Literature / Quidditch Through the Ages

A book mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which was later Defictionalized as a real book written by Kennilworthy Whisp. Published in 2001, it is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, describing Quidditch through the ages, as you'd probably expect.

Albus Dumbledore's introduction claims that it is a duplicate of the copy kept in the Hogwarts library and describes how Madam Pince was reluctant to let it be made available to Muggles.

A companion piece to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

This book provides examples of:

  • The Ace: The Montrose Magpies. They have the distinction of having won 32 of their own league's championships, have won the European league twice, and once had a seeker who was so good he actually petitioned to get the snitch made faster because it was "Too easy."
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: With the exception of Puddlemere United, every single one of the Quidditch teams described in the book.
  • Ain't No Rule: Quidditch averts this trope spectacularly, with an appropriately arcane multitude of rules covering every possible event.
    • Although about 90% of those rules (specifically the rules on foul plays) originate from incidents where a player tried some whacky new tactic on the basis that, at the time, there weren't no rule agin' it.
  • All There in the Manual: This is the manual.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Holyhead Harpies is the only all-female Quidditch team.
  • Amazon Chaser: After the all-female Holyhead Harpies defeated his Heidelberg Harriers, team Captain Rudolf Brand proposed to his opposite, Gwendolyn Morgan, right there on the pitch. There's no mention as to whether he changed his mind after she cold-cocked him or not.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: In-universe:
    • Quidditch is less popular in America in comparison to Quodpot, a sort of hot-potato game involving a Quaffle that has been tampered with and explodes — probably a joke on Americans who prefer American football to soccer and are obsessed with Stuff Blowing Up. (Ironically, the 1993 Quidditch World Cup champions, the Sweetwater All-Stars, come from a region where American football is overwhelmingly the sport of choice in Real Life.)
    • In Asia, however, Quidditch is only slowly gaining appeal because Asian wizards have traditionally preferred flying carpets to flying broomsticks. The exception to this rule is Japan.
  • Animal Motif: Many different professional Quidditch teams have animals for mascots and often take colors associated with them. The Moutohora Macaws go the extra step further by modeling their uniforms like their namesake; a scarlet macaw.
  • An Axe to Grind: Apparently happened at one point, hence why it's banned in the official rules list.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe, the Chudley Cannons. They've won the league championship 21 times... but the last time they did it was in 1892. Since that point, they've been pitiful. Their motto even got changed from "We shall conquer" to "Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best."
  • Blood Knight: The Falmouth Falcons motto is "Let us win, but if we cannot win, let's break a few heads."
  • Blood Sport: Creaothceann, an ancient Scottish broom game, involved players catching plummeting rocks with cauldrons strapped to their heads. Illegal today due to massive casualty rates.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: In-universe; Japanese players have a seppuku-like custom of destroying the broom after a loss, as a way of the player regaining honor. Outside of Japan, the same practice is considered a waste of useful hardwood which also makes the Japanese look like sore losers.
  • Endangered Species: The Golden Snidget, after the early Quidditch games.
  • Expy:
    • Puddlemere United is a mixture of the Liverpool and Manchester United football clubs. They have the success, widespread appeal, and share a similar name with Manchester United, and apparently have a song written for the team that's come to define them, like Liverpool.
    • The century of poor performance the Chudley Cannons have brought is based on Manchester City's legendarily poor performance for a period, where they failed to win anything for 30 years, despite being at one point one of the best football clubs in the UK.
    • As mentioned above, Quodpot seems to be an Expy for American Football, with it being the preferred sport in the United States while Quidditch is largely ignored. Quodpot is also much riskier and violent for the players, boasting a ball that explodes under certain conditions.
  • Fictional Document: This a manual for Quidditch, a fictional magic sport.
  • Flawed Prototype: The first Broomsticks were flyable, but they were not very aerodynamic, Their speeds varied from broom to broom, and were painfully uncomfortable and prone to shrapnel in really sensitive areas.
  • Flying Broomstick: Their origins are described in the book. Broomsticks were initially chosen to be enchanted for flight because they were unsuspicious objects, but the irony is that wizards were still terrible at keeping them secret, which is why flying broomsticks are so common in muggle art.
  • Golden Snitch: The origins of the Trope Namer are detailed. The Snitch was not originally part of the game, but was introduced in the form of the Golden Snidget, a tiny round hummingbird whose incredible speed made it difficult to catch. The Chief of the Wizards' Council threw one into a match while offering 150 Galleons to the first player that could catch it. From then on, it became customary to include Golden Snidgets in the game, with them granted 150 points in honor of the original bet, but the dark side was that the Snidget tended to be killed in the process. Eventually, their numbers dropped so low that inclusion of them was banned, and an artificial replacement was built, the Golden Snitch.
  • Grumpy Bear: The Marsh Witch, who witnessed the invention of Quidditch by her neighbors and recorded it in her diary.
  • History Repeats:
    • Twice, it's shown a rule change that prompts wizards to say "They Changed It, Now It Sucks" - once for turning the goals from baskets on stilts into fixed-size hoops, and another for banning "two chasers knocking out the goalkeeper".
    • Not to mention that the Daily Prophet articles are exactly the same in terms of formula: "A QUOTATION FOR A HEADLINE": A "insert synonym for worried here" ministry official, his quotation, his being assaulted by a rain of Quidditch-related objects, a(n) "insert facial characteristic here" wizard, and their quotation. As the articles ran less than two years apart, they probably shared the same in-Verse writer.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Apparently applies to every Quidditch player or fan, as the game's officialdom refuse to publish a comprehensive list of Quidditch fouls for fear of giving unscrupulous players ideas.
  • Misaimed Fandom: In-universe. The original Golden Snidget was saved by a witch who was appalled at its abusive treatment. Unfortunately, she failed to prevent the abuse of later ones, and Snidget catching at Quidditch matches became so popular that the species almost became extinct. Thankfully the Snidget was saved with more lobbying after the Golden Snitch's inventor showed that the Golden Snitch was invulnerable to being crushed.
  • Noodle Incident: The 1492 Quidditch World Cup, because every sport has a really bad day at some point - every single foul was committed (plus ones that hadn't been invented at the time), including the one about the axe (see above and below), plus "Attempting to decapitate your opponent with a broadsword", "Another player other than the Seeker touching the Snitch", "Tampering with the Quaffle", and "Attempted murder of the referee".
  • Obvious Rule Patch: It's mentioned that the exhaustive list of fouls (which apparently numbers in the hundreds) has never been made public to avoid giving the players ideas. Though it's also mentioned that the list is mostly redundant, since the ban on using wands during play renders 90% of the fouls on the list impossible to commit.
  • Product Placement: Ballycastle's mascot, Barny the Fruitbat, is featured in Butterbeer advertisements. He even comes with a cheesy slogan (Barny says, "I'm batty about Butterbeer!").
  • The Rival: It's an organized sport. There's bound to be a few.
    • Appleby Arrows vs. Wimbourne Wasps. Due to a nasty incident involving lobbing a wasps nest at an Arrow's Seeker (the most likely reason behind the Wasps name), the two teams are in a fierce rivalry.
    • The Thundellara Thunderers vs. The Wollongong Warriors. The rivalry is so bad that the very idea of refereeing a game between the two clubs is implied to be a nasty one. Heck, in wizarding Australia, the common reply to an unlikely claim or boast is "Yeah, and I think I'll volunteer to ref the next Thunderer-Warrior game."
  • Scary Librarian: The book is the official copy from the Hogwarts library, but Dumbledore notes that the librarian Madame Pince was extremely reluctant to hand it over. He also warns the reader that he can't guarantee he's removed all the anti-vandalism curses Pince put on her books to keep kids from mistreating them.
  • Seppuku: Apparently, Japanese players set fire to their brooms after a defeat.
  • Sparse List of Rules: And as a result, the book only lists the eleven fouls most commonly seen.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Quidditch fouls include, for example, "attacking one's opponent with an axe".
  • invokedVindicated by History: In-universe; Modesty Rabnott was initially viewed as a killjoy for saving the Golden Snidget being hunted as a bet, and lost her house to pay the fine. After the hunting of Golden Snidgets was banned, a wildlife preserve for the endangered birds was given her name.
  • Wacky Racing: It's mentioned that Sweden holds an annual broomstick race that goes through a dragon reserve, and thus has a really high death count.
  • Wronski Feint: Trope Namer, specifically after famed Polish Seeker Josef Wronski.