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Bartemius “Barty” Crouch Jr. was a wizard who became a follower of Lord Voldemort. Named after his father, Barty Crouch Jr. was convicted of the capture and torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, using the cruciatus curse on the pair until they were driven insane. He was given a life sentence in Azkaban by his father. Later, he was one of the first prisoners ever to escape Azkaban, although his escape was thanks to his mother and father.
After he escaped, he returned to the service of Voldemort, helping Voldemort in a plan to capture Harry Potter using the Triwizard Tournament. Barty Crouch Jr. disguised himself as Alastor Moody and assumed the position of Professor at Hogwarts.
During that time, he helped ensure Harry Potter’s name was put into the Goblet of Fire and that Harry Potter was given the tools he needed to succeed throughout the tournament to reach the Triwizard Cup first. Barty Crouch Jr. had converted the Triwizard cup into a portkey that ultimately led Harry Potter to Lord Voldemort. After he was exposed, Crouch was subject to the Dementor’s kiss.
Barty Crouch Jr. Quick Facts
|Full Name||Bartemius Crouch Junior|
|Birth Place||Great Britain|
|Nick Name||Mad-Eye Moody (when disguised with Polyjuice Potion)|
|Death Date [if applicable]||1995-1996|
|Age When Series Starts||29|
|Partner / Spouse||None|
|Most Memorable Moment||Impersonating Mad-Eye Moody|
|Hogwarts House||Likely Slytherin|
|Actors Who Played||David Tennant|
|Last Updated||Apr 25, 2022|
Barty Crouch Jr. Birthplace
Barty Crouch Jr. was born in Great Britain.
Barty Crouch Jr. Parents
Barty Crouch Jr.’s parents were influential pureblood wizards. He was named after his father, Bartemius Crouch. His father worked for the Ministry of Magic and became obsessed with tracking down Dark Wizards after the First Wizarding War, including his son. His mother was a wispy-looking witch who loved her son dearly but was beholden to her husband’s zeal in sending their son to Azkaban.
His father was known for his obsessive nature when it came to tracking down dark wizards, using the exact same methods, including the three unforgivable curses for which the dark wizards were being tracked down in the first place. He was always immaculately well-dressed, punctual, proper, and had no tolerance for funny business or jokes. Later in life, when Percy Weasley becomes the assistant to Barty Crouch, Percy talks almost sycophantically about how much he appreciates the no-nonsense attitude of Barty Crouch senior and the way he runs his office.
Barty Crouch Jr. Physical Traits
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Jr. was described as pale, with freckles and straw-colored hair in his youth. As he got older, he had a mop of hair with lines on his face but was otherwise unchanged. When he was under Veritaserum, his eyes and face took on a maniacal glow. He had the tattoo on his inner left forearm, as did all Death Eaters.
When he was disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, he took on Moody’s appearance of being grizzled, with a face of scars, part of his nose missing, a leg missing, and a fake magical eyeball. He wore the same fake eye and prosthetic leg that belonged to Moody.
Barty Crouch Jr. Early Life
Barty Crouch Jr. was born to an influential family, the Crouch family. He was raised with a very strict father who followed the rules implicitly. His father had no tolerance for the dark arts, and in fact, it was this intolerance that caused conflict between Barty Crouch Jr. and his father later in life.
Barty Crouch Jr. Hogwarts Years
Barty Crouch Jr. attended Hogwarts, and it is very likely that during that time, he became friends with soon-to-be Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape.
Barty Crouch Jr. After Hogwarts Years
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Jr. was introduced as a death eater who was sentenced by his own father to a lifetime in Azkaban. During his late teens, he started to follow Lord Voldemort. At some point, he became an official Death Eater with the tattoo on his left forearm. He captured Frank and Alice Longbottom and tortured them into Insanity using the cruciatus curse alongside Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband, and Rabastan Lestrange. The three of them were eventually caught and put on trial before the Council of Magical Law.
When he was put on trial, it was alongside people like Bellatrix Lestrange. At the time, his father presided over the council, and he swore on trial, begging and pleading with his father not to send him back to the Dementors. When his father showed no remorse, Barty Crouch Jr. turned it to his mother, swearing that he didn’t do it over and over and begging her not to let her husband send her only son away.
At the time, the torture of Frank and Alice was considered one of the worst crimes recorded, and this trial was a very public Affair used to show that the ministry of magic would not tolerate any dark arts or support of Voldemort at all.
His father, Barty Crouch, was one of the most fervent pursuers of former Death Eaters, so much so that he condemned his own son to a lifetime and Azkaban. It wasn’t until Barty Crouch’s wife was dying that she convinced him to show mercy to their son.
They visited their son in Azkaban one last time with a secret stash of Polyjuice Potion. Barty Crouch Jr. and his mother took on disguises as one another and traded places. Knowing that she was soon to die, his mother remained in Azkaban until she passed away while he remained safely locked up at home under careful supervision by his father and the family house-elf Winky.
Quidditch World Cup
Barty Crouch Jr. was allowed to attend at the Quidditch World Cup, although hidden under an invisibility cloak. It was in large part thanks to the house-elf Winky that his father allowed him an opportunity to get out. As Winky explained, Barty Crouch Jr.’s mother did not exchange her life for her son to continue living in a different kind of prison.
Winky was seen allegedly saving a seat for her boss, Barty Crouch, at the top box of the Quidditch World Cup. However, she was not saving a seat: Barty Crouch Jr. was sitting in the empty seat under the invisibility cloak. He was seated directly behind Harry Potter, who stored his wand in his back pocket. Barty Crouch Jr. took the opportunity to steal Harry Potter’s wand.
When the Death Eaters commotion began that night, Barty Crouch gave Winky direct orders to keep his son in the tent. But Barty Crouch Jr. didn’t want to listen, so Winky pulled both of them into the forest after they were magically connected with her Elf Magic, struggling against his weight as she did so.
When he saw the Death Eaters who had gone unpunished, lying about their servitude, Barty Crouch Jr. cast the dark mark into the sky, inciting panic. The mark achieved the effect he wanted to scare the people he believed were cowards. At the same time, the arrival of the ministry of magic members and their subsequent firing of spells knocked out Winky and Barty Crouch Jr. His father was able to find his hidden body and return him home after blaming Winky for the entire incident.
Even though Barty Crouch Jr. was regularly under the imperious curse, he fought it, and he had moments of clarity that allowed him to build strength to overcome it. He returned to Lord Voldemort at one point and offered his service.
Together they placed his father, Barty Crouch, under the imperious curse and Barty Crouch Jr. took on the disguise of Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody the night before term started. He did so under direct orders to help Harry Potter enter the Triwizard Tournament; when the Triwizard Tournament and reach the Goblet first, an item that has been converted into a portkey to get Harry Potter directly to Voldemort.
Disguised as Mad-Eye Moody throughout the year, he kept the real Alastor Moody in a trunk, regularly taking hairs from his head for the Polyjuice Potion and wearing his fake leg and blue eyeball. Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, spent the year teaching defense against the dark arts and guiding Harry Potter indirectly.
At the beginning of the year, he interfered when Draco Malfoy was attempting to curse Harry Potter behind Harry’s back. He transfigured Draco into a white ferret and bounced his ferret body off the hard stone-flagged floor to teach him a lesson about not cursing people when their backs are turned.
During their first lesson, he taught the group the three unforgivable curses, demonstrating on spiders. He also began teaching how to fight the imperious curse end when Harry Potter demonstrated an aptitude for this, he put him through the ringer multiple times until he reached the point where Harry could fight off the imperious curse altogether.
When the Goblet of Fire is brought out, Barty Crouch Jr. puts Harry Potter’s name into the Goblet under a fourth, made-up school so that he would be sure to be selected. Before that, however, when Karkaroff stops and stares at Harry Potter, it’s Barty Crouch Jr. disguised as Mad-Eye Moody who stops and snaps at him to keep moving.
Karkaroff stares at him with great dislike, a feeling that seemed just as intensely shared by Mad-Eye Moody. While it was easy enough to believe that an auror who captured Karkaroff after the First Wizarding War would dislike him, this intense dislike was from Barty Crouch Jr., who hated that Karkaroff lied about serving the dark lord and got off scot-free.
Before the first Triwizard Tournament task, Mad-Eye Moody nudges Hagrid in the right direction so that he can go see the dragons that are being brought in. Hagrid subsequently encourages Harry Potter to follow him at night so that Harry can see the dragons and know what’s coming.
Early on, he took an interest in Neville Longbottom allegedly because he was close to Neville’s parents and understood how Neville must have felt when viewing the effects of the cruciatus curse used against them.
However, Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, used that interaction to give Neville a book that would help Harry Potter with one of his Triwizard tasks. When that didn’t work, he used the house-elf Dobby, about whom Harry had spoken, to give the same information about gillyweed to Harry Potter so that he could complete the second task.
For the third task, Barty Crouch Jr. uses Mad-Eye Moody’s magical eye to walk the perimeter of the Maze and take out the other competitors and any significant problems that might be in Harry Potter’s path. In the movie version, you see the same character physically pointing Harry Potter in the right direction at the start of the event.
When Harry Potter comes back through the port key clutching Cedric Diggory’s dead body, Barty Crouch Jr., still disguised as Mad-Eye Moody,, grabs Harry and takes him into Moody’s office. He gives him a drink to calm him down and starts to ask questions about what happened.
He was particularly interested in how Voldemort responded to the servants who had not been loyal to him and whether he showed them mercy or punished them. When Harry realized that Mad-Eye Moody knew details Harry hadn’t disclosed, the gig was up. Barty Crouch Jr. has a telltale tongue slick in the film adaptations, much like a snake.
It’s this tongue flick that arouses the interest of Barty Crouch, his father, who starts to follow up with the whereabouts of his son and try to disclose what happened to Dumbledore. It’s the same tongue flick that indicates moments when the Polyjuice Potion is wearing off or when Barty Crouch Jr. can’t repress his true feelings and isn’t acting the part of mad-eye Moody anymore.
At the end of the book, all of the dark detectors are starting to go off, indicating that the enemies of Barty Crouch Jr. are nearby. So Harry Potter tricks him into continuing to talk so that he doesn’t notice, allowing Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and Snape to break through the door and stun him. Having taken Harry Potter away from Dumbledore was what tipped Dumbledore off to the fact that this wasn’t the real Alastor Moody.
The minister of magic was incredibly frustrated with the humiliation he and his administration had suffered in the previous year because of things like the breakout of Sirius Black from Azkaban and the escape of both Sirius Black and Buckbeak the hippogriff. After he was caught and exposed for having impersonated Alastor Moody, the current minister of magic, Cornelius Fudge, brought a dementor to Hogwarts.
In his bumbling ineptitude, Cornelius fudge allowed the dementor to administer the Dementor’s kiss to Barty Crouch Jr. as soon as they saw him. This enraged Albus Dumbledore and many others because Barty Crouch Jr. was one of the only people who could corroborate Harry Potter’s story about Voldemort being back in power.
Barty Crouch Jr. Magical Abilities and Special Skills
Barty Crouch Jr. was incredibly gifted, with many great magical skills and special abilities. Firstly, he was a very powerful wizard who was able to defeat dozens of trained wizards, including aurors from the ministry of magic.
As he joined Voldemort, he developed great dark arts skills. Bellatrix Lestrange once pointed out to Harry Potter that in order to use an unforgivable curse, you really had to mean it. Things like righteous Vengeance were not enough; they weren’t powerful enough.
However, he demonstrated an ability during his first lesson to use all three unforgivable curses with ease. Barty Crouch Jr., while disguised as Moody, pointed out that all of the students in the class could try to use one of the unforgivable curses at him at the same time, and he wouldn’t get so much as a nosebleed because they didn’t have the skill to use it.
The skill was demonstrated much earlier in his life when he was a young teenager who had recently joined the Death Eaters and used the cruciatus curse against Frank and Alice Longbottom. He had a talent for the imperious curse, being able to make other students do what he wanted, something he used throughout the year he was impersonating Alastor Moody.
He also knew many complicated spells that only advanced dark wizards knew, like being able to cast the dark mark in the sky using morsmordre.
During his time at Hogwarts, he specialized in transfiguration, the TwitchyEars hex, and the reductor curse. He showed, but he was very good at making potions, being able to single-handedly brew the Polyjuice Potion throughout the year, something that was considered highly complex.
In addition, he was able to use the confundus charm on the Goblet of Fire to deceive it into thinking there were four schools instead of three schools. He similarly used charms to make a portkey, stun people, summon things, shrink and enlarge things. Everything he did during his time at Hogwarts he did using nonverbal magic indicative of his highly advanced skills.
Throughout his life, he demonstrated great acting skills, feigning innocence during his trial and crying in front of his mother, and then pretending to be Alastor Moody so convincingly that he even deceived Albus Dumbledore, a close friend of Alastor Moody.
Barty Crouch Jr. Wand
It is unknown what the design of his wand was, although at some point, he briefly used Harry Potter’s wand as well as Alastor Moody’s wand.
Barty Crouch Jr. Trivial and Fun Facts
We only know that the character received the Dementor’s kiss, which means that his soul was removed. However, it isn’t known when his physical body died or what happened to his physical body after the Dementor’s kiss.
In the book, the character has straw blond hair, but in the films, he has brown hair. Similarly, in the books, he doesn’t have any type of telltale tongue flick which the character has in the films. In the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this tongue flick is what tips his father off to the fact that his son might be impersonating Moody. However, in the books, there’s no mention that anyone suspected the activities of Barty Crouch Jr. except for the house-elf Winky.
Throughout the book, Barty Crouch Jr. makes it very clear, even though he is speaking most of the time in the form of Professor Moody, that he absolutely hates Death Eaters who got away without punishment or did not maintain their loyalty to Voldemort.
Presumably, he was referring to the fact that he was convicted and had to serve time in Azkaban alongside Voldemort’s most dedicated followers while other people lied to the ministry of magic and pretended that they weren’t responsible for their actions.
That is what drives his behavior most of the time. It is this motivation that causes Professor Moody to snap at Professor Snape about how some stains just can’t be removed and prompts the transfiguration of Draco Malfoy because of Draco’s attempt to attack someone behind their back. This is not mentioned at all in the film, nor does he talk in any way about how he doesn’t like Death Eaters, who get away without punishment.
In the book, Barty Crouch Jr. gets knocked out by Dumbledore and Snape, so he is unable to take the Polyjuice Potion at his regularly scheduled time. The result is that his body eventually changes back into its normal shape. In the film, he runs out of potions, so he starts asking Harry Potter about what it was like in the graveyard, tipping Harry Potter off to the fact that Harry had never mentioned a graveyard in the first place.
Barty Crouch Jr. Appearances in Books
Barty Crouch Jr. appeared in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (mentioned only)
Barty Crouch Jr. Appearances in Films
Barty Crouch Jr. appeared in the following film adaptations:
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Barty Crouch Jr. Quotes
Barty Crouch Jr. talking about his feelings toward Death Eaters:
“If there’s something I hate more than any other, it’s a Death Eater who walked free. They turned their backs on my master when he needed them most. I expected him to punish them. I expected him to torture them. Tell me he hurt them, Harry. Tell me he told them that I, only I remained faithful…”
Barty and his house-elf:
“I was always with the house-elf. She was my keeper and caretaker. She pitied me. She persuaded my father to give me occasional treats. Rewards for my good behaviour.”
Barty Crouch Jr. explaining to Harry his dedication to Voldemort:
“The Dark Lord didn’t manage to kill you, Potter, and he so wanted to, Imagine how he will reward me when he finds I have done it for him. I gave you to him — the thing he needed above all to regenerate — and then I killed you for him. I will be honoured beyond all other Death Eaters. I will be his dearest, his closest supporter… closer than a son….”
And another example of his relationship with Voldemort:
“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 honoured beyond all other Death Eaters. I will be his dearest, his closest supporter… Closer than a son…”
Answer: The actor decided that the character would have a nervous tick, something that gave him away to those who knew him best. Gleeson (the actor who portrayed Moody) agreed and used the same tick when his character was Barty Crouch Jr. using Polyjuice Potion.
Answer: Yes, like almost all soon-to-be-Death-Eaters, Barty Crouch Jr. attended Hogwarts for his education.
Answer: Many viewers and readers were confused by the time when Mad Eye Moody turned Draco into a ferret when it was revealed that at the time that happened, Mad Eye Moody was actually Barty Crouch Jr. using Polyjuice Potion. The reason he did this was because he didn’t like people who attacked from behind. He also likely did it as a form of retribution for Draco Malfoy’s father who had lied about his allegiance to Voldemort’s and never served time in Azkaban like Crouch Jr. did.
IMDB. Harry Potter Full Cast. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0926084/fullcredits/cast
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2002.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Listening Library, 2003.
Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.