and Co.?

Ok fine. It's not really a betrayal, but it's a huge hindrance to defeating Voldemort.

My assumptions:

  1. Revenue: Griphook would be severely harmed if Voldemort wins the war or at least it is more beneficial to Griphook if Voldemort loses compared to wins, so it makes sense to get the trio out to defeat Voldemort.

  2. Cost: I don't see any kind of opportunity cost here. Afair, Griphook does not have some kind of risk in getting them out of Gringotts. (Arguably, Griphook has a better chance of getting out of Gringotts with them instead of without them.)

Question: Ostensibly, Griphook consequently profits (Profit = Revenue - Cost): Griphook has everything to gain and nothing to lose by getting them out or at least saving them. What am I missing?

  • 1
    How would he know that what they are doing is actually going to be against Voldemort? Sure, Harry says so, but that dillusional wizard kid can say a lot, doesn't mean it'll benefit Goblins. He got a goblin-made artifact out of the deal - and (as Bill explains) goblin-made means goblin-owned and at most loaned to wizards. Once Harry makes Bogrod open the vault Griphook merely uses the chaos of wizards and goblins running around to make his escape. Sticking with them would be no help, they have no way of escaping and the defenders know of inside help - he didn't know they'd hijack a dragon
    – BMWurm
    Mar 25, 2022 at 8:50
  • @BMWurm oh wow thanks. Seems like more it's the fault of the trio for not explaining to Griphook then huh? Also do you disagree with Kyralessa's answer in other post?
    – BCLC
    Mar 25, 2022 at 8:53
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    not at all, in fact I agree that might have exactly been his thinking. To him they were trapped and being a former of the employee of the place would make him a prime suspect as being the inside man .. ehh goblin. But in being the one sounding the alarm ... and having "rescued" the sword makes him look far less guilty. And with the chaos of a dragon ripping its way out of the place... might be he got out of there without anyone being the wiser.
    – BMWurm
    Mar 25, 2022 at 9:09
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    @BCLC I think it was their fault for not telling Griphook more about the plan, but that was a calculated risk on their part. The more Griphook knew, the more damage could be done if he either turned against them or was made to tell others what he knew, and Harry had been warned not to tell anyone else about the horcrux hunt. Mar 25, 2022 at 13:13
  • @PastychomperthanksMonica Ah thanks. post as answer?
    – BCLC
    Mar 25, 2022 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


I think he'd have seen less potential revenue and a lot more potential cost, plus there was little he could do to help them at that point.

@BMWurm's comment points out that Griphook had no reason to believe that Harry's actions would end up benefiting goblins. Certainly Griphook had little trust in wizards in general, he saw them them as arrogant and disdainful of other races. He called Harry a very unusual wizard when he saw that he was capable of caring for non-humans, but that still didn't prove Harry could do anything to help goblins.

Griphook was also short of information because Harry only told him the bare minimum about the plan and his reasons for it. This was a calculated risk on the part of Harry, Hermione and Ron: The more Griphook knew, the more danger if he either turned against them or was made to tell others what he knew, and Harry had been warned by Dumbledore not to tell anyone else about the horcrux hunt. Even Ron's brother, who housed them as they planned the escapade, didn't get to know what they were doing.

Griphook only agreed to help on condition of being given the Sword of Gryffindor, suggesting that he wasn't convinced the plan itself was worthwhile.

When he left them the plan was falling apart and the only exit was blocked by angry goblins. Riding the dragon out of the bank was an act of desperation that they probably hadn't thought of at that point, so from Griphook's viewpoint there was no escape for the three humans. There was also little he could do to help them beyond showing solidarity by staying with them.

I can't say whether he would have risked himself for them if he thought it would help, but I doubt he could have helped if he wanted to. The cost of staying with them probably included being subjected to summary goblin justice, administered by goblins who'd see him as a traitor to his former colleagues, but by leaving he had a chance to save himself and the sword.

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