In Goblet of Fire, when Molly and Billy Weasley come to visit Harry before the Third Task, Molly talks about Hagrid’s predecessor.

Mrs. Weasley was intrigued by the Whomping Willow, which had been planted after she had left school, and reminisced at length about the gamekeeper before Hagrid, a man called Ogg.

Goblet of Fire, chapter 31 (The Third Task)

But wouldn’t Hagrid have been gamekeeper when she was in school?

Hagrid was kicked out at 13 around 1943 and began training as gamekeeper. Molly would have arrived at Hogwarts in the early 60s when Hagrid would have been 30. Even if he was still in training or assistant gamekeeper, he would definitely still be there with Ogg. And as Ogg is described as the gamekeeper before Hagrid, that seems to imply that they weren't there together in Molly's memory. How does that work?

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    I am just having trouble understanding how in the world you notice something like this. Not sure whether I should be awed or in fear :P Sep 5, 2014 at 10:45
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    @DavidMulder - it came up in discussion in comments on prior question :) Sep 5, 2014 at 12:05
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    Out-of-universe, could this have been meant as a reference to Pratchett's Nanny Ogg or one of her relatives?
    – SQB
    Sep 5, 2014 at 12:25
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    @SQB, no no no, Pratchett stole it from Rowling of course, with the same time machine he used to steal Ponder Stibbons. Thought it was common knowledge ;)
    – Mac Cooper
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:16
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    @Krumia: Books take place in 1991–8. In Chamber of Secrets, we learn that Hagrid was expelled toward the end of his third year. That took place fifty years before the events of Chamber, thus Hagrid was expelled in 1943 at age 13.
    – alexwlchan
    Sep 11, 2014 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


There is no canon answer.

As far as I know, Ogg has never been mentioned anywhere by J.K. Rowling anywhere except in that single passage. So I’ll have a guess.

It seems likely that Hagrid was not the sole gamekeeper immediately after his expulsion. That would be too much responsibility for a teenager, and would probably be politically difficult for Dumbledore and Dippet, given Hagrid was just expelled. So he must have served as the assistant to the main gamekeeper, who we can assume to be Ogg.

So why did Ogg stick around for at least twenty years, and why would Molly describe him as Hagrid’s predecessor?

Presumably between starting as assistant gamekeeper, and Molly arriving at the school, Hagrid became old, mature and responsible enough to handle the post by himself. But Dumbledore wouldn’t force Ogg out just because Hagrid is capable of doing without him. If Ogg had nowhere else to go (cf. Professor Trelawney in Order of the Phoenix), then I think it’s very possible that neither Dumbledore nor Dippet would force him to leave.

This means that when Molly joins the school, both Ogg and Hagrid are there, but there’s still a clear division of responsibility and labour. Molly sees Ogg as the (head) gamekeeper, above Hagrid, and Hagrid becomes the (head) gamekeeper after Ogg retires.

Ergo, Ogg is Hagrid’s predecessor to the position of head gamekeeper.

Molly’s wording is a little ambiguous, but I think that’s how we resolve it.

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    Sounds fair enough for me...
    – Bardo
    Sep 5, 2014 at 8:54
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    its funny that we can assume that hagrid is close to 70 years old at the time harry was at school, as well as Voldemort being 70 as well. so by the time molly was at school hagrid may have already been close to 30.
    – Himarm
    Sep 5, 2014 at 13:12
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    There are many alternative possible explanations we could invent, especially less boring ones, such as "Dumbledore fired everybody and replaced them with his own crew, while the book fails to mention any of this, because it consistently presents a one-sided view, neglecting to mention any of Voldemort's virtues or Dumbledore's evil side". Sep 6, 2014 at 6:24
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    @EvgeniSergeev: Deathly Hallows mentions enough things evil about Dumbledoor to make our jaws drop. Sep 6, 2014 at 6:58
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    An alternative explanation is that Hagrid had a different job prior to becoming Gamekeeper, after Ogg retired, after Molly left. We saw Snape transfer to the DADA position from potions, so we know faculty can change jobs. We also saw Hagrid absorb the magical creatures job into his list, so this is plausible. Jun 22, 2015 at 14:40

Based on current information Molly was at school while Ogg was still groundskeeper.

Hagrid likely did not become the groundskeeper until Dumbledore became Headmaster which was around 1964/5. Dumbledore would not have been able to appoint staff members until this time.

I don't think we know what year Molly was born, but we know that Arthur was born in 1950 and they attended Hogwarts together, which puts them in school (1961 at the earliest) while Ogg is still groundskeeper for at least a few years.

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