It is a major plot point in Goblet of Fire that the Marauder's map identifies Bartemius Crouch Jr. as simply Bartemius Crouch; therefore leading to the confusion that Bartemius Crouch (Sr.) was the person searching Snape's office.

This has always bothered me a bit; surely the Marauder's map would be able to distinguish between two different people? If Barty Sr. and Barty Jr. were standing next to each other, would the map show Bartemius Crouch twice?

Are there other instances of the Marauder's Map not showing the complete truth that would make it seem more plausible that it can't distinguish between a Sr. and Jr.?

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    When creating a program using code, adding something such as jr or senior is multipul lines and statements since only a small fraction of people actually have jr and sr attached to their names. I assume that when creating a magical object such as the marauders map would require a similar extra piece of magic to show something that. 99.9% of the time will never mater, as the map is for use against students and teachers not assuming parents to be on campus.
    – Himarm
    Aug 8, 2014 at 16:41
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    A better question is why it DIDN'T show a never-moving Mad Eye Moody. Aug 10, 2014 at 16:46
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    @JerrySchirmer: arguably, he wasn't in Hogwarts, he was in some sort of extra-dimensional space; he'd only have been visible for the brief periods when the trunk was open to that particular setting. The map didn't show people in the RoR either, it isn't all-knowing. Aug 10, 2014 at 21:48
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    The inside of Moody's trunk might be unplottable.
    – user13267
    Aug 12, 2014 at 10:17
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    @JerrySchirmer it did when harry was sneaking back from figuring out the egg he saw "Mr. Crouch" meeting with Moody in his office, harry just never got the chance to figure out that Moody was never moving while barty was in Moody's body. Aug 13, 2014 at 11:07

3 Answers 3


At the risk of stating the obvious, the map appears to be designed to show the full forename and surname of each person in range. Although he might be known as "Barty Crouch Jr", that's not actually his name.


It's incredibly unlikely that his actual name ended with the word Junior (or Jr) since in the English upper-class tradition the nominative 'Sr/Jr' is merely an affectation.

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    @fgreg - It's incredibly unlikely that his actual name ended with Jr. In the English upper-class tradition the Sr/Jr is merely an affectation.
    – Valorum
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:03
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    I think it would be the same even if his full name included Jr. All it's designed to do is report the first and last name of the person. If it did report names in their entirety than middle names would have also had to be included. Extraneous things like Jr would probably not have been considered, particularly since none of the creators ever had to deal with it. As @Himarm pointed out, it's very likely adding a condition like that would have been more effort than it's worth.
    – Ben
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:18
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    @anotherguest - In the UK, it would be unheard-of to add a suffix to a real surname.
    – Valorum
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:50
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    @anotherguest George W. Bush technically wouldn't be a Jr. anyway, since his father's full name was different (George H. W. Bush).
    – user11521
    Aug 8, 2014 at 22:10
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    @kevin - I find it more likely that it would just say the name twice. The only comparable example I can think of is Peter Pettigrew. He's known as Scabbers but the map shows his correct name
    – Valorum
    Aug 9, 2014 at 13:25

There's no reason for the Marauder's Map to distinguish between fathers and sons of the same name, because it'd be exceedingly rare for both of them to be at Hogwarts at the same time. Adults only go to Hogwarts in unusual circumstances, such as to attend the Triwizard Tournament or to take their child out of school.

I suppose there is a possibility of two students sharing both a first and last name. But that's pretty slim considering the few amount of students (based off of 40 kids in Harry's year; JK Rowling's horrible math be damned) and the tendency of wizards to give their kids bizarre and outrageous names.

I think you're looking at this backwards. You're seeing the one instance where the amount of information the map has given has been insufficient, but not the hundreds of thousands of times it has been sufficient. When using the map for its designed purpose (mischief) it's basically irrelevant whether Argus Filch is actually Argus Filch Jr.

I think it also just showed Crabbe and not Crabbe Jr. in the sixth book when he was looking for Malfoy who was in the room of requirement and they were disguised with Polyjuice potion. But they hardly ever referred to him by his first name though so its kind of unclear.

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    I think your last paragraph (Because it doesn't matter) is the best point of this answer (as the other two answers cover the other parts fairly well)
    – Monty129
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:13

It would probably show the same name twice. Because unless his name is registered as Bartemius Crouch Jr., there are 2 Bartemius Crouch's. And yes the map can distinguish between the 2 of them probably. But its just a map it tracks people and puts there name down. It doesn't know all of their personal business. But logically if two people have 1 name how does the map know to add little hints(like add Jr., Sr., or Mr. etc.) as to who the person is.

This might help.

One of the Map's possible flaws lies in the fact that it cannot differentiate people who bear similar names (the shared names aren't given a Junior or Senior at the end)

Harry was saved by Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Professor Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who pretended it was his. Due to the map's flaw, it could not differentiate between the Junior and Senior Crouch. Crouch later asked to borrow the map from Harry, but after Crouch was unmasked, he reclaimed it.

"The magic used in the map's creation is advanced and impressive; it includes the Homonculous Charm, enabling the possessor of the map to track the movements of every person in the castle, and it was also enchanted to forever repel (as insultingly as possible) the curiosity of their nemesis, Severus Snape." —Description of the magic involved in the map's creation

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