Following up on this question, based on the below excerpt:

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)

Why are both Ogg and Hagrid referred to as gamekeepers? While they're responsible for managing the school grounds, as far as I know, no game hunting took place at Hogwarts. Wouldn't a different title of some sort be more appropriate?

  • 4
    Or would this question be more appropriate on English language & usage?
    – Etheryte
    Sep 5, 2014 at 12:24
  • 2
    The school owls, unicorns and numerous other creatures within the grounds and the Forbidden Forest were under their care as well.
    – BMWurm
    Sep 5, 2014 at 12:33
  • 2
    the only alternate term I can think of would be 'groundskeeper'. However, using that would exclude the animal/wildlife management aspect of his job.
    – Colin D
    Sep 5, 2014 at 12:35
  • Would Game Warden be more appropriate?
    – Monty129
    Sep 5, 2014 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


Historical reasons.

This is purely a guess, as the term “gamekeeper” is used in canon without explanation.

In the past, game hunting was a popular sport in Britain, but it was much rarer in the twentieth century. We can guess that it was also well-known to the magical community: there’s the Headless Hunt, or canon references to werewolf, vampire and Snidget hunting.

So it’s plausible that the staff (or the founders) would go hunting in the school grounds, which would need a gamekeeper. These duties overlap so much with what Hagrid does (“the Keeper of Keys and Grounds”) that the two roles were probably performed by the same person. When hunting stopped at the school, the term “gamekeeper” probably stuck to whoever performed Hagrid’s role, and it’s just been carried down informally.


Dictionary.com defines "gamekeeper" as:

a person employed, as on an estate or game preserve, to prevent poaching and provide a natural environment conducive to the propagation of game, as by thinning brush, scattering food after a snowstorm, and the like.

It doesn't seem to have anything to do with hunting or killing animals or magical creatures.

I can't find any canon information as to why Ogg was named gamekeeper. The Harry Potter Lexicon says about Ogg:

Gamekeeper at Hogwarts during Molly Weasley's era, probably the man who held the job before Hagrid. Molly seemed to be rather fond of him.

(Note: I'm not convinced of this timeline. Hagrid became gamekeeper after the first Chamber of Secrets incident in 1943; Molly was a student in the early 60s)

Logically, though, both Ogg and Hagrid were hired because someone needed to care for the animals and magical creatutures. In the case of Hagrid, following Tom Riddle's opening of the Chamber of Secrets, for which Hagrid was unfairly blamed, Dumbledore advocated on Hagrid's behalf, and convinced then headmaster Armando Dippet to allow Hagrid to stay on at Hogwarts as gamekeeper and the Keeper of Keys. Dumbledore has always afforded Hagrid deep trust.

Ogg and Hagrid are referred to as gamekeepers because they took care of the magical creatures and maintained their presence on the ground. For example, Hagrid is known to have cared for the unicorns in the forest and collecting their stray hairs and keeping them pretty carefully in his hut for a variety of uses. He uses Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent to keep the slugs at bay. He cares for the Thestral herd. He protects the henhouse when chickens are being killed in Chamber of Secrets, asking Dumbledore if he might put a "little (protective) charm around the henhouse. He hatches and wrangles a dragon.

Hagrid teaches Care of Magical Creatures beginning in Harry's third. He is Keeper of the Keys; the exact nature of Keeper of the Keys is not defined, but perhaps we can assume that Hagrid holds the master to every Hogwarts key, in case a backup is necessary. He may maintain the boats the first years use to cross over the lake to Hogwarts (just an idea).

So, according to the dictionary definition, no, a different name isn't warranted, in my opinion. Hagrid, and presumably Ogg, carried out the duties as outlined in that definition.

  • 1
    The Oxford American on the other hand says "gamekeeper: a person employed to breed and protect game, typically for a large estate". Also, the definition you pointed out yourself reads "propagation of game", game being animals or birds hunted for food or sport.
    – Etheryte
    Sep 5, 2014 at 14:19
  • @Nit - Well, we can dictionary shop until we find a definition that suits our position until we're blue in the face. Offhand I can't think of any instances of hunting for sport in the HP series -- do you know of any? If so, definitely share because I think it would lend more credence to your point (which I'm not saying is wrong, of course, but if there is to be nitpicking, I would love some canon sources that show hunting on the Hogwarts grounds). :) Sep 20, 2014 at 1:54
  • 3
    "Game" in the sense that dictionary.com is using it in your example, does have to do with hunting or killing animals. It specifically means animals hunted for sport and/or food: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_(hunting)
    – msouth
    Jul 10, 2015 at 17:54

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