Cedric Diggory is first introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Still, the character makes his most significant impact in the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Initially, Cedric seems like a relatively minor character in the overall story, but the magnitude of Cedric’s sudden death leaves a lasting effect.
Cedric Diggory is a student selected by the Goblet of Fire to represent Hogwarts in the Triwizard Tournament. Cedric ties for first place with Harry in the tournament but reaches his demise at the command of Lord Voldemort soon after.
If you continue reading this article, we will further unpack the character of Cedric Diggory and the part he played in the Triwizard Tournament. We will also discuss Cedric’s death and the significance this event has in the story of Harry Potter.
To better understand the impact of his character, let’s take a look at who Cedric Diggory is.
Here are some essential things to know about Cedric Diggory:
- Son of Amos Diggory, who works for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
- Notably tall and handsome
- Quiet and humble
- Popular and well-liked
- House of Hufflepuff
- Seeker and Team Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch Team
- Dates Cho Chang, Harry’s secret crush
- Triwizard Tournament Champion
- Killed at the command of Voldemort by Wormtail
The Goblet of Fire rightfully chooses Cedric to represent Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Triwizard tournament.
Also competing in the tournament are Viktor Krum of Durmstrang Institute in Bulgaria and Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France.
Each of the three schools involved is to have one competitor in the tournament, but Harry Potter’s name is also mysteriously chosen from the Goblet. We don’t learn until the end of the book that Harry’s name was submitted by death eater Barty Crouch Jr., who was attempting to set Harry up for failure and ultimately death.
The Triwizard tournament consists of three tasks:
- Dragons: This first task takes place in an arena with a dangerous dragon guarding a golden egg. Competitors are to retrieve the golden egg.
- The Lake: The second task is an underwater rescue of a loved one in the lake on the Hogwarts grounds.
- The Maze: The final task is a maze. But this is no ordinary labyrinth; it is filled with life-threatening obstacles. The first person to reach the Triwizard Cup in the middle of the maze is the tournament’s champion.
After a grueling time through the maze, both Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter end up in the center of the maze simultaneously. Bloodied, bruised, and exhausted, the pair agrees to share the title of the victor, and both boys grab the cup at the same time.
“Kill the Spare”
Unbeknownst to Cedric or Harry (or anyone else present at the tournament), the Triwizard Cup is a portkey. When Cedric and Harry grab it, they are immediately transported to a mysterious graveyard in Little Hangleton.
As soon as the boys have landed in the graveyard, Lord Voldemort gives the command: “Kill the spare!”
At once, Wormtail (AKA Peter Pettigrew) obeys his master’s order and hits Cedric with the killing curse.
Cedric dies immediately.
This sudden death of an innocent kid is perhaps one of the most unexpected and shocking moments in the entire Harry Potter series.
The remainder of the scene in the Little Hangleton graveyard is intense. It involves a rebirth of Lord Voldemort, the arrival of multiple death eaters, and a duel between Voldemort and Harry Potter.
While dueling one another, four individuals’ ghostly spirits come forth from Voldemort’s wand. Lord Voldemort killed all of these people. Among these spirits are muggle Frank Bryce, Harry’s parents James & Lily Potter, and Cedric Diggory.
These spirits comfort and encourage Harry as he battles his inevitable rival.
At one point, the spirit of Cedric asks Harry to take his dead body back with him. Cedric wishes this so that his parents can have some closure on the death of their son.
Harry manages to escape the duel with Lord Voldemort and drags Cedric’s lifeless body to the portkey, and then they are transported back to Hogwarts.
Harry returns with Cedric’s body; it is a horrifying scene. The crowd expected a triumphant champion, not a weeping young wizard clutching a corpse.
Cedric’s death is a shock to the entire wizarding community. This boy was not supposed to die this way. He was a good kid and a Triwizard Tournament champion; he was destined for greatness.
Harry has an especially challenging time coping with Cedric’s death. After all, he witnessed it happen from just a few mere feet away.
Cedric’s death consumes Harry’s thoughts and haunts his dreams for quite a while afterward.
Harry struggles with many intense emotions surrounding Cedric’s death:
- Guilt: Harry is the only reason the Triwizard Cup was a portkey. In Harry’s mind, that makes him responsible for Cedric’s murder.
- Anger: Cedric’s death is a true injustice. Cedric did nothing to deserve this sudden demise. He was a good person, a noble wizard. The fact that Voldemort had no problem ending his dignified life angers Harry to his core.
- Sadness: Though a competitor on the quidditch field and in the Triwizard Tournament, Cedric was always kind to Harry. The two had an unspoken understanding of one another. Cedric’s death leaves Harry feeling sad for the life and friend that was lost.
Final Thoughts: Remember Cedric
“Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come, when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.” ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Those are the words of Professor Dumbledore in his eulogy to Cedric.
Cedric was a humble yet strong young man. By remembering him well and learning from his life, his death is not in vain.