|“||The Dark Lord and I have much in common. Both of us, for instance, had very disappointing fathers... very disappointing indeed. Both of us suffered the indignity, Harry, of being named after those fathers. And both of us had the pleasure... the very great pleasure... of killing our fathers! ... I will be honored beyond all other Death Eaters. I will be his dearest, his closest supporter... Closer than a son.||„|
|~ Barty Crouch Jr|
Bartemius "Barty" Crouch, Jr. (gone undercover as Dark Wizard hunter Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody) is the main antagonist of the fourth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and its film adaptation. He is a Dark Wizard and an infamous Death Eater.
He spends most of the story posing as the friendly teacher Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody and became the Defense Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.) teacher at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry during the Triwizard Tournament, hosted by Hogwarts. He was sent by Lord Voldemort, the most powerful of all Dark Wizards and leader of the Death Eaters, to fix the Triwizard Tournament so that Harry Potter wins the tournament and use his blood to give Voldemort a new body.
In 1981, after Lord Voldemort lost his powers after trying to kill Harry Potter, Barty (then 19), along with Bellatrix Lestrange and other Death Eaters, tortured Frank and Alice Longbottom into insanity using the Unforgivable Curse Cruciatus to find any information on Voldemort's whereabouts. Presented before the Wizengamot they were sentenced to Azkaban. Barty openly pleaded with his father Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Sr. for mercy, but the long-strained relationship between them and Crouch Senior's own standing in the Ministry meant that this was impossible. According to Sirius Black, Barty was screaming inside his cell for his mother for the first few days but then quieted down from the extreme depressive influence of the Dementors, as did many other prisoners.
One year later, his mother's health had deteriorated drastically from the stress of her son's imprisonment. The couple were allowed a deathbed visit of their son due to Bartemius Sr.'s high status in the Ministry. She persuaded her husband to help smuggle their son out of Azkaban by swapping him for his mother. Using Polyjuice Potion, and undetected by the blind Dementors, Mrs. Crouch took the place of her son. She died a short time later and was buried outside the fortress under the guise of her son.
Bartemius Sr. was overcome with grief and guilt and opted to control him via the Imperius Curse to protect his son by keeping his existence secret from the public, and to keep the son from continuing the search for Voldemort. He also forced him to hide under an Invisibility cloak at all times. This was more directed at honoring his beloved wife's last wish, and while some small affection for his son came through, the methods he used to do this arguably drove Junior further into madness.
Bertha Jorkins, a Ministry of Magic employee, accidentally discovered the truth when she came unannounced to the Crouch home and discovered their secret. Bartemius Sr. rectified this with a Memory Charm so powerful that she suffered permanent brain damage. Years later, Peter Pettigrew ran into Bertha while searching for Voldemort. In the hopes that she would prove useful to him, Peter tricked her into going with him. She ended up proving very useful to Voldemort; not only did he extract the whereabouts of his loyal servant, but also gathered information on the Triwizard Tournament, which was to be held at Hogwarts. Voldemort murdered Bertha, and the Ministry deemed her "missing" for months.
Role in the story
Barty was sent to the 1994 Quidditch World Cup under cover of the Invisibility Cloak along with his family's house elf, Winky. Winky knew that Barty had always loved Quidditch and persuaded Mr. Crouch to allow him to go out and have some fresh air. Barty's mother, after all, wanted him to have freedom. Barty's seat, by chance, was in a skybox alongside Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. During the Quidditch match, Barty broke free of the Imperius Curse his father had placed on him. Furious of his father's actions, Barty decided to get revenge and stole Harry's wand, which was in view. He then escaped Winky's watch over him, as she was so afraid of heights in the skybox that she covered her eyes for the entire Quidditch match.
After the World Cup was through, Barty noticed the Death Eaters who escaped Azkaban playing with the lives of Muggles. Furious against them he used Harry's wand to launch the Dark Mark into the sky over the campgrounds, scaring the Death Eaters away. The spell that Winky used to bind herself with Barty to prevent him from escape was broken when the two were struck by Ministry officials' multiple Stunning Spells. Furious against Winky for failing to restrain his son, Crouch Sr. fired her. (At this point of the story, who launched the Dark Mark and why, as well as why Crouch Sr. was so furious at his elf were unknown to the reader.)
Left alone in the house with only father and son, one night shortly after the Dark Mark incident, Peter Pettigrew and Lord Voldemort, who needed a loyal follower to help him regain power, managed to free Barty from his father's imprisonment. Voldemort put Bartemius Sr. under the Imperius Curse and forced him to keep working at the Ministry as he usually would.
As part of his servitude as a Death Eater, Barty was charged with infiltrating Hogwarts Castle, entering Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire and guiding him through Triwizard Tournament without having appeared to do so. Barty accomplished this by breaking into former Auror Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody's home and kidnapping him. He created Polyjuice Potion from Alastor's hair and concealed the Auror in his own magical trunk. He then proceeded to take over Alastor's job at Hogwarts, teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. He was able to maintain his disguise for months undetected by learning from his captive how to act exactly like him, and by consistently sipping the potion from a hip flask; he did so in plain view of students and staff, and it was generally assumed that this was due to Moody's well-known intense paranoia.
Barty used his time at Hogwarts to gain the trust of the students and staff at Hogwarts. During his first lesson for a group of fourth year students, he demonstrated all three Unforgivable Curses on three different spiders and, controversially, later also the Imperius Curse on the students themselves, although he claimed to have had permission to do so, in order to teach them how to overcome it. As a teacher, Barty (under the guise as Alastor) was actually quite effective, and despite his ulterior motives, his teaching of how to overcome curses such as the Imperius was valuable with Harry Potter gaining the ability to resist even Lord Voldemort himself as a result.
However, Barty was not at Hogwarts to mold future wizards. He entered Harry Potter's name under a fourth school into the Goblet of Fire, confusing it with a powerful Confundus Charm to ensure Harry's placement for Lord Voldemort's gain. Barty subtly helped Harry throughout the three phases of the tournament. He nudged Rubeus Hagrid into showing Harry the dragons, later suggesting that Harry play to his strengths to pass the task and thus giving Harry the idea of using a broomstick to accomplish it. He advised Cedric Diggory into telling Harry how to work out the golden egg clue, knowing that he would repay Harry for telling about the dragons. He also planted the book Magical Mediterranean Water Plants and Their Properties onto Harry's friend Neville Longbottom early on, hoping that Neville would tell him about gillyweed for the underwater task. With Harry's own pride and independent streak standing in the way of the plan, Barty had to improvise. Remembering that Harry mentioned having an elf friend named Dobby gave him socks for Christmas, Barty called Dobby into the staff room and staged a loud discussion with Professor McGonagall about gillyweed, right in front of Dobby. The house-elf responded by stealing the plant from Severus Snape's personal stores and gave it to Harry on the day of the task.
During the events surrounding the Tournament, Bartemius Sr. escaped from his home and apparated near Hogwarts, where he wandered in his confusion in search of Dumbledore, planning on confessing about how he smuggled his son from Azkaban. Voldemort immediately sent an owl to Hogwarts warning him that his father would likely show up at Hogwarts. Bartemius Sr. came upon Harry and Viktor Krum but by then, he was so delusional and insane that he was unable to clearly convey anything beyond what appeared to be ramblings about his son and Bertha. The former went to the castle to fetch Albus. Barty arrived at the scene before anyone else stunned Viktor, and killed his father. He transfigured his father's body into a bone and buried it in front of Rubeus's cabin.
Before the third and final task of the Tournament, Barty volunteered to place the Triwizard Cup in a maze through which the contestants were to navigate. He took advantage of this opportunity to turn the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey. As he patrolled around the labyrinth hedge, he stunned Fleur Delacour and used the Imperius Curse on Viktor to get rid of Cedric, but his puppet was stunned by Harry. Nonetheless, Harry got to the Cup, along with Cedric, transporting them to the Little Hangleton graveyard when they grasped it together. It was at this time that Peter performed the horrible ritual to restore Lord Voldemort's physical body, using Harry's blood, Peter's own hand, and Tom Riddle Sr.'s bone from the grave. They then proceeded to kill Cedric.
When Harry escaped the graveyard and returned to Hogwarts, Barty ushered him away from the panicking crowd, pretending to take him to the hospital wing, to interrogate him about Voldemort's return. He revealed to Harry that it was he who guided him through the Tournament all along; he put his name in the Goblet of Fire, got Hagrid to show the dragons, explained the Golden Egg to Cedric knowing that he would tell Harry, made Neville give Harry gillyweed, bewitched Viktor and stunned Fleur. Barty then planned on killing Harry and be honored above the rest of Voldemort's followers. But before he could, Albus Dumbledore, accompanied by Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape, fired a Stunner at him, having realized that he was not Alastor when he removed Harry from his sight, his only slip-up. After the Polyjuice Potion wore off, Barty confessed everything to Albus under the influence of Veritaserum, a powerful truth serum.
However, before he could testify before the Wizengamot, Barty suffered a fate worse than death, receiving the Dementor's Kiss by a Dementor that Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge brought with him. Fudge regarded Barty as a raving lunatic, disbelieving claims that he was acting for Voldemort, and dismissing with utter contempt the idea that the Dark Lord was back. What happened to Barty's empty body is unknown.
|“||Nasty little shock for old Barty, I'd imagine. Should have spent a bit more time at home with his family, shouldn't he? Ought to have left the office early once in a while ... got to know his own son.||„|
|~ Sirius Black about Barty Crouch Sr.'s role in his son's fall from grace.|
Bartemius Crouch Jr. is first displayed in Dumbledore's flashbacks of his trial. In the book, he is portrayed as a desperate boy sobbing pathetically and begging for mercy as the Dementors dragged him away. However, by this point in the story, he was portrayed as the innocent victim and this scene was meant to portray him in a sympathetic light, to make the final twist even more efficient. In truth, it is likely given his manipulative streak that it was an act in order to be released and resume his search for his lord free of suspicion. By contrast, the movie makes no mystery of his allegiances and shows him as significantly more confident, showing arrogance and contempt rather than fear as he is captured and dragged to Azkaban.
Barty Crouch was shown to be highly cunning, dexterous, manipulative, and intelligent: He was able to fix the entire Triwizard Tournament from behind the scenes, mostly by using unsuspecting third parties and by planting useful objects where he knew they would get in the right hands, to gain the trust of everyone and to play with people's affections, and to adapt his plan to the circumstances. Furthermore, he posed as Alastor Moody with enough skill to fool Albus Dumbledore himself, who is an old friend of the real Moody. Contrary to Voldemort and the other Death Eaters who openly scorn all way of thinking but their own, Crouch Jr. knows full well about loyalty and selflessness, and although he disdains such feelings he does not underestimate them and is able to use them to his advantage. Having broken free, Crouch seemed to have become unhinged (assuming that he wasn't already) by his captivity in Azkaban then under his father's clutches. However, it must be noted that he only let his guard down when convinced to have reached his dream.
It is heavily hinted that Crouch Jr. spent his entire childhood trying to please his father, who neglected him in favor of his political ambition and heavily suffered from it. At some point, he estranged himself from his family and got acquainted with the Death Eaters, who molded him into one of them. Over time, he grew to loathe his father and became fanatically devoted to Lord Voldemort, displaying a sick obsession towards him comparable to that of Bellatrix Lestrange. Except that while Bellatrix is infatuated with Voldemort, Barty regards him as a father figure.
Crouch Jr. freely admits that he lives and breathes to serve Voldemort and yearns to prove his worth to him, in an extremely twisted search for a father's approval. He sees similarities between himself and Voldemort in their relation to their fathers and their descent into evil (this shows that Voldemort trusted him enough to tell him about his own family, something he never mentioned to any other Death Eater). As such, he has an extreme hatred towards the Death Eaters who weaseled their way out of Azkaban, regarding them as worthless cowards and craving to see them punished. The film increases Crouch Jr. fantasies about being Voldemort's greatest servant and portrays him as somewhat megalomaniacal, regarding his enemies as "pathetic" as well as being somewhat misanthropic as shown during the trial. Alastor Moody casts a spell on him and he falls to the ground and as he is dragged from the room he says "Get your filthy hands off me, you pathetic little men!".
Powers and Abilities
In reality, Barty Crouch Jr. is with little doubt the most dangerous, level-headed and competent of all Death Eaters to the point of being the favorite of the notoriously hard-to-please Lord Voldemort. While Bellatrix Lestrange can be seen as Voldemort's mightiest fighter, Crouch Jr. can be seen as his smartest follower. He is also described as a highly powerful and skilled wizard, being able to overpower Mad-Eye Moody and to cast a Confusing Charm potent enough to affect the Goblet of Fire.
- Main article: Barty Crouch Jr. (Warner Bros.)
- Crouch Jr. is very similar to the secondary Bigger Bad of the franchise, Gellert Grindelwald, as the latter disguised himself as Percival Graves and so does Jr. as he disguised himself as Moody.
- Barty Crouch Jr. is widely regarded as a favorite among the Death Eaters by fans of the series despite making just one appearance.
- Despite just making only one appearance, Crouch's is arguably one of the most personal and most dangerous enemies Harry has ever faced. Not only is he responsible for Voldemort's return, but his actions drive the plot for many events that happen in the series, such as Cedric's death, Fudge's smear campaign against Harry and the formation of Dumbledore's army.
Other Wizards & Witches